Author's Note: Also, none of these one-shots realy connect or follow one another. Just lettin' you know :) Also...this one is a bit longer than most one-shots I've done so please enjoy!
Dasey One-Shot Collection
No. 6: "and he fights
so you won't ignore him,
because that's his biggest fear,
and he cries,
but you'll rarely see him do it.
He loves, but he's scared to use it.
So he hides behind the music, 'cause he likes it that way.
He's so much more than worthless,
he needs to find the surface,
because he's starting to get nervous." - Thousand Foot Krutch.
"Damn it!" Derek hissed as he paced back and forth around his bedroom. He had been pacing pretty much from the moment he got upstairs to his room, and knew at this rate he'd wear a hole straight through the floor if he kept it up. He knew he had gone too far that afternoon at lunch with what he had said to Casey. He knew it the minute the words spilled out of his mouth and her face got a splotchy red color. She had opened her mouth to say something, and he'd seen her eyes gloss over. She left without coming up with some sort of quip in response. He'd crossed a line.
Since she and her family had moved in, Derek wondered where that line was and just how far he could push it. He'd say the cruelest things and she'd retort with her own insults and banter. Sometimes she'd get mad - like really mad - but that'd only last for a few hours and then she'd be over it. But this was the first time Derek had ever seen her eyes get red-rimmed and tear-filled. It was the first time he'd seen the area around her nose turn red and puffy. Or at least it was the first time he'd seen any of that because of something he had said to her. Now he was joining the list of scum guys that had made Casey McDonald cry. The list of guys whom he wanted to break each of their noses.
"Derek, Casey! Dinner!" Nora called from the bottom of the stairs.
Derek ran a hand through his hair and sighed. He tried his best to compose himself. Maybe Casey had forgiven him - or at the very least had moved on. Maybe he could make some quip about her eating her meal from a dog bowl and she'd tell Nora she'd seen a special for flea collars that might fit him and they would both roll their eyes at each other and everything would be back to normal. She had to forgive him at some point, right?
During dinner, Casey was silent. She would answer questions about her day but in minimal answers. Derek tried to steal glances at her inconspicuously. Clearly she was still upset by what he had said. Her eyes were puffy like they usually got when she cried. He wondered why no one was asking her if she was okay. Surely they all noticed she had been crying. What was wrong with them? Maybe Nora would ask her if she was alright, maybe she'd fix her an extra scoop of ice cream for dessert. But there was nothing. Once Casey had finished picking at the food on her plate, she asked to be excused. Nora nodded and she disappeared upstairs to her room.
Derek thought about knocking on her door and apologizing for what he'd said, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. They went to bed without having spoken to each other since lunch. The next morning, in the car ride to school, Derek even made a bit of an effort. He asked her what radio station she'd like to listen to. Her only response was to stiffen and turn to face out the window. She was completely ignoring him.
Derek felt sick. He hated that Casey was ignoring him. The whole reason he'd fight with her in the first place was to get her attention. At least when they were fighting, he was on her mind in some form or another. But now she wasn't even speaking to him and Derek had no idea how to react to that. He wanted to fix it. He hated Casey not speaking to him. He thought back to all the times he'd told her to shut up. She probably had no idea how much he missed her talking.
"New shampoo?" He asked. Casey made a "humph" sound and Derek continued, "Smells like garbage."
Sure, it wasn't his best but at least it was something. Maybe now she'd say something, even if it was just to yell at him. Still nothing. Instead, Casey said nothing and turned her attention to picking at the skin around her fingernails. Derek decide to give up at least for now. He'd try again later. Maybe she just needed some time. That was it, time. Everything would be back to normal if he'd just give it some time.
That afternoon, there was still no conversation between Derek and Casey. He followed her up the stairs as soon as they got home.
"Case, you gotta talk to me sometime!" He begged.
She didn't say anything. Instead, she just closed her bedroom door. Derek departed into his own room and rubbed his face with his hands. He couldn't believe this was really going on. He had previously thought that he and Casey couldn't go a minute without talking to each other. Now he was starting to realize just how wrong he was in thinking that. He made his way to the wall that separated their bedrooms, and put his forehead against it.
