Last chapter! Finally. :] I've been sick on and off for the last few weeks so I apologize for the delay. I wrote a longer one for you to make up for it somewhat. Thanks for all the awesome support, whether if you just read this story, reviewed, favourited it or subscribed to it, it really means a lot. I had a lot of fun writing this and I hope you enjoyed it just as much.
P.S. This is sort of an epilogue of sorts, of how they tell the ever oblivious parents. :]
"I think I've figured it out."
"You're a nymphomaniac." Casey stated plainly, sitting atop the kitchen island where Derek was currently divesting her of her shirt. She could feel Derek's smirk on her neck as he continued to mark his territory through little red marks. He'd never tell her that that was what he was doing though, she'd freak out and tell him she was her own woman or some other feminist spiel he wasn't in the mood to hear.
"I'll take it." He replied after a few moments, running his hands underneath her shirt up her back and undoing the clasps of her bra. She shuddered against him, lowering her hands to lift his shirt off of him.
"You'll take what exactly?" she asked, but her mind was on completely different things.
"Nymphomaniac. Has a better ring to it than skirt-chasing cad or stupid cool guy or whatever nonsensical name you've come up with before." He leaned in to kiss her, but he was met with her palm covering his mouth. He searched for her eyes in the darkness and he raised an eyebrow.
"Derek, what are we doing? We're in the kitchen and... I'm half naked. That has to violate laws somewhere." Casey proceeded to shove herself off of the island, and land gracefully on the ground without toppling over for once.
"Sure... but I'm pretty sure banging your sister violates laws in more places than this mysterious 'somewhere'." Derek retorted with air quotes, rolling his eyes.
"De-rek! Don't forget that I am not related to you in any genetic way, or so help me god if I were, I'd be in a crazy house right now – and do you have to use such a vulgar word to describe our activities?" Casey screeched in hushed tones. It was 2 in the morning, and it was the only time they found to themselves. The younger siblings were getting awfully, let's just say clingy, and they were around more than usual.
"Yes, I do as a matter of fact, and I take offense to that! However, I'd probably look sexy even in a straight jacket, don't you think?" Derek smirked, pushing away her hand that was trying to button up her shirt. Casey pursed her lips and gave him a doubtful look.
"Well, it might be very fitting – not sure about the sexy part though." She swatted away his hand as if she was reprimanding a child, and Derek pouted.
"Caseyy." He whined.
"Derek." She drawled in response, daring him to challenge her as she buttoned her shirt fully and adjusted her hair – not that it mattered since no one would be up to see it anyway.
"Fine. Look, is the plan still on?" He asked in an exasperated tone, he didn't like being denied his Casey, he'd been subconsciously waiting too long for her, almost seven years to if you want to put a time on it.
"Yes," Casey grumbled. "I still don't think it's a good idea though." She opened the kitchen doors gently before stepping out into the dining area, Derek hot on her heels.
"What do you suppose we do? Tell them we're together right now when we still have three days left at home? Talk about a disaster of epic proportions." Derek whispered, keeping a hand on the small of her back as they headed up the stairs.
"Like your plan is any better!" Casey screeched again, and his eyes widened to warn her of the particular time of day and the certain family members that were above and below them. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised though, you don't like taking responsibility for anything and this is your cowardly way out." Casey snarled, smacking away his arm in mock disgust.
"Well let me know when you have a better plan, princess. Since you love planning so much." Derek sneered, flicking the bare skin above her waistband making her flinch.
"Is that a poorly veiled insult in a compliment I hear? Or are my ears fooling me?" Casey stopped ascending the stairs to turn and face him, her arm on the rail, effectively blocking him from going anywhere.
"Oh, ho. You've seen right through me, what shall I do?" Derek grunted. "Your plans have brought us nothing but trouble McDonald. Purple fog, remember that?" He crossed his arms. Casey bristled.
"That was one time, and it would've gone well if you hadn't banged up George's car!" Casey whispered, her eyes blazing into his.
