Title: First Christmas together
Pairing: Casey & Zeke
Disclaimer: as ever, not mine
He smiled when he opened his eyes. He loved to wake up this way, to feel Zeke's breath in his neck, his arms casually dropped over his chest to hold him. Sometimes he still couldn't believe how much his life had changed.
He had left Herrington and Ohio behind. He attended one of the best art schools of New York. He lived in a small, but nice apartment high over the busy streets with a look right over to the Central Parc. He lived here together with his best friend - his boyfriend - for almost four month now. His life was just perfect.
His eyes fell onto the suitcases beside the door and his mood changed. Ready to take off to Florida. Christmas in Miami! His first Christmas together with Zeke. Zeke didn't care about Christmas. He neither care about other holidays. Casey knew this all too well. And he understood.
Zeke was grown up with rich but mostly not around parents. They spoiled him with money and presents, but they were too busy to stay home for happy family holidays. When he was a little boy, he had secretly cried in his room while the much too young au pair had paid more attention to her boyfriend then to the child in her care. But he was grown up and finally he was too old for au pairs and nannies. From now on his holidays were fun: a lot partying, a lot of booze, drugs, sex ...
Up to now. This year was different. This year he was not alone. He has a boyfriend now. And he would do everything to make him happy. He had surprised Casey with the invitation to spent the christmas holidays in Florida. Sunshine all over the day. Endless beaches. Palmtrees. No freezing cold. No snow. No christmas stress. Just fun, fun, fun ... together with his hotter as hot boyfriend.
Casey sighed slightly and freed himself out of Zeke's embrace. The young man murmured and tried to hold him back. Usually he would have given in all too willingly. A few minutes of cuddling and caressing. Sometimes it would end up with a bit more. Nothing was better than a quick wake-up-session. But today he was not in the mood. Just a smooth kiss.
"Need the bathroom, babe!"
And off he was. He used the toilet. Followed by a quick shower. Finally he stood in front of the mirror and stared at his own reflexion.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid," he murmured to himself.
He could do nothing against it. As much as he wanted to feel happy about their upcoming vacation. Their first real trip together. Florida. How often had he talked about it that one day he wanted to go there, to visit Disneyland or to take a boat trip into the Everglades. It had been his dream since he was a child. When Zeke had surprised him with the trip it had made him speechless with excitement first. But the closer the day came, the more deepened this dull feeling in his gut. And today - the day to take off ...
"Stupid shit you are," he repeated and he felt tears pricking in his eyes when he remembered the phone call with his mom yesterday evening.
He had expected her crying again, like she did three weeks ago when he called to tell her that he wouldn't be home for christmas this year. Instead of this she had sounded so excited, telling him that his uncle Harry from Montana with his family would be coming too. "Sounds cool," was all Casey had said but inwardly he had cringed. He liked his uncle a lot and it would have been fun to meet him again. Like his grandmas, his grandpa, aunt Mary with his two cousins. One of them, Jenny, would bring her boyfriend, his mom had told him this too.
Finally Casey had shut off his ears against who else would be around. All he knew was: It would be a great family christmas like they hadn't one since years. Only Casey would not be around.
"You will be in warm Florida," he reminded himself.
"Together with the guy you love most! This will be your best christmas ever!"
He tried hard not to think about his mom, stressing around in the kitchen, because there were too less beans for the green bean casserole and the ham looked not fine enough for a christmas dinner. Of course, the cookies would be never enough for all of them and she needed to bake a few more last minute. And the sweets, she always made for all the children around ... Casey smiled when he pictured her like this - she always made a fuss, but secretly she loved it like a duck the water.
He tried hard not to picture his dad who would stress himself with the tree. As ever it would be too big, too small, too screw. He would curse slightly - and he never cursed - and finally he would take his saw, cut some limbs, only to drill small gaps into the trunk elsewhere and put the limbs in there. It would take some time, but he would not give up until he was satisfied. A christmas tree needed to be perfect!
He tried hard not to imagine Herrington under the usual thick snow cover. Snow and ice everywhere. This means long walks after dinner with his grandmas, ice skating on the near pond with his cousins, playing around with the little children in the snow. Snow-angels. Snowmen. Snowball-fights. Hot cocoa after coming back into the warmth of the house.
He winced when he felt two arms sneaking around him from behind. When he looked up he met Zeke's eyes in the mirror. Wonderful brown eyes, which could sparkle so full of mischief, but today they just looked warm and soft.
"Hey, snuggle bunny," he whispered and his lips touched Casey's temple.
"I've just called the taxi. Ready to take off in about half an hour?"
Casey stiffened. Had he really just dreamed away a whole hour in the bathroom?
"Yeah. Sure. Still need to brush my teeth."
But Zeke held him back when he reached for the toothpaste. He turned him around gently and lifted his chin. Casey tried to look calmer than he felt. Zeke narrowed his eyes.
"Hey, what's wrong? Did you cry?"
Casey shrugged him off roughly, knowing exactly how unfair he acted.
"No, of course not. Just ... a bit nervous, okay? Never before I'd flown in such a small airplane!"
"I would never put you in danger, you know!"
