Author's Note: Okay, so I need to leave a note making the comment that I found this story that I had posted quite some time ago. I remember I had issues with it, but now I think I am ready to repost it. I have edited the first chapter to the best of my ability, but looks like it was pretty good start with—not to sound egotistical. Anyway, read, review, and enjoy.
But seriously, review. Thanks.
Disclaimer: Don't own Life with Derek
Control. That was the word that kept skimming over her brain. This was her week, and she would have control over everything and everyone even if it killed her. No one was going to screw this up. Six long months of planning, a sore jaw from grinding her teeth at night, and two weeks of rapid hair loss was the price she might be paying now, but once this last week was over and the following week was in her hands all of that stress and pain was going to just melt away. She'd be free to do what she wanted to do—and none of it would be wedding related. Oh, she could just jump for joy—only she didn't have the strength. Most of her time would be spent in bed, maybe she might just try to catch a few Zs while she's at it.
Everyone was gathered in the living room, and it felt like old times again. Casey paced back and forth, showing up at the door at five in the morning with her check list. Of course being the thoughtful person she was, she let them get themselves comfortable before she began. They were to leave for the airport in three hours and they still have a boatload of things to go over, and she knew that wasn't enough time. She'd have started the night before and finished in the morning, but previous engagements pulled her attention and time away from this very moment.
Casey looked at everyone, her clipboard up to her chest and gave everyone a long stare. "Simon, fingers out of the nose," she snapped. "We will not distract ourselves from what is most important: my wedding." A smile stretched across her face. She couldn't hold it back. She loved saying that she was getting married, planning a wedding, she was going to be a bride. It was a reflex she couldn't withhold.
Her little brother pulled finger down and said, "But there's somethin' up there."
"Yeah, your finger; now pay attention, we don't have much time." In her mind she was counting down the minutes before all of this was screwed over and they wouldn't be able to double check everything before they got to their destination.
"Okay, Warden," Edwin said, leaning back into the couch with his eyes closed.
This was the time when she wished she had a megaphone. "Eyes opened, sit up straight so that we can get this finished as quickly as possible." There was little movement, but Edwin did raise his head to look at her; she was shocked at the interest that shone through his eyes—yeah, and she also missed Derek. "Okay, thank you."
Her fiancé, Glenn, sat on the arm of the couch, slouched over with his head resting in his hand. He wasn't a morning person and to put up with this made Casey love him even. "Honey, don't you think you're wasting time doing this?"
Casey let out a breathy and brief laugh. "Oh, no, honey-bunny. You don't know these slackers. We have tons of things to go over." She smiled at him, but he didn't seem to have noticed with his eyes shut. In fact she wasn't so sure he hadn't fallen asleep. Everyone else sneered at her, but she chose to shrug it off. A few hurt feelings wasn't her problem right now.
"Okay, guys, I have a clipboard here—"
"You always have a clipboard," Marti groaned. "It has lists; what we need to do, what we need to get, where we need to go, who has what done or who hasn't done something, and of course the check-off list." Marti paused then said, "I hate your lists." Technically they were all check lists, but Casey held it in.
Since she's left Edwin and Lizzie's relationship seemed to have grown closer because simultaneously they snickered and said: "Check-off." Casey stared at the two twenty year olds and shook her head. She almost asked why they are still living at home, but refrained and took in a deep breath.
"Kids," Nora said to the now twenty-somethings like they were still thirteen and still getting into the trouble they stirred up before everyone started to part ways—before everything started to change. Nora looked over at the two out of the corner of her eye, then looked back at her eldest and smiled. "Go on, Case."
"Thank you, Mom," she said and straightened her stature like if she made herself taller they might just listen. "You're right Marti, I have my lists, but it won't take long."
"Good," was said in unison by almost everyone.
Casey looked down at her list and said, "Let's start off with individual stats, okay?" A groan echoed through the room and she chose to ignore it. "Simon go put on your tux, honey."
He smiled, two of his front teeth missing. "I already have it on!" Glee seemed to run through his system while horror ran through Casey's. For the split second she had to think before her little brother hopped off his mother's lap, she tried to convince herself that she had heard him wrong.
"Wha—what? What are you talking about, Simon?" she asked in panic while he was taking off his pajamas. "No—no. You can't sleep in your tux."
"Too late," Edwin said and snickered. Casey made a mental note that there were a few things Edwin was going to have to change before the wedding, and one of them was his attitude; in close second was that stupid thing he wanted to call a mustache.
