We will start today with the next chapter: Life is changing ( please remember, the original title was: Christmas-Eve, sorry again for the confusion)
Title: Life is changing (3/?) (changed title = formerly Christmas Eve)
Fandom: The Faculty
Character: Casey, Zeke, Mrs. C.
Rating: PG (or maybe R for language)
Disclaimer: as ever, I don't own The Faculty, neither the boys or any other person from the movie
all chapters here
Indecisive Casey was standing in front of his room, it felt somehow strange that he didn't dare to step in. Already when his mom had told him that they would go to the hospital, he had known that this could only end in a disaster. It was not that he was afraid of Zeke, but the thought alone that the boy would spend Christmas Eve in the Connor's house was ridiculous. When Zeke Tyler wanted to celebrate Christmas this would happen in a popular club in Akron or Columbus, he actually wasn't even allowed to enter, but what did he care? Zeke didn't seem to care about anything or anyone. And nevertheless, he was the king. The girls were crazy about him and the guys envied him for his freedom and coolness.
Stupid, all of them. All too often Casey noticed the contempt in his eyes when one of his potential customers left the bleachers in a hurry, hiding the Scat-pens or the porn magazines which had just changed hands. Though Casey was sitting only some rows away, Zeke had never an eye for him. Of course, he was just the geek who would never dare it to run him down.
Which was right. Not because he was afraid about the consequences, though. Zeke's behavior often drove him crazy, but there was something else. Something pretty weird. He couldn't help the thought that Zeke was the most beautiful guy he had ever met. And he never missed a chance to take a pic of him secretly. Since he was the photographer for the school's magazine, no one wondered about it anymore, that he carried his camera around all day long, which had made it much easier. So many photos, hidden in a shoebox, under the loose board in his closet.
Casey swallowed. His mother had never discovered this hidden place, but Zeke? The thought of him, being alone in his room, was disturbing.
His mom's voice tore him out of his thoughts.
"Dinner is almost ready. The doctor told me that it is okay for Zeke to have some light fare when he gets hungry. And maybe he wants to join us later. He shouldn't spend this evening all alone, after all, what happens today."
He cringed inwardly. Great. His mom was a mission again and no one would stop her. Silently he cursed her compassion and care for others. She was like that, twice a week she was volunteering at a meeting place for children and teenager, coming from dysfunctional families. And it had happened before that she took one of them home, to stay for a night or a weekend. He had never minded. But this time ...
Finally, he took a deep breath and stepped into the room, without knocking at the door. Zeke was sitting on the big love-chair, his plastered foot he had placed on the bed. He didn't bother looking up from the book he was flipping trough. Memories of Times Past: New York, by Francis Morrone, one of Casey's favorites. He had gotten it from his Grandpa last birthday.
"Obviously, you're doing better," he snapped, feeling annoyed.
"What do you want?"
Casey huffed and felt the urge to turn around and slam the door shut. This was his room, wasn't it, his bed and his book.
"We will have dinner in about half an hour," he said in a dark voice.
"And my mom asks if you want to join us. We will watch a movie later. The Grinch."
Finally, Zeke lifted his head.
"The ... what?"
"The Grinch. This is what families do at Christmas, have some fun together."
"Oh ... yeah."
Zeke pulled the face.
"No, thanks. Not interested."
No, of course not. Casey knew he should feel relief, but instead of this, his anger deepened even more.
"If you prefer to act like a jerk, why don't you go back into the hospital," he hissed.
"And stop ruining our Christmas. But, no, wait, I guess they don't want to have you around, too. After all the insults you hurled at Sister Dorothea."
Zeke stared at him with narrowed eyes, finally, he smirked.
"I can't remember that I ask her for help. She had no right to call you."
"Well, me, in your situation, would have been glad that she did it."
"Glad because of what? For bringing me into this mess? Without her call ... and without your mom, making such a fuss ... I would be at home right now."
Okay, this was enough. Casey was gasping for air before finally losing his temper.
"What the heck is wrong with you? Why do you always act like an uncaring, selfish asshole," he yelled, not caring about it, if his parents could hear him or not.
