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Realistic or Modern Family Ties

Sub Genres
LGTBQ Friendly, Realistic, Slice of Life

PunkPrince

Senior Member
Give that back!"
"I need it!"
"I need to finish putting the sequins on this–Ow! Damn it, Kasha, you burnt me!"
"It's a hot glue gun, what'd you think was gonna happen, idiot?"

Jupiter slinked out into the hallway from one of the bedrooms, and Eva could see that they were struggling to close a bra through their shirt. She stopped them and clipped it closed. "Better?"

Jupiter nodded, flashing the woman an appreciative smile before adjusting the silicone breast forms that rested in the bra. She knew that Jupiter longed for breasts and feminine curves, and they had talked to a few people about getting Jupiter on a low dose of estrogen, but so far, no luck. Eva and Kennedy did what they could for them. Jupiter pushed back their messy blonde hair and looked up the stairs.

"Fighting over a glue gun," they explained. "Kyra was trying to use it to put sequins on a dress, and I guess..." They shrugged and slipped out the front door. It wasn't unusual for the children to call each other by their drag names.

"Damn it," Kennedy growled softly. "Nothing can ever go smoothly in this house." She sighed and turned to yell up the stairs. "Boys! Come here, and for god's sake be nicer to each other. There are glue guns all over this house, there's no reason for you to be arguing over that one. One of you can borrow mine, if it matters that much."

Ronan bounded over to them, Hugo creeping along slowly after him. Hugo continued to stare at the floor and apologized softly. "I'm sorry." He didn't look up at either of them. Kennedy sighed and gave the smaller twin's shoulder a gentle squeeze. "It's okay," she said softly. "I'm sorry for shouting, honey, I'm just stressed about today. I just want things to go well. I don't want to freak her out with fighting. How would you feel if Eva and I had been fighting the first day you came to live with us?"

Hugo gave a small smile and Kennedy returned it as she slipped out the front door onto the wooden porch.

Busy. That was the perfect word to describe the last week. Scrambling to get everything perfect for the girl coming to live with them. It was the similarities to Hugo and Ronan that had drawn Eva and Kennedy to her. The repeated rejection, over and over again.

Originally, they had gone looking for a younger child, one they could raise together. But this girl...they just couldn't leave her behind, in the state she was in. It was too much of what that had seen before. What Eva and Kennedy had endured, in some sense, and what their children had spent their lives in before finding them.

***

"They're here! Hurry up, Hugo!"

Kennedy turned and quickly moved to stand beside Eva again as their son scrambled to close the door behind him. He, as usual, stayed close to Kennedy and his brother, standing between the two, looking anxious as ever. "I hope they like us," he said quietly as they watched the silver car pull into the driveway. Jupiter craned their neck to look at the girl as she climbed out of the car. Their feet shuffled slightly, resulting in the clicking of their high heeled shoes on the wooden porch.

Eva found herself praying that she wouldn't have to hear her birth name. Neither she nor Kennedy had been able to change their names legally as of yet. On everything legal, Eva was Eric and Kennedy was Keegan, and each time one of them had to hear it it felt like a slap in the face.

The social worker spoke as he reached them, apprehensiveness in his tone. "Hello, Eric," he greeted, spitting out the words in a tone normally reserved for something sick and vile. He looked back to the girl. "Well, this is Eric. He’s your new adoptive father. He and Keegan, both actually." He motioned to Kennedy. Eva flinched at the near forgotten name. She felt Kennedy gently squeeze her arm. She didn't have to look at the other woman to know that anger had begun to flare up in her eyes. "I believe the woman who approved you may have mentioned your..." he cleared his throat. "Hobby."

"Her name is Eva and she is her mother," Kennedy said, glaring at the social worker. "And my name is Kennedy. I believe we discussed this with you in the interview we had, and we told Marie too. Repeatedly."
"You could at least make an effort when you're standing on our front porch." That was Jupiter, blue eyes narrowing as they watched the man.
The social worker looked the teenager over disapprovingly. "You must be Kevin."

Jupiter ignored the use of their birth name and lifted their chin. They clearly had some sort of comeback to snap back with, but held their tongue, knowing that now wasn't the time to start a fight.
The social worker looked back to the girl. "Call me if things don't work out."
"I'm sure we'll be fine," Kennedy said coldly.

And then, the paperwork was done and the man gone off the porch. As he left, Kennedy turned to the girl. "I'm sorry about that," she said gently. "Nobody's mad at you. People like that just upset me." She paused and turned to Eva, who remained quiet and seemed slightly shaken. "Are you all right?" She directed the question to Jupiter as well.

"Fine," Jupiter said simply.

"I'm okay," Eva said. "I knew he'd do it. I just never really get used to it. But thank you." She gave her partner a small smile, and Kennedy reached up to move a piece of Eva's hair away from her face, leaning up to peck the taller woman on the cheek before turning back to the girl.

"But anyway, I think an honest introduction is in order. My name is Kennedy and this is Eva. This is Jupiter, Ronan, and Hugo."

"Hello," Jupiter greeted.
"Hi! Ronan chirped, sunny as ever. Hugo gave a small wave from where he stood, still trying to calm himself from the earlier tensions.
 

half-blood prince

Junior Member
It had been a long day in the car for the young girl as she slept on and off on the way to her new home. She used to imagine the kind of home she'd been living in when she was younger. What her bedroom might look like and even what her parents might be like. That was until she came to realize that finding a family was a harder affair than she realized. Already she'd been bounced from home to home for various infractions. She had given up at this point of finding a family and had shut down completely for another. She barely spoke but a word the whole way even as the social worker tried to engage her. Insisting that it might endear her new family to her. Just like he had said about the Martins who treated her as a servant. Or the Prescotts when she wetted the bed after every thunderstorm that rolled overhead. Bringing back flashes of a time that was all too traumatizing for the young girl. There really wasn't anything more to say as the car hit a speed bump jarring her awake from her still freshly healing injuries. Her eyes looking around wildly as she tried to make sense of where she was now.

It looked like a decent enough area, but so did the other families that she had been forced into. Her stomach giving a mild growl as it had been a few hours since she last ate, but she said nothing. She was used to going far longer without food and she didn't want to risk upsetting the social worker. Sighing softly in the back of the car as they turned a few corners before eventually arriving at what seemed to be the house. Trying to tug her shirt down around her to prevent anyone from seeing her injuries. She knew she was supposed to tell her family about them so they could be treated, but she wasn't going to worry them. She could handle things herself as she had been for the last three years or so. If anything was the most polite, respectful and downright responsible girl they'd ever had. Swallowing nervously as she grabbed her backpack filled with the very basic of items. An old wolf plushie with a torn ear and some clothing enough to get her by for a few days at least. Yet, nothing that would even suggest this girl had a personality, to begin with.

Flinching when the social worker opened the door without warning and gestured for her to step out. Which she reluctantly did after a little bit of encouragement not wanting to get in trouble with the man. She didn't want to get into trouble with anyone if she were being truly honest. Glad when her long brown hair managed to fall in front of her face. Slowly inching along after the man, her body tense and ready to run if the situation called for it. She was pretty skinny for a twelve-year-old and there were restraint marks on her wrists that were still visible albeit subtle. Stopping a short distance away keeping everyone at arm's length as she looked at her new family. They seemed friendly enough, but she'd seen many homes turn friendly for a social worker or police officer. They called it 'family day' where they acted like everything was all perfect for their inspection. Quickly pushing the thoughts away though when her social worker greeted the two woman with disdain making her tilt her head. Keeping her mouth shut knowing better than to ask questions as she dropped her gaze to the floor letting the man talk with them.

Trying very hard to refrain from flinching with each new raised voice that she heard. Her limbs trembling as she knew it always meant something bad was going to happen. Normally to her with or without an accurate reason behind it as she shifted uneasily. How she managed to stay upright was anyone's guess, but all too soon the man was leaving. Barking an order to her as she nodded her head quickly before being left alone. Swallowing thickly once more like one of the older women turned to address her now. Tilting her head when she said people like that bothered them. Opening her mouth to ask why but quickly shut it again as she watched the two women interact quite nicely before introducing her to the family again properly. Giving them a glance over as she stood there nervously wondering what they wanted of her. Clutching the bag in her hands a little tighter as she tried to determine what they wanted from her.

