One good thing (one of the ONLY good things) about me havin’ my powers was the fact my family couldn’t hide why they kept watchin’ me and inquirin’ about my healthy after about four weeks of marriage.
“I am NOT pregnant,” I said for the third time in one day. Kaylee had dropped by the house earlier and was all suspicious of me, and then Simon called and was feelin’ suspicious and now my dads and grandma!! “Sheesh, what is this, the Spanish Inquisition? OH Watcher, forget I said that!” I said quickly but it was too late.
“NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Kaylee shrieked, throwing one finger in the air. “Our chief weapon is surprise! Surprise and fear. Fear and surprise. Our two weapons are fear surprise. And ruthless–“
I covered her mouth. “I’m not pregnant. Okay?” I said and she nodded behind my hand. I looked at my dads who both nodded. I removed my hand from Kaylee’s mouth and of course she said, “–efficiency, our three–” and I replaced my hand.
“We never asked, dear,” Grandma put in but she was still all suspectin’. So I looked at her and she sighed. “A great-grandma can hope, can’t she?”
“You have ten now,” I said, as River and Jack produced a lovely son to add to the family the week before, plus their daughter, Duncan’s daughter, and seven from various cousins of mine. “I think you can wait a while before another one is added. No, we’re not planning on any kids!” I added as she got all wonderin’ again. “We haven’t talked about it. Because, you know, Mr. Amour said that the kids might be like Henri.” I removed my hand from Kaylee’s mouth and waited.
“A ghost?” she asked instead of what I expected her to say.
“Yes. Henri–he says he’s okay with being like he is, but you know it’s a lot to put on a child who has no–no say on the matter.” I toyed with the end of my ponytail and frowned. Part of me may be scared to have kids but part of me wanted children.
Mom came over and put his hand on my shoulder, squeezin’ reassuringly. “It’s a lot to think about, and you and Henri have plenty of time. Don’t mind your grandmother.”
“You were thinking it too!” I exclaimed and he at least had the decency to blush.
“Er, well… I like being a grandpa…” he mumbled.
“You like spoiling them, you mean,” laughed Dad.
Mom stuck out his tongue. “You do too, so shut up!” Dad maturely responded with sticking his tongue out. How old were my dads? Really.
“Our THREE weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency. And an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope,” Kaylee put in.
I threw my hands up in the air and Grandma giggled. “It is never fun to be normal now, is it?” she asked and I just groaned in reply.
Henri and I started babysitting Amy a lot. Her mother had to go to Egypt for a month for work (or somethin’ like that) so Duncan had charge of her more than usual, and since he was at work a lot and Amy seemed to really have fun with Henri, we gladly took her in. I didn’t mind havin’ her around since her emotions were simple and mostly cheerful, except the sadness she felt inside whenever Duncan disappeared out the door. Thankfully that was quickly gone with a few games of tickle monster from her Uncle Henri.
After about a week of babysitting, Duncan felt real nervous and worried when he came to pick Amy up, even though he was smilin’. I was gonna ask him what was wrong but before I could, he gave a little shake of his head as if he knew–okay so he probably did know–that I was gonna try. I knew it was at least work related and not somethin’ bad personal-like with him. I wanted to know, but didn’t say a thing for two days straight. Then it got me all worried that he was still worried. I had checked the newspapers but there didn’t seem to be anything really horrible that could be connected with him.
That night after he left to go home, I waited until about eight-thirty and then called him up. He sighed as soon as he picked up the phone. “Did I leave something at your house?” he asked right away, but he felt tense and anxious.
“You know why I called,” I said. “I know something is going on at work but I’m worried if it’s making you this worried. I haven’t seen anything in the papers–“
“Some of it’s been in the papers but not everything,” he replied. “Problem is, there are two suspects… I think this one guy is guilty. I am pretty sure he is. But at the same time, my partner is sure someone else is guilty. We’ve been following them–or trying to, at least. Trying to uncover evidence. Ugh, what I wouldn’t give for your ability.”
“You can have it, if I could give it away I would,” I growled. “You know I hate this.” There was a pause, then a surge of hope and excitement from Duncan. “No!” I said before he could ask.
“But, come on, it would be a huge help!” he hissed out. “I know we can’t use it for evidence but if I could know for sure who was guilty, I could pursue them better, y’know? Come on, sis, please? Please? For me? For Amy?”
I wished he were present so I could smack him. “I can’t go and stalk a criminal of–what did this guy do anyway?” I demanded.
