2007-09-02: First Day

Starring:

Michelle_icon.gif Miranda_icon.gif Church_icon.gif

Guest Starring:

Joshua

Summary: Miranda takes one of her daughters to school on the first day of the school year and enlists the new guidance counsellor's help. Michelle is a typical teenager and Joshua kicks off the year with hijinx.

Date It Happened: September 2nd, 2007

First day


Brubaker Secondary School, New York City

First day of school is supposed to be exciting isn't it? Or filled with the normal awkward teenaged angst of being in high school. The whole ride to school, Michelle was sulking in the car. It's really unattractive, and immature. For a child of a lawyer, she has a hard time making her case as to why she needs to be on the team. That would just mean opening up to her parents and no way. That's just not happening. Although.. an idea does come to mind.. "Mom?"

"Hmm?" Miranda slides Mark's BMW into one of the parking spaces designated for visitors, namely parents, to Brubaker. She lands a good spot because of the sole fact that it's early. Way, way too early - hence the giant, black "eff you, sun" shades the woman sports. She puts the luxury car into park dangerously close to the vehicle in the adjacent parking spot. "Careful getting out on that side," she tells Michelle as she gathers various necessities from the car: keys, thermal mug from "Gloss" magazine, purse, candy— candy? Not hers. She throws it out the window. "What were you saying, honey?" she says distractedly while searching for God knows what in her purse.

'Nothing', almost comes out of Michelle's mouth at what she perceives is disinterest from her mother. Noting the dangerously closeness of the other car, she scoots to the other side of the backseat so she can get out easier. A hand reaches to open the door and stops. "Mom? Dad went off the deep end and said I couldn't be on a sports team this year. I told him I made the soccer team and he flipped. He got all bent out of shape that I might get hurt or something." Please let him have forgotten to take her name off the roster. "He said he was going to come down here and tell them to take me off."

Lawrence can't remember his first day of High School, but world be damned if he won't remember this one. He's pretty much as excited as the poor little seventh graders that are about to meet their certain doom; fortunately, he's got a few things that said children do not- such as the paper that certifies him as a School Counselor. Dressed in a nicer suit than what is usual, the man is making his innocent walk through the parking lot, suitcase in hand, until- BONK. Something flying beans him right in the temple. "Agh!" One look at the ground says it is a piece of candy. Nice shot, Miranda. Preemptive strike #1.

"Why would he do a stupid thing like— " Agh! Agh? Instinctively, Miranda whips her head around to see approximately half of a man in a suit. She ducks down, peers, squints, and gets the whole view of Mr. Church. …Maybe he didn't realize where the projectile came from. "I'm sure he forgot about it the second his phone rang," she resumes, blas√©, in the process of climbing out of the car. She looks up at the Brubaker building, absently shutting the driver's side door and presses a button on her (read: Mark's) keychain to lock it. She's obviously one of the moms, though it might not be quite so obvious out of the schoolground environment; today, Miranda's thrown on a black dress with a white flower pattern. It has little shape and hangs more like a short nightgown more than a proper dress. "Soccer is … healthy. You like soccer. You need to be on the soccer team." Out of nowhere, tiny plastic-wrapped pieces of telltale candy spill out of her purse onto the pavement around her high-heeled sandals. "… I'm going to kill the short one."

Michelle eyes her mother from the backseat, a frown tugging at the corners of her mouth. Miranda probably has a valid point. Mark's attention span is pretty short when it comes to family issues. Heaving a sigh, she climbs out of the car, and shuts the door harder than necessary behind her. "See! You get it! I don't know what he was fussing about. He totally freaked." She doesn't go into the part about being grounded. If Mark forgot about the soccer team, then he forgot about grounding. Simple logic, see? "I'm going to need cleats for my uniform. We were supposed to go clothes shopping, but then he went totally apes—" That would be her shutting up, remembering she's around her mother and someone in authority seems to be coming their way. "Mom. You're spilling candy."

