WARNING: My psychiatrist thinks I have a chemical imbalance which makes me write crazy, nonsensical fanfics in middle of the night.

DISCLAIMER: Quotes in italics are from LWD. And Derek's quoting Avril Lavigne...still think he's mine?

"I'm the stepsister you always wanted."

She'd taken over his house. She'd taken over his friends (Sam, Ralph). She'd taken over his enemies (Max, Truman). Hell, she'd even taken over his brain (which randomly started attaching her head on to the bodies showcased in the magazines that were buried under his mattress). And just as randomly made him do the stupidest of things -like make a fool of himself in a dance competition on national television.

So if you looked at it the right way (his way) it was all her fault.

"Dude, your stepsister is…"

"Don't you dare complete that sentence."

So, the bare facts of the case, as they lay were:

a) He was a boy.

b) She was a girl.

(Could he have made it any more obvious?)

He could never have testified to the second point in a court with a clear conscience. Forget female, most of the times he doubted she was even a part of the homono sapiano (he can totally speak Spanish now).

But by one of those wonders which never cease, he always (miraculously) managed to end up in front of the bathroom whenever she came out in just a towel. (It's enough to make you believe in God and parting seas. After all, the modern God —science—had utterly failed him when he realized that installing hidden cameras in bathrooms wasn't as easy as the guys on TV made it seem).

Anyway, so he was there, and she was there (and annoyingly, the towel was also there. It seemed almost as stubbornly unyielding as the –sort of— female wearing it). For a moment, he contemplated 'accidentally' pulling it off, but since getting castrated had never been high in his 'Goals for Life' list, he let it slide.

But through the half-view that the white terry cloth offered (he was beginning to feel a personal grudge against the thing) he could see; even if she belonged to a different race, she still had the necessary…equipment to crudely be classified as female.

A strictly what-the-hell-were-you-thinking, is-that-even-legal, you-incestuous-freak female. A Casey female (the worst kind there is). But his body seemed unaware of the fine distinction between 'female' and 'Casey' and his research on her planet of origin was fast turning into something that would end up embarrassing him, so he bolted inside, leaving her dripping wet (and not in the fun way) and locked the door.

(He also used up her entire bottle of lotion and her 'special' tissues. It was all her fault anyway, and he was damned if he was going to be paying for it).

"Why play mind games with someone you like? Because you think you have to? Or because you're too scared to be honest? Well Derek...which is it?"

Their game had far too many rules (and too many tissues) and was intensely competitive so nobody else was allowed to play it. It consisted of a lot of shouting (and lip-watching) and fighting (and touching) and pretending (and pretending) and it was a never-ending almost-porn flick (Ralph's words) that ended up leaving everyone frustrated.

And sometimes she'd do these stupid things that were totally against the rules (like 'saving' him from the bad guys or semi-hugging him after dancing or clasping her hands and looking at him all starry-eyed innocence) because the part of the body that they affected wasn't the usual. It felt as if someone had kicked him in the gut, that she'd punctured his lungs or something which made breathing an academic impossibility.

And sometimes she would blatantly break the rules and date his friends. Or his enemies. Or people who were neither friends nor enemies. (They were the worst because he had to really think of reasons for his pranks). And then it was a full-scale war which ended with her screaming at him/coming to him for advice/ crying to him. (And with the – other– guy melting into the background somewhere). It always ended the same way. And hello, it totally cost the director money –and a few skipped heartbeats- when she did this every single (fucking) time and didn't realize anything. He wasn't sure how many more retakes he could capture of the same scene before it (it being an indefinable entity that he refused to define) sunk in.

And she helped him with his girlfriends ('fucking confusing' was the album he was thinking of commissioning as the official theme of his life) and was all sunshine and roses around them...

(and told them about all his 'weird' habits till they made a bee-line for the other side of the universe).

He knew he should stop her, but every time a girl would run away from him because of something she said, the camera would take one of those slow motion shots that would focus on their faces and sometimes it'd look like she was going to say something...before the (what was their genre again? Tragedy?) movie started again.

