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For [ profile] ink_gypsy, who pointed me in the direction I was trying to find. I'm at 713 words, so a bit over what I promised. I also would have been totally comfortable writing your OTP, as I've done it before, I just don't PREFER it. ;)

Casey spent the better part of the day sitting at his desk, staring out the window, and just generally moping. He knew he was being silly, but he just couldn't help himself.

~*~The night before~*~

Casey rode his bike out to the Burger Barn. He knew that was where Zeke usually hung out on Friday nights and ever since the invasion, they'd been friends . . . of a sort. Truthfully, the status quo had resumed pretty quickly: Delilah dumped Casey for a football player and Zeke had left Miss Burke to continue sowing his wild oats. The only couple that was still together was Stokely and Stan, but Casey had heard through the grapevine that even their relationship was on the rocks. Zeke was the only one from their group that he actually still talked to, but some days Casey had a hard time calling him a friend.

Like every other Friday night, the Burger Barn was busy. It took Casey a moment to locate Zeke, but when he saw him, his heart soared. Zeke was sitting alone on top of one of the picnic tables, a pensive look on his face.

Renewing his courage, Casey stepped up to the window and ordered two strawberry shakes--Zeke's favorite. Unable to keep the silly grin off his face, he picked up the drinks and approached Zeke's table.

When he was only a couple steps away, the crowd parted and Casey could see that there was a gorgeous blond next to Zeke, her ample cleavage spilling out of her low-cut top. She and Zeke were staring intently at one another whispering quietly.

Casey felt his heart break. Before he realized what he was doing, he dropped the shakes in his hands and ran.

Zeke's head had jerked up at the noise, but he all he was a mess of strawberry milkshake on the ground and Casey's fleeing back.


The doorbell rang, but Casey didn't pay it any attention. Only when his mom called his name did he even move.

"What?" he shouted through the door of his room.

"You have a visitor!" his mother called back.

Grumbling, Casey pulled himself up from his desk. It was probably the next door neighbor, Vern, a mousey little kid with glasses too big for his face. He was a year younger than Casey, but clearly had no friends his own age. He would frequently stop by for a visit and neither Casey nor his mother had the heart to tell him to leave. Casey steeled himself for another "Vern visit."

But the sight that greeted him was the last thing he expected. He had to blink several times just to make sure he wasn't dreaming.

Zeke was standing just inside Casey's front door holding a bouquet of six purple roses. He held them out with the ghost of a smile on his face.

Casey just stared at him.

"Casey, honey, do you want me to put these in a vase for you?" Mrs. Connor asked, stepping forward.

"Yeah," Casey said through the cloud of his mind. He watched his mother walk into the kitchen and then turned back to Zeke. Confusion was written all over his face. "What are you doing here?"

"I saw you last night. At the Burger Shack." He shook his head. "Casey, the woman you saw me with was Melinda. She's just an old fling I just happened to see there. She wasn't even supposed to *be* there." He licked his lips and fumbled in his pocket. He pulled up a slightly crumbled piece of paper and handed it to Casey. "I did get your note."

Casey reached out a shaking hand and took the piece of notebook paper from Zeke. He didn't need to open it to know what it said.

Zeke -- I may completely blow our friendship by saying this, but I like you. If I haven't been completely misreading you, you like me, too.

If the answer is yes, please meet me at the Burger Shack tonight at 7. --C

"My answer is yes, Casey. Six lavender roses because I want to be yours."

Casey did the only thing he could think of at that moment: he threw his arms around Zeke's neck and held on tight.


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