prisca: (Elijah-blue)
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Title: Graffiti
Fandom: The Faculty (AU)
Character: Casey Connor, Zeke Tyler, Officer Miller (OC)
Length: 1608
Rating: PG





The first Zeke noticed when he turned onto the small backroad he usually took to go home was the colorful graffiti on the former drab-colored wall. The face of a woman, red and blue shadows were laying on her finely chiseled features without restraining her clear blue eyes or the dark blue-violet lips. She looked serious, as if she would hide more than just one secret.

Zeke couldn't help it; he slowed down to risk a second glance. He was not into street art, but he had to admit that the sprayer who had done this graffiti was much more talented than the other guys; girls were rare in the group of the skater; who usually did hang out here on the road after sunset.

The next he noticed was an old bike, leaning on the wall and a bit down the road a police car. Zeke smirked. Tough luck, he thought, it seemed as if the artist had gotten caught red-handed, just at the moment when he had finished his piece of art.

He was standing next to his bike, a wooden box filled with spray cans by his feet, and he barely dared to look up while the officer was talking to him. Officer Miller, Zeke realized, could be worse. In the past he had had some minor differences with him, too; the guy was fair; there would be a little rebuke, and then he would offer a way out of this mess.

His eyes wandered back to the boy. He didn't look like one of the skater gang. No trendy clothes, a plain blue-checkered shirt, the jeans a touch too wide for Zeke's taste. Just a bike instead of a board. He might be a bit younger than he was, maybe 16 or 17, probably still visiting the Highschool, but Zeke was sure that he had never met him before. He would have attracted his attention, that was for sure, Zeke knew everyone in Highschool.

Finally, his curiosity got the upper hand, he turned off the motor and left the GTO.

„Hello, Officer Miller, it's been a while.“

The officer turned around, chuckled slightly.
„Zeke Tyler, indeed. Turned into a golden boy lately?“

Zeke laughed.
„Almost. I do my best to keep the business legal.

What's going on here?“

Officer Miller pointed at the wall behind them, and Zeke nodded approvingly.
„Good job, I would say, much better than the usual stuff.“
He noticed the boy's surprised glance; wow, maybe he was small and skinny and almost invisible, but his blue eyes were unique. Zeke winked at him shortly.

„Well,“ the officer said.
„I don't want to deny some talent, but this doesn't change the fact that spraying is illegal. I need to inform the parents of this young guy; they will have to pay for the damage.“

„Oh, c'mon.“
Zeke rolled his eyes.
„What kind of damage? The back of some old factories and storage halls, no one cares about. It looks so much better than before.“

„Since when you are interested in street art?“

A smile played about Officer Miller's lips, and Zeke grinned.
„You know, I'm interested in a lot of things.

So, come one, bend the rules. Give him a little reprimand, and he will promise not to do it again. Problem solved.“

Now the officer laughed openly.
„Fine, I will leave it that this time. But if I ever see you again somewhere in Herrington with a spray can in your hands this will have serious consequences. Are we clear, young man?“

„I won't, promise.“
The boy nodded quickly.
„I was... I just wanted...“

„It's okay. I would suggest you'll get your stuff together now and go home.

Zeke? You will have an eye on your new friend, will you?“

„Sure thing.“
Zeke shortly waved goodbye when the officer got back into his car and drove away.

:::

He was still was leaning against his GTO, watching the boy fixing the box with the spray cans on his bike rack. For the last five minutes, none of them had said a word; the boy still refused to look at him. But when he grabbed his bike and turned it around, Zeke stepped forward into his way.

„Hey, what do you think about a thank you?“

„For what?“

„I've just saved your ass.“

The boy huffed.
„I can't remember that I've asked for your help.“

„Oh!“
Zeke smirked.
„A wild rebel.“

„Just shut up.“
Finally, the boy turned around; his blue eyes were sparkling with anger.
„Why don't you mind your own business?“

To be honest, that was a good question. Usually, Zeke knew to stand out of other people's problems just as he didn't expect any help from others. But for whatever reason, this guy had piqued his interest. Looking for something that could help to calm down the situation he pointed at the graffiti at the wall.

„This is interesting. Expressive. You are talented.“

„Thank you,“ the guy murmured, and the anger in the blue eyes got replaced by surprise and slight distrust. Apparently, he was not used to it to get positive feedback.
„But it means nothing. It's just...“
He shrugged.
„It helps me to feel better. When I'm doing this, I don't need to think much, but just can let my feelings out.

In Pine Haven, we had a youth center, and we were allowed to spray on the walls. In Herrington doesn't exist something similar, right?“

„Naw.“
Zeke shook his head.
„Almost everything in the hellhole of town turns around football.“

The boy pulled his face.
„Yeah. Great.“

„Understood. You're not a great sports fan.“
Which wouldn't make it easier for him, that was for sure.
„So, you are from Pine Haven? Wyoming? Here for vacation?“

„No! I did move here with my mom three weeks ago because her sister is living nearby. She thinks it might be time to move on, after my dad died half a year ago."

The boy turned his head away, but Zeke noticed the tears sparkling in his eyes anyway. Inwardly he cringed; he hated emotional releases though he almost felt sorry for this guy. Obviously, he had had to go through a lot, and it seemed as if the dam was broken now and he needed to talk about it.

„But I hate it to be here! I don't like this town. I miss my best friend. We did hang out together since kindergarten. Here I don't know anyone besides of my stupid cousin who talks about football and his oh so beautiful girlfriend. She's a cheerleader bitch; thinks that everyone is supposed to be her lapdog. She can't stand me.“

He paused, breathing hard.
„But I don't want to complain. My dad was sick for quite a while already, and we knew... we knew there would be no cure. He has told me told to take care of mom when... when he is gone.“

He sniffed slightly. And Zeke put his arm around his shoulder without thinking about it.
„That's asked for a lot,“ he murmured.

But the boy shook his head.
„We were family, always. We backed us up. My parents were always there for me. At school, it wasn't always easy. I'm... different, not interested much in stuff a boy is supposed to be interested. But my parents taught me that I'm strong enough to go my own way.

Now it's up to me to give it back. My mom and me, we will make it. But sometimes... it's hard.“

He turned back at the graffiti and smiled slightly.
„Art always was my refuge. Already as a child, I never wanted to go to the playground but did like to stay at home in my room, painting or crafting. But graffiti is so much better. When I have a spray can in my hand then it's just me. And the wall. And the colors. For a moment I can forget everything around.“

He paused, suddenly looking embarrassed.
„I guess for you all this sounds pretty geeky. Sorry. I'm talking too much when I'm nervous. I guess I should better go home now before my mom starts to worry.“

Yes, it did, and every other guy Zeke would have called a pathetic sap for talking like this. Not him, though, it was not just a show or the try to arouse sympathy. Despite his behavior, Zeke could tell that deep inside he was a fighter, not willing to give up so easily.

When the boy grabbed his bike, Zeke stopped him once again.
„Any plans for tomorrow?“

„Don't worry, I've learned my lesson and will put all the cans into the garbage container.“

Zeke laughed slightly.
„I know a guy, living nearby in Akron. Social worker, he committed himself to any kind of youth projects. Last month he started to build up a skater park in an abandoned factory.

We could go there tomorrow; see if he can need a good artist for some mural painting.“

The blue eyes of the guy widened in surprise.
„Why should you do that? You don't even know me.“

„Name is Zeke.“
He stretched out his hand.
„Nice to meet you... ähm?“

After short hesitating, the boy laughed out loud, and Zeke thought that it was nice to see him so relaxed.
„Casey. And yes, I would like to go to Akron with you tomorrow.“

THE END

October 2017

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