Title: Outing (part 6)
Fandom: The Faculty / Casey & Zeke
Summery: An article at the schools magazine turns around the world
Disclaimer: The Faculty and the boys are not mine, of course ;)
Casey looked around with wide opened eyes. It was so obvious that the house was not, what he had expected, a small cabin at the lake, ordinary and functional furnished. Zeke smiled. He loved this place. It was a long time since he had been here last. But nothing had changed. The big fireplace in the middle of the room. The couches with all the cushions and blankets. The selves full of books. The splendid view out of the great windows. The woods around, the sparkling of the lake, the boathouse. Zeke wondered if his small rowing boat still would be there. The smell of violets … though he knew this did only exist in his mind ...
“My grandpa did build it,” he said.
“He draw the plans, did most of the work by himself. You know, you can call him wealthy, his father owned a small store and was smart enough to go with the boom of the economy of the 20th. So he could have hired working men. But he wanted something unique, build by his own hands.
Unfortunately he died too young, I never got to know him. My grandmother though ...”
Zeke looked at the stairs leading to the upper floor. He almost expected his grandma coming down to welcome them. He could feel her warmth, when she pulled him into her arms; she was so small, almost fragile, already at the age of 12 he had been a head taller than her. But together with her he had always felt safe.
“As a child I was here as often as possible,” he told Casey.
“My grandmother was the only one who ever cared about me. When the stroke hit her some years ago I could hardly endure it to go and see her. It was a relief when she died two weeks later. She was always so positive and I knew she hated it to be in such a miserable state.
Since then the house is barely used. My mother thinks it's a dreadful place at the end of the world with no distraction around. Not even TV connection. An old record player, many vinyls, almost everything from The Beatles. My grandma did love them. Many books, but mostly classics and biographies.”
He stopped short, eying Casey thoughtfully.
“I hope, you don't mind!”
“No, oh no!”
To his relief Casey shook the head.
“It's a great place. And I don't think it will get boring. I guess, I would like to spend some time a the lake, maybe start a new photo project. I already have some ideas.”
Zeke chuckled inwardly. It had been a good idea to bring him here. Where, if not here, he would remember all the things which meant something for him?
“You can stay as long as you want. Upstairs you will find two guestrooms, just choose one. The kitchen has a small pantry with some supplies and a freezer. And at the back of the house is a little shed with wood for the fireplace … just in case it gets colder overnight. You should be provided for the next days.”
“So you don't stay here with me?”
Casey looked at him questioningly.
“You are still angry, aren't you? Because … I didn't tell you.”
“No, actually not.”
Of course, he had felt hurt and angry first. At Casey, at Delilah, at this other guy. No one, nothing had the right to step between him and Casey, to take away what meant so much for him … He had stopped to think clearly, he had said things he should better have never said, he had overstepped the line and almost lost him. But now he was here, with him, not on his way to Chicago. And he wouldn't make this mistake again.
“It was your decision. Like it is your decision what you want to do with your life.
That's why you are here. There is a lot you should think about, Casey. And I don't want to talk you into anything.”
“But you will come back again?”
Zeke smiled reassuring.
“You won't get rid of me so easy. I will be back soon enough. Bring you some fruits, milk … need anything else?”
Suddenly Casey grinned wide.
“Chocolate Cheerios,” he said.
Some days later. Casey was still living in the cabin at the lake. Zeke came by almost every day after school, with fresh food, comics … and learning material.
“Your father has called the principal and told her, that you won't come back to school,” he said while Casey had looked stunned.
“Today Mr. Furlong though asked me about you. I guess he still hopes that you will change your mind. He would back you up, you know.”
Casey had just pulled the face and put the papers aside. But at least he hadn't outright dismiss it. And when Zeke entered the cabin today, he was sitting at the small desk of his grandma, working on some of the tests. Zeke decided that it was better to ignore it for the moment and not to interfere the good progress Casey made. Finally he started to calm down, think more rational again. Not even the longer phone call with Gideon had changed this. After this disturbing article the guy hadn't hesitated. He had paid for the flight ticket, he had told Casey to come to Chicago, he had promised to support him. But Casey was sensitive enough to notice the relief in his voice when he told him that he had decided to stay here in Herrington, at least for the moment, and to rethink his plans again.
“Fucker,” was all what Zeke could think, but Casey had dismissed it with a shrug.
“It's okay, Zeke,” he said, sounding surprisingly calm.
“I guess it was over the moment I decided to stay here.”
Since then they hadn't talked about Gideon again, nor about his parents or other future plans. And Zeke knew, it was better not to force anything.
part 7 (end)