Title: Photo Session in the park
Fandom: The Faculty
Character: Casey & Zeke
Word Count: 2243
Disclaimer: of course, I don't own The Faculty nor the characters - just borrowing them for some fun
originally written for fffc - challenge 15.21 - kids
Surprised Zeke looked at Casey when he dropped down onto the bench beside him, smiling wide, the stupid camera around his neck as ever. He was indeed a photo-geek … but beside most others at school Zeke secretly thought that this was somehow cute. To be honest: he was thinking about the Connor-boy much too often lately, wondering if there would be a way to get closer to him without being rejected with one of his usual 'get-of-my-back' looks. Casey had accepted it that he was the geek at school, all he wanted was to be left alone.
“I wonder if you would be interested in a deal?”
Huh? That was new. Zeke was well known at school as the guy who could provide almost everything, but Casey was non of his customers … at least he wasn't, until now. He put on a wide grin to hide his curiosity.
“Sure, what can I do for you? Some of my Scat? Roses for the girl you fall in love with? Or … condoms? C'mon, tell me, and don't worry, I will be discreet.”
The boy laughed loud.
“No, thank you, I don't want any of the stuff you sell. It's more ...”
He paused, suddenly slightly nervous he licked his lips, then he looked up again, his eyes sparkling with determination.
“I need a model.”
Zeke stared at him and huffed.
“A what,” he asked bewildered.
“You know, I've joined this photo-club and every week there is a little challenge. Usually I prefer nature pics but this time … I've something in my mind, I guess it will come out good … but I need a male model.”
“Porn,” he asked.
“Holy crap, no! Just … some photos in the park … at the lake. Stuff like that.”
He tried to avoid Zeke's glance now, for sure he did hide something.
“I can't pay you much though, but maybe you would like to have some extra pics?”
“Pics for what?”
“I don't know. Your application at College? For your girlfriend?”
“I don't even know if I want to go to College,” Zeke said and chuckled slightly.
“And I don't have a girlfriend.”
For a split of a second there was a slight sparkling in Casey's eyes but it vanished when he got up.
“Okay, I get it, you are not interested. Sorry for bothering you.”
“Did I say that,” Zeke hold him back.
“Tell me when and where, and we can talk about the payment later.”
“Really? That's cool!”
The wide smile was back.
“Thanks, Zeke, you've just saved my project. 3 o'clock, at Annie's Ice Cream Cart in the Lincoln-Park. This okay for you?”
Zeke nodded, inwardly laughing. Annie's Ice Cream Cart? Why didn't surprise him that?
“Fine by me.”
He watched Casey getting on his bike and riding away quick as the wind and he felt out and out good.
Zeke arrived at the park early, he had to admit that he was curious about the planned photo session. Though he didn't know much about photography he had already seen pics of Casey in the schools magazine, interesting photos, not the usual, boring ones taken by Delilah and her friends with a cheap camera. Casey knew to play with his photo equipment and to make his pictures expressive. A photo session together with him promised to be interesting, though Zeke was still not sure about his role in it.
He dropped down onto bench near the ice cream-cart, put on his sunglasses, stretched out his legs…. and almost jumped when he heard a voice coming from behind.
He opened his eyes and turned around, a little girl was standing next to the bench. She was about six or seven years old, wearing light blue jeans and a yellow t-shirt, her hair was cut short and with the baseball cap on her head she almost looked liked a boy. A wide grin on her face, some freckles, gray eyes, she was not shy in the slightest but watched him with open curiosity.
Zeke usually didn't care much about children, it was not that he didn't like them, they just didn't fit into his life. Difficult though to ignore this little girl who now dropped down onto the bench beside him. He smiled at her.
“Hi. What are you doing here all alone?”
“I'm not,” she answered.
“Alone, I mean. You are here with me.”
Oh, little smart-ass. Zeke chuckled inwardly until she continued babbling.
“You are Zeke, aren't you?”
Surprised he looked at her.
“Casey has shown me some pics,” she explained smiling.
“He has a lot pics of you.”
It happened only rarely the Zeke was out off words but these were too much information at once he needed to sort out. Who was this little girl? What was she doing here? Where did she know Casey from? Why did he show her pics of him, a lot pics? And when the heck Casey had actually taken them?
“Caro, I've told you to … oh.”
Zeke turned around to the owner of the voice, Casey with a cone of ice cream in every hand. He smiled sheepish.
“Oh,” he repeated.
“I see you two have already got to know each other.”
The girl, Caro, hopped from the bench and stretched out her hand.
“Which is mine,” she asked.
Casey handed her one of the cones, then he turned to Zeke.
“Caro, Caroline actually, she's the daughter of my cousin,” he said, as if this would explain anything, holding out the second cone.
Zeke still felt flabbergasted, slightly grinning he shook he head.
“No, thanks, I don't have such a sweet tooth.”
“But it's good,” Caro told him, licked the ice cream and smacked her lips satisfied.
“Chocolate, the best. Casey has promised to buy me another cone after the shooting. But don't tell my mom, she thinks one cone a day is enough.”
She giggled gleefully while Casey gave a slight groan. Zeke looked at him questioningly.
“After the shooting,” he asked.
“C'mon, Caze, I guess it's time for some explanations. What the hell ...”
