Author's Note: An anon on Tumblr asked me how I wanted Casey and Derek to get together (if they do get together) in the new Life With Derek episodes/show. By the time I had written the reply, I had an excellent idea brewing and this is that idea. Don't worry, I'll still be updating Beauty and the Devil and Twinkle Toes as well. Hope you enjoy this one. Also, I do not own Life With Derek, or the song Clarity by Zedd.
Cause you are the piece of me, I wish I didn't need
Chasing relentlessly, still fight and I don't know why
If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?
If our love's insanity, why are you my clarity?
Casey crossed her arms over her chest and glared out the window as the rain fell in sheets around The Prince. She knew this was going to happen. How could her parents possibly expect a road trip with Derek would happen without any snags. Of course he would forget to get gas. Casey shook her head and pulled her sweatshirt tighter around her shoulders. It was freezing. And she was not happy. Currently, she was sitting in the parking lot of a motel with the ever-lovely name of "Eco-Stay: The Perfect Motel For the Budget-Friendly." She cringed at the name. Of course their car would be about to run out of gas when the only lodging was an Eco-Stay. She shook her head again, trying to calm her nerves. I can't attend university if I go to jail for strangling my stepbrother, she reasoned. After realizing the car was quickly running low on gas, Derek had pulled off at the only sign of life for miles. The Eco-Stay. It was eight o'clock at night. Casey was cold, hungry, tired, and miserable - and stuck in the car while Derek went inside to try to "haggle" the price of a room. This was definitely not how she had envisioned going to college. But apparently George and her mother both thought that having Casey and Derek road-trip to Queens together would be a good idea. A "bonding experience" they had said. Casey cringed at the words. The last person she wanted to bond with was Derek Venturi. Speak of the devil...
Derek ran over to The Prince with his jacket over his head, signaling for Casey to follow him back inside. Groaning, she grabbed her suitcase and braved the buckets of rain that were beginning to flood the pavement. She ran with Derek to the covering and he revealed a key attached to an ugly rusting plaque. "Room 312" was scrawled in fading paint on the plaque.
"Come on," Derek pointed up the stairs, "We're up there on the third level."
Casey followed him up the slick steps to the third level of the motel. Once Derek found the room, he fiddled with the key for a moment before swinging the door open. Casey cringed at what she saw. The room smelled instantly of cigarette smoke and sweat. She felt herself grow queasy as she noticed the stained, green polyester blanket on the single queen-sized bed. The pillows also had a few stains as well. She felt as though by just standing in the threshold that she would contract some sort of deadly disease.
"You have got to be kidding me," she snipped, glancing around the room and sincerely debating running back out to The Prince to sleep. But that would mean having to brave the rain again and there was no way she was going to let her newly high-lighted blonde hair be contaminated by more rain. Derek shrugged, took off his jacket, and tossed it on one of the chairs that was placed around a sticky, plastic table that looked like it was patio furniture.
"Sorry it's not the Ritz, Princess. Adapt. It's not so bad."
"Not so bad?" Casey choked out the words, "This place is foul. Of course we would have to run out of gas right here in the middle of nowhere and have to stay in the most god-forsaken motel ever known to man. I will probably get fleas just from sleeping on this thing," she gingerly picked up a corner of the blanket between her fingers.
"You already have fleas," Derek said, matter-of-factly, "I don't get what the big deal is. So we ran out of gas. The manager I spoke with said he would get a can of gas for us and bring it by in the morning. Isn't that nice?"
"Nice? Norman Bates was nice and we all know how that turned out," Casey glowered, "How could you forget to get gas in the car before a road-trip, Derek? Like really, who just forgets something like that? How you even got into university is beyond me!"
"Oh look, a mini-fridge."
"Oh look, it's probably a breeding ground for mold and other spores and diseases. But sure, go ahead. Open it up and expose me to even more deadly contagions."
"Stop being so..." Derek slammed the fridge door shut the second he opened it, "Never mind. I'll just uh...I'll go check out the bathroom."
"You do that," Casey folded her arms over her chest and stood in the middle of the room, scared to touch anything or even so much as get too close to something in case she contracted something.
