Author's Note: Here we go, another Worm Snippet. In this AU, after a wonderful first day of school for Emma Barnes' sophomore year, Emma finds out that her mom does not like bullies and traitors. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Worm or its characters, those belong to Wildbow.
What If Emma's Mom Found Out About The Bullying Chapter 1
September 8, 2010
The Barnes House
Emma Barnes was sitting in the home office that her mom and dad used for their jobs. Her dad's job as a divorce lawyer gave him a little bit more space in the room than her mom but her mom didn't mind. Her mom owned and operated a catering business that she was hoping to eventually open her own restaurant.
Right now Emma was sitting in the only chair that was in front of the desk her dad used. Her mom was sitting behind the desk, her dad was sitting next to her, notepad in front of him.
She had noticed that her laptop was on the desk, along with her smartphone. Her laptop was on, a flash drive was plugged into one of her laptop's USB ports.
She had expressed her outrage when she had been summoned to the office and had seen her devices on the desk. Her dad just pointed at the chair in front of the desk and told her to sit and be quiet.
Emma sat, and was mostly quiet as she watched her mom use her laptop and her dad used her phone. Her parents whispering to each other occasionally, her father writing on the notepad in front of him.
This lasted for about five or six minutes. Then her mother, Zoe Barnes cleared her throat and said, "Emma, your father and I need to discuss with you, something very serious."
Her mom moved the keyboard for her husband's computer out of the way then she continued, "After I picked you up from school and dropped you off here, I went to the grocery store. I ran into someone you knew very well. Would you care to guess as to who?"
Emma shrugged. She wished her mom would get to the point.
Zoe asked, "No ideas? Nothing to say?"
Emma shrugged again.
Zoe's eyes narrowed. Emma could feel the heat of the glare and her dad's glare was even more uncomfortable.
Zoe said, "Well, fine then. I ran into Taylor and her father."
Emma flinched, her eyes widened in surprise for an instant then she put a nonplussed expression on her face. Both her parents caught it and made note of it in their minds.
Emma nonchalantly said, "Really? That's who you saw? What lies did she tell you?"
Zoe's glare actually seemed to intensify but Emma held her ground. "Lies, Emma? Why would you say that Taylor told me lies?"
Emma straightened herself on the chair, then calmly said, "Because, that's all she does now. She tells lies about me and my friends, trying to get us in trouble. The school doesn't listen to her anymore, thank God. So, I'm sure she told you a story that I'm bullying her, that Sophia's bullying her or something. It's nothing. Actually It's pretty sad that Taylor has turned out this way." Emma shook her head sadly.
Zoe and Alan looked at each other. Then Zoe looked at her daughter. "Emma Allison Barnes, have you and your friends been bullying Taylor since your freshman year?"
Emma shook her head and emphatically said, "No! No, mom I'm not doing anything to Taylor. She changed when high school started, told me she didnt want to be friends anymore. Remember, when i told you this last year? Well, after that she started hanging with the wrong crowd and she's such a bad person now that nobody likes her. All she has is the lies and stories she makes up now. Don't believe her lies, mom and dad. She's not that nice person you used to know."
Zoe looked at her husband. He nodded his head. Zoe looked at her daughter and said, "Emma, when did you learn to act and lie like that?"
Emma's eyes went wide with shock. "What?! You don't believe me?!"
Zoe said, "You are good, really good I have to admit but, there's this." Zoe turned Emma's laptop slightly so Emma could see and on the monitor was one of her emails that she had sent to Sophia, Julia, and her newest friend Madison.
Emma stood up and shrieked, "You can't do that! Those emails are private!"
Her dad Alan stood up and pointed his finger at his daughter. He didn't raise his voice, he simply said, "Sit. Down."
He continued, "You do not raise your voice at you mom or I. That's twice you've done it, I promise you that if you do it again, the consequences will be severe."
Her dad was pissed. When he got really angry, his Irish accent came out and it was coming out very strongly now. He sat back down and waited for Zoe to continue.
