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F-cazekiel
prisca1960

FanFiction - Casey & Zeke - Reboot Universe: Happy birthday

Hallo, mews1945, I've promised you a (belated) birthday story. I really tried to get it ready sooner, but it's much too hot in the moment. Hard to get a clear mind for writing. But finally I managed it to get it ready. I hope you don't mind that it's a story from my Reboot Universe.

And to anyone elso who follows this universe: please notice that I've decided to change the story a tiny bit. Originally the main story starts at autumn / winter - but now I've decided better to go with the real seasons. Almost impossible to write a cold, snowy chapter during hot summer days like these ;). I hope this won't confuse you too much.


Title: Reboot - Happy birthday
Fandoms: Crossover - The Faculty / Jeremiah
Rating: R
Summery: about the downfall from the old world and the start of a new one
Disclaimer: Neither The Faculty nor Jeremiah are mine, of course ;)
Author's Note: This is a story from my AU crossover universe 'Reboot'. You don't need to know anything about Jeremiah nor The Faculty to read these stories, but if you do some elements will be quite familiar for you. Not movie conform.

You can find all stories of the Reboot-Universe here


Casey opened his eyes and groaned softly. Even after two months on the road he was still not used to it to wake up on the hard ground instead of his bed. Every time he needed some moments to remember. Today something was different. He frowned, listened and jumped up. Bumped his head against the roof of the little tent he shared with Zeke.

Zeke! Panic filled him. He was not in his sleeping bag beside him. But he was always there. After a long day behind the wheel he needed this time to rest. It was Casey who did wake up early, who sneaked out the tent to make breakfast. He had learned to make fire and to prepare their meals, mostly tinned food but sometimes Zeke was able to catch a rabbit or some fish. He knew how to survive with a minimum of comfort. His business sense was helpful too; at every opportunity he traded in all possible things, mostly for gasoline. But they tried to avoid the big cities, too many gangs had teamed up there, ready to take whatever they needed even with brute force if necessary.

Casey didn't like to remember that morning when he did wake up from voices. When he looked out of the tent he had seen Zeke with his gun in his hand. He hadn't even known that he still owned it. It was aimed at a small figure at the ground and Zeke's voice had been cold when he talked to him. Finally the guy got back onto his feet and left … and Casey did notice the barely hidden rage in his face. Zeke had turned around.

„The fucker tried to get into the Blazer,“ he said and lowered the gun.

„You hadn't intended to fire at him, right,“ Casey had asked, still shaking.

„Get our stuff together,“ was all Zeke had replied
„We should better leave. I guess he's not alone out here.“

Sometimes Casey wondered how far he would have come without Zeke. Even more scaring that he was not in his sleeping bag right now. What if some else had tried to steal their supplies at night? What if he hadn't been alone? What if Zeke had noticed it and … He refused to think this out and got dressed quickly. When he left the tent it hit him a punch in his gut. The place where the Chevrolet should be was empty.

Casey blinked, feeling numb. For a moment he was sure that Zeke had finally left him. That he had gotten sick of it to chase a figment of imagination of a confused guy. They had asked for Thunder Mountain again and again … no one had ever heard about it. It seemed to be hopeless but something was driving Casey onward. Just … this was his mission, not Zeke's. He had every right to turn around and go back to Herrington, the most safety place in this world.

His heart was up to his mouth when he heard the humming noise of a motor. Only a second later the Blazer turned around the corner. Zeke jumped out with a wide grin on his face.
“Hey sleepy head,” he greeted him cheerful.

Suddenly annoyed Casey glared at him.
“What the hell are you thinking,” he snapped.
“You've scared me half to death.”

For a moment Zeke looked confused, then he shrugged apologizing.
“Sorry, I haven't intent to do that. I woke up early and went back to Clearwater to ...”

Casey huffed annoyed.
“You did what?”

