"Mistress Min, time to wake and ready yourself for school."
I rolled over to see Jeeves smiling at me with a tray of coffee and croissants, both still steaming.
"I'm afraid I'm sick; you'd better call in for me."
He set the tray down and felt my head with the back of his hand, in a time honored tradition. I really shouldn't have built that sensor in there...
"Mistress Min, other than a slight blood pressure differential, you are within tolerances. I refuse to call the school for you. Please get ready for school."
"Traitor." I dubbed him as he left, no doubt to ready breakfast for everyone else. I fired up my laptop while chewing, checking the latest news.
Sigh. I really did not want to do this.
"Min? Better get ready."
"Don't suppose I can convince you that I'm sick mom?"
"Not a chance, I already spoke to Jeeves. It won't be as bad as you think honey, I promise."
"sigh. Alright, this is me getting ready. How's the weather look?"
"You might need a jacket, but it's sunny out. you should be fine with just a tee shirt later if you want."
"I do want; plain clothes are the order of the day.' I grabbed some, suiting action to my words. 'Seen what Jeeves did to my old clothes yet? You should look in my closet; it's positively shocking."
"Well since you invited me, I might. Got to admit he cooks a mean breakfast though."
"Alright well jeans and tee it is then. I'll be right down."
I beat Ian to the door barely, and gave him the finger as I closed and locked it. He seemed a bit surprised, but let it pass. After a quick shower to wake up (relatively, this stupid hair was longer than ever, and this body seemed to be getting more sensitive each day.) I dressed and made my way downstairs for more coffee. Jeeves was waiting, brush in hand next to my usual spot, a steaming cup of bliss waiting for me.
Next to the steaming cup of bliss, which I took and sipped, were papers. The school identity of one Minerva Campbell, age 14, to be exact.
"You don't mind dropping those off do you? I need to do some errands today."
"No problem, I've got it."
I checked my clock inset on the microwave. It showed that the time was nigh, and the sword of Damocles was set to drop. Jeeves finished making breakfast for everyone else just before Ian appeared, looking far too chipper for a morning.
"Good morning loving family! what's up?"
"You are Ian, please have some sympathy for those of us that aren't yet."
"But you're upright and everything sis."
"It's a foul and odious lie."
"Whatever. Thanks Jeeves, looks great." Chewing loudly on a croissant he sat down, looking over at the stack of papers.
"You're going to be bored out of your skull sis."
"Oh, like I'm not bored to death in school already? You're talking to the person that championed the 'sleeping hall' idea."
"Never you mind, you'll see."
I dragged my feet some more, glancing between my apparently unconcerned parents until Jeeves snapped me out of it.
"It is time to leave mistress Min. If you wait any longer, you might not arrive on time."
I got up to leave; Jeeves already had my book bag, but did not hand it over. I arched my eyebrow at him.
"I shall of course accompany you to make sure you come to no harm."
I looked to my parents. Neither had looked up from their morning reading.
"Whatever, let's go then."
I led the way out into the sunshine, which contrasted the bitter chill nicely. In two steps I had turned around, only to find Jeeves handing me my lab coat, which I would have sworn hadn't been in his hands before. Shrugging, I put it on. Jeeves cleared his throat as I turned around. I looked back to see my glasses in his outstretched hand. After a short non verbal battle of wills, I took those as well, and put them on.
Ricky was waiting for me at the usual corner, ball in hands and looking kind of lost.
"You OK? You seem a bit out of it."
"Yeah I'm fine, you're just a bit late is all."
"Blame this joker,' I pointed at Jeeves. 'I do." Yes I knew that wasn't fair, but Jeeves took it in silence, as expected.
"Heh, what did he do, forget the coffee?"
"Something like that. Oh, before I forget, here."
I handed over the CD I'd had Jeeves make during the night.
"What's this?" He took it, admiring the cover art that Jeeves had made for it.
"That is Avenged Sevenfold, as requested. Things got a bit hectic around the old homestead, but I did not forget."
"Awesome, thanks man, I really appreciate it."
