Chapter One: Adoption
Na-Na: I don't own any of the characters from Sky High. But I do own anyone I made up. Capiche? A little about this story. The pairings will not be named. You will only figure it out read the story. So please read. And I hope you all like this to some extent.
Walking was always such a hassle. Normally, walking wouldn't be such a bother if it were just a leisurely stroll through a pleasant garden. But the luxury of having a beautiful garden to stroll through seemed to be denied to the weary limbs of Tenni. She felt so tried and aggravated by the fact she had to walk for so long today. But Tenni couldn't blame her own problems on anyone else but herself.
She cursed her stupidity.
It had started when her parents had kicked the bucket. For a while, Tenni had felt remorseful about their passing, but she forced herself to ease into the new adjustment. She had never been too close with her parents. They hadn't ever really had time for her anyway. It was to be expected she thought. Mama had been a villain while Papa had been a hero. They had gotten married (unaware of the other's secret profession) and she was born and they had lived happily for a while, give or take about five years, before the cat was out of the bag about each other's secret identities. From then on, they were no longer the happily married couple, but enemies "till death do them part."
The girl chuckled at the irony of her parents' relationship. The maid who took care of her would always sit and reminisce with Tenni about how in love her parents had been before they were at each other's necks. Tenni had been a reminder of that forsaken love. She always believed that to be the reason they had stopped looking at her. They were ashamed because she was the creation of their supposed sin. If only it could have been fixed, or if they could've let their pride go. Maybe she was silly for wishing that there wasn't a good or evil, but what she knew was that if it hadn't been for them, her parents could've been together and she wouldn't have to be alone.
I'm alone. In their final attempt to bring the other down, Papa and Mama had completely disappeared. Died.
When hadn't she been alone? She'd grown so used to it, that it became as common as air.
They had never really existed. That's why it didn't hurt so much.
I'm a little monster, She thought continuing her trek through the simple town.
A small pain in her shoulder reminded her of her current problem. Walking. Sighing, she walked and walked and walked. Her parents passing had been three weeks ago, there had been a funeral, but Tenni hadn't attended it. It would've been too hard having to watch empty caskets being laid into the soil next to each other. Her relatives had immediately claimed custody of her there after. They were her aunt, who was her mother's sister, and her husband. She had been told they were the best candidates for adoption because they had super powers so they would be able to handle her and her already manifested super powers. It was also because they had a son her age that they believed would be a "good influence" on her.
She felt a little irrational anger bubble up. They were probably like her parents. They would just take her in and wouldn't acknowledge her in the same fashion. If she had been such a lasting reminder of shame for her parents, why would these people feel differently? And so what if they had a son her age. He'd probably hate her like other kids had. Why would life change for her here?
Now, Tenni finally thought over why she was walking out in the middle of some nowhere town, lugging around a heavy suitcase that was hurting her back. She had been waking all this time to find the house of these relatives who seemed so fit to take her in. Her pride kept her from allowing anyone to give her a ride. It was now she started to regret doing do. But only a little bit. And she'd never admit it to anyone. Waking for hours had made the 13 year-old tired. No teen should have to go through something like what she was going through, but she still was anyway. She pulled a tattered bit of paper back out of her pocket, wincing at the damage she had done to it while she had been doing her searching.
She read the address to herself quietly a couple of times so as to memorize it. If the address that was scrawled in poor writing onto the paper was where she would live for the rest of her life, she could at least know by heart where to find it. Once she was sure that she had it burned into some wall of her brain for her to remember for forever, she scanned her surroundings. She was suddenly pleasantly surprised. The sign half a block ahead read the street name she was looking for.
Tenni had to admit. She was very proud of herself in coming this far. She had walked the whole way. Soon she'd be done with this trip and get this thing over with. Family reunions had never been a very big thing on Tenni's list, but she didn't have any control of the situation. The situation of her having to meet other relatives had never come up since she lived alone with the maids, home schooled and separate from normal people. It was either living with the relatives or face being possibly put under the government's "protection". Snorting, she continued. They weren't going to protect her. They just planned on brainwashing her so that they could control her she wouldn't end up like Mama. Ah, the government and their muddled ideas about handling "the greater good."
Once she was on the right street, she scanned all the houses that lined it. It seemed like a normal neighborhood. No, scratch that. It was the perfect neighborhood for normal families. Homely seemed to be the word that best described it. There were children playing out on their front lawns, while their parents would sit somewhere close by watching them. The site caused a pang of jealousy tug at her. She had always been in a cold environment in the large mansion her parents had left her with. The warm atmosphere of this place was the opposite of her old home.
