Some Things Were Meant To Be
In the two years leading up to the beginning of their senior year, Derek and Casey had not moved past pointless, loud, mean fights. Everybody who lived in the Venturi/MacDonald household had gotten used to the screaming, wrestling, and overall anger between the two. Both Lizzie and Edwin had been running an on-going investigation, believing it was really just tension over the fact that they actually liked each other but knew nothing could come of it. Derek was constantly annoyed with Casey when she dated, no matter who the guy was, and Casey always had a few choice names in reference to whoever Derek was making out with that day. While Derek layered his feelings with the rather obvious and childish be-mean-to-those-he-likes, Casey instead acted repulsed by him while secretly admiring his ability to be so calm about most everything. So, like any other time, while the two were in one of their loud, bickering fights over nothing, everybody else in the house tried to ignore it and turned over in their beds in hopes of getting some sleep.
"Seriously! Derek! Did you leave any water for the rest of the street?" Casey screeched as he sauntered out of her bedroom.
It was late and everybody was already expected to be in bed, but Derek had put off going to bed and had only now finished an hour long shower. He'd spent the majority of the last day of his summer break horsing around with Sam. They'd played every sport under the sun as long as one of them had the equipment for it and he'd only gotten in an hour before, which was only because Sam's mom called his cell phone and told him if he wasn't home in five minutes, he wasn't allowed to use his car for the first half of their last year in high school. Sam had booked it out of the park and Derek leisurely walked home. Casey on the other hand was going through her backpack to make sure that everything was ready for her first day back. She'd already done it three times, but she was sure she was forgetting something.
"Seriously, Case," he mocked, lifting a brow. "It takes time to make me smell this good."
Casey sneered, "Call me when that works out for you," she replied scathingly.
Frowning, Derek crossed his arms over his chest. "Look Princess, as much as I love this little chat we're having, I have better things to do. Like not talking to you," he told her, turning to walk off.
"Oh don't let me interrupt," Casey called out to him. "I wouldn't want to hinder you by reminding you that six other people still live in this house. And in seven hours are going to need the water you just spent washing the perfume and dirt off of yourself."
Sighing, Derek turned back to her, scowling. "I'll be sure to remember that the next time I find a ring around the tub from your stupid scented bath junk. Don't forget that you've spent much longer than an hour soaking in the tub before." He shook his head, water spattering off his hair and splashing onto her face, only further angering her. "Next time, I'll be sure to call and make sure that you're okay with when and how long I shower."
Huffing, Casey glared at him. "Could you be any less of a decent person?" she wondered. She felt her neck flush but not with indignation. Had he noticed the way her eyes ventured down from his face? Exactly what were they doing in hockey practice that gave him a physique like that? Her cheeks heated up and she hoped he assumed it was just her anger.
"I could try, just for you," he told her with a mocking smile and dark eyes. He swallowed tightly, noticing how attractive she was with her face tinged with irritation. There was a telling flush to her cheeks and her hair fell in thick waves around her shoulders. He forced his hand not to reach out and touch it, he could always cover it up by pulling on it. He could smell her from where he stood, a light vanilla scent. His eyes roamed over her body, but he was pretty sure that his smirk made it appear more like he was just sizing her up and seeing nothing of serious consequence.
"If you're gonna try anything for me, make sure it's becoming someone I can put up with," Casey returned, lifting her own arms to cross over his chest. "Let's see. You'll have to change your entire personality, stop talking, and... oh... right... disappear entirely." She grinned at him, her expression biting. "Good luck with that."
Derek scowled, his shoulders stiffening. "Oh but Case, I wouldn't want to leave my lovely step-sister here all on her own. Imagine what could happen to you," he said, his brows lifting. "With nobody around to remind you how pathetic, lonely, and completely annoying you are, you might actually grow to think people like you." Derek ignored the spark of hurt that flared in her eyes and even the sharp pain in his chest when he realized he'd just said something rather unforgivable.
Licking her lips, Casey simply smirked. "You're right. I do need you around. I mean, without you to be compared to, I just look great. But seeing how much of an inconsiderate, moronic, slob you are, everybody else can see that I quite obviously am so far above you, you barely constitute as anything." She furrowed her brow, tipping her head slightly. "Did I use too many big words? Do you want me to get my dictionary for you?" she teased.
Derek sneered, taking a step toward her as his arms flexed with anger. "You think you're so much better because you get a couple good grades on a few tests-"
"And you think you're so much more important just because you score a few goals and couple girls think you're good looking," she cut in, shaking her head.
