Whatever. It might help to do something else than to toss and turn around in bed ... like a bit Casey & Zeke?! I've started to write this one three weeks ago, so there is still a touch of Christmas in it. I hope you don't mind.
Title: Zeke's History
Fandom: The Faculty
Characters: Casey / Zeke
Disclaimer: not mine, of course
x-posted to: Fanfic50
Casey didn't look up when his mother slowly opened the door and looked into his room.
"Can I come in for a moment," she asked.
He shrugged and wiped his eyes quickly. Though he knew she would see through him in a sec anyway.
"Casey, what's happened? You know, you can tell us everything. Just running away is never a good option."
Casey kept quiet, still feeling depressed. He didn't want to talk about it. There was nothing to talk about. Things were clear, always had been clear. Zeke had just reminded him of it again. He was the geek from Herrington High and no one wanted to be close with him. Though for a moment it had looked different. If seemed as if Zeke started to trust him. The story he had told him ... a sad story. All Casey had tried was to give him some comfort. What a stupid idea! He had made it even worse ...
When he was coming home, his parents were already waiting for him, his mother chirpy as ever, his dad with a wide smile on his lips, asking him:" So, ready for the weekend, son? I've gotten baseball-tickets for us.”
He couldn't bear their good mood. He felt confused and worn out, he was worried about Zeke and angry at himself. What did he care about Baseball? All he wanted was to be left alone. Without thinking he had yelled at his father: 'I give a shit!' Then he turned around and run upstairs into his room, banged the door shut behind him. He didn't care that he would probably be grounded for the rest of his life.
“What are you doing,” his Mom asked after some minutes of silence.
Casey pressed his lips together and still refused to look up. But he knew all too well, his mother wouldn't let him go that easily.
“Oh, I see, homework. What is it, some researches for an essay?”
Casey frowned and finally gave up.
His mother pointed at his computer where he indeed had googled for a name. It hadn't made it easier to see the picture turning up on the screen, there was a striking similarity with Zeke. He couldn't help it but stare at it again.
"Maybe I could help you with it," his mom continued.
"She went to Walnut Ridge back in 1973. I still can remember her."
Casey gasped surprised.
"You knows her?"
"No, actually not. We went to the same Highschool, that's all. She was two years older than me. And she was not like the others. Only interested in her music. A lot of us envied her when she left school even before graduation to start her career as a violinist. She did her first tourney to Asia and Europe when she was barely legal. She was amazing.”
Breathlessly Casey listened to his mother.
“Later, when I started to date your father, I realized that she had to pay a price for the fame, a much too high price. I guess she was lonesome, Casey. No one was ever close to her, not the students, not the teacher. And the tourney didn't make it easier ... she was much too young, so far from home, no friends, not even her parents around. I wonder ...”
“Casey? Casey! What's wrong?"
He couldn't hold back his tears any longer.
"So she should know how it feels," he sniffed.
"Why does she force him into the same fucking life?"
His mother blinked at his rough language, but she didn't reprimanded him.
"Who is 'him'," she asked calmly.
"Zeke! She is his mother."
Three hours before.
School was over. Casey was on his way home. He had left the bus one station earlier than usual, though he was in a hurry. He would visit a Baseball-Game with his Dad this evening, not that he was much interested in sports but his father was and he always enjoyed it when they had some father-son time.
But before the fun could begin he had to do something else. He sighed. Zeke Tyler. Once again. This prick hadn't been at school for the last three days. Once again. Mr. Furlong, their science teacher, had asked Casey if he could look after him and bring him some homework to do over the weekend. Sometimes Casey hated it that Zeke lived at close quarters to the Connors house. Mr. Furlong always asked him for help when Zeke got sick.
Sick! He sniffed annoyed. Who did believe that? Probably he would be in his garage to brew some new, stupid shit. Or he would lie under his car to change the oil. Or he would just hang around, watching stupid TV-shows, reading comics.
Casey decided to put the papers into the mailbox and then hurry home. Maybe he could call him later. To be alone with Zeke always made him nervous. Not that he had ever touched him. He was none of the bullies. But Casey tried to avoid the thought what Zeke would do to him if he would ever find out about Casey's stupid crush.
He stopped surprised when he reached the Tyler's house, almost a mansion which cried: money, money, money. Music was playing, but it was so not Zeke's usual taste, ear-battering and blooming. It was classical music, foreign and strange. Casey frowned and looked around, he expected to find the car of Zeke's parents in the driveway. Even though they never seemed to be home, at least around Christmas they must have remembered that they had a son. But there was only Zeke's baby, black with red stripes, a GTO.
