Entitled: Induced with Madness
Fandom: Life With Derek & The Princess Bride
Words: 6,400 words
Setting: Gallivanting about Princess Bride world, duh.
Disclaimer: I do not own Life With Derek or The Princess Bride.
Notes: I don't know why I try to be clever, I really don't. I should stop.

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, (unless you happen to live there) there was a young maiden and her servant, (although for some reason, it seemed like she was the one doing all the work.)

"Farm boy!" the young woman called, "Go chop some wood for the winter!"

"You have fun with that," said the farm boy, and the young woman was forced to dump the pig's breakfast on him.

"Derek!" she scolded, "You work for me!"

"Why?" he whined, "You don't pay me!"

"Because—because you're just supposed to!" she huffed. The wind came to her rescue then, as it will for every young maid, and stirred her hair enticingly.

"Screw that," said Derek very politely, rolled over in the hay cart, and went back to sleep, covered in slops as he was.

The fair maiden Casey was most put out. "I'll tell mom!"

"Your mother and my father have been on their honeymoon for five years now," Derek pointed out, "Be my guest."

Later on, he did chop the wood, if only to keep her quiet. The fair maiden Casey wound up finishing the job for him when she saw how unevenly the logs stacked.

It was some time shortly there after that Derek announced with great flourish and sorrow, "Casey! I'm going to go be a pirate for a while, alright?"

"What?!" Casey yelled, and flew from her bed with her hair in great distress, "You mean you're finally leaving!?"

"I'll be back," Derek cackled, and Casey despaired.

"You really don't have to," she said quite kindly, "I mean, er, I wouldn't want to cut your little birdie wings!"

"What?" Derek asked her, quite disbelievingly. Casey stared at him fiercely, blinking very fast.

"I don't know! Go get your leg hacked off an be called Stumpy for the rest of your life!" she yelled, and crossed her arms, sniffing. Derek backed away.

"Don't get my shirt wet!" he said, most alarmed. Casey locked him out of the house.

Many years passed.

"Sir," said an unfortunate guard, "How are wedding preparations coming along?"

"Oh, fine," said the High Prince Teddy. "Though I'm having trouble finding a pair of handcuffs. Why do you ask?"

"Well, you see," said the most unfortunate guard, "I think the Princess has been kidnapped."

"Casey?" High Prince Teddy repeated, but then shook his head, "She's just writing horrible poetry somewhere or liberating the oppressed. She'll be back for dinner. Do you think blue's my color?"

"No," said the poor guard, and held out the fragment of her dress, "I really think we might have a problem here."

High Prince Teddy stared at the bit of cloth for a moment. "Eh," he shrugged finally, "Fine. I was thinking of eating out, anyways."

"You'll never get away with this!" Casey cried passionately. Truman stared at her in total and complete exasperation.

"Are you sure we don't have a gag?" he asked his loyal minions. Ralph, who loomed nearly a foot above him, smiled good-naturedly.

"I think she's funny." He said genially, "Just like a little…bunny."

Truman buried his face in his hands. "Inconceivable."

"Hey, yo," Sam said suddenly, and used his sword to point at the far-off horizon line. In the act of doing so, he may or may not have gouged the main sails. "I think someone's chasing us."

"Coming by car, or coming by bus?" Ralph quipped. The two of them slapped palms. Truman thought about nice, calming things.

"Oh, damn it!" His captive suddenly screamed. Truman turned towards her, kneeling and tilting his head.

"I'm sorry, but shouldn't you be happy about this?" he inquired pleasantly. Casey floundered.

"Can't this ship go any faster?" she moaned. The nearly useless sail flapped lamely. Sam tried to look innocent.

"Great!" Truman snarled, stalking away from her and leaning moodily over the railing, "Even our captive thinks we suck at this."

"If you don't hurry up, I'm swimming!" Casey threatened. Sam rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

"Can you? In that dress, I mean." He backed off almost immediately under her glare, "It's a very pretty dress, I just meant that it looked like it'd be—heavy."

"…Did you just call me fat?" Casey looked indignant.

Ralph beamed, "At least your hair doesn't look like a drowned rat!"

In Truman's mind, drowning himself was quickly taking priority over starting a war.

"Come on, hurry up, you slackers!" Casey yelled down the cliff. She was hauling herself up the nearly vertical slop with horrifying gusto, while the trio below her continued their heated argument. Truman seemed to be insisting that Ralph carry him up. Sam was loudly yelling that this wasn't in his contract and the producers were all nuts. Ralph was having trouble coming up with a word that rhymed with orange.

