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The Ups and Downs about Love

Monday.

Rikki had found the phone number for a delivery service that specialized in transporting animals. He gave the dog and Suzy's address to the delivery man.

"He'll be home later tonight, safe," the delivery man said with a smile.

"Alright, thanks," Rikki said to him with Suzy standing at his side.

"Thank you," Suzy said. The man tipped his hat toward them and he carefully set the box with the dog in it in the back seat of the car. He started the car and he drove away down toward the driveway. "What a kind person," she said. Before everyone headed to their first class, Jack called everyone to the main room.

"All of us, have heard the news, that recently, a student was taken from us. I am pleased to say to all of you, that this student has been found," Jack announced. Everyone applauded. "She will rejoin her fellow students today and she has asked me to tell you that she doesn't want to be the center of attention today. Also, she doesn't want to answer any questions you may have, so please respect her privacy. Now, let's get to class." Everyone headed to to their classes.

Ms. McCracken was back in her teaching position after what had happened during the chase. Rikki noticed that she walked with a hardly noticeable limp and that she was using her telekinesis more. Obviously she didn't want to move around very much.

"Another reason why control of your Gifts is very important," she said with her partially Scottish accent, "because sometimes, your Gift can really come in handy," she added with a smile. The end of class came. "See you all tomorrow." She stopped Rikki.

"What is it Ms. M?" he asked.

"I see you found her," she said.

"Yeah," he said. "I missed her so much."

"I can understand that." She waved him toward the door. He gave her a small smile and he walked out to his next class. Max caught up with him in the hallway.

"You should've seen it," she told him. "Suzy was all of the attention in the class."

"Really?"

"Why?"

"Because everyone knew that she was taken and now she's back."

"Who s-?" he then stopped himself, knowing the answer before he finished the question.

"She also got out of having to do any physical work."

"Seriously?"

"Yeah."

"That's good for her." Now it was Gift usage class with Coach L., not that anyone really cared, because Suzy was back and a lot of kids wanted to ask Rikki what happened.

"Guys, please," Rikki said. "Give us some space, come on." A few of them groaned and walked away. "I'm sorry."

"That's a brave thing to say," Max said to him.

"Is it?"

"Yeah."

History class.

Rikki and Suzy walked into the room holding hands.

"Good afternoon," Ms. Martinez said as they walked into the room. She had barely begun the lesson when the tone went off marking the lunch period. Rikki and Suzy walked up to the cafeteria together and they sat down at their table by the window. Dan sat down with his lunch.

"You two are inseparable," he said with a laugh.

"So what?" Rikki asked his brother.

"Nothing. I just think that you two will be together for your entire life."

"We have been together for our entire life," Suzy told him.

"So far," Dan added with a half-smile. Max walked over holding a plastic bottle of water.

"How's it going?" she asked them.

"Just fine," Rikki said.

"I can see that. You to are like the letters 'q' and 'u'. You can never be separated."

"What about that middle-eastern country Qatar?" Dan asked. "It's spelled q-a-t-a-r."

"That has nothing to do with this," Rikki said playfully punching his brothers shoulder.

"Yeah, it does."

"It does not."

"Does too," he said quickly. Rikki stared at him.

"Don't even get me started."

"Don't pay any attention to him," Kilo said walking over.

"Whoever said I was?" Suzy then felt a tap on the shoulder. She turned and looked. It was Cassandra.

"Hey!" she said.

"Hi, Cass," Suzy said. "I'm back."

"I know. I'm so happy!" They gave each other a hug.

"Wait, now hold on," Dan said.

"What?" Cassandra asked.

"If you're only 11, how'd you get here?"

"Actually, I'll be twelve in a few days."

"Oh, well happy birthday," Max said with a smile.

"Thanks. And I got here because of something that happened when I was little. I don't really remember what it was though."

"Well, no need to dwell on bad thoughts," Lotus said sitting down and ruffling Cass's hair. "It's nice to see you again."

"Yeah."

"Also, while I was away, apparently, I unlocked my Gift."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"That's so cool. What is it?"

"It's this healing thing."

"She means a healing factor," Luuk said, leaning in from behind.

"Oh."

"I unlocked mine too," he said sitting down by Lotus and gave her a romantic look. She blushed slightly and moved a few inches away.

"Good for you."

"Yeah." He touched the tabletop and his arm turned into the same type of wood.

"That's actually really cool," Cass said with wide eyes.

"Thanks."

"I see were all catching up," Chyanne said and she sat down at the table followed by Aoi. "So I guess I'll join in." There was a few moments of silence of them expecting her to say something. "What?" she asked as they were all looking at her.

"Aren't you going to say something?" Kilo asked.

"I thought I did." Kilo scoffed.

"Don't be so mean," she said.

"I'm not," she said opening her can of soda.

"What?" There was an angry and confused look on Kilo's face. "What happened to you? You were never this mean to people back in NC."

"That was my last life. Things are different now."

"So… in this new life of yours… you're a jerk?"

"I don't know," she shrugged. "Maybe." She drank some of the soda. Kilo sighed.

"Sometimes… I can't believe that we're related," she said just loud enough for Chyanne to hear. Chyanne's anger snapped and she slammed her drink down onto the table flattening the can completely and she stared at her little sister directly in the eyes with an enraged look in her eyes.

