So, there's something I decided. If I don't finish this before May 31, 2017 at 11:59:59pm (Eastern Standard Time), then I will continue (and hopefully finish) the series in 2018. By then however, I plan to have some stories that will explain things. It's my biggest hope to finish this before then.

A/N: Next one and I was hoping to have the story that explains Elena's situation up by now, but things happen. I plan on starting it before the year ends.

Main OC: Elena Sangster

Rating: T for swearing (in a few languages), procedures, death mentions (spoilers are as minimal as possible), craziness and alcohol mentions and usage.

Existing character(s): Pat, Frank Sangster, Jean, Harlan Sangster, Susan Ivey, Lance Phelps*

Disclaimer: I don't own Novocaine and if I did, we would've gotten more of Duane before he died -or- he would've lived. **

Someone will Watch Over Me

Additional/alternate title: No'n Wanna! (I will explain this after the fic)

Original title: Please mommy, watch over me.

(A playground in Chicago. March 1998. Third person POV) ***

"Okay kids, please stay on our side of the fence. Do not go over the fence, even if you are talking to a brother or sister ...or a friend," one of the teachers enforced. She smiled before saying, "Have a nice time outside and I'll see you again tomorrow."

The small group of kids cheered, splitting up. No one knows if this was deliberate, but a slide was placed on either side of the fence that separated the kids. A young girl was going up the slide and noticed an older boy on the other side doing the same thing. Once she got to the top, she almost let go of the bar. Hm. Her teacher didn't say that they couldn't talk to the older kids. She noticed that the slide he was on didn't have a bar, but two on either side. He was on the platform, looking around and then he noticed her. "Oh, hi," was all he said.

The younger girl smiled. "Hi yourself. What's your name?" she asked.

"Lance and I'm 11 years old," he said to her. His blue eyes appeared somewhat curious. He also had reddish brown hair. "What about you, shrimp?" he sneered, popping the p.

She huffed. As far as she knew, shrimp was something you ate, not a person. "Elena and I'm four," she proudly said. "What are you going to do when you get home?"

"Homework," he replied, as if it were blatantly obvious. "You?"

Elena looked at the other kids. "Going to the dentist," she said. Lance had an idea. Oh how he would enjoy messing with this girl. ****

"You know the things that can happen at the dentist's office?" he asked. She nodded, to his surprise.

She repositioned herself before folding her arms. "Yeah. My uncle is one," she said.

"But what if you don't get to see your uncle today? Does he work by himself?" Elena shook her head in the negative. His plan was working. "Well, sometimes the dentist is gonna have to yank or even drill your tooth... even more than one," he said and felt accomplished when he saw her shudder. So he wouldn't get caught, he quickly went down the slide. Elena grabbed the bar. That wouldn't happen. ...would it? Elena had to tell one of her teachers that Lance insulted her.

As she ran to do so, she nearly tripped, but didn't. "Miss Jody, I wasn't on the other side of the fence," Elena began before telling her tale. She waited and Jody gave her a smile. "Thank you for being honest with me," Jody said. "I'll talk to one of their teachers a little later."

Elena heard a car stop as she went to the play grill. *****

"See ya tomorrow, okay, Elena?" her friend asked. She nodded at him. The two were very close in age. The two gave each other a hug.

She heard her mother conversing with Miss Jody. "Bye, Wesley," she said and noticed that her bag had been brought out. She held her mother's hand as the two went to the car. She didn't feel like telling her mother what happened. She wished that her mommy would've been watching her or something. She looked up at the two adults.

"Gracias for everything you do," Adana said, grabbing her daughter's hand. "Come on bebita." She didn't outgrow that? (1) [Translations: Gracias = thank you, bebita = baby girl]

Elena wordlessly got into the car as her mother buckled her up. En route, the Madrid native would look in the mirror to see her daughter's expression. 'I hope she knows that this is just a checkup with her uncle,' Adana thought. Once in her brother-in-law's office, Adana could only wonder what had gotten into her mostly bold daughter. Pat was there to welcome the duo and looked at the down preschooler. "Bad day?" she asked and Adana shrugged before instructing her daughter to play in the kids' area. Once Adana knew she was out of range, she began to speak with the receptionist.

(With Elena)

Elena was playing with a toy of some sort and she glanced across from her to see a boy sitting and reading a book. He was wearing a blue shirt and as the door opened, Elena heard something that sent shivers down her spine. "Will?" a dental assistant called. He was probably 6 or 7 if she had to guess. He closed the book and looked at Elena before saying, "I guess it's time to get the tooth drilled, isn't it?" in a sad tone. The two disappeared and Elena tried not to focus on the drill's noise.

(With Pat and Adana)

Pat had been listening intently and nodding. "I agree that something is off," she said, giving the girl a glance from a distance. Pat sighed and added, "All I can do is tell," but she was cut off as a man and his wife came through the doors. The man pushed Adana to the side and out of her brother-in-law's vision.

(With Elena)

"Hi, I'm Nathan," another boy said to her. He tilted his head. "You look familiar to me. Do you know a girl named Jasmine?" She nodded.

"Yeah, she's a friend of mine. Why?" she asked.


Frank watched Pat calm the screaming man and had him and his wife sitting down. He wondered if his niece was here yet, she was usually so happy to see him. He grabbed his next file and sighed as a colleague did the same. "What language was that?" Frank wondered aloud.

His coworker smiled. "Swahili. Pat is from Africa, so it's no surprise," and the two had a conversation. On the other side, Adana just watched the scene in astonishment, thanked Pat and hoped that her daughter was alright. (2)

She walked to the kids' area and a boy that had been sitting with her had just been called back. The hygienist had her back to Adana, but that wasn't her concern. Adana sat in one of the chairs and watched her silent daughter from a distance. She pretended not to notice that her daughter was mostly still.

