A/N - This is just something that popped in my mind. It's nothing special. But I felt I needed something light for my angst filled days. It's a writing style I always wanted to try, so please feel free to tell me if I can pull it off or not.
I do not own Life With Derek, but wish I did.
The first time Casey McDonald felt the excitement of a hockey game was when she was seven. Her father had two tickets to the semi-finals in Toronto, and he decided to take her as a birthday present since he missed her actual birthday party that year. She didn't complain. She finally got to spend some time with the parent she never saw. Her first impression of the game wasn't a surprise. She found it loud, violent and crowded. Only years later would she come to the conclusion that the sport itself was a bunch of neanderthals showing off their testosterone to the masses. She didn't see the point of it. Why injure the players? Cant they just skillfully manoeuvre around the ice without hurting the opposing team? Needless to say, hockey was not her favourite sport.
(Hockey (her least favourite sport) + Derek Venturi (her least favourite person) = Dumb and Dumber.)
"You see that?" George leaned towards her. "See how he just pulled the puck away from the defensive line? We used to practice on weekends until he got that move right." He was beaming. Gesturing wildly to the plays with enthusiasm, no doubt trying to get her interested in the game he and his sons loved.
Unfortunately it wasn't working. Something her step-father could have picked up, if he wasn't too busy watching his son score another goal. In which case he joined the supporters of the high school team as they rose to their feet in jubilation screaming at the top of his lungs 'That's my son!'.
Casey covered her face in embarrassment before her eyes shifted to her mother, who appeared to be just as embarrassed by her husband's behaviour.
Glaring at her mother she mouthed the words 'you owe me' to which she was replied with 'i'm sorry' as a consolation prize.
Why did she ever agree to come to her step-brother's game just because Edwin couldn't?
(For obvious reasons, she stopped going)
"Where were you today?"
Casey rolled her eyes in annoyance before she turned to face her step-brother who had insensitively barged into her bedroom. "Out."
"Well I hope your little activity was worth us losing a game."
"We... lost... the... game." He said slowly as if speaking to a four year old.
"I got that. But what does that have to do with me?"
"You didn't come."
His stance was annoyed, and she guessed, his mind was completely losing it. "I'm bad luck, remember?"
He sighed in frustration. "That was before you came to a game and we won. Now, you're apparently my good luck charm. Believe me, I had no choice in it. Lady luck has a dark sense of humour."
She couldn't dare to dream what he was getting at. "So then.. you actually want me to come to your games?"
He stiffened as if realizing what he was about to do. "I.. I.." He choked, causing her to roll her eyes at his theatrics.
"Fine." She said casually. He relaxed, and Casey grinned. "Only if you promise me something."
He stiffened again. "What?" He asked sceptically, his eyebrows raising in suspect.
"Stay away from my shampoo and conditioner bottles, and my creams." She raised her hand in expectation. "Do we have a deal?" Eying her with narrowed eyes he raised his hand, but she pulled away from him at the last second. "And my toothpaste."
"Dammit." He muttered under his breath, proving that he had thought about the loophole. Sighing, he grabbed her hand and shook it. "Deal." He muttered through clenched teeth.
"Deal." She repeated sweetly. The perk was that the sacrifice he had to make was killing him.
(He's treated like a God among men. She finds it unfair. If she could hit a puck, would that make her a celebrity?)
"What about my recital?" Casey asked panic stricken as she faced her family over the dinner table. "It's at the same time as his game."
Derek smirked, and she glared. Her mother and George shared a look. "It is the finals." Nora said sympathetically. "And we will come and see your next recital."
"Lizzie?" She turned in desperation to her little sister.
At least she had the decency to look embarrassed. "Sorry Casey. But I have a project due."
She huffed as she turned back to her plate.
"Face it Case, Hockey is more important than dance." Derek wiggled his eyebrows at her as he took a large bite of his pizza.
She must have blacked out. All she remembered was that her mashed potatoes must have started the food fight.
(It amazed her how even moving away from their previous high school lives and onto a University life didn't stop Derek from staying in control over his life... and hers)
Casey turned around to come face to face with a very handsome young man. She smiled grandly at him. "Hey.."
"I've seen you at every game. Here to see me?"
Why did hockey players have to be so cocky? "Sorry but, I'm here to see my step-brother." She wasn't going to make it easy for him.
He quirked his eyebrows in surprise. "Step-brother? So no boyfriend?" He was pretty cute.
She shouldn't be flattered by this. "Nope. No boyfriend." One date couldn't hurt, right?
Casey felt a weight on her shoulders as someone propped his arm around her. "She's got a boyfriend." Her eyes narrowed as Derek glared at her companion. "Booby."
"It's Brody." The guy snapped.
"Sorry, must have heard wrong when they were chanting your name during the game. No.. that cant be it.. " He looked up thoughtfully. "Who's name were they chanting? Something with a D.." He snapped his fingers in frustration as if the answer was eluding him. "Oh well, I'm sure they'll try saying it during the the next game, but wait a sec. Today was the finals and we won it, you didn't. Better luck next time." He smirked sinisterly and pulled her tighter against him.