"Yeah," Derek suddenly appeared, slamming the bathroom door behind him, "What are your thoughts on peeing in the pot plant?" He jerked his head towards a dusty plastic plant sitting in a dusty pot filled with dusty plastic moss. Casey felt even queasier.
"Do I even want to know what's wrong with the bathroom?" She asked nervously, already knowing the answer to her question.
"Oh, you can use the bathroom," Derek shrugged, "It's just that I am pretty sure the family of roaches living in there wouldn't be all too pleased with you barging in and using the toilet in front of them."
Casey closed her eyes and tried to remain calm, "Wonderful."
"Come on," Derek tried to sound positive, "It's not like this place is going to kil..."
"Do not," Casey held up her hand, "finish that sentence."
Derek slid his jaw to the side, knowing that it probably wasn't the best decision to get on her nerves at the moment. He made his way towards the bed and sighed, "So how are we doing this?"
"Um, you are taking a pillow and sleeping on the floor.'
"The floor? It probably has mites or something."
"You already have mites," Casey mimicked him from earlier. Derek sighed and grabbed a pillow off the bed. As he did so, a roach scurried out from underneath it. Casey screamed, "Okay, so maybe we will both sleep on the floor tonight."
Derek turned on the TV as Casey pulled out her robe from her suitcase and laid it out on the floor. She then sat down on it and hoped it might be somewhat of a barrier between her and whatever diseases the floor was harboring.
"Oh my god!" Casey shouted as she saw what was on the TV screen, "Derek, turn that off!"
"I can't. The remote is stuck."
"Try turning it off from the TV," Casey said, shielding her eyes.
"Ouch!" Derek jumped back, "It just shocked me!"
"Derek, turn it off!"
"I'm not touching that thing again. If you want it turned off so badly, you can go over there and deal with it. Fry your hand. See if I care."
"Fine," Casey pushed herself up off of her robe, "I am not just going to stay here and have the television be stuck on some porn channel," she marched over to Derek and demanded the remote. After hitting it against her palm a few times and failed attempts at pressing the OFF button, she tried the television. As soon as she pressed the POWER button, she was shocked also, "Damn it!" Casey clutched her hand.
"Wow, the princess can curse?" Derek raised an amused eyebrow. Casey glowered at him. Nothing about this situation amused her. She was stuck with Derek in a nasty hotel room with the porno channel on. She wished more than anything that this was just some horrible nightmare that she could wake up from.
"If I try that enough times, do you think I can get enough of a volt to euthanize me?"
Derek rolled his eyes, "You're being dramatic."
"I think I have a right to be. I am trapped here with you and...and...that!" She waved her hand towards the television screen; her eyes widened, "How do they even get into that position," she mused, titling her head to the side.
"Want me to show you?" Derek raised his eyebrow.
"Oh my god!" Casey shouted, "Derek, do not be vile."
"It was just a suggestion," Derek held up his hands in surrender.
"I'm going to sleep in the tub," Casey moved towards the bathroom.
"I am sure the roaches would love you," Derek grinned exaggeratedly.
"Ugh!" Casey huffed, "It's no use. Fine. I guess I am just stuck here," she plopped back down on her robe. Derek grabbed a t-shirt from his backpack and even laid it down on the floor before sitting down on top of it.
"You think I am exactly happy with this situation?" He asked, "Believe me, sitting in a hell-hole motel watching porn with you is not my idea of a fun road-trip. My idea of a fun road-trip would be me, Sam, and Ralph with a few beers and lots of junk food and loud music. That would be an awesome road-trip. Do you think I am exactly happy that our parents made us do this? Of course not. But here's my suggestion..."
"Uh-oh," Casey rolled her eyes.
"We deal with it. Complaining about it isn't going to change anything. So I say we just sit here and try not to get made into meals by the bugs in here and try to deal with this the best we can."
"Derek, I am cold, hungry, miserable, and one more horrible thing happening from strangling you right now. 'Dealing with it' is not a possibility."
"Well, I have half a Snickers in my backpack from three weeks ago. We could split that. Also, I have another sweat shirt in my bag if you want to borrow that. C'mon, Case. I'm trying here."
Casey softened just a bit. He really was, "Alright. Fine."
