Fandom: The Faculty
Character: Casey, Zeke, Marybeth
Word Count: 2433
Disclaimer: of course, I don't own The Faculty nor the characters - just borrowing them for some fun
originally written for fffc - challenge 15.30 - unlikely partners
Casey had thought about it for a whole weekend if he could trust Zeke. If he could tell him the truth, the secret he carried around since that night when Aliens had tried to take over Herrington High. They had stopped them, he had killed the Alien-Queen and the former schools geek had turned into a hero … at least for a while. But people used to forget all too quickly and soon enough everyone started to move on.
Everyone but Casey. He knew better. It never was that easy. And it could be the end of the mankind when he kept quiet for longer.
He had taken care for her all the time though for a while it had looked as if she would die anyway. But finally she started to get better. When she opened her eyes and smiled at him for the first time after … after that night, it had been like a shock, but then … With her he felt like he had never felt before, he didn't need to pretend anything, they were soulmates, unlikely friends. And he had stopped to think about the future, had hoped preposterous all reason that it would be like that forever.
Until last Friday, everything had changed.
“It starts again,” she had told him.
“They are back.”
And Casey knew what she was talking about. Deep inside he had always known it that this day would come but he wondered what he could do. No one would listen to him, the people had left the nightmare behind, they refused to think about this night where Aliens almost had taken over Herrington High … and that it might happen again. He almost wished he would be like them, blind for the obvious signs, it would be so much easier.
It had taken a weekend until he had mad the decision; he needed to talk with Zeke, he was the only one he trusted enough.
Zeke had parked the GTO on the parking lot near the woods about half an hour ago. It was a hot summer day and the air in the forest was muggy, but Casey still followed the small path without any rest.
“Case, where are we going to,” Zeke finally asked, starting to feel slightly annoyed. He had made plans for this afternoon, when Casey had stepped into his way, looking at him with big, blue eyes. He hated this look as much as he liked it.
Zeke was still not sure what to think about Casey. He knew what Casey had done during this night at school, maybe he was the only one who did still remember, he had been with him almost up to the end. But to be honest: Casey was the one who was not willing to stop fighting while all Zeke was looking for was a way to escape this madness, he preferred to be dead than to be turned into a puppet in the hands of an Alien like all the others.
After this incident everyone had called Casey a hero, Delilah had started to date him, Gabe and the other jocks had stopped to bully him … and Zeke had almost felt disappointed that Casey played along this shallow game. It didn't last for long, though. Delilah turned into the biggest cheerleader-bitch again, the Team started to practice again. No one asked about Casey anymore, the schools geek, who preferred to spend most of his free time alone again.
Casey was a fucking riddle, a mystery Zeke would have loved to unravel, but beside of some talks at school the boy seemed to studiously avoid him, maybe even more than before the incident. This made it even more surprising that he had asked him for a trip into the woods this morning, without further explanations.
"Already there," answered Casey, pointing at an old cabin.
"Give me a moment, I want to talk to her first.”
Zeke frowned. Talk to … her? What the heck …? But before he could ask Casey had already entered the small, wooden porch and knocked at the door, knock – knock, knock – knock, almost like a code. Then he vanished into the cabin, the door closed quickly behind him as if to prevent everyone outside from hearing or seeing too much.
That was weird. Zeke huffed slightly and stepped closer, determined to demand answers. The window next to the door had curtains, but they weren't closed completely, so he could catch a glimpse from the inside. It was sparsely furnished, a wooden table, two chairs, an old couch, obviously used as a bed. He could see Casey, talking to someone …
Zeke grew stiff when he recognized her, the shock send cold shivers through his body and his mind refused to believe it.
No! No, this couldn't be!
The girl next to Casey had long, blonde hair, v-cut bangs, she was wearing a colorful blouse and black denim. A dark patch over her left eye made her look strange. Zeke swallowed hard, tried to fight his panic.
When he met her for the first time she had been new at school, a young, pretty girl and a lot guys had checked her out, wondering if she would say 'yes' to an invitation to a movie or to a party. Also Zeke did. He had kissed her … there had been a slight wooden scent, but he had ignored it … her lips had been soft, her smile tempting ...
Zeke squeezed his eyes shut, he was hallucinating, she couldn't be here, not in the cabin together with Casey. She was dead. Casey had killed her. He had stabbed a pen full of SCAT into her eye and all that was left behind of her was a slimy mess.
At least this was what Casey had told them afterward when everything was over. No one could witness it, everyone else had been infected, Zeke had lost consciousness after a last, desperate try to stop her. Casey had been all alone with the alien queen.
Reluctantly Zeke opened his eyes again. She was still there, talking to Casey, a slight smile on her lips while she shook her head, but the boy stepped closer and put his hand onto her shoulder almost caressing. They were close, so close. Zeke cringed inwardly. What was going on here?
With an outcry Casey jumped forward to protect the girl when Zeke pushed open the door to the cabin with a pen in his hand. After the alien-incident he hadn't build up his lab again but there were still some pens with SCAT left. He had never thought that he would ever need them again, nevertheless he had only felt safe with some pens in his jacket whenever he left the house.
He raised his arm and pushed Casey aside, surprisingly calm now, this was not the time for questions and hesitation.
"Don't, Zeke, please, it's not like it's look like. Marybeth is dead, you know, I've killed the alien.”