(OOC: if you need things changed let me know)
 

PunkPrince

Senior Member
As the social worker left, the girl stared up at them with huge eyes. She looked like, if she could, she would melt into the ground and disappear, and her demeanor was more that of a feral puppy than a little girl. Nothing Eva and Kennedy hadn’t seen before, but it was heartbreaking every time.

Eva glanced to Kathleen. She reminded her so much of the way Ronan and Hugo had been when she had first met them, though in a different way. She led them into the house, followed by the others. Ronan bounced cheerfully into the house. Jupiter strode inside with their chin held high, glancing behind them once, as though to make sure the car really was gone.

Hugo slinked through the doorway and anxiously glanced over his shoulder at Kathleen. He didn't say anything, just offered a timid smile before skittering off up the stairs.

"He'll be back," Kennedy said as she heard the boy's bedroom door close. "He's just anxious. Probably went to calm himself down." Hugo frequently panicked at even the slightest little tiff. He had improved somewhat in the time he had spent with them, but was still terrified of even the slightest agitation. He had valium injections for when things got particularly bad, but he had begun to need them less and less.

"We thought," Eva started, her voice soft and quiet as ever, "that before we showed you your bedroom it might be best for you to get to know us a bit. So is there anything you want to ask us, or anything you want to say?"

(Sorry it’s not great! I’m off to work atm)
 

half-blood prince

Junior Member
Kathleen shifted nervously from her spot on the grass as she watched the only constant in her life, apart from her wolf plushie, disappear again. Leaving her with yet another family that she didn't know or trust. Still, she didn't want to seem too ungrateful about her new family, though it did make her uncomfortable with them all staring at her. Surprised when they didn't demand an answer from her right away and instead suggested they go inside. That wasn't really what she expected, but not wanting to break the rules on her first day she complied. Her movements stiff and uncertain feeling a little more at ease once the group had stopped looking at her. Her hands still clutching the bag protectively to her chest as though afraid that someone might take it. A regular occurrence by now unfortunately and it always left her upset as it was the very things that were truly hers. The wolf plushie being the very first 'gift' she ever received from a foster home and while worn and a little outdated, she'd always taken good care of it. Except when one of her foster siblings got upset with her and tore its ear partially making her start crying. Pushing the thought quickly away as she finally stepped inside the modest-looking home.

Starring in awe at such a relatively big place as she let her blue eyes take in the house as the door closed behind her. Startling in the process as she whipped around to see what was happening. Nearly losing her backpack in the process, but she managed to grab hold of it again. Bringing it once more to her chest as if it might somehow protect her from whatever new horrors she might face. Watching with some minor relief as her new 'siblings' disappeared off in different directions of the house. Easing some of the pressure she had felt as it was more of a family than she'd previously had before. Hearing a door close upstairs as one of her new mothers, Kennedy she thought mentioned he would be back. Nodding her head once more to let them know she was paying attention at the very least. She tried really hard to get to know the rules of all her new homes...its what kept her alive. As she was wondering where they might keep the cleaning supplies, the other woman spoke up this time.

Turning her head once more though her eyes remained in a constant fight between looking at them and the floor. Granted, she'd never had two mothers before so this was already different than what she was used to. Hopefully, the rules would be like any of the other ones because at least she knew how to function there. Surprised once again when the woman actually invited her to ask any questions before they saw her bedroom. Adults never let her speak to them before unless it was to ask HER a question. Opening and closing her mouth in hesitation wondering if this was some kind of trick. Trying to see how well behaved she could be before they had to punish her. She shivered at the implications as she shifted uncomfortably not sure what the right answer was. She had a dozen questions she wanted to ask but was too afraid to speak them. Instead, she simply shook her head in an attempt to refrain from shrugging as none of her families had liked that very much.
 

PunkPrince

Senior Member
Something flashed across Kathleen's face. The girl opened her mouth a few times, as though to speak, but she made no sound and eventually just shook her head. Clearly she had plenty to ask, but there was no point in pushing her. "Okay. Perhaps later," Eva suggested gently.
Why don't we go upstairs?" Kennedy asked softly. "We can show you where your room is."

She started up the stairs before waiting for an answer, and Eva beckoned for Kathleen to follow. They stopped at the end of the hallway, and Kennedy pushed open the door to the bedroom they had prepared for Kathleen. It had, at one time, been a guest room, plain and somewhat bare. They had, at first, contemplated perhaps leaving it as it was, but decided against it. The idea had seemed cold and harsh, and they suspected the girl had had very little in her previous homes, if anything , to herself at all. Kennedy had wanted to go all out, but Eva had convinced her to leave the place somewhat simple, so as not to overwhelm the girl too much on her first day. She'd wanted the room to feel peaceful, like somewhere Kathleen could retreat to relax if she needed to.

"We weren't exactly sure what you liked, so we tried to keep it sort of simple," Eva said, turning to Kathleen. "We can go out within the next couple days and pick out some things more to your liking, if you want."

A loud beep sounded from the back of the room, and Kennedy caught sight of a small green bird perched on the headboard of the bed. Stepping forward, she held a finger out for the bird to step up onto.
"Excuse me, sir," she said. "This is most definitely not your room." The bird responded with some nonsensical chattering, bobbing his head as if to emphasize whatever his point was.
"That's not very nice, Pickle," Kennedy said.
The bird continued babbling, leaning down to rub his beak on the bed frame and then leaning backwards to let out a loud squawk.

Eva turned to call over her shoulder, but Ronan peeked around the doorway before she could speak. "Pickle," he beckoned. "Come on."
The bird jumped from Kennedy's finger, flew a few feet, and then landed on the ground before running over to Ronan, toenails clicking on the hardwood floor.

Ronan leaned down to pick up the bird and offered Kathleen an apologetic grin. "Sorry," he said, ducking back out into the hall and heading toward his bedroom, able to be heard playfully scolding his bird until his voice dissipated down the hall. "You can't just go around wandering into other people's personal space, Mr. Pickle. It's not nice to just start touching other people's stuff..."

"I guess you've met Pickle," Eva said, smiling at Kathleen. "He's Ronan's bird. He's harmless. Just kind of a brat."
 

half-blood prince

Junior Member
Surprisingly enough, the two women were surprisingly nice about the situation insisting they'd try again later. Once again feeling oddly confused by the way that they were treating her. Or maybe she had done the right thing by staying silent, but it didn't seem like it. Either way, neither of them made any move to correct her or discipline her. So it was at least a good decision regardless as Kat tried to give the woman a gentle smile. More like just a flicker of one before it returned to the neutral expression. Looking up momentarily when Eva suggested they at least show her where she'd been sleeping. Nodding her head again wondering what her room might look like. She really didn't expect much at this point although this already felt like a huge upgrade from her other homes. At least, nobody had yelled at her so far and she had two mothers instead of a father. Letting them lead her upstairs as she cautiously followed suit only after taking her shoes off. Moving to set them down politely with the others before hurrying after the adults not wanting to be left behind. It hurt to run but she didn't want to mess up on her first day in a new home as she stopped to walk alongside the two ladies.

Taking care to keep as much distance as she could from them regardless of how kind they might seem. She knew better than to fall for a trick like this as it had been used many times over the years. She refused to let herself be fooled again as she stiffly made her way upstairs after them. Glancing around every now and then as they arrived at the top of the stairs. Looking both ways of the hallway with fascination getting distracted by a few of the decorations and such. Slowly trotting after them as they made their way to what she assumed to be her temporary home. Letting one of them push the door open as she stepped forward in awe at the spacious bedroom around her. Feeling quite undeserving of such a lovely room despite how little decorations were there. It was more than she could have ever imagined beyond her wildest dreams as she stepped forward. Finding it a bit overwhelming as she stepped towards the bed, letting her hands brush over the soft fabric. Promising herself that she'd do everything within her power not to wet the bed.

It was modestly decorated and was certainly more than she would have thought to do with it. Feeling tears threatening to fall down her face but she managed to push them away. Refusing to get emotional right now over something so babyish as getting a new bedroom. Fingers so gingerly brushing the fabric as it was a made of china as she looked around in awe and happiness. A small smile appearing on her young face that had not been seen for some time. Flinching instinctively though when one of the women spoke up. Hands quickly moving away afraid that she'd get scolded for touching something so nice. Whipping her head around as she pointed out that they hadn't known what to get her. But that they would go shopping in a few days to find her something she might like. Blinking in confusion at the words as she really didn't think she'd be getting even more things. This was already more than enough and even this felt like too big of a gift right now. Only to yelp when a sudden sound came from the bed making her realize there was a bird there.

