Synopsis: Four years after Zeke breaks Casey's heart, Casey get an invitation.
Disclaimer: I own nothing--all fantasy on my end.
Author's Notes: Inspired by a prompt I did for naemi, in my "28 Ways-Zeke" post on livejournal.
Casey looked up from his tripod; Zeke stood behind him, looking hassled. “Christ, thank GOD. Stan was starting to panic.”
“Yea... just did a few things before leaving, lost track of time,” Zeke said. He then smiled and nodded to the equipment. “Need any help carrying shit, or something?”
“Naw, I got it.”
“Did you at least stop by the men's lounge; let Stan know you're here?” Casey asked.
Zeke nodded. “Yea, no problem.”
“Good, good,” Casey said.
Zeke stepped back, looking to the door. “I'm gonna snag a coffee. Want one?”
“Sure,” Casey said. Zeke walked off, leaving Casey to his work. The guests were coming in droves now, making Casey swallow nervously. Praying that Stan wasn't lying unconscious in the lounge, good lighting and absolute perfection, Casey put his eye to the camera and took a test shot of the small crowd starting to gather, butterflies surrounding everyone and fluttering like animated falling leaves. A few turned and smiled at the sight of the flash, some women taking out compacts and doing quick checkups. Casey looked up and saw Kris near the front, smiling a goofy smile his way and giving him a thumbs-up, along with a butterfly resting on his shoulder. Casey shook his head and smiled.
Casey looked and found a steamy coffee mug being presented. “Thanks,” Casey replied shakily.
Zeke watched him take a large swallow, grinning. “Nervous?”
“Eh, yer a pro.”
“Gonna go sit down. Kick some photo-ass for me, babe.”
Casey chuckled, watching Zeke raise his mug and go over to the seats. Number one, he'd never been told to 'kick some photo-ass' before, and number two; babe?
Zach wasn't yawning anymore; pure confidence and stride. Click, click, click....
Delilah looked ready to wave to the crowd as if they were her fans--perfect. Click, click, click....
Casey snapped an array of photos, waiting for that exact moment, catching it every time. If there was one thing Casey wished he could do, it was to capture not just the visuals, but the music being played on the other side of the platform. The violinist played like a dream; Casey was thankful that one of Stokely's cousins was videotaping.
The music now swelled as Stan stood at the end of the aisle; people stared with bright smiles as he began walking down, his mother's arm clasped in his tight. She looked fit to burst with emotion, squeezing so hard. Stan looked like he needed it. Casey clicked over and over again, fingers moving deftly over controls as he went along. While Stan still looked so nervous, he carried an expression of determination. Even if it looked like he was marching to war, Casey admired it, hoping film could do him justice. He reached the end, his mother looking reluctant to let him go. Her eyes almost overflowed as she leaned in for a kiss on the cheek, Stan smiling a little as he stepped to the front.
The music paused and everyone turned; oh holy God, Casey thought. His fingers clicked rapidly, over and over again as the 'Bridal Theme' played, making everyone stand. Stokely looked mortified; Casey would have laughed if it weren't for the fact that everyone was making happy, cooing sighs and whispers. She looked so intensely beautiful, her hair done up with another flower garland. Already butterflies flocked to her, darting in quick flits around her face and shoulders. Fucking perfect. A shaky smile crossed her lips as she stared straight ahead with her father holding her arm proudly. The walk soon ended and she hugged her father tight; walking over to Stan, the grin shook and her face paled.
Pastor Gruel beamed at the both of them and began. “Friends and family; you are gathered here on this wonderful day to witness the joining together of Stanley Michael Rosado, and Stokely Rebecca Mitchell in holy matrimony,” Pastor Gruel said, nodding to them respectively. Casey took quiet, quick steps to his next mark, getting as close as he could then knelt down while getting another roll set up. The ceremony continued on, Pastor Gruel having to gently remove a butterfly from his book. Click.
Stan was swallowing hard, face red at the sides and pale near the nose, obviously nervous. As Pastor Gruel finished, he turned to them with a smile. “Now, Stanley and Stokely would like to make their own vows of love to each other,” he announced, taking a small step back. Stan cleared his throat, casting a nervous glance to the Pastor, who gave him the tiniest, almost invisible wink--click--perfect...
“Um...” Stan started, coughing. Oh god, he looked ready to fall over. Casey made every prayer possible; it wasn't really needed as Stan recovered, looking to Stokely with a sheepish grin. “Well--you know me. I'm always so tongue tied and... downright goofy when it comes to stuff like this,” he said. Casey's smile grew as he moved closer, zooming in. He watched Stan's hand clasp Stokely's tighter, his breath slow and nervous. Click.“But if there was ever the time to just say what I always MEAN to say, it's now.”
