I own nothing but the idea & plot..sad? Yes...

Well, he knew it wouldn't last long.

Casey walked up the sidewalk to the school's front stairs lightly messing with the camera hanging around his neck. He glanced at the students sitting on the stairs reading the latest magazines and news papers, he could see the headlines read: Conner Coax and False Hero. The news reporters and writers had decided since there had been no proof of any threat to Herrington High School other than some hard to believe eye witness accounts from students. The eyed teen sighed hearing the disappointed and mocking whispers around him as he slipped through the school's main doors, he felt a solid object hit his face causing him to fall back with a soft grunt. He groaned and blinked trying to see through the colorful burst in front of his eyes and realized his nose was bleeding as well as throbbing with the rest of his face. "Not such a hero now, huh?" Casey heard the deep, mocking voice above him and grimaced looking up to see another football player standing over him flexing the hand Casey was sure had just made contact with his face a moment ago. Casey put a hand up to his nose hoping it wasn't broken and went to get up but instantly felt the jock's foot collide with his stomach. He grunted and fell back to the floor wrapping an arm around his stomach as he tried to get the air back into his lungs, "I asked you a question, piss ant!" Casey groaned weakly and didn't respond tasting the all too familiar coppery taste of his own blood from his bleeding nose, "I don't..think...my answer would...register..." Casey braced himself for another kick that he soon felt aimed for his stomach but thankfully his arm that was still wrapped around his already bruised middle took a good amount of the hit meaning another bruise. He grimaced and bit his blood covered lip tasting more of his blood.

"Hey!" Casey heard the familiar yet welcome voice call and opened his tightly closed eyes to see Zeke rushing over looking calm as usual. "Fuck off, Brad." he ordered to his fellow player and the jock rolled his eyes giving the already battered teen on the floor another light kick as he left. Casey winced at the parting shot and looked at the hand that was offered to him, he uncoiled the arm around his stomach to save Zeke any blood that could be smeared on his hand as he was helped up. "Welcome back to high school." Zeke said sarcastic as ever and slung an arm around Casey's back helping him stay on his feet as they walked down the hall. "Yeah...still hurts the same.." Casey muttered clutching his stomach and to stop the blood flow from his nose.

Casey also had to resist staring at Zeke as he lead him on, he had noticed a recent change in his preference. Casey knew he'd never really had any luck with girls but since Delilah broke up with him due to not wanting any associations with a false hero the teen had found himself dazing out in the locker room. He couldn't help it tho, he was still very much confused about who he was and what he was.

"Case?" Zeke's smooth voice broke through Casey jumbled thoughts and he was brought back to his current pain, "Huh?" He questioned grimacing at each step he took, Zeke smirked lightly seeming to be amused by his friend's lack of focus today. "I said, do you need to go to the nurse?" Zeke repeated and leaned closer to the shorter one, "Or do you need something else to make you feel better?" He asked in a hushed tone inches from Casey's face causing the teen's heart to speed up, Casey stared at the brunette hopefully but felt his hopes come crashing down when he noticed the other holding out one of his drug filled pens. Casey frowned and shook his head, "I'll be fine, thanks." Zeke shrugged slipping the pen back into his pocket, "Whatever you say, see ya later Case." He waved lightly heading off to where ever he wanted to go now leaving Casey at his locker. Casey watched him leave and sighed slumping down on a bench in front of his gym locker slipping the camera off from around his neck. He grimaced to himself grabbing a nearby towel to press to his nose to hopefully stop the blood which it eventually did.

Casey had to skip lunch tho since the stomach pain made it impossible to eat easily while breathing, he went to sit on the bleachers on the field instead to avoid any more jocks. He looked around over the field for anything he could take a picture of but didn't even see a bird nearby, he sighed pushing himself up. There was a soft whine and Casey froze hearing the wounded sounding cry from under the bleachers. He tentatively climbed down the bleachers and peeked under them, the sight that greeted him made him think that his abuse was civil. Shivering under the bleachers in the far corner was a dog only, as Casey noted as he got closer to the animal, it seemed a bit larger than the average dog he'd seen around the town. Kneeling down Casey looked over the canine seeing it's brown fur was matted with dirt and who knows what else, it looked like it hadn't eaten well enough for days even weeks, it's nails were over grown and it's eyes were crusted over. Casey frowned hating to see any animal this way and cautiously reached his hand out to touch the dog's head. The dog whined and moved away in fear, Casey immediately sympathized and tried something different. "Hey..it's okay. I won't hurt you, believe me I know what it's like..will you let me pet you?" he asked softly to not scare the furry animal and received a soft whine. Casey bit his lip and carefully pressed his hand to the dog's fur, when it didn't moved Casey slowly stroked it's fur in a soothing manner.