"Whatever," Derek waved his hand in a lazy manner. "Your little matchmaking plan failed completely too." He smirked when he saw her stiffen. Jackpot. But then a slow smile crossed her face, and he was taken aback temporarily but how pretty she was, even though he couldn't see her very well in the darkness. Just the smell of her and the warmth radiating off her body sent chills down his spine.
"Not entirely, Venturi. The outcome might have been different from what I planned, but the intention was fulfilled in the end."
"Oh, and what was that?"
"That you find a girl that makes you happy."
Casey leaned down and kissed him briefly before bounding up the stairs. Derek stood there for a second, taking in her words.
"What makes you so sure I am happy, Case?" and his voice wasn't sad or upset, it was only filled with unbridled happiness and a hint of teasing; and it made her chest swell up with butterflies. He jogged up to meet her at the landing between their rooms, and his arms naturally fell to her waist when she turned.
"What makes you so sure this wasn't my plan all along, D?" Casey gave her own version of a smirk and Derek was once again taken aback, not sure how to process that one.
"Er, that's impossible. It just defies Casey psychology and all other laws of the universe." Derek frowned, and it deepened when he saw her smirk get wider. "You didn't really plan this, did you?" Derek asked, very much curious at this point.
"I guess you'll never know." Casey grinned and slipped from his grasp into her room and shut the door. Derek grumbled, too tired to deal with her antics. There's no way she could have foreseen him going after her, right? Girls just didn't play games like that, especially not with the likes of Derek Venturi. It just wasn't possible. Right?
"Derek Delight! I never thought I'd get to eat this dish again." George said excitedly, sitting at the head of the table with his children and step-children by his sides. He glanced up at his wife and gave her a brilliant goofy smile that made her return a smile in the same fashion.
"I just wonder Georgie, did Derek get his cooking abilities from Abby? Because you know..." Nora trailed off, seeing her husband's smile falter. Derek and Edwin glared at their step-mother for her slip-up.
"What do you mean, Nor? Of course he gets it from the both of us." George laughed nervously and looked over at Derek for reassurance, who was currently hiding himself behind a glob of Derek Delight.
Nora laughed uneasily. "Yes, of course dear. So, are you kids ready to go back to Queen's?" she started conversationally with the eldest children. Casey smiled brilliantly as she always did before going into a tale about her future plans or what she did that day, but Derek – as he always did, interrupted her before she got the chance.
"Yeah, living with this chick is a real bother. I think it's beginning to affect my grades." Derek grumbled, stuffing his face hastily. Casey glared at him.
"I thought you were on your way to Dean's list, Derek." George frowned, briefly glancing at Casey to make sure she wasn't in freak out mode yet.
"Oh, I am. I got all A's and B+'s last semester and so far this semester is going that way too. Her keenerism is beginning to rub off!" Derek itched at himself like he was trying to rid himself of pests and Casey attempted to kick him underneath the table. He swiftly shifted his foot with utmost grace and her foot made contact with his chair. She clenched her jaw.
"That's a good thing, Derek! Thanks to me, you won't be a homeless homebody when you're older!" Casey reprimanded fiercely. Suddenly Derek's countenance changed and he gave her a warm smile. The family stiffened when they saw that it was a genuine smile, and were further shocked when Derek reached over and ruffled his step-sister's hair, before smoothing it down affectionately.
"I know, Case." Was all he said, and the table was effectively silenced. Casey tried not to let their reaction ruffle her feathers so to speak but her face turned bright red and she looked down at her food. Lizzie stared at her older sister with a blank expression she was famous for, and Casey squirmed. Derek shook his head for a moment and smiled to himself, he'd have to teach his girlfriend how to act better.
"Wasn't it strange though? I mean I know they get along better now, but it just felt odd." George muttered as he washed off a dish and placed it in the dish drain. Nora handed him another soapy plate and sighed. It was a few hours after dinner, and George had been the worst loser in the board game they were all playing and was thus forced to do the dishes. He dragged Nora down with him.
