A/N: This has taken me forever to get done and I apologize deeply to TheXGrayXLady, who has been ridiculously patient with me. Thanks ya, Gray! :D Also, you can tell that I had too much fun with it but WHO CARES? It be Chuya! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go to sleep because tomorrow I'm gonna go see The Hunger Games (W00T) ergo the end of this chapter. Enjoy!
They weren't even sure how he'd done it. First of all, he had been successfully running a Ponzi scheme in his school's cafeteria for three weeks straight without getting caught. Which, really, spoke volumes about the school's attention to student activity. Second of all, he had managed to keep the whole thing not only from every staff member in the school, (although supposedly a few of the janitors were in on it,) he had kept it from his parents. Which was where they came in.
"Suits are by far the most idiotic things humans have invented. Ever." Chase and Wuya walked into Jack's high school, matching expressions of annoyance and discomfort on their faces. A few other couples milled about, waiting for directions or just looking around. The two Heylin, however, walked swiftly and with purpose, to get the entire ordeal over with as soon as possible.
"Try walking around in these things," Wuya hissed, motioning to the high heels she wore. "Why can't everyone just go around barefoot?"
Chase suppressed a grin at the thought of humans walking around their lovely, industrial little world with no shoes. "They can't float. Their feet need protection, unlike yours." Wuya scoffed and continued on, wobbling only slightly. "Well, they're still ridiculous." They reached the principal's office, down at the end of the hallway. Jack explained that most schools were built like that so you would get more and more anxious as you walked longer. Then, by the time you reached the office, you were more than ready to confess to whatever it was they had called you up for, even if you hadn't done it in the first place.
They had arrived exactly on time, but paused outside the door. From what they could hear, the couple inside was having a grand old time talking to the principal. Wuya groaned and Chase rolled his eyes, and they sat on a bench outside the office. A minute or so later, they were joined by a young couple who actually seemed to be looking forward to the meeting.
"Hi!" It took the Heylin a moment to realize that they were being addressed. They glanced over at the blonde woman who had spoken, next to her equally blonde husband. "I'm Kathy, and this is my husband, Dave."
"Chase and Wuya Spicer," Chase monotoned, his tone indistinguishable from concrete. The young couple were undeterred, however, and continued.
"Dave and I are just so excited to be here. It's our first conference, you know, since we moved here with our daughter. We're Becky Davidson's parents, by the way. You might have seen Becky at the basketball games; she's on top of the pyramid our cheerleaders do."
"We don't attend many sporting events," Wuya said, smiling darkly.
"Oh, that's too bad, they're just such fun! So which one's yours?" Kathy asked.
"Jack Spicer," Chase muttered, leaning over to check Wuya's watch. He himself had never seen much need for one, but then again, he had never owned a suit until yesterday.
"What a darling name!" Kathy gushed. "Is he involved in any of our sports teams?" Dave asked, smiling like a guy in a Crest commercial.
"No," Chase replied curtly. Wuya suddenly had an idea, and nudged Chase. "But he is in a club, isn't he, dear?" Chase raised an eyebrow, but nodded.
"Yeah, he's in a club." Then he whispered so low only another sorcerer could hear, he asked, "What are you doing?"
"Watch," Wuya replied in a tone equally quiet. She turned back to the Davidsons and gave them an alligator grin. "As a matter of fact, Jack is actually the president of the club he's in."
"Is that so? Which club? The chess team? The French club?" he asked, creepy smile matching Kathy's.
"Oh, no. Jack is president of the Future Taxidermists of America. The branch here is so small they elected him president immediately once they saw what he had done with Mittens."
"Oh!" The Crest smiles melted off Kathy and Dave's faces, though they tried to remain cheerful. Their terror was obvious, though. "A-and Mittens is- was- your… cat?"
Wuya gave a laugh that was more like a cackle. "Of course not! Mittens was our neighbor's German Shepherd. " The looks of horror escalated, and Chase was now trying very hard to maintain his composure. "You know how dogs are, always running around and leaving their little presents everywhere. Well, Jackie took care of that problem for us! I told you giving him that rifle for Christmas was a good idea, dear," she added, turning to Chase. "I know that you said a chainsaw would work just as fine, but really, it would have mangled the body."
Chase nodded, somehow managing to keep a straight face. "Yes, dear, you were completely right. I'm just glad we invested in that plus-size freezer. I don't see how else he could have kept the body long enough to finish it."
Wuya nodded. "Yes, that was definitely one of our better ideas." She turned back to the Davidsons and gave them a poisonous smile. "I don't suppose Becky has ever showed any interest in taxidermy, has she? Jack has attended several seminars that he just loved, and I'm sure she would love to join him for the next one!"
Kathy and Dave traded a glance. "Um, you know, we just remembered, we need to go… check on our car! Did you remember to lock it?" Kathy asked, turning to Dave. "You know, I don't think I did," he said, standing and taking Kathy by the hand. "We'll have to skedaddle, but it was, uh, really great meeting you two!" And with that, they ran off. Wuya and Chase waited until they had gotten out of hearing range before bursting into laughter.
