2007-09-18: Freaks And Geeks (And Sloths)


Caleb_icon.gif Kasey_icon.gif

Summary: Also flamingos. A date at the zoo occurs and Kasey is introduced to Caleb's special friend. (No, not that one, it's the zoo.)

Date It Happened: September 18th, 2007

Freaks And Geeks (And Sloths)

The Bronx - Bronx Zoo

It's a sunny day. Birds are singing. Children are laughing. Caleb, however, looks as brooding and serious as usual as he stands just beneath the huge BRONX ZOO sign. It's his day off, it seems, out of uniform and instead wearing a loose black T-shirt that reads 'I LOVE THE WHOLE WORLD' in white block letters. On the back, it has 'BOOM DE YADA' and the Discovery Channel logo. Jeans and sneakers complete the outfit, and he just sort of loiters away from the bulk of the crowd, occasionally bringing a hand up to shield his eyes and take a gander for whom he's waiting for. If he's nervous, he doesn't really look it - because he always looks somewhat nervous to begin with.

Kasey comes jogging up, checking his watch from time to time and then skidding to a stop not far from Caleb. He's in a fitted dark green t-shirt and a pair of dark blue jeans, and the t-shirt is sleeveless matching the green and white truckers cap worn at a jaunty angle and he's quick to flash a sheepish smile as he picks out the loner. "Yo! McSloth!" He calls out, waving a hand and making his way over, his backpack worn and he tucks his hands into his pockets, green and white converse sneakers scuffing against the ground as he shuffles along.

Kasey's arrival is rewarded with a fleeting smile, Caleb chin-upping to him, then looking him over. That's a lot of green. Can't say he disapproves, however, it's how he votes. "Was it hard to find?" he asks, moving to start walking. No sense in lingering! His hands seem permanently stuck in his pockets, it seems, in a fixed casual sort of stance, as he leads them in a definite direction.

"Hard to find…well no. I kinda did the whole walking and public transportation and then more walking thing and then there was some running and a bit more running before slowing to a jog and yo, behold, here I am." Kasey rambles with a wry grin, shrugging his shoulders. "But I like a challenge." He offers softly then clears his throat. "The t-shirt, it is…uh, totally you. Rocking the earth love green peace type of not quite hippie and not quite activist look, so you don't look like a nutcase but you make a statement too." He's nervous, hence babbling as he following, awkwardly slipping a hand into his backpack and rummaging around.

"I appreciate the effort," Caleb says wryly as they stroll, and then he glances down at his shirt. "Oh. Thanks. I actually didn't put that much thought into it." That may or may not be a blatant lie and he shrugs his broad shoulders. "But um, what animal did you want to see?" he asks, looking towards Kasey - then blinking, neck craning to see what he's rummaging for.

Kasey follows along easily enough, swearing softly and grunting in the effort of tugging his poorly wrapped gift out of the backpack, zipping it shut and offering it to Caleb on the palm of his hand, reaching out to carefully try to stop the other 'man' with a hand on the shoulder. "Here, before I lose all my nerve and shi-stuff about the whole going to the zoo with a nice pair of eyes." A pause. "I mean a nice young man." A pause. "I mean a penis with legs." Another pause. "NO, I don't mean that, jesus you're not a dick I swear and maybe we should go see some um lions so I can jump over the bars and let them eat me because I am pretty sure I can't deepthroat my own foot and these are a nice pair of converse so it would be gross and possibly fatal." A deep breath and he extends his arm so Caleb can take the soft ball shaped sphere wrapped in paper with tiny pandas on it. Best not to ask.

"…" Caleb is already bad at taking compliments, let alone ones mixed with that amount of fail. He just raises an eyebrow across at the other student… just the corner of his mouth turning up in a hint of a smile. Carefully, he takes the wrapped up gift from his zoo'ing companion, squishing it very lightly just to detect what's inside. "This is for me?" he asks, which— duh, Caleb, so he shakes his head dismissively and opens up the panda-patterned paper. The little soft toy of a sloth is blinked at in surprise. "Oh," is all he says. Then, he adds: "That was nice of you. I don't have a present for you, I don't usually do that, so, sorry."

Kasey would be blushing but that isn't uh, manly or something so he's just coughing alot and nodding at the 'this is for me' question'. He watches with baited breath when the gift is opened. Then when he isn't laughed at and he doesn't get punched? He lets out a sigh of relief. "Dude, I didn't give you a gift cuz I wanted one in return, you're showing me the effin' zoo man, that's a gift in and of itself, besides, if I had brought flowers then this whole thing would turn totally gay so uh." A pause. "Ya know…McSloth, the beanie baby was um, better."