Her mom turned the laptop back so only she and her dad could see the screen. "As your parents, it would be irresponsible of us to not monitor what you're doing on your phone and computer. I asked your father if he had a way to access your computer and phone. Given his occupation, he knew people that did. So, your father brought home the devices we needed to access what we needed. We looked at your computer and phone. We've seen your emails, your texts, the websites you've been going to. Apparently we gave you a lot of trust, too much it would appear given what we've uncovered. There's going to be some big changes in the future."
"At first, I could not believe what Taylor was saying to me. All I wanted to know was why she ended the friendship between the two of you last year as you said she had. Never could I have imagined what happened next. Taylor cried into my arms."
Zoe paused, "Taylor's story of what you and your friends have done was horrifying. To verify her story, I had to see what you've been doing online since she said you've been cyberbullying her too." She gestured to the device attached to the laptop. Emma's father held up her smartphone smartthat had a different device plugged in.
Zoe reached for her coffee cup and took another sip, she continued speaking, "Anyway, her crying in the store caused a scene, we had to leave the store for Taylor's sake. It became very clear to me that Danny had no idea what's been going on. But, once Taylor had composed herself, we went to the Burger King in the same shopping center so we could talk. She told me you were the one to end the friendship, that you had done it the day she came to see you when she returned from summer camp."
Emma was doing her best to give away nothing but she was trembling. She was pissed. This was not supposed to happen! "I didn't do that, she never..."
Emma was cut off as Zoe read off an email from Sophia. "Ha ha ha. What you did to that girl was awesome. Good for you that you dropped that loser weakling you had for a friend today. She's weak, you're strong, a survivor. You don't need people like that around you. That makes you a predator, just like me. I'll teach you, make you even stronger. This is from your new friend Sophia, who you've only known for less than a month. Look at that date, it's August 16, 2009, the day that Taylor returned from Summer Camp. You lied to us Emma, we asked if Taylor had come over to see you and you told us she didn't. Looking over your emails, I found throwaway email accounts that started shortly after the freshman school year and copies of the emails you have been sending to Taylor's school accounts. Additionally, there's the emails you were sending between Sophia, other friends, and yourself. Finally, your father has the text messages from your phone."
Her dad, Alan glowered at Emma. "You should be ashamed. That you could do what you have done to Taylor, your sister in all but blood. Our Goddaughter, Emma. Your mother and I did not raise you to be a bully and a traitor."
Emma was defiant in her looks until her father cut her in half with that last statement. Emma reacted as if she'd been struck.
Zoe tapped the desk with her index finger as she said, "Traitor, bully, backstabber, oppressor, betrayer, persecutor, this is who you are, and I just cant reconcile that the little girl we raised is the person sitting in front of us."
Tears started to fall after her mother called her a backstabber, then started to sob as her mother continued.
"You're crying? Why? Do your friends trust you like Taylor did? Do they tell you their secrets, like Taylor told you hers or do they hold things back? I'm guessing that Julia, Elizabeth, or Madison, or any of your other friends don't tell you everything, after all why should they? They have had a front row seat at how you treated your former best friend. If I was one of them, I wouldnt trust you."
Emma's sobs continued. She looked up at her mother in agony. She looked to her dad for support but his stony gaze was all she saw. He growled, "How long did you know Taylor?"
Emma looked confused, she wiped her eyes again. "Wh-What?"
"It's a simple question, Emma. How long did you know Taylor before you ended things?"
Emma said, "Since we were five."
Alan nodded his head as he said, "Since you were five. You knew Taylor for how many years? Tell me."
Emma looked up at the ceiling, she whispered numbers as she counted, then looked down at her lap and quietly said, "Eight years."
Alan hissed, "Eight years." Then he took a deep breath, let it out slowly and said, "How do you look yourself in the mirror and justify betraying your best friend of eight years for someone you only knew for five minutes?"
Emma snapped, "Sophia saved me, she save us dad!"
Zoe jumped in and said, "And that justifies you getting rid of someone you called Sister in everything but blood for someone you barely knew!?"
Emma looked at her mom and dad. "Dad, mom doesn't know..."
Her dad interrupted her. "She knows. I told her."
