Derek didn't notice where he was walking. All he knew was that he wanted to get out of there. Away. From her.
As he walked, his scowl deepened. Was Emily right? Did Casey really not care about the "step" bit in their relationship?
It would explain her stupid "same difference" comment the night of graduation. It hadn't meant anything to him then…but then again, he'd thought she'd been kidding. How could anyone chalk up their years of constant fighting and flirting to…nothing?
Derek suddenly paused, mentally shaking his head. Had he just called what they did flirting? God, he was going crazy.
More like she was driving him crazy.
Derek groaned and slumped down on a bench, putting his head in his hands. He felt extremely weird. Whatever he'd been through tonight…alternate realities, magical worlds…he'd had just about enough. He wanted things to go back to normal. If that involved him not talking to Casey again, so be it.
He hadn't done anything wrong this time. Or the last time for that matter. It was Casey's own damn fault for always seeing the best in people.
She sees the best in you, a little voice reminded him. Derek clenched his jaw. He really couldn't deal—
Derek looked up to see Casey standing a few feet away from him, a worried look on her face. Her expression immediately morphed into relief and then annoyance when he looked up.
"I wouldn't say that," Derek said dully. "I haven't been okay in a long time."
Casey sat down on the bench next to him, but didn't meet his gaze. "I'm sure we'll forget about this whole insane adventure sooner or later."
"Yeah, right. How could anyone ever forget that?" Derek scoffed. "But that's not what I meant, anyway."
"I know. It's easier to pretend that's what you were talking about though."
"The Casey I know would never take the easy way out."
"The Derek I know would never make things more difficult than they had to be," Casey countered.
"Maybe I've changed."
"Maybe I have, too."
Derek didn't have a response for that, and so he didn't say anything.
"You said some things…" Casey began, but then stopped.
Derek waited, but she didn't continue.
"Can you tell me about the three tests?" Casey suddenly asked, finally turning to face him. "I mean, well, I know what happened in the third one obviously…but what about the other two?"
So we're not going to talk about the third test, Case? Derek asked silently. "Um, well the first test was this freaky thing where your doppelganger tried to seduce me—"
Derek shrugged, "What can I say, she has good taste."
Casey laughed, "Go on."
Derek had grinned at her response, but he sobered up when he remembered the second test. "Well in the second one…you were getting married."
"I was getting married?"
"You did get married," Derek clarified.
"Oh," Casey said softly. "To whom?"
"I know. It shocked me, too."
"Did—did you try to stop me?"
Derek shook his head, "We weren't friends, Case. We barely even knew each other. And to top it all off, you were actually happy with him."
Casey shook her head, "Some reality."
"That I would marry Truman? Yeah, I can see how that would be a scary thought," Casey said with a small smile, obviously trying to make light of the situation.
"Was Emily right?" Derek asked suddenly.
"About what?" Casey asked, startled.
Derek whirled around to face her, angry. "Stop acting like you don't know what I'm talking about!"
Casey's eyes widened, and she looked around nervously. "Okay, will you just calm down!" she hissed. "People are starting to stare!"
"I don't care," Derek hissed back.
"Fine, let's just go back to your room," Casey said, standing up and hold out her hand impatiently.
Derek got up, and stared in confusion at the hand she was holding out to him. Casey flushed and dropped her arm and began walking in front of him, leading the way back to his dorm.
Derek bit his lip and nonchalantly entwined his arm with hers as he caught up with her. "So, has the ex left the premises?"
Casey rolled her eyes, but her lips twitched. "Yeah, Emily went back to school."
Casey shook her head slightly, but Derek grinned when she didn't remove her arm from his grip. They didn't speak until they had reached his room again.
Derek watched as she slowly removed her coat and placed it on his chair before sitting down on his bed. "So," she prompted.
"You're the one that wanted to bring the conversation to the room," Derek reminded her.
"That's because you were screaming our business for the whole world to hear," Casey retorted.
"I missed this," Derek said, without thinking.