Casey actually couldn't say why he was doing it but before he could change his mind he had knocked at the door. Suddenly nervous he hold his breath and listened. The music had stopped. He waited. Knock, knock, knock again. Suddenly the door burst open.
"What the hell ... Connor?! What are you doing here?"
Casey swallowed. Zeke looked ... annoyed, yeah, he had expected this, Zeke always looked annoyed even if he flirted or did his dealings. But today it was different from his usual 'Get - off - my - back' glare. He looked worn out, pale, tired. Casey started to worry, maybe he was seriously sick this time?
"Hey. Mr. Furlong wanted me to bring you some homework. He says, you better should work it through over the weekend.”
Zeke smirked and Casey felt his mouth become dry. How was this possible, no matter what Zeke did, it was somehow hot.
"I give a shit!"
Except of this! It made him angry that Zeke was on the best way to throw away his future. He was smart, much more intelligent than most of the other dumpheads at school. He could go to college one day. Be a great scientist. But he did everything to fuck it up.
"You should! It's important for the test next week. You will be back by then, won't you?"
"Who knows? Maybe I will never come back to school again."
Casey felt all the blood rushing out of his face.
"You're kidding me, right? You need to ..."
Zeke pulled the face.
"I need nothing at all. Maybe I'm gonna leave Herrington. I'm so sick of all this."
He turned round, wanted to close the door. But Casey reacted quick. Something was going on here, never before he had seen Zeke like this. It seemed as if he was ready to give up. But he never gave up. Zeke was not a 'golden boy', often enough he brought himself into trouble. But then he laughed about it and moved on as if nothing had happened. He couldn't just run away from whatever problems he had. This was impossible. This was not like him.
Zeke narrowed his eyes when Casey sneaked into the house.
"Hey! What do you think you are doing? I didn't invite you in."
But Casey was already standing in the living area and looked around curious. As expected the TV was running though the sound was turned off. On the table a bottle of beer and ... what was this in the almost full ashtray? A joint? Well, this was no big surprise, but it wasn't even four o'clock in the afternoon and with his parents around ... The rumors had to be true. They didn't care much about their son. They left him alone for months and when they finally came back, they wasn't interested in the slightest what he was doing. If he went to school regularly, if he would graduate next year, if he drank and smoked, even used drugs ...
Casey ignored Zeke's piercing eyes, pushed the cushions on the couch aside and dropped down. Then he grabbed for his backpack.
"At least we could talk it through," he said and put the papers on the table.
"It's a bit tricky!"
"Fuck you, Connor!"
Zeke shook his head but grinned slightly amused.
'Whenever you want,' Casey thought ... and tried hard not to blush.
"I'm sure your parents love you for that mouth," he said.
And regretted it instantly. The grin vanished. Zeke narrowed his eyes menacing.
"Better mind your own business. My parents give a shit."
"But they came home for Christmas."
“They … what?”
Zeke stared at him.
"I don't know what you're talking about.”
Casey blinked confused.
"Ähm, your parents. They are at home, aren't they? I did hear the music playing … don't tell me that you're listing to classic."
Casey followed Zeke's eyes to a small side table beside the large window front. There it was. A violin, so it hadn't been a CD he had heard but someone had played the instrument? Wow. Casey didn't know much about classical music, but he was impressed. It had been a brilliant performance.
For a while Zeke stared at the instrument motionless, finally he made a grimace and grabbed for it.
Casey did hold the breath when he put it onto his shoulder and grabbed for the bow. It felt not right to mess around with a violin which was for sure expensive. He did expect Zeke's parents coming back every moment and for sure they wouldn't be happy about this. Why did he always act like a prick? It seemed as if he enjoyed it to provoke people.
Zeke closed his eyes and concentrated, then he started to play. Casey gasped surprised. The same piece of music he had heard when he had reached the house. It was slow, sad and very moving. And, at least in Casey's ears, it was perfect. Zeke was a violinist. And the music seemed to change him. Every tension left his body, his face looked softer, almost calm. Casey couldn't turn his eyes of off him. This was not the Zeke Tyler everyone knew. The Zeke Tyler who sold home-made drugs and porn, who enjoyed to break every girl's heart and who gave a shit about rules.