"We'll just get it dry-cleaned, Casey. Don't worry about it," Nora said then added, "You look very handsome, sweetheart," she added.
"I know," he said and grinned. It was eerie how much he looked like George's side of the family. Sometimes she couldn't stop staring at her little brother and shaking her head. The only thing he had was his mother's eyes. Other than that, he was a little towhead that looked a lot like a Venturi.
Casey set her eyes on her mother in disbelief. "No, we can't get it dry-cleaned, Mom. We're leaving in three hours!" she snapped.
Nora glanced at her daughter and she could see the flames in her eyes. "I'm sure they have dry-cleaners in the Bahamas." Mama bear was protecting her cub from the big, crazy sister bear who couldn't have one thing wrong with her wedding day or she would be locked up the Bahamian prison for killing the person who made that one thing wrong. And at that moment her little, cute as a button, brother was a target.
She hadn't thought of that. "Fine, I guess that'll work," she said and pursed her lips. "Where are your shoes?" she asked Simon and who was fiddling with his jacket.
"Honey, stop that," Nora said.
"But I can't get this damn thing off!" he said
"Hey, don't say damn, damn it!" Edwin said. It was an obvious joke, but Simon looked at his big brother with wide eyes and stopped trying to take off the jacket.
"Stop it, Edwin," Nora snapped.
Casey was already on edge about everything and this family meeting was turning into a circus. Nora opened her mouth about to scold one of the two when something broke in Casey's mind, a circuit disconnecting with her common sense, her logic, and what patience she had left. "Everyone just shut the hell up! I have been living on maybe five hours of sleep a night for the last six month trying to plan this wedding, and, not to mention going to work for eight hours a day, and you guys will not screw it up. Simon go get your shoes! Lizzie, Marti, and Mom go get your dresses, George and Edwin get your tuxes and Glenn, go to the extra bedroom and go to sleep, you're starting to piss me off." He was dozing the side of the couch, she'd seen him jerk his head up so he wouldn't fall over.
Slack jawed, everyone stared at her, but got up and did as she told them. And as they walked away, she could hear her stepfather saying to Nora, "I don't think I appreciate being talk to like that by Casey." She wasn't sure what Nora had said, but it sounded like don't worry about it, let her do it, or maybe it was "be quiet, I don't think we're allowed to talk."
Glenn looked up at her, apparently unfazed by the sudden breakdown, and asked, "Honey, where's the extra bedroom?"
"Just find a room with a bed in it and go to sleep," she said. She wasn't all that concerned about her husband. He didn't do anything; he didn't help with the music, the pictures, he said he'd make a speech on a whim, he only gave a list of people he wanted to invite and most of them, he said, weren't all that important. She even had to pick out his tuxedo. It's true: all men are useless.
Casey sat down and massaged her temples, she could feel a dull headache coming on.
"I can't believe Casey yelled at us," Edwin said as the four walked up the stairs toward their bedrooms.
Simon nodded. "I know. And she said hell without getting in trouble!" Edwin glanced down at him and smirked. Edwin pushed his little brother in the way of Lizzie's old room. The smallest, but just enough room for the runt, and even though Edwin didn't live at home anymore, he had thrown a fight to kept that room as his. He'd worked too hard over the years to lose it.
Lizzie shook her head standing outside Casey's old room, and leaned against the doorframe. "But you know what really pisses me off?"
"We already have everything packed away?" Marti said. "I have dig through my bags now."
A nervous, short laugh escaped Lizzie. "You packed your dress?"
Marti shrugged. "Yeah, what was I supposed to do with it?"
"I don't think you were supposed to pack your dress."
Panic was seen heavily in Marti's eyes and she looked like she had foreseen her own death, in fact Edwin had and looking at Lizzie so did she. "Then what was I supposed to do with it?" she snapped and looked like she just might shake Lizzie.
Lizzie was laughing hard enough that her eyes were tearing and it took Edwin a moment to look back at his little sister. "Casey's going to kill you," she said between laughs.
"It's not funny," Marti said.
"Yes it is," the two of them said in unison.
Glenn came stumbling up the stairs and smiled. He was a nice enough guy, a douche bag sometimes, thought he owned the world, but Edwin didn't think it'd be all that bad to have him as a step-brother-in-law. "Hey, guys, Casey has sent me to the Dungun known as the extra bedroom."