At first thinking it was fake, but then it started moving making her smile a little more. Wanting to move closer but quickly backed off when one of her mothers intervened insisting this wasn't his room. Dropping her gaze immediately even though she could clearly hear what the woman was discussing with the bird. She'd never had a pet although she'd always wanted one for as long as she could remember. Only to watch as one of her siblings came to take his bird back as he apologized on his way out. 'Pickles', an interesting name for a bird she thought but didn't voice. Hearing her other mother mention that Pickles was harmless and really just a brat and belonged to Ronan. Nodding her head again as she looked down at her backpack figuring she may as well unpack. Unzipping it nervously as she pulled out her old wolf plushie, a falling-apart copy of Charlotte's Web and two sets of clothing neatly folded. It was as she was setting her clothes on the bed that the edge of her shirt shifted revealing part of freshly healing wound.
 

PunkPrince

Senior Member
Eva looked to Kathleen, curious to see her reaction. She looked about ready to cry, but as soon as that came, it vanished again, replaced with a very tiny smile.
"There are some clothes in the closet for you," Kennedy told her. "A few pairs of shoes too. We tried to keep it relatively basic for now, since we weren't sure what you might like."

And then Kathleen's shirt shifted. Only slightly, but it revealed enough. Kennedy flinched at the sight. The wound looked as though it had begun to heal, but she didn't doubt that it hurt. With Kathleen's back still towards them, Kennedy reached out to the side to take one of Eva's hands in hers. A gentle squeeze and a quick glance up to examine her wife's expression confirmed that, yes, she too had seen the wound. Briefly, Kennedy found herself remembering the first day they had met Ronan. Just a baby drag queen darting about the bar in a poorly pinned on wig and high heels she had not yet properly learnt to walk in. Kyra.

How she had tumbled forward as her ankle twisted beneath her, Eva reaching out to stop Kyra from falling. How Eva had caught her at the last moment by the wrist, pulling her upright and then pulling her hand away, the palm of which smeared with Kyra's poor attempt at a cover up--a fresh bruise now in it's place. Kyra turned her face away, her small form trembling. Eva gently brushed her fingers across the sleeve of the younger queen's dress, gently pulling it up to reveal the continued trail of black and blue. Kyra stared at the floor until Eva gently reached out to tilt her chin upward, and the pair stared at one another for a few moments, tears threatening to fall from Kyra's stormy gray eyes.

They'd sent her home with food and medical supplies. Taught her how to sneak out and back in again without being caught. Jupiter taught her how to steal food from the fridge and make it look untouched. They met Hugo shortly after, after Ronan had finally convinced him to come out too. If the chance of absence being noticed was low, the twins slept on their couch until they had to return home again. They began to lie about sleepovers with friends, or studying, or after school events and spent days at a time with Eva and Kennedy, the way Jupiter had before them. But eventually, the trio had returned to their respective houses, leaving the home empty again. Those days were the worst. Torturous. Eva and Kennedy left to wonder what was happening behind closed doors, until the day they'd been unable to stand it anymore.

Eva took a step toward Kathleen, jolting Kennedy from the memory. Kennedy remained near the door. Better for only one of them to approach her about it. Less likely to frighten her. Eva's pale gaze softened, brimming with worry as she approached the girl, reaching out slowly before pulling her hand away. Best not to touch her. Not yet.

So instead she knelt, her own face level to the timid child's. "Honey," she started gently, reaching out to gingerly brush her fingers against the too-big shirt before letting her hand drop. "What happened?"
 

half-blood prince

Junior Member
Had Kathleen noticed anything going on behind her, she might have tried to hide her injuries better. As it was, she was too distracted by the nice inviting bed and lovely bedroom she'd be sleeping in. Although a part of her wondered how long it'd be before they started using it as a way to get her to do things. Holding it like a bone above her head just out of reach. Biting her lip glad that neither of them could see her right now as she debated whether she should sleep in it. Looking down to see whether she could somehow sleep under the bed or beside it. Not wanting to risk ruining the lovely things they had gone out of their way to get for her. Determined somehow to make this work even if that had never come easily for Kat. It was always something that she obviously must have done for her previous families to get rid of her. At this point, it felt almost normal to the young girl that this was completely out of her territory. Where was the yelling? Where were the punishments....the smacks...this didn't really make much sense to her. Then again, most of those punishments had come from her foster fathers...but her mothers were just as mean...in a different way.

Maybe there was something wrong inside of her deep down that only adults could see. As she pondered over this, she had no way of knowing that her shirt had lifted just barely to reveal one of the long belt-like marks across her back. Only a few days old and still quite fresh since being taken back into the care of her Social Worker. Her fingers still lingering over the bedspread with such deep fondness and desire over something so simple. Chewing her bottom lip until the sound of footsteps caused her to jerk her hand back. Cursing herself for being so curious and not paying attention to her surroundings. This was how you ended up in trouble and that usually meant punishment. Finding herself shaking now as she tried to hold back tears thinking she'd finally done it. She'd already ruined the chance at a forever home with this nice pair of ladies. Her lip quivering just a little as she felt a presence to her left making her turn her head. Just about jumping out of her skin seeing one of the women standing now beside her. Glancing back to see the other near the doorway making her extra nervous. Trying to recall what she had done wrong already if they already had a plan to stop her escaping.

Feeling herself starting to stiffen up like a board as she looked up at the woman fearfully, her body screaming fear. Yet, the woman didn't seem mad or anything of the sort. She looked worried which came off as confusing for Kat who had never really known an adult to be concerned about her. Except maybe her social worker but that she supposed was part of his job. Swallowing thickly as she looked to find an escape path where there was none as she noticed the woman slowly kneeling down in front of her. Confusion mixed with fear flickered across Kat's face as she didn't know what to make of this. Hearing the word 'honey' caught her off guard as she really had expected something more of a bark compared to this soft gentle voice. The movement of her hand brushing her shirt though made her back up a little in nervousness. Flinching when she ended up backing into the wall behind her upsetting her back making her yelp quietly. Only to freeze when Eva asked her what had happened as she realized now her shirt seam had shifted. Shaking her head as she tried to push the shirt down to hide them keeping herself well away as she thought about booking it.

She knew it was a direct order but for some reason found it hard to muster up the words. Tears now flowing freely down her face as she looked around helplessly. It may have been a big room but even still there was very little place for her to hide or escape to. Then again, maybe they were asking so they could properly see how to punish her. That seemed logical enough yet even opening her mouth, she found herself unable to come up with any words. Instead, deferring to her next best option of simply shrugging away from the question. Yet, her posture was one move away from either curling up or darting as she stood with her back against the wall.
 

PunkPrince

Senior Member
As she had expected, Kat pulled away from Eva's touch. Her eyes darted around the room as though searching for an escape, and she took a few steps back from Eva before bumping into the wall. She didn't answer, but Eva knew, as she was sure Kennedy did as well. The welt was recognizable. A belt. The metal end, from the looks of it. It had clearly bled for some time. The girl yanked her shirt down and shook her head fervently. tears spilling down her face as she cowered in the corner. She opened her mouth once or twice, though no words came.

Eva swallowed. That face. How many times had she watched this scene with her sons? With Jupiter? How many times had she gone through it herself? She could practically feel her heart crumpling up into a tiny ball and breaking into pieces. As she watched Kathleen's tears fall she felt as if she might start crying too. She glanced back at Kennedy, whose face remained steady. Worried, but nowhere near tears, though Eva was sure that Kennedy felt just as helpless and heartbroken as she herself did. Kennedy just broke down less. It was a rare thing to see her cry.

Still kneeling, Eva made her way closer to Kathleen, who still stared at her in fear. "Hey," Eva said gently. She reached out to gently move a piece of stray hair away from Kathleen's face , before tenderly wiping away the child's tears, her touch so light it was almost absent. "It's okay. Nobody's going to hurt you. You're okay." She was quiet for a moment. "I know you're scared. Can I see? At least let one of us clean you up a bit. It could still get infected if you leave it like that."
 

half-blood prince

Junior Member
Kat was mere moments away from a panic attack but was doing everything she could to avoid it. Nobody liked it when she panicked and it only made the punishments that much worse. It just couldn't be helped after being ripped from one home and thrown into another. She had wanted to run away, but the social worker would have and had gotten her back many times before. All she could do was listen to him and let him take her to whatever new home he thought might be suited for her. He seemed to think he was trying to help, but each home seemed less and less suitable than the last. Darting eyes looking for some respite as it became clear that they wouldn't just leave her alone. Her back was on fire from hitting the wall and she was fairly certain she could feel her some of the skin break open once more. It hurt so much, but Kat was silent through it as she had been taught from a young age. It was almost cruel to see how much pain she could manage without batting an eye. Her body pressed back as far into the wall as she could as if it might make her disappear altogether.

