Title: Christmas falls through
Fandom: The Faculty
Character: Zeke / Casey
Disclaimer: as ever, unfortunately, I don't own the boys nor The Faculty - just borrowing them for some fun.
Stunned Casey stopped and stared into Zeke's garden. For a second, he even wondered if he was only dreaming or maybe standing in front of the wrong house. Which of course was as absurd as the big sled and the reindeer arranged in front of it or the colorful mini-lights in the trees. Zeke was not a friend of Christmas or other holidays even he was willing to play along with Casey's almost hyper enthusiasm. Casey loved Christmas and he had been resolved to invite Zeke at home to the Connor's this time and not to accept his 'No!' again. It was about time that he learned that Christmas together with people who cared about you was something wonderful ...
But then, only three days ago everything had changed.
Winter in Ohio was supposed to be cold and snowy, but this year there was so much snow that the traffic almost broke down and even the schools were closed for some days. After another day of heavy snowfall, it had happened. At the end the snow load had been too much for the old apple tree in front of Casey's window and it crashed down onto the roof of the house, the window was smashed, two big branches found their way into the cabinet where Casey kept his beloved camera and other photo stuff, the whole upper floor looked like it had been hit by a bomb.
The only good thing: because there was no school the next day, Casey had spent the evening together with his parents in the living room in the first floor and no one got harmed.
Casey blinked again when he noticed Zeke on a ladder near the front door, struggling with another string of light.
"Ähm ... what are you doing?"
Zeke turned to him and smiled.
"Oh, hey. You're coming just in time. Can you please give me the hammer and some more nails? This stupid thing is stubborn as a mule."
Frowning Casey stepped closer to fulfill the request.
"Zeke, what is gotten into you," he asked again.
His boyfriend didn't answer, much too busy to fix the light string with some heavy blows. Finally he grinned satisfied and climbed down the ladder.
"It looks cool, don't you think so? But wait until it gets dark. It's one colorful light show."
Confused Casey shook his head.
"I don't get it, didn't you tell me only some days ago that all this is just commercial shit, made to rob people blind?"
Zeke eyed him thoughtfully.
"I've changed my mind."
"Because you love Christmas."
Casey narrowed his eyes and threw a dark glance at him.
"This is not fun," he hissed.
"I'm not in the mood for your stupid jokes. Not this year."
Despite his resistance Zeke pulled him closer.
"I know, it's hard. But I think you should try to look forward. Everything will turn out all right."
"Talk is cheap!"
Annoyed Casey tried to jerk free, but Zeke did hold him back.
"Half of the house is a ruin, my camera is totaled and we have to live in a stupid motel at least for the next few weeks."
He couldn't hold back his tears any longer.
"It's all a fucking mess. And you think I'm interested in Christmas?"
It was hard to see him in that state. Usually Casey was strong, even he didn't look like that. But he was the most stubborn guy Zeke had ever met, against all odds he always looked forward and was able to find something good what did make him smile again. He bent forward to kiss his cheek, so cold and salty by the tears.
"It could have been worse, you know," he murmured.
"The house can be repaired and your camera can be replaced. But I don't like to imagine what would have happened if you had been in your bed.
And now, let's go in, you're freezing cold."
Reluctantly Casey followed him into the comforting warmth of the kitchen. Zeke pointed at a chair.
"Sit down, I'm gonna make you a hot chocolate."
He turned to the fridge, took out the milk and two cups from the cupboard.
Casey dropped down onto the chair and sighed deeply.
"What, if the house can't be repaired? What if we have to give it up ... and move?"
Frowning Zeke put the mug back onto the kitchen counter.
"Your dad has an insurance, doesn't he?"
"They refuse to pay. Today we got the letter. They say my dad is partial to blame for the incidence. The tree was old, very old, and it was up to him to check it out from time to time. They say if he had taken this serious he would have noticed that the tree was rotten. If he had cut it down last autumn all this would never have happened.
I really don't know what will happen when they submit this case to a court."
Zeke had listened in silence, now he grabbed the mug again and filled it with warm milk, then he added cacao and some extra sugar. The boy needed it.