Clearwater, a little town they had crossed yesterday. The people who lived there had managed it to keep it in a quite good state. There was even a little market for trading. Zeke had have the luck to get some gas and a spare part for the Blazer. They had talked with some people but as ever no one could tell them about Thunder Mountain. Finally they had left the town behind, like all the other places they passed.

“You drove 25 miles … for what? Didn't you tell me quite recently that it gets more and more difficult to find gasoline? At least you could have tell me about your plans.”
He was still shaking … with anger and relief and just everything. Probably he was overreacting and Zeke hated this but he couldn't help it. The shock still run deep.

Zeke kept quiet for a moment, just eying him.
“Case, calm down, okay,” he finally said.
“When I decide to go back to Herrington I would tell you. I never did run away like a coward. But you are not getting rid of me so easily. I care for you, you know.”

“I care for you too, Zeke,” Casey said..
“And we are a team. We are doing this together. So don't shut me out from your plan.”

“I don't!”
Zeke smiled.
“This time was an exception. I couldn't tell you.”

Casey blinked slightly confused.
“Why not? What the hell have you done?”

“Coffee!”

“What?”

“I've made some more dealings. Coffee. And … this!”
Zeke pulled a package out if his bag and Casey needed a moment to realize that it was a book. An old one, big and heavy, the dust jacket illustrated with a mountainous scenery, framed from two yellow trees. He could read the title: Lord of the Rings.

Casey huffed, trying hard to understand.
“You … went back to trade in a book?”
Zeke liked books, especially horror books from Stephen King, what was stupid in Casey's eyes. As if the horror in the world was not enough. This book looked different and he wondered what did make it so special that Zeke had wanted it at all costs.

Zeke chuckled.
“First I wanted to give you some porn magazines, but I guess you will like this more. It's a fucking good story.”

“Porn,” Casey repeated bewildered.
“For what?”

“How old are you again,” Zeke asked with a wide grin on his face.
“Eighteen? Oh no, wait!”
He stepped closer, holding out the book.
“Happy birthday, Case!”

Happy … what? Casey needed a moment to let this sink in, then he realized: yes, it is true! It was his nineteenth birthday and he hadn't even thought about it. Why should he? It was a day like all the others. Actually it had always been like that. There had never been big birthday parties, the presents of his parents were more practical then for fun. I could remember one birthday when he was still a young boy where his dad had had some tickets for a football game. He had hated it, too much people, too loud and he was not interested in the slightest in the game. It had been the last time that his dad had shown some interest in him.

Last year, when he turned eighteen ... an important day in the life of every teenager … only some weeks after MaryBeth though … who cared about birthdays? All what had counted was to survive for the next days, weeks, month.

Now he was nineteen and Zeke had remembered his birthday. Even more: he had a present for him … and he had promised more … coffee. A grin sneaked onto Casey's face while he reached for the book in Zeke's hands. It looked used, on the first page was a stamp of the library of Clearwater. He couldn't care less. Carefully he opened the book and read.

When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magni-ficence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.

He couldn't took his eyes from the story until Zeke dropped down beside him, with two mugs in his hand.

“Be careful, it's hot.”

Slowly Casey grabbed for the mug. The smell alone was almost breathtaking. How long was it that he had had a real coffee with a touch of milk, even if it actually was just milk powder, and a lot of sugar, just like he loved it. The first sip. Hmmm … he closed his eyes to enjoy the taste. When he noticed that Zeke was still watching him he carefully put the mug aside.

“Thank you, Zeke,” he whispered, still feeling overwhelmed.
“But … don't do this again, okay? You shouldn't trade in your stuff for coffee and books. Gas is so much more important … if you ever want to go back to Herrington ...”

“We, Casey, we will go back to Herrington as soon as you are ready for it!”
Zeke shrugged.
“And don't worry. Call it a good deed what I've done. Remember the young woman with the two little children we met at the market of Clearwater? I guess she can need powdered milk and sugar much better than books.”

+++

After being on the road almost every day for weeks now it felt great to take a day off. They just did hang around, lying in the sun, swimming in the near lake, reading, daydreaming. It almost was as if all the horrible in the world had never happened. As if they were just two young boys, enjoying a long trip during summer.

