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 Perfect School

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Fri 14 Jul - 12:41

The burger was satisfying though the fries were a over salted. It was the milkshake however that I most enjoyed. I had been holding it with both hands for part of the journey back and when I wiped it off on my pants Jonah claimed it with his own. Disgruntled I gazed at our hands then focused ahead again.

Once we were sitting down I relaxed right up until he put an arm around my shoulders. That one I didn't like. It was too confining, made me feel like I could be attacked at any moment. I tried to relax through it, trying to take some kind of lesson from all of this. I was bad with people touching me. Jonah I was more used to than most from all of our training sessions. But a clear difference existed between a casual touch and a more intimate one. Rather than throw his arm off I leaned forward to start digging through my backpack.

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Fri 14 Jul - 13:20

Jonah:

I didn’t push further than that. Once we boarded, Kira allowed me to take the window seat, she knew how I liked to watch out the window. We had another layover then we got on the big plane. I talked Kira into watching a movie with me. Some spy type thing. It was meant to be an action thriller, but to us it was more of a comedy for all the unrealistic things they depicted.

I suggested we stay up then sleep for the last few ours of the flight so the effects of jet lag would be lessened for us. We were due to arrive just before eight in the morning.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Fri 14 Jul - 13:27

I tried to take his advice, but even though I'd had my music playing in my ears, my hood on, and my eyes closed I couldn't will myself to sleep. My mind kept drifting over Krissy and Michael and just how this whole trip was going to go. They wanted to get to know me, but I wasn't anything worth knowing. Not in the sense of a daughter at least. I was too willful, emotionless, and I'd never been one to get touchy-feelly. It was going to be a disaster. I finally managed to doze off the last thirty minutes of the flight and I was wide awake again before the wheels hit the tarmac.

I was slow in getting up, slow in grabbing my bag and the plane was mostly empty by the time he and I made it off. I had my backpack on my back but I kept my hands gripping the straps. I didn't want to be touched. Didn't want to hold hands. I could feel my heart beating faster and my gaze flickered around. I was in full flight or fight mode.

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Fri 14 Jul - 13:54

Krissy:

I was curled up in the passenger seat with a blanket over my legs and a cup of now cold coffee in my hands. It was an hour’s drive to the airport, we had gotten up extra early in anticipation. I had hardly slept at all during the night. In the car I had dosed, thankfully. It was something that stuck with me from my childhood, sleeping in the car while Kyle drove.

Now I blinked at my coffee as the nerves returned. We were close now. I wished Michael hadn’t been driving so I could climb into his lam and calm myself with the contact. I reached out for his hand instead.

“How do we greet her? What’s appropriate in this situation?” I asked. It was the same sort of questions I had been asking this whole week, as if he had all the answers. “Should we hug her?”
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Fri 14 Jul - 13:59

Michael:

Her endless barrage of questions was a tad grating. I had no real answers to any of her dozens of questions. And I knew that somewhere in my wifes jumbled mind she knew that. But I answered as patiently as I could every time. "I don't think we should hug her. Not until she is more used to us. Even if you knew the names of a pair of strangers I doubt you'd want to just be suddenly hugged."

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Fri 14 Jul - 14:14

Krissy:

I sighed and squeezed his hand. I had no idea what to expect from this trip. I just hopped at the end of it we could call ourselves a family in some capacity.

When we arrived at the airport I sent Kira a text letting her know we were here and we would be waiting for her and her friend at baggage claim.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Fri 14 Jul - 14:21

Kira:

"They are at baggage claim." My phone buzzed with their text and after fishing it out of a pocket and reading it, I slid it back into my pocket. I let him take the lead, keeping my eyes roaming the throngs of people until we left security. After that I took several deep breaths to still my emotions. I kept looking around but not as obvious as before.

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Fri 14 Jul - 14:36

Jonah:

I saw them before they saw us but I didn’t say anything to Kira. I pulled both our bags from the carrousel. Kira was nervous, it was plain for me to see, but to everyone else she looked emotionless. Resting bitch face is what some people described it as.