"That's the spirit," Derek nudged her as he stood to head over towards his backpack.
They split the Snickers and Casey bundled up in Derek's over-sized sweatshirt. She was expecting something stinky and unwashed. Instead, it was very comfortable and she noticed the slight scent of cologne. Derek wears cologne? No way, I'd have totally noticed that before if he did. Casey wrapped it around her tighter and adjusted herself on her robe. At this point, she had stopped being so disgusted with the porn and Derek had stopped being so interested in it. Now, they were both numb to whatever was going on on the screen in front of them.
"Up next," appeared on the screen, and below it, "Tatiana's Tenacious Titty Time!"
"Who thinks up these titles?" Casey asked, popping her last bite of the Snickers bar in her mouth.
"Who knows," Derek mumbled around a mouthful of Snickers, "You think they're real?" Derek asked.
"Oh no, definitely not."
"Eh, let's see," soon the screen changed to an image of a blonde sitting in a hot tub.
"They're the size of basketballs," Casey stared at the screen in disbelief.
"Some people are naturally big," Derek shrugged.
"Oh yeah?" Casey chuckled, "trust me. They aren't natural."
"Oh, and how would you know?" Derek asked.
"Because," Casey shrugged innocently, "they aren't naturally shaped that way."
Derek nearly choked on the Snickers in his mouth. Before he realized what he was doing, his eyes wandered to Casey's chest - which was concealed by the two heavy sweatshirts. As soon as he realized he was staring, his head popped back up to the television screen. He hoped Casey hadn't noticed. He didn't mean anything by it anyway. He was just curious. Curious about Casey's...Derek cringed and shook the thought from his head. He was not going to even let himself think that.
He tossed the Snicker's wrapped on the floor and balled the t-shirt he had been sitting on into a pillow. Casey did the same with her robe. She figured that at least wearing a few layers of clothes would help. Besides, she would rather have a pillow that was not from the roach bed. Derek yawned and laid down on his own makeshift bed. Maybe this night hadn't gone how they were expecting, but it could have been worse, right?
"Look," he said after a few moments of silence, "I'm sorry I forgot to get gas before we headed out on this road-trip. It was stupid. But if you promise not to murder me in my sleep tonight, after we get the gas from the motel manager, I'll take us out to breakfast someplace. Alright?"
Casey thought it over for a moment before agreeing, "I suppose I can hold off on murdering you in your sleep one more night."
Derek rolled his eyes and turned back over so that he was lying flat on his back. Casey did the same. Both were too afraid to turn off the lights to even bother. They laid there in silence for awhile, neither one of them able to sleep but neither of them knowing what to say. Finally it was Casey who broke the silence. After a few moments of lying there, she couldn't take it anymore.
"Do you miss them?" She couldn't help but ask. As they had driven away, she had been a wreck trying to hold in her tears. But Derek had seemed so calm and nonchalant about the whole thing. Even when he was saying goodbye to Marti he seemed fine.
"Missing people implies I have feelings, Case," Derek's lips upturned into a small smile that Casey figured he didn't know she noticed, "Yeah, I miss them. But we've known someday we'd move out. Besides, you've been looking forward to going to university for years. You started making lists of things for college applications three years ago. You bought your school supplies in May, Case. You want this."
"Of course I want it," Casey sighed, "I just...it's weird. For years I wanted out of our house. I thought going off to university would be an escape. But now, I really am going to miss everyone. Who will be there for Lizzie when she has her first breakup? That's something the big sister is supposed to handle, right?"
"She'll be fine. She's got Edwin and he's already keeping tabs on that Danny kid."
Casey rolled her eyes, "But Edwin isn't her older sister."
"Case, there's these inventions called cellphones and internet and webcams. You're just a click away from Lizzie. She'll be fine."
Casey sighed, figuring Derek was probably right. Lizzie and Edwin were very close and Lizzie knew if she ever had a problem, Edwin would be there. Still, Casey couldn't help but feel bad for not being there. She felt the pang hit in her chest just as it had as they had driven away waving at everyone, "I guess you do have a point," Casey admitted, "Lizzie will be fine. But...I'm not so sure I will be."