"That was genius," Chase said after he had managed to stop laughing. "Future taxidermists of America?"
"And we're not even in America!" That both sent them into another fit of laughter, before they finally calmed down. Wuya sighed and checked her watch. "That was fun, but we've already wasted almost twenty minutes here. When do you think they'll finish up?"
"Now." The door to the principal's office opened and the couple that had been in there previously walked out, chatting between themselves and not noticing Chase and Wuya. The Heylin stood and, after making sure that they were presentable, walked in. The room was small, with a window opposite the door and a bookshelf flanking either side of the desk. The bookshelves had few books, and were mostly occupied by awards given to various programs the school had. There were two chairs in front of the principal's desk, which Chase and Wuya used. The principal himself was a short man, a bit on the chubby side, and balding, with round glasses and a gray suit. He adjusted his glasses in an obvious attempt to seem scholarly and shuffled some papers on his desk before looking up at Chase and Wuya.
"Ah, hello. You are Mr. and Mrs. Spicer?" he asked. Chase and Wuya exchanged a glance before Chase replied.
"Yes. We were told our… son… had violated one of the school rules involving the transition of money on campus," Chase replied, cutting right to the point. The principal looked slightly taken aback at the Heylin man's directness, and at the icy tone he used. "We will see to it that he's punished and doesn't do it again."
"Oh, um, yes. Well, that's excellent, but I'd like to discuss Jack's behavior with you," the principal said. Wuya huffed and glanced at her watch, frowning. The principal tried to ignore it and keep going. "Jack is obviously a very bright young man… as I'm sure you know, he's in the top of his class in math and science, and he's in the honors program as well."
Chase raised an eyebrow. "… Yes, of course. So why is this a problem?"
"Ah, well, Jack's grades are not the problem. It's simply that, while most of our high achievement students can also be noted for their good behavior, Jack is the exception to the rule. This isn't the first time he's gone against our rules, though it was really the last straw. That is, of course, why we had you come in." He pulled out a sheet of paper from a folder labeled Spicer, Jack. "Let's see here… he has gotten multiple detentions for speaking out of turn in class, deliberately disobeying his teachers, destroying school property with his 'inventions', being rude to the staff, and once he was caught attempting to hack the school mainframe."
"Can you prove that he was trying to hack it?" Wuya asked, raising an eyebrow. The principal seemed surprised that she wasn't in a rage about her "son's" bad behavior.
"Well, no, not technically. He claimed that he was simply trying to retrieve an assignment he had deleted by accident, but he was in a restricted section of our database."
"So you can't actually say that he was hacking the computers," Chase said, crossing his arms.
"Mr.…" Wuya glanced at the nameplate on the front of the principal's desk. It read Principal Smith, with a little smiley face at either end. "Mr. Smith, from what I've seen, Jack is simply a bright young mind with an independent streak."
"It's important to foster that independence in a young man, otherwise he might become too reclusive and develop any number of psychoses due to being restricted from his full potential," Chase added, surprising both Wuya and the principal. "It's obvious to both W- my wife and I that Jack has done nothing of note other than show a keen mind for business and a competitive spirit that will help him get ahead. It's also obvious that he gets those traits from us, so if you say there's anything wrong with that, it's only natural that we would take offense." Wuya stood, followed by Chase, and nodded at the principal. "Goodbye, Mr. Smith."
"Uh, yes, right then." They left a flustered and thoroughly confused Principal Smith as they left. When they got to the parking lot, a simple teleportation spell got them back to Chase's lair. Wuya sighed in relief and yanked off her high heels as Chase loosened his tie. "That was something I would not like to experience ever again," the witch sighed, wiggling her toes. "I suddenly remember why I liked it better 1000 years ago."
"The only real improvement was the indoor plumbing," Chase agreed. "By the way, nice job shutting up those two mortals."
"Yes, it was kinda fun, wasn't it?" Wuya asked, allowing a small smile onto her face. "Nice job to you for shutting up the principal."
"Thanks. I was making most of it up," he added, shrugging. "Spicer had better be grateful, though. I'm never doing that for him, or anyone, ever again."
One week later…
"Hey, guys, thanks again for doing the conference for me," Jack said, walking into Chase's lair.
"It was only for the Monkey Staff," Chase said quickly. "It's not like we like you or anything."
"Yeah, I know. But I do have a question about it." Chase raised an eyebrow and pulled his attention away from The Hunger Games long enough to listen. "Do you know anything about the Future Taxidermists of America? There's some rumor going around that I'm part of it." Chase blinked, and was at a loss until Wuya walked in on her way to the kitchen.
"Wuya, your son wants to know about the Future Taxidermists of America," Chase said, completely straight-faced. Wuya just kept walking.
"My son? Before noon he's your son," she said, disappearing into the kitchen. Chase glanced down at his newly-purchased watch and cursed. He looked back up at Jack, who was staring at him in confusion.
"Nope, I don't know anything," he replied, returning his attention to the book.
A/N: REVIEW! Thanks. :3