This is for I Just Can't Choose's Star Contest- Please enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own the 39 clues or anything else.
Sinead put the car into reverse and pulled into the parking spot, looking to Ned and Ted in the backseat. The tension in the vehicle was clear.
"You guys ready?" she said in a weak attempt at smalltalk. Ned crossed his arms across his chest.
"Will our responses affect the outcome of this trip at all?" Sinead considered.
"Then don't ask us," Ted muttered, annoyed. Sinead let out an annoyed sigh.
"Look, whatever you guys say, I'm going to NYU with you guys. It's close to the hospitals, and it's- it's a good school." She couldn't keep her voice from faltering. Although she had her mind made up, she still could hardly believe that she was throwing away dreams of Harvard, Princeton... she sighed. But, for her brothers, it was worth it. She'd do anything for them. She opened her car door then went around to open Ned's door. Ned remained seated.
"Sinead, c'mon. We'll be fine-"
"No. I'm going to NYU. Give up." Knowing how stubborn his sister was, he relented.
"Fine, but I'm hoping you'll reconsider-"
"Well you're doing so in vain," Sinead said, cutting him off abruptly and bitterly. Ned stood up and slammed his door shut. Ted rolled the windows down.
"Will you guys be back quick?"
"Yes," Sinead reassured him. "We'll go check this place out, then we'll go to the NYVCU."
"NYVCU?" Ted demanded incrediously. "New York Visually Challenged University? God Sinead, give it a rest," he spat, a lone tear of frustration crawling down his cheek. "It's a blind school." Sinead's stomach crawled- she hated to think of her brother as blind although she knew he was... blind was such a permanent word, meaning... well, her brother was anything but that.
"We'll be back," Sinead repeated with a sigh, making a point of stomping loudly so her brother would be aware they were leaving. After a moment's hesitation, Ned followed his sister. They went inside of the building where Sinead and Ned spoke to the receptionist.
"Um, hello, we're the Starlings? We have an appointment with Dr. Palinski...?" The receptionist typed some information into her computer.
"Yes... Dr. Palinski will be with you in a moment. Her office is right down the hall. Sorry, normally I'd have one of our volunteers show you around, but our regular this week is elsewhere-"
"That's fine," Sinead said, cutting her off abruptly. "We'll find our own way." She walked down the hallway, eventually opening the door that read "Dr. Palinski'. She saw the Doctor already there.
"Oh, hi, we're the Starlings-"
"Yes," Dr. Palinski said, "Come in, sit down." Sinead nodded and sat down beside her brother. Dr. Palinski took some papers, reading over them briefly before adressing them. "Alright... so I hear you want to go in our trial drug program?" Ned nodded timidly.
"Yes," he stated simply.
"But you still want to incorporate schooling at NYU and you also want to..." she trailed off, confused. "...You want to be able to stay here when necessary..." Ned released a deep sigh.
"Yes." Not many people knew of his condition, the countless doctors he went too always were shocked when they first heard of his symptons. Dr. Palinski bit her lip and nodded.
"...Alright. Ned, we need to just run a couple tests of tests on you. Would your sister care to stay?" Sinead regarded her watch.
"Sorry, I really have to get going. Is it alright if I come back in an hour?" Dr. Palinski nodded.
"That should be about right," she decided. The two women both stood and shook eachother's hands, Sinead's long sleves that she now always wore sliding back slightly. Dr. Palinski noticed.
"You know," she said, guesturing to the countless scars on her arm, "we probably have something to fix that-"
"-No," Sinead snarled, cutting her off coldly. "Trust me, you don't have anything. I-I've tried it all." She looked to the Doctor whose gaze was now fixed on her concealed arms. Sinead rolled her eyes.
"See you in an hour," she said, walking away. She got back into the car where Ted sat, waiting impatiently. She opened her door and started the car.
"Okay, you got your portfolio? I know you've already gotten accepted, but just in case-"
"Sinead," said her brother in a soothing manor, trying to calm her down. "Chill. It's no big deal, I'll be fine. I still don't think you should go to NYU though-"
"Shut up," Sinead snapped. She didn't want to go NYU but she would go for her brothers whether they liked it or not. Still, she said bitterly to herself, none of this would have happened if not for the Holts... She shook her head to dislodge any potential tears. How had she ever liked Hamilton? I mean, sure, he was kinda cute and he had that... that dorky smile... but no. Deep down, he was a stupid Holt, obsessed with himself, conceited, and... and he had hurt her brothers. She could never forgive that, that she knew for sure, despite all the other questions she may or may not have had. She repositioned her hands on the steering wheel in a desperate attempt to make her mind think of anything else, of which she was unsuccessful. Eventually they arrived at the university, where they got out of the car and into the building. They were immediately greeted by a bubbly secretary.
"Oh hi, you must be the Starlings!" she gushed. She stood up and spoke both of their hands. She spoke extra slowly when she shook Ted's hand, as if doing so would allow him to see.
"Hiiii, I'm Taaam-myyyy." Ted rolled his obselete eyes. Sinead scrunched her fists into a tight ball, obviously annoyed.
"Are you new here Taaammy?" Tammy blinked.
"Yeah... how'd you know?" Sinead resisted the temptation to say something snarky.
"No reason," she managed, biting her tongue. Tammy smiled.
"Alright, well, I'll go get a volunteer to help ya' get along-" Sinead grabbed her brother's hand.
"No, we're fine-"
"-No, it's fine, the volunteer's already coming." Sinead sighed and dropped her brother's hand, rolling her eyes in annoyance and crossing her arms across her chest. Then a volunteer came around the corner to take them to the office. Sinead put her hand on Ted's shoulder leading him dumbly as he felt around with his cane- it was just faster that way. Eventually, the volunteer stopped, and opened the door.
"Just Ted," the voice grumbled. Ted stepped in and Sinead looked up suddenly in alarm- she recognized that voice.
"Hamilton!" she breathed. Hamilton met Sinead's gaze, blushing sheepishly.
"You... why are you here?" Hamilton couldn't make eye contact.
"I... It's kinda my way to... give back, for... your brothers. Since I got a football scholarship at NYU, I volunteer here and, uh, at the hospital..." Hamilton's cheeks burned, guilt overwhelming him. The same guilt he felt when he looked in the mirror, the same guilt that overwhelmed him everyday, the same guilt that kept him from sleeping everynight... He finally looked up, expecting to see the disapproval that he knew he deserved. Much to his surprise, she was crying.
"You...You... You're crying!" he said incrediously. Sinead managed a dry laugh.
"Of course I am, stupid... I... I didn't know you actually... care? You care about what happened to Ned and Ted?" Hamilton was shocked.
"Of course!" A moment's silence hung in the air. Hamilton placed a hand on Sinead's scarred arm. "You too," he muttered under his breath. Sinead met Hamilton's sheepish gaze, and for the first time she saw the geunine sympathy, compassion and grief in his expression. Surprise overwhelmed her; she leaned in to kiss him. Hamilton withdrew, shocked.
"Sinead... you kissed me!" Sinead laughed, her tear-stained cheeks flushing pink.
"Yes," she mumbled under her breath, embarrased. Hamilton's eyes widened in shock.
"You... you don't hate me?" Sinead laughed.
"Didn't you just say you felt bad?"
"Of course," he muttered, stunned. Sinead smiled a sad but hopeful smile.
"Then how could I hate you?" A smile that mirrorred Sinead's grew on Hamilton's face. Maybe there was hope. And not just for redemption.
Hope you enjoyed- please review!