Author's Note: I've been sick lately and I haven't felt up to doing my chapter story updates. But I do want to keep up with writing so I am doing Dasey onshots that have been requested or that I've thought of myself. Hope you enjoy them. Leave a review and let me know what you think. Also, I do not own Life With Derek.

Dasey One-Shot Collection
No. 1: "Distance" by Christina Perri
Lyric Used:
And I will make sure to keep my distance
Say, "I love you," when you're not listening
And how long can we keep this up
Please don't stand so close to me,
I'm having trouble breathing


Casey McDonald couldn't sleep. The red LED lights of her digital alarm clock read: 2:04am. She would have to be up in a few hours to get ready for school; a thought that made her outwardly groan. She hated nights like these when she couldn't sleep, when the thoughts were too loud to shut them out. All she could think about was the boy sleeping in the room next to hers. They were separated by a single wall. If she listened closely enough, she could hear the low hum of his snoring. Sometimes she could hear him typing at his computer or listening to music. She liked to lie in bed before falling asleep and imagine what he was doing. She wondered if he too was thinking about her?

She knew better than to get her hopes up though. Derek Venturi couldn't stand her. He lived to make her miserable. Each chance he got to do something to ruin her day, he would take. So far, in the short span since their families had moved in together, he had put glue, honey, food coloring, and corn syrup in her shampoo. On top of that, he'd also put itching powder in her sheets, taken all her clothes and makeup, scared off her boyfriends, got her locked in the bathroom, barged in on her while she was in the shower...anything you could imagine; he did it. He lived to make her miserable. Casey often imagined Derek lying in bed at night plotting just what he'd do to her the next day.

But now it was 2:06am and there wasn't a single sound coming from Derek's room. Casey even strained to listen for the slightest of sounds. There was nothing. Sighing, she rolled over and tried to push all thoughts of Derek Venturi out of her head. She knew better than to think of him the way she did. She knew better than to get butterflies when he was next to her. She knew better than to spend a bit extra time on her hair and makeup in the mornings in hopes of grabbing his attention just for a moment. Usually those efforts were met by a, "Who took the dog to the groomer?" Or, "Wow, you don't look quite so much like a homeless, cracked out, bag lady." At least those comments were attention. Even if he meant them spitefully (which Casey was sure he never genuinely did) it was still acknowledgment.

2:10am. Casey sighed again. She hated how he was always on her mind lately. She wondered when that had started exactly. She couldn't quite remember. But she knew better. Derek was a skirt-chasing cad. He had a different girl on his arm every week. His idea of a date was sneaking girls up into his room and coming down with his hair and shirt all messy. He had a habit of calling girls by days of the week instead of by their name. He had a habit for a lot of things. Including making Casey miserable. She had done the unforgivable and had infringed upon his dwelling. He'd never forgive her. Instead, he'd made it his duty to drive her completely crazy - though he would insist that it wasn't a far drive. He was everything Casey didn't like and then some. So why did she like him as much as she did? She knew better. She definitely knew better.

Liking a guy like Derek Venturi meant trouble. Heart ache. Rejection. Pain. Belittlement. Mortification. Liking a guy like Derek Venturi meant impossibilities and wishful thinking and broken hopes. He'd never reciprocate her feelings.

So Casey made it her mission to stay away from him as best she could. Keeping her distance was easier. She vowed to only hold Derek at arm's length and not any closer. She couldn't. Not that he'd even let her to begin with.

After tossing and turning, her alarm finally blared and Casey forced herself to get up and get ready for school. She got her shower, blow-dried her hair, and did her makeup. She made sure to put on a bit of extra eyeliner and actually bothered with the makeup pallet Emily had given her for her birthday. Next, she decided on her outfit of choice. Instinctively she grabbed a black sweater with a silver keyhole in the neckline. She recalled the way Derek's eyes had widened the first time she had worn it last week. Blushing, she threw over a light jacket and headed downstairs. As she took the steps, she reminded herself to keep her distance. That became her motto when dealing with Derek. Don't let yourself get too close. Don't let him get too close.

"Morning, honey," her mom greeted her as she made her way into the kitchen, "Can I fix you some eggs or something?"

"No thanks," Casey smiled, doing her best to ignore Derek's presence, "I'll just have cereal."

"Suit yourself. I'm off to take the kids to school. You two have a good day."

They were alone in the kitchen. Casey poured herself a bowl of Pumpkin Spice granola with cashew milk. She took care to choose a seat at the kitchen island as far away from Derek as possible.

"You were up late last night," Derek shoveled a spoonful of sugary marshmallows into his mouth.

Had he heard her? Had she been a disruption? Casey froze, then quickly recovered, "Yeah. I just had a lot on my mind. Did I keep you up or something?"

Derek shrugged, pushing his bowl back but surprisingly not getting up from the table, "Your night light thing was on when I got up to go to the bathroom."

"Oh."

"Thinking about anything important?"

Casey wished he wasn't so nosy. Why did he care anyway? Casey became suspicious, "Why do you care?" She demanded to know. Derek acting caring always meant he had tricks up his sleeve and she was too tired to deal with any pranks or insults.

Derek shrugged again, "Just wondering. It's a guy, isn't it?"

Casey paled. She felt the blood drain from her face as if someone had pulled out a plug, "Maybe. What's it to you, Derek?"

Again, another shrug, "Nothing really. Just wondering who the poor sap who has to deal with you crushing on him is."

Casey knew there would be an insult in there somewhere. She stood from the island and took her bowl over to the sink to rinse it out. Really, she was buying herself some time. She had no idea how to answer that. Finally, drying her hands on the dish towel, she admitted, "He doesn't like me back anyway so what does it matter?"

Derek got up and carried his bowl over to the sink. Casey froze as he stood next to her, rinsing out the sticky, melted-marshmallow-milk. Didn't he know when he stood that close to her that she couldn't breathe? "Listen up," he said, grabbing her attention, "I don't say things like this to you often - or to anyone for that matter - so pay attention because I'm probably never going to say something like this again. Understand?"

Casey nodded.

"If he doesn't like you back, then he's not the right guy, Spacey. You're a real piece of work, Princess, and you're going to need a guy that can deal with you and all your..." he motioned his hand around his head indicating a few screws loose, "...crazy. So hold out for that guy. The one poor bastard that actually thinks you're worth all the crap you do. Because he's the one that'll be worth it."

Casey was stunned. She had no idea what to say, so Derek filled in the silence for her, "Of course he'll need some training in dealing with wild animals..."

"Der-ek!"

"My point exactly," he grinned, "Spacey?"

"Yeah?"

"Don't stay up thinking about a guy who doesn't like you back. It's useless and dumb."

"Thanks Derek."

"We don't speak of this ever," Derek held up his hands in surrender, "Ever, Casey. Now then, I'll start up the Prince. Be ready to go in five minutes or I'm leaving without you."


Author's Note: Ahh. My writing ADD is getting the best of me. I have no idea how to end this one shot so it's just going to end there. I am so sorry guys!