Lizzie pointed to the steps that led to Edwin's old bedroom. "Attic City, Glenn," Lizzie said.
He groaned. "Great, more stairs." He got up a few before he waved a lazy hand and said, "See you in a couple of hours."
The three of them looked at the attic before Lizzie said, "Better get that stupid pink monstrosity on."
Marti rolled her eyes and added, "Better find that stupid pink monstrosity." Marti was a packer; she didn't leave home without anything. Her personal motto was: I might need this while I am gone. So she back too many bags and never used the extas that she thought might need. She looked at Lizzie and said, "I didn't know I wasn't supposed to pack it!" It wasn't a statement she wanted an answer to, but Edwin was sure she was going to come up a million excuses as she tried to smooth out the wrinkles of her bridesmaid gown. She sighed and walked to her room like it was the walk of shame, shutting the door behind her.
Edwin stared at Lizzie and smiled. "You look like a goof with a hairball on your upper lip," she said and tore his smile away.
He touched it and looked down his nose toward the mustache. "You said you liked it."
Lizzie rolled her eyes. "That was so last week," she said. "You know, like when you told me my milky skin could use some color and made fun of me when I turned orange."
"I believe I said pale; and vengeance is not victory, Liz," he answered.
She shrugged a shoulder and said with a quirk in the corner of her mouth, "It is for me."
"It's an ugly color—like orange."
She tried to hold back a smile then took a step forward and pushed him on one shoulder playfully. Edwin caught her hand, but pushed it away when Simon walked out and look up at the two of them. "Are you guys fighting?" he asked, brows furrowed.
"Yeah, Si, he's making fun of the time I turned orange."
Simon smiled and looked at Edwin. "She looked like an Oompa-Loompa!" he squealed, then giggled.
Edwin burst out laughing and said, "Yeah she did!" Lizzie didn't see the humor and didn't send a glare to the five year, but a searing gaze toward Edwin. He wanted to stop laughing, but his willpower was weak.
Lizzie looked down at Simon and said to him, "Go down stairs." She didn't even try to make the bitterness in her voice and Simon didn't argue. He looked at her for a moment that Edwin thought was too long and then ran off, hopping down the steps. He could hear Casey telling him to knock it off before he broke his neck—if she didn't do it first.
His step-sister cocked her head to the side. "I did not look like an Oompa-Loompa," she said.
"Well, sorta . . ." he said, still trying not to laugh.
"No, Edwin, because I am not fat . . . or a midget!" she yelled. "But look at you! You don't even care that you look like Borat!"
He did not. "I do not."
"Then shave it," she said. He was beginning to think she really didn't like his awesome mustache. He worked hard at growing this thing, it'd be a waste to shave off Mr. Wiskers.
"But I don't want to," he whined.
She rolled her eyes and turned her back to him, ready to step into her room. Ready to get prepared for a new fight.
Sometimes Edwin didn't understand Lizzie, maybe it was just because she was a girl, he's always had a hard time in that area. They get so mad over stupid little things like being call an orange hobbit. He didn't like being called Borat, either, but he didn't throw a fit. He could argue with himself that it was because he was a man and he had a handle on his emotions, but if he avoided that topic all together it'd just be much easier to say what he wanted to say.
She had her back turned and in a split second the door would slam shut. "Hey, Liz," he said.
She backpedaled and looked at him, only to answer with: "Don't you mean Oompa?"
"I'm sorry," he said, but he couldn't look at her face which would lead her to think he didn't mean it. They'd had many similar arguments like this in the past and she always brought up the eye contact. So, he glanced up and smirked. "You know, for calling you an orange midget and whatnot. You didn't look like an Oompa-Loompa. You were actually kind of cute." Referring to her freak out, but if all Oompa-Loompas look liked she did, then he'd watch that movie over and over again with no arguments.
He watched as she tried to hold back that crooked smile that she had when she wanted to stay mad, but couldn't. She walked toward him and ran her fingertips over his mustache. "I do like it; and I don't think you should shave it." She smiled. "It's a little manly." She had moved her hand down to his jaw bone, cupping his face and took a small step toward him. Man, he loved it when the girl made the first move. All he could do is grin.
A door slammed and Lizzie took a quick step back and looked past Edwin. Marti stared at them with her mouth open and shaking her head. "You want to know what I am tired of?" Neither of them answered; he already knew her answer. "I'm tired of walking in on this. I swear the hormones run rampant through this family. First Casey and Derek and now you guys."
