(If you haven't seen Vacation with Derek yet, go to YouTube, and it's on Disfordasey's channel.)
VwD was fantastic, and I loved it. But I really wish they hadn't rushed into the "Casey gets a job as a professional dancer" storyline. To me, dancing is Casey's favorite hobby, and it's just that – a hobby. It's never been her dream like it was for Jesse. And it may be selfish of me, but I want Derek and Casey together at Queen's – I don't want my Dasey apart! And in this story, neither does Derek.
Many thanks to Jess, my favorite RGEMEE/Segelaholic, for her input. LLtPM!
Disclaimer: I don't own Vacation with Derek. But I extend my heartiest thank you to Daphne Ballon for filling it with Dasey moments!
Chapter 1: George
Casey turned over in her bunk and covered her head with a pillow.
She turned over again, flinging her arm across her face.
It was no use. She could still hear the words from earlier this evening bouncing around in her head.
Being careful not to wake Edwin, Casey climbed out of her bunk and tiptoed past the others. They were all leaving in the morning, and she had promised herself she would make a decision by then.
There was a full moon. Casey was thankful she wouldn't need a flashlight. She didn't want to wake anyone; didn't want anyone to know what was causing her such anguish. She crept across the path to the main lodge, where her parents were sleeping on couches right inside. She wanted to wake her mother, but thought better of it. She had been exhausted from being on her feet all day, and dancing all night. Casey knew both she and the baby needed rest. So George was her only option.
"George," she whispered, shaking his shoulder. He groaned and nudged her away. So she spoke more loudly, "George!"
"Huh?" He slowly opened his eyes and squinted at Casey in the moonlight. "Go back to sleep, you have a long drive tomorrow," he mumbled, but Casey shook him again before he could drift off.
"Please, I need your help," Casey hissed, and this time George opened both eyes and peered anxiously at her.
"Is everything all right?"
"Well…" Casey saw him getting worried and changed her tone. "Yes, everything's fine. I just need to talk to you."
George gazed over at Nora, who was sound asleep. He seemed to decide the same thing about her that Casey had a few moments earlier. "If you're sure I can help you, fine, let's go." He led her out of the lodge, and they sat on the steps. In the moonlight Casey could just make out his curious expression.
"I need to decide about…the opportunity." She wasn't sure what to call it, and that was the word Gran had used.
"Oh," George sighed. "Casey, I can't tell you what to do. You're going to have to figure that one out yourself."
She had been afraid of this. Didn't he know by now that she needed help, preferably her mother's, with all major life decisions? "Let me put it this way. If George in the Jungle had been offered a recording contract, would you have taken it instead of going to law school?"
George put his head in his hands. "Do we really have to do this now? It's the middle of the night!"
Casey pouted. "I know you're not usually the one I go to about this stuff, but I really need your opinion, because Derek was no help."
George's head snapped up. "Derek?"
Casey blushed, and she wasn't sure why. Okay, she knew why. At least the dark hid it from George. "Yeah, um…hard as it is to believe, I always get good advice from Derek. But tonight—"
"Whoa, whoa. Back up. You go to Derek for advice? He gives you good advice?"
Casey frowned. "Can we please get past this? Derek was the one who helped me decide to break up with Max. Derek was the one who helped me decide to go to Queen's. He's not a monster, I know that. I can admit that he's a great guy to talk to. Okay?"
George shook his head skeptically and Casey couldn't believe he was making such a big deal out of such a…not-big deal. Derek had said maybe ten words total in the last few years that had helped her, anyway. "Change back." "You're staying home because you're scared." But now, "Don't go." And those two words had changed everything.
"Sorry Case. I guess it just came as a surprise that you and Derek have…bonded…over, uh, important issues."
Casey rolled her eyes, trying to keep her voice light. "Improbable but true. Anyway, Derek or my mom usually has the answers to these kinds of things, and they're not available right now. I need to know, should I take the job, or go to university? Come on, George!"
He wrinkled his nose. "What did Derek say you should do?"
"Can we stop talking about Derek, please!" She glared at him, and he held up both hands in a gesture of surrender.
"Whatever you decide, you need to be happy. Do it for you, not for anyone else." George watched her carefully as Casey stood, indignant.
"You think I would ever do anything for Derek Venturi? You're out of your mind if you think I would listen to him!"
George tugged on her arm and she settled down next to him again, feeling silly about her outburst. He replied patiently, "Did you not just tell me that you have listened to him before? You can't have it both ways. You can't dislike him and like him at the same time."
Casey sighed. Actually, she could. "I know, George. I'm sorry. Can we try this again?"
George nodded. "Good idea. Okay, if I had gotten a recording contract…honestly, Case, I would have taken it and never looked back."
"Really?" Casey's eyes widened. George was telling her to go. "Don't go" echoed inside her head. Der-ek!
"Yes. But. Then what? So my band maybe makes an album. Maybe has a hit. Maybe goes on tour. Maybe becomes a sensation and I never have to do anything other than be a rock star. That's a lot of maybes."
Casey stared out at the lake, processing what he'd said. "Is it worth the gamble, though?"
George put a hand on her shoulder. "You might lose a lot. But you could gain a lot, too."
"Don't go." Casey leaned into him. "I could lose my scholarship. And there aren't that many older dancers. I would have to have a back-up plan for when I retire."
"There's my Casey," George said warmly, putting an arm around her. "See? You didn't need me to weigh the pros and cons. Keep going."
"I would make enough money to save for later. I'd meet lots of interesting people. Get to be in New York near my dad. Do what I love for a living."
"I have to ask this, because I'm a dad," George said as he squeezed her shoulder, "But this doesn't have anything to do with Jesse, does it? Is he pressuring you to go with him?"
Casey shook her head against his shoulder. "No. He would be happy if I said yes, of course, but I don't see a future with him. He's fun and he's nice, but he didn't even fight for me when Derek pulled me away at the dance, even though I had just kissed him. That's how I knew it wasn't for real."
George shifted, obviously uncomfortable.
"Oh, sorry, too much information, right?"
George swallowed. "Yes, but I was…oh, never mind."
Casey pulled away and looked at him. "George…" she said in a warning tone. "Tell me."
"I was going to comment on the fact that Derek was dancing with you, and not Jesse. I thought that was a little strange. Derek pulled you away from him?"
Casey chuckled, not even annoyed about it anymore. She could talk about this – it was typical Derek behavior. "Yeah, literally mid-kiss. Derek will never change. I thought he was being his obnoxious self, but I found out he really doesn't like Jesse all that much, for whatever reason." She shook her head good-naturedly. She was used to Derek not liking her boyfriends. She expected it by now. She didn't spend too much time analyzing why, whether it was because he was playing protective big brother, or because he was out to ruin her life. She didn't like either reason, so she didn't dwell on it.
George was staring out at the lake, lost in thought. He said slowly, "Casey, please tell me what Derek said. Did he tell you to take the job?"
"Don't go." Casey really didn't want to relive her previous conversation, but it seemed like George was not going to let it be. So she took a deep breath, and began, "No, he didn't tell me to take the job. Here's what happened."