We walked along in a somewhat awkward but somewhat comfortable silence, interspersed with the staccato drumming of ball to pavement. I stopped as the school came into view, not realizing it till I felt Jeeves's gentle hands clasp my shoulders, starting me moving again. His breath tickled my ear.
"There is nothing to fear, mistress Min. I will not let them hurt you."
I steeled myself and walked up, following Ricky and maybe hiding behind him a little. I noticed I wasn't really late, the first bell was still maybe 5 minutes off, but everyone already seemed to be here. No parking spaces in the small lot, and what looked to be every kid in town just casually hanging out at the front door. I set myself and walked past the whispering crowd. I could pick out a few snippets, but nothing concrete or damning:
"Can you believe it? Shes..."
"Is she really Myrc?"
"What the...no way!"
Head held high, I ignored everyone till I reached the door proper, there the principal himself, Mr Macenroe was waiting.
"Good morning Minerva, how are you today?"
"I've been better Mr McEnroe, and yourself? What brings you to the front door to mingle with the hoi piloi?"
"Well I'm afraid it's about Jeeves. Since he isn't related to you, and not a listed guardian, we can't let him in...he will have to leave school grounds."
I took in his apologetic face, trying to keep my heart from jumping out of my mouth and running off back down the street.
"It is alright mistress Min, The day is pleasant, I will wait outside. Excuse me Mr McEnroe is it not? Those rules do not apply to catered or delivered meals do they?"
"No Jeeves they do not, we typically have some meal deliveries from some people who don't like our cafeteria, and some students leave to get take out as well."
"Then I will see you at lunch mistress Min."
He took my hand and kissed it farewell, whispering; "If you need me, simply call...I will be near." And he walked off, amid more whispers.
"Alright, Mr McEnroe, could you please take these? they are headed to you anyway."
I handed him the paperwork from my coat, and grabbed the book bag Jeeves was forced to leave.
"Sure, I'll see they get filed. Welcome back Minerva."
I waved at him as I walked past, not really trusting myself to speak. I had really hoped Jeeves could have simply stood in back, watching me, ready to bust me out of this madhouse at a word. Sigh. Oh well, first class of the day. I saw at our customary table a kite that looked suspiciously like something I'd made sitting on it, with a large A stuck to it with tape. When had I...?
"Hey. You got us an A after all, I didn't think that helicopter kite would fly at all." Ricky stated walking in.
"I honestly don't remember making it, or giving it to you...but I must have."
"Yeah you were still pretty out of it. But it worked like a charm, the slightest breeze started the rotors, which made it all but fly."
"I don't doubt it at all, it's all proven technology."
I stared at the stylized sharks maw fondly. The paper rotor blades were in the teeth. The rest of the class filed in as I set it aside. their own faces mainly filled with varying degrees of dismay as they took in their own project grades. I looked away before I could reasonably be considered to have made eye contact with anyone.
"good morning class, as you can see your final grades for last week's lab are completed; I was pleasantly surprised by many of you. Ah, miss Campbell, welcome back. I was most pleased with your project. The straws for inner struts were inspired."
"thank you sir, pleased to be back."
Hey a little white lie never hurt anyone, right?
"Alright class, settle down. To begin the week, we will now look at fish. Guess you all know what that means for lab on Wednesday, right? To start, anyone know what adaptations make fish at home underwater?"
...and cue boring lecture. Rather than deal with that I decided to just read my textbook; after all it couldn't be more boring than Mr Welsh, right? Right? And somehow it wasn't. I admit I got lost in a world of fish adaptations for a time...and I suspect Mr welsh saw what I was doing and just let me read. The real mystery was Ricky, who was quiet the entire hour. I'd look up to see him looking everywhere but at me.
The bell rang and I sighed, knowing I had so much more of this torture to go. I packed up to go and waited for everyone else to leave, only then moving myself. No sooner Had I taken a step outside then I was aware of the entire physics class loitering just outside, and a few more besides. Of course my math class was all the way at the other end of the hall.
