blithers (blithers) wrote in het_reccers,

Ship Manifesto: Casey McDonald/Derek Venturi (Life With Derek)

Fandom: Life With Derek
Pairing(s): Casey McDonald/Derek Venturi
Manifesto by: blithers
Spoilers: Some general spoilers for all seasons


Life With Derek is a Canadian sitcom that ran for four seasons, from 2005-2009, and was also shown on the Disney Channel in the United States at the same time. The show begins when two families - the Venturis and the McDonalds, with five kids between them - end up living together after their previously-divorced parents get married. Hilarity and sitcom shenanigans ensue!

Casey is the oldest McDonald kid, and Derek the oldest Venturi. They’re complete opposites in many ways; they fight, they flirt, they argue, they get up in each other’s space. They met when they were 15 years old. They live in the same house. They drive each other crazy. They can't seem to leave each other alone.

And their parents are married.

gif by soulisthirsty, from this gifset

I love this quote from this amazing Derek/Casey manifesto by jannika, which really sums up their relationship for me:

She's a good girl, a perfectionist and people pleaser. He's a bad boy who does whatever he wants, when he wants, then charms his way out of trouble. She loves to make rules, he loves to break them. She's self righteous, he's arrogant. She's looking for love, he's looking for his next bimbo. She works hard at school, he works hard at having a good time. She's a dancer, he's the hockey captain. The only time they stop fighting is when they're doing incredibly sweet things for each other. This probably sounds like the set up for every antagonistic couple in every teen movie you've ever seen, and on the surface, Derek and Casey are very much that couple. The 'we fight like an old married couple, look how our glares are filled with desire' couple. The 'opposites attract, so different and yet so perfect' couple. The main difference? When they were 15, Derek's dad married Casey's mom.

Or, as this tumblr post by griffinandblake puts it (Dasey is the ship name for Derek/Casey, FYI):

dasey: *is supposed to have an innocent "brother/sister" dynamic*

also dasey: *follows every single romantic "opposites attract" trope known to man*

I have a major thing for slap-slap-kiss couples, especially when combined with a bubbling layer of real affection underneath the antagonism, and Derek and Casey are that trope to the bone. Add in that subtext of weirdness and wrongness inherent in being attracted to your stepsibling, and the fact that they couldn’t get away from each other if they wanted to, that they live together and brush their teeth next to each other and can’t seem to stay out of each other’s lives even when they try - and whoa buddy, I am THERE.

Top Ten Reason To Ship Derek and Casey: An Important List (With Gifs)

1) How they always have each other’s back, even when they bug each other mercilessly. They’re allowed to mess with each other, but woe unto anybody who tries to hurt the other person.

gif by dasey, from this gifset


gif by soulisthirsty, from this gifset

3) They’re always touching each other for no good reason, especially considering how much they profess to dislike each other. Seriously, there is so much unnecessary touching with these two.

gif by michaelseaters, from this gifset

4) The way Derek looks at Casey. (Please note that shortly after this look, the two of them end up grinding together on stage, playing in the same band. Yup.)

from this gifset - unfortunately I'm not sure who made the gif anymore

5) The way both of them look at each other.

gif by dasey, from this gifset

6) The fact that neither of them can stay out of the other's love life. It's a repeated theme and plot-driver in the series: a girl breaks up with Derek because all he talks about is Casey; Casey dates Derek's best friend, with much jealousy involved, etc etc. You get the picture.

gif by dollopofdasey, from this gifset

7) The fighting, which is surprisingly physical. Including the time in the third episode (the third episode!) where they end up locked in the bathroom together and wrestling on the floor while trying to spray each other with shampoo and shaving cream. As you do. #juststepsiblingthings

gif by lifewithcasey, from this gifset

8) The sweetness at the core of their relationship. They fight, they argue, and, in small, quiet moments, they are unbelievably supportive of each other.

gif by dasey, from this gifset

9) This strangely sexual move that Derek does with his tongue, while staring at Casey, while they’re both sitting at the dinner table eating dinner with the rest of their family. I mean, c’mon.

gif by lifewithcasey, from this gifset

10) The fact that the series ends with both of them heading off to go the same college together, and this exchange:

gifs by dasey, from this gifset, which is the BEST GIFSET EVER (aka the one that got me into the fandom)

I mean: THE LOOK ON HIS FACE. The odd, growing, fond smile on her face. The everything about this scene, before the two of them leave their family for the first time, together.

Some Helpful Links

    • The Life With Derek tag on tumblr
    • The whole show (all of it!) is available to watch on YouTube
    • The behind the scenes video podcast, which is delightful
    • Again: jannika's amazing and comprehensive ship manifesto

The Fic

Life With Derek is the only fandom I’ve gotten into by reading the fic first, because there is so much ridiculously good fic. Seriously. It’s an embarrassment of riches.

What I’m saying is GO READ SOME FIC FOR THESE TWO. I've recced Life With Derek here a couple times before - hit up the Derek/Casey tag here at het-reccers to find more fic recs.

And now, some new recs!

Rec #1: Changing on the Fly
Author: cacophonous-noise
Rating/Warning(s): M
Word Count/WIP?: 52132 words, complete

Why This Must Be Read: This is an awesome, long, future fic, where Derek plays in the NHL, Casey works as a reporter for a magazine, and they come back into each other’s lives unexpectedly after falling out badly (and bitterly) during college.

Rec #2 Pros and Cons
Author: maebethistime
Rating/Warning(s): Teen
Word Count/WIP?: 1021, complete

Why This Must Be Read: Because it would be so very Casey to make a pro-and-cons list for why making out with her stepbrother is either a great or terrible idea, all while in the middle of making out with said stepbrother.

Rec #3: Stuck in the Middle with You
Author: EreshkigalGirl
Rating/Warning(s): T
Word Count/WIP?: 9736 words, complete

Why This Must Be Read: A charming one-shot taking place during the LWD movie Vacation With Derek (did I mention there’s a movie that takes place after the four seasons the show was on the air?), with a heady feeling of possibility and UST between Casey and Derek.

Rec #4: An Acquired Taste
Author: dwu
Rating/Warning(s): T
Word Count/WIP?: 68215 words, unfinished

Why This Must Be Read: A long, dialog-driven, funny, very sitcom-y multichapter fic. Sadly unfinished, but still absolutely worth it.

Rec #5: ground rules
Author: segs
Rating/Warning(s): Teen
Word Count/WIP?: 8346, complete

Why This Must Be Read: This story has Casey and Derek's relationship as a series of rules they keep breaking while at college together, and it’s both realistic and funny at the same time.
Tags: fandom: life with derek, ship: casey mcdonald/derek venturi, special: manifesto

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