"I don't think it was much of anything, we're probably overreacting – or you're overreacting rather." She said, humour colouring her voice. She did find it kind of strange the way Derek was looking at her daughter, much like the way George looked at her sometimes. But what did that even mean, was it just the father son resemblance or something else? She didn't want to think about the other possibility that had been creeping up in her mind for years now.
"Nora... stop acting like the cool nonchalant one for once." George pouted, and took another plate from her. Nora laughed and patted his shoulder.
"I'm just cool like that, you know? I can get jiggy with it." Nora shoved George slightly with her hips and began dancing to an imaginary beat, inviting him to dance along with her, which he did.
"Um, please stop that mom." Casey said nervously after entering the kitchen, and Nora turned to look at her daughter and Derek who followed her in.
"Yeah Nora, did Casey get her dancing skills from Dennis 'cause..." Derek smirked and Casey glared at him for his slip-up this time.
"Oh, no. Dennis had two left feet." Nora chuckled to herself, and Casey gave her a small smile at the mention of her father. Derek made a sound that indicated he wasn't really interested in the conversation anymore, and threw a hand over Casey's shoulders, pulling her close to him.
"How about a nice massage huh? You haven't given me one in a while." Derek grinned and watched her face fire up again for the second time that night. George and Nora's eyebrows raised in surprise.
"You give him massages Case?" Nora's dubious tone kicked at Casey's nerves and she bit her lip, a sure sign that she was nervous. Derek poked her with his free hand, telling her to stop it.
"Oh, you know, those hockey games are really tough on him... and he always comes home whining about it and so I just help him out." Casey explained, feeling herself get a little hot thinking about all the times she had massaged Derek in his bed, his toned muscles jumping at her touch.
"Does he pay you?" George inquired, seeming a bit more sceptical than before. Casey cocked her head to the side innocently, and shook her head.
"No... why should he?" she said, and Derek could barely hide the grin on his face.
"Come on, let's go watch some of that skating crap you like so much – even though you can't skate to save your life." Derek pulled her along with him, leaving their parents with their thoughts.
"De-rek!" Casey pouted, but followed him anyway. Their plan was going along almost too smoothly. There was no better way to tell your parents you were dating than giving them a taste of what it was like first. It was all a part of Derek's scheming strategy that Casey couldn't help but hate because she didn't come up with it herself.
The next day, the McDonald-Venturi kids were sitting around the living room watching television while George and Nora sat at the dining table preparing for the next day at work. Casey and Derek would be leaving in the morning back to Queen's, and the parents were both feeling a little emotional that their kids were leaving – Nora moreso than George, but they couldn't help but feel something else. Something like... uneasiness.
"I'm telling you Nora, something's up and I'm not sure if I like it. Was it a good idea to get them to live together?" George tapped his pen on the table incessantly and Nora grabbed his hand in a calming gesture.
"I don't know, but I'm sure it's fine! Even if they never considered each other siblings... even if they get along so well now..." Nora could hear the uncertainty in her own voice. They were speaking in hushed whispers, but the kids could hear them fine.
"What are they talking about?" Marti's asked, looking up at her older siblings.
"You'll see Smarti." Derek smiled and ruffled her hair. Casey shook her head and tried to contain herself, but it was proving to be difficult.
The doorbell rang, and Derek suddenly jumped up to get it.
"Were you expecting someone?" Casey asked, giving him a strange look, he never answered the door – even if he was expecting company.
"Oh, no. Just being courteous as always." Derek plastered on a smile and Casey bit her lip worriedly, what was he planning now?
Emily came bounding through the door as he opened it, and she gave him a quick wink before heading over to Casey.
"Why am I the last one to know?!" Emily screeched in a high pitched voice that she was famous in London for, and Casey looked up in surprise.
"To know what? What's going on?"
"That you like Derek!" Emily said and the room silenced while Derek burst out laughing.
"W-what? E-Emily, where did you hear that from?" Casey spluttered, completely caught off-guard. She glanced over to the parents whose eyes widened from shock, and George's expression was somewhat amused.
"Bah! It's like, only the talk of London and Queen's! Everyone thinks you and Derek are together." Emily narrowed her eyes while holding onto her hips impatiently. Suddenly, she stiffened and turned towards the rest of the family. At this point, Derek was killing himself with laughter and the rest of the family were dead silent with wonder, shock and confusion.
