Author's Note: I originally wrote this story several years ago. It, like many others of mine, fell between the cracks. I promised you all I would update and finish it and I never did. You didn't deserve that. My readers are wonderful and you deserve so much more than what I gave you. I won't sit here and give you excuses, though I have many that are genuine. I will instead, put my energy into showing you how sorry I am for letting this story fall between the cracks and make it up to you. I deleted the original and am revamping it by editing it and expanding it. My writing has, I hope, improved over the years and I want it to show in my new version of this story. I hope you do choose to read it, and that you will stick with me. Again, I apologize.
To my Degrassi fandom readers, I am sorry but I will work on updating those stories I promised you I would a few weeks ago. I just needed to step back and clear my head a bit from the fandom and work on something new for awhile. I'll work on my Degrassi updates more after I work on this first chapter. I am planning three updates tonight between this story and my Degrassi stuff so bear with me. I love you guys!
Disclaimer: I do not own Life With Derek.
It was a pretty sorry sight. The Thompson High hockey team sat on the benches of the gym locker room sporting their fresh bruises, black eyes, and bloody noses. Another fight had broken out during their game after Tommy Thatcher made a foul play. Usually the fights that did break out were between Thompson High and the rival team. Not this one though. This fight had broken out among the Thompson players. Coach Samuels entered the locker room, clipboard in hand, scowling. He didn't know what had happened to his team. Their behavior had been completely unacceptable and he was not going to stand for it. He waited a moment before speaking, standing in front of his team and looking over their injuries. It had been a bad fight, but if they thought they could get out of this without their egos taking a beating as well, they were very wrong.
Coach Samuels cleared his throat, "Boys, you all know why I called you in here. The behavior you displayed on the ice tonight was deplorable."
"Coach, if Thatcher hadn't…"
"Did I ask for your two cents, Venturi?" Coach snapped, "The point is, this is a team. A team is like a machine. When one part doesn't work right, nothing works right. If one member suffers, we all suffer. That's what a team is, fellas. Now, I personally would kick off all of you that fought today but considering that means kicking off the whole team, I can't. What I can do is make sure that you boys pay for what you did tonight. Yeah, we won. Big deal. So what? We still have five games until the championship. Do you guys want that? Sure you do. But let me tell you somethin' fellas. We sure as hell aren't gonna win the championship with you acting like this! So tomorrow morning at seven, I want all of you here to run drills until you can learn to properly work together as a team…"
"But tomorrow's Saturday…"
"Venturi, if you don't shut your mouth I am going to walk over there and shut it for you, understand me?"
"Yes sir." Derek Venturi shut up faster than Coach Samuels had ever seen him do so before, and he could tell that his ego was smarting like the black eye he was sporting. Good, Coach thought to himself, he may be my center, and the best player on this team but he has a hell of a lot to learn.
"Now everyone, meet up here at seven. If anyone is late, you will run laps for however many minutes you are late by. If you are five minutes late, you run five laps around the football field, clear?"
"Yes sir," the team mumbled.
"Now get your sorry John Brown hind parts outta here before I make you run laps right now!" Coach shouted as the boys slowly grabbed their bags and hobbled out of the locker room.
"Venturi, come here!"
"You may be the captain but I am the coach, understand me? That means no more of this going behind my back stuff. You don't make your own plays, you follow mine. There is no 'I' in team son. You better learn to work with your teammates as well as your coach or you can kiss your Center position goodbye and say hello to the bench."
"Yes sir," Derek grumbled, annoyed.
"Don't you roll your eyes at me, boy! You just earned yourself five laps tomorrow, got me?"
"Yes sir," Derek sighed.
"Now get out of here. I don't want to see your sorry face until seven o'clock tomorrow morning."
"Yes sir," Derek limped over to the door when Coach stopped him.
"Put some ice on that eye tonight."