Casey saw red. Not only was he ruining her chances at a date, but he was being more obnoxious than usual.
"Keep your girlfriend, Venturi. She has to be really desperate to go out with you." Brody snapped gruffly before turning on his heel.
Casey's jaw dropped. He insulted her. As if she was that desperate, and dating Derek? She would never be that desperate.
Derek leaned towards her and his warm breath tickled her slightly as he whispered into her ear. "You'll thank me later. He's kinda handsy." And just like that, he left.
She might have seen that same guy five minutes later liplocked with another girl, but still, she would never admit that the bane of her existence was right.
(He did do nice things.. sometimes.. even though he'll never admit it)
"Will you hold still?" She mumbled as she dressed his wound. Her hands moved lightly over his shirtless form, her fingers brushing against his skin occasionally.
"I am holding still." He said through gritted teeth. When the spirit touched his raw skin, he hissed from the pain.
"This is your fault you know."
"Gee, thanks." He said sarcastically.
"All you had to do was listen to the referee."
"It's not my fault that that stupid ass blocked my way." He gritted his teeth again as she pressed harder.
"You didn't have to do that you know. Just because he stood me up..."
"I didn't do it for you." He interrupted harshly.
She raised her eyebrows at him before continuing to dress his wound. "Okay." She whispered. She knew him well enough to know when he lied.
(Sometimes.. he didn't act like himself)
"Don't get it." Kevin whispered against her neck as she reached for her cellphone.
She giggled. "I have to." Just as she picked up the instrument, he grabbed it from her, and to her horror, answered it.
"Hello? Casey McDonald's pleasure centre here.." He grinned at her as she covered her face in embarrassment. That was a private joke. Not something to be mentioned to others who knew her. "Hello? Hel-lo?" He put down the phone. "Guess they didn't want to talk to you."
Casey checked the caller history and felt a panic rise in her chest. Questions swam around her mind as she wondered why he didn't answer after calling her. But then, Kevin's lips touched hers, and she forgot about Derek for sometime.
(Their fights are the same, yet different)
"Go on, say it. I know you want to. Just get it over with."
They were in his apartment, red faced and breathless. The fight was instantaneous, but not at all surprising.
He was staring at her, a look adorned which she had never seen before. "You want to screw your life away, go ahead."
She scoffed. "That's it?"
She made him angry, she could see it from the way his eyes narrowed, from the way he advanced towards her, and from the way he looked down at her, his lips twisted in a grim line. "You're not his only fuck buddy."
She slapped him so hard, her palm stung. "Screw you."
He smirked, his eyes hard, holding no humour. "You first."
Shoving him back she stormed out of his apartment, feeling the sting of tears as soon as she slammed the door shut.
(And sometimes.. he was right)
He saw her, he must have. She was standing in front of him, but he ignored her, walking beside her, his duffel bag with his hockey gear slung over his shoulder, without so much as a glance. She stepped in front of him, blocking his way.
"What are you doing here?" He sounded annoyed.
Casey took a deep breath before her eyes met his. "I'm sorry."
His eyebrows raised in confusion. "You should be."
It was his fault too. "I didn't think you were telling the truth."
His face was inexpressive. A mask of detachment. "I was."
"I know." They looked at each other silently.
"You two done?"
She nodded silently.
He sighed. "Good." After another moment of silence, he shrugged. "I'm in the mood for something fried."
She smiled. They were over their fight. "Me too. Though I would prefer if it was vegetables."
He rolled his eyes. "I'm driving, you have no choice."
Grinning, she pulled out a set of keys from her pocket and jingled them in front of his face. "You were saying?"
(They stopped avoiding each other)
"Leaving for Florida in half an hour, let's get your stuff packed." Derek barged through the door as soon as she opened it and headed straight to her bedroom.
Casey just stared dumbfounded until she shook herself back to reality. "Florida? As in the Florida state in the United States of America?"
He rolled his eyes as he grabbed her bag and placed it on her bed. "It's spring break."
"I know.. but.. I have work to do."
He shrugged, moving to the closet and grabbing a handful of clothes and tossing them in the bag. "Then bring your books."
"Derek!" She grabbed the clothes he had just dumped into her bag and took them out, while he continued to go about tossing clothes into her bag. "We cant just go to another country."
"Why not?" She sputtered. "That's just so.."
He smirked. "Fun?"
"No." She grabbed the t-shirt from his hands. "A trip has to be pre-planned. Exactly where are we going? Where are we staying? Is the place we're staying at clean? How much does it cost? We'll we be renting a car? When are we coming back?"
"Ca-sey! You're in college. Loosening up is part of the experience, unless you don't want the whole college experience?"
He was doing that mind game thing again. Making her do something she didn't want to do. "Of course I want the whole college experience." She said cautiously. "But this is.."
"So.. you coming?" He asked casually, tossing a pair of jeans into her bag.
