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how did we get here?

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Shit. Shit shit shit. What the fuck was he going to do? He fucked up. He fucked up royally. Like, if somebody tried to calculate how much he fucking fucked up on a scale of one to ten they would get a fucking twenty seven. 




Derek Venturi had a bit of a predicament. 


 Well okay it was actually kind of a massive predicament. One that involved a certain someone who's name started with a "C" and ended in "-asey."


At some point between when she moved in and now, he may or may not have started feeling (ugh) things that aren't exactly brotherly- step- step brotherly -towards the aforementioned crazy as fuck female. 


He wasn’t sure how it happened. This was Casey keener, klutzilla, nerd extraordinaire and she was unattainable. He supposes that was part of her allure. The whole forbidden fruit thing she had going on. Especially when he was always accidentally (purposefully but not like in a creepy way) managing to catch her on her way out of the bathroom.


Or maybe it was the fact that she was the only one who would get riled up by his (reluctantly admitted) childish actions and (at least attempt to) knock him down a peg. 


Or maybe it was the way her face would flush whenever they fought. The red shade spreading across her face, down her neck to her chest, and all the way to- an off limits and barren area where Derek is (unfortunately) never allowed to go. 


Whatever it was that caused this sick (understandable; he was a boy and well she was a girl (which he reluctantly admitted as the previously mentioned off limits and barren area proved it to be true) and he was hormonal okay, he doesn’t have an excuse for his current urgh) attraction all he knew was that he was fucked. Fucking in like (love) with Casey McDonald. Go figure. 



The day had been pretty normal. Classes, hockey, home. Derek had hit all three and was feeling pretty good about himself. 


Flopping down on the old dusty couch he turned on the TV and changed it to TSN. The Oilers had a game and he definitely wasn't going to miss it. They better win it's been fifteen fucking- The sharp shrill of the doorbell drags him out of his thoughts and over to the door. 


He pulls it open and leans against the doorframe prepared to politely (rudely) dismiss whoever thought it would be okay to visit him. And on Oilers day no less. 


"DON'T SHUT THE DOOR!" a feminine voice screeches. He starts. Dammit. It's Casey. He's probably (definitely) not even going to get to watch the game today. He sighs and keeps his hand on the doorframe. 


"What do you want?"


She ignored his rude greeting, "I was thinking I could make you dinner." Her arm raises and his attention is immediately directed to the bag of groceries he failed to notice when he first opened the door. He forces his eyes to flit back to her face away from the cream colored skin of her arms. 


He blinks and focuses again. Dammit Derek pull yourself together. A smirk takes over his features. He raises his eyebrows and shakes his head so she won't realize he was staring at her (what the fuck dude) arms. 


"Casey.” He shakes his head, “Casey Casey Casey. Don't you know it's Oilers day." His smile becomes a little more genuine at the roll of her eyes, "If you missed me you could have just called. Or not called. That would have been great too."


She scoffs "Please Derek," she falls into him dramatically and Derek has no option but to hold her up. (Well he could have dropped her but he supposes he's matured a little. Just a little.) "You know you dream of hearing my voice and every day you don't is a little worse." 


He responds in regular Derek fashion "Sounds like the stuff of nightmares." Although her words did hold a ring of truth; after they moved for college they kept in touch more in need of some kind of familial (step-familial? anything to create more distance between family and the two of them because 99% of the thoughts Derek had about Casey weren’t familial at all unless you were talking in terms of making one) connection to keep themselves sane. Every day he didn’t talk to her he would reluctantly admit did suck a little more.


Casey rolls her eyes ignoring him and leans out of his arms and he finds himself missing her warmth. Derek what the fuck you've become a fucking love- wait not love- like- a fucking likesick monster. Get it together.


She flashes a fake smile at him and ducks under the arm that was supposed to be blocking her entrance. 


"You've redecorated. Huh. Looked better the other way." He rolls his eyes and watches her as she makes her way through the living room casually cleaning as she goes in a way only Casey McDonald can.


