Title: Highspeed to love (24/ ???)
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 / sixteen / seventeen / eighteen / nineteen / twenty / twenty-one / twenty-two / twenty-three / tbc
When Casey opened the door to the garage he could hear loud music playing. Zeke was not in sight. Finally he spotted him lying on his creeper under a car. Obviously he didn't notice anything beside his work.
No reaction. Casey looked down at the heavy safety shoes and smiled. Surprise! What would happen if he would kneel down and grab Zeke's feet? He giggled nervously and tried to imagine, how Zeke would grin, clean his dirty hands with the paper towel beside the car. Then he would take him in his arms and kiss him. And he would whisper:
"Hey, baby, I've missed you!"
"Fuck! You've scared me to death!"
"I'm ... I'm back," he stammered and he knew how stupid this sounded.
Zeke pulled a face.
"Yeah, I can see this," he growled and tried to get up.
Slowly. Careful. Moody. And Casey knew, he would not take him into his arms. He would not kiss him. He felt uncomfortable in an instant. Probably he had hoped for too much. He had always tried to stay realistic, but after their last night ... It had surprised both of them how good it had felt. Zeke even more than Casey. For Zeke it had been a completely new experience.
An experience he had obviously enjoyed. But two weeks were a lot of time to think about it. Casey could still remember what Zeke had answered when he had asked him once, why he didn't has a girlfriend. He looked good, he was amusing, he was clever and when he smiled and his eyes sparkled so challenging Casey always felt butterflies in his tummy. He wondered why girls didn't line up just for a kiss. Zeke had shrugged and murmured something about: not enough time... the garage ... too much pressure ... love my freedom.
Casey had always known it would be the beginning of the end of their friendship if he demanded too much at once. Zeke didn't like to think about a serious relationship. Maybe he didn't even want Casey around any longer? Hadn't he talked about Casey going to New York soon again and again? Maybe he had secretly hoped that Casey wouldn't come back to Youngstown?
Casey swallowed. Just thinking about this hurt ... but he knew, his life would go on. Since this last two weeks his future looked better than ever before. Even if he wished Zeke would be a part of this future ...
Zeke suddenly groaned and leaned on the car for hold. Casey frowned. He looked pale. Or was it just the neon light in the workshop?
"Zeke? Are you okay?"
"It's nothing. Just a fucking busy weekend!"
Casey looked around in the garage. Only one van was standing there, except that one Zeke was already working on. This was not 'too much work'. He looked at Zeke, how he made a grimace when he bent down for the work light beside the car. Was there sweat on his forehead?
"What's wrong? Are you in pain?"
Angry Zeke brushed a wisp of hair out of his face.
"I must have eaten something wrong yesterday. Now I've an upset stomach, that's all. Please, Casey, be nice and stop bugging me now, okay? Go into the office, I guess there's still a bit coffee left."
Hesitating Casey bent down to his backpack. Out of the corners of the eyes he could see Zeke's slow movements when he turned back to the car. He was not convinced. This didn't look like a simple upset stomach.
"Did you at least talked to a doctor?"
"I don't need a doc! I'm never get ill! I can't! Not now!"
Casey sighed inwardly. He knew, he could do nothing against it. As usual Zeke was firmly resolved to play things down. When he entered the little office he stopped at the door for a moment. The old couch, Zeke's usual chaos on the great desk, the familiar smell of rubber and oil ... he knew, he would miss all this when he would move out. Everything changed.
He had just started to clear out his backpack - tomorrow he really needed to go to the laundromat - when a loud crash in the garage made him stop. He listened, but the radio was all he could hear. Finally he opened the door.
No answer. The uneasy feeling in his gut increased. He really didn't want to control Zeke, but he was highly alarmed. When he reached the car he knew he had been right. Zeke was kneeling on the floor, the tooltrolly was fallen over, the tools were scattered around him. Groaning he tried to get up. Okay, Casey had seen enough.
"Zeke, I'm gonna call the ambulance now," he said, determined to ignore Zeke's faint protest.
"You need a doctor! How long has this been going on anyway?"
Zeke glared at him but finally gave up the try to come back on his feet. Panting heavily he sank back onto the floor.
"Fine, Casey," he gasped.
"You just ... you just ... fucked up ... my ... aaoohhh ... life!"
Casey shook the head and rushed back into the office to make the long overdue call. When he returned with a blanket, he half expected ... hoped ... to find Zeke working on the car again. He could be so stubborn. But he was still laying there, eyes closed, struggling for air. Casey bit the lower lip. He seemed to get worse from minute to minute ... if this was still possible. Not even when he put the blanket around him he protested.
Luckily the ambulance arrived within minutes. Casey felt relieved when the medics took care of Zeke. Only a brief check up was necessary and a decision was made. Ruptured appendix. Peritonitis. Hospital. Emergency surgery.
Zeke groaned. Casey sniffed.
"Why didn't you call earlier," asked one of the medics.
"This must have had hurt badly already for longer!"
Casey helplessly shook his head and watched how they put Zeke onto the stretcher and fixed him.
"I was just coming home one hour ago," he murmured.
"I was on a seminar. Is it ... how bad is it?"
The medic looked serious.
"Well, it was high time. A peritonitis never is fun!"
"... n care..."
Both looked at the stretcher. Zeke had opened his eyes a bit.
"What," asked Casey.
Zeke tried to smirk, though it looked more like a grimace.
He winced again.
"... better ... dead..."
The second medic finally looked up.
"Ready," he said.
"Good, let's go!"
The first medic stood up and grabbed for the stretcher. His eyes were still resting on Casey who wasn't able to hold back his tears any longer.
"Hey, chin up, he doesn't know what he says in the moment. We will bring him to the Belmont Pines Hospital. You can call tomorrow. See how he's doing!"
Casey took the card from the medic and all he could do then was watching them rushing away with the flashing light on.
The radio was still playing rock music. He went over to switch it off. Then he turned to the car Zeke had been working on. He shut the hood and started to put the scattered tools into their right place. Zeke liked his garage clean and tidy when the work was finished.
Finally he went back into the office. The coffee was cold but he didn't care. He needed it now, with milk and a lot of sugar. Exhausted he squeezed his eyes shut. He was alone. Alone in Zeke's garage. This was not how he had visualized this evening.
go to part 25