TITLE: "Five Scenes Down" (1/1)
AUTHOR: mcee (mcee@fangy.net)
SITE: http://fangy.net/contraddiction
PAIRING: Zeke/Miss Burke

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It happens in the school library, third aisle in Fiction, against the column with the corkboard and the rusting fire extinguisher. Zeke's hands--the loose grip of thumbs and forefingers--are stuck to the inside of the elbows, where the skin is hotter and softer and thinner and he can feel her pulse there, quick like a rabbit's. Only she's not scared; exhilarated, maybe, and her lips open easily under his. The tip of her tongue flicks against his, then it's gone. The kiss is quick, not planned, and her chest is softly heaving under the delicate lace of her blouse. Her cheeks are flushed and her eyes are wide and she smells sweeter up close than he ever manages to remember. When he runs away, he stumbles over the books that clattered to the floor when they ran into each other.

Parent-Teacher Night. She's not very much in demand because she never fails anyone, and Zeke's parents are living it up in Rio because that's how it is. He shows up anyway and she follows him without asking. There's that little flush across her nose again, even though they haven't kissed yet. When they do, behind jars of calcium chloride and stacks of microscope slides, her fingers curl into the loose hem of his t-shirt, and she lets his tongue graze past her teeth. Stealing, smoking, making out--Zeke's never been caught here.

She owns a 1988 Mazda, but she left the transmission in the parking lot of a bank three years ago, and so she's been taking the city bus to work every morning, every night. She almost accepts his offers for a ride, but no one's ever noticed her and she thinks maybe she should keep it that way. She walks an extra mile after school so she doesn't have to wait with students, who call her 'Miss Burke' and make her feel like her mother. It's threatening to rain and the bus is its usual four minutes late. She clutches to her chest a stack of essays waiting for her red ink. The pen is neatly clipped to the top paper. The bus appears around the corner and she hears running footsteps approaching from the opposite direction. She makes herself as small and out of the way as she can to let the tardy commuter through. The packed bus coasts to a stop next to her and Zeke--out of breath, panting--touches her cheeks when he kisses her, and his lips cling to hers a little longer because he almost missed her.

Zeke's parents remember Parent-Teacher Night a little late, and in an uncharacteristic fit of good parenting, catch an early flight out. They pick a teacher at random and fate has her sitting in Zeke's impeccable living room one Sunday afternoon, politely refusing canap├ęs. Her hands cradle the hot teacup and she watches Zeke hover nervously at the door behind his parents' backs, his stance a close approximation of Casey skirting the school halls. His parents are nice and bright and clueless, and their forced concern is harsh on her ears. She finds Zeke holed up in his lab, chain-smoking. She's taller when he's sitting, and her hips fit nicely between his knees, and she tells him she can see the top of his head. His chuckles against her neck are a little strangled and his arms around her waist are strong and fast.

They took the step, and she's cooked him dinner at her home. Her home is about the size of his garage, and just as cluttered. He reads the spines of the books that cover the shelves that cover the walls. He's read half of the titles there, borrowed from his father's study when he's away and Zeke's bored. She watches him from the kitchen, forgetting for a moment that she's not much of a cook and that what's cooking in the saucepan won't impress anyone, let alone that boy who knows how to mix things to make them into other, more exciting things. He's not the patient kind, however, and soon she has an armful of grinning Zeke pressing her into the fridge and making the things inside rattle. She likes the way their mouths lock now, a little practiced but still awkward with anticipation. He smiles into the kiss; it's infectious. The egg timer goes off. They'll order in.