Emma went cold. "Wh-wha-what?"
Emma looked at her dad in shock. She wiped her eyes with a kleenex. "Dad! You can't do that! What if..."
Alan waved his hand in a sharp gesture. "It's done, your mother knows Sophia is Shadow Stalker. The way I see it, I don't owe Sophia anything anymore. We don't owe her anything anymore. She may have saved you and I from a bad situation and I repaid her for that earlier this year when I spoke up for her as a character witness when she was in trouble. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have spoken on her behalf at that hearing. But if I have to choose between her or my family, I choose family."
Alan looked up, looked at his daughter and said, "Question for you, Emma. Did you ever think about how long did she stay up there on the roof before she jumped down to help? Think about that, she could have jumped in at any time, but for some reason, she waited. Why? You ever ask her that?"
Emma rocked back into the chair as if pushed. Her eyes widened as a realization was coming to her. She shook her head and whispered, "It's not true, it's not true, it's not..."
Alan sighed and resumed cutting Emma offoff. "Before I was beaten unconscious, I saw her up on the roof. I didnt know it was her at the time but I saw her. I knew somebody was on that roof. I wondered why the person didn't come down and help. So, you tell me. What made her decide to jump down and save us?"
Emma was silent at first. Then she said with determination, "I fought back."
"So did I, I managed a couple of punches before they knocked me out. She didn't move. She waited to see what you would do. To see if both of us were worth saving in her twisted worldview. Only after you started to resist did she move in to save us."
Emma stammered. "Th-tha-That's not true!"
"Isn't it? I've been looking at your text messages between you and her over the last year. Your mother has shown me the emails. She keeps talking about how the world is divided between predators and prey, strong versus weak. She keeps calling you 'Survivor', as if that is a badge of honor. Now while being a survivor of a violent crime has meaning, she's twisting that meaning Emma. She calls herself a predator, that you and her are wolves. She mentions not helping sheep, victims of crimes that she does nothing to stop unless the victim resists. If they resist, fight back, she jumps in and saves them. If they don't, she lets the criminal do whatever they want and then jumps in and beats the criminal up, or worse. Look what it got her, recruited into the Wards."
Alan bent to the side of his chair, picked up a book, then stood up and tossed it onto Emma's lap. Emma looked at the book, "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic". It was the first book from the series. Alan said, "By the way, I think you need to read that again. Maybe take some notes from Rainbow Dash about loyalty and some more notes from Applejack about honesty, and Fluttershy on kindness."
Alan's voice still had that Irish accent as he spoke. It tinged with sarcasm as he said, "You remember loyalty, don't you? That's what Taylor had. She was loyal. To you. She could have gone to Arcadia but she opted to go to Winslow out of loyalty. Her faith in her best friend. Then you repaid that loyalty with betrayal. Sophia teach you that? I know that your mom and I didnt teach you that."
Emma bowed her head. She tried composing herself.
Zoe looked at her husband then said, "It has become clear to me that while you are responsible for your actions, there is someone else equally at fault. Someone that I never trusted completely." Zoe sighed and growled out, "Sophia Hess."
Alan sighed. "I know I will be sleeping on the couch for a while, but I realize that your mom was right, I was wrong. I failed you, Emma. We should have gotten you therapy after what happened last year."
Emma looked at her parents angrily. She hissed, "I don't need therapy!"
Zoe glared at her daughter. "Yes, Emma you do. I argued for it last year, your father convinced me otherwise but there is no denying it. You need help, before it's too late."
Emma opened her mouth to argue but Zoe looked at her and gave her The Look. Emma closed her mouth. Zoe resumed speaking, "I will be calling my therapist and have you take my appointment instead next week. If she can help you, great. If she can't, she will at least recommend someone who can. But, you will start going to therapy."
Zoe's expression showed that she would not budge on this matter. Emma had an appointment with the therapist and so Emma was going.
Zoe let out a deep breath then said, "Emma, there is another matter we need to discuss that is connected to this." There was a long pause as Zoe stared at Emma. "Where is Annette's flute that Taylor brought to school?"
