I don't own Casey or Derek or the Shanks and Bigfoot song from which I take my title. Ridiculously light Derek-centric Dasey one-shot to combat the blues.

Sweet Like Chocolate

We're all in the kitchen except Casey. Where on earth is that Spacehead? There aren't that many rabbit holes she could have fallen down on the way home; I've been waiting, like hours to bug her with this picture of a semi-nude woman skating on ice. Without her, this skating mag is just plain boring; plus I'm uncomfortable perched here at the breakfast bar with my elbows propping up my chin. Why can't she just know all this and get herself back home?

The noise is deafening, and that's just how I like it.

Nora's boiling potatoes, and the pan is juddering and thumping on the stove. The radio's blaring. Dad is trying to mend the fridge door. (Guess who – was it me? Not sure, I was prowling around late last night, so it might've been me – anyway, someone stuffed too many cartons into the doorway and all the plastic compartments snapped off. A mess? Why of course.) So dad's actually trying to superglue things back together. Don't know where the hammering comes in. But that's George Venturi for you. Not a kid gloves sort of person.

I start opening this chocolate bar I bought on the way home and dad gives me a look. A look that says, "open that before dinner, in front of the kids, Derek, and you're grounded". Who cares that I'm way past caring about stuff like that?

Do they even know that being grounded gives me an excuse to hang out at home and fob off the irksome females queuing to go out with me?

I guess I could just go off into the living room and eat my candy in peace. But it's Friday evening, and I don't have a date because I chose not to, and for the first time in forever, I don't want to be alone in the living room with the remote control.

Even if this sticky-sweet chocolate bar does look unbelievably tempting to my empty stomach.

Still no Casey: it's past five.

I should have given her a lift back, but she was talking to that android sleaze ball, Truman; and… well something about the look she gave me when I made to garrotte him from behind kind of set my teeth on edge. I wasn't going to be witness to another pseudo-therapeutic kiss.

Ed's holed up with Marti on the floor by the doorway bashing some dried out modelling clay around to make pancakes for one of her coterie of imaginary friends. And Ed's doing this why? Because he's a good brother of course (that, and I agreed that he wouldn't have to pay me half his allowance this week if he did it; Marti asked me first, of course).

Casey would have played with her for free – but she just hasn't shown up yet.

Today is the imaginaries' joint imaginary birthday bash. Not just Daphne, but all the others as well. And boy, are they high maintenance, these imaginary little girls! (Come to think of it, I know some grown-up girls who fit the bill there too, so the fact that I don't have a date becomes one more reason to celebrate by eating this delicious sugary snack.)

I'm hungry and the boiling potatoes have steamed up the entire kitchen and there is something romantic about the way we can't see out the windows to the darkening sky though I'm not sure where that thought came from. I have all kinds of random thoughts these days that I'm glad no-one can hear or understand.

These little pink globs of stuff Ed's laying out on miniature plates look tasty. Woah! Marti's chewing on one of them. I should stop her, or tell dad, just to see his expression, but who wants to get between a little girl and her party food?

Okay, Lizzie's looking. She's going to say something - but then she doesn't. I have no idea why she changed her mind. If Casey were here she would have intervened long ago. She'd be sure to point out that it's our fault if Marti vomits tonight. But where is she? I give up pretending to read my magazine and drop my head into my hands, images of her smile spiking my skin.

'Miss me, you mean-spirited, self-centred, melodramatic jerk?' Yikes! She's standing right behind me, breathing against my neck, hands hovering somewhere near my shoulder blades. Not in a zillion years would I tell her…This is so not cool, but my skin has a language of its own and it's shouting 'Yes, yes, yes!' just as my voice says breezily, 'In your dreams, Klutzy…'. No idea why I'm smiling suddenly.

Why's she looking disappointed when she just called me all sorts of foul names? Leaving the kitchen?

If she goes, I go. I've waited too long.

'What's up Casey?' Why do sisters always have to pick up on each other's sad vibes?

'Um… nothing, Liz, just going to my room to drop my bag off.' Am I having an audio hallucination or did Casey sigh under her breath?

'Where were you, sweetie? I needed someone to measure the cream for me – I think I might have overdone this sauce…'

'Be with you in a minute, mom. Marti! Is that modelling clay in your mouth? Spit! Eww!'

'I'll take your bag up for you, Casey.' Ed's desperate to escape Daphne's party and the spitting out of pink pulverised modelling clay and the potentially unmouthwatering task of picking bits out of Marti's teeth. And I can feel Casey smiling at him, that warm, glowing smile when she approves totally of something someone has done. It almost makes me wish… no. Taking her bag upstairs in exchange for a smile? So not Derek Venturi.