It was enough to drive a man to drink.

"Derek, you are the most annoying brother…"


"Same difference."

He totally agreed. No, really. He seriously did. After all, what was a 'step' in a title anyway? Just an added afterthought that somehow ate up the brother part and made the glances/touches/etc seem right. And when it was stripped away, it left the same kind of affection that he had for…Marti. (That seemed vaguely –startlingly– wrong).

And since he was her brother, it was his duty to screen all her dates. And he would make them sit down in a calm and rational manner and judge their 'crazy' factor (an essentiality in any of Casey's soul-mates) all the while calmly and rationally discussing amusing anecdotes, mostly centering around himself, a player in the opposing team, a hockey stick and a few broken bones that weren't his.

("You're moving to a safe house? Court order? Don't worry about it; I'll explain it to Casey").

It usually ended up with bucket-fulls of chocolate ice-cream, a rom-com and his bed being occupied for the night while she ranted about the depravity of the human race in general. He made appropriate, brotherly comments ("Looked in a mirror lately, Case. Or ever?" and "Maybe his parents forbid him to date outside his species") which were not accepted in the altruistic spirit that they were uttered in and ended up in a pillow fight by the end of which she was laughing/crying and too tired to do anything but sleep holding his arm with a death grip which definitely hadn't anything feminine in it.

And he's her brother so he has a right to watch her sleep and push her hair away from her face (in)appropriately because they're siblings now and of course she doesn't feel it any longer. It doesn't affect her at all (because, hey, they're siblings now. She said so). That magic switch in his head that classifies everybody under the categories of 'related' and 'fair game' is firmly switched to the former in her case. Obviously.

That's his denial and he's sticking to it. Any reality checkers need not apply for a place in his head.

(In the background their movie plays in an endless loop).

"Derek," she's sitting on the ground, "Do you think we're strange."

"I know you are but what am I?"

She glares at him, "Five, apparently," she's (non) subtly toying with the strands of the carpet, "Drake broke up with me. 'Too much baggage' or some classic male excuse for a gross inability to maintain the sanctimony of a relationship through an attempt at fidelity."

He looks up from the recorded Gael's match, "You said that to the guy who thinks Bangkok is a method of foreplay?"

She glares at him, "If you haven't got Häagen-Dazs' zesty lemon sorbet then you have a long car ride ahead of you. I'm staying over."

"Drake called," he says reflectively, twisting the remote.

She stills immediately, "Oh."

(It's most definitely an 'ending-the-conversation-now' sort of oh rather than the 'tell-me-more' sort of an oh. However, he is Casey's brother, and therefore for all intents and purposes he does not understand the tone variations in her 'oh's'. It's not very brotherly.)

"He said he doesn't know what he did wrong and that he's camping outside your dorm till you take him back. And he also mentioned something about how you didn't need to break-up with him over the fact that he thinks that you should be wearing his hockey jersey instead of mine."


He waits for two beats for her retaliation.

It takes one.

"Sarah came over the other day."

"Really?" he asks politely (who's Sarah?)

"She seemed upset about the fact that you always call her Spacey during your…extracurricular activities. And she wants you to know that she wants to be loved for her brain and not only her body. And she doesn't understand why you don't say something, in the…non-extra-curricular-activities time if you think she's spacing out too much and not giving you enough attention."


It takes twenty minutes of staring blankly at the screen before she speaks again, "Do you think we're strange?" (And it feels like she's saying something else. And maybe if he doesn't say anything she'll…).

He slings his arm over her shoulder (as usual), "No way, sis! We're siblings, right? We share Val; a living, breathing initiation into siblinghood."

(Because when it comes right down to it- he's a coward).

She pushes his arm away (as usual), "Yeah. Now get me that sorbet, brother of mine."

(Because when it comes right down to it- so is she).

He switches to calling them ('them' being all the girls/women he knows) 'princess' during his extra-curricular-activities.

She doesn't give back his hockey shirt.

what a tangled web we weave

I have this fear that Dasey will never get its act together. Like Derek in 'The Party', chickening out during their bonding session.