-Two minutes ago-

"Nathan," an adult said and Elena had been looking at a pretty painting of a dancer. She waved as Nathan went to go back and heard him say, "Guess it's yankin' time, ain't it?" in a bit of a nervous tone.

All she knew is that she was wondering how right Lance was or wasn't…


Ten minutes had passed and the door opened again. "Elena?" Adana didn't see her daughter sprint to go back and see her uncle. What had gotten into her? Sighing, Adana picked up her daughter. Elena just closed her eyes and bowed her head. "We'll be right in this room if you want to sit in the big chair," she said and Adana set her daughter down. This had been a new face for Adana. "Hablas inglés?" she asked and Adana nodded.

"I'm sure you're used to seeing my husband," Adana said in an equally quiet voice. Remembering what Pat said to her, her next words were, "You must be Kristen. I'm sorry that Elena is seeming very edgy. I just hope it's going to be a simple cleaning because she can't sit still for a full-fledged one just yet, right?"

Kristen nodded. "Yes. X-rays, checking, polishing and does she swallow things she's not supposed to?"

"No. She still sucks her thumb every now and then," Adana said as she looked to see her daughter doing just that. "Do I need to be out of the room for X-rays?"

Kristen shook her head. "You don't, but unnecessary radiation is never a good thing," she said. "We'll just get started and I'll announce everything I'm doing." So it began. To Adana's relief, Elena didn't throw a fit.

"Mami," Elena pleaded. (Translation [though it should be obvious, I'm putting it anyway, as I feel slightly obliged]: Mami = Mommy)

Adana was at a conflict, but she knew that Elena still had her struggles. She picked up her daughter. Elena closed her eyes and Kristen had a remedy for that: sunglasses of Elena's favorite color, purple. (3)

Elena had minimal plaque and selected grape for the toothpaste flavor. Kristen adjusted the chair for Elena to sit up for the fluoride treatment, to which she chose strawberry. Kristen gave Adana a look and the latter knew what it meant. As Elena had the fluoride put in her mouth, Kristen expressed her concern. "She hasn't said a word since she asked you to sit in the chair with her." Adana nodded.

"She'll start to get squirmy, that's for sure," Adana said as Frank walked up to the room, mask still over his face and unseen by either woman, a pair of forceps in hand. He walked past the duo before placing the instrument on the tray. What no one noticed was Elena had taken off the sunglasses and the lighting in the room made the forceps shine. She looked up and Kristen came to her. Once the "funny thingy" was removed from her mouth, she had to have her mouth rinsed out.

After that was when she started throwing a tantrum. Not only did she throw the sunglasses (which somehow didn't break), but she jumped out of the chair and nearly exited the room, but Adana was quicker. Elena didn't start screaming, but she was showing the possibility of causing a scene. [4]

She was crying and Adana was puzzled. Frank offered to take his niece, but she wouldn't let him. "No'n wanna," she said through tears. "I don- need a tooth yanked or drilled. I'm a good girl!"

Frank realized the problem and took a slight breath. He put away the forceps. He just had to make sure her teeth were coming in fine and see how she was doing with brushing her teeth. The notes Kristen had written gave him an idea as to how that was going. "Elena," he said calmly. Adana kissed her daughter's forehead.

"Sweetheart, you're not having a tooth removed or drilled. It's something we hope doesn't happen to you," Kristen said and Elena stopped crying before getting out that a boy at the school had been talking to her. Frank motioned for Adana to sit down first and Kristen to close the door. He had an idea. He put it into action.

He grabbed the chair and Elena let out a whimper before looking at her uncle. "I don't know who told you that, kiddo but it's not true. You know it's our job to keep your teeth healthy, right?" Elena nodded. He smiled. "I promise. No pulling, just looking. I have to wear a pair of gloves and my mask though, okay?"

Elena nodded. "Light?" she said, pointing as she made her way to her mother's lap and by then, Kristen was making notes of this.

Frank knew what she meant. "No bright light and I've got a challenge for you," he said and Elena knew what the word meant. "I want you to show me you can be a big girl. I want you to sit in the chair by yourself." He let Elena soak that in as he had to whisper to his sister-in-law, "You don't have to leave the room. I just want you to sit on the bench behind the chair in case she does another 180 with her mood."

Adana understood and asked (in Spanish) if that would be okay with Elena. Elena slowly pushed herself off her mother's body so the older woman could do so. She watched her daughter do so with grace, it seemed. [5]

Elena got into the chair by herself as her uncle told her what would happen next. Once the chair had been flattened, Kristen praised Elena on how good she was doing. "Ley, I need you to tilt your head towards me," Frank said. Elena slowly turned her head. "Good," he said. Out of his pocket, he grabbed his mirror and hook. Elena gulped after being told to open wide. She obliged. He started talking to her as he began his exam. He asked her about her dental health before he got personal. "Are you behaving for your parents?" he asked.

Elena wanted to roll her eyes, but she didn't quite know how yet. Adana chuckled a bit. "Oh, she's being a good girl. I think she just met a bully on the playground," she said. "Leyna, tell him about what your second grade reading buddy told you."

Elena had to think. "I gets to write about you for career day if I want," she said as he looked at her teeth. "When I get to Kinnergarten," she added. Frank was honored.

"Your teeth are pretty, Elena. Now was that so hard?" he asked as Adana watched from behind. [6]

Elena shook her head. She been reminded (courtesy of her mother) that she had to go to the doctor in a few days and her response was, "No! Don't wanna!"