All off a sudden the play stopped. Casey almost jumped at the loud bump when Zeke put the violin onto the kitchen's counter between an half-empty bottle of coke and a bag of chips. His eyes dark, his face stony again.
Casey blinked violently.
"Bach," Zeke said.
"Sarabande in D minor! One of her favorites."
"Whoa. I didn't know … That was brilliant. How do you ..."
"You don't know much about music, right?"
Zeke made a grimace.
"My teacher would have kicked my ass for that. For the next four weeks at least practice, every day, six hours at least. Play it again and again and again ... until it follows you into dreams every night and all you want is to run. But you know you can't, you need to be perfect ... So, play it again."
Zeke dropped down onto the couch and reached for his beer. He didn't bother to ask Casey if he would like to have one too, or a coke or a soda maybe. Not that he had really expected that. But at this moment nothing would have surprised him. He tried hard to sort out what he just had learned about Zeke.
"You've had lessons," he asked haltingly.
"Since I can remember. My mom got me my first violin when I was three."
Zeke's face darkened even more.
"She wanted me to be a wonder child. And I had to pay the price. I guess, you know how it feels when you are a sort of a freak? No one wants to be your friend. The other children go to the playground after school. On the weekend they have fun with their dads - playing baseball in the park or visiting a football game.
Me? I never had a Dad. And my mom ... She had a program for me: school, homework, private music teachers … the best of all, of course. But I never was allowed to be a child like others.”
"She was a fucking bitch. Never a mom."
Casey swallowed hard.
"Don't say that," he murmured.
"I'm sure, she did all this because she loves you."
"Love? Oh shit! Do you still believe in fairy tales, Connor?"
Zeke stared at him annoyed.
"My dad left her even before I was born. She didn't talk with her brother for years. I can't remember that she ever took me in her arms. You call this love?"
For a second Casey was sure to see tears in his eyes but it was over with one blink.
"She didn't care about anything but her music," Zeke continued.
"But with a violin in her hand she could work wonders. Everyone who heard her playing was by her feet in an instant. Onstage she was happy. That was what life meant to her.
She never understood that I just wanted to be normal. When I was ten, I've started to rebel. My notes at school got worse. She engaged private teachers. Nevertheless I didn't make the grade. Because I didn't want to. It was fun to be a pain a her ass. I enjoyed it when she yelled at me, at least she did notice me then.
My highlight was this concert when I was twelve. She wanted me to take part and my teacher let me work hard for it. I could have done it blindfold, but I decided to fuck it up. She was so embarrassed. Everyone knew, I was the son of the amazing Sophie Countler-Tyler and she was sure, that they secretly laughed about her now. She couldn't stand that.
In the same night she crashed my violin, fired my teachers and signed up for a three-month-tourney to Europe and Asia. I stayed back here with my nanny. Since than it was as if I didn't exist for her any longer, she barely looked at me even when she was at home. But it was okay ... because ... finally I was free."
Casey nervously gnawed at his lower lip, not knowing what to say. He couldn't imagine a life like this. His parents were always there for him, he could come to them with whatever problem he had and they would try to understand and to help. He was an outsider with only a few friends. Zeke was the king. Party every weekend. The guys envied him for his freedom and wanted to be like he was. The girls went crazy when he just smiled at them. But suddenly Casey realized that he never was as alone as Zeke had felt for his whole life.
"This is so sad," he finally whispered helplessly.
"Yeah, I guess, I was the biggest disappointment of her life," he said.
"When did you talk to her for the last time?"
Zeke kept quiet for a moment.
"We don't talk anymore. We will never again.”
"But she's still your Mom, Zeke. You can't mean that."
He flinched back when Zeke suddenly jumped up and glared at him with furiously sparkling eyes.
"You should better shut up now. What do you know about my life? That's none of your business."
Casey's mind was racing. It was obvious that Zeke didn't want to talk about it any longer, but he was not ready to give up that easy. Neither Zeke nor his mother could be happy with this situation. A lot did went wrong between them but they still were mother and son and there must be a way to bring them together again. It would be good for Zeke ...
"It's such a long time," he said.
"Why don't you try to make the first step? Look, it's almost Christmas, Zeke. You could call her and ..."
"Fuck! Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!"
Zeke paled visibly and clenched his hands together. Casey stiffened. He felt, Zeke was ready to grab him, to punch him. But instead of this he suddenly turned around to the door and battered his fist against the wood with full force. The loud crack set Casey's teeth on edge. It must hurt as hell, maybe Zeke had broken his fingers. But he just stared the bloody knuckles, his face still enraged.