Everyone hushed; Casey huffed in a deep breath along with Stan. A butterfly then landed on Stan's chest, making him chuckle. More flashes went off, coming from all over the room. “There are so many times that I just wake up in the morning, think I can't do the things I need to. I get scared, y'now? I may have been on the football team in school, but... takes more guts to be afraid and admit it then to slam into a bunch of oafs,” he said. Casey was finding it hard to focus; his eyes felt heavy, wet. “Thing is, you've got that covered. You get scared too, but you're so damned brave in the end, and I can't even say how much I admire that. There were so many times we didn't think we could get through, even before... before we ended up together but it actually pulled us together. So many people treat fear and problems like they're a curse, but--sometimes it only makes us closer, y'now? Not saying I WANT to be afraid, but that's why I'm here with you, right now. Doing all this... crazy stuff,” he said, taking a moment to chuckle and look away. As quick as it came he looked back up; Casey could hear the rounds of sniffling and tissues getting blown into next to him as he snapped away, seeing Stokely's face... oh good God, her face, growing redder by the moment, eyes blinking furiously. “You're my crazy dream. The high school sweetheart that actually lasted. Everyone talked about staying 'together forever' back in school, but I KNEW it with you, knew it wasn't all talk. I'd sit in geometry and think of how gorgeous you'd be at sixty-four, humming Beatles songs under my breath. Knew we'd last and make it to do this. So yea... I'm beyond honored to have gotten a girl like you, someone that makes sure I know it's okay, and that it doesn't matter how bad it can get. I just hope that I can return that over the years. Okay?”
Stokely didn't answer; a ball in her throat moved up and down in labored swallows. Casey was wiping frantically at his eyes with his jacket sleeve, not bothering with tissues as he fought to get to work. What he caught was so unexpected, but exactly what he wanted.
Her eyes were overflowing; for the first time since Casey had seen her, she seemed speechless and flustered, her head starting to shake slowly from side to side. Everyone stayed completely silent; even the sniffling died down in anticipation. “Damn it,” Stokely finally muttered, a hand going to her mouth and clasping over it. “I...” she started, moving it away to speak. “I had this whole thing I was gonna say, for... everything, I can't even think right now...”
Here we go again; more sniffles, tissues, clicking; Casey hoped beyond hope these shots were coming out, his eyes too clouded with tears to judge exactly. The butterfly on his arm didn't help, but it was wonderful.
“You talk about how strong I am, and really, I'm not. Or... at least I CAN be, if I force myself. I know that I just... tease you and act indifferent sometimes, but you make me laugh so hard, and YEA, you're goofy, and I love it, even when I roll my eyes or crack jokes, I love it. You're not like all these tough guys who put up a front. You say what you mean at that moment and... God, I can't...” she said; this looked to be the moment where everyone would be able to see Stokely for everything she was; tears streaming and lips twitching, completely taken by love. Stan put a hand to her face and dabbed at tears with his thumb, making her chuckle. Delilah almost made Casey jump with her sudden moan next to him; her hands were at her face to rub at tears, along with two butterflies in her small bouquet. Casey looked to her and winked, getting a weepy smile in return. Stokely sighed, groaning. “We've done so much already, I FEEL sixty-four...” she blurted along with a smile. Small chuckles tittered through the crowd; she shook her head and stretched her arms, looking at their clasped hands. “Even when we went through the worst, like you said... we just did it up, we didn't give up, not even when we thought we should. 'Us against the world' as we put it. And we got through it. It's okay; and I love you so much for that, I really do.”
Casey paused then clicked more, getting Pastor Gruel's hand at Stokely's shoulder; her small nod, her glistening eyes looking to Stan who smiled like a king. Casey moved to the 'ring angle', setting himself up carefully as their rings were brought forth by Zach and Delilah, repeating the vows Pastor Gruel read. Casey closed in with his zoom, snapping repeatedly to get every movement. He didn't even realize he was on the floor on his side, propped on an elbow until Zach chuckled. He looked up and blushed; so INTO this he was, he didn't care...
“And now... you may kiss the bride.”
Stan smiled broadly, taking the sides of Stokely's face. He leaned in and placed a soft, loving kiss upon her lips. Her hands went to his wrists and held him close to her, pushing back and letting Casey get EVERYTHING on film. Everyone cooed and small claps went off as they drew apart. Pastor Gruel stepped forth and put a hand on their shoulders. “I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Rosado.”
Everyone stood and clapped, while trying to be mindful of the sudden flurry of butterflies replying to the action. The violin music played again as they faced everyone and laughed, Stan clasping Stokely's hand and bringing it to his lips. All the while Casey was snapping like crazy, choking past the remnants of tears in his throat.
“Jesus,” he muttered, getting the last few shots of them walking back down the aisle together. He now stopped for the moment, putting the camera down to his side and sighing. Stan and Stokely were walking around the small pond nearby, kissing each other madly and laughing. Delilah and Zach had made their way to the end, Delilah beaming and nearly hopping on the balls of her feet.
“Oh, it was so BEAUTIFUL!” she cooed. Casey groaned and walked over to his tripod, picking it up and heading down the aisle as well. He reached the end, feeling tired and listless; this changed as he looked to the right.
“I didn't even use any friggin' HAIR gel this morning!”
Casey laughed out loud, setting aside the tripod and aiming the camera at Zeke, literally covered in even more butterflies than the night before. Zeke glared up at him, not bothering to smile. His face had small tear tracks on it, making Casey beam. “I'm a giant sunflower, I guess,” he muttered, shaking his head a little.
“They like you,” Casey said, putting the camera down.
Now Zeke grinned. “Dunno why,”
“I do,” Casey murmured without thinking.
Zeke stared up at him then stood up. “Help me get them off, will ya?” he asked. Casey was happy to oblige.
“All right, get in the shot, everyone.”
The circle of dancers laughed, all of them leaning down. Casey pointed the camera upwards from his spot on the floor, clicking a few times. The blue and white mottled ceiling would make a great background behind the smiling faces...
