This story is not the usual romantic, sweet stuff with boys in love you may expect to find in a Val-Day story ...
... but you will find a touch of Val-Day and some fluff ;) So I think it is okay to call this a Valentine's Story.
This story is:
- for honeyandvinegar who did the wonderful Love month for years
- for mews1945 who gave me the idea for this story with one vid she posted some time ago
- for all of you who still like the boys - who are still reading my stories
Fandom: The Faculty / Casey & Zeke
Summery: Zeke takes over responsebility ...
Disclaimer: The Faculty and the boys are not mine, of course ;)
Casey was on his way home from his photo club. He was not in the best mood. First: the rain had lasted for hours and ruined all the plans of a field trip to the near lake.
Second: when he returned to his bike after the course, he noticed that someone had slashed the tire. Not for the first time, so he thankfully had some tools in his backpack and could repair it at least provisional But it had lasted one hour, he had to call his mom and tell her that he would be late for dinner today. She had promised him to keep the Green-Bean-Casserole warm … but he would miss his grandma.
Third: tomorrow was Monday, first school day of the week. Casey hated Mondays. Gabe always seemed to spend his weekends with making plans for new harassment Gym with Coach Willis after lunch, who hated him. And it was almost Val-Day. The whole school had turned into a nuthouse … not that it was much better other times. But only one more day together with stupid giggling girls and guys who suddenly discovered their romantic streak and he would freak out. Of course no one would write him a poem, pin a rose onto his locker … not to mention ask him for a date. And the only one he would buy some sweets for were his mom and his beloved Grammy
Casey huffed slightly. This shouldn't stir his emotions that much, they both were so much more worth than all the dumbheads at school. Finally the rain had stopped. Only two streets and he would be at home. His grandma would already be on her way home but the Green Bean Casserole would wait for him. He sped up … reached the Grove street and …
He jerked to a halt, blinked, started at the scene in front of him in disbelief. A little dog, still a puppy, black all over, but half of head white. He looked cute but it wasn't that what made Casey speechless for a moment.
“Goddamned,” he murmured.
“What the fuck ...”
The puppy eyed him carefully, finally he started to hop in his direction. Hop … literally … unable to move otherwise. Someone had bound his legs together, all four of them, with a wild web of ropes. Casey felt fury rising up and clenched his fists. Ohhh, these bastards, always in search of someone smaller and weaker than them, someone they could tease and bully without worrying about the backfire.
He knelt down and forced himself to relax. Slowly he put his hand forth.
„Hey,“ he said softly.
„Come here. What did they do to you, huh?“
To his surprise the dog seemed not scared, rather curious. He sniffed at his hand, wagged his tail.
„Hey, what a good boy,“ Casey murmured and nuzzled him behind his ears. He really seemed to enjoy this, laid down onto his side, begging for more.
Casey stroked him and stared at his bound legs. Carefully he tried to loose one of the knots which hold the thin but strong ropes together. Someone had put a lot of effort in it. Luckily it wasn't pulled too tight, so it wouldn't hurt him but it let him no chance to free himself. Casey looked around and wondered how he had been able to escape his tormentors It was impossible to imagine that he had been able to get far away in a short time. Maybe they were still around, observing him. Casey fought down his uneasiness. Let they come. He would tell them what he thought about shit like this. Fuckers.
“Only a moment to go,” he said to the dog.
“I will get a tong from my bike and free you. Then we go home. I'm sure my mom will have something good for you in her pantry. Later we will think about it how to find your owner.”
He got up, turned around … and froze.
„Don't do that!”
Casey coughed, half surprised, half shocked. Of course he had known that Zeke was living in this street, nevertheless he was the last one he had expected to see. They both visited Herrington High, shared some classes, even a lab table at physics. Beside of that they hadn't much in common. Casey was a good student who usually followed the rules. And Zeke … was Zeke. A heart breaker. More interested in his very own businesses than in the lessons. He skipped school whenever he wanted and Casey knew even Mr. Furlong started to lose his patience. It was only a matter of time and Zeke would flunk out of school. An idea Casey didn't like to think about. With the two different worlds they were living in this would probably mean to see him never again.
