(A/N)Alas a flustered man must make a choice in life. A choice to love or a choice to hate. A choice to stay of to go. A choice to live, or to die. This is the story of a man who made a choice, that will affect the entire outcome of his future. I decided to do a story based on the more realistic possibilities of season two. I hope you enjoy the story focusing on Derek's perspective.

"Derek admittedly, that was thrilling. But she can't do it" Eileen yelled across the theater. Annoying Derek and embarrassing the young Marilyn to be. He replayed those words in the back of his head as he watched his production unfold beautifully across the stage. To tell the truth, he hadn't understood why he chose Karen Cartwright to play Marilyn. Ivy was absolutely amazing as the leading lady. She loved, knew and breathde Marilyn. It was possible that she was more like her than Norma Jean herself. Maybe it was the illusions that had driven him to the brink of explosion. Or the personality of the woman who was so intoxicating he could almost taste her essence. Derek tried to erase the third possibility from his mind so he could concentrate on the task at hand, notes for the show. But it wasn't possible. Each time he looked up and saw Karen performing alongside the likes of Ivy, it hit him. And whilst he tried his darndest to concentrate, he couldn't. His mind drifted off, back to four days prior, and what he witnessed.

Rebecca Duvall had a rather dramatic exit from the show. And Derek found himself with slightly less than a headache. He had his hands full with the movie star, trying to conform to her diva behavior. As much as he hated to admit it, he was the Only Diva on this production. He found some free time and decided to head over to the hotel and talk with Ivy. He'd really been outrageously unkind to the young woman. Suddenly he found himself developing a conscious. He couldn't imagine being in a long-term relationship with Ivy, but he liked her. She was intelligent, beautiful and a real theater veteran. Nothing had to be explained to Ivy because what was understood never had to be said. Once he got to the hotel however he was greeted by the utmost unpleasant of surprises. Ivy was walking down the street with Dev. What business would Dev have with a woman that hated his girlfriend? He watched from the distances and noted a tension so palpable it could be witnessed by the blind. Dev touched her intimately while unannounced to most Derek recognized that touch. That was the touch of a one night stand gone wrong. The touch he had given to many women himself. What a Prick. Derek inhaled sharply as they said there goodbyes. Derek walked back towards the theater with haste. He'd wished he never come to the hotel.

And now Derek was questioning himself. While normally he wouldn't be affected by the mingling of his lovers, he was this time. Not because Ivy was seeing someone else. She could see a thousand men, and Derek wouldn't care. No this was because Dev was cheating on Karen. Had that been the real reason he picked Karen to be Marilyn. Not out of his directorial preference, but to give her something to enjoy in the path of sheer heartbreak. The thought of him letting emotions interfere with his show frightened Derek. Afterall he was an artist and a story teller, and no one would get in the way of that. No one but Karen Cartwright. Ever since she'd stormed into that audition room and sung a breath-taking rendition of Beautiful, she changed Derek. She was oblivious to his usual charms. She turned him down in a tantalizing fashion that left his mouth watering. And Derek wills never got turned down. Karen did whatever it took in rehearsals to please, no matter how scared she truly was. And now she was Marilyn.

Derek snapped back to reality and away from his vivid memories. He watched Karen perform her final scene. The suicide, one of the most controversial scenes in the show.

"Just remember you're a really good guy." Karen acted out on stage, tone to chipper for the likes of Derek.

And that's when he'd seen it. She was cracking. As she sung the melody from Second Hand White Baby Grand the tears started to come. She was comparing this situation to her own life, and Derek could see it from his seat. He had to do something and fast. There was no time for his usual womanizing antics. Besides, those would never work with Karen. She was too fragile for that. Derek stood up from his seat and made his way back stage in a hurry. He had to do something to help her deliver the outstanding performance he'd known she was capable of. When he arrived in the wings Karen was getting into her dress. Once she was decent, he's headed towards her and excused the costume designer. He place his hand on her hip and zipped the gold sequined cocktail gown up her back. Leading Ladies didnt' sweat, they glowed. And Karen was glowing, without a hint of perspiration. She was the epitome of beauty. He placed his hands on her hips and traced his thumbs along her sides. Immediately she inhaled ,but she didn't turn around. He had a feeling she knew it was him. He leaned in towards her and whispered in her ear.

"Whatever happens next, don't ever doubt, you're a star..." he breathed against the back of her porcelain neck. He got caught in the moment and couldn't control his emotion. He looked down. almost nervous about his next sentence. "And I do understand love".

He was stuck, he couldn't move from the spot he was standing in, even as Karen walked on to the stage. He watched her take center stage and sing his heart out. He felt his mind racing, he questioned his actions. Would they have a negative impact on her performance? Would she deliver, or had he simply made everything worse by referencing their earlier conversations. He fought to catch his breath as he realized she was blossoming right before his eyes. It's as if the real Karen was engulfed in a cocoon, and finally shed it upon the stage. Each crescendo was more beautiful than the next. Derek was in awe, and he was sure whatever he did, he wouldn't forget Karen.

Suddenly it was over. And Derek recognized the sound of a standing ovation. A sound he was ever so familiar with, the sound of roaring applause. His heart finally settled knowing that everyone would be pleased with his decision. He watched as the cast rushed to edge of the wings waiting to don the staged for applause. He noticed that Ivy wasn't their. She wasn't on the other side either. Where could she possibly be? Derek knew about her increasing usage of pills, but he couldn't fathom that she possibly divulge in dangerous behaviors. Still Ivy being the professional that she was would never miss curtain call.

Derek headed towards the dressing rooms and knocked twice before entering. There he saw her hunched over her vanity, unresponsive to his call.

"Bloody Hell Ivy!" he yelled bending down to grab her face. He reached into his pocket and dialed the authorities.

Derek couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of guilt. Even more so, he hated that he wouldn't be there when Karen walked off the stage.

Well what do you think? Please review. I am open to l constructive criticism. Thank You