Disclaimer - Sadly, I do not own Life With Derek. But if someone wanted to get me a birthday present…

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"You're the most annoying brother-"

"Step-brother."

"Same difference."

"Yeah. You're right."

Casey was laying on her side in her bed thinking about what she said to Derek and the way he reacted. She couldn't get his face out of her mind. He looked so…disappointed? No, couldn't be. Derek disappointed over me? Yeah, right! Right? She rolled over onto her back and stared up at her ceiling. And why can't I stop thinking about that!? She sighed loudly and wondered if Derek was having the same problems on the other side of the thin wall. Of course not. It's Derek, she thought and laughed out loud. They really had grown closer their senior year. Yeah, they were still fighting (I mean come on, it's Casey and Derek), but they were actually starting to get along a little bit. They had such a love-hate relationship. Wait! No! Not love. More like…tolerate-hate. Ugh, everything is changing! Derek and I are going to Queens. Lizzie and Edwin are starting high school. Mom and George are having a baby. Marti isn't the baby anymore and is acting more grown up. Derek broke up with Emily. She smiled as she thought of that day.

~FLASHBACK~

It had been a week since graduation and Casey was laying on her bed, reading a book when she heard the familiar song of her ringtone. She put her book mark in her book and started singing and dancing with the music.

"She wants to touch me, woo ooh. She wants to love me woo ooh. She'll never leave me woo ooh woo ooh, ooh ooh--Hello?" she said, finally answering.

"Hey, Casey," Emily whimpered.

"Em? What's wrong?" Casey asked with concern for her best friend and Emily burst out in tears.

"Der-Derek. He-he…he broke up with me!" Emily sobbed and Casey's eyes went wide.

"What? Where? Why? When?"

"Just today. We were having lunch at Smelly Nelly's and he said that it wasn't going to work out! I mean seriously, he could have told me the truth!" Emily yelled, suddenly angry.

"Wait, Em, back up. What do you mean, he could have told you the truth?"

Emily sighed, annoyed. "Well, obviously, there's someone else. I mean I should have known! It's Derek! He doesn't do relationships. Jeez, I was such an idiot!"

"No, you're not, Em. He's the idiot. And it's not your fault that you fell victim to the Venturi 'charm' even though I still don't understand," Casey laughed.

"Wow, Case. Thanks for making me feel so much better," Emily said dryly.

"I'm sorry."

"No, it's okay," Emily laughed, "I gotta go, but I'll talk to you later, kay?"

"Okay. Bye, Em."

"Later, Case."

Casey flipped her phone close and set it back on her nightstand. She cleared her throat and then yelled, "Der-ek!" She jumped up and barged into his room without knocking. Derek was laying on his bed reading a comic book and she stood over him. He looked up at her and smiled.

"What's up, Case?"

"How could you break up with Emily!? You two just started going out! And you knew that she's way too obsessed with you! But no! You still had to--Wait, why are you being nice to me? Why aren't you kicking me out of your room?"

Derek started laughing and went back to his comic book. "I'm being nice because I'm happy," he said as if it were obvious.

Casey's mouth fell open. "Der-ek! You're happy because you broke up with Emily? I always knew you were a jerk!"

Derek focused back on Casey with a hurt look on his face. "I won't lie, I am happy to not be going out with Emily anymore--no, I'm talking--but only because I didn't want to lead her on anymore. And anyway, how would it have worked out with us going to different colleges?"

Casey was calm now and she was looking thoughtfully at Derek. "Okay, yeah, maybe I can sort of understand that. Wait, is there somebody else?"

Derek smirked. "Why, are you interested?"

Casey rolled her eyes and turned to leave, but then stopped, still facing the door. "Hey, don't tell Emily, or anybody for that matter, this, but I'm kind of glad that you two aren't dating anymore," Casey turned to face Derek, her brows furrowed, "Whatever that means." And then she was gone, leaving Derek smirking to himself.

~END FLASHBACK~

And also I broke up with Truman. Casey felt tears coming on as she thought of that memory.

~FLASHBACK~

It was two weeks after Derek broke up with Emily and Casey was shaking as she unlocked the front door and stepped in. Her eyes were uncommonly dry and she was proud of herself that she hadn't broken down yet. She shrugged out of her coat and hung it up, then turned toward the living room and was surprised to see Derek lounging on his chair watching the hockey game highlights.

"Derek?" His head snapped up to where she was when he heard her voice and they locked eyes, hers filled with confusion and hurt and his with mischief and concern.

"How was the party?"

Casey laughed darkly and walked over to the couch where sat and brought her knees up. "Well, I learned that I'm an idiot."

"I could of told you that," Derek joked.

"Yeah, well, Truman--"

"What happened?" Derek asked, suddenly angry.

Casey was all ready to lie but then she looked up and their eyes met again and there was something in the way he was looking at her that made her say, "I caught Truman making out with some skinny blonde. So I broke up with him."

Derek was furious. He was ready to go find that scum right now and beat the crap out of him. But he looked back at Casey and his brow furrowed. "Wait, no tears?"

Casey laughed and shook her head, "Surprising, huh?" She stopped smiling and looked at the carpet, "Why did I ever take him back?"

Derek felt a pang of guilt when she said that. "I'm sorry," he whispered.

Casey head shot up. "What?"

Derek looked up at her. "What?"

"What did you just say?"

"Nothing?" Derek said as a question.

"Derek," she said warningly.

"Okay, okay. I said I'm sorry." Casey looked confused so Derek continued, "It's my fault. I shouldn't have got him to ask you to prom. I was just being selfish and I'm sorry."

Casey's eyes were wide and her mouth was wide open. "Who are you and where's Derek?"