"Emily? Can I speak to you, in private? The dumb log over there comes too." Casey said, referring to her oaf of a step-brother who strangely, or not so strangely, made light of the situation. Emily smiled sheepishly at the family while carefully avoiding their inquisitive stares, and followed Casey – or more like was pulled by Casey and her death grip up the stairs, Derek sauntering along after them.
"Well, that was interesting." Nora said after a few moments.
"See, I told you something was going on!" George threw his pen down and sighed exasperated.
"Now Georgie, you know how Emily is. She's a sweet girl but..." Nora trailed off, lest she become one of those parents who badmouth their children's friends or schoolmates.
"This all makes sense now!" Edwin piped up from the couch, having a 'Eureka!' expression on his face. Lizzie looked at him dubiously, knowing her step-brother wasn't much of a sleuth and only pretended to be.
"What is it now, Edwin?" George and Lizzie chorused, and they both looked at each other and shared an amused smile. Edwin faltered in his stance a bit, but continued on.
"Okay, when they came back for winter break, Derek was telling me how Casey was pulling an enormous prank on him and had been doing so for months. Derek told me he had it under control and that he'd get her back so I didn't think about it anymore." Edwin finished, and waited for everyone to clue in – but they were still dumbfounded.
"Derek told you about that? Casey told me she was just trying to make Derek happy by setting him up, she wasn't trying to prank him." Lizzie eyes narrowed into slits, yeah, her step-brother really needing to stop acting like he was Sherlock.
"Wait a minute, Casey was setting up Derek? That doesn't sound right." George said, and Nora had the same incredulous expression.
"That's exactly what I mean! I don't blame you guys because you completely fail when it comes to knowing your children—" Edwin said, and George and Nora bristled.
"I see... Casey liked Derek but she didn't want to lose him or mess up the family so she did what she thought was best. Classic Casey!" Lizzie slapped her forehead and the light bulbs were crackling with energy above everyone's heads.
"But now what... they've been acting all... strange lately." Nora commented, and they all fell into silence again.
"Duh, they're obviously dating." Marti spoke for the first time, and they froze. "Geez, grownups don't know anything." She giggled and ran up to her room.
Slack-jawed, George responded. "Heh, you don't think that's true right?"
"What if it is?" Nora replied, setting down her glasses and rubbing the bridge of her nose.
"Well I guess that... if that... what I mean to say is—" George stuttered.
"We've just never had control over those two, whether they were at each other's throats or the complete opposite." Nora sighed, and Lizzie and Edwin came to join them by the table.
"It's kind of weird... but I can see why this happened." Lizzie said, rubbing her mom's shoulders.
"Well, we don't know for sure until they tell us. Marti is always imagining things anyway." George laughed nervously.
"Heh, okay Dad. Remember the Scott thing?" Edwin reminded him.
"What Scott thing?" Lizzie frowned, thinking of her old soccer coach. Edwin recoiled slightly.
"Err, nothing, nothing." He pulled on his collar nervously and avoided his step-sister's signature penetrating stare.
"What was that all about?!" Casey screeched, while Derek tried to put his moves on her, but she wasn't having any of it. She knew Derek was a part of this, and she wouldn't stand for it. She'd never been more embarrassed in her life – okay, except for that time she fell down the stairs, or off that ladder, or dropped in that garbage can or when she dropped the podium, or – ugh!
"Well now your parents sort of know, and they aren't freaking out are they?" Emily smiled innocently, while primping her hair in the mirror.
"Yup, great plan. Right, Case?" Derek piped up and Casey threw him a death glare.
"Yeah, I'd appreciate it if you told me of such plans before they happened!" Casey pushed him onto her bed, and Emily tuned them out, far too used to (and way tired) of their constant bickering.
"No way, it was too funny seeing your reaction." Derek laughed to himself again, and Emily giggled along with him.
"Oh yeah, well, every action has an equal and opposite reaction!" Casey yelled, and her boyfriend and best friend grimaced at her use of physics at a time like this.
