Thank you to aliensouldream who remembers us every year anew of this challenge.
Title: Changed plans
Fandom: The Faculty
Character: Casey / Zeke
Word Count: 1332
Disclaimer: Of course, I don't own The Faculty nor the character :( - I'm just borrowing them for a while
When Zeke stopped the GTO in front of the Conner's house he could say immediately that something strange was going on. The old Audi of Mrs. C. was standing on the road, doors wide open, Casey was half vanished into the trunk while he tried to store some big boxes into it.
Frowning Zeke got out of the GTO and stepped closer.
„Hey,“ he said.
Casey looked up, a mixture of surprise and shock in his eyes when he recognized him. Before he said a word Zeke knew it: their plans for this weekend had just vanished into thin air. For sure there was a good reason for it but Zeke needed a moment to get over the disappointment he felt.
Christmas had never meant much to him. It was just a holiday he would spend alone like all the other holidays. He was used to this since he was a child that his parents were not very affectionate but thought that only money made the world go round.
This year everything was different. For the first time, he had started to enjoy Christmas time. Because he was together with Casey. The boy loved winter and Christmas holidays, he couldn't get enough of snow fun, all the decoration stuff, Christmas carols, even visiting the crowded mall. For this weekend Zeke had planned something special: a trip to Columbus with one of the biggest Christmas fairs of Ohio. Carousels, booths with treats and craftwork, a magician show, colorful lights and Christmas music. Later in the evening ice-skating and dinner at 'Hershel's; the diner every year in December turned into a Christmas wonderland. Zeke had always avoided it to come here around Christmas though the burgers were really delicious. But he knew Casey would enjoy the atmosphere … and as long Casey was happy, he would be happy, too.
In the moment, though, the boy didn't look very happy.
„Zeke,“ he murmured, averting his eyes.
„I'm sorry, but ...“
Mrs. Connor interrupted him, when she stepped out of the porch, her arms full of blankets, cushions, and two more boxes.
„This is the last for ...“ she said, then she noticed Zeke standing beside his GTO.
„Oh, hello, Zeke,“ she greeted him with a faint smile.
„Hi, Mrs. C.“
As ever Zeke felt slightly uneasy with her around.Though she always treated him well. Like Casey's dad. They had never had any prejudices against him, not even when Casey had insisted on telling his parents the truth.
„They are not homophobic assholes, Zeke,“ he had said.
„We never talked about it before but I'm sure, they know, that I'm bi. My mother can always read me like an open book.“
And he had been right. The Connors had accepted Casey's decision without any drama and welcomed Zeke in their house. As long as he respected some rules. Smoking only on the porch, no visits overnight. It wasn't much they asked for; nevertheless, it still was difficult for Zeke to open up around them. He was so used to it always to expect the worst that it wasn't easy to trust others.
„Are you here to help us,“ Mrs. C. asked and put the boxes down beside the Audi while giving the cushions and blankets to Casey.
„That would be great. There is still a lot to do. We need to sort out the attic and clear out the garage for the garage sale. Someone need to go to Mrs. Miller and get the poster her son made us for free; we need to hang them up as soon as possible.“
Feeling slightly perplex by this stream of words Zeke looked from Mrs. C. to Casey. The boy shrugged apologizing.
„Zeke and I wanted to go to Columbus this afternoon,“ he remembered his mom.
„The Christmas fair. Dad said it's okay to an extent the curfew for tonight.“
The woman blinked.
„This was today?“
„It's okay, Mom,“ Casey assured her.
„We can go next weekend.“
Though he had actually already known it, Zeke felt a soupcon of anger rushing through his body. He could accept it, that Casey loved his parents but he was eighteen years old, he would graduate soon, go to College. He had a right to an own life. And it was not okay that he had to change his own plans just because his mother had different ones, right?
As if he could read his mind, Casey put his hand on his arm for a short moment. His blue eyes begged for understanding.
„It's an emergency,“ he said.
„Did you hear about the fire at the mother-child-home last night?“
Of course, he had, it was the topic number one of the Herrington Post and the local radio station this morning. A private facility for young mothers with children; unwanted pregnancy, brutal partners, abandoned by their families, the facility often enough was their last chance. But not everyone in Herrington appreciated the work of the foundation. There already had been open protests and people who demanded the closing of the house. Now there were even rumors about malicious arson.
Well, this was definitely conceivable. In this hellhole of town, it was so easy to get in the crossfire. Also Zeke had already learned this the hard way. But to be honest, he had always enjoyed his rep as the bad boy of town and he hadn't done much to prove that black could also be white. Until he had met Casey, Casey had changed everything.
When he nodded the boy continued.
„My mom is volunteering there since some months. Sometimes I go with her to play with the children when she's talking with their mothers.“
He laughed slightly and Zeke thought that Casey would never stop to surprise him. Why didn't he know about this?
„I'm so happy that no one got seriously hurt by the fire. But they are all shocked, of course, some of the older children have nightmares. At the moment they are temporarily accommodated at a motel near the town. But it's only a private foundation. They don't have much money. The motel will use up most of it all too quickly. And the house they were living into so far is only a ruin now.“
Tears were sparkling in his eyes and Zeke felt the urge to pull him into his arms and kiss them ways. Which, of course, was impossible.
„Hey,“ he murmured.
„I'm sure everything will be all right.“
„I wish I could think so positive.“
„But all we can do at the moment is to support them with simple necessities. We want to bring over bedclothes, some kitchen utensils, and flatware. And my Mom already plans a garage sale for tomorrow, with the money we want to organize a little Christmas party, with a tree, a dinner and some small presents for all of them. I mean, they will have to spend Christmas in a shabby motel, this isn't fair, isn't it? Life is difficult for them anyway.“
Suddenly unsure he paused, looking at Zeke.
„You are not angry, aren't you? Because we can't go to Columbus today?“
„No, of course not.“
Zeke shook his head. And yes, it was the truth, all his anger and disappointment were gone. This was such a Casey thing, that he was willing to put his own plans aside because someone else needed his help. How could he be angry at him for being a good and caring guy?
„What can I do,“ he asked.
„If necessary I could bring over some more boxes with the GTO. Later we could go to my place, I'm sure I can contribute some stuff for the garage sale.“
And it felt good to notice Casey's bright smile while Mrs. Connor murmured:“ You are a good boy, Zeke!“
(there will be a second part soon - please be patient)