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mirabella ([personal profile] mirabella) wrote in [community profile] mirabellafic2013-10-02 06:15 pm
Entry tags:

The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, Casey/Zeke, PG-13.

'Tis the season for scary fic, yay! I may even dig up the vampire!hobbit fic, if I can unearth it (ha).

Title: The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
Fandom: The Faculty, Casey/Zeke, PG.
Summary: Zeke wants answers. He might not like them when he gets them.

It's no surprise that Casey has been a bit... odd, since.

Zeke supposes that they all have. There was his own ill-fated fling with quarterbacking and dating a teacher, like he was trying to be some sort of strange Zeke-approximation to a normal nineteen-year-old. There was Stokely in her bizarre pastel cardigans, though that didn't last, and she and Stan both seemed to breathe a sigh of relief when she got tired of the J. Jill shit and went back to her usual black. There was Delilah with her "Look at me being open-minded and bucking the trend to date the geek-boy" schtick, and Zeke had his own opinions on that. Out of all of them, the only one who hadn't booked a time-share in someone else's life was Stan, who had already been having some sort of weird early midlife crisis and was only temporarily derailed by aliens.

And now it's the end of the year, and they've all given it up and put their own lives back on like comfortable old clothes at the end of the day. All but Stan, who as indicated is still on the path he decided to walk before the aliens got there; and Casey, who is strange now in a way that he wasn't before.

It's little things, almost unnoticeable things. He stays inside unless he has to, except after dark, when he can't seem to stay indoors at all – Zeke's seen him a dozen times out walking in the middle of the night, looking oddly bereft without the ever-present camera. He's not paler than he used to be, he'd have to die outright to manage that, but he seems thinner, more transparent. And he has this strange expression now, Casey does, as if he's silently mocking something no one else can see; as if he's watching the whole human race reach for salvation and knows they'll only touch empty air.

Zeke knows something happened with Casey and the alien queen, but he doesn't know what, and without knowing that he can't put his finger on exactly what's different about Casey and why. And finally it gnaws at him until he decides to hunt Casey down and ask; because if there's some sort of big secret that got passed on to Casey in those moments before the queen died, if in some way the universe is thumbing its nose at the planet Earth, then by Christ Zeke wants in on the joke.

When he asks Delilah where Casey might be, she makes clear that she neither knows nor cares in such flat terms that Zeke feels a sharp stab of anger. So he leaves her in front of her locker and proceeds to hunt all over the school for Casey, in empty classrooms and bleachers, in the library and the darkroom, even scouring the bathrooms that Casey used to hide in, cleaning blood and tears and anger off his face before they could show in class. If he's hiding now, he's doing a hell of a job.

It's after sunset when Zeke finally decides to quit screwing around and go to Casey's house.

Casey's parents aren't home when he gets there. The house is dark, no lights in the windows, the porch a thick gathering of shadows, and if the back of Zeke's neck wasn't crawling with the utter certainty that he was being watched he might think Casey wasn't home either. Zeke stands on the sidewalk for a few minutes, watching the shadows of branches ebb and flow into the dark where the streetlight doesn't reach; wondering why Casey doesn't come out, why he doesn't at least throw open his window and call down. But then again, he reminds himself sourly, Casey's probably wondering what the fuck Zeke's doing standing out in front of his house like some deranged scat-selling cross between Lloyd Dobler and the guy from Halloween. And he wonders why he's so convinced that Casey is there, standing back out of the glow from the streetlight, watching him.

Jesus, man, you're nineteen years old. Quit with the bogeyman shit and go knock on the door, he orders himself.

But it takes him a few minutes; and he lights up a cigarette and smokes half of it first, watching Casey's window.

He doesn't know what he expected – for the door to open by itself, maybe, or at least squeaky hinges. But it opens with the usual small door-noises and Casey is standing behind it, smiling, wearing jeans and a plain navy t-shirt and no shoes, and Zeke hasn't felt this stupid since he was ten years old.

"Casey, how's it going?" he asks, taking a drag off his cigarette and watching the cherry flare and die in Casey's eyes.

"Going fine. Come in," Casey invites him, opening the door further and stepping back.

And Zeke wants to, he does, because Christ, this is just little Casey and Zeke's twice his size. But the dark is thick in that house, and as he stands in the doorway Zeke realizes that he's smelling something that... well, that isn't a smell, not really, more like a niggling itch in his head that makes him think that if the breeze shifted just a little it would bring something foul with it. And now Zeke's royally pissed at himself because this is beyond being stupid, this is crossing over into the downright delusional; Casey's waiting and Zeke's being rude (and why the fuck aren't there any lights on in the goddamned house) and This ain't fucking Elm Street, man, he tells himself, but for a long moment he does not want to cross that threshold.

Casey holds the door open, waiting patiently, and finally Zeke steps through.

