Title: Filja (Part 1)
Fandom: The Faculty
Characters: Casey / Zeke
Word Count: 2890
Disclaimer: not mine, of course
Notes: english is not my first language, so this might be not perfect but it's fun ;)
Zeke glared at the man who was sitting opposite him at his expensive desk.
„No, I'm not gonna do this shit. I've better to do then to spend my time at a stupid animal shelter.”
„You don't understand, Zeke.“
The man looked more bored then annoyed. Zeke huffed. He hadn't asked him for help. His parents had called their lawyer after they had heard about his problems. Not that they actually cared. Zeke had never fooled himself about their parental love, they had left him alone for the first time when he was two month old. His grandma had raised him until she died. What followed was an odysee between au-pairs and bording schools. The Tyler's were well known business folk and rarely at home. But it was like a slap into the face for them to find their name at the top of the yellow press because their son had gotten himself into some serious shit … for the third time this year. Zeke secretly enjoyed the idea about how much money his father would have to spend to sweep it under the rug once again ...
„You won't get out of it that easy this time. The other boy needed medical treatment and his parents ask for high damages. I actually don't know, why Judge Brown is willing to give you this last chance. But it's either you will spend the next weeks working for free at the animal shelter … or you will go into juvenile detention home right now.“
It was evident what the advocat was thinking. That it was predetermined that one day Zeke would end in prison anyway and that the try to help him was just a waste of time and money. He hadn't even asked him what had actually happened.
Zeke stared at the three buildings in front of him; large, flat stone-halls, arranged around a great yard in the middle. He noticed cages of iron bars and wire-mesh fences. Everything looked old and shabby, the buildings could need a new painting, the fence was provisional repaired at some places, the ways were covered with mud and the last snow of this year. Even here in his GTO he could hear the barking, howling and whining from different kinds of animals.
He already considered to turn round and leave the town. He had friends in Columbus where he could stay for a while. Sure, they would find him sooner or later, his parents would burst with anger and the judge would send him into juvenile. It was not fair. Not this time. He had done a lot of shit before, driving without license, faked ID's to get booze, homemade drugs …
This time? All he had wanted, was to help this much too young girl. Her boyfriend … boyfriend? Hm-pf. Better call him a piece of shit. Only a bit older than she was, obviously drunk, he had pressed her so hard and she had looked so helpless. It had been obvious that she wanted him to stop but she hadn't dared to protest. Zeke had stepped in, fuming with anger and it had ended with a major fight. The guy had needed to go into the next hospital, where his ignorant parents had decided to call the police. The girl had been much too scared to contradict her boyfriend and Zeke had ended up at Judge Brown's court room again. He had felt like an idiot. This was what he got when he tried to help someone else.
He was torn out of his thoughts by a young girl. She opened the door from the shelter and waved at him. Under other circumstances he wouldn't have looked twice at her; she was small, her face almost hidden behind the hood from her gray parka. Her jeans were dirty, but she had long, well formed legs which ended in a pair of dark green boots.
Zeke smiled slightly. Maybe it was not as bad as it had looked like only a few moments before. It would be easy to twist her around his fingers … he knew how to handle a girl … especially when she probably wouldn't be used to it to get compliments from the boys.
He opened the door when she reached the GTO.
„Hey. Are you working here?“
„Hello,“ she answered with an open smile on her face.
„Yes, I do. Name is Scarlet.”
Zeke repeated the name, slowly, almost savoring it.
“What a special name. Like you are.”
The girl rolled her eyes.
“Guess, my mom has watched 'Gone with the wind' a bit too often. You can call me Letty, that suits me much better.”
Zeke didn't know what she was talking about, but this didn't matter.
„Fine by me,“ he said and stretched his hand out.
„Hey, Letty. I'm Zeke!”
She ignored the hand and nodded toward the shelter.
“C'mon now, I will show you around.”
Zeke could feel her eyes resting on him when he left the GTO and slowly locked the door. He knew how to put himself into a favourable light. But when he turned around he noticed the smirk on her lips.
„Well, I guess, first of all we need to find some old denims for you. And warm boots. You will need that when you clean the outdoor cages.“
This dampened his optimism. He would not squeeze himself into old, used Jeans, no way, and he didn't intend to crawl into small, muddy, stinky kennels.