Nothing about this was right and all Kat's attempts to start fresh were quickly dwindling before her eyes. She had tried so hard not to screw this up and it already seemed like she had. Letting the tears fall as she looked anxiously between the two women worried they might hurt her. Ignoring the pain she was in for the time being as her breathing was already picking up in speed. For several long moments, nobody seemed to move for which Kat was grateful as the two seemed to look between each other. Their expressions were unreadable to Kat who wanted nothing more than for them to hide or flee. She couldn't do it again...the pain...the smack...the confusing rules. She'd much rather be on the streets taking care of herself like she had been most of her life already. Why? Why wouldn't they leave her alone? What did they want with her? Why had the woman tried to touch her? She was tense, but her body was shaking quite noticably if you paid attention. Trying to decipher what the right answer was if there was even one to be found.

The minutes seemed to tick on forever before eventually the woman closest to her started moving again. She knew now she was at the mercy of the other woman because there was little room to hide now. Being trapped in a corner only made punishment worse and escape was impossible. More tears spilling down her face as she flinched immediately bringing up her hands as though to protect herself. As if it had ever done anymore but made the adult angrier and leave her with either sprained or broken bones. It never went well but that never stopped her from trying as she shied away from the hand. Whimpering a little as the woman spoke again making her momentarily freeze again. Distracting her enough that Eva was able to gently brush some hair away from her face. She flinched a little though there was little leeway as she shut her eyes tightly waiting for the slap or anything. Yet, the hand never seemed to do anything more than touch her hair.

It was actually kind of soothing to the young girl, even as she flinched against it with every new movement. Finding a hand gently and very faintly brush at her face wiping tears away. Things she always felt envious when she saw other people with their kids. She wanted to lean in, but she didn't want to risk being wrong about this. Her hands still bearing the faint traces of restraints as she yielded to Eva. Not quite giving in, but not quite resisting it as the woman touched her face. The most anyone had done aside from when they were smacking her around. Listening as the woman promised her that nobody was going to hurt her and that everything was alright. Not sure if she really believed that to be true, but she couldn't discount it either. Finding herself almost closing her eyes to the gentle touch, before her mother was asking her to see her back. That she knew she was scared but she needed to clean it.

Her body tensing up yet again at the sounds of where this was going. Not sure she was ready to have someone see her but then she knew direct orders were meant to be followed. Chewing that bottom lip of hers quite roughly as she fidgeting with what to do. She really didn't want to expose her back to this woman and face further consequences, but she also didn't want to make them mad. Looking between the two of them quite nervously feeling more like a seven-year-old than her almost thirteen-year-old self. Fidgeting nervously as she glanced over towards her stuffed wolf. He had always given her strength when she was scared. He wasn't scared of anything but that meant going around Eva to get him and that meant the possibility of being grabbed. Why was this so frustrating? After what seemed like hours, Kat finally dropped her head in defeat with a nod of her head. Even with all her warning bells going off, she didn't feel like there was much of a choice anymore. Learned helplessness was nothing new to Kat as she just gave up sliding to the floor of the bedroom as more tears slid down her face.
 
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PunkPrince

Senior Member
Eva felt her heart crack as she watched Kat shy away, tears still running down her face with no signs that they’d stop anytime soon. “I know,” Eva murmured. “I know you’re scared. Let’s get you cleaned up and then we’ll leave you alone to rest if that’s what you want. You’ve had a hard day.”

Kat crumpled onto the floor and Eva leaned down to gently pick her up. Kennedy’s gaze followed Kat’s to the bed, and her eyes settled upon the tattered stuffed wolf. Clearly it had been well loved. Stepping into the room, Kiennedy made her way to the bed and picked up the toy. It was softer than she had expected. She walked over to Eva and Kathleen and leaned down to hand the stuffed animal to the girl. “Here,” she offered gently. “You can bring him with you if that would help.”

Making her way to the bathroom, Kennedy rummaged through the cabinet in search of the first aid kit. The thing was always packed. Between accidental stage injuries and Hugo’s frequent illnesses, along with anything else any of the others might sustain, medicine was always needed.

“Okay,” Eva said gently, setting Kat down and turning to look at her as Kennedy placed the kit on the counter. “I’m just gonna clean you up and bandage you so nothing gets worse. Okay? It won’t hurt.” She had always made a point to find things to clean up with that wouldn’t sting.

Gently, she rolled up Kat’s shirt and winced at the sight of the injuries on the child’s back. Okay. Worse than she had originally thought, but nothing she couldn’t take care of herself. “Ouch,” she murmured quietly. “Okay.” She took a cotton ball and wordlessly dipped it into the disinfectant before moving to gingerly apply it to Kathleen’s back. “It’ll be sort of cold,” she apologized. “But it won’t hurt.” She gently started to clean the injuries, patching each one with a bandage as she went. She offered Kat a small smile as she finished. “There,” she said. “That wasn’t so bad, hm?”
 
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half-blood prince

Junior Member
With no escape in sight and the two women 'trapping' her in her new room, there was nothing more she could do. Instead, she simply gave up on the situation as she had many times before in stressful situations. Finding her legs give out on her as she slid to the floor of the bedroom. The tears still falling down her face and her body went essentially limp. She barely even registered what the lady was saying to her other than she knew she was scared. What point in there was trying anymore right now? Either way, she was going to be grabbed or forced into a situation she didn't like. Fighting didn't make things any better as she had come to learn over the years, it just made it worse. Her little body trembling as the woman gently lifted her surprisingly light body up into her arms. Giving no resistance other than a small whimper and flinch from being touched. However, there was a small whine that registered from the young girl when she saw the other lady picking up her wolf. Worried that she was planning to take it from her as her other homes did. She wanted to scream or fight to get it back, but she simply let things happen around her. Telling herself that bad girls didn't deserve such nice toys and she was supposed to be getting punished.

Yet, she was pleasantly surprised when instead of taking her beloved wolf, she was presented to him. Looking up hesitantly at the other woman as she insisted that she could take him with her for this. Hesitantly she moved towards her wolf, making sure there was no movement from the other mother. When it seemed all clear she snatched her wolf back clutching him tightly in her arms protectively. Feeling surprisingly better about the situation as none of her other parents had actually let her take her wolfie to punishment. But no, that didn't sound right the woman said she wanted to fix her up. Something like a doctor might do though she didn't want to go to a hospital any time soon either. Letting the woman bring her into the bathroom as a new wave of trembling started up again. Clutching even more at her wolf with the torn ear as her struggling began a new again. Forgetting the fact that she was in someone's arms she didn't want to be in here at all. Only bad things ever happened when she was with adults in this room. Being weak and injured as she was though, her resistance barely did little more than making it difficult for her to be carried. She tired out soon enough though as she watched nervously as the other woman started looking for things.

Looking back towards the door wondering if she had an opportunity to duck out of there and back to her bedroom. Maybe under the bed, if she really tried her best to squeeze in there. Swallowing nervously once more as she looked back at wolfie reminding her that he was there. Seeing through her long locks that the other woman was taking all kinds of stuff out of the cabinets. Flinching though when Eva spoke up before gently sitting Kathleen down as the girl looked nervous towards the bathtub trying to inch away as far from it as possible. Not that there was anywhere for her to go except deal with what these two wanted of her. Stealing nervous glances at the tub more than a few times while also keeping an eye on the two women. None of this was right to Kat and she was already berating herself for the ways things had been going thus far. Even as Eva explained she was just going to take a look at her back. Turning her away and all but forcing her to stare at the tub as she tried to focus on wolfie. Flinching as she gently rolled up her shirt surprised she didn't just rip it right off her. Blood had already started to stain the shirt as it was from the criss-cross patterns that marked her back.