He paused, throw a quick glance at the little girl beside him but she was much too busy with her ice cream than to listen. Good … but he needed to be more careful with his diction with her around. Not that he actually did care.
“What's going on here,” he completed his question.
“Well, she's the other model I need for my project,” Casey answered, looking defiant.
“I've told you about the challenges from the photo-club, didn't I?”
“I'm more interested in what you've not told me,” he said.
“What's that supposed to mean, a second model? Thought you wanted to take some pics of me and that's all.”
“Oh, I will take some pics. Well, a lot of them, so I can later choose the best ones for the challenge. It's not that easy to make photos as people think it is, not when you want them to tell a story.”
“You are trying to evade my question,” Zeke stated but he wasn't angry, more curious.
“So you are thinking about a photo project together with me and Caro?”
“You are supposed to play my dad,” Caro dropped in, the ice cream-cone was gone and she started to feel boring.
Zeke coughed slightly and looked from Caro to Casey who shrugged.
“Father and kids,” he said.
“The challenge. My dad is nice, but he doesn't fit into my project at all, so I guess a bit cheating is okay.”
“Do I look like a father?”
“How is a father supposed to look like,” Casey answered with another question.
“That's the point, you know, maybe you don't fit into the picture but it doesn't mean that you can't be a good one. That's what I want to show with my project, not the usual father-kid pics.”
Okay, that was outright geeky and Zeke needed a moment, or two to realize the Casey was pretty serious with his idea. But that was ridiculous, wasn't it? Not for all money in the world he would do that, he actually barely knew what a father was supposed to do, he had never had one who cared enough to do any father-son stuff together with him.
Caro tore him out of his thoughts when she grabbed for his hand, her fingers still a bit sticky from the ice cream.
“Do you like the trick fountains,” she asked him.
“Can we go to there first?”
“Oh, I guess we'll better save this for later,” Casey chipped in laughing.
“I'm sure, Zeke don't want to get soaked to the skin right at the beginning.”
Others than expected Caro accepted the answer without pouting and started to hop down the way. Zeke tried to free himself but she was just pulling him with her.
“C'mon, let's start. The picnic-tables at the lake first, maybe we can feed the ducks. Last time there was a swan, too, Casey has taken some pictures of him. He's a good photographer, you know.”
Half amused Zeke looked at her. She was a cutie and she obviously knew what she wanted, there seemed to be no way that she would accept a 'No'. Laughing he finally gave in and followed her down the way to the lake. He had nothing better to do this afternoon, right, so it wouldn't hurt to play along for a while. At least let Casey take some pics … no way that he would go to the fountains with her though, getting soaked to the skin was so not his thing.
It was about six o'clock in the evening when Zeke finally was sitting in his GTO again, driving over the beltway to go to the other end of the town, a good piece away from the suburbia where he was living. Caro was dozed away on the back seat, the afternoon had been long and hot and she didn't seem to stop babbling and jumping around. Never before Zeke had thought that he would have an afternoon like this. But he did, and he had enjoyed it to kid around with Caro as much as he had enjoyed it to watch Casey behind his camera. So totally different from school, Zeke couldn't help the thought that he should be like that more often.
He almost had felt disappointed when Caro finally started to yawn. Carefully Casey had put the camera back into it's bag.
“I guess it's time to bring you home,” he had told her.
“What's with my ice cream?”
The little girl had eyed him suspeciously.
“Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about it.”
Casey had laughed.
“We can buy one on the way to the bus.”
“I could give a ride home,” Zeke had offered without thinking about it.
“After you have had your ice cream though.”
No ice cream in his car … no way!
Zeke could feel Casey's eyes resting on him. Suddenly he chuckled.
“I'm sorry because of the fountains,” he said.
“I guess it's gotten it bit out of control.”
A bit was an understatement, Zeke sneakers were as wet as the legs of his denims, also the t-shirt hadn't remained dry during the wild water fight. But to be honest, he didn't mind in the slightest.
“Don't worry. It was fun. I just hope you could take some good pictures, we actually didn't do any posing at all.”
“Oh, it was perfect,” Casey assured him.
“I don't like arranged shootings you can get in every photo studio. Can't thank you enough for playing along.”
He paused for a moment.
“By the way, we still need to talk about the payment. I guess a cone of ice cream won't be enough, huh?”
“Hm … no!”
“That's okay. I still have some fun-money from my birthday, so ...”
And suddenly Zeke realized that money was not what he wanted. He shook his head.
“You know, my parents don't care much but at least they send a generous check every month. So, keep you money.”
“Ähm. And what do you want?”
“A night together with you.”
Zeke didn't need to look at him, he knew the blue eyes were big, confused, maybe even shocked right now. For sure Casey didn't know what to think about this, a lot wild pictures were crossing his mind.
“Just hanging around,” Zeke reassured him, inwardly chuckling.
“Have some fun. Watching a movie or two. Having a pizza or some Thai, your choice, everything is fine by me. You bring the food, I will cater the rest.”
Silence for the next minutes. They finally reached the apartment house where Cora was living with her mom and Zeke stopped at one of the parking-lots and switched the motor off. Casey turned to look at him.
“Sounds like a plan.”
His voice was still a bit unsure but he couldn't hide his excitement.