Casey's words reached him like through a haze, he would have liked to turn around to have a look into his eyes, he was sure that he would be able to find the truth there. But he didn't dare to take his eyes from her. She looked like Marybeth, at least like her twin … beside of the eye-pad … and she was alive … she looked so normal and innocent … but he wouldn't fall for that again … she was the alien-queen, she wanted to take over the world ...
A shudder rushed through him. How was it possible that Casey still maintained that he had killed her? What had she done to him?
“Case,” he murmured, suddenly feeling weak. Maybe she was in him, had been all the time?
“I'm okay,” the boy reassured him as if he could read his mind.
“I know, she looks like Marybeth but I call her Anna Marie now.
When I … I stabbed the pen into her eye ..."
He paused and Zeke stared at her eye-pad involuntarily.
“Don't blame yourself!”
Her soft voice made him almost jump and when she put her hand onto Casey's arm he felt the urge to pull him away.
“You did what needed to be done.”
“Keep your fucking hands off him.”
Zeke stepped forward, the pen still clutched. His mind was racing. What would happen when he decided to use it, would Casey protect her because he was one of them? Would he be able to use the pen against Casey too?
“I would never hurt him,” she reassured him. And to his relief she stepped back and dropped down onto the old couch.
“He did save me when he killed me.”
“That sounds weird!”
“As weird as aliens trying to take over a town in Ohio?”
She smiled sadly.
“You know, it's the truth, Zeke.
For a long time I was the host of an alien larva. Their species is threatened with extinction so they are forced to find other ways to survive. I was the first on earth they took over, an experiment. They wanted to find out how long a human being can survive with a larva inside. Later they did send me to Herrington to find more hosts.
You know what is happened there. Some humans are much stronger than expected. Casey killed the larva inside me.”
Zeke kept quiet. He was still not sure what to think about her story, he had to admit that it was possible but he trusted her once and he wouldn't make this mistake again. He needed doubtlessness.
“How could you survive?”
“Remember what Stokes told us,” Casey throw in.
“Kill the alien-queen and you will kill all her larvas without hurting the hosts. Anna Marie still was human, like all of us, though she was enslaved much longer. She was extremely weak and disoriented … but still alive ... after … all. When I noticed it ...”
Casey took a deep breath before continuing.
“It was the most horrible moment, to think that I did fail … but then I slowly realized what was going on. And I knew I couldn't abandon her to her fate.”
Zeke turned his eyes from Casey to Marybeth. She would always be Marybeth for him, the alien, no matter how often she changed her name. Hard to believe that Casey could be so trustful, after all what had happened during that night at Herrington High, after all she had done.
"So … you are human again? There is nothing left from the alien inside you? Prove it!”
And he hold the pen of scat out to her. Before Casey could protest she grabbed for it and put it up to her nose. Zeke followed every move of her while she inhaled the white powder slowly. The effect kicked in quickly, her movements slowed down, her eye widened and she started to giggle, then she stiffened and finally slumped down in the corner of the couch.
“Oh shit,” Casey muttered and bend over her. After making sure that she was still breathing he turned to Zeke, his eyes sparkling angry.
“What do you try to prove, huh? That she will turn into a monster again? This can kill her!”
“Not when she is human thoroughly.”
Zeke stared at her, she had opened her eye again, still a bit unfocused but this could be an effect of the scat like the restlessness of her body which bent back and forth constantly. No signs that she still was the host of an alien. He was not totally convinced but at least he could start to calm down a bit.
“After all we had to go through, after all she did in that night, you can't blame me that I don't trust her blind. I need to be sure.”
“What if her reaction to the SCAT would have been different,” Casey wanted to know.
“She was possessed by an alien for months, when the larva died it almost killed her. Even if she's not infected any longer she is still fighting with some side effects.”
He could read the answer in Zeke's dark eyes and pulled the face.
“That's why I kept it secret from you and everyone else,” he said.
“I knew some assholes wouldn't care about it that she is just a victim like most of us and that she has a right to live. It was not her, Zeke, it was the alien inside her. You can't kill her for that."
“You think I'm an asshole? A killer? So, why did you bring me here today? Why did you tell me?”
“Because we need your help,” he finally answered.
"We can't do this alone."
“They are back, Zeke, stronger, more cautious. They are smart, they won't underestimate us again.”
Zeke let the words sink in, he stared at Maryb... Anna Marie but Casey shook his head.
“It's not her. There are first signs in Michigan and Texas, people ignore it like we did. Until it will be too late.
We need to find a way to stop them.”
Zeke waited for the panic to come but to his own surprise he could think about Casey's words even-tempered and sober. He had always known that this day would come. To think that a species, smart and technically highly developed, able to come to earth from a far away galaxy would give up because of a small defeat, was ridiculous. All he had hoped for was that it would happen quickly and unnoticed by him. It would be a hopeless fight …
But obviously Casey was not willing to accept this. There was this sparkling in his eyes again, Zeke had noticed it first during that night, in his garage when it turned out that Marybeth was the alien. Everyone did freak out, everyone but Casey ...
“So, you and me against the army of the aliens,” Zeke finally asked.
“This is the plan?”
“We have a joker by our side this time,” Casey answered. Zeke followed his gaze to the couch, where Anna Marie finally was dozed away, a strand of hair covered her eye-pad and he almost could forget ... almost.
“No way,” he protested.
“I don't care if she's human or not, she will always give me the creeps. No way that I will ever trust her.”
“Do you trust me? You did it in that night, remember? And I saved us.”
Casey looked at him and smiled.
“Believe me, Anna Marie is the only hope for our world.”