“Casey... what're you doing?”
Casey sat up and found Stan nearby. “Oh hey...”
“You're lying on the floor to get pictures??” he laughed out in question. Casey hopped to his feet, shrugging and brushing at his jacket.
“Group shots like that are awesome! You gonna complain?” he said, cocking an eyebrow.
Stan laughed again, slapping him on the arm. “Shut up. Having fun, even if you're workin' it?”
“Fuck yes,” Casey replied. “These things are ALWAYS fun, working or not.”
“Cool, I'm glad.” Stan said. “Just... if you wanna take more pics that's all right, but we got everything we'd wanted--the whole bride and groom dance, cake, everything. So put the camera down.”
Casey smiled. “Well, I might wanna get some more shots. The night is still young,” he said. “Where's Stokes?”
Stan glanced over his shoulder, sighing. “Out in the front hall still, I think,” he said.
“All right; just wanna get a few more pics of her,” Casey said; an impish smile grew as he chuckled. “She's still sore that I caught her on film doing the 'chicken dance'.”
Stan laughed out loud, grabbing each shoulder and shaking him a little. “SO glad for that; perfect blackmail material,” he told Casey. He gave Casey a little shake before he walked off. Casey went in the opposite direction, checking his camera to make sure he had enough film to take a few extra shots of Stokely in her dress. As much proof as possible was needed.
He heard the voices first; looking up he saw Stokely hugging Zeke close, murmuring slightly. Casey paused, watching the scene. She held a paper in one hand, the other holding an empty champagne glass. “Only wanted the best for you, y'know,” she said.
Zeke smiled. “I know.”
Casey lowered his camera, not wanting to intrude with flashes. “Hey,” he said. The two of them turned to him and smiled.
“Hey Case,” Stokely greeted him. Casey was surprised to see her wiping away yet more tears.
“You all right?” he asked.
She nodded, a bright smile emerging onto her lips. “Yea, just... an emotional-as-hell day,” she said. Without explanation she went over to him, hugging him also. He squeezed her back, enjoying the soft sigh she gave. “You develop that picture and I kill you.”
Casey burst out laughing. “I'm gonna send it to the papers,” he said. She pinched his neck, making him jump.
“Kill ya, I swear it,” she said, patting Casey on the cheek; she looked between him and Zeke and pointed vaguely to the main dining hall. “I gotta make sure everyone's happy. S'my job, I guess.”
Zeke raised his glass to her as she walked off; looking to Casey he smiled. “Man, she IS a big ball of mush today.”
“Yea... it's damned good to see,” Casey said brightly, watching her get back inside to greet a large group of people sitting at a table. He turned back to Zeke. “What were you guys talking about anyways?” he asked.
“I just wrote 'em a small 'thanks' note thing, for putting up with my shit the last four years...” Zeke said, the last word soft and drifting slightly. He stared at his glass a few moments. “Y'know.”
Casey nodded slowly... so many revelations, however small, in the last twenty-four, making his heart skip with tiny shocks. It was welcome, but it made him nervous, all at the same time. “Oh. Well... must have been impressive; either that or Stokes is so far gone 'in the moment' as it is,” Casey said. He turned back to the hall and smiled a little. “I'm gonna take a few more pics; Stan told me to stop, but I just wanna make sure I get what I can of all this.”
“Aren't you a trooper?” Zeke said with a small smile, sipping the last of his drink. Casey rolled his eyes.
“Make yourself useful and get me a drink.”
“I've BEEN getting you drinks,” Zeke said with a laugh; the two of them walked back in, Zeke heading for the bar. Casey looked around, pondering his next few shots; Stan had been a bit right. Casey had taken so many pictures at this point everything seemed the same. People talking, laughing, dancing... so fun, but so done.
He walked back over to his chair and sat, taking the camera from his neck and sighing loudly. His feet ached, his eyes were sore and his heart was full; watching Stan try to dance was quite amusing, but not enough to take him out of his hazy reverie.
“Here, demanding one.”
Casey smiled, taking the drink Zeke extended. Instead of sitting, Zeke stayed standing in front of him, peering at him curiously. Casey stared back, stopping mid-sip. “Yea, wha?”
“Gimmee that camera,” Zeke told him, nodding to it. Casey glanced to it then grabbed it, handing it over. Zeke looked at the controls, dumbfounded. “This thing... like, ready to just shoot, or--”
Zeke nodded and raised it to his eye. He pointed at Casey; with a wide smile, Casey raised his bright red drink in the air as Zeke clicked a few pictures. He lowered it, biting his lip. “Hope they come out; I'm not the best photographer.”
“You're crazy. Photos of the photographer,” Casey said, sitting back further. Zeke shrugged.
“Would've been a shame, you not being in any,” he said. Casey blinked a few times before turning his eyes back to his drink, smiling.
All there was left to carry was the camera bag; Casey's car was loaded, having Ben to help him and making it all in one trip. Kris was once again pretty loaded himself, but pleasant. His arm was around Casey's shoulders, the other hand holding a beer. “When... you goin' back to BOSTON?” he blared.
Casey winced but chuckled. “Monday,” he said, nodding. Kris 'tsked'.
“Aw man, I was having a party next weekend. Wanted you to come,” Kris lamented. “Gonna be my twenty-seventh birthday; dad's throwing me a big thing,”
“Oh well--happy birthday, then,” Casey said, patting Kris' stomach.
