Author's Note: I'M BACK! Oh, I am so excited! This story came to me in a dream the other night and I knew it was a hint that I needed to come back. My old stories, I am sad to say, will remain unfinished. But my new stories, will be! I can promise you that.

My problem was I was all ADD about stories and I know have the ability to concentrate on single projects and not bite off more than I can chew. I will write one story at a time and that is it so that way, everything can be finished.

On a side note, I see this as a starting over, in a sense. I have a new outlook on life. I recently diagnosed with Bi Polar Disorder II, Anxiety, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. Wow. Yikes – is what I thought. But I am on medicine and I am soooo much better. My fiancé – yes, that is another big change – is happy as well.

But I have such a new perspective on life and I hope all my old fanfiction friends are going to stick with me and be happy to see that I have returned. And I also hope to make new fanfiction friends as well. So let this story be a promise of new beginings. I hope you enjoy!

Oh, I almost forgot (getting a tad rusty on my fanfiction protocol lol) I do not own LWD.

Oh, and the colleges and locations are fictional. I do not know much about Canada so…yeah. Lol sorry.

And now without further ado, I present to you…

College Roadtrip

Chapter One

Casey McDonald could hardly contain her excitement when the letter arrived in the mail. As was her custom the past three weeks, she walked out to the mailbox – actually ran – and peeked inside to see if there was something important for her waiting inside. Sure enough, on this cold February day, wind and snow blustering around, there was.

The thick manila envelope marked M. Casey Marie McDonald was stuffed inside along with several other envelopes and catalogues. Casey could hardly believe it. She yanked the mail out from inside the box and hurried back inside.

The frost was biting at her porcelain skin and the tiny but stinging shards of ice whipped at her nose and lips and ears. But she didn't care. She couldn't feel anything but pride and excitement. This was it, wasn't it? Surely Kinkaid University didn't bother sending someone a huge envelope (that probably had a pretty hefty postage charge) to someone who didn't get accepted, right?

Once inside, Casey kicked the door shut behind her with her boot and tossed the other (unimportant) mail onto the wooden card table next to the door. With frosty, cramping fingers, she yanked open the envelope and retrieved its contents.

The first paper was a thick, yellowed cardstock with the school's seal printed at the top. Casey's throat closed tight, capturing and holding her breath captive until she finished reading every word engraved on the page.

M. Casey Marie McDonald,

It is our pleasure to announce to you your admittance to Kinkaid University. We are honored to have you as a member of our esteemed staff and student body. We know that Kinkaid will provide you and your future with a solid foundation, and we know, in turn, you will provide excellent talent and time to our university.

Founded in 1890, Kinkaid has always strove for excellence both academically and otherwise. Students who attend our university are of the highest caliber and we know, you will leave our school with a sense of accomplishment, pride, and preparation to what lies ahead.

We look forward to your time with us.

Sincerely, Henry H. Harrington (Director of Admissions)

It wasn't for a few minutes after, and a few times of rereading, that Casey realized her hands were shaking. The cardstock was getting wrinkled and she quickly moved to the dining room table, where she carefully and meticulously smoothed out the creases.

The next paper was a calendar, instructing her of the dates she needed to know – such as move-in dates, final examination dates, and holidays.

The next paper was a map.

And the next, was a list of dormitory accommodations and prices.

Casey stood in the middle of the dining room, utterly shocked. Of course, she figured she would get accepted, everyone had told her so. But there was always that nagging little pesky "what if" buzzing around her head like an unwanted mosquito.

"Whatchya doin', Space Case?"

Of course, Casey rolled her eyes, I can't just enjoy my moment – someone has to come and interrupt it!

And that someone was, of course, Derek.

"Derek, I have wonderfully terrific news and I am not going to let you spoil my mood! So please, just go watch hockey or something and let me have…"

"Is that what I think it is?" Derek yanked the cardstock off the table, to Casey's dismay.

"Don't! Don't be so rough! Put it down! You'll ruin it!"

"Accepted into the most prestigious school in the states, huh?" Derek glanced over the letter, "Yeah, right," he snorted as he read, "you'll provide them with something alright – a billion dollars."

"Derek, they aren't that expensive," Casey took the letter from him and placed it gingerly back on the table, "And they have so much to offer. Have I told you that they have…"

"The most prestigious dance program, writing and poetry center, and law school in the United States…" Derek recited drily, "Yes, Princess, we all know."

Casey rolled her eyes but ignored the nickname she so hated, "Like I said, I am not going to let you ruin my mood! I am going to just ignore all your silly, childish comments and marinate in my moment."

"You are such a fruitloop," Derek shook his head, "What other mail did we get?"

"You actually think I paid attention the other mail?" Casey looked at him as if he had completely gone off the deep end.

Derek shook his head and sorted through the other envelopes.

"Ah-ha!" He found a smaller manila envelope with his name printed on the front, "This is just what I have been waiting for."

"What is it?" Casey craned her neck, but Derek, being at least a head and then some taller than her, held it out of her grasp, "Uh-uh-uh, it's rude to read someone else's mail. A future law student like you should know…"

"Oh hush! Just tell me what it is."

"In a sec," Derek was reading over a piece of paper, and didn't even bother to glance up. Casey couldn't help but want to know what captivated his attention. Derek only paid so much attention if a hockey game or a girl happened to catch hold of it.

"Der-ek!" Casey tried to read over his shoulder but he held up a hand.

"Okay," he finally said, and tossed the paper towards her, "Happy?"

Casey scanned over the paper and realized – it was Derek's acceptance letter!

"You got accepted?" Casey asked, still reading.

"What? Didn't think I could do it, huh?"

"No, it's just…wow."

"Yup, could ol' Penn State."

"Penn State? Like…in Pennsylvania?"

"Yeah…why?"

"Kinkaid is in Pennsylvania."

"Look, you just stay up at Kinkaid and do your thing and I'll stay down in Penn State and do mine, okay?"

"Couldn't you have gone to like…oh I dunno…any other college in any other state?"

"Penn State has the best hockey," Derek took the letter back from her, "And it is not like we are going to see each other or anything."

"True," Casey nodded, "But still. We could go anywhere in the whole world and we end up in the same state?"

"Not my plan," Derek held up his hands, "Now, why don't you run and tell your Dad and Nora about your acceptance letter and leave me to my hockey game. It starts in about two minutes and I can't have you in here ruining it."

Casey sighed and shook her head, "Well, congratulations Derek."

"On what?"

"On getting accepted to Penn State."

"Oh," Derek seemed to be a tad bit taken back by her comment. Did Casey just congratulate him on something? And she wasn't even being sarcastic…was she?

"Thank you," Derek nodded, but he turned up the volume on the TV. Casey being nice confused him and he didn't need a headache as he watched the match.

"You know," Casey smiled a mischievous smile, "We should convince our parents to let us go out to eat to like Papa Pepperoni's or something and we can break the big news to them. How does that sound?"

"Fine," Derek shrugged, "I guess."

"Great! I'll go ask Mom if we can go. I'm so excited! Kinkaid University! Can you believe it?"

As she rushed upstairs, Derek couldn't help but feel a sense of dread churning in his stomach. Casey McDonald would be going to college in the same state as him, not more than 20 miles away…he had hoped – planned – on getting as far away from her as possible.

But the hockey team at Penn State and the scholarship he'd been given…well, Derek didn't really have a choice. And with Casey's outrageous tuition, how could he not pass up this scholarship? Besides, it had been the only college that had accepted him.

Penn State it was. And being near Space Case it was too.

And that would just be a sacrifice he'd just have to make.