"Haven't seen you in a while," Casey tosses back over his shoulder as he leads Zeke into the living room. He moves differently, here in his own house; he's surer, more graceful, without that annoying hunched kick-me shuffle, like a blind man at ease and sure-footed in his own bedroom. It occurs to Zeke that he's seeing Casey as he could have been if a hundred casually bloodied noses hadn't taught him wariness, and that does not help this weird feeling that he's having one of those dreams that you're not sorry to wake up from.

"Yeah, well, you know how it is," he answers, dragging absently on his cigarette and looking around for an ashtray. "You get busy with stuff."

Casey sits down on a padded seat in the arch of an oriel latticed with branch-shadows and moonlight. "Yeah," he answers, and his voice holds that odd note of humor, as if he is laughing at a joke he does not expect Zeke to share. "I know how it is."

Zeke finally spies an ashtray on the coffee table and stubs out his cigarette. "Will you answer me something, Casey?"

"Sure, if I can."

"What happened with you and... and Marybeth? At the end, I mean." There, it's out, and Zeke watches Casey to see if the question's more than he wants to answer.

Casey's hand lifts to his face, touching light fingertips to his skin, and Zeke remembers the sores that took weeks to go away. "I can tell you if you really want to know," he says, and underneath the thoughtful tone of his voice is something darker than eagerness but not quite hunger.

"Are you okay with it?" Zeke asks, and remembers the old saw about being careful what you wish for.

"I'm hungry," Casey says softly, looking out the window. For a moment there's a sort of strange awareness strung between them, as if, even not looking at him, Casey would be able to tell if Zeke moved and where he moved to. No, if this is a dream Zeke's not going to be sorry at all to wake up, and fuck if he's ever having bratwurst for dinner again. Then Casey turns and looks at him again and smiles. "Yeah, I'm okay with it."

Zeke lights another cigarette, and Casey begins to talk, turning his gaze back out the window. For a moment, before he really starts listening, Zeke thinks that Casey's skin looks strangely, beautifully transparent in this not-light; then his brain catches up with what Casey's saying, and he forgets about everything else.

It's a terrible story, and Zeke's gut is churning when Casey's done.

He feels like he should say something, offer consolation or reassurance or an apology for getting knocked out so early in the game and leaving Casey to face that horror by himself. But Casey turns from the window to look at him, and his eyes glint in the darkness like moonlight on water; and his lips are curved in a shadow of a smile that sets Zeke's heart pounding with something too much like desire and too much like fear.

Zeke takes a step backward, and another, and by the time he reaches the door he has to fight not to run from whatever it is that pools behind him like a cold rush of red.

The telephone snaps him awake at exactly 3:17 AM.

He's been woken by the phone before, and his first instinct, like everyone else's, has always been to reach for it. Now he lies still, his hand resting beside his head on the pillow, and watches the thin line of shadow that would be the phone if there were light.

It rings again, and Zeke counts: two, three, four... And then nothing where the fifth ring should have been, like the sudden flatlining of a heart. Zeke finds himself holding his breath, waiting.

After a few minutes he gives a sigh and makes himself relax. Wrong number, maybe. Back to sleep. He resettles himself on the futon, pulls the covers up, and tries not to listen to the dark; there's a problem with the scat distillation that he's been mulling over for weeks, and he lets his mind wander over it now, a loose free-association of thought that sometimes leads him to interesting solutions and sometimes puts him to sleep. He's not sure which outcome he's hoping for this time, but sleep would be no bad thing.

At 3:24 the telephone rings again.

Zeke has a vivid imagination, but he also has a wide and ruthless practical streak. Horror movies viewed alone in the dark have never cost him a moment's sleep. He has never suspected the shadows of harboring anything that was not there in the light. Discovering the existence of aliens was something of a wrench to his equilibrium, but quickly assimilated: in hours, minutes, they went from vague supernatural possibilities to organisms governed by physical laws just as humans are. If he was afraid then, it was not with the cold irrational terror that touches the unknown and finds it beyond understanding.

The ringing goes on – three times, four times, five. Zeke knows he should answer it, and doesn't, because he was not afraid then but he is now.

In the morning he feels like he's got some sort of stupidity hangover; he feels tired and sluggish and uncomfortable with the memory of having been a bit of an asshole. He owes Casey an apology, he thinks, for running out on him like that, and he should find out if Casey was the one calling him. And he thinks if he can just run Casey to ground during the day – no, start that thought over, for Chrissakes, if he can just talk to Casey in the sunlight it will become clear to him how stupid he's being to harbor this small, nagging feeling that has gone past telling him that something weird is going on to telling him that something somewhere has gone disastrously wrong. If he can just find Casey, and talk to him in the light.