“It's gonna be at the Aqua Turf, in Columbus. Dude, if you change your mind, you want directions?”
Casey's eyes bugged out. He didn't need directions, he knew where--and what that place was. It was famed for being a huge gala spot for the wealthy. Of course, Casey had never been there. “Um... that's pretty high class.”
“Well when yer dad runs and owns every 'Wendy's' this side of the state, comes in handy, man!” Kris said, belching a little. Casey looked over to Delilah, who stood talking with a few girls. Casey felt like he was going to burst with laughter. When the time came for a ring to be put on her finger, Casey would see it gleaming all the way back on the coast.
“Need any more help, Case?” Zeke said, arriving back from helping Stan load up the wedding gifts in his car.
Casey turned and smiled. “No, I got everything.”
“So YEA, you change yer mind, call us! I'll be at Del's this week,” Kris suddenly spoke up again.
Casey chuckled heartily and gave Kris a small hug. “Yea, yea. Go home and sleep this off,” he told him.
“Okee,” Kris replied with a bleary smile.
“All right,” Casey said; hoisting his bag on his shoulder, he saw Stan coming back inside, going to Stokely and chatting with her. She was smiling and brushing his jacket idly. Casey's smile faded; they were leaving for their honeymoon the next morning. God, he didn't want to do this. Feeling solemn and sad, he walked over; Stokely looked up first and beamed.
“Oh Casey... I can't wait to see all of these pictures!” she said, taking him up in a big hug. Casey squeezed back, closing his eyes.
“I'll develop 'em this week, send 'em right out to you,” he said in a thick voice. “Fuck... I'm gonna miss you guys.”
Stokely, the weepy girl of the day was again not holding back. She pulled away, her face growing wet as she took Casey's in her hands. “Tell ya what... when spring comes, we'll go out to Boston and meet up with you. I SO want to see Salem, too.”
Casey grinned. “Hells yea, make it soon.”
“Bye Case,” Stan now said, coming over.
Casey moved to him and hugged him tight, sighing shakily. “It was really, really beautiful. You guys so rock,” he choked out.
Stan laughed, slapping Casey's back and rocking back and forth a bit. “Make sure Boston is ready for us when we drop in. Maybe we can catch a game at Fenway--that would kick so much ass.”
“Oh YEA, definitely! It's our year, y'know,” Casey joked, pulling back.
“It's always Boston's year,” Stan laughed out.
Casey's smile faded, his fingers pressing the corners of his eyes. “Love you guys- I'm so happy for you,” he said. Stan took Stokely's shoulder and pulled her close.
“Thanks, man,” Stan said. With a wave, Casey turned, groaning under his breath. As happy as he was, and as high as he felt from all the celebrations, the fact that they were closing up made his heart sink. He got to the door and walked out, the cold air hitting him instantly.
“Damn,” he muttered, pulling his jacket closed.
“Hey Case!” Turning around, Zeke was coming out and walking over, keys in hand. “Leaving?”
“Yea... it's been a big night.”
“Yea,” Zeke murmured, walking along with Casey. “Fucking cold, too.”
“Fuck yes,” Casey said through chattering teeth.
“I'm gonna get home, make some coffee and just...” Zeke groaned out. “Man...”
“Hah... know how you feel,” Casey said. They were both in the parking lot now, heading to their cars. Casey looked up, seeing the GTO on the other end of the lot while his own sat close by. “I'll call you before I leave Monday; maybe we can grab a sandwich or something before I go.”
“Yea, that'd be cool,” Zeke said, now stopping as Casey got to the trunk and opened it.
“I've got a small shoot for someone's kid out in Boston on Thursday, so I got a few days off after getting home. I'm gonna need the time to recover from all of this,” Casey said, stuffing his camera bag inside. He now shut it and turned to Zeke, smiling. “So yea... tomorrow maybe, I don't think I'm doing anything--”
“Wanna just come back to my place?” Zeke suddenly asked.
Casey blinked. “Um, when?”
“Now?” he said. A pause followed, Casey's lips parting. He couldn't seem to find the words to reply; Zeke sighed loudly. “I mean yea, it's late- maybe we should just go, get some fucking sleep.”
“Sure. Yea, I could... go back with you,” Casey finally spoke up. Zeke nodded slowly.
“Okay, cool... wanna just... leave your car? Go through drive-thru or something?”
Casey looked to the car; it DID have alarm systems, and the club was used to people needing to leave cars behind when partygoers got a bit drunk. Even with all the precious equipment inside, Casey figured he could take the film of the wedding along, just in case... everything else suddenly seemed so worth the risk in just remembering the thrill of driving in Zeke's car. “Yea,” he said in a wistful tone. Zeke smiled and shook the keys in his pocket.
“'K,” he said.
The array of food was a bit unneeded; bags of fries and hamburgers were opened, along with a few 'take home' containers Zeke had snagged from the wedding. “Thought I was gonna eat the entire cookie platter myself,” Zeke said with the box open on his lap, scarfing cookies down. “Made sure to take home reserves.”
“Probably from that Italian bakery in town; Stokely's parents love it.”
“Fave place for me, now.”
Casey smiled, sipping his cola. He put a foot up on the table, careful to not wedge his ankle in what was left of his fries. “Y'know,” he started, a contemplative look on his face. “I'm so fucking glad I came. I missed everything, even all the old shit I couldn't have cared less about.”