(June 3, 1999. A hospital in Chicago)

Harlan had picked up his daughter to show her the maternity ward. He noticed a few empty beds. "Daddy," Elena asked. "Do I have a baby brother or a baby sister?" Shortly after those words left her mouth, she saw a nurse with a tiny blue bundle. The nurse gave Harlan a quick smile.

(September 3, 1999)

It had only been 3 months since the accident, but the Sangster family was becoming more tight knit. Elena loved her mother so much and Harlan promised to be the best parent he could be.

(September 14, 2001. Elena's POV from here on out)

I sighed. It had been 3 days since the attacks on the Twin Towers. I'm the only one who's befriended the new kids. The bell rang and the time came for school to end and me to take a city bus to the office, which I did. I tugged the handle at my stop and paid my fare before getting off. (7)

I was nervous because I had a couple of teeth that needed to be pulled. Never thought it would happen, though. The doors opened and I got off. I stood outside and let the bus pass me by. You would think that because I'm only 7 (well, 7 and a half) years old that I wouldn't be allowed to go places by myself. However, when your dad's as high of a rank as mine (not to mention grandpa's brother being a higher up), you'd be surprised. I had my backpack on and I opened the door. I gave the waiting room a scan and noticed it was somewhat busy. I walked a few steps to the reception desk.

"Well, someone's early," I heard a voice say. Before I could speak, "I shouldn't be surprised though. Come on over, kiddo." Pat Burnett. My uncle's receptionist who has been with him and the practice for a long time. "Now where's that smile you usually flash me?"

I licked my lips before biting my lower one. As I printed my name (cursive would be coming next year) and today's date, I replied, "Just not there today. There are a couple of new kids in the school and they're in my class. I got a C on my math test and I guess it's nerves getting to me."

"Did you make friends with the new kids?" I nodded. "You know your father won't criticize you for a C and considering it's not your best subject, you should be proud of yourself. You've got four other people ahead of you. Should be 10 minutes at the max, okay?" I nodded and took a seat in the general waiting area.

I had some homework to do, so that's how I decided to occupy myself. I didn't really keep track of time. I'd look up every time the door opened, though. Kristen flashed me a smile. "Rosa?" she called and I got back to my social studies homework. I like social studies.

"Mommy?" I heard a little one call. I winced slightly (and silently hoped that no one noticed) as I heard that word. "I'm gonna try and go back there by myself." The door opened and I heard the boy's name being called. A new face, but I had heard her say his name was Grant. He was probably 10 or 11. [8]

I took some deep breaths and continued writing. I had to start a project and I thought I'd get a head start. I heard the door open again as I was erasing and, "Elena?" I brushed the eraser bits from my pencil onto the floor, put my composition notebook into my backpack and slung it over one shoulder, then the other before placing my hands in my pockets. Once we got back, I thought I'd strike up a conversation with her.

"Ms. Jean?" I asked, sounding polite like Daddy taught me. "I um, know I'm having some teeth pulled, but is there," I began, but I wasn't sure how to phrase it, so I just closed my mouth and put my tongue there.

She stopped before turning. "I'll take an X-ray, okay?" she said and I nodded. "and Elena?" I looked up. "I've told you that you can just call me Jean. Room 8, kiddo."

I looked in the room and noticed the lack of stuffed animals. Guess they don't put em in every room. I put my bag on the floor and left my jacket on before getting in the chair and going through the X-rays. "Something's just bothering me," I said after she took the film out of my mouth.

She nodded. "Frank's doing some paperwork and said he had to answer a long distance phone call. While I have this develop, I'll have one of the other hygienists take a look. Then once this is developed," she began and made sure I was still listening and I nodded for her to go on. "your uncle and I will come in and talk from there. Deal?"

I smiled, but didn't show my teeth before saying, "Yeah. It's a deal." Once she was gone, I picked up where I left off in my copy of Pokémon Crystal. I've played all the games and side games so far. I'm a gamer. Judge me how you will, but I'm just glad there's a female player character. I had finished in Johto and just recently started in Kanto. The legendary beasts would be mine at one point. I got on my bike after docking in Vermilion City. 'Huh. Back in Yellow, I started in Cerulean City. Guess they have something different for Pokémon Crystal.'

I went to the Vermilion City Pokémon Center. Nope, still can't do like you did in the anime. Ah well. I at least saved my game. On to Lt. Surge's gym, but that would have to wait. I saved my games and heard footsteps. I put my game back in my pocket… of my drawstring and slid it across the floor as I heard a knock. 'Good timing, Sangster,' I thought before saying, "Come in." I looked straight ahead.

I heard the door open and I knew exactly who was gonna take a look. "I didn't even know you were coming today. Especially because if memory serves, you're in ASE for basic ballet," she said. "What flavor do you want?"

"Of toothpaste? Kristen, I'm not," "Fluoride varnish. I've got vanilla," "Yes." Just cause I come in every six months to be seen doesn't mean that I don't... uh, how should I put this? Okay, got it. On ASE days, that means I get to take the bus to the office here and then wait for uncle Frank to finish his work or Jean to finish. Well, at least that was the case before this school year. Uncle Frank talking to me about romance was like ...I don't know how to describe it, but it's not easy. (9)

I took a breath and looked to see that the door was closed and it was. All she could do was… say that she didn't know (because they probably want it a secret) or because it's true; or even ask me what I was talking about. I'd have my answer in less than a minute. "Hey, Kristen? I was wondering if," I began and I noticed her nodding as she grabbed a napkin and clip, signifying that I could go on. "Jean and my uncle Frank like each other and I don't mean just getting along. I wouldn't say love but, I'd put it somewhere in between.

"Well," she said as she placed the napkin on, "you're actually spot on. You should be a detective."