Many of which were still in various forms of healing from the very old scars to the newest ones now currently bleeding from her hitting the wall earlier. Bracing herself for the worse when instead there was a cold pressure on her back making her wince. Feeling Eva gently start to make headway with her latest injuries as she let the tears silently fall down her face. It didn't hurt, but it was scary and she didn't understand any of this. Still, she allowed Eva to continue her examination at least of her back with only the gentle sniffling coming from the young girl. It seemed forever, but eventually, she felt the woman gently lower her top back down as she released a sigh of relief. Surprise by how gentle that had all been and her back even felt a little better. Slowly turning back around to face the two women while still keeping an eye on the tub. Catching a smile on the woman's face as she asked how that was. Nodding her head gently though it was clear she was all but ready to get out of that bathroom.
 

PunkPrince

Senior Member
Eva took a small step back from Kathleen as she finished cleaning the girl's back. Kat's crying had quieted to mostly sniffles now, but she still looked frightened and overwhelmed. Like she could wilt right down into the ground and vanish. She stepped out of the bathroom and Kennedy moved to follow her before turning to look back at Kat. "I'm sorry we scared you," she apologized quietly. "I hope you feel better." She frowned as she caught sight of the blood that had begun to stain the back of Kat's shirt. "You ought to change that shirt too," she suggested. "You might feel better if you're wearing one that' s not covered in blood spatters."

Eva gave Kat a gentle smile. "We'll leave you be now," she said. "I know that was probably a lot. You can look around if you want, or you can stay in your room. Make yourself at home." She turned to head off down the stairs and paused to look back to Kat one final time. "Let me know if you think of anything special you want for dinner. You should pick, since it's your first day here. But if not that's okay too. I can just surprise you."

Eva descended the stairs then, with Kennedy following close behind. Kennedy gave Kathleen a gentle nudge as she passed, offering a reassuring smile. And then both the women vanished around the corner, leaving Kathleen alone to do as she pleased.

The house was quiet for a while after. Hugo sat cross-legged on the edge of his bed, anxiously watching out the door. He should probably be doing something productive. Maybe a breathing treatment. He knew Kennedy was bound to ask him later whether he had done it, and whether he had done the whole thing or just used the mask or the vest, and it would be obvious he had done nothing. But he couldn't force himself to sit still for long enough, still fidgety and nervous from the earlier confrontation at the door.

He had heard the entire incident between his mothers and Kathleen, and now he sat, worrying. Not that Kathleen had been hurt, he knew Eva and Kennedy would never dream of doing such a thing, but...he felt bad for her anyway. The undersized boy stood, shuffling to his doorway and anxiously stepping from foot to foot for several seconds before heading out into the hall and towards Kat's room. He stopped outside the door, and stood there in silence for some time before speaking.

"Hey," he said quietly, habitually wringing his hands as he spoke. "Um, are you okay? I heard you crying." He took a few steps away from the door. "You can tell me to go away...if you want. I don't mind."
 

half-blood prince

Junior Member
She was surprised by how good her back felt after Eva had cleaned it up even if it was still scary. Not quite relaxing until the older woman had taken a few steps back from her. Giving her space to move as she wanted which she did as she tried to put as much distance between herself and the bathtub. If they noticed the nervous glances to the bath, they made no move to comment on it. Watching as the two ladies turned to leave the bathroom and Kat alone. Surprised that they had kept their word about leaving her be once her back was treated. Feeling a little uncertain about this weird series of events that had happened. It had been almost nice to think that maybe these ladies might come to love her as their own. Yet, she knew better than to accept it when so many of these homes had done so in the early days until they knew her. Trying to wipe the tears away from her face knowing nobody liked a sniveling child. Thinking she would head straight for her room when she was stopped by Kennedy blocking her way out.

Telling her that they were sorry for scaring her and that she hoped she would feel better now. Although she suspected they would likely subject her to further 'cleanings' until the wounds healed. Not entirely sure how she felt about that right now as she glanced down at her wolf. The plushie still gripped tightly and protectively against her chest as she stood there warily. Following hesitantly out of the bathroom glad to be anywhere but there when she back-peddled when Eva turned back to her from the top of the stairs. Not sure she would ever get used to these women suddenly stopping in front of her escape paths. Being suggested to change her shirt for one without blood and that she could even decide dinner. They wanted her to make dinner tonight? She felt her heart sink a little for some strange reason though she never expressed her dismay. She shouldn't be so surprised that they would make her earn her keep. Instead, she merely nodding her head robotically as they eventually left her to her own devices.

Flinching quite badly though when Kennedy moved to nudge her and quickly moved out of her way. Waiting for both of them to proceed downstairs before quickly returning to her 'temporary' bedroom. Closing the door almost immediately as she debated what it was she wanted to do. It was all too much for the young girl and none of it was making any sort of sense to her. Being on her own again allowed Kat to slowly calm herself down after today's events. Finding herself starting to show the exhaustion that was slowly starting to wash over her. Glancing over at the soft, warm inviting bed that beckoned her over and yet she felt torn. She really did want to lay down and sleep but what if she ruined the bed? She didn't think she could handle the idea of upsetting her mothers so soon. Then again maybe she could just take care of it herself if it happened. Looking to the floor though she didn't think she could squeeze under there very easily.

Eventually deciding that she would sleep beside her bed and only take what she needed. Moving to grab herself a pillow and two blankets that were folded on a desk nearby. It wouldn't be very cozy but it would be better than ruining a good bed with her filth. Moving to set it up on the side farthest away from the door hidden from view. She also took one of the shirts that her social worker had brought her and changed into it. A simple navy t-shirt with the foster system logo on it. Nothing overly exciting but it was better than ruining any of the nice things in the closet. Deciding after a second thought to lay her old shirt on the floor to act as a cushion between herself and the cold carpeted floor. She was just about to settle in when she heard footsteps coming her way. Jerking her head up immediately as she looked for somewhere to hide. Her eyes gazing at the closet when she realized it wasn't one of the older women but one of her siblings.

Surprised by the concern that the other had for her as he asked if she was okay. Biting her lip nervously wanting to answer but she didn't know whether it would get her in trouble or not. She knew this silent business wouldn't fly forever, but it seemed to please most of her families. Yet, oddly enough his nervousness made him remind her of herself. Though she winced when he commented on the fact that he'd heard her crying. Great had everyone heard her meltdown in the bedroom? Why was she like this? Why couldn't she be normal? Without thought, her emotions took over as she slammed her hand into the nearby wall. A throbbing pain ripping through her newly healed hand and yet it felt good to hit something. To get her pent up emotions out as she stared at the spot where she'd hit. Flexing her fingers which flared with pain as she realized she should say something.

"M'fine," came a hoarse and very disused voice so quiet it would be hard to hear after a prolonged silence.
 

PunkPrince

Senior Member
Hugo jumped, startled, at the sound of Kat hitting the wall. "You don't sound okay," he said quietly, his voice so small it was almost inaudible. "Do you, um...maybe want some ice for your hand, or something? I could get it for you."

The boy peeked into the bedroom, remaining at the edge of the door frame as he continued stepping from foot to foot. He looked over at the girl and tentatively asked, "What do you think of them? Eva and Kennedy, I mean. I think they're kind of nervous. This is the first time they've gotten a kid the traditional way. Especially without meeting them first. We were all pretty much runaways they met in the bar they worked at and then adopted us officially. And now we live here." The boy flinched as he finished speaking, realizing that perhaps he shouldn't have said so much at once.

"Sorry," he apologized softly. "That's probably a lot. You don't have to answer if you don't want to. We don't even have to talk. I can just go. I..." His gaze flitted nervously about the bedroom and he took a small step backward. "I'm sorry." He gave her a weak, apologetic smile, perhaps equally as frightened of her as she likely was of him. He was comfortable with his mother and siblings, and others he knew, but he still was nervous with strangers, especially without his twin there to act as a buffer.

A light piano song drifted up the stairs. Hugo jumped slightly at the sudden plinking of the first few keys, and then settled when he recognized the sound. It had to be Eva. She was the only one who played. A skill her mother had struggled to teach her when she was young, after her death Eva had promised herself she would learn. And learn she had. She could sing too, but she did so far less often, shy about her skills. So he was particularly surprised when the sound of her voice came floating up the stairs too.
 

half-blood prince

Junior Member
As she stood there looking at her throbbing hand and wondering whether she dare do it again, she heard his voice again. Insisting that she didn't sound as okay as she claimed to believe. Saying nothing to her foster brother as she didn't really know how to act around siblings. The only brothers she'd ever had were the ones that had ripped her poor wolf's ear partially off. Even now it was just barely hanging on by a small bit of threading keeping it together. Glancing over to him now as the footsteps outside her door continued to linger. 'So much for being left alone right now,' thought Kat miserably as she made not so much as a peep about her hand. This was nothing compared to the years of abuse she had suffered at the hands of adults. It did help distract her though from her miserable thoughts. Surprised when the boy offered to get her some ice, but she said nothing to acknowledge it. It might help, but she didn't think she'd be allowed to have an ice pack and even then it would defeat the purpose of hitting the wall. Not that she needed any more injuries to add to her list resulting in a trip to the hospital. That was the last thing she wanted as she found herself once more eyeing her makeshift bed.