Church stoops over to pluck the plastic-wrapped goodie into his hand, peering vaguely in the direction where it came. He's not looking for a mom, he's looking for someone likely fleeing the scene of the accident; that doesn't deter him from taking a second, suspicious look at Miranda and Michelle getting out of the car. Once the candy comes cascading from Miranda's purse, Lawrence's face goes from suspicious to wry, then to amused in a matter of seconds. Eyebrows lifted up and lips threatening a grin, Church steps slowly over with the candy in between two fingers. "I… think you dropped this on my face."

"…Cleats," Miranda says, ignoring her daughter's stating of the obvious. Spilling candy. Yeah. She kind of noticed. "Check. I'll take care of it," she tries to assure Michelle with a smile — which is when Church happens over and her smile grows brighter and guiltier. The combination is nothing short of manic. "Hi… there. Yeah, um. Sorry about that. Just… doin' what I can, making the world a happier place. With candy." Pause. "Pardon me just a second." Miranda crouches down, somewhat precariously in her slip of a dress, and starts grabbing the candy off the ground. She misses a few, but c'est la vie, the pigeons can have it. She shoves a handful of candy in Michelle's direction. "It's Alison's. Here, take it. Get your high from sugar, say no to drugs."

Michelle shoulders her satchel as she looks from Miranda to Church. "Thanks mom," she says in a subdued tone, then she's having candy shoved at her. Great.. It's Ali Angel's. There's a faint eyeroll before the handful of candy is stuffed into her satchel. "Like I'm taking drugs." Marijuana however, doesn't count. It's medicinal. "There's gonna be a release form too I think, like with field hockey, and the school's taking care of the uniforms."

Happier place. With candy. Lawrence looks wary about that answer, but if she doesn't want it back- the candy disappears with a plop into his chest pocket while Miranda is shoving the rest at her apparent daughter. He stands offsides with a half-smile at both of them, debating a quiet exit. Cleats, release forms, uniforms? "You can get all the sports forms from the guidance office secretaries, if not the coaches." Lawrence offers this in his most helpful of voices, hand lingering over the pocket to where he dropped the piece of candy. Okay, so not quite quietly leaving yet.

"You better not be." That's all Miranda has to say on the subject of drugs to Michelle. "Release form… already? Well, just give it to me to…" Oh, that man is still here? And offering helpful advice? How about that. "…right. Okay. Guidance office." The brunette finally pushes her sunglasses out of her eyes, propping them up past her browline where they help to keep her slightly unkempt hair in place. In the morning sun, she squints at Church. "Do you happen to work here? You wouldn't— know where the guidance office is, would you?" She inserts a hopeful smile. "I have things to do later, the less time I have to spend wandering the halls…"

"Yeah thanks, Einstein, s'where I got 'em from last year," Michelle says in a surly tone, sounding a moment there like her dear, sweet father. The attitude inheritance surely does not help their clashing of wills. Nothing else is said on the subject of drugs. Who's going to admit to their mother that they've smoked pot a time or two? She's also not going to admit to knowing where the guidance office is. Possibly having spent more than a time or two in there the last year, and year before that. Another eyeroll, and she starts to walk off, muttering, possibly just audible enough, "Wouldn't wanna take up more of your time anyway."

"No, no, you see, I'm just walking around school grounds dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase." Church says this Very Seriously, but it's clearly light-hearted sarcasm. "I'm actually the new Counselor here." His white smile grows out, brown eyes glancing towards Michelle as she starts to stalk away, but back on her mother in the next second. "I can take you there, sure, no problem." He thought that parents would already know these things- but hell, that's what he gets for assuming anything.

It's not that Miranda hasn't had to go to the counsellor's office here before because of her children, but her memory is sometimes suspect. "Michelle, do you want your soccer and field hockey or not?" The question is automatic and bland, spit out in a half-assed attempt to stop the girl from wandering away entirely. "I guess I picked the right person to pelt with candy," she replies, giving Church a smirk before she starts to head toward Brubaker's entrance. "I'm Miranda, by the way. Lancaster," she offers, shuffling her coffee from one hand to the other in order to extend a proper hand for shaking in transit.