In short, crap was about to hit the fan earlier than I had hoped but about when I expected, and I was screwed. Not letting the stomach butterflies pop out my mouth and ruin their rather obvious surprise, I strode towards my second class, also ignoring the assorted stampeding of the entire school behind me.
"OK, if you're going to be jerks about this, you should at least try to be a little more subtle...this is down right unprofessional." I said loudly without turning around.
"I see you finally went for it, eh Myrc?"
At least my accuser was who I thought it'd be. Good old Gordan, you can always depend on him. I turned around, and at least one of those with him was a mild surprise. I expected Bernard of the mutant hate train fame, but I didn't expect Pam on the other side of Gordon.
"You finally go for the whole gay cross dressing thing, right fag?"
He couldn't. He couldn't possibly be this stupid.
"I look like a cross dresser? You!" I pointed to someone I vaguely knew.
"Harry, do I look like I'm cross dressing to you?"
Gordon slammed me into the lockers to my left painfully, knocking the wind from me and rapping my skull...I sagged onto him.
"Don't twist my words freak! Don't think I won't kick your ass cause you look like a girl!"
"Idiot, I AM a girl!' I wheezed. 'Furthermore if I ever was gay I can't possibly be any more, I can only be straight or a lesbian! You win OK? I can't fight you like this. So do your worst!"
When He let go I fell of course, and was just starting to look up into his shell shocked face when Ricky plowed directly into Gordon with a tackle that would make 'Flash' himself proud. I had never seen him so pissed. I swear I heard bones break as Ricky pounded away like a piston, battering Gordon multiple times before Bernard pulled him off.
I blearily looked around, noting faces as the teachers finally waded through, pulling the two combatants apart.
"hey you OK?"
"been better Margaret, how are you?"
Margaret 'Maggie' Johnson, a rather tall willowy brunette who fancied herself a journalist offered her hand, concern writ on her face in neon, helped me up.
I turned to Mr welsh, who was basically sitting on Ricky.
"Sir, he defended me, I'd appreciate it if you'd let him up."
Mr welsh warily complied, asking the crowd in general and me in particular:
"Alright so what happened?"
"Gordon attacked me sir, Ricky came to my defense." I blurted, aware now that I had tears, actual tears, leaving hot damning tracks down my cheeks.
Mr Welsh heaved a heavy sigh.
"Really flash? Even after the this morning's assembly?"
"That's not how it happened Mr Welsh!" Bernard yelled.
"then how did it happen Monty?"
"She punched first Mr welsh!"
Before I could get my outrage worked up to truly incandescent levels, my rage was derailed by the normally easygoing Mr. Welsh's biting words.
"Son, don't take me for a fool. Get out of here now, and pray I forget your possible involvment. Anyone want to tell me the truth?"
"Sir, it happened just as Minerva said. I saw the whole thing...and so did most everyone here."
Maggie, to my defense! I'll never call her a hack again! I turned to Ricky; he was already beginning to show evidence of taking a few shots to the face himself, and was cradling his right hand with his left. But as our eyes met he grinned, and I had to shake my head.
"Ricky I swear I can't take you anywhere."
"Sorry, you know me...any excuse at all for that bastard. think I got a date with our loving principal; see you in a bit."
"Yeah, don't forget the nurse too."
He waved as he left, escorted by Mr welsh and a fuming Gordon, all practiced nonchalance. Picking up my bookbag I heard Mr Welsh yell:
"Anyone still in the halls not named Campbell in one minute is late...Miss Campbell, take all the time you need; see the nurse if you feel the
"Thank you sir, but I feel fine."
"Hey come on." Maggie said, yanking me to my feet rather easily; I think my feet left tile for a moment. Maybe Maggie was a mutant?
"Where do you want me to go?"
"Hey hey, it's nothing like that!" She leaned in close, allowing me a whiff of what smelled almost like...cinnamon?
"I just thought you'd like to clean up before class, you know."
"Ahh, good point I suppose...so what did Mr Welsh mean about an assembly? I didn't get any notice."