"Don't worry, insurance companies often try shit like this to daunt you. I will call my father tomorrow, I'm sure he can help."
Casey blinked dumbfounded.
"The last time you talked to him ... when was that?"
"Ages ago," admitted Zeke and smirked slightly.
"It's not that we have much in common. Doesn't mean though that he isn't a good lawyer. He will give your dad good advice, don't worry."
Casey kept quiet for a moment before he murmured: "Thank you, Zeke. Not only for calling your dad. For being there for me. Despite me being a jerk."
Zeke put the mug with the hot cocoa onto the counter in front of Casey and put his hands around his face.
"It's okay, Case, I can understand, you have every right to be a jerk.
But can I ask you for help anyway? I still need to pick up a Christmas tree. And the decoration for the living room. Would you come to the Mall with me? I'm afraid I'm not very practical when it comes to that. "
Casey stared into his mug without answering. Of course he could see through Zeke's plan, he tried to cheer him up. But the last he needed was a friend who suddenly turned into a Christmas freak.
"Zeke, really, I'm not in the mood for the Mall. Can't we just stay here and hide in bed? Try to forget that it's Christmas soon."
"It's tempting. But you don't mean that!"
Zeke shook his head.
"You deserve a wonderful Christmas, especially now. I won't let it happen that you will spend it in a stupid motel room, moping around."
"I guess we will go to uncle Harry. My dad's brother. My mom actually doesn't like him and I hate the thought to spend more than one hour together with my stupid cousin. But it's either that or the motel."
"Maybe not. You have a boyfriend, remember? And your boyfriend owns a house all for him alone."
Suddenly it hit Casey like a shot, the sled, the lights, the tree Zeke wanted to buy. All for him ... but ... He tiptoed and put his arms around Zeke's neck.
"I love you," he whispered.
"I love you for all you do for me. But ... I can't, Zeke. How can I leave my parents alone and celebrate Christmas with you? After all this crap. Please, don't ... "
Zeke put his finger on Casey's lips to stop him.
"Of course, you can't. I would never ask you for that. This invitation is for all of you."
Silence. That needed a while to sink in.
"You mean, you want to invite my parents to spend Christmas with you," he finally asked with a breathless voice.
Zeke could understand his surprise all too well. He and the Conner's had never been close, a few fleetingly words now and then, that was all. Not the Connor's fault, Zeke had to admit, it was him who kept them on distance, unable to trust them utterly though they had always treated him okay. And they had never tried to separate them. Though it probably hadn't been easy for them at first to accept it. They had had future plans for Casey, and him, being together with Zeke, for sure had been none of them.
Now it was time to overcome his fear. Casey ... and his parents ... deserved some comforting days at least over Christmas. He felt Casey eyes still resting on him and a slight uneasiness was rushing through his body, as ever when he noticed that Casey was able to read his feelings, he usually preferred to hide.
"What are you afraid of," he joked.
"That your mom will discover my dirty boxers in the bathroom? Or your dad will notice my porn collection? Don't worry, it's already gone.
And I called Hershal's. Unfortunately, I'm not a great cook and I guess beer and pizza from Antonio are not a decent Christmas dinner in your mom's eyes."
Casey smiled and Zeke noticed satisfied that he looked much more relaxed that before.
"Pizza from Antonio or Roast Ham from Hershal's ... my mom will adopt you before Christmas eve is over."
"To be honest, for the beginning it would be enough when they allow you to spend the night with me. We could sit in the swing on the porch, a thick blanket around us, some eggnog ... "
He stopped for fleetingly kiss onto Casey's nose.
"Hot cocoa for you ... We will watch the lights in the trees ... and maybe we are even able to hear the bell of Santa's sledge when he comes to put his presents into the chimney."
Now Casey laughed out loud.
"You turn into a romantic Christmas geek, Zeke Tyler," he said and his eyes sparkled hilariously.
"I guess I could get used to it," Zeke answered before pulling him into a long kiss.
It felt so good to hear him laughing again.