“Like me, eh?” Zeke teased.
“Eh, don't start,” Casey said, rolling his eyes. He leaned forward, looking at the box. Zeke noticed and put it in the middle to share. Casey leaned back, picking a chocolate-cherry one. “I always cared about you, that's why I was so pissy. You don't get as wanked out as I was without caring about it all.”
“All right,” Zeke answered softly.
“I WAS nerved up about it, though. Four fucking years is a long time.”
“Yea. I know,” Zeke replied.
Casey looked over. “I'm glad for this. It makes life a lot easier,”
'Think I could get into MIT?” Zeke suddenly asked. Casey's smile widened.
“That's in Cambridge, right?”
“Yup, right down the street from me almost.”
“Yea, I know--I was looking it up online last night,” Zeke said. Casey stared, almost not hearing what Zeke was saying; things were now falling into place a bit for him. With the easing up of situations, Zeke seemed more comfortable in speaking. As he'd speak, Casey would hear the underlying reasons and notions; Zeke may as well have been saying, 'Can I move in?' in his rambling of college goals, invitations, and what he'd said just the afternoon before to Stan. Perhaps he didn't know Casey had heard, but it didn't matter. He'd said it before.
A wash of nerves fell over Casey now. Despite the horrible events of that one morning, Casey was suddenly wondering about what Zeke's REAL intentions were the night before it. “Um... I gotta use the bathroom,” Casey blurted. Zeke stopped talking and nodded.
“'K, it's all yours,” he said, stuffing another cookie in his mouth. Casey nodded and walked off, trying to not look like he was running away.
He walked into the hallway bathroom, groaning under his breath. He lifted the lid of the toilet and relieved himself, staring straight ahead at the wall. A cobweb stuck out of the corner by the medicine cabinet, hypnotizing him a moment. Once finished he looked away, shaking his head a little. He buttoned up and turned to the sink, running water over his hands. When he finished up, he shut off the taps, looked up and stopped dead.
His reflection was slightly obstructed by a photograph, perched in the wooden frame of the mirror. Casey's breathing was stopped as his own visage peered back at him, the smile on his face so familiar and bright to look at. His fingers lifted the frayed edges, bringing his toothy grin into view. He swallowed hard, remembering exactly when the picture was taken.
It'd been that very day. They'd gone out to the mall, where Zeke had gotten himself a cheap one-time-use camera for whatever reason, and then ended up back at Zeke's place. Zeke told him to smile, that he was going to take pictures and compare them with Casey's, betting they'd be better than his. It made Casey laugh, shown here as he sat on Zeke's couch with his head propped up on his hand. The top three buttons of Casey's shirt were still there, waiting to be roughly pulled off hours later.
Casey realized he was near gasping for air. He backed away from the sink and opened the door, heading out into the low-lit hallway. He paused a second, hearing Zeke grumbling under his breath. His skin felt electrified, hands trembling at his sides. He took three more steps and was standing in the archway, finding Zeke rooting around in the box of pastry.
“Thought I had more of those... leaf shaped ones,” Zeke said, glancing to Casey. “Did you eat 'em?”
Casey stared blankly; Zeke didn't seem too concerned with Casey's answer coming or not as he shook his head. “Wonder if that place is open on Sundays; first thing tomorrow, I'm going out for smokes and fucking cookies,” he mumbled away. Casey's breath was quaking, shaking his lips open as he walked in. He sat in his spot, his brain fuzzy and numb. “Fucking cookies...” Zeke mumbled, finally settling on one and setting the box aside. Casey felt stupid and lost as Zeke smiled. “Want more?” Zeke asked, nodding to the box. “Don't gotta wait for me to offer any,”
“All set, thanks,” Casey answered in a mumble. He rubbed his mouth a moment, thinking.
“So um... I was gonna ask,” Zeke started.
“When you leave Monday, do you need a ride?” he asked.
Casey frowned slightly. “I got the rental car at the airport. I'll just be turning it back in, so I should be fine.”
“No, I meant like... a ride home,” Zeke said. Casey stared blankly, feeling his jaw unhinge and gape.
“Drive me home to Cambridge?”
“Um... that's what I'm saying, yea.”
Casey turned away; his eyes felt like they shook violently. “Okay,” he murmured. Zeke nodded slowly.
“Okay... cool. It'd be nice to see where you live,” Zeke said.
It seemed like such an odd thing to say; Casey sat back as Zeke turned on the television. He kept listening to the crunching and chewing and... Jesus Christ, Zeke wouldn't stop eating these damned things. They WERE good... Casey sighed and reached into the box to get one just as Zeke did. Being that only a few lined the bottom, they happened to grab the same one. Casey looked over and saw their fingers grabbing each side of it, Casey's thumb pressed into Zeke's. Zeke smiled. “Go on, take it.”
Casey swallowed. He felt Zeke let go of it; deciding to purposefully misread what Zeke had meant, Casey let the cookie fall and took Zeke's hand instead. For a few moments, Casey stared, studying the crumbs lining both their fingers; sighing, he moved his to intertwine Zeke's, clasping them close.