"Uuuhh well, I probably shouldn't say but you'll hear about it anyway, sooner or later. The assembly was basically about you. I mean, they didn't mention you by name exactly, but everyone sort of knew it was. Mr. McEnroe called an early morning assembly for 7:30 last Friday, and regaled us all with ideas on what the word tolerance meant. Specifically, tolerance for others who may be different, and those who may be less fortunate than others."
I groaned so hard it sounded like a monster prowling the halls.
"Just freaking great, wonder if he wants to unload the other barrel now?"
Then I saw where I was being led. The girl's restroom, den of potential evil and beatings. Maggie hadn't let go of my hand...and when I slowed (a natural response I think) she yanked on it again.
"Come on, even with Mr Welsh's blessing we need to hurry!"
"Um, I don't think..."
She turned, assuming a classic annoyed pose, leaning away from me, tapping her foot and arms crossed.
"What? It's pretty obvious by looking at you that you aren't faking at all, you aren't dressed up or anything. You can't seriously be thinking of holding it all day either."
"Hah, no way girl, just wont happen. Come on, no one is going to object, they are all in class, remember?"
She grabbed my hand again, and pulled me inside.
The first thing I noticed was the smell...It was more pleasant then the men's room, but only barely. No urinals of course, a machine of some sort in the corner next to the hand dryers, sinks with large mirrors posted in front of them. The eggshell blue paint with pink accents was different though, and didn't really match the dirty white floor tiles. I looked carefully, there was indeed no one present save us.
"come on, come on!" Maggie stood in front of the first mirror, damp paper towels in hand.
"You get your face, ill get the dirt off your clothes, OK?"
I grabbed a towel or two and started wiping the tears off...thank goodness they weren't that noticeable. Maggie wiped my coat free of dirt (stain resistance for the win).
"Hold on a second, got a spider web or something on your jeans here." She yanked hard on my jeans, straightening them and wiping all the foreign substance away....whatever it was.
"So um, how did you get your hair braided like that? loose but with a ring holding it in place?"
"Hum? Oh Jeeves does it, no idea how."
"Drat, was hoping you could teach me, it looks amazing on you."
"Thanks, but It's really done that way cause Jeeves doesn't want me to cut it."
"That would be a crime, your hair is beautiful! So is Jeeves like your butler or something?"
"Something like that; he's new, I only got him last week. Knows all sorts of things though."
"Right, we'd better go. Come on!"
Again with the hand grabbing. Now she was running down the halls! I had to sprint or be dragged, but we made it to Mr Mullins' class. He didn't even bat an eye as we walked in late and sat down. But then I realized from my vantage, the blackboard was hazy and indistinct. Just great...I had lost my glasses then forgot about them!
"Hey." whispered Ralph from right next to me.
"What's up Ralph?"
"I believe these are yours." he whispered back, carefully looking away so as not to garner notice. He had my glasses, and they weren't broken! Whew"
"thanks Ralph, they are."
I carefully checked them over for scratches, and finding none put them on. Now I could make out the blackboard, mistakes and all. Well that was annoying, Mr Mullins had a 3 instead of a 2 for the solution. I turned to see Ralph looking at me, and remembered. Note passing time. I wrote it, rather astonished that my calligraphy had improved:
"You knew, didn't you?"
His note responded: "No, but I suspected; I'll explain later."
I nodded to him and turned to the blackboard once again, trying to focus. It was so odd...a week ago I'd be asleep, but I just couldn't calm down with that error glaring at me. It annoyed me to no end for some reason, and I just could not pin down why. The bell rang before I could figure it out.
This time I joined the throng quickly, hoping it'd be more difficult to single me out as a member of the herd. But as I passed the blackboard I quickly wrote that pesky 2 in it's proper place. There, harmony restored. Geography time, but this class I didn't have a book for, so I kept a wary eye out for assholes while pit stopping at my locker. I saw Maggie surrounded by a sea of girls and threw a hesitant wave as I passed, which she returned with a smile.
I was able to get to Geography without any further incidents thank goodness, sitting down and making myself as small as possible...which was pretty small. This was truly hostile territory; I had no friends of any stripe here.
