Title: Samantha - part 21
Fandom: Zeke & Casey
Author's note: AU - The boys have great future plans ...
Disclaimer: of course, not mine
previous parts: here
- twenty-one -
Casey stared after the car when Zeke and his father got in, ready to go to the child welfare service in town. He wished he could be with them, to take care of Zeke but his father had refused to let him go with them.
"No drama today, Casey, please," he had said.
"You can help Zeke much more when you stay here and have a look at Samantha when she wakes up."
He had seen the skepticism in his eyes and put a hand onto his shoulder.
"Don't worry, Zeke is a smart, young man. And I will be with him. I will make sure that he doesn't make over hasted decisions he will regret later."
Casey was not totally convinced. When Zeke was loaded with determination no one would keep him from doing so. They had talked for the rest of the night but Zeke had still looked worn out and confused this morning.
The intensity of Samantha's nightmare had scared Casey too, even if he tried to hide it. Everything had looked so normal, they had spend a great day together with her. Nothing had prepared them for a breakdown like this. Probably his mom was right, she would need more then just a home and a babysitter who would look after her when they couldn't be around.
For the first time he had to admit that maybe they wouldn't be able to give her all she needed. Last night he had felt as helpless as Zeke did, only his mother had finally been able to calm her down. Maybe it was not enough to love her. Maybe they were too young and green to take care of her. Maybe they would do her even more harm.
Zeke was fighting with equal feelings. When he had kissed him goodbye Casey had felt the tension inside him. And he knew Zeke had already made his decision. Nervously he started to bit his fingernails, an old, bad habit he had recently managed to stop. Today he didn't care. Zeke was going to make a great mistake. If he would agree to an adoption ...
All Casey wanted was to call him back. There were other possibilities, they just needed to find them. Maybe ... if he would reduce his classes at Art School he would be able to take care of Samantha when Zeke still had to learn for College. Without any question Zeke needed to graduate next year, with the prospect of the job he had worked so hard for over the last years. But he, Casey? He already had a good rep as a photographer, it wouldn't do much harm when he put Art school on hold for a while.
Casey sighed. A plan which would never work out. He knew, Zeke would never let him do this.
"Just forget it, Case," he would say and kiss him.
"Samantha is my daughter. You won't risk your lifetime dream for me!"
Zeke shrugged and stared at the paper cup in his hands. Mr. Connor had made a short stop at a drive-in for a coffee before they finally went back to Herrington. A part of Zeke couldn't wait to be back again, another part was afraid of it. Samantha had still slept when they had left this morning and he needed to find out if she was okay. He wondered if he could go to the mall with her later. There was this small shop which sold model cars. Zeke was sure that she would like it there ...
Of course, this was not a solution her problems, he knew all too well, but if she could forget her nightmares only for one moment and be happy like a kid should be, it was worth it. And he wanted as much time as possible together with her, he wanted to get to know her better, before ... yeah, before ...
He closed his eyes, feeling exhausted, while his mind wandered back. Mr. Caviness, the guy from the welfare service had turned out to be nice. He had asked a lot of questions but didn't judge him. They had talked for what felt like hours, because he tried to find a good solution not only for Samantha but for him too. And the best of all, he had agreed to let Samantha stay in Herrington with the Connor's at least for a while.
"I guess this will be better for her than a children's home," he said.
"But I will have to find a place for her before summer is over. She should have some time to settle down before school starts. I'm sorry, Zeke, I wish I could give you more time."
His voice had been low but unhesitating. He had made his decision even before he got there. She would get what she needed. A Mom who would make her breakfast in the morning and read to her in the evening. A Dad who was proud of her and visited her school events. Brothers and sisters. Grandparents who loved her, not these stupid pricks who told her that she would go to hell just because she liked astronauts more than dolls.
Where his place in her new life would be ... he didn't know it yet ... but there could be one if he wanted it. Mr. Caviness had told him about the possibilities of an open adoption, where he would be able to stay in contact with her.
"Call me, whenever you have questions," he'd said at parting.
"I can understand when are still unsure about your decision ... an adoption is a serious step. But in Samantha's interest this shouldn't end in an interminable back and forth."
Unsure about his decision? Yes, he was. He wanted to cry: 'No! I'm her father. She belongs to Casey and me.' But he had no right to act selfish. He was too young, he was still going to College ... he was gay ... not that he regretted his way of life, but it was not the right place for a little girl like Samantha. Her breakdown last night had made it quite clear to him. The only way was to let her go ...
... and not to think too much about Casey. He wouldn't understand. Without hesitation he had been ready to change his life for Samantha.
"We are her family," he had said last night.
"She needs us."
Zeke had tried hard to be the reasonable one.
"All our future plans. We wanted to travel after graduation, Europe, Asia maybe."
"She can come with us when she's a bit older. Or we will go during summer, when she joins a science camp. I bet in a few years she will love to do that. She's so smart."
"What's with the fun? Clubnights and long horror movie sessions?"
"Visiting a zoo can be fun too. Remember the baby-ducks in the park? You were falling in love with them in a flash."
"Sex. We can't even fuck anymore when she's around. You will miss that, won't you?"
Giggling. Rolling eyes.
"A bit more abstinence will do you good."
At the end even Casey was willing to admit, that there might be some problems, but as long as they were together, everything would go well, he doubt this not even for a moment. Zeke himself was angst-ridden to fail. And Samantha would have to pay the price.