Zeke was breathing hard as he stared along with Casey. He looked up, his face blank but lower lip shaking, looking lost. It took every bit of bravery for Casey to just start brushing his thumb over the crook of Zeke's, moving slowly... then to stand, looking down on Zeke. “C'mon,” he murmured, pulling him up gently. Zeke seemed to go robotic, standing with him and following Casey as he walked towards the stairs.
“Case...” he shuddered out.
“I didn't do... do all this so you would...” Zeke said, pausing now as Casey stood on the first step. “I didn't expect for us to, y'now...”
For a moment, Casey was terrified; perhaps Zeke loved him, but not like this. Not going-upstairs-love, 'walking into the bedroom and shutting the door' love. “I didn't either,” he finally said, barely whispering the words. Deciding to risk everything, he turned back around and took the next step.
Zeke followed. The staircase seemed to go on forever, Casey hoping and praying that Zeke didn't stop and wrench his hand away before reaching the top. His wishes came to fruition as he got to the last step, Zeke still holding his hand and letting himself be led down the hall. Casey fought to keep his head from spinning as he reached the bedroom door; he knew this room well enough.
It was dark, the only light coming through the window from the street lamps outside. Casey almost smiled, seeing the bed sheets and blankets rumpled; it was proof that Zeke existed, however silly it was to think. Suddenly, Zeke's took his hand back from Casey's, making Casey turn around. “I um... hold on,” Zeke said, walking back out into the hall. Casey blinked in confusion; shit, he'd pushed too hard. Too fast. He heard another door open in the hall; looking out he saw Zeke rummaging around in a closet, pulling out large bundles of cloth. A grin shuddered on Casey's face as he returned.
Zeke moved to the bed and stripped the sheets and covers from it. He worked diligently, moving from one side of the bed to the other to prepare it. Finally he tossed the old sheets to the corner carelessly and crossed his arms. “Yea... it'd been a bit...”
Casey smiled, almost chuckling. “Okay,” he muttered. Zeke's arms unfolded, one rubbing the other nervously. Casey felt so struck by the vision; Zeke wasn't the foreboding presence, the pure-sex expressions and eyes. He seemed lost, young and easy-to-hurt. It made Casey walk over, slowly as if to not startle Zeke into fear. He put a hand to Zeke's face, stroking a thumb to Zeke's jaw. It was a welcome, exhilarating feel of smooth skin and the slight sandpaper-stubble; Casey's lips parted to sigh. Zeke moved into it, eyes closed and mouth open to breathe slow and deep. “I love you too,” Casey suddenly murmured; Zeke's eyes reopened, looking to Casey with a steely expression. Casey shuddered; four years were culminating in just the moving forward, tilt of the head, lips reaching lips and resting there.
Zeke's breath hissed out, warm air washing over Casey's cheek as he moved his mouth along Zeke's slowly. He needed the reciprocation, getting it when Zeke started moving with him. The kiss became smooth, hard, and accurate, making synapses and nerves fired off in Casey's body like fireworks. Zeke was trembling, hands at his sides; Casey nearly growled, taking up one of them and placing it upon his hip. It clenched there, the other hand going to Casey's opposite side. His body moved closer into Zeke, pressing their stomachs together, his neck starting to ache from holding onto their kiss.
The next movements were liquid, starting with Casey's hands at Zeke's shoulders and pushing down slowly. With Zeke sitting on the bed, Casey's neck relaxed, and his lips became urgent. Their heads turned, tongues now darting out to lap onto and into mouths while Casey brought each knee up, straddling Zeke's lap. Zeke seemed to melt, his body lowering further until he was on his back. The small whimper he let escape sent chills through Casey, weaving through his skin at an alarming rate. Casey left Zeke now, mouth gaping for air as he moved lower, sliding his lips and tongue over Zeke's chin to his neck. With small gasps and groans, Zeke put one hand to the small of Casey's back and pressed. “I've wanted you... wanted you so fucking bad,” he admitted, making Casey's ears buzz with excitement and even joy.
He didn't have to think or worry anymore. Casey moved to the hem of Zeke's shirt and slid a hand underneath, resting on his chest. He began moving it, palm flat and smoothing circles over one nipple, perking and hardening with Casey's caress. The hand at Casey's back clenched, grabbing his shirt and pulling. Not willing to wait, Casey reached behind him and grabbed the hand there, shoved his shirt up with it and left him, wanting his skin to be bared to it without pause. Fingers shook against him as Zeke moved them up Casey's spine, moaning at both the feel of it and Casey now putting his mouth on his stomach. The shirt on Zeke was stretched, Casey's arm reaching up to Zeke's neck and collarbone. The fabric was now sliding off as Zeke fought with it, sliding his arms out of the sleeves. Casey bent up slightly, watching Zeke undress.
He remembered everything... why he'd fallen for Zeke, how it all came to him in waves of want. That first time; oh, that first time seeing Zeke at school, Casey being even dorkier as a freshman, awkward and marked for flagpoles and fists. Zeke had still been riding the bus then, and he'd stepped off the one right in front of Casey's, looking bored and annoyed. The fantasies of a fourteen-year-old had run rampant fom that day on, eyes always fixed on the brooding young man that would pass him by, never really looking his way but not needing to. He was looking at Casey now through heavy-lidded eyes, chest heaving once and taking Casey's breath away. His head titled down to look at Zeke's belt, feeling a hunger rising in his stomach.