When she was half way down the street, she spotted the house with the right address and headed for it. It was relatively nice. Plain and simple like all the other houses down this way. It was all white, two story, neat and trim lawn, a big tree one side of the lawn and a brick walkway that had little bushes that lined it. Yes, it was very nice.
She walked up to the door slowly, taking her time to look over the details of her new home. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she was truly dreading walking in and meeting this family. Would they be judgmental about her past and her background? Or would they just not like her at all? All the questions and doubts began to circle themselves in her mind as she approached the house slowly, her wavering determination slipping more and more. She admitted to herself that she was scared that these strangers would be mean. With her last shaky footsteps, she finally reached the door and stopped right in front of it.
Warily, she eyed the doorbell, before lifting her trembling hand up and pushing it.
The bell went off and time seemed to stop for Tenni. Her nervousness seemed to double as she anticipated what would happen next. Especially, when she heard the shuffling of footsteps inside. They were coming. Very soon now, that door would open. And she would meet the family she'd have to stay with. Biting her bottom lip, she set her suitcase down beside her self and fiddled with her hands.
Then, the door began to open. Tenni's heart stopped.
Suddenly, she was wrapped in a hug by someone she guessed was about her height or a little bit taller. She blushed at the feeling of being embraced, and savored it for a second before pushing away so she could look at the person who hugged her. It turned out to be a guy just about her age with short shaggy brown hair, hazel colored eyes wearing the colors read, white and blue (A little patriotic much?). What really stood out to her was the unwavering smile on his face.
"Wh-Why did you hug m-me?" She managed to stutter out to the boy. His smile amazingly got even wider.
"Because you looked like you needed one. Are you okay?" He asked. Tenni couldn't help it. She cracked a little smile at that.
"Uh, I…yeah, thank you," She stammered back, swaying a bit because of how nervous she had been only two minutes earlier. He put a hand on her shoulder to steady her incase she were to fall.
"You're welcome," The boy said, "So, was there something you wanted?"
"Yes," she said quietly, "Is this the Stronghold residence?"
"Uh, yeah," The boy answered looking a little confused, "Why?"
"Umm," she didn't know exactly what to say, so she opted for asking for an adult, "Well, I need to see your parents. Are they home?"
"Yeah," He replied. " Come in and sit down. I'll go get them." Tenni entered the house and took a seat at the white table near the door. The boy closed the door and went into another room, leaving her alone.
She took the time alone to look around the house from the chair she sat in. It was fairly nice, just like the its outside appearance. So this was where she would live. She was snapped out of her reverie when a couple of shouts came forth from somewhere deeper within the house.
"SOMEONE'S HERE TO SEE YOU!"
Tenni assumed it had been the boy yelling. His call had been effective because she heard two sets of feet shuffling around to get to the front door. A tall brown haired man entered her peripheral vision. Right after him came a woman only a couple of inches shorter with wavy red hair that went to her shoulders. She suppressed a chuckle when they went to the front door and answered it, only to be met by the suitcase she had left out on their doorstep. The boy walked in and laughed a bit at his parents' confusion before getting their attention.
"Mom, Dad, your visitor's over here," He said walking over to put a hand on her shoulder.
When they stopped to turn around and look at her, Tenni's breath caught. The woman looked so strikingly similar to her mother, she had to bite her tongue to keep from calling the redhead her mother. The only difference was that she was wearing glasses. There was no doubt in Tenni's mind that this was her aunt. To cover up her shock, she nodded curtly to them before standing and introducing herself.
"Hello," she said in quiet tone, "My name is Tenni."
Both Mr. and Mrs. Strongholds' eyes widened. Mrs. Stronghold recovered first and smiled. Tenni could see tears welling up in her eyes.
"Oh Tenni…" she said walking up to her, "I'm so sorry about what happened Terrance and... Karen." Tenni assumed she meant her parents. Her heart went out a bit to her aunt, seeing the pain in the woman's eyes at the mention of her mother, her sister. Mrs. Stronghold took her hands in her own and squeezed them softly. "I'm so glad I finally get to see my niece." She felt the grip on her shoulder tighten, and looked up at the face of her startled cousin staring down at her.
"So…we're related?" he asked, his gaze moving to his mother's teary face.
"Yes Honey. She's your cousin. Well, we actually just adopted Tenni a couple of days ago, since her parents passed away. We had planned on telling you eventually, but I guess she got here before we could," Mrs. Stronghold said answering her son sadly. She then turned back to Tenni. "Tenni, my name is Josie. My husband, whose standing behind me, his name is Steve and my son's name is Will." I looked behind her at Steve and then back at Will who was still shocked but smiling once again.
