|A New Day is Dawning
Author: Light of Polaris PM
So here I was thinking that my life would be one big mushy, happily-ever-after now that Jesse had his body back. Nope. Ghosts apparently don't give time off to mediators with boyfriends. Just my luck. I'll never have a social life, will I? R&R!Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Supernatural - Hector de Silva/Jesse & Susannah S. - Words: 4,138 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 11 - Published: 04-04-12 - id: 7990393
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I read all six books of the Mediator series in four days. School days. I LOVE this series. I loved it so much, in fact, that even though the last book had a great ending, I wanted more. Of course, the series is over so I won't be getting more. What do I do when this is the case? I write more myself XD This picks up the day after where the last book ended. I hope Suze is in character! She's a certified B with an itch, but I love her! I hope you enjoy! ~Polaris ;)
So I should be really happy that Jesse is not a ghost anymore, right? Well I am, don't get me wrong, it's just that there are some moments when I kind of miss his intangible status. Moments like now for instance when a psycho, pardon the French, bitch in a school bus is trying to run us both over. Now, I would have loved to smash her ectoplasmic face into the asphalt but unfortunately I was too preoccupied with keeping Jesse on his feet. If I thought I was going to get a break with the whole mediating business after the guy I love was given a life to live with me, I was oh so wrong. It's so unfair. I want to spend a little lovey dovey time with my boyfriend and then, if it were possible, ghosts started wanting twice as much attention. Fantastic. I should really get paid for this.
The day after the dance, Jesse had been invited by my stepfather, Andy, to join us for Sunday dinner, a sure sign that he approved of my boyfriend. I couldn't have been happier if I tried. Jesse and I had agreed to meet up at the Mission so I could prep him for what was to come. Jesse had been privy to Sunday dinner conversations before but I doubt he'd been present for one of my mother's grilling sessions and he'd never been the victim. Let me tell you, they are not pretty. I was determined that after having to keep Jesse a secret from my family for so long he would make such a good impression that they'd want him around for…well, ever. That's how long he was going to be around, of course, but it would make my already pretty difficult life just a little bit easier. Last night before the dance hardly counted since he couldn't have been talking with them for more than fifteen minutes. Definitely not enough time for my mom to ask him everything she wanted. Which, if you know my mom, that's a lot. She works for a local news station: asking a lot of questions is practically part of her job description.
Brad, fortunately, was grounded yet again for something he must have said to Andy after we left last night so the Land Rover, 'the kids car', was all mine. I drove down to the Mission at around two in the afternoon. Dinner was at six. Plenty of time, I thought. Not. I mean, it would have been enough time, I suppose, if that stupid ghost lady hadn't gotten in the way. Why me, I ask? Why me?
When I arrived at the Mission, I parked and got out. The parking lot wasn't as empty as it should've been on Sunday when school was out but then I remembered that there was, in fact, a church on the premises. Good Christians or Catholics, (Whatever they are. It gets hard to tell sometimes, you know?) generally go to church on Sundays. I was not one of them as demonstrated by choosing the Mission as a meet up spot with my boyfriend. This was not, of course, the only reason we were at the Mission, however much I'd liked it to be. Father Dominic, a fellow mediator and the principal of our school, wanted us to come down to talk some ghosty business. Nothing urgent, he had assured us. Oh sure, as if anything that had to do with ghosts could be anything but urgent. The ghosts I've dealt with for all my sixteen years just don't have any patience. Like if I were to politely ask them to please get out of my bedroom until I'd had at least eight hours of sleep, they'd scream bloody murder. It's enough to make a teenage girl want to bang her head against a wall. I would do it too if I wasn't so concerned about my face getting bruised. These thoughts followed me all the way to Father Dom's office. He wasn't in the church because the actual Mass was over now and they were just giving extra sermons and stuff. I heard Jesse's voice coming through the door so I didn't even bother knocking and walked right into Father's Dom's humble office. It was always decorated with a ton of good teacher awards. I personally think the guy should be nominated for sainthood.
"Jesse!" I shouted as soon as I saw him. He stood up and gave me one of those gorgeous smiles of his. It was still hard to believe sometimes that he was alive now. It makes me want to weep with joy more often than I care to admit. An embarrassed cough from Father Dom diverted our attention from what would undoubtedly have turned into a tender moment with hugging and maybe a small kiss…or two.
"I understand you both are quite delighted to be able to enjoy each other's company as you do but I would like to, as they say, get down to business." Father Dom's blue eyes were kind but serious. Jesse immediately sat down again. Tender moment destroyed. I tried not to glare.