But at the moment his world felt turned around. Zeke knelt down beside the dog and chuckled slightly.
“You little runaway,” he murmured.
“How did you manage that again, huh?”
He didn't even seem to notice his awkward position when he took him onto his arms. Casey frowned and without thinking he stepped into his way.
“Wait! Zeke! What are you doing?”
Zeke looked surprised.
“Bring him home. He needs to rest now.”
“Bring him home?”
Casey stared at him thunderstruck.
“He is … he's yours?”
“Anything wrong with that?”
Zeke sounded as amused as ever and Casey cringed inwardly. No, this couldn't be. Zeke was not a golden boy, of course not, but he wouldn't be that grotty. Casey looked at the little puppy who was still lying in Zeke's arms, so small, so helpless, barley able to move with his bound legs. And he started to shake with rage.
“You … you fucker,” he yelled.
“What have you done? This is … this is … so low. He's still a puppy. Does it feel good when you can torture him? Is it that? Do you enjoy it? What the hell is wrong with you?”
Zeke raised an eyebrow and grinned. Casey felt the urge to kill him … but this would have to wait. For now he needed to carry the dog into safety … far, far away from here.
“I won't let it happen that you hurt him even more,” he said and stepped closer.
“He's okay,” Zeke threw in.
“You call this okay? With bound legs, so that he's barely able to move? How sick is this?”
Casey huffed, shaking with anger.
“Give him to me. I'm gonna take him to a vet, he should better have a look at him.”
“Go ahead. He will tell you that all he can do is to kill him.”
Casey stared at Zeke, feeling shocked. Suddenly his mouth felt dry. Everyone knew Zeke owned a lab in his garage, was experimenting with drugs and other stuff … maybe the bounds legs were not all …
“What … what have you done,” he whispered, fighting with tears.
“Not much. I've only saved his life.”
Casey needed a moment to let it sink in.
“What do you mean?”
To his surprise Zeke chuckled.
„Have a look at him. Does he look unhappy? Scared?”
Casey looked at the puppy in Zeke's arms, he huddled close against his chest, his eyes dark and big, eying Casey curious. He didn't seem to take any notice of his bound legs, as if this was okay for him. No, he didn't act like a tortured animal in the hands of his tormentor
“This is strange,” Casey murmured, not so sure anymore what to think about all this.
Zeke scratched the dog's neck and nodded.
“Yeah, it looks cruel but not all is like it looks like. Take the ropes off, put him on the ground and he will helplessly lay there, flat like a pancake. To bound his legs helps him to stand on his feet. And it's just the beginning, the muscles need to build up, his bones need to get stronger. Still a long way to go but one day he will be able to move without any help. He's a fighter, he will get there.”
Casey blinked, still confused, but curious. In a screwy way it started to make sense.
“What is all this about, Zeke?”
The older boy hesitated for a moment, finally he turned around, walked away. Casey felt slightly disappointed Though it actually shouldn't surprise him. Zeke always knew to avoid it to let people into his mind … his life. He had no close friends. He flirted with the girls, with all of them, but no steady girl-friend he was dating. Sometimes it seemed as if he was even more alone as Casey.
He sighed and finally turned to his bike. It didn't make sense to stay here for longer … and a Green-Bean-Casserole was waiting for him at home. Then he heard Zeke's voice.
“Hey, you coming? I'm gonna show you!”
Casey needed a moment to realize that Zeke had been talking to him. O … kay. Had he just gotten an invitation into Zeke's house? But not, wait. Zeke had already left the house behind, walking over to the garage, which was standing some distance away between old trees and bushes. The garage. Whenever Casey did pass Zeke's house he dared a quick glance at it, wondering what was going on inside. Of course he had heard all the rumors about it. It was Zeke's secret lab where he produced drugs. A warehouse for stolen goods. A … love-nest … where he could do with the girls whatever he wanted.
Zeke pushed the door open and stepped in, haltingly Casey followed him. It was not what he had expected, nothing spectacular. Yes, there was small lab table right behind the door but it looked pretty much unused. No boxes and container full of Zeke's goods, but shelves full of books. A small table with a cage on it, with a little white rat. An old carpet on the wooden floor. An worn out but comfy looking couch. A wooden box beside, some blankets and cushions in it.
