Formerly known as 'The Dasey Shuffle,' I've decided to make of this scrap heap a profitable, full-fledged dumping ground. Therefore, I'm re-purposing all of the drabbles and giving them each their own chapter (since I hadn't really written them to the songs I'd attached to 'em, anyway), and then I'll be adding a chapter or two or three over the next few days.

I figured this'd be the appropriate place to put all those one-shots/scraps that didn't make the final cut in USteps, and then I'd also have a place to put all future drabbles and/or half-assed one-shots that'll never see completion.

Anyway, if you've already perused 'The Dasey Shuffle,' then you've already seen the first eleven chapters of this anthology --everything thereafter will be new material. (I have made minor adjustments to a few of the existing drabbles, however.)

Thanks to everyone whose already reviewed, by the way. Make this all worthwhile.

[behold! the only disclaimer you're going to see for this ENTIRE COLLECTION! sue me not, lady ballon, sir jeffe. i beg of thee.]

As she descends the staircase for the second time that evening, wrapped in The Dress Emily'd found (after he'd surreptitiously moved it to the end of the costume rack nearest where she'd been looking), Derek wishes (not for the first time this evening) that they'd sent someone else (like maybe her boyfriend, who wouldn't be faulted for staring).

When he detaches his tongue from the roof of his mouth and is able to speak past the cotton therein, he tells her she that she does, indeed, look more like an Ugly Stepsister than a Princess, but she just rolls her eyes and beams at him, and when she reaches the foot of the stairs, she loops her arm through his and (considerately) promises not to thank him, ever, for this, or ruin his reputation by revealing to anyone that he has the Capacity for Good Deeds, and just as he's about to say "Great, let's go," so he can escape her and her sparkling…ness, she leans over and pecks him on the cheek and his brain forgets to invert the images behind his eyes so they're right-side up and he's faced suddenly with the unhappy prospect of living in a world that's been flipped upside down. He actually fumbles a step, and the sound of her laughter has his stomach churning much the same way it does before a hockey game.

(He's terrified.)

Then they're leaving, climbing into the Prince, and he's speeding recklessly toward the high school (partly because he wants to get away from her as soon as possible, and partly because he needs her to yell and scream at him –as much to re-establish some semblance of Normalcy as to fuel his sordid imaginings of her ripping his name in half while he bunches The Dress up around her hips and bends her over her desk, in her room, where he is surrounded by All Things Casey—), and before he knows it they're at the dance and she's glowing and giggling as they stand before the doors to the gym, and he can't stop himself from stealing glances at her.

Then she's stepping through the cheap gauzy overhang and for several seconds he can't see anything but white, hot and fierce, and he's angry and confused when Max makes his (irritatingly prompt) entrance and she suddenly has eyes only for her 'Ivanhoe,' when seems to forget immediately that Derek is even there (he wants so badly to be able to do the same), but then Sally (beautiful, lovely, not-Casey Sally) appears at his elbow and equilibrium is restored.

[edited 07.17.09]