She reaches a particularly old looking slice of pizza and shrinks back in disgust. "How can you live like this?”


Well, he's also in love- like he's also in like with his step (never forget the step)-sister so he supposes leaving a slice of pizza out for a while isn't all that bad (or taboo) in comparison. 


He shrugs and flops back onto the couch attempting to watch the game he probably (definitely) won’t get to finish and there's a hip check and it's just getting good when "De-rek!" is heard a shrilly screech from down the hall. He considers stuffing his head in a pillow and staying there until his sad shell of a life (seriously he’s in love with Casey McDonald, just kill him already before the stress that just emulates from her kills him itself) can end but then he remembers the game and realizes with resignation that he doesn’t want to die before the games over. He at least wants to be alive until tomorrow to see the highlights of the game he probably (definitely) won't be able to watch. After which he will promptly stuff his head back into said pillow and finish what he started. 


He sighed and trudged his way over to Casey another "De-rek!" about to rip from her lungs when he entered the room. 


"Great! You're here now you can do the dishes so I can-"


"Woah woah wait a minute Case," (he was older now and immature nicknames like Klutzilla and Space Case and Princess were reserved for the most special occasions. "Let me get this straight. You came into my house-" 


Casey interjected "It's a flat you dumbass." 


He placed a hand over his heart. "Casey was that- was that" he gasped for effect "an expletive I just heard come out of your mouth."


She rolled her eyes again. She did that a lot around him. "Oh fuck off Derek."


The word rolled off her tongue. It seemed like it belonged there. "You have an even worse potty mouth than I do. In fact it's probably your fault I curse as much as I do anyway." She grimaced, "In fact I was talking to Marti the other day and I said 'shit' like it was nothing and she almost had a heart attack."

Derek wasn't really paying attention at this point. He was still stuck on the- well "fuck" and he was currently imagining her saying it in a far more horizontal position and in a much more breathy way. 


Suddenly fingers snapped in his face. "Derek?" Why is your face so red?" She placed her hands on her hips "Did you hear anything I just said.”


"Huh." I was actually fantasizing about you panting my name but since that's not exactly Casey friendly information, I think I'll just stick with the ‘huh.’ He said it again in what he hoped (it wasn't) a more convincing manner. "Huh? Case I'm still having trouble accepting the fact you've wormed your way into my home. You expect me to be able to process the presence of vermin in my house and what said vermin is saying at the same time."  He shakes his head "You’re letting your expectations get to high" 


He sighed relieved because coming up with insults for his (hot) step (emphasis on the step)-sister was a lot easier than continuing to come to terms with his growing affections for said (hot) step (emphasis on the step)-sister. 


He couldn't look at her but he was pretty sure she'd rolled her eyes for the umpteenth time since she'd walked through his door. She ignored his jab (the only downside of Case growing up was her growing resistance to his taunts (although Derek would just tell himself it was because she was incapable of response due to her spastic tendencies)), and responded. 


"What I was saying before you so kindly called me vermin." She glared at him and he thought he just may get his very own Casey McDonald insult. He's coming up with his speech to thank the academy (gotta thank Nora for producing such combative offspring and George for marrying Nora and Lizzie for not desensitizing her to childish taunts and Emily for always-) for such an amazing honor when Casey begins her verbal tirade. 


"Which by the way is completely hypocritical since you live in a literal pig sty. Seriously I'm surprised I haven't seen any" she makes finger quotes and rolls her eyes "'vermin' in here." She pauses sending Derek a fake smile "Other than me of course." Her voice was dripping with sarcasm and Derek would think her flushed thinking/frustrated face was really sexy if- nope it was just really sexy. He wondered how far the blush reached and- nonono nope now is not the time do you really want Derek Jr. making a surprise visit right now. Keep it in your pants Venturi.


Derek just smiles the one he reserves solely for annoying Casey it's a little crooked and tad wide but he thinks it fits. "What did you want me for again? You know while I don't care, I also don't listen but you know how it is. I'm trying to be kinder."