"Jesse informed me that he is able to see and hear ghosts. Meaning he's capable of being a mediator as well. This comes as great news to me. I've always thought Jesse was level-headed enough to keep your…unusual mediating tactics under restraint." He looked pointedly at me and Jesse did the same smiling lightly.
"Wait a minute here, we've been over this before. My tactics have worked out in the end…I mean, I've been trying to be a lot nicer when I first meet them too. I believe there are mediations that can be resolved with talking and ones that can only be dealt a blow to the solar plexus to get them over with," I said defensively.
"Susannah." Jesse and Father Dom said at the same time. The both sounded exasperated. Before they could launch into what I knew would be another round of criticism of my methods, I asked what I wanted to since the moment Father Dom had asked to come see him today.
"Let's not rehash this now Father, OK? Just tells us what you need." I tried to sound genuinely interested in what new ghost problem Father Dom had that I knew would probably mess up my social life yet again. If only I'd known.
"I'm glad you're so eager, Susannah, but this particular case must be approached with caution. A woman who drove school buses for Carmel Valley High School, the public school, died a few days ago when a student hit her hard with a basketball in the head, an accident, I'm sure. It caused her to lose control of the bus and it careened into a tree, the branches of which broke through the windshield and killed her upon impact. She was the only fatality and the students on her bus suffered nothing but minor injuries. As you can imagine, she is not happy." He informed us. I stared at him for a minute and then said incredulously, "She was killed by a tree?" Father Dom nodded. Talk about a freak accident. At least Jesse looked similarly perplexed.
"Well, yes. It is undoubtedly unusual but an accident nonetheless," He emphasized the 'accident' part. Jesse and I tend to call ghost's deaths murder until it's proven to be an actual accident. Father Dom is quick to pass it off because he's always looking for the best in people. He only admits it's murder when confronted with unquestionable evidence.
"I take it this means she is a ghost in need of a mediator to help her into her next life?" Jesse looked excited now. I suppose this was because it was his first mediating job since he got his body back. Oh boy was he about to find out there was nothing to be excited for.
"She is currently haunting the bus on which she was killed. Students have reported strange, but small, incidents like gum seemingly dropping from nowhere into people's hair and other silly things. I believe it's the bus driver. The ghost's name is Trisha Maloney and the bus number is 248. It shouldn't take you long to drive over to the school's bus company and help her move on. I suggest you get it done with all haste." Father Dom's gaze was stern when he said his next words, "Make sure you talk first, please. I'm counting on you, Jesse, to keep her from being reckless." I rolled my eyes. Jesse stood up and nodded in affirmation. Well, aren't they just chummy. I was being ganged up upon by the two people I was least likely to ever fight back. Thanks guys for the confidence vote. I stood up too and exited, waving behind me as I went. Jesse gave Father Dom a cheerful goodbye and followed me to the Land Rover. We should've borrowed Father D.'s car, now that I think about it, but I guess Father D. had made it sound so easy I didn't think anything could possibly happen to the car. My foresight for these things is a bit lacking, I think.
"I'm driving," I told Jesse before he could even think about it. I was certain he was the better driver after last night's dance but how was I supposed to get better if I always let him drive, huh?
"As you wish, Susannah," he said, clearly amused. Oh why did he know me so well? He gracefully sat down in the passenger seat as I clumsily settled myself into the driver's seat. I glanced over at him as I started the ignition. As much as I had liked his old rancher outfit, his new and modern clothes looked just as good on him. I swear, he could be wearing a clown costume and still be as gorgeous. Right now, he was wearing a nice tan dress shirt with a brown vest and tie. This, of course, was meant for our Sunday night dinner. The one we weren't going to make it to.
I pulled out of the parking lot and headed down the main road into the center of town. Carmel Valley High's bus company wasn't very far from the school itself, if I remembered correctly, and that was on the other side of town.
As we drove, I couldn't help noticing how beautiful Northern California was to behold. There was hardly a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately, the good happy feeling I got from admiring the scenery was ruined as I realized nice weather also meant the tourists were out in full force. Traffic becomes very difficult and dangerous to navigate when you've got a ton of people that have no idea what they're doing. Seriously, do they give drivers licenses to everybody? What about the certified idiots that nearly caused three accidents before I'd even reached the first intersection?
A few seconds later, I became one of those idiots. In my defense, who wouldn't get distracted when the total hottie that you're wholeheartedly in love reaches over and rests his hand on your knee? God, he really knew how to make me melt. Trying to ignore the overwhelming urge to pull over and make out in the back seat, I turned on the radio. This was a mistake. Immediately fascinated, Jesse moved his hand from my knee and started to fiddle with it. I sighed wistfully, unnoticed by Jesse.