Caleb goes to pocket the beanie baby sloth, which sort of ends up like it's sitting in his back pocket, arms a-danglin'. "Yeah, well. We wouldn't want this to turn gay or something," Caleb says, again, tone dry, then awkwardly fidgets with his watch strap. "We should probably keep walking. There's a lot of ground to cover. If you wanted to see the whole thing it'd probably take a couple of days, in fact, so…" He takes Kasey's wrist, steering them towards the left, before letting go again to fold his arms instead. "I'll take you to see my favourites."

Kasey's eyes go to Caleb's backpocket to watch the sloth flail against his ass, very entertaining really…during a walk. "Mmhm, totally, nuh unh, awesome…" These are all responses Kasey gives before he's being guided along by his wrist and acking as he trips and doesn't fall against Caleb in his 'athletic' clumsyness. "Oh, awesome, I'd love to see your favorites. Yeah, cuz like…" He can't find a word. "Did you know that in alot of species of animals the males are the bitches and the females do all the work? Hyenas even have females that have penises, through which they give birth and ignore me when the word vomit just keeps coming and coming cuz I babble when I'm nervous. It is like a disease." Another nervous grin. "Like Herpes, just without the rashes or the cream."

Kasey's wrist is release when the other student follows Caleb's lead, the science major stepping to avoid any collisions when that causes a stumble. He mutters a sorry, then just… listens. Animal science 101 with Kasey is at least more entertaining than the real thing. "Herpes without the rashes isn't really herpes. I'm pretty sure that if you're gonna be making herpes similes, rashes should be involved," Caleb says, as they pass by a lake. It has flamingos in it. He points. "Flamingos. I don't know birds, really, but those are American and Chilean flamingos."

Kasey tucks his hands back into his pockets, following along after the other young man with a thoughtful quirk of his eyebrow. "…I wouldn't know, about the herpes thing. Just heard uh, yeah." Then he looks towards the birds and stops walking to stare at them for a few moments, taking out his phone to take a picture and then continue after Caleb. "…are there African and European flamingos too?"

"That's a Monty Python reference, right?" Caleb asks, over his shoulder, slowing so Kasey can fall back into step with him. "Never saw it. It's kind of a cultural evasion thing. I haven't seen Lord of the Rings either. What about you?" Normal people talk about movies they have seen, but, hey. As they walk, it's clear that Caleb has a certain place in mind for them to head to, so they pass by a lot of paths that would have lead to other enclosures. The world of reptiles will have to wait another day.

"Yeah…" Kasey makes a face. "And yeah, I've seen all of that too." He grins that special grin of his. "I watch alot of movies when I'm alone, kinda a geek like thing sometimes undercover. We could watch it one day if you wanted, together? For like a second one of these meeting together things." Then he looks around as he follows after Caleb.

"Okay." It's a quick answer, as if Caleb were trying to get that affirmation in before he can say something insulting, which is what so often happens. He clears his throat. "I mean, you know, that would be cool, if you wanted to do that sometime. So you're a geeky football playing mechanic?"

"Ixnay on the geeky part." Caleb jogs to catch up fully, walking beside the other young man with an easy enough shrug. "From California even, really. I know you don't uh, like cars so I guess I'm sorry and stuff."

"I like cars." That. That is an utter lie. He even said 'I hate cars' to Kasey when they first met! Caleb sort of glances up at the sky as he tries to figure out how to negotiate this. "I mean, I don't. Like them. They're killing the planet and probably one of the worst ways a human can contribute to pollution and they drain our natural resources, but it's not like people are gonna stop using them any time soon, so it's good that like. There's someone smart and capable around to fix them so they drain and pollute less. And you can fix scooters too, right? Those are a more environmentally friendly alternative." Breathe.

Kasey just stares at Caleb as he babbles about the environment, eyebrows raising slowly before he asks softly. "Do you recycle every single piece of plastic or aluminum you use?" He seems very curious as he nods slowly. "But yeah, I fix anything with a motor really." An easy enough shrug. "But honestly, if people started with themselves first and then dealt with other things after they get themselves sorted out…then they'd be able to help more. I mean, hell, even an electric car would be a good start."

"But then the oil industry would be screwed and probably the economy," Caleb says, in a tone that suggests personal disdain for this worry. "No, electric cars would be a great start. But not everyone Loves The Whole World, I guess. And— yeah." A slightly lopsided smile. "I recycle everything. Not like it's hard to do." They're approaching a building that has an indoors enclosure, it seems - but they're moving to a staff entrance rather than the main one.