Yeah, she has caught them over the years in pretty funny positions. The first was in the game's closet, one of them knocked down a box and Marti had opened the door to see her brother pinning his stepsister against the wall; that was the time they realized they were getting pretty big for that small hall closet. When they looked over, Marti had her mouth hanging open, then followed the look with: "I owe Derek ten bucks." Later they were caught in the bathroom together by George who didn't ask questions, and they gave every excuse they could think of. Either his father was vague or he was in denial. Edwin was guessing denial.
Lizzie frowned in thought. "Casey and Derek didn't hook up."
"Yeah, they missed their chance; but they should have been together." Blatantly obvious to any outside observer that most of the family wanted to overlook; it was unhealthy and immoral!
A past conversation led Edwin to tell Lizzie that if Derek had the nuts to make out with his "step-cousin" then he'd totally have the nuts to make out with his stepsister. In fact, he couldn't be one-hundred-percent sure, but he'd bet everything on his debit card that they had gone that tiny step one time or another. A harsh secret for an equally harsh reality between the two; C'mon! They were stepsiblings, which really mattered . . . just like he was a stepsibling to Lizzie, and that really mattered. Unfortunately, the bet he placed with Lizzie fell through and he lost his twenty bucks. Catching the fools in the moment was hard, but he still couldn't bet his life on it.
Edwin scoffed. "Yeah, I noticed it the day they first met." As a younger brother to a playboy, Edwin had come accustomed to reading his face even when it was stony. He had this image in his head that when Derek saw Casey walk through that front door it was in slow motion, fog surrounded the door way, her hair blow back past her shoulders and the word JACKPOT popped into his brain. His tongue was practically on the floor until Nora introduced her as her daughter and Derek decided he had to hate her. How would that look to the rest of the world? Derek's image was his lifeline.
"Anyway, I think for this one I will need compensation." She looked back and forth. "Yeah?" Edwin glared at her. "No? Well, fine, but if you're gonna be mushy with each other at least do it where no one will catch you." She glanced at the open attic and then back at them. Glenn had become a lost memory, forgotten.
Marti looked at Edwin, studying his face. "And I disagree. Shave that thing off, it's a monstrosity; not unlike this dress."
Edwin looked at his little sister and shook his head. He wanted to ask how long she had that packed away and if she had it fitted yet, but it didn't matter. It wasn't going to change the fact, or make it better, that Casey was going explode. He felt a sideline bet on the tip of his tongue. "I'll shave if Casey accepts your dress for how it is."
It was like a cue that Casey was on the top step screeching: "What are you guys doing?" Then her eyes stopped on Marti. He wasn't sure if she was going to cry or faint, but if she didn't do it in that order, he'd see both. "Marti! What happened to your dress?"
Marti looked down and said, "It has ruffles?" She smiled half-heartedly, maybe Casey would crack a smile.
Casey focused her attention on Lizzie. "I thought you were taking her to get her dress altered."
Lizzie didn't say anything, just looked down with guilt. Edwin could feel for her, Casey could be a monster when she was stressed. He just hoped it wasn't going to be like it was when she'd have to sing or dance or act and decide that she couldn't do it. Backing out would make him commit a felony.
"Which means you didn't get your dress altered," Casey said, not bothering to ask if were true or not. Yes, Casey MacDonald, you are the smartest.
Again, Lizzie was quiet.
Then she turned toward him, her face stone, and completely unreadable. "And what about you, Edwin? Your tuxedo doesn't fit; your shoes don't fit—you lost them? Or better yet, you haven't gotten your tux?"
Edwin shook his head. "No, I have everything. I got the tux you wanted me to get, my shoes are spit-shined, and I even learned how to tie my bowtie." He expected Lizzie to pop in say that she taught him, but she remained a silent partner.
"Oh?" But she didn't sound pleased. "Okay, do you have your speech written?"
He nodded. "Yep. Dad helped me." She made it clear to him that anyone who was actively a part of the wedding (including the reluctant groomsman who didn't understand why they were the groomsman of people like Glenn Hodgkins) were to deliver a speech.
She stared at him for a long moment, eyes narrowed as though she were trying to read his thoughts. Was he really telling the truth? "I'll be looking over that." Then she clapped her hands once with a sigh that sounded an awful lot like relief and said, "Then I have two more things for you to do."
"What?" Nothing would ever be enough for her.