"Okay," Truman said soothingly, and climbed onto Ralph's back, "You climb, I'll make up words for you."

There was much moaning and wailing but, at last, Ralph did as he was told and began making his disgruntled way up the slope. Sam stood firmly at the bottom, his arms crossed.

"Would you please hurry up?" Casey yelled, now nearly at the top. Truman seriously considered attempting flight.

Meanwhile, back at the bottom, a mysterious and darkly clad figure was leaping nimbly from his boat and surveying the ropes disgustedly. Sam looked up, fingering his sword.

"Yo," said the masked man. Sam set fire to the script, just for good measure. The masked man stared at him.

"Dude, you just—"

"I don't even care," Sam snapped, "You clearly don't have six fingers on your right hand, and frankly, I am not paid enough for this."

The masked man seemed slightly disappointed. "But, I want the awesome sword fight."

"You only say that because everyone on this planet and Mars knows you're going to win!" Sam shouted indignantly, and proceeded to heave his belongings into the masked man's boat.

The masked man was aghast, "Stop breaking the fourth wall!"

"The fourth wall can suck it!" yelled Sam, brandished his sword for good measure, shoved off the cliff-face, and drifted anticlimactically away.

The masked man watched him blankly for a moment before he suddenly realized something important. "Hey—that's my boat!"

"Inconceivable," Truman whispered darkly, "I hire a swordsman. I tell him to do one thing, just one thing—and he says he'll do it, oh yes, he says he'll stop his advance, but what does he do instead? Seal off the exit route. You worthless piece of—"

He broke off as he realized that they had reached the summit, and scrambled up over Ralph's broad shoulders, heaving Casey and Ralph up to join him.

"About time," said the masked man impatiently. Casey screeched.

"What the—" Truman looked from the masked man to the ropes, and back again, blinking, "Inconceivable. Do you know magic or something?"

"Yes," said the masked man, very solemnly, "Calling forth my great inner potential, I took the elevator."

Truman was having a very bad day. He made some vague gesture towards Ralph to knock out Casey, and then slung the limp girl over his shoulder. The masked man frowned.

"Hey," he said indignantly, "What the hell, hand her over."

"I am trying to follow the script," Truman said through his teeth, took a few steps, discovered that hauling around an unconscious person is much more difficult than it looks, and dumped her on Ralph.

"But that's—I could just take her right now!" said the masked man, with a touch of impatience. Truman glared at him.

"There are two of us and Ralph hasn't had any breakfast." He said menacingly. Ralph grinned. It somehow looked very sinister. The masked man decided to…go easy on them.

"I'll just close my eyes and count to ten, then," he said brightly, and admired the scenery for several minutes.

The masked man stumbled moodily through the forest, squinting in the gloom and otherwise attempting to find the location of his next scene. He lasted about five minutes before heading up.


Truman sat up straighter as soon as the masked man wandered in from the forest, "So," he said excitedly, "It is down to you, and it is down to me."

He brandished a kitchen knife towards Casey, who was blind folded and yet still managed to look extremely grumpy.

"You die horribly," the masked man informed him politely. Casey growled.

"Derek, I'm going to kill you," she hissed. Derek looked indignant.

"I'm wearing a mask," he said pointedly, before he realized that she was blindfolded and so the whole thing was sort of pointless anyways.

Truman rapped his spoon against his glass, "Excuse me," he said snippily. Derek sighed and rolled his eyes and slumped down, seizing the food from Truman's plate and nibbling idly while he dug through his pockets.

"I dallenge you t'a baddle of da wids." He said around his dinner roll. Casey failed to repress a shudder.

"To the death?" Truman asked monotonously. Derek smiled nastily.

"Yeah, why not?"

"I accept," Truman said, looking extremely bored. Having finally located what he was looking for, Derek drew out a small container of poison held it out to Truman. "Inhale this, but do not touch," he instructed gravely. Truman did so, with a hefty sniff.

"I smell nothing." He said, beginning to get back into the act. He held out the container for Derek to take. Derek's evil smile grew. Truman scowled, "Hey, aren't you going to put it in the goblets—?"

"I just had you snort poison, dumbass," Derek sneered, "So much for smarts."

Truman toppled over mid-curse. Derek cheerfully undid the blindfold around Casey's eyes. She leveled him with her most poisonous look.