Oddly enough that seemed to help, because other than feeling the entire rooms' worth of eyes on me in turns as a bunch of mini suns boring into my skin, the class passed uneventfully as we learned about Poland (continuing on our Rhine theme). It was a relief in a way, I was able to listen to Mrs. Carson drone and read. Soon this blissful solace ended, and I was faced with the class I'd been trying to forget: gym.
I didn't think I'd be allowed to participate at all, after all Ralph wasn't...but he was forced to sit in the Gym and watch while doing whatever it was he did, dodging the random 'accidental' ball thrown his direction; was that to be my fate?
I again did the vanish into the herd thing, only it didn't seem to be working very well; everyone was looking at me and whispering again; damn this hair! I didn't need to empathize with Ralph more! At the entrance to the Gym I saw someone I almost never had any contact with, assistant coach Ruth Howard, wife of coach Howard of basketball fame, and resident female coach handling pretty much all the teams that weren't coached by parents.
"Just who I wanted to see! good day to you Miss Campbell, unfortunately due to health concerns, yadda yadda yadda, you know what I'm getting at here, right?"
"Yes, I do, ride the bench cause you're afraid I'll go all crazy and kill everyone with my mad amazing skills?"
"Well actually, the opposite...you're anemic, you get a pass."
"sigh...I'd have liked it more if you'd told me the other thing."
"I know Minerva; look at it this way though...at least you can get all your homework done before you leave school. That's always a plus, right?"
"I suppose... Thanks anyway. Good luck with your charges today."
"Good luck with your homework."
I waved and sat on the bleachers, getting out my geography; only book I brought and longest read.
"Hey. Not there." Ralph, my partner in boredom?
"What do you mean?"
"Your in the first bleacher, a prime spot to have someone accidentally run over you or chuck balls at your head."
"The voice of depressing experience? Alright where do you normally hang out?"
"Around the side here, much harder to target you, they need to arc things, and they can't run over you."
"OK. So what do you normally do during gym?"
"Just hang out really, watch the fun from a safe seat."
"Well there is something else I do, and you're going to find out anyway I think."
He pulled out an obviously lovingly crafted origami crane.
"Neat, so you learn to make these?"
"Yep...want to try?"
He handed me paper and a book. 'Origami for beginners'.
"You go ahead and pick want you want and go to work, I'm not much of a teacher."
And that it what occupied my time, I made sad mutant creations best left unspoken, but called frogs while Ralph made some
wonderful cranes from colored paper. When the bell rang I crumpled them up in disgust and threw them out.
"Sorry, I kind of wasted your paper. I'll bring you some more tomorrow."
"No problem, it's cheap enough. That last frog didn't look bad."
"Heh yes it did, no need to sugarcoat it, it was awful."
"These things can't be picked up immediately."
"I guess so...lunchtime. See you later."
Quickly leaving before I could get surrounded somehow, I made my way to the front door. No Jeeves, wonder I was kind of
expecting him here....
Wait, that was an arrow the exact color of my hair, pointing outside! Pretty sure that wasn't there before. Cautiously I followed it expecting Jeeves but ready for anything. Outside under a large maple tree, a somewhat sturdy folding table and cushioned chair were placed, with a covered plate, silverware, a bottle of something that might be wine, and a lit candle!
"Jeeves? Is all this your doing?"
"Mistress Min, welcome! Of course it is my doing. Is there something wrong with my choice of location?"
"No, no, it's fine. Your elaborate preparations just took me by surprise is all. So what's for lunch?"
"Salmon spinach feta quiche with sparkling white grape juice. I apologize for the beverage, but you're underage."
"Alright, I'll pretend I knew what you just said. I'm trusting you here."
He moved the chair for me, I sat and he adjusted it, then uncovered the plate. He poured a glass of the juice while I picked up my fork, playing the butler role to the hilt. Looking around I could see we had gained a small hesitant audience, mainly comprised of girls. Heh, they won't dare start anything with Jeeves here! I was safe.
"How has your day been mistress Min? Everything all right?"