He doesn't. There's no answer at Casey's house, he's not at school or anywhere around it, no one's seen him, and then Zeke is standing outside the carriage house smoking and watching the darkness fall with a sick feeling of dread.

"Fuck, Casey," he mutters under his breath, grinds the cigarette out under his foot, and goes inside.

Zeke isn't often tempted to dip into his stash. He knows too well what goes into it, and knows that the "other household shit" isn't anything a reasonable person would put into their system unless they wanted to save on eventual embalming costs. But he's tempted to tonight, because he doesn't want to sleep, and that fact is doing nothing for his temper.

Pushing his stool back away from the still, he rubs a hand across his eyes and glances over at the clock. It's after two, and the silent television set in the corner has abandoned regular programming for an interminable infomercial for some sort of exercise equipment. Zeke gropes for the remote and shuts off the tv, checks to be sure that his scat equipment is shut down, and thinks The hell with this. I'm going to bed.

Stripped down to his boxers, all the lights out except his reading lamp, Zeke settles onto the futon, pulls up the covers, and picks up his book.

If they were not truly intelligent, I hope I never live to see us tangle with anything at all like them which is intelligent. I know who will lose.

"Fuck," Zeke mutters, and drops the book again. It was stupid of him to buy it. He hates aliens. He wasn't overly fond of them before they invaded, and he's even less fond of them now that he's beginning to think he'll have to go the rest of his life wondering what's hiding in the dark. Maybe it's delayed reaction and will pass. He hopes so. But right now, if Zeke wakes up in the morning to find that the whole human race has divided into a handful of survivors and a teeming sea of cannibalistic zombies, he's going to greet that fact with resignation and no surprise at all.

Disgusted with himself, Zeke turns out the light and settles back against the pillows.

He knows he's dreaming when he hears himself say "Come in," because there was no knock at the door, and because he's cold all of a sudden, and the dark in the carriage house fills the floor like icy water. For long seconds there is silence, thick and smothering; and Zeke has a moment of panic and thinks Holy fuck what have I done, what have I let into this house – but it seems like it must be a different kind of dream because Casey is pushing back the covers and climbing into bed with him. And, well, that's a change, usually it's Angelina Jolie doing that sort of thing, but Zeke can roll with this too.

Casey's hand on his chest is cold and heavy, keeping Zeke still when he tries to move. But his breath is warm against Zeke's ear when he whispers, "Stokely was right about that book, you know. The aliens win in that one."

Zeke swallows hard and closes his eyes. Casey's lips are so close to his skin, and half of him wants to turn into that touch and half of him wants to scream until his vocal cords burst. "Damn good thing ours didn't," he answers, and hears the same thin, strained tone in his voice that he heard in it when he asked Marybeth why she was naked.

"Ours didn't," Casey echoes, mouth brushing against Zeke's jawline, and there's a tone in his voice like he could tell more about that if he wanted but doesn't think Zeke would get the joke. "Why did you come see me, Zeke? What did you want me to tell you?"

He shifts on top of Zeke, balancing above him on his hands and knees; Zeke tries to focus on something besides the lips tracing a cold line down his throat, and isn't sure he's doing a good job. "I... you seem like..." and damn, it's hard to think with Casey's hips brushing him where they are. He should be giving this up as a bad try and pulling Casey closer but he can't bring himself to do it – but he wants to, oh, how he wants to.

"I'm hungry," Casey whispers in his ear. "And cold. I don't want to be alone anymore."

"No," Zeke whispers in agreement, and he's not dreaming now so much as floating, drifting in the cold rush of darkness and the blue of Casey's eyes.

"I can show you what I know. I can teach you what Marybeth taught me." Casey's mouth is a breath away from his now, and Zeke wants to tilt his chin up and kiss Casey but he isn't sure now that he can move at all. "No more being alone. No more cold. No more wanting. Not ever again."

"Yes," Zeke breaths, because this is all he's ever wanted, right here. Everything he ever wanted to know, and Casey, waiting for him.

Somewhere inside him is a part of himself that's screaming at him. He can hear it like a low radio in another room: what the fuck are you doing this isn't a dream oh jesus – but Casey is whispering to him again, promising him things, moving against him, and oh fuck yes he wants this.

"Yes," he whispers again, and doesn't know what question he just answered.

The sheets slide over their heads, coccooning them in blackness and he can still see Casey's eyes. For just a moment there's pain, hot and searing, and he arches into Casey and grabs a fistful of kitten-soft hair and doesn't have breath to scream. For a blinding second he understands that this is real, and thinks Oh fuck oh fuck what have I –

- and Casey's mouth is on him, sucking, chasing trailing droplets with quick darts of his tongue, and all Zeke can hear is the frantic, failing beat of his own heart, and all he can see is red.

A/N: In case it's not obvious, the book quote is from Heinlein's The Puppet Masters.

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