The Finder's Apprentice
Hello everyone! It's been awhile since I uploaded anything on fanfiction but seeing as my internship requires that I be in front of a computer for a ridiculous amount of time doing absolutely nothing, I thought I might as well take advantage of the situation by starting some new work!
I'm a huge fan of "The Finder" and Timo and Willa so they will be the main focus of this story. That said, I haven't exactly planned out how it will go so we'll see what happens.
Reviews are always appreciated! And if I owned "The Finder," I would have paid for a network to put up more seasons AND gotten Timo to ditch Magdalena and love Willa. I do own the unfamiliar characters though.
Chapter 1: On the Road
(continuing off of the last scene with Willa on the last episode)
Willa let out a snarl of annoyance as yet another truck passed by and ignored her plea for a ride. She had taken a bus from Looking Glass Key and instead of going to Miami or any of her other usual haunts, she bought a ticket to the stop with the most random name with the money she'd earned at The Ends of the Earth and hadn't given to Timo to try and help him buy the right to marry the girl he loved, Magdalena.
Timo. Willa's heart pricked with a feeling she had never felt before—it felt like something inside her thought that her heart was made of taffy and was trying to pull it in the opposite direction, straighten it out. But she knew that her heart was bent from her years with her mother, with the family. She hoped Uncle Shad hadn't been too mad once whoever it was called to tell him that she was gone and that the fairytale wedding he'd planned for her was not happening. She realized that for the first time, after all of those years of stealing and whatnot, she was feeling guilty. She remembered the words of her probation officer, Mrs. Farrell had told her before she'd left.
"I can't help you Willa. You have to decide what you're gonna do."
Well, she had made her choice—screw the family. She wasn't going to marry someone who wasn't in love with her. She wasn't going to ruin Timo's life, as well as her own, just so Uncle Shad could be happy. She would start her own life somewhere else, somewhere far away from Uncle Shad's creepy business associates, away from Timo.
Already though, she was beginning to see some problems in her plan; she had very little money left and no means of earning more. She was also in some godforsaken area of Florida she didn't know that seemed too far away from civilization. She was disheartened but she knew she had risked too much to leave everyone she loved and the promise of somewhere to stay to stop now and try and run back to Shad and Timo.
"Alright Willa," she muttered to herself. "Let's take everything slowly and start off with what a list of what you need."
In her backpack, she had her Macbook, her phone, the meager remains of her money, and a little food and water left from the goods she'd sniped from The Ends of the Earth before she had left. She could try to get some cab number or find the nearest signs of civilization with her Macbook and phone but she had her suspicions that Leo or Shad might be trying to track her with them and no way in hell was she going to let that happen. 'As soon as I get to the nearest city, I'll trade them in or pawn them for another laptop and cell and get the hell out of that city,' she thought.
Her provisions were enough to last her a day maybe. Two if she were willing to cut down on her consumption. 'I need to get out of here and get more food fast.'
Suddenly, she heard the rumble of a motor coming from the distance. She pinched herself to make sure that she wasn't suffering from delirium. There, off in the distance, was a black Ford pick up headed her way. She raised her fist, with her thumb sticking out, hoping to God that this person would take pity on her and at least get her to the nearest bus stop so she could buy a ticket to somewhere out of state.
To her relief, the picked up stopped in front of her and the window rolled down. A guy who looked roughly around Timo's age wearing a black v-neck and what appeared to be jeans leaned from the driver's seat. He seemed rather tall and muscular and had slightly tanned skin and curled black hair. His dark brown eyes stared into her blue eyes.
"Where you headed?" he asked her.
"Wherever you are," she replied. "But it would be great if you could get me anywhere with a bus stop."
"Sure" he said. "Hop in." She climbed on and plopped herself onto the black leather interior, inhaling that smell and absorbing the sweet feeling of air conditioner.
"The name's Konstantine, Konstantine Papadakis. But everyone just calls me Stan," he told her. "I'm a law student in Mississippi.'
"Why are you here then?" she asked. "From what I remember, Florida and Mississippi aren't too close."