Oh great, a sarcastic counselor. That's just ossum. Do not misunderstand, Michelle is grateful that her mother is letting her continue with soccer, and just said she'd take care of the cleats.. and the release forms. She's just.. very much like her father. "Yes m'am," emphasis on the m'am as she responds to Miranda. The half-assed attempt works, and Michelle stops wandering off. She stops in her tracks, crosses her arms and taps a foot. Waiting here.

Church moves off towards the entrance in suit, walking up beside Miranda like any good conversationalist. His demeanor alters toward awkward just oh-so slightly when she offers her name and the hand, though it may be hard to tell why, exactly. Lawrence breaks into a grin. "Aha. It's a pleasure, missus Lancaster." The woman's hand is taken in his own. "Lawrence Church. Mister Church to the kids." This is said just loud enough for Michelle to hear. He likes you, don't worry- he just feels the need to assure himself of his position! Yeah.

"'Mister Church'." Miranda smiles with amusement. "I like it. Sounds like you'll strike— " Here, she lightly punches the air with a loose fist. " —the fear of God into them if they misbehave." Ha ha, funny, right?… "…and this is Michelle," the mother smiles in contrast to her daughter's impatient demeanour, as if smiling brighter on her part might outshine Michelle's attitude or, at least, sway the guidance counsellor's attention away so that he doesn't realize what a brat her offspring is. Unfortunately, that reality is hard to ignore. Good thing none of her kids have insight into her thought process.

Michelle faces forward and just rolls her eyes at the correction coming from Church. She heard you. whatev. Like she hears the introduction, to which she throws a bright and fake smile, over her shoulder at Church. Feeling it in her best interest, she lapses into silence as she heads into the building. She can restrain herself, see? (Only because she wants something.)

Church isn't sure if she's laughing at his name, or at the possibilities of it. Alas. The smile doesn't go away, though. He's not creepy, just a happy guy. "That's what I keep in my chin- the right fist of God." He straightens up a tad, lifting his hand to his jawline. "Haters be hurtin'." The weak attempt at humor may or not actually be humorous, FYI. At least he steps ahead to pull open the door for mother and daughter, drawing attention way from his own lapse in funnies.

Fist of… God… chin… haters… what? Miranda is left giving Church a look that's caught somewhere between amused (the smile), hesitant (that shifty glint in her eye) and horrified (that precarious little laugh she gives). Haha… ha? Ultimately, the woman nods her head several times and, probably and knowingly to the inevitable embarrassment of her fifteen-year-old, says, in a completely and utterly serious voice: "Word up." That done, Miranda promptly heads inside on Michelle's heels. She gives the halls of the school an uninterested glance. She just wants to head straight for the guidance office.

Michelle is already getting a load of nicknames in store for Church. Names he's probably heard a zillion times, but she'll have 'em ready to roll all the same. The holding of the door catches her off guard. Guys still do that? She shoots a look up at Church that's somewhat puzzled before the mask of indifference comes down, and she's rushing in through the door. Okay, not needed anymore, must get away from adults. Where are her friends for crying out loud!

There's the sound of pounding feet from down the hall and around the corner, and the source is soon revealed— a teenager with short, blonde hair in whatever today's current fashion is (that spiky style or whatever), hands gripping both straps of his backpack as it bounces up and down his back from the running. "Excuse me— excuse me, coming through— watch out— there you go!" he says, each phrase offered to a different person in his way as he makes his path through the throng of students, teachers, and parents. "I DIDN'T CHANGE 'EM, LADY!" he calls back behind him, and while this may confuse some people at first, it will make sense a few seconds later: the librarian is chasing after him, yelling something about changing all the home pages on the computers in the library.

Even if guys don't do that, Church still does. It is almost ingrained. He laughs a little when Michelle rushes through the door, pausing just inside to take in the first-day bustle. "Here, just this way. We'll get you what you need, and you can be off again in no time." Lawrence motions for Miranda to follow him, the prior bout of awkwardness from outside turning into the sharp senses that he's going to need to Survive here. He doesn't need it in the next few seconds, though- here comes some kid down the hall, in flight mode and being pursued. He offers Miranda a short "Pardon me a sec-" before he moves forward to intercept the blond teenager, either by appearing in front of him or grabbing the top loop of his pack as he skirts past. "Slow down, cowboy- the innocent don't have to run."

