a/n Midnight madness. And I've seen all the people who uploaded today so I don't blame you if you have no time to read more! I still have so much to read too! (Which is kind of awesome). The pop culture references in this are enough to make you pull your (my) hair. And it's not serious. It's just a day in the life of C/D.

DISCLAIMER: DISCLAIMED


"You again?" She groused as she opened the door.

"Now, Princess, is that any way to treat an esteemed and cherished brother?" He walked past her without waiting for an invitation, which proved that although unevolved for the most part, he did have some grey cells. Because there was no way she'd have invited him in.

"Esteemed? Cherished?" She raised an eyebrow, "Who's she?"

"Cara McLaggen," he groaned under the weight of the couch (what?) he was carrying, "Talks like a freaking dictionary. Good thing we don't talk much while she takes my dog for a walk."

"You don't have..." she began when the Dawson's Creek reference struck her, "Derek! Eww!"

He grinned irreverently and picked up the remote (what?) and switched to a hockey game (again...what?)

"De-rek." She said, (nearly) speechless with rage, "This is an all girls' residence. My residence. You can't just come in and..."

"I know it's an all girl's residence," he said picking up a flimsy looking bra from the floor, "Which is why I decided to do the magnanimous thing and came here instead of letting all the girls waste their time in searching for me." He crushed the bra under his fingers and she watched the sure movement of his hand with a certain twisted fascination. The sudden flooding of heat through her body was surprising. Maybe her roommate had switched on the central heating?

"Now this," he said, "talks of sexual liberation. And I'd like to meet the girl to..."

"It's mine," she interrupted quickly, and watched as he dropped the garment faster than she could say 'mood killer' (which would have been a dumb thing to say in any case) and hit his head with his hands, like he was trying not to think of something.

"Derek," she heard Jessica's surprised exclamation from behind and resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Jessica was known for a lot of things, but subtlety wasn't one of them, "What a surprise! What are you doing here?"

"The same thing he does here every Saturday," said Elizabeth coming into the room, "winding Casey up. Hitting on every girl in the residence. The works."

"Hey," said Casey, indignantly, "I do not get wound up by him. I...laugh at his lame attempts to get a rise out of me and..."

"If by 'laugh', you mean whine and complain about him throughout the week and hide notes titled 'Derek Venturi Must Die' and 'Don't Get Mad, Get Even', and 'The Art of Seduction' in big, bold letters and..."

"The art of seduction," Derek interrupted with a raised eyebrow, which she hated him for because she'd never been able to do it even with practice and was it really necessary for him to make everything look so easy?

Casey flushed, "That wasn't for you, you moron and...and...you're going out somewhere Jess?"

Which wasn't obvious or anything.

"Me?" Jessica looked surprised, or at least that must've been the expression she must've been going for beneath the pound of make-up. The black dress (or glorified lingerie) threatened to break seams as she raised her hand in a 'what could you possibly mean' gesture. "Nowhere. Just...chilling out. You know…a regular...girls' night in."

"In that?"

"Oh, this old thing?" Jessica asked, (failing at) laughing, "It was just...lying around..."

"Yeah," whispered Casey, and it was annoying that Derek was the only one close enough to hear, "In Victoria's Secret."

"Jealous?" Derek whispered back.

"Of what...? She (sort-of) scoffed before realizing that he had already moved away, next to Jessica.

He wasn't even trying to hide the fact that he was undressing her with his eyes. And really did he need to make his...manwhority so obvious? It was...annoying...and degrading to the female species in general. And his eyes would get all…dark and heavily-lidded and…Elizabeth called it 'bedroom eyes' and that was just too much information about him. Who'd want an image of their brother like...that.

And he also kept looking over at where she and Elizabeth were standing, with this unreadable expression on his face like he was expecting something. And it killed her because she could always read him like a book...but this particular expression was outside her repertoire.

He looked over again as he ran his hand indiscreetly down her roommates' satin covered side, his face hard, and she turned away.

After all, she had to get a start on dinner

_..=.._

"Casey," complained Elizabeth, as she picked up the other half of her underwear from top of the television. "You need to stop strewing your underwear across the living room."

"I?" she said indignantly, "I haven't worn it even once, "I have no idea how…" she groaned and closed her eyes, putting her hands over her face, "Please Jess, don't tell me."

Jessica jumped guiltily from her position on the couch (Derek's lap), "Sorry Casey. It was so beautiful…and I'll just tell Dean to be more careful next time in taking it off."

Casey looked at her in disbelief. She could be so infuriating with her habit of borrowing things without asking, and tendency to sit on people's laps "The real question is why was it lying on top…" she stopped mid-sentence, "Never mind. I don't even want to know."

"No," said Derek, "The real question is why you own a thing like this anyway."

She stared at him, "I beg your pardon?"

He turned around and…surreally he wasn't laughing, he looked sort of…weird. "It's not like you have anyone to wear it for. And it's not your normal wear."

"Okay," said Elizabeth chirpily, "Not awkward or anything."

"How would you know what my normal wear is? You don't know everything about me Derek Venturi. In fact…"

"Oh please," he fake-yawned, "You practically scream 'Sane!' 'Sensible!' white cotton underwear. You're like the dictionary definition of repressed."

"Was it for Justin," asked Jessica excitedly, "I knew there was something there when I saw those notes you'd made with his name and yours in hearts!"

For a moment she contemplated a defense for homicide because he was looking at her like…that. Like he was angry or something. Like…she wasn't sure.

"Justin Kramer?" He asked, "The guy from the Gaels?

"Yeah," said Jess, sliding off his lap (had she ever heard of shutting up?), "She goes to all his games. Haven't you seen?"

His hand, previously fidgeting with the remote, stilled.

"You said I was a bad-luck charm." she reminded him unnecessarily.

"And yet you're there in every single one of my …Justin's games. Was the underwear for him? The Art of Seduction, Case? Could you be any lamer?"

"Could you be butting in anymore in what is totally not your business."

He was far too close now, "I'm your brother, Casey. I have to look out for you."

"You're not..." she began and then stopped abruptly.

"You guys are weird," said Elizabeth, darting her eyes from one to the other.

"But cute," Jessica chimed in, "I wish I had a brother who looked out for me as Derek does for Casey."

Derek slung an arm around her and bent down to whisper, "I'm the best big brother in the world."

And she shivered because (of course he'd idiotically blown against that very spot that she was sensitive to and it...) maybe the central cooling had been switched on.

_..=.._

"I know why you're here almost every day," she said defiantly.

He looked at her with that unreadable expression again, "Really? Why?"

She sighed, "Derek, as much as you pretend not to...you ultimately go for the intelligent ones. The ones who don't notice you. Because you like challenges. And you've always had a problem articulating what you want. You just send these microscopic signs and hope she'll catch on. That isn't how the world runs, you moron. There are too many oblivious people in it, just unable to see beyond their own noses."

"And..." He obviously had never heard of respecting personal spaces.

"And I know Elizabeth hasn't paid any attention to you till now, but I can help you with her if you want. It seems..." she faltered under his intense gaze before doggedly going on (she would be a good sister and help him), "you...really like her. And you'll never manage on your own with a girl like her."

Her drink tastes a little bitter. Maybe she forgot to check the expiry date.

_..=.._

He breaks up with Elizabeth in two weeks. Two long weeks filled with too much PDA (didn't he hate it?) and late nights (what did they do alone?) And he's still in her dorm every day. Flirting with everything in sight with a pulse. He's still there. And he just refuses to go away. Maybe...Jessica after all?

Sometimes she really doesn't get him.


The End

(or is it?)