Only to jerk herself from her thoughts when she heard the door opening of its own accord. It should have shocked her to have her privacy invaded, but it really didn't. People walked where they wanted as they wished and she could say nothing to the contrary. Although she was sure the boy meant well, it didn't change that it made her even less believing that anywhere was truly 'safe'. Keeping an eye on him with suspicion as he seemed to keep tabs on her as well. Wondering if he wanted something or if he planned to take anything belonging to her. That would be the first thought that jumped to her head as she shifted towards her belongings blocking them from his view including her wolf. Tilting her head when he asked her what she thought of her foster mothers. Truthfully, she didn't know what to think about them. They certainly didn't act like the ones she had come to know over her times in the system. It just left her confused about well everything including her place in this house. Not sure why he felt the need to talk to her about how they'd gotten her.

Going for the shrug of her shoulders figuring it was about as good an answer as she could politely give. It didn't exactly fly well when she shrugged at adults, but this boy looked about the same size as her. So she didn't exactly give it very much thought about the rules or consequences of said actions. Neither of which she really knew or understood and it was definitely keeping her on edge. The unknown was always the worse part as you never knew what exactly would set someone off. At least, if she could know what not to do she could make sure to avoid it as much as possible. Some though were harder to understand than others like when or when not to speak. She was intrigued though when the boy mentioned they were all adopted by the two women. That was something she hadn't seen before, but it also could mean more money in their pockets. Granted, neither of them seemed to have problems with finances at the moment by the looks of the house.

Pulled from her wandering thoughts as he seemed to back off realizing he'd probably said too much. Surprised by his behavior and how readily he seemed to just leave her in peace if she needed. Which she did want but didn't feel comfortable vocalizing to him. Worried that if she got upset with him then their mothers would end up taking his side and she'd be back on the streets. Feeling that inner frustration again as the urge to hit that wall again became just that little bit more inviting. Her gaze almost burning a hole into it as she thought about just letting it all go. All the pain, all the pent up frustration about her situation, the abuse she suffered, the injustice of it all. Hearing a piano playing downstairs make her jump a little as it seemed to impact the young boy in front of her. It was calming almost, but she wasn't ready to trust any of them just yet.

Tears threatening to fall down her face again as she looked back at her beautiful wolf plushie behind her. The one that had been with her every step of the way since day one. The one friend that never yelled or screamed or talked back. It was all just a bit too much for Kat to bear but it felt even worse that she was on the verge of another breakdown. Instead, finding herself slamming her hand back down into the wall behind her. Barely even wincing though god did it ever feel good as emotions took over and she started pounding the wall with her hands as tears slid down her face. Ignoring the fact that someone was witnissing this or that there might be consequences from this melt down. She just didn't care right now.
 

PunkPrince

Senior Member
Kathleen didn't respond when Hugo offered an ice pack, so he didn't leave to get one. Hitting the wall would leave a bruise. Hugo had used to hit walls. Now he tended to hit softer things when he hit anything at all. He went quiet, wanting to help but unsure what he could say or do. So he stood there, wringing his hands and feeling useless. And then the girl rose to her feet.

"Hey, wait!" Hugo squeaked, darting forward as the girl began pounding on the wall. He hesitated for a moment. Should he grab her? Could he? He probably didn't weigh a whole lot more than she did, and with his stunted growth and lack of muscle he wasn't sure he could manage to restrain her on his own. Should he go and get Kennedy? No Kat was already frightened of them enough. Hugo knew he could trust her to comfort him when he broke down, but Kat was different. She didn't know any of them. He scuttled up behind her and gently grabbed her by the shoulders, tugging her back toward the nest of blankets she had made on the floor.

He pressed down on her shoulders to get her to sit and then set to work draping the blankets over her shoulders and wrapping them around her small shape. His gaze traveling upward, he caught sight of the wolf plushie with the torn ear and passed it to her. "I like your wolf," he commented quietly. And then, after several moments of silence. "I could fix him for you, if you want. I know how to sew. I could stitch his ear back on so he doesn't lose it. But if not, that's okay. I understand. The torn ear adds character."

"Hugo?" Kennedy's worried voice came from the base of the stairs. "Are you all right?"
Hugo blinked, surprised. She thought it was him hitting the wall. Or maybe she didn't. He nodded, and then, realizing that she was unable to see him, called back, "I'm okay! I just..." he trailed off, struggling to think of a reason he might've been hitting the wall. "I tore the dress I was making." He doubted she'd believe him. He didn't hit things out of anger, not really. Especially not for something as minuscule as a torn dress he was able to repair.

Silence from Kennedy on the stairs. "Bring it to me if you cant fix it," she finally called back. "I'll take it and sew it up myself." More silence. "And hit a pillow instead next time. You'll break your hand again if you keep hitting walls." And then her footsteps retreated, and Hugo glanced back to Kathleen.
 

half-blood prince

Junior Member
It felt good to do something unexpected even if she knew she might not like the consequences afterward. Abusing the hands that had already seen so much pain and suffering in her small lifetime. She knew better, but she couldn't stop herself as she threw one punch after the other. Letting all that pent-up energy work itself into the wall as she silently beat down upon it. Barely even registering his words of protest as she put every bit of strength into the wall. Every hateful word, every painful slap or the empty promises danged in front of her. She knew she'd be lucky not to break her hand in the process after only recently having healed from the last time her wrist was broken. Yet, none of that mattered to her or even that someone was witnessing the self-destructive moment she was having. Suddenly hands were on her shoulders tugging at her making her yelp as reality set in. Wanting nothing more than to retreat but the boy wasn't letting her boy as she started panicking. Oh god, she was going to get hit now or punished.

Trying to struggle herself free of his grip even as he all but set her down on her makeshift bed. She didn't like this one bit and she was starting to panic now. Was he holding her here so that she couldn't escape punishment? She did manage to get herself free of his grip but faced bigger problems now as he was trapping her against the bed and her escape path. Not that she couldn't climb over the bed, but that meant messing up her bed. Feeling a blanket being draped over her as though to prevent her from further damaging herself. Although any thoughts of returning to the wall were long gone now. Her hands were a mess and she was well aware that she could be in serious trouble. She knew better than to throw a fit and especially in a new home. Her body shook once more as she tried to pull herself free of his touch. Confining herself to the very back corner away from him her eyes wide with fright. Hands out to protect herself as much as she physically could, though if she had thought on it, he really hadn't been that hard on her.

Her body pressed tightly against the wall, forgetting the blanket that was haphazardly around her right now. Eyes firmly on the boy now as she found herself working herself into a panic attack. How could she be so stupid as to let her guard down like this? Pushing herself into the tightest ball she could make for herself wishing she could tell him off. Where was the safety zone now? Obviously it wasn't her room if people could come and go as they pleased. Her breathing shallow as she whimpered nervously in sheer fright. Torn between putting up a barrier between them or keeping an eye on the boy. Only for the boy to start talking about her wolf plushie and how he could see about fixing it. Narrowing her eyes suspiciously as she thought about grabbing Mr.Midnight but then realizing the boy might get mad at her. Damn, this day just couldn't be going any worse for then it was already. Sure, it sounded like a nice enough offer but this boy had just grabbed her from behind without permission.

Whatever she was going to say or do next was swiftly interrupted by the sounds of Miss Kennedy calling up. Quickly pressing herself even further into the wall as she started having a panic attack. Flashbacks of past punishments coming to her mind as she started suffocating under the weight of it all. Trying to push herself further into the wall jarring her back that was already so tender. Not really realizing that Kennedy wasn't calling attention to her at all right now. It didn't matter as flashbacks assaulted her ten-fold. Her breathing quickening as she tried to find release in this cramped corner with no escape. No longer was Hugo there and instead replaced with adult upon adult as she reduced herself into a full-blown panic attack.
 

