2008-03-13: Signs Something Is Seriously Wrong With Your Life


Lee_icon.gif Church_icon.gif


Lee lays on the dramatic irony. Church has something wrong with his life.

Date It Happened:

March 13th, 2008

Signs Something Is Seriously Wrong With Your Life

Brubaker Secondary School

Lee has, since his return, had his brief period of celebrity among the students, who have already disregarded him as they do the latest lolcat image or boy band, much to his relief. Interestingly, the teachers have actually started to smile at him and not be cruelly dismissive. Assistant Principal O'Connell is ominously quiet. Still, as the students file into the auditorium and larger rooms to take their state achievement exams, things are pretty quiet at Brubaker, which is when Lee goes looking for Church at his office. He taps on the door, peering in. "Lawrence, you here?"

He's there, like most days- but as of late, the counselor that so many kids find so great has obviously been in a less amiable mood. He still does his job, and sees students, and all that jazz- but for a couple of weeks he has simply seemed less into it than usual. Lawrence sits back at his desk, one hand in his lap and the other on his desk, grasping a pen that is paused off to the side of a packet of papers. His reading glasses have slipped down his nose, and frankly, he seems on the brink of sleep when the knock comes. "Hmnh?" Church sits up straighter, eyeing the door before lifting a hand to say 'come in'. "Yeah, yeah. Just barely."

Lee comes in, edging the door shut a bit with his foot. No need for school gossips to hear anything. "Did I see you and some guy in Chinatown chasing around Cam Reynolds' foster mom a few days back?" He seats himself without asking, still a little stiff with his arm but the splint he wore on that day is gone.

Church lifts his eyebrows a bit, blinking hard to hold in a yawn. Hm? "Oh. That? Yeah, he knew her, and then I said I did, so we followed her like a coupla goons." The man bares a small smile, but it does flicker away. "How're you doing?" Not a topic change, just a distraction.

Lee says, "Good. Arm's better. Class is a wreck, but they're pretty much as ready as they're going to be for whatever's on that exam…" He's worried about it, clearly. Of course, it means his job if the pass percentage isn't high enough. "Well, how come you guys were chasing her? She looked pretty freaked out by it. You gotta be more careful, man, O'Connell's looking for any reason to can you."

"Some days I don't think I'd mind that. But I hope it's just a phase." Lawrence clears his throat, frowning. "Buddies, y'know, they get to you. You'd be hard pressed to find a guy without a friend that he gets into messes with, huh?" At this, he does smile with a more real effort. "But we did leave her alone. If she's pissed at me later, I'm sure it's about that. I guess she just doesn't like mixing business and walking."

Lee merely shakes his head. "I'm not defending her. You heard what happened in her house, the murder? I can't believe CFS would let Cam stay there if it weren't for the fact that he would just run away if they took him again. That kid's had such bad luck with placements. Murderers and psychopaths. No wonder he doesn't trust adults. Present company excepted, of course." He puts his hands behind his head, laces his long fingers together, "I don't know, I felt like I wouldn't come back for a while when I got suspended. There were a lot of days where I thought….hell, I never wanted to be a teacher anyway. Especially not to a bunch of delinquent rich kids and charity cases. But then I really started to miss it. I really started to want to come back. By the end I was frantic. Really frantic, like, what if I'd blown it."

There was a reason that Church took this placement. He liked the idea, he liked the first semester. At the start of the second, things started slipping. He wished it were easy to balance two lives. "I see. Yeah- I." Lawrence shifts in his seat, glancing to the door. "I've had some days like that, lately. I think I'm just having a rough time outside of the school. It's making me tired, cranky- tired. And I wonder why I'm around. But I know I'd miss it." He lifts a hand to take off the reading glasses, fingers digging at the corners of his eyes with a blink.

Lee says, "You would. They really count on you here. With Cam's secret, I mean, that right there is reason enough that you have to stay. Can you imagine if one of the jerkoffs in admin found out about that? They'd call the insurance company, they'd pitch a fit and he'd be out on the street in twenty seconds, if they couldn't figure out some way to make money off him." He brings his hands back, leans forward. "That's the other thing I wanted to talk to you about. Do you think you could sneak something into his file?" School skullduggery. Lee's so intent because the stakes are so, so very low. Or are they? Lee's oft-sneering expression is sincere, almost urgent.

Church pauses, blinking slowly up at Lee again. "His secret? What has he… told you about it?" Wait, a secret to do with his home life, or- are we on the same wavelength? "Something into his file. Like what? Nothing too big, I assume?" The casual nature of his questions make it seem as if it would be no trouble at all.

Lee says, quietly, "He told me he told you about the ice thing. It's why he had to leave his last foster home too. It's driving him crazy, it's one reason he's so attached to Niki Sanders, he's told her and she's worked it out with him." Lee says, "He told me that sometimes he has a hard time not using that ability? When he's angry, under stress…times like that. Now, I had this idea that maybe we could unofficially sneak a note into his file that maybe he's borderline explosive personality disorder? Nothing that would make its way into the CFS file and keep him from being placed…but just enough that if he felt like he was going to burst, he could ask to be excused and go let off steam in my old office. You know, the one that's under the steam pipes so it's like a sauna? Plenty of heat to dissipate down there, and he wouldn't be so far away that it would make him miss too much class."

It brings a vague smile to Lawrence's features when the conversation skitters overtop of 'explosive' and 'steam'. "Hm." He begins, genuinely thoughtful. And slightly curious about Lee's real place in this. "I think I could. Perhaps not using such… harsh language. But I think I can explain something out where he will have to be let out to gather his wits. I'll say that I held a personal consultation if anyone asks. All in his best interests."
Lee says, "Exactly. Maybe not something in his permanent record. I'd hate to have a fake diagnosis follow him around when he's going to have this real one that he has to cope with for the rest of his life." Lee shakes his head, slightly disgusted at the hand Cam's been dealt. "If the administration weren't such idiots, we could just get an accomodation for him, but that's how it is. When did you find out about it?"

"Back during the bust ordeal. He'd left some… behind, when it happened. I waited some time before speaking with him, because frankly-" He feigns a moment of bewilderedness. "-how was I supposed to handle it? I'll help him out with this, because I know he needs it, and you seem much more… capable than me when it comes to Cam."

Lee shakes his head. "Oh no. He worships the ground you walk on. Me, I have baggage about that stuff." he demurs. "My parents were a couple of lunatics…" And mercenaries. "…who built their whole lives around comic books and bad science fiction movies, obsessed with superpowers, and I spent eighteen years getting out from under it. I'm digging my heels in - I'm not going back in." No matter what his genetics say!

"Serious?" How interesting. Church leans back in his seat just enough to ease his tenseness. "I didn't know he thought that way. But- if this is going to help him, then I'll do it. I'll make sure that it doesn't raise any flags in the wrong places, Lee, you can count on that." Axing flags is a specialty.

Lee says, rising, "I appreciate it, Lawrence. Now don't mess around any more with Sanders? I hate to be a killjoy, but if a woman's flat-out running from you in a panic, something is seriously wrong with your life."

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