I'm willing to wager you know how I know that I know what love itself is (at my age), but I'll tell you. Just not yet. There's a time and a place for that and it's not right here, nor is it right now. Next thing I knew was a pair of sunglasses being flashed in front of my face and I took them, knowing what was next. "Investigator," I said and she knew what I meant. "with dancing as a hobby, if I'm good enough."

It was silent other than the -click- from the light. "What do you mean by that, kiddo? Open big and show me where," she said and I used my middle finger to touch the tooth as I pulled my cheek back (to the best of my ability, mind you) so she could see. "I've got it," she said and I flashed a thumb's up as she scaled, poked and prodded my tooth. [10]

"I don't have a cavity, do I?" I asked. Kristen shook her head.

"I don't think so, but I'll let Jean and your uncle determine that. I do think you'll need sealants. Do you want to schedule that in 4 separate sessions or do it all at once?"

I thought about it briefly. "All at once. I'll work out the details with Pat," I said. Was my dad incapable of scheduling my appointments? No, he wasn't. Forgetful? At times. Couldn't my grandma do it? She speaks limited English and prefers her home language. I don't blame her, but I'm used to being a translator.

Kristen nodded and raised the chair. "I'll let your uncle know you're ready," she said and I watched her discard her gloves.

I groaned. "Been ready to get this over with already!"

"Okay, okay. I heard you. I'm not deaf, y'know," uncle Frankie said. I ignored that comment as Kristen and Jean talked. He began to wash his hands. "Well, you are doing a good job brushing. I can at least stop talking to Harlan about your oral health care."

I decided to sit up. I watched Jean and Kristen discussing the X-ray. I waited and waited before rolling my eyes. "Can we please get this over with already?" I asked.

"Impatient. Yeah," uncle Frankie drawled. He gave me a sideways glance before dismissing Kristen and then finishing, "you're definitely your father's daughter." He could be a smart-aleck at times, as Dad told me once. (11)

I didn't like the way that sounded. "What's that supposed to mean?" I asked hotly.

Jean chuckled lightly. "He means that you take after your father for sure," she said before giving my shoulder a gentle squeeze. "and that's not a sad thing. We're just going to give you some laughing gas to calm you down a little bit. I can tell you're tense."

I nodded in understanding before laying back. I just looked up at the ceiling and upon instruction, took a breath. You could say it was doing its job, but I was thinking of it as someone watching over me.

(August 7, 2007. 9:15am, Chicago)

I just watched as we came to the meeting point and reminded them, "As long as you cooperate, they will not put you in handcuffs. Right here should be good." I only looked at my uncle and ...aunt before taking a breath and beginning my work on this portion of the plan.

I got out of the car and walked to the line of officers and the investigator on the case. "Detective Stephenson," I said and signaled over a couple of my dad's coworkers. Once Officers Walters and Rourke agreed to my signals/gestures of: advancing okay, cooperating, violence (and I really hope not) and good to go, I saluted them before turning around. There was a good distance (about 16 ft if I had to give you a number) in between me and the car that they had gotten in France and began to wait, hands in my jacket pockets. No, I'm not really warm.

About 5 minutes transpired and I started to get impatient and slightly worried. 'Come on. Please,' I thought. I found myself rocking in my shoes... primarily in boredom as I waited for them. They promised they'd cooperate. Another 5 minutes had passed as I raised my hand giving the signal of trust me, I have this under control. Two more minutes passed as the car opened. I watched them get out and said nothing. Not yet, anyway. As they held hands before walking over to about halfway in between the line and the car, I looked up and could only hope that my mom was watching over me. (12)

(Same day. Noon)

"We'll let you take care of that when it's later in the testing process," Det. Stephenson said. I looked at Melody before glancing at him and listening to the light go off. Susan had already been taken into questioning by Officer Walters.

I could see his name tag glinting from a reflection of the overhead light. You could clearly read DAVID ROURKE on the silver-colored tag. "Officer Rourke, you may do what you need to do," I said as I gave my uncle a final glance.

He nodded before telling my uncle to follow him. "Through this door. Detective Stephenson, you coming?" he asked.

The black-haired man nodded as his hazel-brown eyes met mine for a brief period. Good, I thought I'd have to ask. "Sorry to inconvenience you, Melody," I addressed the blonde. She shrugged. Had anything changed?

"Eh, don't sweat it," she said. "I'm actually surprised that he still knows what he's doing. In my early days, I heard some of the others calling him 'Fast Frankie' and didn't understand why. It took a bit of convincing from Jean before something in her snapped or whatever bug got up her cazzo culo. Plus Kristen would occasionally mention it."

I raised a brow. I fluently speak Dutch and Spanish; I also know some Italian, a little bit of Greek, little bit of Latin and some French. "I have no clue what language that was," I said as a sly smirk came on my face, "but it didn't sound like it was rated PG." I decided to get out of the chair. Took me a minute to register.

"Hm. You've been on patrol before and I'm sure that not all the officers have a clean mouth," she said before whispering, "it means 'fucking ass' in Corsican. If anyone asks, you didn't hear it from me." I noticed her stomach. I hadn't seen her in a while.

I knew not to ask a woman if she was with child or not, but I think that there's an exception if you know said woman. (13)

"Melody," I began cautiously, "are you expecting?"

She placed a hand on her stomach. She nodded. "In 3 months. I'm expecting my first son, Robert," was her reply. I nodded and figuring that the conversation was over went the opposite way as my uncle did. "Oh and Elena?" I stopped before turning to face her. "You do know that you're having that work done sometime today, right?"

That had been an odd question. Work? I didn't push it because I did have a small problem. "No. No I didn't," I said. "Det. Stephenson must not have told me. He can be forgetful at times, though." I let about 3 minutes pass before proceeding to the room I watched Susan get taken into. I knocked. No response. I grabbed the handle. Officer Walters would usually reply as far as I was concerned. To my surprise, it was locked.