"Zeke, stop," Casey yelled shocked when he lifted the hand again.
Thankfully he did. He turned around to look at Casey, eyed him up him with narrowed eyes.
"What the heck are you still doing here? I've told you to go."
His voice sounded so tired.
"Let me have a look at your hand first."
"Fuck it, Connor, back off!"
Zeke slapped his hand away.
"I don't need your sympathy, okay? I don't need anyone. At least my damned mother. I'm glad that she's gone. I'm glad that she will never be back. The best she could do was ..."
"I'm sorry," Casey whispered helplessly.
"I've just tried to help you."
Zeke grinned wide.
"Face it, Casey, you are a stupid geek, a fucking loser. You can't even help yourself. So, fuck ... off! Get it?"
Casey felt tears pricking in his eyes. Zeke used to ignore him at school but he never had been mean. Not like this. This was much harder to endure than every bullying at school.
Back in his room. Casey paused and sighed.
"Zeke is like that," he said.
"I should have known it. But after all he told me ... it's so sad that he doesn't talk to his mom anymore. No matter what she did. It's obvious that he needs her."
Mrs. Connors nodded slowly.
"Yeah, it must be hard for him. Especially now, around Christmas. I'm afraid, he didn't tell you all, Casey.”
He looked at her curious.
"What do you mean?"
"Sophie … his mom. It was an horrible accident."
Casey needed a moment to let it sink in.
"What ... kind of accident?”
"It's about three years ago. She did a great Christmas Tourney in Europe. Christmas Eve. Freezing snow turned the roads into ice rinks. The driver lost control over the bus.
She passed away already on the scene of accident. The whole world was shocked, she was only thirty-six years old … much too young.”
Casey stared at her horrified.
"You mean … She is... she's dead?"
He squeezed his eyes shut. Suddenly his world turned around. What had he done? How much did he hurt Zeke with his request to call his mother at Christmas? It was a wonder that he hadn't punched him right into the face to make him stop tormenting him. Casey started to tremble. Zeke was right, he was so right. He was a stupid, stupid, stupid geek. And Zeke had every right to hate him forever from now on.
He felt his mom's hand on his arm.
"Don't blame yourself that much," she said.
"You didn't know."
“But he's told me to shut up, more then once. And I didn't listen. It was … the way he talked about his mom ... it felt so wrong. I just wanted ... I wanted …"
Gently his mom pulled him into her arms and though he disliked it when she treated him like her little boy, today it was needed.
"I know, Casey," he could hear her reassuring voice like through a haze.
You couldn't to close your eyes for his obvious pain and tried to help. I'm sure deep inside Zeke knows this. You did listen to him, I guess this was more than most people do. He must be pretty much alone.”
"Zeke is not lonely," he protested weak.
"He is ... popular. Everyone at school respects him. Most boys try to be his best friend. And the girls ..."
He paused again. This was not a subject he wanted to discuss with his mom.
"You think so? So, where are all his friends today? What do you think, who knows about his history?"
Casey thought about her words for a while, finally he shrugged.
"Probably no one. Everyone thinks his parents are on a business trip to Europe or elsewhere. Zeke is always so tough ... as if he doesn't care to live on his own. But now ... I hope he will be back at school on Monday ... but I'm not sure if I can stand it to meet him again. What shall I do? After all I know now ..."
His mom smiled slightly.
"Tell me something, Casey: Do you care for him?"
Casey kept quiet for a moment. The answer was easy. Of course he did. More than he could tell his mother. But this didn't make it easier. Zeke never had been very close to him, they had barely changed more than a few words at school. For Casey it had been enough to sit beside him in class during biologie, to take pics of him during the football games, to share the bleachers with him during lunch where Casey used to eat his homemade lunch and Zeke enjoyed a smoke. It would never be like this again. He would never be able to look at Zeke without thinking about this afternoon, about what he had done to him. But, yes, he still cared for him. Maybe even more than before.
His mom eyed him thoughtfully.
"If you care for him, Casey, it's not an option to give up now. Be there for him. Don't push it though, he will needs his time. With his history it doesn't make me wonder that it's hard for him to trust someone.
But I do believe in you, Casey. You are strong enough to be the friend he needs."
~~ THE END ~~
revised work May 2015