And then they were there. Kira’s parents. “Hi,” her mother, Krissy, said. If it was clear that Kira was nervous, it was plain as day that Kirssy was. Michael was hard to read, even for me, but my best bet was that he was too.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Fri 14 Jul - 14:44

Kira:

I turned to face them, my fingers releasing the straps of my backpack finally as I gazed up at my parents. I could see how nervous Krissy was. The blanket wrapped around her shoulders threw me for a loop and I stared at the plaid material for a moment before giving both of them soft hellos. I wondered if Krissy was sickly, she didn't seem very strong or very put together over all. But with warm clothes on and a blanket it did make me wonder.

Michael:

I watched Krissy and Kira for a moment after giving my own greeting to my daughter. But soon I looked at Jonah, "Hello again Jonah." I offered out a hand for him to shake. I held only a small grudge against him for what he'd done in the hospital room. I also knew however that he'd only been following orders.

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Fri 14 Jul - 23:00

Jonah:

I smiled and shook his hand. "Pleasure to be here. It wasn't my charming, trying to win over a woman smile, but it was friendly. Last time I met her parents it wasn't under the best of circumstances. Now I had two weeks to win them over. It was simple.

I smiled at Krissy too when she looked at me. She gave a half hearted smile but her eyes told me that she wasn't pleased to see me.

Krissy:

I looked away from the boy. We had thought it would be him, who else would it be? I was concerned that having him here might put us in danger with Marie but Kira had said that whoever came with her wouldn't say anything about where we were. It was a risk we were willing to take if it got Kira here.

I looked back at my daughter and smiled charily. When we first approached, I had lost the ability to say anything other than a lame 'hi'. Now a few shreds of composure was back.

"Let's get you two to the car. Have you eaten? We thought we could get breakfast on the way home," I said, taking a step closer to her but not touching her. It was Michael's idea to get breakfast. That way the first hour that we were with her wouldn't be cooped up in a car. We could actually sit down and talk.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Sat 15 Jul - 11:30

Michael:

The handshake was a test of sorts. I was able to feel his grip, his callouses, as well as see how his arm flexed. All in one casual gesture. As I'd thought when I'd first met him, the boy was well defined, no wasted muscle, and good balance. He was formidable. And it made me miss the days when I was younger. I'd have liked to test myself against him. But that was a time long passed.

I focused my attention on the girls as Jonah did.

Kira:

The silence felt like it was stretching on, but that wasn't a bad thing. It gave me a chance to study the woman standing before me. When I looked into her eyes it was like seeing my own, but otherwise I could only see faint bits of myself from her. I more looked like my father than anything else. But their was some resemblance at least.

When Krissy seemed to collect herself, a very visible struggle, she suggested breakfast while stepping closer. "We had snacks on the plane, but breakfast would be good." I needed to take my medicine with food anyway. I wasn't particularly hungry and it would mean we'd have to sit down and do nothing but talk. Both a good thing and a bad thing. Looking to my suitcase I drew it closer to me.

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Sat 15 Jul - 13:43

Jonah:

It was a quiet bunch. Kira was more or less silent unless a question was directed at her. Michael seemed the type to watch rather than initiate conversation. I had the feeling that Krissy was the one who usually did most of the talking, but in her nervousness she was struggling. So, I did most of the talking.

I didn’t talk about myself, I asked about their home and their pets. I brought Kira into the conversation equally. I found out something new about her as well. Both she and I had never been up close to a dog before. This revelation brought a more animated version of Krissy out. She told us about each dog in detail. She also said that she had never had her own pets before she lived with Michael. They were on move so much growing up that they didn’t have the chance.

I wanted to press them both about their past, but I refrained. I wanted it to come out naturally without them thinking I was trying to spy on them. There was no need for anyone to be suspicious. My job was to make everyone, including Kira, feel comfortable.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Sat 15 Jul - 13:51

Kira:

Even though I could have left my backpack in the car with our suitcases I brought it in with me anyway once we arrived at the breakfast spot.  I knew Michael had briefly raised an eyebrow at that but I ignored the reaction.  As we talked more and I came more into the conversation I studied my parents without hiding it. The dogs were still on my mind and I couldn't help but attribute both of them to dogs. Krissy was going to be a small excited thing, everywhere at once but nervous when it came to new things. Michael was a stoic kind. Alert, and intelligent. When the waiter came to take our order I ordered waffles and a yogurt parfait.
I'd also gotten orange juice for my drink already but I asked the man for a glass of water, no ice.

