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For Nosebleeds! Nothing else!

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Moday’s. The actual worst day of the week. Especially this week. Derek definitely considered playing hooky, after all he had valid reasons to want to avoid the school - rumors, Truman, and not to mention he was still on his godforsaken shark week - but Derek also knew that if he didn’t show up it would only be worse for him in the long run.

“Derek. You up?” Casey’s sweet and concerned voice danced in from the other side of his poster covered wall.

“Yeah.” He groaned, rubbing his face with his hands, they were growing rougher from hockey practice and testosterone. “You can come in, Case.”

Casey softly opened the door to her step-brother’s room and stood awkwardly in the frame. She was already dolled up for school. She was so good at that. Always being prepared. She was wearing a pair of jeans with a long tank top and a cropped frilly thing on top. She looked beautiful - as always to Derek.

“Wow.” he breathed out.

“What?” Casey whispered a blush floating to her cheeks.

“You look -” Derek paused as he saw Edwin walk behind Casey “- really stupid.” he covered and threw a pillow at Casey.
“Der-ek!” Casey shrieked, chucking the pillow back at Derek’s face. “You’re one to talk! Get ready for school - we’re going to be late!” She huffed, ever so dramatically, and turned to head back downstairs to get breakfast.

Derek chuckled and flopped his back against his bed before groaning and getting ready for school. He knew that by know everyone would know that he's transgender and it made it hard to not want to pick out a hoodie and sweats and slum it for the day. He knew that Casey would chew him out for not being as normal as possible so he put on his favorite outfit - a brown tee shirt with white long sleeves stitched in and dark wash jeans with a chain hanging from his hip. A simple outfit that screamed “Derek Venturi - King of Thompson High” with every stitch.

The ride to school with Casey was tense, full of nervous energy from both of them.

“Der -” Casey began and then stopped.

“What’s it, Case?”

“If someone asks… about Truman and the rumors and about you…” Casey trailed off for a second collecting her thoughts. “What should I tell them?”

“Just…” Derek took a deep breath. “Just tell them the truth, Case. You’re a terrible liar.” Derek smiled halfheartedly at her. “Just - don’t offer information. Okay?”

“Of course not!” Casey answered. “Derek… I’m scared.” She added.

“Of what Case?” Derek asked confused, she wasn’t the one with a highschool career ending situation floating around.

“Truman.” Casey stated looking down at the Prince’s floorboards. “I’m scared he’ll try to talk to me… or maybe…” She trailed off as a tear tempted to spill over her eyelid.

“Casey -” Derek spoke in a confident and assured voice, “He will not lay a hand on you or even speak to you. Hell, if he even looks your way then Sam or Ralph or I will personally make sure he never sees anything again.” Derek parked the car at Thompson High and grabbed Casey’s hand and put it softly to his lips.

“Which do you think will cause more drama ‘Thompson High Hockey Star Comes Out as Transgender’ or ‘Step Siblings To Become Next Power Couple?’” Derek smiled before adding, “Because the first one will definitely be a headline on this week’s ‘Thompson Gazette.’ How do you feel about the second one?”

Casey chuckled, “Let them battle over the front page, either way we’ll be on it!”

Casey and Derek got out of the car and Derek threw his leather jack clad arm around Casey’s shoulders before whispering in her ear “Since our life is about to go to hell.” and walked her into the school building. Casey threw her head back in laughter at the Twilight reference, she forced him to watch it the night before and it seemed apt to the situation in some odd way. Casey was glad that she could be there for Derek. Especially now.