"It's nice to meet you all." For once, she felt really sincere saying that to them. These people seemed genuinely good. Their behavior so far didn't betray any negative feelings towards her. In fact, they were the exact opposite of what she had been dreading her new family would be like. They had already treated her with so much respect and kindness. The girl felt so relieved.
"So, how did you get here?" Steve asked bringing her suitcase in and closing the door.
"Umm," she didn't want them to get upset over her walking the whole way so she gave them and excuse, "I got a ride from the maid who used to attend to my home." Josie and Steve nodded.
"Sorry a bit our house being a bit untidy," Josie said letting go of Tenni's hands, "We didn't know when to expect you. We thought you'd be coming some time later, like in about a week or so."
"Sorry for dropping in so unexpectedly," Tenni said chagrined.
"No problem dear," Josie said calming her, "It doesn't matter."
"Will, could you help Tenni settle in the room upstairs?" Steve asked holding Tenni's suitcase out to his son.
"Sure," Will said taking it. He seemed to stagger under its weight for a moment before steadying himself, "Come on , Tenni." She followed him up the stairs after one glance back at the Steve and Josie. When they got to her room, she stopped and gaped at it for a second.
The walls had been painted white with flowers and plants of all kinds on it, and there was a huge bookshelf on the right wall of the room half full with books on plants. All of the furniture, the closet, the desk, even the bed, were in shades of green. The carpet of the room was green too. Will noticed the look she was giving the room and chuckled.
"It's the doing of my best friend, Layla. She wanted to decorate this room so much, I let her do it for me. It definitely added more cheer and color compared to only plain white walls and sheets," Will explained as he took a seat on the bed. "She's into plants, so that's why the room's the whole "Green as Grass" motif." Tenni giggled at that and plopped down next to him. Will was already turning out to be a fun person.
"Tell me more about Layla."
"Well, she's a special person. She's got long red hair, wears a lot of green if you haven't guessed already. Got very strong ideals and beliefs. And she's really willful and stubborn. Sometimes, it's annoying, but I it's just typical Layla," Will said.
Tenni smiled. She had seen the spark in Will's eyes as he described his best friend. As if by magic, there was a knock at the window. Both Tenni and Will turned see the aforementioned redhead just outside the window standing on a tree branch staring back at them with a confused look. Will immediately sprung up to open the window and let her in.
"Who's this Will?" The girl asked looking from Tenni to Will and then back to Tenni.
"Layla," Will said smiling wider than had since Tenni had arrived, "This is Tenni. My new sister." The look on Layla's face was priceless at the least. Her lips closed and opened just like a fish's would.
"She's your-your-your sister!" Layla exclaimed her eyes going wide.
"Well, yeah," Will said, "I mean, at first she was my cousin but my parents adopted her so now we're siblings."
Layla seemed to calm down, but still had the look that was like a kid in a candy store.
"Wow, that's so great Will!" Layla said. "So Will, am I still staying over, or is today not a good day?"
"Yeah. Why not?" Will said, "You and I can spend some time getting to know Tenni."
"Okay," Layla took a seat next to Tenni on the bed, dragging Will down with her.
"So Tenni," Layla started, "Tell us a little bit about yourself." Clearing her voice nervously, Tenni started.
"Well, umm, I listen to rock, alternative, and folk music, my favorite colors are blue and gray, I have the power to manipulate water and create illusions, I hate being blonde but I don't feel like dying my hair, my birthday is February 9th and I enjoy chores and school." Tenni said, peering at the two, wondering how they'd react to her having powers. She hadn't thought to consider whether or not they would accept it. While she was sure Will might not be worried, seeing as he had parents who were supers, Layla was an unknown. Will looked at her with wide eyes.
"You enjoy school and chores?"
"Yeah. I don't have much hobbies so I occupy myself with them. After all, I was raised by maids."
"You have powers?" Layla asked. Tenni nodded. "So are you going to Sky High?"
Immediately, relief washed over her. So Layla was part of the superhero world. "Yeah, probably."
"So we'll all be at Sky High in a year." She said, "I can't wait!"
Tenni, Will, and Layla continued to talk into the night sharing details about themselves, and just plain hanging out. For some reason, Tenni felt excited about what was to come in her life with the Stronghold family. Little did she know that the real adventure would begin at Sky High.
Na-Na: Ahh. I have to admit, I kind of like how this ended. How about you guys? Anyway, see you later! Please review, any form is appreciated.
Next Update: Grudge
Will Be Posted Monday, January 11th