Author: Random Person with No Name PM
Connie, Col, Rat, and Shirley go to America to help a struggling Society branch. Many students in the school are members, and the creatures are widespread. Can the branch get it together? Or will the creatures be moved and the branch shut down forever?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor/Friendship - Col & Connie - Chapters: 4 - Words: 9,023 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 04-02-12 - Published: 12-26-11 - id: 7675660
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
So I had some questions and confusion from my reviews, so I'm posting this explanation to clear things up. Just about every character you don't recognize is based off someone in real life. For the welcome, it just sounded like the welcome speech that I would come up with out of the top of my head, which I did. It was to kind of introduce Wade and Zara and their personalities, as best friends, maybe something more, and their constant bickering. The bickering is supposed to be a big humor thing. Zara is based off of me, just a little more outspoken, but not much, and a lot more confident. She's not afraid to get into trouble, and Wade is always right there by her side. Zara is very insecure, and those will be revealed later, and she hides that fact by pranking anyone and everyone. Wade is kind of that misfit kid who messes everything up. Definitely not the brains behind the operation, he comes up with the ideas, and makes them happen. He has better comebacks than Zara, but is kind of shy and inferior feeling, especially in comparison to Zara, who is extremely smart, but will have EXTREME blonde moments. Like me in real life. Wade is based off my best friend, who is male, and not the brightest. I don't know how he thinks in real life, and I don't want to find out, or else I will be scarred for life, but since everyone has a fatal flaw, I made Zara's arrogance (not mine in real life-I'm too trusting and gullible) and Wade's his inferiority (which probably isn't true in real life). Hope there's no more confusion!
Long blonde hair
Seriously pale, eyes that change color
Companion: Tree Nymph
Characteristics: Not afraid of anything, teasing, mischievous, intelligent, friends with Flamethrower, quick thinking.
Zara and Apple are the only junior members past Level One, and are quite talented. Zara is capable of taking the Level Four exams, but is not eligible to take them until she has a mentor. The pair is still working on finding a mentor, has been threatened to be kicked out of branch if they go past Level Four without a mentor.
Song that's in my Head:Oh My Gosh. The Apocalypse is Coming! There's NO SONG!
"So what were you guys talking about?" Col asked as soon as Connie and Zara entered the front room.
"I was just wondering if you guys were interested in learning about our town, maybe you guys would like to take a tour?" Zara easily slipped into the lie.
"Really, cause when you were walking out I heard you ask Connie if she could help you with something."
"Wrong. I said, and I quote, 'Connie, could you?'"
"Which implies you wanted her help with something."
"If you must know, as your persistence is getting annoying, I was asking her if she could maybe see if you all were interested in touring the town later, as I obviously just said."
"My head hurts." Rat moaned from the couch.
"Do you want some ice?" Zara rushed over to Rat, and knelt down in front of him. "It doesn't look like you have a concussion, but that might take some time for one to show. Are dizzy at all?"
"Ice would be good, no, not dizzy, it's just throbbing." Rat made a move to get up, and Zara pushed him back down.
"Uh uh. You aren't going anywhere. Trust me, one time Wade had the same symptoms as you right now, and it turned out to be a concussion, and he puked all over the place."
Col and Connie glanced at each other, the subtly put their glasses of lemonade down.
Zara, watching their movements, grinned, and said, "You think that's gross? Try cleaning that up while you and your brother both have the stomach flu, and your mum is barfing because of all the puke. I know. It's not pleasant."
"Okay then." Connie said awkwardly as Zara bustled around, making sure Rat was okay.
"You're going to have to stay overnight." Zara explained to Rat.
"Do I have to?" Rat moaned.
"Well, since you have to go to school tomorrow, you'll have to sleep in here. Just don't go anywhere."
"Hey, Zara." Connie had an idea forming in her mind.
"I thought your parents belonged in a mental institution. Why is your mom here?"
Zara gave a heavy sigh. "Dad left after we found out mum was someday soon going to die. Just took off. He did the same when he found out mum was pregnant with me, but eventually came back. That's why I said he belonged in a loony bin. Mum. . . Mum wasn't quite right after he left, and just. . . well, let's say her Alzheimer's became a lot worse quicker than it was supposed to."
"Wow." Col murmured.
"My dad," Zara continued, more talking to herself than anything, "My dad will sometimes send a check here and there. Once I went a year without getting anything. I work a couple shifts at the library on the weekends, play some games with the kids at the daycare for some extra cash. It doesn't help that everyone here knows. Like I said, it's impossible to keep a secret. It helps that the bills for electricity- what little of it we use- are relatively cheap, and the school knows, so I'm on the cheaper lunch if I'm not packing, but between bills and taxes and my brother's schooling, I can hardly make ends meet. I just got a raise at the library, which helps, but I suspect that was because I was the only one with room to house you guys- not to make you feel guilty."