Emma tried to look confused. "I have no idea what you are talking about."
Alan said, "I'm going to take ten thousand dollars out of your college fund for that lie. Tell us where the flute is or we will keep taking money out from your college fund until you have nothing left. Now, where is the flute?!"
Emma looked between her parents and cried out, "I don't know!"
Alan said, "Wrong answer, ten thousand more is coming out."
Emma stood up and cried out again, "She brought the flute to school, she tried blaming us when it went missing but I didn't do anything to the flute!"
Alan glared at his daughter. "That makes thirty thousand. Want me to go to fifty? You don't tell us where the flute is, I promise you that I'll take twenty thousand more."
Emma looked at her parents, then she folded her arms in front. "Why won't you believe me?!"
Her dad held up her phone, the text messages on display. "Last chance, where is Annette's flute?"
Emma finally said, "Fine! It's in my room."
Her mom quickly said, "Go. Bring it here. Now. We will be watching." Emma saw the forty inch TV that acted as a security camera monitor for all the cameras that was on the wall to her left. Getting up, the young redhead rushed to her room. Her parents watched as she went deep into her closet and pulled out a black garbage bag. Then she left her room and returned to the office, setting the bag on the left side of the desk.
Emma snarkily said, "Here."
Zoe opened the garbage bag then looked inside. She looked disgusted as she reached in and pulled out a large Ziploc storage bag that contained what looked like a flute but it had been horribly wrecked and coated with something or multiple somethings that would not be pleasant to touch or smell. Both parents looked angry and disgusted at their daughter. Zoe put the ziploc bag containing the flute back into the garbage bag then set the bag back on the floor.
Alan snarled, "That you could do such a thing to destroy Taylor's prized momento, a cherished memory of her mother. A woman you called "Auntie Annette"...I am so disgusted, ashamed, and angry at you. Just for that, for lying to your mom and I over this, I am taking that additional twenty thousand dollars out of your college fund. That's fifty thousand less dollars for your college education. I will not give it back to you."
Emma's mouth was agape, she tried to say something but no words came out and then Zoe said, "Where's the rest of it?"
It took a few seconds, Emma whispered, "Gave it to Sophia, she probably threw it in the Bay."
Zoe said, "If this flute cannot be restored and repaired, a new one will be bought. The engravings will be redone. All the costs will come out of your checking account. If your father and I have to cover any costs, the monies owed will be garnished from your allowance or any job you start working. You will pay the money back to us."
Her dad asked, "Do you understand?"
Emma finally said, "Yes."
Zoe said, "Good. Now, as I said earler, there are going to be some changes. For starters, you are grounded. You will not be allowed to go out with your friends, nor will any friends be allowed here at the house. Your TV and phone privileges are revoked, and your computer usage will strictly be limited to school work only. When it comes to using the computer for school, you will only be allowed to use the computer when your father and I are in the room with you."
Alan spoke next, "As of today, your friendship with Sophia Hess is over. It's done."
Emma shook her head and defiantly said, "You can't do that!"
Her dad angrily said, "We are your parents, you are the child, so Yes We Can. You are to have no contact with Sophia from now on. No emails, texts, Skype, IRC, social media, carrier pigeons, smoke signals, you name it. No contact of any kind. I will go to your school and arrange your schedule so that you and Sophia are not in any of the same classes going forward."
Alan pointed a finger at Emma, "I am strongly thinking about sending you to Ireland to live with your grandfather and arrange for you to go to Moira MacTaggart's School For Girls, so watch it Emma."
Emma was indeed surprised at that last statement. Before Emma could say anything, her mom said, "That's it. Go to your room, get ready for bed."
Emma hesitated, then got up and said, "This is so not fair."
Her dad said, "What you did to Taylor wasn't fair. Hurry up and go to bed."
Emma walked out of the office and up the stairs and into her room. Both parents took deep breaths and exhaled loudly.
Alan said, "Fuck"
Zoe said, "Yeah."
Alan put his hands up to his face and slid them down slowly. "I cannot believe she has done the things she has done."