Zeke bent forward, to gave him a slight kiss when he turned back to the sink.
"Don't worry. My Dad usually takes this plane for his business trips. He let it check up regularly!"
Finally Casey gave up busying himself with the toothpaste. He put his arms around Zeke's neck and pulled him down. When Zeke answered his kiss he closed his eyes and relaxed in his arms. This was all he needed, right? Zeke was the best friend, boyfriend he could ever imagine. He deserved better than a fucking drama queen by his side. Who cared about Ohio? Who cared about Florida? Sun or snow - palm tree or christmas tree - Disneyland or Herrington. As long as he was together with Zeke everything was all right.
One day he would go back to Ohio for christmas holidays - maybe next year. This year it was Florida. And he would make sure that it were the very best christmas holidays ever. His first Christmas together with Zeke ...
"Oh my god!"
Casey jerked to a stop when they arrived the small airfield a bit aside the main area. Four private airplanes were standing in front of him, all with a big, red label on the silver-gray surface. Tyler & Nolan Consulting.
"Your dad is fucking rich!"
"Not that much. He is just one of four partners in the company."
He looked over to the smallest of the planes and his grin deepened when he recognized the man who was already awaiting them.
"Alan! I hoped, you would be our pilot!"
The man grinned back and gave him a big pad on his back.
"I wouldn't miss this chance. Is a long time, boy. You're growing up!"
Zeke chuckled and turned back to Casey.
"C'mere, you must get to know Alan. Our pilot. The best you can find. He was my hero when I was a child. Once he saved my ass from the best hiding of my life!"
"Yeah? How comes?"
"I used to be here over the weekends. It was like a great adventure playground. Alan was more there for me than my dad. He showed me shit, you know, let me help with the machines. And sometimes he even took me with him into the cockpit, let me sit on his seat.
I always wanted to fly with him, but my dad was always: 'Oh no, Ezekiel, these are company planes, we don't use them for private amusement.' Well, I knew, he was lying. He was jetting around the world together with my mom ... and sometimes with one of his secretaries ... and not always for business.
One day I sneaked into the cabin. I knew, Alan wanted to do some testings this day. But it had been changed last minute. My dad and one of his partners needed to go to New Orleans for an important meeting. Alan was ready to take-off when they found me ...
My dad freaked out, but Alan saved my ass. Literally. Finally my dad just banned me from the airfield. I was nearly sixteen when I was allowed to use one of his planes for the first time. To go to San Diego into a boarding school, far away from Ohio."
Casey swallowed. There it was again. No wonder that Zeke didn't like family holidays when he never have had a real family. He turned to Alan and forced a smile onto his face.
"It was nice to risk your job for him!"
"Oh, it was not that much a risk," Alan tried to play it down.
"You know, his dad is not stupid. Not always a good father, but an even better businessman. I'm a reliable pilot ... and he knows to appreciate it!"
He cleared his throat and changed the subject.
"So, you need a flight today? We are lucky, the weather is favorable. Yesterday there was so heavy snowfall, I feared they would shut down the airports."
Casey started, but Zeke interrupted him.
"Well, then we should better take off now. Before it changes again!"
"Yeah, I guess. Make yourself comfortable. I'll do the last checks."
He disappeared into the machine. Zeke turned around to take their bags.
"You coming, Case? Lets check in!"
Casey frowned. Something was going wrong. And no one seemed to notice. This was weird.
"But ... wait, Zeke!"
"It's snowing in Florida?"
Zeke put the bags back and looked at his confused face with a wide smile.
"Sorry, I forgot to tell you. Small change of plan. Florida will still have to wait a bit!"
Casey felt disappointment rushing through him. What was the meaning of this? No christmas holidays together? What has happened that Zeke had changed their plans that spontaneous?
"Don't worry. You will go to Florida one day!"
Zeke brought up one hand to his cheek and stroked him slightly.
"But for now: I'm gonna bring you home for Christmas, Case!"
Casey stared at him as if he would see a ghost.
"Home," Zeke repeated.
"Ohio. Snow and ice. A christmas-tree. Dinner with your family. The whole fucking madness. This is Christmas for you, right?
I'm not blind, Case! I've seen you looking at the old photo albums. I've heard you, when you called your mom. I know, you would go to Florida with me. But you would miss good old Herrington, wouldn't you?"
Casey felt tears welling up into his eyes.
"You are ... you are fucking serious, aren't you?"
"Sure I am. Everything to make you happy, snuggle bunny!"
"But ... what's about you? It's not fair! You can't stand this family shit!"
Zeke pulled him into his arms and hold him softly.
"Case, it's your family! I guess, I could try to like it. At least now and again. Like ... once or twice a year!"
This was nearly too much. Casey threw his arms around his neck.
"I love you," he stammered.
"I love you, love you, love you so much!"
Zeke bend the head so he could reach Casey's earlobe. One of his most sensitive places. Slight kisses and gentle nibbling and Zeke could feel showers running through his body.
"Don't halloo before you're out of the woods. You will so pay for it," he whispered, his voice full of mischief.
"Not in my parent's house, Zeke. Not with the whole fucking family around!"
"Don't worry! I'm gonna think of something!"