Derek hobbled out of the locker room. It wasn't just his eye that had been hurt. His pride had also taken a good beating from what Coach Samuels had said. Sighing, Derek made his way to the parking lot where he knew his family would be waiting. He could already see the look on his dad and Nora's faces. Wincing, he took a deep breath and prepared himself for more yelling and lectures.
"What were you thinking, Derek?" George shouted as soon as his son was in sight.
"Now George," Nora intervened, "Let's not get carried away. I'll handle this. Derek what the heck were you thinking!"
"I dunno," Derek grumbled. He had already been lectured by the coach and he did not need the same thing from his family. If anything, he just wanted to go home and get a hot shower and go to bed and try his best to forget everything that had happened that night. Unfortunately, they were not about to just drop the subject.
"That is not an answer," Nora crossed her arms over her chest and scowled.
"Tommy made a bad play…"
"So you shoved him," Casey said flatly.
"I don't need this from you, Spacey!" Derek shouted, "I don't need this from anyone!"
"Derek…" George called after him. Derek was already storming off as fast as his limping legs could take him. He knew he had really screwed up tonight, but couldn't they see he already knew that? It didn't take much for his family to catch up to him. Derek sighed. He knew walking off wasn't going to help the situation any. Damn it, Venturi. Why don't you just think before you do stuff, huh? If you only just thought about things you wouldn't be in half the messes you find yourself in.
"Derek," George said sternly, "Derek! Don't you walk away from me!" George grabbed him by the leather jacket, "I am talking to you!"
Derek paused in his tracks. He inhaled, working up what little courage and pride he had left in him to turn and look his father in the eye. When he did, he didn't like what he saw. He had a habit of pissing people off, but normally he could just talk his way out of it with a smirk or a joke. Not this time though. George Venturi looked genuinely infuriated – an emotion Derek had no idea his father was capable of.
"Look," George sighed. He felt bad for yelling at Derek like this. He probably had already gotten an earful from his coach, but that didn't excuse the way he was acting, "this is the third fight you've gotten into this season. I am sick of it, Derek. There is no excuse for this. None. Your behavior is unacceptable – on the ice and off. You're grounded."
Derek rolled his eyes, "Whatever." He knew better than to have said it, and the second it slipped out, he wanted to take it back. The vein in George's forehead pulsated slightly and Derek hoped his stupid mouth hadn't given his father an aneurysm. But he was fed up. He was fed up with the players on the hockey team and he was fed up with Coach Samuels. And for the first time, Derek was genuinely fed up with his family. Didn't they know to just leave him alone?
"You just bought yourself another week!"
Derek could feel the blood fizzle and turn to soda within his veins. His face was hot with flush, either from embarrassment or anger – he wasn't sure which, and he realized that his hands were clenched into fists. Don't say it, Derek pleaded with himself, don't you dare say it, Venturi!
"Why don't you just go to hell?"
Nice going, asshole. Derek inwardly winced. He wished he could take it back. He hated that he had said that to his father. Where had that even come from anyway? Pain in his hands reminded him that his fists were clenched and he quickly relaxed his hands. It took all the courage he could muster to glance at his father. When he did, he regretted it. For a fraction of a second, a pained look crossed his dad's face and Derek swore it looked as though he had been slapped in the face. The look was brief though, and quickly replaced with flaring red cheeks and that pulsing vein.
"What did you just say to me?" George roared, "That's another week, pal."
"Fine, pal," Derek jerked out of his father's grip and stormed over to The Prince. No one bothered to follow after him. Once inside the car, he turned the key in the ignition and skidded out of the parking lot, tires piercingly shrieking. Derek could just about give himself a second black eye for what he had done. He had never in his whole life spoken to his father like that and it killed him that he had – especially that he had in front of his family. He had barely seen it due to being so preoccupied in his yelling match with his father, but he had seen it nonetheless. Marti had ducked behind Casey. Derek squeezed his eyes shut as hot tears threatened to spill. It felt as though he had been punched in the gut. A loud honk jerked him from his thoughts and Derek swerved The Prince quickly, seconds before almost hitting a Pickup.