"You have a brother?" Connie asked softly.
Something in Zara's eyes changed. "I said too much. Don't mind that- dumping it all on you- you're guests- not polite-" Zara looked really worried, bustling around, keeping her hands busy. "Connie, why don't you go out for that encounter with Apple- just make sure she behaves, alright? Wade was not very happy the last time she was encountering someone other than me and started chucking apples kamikaze pigeon style. Col, why don't you make sure your companions get in the corral I built, there's three of them, just so you know, each one has amenities for each creature, if they're not right, come get me, but I had some help from the companions I have here. Um, I gonna go get more ice for Rat, I'll be right back."
"Come on," Col whispered in Connie's ear, guiding her out the door. "Let's give her some space."
The next morning, Connie woke up to knocking on the door to her guest room.
"Come in," she called, stretching.
Col slid around the door, closing it behind him. As he turned around, his face grew red. Connie self consciously looked down, and saw that she was wearing pajamas- black shorts, which were really short, and a pink tank top.
"Should I wait?" Col stammered.
"No, no, it's fine. This might be the only time we get to talk," Connie's heart was beating faster, as she turned to the mirror and picked up her hairbrush. Col came behind her and took the brush from her hands, gently combing through Connie's mop.
"I remember your mom doing this." Connie whispered, thinking back to Mallin's Wood.
Col cleared his throat and looked away.
"Sorry." Connie said quickly.
"No, it's not that- but before I was captured- while you were with your Aunt Godiva- she looked so proud of me- like she actually cared-"
"Oh, Col," Connie breathed, unsure what to say. "I'm proud of you. I'm sure Mack and Evelyn are too."
"That's all I'll need." Col said with a half smile. "I try not to need Mack or Evelyn, or Cassandra, though."
Connie beamed at the implied compliment.
"Are you sure you know what you're doing? With the branch, I mean."
Connie's smile disappeared. "No, not really. We have a list of everyone who needs a mentor- we could set the list up and invite every adult interested in mentoring sign up next to a student's name, then mail out the letters to everyone who needs it so they know where to come and when."
Col nodded. "That's a good idea." He finished brushing through Connie's hair, then pulled it back and started to braid.
"Since when do you know how to braid?" Connie asked.
"Since Skylark thought it makes him look more attractive." Col grumbled, but smiled at Connie's laugh.
Col finished braiding Connie's hair, and wrapped his arms around her as he pulled her into a hug. Connie flushed as she realized he wasn't wearing a shirt.
"Where's your . . . ?" Connie trailed off as she turned around in his arms to poke him in the chest.
Col blushed, too, in response. "Rat started taking it off me in the middle of the night. I asked him why, he said he was cold, and so I chucked it at him and went back to sleep."
Connie giggled, and ran her fingers down a scar on Col's arm. She could not believe, how in just a few months, how muscular he had gotten from his rigorous training schedule with the flying team.
"They have us lift weights." Col said in explanation. "The one machine wasn't working right, and before anyone noticed, a wire snapped. Or maybe that's the one from falling on the fence. . ." Col trailed off with a sheepish smile. "Never try flying upside down on a pegasus without a saddle. The results are painful."
Shaking her head, Connie looked up into Col's eye's, full with amusement and laughter. He hesitantly leaned his head in, closing his eyes. Connie let hers flutter shut as-
"Morning Connie!" Rat came into the room, not noticing Connie's red face or Col's stony glare. "Col? What are you doing in here?" Rat wiggled his eyebrows in a way that suggested he was thinking something Connie did not want to know. "And without your shirt, too."
"I would have my shirt, had you not taken it." Col pointed out, shaking with anger. Connie slipped her fingers through his as a gesture of reassurance.
"Good point. Just be glad it was I who came in here, and not Shirley, or else she would have texted everyone back home already."
"What do you want, Rat?" Col asked exasperated.
"We got school today. Zara's cooking breakfast and sent me over here to get you guys up. Apparently we're going to have to start waking up earlier."
"Thanks for the message." Connie said quickly, wanting Rat out of the room. "We'll get dressed."
"See ya." Rat turned and shut the door behind him.
Connie turned and looked into Col's eyes, so much like her own. She smiled as she saw him grin. "Where were we?" Col wiggled his eyebrows, not unlike the way Rat did.
"Getting dressed." Connie laughed at Col's pout as she pushed him out of the room. "I'll see you in a few minutes. Go put some clothes on."
Right as he reached the door, Col whipped around and kissed Connie's cheek. "See you in a few, then."
Rolling her eyes, Connie turned to her suitcase.