Zeke swallowed hard while Casey fingered the straps, sliding leather out and up to release the buckle. The waist of Zeke's pants loosened once the belt was opened fully, Casey staring at the fine dark hairs below Zeke's navel. He placed shuddering kisses upon them, opening Zeke's clothing further, button out, zipper down, and how Zeke moaned even before Casey reached his prize... how he hissed and thrust up when Casey arrived.
Rock hard flesh filled Casey's hand, stunning him with the beauty of just touching; Zeke parted his legs, pinning Casey's wrist with the fabric at his groin. Casey moved closer, mouth traveling from his stomach to chest, finding a nipple and latching on. Zeke bucked once, a loud, guttural sound emitting from his throat. “G-God...” he stammered, lips closing tight. His hand moved from Casey's back to his front, dipping his fingers into Casey's slacks. Casey felt Zeke's dull nails scrape over the curled hairs, gripping and pulling with need. It hurt so good, hips rolling against Zeke's touch.
Casey pushed Zeke's pants and boxers down further, exposing Zeke's cock to the open air. Zeke put his head back, his hand stilling just below Casey's aching shaft, knuckles rubbing it in soft nudges. One small pause, then urgency; Zeke's breath was rapid now, feet kicking up from the floor and onto the bed, ass moving upwards. “Off... take them off, God...” he pleaded. Casey moved quick, leaning up to grab the loosened pants and slide them down. Zeke was wanton, complete sex in dark haired and glossy-eyed form as he now lay entirely nude below Casey, making Casey's lips part, tongue darting out to lick them moist. He wanted nothing more than this... he'd wanted, for so damned long.
Casey took Zeke's hands and put them at his chest, not asking--not needing to. Zeke began unbuttoning his shirt slowly, each opening making a cool, barely-there breath of air hit each swatch of skin as he went. Zeke finished and parted each side to open it, sighing shakily as Casey's shoulders were exposed. Casey didn't need to ask for anything as Zeke moved on, unclasping the buttons below Casey's navel, pulling the zipper down and reaching in. He swallowed again and again, taking Casey out and peering at the hard length in his hand. Casey barely moved, body freezing at just the look on Zeke's face alone. Staring at Zeke's awed expression, Casey shoved the waist of his pants down further, further, until they slipped down his hips and thighs and were kicked off to the floor.
With one hand still smoothing over Casey's shaft, Zeke put the other to Casey's shoulder and kneaded it a moment before urging Casey downwards. Their lips met again, tongues tangling passionately together, dancing... 'Just like dancing', Casey thought. His body lowered and he pushed Zeke's hand aside to press his aching cock to Zeke's. Zeke hissed and moaned as Casey slid his body up in small moves, away then back down again to rub together harder, firmer, more, loving the feel of Zeke's prick reacting to his. The kiss became wild, Zeke licking along Casey's lips, Casey meeting Zeke's tongue with his as if at war. Zeke eventually won, mouth encompassing Casey's and moving down, suckling at the bottom of Casey's chin. Without thinking, Casey's fingers went to his own mouth, sucked a moment, moaned and then slid them down quick underneath Zeke's balls.
Zeke froze. Casey, realizing what he was doing, paused and bit his lip. Zeke moved his head to the bed again, staring up at Casey with a wide-eyed expression. “Sorry,” Casey whispered.
Fucking God. Casey frowned slightly, fingers trembling below. “Sure?” he asked, the word coming out in a choke.
“Anything,” Zeke whispered back, lifting his head to kiss Casey lightly. “God... anything,”
Not quite believing what was happening, Casey lowered his head to Zeke's chest and rested there, fingers dipping further down to Zeke's ass. Ring and index finger extended, they parted flesh for his middle to explore, onto and into, just barely. He gently rubbed the tense ring of muscle, with Zeke breathing out small puffs of air as his chest tensed.
“It's okay,” Casey reassured, turning his mouth to Zeke's shoulder and kissing gently. “Gonna take care of you.”
Zeke choked on a gasp, lips pursed and sucking them in. The fingertip breached; Casey moaned softly as he encircled the tight flesh. He considered bringing his hand up again to offer more salivation to ease, but stopped. He looked up, peering curiously to Zeke who lay in wait. He could do anything; he wanted everything.
Casey slid down, feeling Zeke's thighs tense at his stomach, chest then shoulders, his shirt trailing behind him as his knees found the floor. His mouth opened and trailed down, slowly, tongue emerging to lap along Zeke's hardened length. “Fucking God,” Zeke moaned out, parting his thighs further. The scent and taste of Zeke's musk made Casey's head spin, his mouth salivating and opening wider to suck Zeke inside. “F-Fuck...” Zeke stammered again, hands fisted into the bed sheets and clenching hard.
Casey deep throated entirely, unwavering in his task and letting his tongue slide out to edge along the skin where cock met sac. Zeke was whimpering out, strings of needy grunts spilling out over and over. One hand was at Zeke's thigh, pushing him open wider, the other sliding underneath again to capture the wet and move in.
He didn't waste time; Zeke had seemed to relax further in wanting this so badly that Casey's fingertip edged past easier. Zeke panted at the feel of Casey starting to breach him, take him, touching so intimately; Casey wanted nothing more than to shove himself inside, hard and unrelenting. His mouth moved off of Zeke's cock and kissed it's way to Zeke's thigh, running his lips into the crease of hip and leg. “Love you so much,” Casey whispered, eyes fluttering closed. Zeke reached down and brushed his fingers along Casey's cheek; Casey swallowed, pushing his lips to Zeke's palm while his finger moved inside further, gently, but with all intention to fill Zeke how he wanted.