Zoe looked at her husband. "I never trusted that girl. She took advantage of our daughter and has twisted her into something I don't recognize." Zoe grabbed the keyboard for Alan's computer and tapped some keys. Alan's computer monitor showed Emma getting ready for bed. Making sure that Emma was following her directions, she looked at her husband again then said, "So what are we going to do Alan?"
Alan got up from his chair and walked over to the liquor cabinet. Unlocking it with a key from his keychain, he grabbed The Bottle. The twenty five year old bottle of scotch was opened, and poured into two glasses. Walking back, he handed one to his wife all the while saying, "Well, the idea of sending Emma to Ireland or even Boston is there, let's call that the Final Option. But one thing you and I can agree on is that Emma is not going back to Winslow. We need to get her out of there. Then there's Taylor. We have to make this right." Alan took a long drink from his glass.
Zoe nodded. "What are our options?" She took a sip of her scotch.
Alan flipped his notepad to a blank sheet. Hevstarted jotting down notes. "Well, for starters I can transfer Taylor or Emma into Arcadia. If I get Emma in there, it will burn every favor I've got. But then Taylor stays at Winslow where she will no doubt continue to be abused by Sophia and the rest."
Zoe took another sip of her scotch. "No, that is not an option. We have to help Taylor. What is your real idea?"
Alan took another drink of his scotch and chuckled. "You know me so well. Alright, I can call in some favors and get Taylor transferred to Arcadia. It'll be the easiest to do. As for Emma, it will cost me every other favor I have and maybe I will have to ask for one favor or two but I'm pretty sure I can get Emma into Immaculatta. The other option is while not quite as costly favorwise, I could get Emma into Clarendon. If we do that, we will have to move."
Zoe took another sip, thinking. She swirled the liquor in her glass as she thought silently. She glanced at the computer monitor and saw that Emma was lying on the bed, blankets pulled up.
Looking at Alan she said, "Let's get Emma into Immaculatta and Taylor into Arcadia."
Alan finished his scotch and nodded his head. "Alright. I will get started on that tomorrow."
"Are you going to be able to do it tomorrow?"
Alan reached for the keyboard that Zoe passed over so he could grab it. Tapping more keys, he brought up his calendar for tomorrow. "Looks like I have one appointment set for 4pm, a K. Anders. Anders...as in Max Anders wife? If that's Kayden Anders, that could mean some good money coming in, Zoe. So, with no appointments until 4pm, I should be able to get those things done tomorrow."
Alan reached over and squeezed Zoe's hand.
Zoe took another sip of her scotch. "So, what are we going to do about Emma tomorrow?"
Alan smirked, "Isn't it 'Take your daughter to work day' tomorrow at your business?"
Zoe arched an eyebrow. With a chuckle she said, "I think you're right. I know that your firm already had that event this year, an event that Emma declined to go. You'll need to take her next time."
"Put her to work, see if she still has good knife skills or if they need polishing. I will take care of getting Emma and Taylor transferred to Arcadia and Immaculatta. Once I get Emma into Immaculatta, you know what that means, right?"
Zoe replied, "Actually I was going to ask you about that, after all we like to sleep in on Sundays. We can kiss that goodbye if you get Emma into Immaculatta."
"I can sacrifice my Sunday sleep in for our daughter's sake. Going back to church should actually be good thing for Emma."
Getting up, he offered his hand to his wife to help her stand. Zoe powered off Alan's computer, then Emma's laptop. Alan powered off Emma's phone, taking note of the multiple texts from Sophia's phone.
Alan and Zoe left the office with Alan locking the door. Alan took the drinking glasses to the kitchen while Zoe headed for the master bedroom, stopping by Emma's room and going in to check in on her daughter. Satisfied that Emma was asleep, she continued to the master bedroom. Once there, she went to the alarm panel and set the alarm for the house.
Husband and wife prepared for bed, kissed each other good night and went to sleep. The next day was going to be a busy one.
Author's Note: So, I finally have a computer again. I can bring this story over from Spacebattles. Hope you like it. Please leave some feedback, were you at least entertained?