2008-03-06: Advice


Cam_icon.gif Lee_icon.gif

Summary: Lee finds out about the exorcism, and gives some advice. Basically having powers is like having the diabeetus.

Date It Happened: March 6th, 2008


Classroom, Brubaker Secondary School

Lee has beem trying to get his classes back on track for state testing next week. Ironically, he even almost took out the very state guidebook that he fought to not have to teach from once. The weeks of suspension have made him lose any authority he'd developed over the kids and he has limited time to re-assert it. The students aren't listening and they sure as heck aren't studying. For some it looks hopeless, but a Stern Speech (tm) and a concerted push has brought some of the ones that are behind but willing (or frightened into) getting back on track to a writer's workshop after school. "Okay, Cam, it's your turn to present," Lee says. "Tell us about your paper on the Third Amendment." It's kinda nice at these workshops in terms of the compnay. Nobody from the drug scene is here, that's for sure.

Cam has been in a better mood all day, since arriving back at school. He was one of the ones who quite willingly volunteered for the workshop, though today he's looking a bit more nervous at the workshop itself. He hesitates a moment, and then stands up, "I… um… don't have my paper here. But I can still tell you about it, if you want?"

Lee looks nonplussed. "Well, where is it, is it in your locker?" he questions. Snap snap!

Cam fidgets a little and says, looking down, "No, it's at my foster family's house. With the rest of my stuff." He can't really explain this in front of the whole workshop, after all, leaving him in a bit of a bind on how to explain. She, he just states the basic facts.

Lee says, catching the tone, "Oh. Well, go ahead and tell us what you've got, then, and what your plans are going into editing."

Cam looks a bit relieved at that, as he looks back up. "Oh, cool." Then he nods quickly, "I wrote about what it was, how it means that soldiers can't take over people's homes except in time of war. And how it was important because the British soldiers used to do that all the time before the revolution, and how nobody's even tried doing it since. When I edit it, 'sides from fixing spelling and stuff, wanna add a bit about where and when it was passed and stuff."

Lee listens closely. "Okay, good. Now let me ask you this. You know about the draft, right? How when there's a war, the government can make you become a soldier and go and fight?" He says, "Why is it that the government can make you a soldier, but can't make you let soldiers sleep on the couch?"

Cam blinks a bit at that question and hesitates. He shrugs a little and says softly, "I don't know… maybe because there hasn't been any fighting here since like the civil war?"

Lee says, "So do you think the Third Amendment has any practical application these days, or is it just historical?" He presses for Cam to think through the material. That's what he'll need next week after all, not a good grade on an essay.

Cam thinks about that a moment, rather than answering immediately. "No, it's still important. With terrorists and everything, if it wasn't for that they might want to put soldiers in people's homes all over."

Lee smiles approvingly, "Good thinking." he encourages Cam. "Remember to always try to draw a parallel between the things that have happened in history and the things that are happening now. All right, Lisa, you're next?"

After the workshop is over, Lee brings Cam aside. "You had to leave your foster home? Where are you staying now?" There's always the possibility with Cam that he would just pick 'nowhere'.

Cam sits back down with a smile at the praise. At the end of the class he nods, and waits until everybody else is gone before explaining. "My power went off. My family freaked, thought I was the devil or something. Made me take off my clothes and started spraying me with water and talking in some weird language." Holy water and Latin, probably. "Niki came and rescued me. Staying with her and D.L. and Micah again now. Dunno what's gonna happen now, but D.L. said he's gonna try to fix things, and Niki said I never have to go back if I don't wanna."

Lee pauses. "I thought D.L. was in prison." You know, for killing your previous caseworker? "…you know you have to go where CFS places you, right? Not where Niki says."

Cam shakes his head, "He's out now. He never did anything. He just said he did, I guess so they wouldn't take Micah away." He shrugs about that, and then says, "I know. But they'll just send me back there. They're not gonna believe me, 'cause I can't tell 'em what happened."

Lee says, with concern, leaning back on his desk, getting his face, if not quite down to eye-to-eye with Cam, a little closer, less intimidating in his height. "Why wouldn't they believe you that they did those things? It's not your fault. And…I did get to meet them, they did seem to be wound a little tight to me, religiously speaking." he says, with sympathy. This is something done to Cam. Not something he did. Lee is very clear about this.

Cam hesitates at that and then says, "I guess if they said I could make ice, the social workers wouldn't believe them." He looks down and then asks, "How would *normal* people react if it happened? When it happens? 'Cause, I have a hard time keeping it in at school. It was awful keeping it in at home too."