Casey looks shocked but before she can get in a scathing remark he jumps in. "It's very important to treat animals with respect you know."


She shakes her head as if she shouldn't have expected anything more. "It is. I suppose that's why it's such a pig sty in here. You simply must be trying to appease the piggies that have got to be in here somewhere for it to look so terrible." She shivered clearly revolted by his current state of affairs. 


"Aww Case don't you know the rules. You can't repeat an insult." He sighs "Guess you lost."


"Did not."


"Case I understand you enjoy engaging in juvenile pursuits but-"


"Wow Derek that's a three syllable word you can finally go to third grade.”








"I haven't even tripped although I'm surprised I've managed to stay upright in this." She looked around and upturned her nose "I don't think I can find a proper word for this. Pigsty doesn't even do it justice."


He pumps his chest and stands proudly. "Thank you. I’m just glad it made you speechless. If only for a moment. Have I told you how much I hate the sound of your voice?” Casey is about to jump in when he cuts her off “Also, Case, you can't just keep breaking the rules like this. Don't you have anything to attack than my admittedly clear cleanliness issues?"


"Yes. Let’s see: your inferior intelligence, your subpar hockey skills," He gasped but she didn't let it deter her "And your stupid messy hair." She ruffled it even more and Derek squirmed away from her hand. "And- and sorry I can’t focus anymore I think I might be contracting a gaseous-ly transmitted disease. This place fucking reeks. I know cleanliness is supposedly" she made finger quotes and rolled her eyes "'off limits' but how did you manage to get it to smell that bad in here."


There was that word again and he's in the same boat he was in before saying “huh” and insulting her to evade the nightmare (dream) that damn word conjured in his thoughts. This damn woman had no idea what she was doing to him. "Shouldn't you be leaving? You've already been here too long and 1. I have an Oilers game to watch and 2. you still haven't made me dinner."


"Derek that's what I called you in here for in the first place but you went and started with your childish taunts-" she raised her hand as Derek's mouth opened "Don't even." His mouth shut. "Now do the fucking dishes so we can have stuff to eat with."


"Ok Case now it's just excessive."


"Just shut up and do the dishes."


"Aye aye Captain." He saluted her. Now usually when this happened he was asleep and they were, again, in a much more horizontal position (he liked role play sue him) but he shook his head of the unpleasant (stop lying to yourself Derek) thoughts and got to work washing the dishes.  He did want dinner after all. And if his position at the sink gave him the perfect view of Casey's ass while she was cutting vegetables, well who was he to deny the captain?


As Casey cooked and Derek washed the dishes he’d make the occasional snide comment which generally leads to a "De-rek" being uttered which is almost as bad if not worse than the "fuck." But, Derek had always been a bit of a masochist so he continued with his annoyances despite her half-hearted protests and the issue he’d have to deal with later involving a little (a lot) of lotion and quite a bit of tissue.

 At some point Derek finishes the dishes and Casey is done making the food and if he maybe cleaned up a little after he finished his duty (heh) it wasn't for Casey- no it was for the- the uh vermin whom he invited (or forced their way) into his home. Which more or less was the same thing but he figures that's irrelevant and tells his brain to shut the fuck up. 


So they sit. 


Together on that weird bar table he has which had previously been full of papers before he cleaned up for Ca- the vermin they eat. His damn brain was betraying him again. He goes through this a lot. Having to convince and remind his mind that even if she was interested (which how could someone not be interested in the Derek Venturi; although if someone were not to be interested he thinks it would be just his luck for it to be the girl he liked. Given that said girl also happened to be his step (emphasis on the step)-sister) she was still in fact off limits even with that four letter word that preceded the (supposedly) more important word, "sister" in his face. 


So they sat. And they continued to eat and for some reason it felt different


Casey's looking at him with eyes that look content and excited, a look he never really sees directed at him except for when he has those rare "good Derek" moments. God he hates that guy. Always doing the right thing and making Casey make that face and it- it just (it really doesn't) revolts him. 