Walking along the path, Wade stopped at Zara's apple tree. He saw her long limbed form, sitting in a fork in the branches, wearing a slightly bluer green than the leaves. He smiled, thinking of how her eyes danced mischievously, the same way the green leaves contrasted against the blueish gray bark of her tree. Her feet always dug themselves into the ground, like roots, and she always swayed slightly like the branches in the wind. Zara had a habit of holding her arms slightly aloft, like tree boughs, and in the sunlight, her hair glowed the same color of her beloved yellow apples. Wade laughed, as Apple, the tree nymph, threw a bundle of his namesake down at the exchange students, coming down the path.
"Heysa heysa!" Zara chirped, suddenly appearing in front of Connie, Col, Rat, and Shirley, dangling upside down from her tree, startling them all.
"Oh, my gosh!" Connie breathed. Col put his arm around her to steady her.
"What the heck?" Shirley whined.
Wade was cracking up as Zara flipped out of the tree. "It was funny. That's the heck." Once firmly on the ground, you could see Zara's clothes more clearly than when she was camouflaged in the leaves. Wearing a sage green shirt, it shimmered underneath a darker green, loosely flowing tank top with the pattern of branches on it. Old faded jeans, and a gray sweater that came down to her knees looked worn and warm.
"Let's eat." Wade said, dismounting his horse.
Spread out on a blanket was a small breakfast, with some scrambled and semi burned eggs, with a bowl filled with apples.
"Got a special treat for you: salt," Zara mentioned, holding up a miniscule glass shaker, putting it be the eggs.
"What kind of breakfast is this?" Shirley sneered, taking in the food laid out on the picnic blanket.
"One that I don't have to trade anything for." Zara snapped back. "When you're barely paying the taxes, and you live in a town that has no use for money, you trade what you have for something of equal value. In my case, I don't have enough people to run a farm, therefore we live off eggs and apples, and the meager stuff you trade for."
"Got an extra special something for you all too." Wade dug something out of his saddle bags. "For a few eggs, you can get whatever fruit you have turned into juice. I do believe that you still have that orange tree?"
"I do," Zara conceded, "But they're all juicers right not. Too juicy and not enough pulp to eat. That's what happens when they get overripe."
"Well I nicked a few of them oranges and a few eggs and made some juice for you. You are welcome." Wade looked pleased with himself as he sat down and served himself some eggs.
"You better be really happy I don't swear, Wade," Zara warned, as she passed the salt around. "There are some choice words I'd like to say, but as a principal, I won't."
"Ha ha." Wade showed off a mouthful of half chewed food.
"Grow up already."
"I am grown up. I'm still going through puberty, but that's more than Justin Bieber can claim."
"Wade! I don't care how true that is! Will you still behave!"
Col and Connie exchanged an amused look. It was evident that Wade and Zara's relationship was a careful line, a topsy turvey dance along it, always pushing the boundaries, testing how far they can go. If one of them went to far, who knows what would happen.
"We'll be late for school." Zara said standing up. "I would suggest we take our horses, but I only have one, and the last time someone used that hitching post, they never saw that horse again."
"Two days later Abe Wright- the wheelwright's son- had a new horse. I could've sworn that was Missy." Wade frowned, looking at his unfinished apple. "I'll ride Jess- my new horse- into town, leave her at the stables. The price went up, though- Mr. Barn wants three jugs of cider now instead of two."
The small party stood up and stretched, giving the plates to Zara to put in the washbin by the side door. The morning sunlight was beaming down on them, casting everything in a gold bath. Zara and Shirley both looked as if their hair was spun from gold, Zara's darker blonde moreso than the fair Masterson. Col smiled as he looked at Connie- her hair shining bronze, the faint silver glow from Kullervo evident in the fading night. A loose, flowing pink shirt fluttered around her arms, giving the effect that Connie had wings. She caught him looking, and Col glanced away, flushed, as Rat snorted.
"Things still awkward from this morning?" Col shoved Rat's shoulder and moved to stand next to Connie, who stood up on her toes to kiss his cheek. Col mentally swore as Rat cackled at his ever brighter face. Connie giggled as she laced her fingers through Col's, squeezing them hello.
Zara looked over her shoulder to see where Wade went, and noticed Col's face and the couple's intertwined fingers, along with Rat's laughter. "Gone tomato there, Col?"
Col glowered as Zara smirked and led the walk into town. The quaint square was just waking up for the morning as the bells of the school started ringing, signaling another day at school had begun.
"The bells are a bit confusing," Zara mentioned as she walked up the steps into the small building. "The first bell of the day is to call everyone to the school. Everyone in town, that is. People who live on the outskirts should be in the square as the bells ring- or they'll probably be late. The second bell marks homeroom, and is the late bell. Five minutes later is the first period bell, and from then on till the end of the day there is the pattern of start period bell, ten minute bell- the one that marks ten minutes till the end of class- go bell, where you go, and then three minutes later there's a warning bell, and after two more minutes from that the cycle starts again. Simple enough."
Connie nodded, frightened by the large number of students swelling through the doors, and, clutching onto Col's hand, took a deep breath and pushed through the mass.