Title: Helicopter-Tour (6/?)
Fandom: The Faculty AU
Character: Zeke / Casey
Disclaimer: of course, I don't own The Faculty nor the characters - just borrowing them for some fun
other chapters here
Zeke had offered to pay for a cab to drive around, but Casey had shaken his head.
"We'll take the subway or walk, the best way to get to know New York."
And he was right like Zeke noticed about four hours later when he stopped in front of a diner near the Broadway with aching feet and a lot of unexpected impressions of the city. Casey seemed tireless, chatting and laughing without ceasing, despite the heavy-looking camera bag he carried.
"I think you could need a break," suggested Zeke.
Casey looked at him questioningly and when he noticed Zeke's eyes resting on the bag, he chuckled.
"Oh. Don't worry about that, I'm used to it. I was seven when I got my first camera, an old one from my uncle, almost bigger than me. I carried it around all day long, even took it into bed with me.”
He paused for a moment, his smile thoughtfully now.
"I always was a loner, too small, too shy, but my camera made me feel special, no matter what others thought about it."
"I guess it wasn't always easy."
"No, it wasn't,” Casey admitted.
"My parents were always backing me up, but at school ... Hey, it was a small town in Ohio, and the Friday evening football game was the highlight of the week. The jocks from the team were the kings at the school, I was just the geek, the nerd … and the names they gave me weren't even the worst.
I tried my best to stay out of their radar. At least until senior year. Suddenly Delilah lay her eyes on me. Cheerleader bitch and editor of the school magazine."
For a second Zeke felt a twinge of ... what? Disappointment? Jealousy? Had Casey been together with a cheerleader? Hard to imagine.
"Oh no, not what you think. Del and me? No way. I was so not interested in her, well, actually in no girl.”
He smiled slightly and Zeke relaxed again.
“She was very ambitious,” Casey continued.
“Wanted to study at the Journalism und New Media School in Columbus, it's a private school and they accept only a handful students every year.
Del planned to write a large series about the school's football team to impress them. But every article is only half as good without some pictures.”
"Oh, I get it,” Zeke said.
“She did use you.”
"Del used everyone."
"I don't know how she convinced Coach Willis but one day after gym he suddenly stepped in my way and told me: 'Connor! This afternoon, three o'clock, practice with the team. I want you to show up with your camera. And I don't tolerate belatedness.' “
"Well, it was not that the coach and I were best friends.”
“Football was his life and in his opinion I was a pathetic loser. But he was the Coach and everyone followed his rules, so I didn't even think about it not to go to practice though I hated it.
And, you know, this afternoon changed my view about photography. I started to realise that it's not always fun. Sometimes you need to muster up all you courage to get the photo you wants.
The pics were the best I'd ever made and I used some of them for my portfolio for art school.”
He chuckled slightly.
“So, I guess I should thank Coach Willis and the jocks that I'm here now.”
Some time later they were sitting in a small booth in the back of Ellen's Stardust, the famous diner was well frequented from tourists and locals likewise and Casey had greeted one of the waitresses with a wide smile.
“Hey, Kelly, great to see you. Pretty busy today, huh?”
“Wanna help out? You are welcome.”
“No, sorry, I took my day off today. We are here for one of Jay's deli-sandwiches and the vegetarian soup for me, please.”
The young girl eyed Zeke up and down, smiled at him flirtatiously, then she turned back to Casey and winked.
“Do sit down and gimme a minute. I will do my best.”
Zeke was happy to drop down onto the dark red leather bench and stretched out his legs. He looked around curious, the mixture between modern style and the good old sixties was out of the ordinary but appealing, like the oldies which were playing in the background.
“So, here you are jobbing,” he asked.
“The Diner of the singing waitstaff. I would like to hear you singing.”
Casey laughed out loud.
“No, you wouldn't,” he said.
“I'm the guy for almost everything around here but the singing I leave to others, like Kelly, she has a great voice.”
“Not today though.”
Kelly was standing beside their table with a tray in her hands and smiled.
“I'm still suffering at the aftereffects of this stupid flu.
So, here we have the Philly-Cheesesteak-Sandwich with waffle fries. And the Vegetarian Lentil Soup. Enjoy your meal.”
“Hmmm, looks good.”
Zeke tried one of the fries before he grabbed the sandwich while Casey reached for his spoon.
“And you prefer to live healthily?”
“Actually … not!”
Casey grinned wide.
“I'm just saving my appetite for dessert. Chocolate-Peppermint-Cake with iced vanilla cream. Homemade. It's delicious.”
Zeke took the first bite of his sandwich and chuckled inwardly. A sweet tooth, yes, that was so much like Casey. The longer they were hanging around together the more he started to enjoy it. He could even imagine a relationship with him, but he knew it would take some time to get there.
Someone had hurt Casey, he didn't talk about it, but Zeke had noticed his grim face when Stokely had dropped some hints about a guy named Billy and the cautious glimpse in his eyes when Zeke flirted with him.
Well, he didn't mind to wait, he wasn't looking for fleetingly adventures anymore. Actually he had planned to stay here for three or four days, have a look at the college and the campus, try to find out if New York was a place where he could imagine to live for longer. Now he decided to cancel his return flight as soon as he would be back at the motel. Casey would be busier during the next days with his jobs and the vacation courses at art school he had enrolled into but in the evening he usually would be free and they could spend some more time together. At least Zeke hoped so.