When the food arrived and the water glass, I dug into the backpack drawing out a thermos.  Using the cap as a measuring device I gathered the proper amount that was then dumped into the glass.  I swirled it around, watching as the powder dissolved, turning the water into a thicker black liquid.

At the looks I got from both parents I explained softly, "It's medicine.  I take it twice a day with Breakfast and Dinner.  If I don't I'll just end up in the hospital again."

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Sun 16 Jul - 21:40

Krissy:

I smiled slightly and nodded then glanced briefly to Michael.  It couldn’t help but think of the last time, when Marie wad brought the same medication in injection form.  It reminded me of the soldier serum.  As far as I knew Michael never took the substance orally, but it bothered me still that she was dependent on medication.  

I picked at my blueberry muffin and reached for Michael’s hand under the table.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Mon 17 Jul - 16:55

Michael:

Her medicine had me curious. What was in it? Why did she need to take it? It almost made me wish Jack was around. As questionable as his medical degree was, and his even more questionable sanity. He was brilliant when he was lucid. He might be able to find out, check it out. I worried for my daughter, her health most of all.

Squeezing my wife's hand back I smiled softly at her lacing my fingers with hers while I took more of an active role in talking with the kids before us.

Kira:

The conversation had a brief lull as we ate. After we finished our meal and paid it was back into the car for the last leg of the trip. Jonah seemed like the only person not affected by any of this, and I had to rely on him more than I wanted too. I wasn't good with small talk, and just doing back and forth questions wasn't a conversation.

It became easier as we rode in the car to use him as a baseline to keep things moving and conversation somewhat flowing.

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Mon 17 Jul - 19:59

Krissy:

Conversation lulled when we got closer to our house. The country side was green, despite the winter. It really was beautiful, and it caught the attention of the boy who had been supplying most of the conversation during the drive.

When we pulled up to the house the three dogs came running over to the car. Both kids had assured me that they wouldn’t be bothered by the dogs. They weren’t aggressive.


Jonah:

The countryside was gorgeous. I would have been happy here even without Kira, though it pleased me immensely that she was relying on me.

I was oddly excited when the dogs came up to the car. That was something I had never experienced but always wanted to.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Mon 17 Jul - 20:18

I perked up at seeing the dogs. I had a feeling that the dogs spent more time with Michael as they clustered on our side as I was sitting behind him. Climbing out of the car I took only a moment to grab my backpack before my legs were swarmed by furry bodies. Taking a few careful steps until they bounded over to go greet Jonah I turned to close the car door only to find Michael had closed it for me.

"As we explained earlier. Angel is the white beauty, she is full of pride and thinks of herself as a wolf." He pointed to the white body as we went around the car. "Cerberus is the giant. He has the energy of three dogs." Beside Angel was a giant of a dog, One could argue that he was bigger than I was. That drew my eyes to the last one, about the size of angel but with twice the amount of fluff and fur he wagged his tail and watched beside the other dogs. "My darling wife named him Fluffy. For obvious reasons."

Nodding he went to the trunk and opened it, drawing out both my suitcase and Jonah's. "Come on, I'll show you the house." His blue eyes slid from me to the trio of dogs. Whistling loudly he then barked a soft command in German. The dogs perked up and gazed at him then started following him towards the house.

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Mon 17 Jul - 20:38

Krissy:

I took Michael’s hand again and smiled, having heard him call me his darling wife. Even after sixteen years, it didn’t get old. “I named Angel too,” It was easier to talk when things were light hearted. “I’m not very creative when it comes to names. Good thing I never named a person.” I said it before the words registered in my mind. When it hit me, my smile died. I squeezed Michaels hand in panic.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Mon 17 Jul - 20:46

Kira:

My feet skipped a beat at Krissy's words. I'd just started to relax a little, to think that this was going to be alright when that bomb slipped from her mouth. I caught myself and my mask slid back into place. The skip in my gate enabled me to hear Michael's deep sigh. And I kept my gaze on them as he let go of her hand and put an arm around her shoulder.