"Ha. Ha. It's just because I'm tired," Derek said before turning off the TV, "Expect the old Derek back tomorrow." He got up from his chair and started toward the stairs.

"Wouldn't want it any other way," Casey laughed before following Derek up the stairs. They reached their rooms when Casey turned back to Derek. "And thank you, Derek."

Derek smirked and nodded his head and they each went into their separate bedrooms.

~END FLASHBACK~

The next morning Derek had switched her shampoo with honey and they never talked about that night again. But Casey still couldn't help smiling just before drifting off to sleep.

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Her alarm woke her up the next morning and she quickly turned it off. Even though school had been out for half the summer, she still needed to be in the habit of getting up early since she was going to college in a couple weeks. Oh god, college. Casey shook her head trying to get rid of the thought and then got up to get dressed. She finally decided on a bright pink polo and ripped jeans. She put on her makeup and then spritzed on some of her--and Derek's--favorite perfume. She was about to open her door when she stopped. Wait, did I really just think that? Derek's favorite perfume? Who cares? She scoffed to herself then bounded out of her room and smacked directly into none other than her step-brother, Derek. He grabbed Casey to keep her from falling over and then laughed. She felt a little shock go through her body when he touched her.

"Whoa, Klutzilla. Watch where you're going."

"Why don't you--you know what never mind," she sighed and then looked down at Derek's hands which were still on Casey's waist. "You know, I'm not falling anymore," She said matter-of-factly. He quickly removed his hands and ran them through his hair. He opened his mouth to say something but was cut off by Nora calling up to them.

"Casey! Derek! Breakfast!"

Derek pushed pass Casey and practically ran down the stairs and into the kitchen. What was that about? Casey thought to herself. She was hungry though, so she would just have to think about that later. She took her time walking down the stairs, through the living and dining room and then finally got to the kitchen. Derek was sitting at the island so she walked to the other side and filled a glass with orange juice. He, of course, was stuffing his mouth full of chocolate chip pancakes. She looked at him with disgust and then down at the platter on the island. It, of course, had absolutely nothing on it.

"Der-ek!" Casey shouted and Derek started laughing. She looked around for her mom but the rest of the room was empty. "Where is everybody?"

Derek swallowed and took a big gulp of orange juice before answering. "Nora and my dad took Marti to the zoo and Lizzie and Edwin went over to a friend's house."

Casey nodded her head, leaned against the island and then looked at Derek's plate. He still had three pancakes left. She looked back up at Derek and smiled. "How about you give your favorite step-sister some pancakes," She said sweetly.

"Oh, I would, but I already told you she went to a friend's house with Edwin," he said with a serious look on his face.

She glared at him and then stood straight up. "You know what," she said confidently, "forget it. I'll find something else." She turned around and started scouring the cupboards, looking for anything to stop her stomach from growling. Derek had already finished the three pancakes and put his plate in the sink. He walked over to Casey and sat on the counter underneath the cupboard that she was looking in.

"So what are you doing today, Spacey?"

"Why do you want to know?" Casey asked, not taking her eyes off the contents of the cupboard.

Derek shrugged, "Just curious."

"Since when are you 'just curious' about me?" she asked turning toward him with a raised eyebrow and a box of cereal.

He smiled and took the box from her and then started eating from it. "Maybe I like you."

"Really?" Casey squeaked.

Derek burst out laughing. "Wow, Case. Gullible much?"

She glared at him again and yanked the box of cereal back from him. She walked over to the island and plopped down on the stool that Derek was sitting on.

"So really, what were you gonna do today?" Derek asked, still sitting on the countertop.

Casey looked up at him suspiciously, then said, "I was going to go to the mall and get some stuff for college." Casey gulped when she said 'college' but again pushed the thought from her mind.

"Mind if I tag along?"

"Yes," she said simply.

"Come on, Case. Please?"

"Why do you want to go with me?"

"So then I can just follow you around and buy whatever you do," he smirked.

Casey rolled her eyes. "Fine, whatever." She got up and stuck the box of cereal into the cupboard next to Derek. "Let's go," she said and without waiting for him to respond, she grabbed her purse and was out the door.

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They got to the mall and the first thing that Casey saw was a sale at Ralph Lauren. She gasped and began to walk in that direction, but Derek pulled her back.

"Ah ah ah," he shook his finger in front of Casey's face, "is a new tank top from Ralph Lauren really on your list?" He asked pointing to the piece of paper that she was clutching. She sighed and sadly shook her head no. "Okay then," he said taking the list from her hands as she looked longingly at the store. "Let's see what's first. Pencils," he read and then pulled Casey away from the sale and toward the office supply store.

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Casey and Derek were now sitting in the food court with a pizza on their table and millions of bags surrounding them. They had been shopping for the last three hours, with Derek complaining every five minutes and Casey saying, "You're the one who wanted to come."

Now Derek was, once again, stuffing his mouth full with pizza while Casey was going over her list and checking in each bag.

"Casey, stop!" Derek suddenly said and Casey looked up at him with widened eyes. "You've been over that list a million times. We've gotten everything we need for college. Probably for the rest of our lives!" Casey just rolled her eyes and continued checking things off her list. Derek slapped a hand to his face and then reached over and grabbed the list from her.

"Hey! Give that back!" She shouted at him even though she again felt that tiny shock when he touched her.

"No. You're gonna make yourself go crazy," Derek said and then picked up another slice of pizza.

"You've already accomplished that," Casey sighed and Derek just smirked. Casey extended her hand to him and said, "Please, just give it back." Derek shook his head and instead put the slice of pizza her was holding into her hand. She glared at him and took a bite of the pizza.

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