I grabbed the key and placed it in the door as I pressed my body against it. "Well, perfect timing," Susan drawled. How my uncle had fallen for someone like her was beyond a mystery to me.

I ignored her. "She's right. I was just about to check on you," the dirty blonde said. "Something tells me Eddie's going to need me for his questionnaire." With that, she left and I took a seat across from Susan.

"It's summer. How are you not sweating in what you're wearing?" she asked.

...if I had a dollar for every time I got that question... never mind. Too many numbers. "Who says I'm not? It's warm where my grandparents live from time to time and I'm just used to it."

After that, it was silent, other than the ticking of the clock. There was a thick tension between us. "If it's of any solace, I don't have a mom either," she said.

I was about to ask her, but then found the answer to my own question. "I shouldn't be too surprised. Just ...never mind," I said. "He's probably told you everything, so I don't think I have anything left to say." I closed my eyes.

"Actually, that's not necessarily the truth. You see," she began, "I'm in a similar position as you. Our mom was a drug addict and died shortly after my birth, even though she was clean at the time, which is still a mystery to me. Dad was an alcoholic and died when I was 11 but Duane was old enough to be my legal guardian. So it was just the two of us." I opened my eyes at that. Wasn't Duane his name?

I took a breath. "Go on," I said. (14)

(June 8, 2008. En route to All Saints Catholic Church. Surf City, North Carolina)

"This is gonna be epic," I quietly read the last line of the email aloud. I couldn't agree more. I didn't get a reply, so I thought I'd make myself heard. "Are we there yet?"

My response was a stuffed animal being thrown into my grasp and a yawn. "Where are we going again?" was the question I got from the young girl to my right.

"Church," Melody said casually. "For some reason, Elena's aunt and uncle aren't able to take her. We've been here on vacation," and I looked to meet her glance. "for a while now," she said. "I used to work for her uncle, Maggie."

"Ma!" came Robert's cry from my other side. I watched him clench and unclench his little fingers. "Ma!" it hit me that he wasn't really trying to say "mama" yet, but rather that I give him back his stuffed monkey.

He cooed in appreciation as I took a breath as the church came into view. "Besides," came the smooth voice of Melody's husband Brice, "we were invited by my sister."

I looked at Robert, who had his monkey clutched tightly. My thoughts drifted back to my First Communion. 'Please Mommy,' I found myself thinking (again), 'watch over me. I don't want you to miss this.'

I thanked the duo who went to park and I took a breath as I looked for the email's sender. "Hey. I told him that you weren't gonna skip out on something big like this," and I found my source.

"Jess," I said, clasping hands with my friend Jessica. Jessica was the first to befriend me when we moved down here. (15)

(June 9, 2012. Coastal Carolina University)

I listened to our Salutatorian go on. It wasn't out of disrespect or anything, I was just getting a bit antsy. I never saw myself going into student government. "Our next speaker," the principal announced and I looked to my left, "is the vice president of our student body: Scott Harrison." There was applause.

I held my flashcards tightly. I had rehearsed several times and took a sharp breath as Scott's speech ended. "Don't forget Elena," Jessica said and I nodded.

"And now," our principal announced, "I would like to personally say some words about our next speaker. She has beaten and defied several odds. You wouldn't think she was the same person. Many of her younger peers look up to her and her friends look to her for advice. Coming forth is our student body president: Elena Sangster."

I felt my heart skip a beat at the thunder of the applause. I slowly walked and thought of my friend's words. I looked up as I came closer (yet still out of view) of the curtain. Somewhere in the heavens above, someone was there to watch over me. I walked forward to deliver my speech.

(September 14, 2016)

It was time for them to see CCU and where I stayed. "Oh, um," aunt Susan began before I could even walk ahead of them. "Frank, there is something I want to tell you."

"You got the ultrasound results, I hope?"

I shook my head and turned to face them. "Everything is fine with the baby. C'mon uncle Frank. Chill out a little bit, would you?" I asked.

"Babies," aunt Susan emphasized. "Frank, we've got a couple of beating hearts with us."

I looked back at my uncle who smiled. "Susan, that's wonderful. I think it's great," he said and then he really processed what she was saying. "Wait, what? You're expecting twins?"

"You just said that you thought it was great!" she hollered.

I watched him fold his arms. "That was before I found out that my wife is carrying twins!" This was gonna take a while. I just watched them go at it. I'm beginning to wonder what would've happened if I stayed in Chicago...

Unfortunately, that thought process was cut short because I looked up and felt the urge to take pictures with my phone. Someone up there (Dad, if anyone) was likely watching and laughing at this display. [16]

'Well shit,' I thought. 'If I want anything to happen, I better get in between them. Lovely,' I added. "As amusing as I find this," I began, getting their attention. "I have a good deal to show you and I don't know how long you intended to be here."

It worked.

(Present day. May 30, 2017. My aunt and uncle's house)

I had the twins (who are now two months old) in my arms. I was home, having finished my semester.

-About 5 hours ago-

"C'mon baby girl," I had heard aunt Susan plead as I came through the front door. I didn't want to make my presence known. I placed my bags on the floor and went to the nursery to see her brother tightly swaddled and sleeping soundly.

I sighed. Uncle Frank was probably still at work. I made my way to the kitchen and grabbed a water bottle, in addition to a bottle with a pink lid and clear cover. I went to the master bedroom and I heard the cries. That was when I felt a bit nervous, but I moved on anyway. I saw my aunt Susan's back and decided to let her know I was there. "Hey," I said softly. "I grabbed something out of the fridge," and handed her the bottle.