The whole ordeal feels oddly domestic; them bantering like an old married couple and the cooking and the cleaning and he thinks maybe he could do this. He thinks maybe he could somehow live a life like this with a girl (Casey) and not hate it. He had previously pledged to a life of bachelordom but there Casey goes with the whole ruining his plans thing she has going on thwarting him again. Going to work coming home. Coming home to Casey-


"I'm engaged!"


(And there she goes thwarting another one of his (highly unlikely) plans.)


Derek’s whole world comes crashing down. Dreams of a domestic life with Casey warped. His face replaced with some no name guy who isn't her step (emphasis on the step; although it doesn’t particularly matter much anymore) - brother. Someone who isn't complicated and fits that perfect little cookie cutter box Casey has always wanted. Someone who works for her. Someone safe. Exactly what she needs. Someone to tone down her crazy. Casey was never the type to heed his advice and “live a little dangerously.”


If Derek was a good step (emphasis on the step although it may not matter as much now) - brother he would be happy for Casey and not feeling broken on the inside. A current of emotion ripping through his heart. And since Derek doesn't do this feelings shit, he nods and smiles. 


It all makes sense. Why she showed up unannounced. Why she didn't bite back at every remark she made. Why she decided to cook him dinner. It was as if she had known. Like she wanted to let him down easy. If only she knew. Actually that might not be a good idea there would probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of eight neurotic breakdowns.


And then Derek’s brain stops. Derek’s brain stops and realizes that he is completely, utterly, and truly fucked.


In like (love) with a girl (his step (emphasis on the step although it definitely (probably) doesn't matter anymore)-sister) that he can't have. Even more off limits than she was before. And this time the whole forbidden fruit thing wasn’t sexy. It was just fucked up.


All Derek can think is, well all he can think is:





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Derek was happy (no he wasn't). Ecstatic honestly (he really wasn't).

Casey was getting married.

Casey was getting married

Casey was getting married?

He tested out the different inflections in his head; hoping somehow he could make the situation make more sense (it didn't work.)

It's not like Derek ever actually expected them to like- actually get together. (Unless they were like drunk at a wedding or something and all that unresolved sexual tension from their youth came back bubbling from the depths. In which case he strongly expected? (hoped) it would happen. Because even if he only got Casey for a night of (mutually, Derek wasn't a dick despite popular belief) drunk accidental body feeling well, it would probably be the best night of his life.)

But that didn't mean it was okay (okay with him) for her to go marrying this other dude. He'd never even met him. He doesn't know his name although he's sure Casey's probably mentioned it on the phone before. (He'd always made a point of avoiding acknowledging Casey's romantic exploits unless he had the sole purpose of ruining/ending them. And, since it was a little difficult to portray Casey's crazy as fuck ways over the phone, well Derek had decided to ignore the fuck out of this dude. It was working pretty well until the "I'm engaged!")

Come to think of it. He's pretty sure his name was Dave.

God he hated Dave.

Dave would get to do all the things Derek could only fantasize of doing. Like going grocery shopping with Casey, and watching movies with Casey, and eating dinner with Casey and-ok Derek could still do all these things but Dave would fucking get to be with Casey (like in the lovey sense.)

The bastard probably didn't even realize how lucky he was.

His catastrophic train of thought that potentially could have led to him butting is head into the wall for hours on end was interrupted by Casey's fingers snapping in his face.

"Derek what were you doing? I've never seen you think that hard in... well, ever."

He's still shocked and just a little bit (a lot) broken, but she looks like she's going to start counseling him so he responds in typical Derek Venturi fashion.

"I was just lamenting the loss of that poor guy's mental state." He shakes his head hoping it will convince her that he is not being fucking ripped to shreds on the inside. Each word feels like an added weight on his shoulders, a reminder of what he can't have and it hurts.

(He thinks he sees her face flicker with concern for a moment and that she's seen right through him, but she blinks and the emotion is gone.)

