Saturday morning found the extended Trager family sitting around the breakfast table. The big pile of golden pancakes was rapidly disappearing.
Nicole sopped up syrup with the last of her pancake. "Our Saturday pancakes are so much better with you making them," she said to Jessi.
"You used to say that my pancakes had character," Stephen objected, jokingly.
"I was protecting your male ego," Nicole said. "Hers are perfect, and you like them too."
"I do," Stephen said. "You really can't compete with Jessi when she's making pancakes."
Even in the pleasant Saturday talk around the breakfast table there were reminders of the accusations that Nate had made at the Rack. Stephen didn't really feel bad about Jessi making great pancakes, we all liked them. But Nate had felt my ability to surpass him unfairly deprived him of the prize he had sought. Everyone had urged me to use my abilities to the utmost. Brian Taylor had been training Jessi to be as powerful as she could be. How could we balance the importance of using our abilities with the impact they would have on other people's efforts?
"There's just a couple more weeks until school starts up again," Nicole said. "This will be Lori's senior year. And Kyle's and Jessi's as well," she shook her head with a smile, "although it's getting harder to think of you two as high school kids, especially after this summer."
Lori said, "I don't know why you guys want to go to high school for another year. I'm sure you could arrange to skip your senior year, Mark went to college at fifteen."
Kyle smiled in response, "It's not really the school lessons we need, it's being with people and learning how to interact with them that's our biggest challenge at the moment. I realized that when I said I didn't want the personal tutor that Nicole had arranged."
"But it does seem like you're wasting your time in high school classes," Nicole frowned. "At UDub you'd still be interacting with people and the classes would be more challenging, you could learn things."
"Not really, Nicole," Stephen said, "Last year they dropped by my top computer class and were able to break through the best security my students were able to devise. The only one who gave Kyle any challenge was Jessi, who got in, and blocked his access. They don't really need the formal classes at college either. They really are on their own."
"We need to live in the world as normally as possible," Kyle said, "That's what I told Latnok and that's what I believe. That means interacting with normal high school kids as well."
"I'm just worried about wasting your time," Nicole said. "Grace has made me aware of how valuable it is."
"It's the most important thing for us to do now," Kyle assured her.
"What do you think, Jessi?" Nicole asked.
"I have a hard time talking to people," Jessi said. "Kyle is right. It's something I have to learn. I always seem to say or do the wrong thing."
"While Super boy and Super girl discuss how important it is to spend time with us mortals, some of us are going to be struggling to pass our courses," Josh observed.
"I'll help, if you want," Jessi said.
"Oh no, not that again," Josh protested. "My arms were sore for days after your last tutoring session."
"You did well on your test," Jessi pointed out.
"I guess I did," Josh admitted. "OK, if I get in trouble I may take you up on that."