"I've always known what a radio was, of course, but this is my first opportunity to flip through the channels myself. This song is…" He trailed off into appalled silence as a pop song with a rap in the middle flooded the car with its vulgar language and sexual references. "What in the world…?"
"That would be that new pop singer's debut single, 'Touch Me'. It's quite popular with the kids at my school right now. It's a really crappy song. I don't even think it should be called music," I informed him. I changed the station to one, based on the CDs he borrowed when he was a ghost living in my bedroom, that Jesse might like. It was, of course, a country station. I'm not particular about my music so I don't really hate anything. Except the more disgusting raps that remind me that my generation happens to be made up of idiots.
"Oh this one is much better. Not quite so…" He searched uncomfortably for the right word.
"Inappropriate? Disgusting? A sure sign that teenagers these days have gutters for brains?" I supplied happily. We were pulling up to the bus company now. It was a squat building with barbed wire fences all around, closing in a massive lot filled with buses galore. To the right of the enclosure was a forest and to the left were a few clothing stores. I spotted some cute clothes in the windows of those. Maybe later.
I parked to the side of where the main gate let out into the road. It was wide enough that two buses could pass each other when driving through.
"I suppose," He responded to my suggestions. "Is this it?" He asked. He was eager to leave the car and it's potentially polluting music behind. I unbuckled my seat belt and got out.
"Yeah. Now we just have to figure out how to get in," I said, surveying the area. A dip in the ground where an animal must have dug to crawl under the fence caught my attention. It was close to the forest side of the enclosure. I eyed the forest warily. I hate bugs and poison oak (for some very good reasons) so forests are not really my thing. I examined the dip in the ground more closely and judged that it was the perfect fit for a thin teenager girl like me. Or…so I thought.
"I don't think you'll be able to fit through there Susannah, I believe we should find another way." His voice cautioned behind me. I wanted to prove him wrong so I went ahead and tried it. I was doing pretty good up until I was halfway through and my hips proved too big to make it. How embarrassing. This feeling only doubled when Jesse, kind gentleman that he is, grabbed me by the feet and dragged me out since it was apparent I wouldn't be doing so myself.
"Oh gee, thanks a ton," I said sarcastically so I could pretend that he didn't deserve to say I told you so. Why, he was nearly close to laughing as it was.
"Fine, Mr. Bright Ideas, what do you suggest?" I gave him a good glare that clearly said, 'Laugh and I will hit you.'
"Susannah, I wonder if you realized that the gate over there isn't what you'd call, 'locked up tight'." I looked where Jesse was pointing and nearly slapped myself on the forehead. He was right. There was a small gate in the side of the fence that ran closest to the building. It was protected by a simple padlock. I smiled mischievously. Good thing I'd brought my ghost busting gear. It included a nice set of lock picks that I hadn't had the opportunity to use in a while.
"I suppose you're useful for some things," I said haughtily. I had a wounded pride to nurse, OK? Jesse only smiled at me and took my hand. We started off around the perimeter like that. Hand holding feels so much nicer when the guy you're holding hands with is alive.
"That wasn't the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you, you know." He said as we approached the padlocked gate. He was right, of course. Worse things had happened in the embarrassing department.
"I wasn't embarrassed. It's called trial and error. You know that old saying about what's-his-name…Benjamin Franklin and the light bulb." I set my bag on the ground and started digging it through it for my picks.
"I'm familiar with the saying but I'm quite certain that Thomas Edison was the man who invented the lightbulb."
I looked up at him for a second to glare. "They're both old dead guys that invented stuff, OK?"
"Oh yes Susannah. I suppose the fact that there is nearly a century separating their existences doesn't matter to you then?"
"Been practicing your sarcasm, have you? Didn't take you very long." Where were those picks?
"There's a certain someone who sets a great example as far as sarcasm is concerned," he said pointedly. I shrugged my shoulders. I know I'm sarcastic enough to make the worst teenager out there proud, but so what? Bite me.
"What are you doing with those?" He asked as I triumphantly found the case with my picks in it.
"I'm picking the lock. How else did you think we were going to get through?" I brushed the hair out of my eyes and selected the right size pick from my set.
"I was thinking I'd blast it open…oh right." Seems I wasn't the only one who was still getting surprised to find that he is now among the living. I peered up into his dark eyes and saw he was wonderfully disoriented. That expression was SO adorable.