Next thing he knows her eyes are rolling and she's shaking her head with a fond (he at least hopes it was) look on her face completely unaware of the immense pain she's caused him.

"He has no fucking idea what he's getting into." Or how badly I want to get into you he thinks lamely. God Derek you are fucking pathetic.

Casey's red face and Derek's words sink into his brain and he has a horrible realization. Dave's already gotten into Casey.

Oh God.

The final shred of his sanity snaps and he knows he has to get Casey out of his house before he does something stupid like admitting the feelings he's had for her since they were fifteen.

So, Derek in completely un-Derek like fashion, discomposed and frazzled, takes Casey's plate and basically throws it in the sink, thanks her for the food, and pushes her out the door. All the while she's saying "De-rek" and "What the fuck?" And it just makes the situation suck more because those fantasies of being with Casey (in the sexy way) are being fulfilled with some other dude. Just like his (thwarted and crushed) dreams of a domestic life with Casey were taken and ripped to shreds his face replaced with "Dave's."

After he gets Casey out the door he leans against it and sinks (it's just like how the girls do it in the overly dramatic movies, but he'll never admit it.) He hears Casey contemplating coming back in before the sound of her feet hitting the ground grow fainter and fainter as the distance between the two grows physically and emotionally. A wide chasm that Derek had tried to throw his heart across and where instead of landing on the other side it fell just short and into the abyss.

(He supposed he was being a bit dramatic but he was a songwriter and his heart was broken. So he's pretty sure he's entitled.)


The first few weeks are the worst. He'd wake up and the first thing that would run through his mind would be the memory of her squealing those words. "I'm engaged!"

Fucking Dave.

He doesn't answer any calls. He can't because he knows if he does he'll break. He'll break into a million tiny pieces and cry on the floor like a fucking sissy and he can't do it. He just can't.

Instead of wallowing around like the sad sack of shit he is, he throws himself into his schoolwork (which is kind fitting because he's getting over Casey McDonald, keener of the century) and hockey. He's more aggressive and the coach has to take him to the side on more than one occasion to tell him to tone it down just a bit.

He goes on like this for a while until a reality check comes in the form of Sam.

He's sitting there on the couch, the TV not much but background noise to his aimless thoughts that are mainly just Don't think about Casey Don't think about Casey Don't think about Casey. He knows it's a little counterintuitive but he's not exactly thinking straight right now because he just can't think about Casey.

He's tried everything, he's finished his school work, done his laundry, and cleaned the house when "It's a flat you dumbass-" rings through his of course brings about a series of Casey quotes. "De-rek you have to dust first you filthy monster" "Hey intellectually lacking asshat, that's not how you put away the dishes. The plates go in here and the bowls-" and fuck he's thinking about Casey (again). He's looking for something else to clean or to organize, anything to get his mind off of her (his fucking step (emphasis on the- oh fuck it)- sister), when the doorbell rings. Derek slinks over to the door ready to tell whoever's on the other side to kindly depart (or fuck off he'll see how he feels when he opens said door).

He swings it open and sees Sam's familiar face and trademark floppy hair covered with his signature beanie. He'd always been predictable. That's probably why Casey liked him so- fuck he's thinking about her again. He's fucking terrible at this.

At some point Sam must have spoken because he's looking at him expectantly. He slaps a classic Derek Venturi smirk on his face and brings Sam in for a hug and claps him on the back. Even though he dated his (step-) sister the guy still had a place in his ice cold (it really wasn't) heart.

"Hey man." Sam's smiling at him and he realizes he's missed this. He'd seen him at practice but since "I'm engaged!" Derek's kind of been avoiding the whole human interaction thing.

But since Derek's cool and he can't speak for fear of Sam realizing that he's been acting like this because of his fucking (step-) sister he just opens the door and gestures him inside.

Sam walks in and looks more confused than Derek's ever seen him. "Dude. Why is it so clean in here?" He snaps his head at him and squints "Who are you and what have you done with Derek Venturi."

