Fandom: The Faculty
Character: Casey & Zeke ( pairing or not ... this is the question ;) )
Word Count: 989
Disclaimer: of course, I don't own The Faculty nor the characters - just borrowing them for some fun
Author's note: originally written for fffc - challenge 15.10 = sunshine
Zeke smirked when he finally found him at the back-row of the bleachers. It was a windy, cold day, though it was supposed to be spring, and no one had thought about it to look for him outdoors.
Slowly he went upstairs, still no knowing why he actually cared. Usually he knew to keep out of other people's problems, he had enough on his own plate.
To hear Casey's choked sniffing, to notice his swollen, red eyes and his pale face when he met him in the washroom this morning was one thing. But quite another what had happened at chemistry later. Mr. Furlong, their teacher, had pointed out a small mistake in Casey's experiment, for a moment the boy had stared at him in silence, then he swept the tube from the table with a rapid arm-swing and stormed out off the classroom.
This was so not Casey. And Zeke had to admit: he was curious.
When he dropped down onto the seat beside him, Casey barely looked up.
„What do you want? Don't you have enough other customers for your stupid stuff?“
„You really took the cake today. Poor old Furlong was totally swept off his feet.“
Casey blinked fleetingly and kept quiet. Mr Furlong was his favorite teacher, he was a nice, funny guy and he always tried to support and encourage his students. He had even promised Casey a letter of recommendation for college. But all this didn't count anymore.
Zeke eyed him thoughtfully.
„Wanna talk about it?“
„Does it look like that,“ Casey snapped.
Zeke pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and lit one. Silently he was sitting beside Casey until the school bell announced the end of lunch-break. But even then Casey didn't move.
„Skipping school, huh? Well, I guess it can't hurt when you finally stop acting like the good boy all the time.“
Casey jerked around and stared at him with dark eyes.
„Get off my back, Zeke, okay.“
„Hey, no need to freak out. I'm just trying to be nice.“
A mixture of surprise and mistrust was lying on Casey's face for a moment. Then he shook it off.
„That's weird. No one cares about me. No even my parents!“
He turned his head away but Zeke could hear his suppressed sobbing. Usually he would feel a dull uneasiness now, emotions were so not his cup of tea. But to his own surprise he felt pity rushing through his body. Whatever it was, it gave Casey a really hard time.
„You parents love you to pieces,“ he murmured.
Of course they did, everyone knew it. The Connor's were the perfect family, with dinner together in the evening and joint adventures at the weekends. His parents were so proud of him … and so overprotective. Like the others Zeke had often made fun about curfews, homemade lunches and stupid checkered shirts. He had always refused to think much about it how it would be to have loving parents like them.
„And that's why they lie to my … about one and a half year?“
So he did read it wrong? Obviously it was not all sunshine in the Connor's home. Zeke wondered how bad it could be to throw Casey off track like this.
„They get divorced.“
Oh. That worse.
„My dad has a secret lover. Meets her since months. And they always pretended to be happy together. He wasn't at home much lately, yes. But he has an own advertising bureau and is often away on business. He's called me almost every day. We joked around and he talked about the towns he was visiting, New York, Washington, London. And he said one day he would like to take me with him to Europe. But it was all a lie. All the time he was together with her.“
Casey sniffed slightly.
„He told me yesterday that he will move out next month. Even asked me for some understanding. Says that it's about time for this step, better for all of us. Pfft! The bitch is pregnant. And he says he doesn't want to shirk responsibility.
But what's with me? He didn't even asked me if I want to go to Akron with him. They just decided that I will stay here in Herrington with my mom. Because of school and all ... pfft ..."
This time he didn't even try to hide his tears. Without thinking about it Zeke put his arm around his shoulders.
„Would I what?“
„Leave your mom alone. Live together with him, his new wife and the baby. Though I guess you would be a good brother.“
He could feel Casey stiffening, then he shrugged his arm off.
„Of course not. I've told him to fuck off, I will never talk to him again. And I give a shit about the baby.“
Despite his words his voice trembled.
Zeke eyed him thoughtfully.
„Don't do that, Case,“ he finally said.
„Don't break up with your dad. You would regret it later.“
„What do you know, huh? Do you actually have parents?“
Zeke cringed inwardly, but he knew this was not Casey but the desperate try to be stronger than he felt in the moment.
„I was seven when they decided to go separate ways. And the last they thought about was me. They did fight about the house, the cars, the money. My mom was longing for parties and traveling around the world. My dad was just living for his job. They did send my to boarding schools and summer camps. Until I was old enough to live on my own.“
He kept quiet for a moment, thinking about his own words. Usually he didn't talk about it, it did hurt to much.
„Your parents love you. It probably wasn't the best decision to keep it secret for so long but all they wanted was the best for you. Don't blame them for not being perfect.“
Casey stared at him, still fighting with his feelings but the tears finally stopped. Then he forced himself onto his feet.
„I should go. Football-Training,“ he murmured.
„Del will kill me when I don't have the pics ready for the next issue of the schools magazine.“
„Not a good idea, Casey.“
Coach Willis and the jocks from the team gave him hard times whenever they could. Usually Casey would just look at them with slightly narrowed eyes and act as if he didn't care. But not in this state, he was a confused mess with a pale face and swollen eyes.
Finally he made a decision.
„C'mon, lets split.“
Casey shook his head.
„I can't go home. Not yet. My head is swimming.“
„Come home with me.”
Zeke searched for the keys of his GTO.
„We will cook something delicious and watch some cheesy movies. If not this, I don't know what can cheer you up.“
Pleased he noticed Casey's confused but curious look.
„You can cook?“
„It's one of the good results when you are fourteen and already left to your own devices. I've learned soon enough that fast-food everyday is just half the fun.
I like to cook, it helps me to keep a clear head when everything around is running wild. Do you know Mexican Chicken Bake? It's really good. And for dessert … hm … maybe chocolate muffins? I bet you have a sweet tooth."
It was good to see a shadow of a smile on Casey's face.