"All right, Jesse. This is going to take some concentration. Do not ask where I learned this particular skill, if you would. You'd probably never let me leave my house again," I started fiddling around with the padlock and my picks but I didn't miss that exasperated sigh that seemed to be the regular expression of people dealing with me today.
"Susannah, I have long since learned that keeping you from doing anything is nigh impossible." I ignored him and kept working on the lock. It finally popped open and I flashed him a smile.
"I am so damn good at this," I told him.
"I would be inclined to agree had I not pulled you out from under a fence but five minutes ago," He said with a chuckle. My face turned red. I opened the gate and stalked through trying to hide it.
"We're looking for bus number 248," I mumbled to myself. It's not that I was mad at Jesse or anything. I was mad at myself because I always end up doing these horribly embarrassing things in front of him. I suppose it was a sign that he truly loved me that he didn't drop me like a hot potato. Jesse came up next to me and squeezed my hand tightly. I wonder if he had any idea what these little touches did to my heart. Somersaults and fireworks. All going on right here inside Circe du Suze.
We walked along through the aisles of neatly parked buses, searching for our target. It was kinda of creepy, you know? All these empty buses made it feel like we were in some sci-fi horror film. Which wasn't very far from the truth, if you think about it. If it weren't for Jesse's hand in mine, I probably would have turned around and left. The ghost could come to me if it needed help.
"It's right over here," Jesse turned my attention from my morbid thoughts and tugged me to the left, towards a bus isolated from the other buses by a few empty parking spaces. We both stood in front of it for a minute looking for signs of our ghouly friend.
"The windshield is fixed but the accident was only a few days ago," I remarked as I examined the bus. There were scratches in the paint job all over the front and a dented fender but other than that, there was no sign that the bus had rammed into a tree.
"Maybe they couldn't afford to lose a bus," Jesse responded. That made sense. Public schools were not very well funded back in Brooklyn, why wouldn't the same in the second worst state economically after New York? Not that I paid attention to any of that. Doc's lectures just seem to stick in your brain even if you don't want them to.
"Do you see our ghost yet?" Jesse asked me as he went to pry open the doors. He didn't have to. The doors opened by themselves.
"Yeah, I found our ghost." We both looked up to the driver's seat and saw the spirit of Trisha Maloney looking, quite frankly, pissed to see us.
"What do you want?" She snapped at us.
"So much for being friendly," I said to Jesse. To the ghost I said, "Look lady, we're mediators and we're here to help you so treat us with a little respect." Already I felt like pounding her face in. I know I was judging her a bit unfairly, most people would be pretty cranky upon waking up as a ghost, but I wanted to get this over with quick.
"Susannah." Jesse's voice was stern.
"Oh fine. Are you aware that you were killed by a tree a couple of days ago? Freaky accident, in my opinion."
"Susannah." Jesse said it again, sharply. Point taken.
"Of course I know I'm dead, idiot. What do you take me for?" She looked at me disdainfully. A bus driver that got killed by a tree? Somehow I knew this would not be the right answer so I kept it to myself in the interest of not having Jesse mad at me later.
"What she…" A glare in my direction. "…means is do you know why you haven't passed on yet?" Jesse was trying to be the kind mediator. It reminded me of a cop show where they had a good cop and a bad cop. It was the difference between cookies and a knuckle sandwich.
"Oh I know exactly why I haven't passed on," said the ghost in a very creepy manner. First clue.
"Oh really? Does it have anything to do with murdering anyone? Unfortunately, we mediators don't really condone that behavior. I'm all too willing to show exactly how I deal with recalcitrant ghosts." I pulled on my ghost busting gloves while I talked.
"Susannah, I don't think that's really the right way to handle—"Though it was pretty obvious what he was going to say anyway, it got effectively caught off by Trisha's maniacal laughter. The bus doors slammed shut. Clue two. Then I heard the ignition start up. Clue three. Haven't figured it out yet? We were about to be road kill. Peachy. Just freakin' peachy.
"Run!" I shouted at Jesse. We both took off in the direction of the small gate. The bus followed after us. It seemed the Trisha wasn't completely used to driving as a ghost because it was slow going for her. She gave us ample time to run through the gate and sprint for the car. It was at that moment that Trisha seemed to finally get control of the bus. She rammed it through the big gate sending one of the doors flying in…you guessed it…our direction.
I was bracing myself to get hit when an impact of a different kind struck me in the back. Jesse had pushed me forward so I just missed being hit. Unfortunately, this meant he was getting the full on force of a flying metal fence topped with barbed wire. My day was just getting better and better.