Lee says, reassuringly, "There aren't any normal people, Cam. There's decent people and there are indecent, there are kind and there are selfish, there are understanding and there are intolerant, but nobody, nobody is normal, Cam. There has never been a normal person in the long history of this world, thank god." He smiles slightly. "Look at it this way. You wouldn't start a water balloon fight in class, right? But on field day, the teachers help you throw water balloons. Same thing with the ice. You wouldn't do it in class, or someday when you get a job, because it's just not the right thing to do in those circumstances. There are people I'd dearly love to give a sock in the nose to, and maybe they even deserve it, but I don't because it's not right. Same principle. By the time you're grown up, people with those 'abilities'…" Lee has this way of saying air quotes. "…will be so a part of normal life that people will kinda think it's a bit old."

Lee clearly is ahead of the curve on that one.

Cam does smile again at the first part, but grows more serious as the explanation goes on, nodding a little. To the last he says, "I hope so." Then, though, "But now? Do you mean I should just show what I can do to whatever foster parents I get?"

Lee says, "Not necessarily. Cam, you are probably a thousand times better at figuring out what adults you can trust and count on than I am. You've had a lot more experience figuring that out than me." Lee only had the one set of parents, and they fooled him for eighteen years flat. "If you think you have an adult in your life that you can trust with that, you're probably right about them. You're a very savvy young man. I wish you hadn't had the experiences that led you to have that particular skill set, but you pretty much do."

Cam nods a little bit and says, "But I already got people I know I can trust. But they won't let me stay with them. They'll send me to more people I can't trust and then my power's gonna go off again and dunno *what*'ll happen next time." He's really scared of this.

Lee says, "Cam, they won't let you stay with D.L., Niki and Micah for very good reasons that I think you know. At least you know a lot more about it than you're telling me." Lee has teacher senses sometimes. "You're right that you have to do what you can to try not to hurt people, and try to keep things under control. But it's just like behaving in class. You don't throw tantrums here. It's not done. You can do the same elsewhere."

Cam frowns again and says, "It's stupid reasons! Niki mixed up taking pills once and went to the hospital, and then later got kidnapped and lost her memory. It ain't *never* been her fault! She's even got her memory back now. And D.L., he didn't break out, they let him go, 'cause he didn't do anything." He looks down at his feet a moment as he calms down, and then says, "Can always go home and yell into a pillow or something for a tantrum. I gotta go cross town to KeLyssa's or Niki's or Kory's to let my powers out, and can't do that at night. And it hurts to hold in, sometimes worse'n getting the runs."

Lee says, "Cam, you don't have to make excuses to me for them. It's just not your decision and not mine either." He's not going to argue with the boy over who's responsible for a corpse in the front room. Lee's too busy being appalled at Cam's condition. "It hurts? Well, why didn't you say something before, we can work something out here on school grounds. Does anyone else here know other than me?" He shakes his head, slightly disgusted at the unfairness of life.

Cam nods a little and says, "Just when I get mad or scared, or when I get wet. Those times, it wants to happen and it really hurts to hold it in. Rest of the time, it doesn't bother me, and sometimes have trouble even making it happen." He seems a little confused by this, as he says it. He then nods again and says, "Mr. Church knows. But think that's it."

Lee replies, "Okay, well, since you're aware of what triggers it, that just shows you have to be careful. Like Dale, you know he has to test his blood sugar with the little tester he carries with him? It's just like that. Dale can do pretty much what everyone else does, he just has to be aware of a little bit more than others. Same for you and being mad, scared, or, er, wet." That last one doesn't fit, so he grins a bit at the incongrousness, encouragingly.

Cam grins at the last part, and jokes, "That mean I don't have to shower every day?" Obviously not serious. Then he does grow more serious though as he considers the rest, "I'll try." Then he asks, "Think they'll let me stay there until my birthday anyway? It's only a week."

Lee says, "I know this - CFS would rather have you there than back on the street or back at the shelter. I'm not going to make you any promises, but just keep coming to school and keep doing well and you'll have a lot more cards to play with them, right? And you know if anything goes wrong you can always count on me." He says that almost as if it's a surprise to him too.

Cam nods again and says, "That's the whole reason I didn't run away last time, they'd make me stop coming to school. Just wish my real mom and dad were back." He smiles though at the last statement, happy and a little relieved to have the option, and says, "Thanks."

Lee says, "Okay. Now don't stress about the test. You have a solid grasp of the material. Study this weekend and you'll blow it out of the water. And you have my e-mail address if you have any questions, I'll answer them right away this weekend, I'll be hovering. Good luck, Cam."

Cam nods quickly and says, "I'll study. I'm gonna go to the library to borrow extra books before I go home, since mine are all at the house still. Hope they get my stuff back before they send me somewhere else… I'm even wearing Micah's clothes." Then he nods with another smile and says, "Thanks for talking, Mr. Jones. Bye." With a wave, he's out the door.

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