"I need you to help Simon find his shoes—says he wants to wear his sneakers and won't get his loafers. And you need to shave that dead rat off your upper lip. This isn't the disco, Edwin." He was getting a little annoyed with everyone making fun of his mustache. It didn't look that bad. And what mattered the most was that Lizzie liked it.
Marti looked at him and smiled. "Oh, sucks, don't it?"
"Shut up, Marti," Edwin said.
Casey shook her head and said with her fed-up, no-nonsense tone that she got when she was overworked and couldn't bring herself to ask for anyone else's help because they wouldn't do it right: "Edwin: tux, shoes, shave; Lizzie: Dress and downstairs." She looked at Marti and added, "You come with me" and pulled her by her arm.
For a minute he was sure she just might push Marti head first to get her to the living room faster. He waited for her to disappear before he looked at Lizzie and said, "You know, I hate your sister sometimes."
Lizzie rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I am not too crazy about her right now, either."
It took a moment for the two to stop looking at each other, which Edwin realized seemed to be a hobby of theirs when they were together, before he said, "Well, better listen to The Warden and get our butts in gears." He walked in his room, then poked his head out with: "And if you need help with your dress, let me know."
"Get your tux on, Edwin," she said and closed the door behind her. He smiled and headed toward his closet to get this over with as quickly as possible.
Glenn couldn't believe how obvious it was that kids ran the household. They were loud and able to do what they wanted when they wanted. All he wanted was some sleep. Cassie (he hated calling her Casey, it was so gender neutral) was acting nuts-o again and he was on the verge of sending her to an institution to give her a lobotomy. Maybe it'd calm her down.
He lay on the squeaking cot, trying to get warm, not to mention comfortable, under the thick blankets. But all her could hear were those two weirdo's who spent way too much time together for step-sibs. Arguing about clothes, laughing, teasing. Their voices carried and seemed to wreak havoc on his brain. How did Cass talk him into letting Edwin be a groomsman, he didn't even know him, hardly even liked him; and will be very glad that when this week was over, he wouldn't have to see, not just Edwin, but this family all that often anymore.
Cassie came from a dysfunctional Jerry Springer inspired family and Glenn wanted to save her from it. If he could get her out of his atmosphere, then maybe he could save her, otherwise he was sure she didn't have a chance in hell. She'd end up being like her mother, and this would be her life. So, he had to pull her away carefully, skillfully, and silently without her knowing. She just had to see what her life would be like without so much chaos.
The word Oompa-Loompa came creeping up the stairs. Yeah, that was a sophisticated topic, children's films. Did those stairs go up, could he cut out the noise? But just then it was quiet, murmuring that he could overlook. He might be able to let sleep overcome him, he might be able to relax. But did he want to be alert on that long plane trip to their destination. Pleasant conversation that didn't make sense, stupid jokes from Marti, annoying squealing from Simon, and smartass remarks from Edwin. Not really, but his future wife wanted to send him away and at the time it sounded good—very good. Good enough that he was able to ignore her tone with him.
He could feel his eyes rolling back into his head. He felt a sort of peace and relaxation, as much as someone could get in these cheap cots, when something loud snapped his eyes opened.
"Okay, that's it," he mutter and tried to roll up, and found it hard with the groove the worn mattress. Glenn Hodgkins was going to figure out how to make the sound go away. How to close the door, but something perked his ears when he got to the edge of the landing. Casey and Derek was all he heard, followed with: "Yeah, they missed their chance; but they should have been together."
Glenn looked down the stairs and walked back to the awful cot. He couldn't ignore the fact that Derek was Cassie's stepbrother, and he certainly couldn't ignore the fact that they may have had a flame between them.
Glenn never had the chance to meet Derek, Cass seemed to avoid the subject and never let him see the guy. If she heard he was over for a family dinner, she'd cancel. Looking at the two goblins downstairs, it made him wander if the two hadn't missed their chance. Too bad Derek wasn't coming to the wedding. He really wanted to meet the guy now; what had Cassie supposedly missed out on? This was going to drive him nuts. All the tall tales about this guy and now just one more; only it involved his wife-to-be this time. When they got back from their honeymoon, he'd get to the bottom of things; it'd all get sorted out.
Author's Note: Man I just love Glenn already. Originally I thought he'd be a nice guy, but I am usually wrong about these things. Well, anyhoo, please (with sugar and a cherry on top) review, and let me know what you think. Thanks.