Zeke went over and carefully put the puppy down.
“Good boy. C'mere, now we need to free you. I know, you don't like that. But I will be careful, okay?”
With experienced fingers he started to lose the ropes, continuing to talk calm and reassuring. It took some time before Zeke got up again and Casey had free sight at the dog's box. He swallowed hard. The legs, without the helping ropes now, looked skinny, weak, as if they weren't even a part of the body. But at least the dog didn't seem to suffer, he raised his head, followed Zeke with his dark eyes, wagged wildly with his tail when he noticed the biscuits in his hand.
“Hey, slow down a bit. It's all yours. But one at a time, okay?”
When he finally turned to Casey, he noticed his shocked look.
“It's called Swimmer Puppy Syndrome,” he said.
“Come over here, I will show you.”
Casey threw a last glance at the little puppy who was still happily chewing his biscuits before he followed him over to the other side of the garage. When his eyes fall onto the desk and the computer on it he gasped. Holy shit. He had always been so proud of his own computer, he had gotten it from his father's office some months ago when they had replaced it by a newer one. But Zeke's … he had seen a similar one in a catalog … one he could only dream about. When Zeke turned it on it booted in an instant and only a few moments later a website opened. The fastest connection Casey had ever seen. But there was no time to envy Zeke. His eyes fall onto the main line of the side.
Love for Roger. The Roger Foundation is developed to give animals with disabilities a chance to live.
„He is one of them,“ said Zeke.
„The Swimmer Puppy Syndrome is a congenital disability which leaves the legs splayed and weak. The dogs can't move on their own. Usually they don't have a change, they get euthanized … or killed in other ways. I did found him in a garbage container right behind the bleachers at school. He was barely alive, couldn't even whine.”
Casey swallowed and felt tears pricking in his eyes. Zeke pulled the face.
„Yeah, it's shit. I could see that he wouldn't survive much longer, so I took him to a shelter. The doc barely had a look at him. All he told me was: The most human thing we can do is to put him to sleep. Even if he would make it, he will never have a chance to stand on his own feed.”
“You took him home anyway,” Casey threw in.
“That's so cool.”
“Actually not. Pretty much stupid. I don't care much about others and the last I wanted was a pet. Well, beside of Oscar, but he's more a lab rat. When I realized what I had done it was too late. There he was, a puppy, so weak that he couldn't do anything alone. I somehow managed it to give him some milk and he drifted off. I wasn't sure if he would survive the night.”
“But he did!”
“Yeah. That night … and the next … and the next. He had a lot issues but slowly it started to get better. One morning I did wake up and there he was, right in front of me, on the floor, his legs spread, whining, until I took him onto me arms. I don't know how he did manage it to get out of his box, but it was so obvious that he was not willing to give up.
This morning I decided that he deserves better than just to survive. First I tried to find out more about his disability. I searched in the Web and finally found this side. Sally, the webmaster, she's great. We chatted for hours. She told me that it is always a long way to help animals with a disability. Most vets are very skeptical, because a therapy can get pretty much expensive and the chances of success are often doubtful. So you are mostly on your own.”
“That's so stupid”
Casey huffed slightly.
“But that's like it usually goes. If you don't fit in perfectly, your life can turn into hell. You should know.”
“Whatever. Money was never a problem for me. Sally gave me the address of a guy in Europe. He's working with dogs with SPS since years. His devise is: what can help people with disabilities can't hurt an animal.
He only works with meds when it is unavoidable. Relies on massages and gymnastics instead, to strengthen the muscles and bones. To bring them in the right position he bound the legs. Starts with only a minute but every day you can extend it a bit …”
Zeke smiled and watched the little puppy in his box. He had finally finished his biscuits and was sleeping now, curled up, obviously worn out but relaxed.
“Not all the exercises are fun for him, but he's doing great. I try to make it as playful as possible. As soon as the weather starts to get warmer I would like to start with swim-training.”
“It will be good for him. I've already made plans about how to do it. He must be able to move as free as possible. I'm thinking about some kind of a hammock at a frame where I can put him in, the legs in the water, so he can move them freely.”