"Well sometimes I can't believe you were born," she said in a low voice without any hesitation whatsoever causing a silence to fall over the entire cafeteria. Kids from the nearby tables heard and looked over.

"Dude," Dan said a few moments later, breaking the unbearable silence. "that's just… just mean." Chyanne looked about the room with her eyes then back at her little sister who looked as if she had been shot in the heart, and she sighed. She then stood up and walked away. Ever so slowly, conversations began to resume. Rikki looked off in the direction Chyanne had walked only she had gone. He looked back at the table and found Suzy giving Kilo, who had started to cry, a sympathetic hug. Lunch later ended without another incident. Rikki walked back to history class. Ms. Martinez continued the lesson, not bothering with the fact that Chyanne hadn't come back. She had ended the lesson a few minutes early. Rikki sat in silence, just wanting to go to his next class.

"Hey," a voice said. He looked over and it was that girl, Kora Mas, with the slight German accent. "What happened earlier?"

"At lunch?"

"Yeah."

"An argument between a couple friends of mine."

"But, it was obviously deeper than that. I heard the whole room go quiet."

"Yeah."

"So, what exactly happened?" Rikki sighed as he scratched his head and he told Kora all about what happened.

"Wow," she breathed. "That's heavy." Then, the bell rang, ending the period. "See you tomorrow."

"Yeah, you too."

Gifts in combat class.

"It's nice to see your girl again," Professor Hawking told Rikki.

"Thanks?" Rikki said unsure.

"She's really nice. Especially toward the kids in my second class."

"Oh, well that's good."

"Remember to always keep her happy."

"Yes, sir."

Finally, the end of the day.

Rikki sat with Suzy in their favorite spot on the bench under the tree in the front. They could sit there for hours upon hours just sitting there and looking at each other and kissing. Instead, they just sat there, holding hands leaning on each other. A few kids waved at them as they walked by.

"It's nice that we're together again," Suzy said.

"Yeah, it is," Rikki said. Just then, a familiar face came up to them. It was Will.

"Hey," he said.

"Hi," Suzy said.

"S'up, man," Rikki said.

"Jack wanted to talk to you," he said pointing at Suzy.

"Uh, okay," she said. She stood up and walked with Will. "I'll be back," she called to Rikki behind her. Rikki nodded with a smile and he leaned back on the bench and he closed his eyes as he enjoyed the nice weather. He heard the sound of someone walking over and sitting down. He opened one eye and looked over. It was some girl, that wasn't Suzy.

"I'm sorry, but this seat is reserved," Rikki said to her.

"Hm?" she asked. Rikki opened both eyes and turned to face her.

"This seat is taken."

"Yeah," she said with a smile. "By me."

"Can I help you?"

"No. I just wanted to say hi."

"Well, you've accomplished your goal." Just then, Suzy came back.

"Hi," the girl said to Suzy standing up and shaking her hand very quickly. "Who are you? My name is Jaylen Pierce. What's yours? Are you a nice person? Can we be best friends?" she asked really, really quickly. "What kind of Gift do you have? Where are you from? What's your family like?" she continued to go on.

"Uh…" Suzy was unsure as she could barely understand what Jaylen had said. Jaylen was still rambling questions. Rikki brought his finger up to Jaylen's lips, silencing her.

"Jaylen, this is Suzy. She's my girlfriend," he said bringing his finger down.

"You are?" Jaylen asked.

"Yeah," Suzy said slowly.

"That is sooo cool!" she said. "My best friend is in a relationship!"

"Slow down, slow down," Suzy said. Jaylen was fanning herself with her hands as she was trying to catch her breath.

"Sorry, I tend to ramble."

"I know, but… I wouldn't say we're best friends… quite yet," Suzy told her. Jaylen stopped.

"Oh…" she said with her eyes tearing up. "W-we're n-not?"

"Don't cry!" Suzy said. "We're just not… best friends… yet. You have to just be friends for a little while before you become best friends."

"H-how long-" she paused as she wiped her eyes, "how l-long is that?"

"Well... it could be a few days... it could be a few weeks. Or it could be a few years, even."

"I see," she said with a sad sigh. "You just don't want to be friends with me." She lowered her head and she turned around and she started to walk away slowly, her shoulders shaking. Suzy watched her walk away with a regretful look on her face.

"Jaylen, wait," she called after her. She stopped walking and she continued to look at the ground. She felt a hand on her shoulder and she looked up. Suzy was standing by her side.

"What?" she asked her eyes still red from crying.

"Sometimes… it only takes a few moments." Suzy gave her a hug.

"Yay," she said. "My first friend."

"Look at me," she said and Jaylen looked at her. "Just try not to step into other people's relationships, okay?"

"Okay." They hugged again. Rikki walked over to them.

"Come on, let's go to the snack bar."

"Awesome!" she said. "I went by there earlier and I saw those chocolate bars and I've been wanting one since." She continued to ramble on as they walked toward the cafeteria.

"Jaylen?" Suzy asked her.

"Yes?" she asked in a singsong way,

"Please try to talk slower so we can understand."

"Sorry!" she rushed. Rikki started laughing. Jaylen gave him a dirty look and she punched him in the shoulder.

"Ow!" he said. Then Suzy and Jaylen started laughing. Rikki just couldn't resist joining in a moment later.


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