"My dad is working very hard, in Columbus, he leaves the house at 5 o'clock in the morning and he doesn't come back before it is already dark outside. On the weekends he needs to take care off anything else he can't do during the week. There is not much time left for family."
He desperately tried to fight his tears, no, this would be too embarrassing.
"Days like Christmas are special for us; it means we can have some nice time together. Nevertheless, my mom didn't hesitate to invite you, because she cares. So don't you dare it, to talk about her like that. Just don't you dare it again!"
He clenched his fists, ready to pounce on him. But when his eyes fall onto the cast he somehow managed it to stop himself. He turned around and stormed out of the room, slamming the door shut behind him.
His mom looked at him slightly frowning when he came back into the kitchen.
"What was that?"
He shrugged apologetically, inwardly still shaking.
"I couldn't help it. I should have known better, Zeke is like that, and it's a waste of effort to care for him. You can't help him, mom, no one can, because he doesn't want any help."
Mrs. Connor eyed her son thoughtfully.
"Do you think so," she asked softly.
"I guess, Zeke could need a friend ... even if he is much too afraid yet to admit it."
Zeke? Afraid? Frowning Casey stared at his mother. Very unlikely. Zeke was not afraid of anything, he always pulled the strings and for sure he was not looking for friends. All he wanted was to keep the things under control. He was just ... Wait ... it was different today wasn't it? The accident, the surgery and he, ending up here, at the Connor's house. For sure all this hadn't been a part of Zeke's plans.
"I do not know much of his family background," continued his mother.
"But after all you have told me, I would dare to say that he's not very different from the children at the meeting place."
"Zeke doesn't come from challenging circumstances," Casey protested.
"His parents own a mansion with a pool and a private boathouse."
"Und when did they leave him alone there for the first time? I'm sure, Casey, he was much too young. It's hard for every child, to grow up without parental care and love, no matter if you are poor or rich.
I get to see this almost every week, when they come to us, not all from a social hot spot. Angry, aggressive, abandoned, often combined with drugs, booze. We offer them a warm meal, a bed for a night when they don't dare to go home and we are always receptive to listen to them when they want to talk about their problems. But we can't force them ... to go back to school, to leave the street-gang, to trust the social worker who is only trying to help them. It's often difficult because they have learned better to trust no one, for fear of being hurt, abandoned again.
Sometimes, though ..."
Mrs. Connor paused and smiled. Then she grabbed for two mugs, filled them with fresh coffee, added some milk and sugar in Casey's. Finally, she pointed at the chair opposite her and Casey dropped down reluctantly. He was not sure if he really wanted to hear more. A part of him thought that it did make sense what his mother was trying to tell him. But on the other side, he just wanted to be angry at Zeke, as ever, for his stupid behavior and for ruining Christmas. It was so much easier than to admit that he, despite all this, did care for him.
"There was this boy, Daniel," his mother continued.
"Fourteen years old, so aggressive, so unapproachable, he was on the best way to slip into crime. Beautiful gray eyes, looking so sad. He came in from time to time, didn't talk much, though. All he wanted was to watch TV for a while. Science shows, no matter what, he was interested in almost everything. Slowly he seemed to warm a bit. And then he didn't come anymore. I was sure that he had done something stupid and that we will never see him again. Sadly this happens all too often."
Thoughtfully she sipped her coffee.
"But sometimes things are different than you suppose. Last week he suddenly was back, with a big bunch of flowers and a wide smile on his face. First I didn't even recognize him, he has changed so much, he was looking like a happy young guy who has a great future ahead. And I'm sure he has. He's living in Indiana now, at a residential home for teenagers, and he told me that he has gotten an award for the best biology project at his school some time ago.
I've learned not to let things come too close to me, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to do this job. But when he thanked me for bringing him back on the right track I started crying. I'm so thankful that he did remind me, that everyone is worth it to fight for him, despite all disappointments and setbacks. You can never know how it will end."
She smiled slightly at Casey.
"That's why I think you are wrong. Also Zeke deserves it that you give him a chance."
Casey pulled the face, his hands placed around his mug, his thoughts still in turmoil.
"I don't think that Zeke wants me to fight for him," he finally muttered.