Once she was drinking, I gave my aunt a sigh. "He said he'd work late tonight." I looked at the clock. It was now 4:15.

-About 3 hours ago-

"Sorry I'm a little later than I anticipated," I heard uncle Frank apologize as I set the pink bundle down in her crib. I had an idea in mind and called them to the kitchen after making sure her brother was okay and wouldn't start.

They looked at me. "I think you two need a date night. I've got nothing better to do. Go somewhere casual or formal. I'll watch my cousins," I said and before aunt Susan could open her mouth to protest, I beat her to the punch. "I know how to look after kids. I had to start babysitting in high school when I needed some money, but I've been babysitting since I was in sixth grade."

I was thankful I had some experience and got them to leave the house. Then I heard his cry. I knew I had to feed him and after feeding him and his sister again, I decided to bathe them.

-Two hours and thirty minutes ago-

I decided to undo his onesie first before putting him in the tub in the sink. I had tested the water. He stopped crying and cooed to open his eyes. He tilted his head. "Hey little buddy," I said softly. I gently washed his body. (17)

He didn't put up a fight. I put him into his pajamas that I know I had sent a few weeks before Spring Break. It was a navy blue onesie with little cardinals on the top and bottom. He also had steel gray socks on his feet.

-Two hours and fifteen minutes ago-

I repeated the routine with his sister. After I had cleaned her off, she gurgled and I smiled lightly. "They'll be back, sweetie," I soothed. I had some sangria in a pitcher; made non-alcoholic so aunt Susan would recover. Her pajamas were just about the same as her brother's. Except instead of it being navy blue, hers were mauve. Where he had cardinals, she had mountain bluebirds. As opposed to his steel gray socks, hers were a pale pink.

-One hour ago-

I knew uncle Frank would flip. I watched them try to self soothe as Jess called it; she's studying early childhood. Neither thumb nor pinky (or any other finger) would work. Too young for a lovie to hold. I was thankful that I bought a couple of pacifiers. Hers wasn't pink (like I had originally intended), but rather a turquoise color. His wasn't blue or teal, for that matter (which was my second choice), so I opted for a red one.

-Present time-

As I waited for them to come home, I knew I was strong enough. I felt a vibrate in my pants pocket. (18)

I almost repositioned them in my hold, but I saw headlights through the curtains. I went to the nursery and swaddled them up, giving each a kiss on their forehead, knowing that someone was watching over me. I got some ice and poured the sangria, putting a lime wedge on the edge of the cup as I went outside to the patio to drink and read my text. It's 9:15 and the text said it was sent a quarter to 9?!

'How? Oh wait. I silenced my phone so it wouldn't bother the twins. Let's just see who it's from,' I thought as I opened the message.

"Just a reminder: didn't see your car. I hope you didn't forget your promise that you'd meet the intake coordinator for our exams tomorrow," I read aloud and mentally swore as the door opened.

I took a breath and didn't reply yet. I had a good feeling as to who was behind me. "Elena Fe Sangster," uncle Frank began, anger evident in his voice. He was interrupted by my phone ringing.

I answered it. "Hey. I'll call ya back in 5 minutes, okay?" I waited. "Yeah, yeah. I'll be there. Alright, bye," I said and I ended the call before finishing my drink. Seeing as I'd be gone, it didn't matter that my uncle was scolding me. For now, anyway.

"You left the kids in the nursery the entire time. I bet they're hungry, need a bath and tired," he rattled off and I watched him shake his head. I brushed by him. "I did my best so you wouldn't be irresponsible and this is the thanks I get? You're just like your father at times and that's not a good thing!"

Then, it snapped as I turned towards him "I've been babysitting for a long time. A friend needs me and I have a drive," I said curtly as I opened the door. "Oh and don't compare me to someone who's been dead for almost 16 years!"

I was mad and saw my aunt's back to me in the fridge. I knew uncle Frank wasn't behind me. I took the paper out and added a PS. I fed the twins and gave them each a bath before putting them in clean clothes. Tried every method I knew, so I did what was a last resort. I might be back sometime next week. I folded the note up and put it under aunt Susan's placemat. "Elena? That you?" she called as I went to the foot of the stairs.

"Yeah. The twins are fine, despite what uncle Frank thinks. I gotta go help a friend," I said as I picked up my bags (which were still where I left them being at the foot of the stairs) and slung them over my body. "Don't need to pay me." I made sure I was out of the house as I used my keypad to unlock my car. I threw my duffel on the back and my drawstring... on the front seat. [19]

I found myself going back inside and narrowly avoiding my uncle's glance. "I forgot my purse. G'night," I called before leaving and sprinting back out to the car.

I backed out before dialing the phone with my headset that I pulled out of my pocket. It rang a few times. "Hey. You usually reply to my texts instantly. Did something happen?" she asked.

I opted not to tell her the full story. Yet. "No, no. I was babysitting the twins. Yeah, they're two months old now. Still cute, Brooke," I said before someone cut me off. I leaned on the horn and said a choice word out of frustration. "Mierda!" I hollered, pissed. I knew that that probably wasn't sitting well with Mom. (Translation: Mierda = Fuck)

"Elena? You alright?" Brooke asked. I had already been driving some distance. Me and my lead foot.

I took a breath as I got onto US-17 N, NC-24 W US 258. I was heading to E King St in Kinston. "Yeah, I'm fine. Some jackass just chose to cut me off," I replied. I quickly changed the subject. "So, who'd you get grouped with?" I asked, remembering that two others would be involved.

"For the X-rays, Ross has to do his finals, so you'll see him again," she began and I thought of him briefly. Before I could say that it was cool, she said the final member. "Then the exam and any work will be done by Sophie."

