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Decades In The Making

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It took Derek seven months after Casey returned home after the divorce to finally admit his feelings for her. He was terrified of rejection, which is why he didn’t tell her sooner. Every time he attempted to do so, he took a detour in another direction. George finally had enough and cornered his son in the kitchen one day. “You have got to stop this.”

He played dumb. “Stop what?”

George stared at him. “Derek, tell Casey you’re in love with her and put all of us out of our misery. The sexual tension has reached an unbearable peak and I thought nothing can top a house full of four teenagers in love with each other and refusing to admit it. We were so wrong.” He sighed sadly and left the room. He couldn’t believe he had actually just said those words either.

Derek stared at the fridge door in shock. He couldn’t keep putting this off. He definitely couldn’t stand it anymore. “I’m going to do this,” he whispered to himself.

Lizzie stepped into the kitchen. “I am going to kick your fucking ass if you don’t tell her right now, Venturi. Don’t think I won’t just because I’m knocked up!”

“Okay, jeez. I’m going.” He was laughing as he left the kitchen, though, and went to go find Casey. “Where is she?” he asked Nora.

“She went to the store. We tried to stop her, but you know how stubborn Casey is. She’ll be back. Try not to fuck this up and come up with a way to tell her right now.”

“I am so glad you’re all yelling at me about this. Nice job sending in the pregnant lady, by the way. That wasn’t playing dirty or anything.”

Nora just laughed. “Good luck, Derek. You’re going to need it.”

“I can’t believe you’ve actually worked up the courage to tell her how you feel. Never thought I’d see the day.” Edwin laughed and kissed Lizzie when she walked back in.

“Are we finally going to live in a world where Dad and Aunt Casey are finally together? Because I am here for that,” Andrew told Derek as he sat down to watch TV.

“Can you please get out of here while I panic?” Derek couldn’t think straight with everyone pressuring him. It was actually stressing him out even more than he already was.

Andrew whined and complained about it, but conceded and joined the rest of the family in the kitchen a few minutes later so they could eavesdrop on Derek and Casey’s conversation (he let them stay there since they’d hear about it at some point anyway).

“Where is everyone?” a confused Casey asked when she finally stepped through the door. The house had been crowded when she left.

“They went out without us,” he lied.

“Okay.” There was an awkward silence she didn’t know what to do with. She didn’t even know what to say because she couldn’t think of anything.

Derek made a few false starts before he finally worked up the courage. “So how’s the weather out there?” He could have hit himself for that.

Casey stared at him. “Did you need anything or can I put the groceries away?” She could tell he wanted to say something, but was clearly having a hard time with it. She wondered if this was it and a chill went down her spine.

Derek finally decided to say it. “I am so in love with you you have no idea. I wanted to tell you sooner, but there was so many significant others between us and it was never the right time. And then we married other people and had kids, but now we’re single and oh my God, please say something.” He needed stop panicking and rambling.

She couldn’t help her reaction – she burst into tears. “That was romantic. And of course I’m in love with you too, you idiot. Don’t you ever think otherwise. I was just scared.”

“I was too. Please stop crying,” he pleaded. He rushed to her side and wiped the tears off her face before pulling Casey in for a kiss.

“I can’t help it,” she murmured once they finally stopped.

Cheers erupted from the kitchen. “Get out of there now! You guys got what you wanted!” Derek called.

“What I’ve been hoping for for most of my life finally happened! I can’t believe this!” Lizzie squealed and hugged them before sitting down on the couch with Edwin.

They all laughed. “So I know there’s a bet. Who won?” Casey was curious despite herself.

“I did! I am so glad I chose today.” George smiled. He was really glad Derek and Casey had finally pulled their heads out of their asses. It had taken them long enough.

“You should lose for meddling.” Derek wasn’t angry, though. He was too happy for that. He was finally with the love of his life (fuck, that was cheesy, but he didn’t care).

Casey couldn’t believe this had finally happened. She leaned against Derek and sniffled. “Let him win. They deserve this too.”

Derek kissed the top of her head. “Whatever you say, Case.”

Lizzie snorted. “So whipped,” she whispered.

Edwin nodded his head in agreement. “My brother’s got it bad. Always has, always will.”

Derek glared at them, but let it go. He didn’t want to anger a pregnant Lizzie (or any other time, really). “What do you say we get out of here and do something on our own? Our family can celebrate by themselves.”

“Sounds like a great idea,” Casey agreed. She held his hand and walked out the door (but not before telling their family to put her groceries away and not to eat anything).

Derek couldn’t stop smiling after they ordered – and neither could she. It was hard to feel something else when they were this content. “We should have done this earlier.”

She shrugged. “We weren’t ready before. Now we are. And we got four pretty amazing sons out of the deal. So I don’t regret what led us down this path.”

“Then neither do I.” Against his better judgment, he was already thinking of proposal ideas. He was going to wait to do so, however, since he figured they might be rushing it. But would it? They had been dancing around their feelings for a long time.

Casey and Derek’s relationship had been decades in the making. They were thrilled their family had gotten impatient and pushed them into this.

Casey and Derek were engaged six months later and married three months after. Neither of them wanted to wait after that.