Casey smiled softly seeing the dog trusted him at least a little, "Okay, I'm going to see if you have a collar okay?" Receiving another whine Casey gently ran his hand over the dog's neck feeling nothing but dry skin and unkept fur. "You don't have a home do you?" he whispered feeling sorry for the dog, it whined again only it sounded more sad and neglected. Casey pressed his lips together and sat down next to the animal, "Well..I always wanted a pet..." He said to himself and absently stroked the chestnut fur. "Would you like to come home with me?" the dog raised it's head and licked Casey's hand affectionately. Casey smiled and rubbed it's head in return, "Okay, come with me." He instructed and stood up encouraging the dog to do the same, it stood on slightly shaky legs follow Casey trustingly.

"Well lookie here!" Casey winced and looked up seeing a group of jocks fully dressed in the schools football uniforms as they strode towards him. "Looks like Conner's found something that's got more fleas than he doesn't." a taller player sneered receiving laughs from his friends as his minimal effort jab. Casey frowned but stayed silent and tried to move passed them with the dog still following him despite it's obvious fear of these large people. The tall jock stuck his arm out blocking Casey's way and grabbed the front of his shirt threateningly, "Did I say you could leave?" Casey clenched his teeth, he side stepped the other and started to run knowing the dog could keep up if not out run him and the jocks. He could hear the heavy footsteps behind him as the football players got closer, he kept his fast pace til he and his new friend reached the parking lot. Casey spotted Zeke selling his home-made drug and bolted for him but a large hand grabbed the back of his shirt ripping him back to the ground. Casey choked and grunted feeling his body hit the asphalt, he breathed heavily from running and looked up at the players surrounding him. You'd think they'd be grateful for Casey saving their asses but apparently it made no difference. Casey braced for a series of kicks but was shocked when the dog jumped in and started barking viciously as it stood over him. The next thing he knew the football players were backing off and left all of a sudden seeming to find the malnourished canine to be terrifying.

Casey looked at the said animal with thanks and felt it's warm, wet tongue all over his face as it wagged it's tail. Casey laughed appreciatively and got up once he escaped the tongue attack, "Thanks." He said softly getting a soft bark in return, he smiled and went over to Zeke with the dog. "Hey, Case." the taller of the two greet as he took a drag from his cigarette and noticed his friend's friend. "What's with the mutt?" he questioned looking slightly interested, Casey smiled. "I found him under the bleachers and he just scared the jocks away from kicking the shit out of me." He stated proudly and Zeke raised an eyebrow, he sighed flicking his cigarette. "Are sure it's a he?" he asked bluntly and Casey resisted blushing, "Uh..no." Zeke took a breath, "Okay." He knelt down and checked to see the dog's gender making Casey feel embarrassed and he wasn't even the one having this done to him.

Zeke soon rose back up dusting off his knees, "Congratulations, it's a boy." He stated simply and took another drag, "What're you gonna call him?" The question surprised Casey and he stuttered slightly, "Um..I haven't thought about that yet." Casey said softly looking down at the still seemingly pleased canine, he looked at the chestnut fur that he was sure was soft if it were only clean and brushed. "Uuh..Zack?" Zeke shrugged, "Your dog." Casey knelt down to the dog and petted his ears, "Do want to be called Zack?" The dog perked it's pointed ears up straight and barked approvingly as it wagged it's tail. Casey smiled even tho Zeke was giving him weird looks for consulting a dog, "Zack then. Zeke, can you give me a ride home?" Zeke looked at the teen, "Didn't you say you mom was allergic to dogs?" Casey frowned, he'd forgotten about that and looked at Zack not wanting to give him up either. Not even to a shelter. Zeke saw the frown and sighed rolling his eyes, "Look, here's the deal Case. You can take him to my place." Casey perked up instantly at this, "Really?" Zeke held up his index finger, "Hang on. Now that's only if you clean up after it, you feed it, and you make sure it doesn't piss on anything of mine." Casey nodded not thinking twice about it, "Deal." Zeke nodded and tossed the remaining end of his cigarette over his shoulder before slipping into his car, "Get it and make sure he doesn't ruin the backseat." He ordered and Casey got Zack and himself in the car in an instant smiling broadly.

He had a dog. Not only did he have a dog but he'd be spending more time near Zeke, Casey smiled broadly at the thought.