"She isn't very original when it comes to names. She picks what comes into her head first and rolls with it. I find it endearing." I glanced back at the pair. "Come on, I'll show you to your rooms. Let you get settled a little, then we can go on a tour."

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Mon 17 Jul - 21:00

Krissy:

I was mortified and horribly guilty. Was this how it would be the whole trip? I acted nothing like a mother. I was horrible. I sank into Michael’s side. He was my only chance at redemption.

Jonah:

I patted the dog, Cerberus, walking next to me but my eyes were on Kira. I wondered if they could see the little shock of pain in her face when her mother said that. How had Krissy survived in our world when she was so careless?

I walked close to Kira, there was no way to reassure her here. So I commented on the soft sounds coming from the barn and how after we were settled I wanted to see the sheep. Krissy, who had talked at length about the sheep, barely noticed the comment.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Mon 17 Jul - 21:12

Kira:

Inside the house I looked around only a little, enough to establish exits, hiding places, and the general layout. The first door we stopped by Michael opened while looking to Jonah. "Here's your room Jonah. Normally when we have the Twins and Kyle staying over Andrew sleeps here." A bit further down the hallway Michael opened a second door.

"And this is yours Kira. Only Kyra ever sleeps in it." He stepped inside after letting Krissy go and placed my suitcase onto the bed while I walked in after him. "Krissy and I will be in the kitchen once you get settled." He smiled softly at me then went to the door. Stopping at the doorway he turned, "We really are happy that you came to visit us Kira. Thank you." And then I was alone as he led Krissy away.

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Mon 17 Jul - 21:20

Krissy:

In the kitchen, I hugged him and pressed my face into his chest. “I’m sorry,” I mumbled into his shirt. “I can’t believe I said that. I didn’t mean to. She’s going to hate me. She’ll never forget that I didn’t want her to exist. I’m terrible.” I was very close to tears spilling out. It was sheer will that kept them in. I didn’t want our daughter to come in seeing me crying. It was too soon for that.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Mon 17 Jul - 21:23

Krissy:

In the kitchen, I hugged him and pressed my face into his chest. “I’m sorry,” I mumbled into his shirt. “I can’t believe I said that. I didn’t mean to. She’s going to hate me. She’ll never forget that I didn’t want her to exist. I’m terrible.” I was very close to tears spilling out. It was sheer will that kept them in. I didn’t want our daughter to come in seeing me crying. It was too soon for that.
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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Mon 17 Jul - 21:36

Wrapping my arms around my wife I kissed the top of her head. "Take a deep breath my love. So you made a mistake, it happens. No parent is perfect. We make mistakes, we learn, we grow. We have more time to make up than most. But we have a chance now, and she knows we aren't perfect. She's our daughter."

Gently removing her face from my shirt I smiled softly into her green eyes. "Start with the little things. Show her around, talk about the things you enjoy, the memories you have of this place. Let her come to know you." I brought my lips to hers in a brief kiss. "Now come on. My wife is tougher than this."

Kira:

I took my first real look around here, gazing about the room as I situated myself and unpacked. My eyes were drawn to the walls where pictures hung. They were of the family. My family. After I finished unpacking I went to one in particular, removing it from the wall to hold the frame in my hands.

In it Michael stood with Krissy together. They were in each others arms, gazing at each other with looks of pure joy and love. The image did wonders to capture their tender expressions, as if their entire world was what lay right before their eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: Perfect School   Mon 17 Jul - 22:02

Jonah:

I changed into a new shirt since I had been wearing the same one for the whole flight. After I freshened up, I went to knock on Kira’s door. It was already a log day for her, and it wasn’t even noon yet. Perhaps she would want to be alone, but then, she shouldn’t have brought me along.
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