Derek was being filmed. The camera went close into his face and its trade mark smirk and then panned back. An amused male voice played a commentary in the background.
"Derek Venturi. Award-winning cameraman and photojournalist, takes on his latest dangerous assignment. It is a feat which has devastated hardened men in the past. Will our former hockey god be up to the challenge?"
"Give over, Sam. It's just a dirty diaper. Not like I haven't changed one before."
"God! What the cheerleading squad of SJST would make of you now!"
Derek laughed. "Sammy. Chicks love a guy who isn't afraid of kids. I learnt that when Marti was a baby; again with Robbie. It really helps when your brother is 19 years younger than you. And your Ross is an adorable kid who I will one day be passing my secrets down to. He likes Uncle Derek. Don't you?" Derek grinned down at his baby godson.
Ross took offence at the cold air which suddenly hit his nether regions and peed in a large arc over Derek's pants. Sam found this hilarious, especially as he was still filming.
"What's so amusing?" Sam's wife, Caroline asked, coming into the room.
"Ross just peed on Derek."
Caroline was contrite. "Oh D. I'm sorry! That's what the little purple flannel is for. You cover him up as soon as you undo the diaper. It keeps him warm and stops him peeing."
"Don't worry about it Caroline. Derek's more than used to walking around with pee on his pants." Casey chuckled as she entered the room.
"Thanks Sis. Love you too." Derek muttered, continuing with the diaper changing and patting himself dry with a cloth.
"Did you get it on camera?" Casey asked her former boyfriend, Sam.
"Yeah." Sam grinned broadly.
"Great. The guys at work are putting together a Christmas video of out-takes. Let me have a copy and it'll get circulated by Reuters."
"They have outtakes of you too, Hun." Derek smirked. "Lots..." He finished changing Ross and disappeared off to wash his hands.
Casey laughed. "I have to hand it to you Sam. I never thought I would see the day Derek Venturi volunteered to change his godson's diaper."
"It's about time he had kids of his own." Sam looked pointedly at Casey.
She laughed. "Don't make me laugh, Sammy. What woman would have him?"
Casey decided to wilfully misunderstand Sam's meaning. She knew that Sam thought there was more to her relationship with her step-brother than there was. "Derek is a player. He's always been a player. There will never be a woman stupid enough to settle down with him, even if he ever gets round to asking them to."
"They certainly won't while he's still living with his step-sister."
"That's a matter of convenience. We work together. We're both single. It makes sense."
"What makes sense Case, is you two stopping this stupid farce and getting down to the dirty."
"Who's getting down to the dirty?" Derek asked, walking back from the bathroom, suddenly interested, and Sam dropped the subject.
"You're thoughtful." Derek said as he drove Casey back to their apartment.
"Just marvelling, yet again at how Sam is now a happily married dad of two."
"Yeah. Weird! Caroline's a nice girl though. Not my type though."
She smiled. "Part of the Male Code again?"
"He thinks it's time you settled down."
Derek laughed. "What is it with these happily married types? They feel the need to pressure everyone into joining the 'happily ever after' express."
"Hey! Don't knock the institution. I still have hopes of meeting Mr Right."
Derek pulled a face. She sighed as she continued. "It certainly would put a spanner in the works for our set up, though. One of us getting married." Casey looked out at the road. She liked this bizarre arrangement they had. And whilst part of her did long for a family of her own she really liked her career and their partnership. She didn't want it to end.
"Yeah. Don't worry. No plans." He murmured. She wondered if he was reading her mind. "I'm not sure I'm the marrying kind. I'll be around a while longer to harass you."
"S'ok. I know how things are Derek. Kids or no kids, you're planning on irritating the hell out of me until the day one or other of us dies."
Derek shook his head. "Nope. I'm going to die first."
"Yeah. So I can haunt the hell out of you."
"Nice bro, nice." She pulled a face.
"No residual pangs of jealousy that Sam's married?"
"God no! I haven't had a thought like that about Sam in…thirteen plus years."
"I guess he just wasn't Max or Truman huh?"
She aimed a punch at his arm. "Are you going to be obnoxious all night or just until we get home?"
"I thought you said I was only obnoxious while I was breathing?" Derek smirked.
"Remind me again why I put up with you?"
They bantered for a while longer and then silence overtook them.
"When do you think we'll get bored of this?"
"Bored of what?"
She pulled a face. "We are not co-operating. That's just a vicious rumour." Then she grinned broadly at him as they pulled up at a red light. He reached out a hand to brush her cheek. They looked at each other for a moment and then the light changed and he slipped the clutch and they were moving again.
Casey watched the familiar scenery pass by, her mind pondering the past, present and future.