“Broke into someone’s house and stole some stuff, but the owner of the house woke up,” Duncan said and I remembered readin’ about that in the papers.
“The owner was hit in the head, right?” I asked.
“Yeah, he’s still in the hospital with a head injury,” he answered. “It’s pretty bad, but he will recover. One of the suspects is kinda well-liked in society–“
“Who robbed and attacked someone?” I asked with a snort.
“I think he just wanted to attack the guy who was hit,” Duncan said, rather annoyed. “The robbery was a coverup for attempted murder. In my opinion. Andrea says otherwise, she thinks my theory is stupid and insists it’s this other guy–he worked in the house before, helping with electrical stuff when they added onto the house or something like that.”
“If it was attempted murder, why didn’t he finish the job?” I asked.
“The victim’s wife woke up,” he said quickly, tryin’ to back his theory. “She called the police to say someone was breaking into the house.”
“How did the society dude know she was doing that if she was in another room?” I pressed.
Duncan felt triumphant. “Cordless phones. There was a cordless phone in the living room, where the attack happened. The light changes when someone picks up any other phone in the house. The perp could have seen that and run off. It’s possible, Serenity! And come on, help me out. Please? It’s just… driving by a guy’s house and you, um, tuning into to if he’s guilty or not. Possibly two guys, if my suspect isn’t guilty. I’ll pay you. I can’t pay you officially out of the office or anything but I will personally pay you the consultant fee the station usually pays.”
“I don’t want your money. I don’t want to do this…” It was hard to say no, cause he was feelin’ real adamant about this and I knew he wouldn’t give up bugging me. “Okay fine. I don’t like it, but I’ll do it. But no paying me, okay?”
“You’re the best, sis!” he exclaimed. “Thank you!”
“Yeah, yeah,” I grumbled and then hung up the phone, not wanting to deal with him anymore for the moment.
It only took going by one house. It was the guy Duncan suspected. We sat outside the house for a while and Duncan had to actually phone the guy to invoke an emotional response about the whole situation. He used his cell phone to call the guy, and say they needed to question him some more could he come down to the station. The guy acted all smooth, sayin’ how awful it was he was being harassed but he would get his lawyer and answer any questions. Deep down, he felt fear. Honest fear of being caught out. But a sort of smug fear. He didn’t care about injuring the dude. In fact there was bit of regret the victim didn’t die.
“He did it,” I said as soon as Duncan hung up. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on between him and the victim but I think has something to do with someone else, but I’m not sure. A girl, maybe?” I concentrated hard on how the criminal was feelin’. “I think he wants to try again. Maybe–maybe the victim knows something?”
Duncan held onto the steerin’ wheel, staring at the house. “Maybe. Thanks, Serenity. I have the feeling we can get him.”
The police did nab the criminal three days later. Duncan found out the victim had been in the office building where the criminal worked. It turned out the criminal was having an affair with his boss’s wife and he thought the victim had seen something. Or something like that. I wasn’t sure, but Duncan got the ‘perp’ to confess and that was the important thing. Duncan kept thankin’ me over and over which got on my nerves. Especially since he kept insisting I should come on as a consultant or something.
“What would I do?” I demanded. “How can we explain anything?”
Duncan frowned and scratched his head. Then an idea blossomed in his head and I felt a bit of worry at that. “How about we say you’re psychic?”
“What?!” I shrieked. “NO WAY! No! You expect me to pretend to be–be psychic? What the heck, man? No, no way, a thousand times no.”
Duncan grabbed my hands which were wavin’ around and held them tightly. “Look at it this way. You hate your abilities but this would be a great way to utilize them. Instead of cheating at your shows.”
I yanked my hands back and my face got real red. “What makes you think I do that?”
“Oh come on! You may be good at jumping but it didn’t take you long to start winning shows and you only seem to do well at shows that have a good pay out for coming in the top three. And you don’t keep your ribbons. If you loved jumping that much and enjoyed the shows, I doubt you’d throw out your ribbons.”
I folded my arms tightly over my chest, glad Henri was in the other room and not able to hear this. “You know, you seem to be good enough at deducing stuff on your own.”
He smirked, ugh I wanted to wipe that smirk off his face. “I thought as much. So, you’ll do it? You’ll help–“
“No,” I said, steppin’ away from him. “That’s my final word. No. I will not pretend to be psychic or anything. I am not going to do it. And don’t bug me again about this. I just want to have as little to do with my powers as possible.”