"Don't you have a friend or a distant relative or a stunt-double who could do this instead?" she asked darkly. Derek declined to answer, only sat back with a smirk, leaving her hands and feet tied. Casey squirmed.

"Hey, what're you—"

He took a languid bight out of the lunch Truman had prepared, "I think I'll eat," he said sweetly. Her mouth watered.


He chewed with his mouth open. Casey flailed. "Derek, I'm hungry."

He waved a bit of ham under her nose.

"Sir," said that same hapless guard, his face bent intently towards the dirt, "Would you mind explaining these movements to me?"

"Huh?" Teddie looked up from his literature-of-questionable-morality, "What were we doing again?"

"…Casey. She was kidnapped. You two are supposed to get married—"

"Oh!" Teddie smacked one fist into his opposite hand, "Right. The eye candy. They went that way."

"But—" the guard protested. High Prince Teddy silenced him with a look.

"You. Stop raining on the parade. One second, I just have to leap off this cliff onto my horse—SHIT." He did so, landing and then squealing, toppling straight off his steed and curling into a fetal position, nursing his bruised groin, "DAMN IT, I HATE THIS MOVIE."

"That's it!" Casey yelled, the second Derek had gotten tired of lugging her bound self around the countryside and finally cut her bonds, "This is for woman-kind!"

And she very nobly and dramatically shoved him down a ravine. It would have worked better if he hadn't latched onto her arm and dragged her down with him.

The two of them toppled haphazardly, simultaneously attempting to strangle and/or make out with the other until they finally reached the bottom. Derek attempted to stand, staggered, and promptly fell on top of her.

Casey made a noise to properly convey her current state of suffocation.

"That's funny," he gasped, "I tripped."

They starred at one another. Casey was steadily turning purple. "Don't give me that crap," she wheezed, "We just rolled a couple hundred feet. I bet your so dizzy you're about to throw up." She sneered. Derek rolled off of her, his head spinning.

"See, there could have been a fantastic make-out scene back there," he slurred, "And then you had to go and ruin it."

"The stupid kid and his grandpa would have interrupted anyways," Casey gasped, and together, they managed to begin crawling towards the fire swamp.

"I can't believe," Derek moaned, "I take off for three years, and when I come back, you're engaged to Teddy. Teddy. You're like, twice his height."

"It's the inside that matters," Casey giggled, and managed to fall over while still only about a foot off the ground.

"Sick!" High Prince Teddy yelled, scrambling off his horse and rushing to Truman's side, "A dead guy!"

He quickly located a suitable branch and proceeded to prod at Truman's dead foot with due fascination.

The royal procession grudgingly halted.

"I hate this place I hate this place I hate this—freaking bugs!" Derek roared, and swung his sword at a mosquito violently. Casey leapt back as yet another spurt of fire enveloped the place she had previously stood.

"My dress!" she moaned, "My dress is ruined!"

"Your hair's pretty shot too," Derek said through his teeth, busily staring down an enormous rat. He shuddered, and for the first time in his life, latched onto Casey's arm.

"I hate rats," he hissed. She found that she wasn't all that fond of the refrigerator-sized ones either. They collaboratively trash-talked the poor vermin until it stomped off in a huff.

They spent several hours shrieking and catching on fire, until Casey stumbled, and suddenly found herself belly-deep in quicksand, with Derek's hands clinging to her hair. She screamed, "OW-OW-LET-GO," sunk another foot when he did so, grabbed ahold of his leg, and almost dragged him in after her.

"Pull, you wussy," Casey ordered, working hard to conceal her own fear. Derek strained at the task, pulling on her arms so hard she was certain they were about to pop out of their sockets.

"Yeah, well, you try dragging someone through a few hundred pounds of sand and we'll see how well you do," he hissed, feet skidding nearer as she continued to sink. Casey swallowed.

"Want to switch?" she asked tremulously.

"You'd leave me," Derek growled without a second's hesitation. Their joined hands were growing increasingly slippery with sweat.

"Maybe if we—stuck something in, like a big stick, there'd be an air pocket or something—"

After several minutes of pulled muscles and promises of mutual destruction, Casey finally realized that it was the angle that was the problem, and so managed to haul herself out with a strategically placed vine. Her arms were really getting a workout that day.

"Okay," they two of them panted, "Now there's just the—"

The giant rat chose this moment to make its affectionate entrance, and launched itself at Derek.

