Panda Pants

Chapter 1

Unfortunately, everything happens for a purpose. Sometimes those purposes can't be seen until its turned to the worse, or when it's too late. But there are those other times, thought it all seems bad, it will get better.

            "A little to the left. Too far, one centimeter to the right. That was an inch!" Gigi went on her tiptoes, trying to get the banner in place, as Meghan instructed her directions.

            "How's this, Meghan? Meghan?" Gigi turned around to see why she wasn't answering. Turning around on a seven-foot ladder isn't the smartest thing to do, especially when you have the grace of a mule. The ladder started to wobble, as her spotter wasn't watching. "Meghan!" Gigi screamed before she toppled off, pulling the banner down with her. Gravity took control of her body. She landed first on her foot, then her tailbone met with the concrete parking lot. The decorating committee snapped out of their conversations as the girl screamed out in pain.

            "Someone call a doctor!"

~*~

            "So how did this happen?" Dr. Brown asked of the teenage girl, lying on her side across the examination table.

            "We were putting up the sign for the NAHS dance when Meghan let go of the ladder and I decided to test the laws of science."

            "You don't have to be sarcastic."

            "I'm in pain, it's what I do." Andy smiled.

            "I set your ankle in place, but you're going to have to walk on crutches for a month or so, and you have to stay off of your tailbone. That broke too." Gigi groaned.

            "So I can't sit, or stand?"         

            "Oh, you can sit, it will just have to be on one of these." Dr. Brown pulled out a blown up ring. "Would you like me to call your parents to come pick you up?"

            "You can't." He looked at her puzzled.

            "Why not? Trouble at home?"

            "No, they are just in Hawaii and no way to contact them."

            "Then how did you get places?"

            "I can drive, well, I use to be able to drive." She looked down at her leg cast. "I can't even compete in next weeks Cross Country Tourney."

            "Yes, I'd say that's out of the question. Do you have someone at home that can take care of you for awhile?"

            "That use to be me, but that's impossible too."

            "Relatives?"

            "Texas."

            "Neighbors?" Andy asked desperately.

            "I live ½ mile from civilization. My only neighbor is the family of deer in the woods." Dr. Brown was stumped. This girl was incapable of being able to take care of herself until her tailbone or ankle were healed. No one to take care of her…except….

            "I insist that you come stay with my family and I." Gigi looked at him funny.

            "You are willing to keep a complete stranger in your house?"

            "It's better than having a patient starve to death."

            "Are you sure? That I wouldn't be too much trouble?"

            "Not at all. You don't seem like the troublesome type. Just let me ask you one thing."

            "What?"

            "You aren't related to the Abbotts are you?"

            "Them? No of course not."

            "Then you are welcome to stay with me."

~*~

            "Ephram! I need your help." Andy called. Ephram walked toward the front of the house, to where the sound of his fathers voice was coming from. A loud thud and a scream of pain was more of a clue to where he was located. Ephram walked onto the porch to see his dad carrying a girl in his arms. He stood in front of the door, shocked. The girl had a cast on her leg, and a blown up ring on her head.

            "Dad?"

            "Ephram, good, come here and help me." He opened the door, and let his father pass through, still looking at the girl. "Take this off her head and set it on the couch." Ephram did as he was told. Dr. Brown set Gigi down gently, making sure that she wouldn't get hurt.

            "Dad?"

            "Yes, Ephram?" Ephram grabbed his dad's arm and dragged him out of the room.

            "Who is that?"

            "Gigi Frank, she goes to your school. I think she said she was a senior."

            "And what is she doing here then?"

            "She fell off a ladder putting a banner up, and broke her tail bone and her ankle."

            "Still, why is she here?"

            "She has no one to take care of her and she obviously can't do it herself."

            "And you felt obligated to take her in?"

            "Why not?" Ephram rolled his eyes and took a peek into the living room.

            "How long is she going to be here?"

            "Until she's healed a bit, or until her parents come home," Andy said.

            "You know nothing good can come of this."

            "And why do you say that?" Ephram glared at his father.

            "Just another good deed done by the amazing Dr. Brown." Ephram muttered under his breath. He walked into the living room where Gigi was busy reading a book.