"Newsflash, Princess, years from now when you've got your cushy career and some poor sap for a husband, I'm still going to be the king of everything. I'll be the one with the money, the fame, the friends and the life, while you'll be stuck in some desk job that you'll hope will pay for your antidepressant addiction while running after a couple kids who hate you. You'll be stuck as the same fake perfect girl who nobody likes but everybody puts up with," he spat cuttingly.
Casey shook her head, rolling her eyes against the tears building up. "Hah! King of everything? Try the guy still living at home with his parents! You'll live out of the basement, become the kid that George and my mom never really talk about, and will always be remembered as that loser who used to be good at hockey but couldn't scrape enough braincells together to get accepted into college," she shouted right back, her voice tearing at him. "Your friends will move on, get real careers and forget all about The Derek Venturi."
Breathing heavily, they stood glaring at each other, not knowing what else to say but feeling both hurt and angry at one another. Casey was barely suppressing her tears while Derek was pretending it hadn't hurt that she thought so little of him. They'd had their differences over the years, no doubt about that, but they hadn't thought that hatred was really what the other felt for them. Casey had always harbored a bit of a crush on Derek, if only because he had a suaveness that she could never accomplish, while Derek couldn't help but notice that Casey had a strength in her that he'd never bothered to use. She overcame the stigmas kids labeled her with and stayed true to herself while Derek fell victim to whatever they thought of him, becoming a puppet in some ways. All the same, Casey felt tormented by the fact that she really wasn't all that liked while Derek had so many admirers for being so unlike her. There were days when they pointed each others faults out without even trying and they couldn't help but wish that they'd never met. That Derek had never had to open his eyes to the fact that he wasn't the greatest person in the world. That Casey hadn't been forced to see that sometimes working hard and nagging to get the best of everything was just pathetic and overdoing it. It was times like this, moments where they saw their faults and blamed each other for it, that they truly wished they'd never had to meet at all.
Finally, as if sharing the same thought, they both shouted, "I wish our parents had never met!" Their words echoed into the hall, loud and pain filled. With nothing left to say to each other, they glared and turned to go to their own bedrooms, hurt and exhausted.
Derek threw himself down on his bed, glaring up at the dark roof and muttering to himself. He didn't know what he'd ever seen in her. It was obvious that she was just an uptight, mean, overbearing priss. Turning on to his side, he tightened his jaw against the pain in his throat. He was not stupid! He wasn't the smartest kid around, but he could do the work if he put his mind to it. So what if he wasn't an honors student and didn't put his hand up every time a question was asked. That didn't mean he was going to be a loser when high school finished. He could get a full scholarship for hockey and he'd get to work in college. Then he'd prove to her and everybody else whoever thought he was just a stupid jock that he wasn't mindless. He'd show her.
Casey fell onto her bed, smothering her face in her pillow. Tears leaked out of her eyes and sobs tore up her throat, but she held them in tight. She wouldn't let him know he hurt her. She wouldn't let him have the satisfaction of knowing that he had cut her deep with his words. She was not disliked. So, she didn't have that many friends and she wasn't the most popular girl at school, that didn't mean people thought she was fake and only put up with her. And her life was not going to be so ridiculously pathetic. She wouldn't become that sad, middle-aged, suburban woman that put up some façade to hide how empty her life was. She would be more than that! She would show him.
As they lay in their beds, blaming each other and hurting over what was said, they shared the same sentiments. They wished they'd never been forced into being step siblings. That their parents had never met and married and they'd never have to wake up to find one another in the room next door again. As Casey cried herself to sleep and Derek tossed and turned until he fell into an uncomfortable slumber, they had no idea how different the next morning would be. They had no idea what one simple wish, one small meeting and marriage, had done to change their lives and those lives around them. The rising of the sun would bring a whole other reality for them, one with both good and horrible qualities. Some parts would reach their standards of perfection and others would tear down their comfort zones entirely. It was time they learned that some thing were meant to be, for the alternate solution wasn't always the better one.
A/N It's short, I know, the chapters are much longer! I'm working on "What Happened to Happily Ever After?" in the background and I will post as soon as I get a good portion of it done. "For Marti," is still being written and I'll have another chapter up to it soon. I got the idea for this story a few weeks ago and I already have a few chapters written. I hope you enjoy this, it's more lighthearted than most of my others. There are some dark spots however, but nothing like "For Marti." Okay, so I hope you like the plot and how it's being written. Be sure to leave a review, I'd really like to know what you think! :D