Disclaimer: See Prologue.

Rating: PG-13

Rating: A, E, R, ALT

Tears and Silence


RHS/September 15, 1996


Jer closed his math textbook and sighed, catching Jessie's eye as he did. She smiled as she got up and motioned him over. Collecting his things, he walked over to where she stood.

"Having a little trouble, are we?" she asked, grinning. She walked out the door and into the crowded hall, and he followed.

He rolled his eyes. "Nothing a medium-sized pipe bomb couldn't solve. That teacher drives me nuts."

She laughed. "She drives everybody nuts. But really, are you OK with the math?"

"I'd forgotten how rotten U.S. schools can be. But the math's not the problem." He frowned. "Actually, I could use a little help brushing up on my Trig from last year. I studied at home, but apparently she expects something different for the inverse circular functions."

They stopped as Jessie opened her locker and threw in her math book. Pulling out her English Lit book, she said offhandedly, "I was always good at Trig."

He smiled. "Is that an offer?"

Looking up at him she was again taken by his eyes. She wondered fleetingly if he was wearing color contacts to make them more intense. Then she realized that he was waiting for an answer.

"Well, I guess I could squeeze something into my busy schedule, seeing as I owe you one for driving me home and all," she replied quickly.

"Great. Saturday?" Just then the bell went off and Jessie darted in off in the direction of her English Lit class.

"Sounds great!" she called over her shoulder. "Call me, okay?"

Jer nodded and waved after her, then turned and walked at a leisurely pace towards the student lounge.

Quest Compound/September 15, 1996


Jonny picked up the phone on the second ring. "Hello?"

"Hey, Jonny, it's Jer," came the voice on the phone. "Is Jessie around?"

"Hold on a sec, Jer," Jonny said. Cupping his hand across the phone, he yelled

"Hey, Jessie! Your little Jerry-poo is on the phone!"

Jessie furiously rounded the corner from the dining room where she had been studying into the living room where Jonny held the cordless phone. Grabbing it, she muttered under her breath, "Get a life, Jonny."

"Hello?" she said to the phone, her voice cheerful. "Oh, hi," she continued. Swatting at Jonny as he made kissing noises and mimicked her voice, she said, "That sounds great. At 4:30? Uh huh. See you there. Buhbye." She hit the off button on the phone and pushed Jonny, who was hugging himself with his back towards her and running his hands all over his back, still making kissing noises. He sprawled into the sofa and started laughing when he saw her glaring at him.

"Oh, wow, Jess, did you get a date with the great Jer Whittacker?" Jonny asked her in mock admiration. "He's so-o-o-o dreamy!" Jonny clasped his hands and gazed at the ceiling, kneeling on the couch. "If only I could get a guy like him…"

Hadji walked in and threw a pillow at Jonny. "If only you could get anyone at all…" he teased. Jessie began to laugh.

Jonny looked at Hadji with false hurt. "Just because you broke my heart, Hadji, doesn't mean I'll never love again." He threw his head back with his hand to his forehead, and added in a Southern drawl, "First Hadji, then Scarlet"- at this, Jessie shot him a deadly look- "and now Jer! Will no one evah fall in love with poah ol' me?"

Hadji replied with a perfectly straight face, "Not until you improve that accent, Miss Jonny."

E-mail to Csurd@hotmail.com/September 15, 1996


To: Csurd@hotmail.com

From: Jsurd@hotmail.com

Subject: Playdate?

Have arranged to meet JB tomorrow for "study date." You know how much my math skills suffer. Pretty soon she'll trust me like a member of her own family. It's too bad her father's got to die, she seems like a nice kid. Listen to me, I'm going soft. Too much time in that damn school, I guess. I'd forgotten how much of a pain American schooling is. More tomorrow. Jer.

"We learn not for life, but for school." -Pliny

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