"God damn it!" Derek slammed his fist against the steering wheel.
Derek knew he couldn't go home until he was positive everyone had gone to bed. There was no way he could face them just yet. He hadn't gone anywhere in particular, just drove around. It was late when he did get home – one in the morning to be exact. He threw his key into the catchall and was in the process of hanging up his coat when Casey took it upon herself to ask him where he had been.
"Damn it, Casey!" Derek jumped, "Are you trying to give me a heart attack or something?"
"No," Casey put down her book, and something Derek didn't quite recognize crossed her face. He rolled his eyes and headed over to the couch where she was sitting. The book on her lap was the same one she had read a dozen other times. The cover was all beat up and the pages worn and bent. Someone really should buy her a new copy.
"It's late. Go to bed," Derek said, standing over her.
"I couldn't sleep," Casey lied. Truth was, she had stayed up waiting for him to come home. It always worried her when he stormed off and didn't come home until late at night. He always came in safe and sound eventually, but this time had really scared her. Derek and George had never fought like that before, and in all honesty, Casey wasn't too sure if Derek would come home. She would never admit it, but she had practically jumped up from the couch when she had heard the garage door rattle open.
"Whatever," Derek rolled his eyes.
To Casey's surprise, Derek plopped down into his chair. She put her book down on the coffee table and turned to face him, curling her legs up under her.
"George is really mad…"
"I don't need this from you!" Derek hissed, running a hand through his hair.
"He hates fights."
"So do I."
"Okay," Casey grabbed her book and began to read some more.
"This isn't fair," Derek finally said after a moment of awkward silence between them. Casey closed her book once more and looked up at him, "It isn't!" Derek enthused, "I mean if Tommy hadn't made that bad play…and now I have to be there at seven o'clock in the morning to run laps and do drills."
"What did you do?" Casey asked, familiar with Coach Samuel's punishment of making his boys run laps. Derek always had to run laps. It was usually because of that mouth of his.
"He threatened to give me bench duty for the rest of the season. It's like, doesn't he realize that this is the most important season? Championships are five games away and there will be scouts at that game! Scouts, Casey!" Again, Derek ran a frustrated hand through his hair.
"But he didn't give you bench duty yet. Just do what he says from now on and…"
"You just don't get it, do you?" Derek snapped, "This is my chance at proving myself to those universities."
"Universities don't want to take players who fight with their own teammates."
"All I did was shove him," Derek grumbled almost inaudibly.
"And he shoved you back and then you punched him."
"He deserved it," Derek insisted.
"Did he, Derek? Was it Coach's game plan to have everyone pass the puck to you? Or was it yours? Maybe Tommy was just doing what Coach told him to do, pass it to Sam."
"Sam isn't the captain."
"He deserves to be," Casey said.
"What did you just say?" Derek snapped, his eyes cold.
"I said that Sam deserves to be captain. He wouldn't go behind Coach's back like you do. He wouldn't start fights after a game. He wouldn't…"
"Shut up, Casey!" Derek shouted, then lowered his voice in hopes of not waking up the rest of the family, "I don't need this from you."
"Alright, go to bed then," Casey said coolly. She knew she probably shouldn't have brought up Sam being captain like she had. Derek didn't need to hear that at all, much less at that moment. It pained her that she had said something so insensitive towards him.
"I'm not tired. You go to bed."
"I'm not either," Casey paused, racking her brain for a way to make it up to Derek at least somehow. Finally she asked, "Do you want me to fix you some cocoa?"
"Does it look like I want you to fix me some cocoa?" Derek asked, his voice clipped.
Casey let a small smile lift at the corners of her lips, and made her way to the kitchen knowing very well that meant 'yes' in Derek-speak.
Author's Note: So what do you think? Leave a review and let me know! Also, I am sorry if Derek's behavior seems a little OOC, but I will explain it more in future chapters. I hope you enjoyed!