"Oh, really?" Derek drawled lazily.
"Yeah, really. Which means, you won't be getting any action tonight buster!" Casey huffed, a mad blush rising in her face and the colour in Derek's fading quickly.
"Ha ha, sure Case. You can't resist this." Derek gestured to himself, and Casey – even Emily, had to roll their eyes.
"Are you guys ready to go back tomorrow? I'm going to miss you." Emily pouted and gathered her friend in a death hug, and ruffled Derek's hair a bit. He immediately went in the mirror to fix it back to it's messy state of perfection and that induced another round of eye rolls.
"I'll miss you too, Em. But... thanks for tonight, as much as I hated the way it played out," Casey glared at Derek. "Now the family must have figured it out and it takes a load off my shoulders."
"No probs, it was fun anyway." Emily laughed, and they all fell into laughter along with her.
The next morning, everyone was bustling about because it was Monday and Derek was loading their luggage into the Prince. It was snowing lightly, but the morning sun was warm and provided some relief from the cold. The fresh snowfall dusted the ground, and Casey was almost sad to ruin it with her foot prints. She treaded along the driveway, her laptop bag in hand, and watched as Derek managed to shut the trunk.
"God woman, why do you have so much crap?" Derek grumbled as he made his way to the door.
"It's not crap. It's perfectly good stuff." Casey reprimanded and Derek brushed her comment off.
"Still crap." Derek shrugged and got in the car, but not before opening the passenger door for her.
"Derek, let me remind you that the activities we partake in, in the bedroom, are still on embargo." Casey smiled sweetly, and Derek plastered on a fake smile in return.
"Right, honey." He gritted out and Casey couldn't hold in her laugh.
There was a knock on the car window then, and they saw their parents there. They hadn't spoken since last night, and Casey almost couldn't look them in the face.
"Aren't you guys going to stay for breakfast?" Nora asked worriedly, looking at her step-son and daughter curiously.
"Oh, no. We've got class later on today, so we gotta jet and get there in time." Derek said gruffly, not wanting to admit that he would miss Nora as much as anyone would miss a mom that was there for them.
"Well, drive safe Derek. You've got precious cargo in there." George said, looking over at Casey, and both women had to roll their eyes at the lame saying.
"Right Dad." Derek smiled cheekily.
"So um," Nora started, and the two young adults stiffened. Derek stealthily put the key into ignition and started the car, prompting his step-mom to speak faster.
"Are you two together?" she blurted out, and Casey spluttered.
"Ye-um, well... you see, it's like..." Casey stumbled upon her words, her face reddening quickly.
"Yup. No worries Nor, I got your daughter's back." Derek smirked in typical Derek fashion, and backed the car out of the driveway, ignoring their parents shocked looks.
"Derek!" "Casey!" They called out to their respective children, and watched as they sped off in the snowy distance.
"I guess I saw this coming." Nora sighed, and began to walk back into the house.
"What? Am I always the last one to see everything? I'm a lawyer for pete's sake." George whined.
"See? That went well didn't it? Now is the embargo off?" Derek asked, smiling at his girlfriend. He couldn't believe all that they had gone through during the past six and a half years, but he wouldn't have changed it for any other way. Now he had a great girl and she suited him just fine.
"I guess that was sort of cool driving off like that..." Casey began, biting her lip to prevent herself from smiling, but her eyes were shining and Derek could tell that she was happy. He wished she always looked like that. He leaned over and kissed her nose lightly, and Casey scrunched it up prettily. "Fine Derek, embargo's off, but keep your hands off me until after class – I won't skip for you." Casey muttered, but she had a full smile embracing her face.
"Alright, alright. Just promise me you'll get some better friends, okay? I don't know where you found such stinky, robotic and masculine friends anyway." Derek grumbled, and she ran her hands through her hair in a frustrated manner.
"Just for that unnecessary comment, the embargo's on again." Casey looked out the window at the snowy scenery, hoping to avoid Derek's expression – that was sure to resemble a puppy dog at that moment.