DISCLAIMER: None of this belongs to me.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I wanted to redeem Elaine, even though I'm pretty sure she doesn't deserve it and Scott could never forgive her. Oh well, I thought it would be interesting to try.

By the way, I couldn't remember what state they live in, and I wanted to make it winter, so if they live in California or something, you can just pretend they had a freak snowstorm…hahaha.

Not too much happens in this first chapter, but I do have to set things up a bit. More happens in chpt 2.


Scott was trying to keep his mind on the French Revolution. He really was. But his head ached, his throat burned, and he couldn't focus his eyes. He had known he was sick when he got up that morning, but he couldn't ask his stepmother if he could stay home from school. Anything was better than staying home with her. Even the French Revolution.

Scott finally gave up trying to keep up in note taking, and let his head fall down on his desk. He must have drifted off, because a second later he popped up to the feel of his teacher patting him on the shoulder. "Scott?" she said angrily. "There will be no sleeping in my class."

Scott shook his head. "Sorry," he mumbled, trying to rouse himself.

But his teacher removed her hand from his shoulder and said, "You feel awfully warm, Scott. Are you all right?"

"I'm fine," he said unconvincingly.

She leaned in and looked at his face. "Scott, I think you'd better go down to the nurses office."

"I'm ok," he tried to sound convincing. But he knew he didn't look it.

"Go," she ordered him. "In fact, class will be over in just a minute. I'll walk you there myself."

Great, Scott thought. I can't even run away.

The bell rang, and everyone else scattered off in all directions for their next class. Scott just sat miserably at his desk. He knew the nurse would see that he had a fever and make him go home. His teacher came over and started to put his things away for him.

"All right, let's go," she said. Scott dragged himself up and followed her.

Tell her. A voice in his head said. Tell her, and maybe she'll let you stay here instead.

But they were at the nurses office already. His teacher told him to sit down in one of the hard plastic chairs outside. He could hear her saying something to the nurse but he couldn't make out what it was. His ears were failing him.

"Scott, come in here, please." The nurse told him.

His teacher gave him an encouraging smile, told him she hoped he'd feel better soon, and left. She couldn't possibly know what she had done to him.

His got up, leaving his bag on the chair, and went into the nurses office.

"Lie down," she told him, motioning to the cot with the long paper roll stretched over it so that they could pretend it was all sanitary.

"No," he said, not trusting the nurse.

"Scott, lie down, your temperature will read more accurately that way."

Scott sat on the cot, but wouldn't lie down. That was too bad, because he was really exhausted by now. The walk to the nurses office had never seemed so long, and that cot was looking pretty good by now.

The nurse stuck the thermometer in his mouth roughly, stabbing him in the tongue. Scott was too tired to care. When a minute had passed, she pulled it out again, and raised her eyebrows.

"I'll need to call your parents"

"My dad's not home. He's away on business." Scott said.

"Well, surely someone is there to look after you?" The nurse said impatiently.

"My uh…my stepmom. But, she's probably busy, you shouldn't bother her. I could just rest here till school's over, couldn't I?"

"No, with a fever as high as yours, I'm required to call your parent or guardian and have them remove you from school."

"But-" Scott didn't know what to say. What could he say?

Tell her. The voice urged him again, the little voice inside him that was screaming. Tell her now so that she won't make you go home to Elaine. Just tell her!!

But he couldn't.

He waited, feeling even more sick, while the nurse dialed the number in the other room. When Scott heard, "So you can be here in a few minutes?" he couldn't help it, he threw up in the bedpan next to the cot.

The nurse hung up and rushed in.

"See?" she sighed, taking the bedpan to the little bathroom to wash out, "You'll be better off resting at home."

Scott leaned back against the wall and closed his eyes.

In a few minutes, Elaine rushed in.

"Where is he?" she asked, "Where's my son?"

The nurse led her into the little room where Scott was still sitting on the cot looking miserable. He hated when she tried to make people think that she really thought of him as her son.

"Oh, Scotty, poor baby," Elaine crooned, reaching down to feel his forehead.

Scott pulled away from her touch, but found it exhausting and so when she took his hand and pulled him up to a standing position, he could only comply.

"Do I need to sign him out or anything?" she asked, putting on the facial expression of a concerned mother.

"Yes, here" the nurse said, showing her a clipboard. Elaine scrawled her name on it, one hand still on Scott. Scott was already hot from his fever, but that one hand one him was burning through his skin.

"Are those your things, Scott?" Elaine asked him, pointing to the backpack and coat lying on the plastic chair.

Scott nodded painfully, a lump in his throat.

Elaine gathered them up and carried them in one hand, keeping her other arm around Scott.

"Thank you so much," she told the nurse as they left. "Scotty, tell the nurse thank you"

For what? Scott thought. For sending me home to you? No thanks.

When they reached the front door of the school, Elaine pushed him onto a bench and started to put his coat on him. She leaned down to zip it up. Scott could smell her perfume when she did this, and it made him nauseated.

