A/N: well, hello there! This is my first real attempt at a long (well longer) story :D I just couldn't get this idea out of my head so after much persistance I've written chapter one and chapter two. I'm going to wait and see if anyone actually reviews before uploading chapter two, because if nobody reads it then there's no point spending time writing it (that I can see anyways!) So please, please tell me what you think!
DISCLAIMER: THE MEDIATOR OR ANY OF IT'S (MANY HOT :P) CHARACTERS ARE NOT MINE. THEY BELONG TO MEG CABOT.
'Hey, Simon! Wanna come over after school? I need a little… Help.'
I grinned. CeeCee always wanted help with what she called her little problem – Namely, Adam.
'Sure, Cee! As long as I'm back-'
'-before your dad's dinner. I know.'
'Step-dad.' I sighed, was it impossible for people to remember that I was not, in fact, biologically related to Andy. Thank God for that; it'd mean being related to Dopey as well… Andy, I could cope with, Brad? Not. A. Chance.
'Yeah, sorry about that… Hey, what's happening with you and-'
'Susannah Simon please come to the Principles Office'
Throwing an apologetic look at CeeCee, I made my way to Father D's office while thinking about Cee's last almost-question.
With you and… Who? I mean, there was the obvious option, Jesse. But what if she wasn't asking about him? What if it had been about-about the other him. The guy who scared me so much that I had had nightmares about him for the whole summer after we'd met.
The guy who had practically stalked me, all the way from Seattle to Carmel.
I passed the receptionist who was outside Father D's office and returned her smile as a banged straight into the Principles' office.
'Sup, Father D?' I asked as I flopped into one of the comfortable chairs on the other side of the desk.
'Ah, Susannah, good. How have you been?'
'Aw, me? I'm good, Father D, had a good ol' chat with my dad the other day and then I got yelled at- by my mum- for running up the phone bill-again- while talking to Gina which was, you know, none of my fault cause she had like this disaster with this guy she's kind of seeing.'
'Your father? So, he hasn't moved on yet?'
Ah, should've known he wasn't interested in me as such but my ability to chill with people who were three foot under.
'Nope, but seriously, he thinks he'll move on when he's ready. According to him it's more of a matter of time…' I'd had an argument with him at that point, but it wasn't like I was going to push him that hard… I mean he was my dad. I didn't really want him to go.
'Good, then. I wanted to talk to you regarding the trip I believe you are going on in, about, a week's time?'
Oh. He did not expect me to socialise with spirits of the Canadian variety when I was off on, what was meant to be, a fun relaxing winter break to Canada.
Yeah! I know! CANADA!
Apparently, the government had worked out that a stress-free vacation with your peers and some of your teachers was meant to make you more relaxed in school, thus letting you concentrate better.
So, all the schools in the US had been advised to offer a trip to students in order to test this theory.
Of course, the Mission being where Sister E is employed meant that the trip was stressed to be a non-educational and therefore not an obligatory trip, however, offer a year of sixteen and seventeen-year-olds the chance to miss the two weeks of school before winter vacation and it was (as Sister E had probably hoped it wouldn't be) a popular trip. In fact, my whole year was going.
So take that, Sister E!
Returning to the present with a happy smile on my face I replied 'Yes, Father D?'
'Well, I know you will contact me if anything, um, happens in the spiritual world.'
'And you will try to stay out of danger.'
I nodded again.
'You'll be good and behave.'
Honestly, who did this guy think I was? Some chick who went around beating up ghosts?
'Yes, Father, I will be good, behave and not do anything to endanger the lives of my peers' I said sweetly.
'Good. I will, also, be asking Mr Slater to be making sure you don't get yourself into trouble.'
'No! Father D, you cannot do this to me.' I begged. I mean, come on! I don't want or need Paul Slater to be watching over me for the whole of two freaking weeks!
'Please? I'll text you, or call you every day if I have to! You know, just to tell you that everything is still cool in Canada. Please don't send that thing after me!'
The last thing I wanted was for this to end up the same way as the last vacation I had enjoyed in the company of Paul… The one where we met, I mean.
I mean, look what happened!