"Us. Fighting," Derek grinned. "It's such a vital part of my day. Promise me you won't go off on one of your silent treatments again?"
Casey laughed, "I promise. But you have to promise me something, too."
Casey opened her mouth, but closed it again, looking embarrassed.
Derek frowned and went to sit next to her. He unconsciously placed a hand on the small of her back. "You know, I've never seen you so nervous in my life. But ever since you walked into my room earlier…"
Casey smoothed out her dress unnecessarily, "I'm not nervous."
"Case…what is it? You can tell me."
"We went through a lot today," she began slowly. "Or whenever we were over there in that other world." She paused, "I still want to know how we got there."
"Yeah, I'd like to know that too," Derek said with a frown. "Fay said something about someone over here sending me that watch…she wouldn't say who though."
Casey cocked her head, thinking. "Well, that's interesting, to say the least."
Derek's hand was still on her back and he began to move his hand up to her neck, following his own train of thought. He heard her sharp intake of breath, and she turned toward him quickly.
Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes bright. As he watched, she bit her lip- a nervous habit. He fought to hide his smirk when he realized he was making her nervous.
He leaned forward slightly, testing the waters. To his relief, she didn't pull back. He moved forward inch by inch until he was millimeters away from her lips. "Do you want this?" he murmured.
"Way to ask Venturi," Casey murmured back, her breath tickling his lips. Derek grinned to himself and closed that final distance, his lips meeting hers. Casey started slightly under his grip before kissing him back softly. At least, that's what it started out as – an innocent kiss. Derek began to pull back, but Casey deepened the kiss, almost desperately.
"Case—" Derek breathed, but she pushed him backwards onto the bed unceremoniously.
He didn't fully let her push him down and held himself up on his elbows as Casey straddled him, still kissing him. He knew it was going too far when she began fumbling with the buttons on his shirt.
"Stop—will you just stop?" Derek hissed. "What's wrong with you?"
Casey sat up, looking at him quizzically. "I thought this was what you wanted?"
Derek shook his head and sat up, "What on earth gave you that idea?"
"It's, well, you."
"Case, I only want you—but not this way...not now."
Casey began to stand up, but at his words, she sat back down. "What?"
Derek grinned and quickly planted another kiss on her lips. "I love you. I thought we discussed this already?"
Casey shifted, but a pink tinge appeared on her cheeks as she smiled at him. "You meant that?"
"I wouldn't say that if I didn't mean it," Derek said quietly. Casey snuggled into him and he kissed the top of her head softly. She looked up at him and brought her lips to meet his again, keeping it chaste.
At that moment, Derek's phone rang. He disentangled himself from her and glanced at the called ID. HOME flashed across the screen.
"It's the house," he mouthed before picking it up. "Hello?"
"Smarti! What are you doing up?" Derek asked concernedly. "Is something wrong?"
"I wanted to make sure you were back."
"Back from where?" Derek asked, distracted as Casey began kissing his neck.
"Wonder-what?" Derek demanded as someone in the background shouted, "Marti, what are you doing on the phone!?"
"Gotta go, Smerek!" Click.
Derek stared at his cell phone in disbelief. He turned to Casey, who noted his expression. "What's wrong, D?"
"Marti just asked me if I was back from Wonderland."
Casey's mouth dropped open, "Are you serious!? She knew about it?"
Derek shook his head, "You know what, I changed my mind. I really don't want to know." He smiled and kissed her soundly on the mouth. "It brought you back to me, and that's all that matters.
Casey raised her eyebrows, "Maybe that was the point."
"Hmm," Derek murmured sleepily and wrapped an arm around Casey as he fell back onto his bed. "Are you staying the night?"
Casey pulled herself closer into him with a grin as he turned out the lights. "I wouldn't have it any other way."
And they lived Dasey-ily Ever After :)
*credit to kandykisseshearts for the final line in this story!
And thank you to everyone who reviewed this story, you all mean the world to me!