Miranda's attention, like most people's, is swept up by the kid speeding by like a locomotive. O-kaaay. That's about the extent of her caring; except for the fact that his antics slow down their trek to the office. In the interim, she steps up to Michelle and adjusts the girl's collar. "Do you know where your homeroom is, sweetie?" See, Michelle? Your mother is paying attention to you. Here, in the middle of the hall, where all your future classmates can see you.

Michelle flattens herself against the wall as the teenager comes running through the hall. Oh man.. day one and pranking is already happening. AWESOME. A wide grin splits her face as curiosity sets in about what the homepages could have been changed to. Still grinning in admiration (and maybe a little crush-y), she cranes her neck to see just who is behin.. aha.. That figures! Wh.. what!? Ack! Embarrassing being tended to! "MooOOoom.. I'm in 10th grade…" Not fifth! Her tone is in a whiney, pleading manner as her cheeks flood with color. Not in front of the cute guy! GOSH. "Yeees.. I know where it is." Her expression all but begs Miranda to stop.

"MIKE GET THE DOOR!" Joshua yells down the hallway to a guy he knows, who responds immediately. With the door held open, Josh just manages to dodge Church's attempt to grab him ("Too slow, teach— and I am innocent but she has like fifteen rulers!") and sprint on by, flashing a thumbs up at Michelle (and immediately regretting it, because, hey, /that/ wasn't extremely dorky or lame at all), right past Miranda (ooh, a hot mom!), and right out the door, slapping a high-five with Mike on the way out. Gone. (The librarian comes to a halt just inside the door, leaning against the wall and breathing heavily, before turning to head back to the library, muttering.)

Church is literally left in the dust. Not that he is going to complain. The hand that was out for Joshua gets lifted to brush back his hair in a moment of frustration that looks more like a sigh. Well. It is a sigh, actually. "He's just going to have to come back. I wonder if he realized that." Lawrence turns on his heel back towards Miranda after eyeing the exit a few moments longer. He'll see what the fuss was over later, but now- "I hope that's not a precursor. Anyway. Office?" Churchie is ready again. No more crazies at the moment.

It's as if Miranda knows she's embarrassing Michelle, particularly in the presence of boys. Her timing is impeccable. Funny, that. HMMM. She glances over in time to see Joshua's thumbs-up, but not in time to avoid being nearly jostled by the guy's rush past. There's a breeze left in his wake that jostles her dress. Jeez. After a dismissive shake of her head, she says to Michelle, "Do you need lunch money? Vending machine.. change? I think they installed some healthy snacks program this year. Hm? More candy? … A hug? Crack? A gun? Michelle, are you listening?" Miranda sways her head to and fro and looks into Michelle's eyes as one might assess a victim of a concussion. Shaking her head, she smiles to Church with a semblance of gratefulness. "Lead the way." She gestures.

OMG. HE LOOKED AT ME!? *SQUEAL* Is what goes through Michelle's mind because, BOY! And she's still staring after Joshua with something like crushy hero worship on her face. (Hey, fifteen, raging hormones right?) "Huh? Aw.. moooom.." stopitpleaseomg. "I'll take the crack and the gun. Since you offered," she says, trying to wipe the goofy ass grin from her face as she looks up at Miranda. ".. but.. I'm good on money." She swiped some earlier. And there's always that lovely thing known as a cash advance on the credit card dad has yet to revoke.

"Right. Follow me." Church motions again for Miranda to follow him. Michelle can tag along if she needs to, but. "Please don't give my students ideas, miss Lancaster." He laughs as he turns to move off down the hall and past the gaggles of teenagers.

"Well, I'm out of crack and weaponry this morning, I must have left them at home," Miranda deadpans as she follows the counsellor. "Are you good to go, Michelle?" she asks over her shoulder, prompting her daughter with a raise of her brows. Her voice raises as they get further down the hall. "Behave today, I don't want to get any calls from Mister Church here." She looks back briefly to Church— "No offense."