            "You know you shouldn't treat your father like that." She said, without looking up from 'The Count of Monte Cristo.' "I'm extremely grateful for his hospitality." Ephram glared at her.

            "You don't know how it is."

            "So I don't know how it is to have an amazing father who happens to like to help people. But I know how it feels to be alone." Gigi looked up at Ephram. "I heard you and your dad talking. I'll be out of her as soon as my parents get home from their Hawaiian vacation." Gigi closed her book and set it on the floor. "Are you going to stand up there and stare at me like I'm a bug splattered across the windshield all day?" Ephram sat down on the couch next to her.

            "So you go to my school?" He asked awkwardly.

            "Doesn't everyone? Yeah, I'm a senior." Ephram just nodded. "I've seen you around school, usually with the Abbott girl, or Wendell."

            "I have to admit, I've never seen you." Gigi shrugged. Dr. Brown came into the room, carrying two suitcases and a backpack.

            "Here's the rest of your stuff. Ephram, I need you to help Gigi if she needs anything. I have to pick up Delia."

            "Who's Delia?" Gigi asked.

            "My little sister." Ephram answered, as his dad shut the front door.

            "Oh if I knew you had a little sister I would've had your dad bring my old paly stuff."

            "She's a tom boy."

            "All tom boy's have a girlish side." Gigi smiled. "Now, Mr. Panda Pants…"

            "What did you call me?" Ephram asked confused.

            "Panda Pants? You're always wearing your Ranma ½ shirt with the panda on it. I think you need a better anime."

            "Ranma is an awesome anime."

            "Cowboy Bebop is better." A faint ringing interrupted their conversation. Gigi grabbed her backpack and pulled out a cell phone. "Excuse me for a second." Gigi turned her head away from Ephram and pressed the 'Talk' button. "Hello? You didn't hear? I fell off the ladder. Oh, I'm staying at Dr. Brown's. Yeah, Ephram's dad. What do you mean you can't run the store? Seeing as I can't drive or walk I won't be in. Everything is marked. No, the sale is next week. Only on the hard cover books. Just put the new shipments in the back room, and don't worry about restocking. Have Tri do it tomorrow. Fine, if you can't handle it close the store. You sold that for how much! Okay, okay, it's fine, just a bit less than what I paid for it but oh well. Call Tri and ask her whatever you need. She should be at play practice, but who cares if her phone starts ringing during the nose speech. Okay, toodles." She pressed 'End' on the cell phone and shoved it back into her bag.

            "What was that all about?"

            "Oh, she was just having a momentary breakdown at the store, no worries."

            "You work at a store?"

            "No, I own a store. When my grandfather died, he left in his will a $500,000 inheritance, with instructions to fulfill my wildest dreams. So I bungee jumped and got an awesome idea, to run my own comic and gaming type store. So I bought a place, got a cool banner, and ordered stuff from a catalog. And wala, I am a successful business owner with only one accounting class."

            "Where is it?"

            "About a 30 minute drive from here. It's called Love Monkey Comics, but love monkey is in Japanese so nobody understands it, unless, of course, they can read Japanese." Ephram rolled his eyes.

            "You actually own a store, nobody co-owns it with you?"

            "Nope, just by my wicked self. I have 3 workers, Tri the only one besides me that knows everything that goes on, Tara, which is the girl I just talked to, and another girl, who we all call Trekki. It's a fun environment." Gigi was going to go on, but the front door opened.

            "Hello." Gigi greeted, smiling. Delia looked at the teen, before whispering to her father, "Who is that?"

            "Delia, meet Gigi Frank. She's going to be staying with us until her ankle is better." Andy turned to Gigi. "You'll have to stay in the living room, since we don't have a guest bedroom. There isn't a whole lot of privacy though."

            "Privacy? What's that?" Gigi grinned. "It will be alright."

~*~

A:N// That's it for the first chapter. Ranma ½ and Cowboy Bebop don't belong to me, Ephram's shirt belongs to the costume crew, and the nose speech belongs to Edmond Rostand. I hope you enjoy this so far. Please review. I accept flames.