He laughed. "Don't I know it. I had to come down to help my friend get settled at the University of Miami because he was too lazy to pay for a moving van. I'm just driving up and decided to take the scenic route because I wanted some peace and quiet. Anyway, enough about me. Tell me about yourself."
She paused for a moment—could she trust him? Even though she hated to admit it, she'd learned a lot from the family business and one of the first things she remembered learning was to be careful with who she trusted. That was why the only person she'd ever really connected with was Timo. 'But Timo's not here now' her mind reminded her.
"My name is Cassandra," she told him. "Cassandra Proud."
It had been a split second decision to not tell him her real name. After all, Willa Monday would probably be looked for all over because she had left before her probation was over. She had always liked the name Cassandra and for some reason she didn't quite understand, she took Timo's last name.
"Well Cassandra," Stan said, "I'm headed to Tallahassee to get a bite to eat and then I'm driving to Mississippi. What would you like to do?"
She thought about it. It would be best for her to leave the state but she wanted to make sure she could exchange her phone and laptop before she did. That way, it would be hard to chase her. She also needed more cash.
"Could you take me to an electronics store in Tallahassee and then take me with you to Mississippi?" she asked him. "I'm sorry to be such a burden but—"
"No not at all," he told her with a smile. "Frankly, I should be thanking you because who knows what I would have done if I'd had to see more grass and trees and dirt all by myself."
She smiled and then they chatted a little about this and that. She found out that he was in his junior year at the University of Mississippi, and that he rented out a flat with his friends a little off campus. That he and his family had moved from New Jersey a little after he had finished 5th grade and so they didn't have southern accents. That he had a younger brother named Alexander who was maybe a couple of years younger than her and an older sister named Isadora who was married but still helped out with the family bakery. He wasn't too involved with the bakery because of his studies but he helped out where he could, mostly with deliveries during school breaks.
She took bits and pieces of her life and spun them to make the story of Cassandra Proud. She said she had never known her father and that her mother had been too busy to be a huge part of her life so an uncle and a brother figure had taken over the role of "immediate family" and helped her but now, the uncle and brother were dead and she couldn't stay in Florida, a place that reminded her too much of the two, and she had very little money left from helping them out so she was hitchhiking and hoping to leave to start somewhere new.
"Must have been tough," he remarked. "To have to deal with that."
She thought about the times she had spent talking with Timo, the quirky and funny comments Walter made, the way Leo had tried to love her like he would his own daughter and then she thought of Shad and his creepy, greedy plots for money.
"It was. But I had no other choice."
He nodded and pointed ahead on the road. "We're in Tallahassee now."
She had noticed that more and more houses and roads and signs of life had been appearing as they were talking but she hadn't thought they were so close. She hoped to God that Leo and Mrs. Farrell hadn't gone crazy and somehow managed to track her here, and that Uncle Shad didn't have any business dealings in this part of the state.
Stan took a couple of turns and looked around and then found a neon light sign that said "Florida Electronics." He somehow managed to find an open space and parked. The he killed the ignition and he and Willa got out of the truck.
They entered the store and the sound of chimes echoed. It reminded Willa of the wind chimes Leo had gotten her when she first started her probation at The Ends of the Earth, to help decorate her trailer.
"Can I help you?" a man who looked roughly in his 60s asked Stan from behind the counter.
Stan looked at her. "I was wondering if I could exchange some products for other ones," Willa answered.
"Let's see what you got," he said. "My name's Jack, by the way."
"Thanks Jack," Willa said and took out her phone and Macbook. "I was wondering if I could get other products?"
While Jack took a look to make sure everything was in good condition and he wasn't being scammed or whatnot, Willa looked around the store and noted the things she needed to do.
'I need to get a prepaid phone so that they can't track me through my phone. I don't need a fancy computer and I don't need any of the data files so that shouldn't be costly. I do need access to Internet though so I should get a modem, preferably USB so I can carry it around with me easily.'
"Everything looks good miss. Let me show you what is available for exchange."
Jack led her to a shelf and pointed out a variety of phones. "I'd like it to be a prepaid phone, please." Willa told him.