He screamed shrilly, "GET-IT-OFF-GET-IT-OFF—"

"You are pathetic," Casey called unhelpfully from the sidelines. Derek was too busy having a heart attack to return the retort. She face palmed. "Derek! Come on! What has evolution taught you?! He with the bigger stick shall always triumph!" she finished her little lecture quite proudly. Derek had obviously not heard a word of this and was still screaming hysterically.

Casey twitched. She marched right up to the battling duo and kicked the rat angrily, "Knock it off!" she yelled, and the rat, who had decided that it knew when it wasn't wanted, scurried away.

Derek lay flat on his back, breathing erratically. Casey regarded him contemptuously, before screeching. "Oh, gross! You're bleeding!"

She really looked like she might faint. Derek looked alarmed, "Are you serious? Oh—damn it! What if I get rabies or something?"

"This is disgusting!" Casey wailed, and shielded her eyes from the carnage. Derek examined himself worriedly.

"…I think it's just a scratch, Casey." Derek sighed, obviously still shaking off his panic.

"I can't look!" she wailed, but still permitted him to drag her forwards, eyes tightly shut.

They had been waiting at the exit for nearly an hour now. Casey discreetly checked her watch before remembering that watches violated the time period, and so guiltily hid it in some bushes.

"Maybe we should wait for them at the castle?" Derek suggested, looking exasperated. Casey sighed.

"I'm starving." She grumbled morosely. Derek held out a mangled dinner roll. She looked horrified, but still took and nibbled it.

"Yo!" High Prince Teddy yelled exuberantly, charging around the corner with the rest of his procession tailing him. "Sorry man, I slept in."

"You're marrying this guy?" Derek clarified. Casey scowled.

"It's not like I want to," she snarled. High Prince Teddy looked hurt.

"I don't get it," he said plaintively, "I've got the bad-boy attitude, so what makes him so much better?" he ended on a whine.

"The hair," Casey said immediately. Derek looked pleased.

"Ah," High Prince Teddy nodded consideringly, "Well, give me time. I'm thinking of growing a goatee. You know, once I have the ability to do so."

"Your taste in men is a downward spiral," Derek informed her. Casey ignored him. High Prince Teddy didn't.

"Yeah okay, off with your head," he said pleasantly, and then returned his attentions to Casey, "Okay, Cassie, you can ride with me." He waggled his eyebrows. Casey frowned.

"It's Casey. And you can't kill him," she protested, annoyed, "I mean, maybe hurt him a little, but not kill."

"Gee, thanks," Derek noted distractedly, as he had just noticed the six fingered man, and was quite delighted to realize the murderer's identity.

Unfortunately for Derek, the six-fingered man had noticed him too, and in the next instant, Derek found himself quite unconscious.

When he woke up, an extremely pale creature was hanging above him, gazing at him with reproachful eyes. Derek choked. "Noel?!"

"Hey," Noel said woefully. "You stole the main lead opposite Casey away from me. Again."

"It just sort of happened?" Derek tried. Noel frowned.

"I have you hooked up to a giant torture device," he said pointedly, "I wouldn't push it, if I were you." And, quite peeved, he swept from the room.

Derek stared at the ceiling for a moment, before struggling against his bonds, "Hey! Noel! Get back here, I have to pee!"

"Hey, babycakes," High Prince Teddy greeted brightly as Casey dramatically entered the room. She crossed her arms.

"Teddy," she said rather pointedly, "You're very sweet, but I'm just not that into younger men."

"Cassie," High Prince Teddy said smarmily, "You forget that I'm rich."

Casey looked extremely offended by this, "You can't buy love!" she protested. High Prince Teddy just looked at her pityingly. Casey huffed, "And my name's Casey, not Cassie!"

High Prince Teddy waved at one of his guards, "Yeah, okay. Random minion, get the little girl back to her bed."

Casey stormed off before the poor guard could so much as twitch, "Unbelievable," she snarled through her teeth, "He's as bad as Derek!"

"Thank you!" High Prince Teddy yelled from behind his enormous desk.

"You just wait!" Casey threatened, "He'll crash my wedding! I just know he will!"

High Prince Teddy smirked knowingly, "Oh, yeah?"

"Yes," she crossed her arms, still calling over her shoulder as she strode away, "Of course he will!"

Ralph stumbled through the hoards of muddy villagers, peering around earnestly. "Sam?" he yelled, "Sam, where are you?"

