I'm kind of happy when I walk down the stairs from Jenny's room into the living room and kitchen of the Bergmann's. I'm pissed at Ronnie, I'm worried about Jenny but what this has brought us is to finally start talking about this openly. I know through the last conversation I only got to hold one tiny piece of the puzzle that seemed to be Jenny, but at least I got that piece and now I am pretty sure I would get to receive the others as well. The first step has been done and maybe with that the whole secrecy and miscommunications would stop from here on out. No matter how bad the situation was, it seemed hopeful to me now.

When I round the counter of the kitchen Mr. Bergmann steps into the room, apparently not noticing me, since he walks in without a greeting and lets his briefcase crash onto the dinner table.

"Hello Mr. Bergmann," I say friendly, making him aware that I am there.

"Oh, hello Emma," he responds and looks up the stairs. "So Jenny is here, yes?"

I furrow my brow at his curt tone. "Yes, she's upstairs."

"Well, fine," he says and makes his way to the stairs.

I walk back around the counter, following his steps. "Um, she's not feeling too well."

"Oh, is she?" he questions, the irony in his tone not being lost on me.

I look in between the kitchen and Mr. Bergmann who hasn't stopped his approach up to Jenny's room. Out of a feeling that one might call concern or protectiveness I follow Mr. Bergmann who just enters Jenny's room.

When I arrive Jenny is already sitting up in bed while Mr. Bergmann stands in the open door looking down at her. He notices me coming in, but doesn't seem to mind, so I keep standing a step behind him looking questioning at Jenny.

"So is it true what I heard from your headmaster?" Mr. Bergmann questions.

Jenny signals me that it's okay for me to stay there before responding to Mr. Bergmann, "I didn't take any drugs."

"And how am I supposed to believe you when you or your father for that matter never told me about your drug history?" Mr. Bergmann asks and crosses his arms.

"Stefan, I'm sorry," Jenny says and tries to explain, "I guess, I guess he didn't want to lose his face in front of you."

"Yeah, great, but that doesn't stop him from putting a junkie into my house!"

"I'm not a junkie!" Jenny shouts back at him upset, making me jerk in surprise. "I'm clean. I have been for over a year now."

"Well, okay," Mr. Bergmann says completely calm and untouched by Jenny's outbreak. "Then the drug test Ms. Schmidt-Heisig set up for tomorrow won't be any trouble for you."

Jenny's face falls in disbelieve and horror, "What?"

"You're going," Mr. Bergmann says leaving no question open about her attending that test. "Or you can search for another place to stay."

"But...but Stefan..." Jenny says, trying to scramble out of bed to actually stand up.

"What? You just said you didn't take any drugs." He shrugs and reasons, "So, no drugs, no positive test, no problem."

"Yes, but..." Jenny says, kneeling on the edge of the bed now.

"No problem, I said," Mr. Bergmann cuts her off and is about to turn to leave.

I can't believe the way he's talking to her and not showing any empathy or willingness to hear her side of the story and before I know it I stepped in his way to say upset, "Now would you listen to her!"

"Excuse me?" Mr. Bergmann says, looking surprised and quizzical at me.

"Ronnie slipped her something today," I tell him. "It wasn't her fault."

Mr. Bergmann's eyebrows rise in interest. "Ronnie?"

"Yes, he..." I start to explain, but before I can Jenny's disheartened voice interrupts me. "Emma, it's okay. Stefan doesn't have anything to do with this...he's not the one I have to convince..."

"Frankly, I don't put anything past Ronnie," Mr. Bergmann states his position on that topic and he looks at Jenny, something apparently passing between them before he says, "Jenny, I'll call your parents now. I'm sure Ms. Schmidt-Heisig already did, too."

"Okay..." Jenny nods, finally sinking back down from her knees onto her bed. "Thank you."

When Mr. Bergmann has left the room I quickly make my way to Jenny, saying worried, "You'll fail that test."

"I know," she says and scratches thoughtfully at her head.

"What will happen then?" I question, sitting down next to her.

"I don't know." She shrugs and shakes her head, her eyes trained on the covers. "I guess my parents will...will come and...I don't know."

"Will they take you back to London?" I question, the thought doing cruel things to my stomach and heart.

Slowly she draws her eyes up to mine and says cautiously, "Maybe?"

"No, they can't do that," I argue and reason. "You didn't take any drugs."

"I know that, Emma!" Jenny yells and hits her mattress. After the wave of uproar has swept through her she sighs and shakes her head. She reaches out for my hand before apologizing, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scream. I'm just feeling...on edge okay..I'm sorry."

"It's okay." I say understanding that she is at least as upset by this as I am. So I stroke the back of her hand with my thumb and say, "We'll just have to prove that it was Ronnie."

"Yeah, great and how are we supposed to do that?" Jenny asks hopelessly. "My parents won't believe me anyway. You weren't there yet, Heisig spoke against me, too." She averts her eyes and mumbles, "They learned the hard way not to trust a druggie."

"Hm?" I inquire, hoping for her to elaborate on that, but Jenny waves it off and lets herself fall back on her bed, turning away from me.

"Jenny, I'm sure there is a solution. You're innocent," I try to reason and move over to her. "I'll tell them and everyone in school and from STAG can tell them, too, that you're clean. You can stay here and Ronnie will finally get what he deserves, okay?"

"Hm, okay," Jenny says, but I'm sure she's just saying it to placate me.

I sigh and lay myself behind her again, moving my arm around her waist while pressing a kiss to her neck. "I'm here with you. We'll find a way."

I feel her release a breath when my lips touch her skin. She takes my hand which is resting upon her stomach into her own and turns around, lifting my hand up to her mouth to give it a kiss, while with her other hand she reaches out to brush some hair behind my ear.

Encouraged by her actions I go on, "And you know we'll get through this, would have gotten through this from the start. We'll see this through, together, I will not leave you alone, I promise you."

Jenny gives me a sad smile, "If my mouth wouldn't taste like crap I'd give you a kiss now."

I laugh about her words and lean in to kiss her lips anyway.

She emits a quiet moan when our lips meet and I love the way her eyes seem a bit brighter when they open after the kiss has ended.

"You just have to talk to me and make me understand, okay?" I tell her, caressing her arm.

"Okay," she says with a tiny hopeful smile gracing her lips before cuddling up in my arms again just like a few hours before.

I lean back and close my eyes, stroking her brown hair. In response I hear her sigh and her hand which is resting on my stomach grasps my shirt while she's pulling herself closer, burying her nose in my neck while saying, "I love you, Emma."

"I love you, too," I say, running my hand over her back, and think that it is like an entirely other girl is lying in my arms. She's younger, uncertain and needful, little trace of my strong powerful Jenny who always knows what to do being left. It's new, scary and...honestly kind of refreshing.

Lying here with her in that way makes me feel closer to her than before and I'm sure that we'll find a way to get through this. After all Ronnie is to blame and in the end honesty always wins out, right?

I hate open ends, but this was it ;)

My 216

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