"Oh screw the oil industry, what is it good for but latex body suits, condoms and like personal lubricants anyway?" Kasey bahs and shakes his head. "Tell you what, I'll build you your own electric car then." He grins and shakes his head. "Do you have a compost heap too then? I hear you can get worms to help you with those." He narrows his eyes at the staff entrance but is following.

A keycard is slipped out of his pocket, and Caleb holds the then unlocked door open for Kasey. "I'm sure you have more important things to do than to build me an electric car," he says. "And I have like this indoor compost thing installed, it cost me $300, but what's a 150 coffees skipped out on, right? It's even made from recycled materials. I probably have the website link floating around somewhere if you were interested." He's not crazy, really.

Kasey sniffs and ahhs softly. "Well, not really. I don't have that many hobbies." Then he grins and just stares at Caleb. "You're like a cute looking crazy freak, you realize that right?" He laughs softly. "But I'd love the website, that's totally like…groovy man." He slips into the open door now.

"I'm not a hippie," Caleb has to clarify, shutting the door behind Kasey with a click. "I'm just into conservation and enviromentalism." He cuts his hair, doesn't he! Shoving tjhe keycard back into his pockets, he leads Kasey down the hallway, whcih sort of looks like a medical centre. They pass a few people who would probably stop them, even if Caleb does work here, but he's asked permission ahead of time. Into a larger room, that almost looks like a staff coffee area - large fake-wood table, a coffee maker, a few chairs, a little kitchen installment - and Caleb pauses. "Wait here for a sec. You can touch— well we're out of milk, but if you want tea, there is some. Um. I'll be right back."

"You don't have the hair for the hippie thing. You're like…just…awesome." That's the word. Or something. Kasey looks around as he walks and then the coffee area just makes him blink and peer at Caleb closely. "Okay…I'll just uh, I'll stay here." He promises and just looks down at his feet.

A bizarre zoo trip, to be sure. Luckily, Caleb is leaving the room, or else Kasey might be able to mock him about the slight blush caused by the compliment. A few minutes pass, and then someone opens the door for Caleb, dressed in a Bronx zoo uniform, because Caleb's hands are full with a large but shallow cardboard box, which has the telltale signs of a blanket padding its interior. They're alone in the room once more when the door clicks shut - save for the young sloth looking like its sleeping in the bottom of the box which Caleb very gently sets down. "Uh, so. This is Billy," Caleb says, eyes on the animal, though he does spare a glance towards Kasey too.

Kasey ahhhs softly and just stares at the creature with a healthy amount of awe and awwwww. There is a difference as he reaches out slowly. "Can I? Uh, touch him or does he not like that?" He asks uncertainly when Caleb is /lifting/ the adorable ting. He offers a tiny wave. "Hi Billy!" He coos more softly than he'll admit to being able to do!

"You can pet him," Caleb agrees, moving so Kasey has access to do so, the muppet-like creature kind of chillfully hanging from a claw on Caleb's shoulder and another nearly around his neck. They really are the most zen creatures. The fur is long, rough. "Usually they're a lot dirtier than this one, algae and plantlife can grow in their fur, bugs too. It's why you can't really handle them like this in the wild." He has his 'informing you' voice on, which is actually a lot more pleasant than the usual default surliness - kind of TV presenter. It's how he talks when giving tours of the zoo to tourists and highschool students.

Kasey's hand finishes its journey to pet Billy with a soft smile on his face, eyes soft and facial expression all gooey as he pets Caleb's sloth and chuckles softly. "I have a cousin like that. But he still lives with his mom." Then he frowns for a moment and tilts his head at Billy, sorta standing so he's looking over/around Caleb's shoulder, behind him now and standing close. "Yeah… thanks by the way, for letting me meet him, this is wicked… sweet."

"If a sloth were human, they probably would still live with their moms," Caleb agrees with a slight chuckle, apparently gaining a sense of humour when being cuddled by a sloth. "Don't mention it. This is how I always wanted to experience the zoo, before I actually got a job." The sloth just blinks sleepily at Kasey, head moving to sniff the boy's wrist before— going back to being still and zen. Caleb awkwardly glances back at Kasey with a slight shrug. "Thanks for coming."

Kasey pauses. "Yeah, playing old video games and drinking soda and eating pieces of pizza that probably has sentient beings living in its mold." He laughs and then clears his throat, apparently finding the cuddly Caleb uh, charming? Or just funny? Who knows. "Don't mention it man, the whole zoo thing rocks when one isn't being soaked in feline urine." A sage nod before he pats Caleb's shoulder, squeezing gently. "You're an awesome Sloth handler."

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