"Case, please talk to me," he begged, his voice barely a whisper. It wasn't until that moment, when he spoke out loud, that he realized his voice had cracked.
A week had gone by, and Casey and Derek still hadn't spoken to one another. It was driving Derek crazy, and he was wondering how Casey was holding up. She seemed to be doing just fine though, when he saw her in the hallway at school flirting with Max. Derek cringed. He hated Max almost as much as he hated not talking with Casey. He watched from the corner of his eye as Max casually put his arm around Casey's shoulder. She laughed, her head going back slightly. Derek growled under his breath.
"Easy, Killer," Sam patted his shoulder, "What's gotten into you anyway?"
"Casey," Derek grumbled.
"Still fighting?" Even Sam was surprised, "And this is all one big fight?"
"Yeah," Derek swung his backpack onto his shoulder, "She still hasn't spoken to me."
"Ouch," Sam winched, "Well, she seems to be in a good mood today. Since when are she and Max back on anyway?"
"No idea," Derek replied, hating that he had no idea, "Apparently now."
"Does that bother you?"
"Why would that bother me?" Derek bit back. Sam raised his hands in surrender and backed off.
"Sorry, D. Didn't mean to intrude."
At lunch, Casey and Sam were eating together with the rest of the football jerks. Derek glowered over at their table as he picked at his sandwich. Sam thought about saying something, but decided against it.
This went on for another week. Derek was beginning to wonder if Casey would ever speak to him again. Their parents had tried to intervene, telling her that she needed to talk to him sometime, and that forgiveness was the best policy. She only nodded - to appease them - before disappearing back up to her room. She was also spending more and more time with Max. Derek hated that. It seemed like every evening after her homework, she and Max had a date to the movies or for ice cream. By Friday though, things had taken a turn for the worst. Derek had wondered if there would ever, could ever, be a worst. Casey had come home ffrom one of her dates with Max, slamming the door behind her. She ran up the stairs and Derek hopped out of his chair, following close behind.
"Hey!" He called after her, "Hey! What happened?"
Casey didn't say anything. She was crying though, and frantically wiping at the tears on her cheeks.
"Case, talk to me! What the hell happened?"
"I don't want to talk about it!"
"Hey, she can speak!" Derek tried to smile, but Casey's tears quickly took that away, "Look, just tell me what happened."
"Nothing that concerns you," Casey moved to her door but Derek hopped in front of it, blocking her entrance.
"It concerns you, it concerns me. Talk."
"Max is just a jerk. All guys are. I am stupid for thinking differently. Now if you would kindly move..."
Derek didn't know how to respond to that. Unwillingly, he moved aside. After her door shut, he headed to his own room. He was starting to wonder if he should just give up on Casey. It wasn't worth it. None of this was worth it. If he just gave up on her, he could go on with his life without her messing with it.
When there was a knock on his door, he half hoped it was her. Instead, Edwin entered.
"Dude, you and Casey have got to get it together."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Derek replied coolly.
"Uh...the fact that you two haven't spoken in two weeks. And the fact that you're crazy about her."
"Shut up, Ed!" Derek turned on him, "If you ever say that again..."
"Hear me out," Edwin begged. Derek gave in, "Listen, don't get mad at me. You aren't going to like what I have to say, but it needs to be said," Edwin cleared his throat, "You like her. I know you do. Heck, at this point I think you more-than-like her."
"That makes no sense," Derek challenged, "If I like her, why haven't I done anything about it?" He scoffed, "Ed, she's lived here for over a year now and I haven't made a move. If I liked her, I'd have had her within the first week of her being here."
"Because she's different from the other girls you've liked," Edwin folded his arms over his chest, "And that scares you."
"Who the hell gave you a psychology certificate?" Derek rolled his eyes, "I don't like Casey. I never have and I never will. And at this rate, I doubt she'll ever speak to me again anyway so what is the point? What I said last week was inexcusable."