"Here," Sam slurred. Ralph looked down, by which I mean, more so than usual. Sam stared back up at him surly. Ralph blinked.

"Is that root beer?"

"No," Sam said darkly. He took a swig, as though to prove his manliness, and ended up spilling some down his chin. Ralph squatted.

"Sam, man, what're you doing over here?" he asked worriedly.

"This script," Sam gestured angrily. "Is shit, man. What the hell. I signed up because they told me I got to make out with Casey, and you know what happens? I get stabbed. Repeatedly." He made a disgusted noise. Ralph scratched behind one ear, dropping his voice.

"Sam, I don't think you're supposed to appeal to the audience by addressing them directly—"

"Ngh," Sam retorted, and staggered to his feet. "Whatever. Come on. Let's go save Derek's ass. Again."

"How many times has it been?"

"You think I'm still counting?"

High Prince Teddy stabbed at a tree imperiously. It declined to do anything other than sway slightly. He gnashed his teeth with much aggravation, and turned in a slow circle, squinting at the trees near him. "A secret base," he muttered darkly, "Sure, great. Why couldn't we have marked it with a big red X or something?"

"It's that one!" Sam yelled loudly. Ralph smacked a hand over his mouth and dragged the squirming and possibly drunk boy back behind the tree. High Prince Teddy paused.

"Which one is 'that one?'" he asked, in a highly poetic tone of voice, as though he were Hamlet and the entire thing was purely rhetorical.

There was no response. High Prince Teddy quietly pined for MapQuest, before a tree that was, of course, right in front of him, sprang open. Noel poked his head out, looking surly. "Do I have to do everything around here?" he sighed.

"Mwahahahaha!" High Prince Teddy tried. Derek ignored him.

"Look, seriously, I'll come right back, I've just got to—"

"Silence, cretin!" High Prince Teddy yelled gleefully, and scampered over to the torturing device. He rubbed his hands together with relish. "Oh, revenge is sweet."

And without further adieu, he cranked the lever up to fifty. Noel gasped. Derek flinched.

And apart for that, nothing much happened. High Prince Teddy waited for a moment, and then chanced a look towards the man on the table. Derek peeked one eye open.

"You aren't in horrible pain, are you?" High Prince Teddy asked politely. Derek considered.

"My foot kind of itches. And I really, really have to use the bathroom." He smiled charismatically. High Prince Teddy ignored him.

"Noel!" he cried, in obvious demand of an explanation. Noel shrugged.

"Don't look at me, I'm just the understudy," he sulked.

"Did you check the batteries?" Derek yelled helpfully. High Prince Teddy froze.

"…Oh, damn it!" he snapped. Derek snickered openly.

Teddie drew himself upright, "Fine. Fine. We'll just have to do this the old fashioned way," he ranted, scrambling off his platform and making his way towards Derek fiendishly. Derek watched his approach warily.

"Hey. Hey, you, what do you think you're—"

High Prince Teddy scrambled onto the table, planted his feet firmly, yelled, "Fifty years of pain!" as though this were a comic book, drew back one foot, and—

Noel found he couldn't look.

"Good thing we brought that wheel barrel," Ralph mused, and laid Derek down in it delicately. The boy in question squeezed himself more tightly into the fetal position.

"I'm going to kill that kid," he said, voice choked. Even Sam managed to snap out of his jaded stupor long enough to pat Derek's back pityingly.

"No worries, man. We're going to Miracle Max right now."

"Him?" Derek moaned, "I hate that guy."

"Miracle Max!" Sam yelled, "You missed your cue!" he hammered ever more urgently on the man's door. Ralph shifted the nearly comatose Derek, drawing forth a whimper.

"Max!" Ralph yelled, "Come on, we know you're home!"

"Stop calling me that," Max said tiredly from behind them. The trio spun and blinked. He was carrying several bags of groceries. Max raised his eyebrows.

"Oh." Sam blinked. "That's surprisingly domestic of you. But whatever, we need you to fix Derek."

"I'm not a vet." Max said immediately. Derek sent him an extremely evil look, but Ralph cut in quickly before he had the chance to attack. "Look, you got an icepack and some Advil? A jockstrap? Windex?"

"Wow." Max blinked, looking sufficiently weirded out. "For him?"

"I'll kill you," Derek gurgled, his voice tiny and strangled. Max looked slightly gleeful.