At the evening they made a fire for bread on the stick and some rabbit meat. With a wide grin Zeke suddenly pulled out two bottles of beer. He opened them, gave one to Casey.

“Here's to you,” he said and clinked the bottles together.

“But I don't drink,” Casey wanted to protest. Until he realized how stupid this was. The old rules were gone together with the old world.

Zeke chuckled.
“At least once in his life a guy should enjoy a real beer. It's not Heineken, but the best I could get. I've put it into the lake over the day, so it's cold like it should be.”
He smacked his lips.
“I can't say that I miss the old times with clubs and parties but I really miss a good beer now and then. I wonder if there is a way to brew it by myself.”

Casey laughed.
“If anyone is able to do it, it's you.”
He carefully took the first sip. Zeke was right, it was cold and good.

Some times later, it was getting dark, Casey was lying back onto his blanket, feeling full and a bit dizzy from his second beer. There were already some stars in the sky. Stars who did remind him of another birthday years ago.

“My grandpa took me to Boston when I turned thirteen,” he told.
“We had a great time together for one weekend. Went to a museum of science. Had diner at Pizza Hut. And in the evening we visited the observatory.

He was living in North Dakota and I saw him only rarely. But I wrote him endless letters. I could tell him just everything, he never laughed about me. Encouraged me to go my way, no matter what others expects from me.”

“I bet he would be proud of you now,” Zeke replied.

“I hope so!”
Casey smiled slightly.
“He died two month after my birthday. Cancer. I guess he already knew that this would be my last birthday we could spent together. He wanted … wanted it to be a … special day ...”
He felt tears starting to drop down his face and sat up.
“Is there still a beer left,” he asked.

Zeke chuckled.
“If you wake up tomorrow with a fucking headache don't expect me to nurse you,” he said.

“That's fair enough,” Casey answered and grabbed for the last bottle of beer.

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I will be back for this one, sweetheart - catching up online waay too late for sensible comments! Read you soon xx

Whenever you want ... it will still be here when you comes back fron Prag :)

I loved this chapter! What a good thing that Zeke followed Casey when he tried to leave. Casey's right, he really may not have gotten so far on his own. Love how Zeke remembered Casey's birthday and his gifts to him.

Yes, it's good that he followed Casey. They are both strong and Casey is wildly resolved to go his way but he doesn't know much about the world out there. He's grown up in the little world of Herrington, the strong rules of his parents, school, his dreams ... that was all he knew before MaryBeth changed all.

Zeke is used to it to take care of himself since he was a little boy. He thinks more practical when Casey gets emotional and he knows that it sometimes can be necessary to be selfish if you wants to survive. They are a good team and can learn from each other ...

I'd forgotten about this fic so thanks for posting another chapter. I can feel the guy's loneliness and sadness even though they are together. It's such a stressful life but at least C's trust in Z is growing.

What a special ending that Zeke remembered Casey's birthday. And what a gift!

I like to write in the universe. It's a dark, lonely world, yes, but they need to learn to live with it because it's the only world they still have.

Casey is still fighting with a lot: guilt feelings because he has killed MaryBeth, the message if this mysterious guy, even with his new relationship with Zeke. He enjoys it ... but he's still afraid that one day he might lose it again, like he has lost almost everything in his life before.

The same for Zeke. It might be a bit more easy for him to accept his new life, he knows how to survive when you are all alone. He's already made dealings at school, he's learned to be tough even if deep inside all you want to do is to curl up and cry. But he was always responsible only for himself. To care for others is new for him and he cares a lot for Casey.

This is not only the beginning of a new world, it's the beginning of a new life for both boys.

(Deleted comment)
Thank you, Mews. Sorry for being so lazy with answering comments ... but sometimes it's just great to back and revisit older stories and find 'new' comments, I haven's answered before.

Maybe I will come back to this universe soon. I still have some ideas I would like to write about ... just ... writing is low lately.

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