He nodded and indicated four phones towards the left. "Here are our prepaid phones that you can exchange your previous one for."
She chose the cheapest one, an LG enV VX9900.
"Alright now, on to the laptops," he said.
'Could I possibly get something from Apple?" she asked him.
He nodded and took her over to the Apple products display. She decided she liked the MacbookPro and he took it over to the counter.
"Anything else you need?" he asked.
"Do you have any USB modems?"
"Sure, let me get you one," he said and grabbed one. "Alright let's see, your total is $50 less than what you started out with. Should I put it on the phone?"
"That'd be great," Willa responded.
"Do you want to move any files or whatnot before I erase all of the information for the next owner?"
Willa didn't think there was much to save. A couple of pictures of some shoes and stuff she dreamt of owning were on the computer and she rarely texted anyone besides Timo. Just as she was about to say it was fine she stopped. "Wait, do you have a piece of paper I can have and a pen I can borrow?"
Jack brought her a legal pad and pen and she tore off a sheet so no one could shade over the pad later and find out what she had written. She went into her Contacts and scrolled down to "Leo" and wrote his number. Then she went down further to "Timo." She handed back the pen and folded the paper and shoved it in her backpack pocket. 'Just in case,' she thought to herself.
"Well then, here's your receipt and have a good day!" said Jack.
Willa nodded to Stan, who had quietly observed the transactions from a seat in the shop and the two set out back to the pick up.
"What are you planning to do in Mississippi?" he asked after they had chatted for awhile about the exchanges and Stan's school.
"I don't know I guess. Try and find work?" she answered.
"Do you even have a place to stay?"
Silence was her only answer.
"If you want, you can stay with me and my friends."
Willa looked up at him with one eyebrow arched.
He sighed. "I'm sorry Cassandra. It's just that I had a sister who, at your age, died of an accident a couple of years ago. And…well, when I saw you, I just, I couldn't bring myself to leave you there. I know I would never want my sister to be left like that, and with no one to turn to."
Willa considered the offer for a while. 'He could rape you, or worse. Kill you,' her mind reminded her.
'If he wanted to, he would've done it a while ago. Why go through the trouble of taking me to an electronics store and waiting for me? Besides, what do I have to offer? And what do I have to lose?' she thought.
'He might just enjoy the thrill of killing, or be super desperate for sex or something.'
'He doesn't look like it.'
'Uncle Shad didn't look harmful when we met him. And God knows how many people have died because of him!'
'I'm going to go with him."
"What are your friends like?" Willa asked him.
His shoulders relaxed. Willa hadn't noticed but he had been tense over the thought of her not coming. "They're pretty cool. I've known them since, well, forever. Their girlfriends live with us, if you were looking for some female company. My girlfriend's parents don't like the thought of her sharing a room with me so I live by myself. You could take the guestroom. None of the girls really use it," he told her. "But we do have rules about PDA and stuff like that.'
"And rent?" she asked.
"Geez Cassie don't start talking about stuff like that," Stan said as he laughed. We split the rent and it's pretty cheap. Looking at your possessions, I'm gonna guess that you don't have that much stuff or money so you can live with us as long as you need to, for free. I think the other guys are gonna think of you as a little sister so they'd probably refuse rent but if you really want to pay us back, you could maybe cook for us once in a while or clean."
"Cool," she replied as she nodded. She'd done that stuff at The Ends of the Earth, no big. She stared out of the window. They had long passed the "Welcome to Mississippi" sign and now they were arriving at some dirt roads with lots of trees on either side and houses occasionally peeking out from the overgrowth of trees.
He smiled at her. "And here we are!"
AN: And here we are! As I said before, I don't own "The Finder." As of now, the only things I own are the characters of Jack and Stan! I just randomly chose names. I don't know that much about the South, Florida, and technology but I tried my best. The University of Mississippi is real but I don't know if they have off campus housing and seeing as I'm in Korea, there is no Hulu so I can't verify that what Mrs. Farrell said is verbatim but that's what I remember her basically saying. Anyways, please leave me reviews!