"Isn't this charming, Cassie?" High Prince Teddy beamed around the church, waving jauntily towards those invited. Casey sulked. He patted her hand reassuringly. "Now, now. I thought your numerous escape attempts were all very charming. There's no need to be so cranky!"

"Isn't there?" Casey asked through her teeth, digging in her heels as several guards strained to drag her down the aisle. Suddenly, she spotted a familiar figure at the end of the aisle, and broke into a run, beaming.

"Paul!" she cried, and threw her arms around his neck. Paul patted her back awkwardly.

"Oh—hi, Casey," he said, smiling awkwardly at the congregation. Casey pulled away, her eyes shining.

"Oh, Paul! Thank goodness I found you! I have so many things to talk about!"

"Uh," Paul looked out at the masses, "Right now—?"

"First!" Casey began, as though she hadn't heard him, (and in all likelihood, she hadn't,) "I mean, there is this stupid kid who's trying to marry me, but I don't especially care about him, so we can address that later after I've hidden his body somewhere."

High Prince Teddy looked at her flatly. Casey ignored him, "But—the real problem—is Derek!"

Paul rolled his eyes.

"So, it's us against forty guards?" Derek confirmed. Sam nodded tensely. The three of them were crouched below the edge of a ditch, and peering at their enemy critically.

"I brought the wheel barrel!" Ralph said excitedly. Derek remembered that Ralph had carried him around for the entire day, and so restrained himself from commenting.

"When exactly do we need to break in?" he asked Sam. Sam pretended to squint at the sun while actually checking his watch.

"About half an hour."

"Cool," Derek put his head down, "I'm taking a nap. Wake me up when it's time."

Ralph and Sam exchanged glances over the top of his head. "I'll get the lighter fluid," Sam said tiredly.

"So, really," Casey folded her hands expectantly, "Do you think that I'm just imagining things? Is it weird for a guy to risk his life for a girl repeatedly based on purely platonic feelings? Maybe he's just being chivalrous, but then, he is Derek—"

"Excuse me!" High Prince Teddy said loudly. Both of them ignored him.

"Casey," Paul said patiently, "I'm not a love-advise columnist, okay?"

Casey waved a dismissive hand, "Oh, whatever! Come on, Paul! Can't you just tell me instead of insisting I find the answer on my own?!"

"It's really not that hard," Paul said pointedly, crossing his priestly arms, "I mean, to be frank, it's really pretty obvious."

Casey muttered darkly, and Paul suddenly caught sight of High Prince Teddy, who was tapping his foot impatiently. He laughed nervously. "I'll just get on with the wedding then, shall I?"

"Oh, no!" whispered one woman loudly to her friend, "That was much more interesting!"

"You'd think that a flame-proof cloak would retain lighter fluid a little better," Sam mumbled, watching morosely as several more fat drops rolled off the cloak's almost metallic surface.

"Huh?" Derek snorted, sitting up sleepily, "Is it time?"

"Yes," Sam said pointedly, "And maybe if you'd have helped us, we'd have managed to—"

Derek ignored him completely, dug through his pockets, pulled out a stink bomb, and lobbed it.

Sam stared, "Dude, that's cheating."

"And I'm very good at it," Derek said brightly.

While Ralph scrambled off to get their horses, Derek and Sam meandered through the hallways, poking into rooms at random and otherwise thoroughly lost.

"Excuse me," Sam said politely to the anonymous guard who had continually reappeared throughout the story thus far, "Where's the wedding taking place?"

The guard looked at him pointedly, "Maybe in the church." He suggested sarcastically.

Derek and Sam just looked at one another. Derek smacked the back of his head. "Way to go, genius."

"So now what," Sam muttered, nursing his sore head, "We just wander around until—"

But it was then that Derek spotted a familiar dark head, and so pointed and cried, "Sam! Six fingered man!"

The six fingered man spun on his heel and fled before Sam could totally see him, and so the boy chased after him, yelling, "Finally!"

Derek and the guard watched him go. Derek looked at the guard suspiciously, "What? No frantic rescue attempts?"

"Are you kidding?" the guard snorted, "I hate that guy."

"Most people do." Derek agreed, "Where does Casey sleep?"

"Over there," the guard pointed lazily, and Derek set off.

Sam took the corner hard, his sword drawn, and then finally caught sight of his opponents face. He gaped.


"Yeah, well," Truman shrugged wryly, "Apparently, people aren't satisfied unless I die twice."