I'm reading my magazine, now, you can be sure. It's got some awesome skates in it, modelled by some cool, sexy chicks. I have no idea how I can hear Casey everywhere or how I've suddenly developed a sixth sense for when she's behind me.

'Casey, would you hold this in place while the glue dries?'

'George, you really don't want the glue to dry: that's upside down.' Casey's not even raising her voice, but I can hear the giggles behind that stern exterior. She's chilled out a lot since she met us Venturis.

'Oops. Now I know why I had to hammer it into place.'

'Georgie!' Nora's about to freak out.

'It's okay, mom, I'll take over. Liz, could you get that side for me? There. It's done. How did it break, anyway?'

Hmm. She may be able to mend things, but she really knows how to kill a conversation.

So. It's after dinner, and it's just her and me now in the kitchen, doing the washing up (and believe me, if you ask why I'm doing the washing up, I've completely forgotten how I got dad mad enough to MAKE me do this, but I had to try pretty much all the way through the meal). And I'm thinking about this chocolate bar and listening to some silly show on the radio (Nora was listening to it before and it's just stayed on since then). I'm trying to focus on the chocolate.

Well, I was going to eat it, while Casey did the washing up but she just gave me this LOOK.

So now it's sitting on the breakfast bar while she hands me dripping dishes and I pretend to dry them. Who's going to notice a few drips, right?

It's Friday evening. I don't have a date. She doesn't have a date. So obviously whatever Truman said to her, it wasn't good enough. I'm feeling strangely content. And she's saying, '…the candy bar'.

'What? Casey, I swear, I don't even want to hear what you're saying.'

'I said, what's in your candybar?'

'Almonds, honey, chocolate, raisins… I dunno! Why do you care? Not your sort of rabbit food.'

Why indeed.

And now I know, because she sweeps round – knocking the dishcloth out of my hands, flicking water in my hair – and snatches MY bar of chocolate up and retreats across the kitchen on silent feet.

'That's for leaving me with that creep.' She's opening it, peeling off the wrapper and taking a bite. 'That's for making me walk home.' She licks the wrapper and sticks out her tongue at me. 'And for the record, I LIKE stuff like this, but I just don't usually indulge myself…' Another bite and I move towards her. We're pretty near each other now, me and Casey, because I can tread silently too, when I choose.

Then I'm pinned, transfixed. By her hand lifting that sticky chocolate to her mouth, by the fingers clasping it, by the warm laughing lips and the dancing eyes.

'I want some!'

'Excuse me?' She stops, mid-bite.

'I said, I want some,' I whisper, as she replies snidely, 'I know. Don't tell me. You've waited a long time.'

I close the distance between us; I open my mouth and before she can stop me, bite some of the chocolate out of her hand, grazing her fingers with my teeth.

Woah! Why did that weird contact just made my knees go weak? I grin at her, pretending it didn't happen. She looks puzzled, then troubled.

There's still a chunk left and I'm expecting her to move away, annoyed, shouting 'Der-ek!'

But instead, she just slips the rest into her mouth and opens her eyes very wide.

Bring it.

Oh. Casey. I want some.

My hands suddenly have a life of their own because they have walked lightly up her arms and even I can't deny the trembling that starts in her body and moves through mine until my heart is thudding in rhythm with hers, only thin cotton shirts between us now because I have somehow unconsciously pulled her against me till her chest and mine are pressed together and we are touching along the length of our thighs. Jeans notwithstanding, I can feel the ripple of her muscles, the tightening of her skin. Our faces are so close that I know my eyes have blurred together for her and she's seeing a single shining brown eye in the middle of my forehead. If this is some kind of joke, then we haven't quite got it yet.

In my dreams, I lean towards her mouth and taste what I've imagined constantly for the last three years. It melts against my tongue. In my dreams she puts her arms around me and tracks her sticky fingers through my hair and her eyes are closed and mine are open.

But she's saying, '…your candy bar…' and I stutter, 'Wha-what?' and she says, 'Thanks for the candy…'; I can hear lots of noise and laughter from the other room as the family finish a game of some sort. I can still smell the chocolate, but I don't know if its on her tongue or mine: I drop my hands from her arms; drag my gaze away from her mouth, up to her affectionate, laughing eyes. So. This is real life and I struggle not to show how it hurts. But Casey's still talking.

'Come to my room?' She says, her voice just above a whisper, sweet like chocolate.

And now her slim fingers are on my wrists, and I nod, mutely, because after outwitting my super-keen, socially uncool stepsister for the longest time, after managing to mislead and disconcert almost everyone we know, and after dating half our school in an effort to deny myself, I've finally gone and lost my candy bar and all of my words and most of my heart to her.


There's a chapter of Delayed Satisfaction on its way. Review if you have time, but if not, just enjoy.