"Sure thing mom.. and darn. There goes my plans to torch the gym and start some fistfights," Michelle deadpans back to Miranda. "Guess I'll have to pretend I'm Alison, at least for the day!" Giving a flippant wave to her mom, she's off and rushing for homeroom. She just spotted her BFF, Calliope!

Church watches the short banter between mother and daughter from a mental distance. She was literally the first student he met, so lucky Michelle- she's known for the rest of Church's high school career! How awesome is that? "None taken. I expect that I am going to be swamped with far more destructive students than your daughter today, anyway." Like the ones that will inevitably do something stupid or violent, et cetera. He smiles again and continues in leading Miranda off to the guidance offices.

Miranda gives Church a tight smile, as if she's not entirely convinced that's true. Hopefully, it is. Hopefully, neither of her daughters decide to rebel to the point of property damage. "The infamous guidance office." Finally! "I'm good at signing things. Bring on the forms."

The secretary behind the initial desk only needs to be asked once, and the older woman seems to whip the forms from somewhere beneath the counter of the hard desk. At least she knows where it all is. "Infamous, indeed." He's going to look forward to having to see her come back, but that goes unsaid. Here's hoping one daughter gets into trouble. "Heeere you go." Lawrence brandishes the proper forms in one hand, the other plucking a pen from the cup on the frontmost desk. "It's the same old release forms they've had for ten years- standard stuff." Just to make sure she knows. Church motions with a hand towards an empty set of tables in the relative center of the front room, stepping backwards toward where there is a frosted glass door. Complete with his name in big, black letters. "Have a seat, if you like." Comes before he opens the side door to his office to deposit his briefcase just inside.

"Thank you," Miranda says the polite thing, takes the papers, pen, smiles, and heads over to the indicated table. She taps her pen in the air, pointing at Church in a sort of 'thank you' cheer before she settles down to go over the forms. She either reads very fast or is skimming. Papers all but fly. Sign here, here, here…

She is good at signing things. Church looks the part of concerned as he wanders back into the main office, eyes resting on Miranda's apparent deftness with an X, a line, and a pen. Well, now. "You've been through this before, it looks like." The man chuckles at Miranda as he goes to whisper something over the tall desk of the secretary.

"I have three daughters, and I'm in the writing business." Miranda signs off on the last page, pushes her chair back with a bit of an accidental scrape, regains her coffee mug, and promptly strolls over to the front desk of the office to hand off the papers. "Kinda equals experience with school release forms and a slightly above average reading ability."

Church keeps a less grinning smile, now, but it's certainly not a flat one either. "Oh? Three? Are they all going here?" He takes the forms and makes sure they're handed off to the IN bins. "Your name sounded a bit familiar, too-" He motions gently to her coffee thermos, complete with that 'Gloss' logo. "-you write for them, right?" Not that he would naturally know these things. No sir. Not him. He is a manly man that doesn't read lady magazines. Never.

"Only two. Lucky you," Miranda answers with a lopsided grin. Glancing swiftly down at her cup, she almost winces. "Oh, uhm." The writer reaches up to tousle the butterfly-clipped hair at the back of her head, purposefully looking away from the counsellor for a few seconds. "Not exactly. Sort of. Mostly I just edit things," she lies. "Anyway, thanks for the soccer and… field… hockey stuff, we saved the day," she gives a lame thumbs-up around the Gloss mug. Her rambling retreat shows no sign of slowing down. "I have to be going, nice meeting you — Lawrence, right? — enjoy the … candy. Alright." This would be Randi leaving.

Church takes Miranda's words at face value, but he's not actually convinced. Better to leave sleeping dogs lie, anyway; he sent So, Randi a letter not days ago. Finding the person that reads the letter? Awkward. So it shall and prrrobably will be ignored. For Great Justice. "Yeah. I will, don't worry. Nice to meet you, missus Lancaster." He dips his smiling head slightly and waves his hand in a lazy salute. "Have a good day."

"Good luck, don't let the kids run you into the ground on the first day." With those wise words of advice, Miranda is on her way out, spending as little time as she possibly can traversing the halls of the school in the process. So… many… teenagers.

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