"Huh," Sam blinked, and then shook his head, "Well, whatever. Hello, you killed my father. My name is Samuel—" Sam broke off, his face scrunching, before he spun and kicked the wall viciously, "Why do I always mess that line up!?

And the two set at it.

The sermon having been cut short by High Prince Teddy's abrupt potty break, Casey wandered the halls moodily, quite peeved that Derek had yet to show himself.

It was then that she stormed into her bedrooms and smacked right into him. She squealed, "Derek?!"

"Hey," he said, holding her at arms distance, and locked the door. Casey blinked at him.

"What're you—"

"Finally," he said, with a great sigh. She squinted at him.

"Finally what?" she repeated. Derek looked at her bed pointedly. She smacked him.

"This is no time to be taking a nap!" she scolded. Derek simply shook his head.

"Why do I even try—?" he muttered, running a hand back through his hair. Casey screwed up her face.

"Seriously, what are you getting at—"

"You and me," Derek said patiently, "And frankly, I have been through a lot of shit for this, so—"

Derek's rantings seemed to have finally made some connection in Casey's brain, for she flared bright red, and pushed him away, looking mortified, "Derek!"

"What?" he whined. Casey sputtered.

"You—you can't just—the hero isn't allowed to demand sexual favors from the heroine!" she cried passionately. Derek crossed his arms with a huff.

"That's a stupid rule," he muttered darkly.

"Hope I'm not interrupting anything!" High Prince Teddy yelled loudly, and both of them jumped guiltily, flushed.

"Wait a—I locked the door!" Derek gestured. High Prince Teddy cackled smugly.

"I have the key, of course," he sneered. Casey looked revolted. Derek narrowed his eyes.

"You are perverse." He informed the tiny prince. High Prince Teddy spread his arms shamelessly, and shrugged.

"I feel unclean." Casey mumbled. Derek shushed her.

"So, that's how it is," High Prince Teddy sneered, "I caught you. And if you think you can just run off with my wife—"

"Not your wife," Derek and Casey said immediately. High Prince Teddy glared.

"Fine. But just give me five minutes, and—"

"We're leaving," Derek told Casey, steering her towards the window. Casey leaned back against him, frowning.

"But—can't I take the shoes with me."

"I'll buy you new shoes," he said impatiently. Casey's eyes grew suspiciously wet.

"But they're fabulous shoes!"

Derek ground his teeth, "Fine. One pair."

"Are you listening to me?!" High Prince Teddy demanded angrily, just as Sam burst through the door, looking like he'd been filming a slasher movie and stepped onto the wrong set. Casey wailed. Derek sent him a pointed look.

"Sam, come on."

"Well, excuse me, for bleeding on the carpet," Sam snarled, and stormed to the open window, sticking his head out. "Ralph! You stupid moron, we're over here! Over here! You're at the wrong window!"

High Prince Teddy puffed up his cheeks, growling, which soon turned into a squeak as Derek knocked him upside the head. "Ow!"

"Derek!" Casey latched onto him indignantly, "Stop it! You can't beat up someone smaller than you!"

Derek sent her a dark look, "Oh, yes I can."

"Uncle! Uncle!" High Prince Teddy howled. Casey turned upon him with reproachful eyes, and Derek abruptly gave it up as a lost cause.

"This is so unfair," he muttered to Sam.

Sam looked at him disbelievingly. "You?!" he repeated furiously, "You just have to kiss her. I am bleeding."

"He gets to what?" Casey asked, horrified. Derek made wild slashing motions behind her back, and Sam pursed his lips discontentedly.

"Jump!" Ralph yelled up at them, his arms held out, "I'll catch you!"

The three of them stared down.

"I'm taking the stairs," Derek muttered, grabbed Casey by the hand, and dragged her along behind him.

Everyone's heads whipped around as the chapel doors banged open and High Prince Teddy strode in, looking surly. He took a deep breath, "Bad news," he began, "The wedding's off. Her step-brother showed up. You know how it is."

Everyone nodded sympathetically.

"I suppose," Casey said suddenly, as the two of them were lagging, "Since you did sort of—badly—rescue me—I mean, I would have gotten out of it, of course, but it was still a nice gesture and so, I just—"

She cut off quite abruptly as Derek touched the side of her face lightly, leaned over, and kissed her quite matter-of-factly. His eyes were closed. It made her smile stupidly, even as her own drifted shut…

…and they both tumbled off their respective horses.