"Could have gone better, but not that far from what I expected. Wow, this is really good! I thought when you said spinach I'd be spitting it out."
"Thank you for your high praise mistress Min."
I eyed him suspiciously...I could have sworn that was a joke, but he was straight faced as ever. Was he British somehow?
"You're welcome. I think I'll bring my lappy tomorrow, too much free time to use it since I'm being kicked out of gym."
He crouched next to me, looking me in the eye.
"I am sorry mistress Min, I know how much such activities meant to you."
Now why was my vision blurring again? Damn it!
"It's ok, not your fault...just life, that's all."
"You are of course correct. Am I correct in assuming you do not wish to be disturbed?"
"You are correct; why?"
"Several of your fellow student are approaching this position; I shall keep them from disturbing you."
I paused with the fork in my mouth.
"Nothing permanent, understand? No need to make enemies yet."
"Understood mistress Min."
I finished my lunch in peace as he dealt with the pack of girls swarming him, chattering animatedly. None of them were even glancing at me, which was good. Confusing, but good.
I finished with a good 5 minutes to spare, taking my time and enjoying the serenity. As soon as I started to move however Jeeves was there, pulling back my chair and helping me up.
"thank you Jeeves, everything was wonderful. Am I to assume you'll be at this spot tomorrow?"
"I approve, it's a good spot. Well back to the grind, you'll be here when I get out?"
"I'll be waiting at the door mistress Min. As always, should you need me, please call."
"Alright. So, um...what are all of you guys doing here?" I asked as we caught up to the pack of my peers (?).
"Oh nothing, we were just talking to your butler. So what did he make you?"
"Spinach quiche; I'd recommend it. It was tasty."
"Come on or we'll all be late!"
My hand got grabbed again by someone I barely knew, but this time it was by Rebecca 'Becca' Hollingsworth, one of our cheerleaders. The tiny throng passed the doors as I looked back to Jeeves, who waved at me, smiling. what a traitor.
"Hey! relax. We aren't going to do anything to you."
The gang led me into the bastion of femininity named the ladies' bathroom. I found a wall to put my back to.
"Relax, relax...we aren't going to hurt you." Genine 'ne ne' Summerfield cut in while making calming gestures.
"Two reasons; one, we noticed you were avoiding this place and you were getting rather...antsy, shall we say? And the other well, has to do with Jeeves. So get settled first and then we just want to talk, OK?"
Damn was it that obvious?
I found the first stall and locked it, taking a breath.
"First thing Min; may I call you Min?"
"sure, I'd prefer it."
I took the paper and made a little seat ring (doesn't everyone?), unzipped and sat down. I half expected when I looked up to see them all staring over the top, but there was nothing of the sort. They weren't staring under the stall at me either, hmm. I finished up, cleaned up, and went out to wash my hands.
"So what gives?"
"Well we'd like to know about Jeeves."
"What about him?"
"where does he come from, how do you know him, things like that."
"Well he comes from junk. I have a mutant power; it's called devising. Basically its a fancy word for saying I build things. Jeeves is one of the first things I built."
"Ahhh I see."
I took them in, half the group looked crestfallen, the other half looked more intense, if anything.
"So wait, you built a handsome guy to do your every whim?"
"Well if you want to look at it that way...I'm not sure what I was thinking when I built him exactly, I don't always. Sometimes I enter a sort of trance when I'm about to build things; I think for him the idea was to build someone who could take care of me since my health is crap now."
I heard a few collective sighs, and Maggie jumped in.
"That's so cool! You have a real mutant power!"
"I know, not like that lame-o Ralph. love your new hair by the way, that shade is so beautiful."
Suddenly it was a dam broke to the twilight zone, and they were all whispering and gabbling like geese.
"Oh shit, we've got to move girls, bell in one! come on Min!"
"Study hall this hour, right Min?" Genine asked as we hurried out.
"Yep, you too if I remember. See you there!"