“What about cheating to win money?” he asked, droppin’ his voice low.
I reddened even more. “That–that isn’t–” I sputtered then gulped, findin’ my voice. “I’m not doing that anymore. I’m just doing one more show, it will be my last show. I decided when I married Henri I’d stop. So the next show will be my last…”
“Henri doesn’t even know, does he?”
I shook my head and slumped a bit, rubbin’ my temples. “No and please don’t tell him. He’d be disappointed in me. Another reason I’m stopping.”
“So what will you do for money after this?” His voice was gentle, not forcing the issue about the police work.
I shrugged. “No clue. We have some money left. Maybe I’ll do writing, or maybe painting. I don’t know, stop giving me that look. I’ll figure something out.” Which was the partial truth. I intended on tryin’ to figure something out. I just had no idea what.
Apparently Duncan told Henri the idea for me to work as a consultant of some sort since the night after Duncan and I talked, Henri brought the subject up at dinner. I put my spoon down, tryin’ not to snap since it wasn’t his fault I was tired of this subject. I slowly explained I didn’t want to do anything like that, and would rather try to find some way to not use my powers at all.
“But darling,” Henri continued despite the fact I made it clear I didn’t want to talk about it, “think of all the good you’d be doing.”
I frowned, unable to argue that really. “I know I’d be doing good,” I mumbled, thinkin’, Maybe make up for the wrong I did cheating. “I just don’t think it’d be a good idea for me to–to do that sort of thing. You know I hate my powers.”
“Do you want to continue jumping?” he asked and I shrugged. No, I thought, not wantin’ to say that and have to explain why. “I don’t think it’d be good to get rid of the horses, I know how much you love them,” he said and I winced, knowing where he was going with this.
“I know I’ll need a job,” I said before he could. “Maybe I’ll try and sell more paintings. I’ve sold a couple, you know.” I poked at my food, knowin’ the only reason I sold them was the same reason I won my money at jumpin’: I manipulated emotions. “Or I could write. Mom is making quite a bit, you know. He’s gotten on the bestseller list a couple times.”
Hen’s hand rested on mine. “But is it something you’d really want to do?”
I shook my head and pushed my chair back a bit. “I don’t know what I want, Hen! I’ve never known. Except you. You’re the only thing I ever really wanted in my life and I have you now. I know I need a job, cause you can’t get one–” I stopped and felt miserable at the look on his face. “I didn’t mean to put it quite so blunt.”
“It’s true, and I wish I could help support us,” he said, soundin’ a bit bitter. I felt a little ache to know how he felt beyond the tone of his voice and movement of his face. “If it was just the two of us, what you have in the bank would be fine for a while but if you plan on keeping the horses–“
“Fine!” I snapped, grabbin’ my bowl and standing up. “I’ll pretend to be a psychic.” I stomped over to the cupboards and began banging around them to find a container to put my food up. Hen drifted up behind me and wrapped his arms around my middle. I shifted, feelin’ rather annoyed.
“You don’t have to decide right away,” he said and I bowed my head. “If you don’t want to get a job as a consultant or something with the police, there are plenty of other things you could do. Maybe do some private work for people.” He snickered at that. “It’d be easy, you know, with finding out if someone is cheating on their spouse. If they’re not, you could kick back and do nothing, and say you followed them.”
I couldn’t help but giggle at that. I turned and pressed against him. “Maybe I could do something like that. Or both. I don’t know. But…” I reached up and pushed back some of his hair. “How about this? I’ll get a job, like that, after we come back from France.”
His face fell and he pulled away from me, lifting one shoulder to turn a bit away from me. “That’s not fair.”
“You need to tell him–“
“I can’t. He’ll hate me.”
“He wouldn’t hate you.” Now it was my turn to go over and encircle him with my arms. “It’s not fair on him, for you to be here–even like this–and him not know.”
Henri looked up, his brow furrowed and a familiar pout on his lips. “I’m scared, Sen.”
“Would it really make you feel better never knowing?” I whispered and his entire body slumped a bit at that. I held him tighter and kissed the side of his mouth. “It’s not a decision that needs to be made right this moment. But I really wish you’d consider it.”
“I–I’ll consider it.” He kissed me and then pulled back again, driftin’ into the living room. I didn’t follow him, havin’ the feeling he needed to be alone. Soon I heard a video game start up so I put the food away and did the dishes, a bit scared as well how Dr. Laroche would react to this.