Casey had listened with more and more awe. This was a Zeke Tyler he had never seen before. No one at school would believe this. It was as if he had taken off the mask he used to hide behind. He cared so much for this little puppy … and sounded almost proud when he talked about him. Like a father talking about his son. This was surprising … and cute … and … too much for words. If Casey wouldn't already have this hopeless crush for him since years, he would fall in love with him now. He almost blushed at his own thoughts. Just good that Zeke was not able to read his mind.
“This is so amazing what you are doing,” he said, looking for distraction.
“How long are you already working with him?”
“About ten weeks.”
“So that's the reason why you started to skip school.”
“I never needed a reason to skip school.”
“I never was a golden boy like you.”
Casey pulled his face but laughed anyway.
“Shut up,” he said.
“You know what I'm talking about. You can't move on like that, Zeke. They are already talking about it to suspend you.”
“I wanted to quit anyway. He will still need me for quite a long time. He's like a baby, you know. When I'm going to leave him alone, he will freak out.”
Casey kept quiet for a while, thinking this through. It was a good argument, yes. The little dog was so helpless without Zeke. But on the other side … Casey watched him sleeping in his box … his ears up, the tale wagging slightly, as if he knew that they were talking about him. Beside of the strange position of his legs he looked like a healthy, young dog. And like every puppy he would have to learn to stay alone for a while.
“Don't spoil him too much,” he said.
“What do you know? You don't know what he has gone through. An object, carelessly discarded to die.”
For the first time this afternoon Zeke's voice had changed, this was the Zeke Tyler he knew, the Zeke Tyler no one would dare to fuck around with. Casey swallowed. But he knew, he was right.
“Now he's strong enough, Zeke,” he said.
“You do a good job. He will be able to cope with it, because you give him all the love he needs.”
And he felt relieved that Zeke looked stunned but not angry.
“Why the hell do you care,” he finally asked.
“Because it's not fair when you have to quit school because of what you are doing for him. Because you have a brilliant mind. You should graduate and go to College. Ever thought about it to study veterinary medicine?”
“Who am I,”Zeke asked.
“I guess you could be. You could help a lot animals with a disability. Give them a chance to live.
Think about it Zeke, please. At least talk to Mr. Furlong, I'm sure together with him you can find a way.”
Time to go. When they stepped out of the garage it was almost dark outside. Casey felt the cold air on his face and shivered. It was stupid … but he didn't want to go. This afternoon had been so special and he knew this would never come back. He was used to it often to be alone and it was okay. There were his parents, his grandma, his camera, his books, the chess-club … he never had missed close friends. Zeke, yes, he had been his unreachable crush … until today. Everything had changed.This afternoon probably was the best he had ever had … He didn't want it to come to an end.
Finally they had reached his bike. Casey grabbed for it, ready to say 'Good bye'.
“Maybe you're right, you know.”
Casey turned back to Zeke.
“I do spoil him. A lot. And I like to do it. He deserves it. But I guess, you're right. I can't be around him forever. He should learn to be alone now and then.”
Good to hear. Casey smiled.
“So you will come back to school?”
“Maybe. I will think about it, okay? What are you doing next Friday?”
Casey blinked confused.
“Friday,” he repeated.
“Friday Val- day. Any plans for the evening?”
As if he ever had plans for a Friday evening … Val-Day or not.
“Oh, that,” he tried to play cool.
“Commercial shit. It's all about how to squeeze as much money as possible out of stupid dumbheads.”
“What about a movie?”
"The Goonies. Geeky story, but a lot fun.”
Zeke looked back to the garage.
“I call him Mickey, you know. Like one of the guys in the movie.”
“Funny name for a puppy.”
"But it fits."
„Jepp.Tough little guys, both of them. Wanna go?“
„Wanna go … what?”
Zeke rolled his eyes.
„They are going to show the movie on Friday at the Atlas. I'm sure, you would like him.“
„You mean, a date,” Casey burst out … and blushed instantly.
Zeke grinned wide.
“Later we could go back here and order a pizza. I don't want to leave him alone for so long for the beginning.”
*** the end ***
Here is a link to the video Mews posted some time ago. If you don't know it, you should watch it. It's amazing.