At that name, I was slightly thrown. Sophie. Sophie. "You mean the one with reddish auburn hair?" I asked. (20)

"Yeah. Oh, Ley. Hang on for a minute, would you?" she asked.

I nodded (not that she could see me) and said, "Go ahead. Do what you gotta do." It had been some time. Brooke Carter and I met in eighth grade. We've been friends ever since. Ross Alexander was the first guy friend I made in PE. One day, he kept taunting me and then it came time for captains to be picked at random. We were playing dodgeball and he didn't think that my team would win, but we did. He apologized and said that I was pretty good. Awkward way to make friends, but when you're a new kid, you need them. Then there was Sophie Clark. I saw Sophie as a younger sister. Sophie and I were a year apart, but she skipped a grade in elementary school.

I was gonna be on this route for a while, but at least I knew someone was watching over me. Brooke and I chatted a little more before I had to hang up. I ended up redialing her. "Yeah?" her voice came crystal clear. She knew it was me.

"Oh, you'll get the full story when I arrive, but are you in your apartment near campus, your dorm room or are you at home with your family?" I asked.

There was a pause and before I could check to see if she was still there, "With my folks. Why, what happened?" I sighed. I had a full stomach. I had a big dinner and wasn't hungry. I might be pulling over at least once for gas at a station along the way and get a caffeine boost.

I knew I had to concentrate. "Well, lemme tell you what happened all day," I said. "Oh wait. Before I forget, where's the intake coordinator? Just... text me where I need to go. Ross must... okay. That'll work. So it all started," and I began telling her the tale.

As I made my ride and had my talk, I knew my family was watching over me. It pains me that there's not much to remember when it comes to my mom or grandpa.

Well, Elena really has a temper, doesn't she? It's time for the rundown and an announcement.

(*) Lance [I don't remember all the details] Phelps is the actor [played by Kevin Bacon] who portrayed a hack actor [and went uncredited] doing research. You know that I love Pokémon, so brownie points if you know what I did with Lance. Yes, I know I have LSOH Lance, but Novocaine Lance is different in the sense that he's an existing character. I was trying and typing [for five minutes] before I went through the characters in my mind. Then I remembered Lance and went from there. Spared me from trying to create another OC.

(**) I really wish we would've gotten more on Duane. I mean, my guess is that he's a protective older brother, but I could be wrong. Maybe if he lived a little longer, we'd find out. …or we could've found out from Susan before he died. I'm not sure how I'll write Duane in the future, but I thought I'd mention my opinion of him.

(***) Like I said, Lance was played by Kevin Bacon. I went on Kevin's appearance for Lance's character and just made him younger. So yes, he's older than Elena, but I haven't decided if it's just 7 years or 7 years, closer to 8. He will be prominent in some future fics, though. It looks to me like Kevin has blue eyes, so that's why I went with that. Part two: some kids are terrified of going to the dentist. So even if they're only children [which Elena is when she talks to Lance], they can still hear horror stories. You're probably wondering some other things. In the beginning, Lance is in fifth grade. His elementary school [yes, in some places, sixth grade is elementary school. Don't ask me why] is pretty much next door to the child development center that Elena goes to because her parents work. So that there would be less bullying, a fence was put up. Neither crossed the fence, Lance just knew how to pick on Elena.

(****) I peg Lance to be a bit of a troublemaker when he's younger and that it slowly dies down as he gets older.

(*****) You know those little "toy" kitchen sets? Well, I've seen a toy grill like once or twice. A, it's not impossible and B, it's fiction after all. Give me a break.

(1) Like most kids her age, Elena does not consider herself a baby. That's why she wondered why her mother called her that.

(2) Part one: Pat has known Elena since she was a year old, when Harlan first brought her in. Part two: I know that the actress who played Pat [Lynne Thigpen] is not from Africa, but I just made it for her character and I love her character. Part three: in the beginning [mostly when Frank {Steve Martin} is describing Jean], the office seems small, but then throughout the movie, it seems bigger. I just don't see that for one dentist. I mean, I know it happens in some cases IRL, but I decided to give him coworkers. Part four: a New Zealander is what you call someone who is from New Zealand. A Venetian is what you call someone who is from Venice, Italy. A Charlottean is what you call someone who is from Charlotte, NC. I hope you get the point. I could've said the Spaniard, but that sounded too generic and I don't know if in "Elena" that I mentioned that Adana [and her family] are from Madrid. Other than "Madrid native", I wasn't sure what to call her, so I just said what I did. Oh, and if I didn't say that Adana is from Madrid in the mentioned one-shot, please let me know!

(3) Part one: most children give up thumb sucking on their own at the age of four. I've got dirt on someone who …no, I won't say how old. Instead, I'll bring up a seminar. I learned at a seminar about …four years ago that even middle school kids revert to behavior of a younger child if they are experiencing abuse. No baby/toddler/preschooler/child/tween/teenager deserves to suffer abuse. If you think abuse is going on [and you live in the United States. I don't know protocol in other countries], please call your county's DSS [Department of Social Services] and report it. You could save a life. Part two: unnecessary radiation. Oh dear. Where should I begin? I speak from personal experience and here's the long story short. I had major stomach issues [that sent me to the ER more times than I care to count. It's even how I rang in the new year in 2015] and we couldn't pin the source after doing something a few years prior. My gastroenterologist [stomach doctor] at the time wanted me to have a HIDA scan, which is a nuclear medicine test for your gallbladder. Turns out, an ultrasound could work, too. Anyway, I call this …my experience of divine intervention. It was a Saturday and I had been running around the day before. At some point, I lost my balance and [for the {insert considerable number here} time] I had to go to the urgent care. The doctor who I ended up seeing noticed that I had been doubling over. She asked me what other symptoms I was having and I told her. I also explained about my appointment that had only happened earlier that week. "See, he's being hesitant on this because it's extra radiation." /realizes length of this so far. Remembers what's left/ Anyway, one particular night in the ER, a couple of nurses had said that I had so much radiation [from the amount of CT scans {which was like, 22 or 23 at the time} that I had for my stomach] that I should be glowing in the dark. Initially, I was fascinated by the thought. Then I realized the negatives. :( So, I had a rough summer, but I finally had my gallbladder removed.