„What do you think about a good coffee first? It's cold outside and it seems you can need one. There is a Starbucks a bit down the road. My treat, of course.”
Letty shook her head.
„No, thanks. I've already had two mugs this morning. For that we have a coffeemaker, you know!
And I'm running late today. One of our helpers called in sick this morning. And there will be a serious surgery later. A stray cat, I call her Pilar. A man has brought her here tonight, he found her in the roadside ditch, a few miles from here. She's in a very bad state, one of her legs is smashed. My dad wants to amputate it. But we hope, she can make it anyway.“
Zeke kept quiet for a moment to think this over. She sounded so enthusiastic as if she really meant it. But it was just a cat. Not even her own, a stray cat. Wouldn't it be easier to put her to sleep? Instead of wasting time at a probably lost case?
„So, your father is a vet, I guess,“ he finally asked.
“And he's working here too?”
„He's the owner of the shelter,” she explained.
“It's a private one. First there were just a few animals, the old cat from our neighbor; no one wanted him after his death. The donkey from the circus, he was sick, and when the artists left the town they've just forgotten to pick him up. Later people started to bring over hurt animals they found somewhere in the park or beside the roads … My mom never said no to anyone … Nowadays ...“
She smiled slightly and looked at the old buildings.
„The shelter is like her legacy. She had a car accident two years ago. Since then I'm working here together with my dad. Somehow we manage to keep it running.
But it's a full time job. Too many animals who need help. Not enough people who are willing to spend money or to work here for free. It's nice to have you here, we can need every helping hand.“
„Don't expect too much,“ Zeke reminded her.
„It's not by choice. To be honest, I don't care much about animals.“
She nodded, not looking offended in the slightest.
„I know. You are one of Judge Brown's protégés.“
„I am no ones protégé. I'm used to it to take care of myself.“
“Otherwise you would not bring yourself into trouble and end up here, right? But don't worry, I don't care. Just do your job … and stop trying to hit on me. I'm not like that, you know.”
„Hey, Case! It's great that you could step in on short notice.“
Letty waved at him while Casey leaned his bike against the wall. His face was reddened by the freezing cold wind.
„Nothing big. I'm glad to be able to escape the madness at home for a while,“ he laughed.
„My Mom is going wild with cooking and baking for Val-Day as if half of the population of Harrington will come by. “
“Your mom is still celebrating Val-Day?”
“She's dated my dad for the very first time at Val-Day twenty year ago. This is a good reason to freak out, don't you think so?”
Casey chuckled slightly.
“My dad tries to stay out of her way since a week as good as he can. He has his work, I'm not that lucky. But your call saved me from going to the Mall with her.
Good thing is, my Grandma will fly in from Boston. I can't wait to see her, last time I met her during summer break. Maybe I will bring her here, she's curious about the shelter.“
His eyes were sparkling excited. He loved to come here, the shelter almost felt like a second home for him. Since he had met Letty some month ago in the forest nearby. When he saw her first she was surrounded by some dogs, romping around with them. Her laughter and the barking of the dogs had been catching. Casey had asked her if it was okay to take some photos. She had agree, they had talked a bit and at the end she invited him to come and visit the shelter.
Casey had always been a loner; had never had close friends, his schoolmates called him a freak because he liked his camera more than Football. In the best case they ignored him, in the worst … Casey had always liked animals more than people; they were more faithful and would never hurt you without reason. Unfortunately his mother was allergic, so it was impossible for him to have a dog or a cat. The shelter felt like heaven. Here everyone respected him: the people and the animals.
„So, what's going on today?“
„Pilar, our newest forsterling, she's in a critical state.“
Letty sighed and Casey put his arm around her shoulder.
“My dad needs to amputate her leg.”
„Oh, that's kinda sad. But even with three legs she can still have a good life.“
„We want to get over with the surgery as soon as possible. The doc needs me to assist him, after he's send Sim back home this morning. She refused to go first, but she was barely able to stand straight. The flu, I guess. So most work will be up to you, sorry.”
„I don't mind. After feeding I will take care of the cat's outdoor cages first. And if there is still spare time maybe I can look at the old kennel in the hall. If we could repair the lock this will give you room for at least four more dogs.