PunkPrince

Senior Member
Hugo scrambled backwards with a frightened squeak as the girl began to panic. This was more than he could help with, he knew that much. His eyes flickering with worry, he debated calling for his mother again. What else could he do, but perhaps wait it out? He didn't even know what her normal panic response was. She could hurt herself even more, and then what? His gaze flicked to her bleeding knuckles for a moment, and then back to the door. He opened his mouth to call for Kennedy, but no sound came out. He clapped his hands over his ears, the sounds around him seeming too loud.

She appeared there anyway, without him calling for her. She always did. Kennedy looked at Kat for a moment and then leaned down to pull her frightened son to his feet. "Go on," she told him gently. "No need for both of us to be here. Go finish working on your dress or something." Hugo quickly nodded and then vanished, scuttling off into his bedroom and closing the door behind him before sitting down on his bed and pulling his knees up to his chest, timid gaze still fixed on the door.

Kennedy knelt a few feet from Kathleen. "Kathleen. I'm not gonna hurt you," she promised. "But whatever you're seeing right now isn't real, I promise you."
Kennedy hesitantly extended a hand to the girl, offering closeness if she wanted it, but still far enough away not to frighten her even further,
"Kathleen,” Kennedy said again, her voice softer this time. “Look at me. You’re all right, I promise. You’re safe.”

Kennedy's heart sank as tears continued to spill down the child's face. She'd seen this probably hundreds of times over by now, and it never hurt to watch any less. "I'm not gonna touch you. I won't come any closer unless you ask. I'm just going to sit here while you calm down, okay?"

"You have to breathe, Kat. It's okay. Just concentrate on your breathing. Just try to inhale and exhale as slowly as you can. It'll calm you down. Like this." She took a long breath in and exhaled slowly. "Try that. I know you can."
 

half-blood prince

Junior Member
She could feel spots dotting her vision the more she fought against her own breathing in her panic. Her knuckles were raw from punching the floor but it didn't matter right now. Her only concern was that she had done something wrong and she was going to get punished. Stupid. Stupid girl. How could she have been so foolish as to do this to herself after they had fixed her up? Barely even registering that her foster brother was still in the room with her. Fighting back the flashbacks as they came over her at full force. Still trying to push herself further into the wall as though she might somehow become one with it. A wild terror in her eyes as the tears slid down her face. Body quaking with fright unaware that the boy had gotten up and left her side. Or that in his place was Kennedy as she moved to take a good look at the young girl as she worked herself into a panic.

Her breathing continued to hitch as she found herself forced to relive the horrors of her past. Her body trembling with great force only vaguely aware that Kennedy was kneeling in front of her. Eyes not quite seeing her but she did seem to become more frightened as she pressed tighter to the wall. She was just about to receive the belt when a voice called her by name. At first thinking, it was just a blimp in her memory but that didn't make sense. Very few people had ever called her Kathleen except maybe two people that she knew of. Her social worker and her mother but she was dead, wasn't she? The voice continued talking though promising that it wasn't going to hurt her. That nothing she saw was real. It took a few minutes as the words started to register and the figure dissipated leaving one of her mothers in her place. Giving a small yelp which did not go down well as she ended up coughing.

Breaking the panic attack chain altogether as she now had to deal with the very real fact she was in trouble. Whimpering quite badly as she looked to the hand being held out in invitation. Offering her reassurance, but Kat was too scared to move closer. She didn't like having her hands touched on a good day and even less so when she was having a panic attack. Yet, the woman didn't move any closer nor did she encroach upon her as the younger boy had. Hearing that soft soothing voice again calling her by name and asking that she looked at her. Slowly doing as the voice asked her to see no anger in the woman in front of her. Hearing her promises that she was alright and that she was safe. Although that last one might as well have been a lie as far as Kat was concerned. If someone could come in uninvited then that didn't make it safe.

Whether she knew it or not, Kennedy was managing to distract her from the terror of the attack brought on by being grabbed from behind. Her breathing was still rough and jagged but the coughing had forced air into her desperate lungs. That voice though so soft and gentle telling her that nobody would touch her now. That she wouldn't come any closer either but merely wait until she calmed down. Something she didn't expect really but it did distract her from her fear. Temporarily at least until her doubts reminded her that she could still be punished for this. Two meltdowns in one day on top of having them waste good medicine and now punching their walls. She'd be lucky if she got herself out of punishment now. Even as the voice told her to take a deep breath which she did out of a need to please more than anything. The dots seeming to fade from her vision as her breathing slowly seemed to work itself out.

Feeling an even greater wave of exhaustion overcoming her as she sniffled a little. Still looking at the offered hand with confusion and a small hint of desire. She wanted to go over there, but she didn't want to risk the game of being tricked. Swallowing nervously though as she debated what she was to do. Her back was on fire from pressing so hard against the wall and her hands now were starting to throb once more. Looking at them now and the remaining traces of rope burns that lingered on her wrists. Maybe it was better to just get her punishment over with instead of fighting. Slowly and very reluctantly pushing her shaking limbs to their breaking point as she moved to drop her pants and lift her shirt. Exposing more bruises and scars that no doubt had stories of their own to tell as she shakily turned her back to Kennedy attempting to get into position for a belting.
 

PunkPrince

Senior Member
Kennedy drew a sharp breath inward as she caught sight of Kat’s hands. Not broken, but bashed, bruised, and bleeding. She glanced back towards the bathroom, making a mental note to go back for medicine and bandaids once the girl had calmed. Her eyes were still terrified, but there was a flicker of recognition in them too.

Kat’s breathing slowed a little, becoming less ragged and more stable. “Just like that,” Kennedy praised. “Just keep breathing like that. You’re okay.” She turned and slipped from the room for a moment, before returning with a small tube of neosporin and a box of band aids, slowing to a halt at the scene in front of her.

Kat had turned, lifted her shirt and dropped her pants, no doubt expecting to be struck. Kennedy set the medicine down on the end table beside the bed and turned back to the girl. “I’m not going to hit you,” she stated again. “I’ve been hit enough myself. No matter how long you stand there looking at me like that, or how many walls you hit, or how often you hurt yourself, I’m not touching you. I’ll keep telling you that every time. Pull your pants up and come sit down so I can do something about your poor hands.” She picked up the medicine again, her gentle gaze still fixed encouragingly on Kathleen.

(Short post, sorry!)
 

half-blood prince

Junior Member
It was eerily quiet as Kat stood there shaking from head to toe waiting for her punishment? Her limbs felt barely strong enough to support her right now, but she didn't dare move. Moving always made it worse, but so did the waiting for it to come down upon her. Turning her head only just enough to see that she had left making her frown. Was she too dirty to be hit? Or maybe these women knew of some other way to be punished that was even worse. Swallowing nervously as she didn't think she could handle even worse. Hearing footsteps coming back into the room made her quickly jerk her head forward facing the wall. Even though she was putting such a clear show of bravado, she was still clearly scared and anxious. No matter how many times she was punished or how often, she could never seem to get 'used' to it. She could feel the woman watching her which only made her further on edge, yet no words or further movement came from her. Worrying that bottom lip of hers once more as she fought the urge to turn back around.

The minutes seemed to tick by awfully slow until her ears picked up the sound of that soft voice from before. Telling her that she wasn't here to hit her. A frown coming across her face in confusion and puzzlement. Hesitantly and very stiffly moving her head to look back at the woman on the other side of her bed. Tilting her head as she tried to work out what sort of game this was. Was she really not going to get punished? That didn't seem right. She had scared the younger boy, punched a wall, had several meltdowns. That almost always guaranteed some kind of punishment, right? Taken slightly aback though when the lady mentioned that she had been hit often enough. Blinking a few times as that surely didn't make much sense. She seemed to nice to be hit, unlike Kat who clearly had something wrong with her. Looking at the end table now to see it was just medicine again. That...that seemed alright enough although her back wasn't fairing very well right now.

As she considered the implications of what that could mean though, she continued talking again. Telling her that no matter how long she stood there or hurt herself or hit a wall she wasn't being hit. That frown only growing on her face as she didn't understand any of that. She was lucky to go one day without being hit after the family saw what a bad girl she was. Worrying that little lip some more as she pondered over what Kennedy was saying to her. Surprised when she was told to pull her clothes back on and sit down on the bed. That she wanted to look at what she'd done to her hands which she now spared a nervous glance at. They looked pretty bad, but she didn't think it was all bad at least to her. Not to mention she didn't like anyone touching her hands and wrists. Then you really had no choice in the matter at all of what anyone did to you. Remembering the ropes after she'd tried to make a run from one home. Feeling her breathing hitch again only rather than go into a panic, she ended up making herself sick.