Derek smirk breaks and he laughs weakly "What's up Sam? Did you come to watch the hockey game?"

Now Sam looks as if Derek just told him that he saw aliens making him a strawberry pie in his kitchen. "Bro. There's no game today." He pauses waiting for Derek to nod in affirmation. "You know that." He mumbles something and Derek almost misses it but he's pretty sure he heard a Casey in there somewhere.

"What'd you say?" Shit did he sound too eager.

"Oh no dude I didn't say anything."

There's a heavy pause.

"It's just, Casey thought there might be something wrong. She said you haven't been answering any of her calls."

Derek just stares at him.

"And she sent me here to check on you and there's definitely something wrong because you didn't remember there wasn't a hockey game today and your house is fucking clean-"

"It's a flat you dumbass."

Sam looks slightly confused "Whatever man, well your flat is fucking clean and" Seeing Derek's blank face he decides to change direction "Anyway. You clearly need to get out of here so whaddya say we go hit the ol' puck."

Derek shrugs "Sure I don't care."

"Okay now I know something is really wrong with you. I just said 'hit the ol' puck' and you said nothing."

Sam sighed. "This is gonna take more than hockey this is gonna take girls. And lots of 'em."

Sam starts pulling on his jacket "Come on Derek we're going to the first party we can find."

"I'm good. I think I'll just stay home. You go though. Have fun and be safe."

"'Have fun and be safe?'" He sounded almost offended. "This is just weird. Now I gotta pull out the big guns."

Sam pulled out a chair and sat directly in front of him. "We need to talk buddy."

Derek yawns suddenly tired from speaking. He just wants to sleep and forget "I'm engaged!" ever 's about to tell Sam to leave him (the fuck) alone so he can sleep when he asks him another question.

"Really what's wrong man? You said no to girls. Never in the history of our friendship have I ever heard you say no to girls."

Well that's because the only one he wanted was unavailable. (There he admitted it and he swore he (probably) wouldn't do it again.)

"I'm just tired. Hockey's been taking a lot out of me lately."

"Maybe that's because you've been picking a fight with everyone on the ice."

Derek grimaces "Well I've been a bit on edge. Everything's been bothering me lately." There that was all Derek would say about the subject he was done. He wasn't going to say anything else he would get over it and-

"Casey's engaged."



"Casey's engaged." He said it again. Why'd he say it again now there's a weird hollow feeling space in his chest where his heart is supposed to be.

"And what does that have to do with anything."

He looks at Derek for a minute and he knows.

His voice is ten times softer. "Listen Derek, if you want to talk-"

"Actually I think it's time for you to go."


"I said I think it's time for you to leave."

"Derek please there's nothing wrong with liking Casey."

"Really Sam because I think there are a lot of things wrong with loving Casey. First of all she's my fucking step sister. I'm supposed to be protecting her from the guys who want to do the type of shit I want to do to her. Second of all, we share a fucking brother. Third of all, our parents are married-"

He paused his chest heaving with his heavy breaths.

"I could go on but I think you get the idea."

"Listen Derek-"

"You know what Sam just- please don't. I'll see you at practice."

He shoved him out the door and slammed it.

Now that the door was closed he could have a neurotic breakdown (like a certain someone whose name rhymed with Macy) in peace.

He fucking said it. He fucking said it, his words were still hanging in the air, weighing down the room. He'd known he was in love with Casey McDonald since he was fifteen but he'd never actually said it. It felt different somehow. More tangible, accessible and real. It was even scarier than the prospect (reality) of him being in love with Casey McDonald itself.

It hit him again like a fucking bulldozer. He was in love with Casey McDonald. His step-sister. Who was getting married.



Derek had a plan. He supposes if he's going through the whole seven stages of grief thing he must still be going through the denial part if he really thinks this will work.

Derek was going to make his step-sister fall in love with him.

He could do it. He was Derek Venturi. And he wanted Casey.

And well, what Derek Venturi wants, Derek Venturi gets.