It's a shame. Three dogs and four cats in one week. I don't get it why people are so stupid. Will they ever learn that every animal deserves respect and that it's not a present you can throw away when you get sick of it?”
“It's always the same after Christmas.”
Letty sighed deeply.
“We still don't know where to get the money for food next month. Actually we never know. But giving up the shelter is not an option. Too much animals need help.”
Suddenly she remembered the guy in the small bathroom behind the office and she couldn't help a slight grin. He had been so reluctant to take the old jeans and the thick sweater she had given him, but when his eyes fall onto the large outdoor cages and the muddy yard he had finally changed his mind.
“Before I forget, we have help today.”
Casey looked at her questioning.
„Judge Brown send us another guy for some weeks. He showed up half an hour ago,” she explained.
Casey pulled the face. As much as every helping hand was needed, he was not overly eager to work with these guys. Of course, everyone could make a mistake and deserved a second chance and it was great that Judge Brown was willing to grant it. But for him it was difficult to deal with them. Most of them were not interested in the animals, they were just here because it was the only alternative to the juvenile. Often enough they did remember him all too much of the jocks at school and he preferred not to be alone with them.
As if Letty could read his mind she smiled reassuring.
“Don't worry. Just keep him away from the animals. Give him a shovel and a broom and let him clean the cages. This will be a good lesson to him.”
“Oh, that's harsh. What did he do to deserve that?”
“Shows up in his oh so cool car with much too expensive designer jeans and tries to hit on me. Do I look like a cheerleader queen from Highschool? But when he stops acting like an idiot he might be ...
Case? You okay?”
Casey had turned around and stared at the black car with the red strips at the parking lot nearby. Why he hadn't noticed it before was beyond him. He had seen that car much too often at school … and he knows the owner all too well. He squeezed his eyes shut, just to re-open them a moment later, wishing the car would be gone. Of course it wasn't. Casey groaned slightly.
Puzzled Letty grabbed for his arm and shook him slightly.
“Hey, what's the matter? You look pale like a sheet. Hope you didn't catch the same as Sim.”
“No, it's nothing,” he reassured her with a shaking voice.
“Just … the GTO … It's Zeke's car!”
This couldn't be! Zeke Tyler was the last one he had expected to meet here. But maybe it shouldn't surprise him that much. It had been just a matter of time that he got into some serious shit.
Zeke was well-known as a bad boy. He was living almost on his own ... at least no one had ever seen his parents. Even if they were around they obviously didn't care much about him. He was often late at school and even though he was smart he did repeat his last year. He was more interested in flirting with the girls … and didn't even stop at the teachers. Not to mention his dubious dealings. The trunk of his GTO was crammed with almost everything a student from Highschool might need: cigarettes, beer, porn magazines, condoms … and, if the rumors were true, self made drugs ...
“Yes, his name is Zeke. Do you know him?”
Casey nodded, still feeling weak.
“From school. We share a few classes.”
Letty narrowed her eyes.
“Is he one of these jocks, who ...”
“No, oh no.”
Casey shook his head.
“He's not like that. He uses to ignore me. Last year we shared a lab table, but sometimes I wonder if he even knows my name. Actually he's not very close with anyone. It's kinda weird, everyone at school is respecting him, the guys think he's cool and the girls treat him like a king … but he … I guess there is nothing he really cares about … beside of his car. He can get raving mad when someone even dares to touch it.”
“So, is it okay for you to work with him? If not, I can call the Judge ...”
Casey considered it for a while. He actually didn't like the idea of working together with him. It was hard enough at school. He tried to avoid too much nearness. Zeke was … Zeke. And what he felt for him was quite confusing. Other guys had a crush for Delilah, though most at school knew that there was barely a chance for a real date, as long as they were not the students president or the Quarterback of the football team. But Delilah secretly enjoyed all the attention she got. Casey preferred not to think about it what Zeke would do with him if he would ever find out about his feeling towards him. Keep distance was the magic word....
If not, I can call the Judge. Yes, it was that easy. Just one call and Zeke would probably spend this night at the juvenile. Casey didn't know what he had done, but ... He shook the head. No, he couldn't do that.