He almost killed me
He almost killed his own brother
He exorcized Jesse, and I had to go find him up in the Shadowland
He left me stranded in hell (Shadowland)
He denied it afterwards!
'Susannah, I won't ask him if you promise me not to get into any trouble. At all. In addition to this, Jesse will not be accompanying you on this trip.'
For two weeks?
'But Father Dom!'
'Susannah, it isn't as much that I don't want him to go, as he can't. It is agony for ghosts to travel so far from their place of death, moving country would be unbearable for Jesse and as I wish to spare him any agony I must insist you do not ask him to accompany you.'
Jesse? In agony?
'No, no, no, Father D! I wouldn't ever, ever want Jesse to be hurt because of me. Is it still possible to get a full refund? I think that if I told Mom and Andy I was feeling ill they'd let me stay at home…'
I was babbling, but excuse me, I was about to go two weeks without any Jesse- Time.
'Susannah, you are going to go on this trip as you are in full health. I'm sure it won't kill you to go without seeing Jesse for the duration of two weeks, it might even do you good.'
Yeah, it will kill me. See? Look, I'm dying already! Fading away at the mere idea of two Jesse free weeks.
And what's all this "it'll do you good" crap? It so won't.
'No, Susannah.' He interrupted me with a stern look. 'You are going on this trip with the rest of your year group and without Jesse interfering with your, erm, time.'
'Look, Father D, I was only going because Cee and Adam begged me to. The only reason I let them drag me into this is cause I thought Jesse could come too! So, you know, now there's no point to me going.'
It was true, well, partly. I was all looking forward to going to Canada- you know, seeing all that snow and messing around with Cee and Adam- when I found out that the whole year group was planning on coming.
The whole year group including a certain Shifter by the name of Paul Slater.
So, I lost my enthusiasm for the trip. It was only with large amounts of persuasion that I agreed to go. So, now, I was going to be spending two weeks in the company of Paul Slater without any company from Jesse.
Bah. God's out to kill me.
'No, Susannah. I have already discussed this with Jesse and I have decided to allow phone calls between you both, but that's it. Jesse fully understands the situation and agrees with me. I want to know you can stay out of trouble without Jesse being there to watch over you. Understand?'
He gave me one of those stern "that is settled" looks that is usually reserved for me only.
'Fine.' I got up to leave, there was still some of break left…
'Oh, and Susannah, do make sure Mr Slater doesn't get into any trouble too. He won't be aware I've asked you to watch him and his interactions with the spiritual world but just… Try and stop him doing anything stupid or dangerous.'
After a lot of eye rolling and sighs from me I got up, again, to leave only to be confronted with the very shifter we'd just been discussing.
'Hey, Suze.' I smirked
'Ah, Mr Slater, good. I was just discussing with Susannah about the trip your year are taking in a week.'
'Yes.' My eyes bored into Suze's. 'I can't wait, Father.'
If Father Dominic didn't notice the hidden message behind those words, I know Suze did.
She blushed and took several steps away from me.
Aw, come on, Suzie-Q don't be like that!
'Well, run along Susannah, I think there's still some of your break left.'
Rolling her eyes at Father Dominic and sending me a scathing look, she left the room.
'Well, Mr Slater, as I just told you we were discussing the trip to Canada and the impacts your presences may have on the spiritual community.'
Bla, bla, bla.
I wasn't interested in what "impact" mine and Suze's presence would have on them but more what our presence would have on being on vacation for two weeks…
See, it would just be our year… And there was no way Father Dominic would allow Rico Suave to come, since he is a priest after all.
Leaving me to work on Suze, without interference.
'Yes, well, I trust that you and Susannah will work together in any mediation that may come your way.'
'Not that you should watch over her or anything… But moreover, make sure she doesn't endanger her own life as well as others. Susannah works on instinct and deals with the consequences later, just try and stop her getting into too much trouble.'
'Yeah, I quite understand Father. I'll make sure she doesn't do anything… stupid… Or dangerous.'
Yeah, I'll keep an eye on Suzie alright. Because this vacation? It's gonna be our vacation. The one where I finally persuade her we're meant to be.
Just watch and learn.