Edwin frowned, "You can't give up."
"And why not?" Derek demanded.
"Because..." Edwin sighed, "...you love her and right now that's what she needs. Someone to love her."
Edwin made it out of Derek's room with only one bruise on his forearm from only one punch. He had gotten off easily. Derek slammed his door shut and tried not to think about what Edwin had said, but maybe the little creep had been right. Maybe Casey did need him. But if she needed him, why had she been doing just fine without him these past few days? Derek could hear the soft cries in the room next to his. Okay, so maybe she wasn't doing quite so well. Derek sighed and shook his head, he hated this. If he had his way, Derek would go into her room and demand to know what'd happened with Max. He'd tell her she deserved better and he would tell her that Max isn't worth anything but a handful of bruised knuckles. He'd tell her she needed to hold out for a better guy. A guy who was not Max.
But Derek knew he'd never tell her these things. Edwin had been right - as much as he hated to admit it. He did like Casey, a lot. Maybe he was boarding on that "love" word, but he wasn't willing to jump to that conclusion just yet. Instead, he sat down on the edge of his bed and thought over everything. He wanted to go to Casey and let her know that he was there for her, but he couldn't. Because the thought of doing so scared the crap out of him.
Instead, Derek just sat on the edge of his mattress, listening to Casey cry as Lizzie tried her best to comfort her.
If I tried, I would just end up screwing everything up even more anyway.
That night, Derek was finishing flipping through his Sports Illustrated when there was a soft knock on his door. He glanced over at his clock. It was just after two in the morning.
"C'mon in," he called towards the door, shutting the magazine and tossing it on his night stand. He was genuinely surprised when the door creaked ipen and Casey was standing in the threshold. Derek cleared his throat and his eyebrows knitted together in confusion, "What's up, Spacey?" He worked up the courage to ask.
"I...I need you," Casey looked at him, pleadingly. Derek sighed and nodded for her to come on inside. She shut the door behind herself and made her way over to his bed. Sitting down on the edge of the mattress, she said, "Derek...I don't know where to begin. I...I'm sorry for how I've been these past weeks. It's just...what you said really hurt me."
"I'm sorry too," Derek admitted.
"Not talking to you has been awful!"
"If you're expecting me to tell you I've missed you or something stupid, you can just walk right out this room because that's not happening, Princess."
"I wouldn't expect that at all," Casey twisted a curl around her finger, "Max has been talking to his 'ex' behind my back after telling me he was done with her. I don't want to say he's cheating, but I don't have a good feeling about it at all. So I called it off."
"Max is slime."
"I'm understanding that now," a small smile crossed her face.
Derek felt his stomach knot up as he said, "You deserve better."
Casey's face lit up and she smiled, genuinely surprised by his words, "Wow, Derek. Thank you for that."
Derek shrugged, "No biggie."
"Yes biggie," Casey argued, "You don't give yourself enough credit. You may be a jerk sometimes, but you are nothing like Max, Derek. You're always there for me and I don't think you'd ever intentionally do something to really actually hurt me. You just get on my nerves. You wouldn't ever actually break my heart."
"Hey," Derek scowled, "I am a total heart breaker."
"Maybe," Casey mused, "but you wouldn't break my heart."
"And how do you know," Derek asked, folding his arms across his chest.
"I just do," Casey smiled shyly.
"Wanna hear a secret?"
"Sure," Casey scooted closer, "Tell me."
"I did miss you."
Casey stood from the mattress and walked over to give Derek a small peck on his cheek.
"Ew, dog germs!" Derek grimaced, shoving her away.
Casey laughed, "You love it," she said, making her way towards his door, "Good night, Derek."
When the door clicked shut, Derek fell back against his pillow. The perfume she'd been wearing lingered just a bit. Sighing, he shook his head. There was a knotting feeling in his stomach that Derek recognized as butterflies.
"Damn you, Casey," he whispered, "only you could make me nervous."