She pulled out his hat and gloves, stuck the hat down over his head, practically covering his eyes, and wiggled his gloves onto his hands.

"I'm too hot," he complained.

"You are hot," Elaine laughed at her own joke. "But, seriously Scotty, you're sick and I have to take care of you."

She pulled him back up. "All warm and cozy? Okay, let's go."

She led him out to the car.

"Nice parking job," Scott muttered.

It looked like she had just pulled up to the front of the school, hopped out, and left the car sitting there, lopsided in the driveway.

Elaine didn't answer. She opened the door, poked Scott in, and then reached across him to buckle his seatbelt.

"I can do it myself", Scott mumbled lazily.

Elaine shut his door and went around to the driver's side, got in and started the car. She must have hit every bump and pothole in the road before they reached home.

Once home again, Elaine got out, and went over to Scott's side, opened the door, and reached across him to undo his seatbelt.

"I can do it," Scott mumbled again, his eyes closed.

Elaine pulled his out of the car and walked with him into the house.

"Come on, you need to go upstairs and lay down" Elaine said, when Scott made no move to do anything.

Once again she pulled him along up the stairs and into his bedroom.

"So what's it look like?" Scott asked

"What?" Elaine said.

"My room. I don't think you've ever seen it in the daytime." Scott said.

"Ha, ha." Elaine said sarcastically. "Sit down."

She pushed him down to sit on the side of his bed, and leaned down to pull his gym shoes off.

Then she started unbuttoning his shirt.

"Elaine-" Scott said weakly.

"Oh, relax, I'll leave you alone. I don't want to catch whatever it is you've got." She told him, exasperated.

She unbuttoned his shirt and hung it up in his closet.

He had on a white shirt underneath; Elaine pulled this off over his head, leaving him bare-chested.

But instead of touching him, she got a t-shirt and sweatpants out of his pajama drawer and pulled the t-shirt over his head.

That's it? She just wanted to change my shirt? Scott thought incredulously.

Elaine pushed him down to lie on his bed, and swung his legs up there too. Scott thought his pillow had never felt so soft in his life. He was so sick he could go ahead and relax even with Elaine there.

But then he felt her fingers grasping at his belt buckle. "No," he mumbled, reaching weak fingers to cover up his belt, trying to protect himself from her.

Elaine impatiently pushed his hand out of the way and unbuckled his belt. Then he felt her fingers opening up the button and sliding the zipper down. Scott let his head fall to the side, facing away from her. Whatever was going to happen, Scott was too tired to try to stop it.

Elaine worked his pants off, exposing his boxers. But instead of pulling those off too, she started pushing the sweatpants onto him.

Scott felt confused. She wasn't going to touch him? Elaine pulled the covers up over him and smoothed them down, which actually felt nice now that Scott was getting cold chills.

Elaine patted him on the head. "I'm going to go call the doctor." She said

As soon as she left Scott drifted into sleep. He didn't wake up until about an hour later when Elaine came back in.

"I called the doctor, but apparently something is going around and I couldn't get you in until tomorrow."

"When's my dad coming back?" Scott asked sleepily.

"You know he won't be back for two weeks. He told you that when he left." Elaine answered.

"You mean he's not coming back sooner?" Scott asked, crushed.

"Sorry, baby, but this business deal's too important." Elaine said.

"More important than me I guess" Scott said angrily.

"He knows I'll take good care of you." Elaine smiled sweetly.

Scott rolled over to face away from her.

"All right, you need to eat something, so what do you want?" Elaine went on, ignoring him.


"Fine, I'll bring you some soup."

Elaine went away, and Scott could hear her moving around the kitchen.

He came back up with a tray which she set over his lap. A bowl of steaming chicken soup, a glass of juice, and a little silver bell.

"You can ring it if you need something." She said brightly.

"Thanks," he said, not really sure what to say. She usually wasn't this nice to him.

"Go on and eat," she said.

Scott eyed the soup. Maybe she was drugging him. Waiting for him to pass out and then she can have her fun.

"Oh, I forgot, let me give you some of this first," Elaine said, holding up a bottle.

"What is it?" Scott asked suspiciously.

"Cold medicine, silly." She said, sitting on the edge of his bed. She took the spoon and poured the cold medicine into it.

"Open up," she told him.

Scott didn't want her putting something in his mouth. "Let me take it," he said

"It will spill. Just drink it, Scotty."

"Don't call me Scotty."

"Fine. Just drink it. Scott." She moved it close to his mouth, so Scott had to swallow it.

"Now another one," Elaine said, dipping more into the spoon.

"Are you sure you're supposed to take two?" Scott asked. Was she trying to knock him out?

"Yes, it says it right here on the bottle, children's dosage- Under 6, ask a doctor, Under 12, one teaspoon, Under 18, two teaspoons. See?"

"Well- all right" Scott took the second dose.

"Good boy."

"I'm not a dog."

"Eat your soup"