I put on the speed and left her behind weaving through the crowd to my locker and quickly grabbing the books I'd need. I made it just as the bell rang, as usual for me. Mr. Mullins didn't even bat an eye. the hour passed quickly, but by 3 minutes to go I'd had all my homework done...I'd tried to go slower, but I just couldn't. The bell rang and I flitted through the halls again, stowing my books and taking just my English text, a notebook, and my pen.
"Good to see you Miss Campbell." Mrs. Holmes greeted me as I walked into her class.
"your paper is on your desk...a very well constructed argument."
The paper I'd written last week, I'd forgotten about it! I turned it over as I sat down, staring at the A...such a high cost for something so simple, and I'd have been happy with it last week.
"Alright class, on to Hemmingway. The old man and the sea, you're all supposed to have it read, so let's discuss it."
I'd not gotten that message so I pointed to the book when Mrs Holmes eyes roved my way. She nodded, so I tuned everyone else out and started reading. In perhaps 20 minutes I joined the discussion, story read confident I could hold my own. (Such a sad story though.) And at last the final bell rang! Merciful freedom! I was out like a shot, so fast I almost missed Mrs. Holmes parting comment of:
"Report due on old man and the sea by Friday! 500 words, no less!"
And the assorted groans which followed. Taking one last quick stop at my locker, I grabbed my book bag, emptied it, and stuck just the English book and my notebooks inside then ran for the door. I ignored all the miscellaneous chatter and went straight to Jeeves.
"so did you see what happened to Ricky?"
"He was escorted into an ambulance and left. Were you involved in that mistress Min?"
"I might have been, indirectly."
"You are not injured, so I must assume you are telling the truth."
"That's how I heard it. Good afternoon Min."
I turned to see none other than Terry Douglas standing there, a rather attractive if blockish looking woman beside him.
"Don't DO that! You scared the hell out of me!"
"Sorry, sorry. May I introduce my partner Candice white?"
She obligingly flipped me her credentials, allowing me to verify them.
"He doesn't look sorry Mrs. White, Could you thrash him for me?"
"That's miss White, never married. And sure kid, I'll beat him once we're off duty. So how was the first day? Want anyone disappeared?"
"No, thanks. None of that please."
"Shes joking. You had us a bit worried though, you didn't even notice us this morning, just walked right by."
"Sorry, not a morning person. So to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?"
"No visit kiddo, we're on duty. I just decided to break the agency character a bit and introduce my partner so you knew who she was. I did promise I'd do that, remember?"
"I do, so you're watching me now?"
"Sure are, and so is the neighborhood MCO." He pointed towards the school roof, where I could just barely make out a figure.
"that is Mr. Sands, of our recent mutual acquaintance. Wave to him."
We all waved.
"OK I'm done with all this for now, I just want to go home. This is been a strange and annoying day."
"don't mind if we stay close do you? we are obviously heading that way."
Candice punched Terry in the arm.
"Idiot, where is your professional pride? don't mind him Miss Campbell, hes overdue for our brainwashing."
"Minerva please, and I don't mind."
"No, can't hear of it, you'll see more of us, or one or the other of us....seems the director is too stingy to pay for two sets of field agents."
"Isn't that always the way of it?"
"Indeed; see you later Min."
I watched them walk off.
"So, you were aware of them the entire time, I hope?"
"I was mistress Min, they arrived within sensor range at 4;22 am and have followed you ever since, being no closer than 5 feet, and no farther than 329.7 feet."
"Well as long as you were aware, I'm fine with it."
A short silent walk later and I was finally home. Alone, as I'd beaten everyone else here.Normally I'd be practicing baseball or basketball, or playing, especially with my homework basically done, but I just didn't feel up to it. Ian was likely out having a ball.
"Are you alright Mistress Min?"
"I guess so Jeeves. Just tired."
There came that hand again.
"you're blood pressure is low; you are likely fatigued. I think a nap is in order."
without warning he picked me up, ignoring my protests, and carried me up to my bed. depositing me onto it he added:
"please do not move, just rest, I will be back shortly with a beverage."
Bossed around by my own robot butler! The nerve...! Well not like I could fight him, so rest I did.
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