She could picture him as the devil, pitchfork in hand tempting her. "Fine."
He grinned. "Great!" He dropped the last bit of clothes and made his way out of her bedroom.
"Where are you going?"
Turning on his heel, he smiled mischievously. "Actually, we're leaving this weekend, I just wanted to see your face when I messed up your room."
Chuckling, he ducked, avoiding the stuffed bear she tossed at his head.
Although, she did end up going.
(She became a fixture in his life)
"Could you please ask people to stop leaving your messages with me?" Casey asked frustrated as she roughly grabbed the Chinese food from Derek's arms.
"Why? I'm here practically everyday." He shrugged as he closed the door and jumped on the couch.
"Yeah.. about that. Don't you have your own apartment?"
Getting up again, he followed her to the kitchen and smugly grinned at her. "Sick of me already?"
"God yes!" She grinned. "Pass the plates."
Grabbing the dishes, he handed them over. "I bet you want me here anyway."
"As much as you want to be here."
He leaned against the counter and crossed his arms. "Then it's settled, I should move in."
Casey nearly dropped the container in her hand. "What?" She choked out.
"Think about it. Extra bedroom. Shared rent. I'm here every night." He shrugged. "Makes sense to me."
"And what about your girls?"
"They can sleep on the couch." He grinned as she rolled her eyes.
"Fine. We'll discuss it after the movie."
"Please tell me you got something with testosterone."
"Yup. How does the Jurassic Park trilogy sound?"
"Better than the chick flick trilogies out there."
Casey stuck her tongue out at him before strutting into the living room. Derek chuckled as he followed her.
(Others noticed before they did)
"So, you and Derek coming?"
Casey turned to look at her friend in surprise. "Why do you always assume that Derek will be coming if I'm coming?"
Amanda shrugged. "Cause he's always is..?"
"We don't spend that much time together." Casey mumbled as she went back to her book.
"Sure. And Roy and I are 'just friends'. Face it, Case. He's practically your boyfriend. Besides, no one knows about your.. family situation."
Casey decided to ignore that statement by simply placing it under 'nut job thoughts'. Everyone knew that she and Derek could never be 'Casey&Derek'.
(When things were awkward.. they addressed it..)
Even though it was said softly, Casey was startled. "Hey.."
"So.. um..." He was rubbing the back of his neck nervously. She was dreading this. "I guess you wanna.." He gestured between them, his eyes avoiding hers.
Casey nodded. "We shouldn't tell anyone."
"No! No, we shouldn't." They looked at each other silently. After a while Derek sighed. "I'm sorry."
"I never thought I'd hear you apologise for anything." The remark was suppose to cut him, but he seemed unfazed.
"What I did wasn't exactly what I usually do."
"I know, kissing me in front of everyone was.. I guess we can tell everyone that there was a euphoria when you won the game and you didn't know what you were doing.." Her voice faded as it became hard to speak.
He walked towards her, his eyes hard. "I can't really blame the atmosphere, Case."
"Oh?" Her voice was weak. She needed water.
"You did kiss me back."
"I was surprised."
He nodded as he stopped in front of her. "So if I kiss you again, you would do what?"
Her knees were getting weak. "I.." She needed to sit. "I would.."
"Slap me? Call me a pig? Go ahead." Grabbing the back of her neck, he firmly placed his lips on hers. Casey stiffened before giving in and kissing him back. His arms circled around her as he moved her backwards into her apartment, kicking the door shut behind him.
(It was not supposed to be easy.. but it was..)
"I think it's time we talked." Casey said firmly earning a groan from Derek. "I'm serious." She lightly slapped his arm as he reached for her. "What are we?"
"We are, what we are." He said smoothly as she rolled her eyes at the line.
"I just want to know because, a guy in my class asked me out today, and I thought of saying yes." She sneaked a glance at him.
His jaw had slammed shut, his eyes narrowed in anger. "Oh?" He said through gritted teeth.
She looked at him squarely in the eyes. "Can I say yes?"
He forcefully kissed her, his arms holding her tight. "No."
"That's all I wanted to know." She smiled before kissing him back.
It was close. All they needed was one more goal. Anything less and it would amount to a tie. And no one wanted that. She looked at her watch. She had made dinner reservations. They couldn't get late. Her breath caught as the whistle blew. She kept her eye on the puck. Left. Right. To Andrew. Fin. Scurry. To Venturi. Back to Andrew. Then Venturi. Her eyes fell on the clock. Eight seconds. Where was the puck? Five. Four. The buzzer went off and she breathed a sigh of relief. She stayed seated as the crowd in her section burst into cries of applause. Where was he? Then she spotted him. In the middle as he turned swiftly away from his teammates and his eyes met hers. His grin mirrored hers. She was proud, and he should be able to feel it. He nodded at her. She nodded back. He kept his promise. They'll make it to dinner. Looks like she owed him the remote for the next five days. Still, he'll have to wrestle it from her. She stood up and clapped her hands enthusiastically for the winning team.
Maybe hockey is not too bad after all.