He almost didn't realize that his finger had slipped all the way inside until Zeke's body clenched, trapping him tight for a moment. He groaned, deep in his throat as his index folded, moving towards his mark, slowly, slowly... everything so excruciatingly slow but so lovely, near magical. His other hand now tugged lazily at Zeke's cock, staring at it as it jerked in Casey's palm. Zeke's knees shook, breath coming out as complete moans when Casey had both fingers inserted entirely. “One more,” Casey cooed, hand now framing Zeke's gorgeous length and sac, the inside of Casey's hand swirling in circles around it. Zeke nodded slowly, his Adam's apple going up and down with his labored breathing.
“Fuck me,” he whispered. Oh God.
Casey growled deep in his chest, his free hand slapping into the small drawer by Zeke's bed. He opened it, noticing Zeke's grin. “You remember,” Zeke said as Casey found the unmistakable tube.
“Uh huh,” Casey replied, opening it with a flick of thumb and index finger. He let a third finger start in, Zeke's smile disappearing and replaced with a tight frown. “Being careful... gonna be careful,” Casey whispered, though wanting to just plunge deep within Zeke without pause. He held back those thoughts and set to the task of lubing the third digit before working it all the way inside. The others emerged halfway out, Casey painting them smoothly with the cool gel. Going back inside he nearly groaned out loud, feeling the muscles relaxing further to let him in. The third finger slipped in easily, making Casey lift himself up. A moment later he removed them, Zeke letting out what had to be held breath, puffing out hard.
Casey crawled back up to him, one hand at Zeke's shoulder, the other at his hip. “If it hurts too much, tell me,” he murmured, kissing Zeke's cheek.
Zeke reached to him, holding his neck and keeping him close. “Don't care,” he muttered, nuzzling his cheek to Casey's ear.
Casey's eyes rolled back, moving his hand to his cock and rubbing it, readying, moistening... “Always wanted this,” Casey said with a shuddering smile. Zeke's legs lifted further, letting Casey's cock nudge where it wanted to go so, so badly. He was beyond hard, aching for the tight heat he'd worked on. Gripping the underside of Zeke's thigh he brought it up more before pushing forward.
“Fuuuck...” Zeke drawled in being entered, Casey edging closer and closer inside. Casey felt his skin grow hot, moist with sweat, making him move up for relief. Zeke's eyes were rolled back, face concentrating on what had to be confusing pain.
“Let go... it's all right...” Casey shuddered out, pushing more, more; Zeke turned his head to one side, letting trembling breath escape as finally Casey was sheathed completely. “Does it hurt?” he asked, tense and waiting.
“M'okay,” Zeke replied; Casey could have died in seeing Zeke's smile shake onto his lips. Casey snarled his lip as he replaced the small grin with an open mouthed expression in the firm thrust he delivered. “Jesus fuck!” Zeke yelped, hips shoving up and taking it further. Casey was no longer concerned with anything, all concentration working into, onto, and over Zeke, wanting him mindless.
Each hand propped up at Zeke's shoulders, holding him down as he began moving in then out repeatedly. He bent down fast and kissed Zeke madly, animalistic passion stemming from deep within and coming forth in wild movements of mouth and groin, in then out, reaching every inch he'd ever craved of Zeke. Zeke's arms and legs created a cocoon around Casey now, tightening around his hips and accepting every single motion Casey offered. Casey pounded harder, gasps of choking breaths releasing with every push. “Jesus fucking Christ, fuck me...” Zeke growled, grabbing Casey's hair and kissing him hard, sucking him in and moving down, biting into Casey's neck. “Fuck me, damn it...”
More erratic movement, making Zeke suddenly cry out. “Oh FUCK...”
“Found you, God damn it,” Casey said with a snarl, his body shaking with desire. He moaned, tossing his head to the side and he leaned upwards again, concentrating on that one spot to drive Zeke mad.
“So fucking good... FUCK...” Zeke howled, stretching his head back as far as it could go. He grasped Casey's hips and moved behind him, gripping each side of Casey's ass and pushing him more. Casey held onto each of Zeke's knees for support, pushing them up onto his chest and holding him hard. He thrust erratically now, seeing the flushed face below him with mouth opening wider. “Casey... oh fucking God, Casey,” Zeke moaned; he started gasping out over and over, Casey getting instantly high with the smell of come; Zeke's belly became soaked with it, his cock spurting without touch. It was enough to have Casey explode, almost without warning.
“Fuck!” Casey nearly screamed out, filling Zeke with his own hot seed. Zeke was already loosening entirely, Casey practically falling inside. Casey stilled, thrust once more, stilled... then felt ever muscle in his body turn to jelly, collapsing on Zeke's warm, wet body. They breathed together, Zeke's chest shaking hard and making Casey jolt, aftershocks claiming them both as they relaxed.
“Jesus...” Zeke muttered, stretching his legs out. Casey heard his feet hit the floor, Zeke's body turning into dead weight. His spaghetti-limp arms firmed up enough to now hover over Zeke, looking down on him with a small smile.
“Damn you, Tyler,” he murmured. He leaned down and kissed him gently, tongue flicking out to taste as he grinned. “God damn you.”
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