She tried to make a dash for the bathroom...she really had but her legs seemed to snag in her still down pants. Causing her to fall though she managed to get her arms out in front of her. Bent down as she was though throwing up what little food she'd eaten that day. Tears working their way down her face as the memory set her off. Her arms were shaking as she tried to hold herself above the throw-up. Fear was written over her face that now she would unquestionably be punished as she waited for it to stop. What more of a bad girl could she really be?
 

PunkPrince

Senior Member
Kathleen only stared at her, and Kennedy could practically see the questions swimming in her eyes. She really believed she deserved to be punished. She really thought that Kennedy was about to hit her. And then she crumpled forward and vomited, and although all Kennedy wagged to do was reach out and console her, she didn’t dare touch the girl. Not in the state she was in now.

“I don’t have any reason to hit you. What would that do except scare you more? You haven’t done anything wrong. And even if you had I still wouldn’t hit you. So you hit a wall, you cried, and you threw up. It doesn’t matter. The walls are no worse off, and even if they were, we can fix the walls. I can clean the floor. Hugo will calm himself down. What else would I be mad about? You having feelings? I think I’d be more concerned if you didn’t. I’d be surprised if you weren’t nervous. I probably would be if I were in your shoes. Experiencing and processing your feelings is how you deal with things and recover. And that’s perfectly fine. I just don’t want you to feel like you have to hurt yourself to do it.”

She knelt and gently nudged Kat—who still looked to be struggling to hold herself up—off to the side away from the mess before extending a hand again. “Do you want some help?” she offered, “Or do you want to stay down here? I won’t touch you until you say I can. But at least let me clean you up. I’ll take care of your hands and clean up the floor, and then if you want me to I can leave and you won’t have to come out until dinner. Okay?”


Kennedy was silent for a moment, and then said, “I know you think you deserve to be hit. I know you think you’re in trouble for crying, and melting down but I don’t think any less of you for it.” She paused before adding, “Eva cries three times a week at the minimum, and I’ve been with her for ten years.” A joke. Not a funny one, but a small effort nonetheless. “And I won’t hit you.”

She reached up and parted the hair behind her ear to reveal a jagged scar, one that hadn’t shown since she’d grown out her hair. “My brother bashed me in the head with a metal bat when I was fourteen. It was terrifying, and it hurt. What would I gain from hitting you?”
 

half-blood prince

Junior Member
This couldn't have been going any worse than it already was as she vomited up any food in her system. Waiting for her stomach to stop churning as she stared at the mess with misery. Unable to look at the woman in front of her for fear of what she might see. Disgust, revolution, hated amusement, were the first ones to jump into her mind as her hands trembled holding her up as they were. She didn't have that much muscle strength and even then she'd just busted her hands pretty good. Yet, she wasn't really sure she trusted her limbs to help move her away from the mess either. Sniffling a little as she kept her gaze anywhere but at the woman in front of her. Flinching a little as her voice broke through the quiet of the room catching her off guard. Bracing herself for impact but instead, the woman very softly told her that she wasn't going to be punished. That she just didn't see there to be any reason for her to do so as Kat hesitantly lifted her head in confusion. She didn't do anything wrong? She wasn't going to get hit for any of this? That didn't seem right and she was beginning to realize how very little she knew about this house and its rules.

That didn't bode well for Kathleen who prided herself on knowing what infractions to avoid. Then again, every home had different rules but they were mostly the same. No back talking or speaking unless spoken to, do your chores, don't waste food, don't be seen. Those were the rules she was used to...this didn't match anything she had ever known. Listening as the woman insisted punishing her would only scare her further. That was true, but wasn't that the point of punishment? Kennedy didn't seem to think so at least which could either be good or bad. Further confused when she insisted that she hadn't done anything to warrant such a punishment. Kat would beg to differ yet opened her mouth in shock when she was told that even if she had done something bad, she still wouldn't hurt her. Frowning a little more even as she tried to focus her energy on keeping herself from falling into the pile of vomit. This was getting to be really and truly confusing to Kathleen. Not helped when the lady pointed out all the things she had done wrong.

By all accounts that sounded like a pretty rotten kid to her yet Kennedy was saying it didn't matter. That the walls could be fixed though they didn't need to be, the floors could be cleaned and the young boy would calm down. It seemed to help calm Kat down a little as Kennedy talked her through all these 'infractions'. Mentioning that she would be surprised if she didn't have feelings about being dumped here. That Kennedy seemed to think she'd have done the same thing making Kat give pause. But Kennedy wasn't a freak like she was. Why would she have reason to know fear or pain. This didn't seem right to Kathleen as the lady told her she felt bad she had to hurt her hands to feel anything. Looking down at her knuckles that did really hurt surprised that anyone would care if she did or not. One of her foster brothers had even taken great pleasure in watching her punishing herself.

Flinching yet again as Kennedy came to kneel before her and gently ease her off her sore hands. That was awfully kind of her thinking she'd either have to eat it or end up with a face full of it. It still scared her being touched as she was, but at least she was very gentle and she could see it coming. Seeing her offering a hand once more to her though she made no move to grab her. Eying it nervously as Kennedy asked her if she needed some help. Or that she could just as well stay on the floor as she glanced at her ruined bed that she made for herself. Once again the lady insisting that she wouldn't touch her without permission but that she really just wanted to help clean her up. Wanting to take care of her hands making Kat tense a little insisting she'd even clean up the mess herself which was news to Kat. Insisting that she wouldn't even have to come out until dinner. That sounded alright she supposed but she really didn't like her hands being touched.

Pulled from her thoughts when Kennedy added that she knew that Kat thought deep down she needed punishment. Dropping her head at that as she nodded her head despite not being asked a direct question. Swallowing nervously just as Kennedy explained that crying and melting down wouldn't make her think any less of her. That was a bit surprising as she seemed to weigh up whether to let this lady help her or not. She seemed to understand things about her before she did. Hearing that Eva used to cry a lot of the time even though they'd been together for 10 years. Insisting again that she wouldn't hit her making Kat give pause. Flinching back a little when her hand moved until she realized she was parting her hair now. Noticing for the first time a scar laying there as she hesitantly yet curiously made her way closer to see the scar. Hearing someone had hit her when she was younger as well.

"But...But your not freak like me...You're too pretty," came a very small, disused and hoarse voice from the young girl.
 

PunkPrince

Senior Member
As Kathleen spoke, Kennedy laughed softly, her eyes glinting with amusement. "Oh, honey," she sighed. "You don't know the half of it. Sit down, it's story time." She leaned back a bit, letting her hair fall back down over the old scar. "It took a good, long while for me to start looking this good." She waited for the girl to settle a bit before reaching over to grab the medicine in case Kat might decide to let her bandage her hands up as they talked.

"I grew up as a boy," she revealed, a small smile on her face. "Eva too. But I was lucky to have a mother who encouraged me to express myself however I wanted. Most people like us don't have that. My mom let me play with makeup and pick out whatever I wanted to wear or play with, which I'm thankful for. But other kids weren't nice to me. My brother ignored me out in public. I thought I might be gay for a while, because other people said that I must be, but I was never interested in other boys, and I didn't feel like a straight man either. It took me a very, very long time to come to terms with that. I used to watch other girls and think about how that was what I wanted to be, and I didn't start connecting dots until I was at the end of high school. I assumed it was normal, as a man to hate being a man. I just thought hating my body was...a thing that was supposed to happen. I literally thought everybody showered with their eyes closed and the lights off." She chuckled again, slightly more sad this time.

"My brother hit me because he was embarrassed of me," she explained. "Which more reflected on his own masculinity than anything I did wrong. I wasn't exactly the model older brother. He was younger than me, but he was stronger and at least a foot taller. He overpowered me easily. Most people could, before I started learning how to defend myself. I got my ass kicked constantly as a kid. And then when I came out, my brother got angrier, my mother fretted over me constantly, and I eventually had to run away because it stopped being safe for me to live at home. I started performing in drag shows to make money, met Eva, and now we run the bar we met in together and still perform. Things got better, but it took a while. You'll be okay too. I'd like to help, if you'll let me. All of us do."
 

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