I think I will post this chapter for our birthday girl addie71 today!
Title: Highspeed to love (16/ ???)
Fandom: Zeke & Casey
Disclaimer: of course, not mine
Author's notes: AU without Marybeth and Herrington High - Zeke is 23 years old in this story, living in Youngstown, Ohio - Casey, is 18 years old and loves ... cooking. Or what do you think ? ;)
Previous parts: one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten / eleven / twelve / thirteen / fourteen / fifteen / tbc
What a day. Finally alone Casey let his mind wander. He didn't know where to start. There was so much to think about.
Mr. Pépin first. He still couldn't believe it that he had met him. In a small town in Ohio, in Zeke's garage. And tomorrow afternoon he would be back again to pick up his car.
Zeke had asked him ...
But Zeke had said a lot today. He had said that he looked cute. He, Casey Connor! And Zeke had flirted with him?! He better didn't take it all too serious. Zeke liked to tease sometimes, he knew this.
"Do you wanna get to know him," Zeke had asked him.
And Casey needed a moment to realize what he was talking about.
"Mr. Pépin? No, thanks, I guess not. I was acting like an idiot today. He must think I'm a stupid geek."
"Oh, c'mon, Case. Grab the chance. Maybe you can share recipes with him."
Case! Never before he had called him like this. But it sounded nice. Case! Cute! Cute Case! Casey shook his head and sighed. What the hell was wrong with him tonight? Zeke was his friend. But he was straight and there would never be more between them. He had accepted this from the beginning. And he didn't want to complicate things. So ... Mr. Pépin ... it was so much easier to think about him.
Casey had laughed.
"Share recipes? Zeke, he's a famous star cook. I'm sure, he's not interested in my grandma's old recipes!"
"Don't say this. I bet this 'Cock o whatever' is not better than the potato pancakes you made yesterday."
"Oh Zeke," Casey had chuckled.
"Coq au vin is French cuisine. Chicken in wine. It's classic. You can't compare this with home style food."
Zeke had shrugged.
"Why not? I don't need this french stuff I can't even spell. And I bet, even Mr. Pépin wouldn't say 'no' to your pancakes."
It had been a nice lunchbreak, longer than usual. But the mood had changed when Casey finally had remembered that there was still a problem he had to tell Zeke about. Ben! Zeke had listened to him with narrowed eyes.
"Well, it's his decision," he had murmured when Casey had ended and then he had busied himself with making fresh coffee. Casey had licked his lips nervously.
"You need to go and talk to him. He's on the best way to fuck up his life."
Zeke had huffed annoyed.
"And what do you think I can do against it? Should I fall on my knees and beg him to come back? No, Casey, I won't! Can we now please stop talking about him? It's all said and done!"
He had put down his mug onto the table and had grabbed a cigarette. Usually he enjoyed his after-lunch-cigarette, but today he had sucked greedily on the butt, puffed out the smoke full of anger. Casey had felt the tension in him though he tried to act unheeding. He couldn't understand Zeke's behavior. He was willing to give everyone a chance. He had taken him in and let him stay in his garage though he hadn't known anything about him. Ben had been like a brother for him. He knew how much the job in the garage had meant for him. And he worried about him, no matter what he said.
"It feels as if all this is my fault," Casey had whispered sadly.
Zeke head had jerked round, he looked angry.
"Before I've shown up here everything was okay between you two. You've told me that he is a born mechanic. And you like him, don't you? So, how can you just close your eyes and watch him ruin his life?"
"What are you, a fucking saint," Zeke suddenly had spat.
"How can you deal with his homophobic bullshit? Because I can't!"
Casey had stared at him feeling helpless now. This definitely made him not feel better.
"But this has nothing to do with you," he had finally protested.
"He was angry and tried to hurt me. I give a shit, Zeke. Some people are like this and it's better to ignore them."
It was not the whole truth. He had always been a loner and when he found out that he was gay it didn't change much. Though it sometimes made him angry to see how close minded some people could be - as if being gay made a dangerous monster out of you. He had heard worse than Ben's words. But the way Ben had shown him up - in front of Zeke - had made him helpless and furious.
He was not sure what would have happened if not Zeke had stepped in. He had been a real friend and taken his side. But Ben was his friend too. Casey knew, Zeke would never forgive himself when Ben would get into trouble. And as long as he was together with these guys it would happen sooner or later, that was for sure ...
"I know, Zeke, you are straight and maybe ..."
"You know nothing at all," Zeke had snapped and rushed down into his garage. A few minutes later he had been back again to apologize. And Casey had known better than to push him further.
He sighed and shut off the light. There must be a way to bring these two together again. Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow Mr. Pépin would be back to pick up his car. Should he at least go and ask him for an autograph? It would be nice to have one - as a reminder of this day. All in all it had been a confusing but not an out-and-out bad day. He smiled when he finally closed his eyes. Cute Case!
go to part 17