(4) Part one: just because her uncle is a dentist, it doesn't mean that Elena knows the names of all the tools he uses. So the "funny thingy" is a fluoride tray. IMO, a fluoride tray isn't as bad as having the tray they use if you're getting braces or a custom mouth guard made. By the way, I've had to have custom mouth guards made. It is not fun, nor is it easy to sit through. :P …Part two: Elena is small, so she's fast. She stays in shape, though.

(5) Adana wasn't saying anything inappropriate, she just goes between languages from time to time.

(6) Elena having a second grade reading buddy is an homage to me [when I was in Kindergarten] having a fifth grade reading buddy. Then when I was in fourth grade, the entire fourth grade [I think there were around 100 fourth graders at the time] would get to read to a Kindergartner. I had fun with my reading buddy. Part two: just because Elena is a smart girl, doesn't mean she can pronounce words she's unsure of.

(7) You may or may not remember in "15 Years" that Elena has friends that are named Jada and Jackson. If you do, that's great. Yes, they're also the new kids. Part two: oh, this can start at an early age. Elena is very technical. So am I.

(8) Elena likes to guess peoples' ages. ...and that's based off of a quirk I have. When I'm first meeting a person [typically happens at a doctor's office. ...and with women, but it'll occasionally happen with guys], I'll strike up a casual conversation. For me, that typically involves age. I'm pretty accurate for the most part.

(9) Elena is a female gamer and proud of it. Part two: her describing her uncle Frank on romance… basically, if it's brought up, he might briefly touch on it before he changes the subject.

(10) Last time I had my teeth cleaned [which was a little over a month ago], I was told that the scraping going on is called scaling. Don't know why. Just know that that's the typical procedure for me when I go to get my teeth cleaned. I don't dislike the dentist, I just have issues of a different matter.

(11) Elena calls her uncle Frank "uncle Frankie" every now and then when she's younger. If [and when] she does it when she's older, she usually just likes to poke fun at him while remembering her father.

(12) I wouldn't call it sign language, but certain hand movements.

(13) Corsican is one of the languages that appears in Google Translate. I decided to look it up and found out that Corse [not lying] is the name of a region and it gave me an idea. It's linked with France. Part two: with child is another way of saying pregnant.

(14) I hope you'll notice the [almost] six year time skip. Yeah, that's gonna be important in the future. Part two: no, Elena and Susan initially do not get along.

(15) On every long ride, who doesn't ask if they're there yet? Part two: Maggie is 5 and Robert is only a little over a year old. On a side note, I originally wanted him to try and be saying "Maggie", but I changed my mind.

(16) Part one: the Valedictorian already spoke. Part two: for those wondering, the Salutatorian is the second highest GPA in the school. I switched the order. It was the student body president, then the student body vice president with a few words from the senior class president. Part three: Elena and her father tend to share the same opinion on things. Some of those things regard her uncle Frank.

(17) I'll be honest with you: I originally intended for the twins to be named after Susan and Duane's parents. Then I remembered that they wouldn't likely be referenced by name. So, their names [one is a boy and the other is a girl] are up to your imagination for now.

(18) Yes, sangria can be made without alcohol. So, can my favorite cocktail. Part two: fun fact is that along with each other, Illinois and North Carolina share the same state bird, being the Northern cardinal. The Northern cardinal is also the state bird of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. Part three: mauve is a light purple. Part four: swaddling is a tightly wrapped position. Part five: get your mind out of the gutter. Most [if not all] cell phones have the option to be put on vibrate. That's what Elena felt in her pocket was her phone vibrating. Part six: Elena knew her aunt and uncle would be coming and she wanted some fresh air.

(19) Elena had that kind of note written in advance and just used a pen that had been lying around to add to it. Part two: while she does have some of her father's bad habits, she's not as bad as her father is. Part three: she doesn't like being compared to him and especially when it's her uncle who is doing the comparing.

(20) I know at least three people named Sophie and it's a bit trickier that I know someone named Sophia.

End A/N: I'm so sorry that this took as long as it did. As you can see, I won't reach my goal. Because as I am typing this, it is (on my side of the world) 1:45:55 in the morning on my end of the world. I know some of you are behind me in your time zones.

Very rarely do I mention what's going on personally, but this is a big deal, especially because I was supposed to be done with this long ago. Unexpectedly, my father is in the hospital. We don't know what's happening. The only thing we know for sure is that he didn't have a stroke. I was also informed about 6 hours ago that someone else passed away. Mom and I knew he was sick, but we didn't know he was dying.

Due to problems I'd really rather not go into, I haven't been able to access my desktop, so this is coming to you from my laptop. I bring that up because the next one-shot for "Eight Little Eevee" is on my desktop. I plan on going into my desktop sometime this month and getting that squeaked out.

Final comments: the good news is that I passed my classes. My final grade in one class was an 89 and the other class an 88. It took me 3 years, but I did it. I got my certificate.

Thank you to those of you who have looked into this series. I will continue it in 2018 and by then, I hope to have more stuff explained so the characters will make more sense.


Here's the sneak peek:

I took a breath. It was mail call. It was never easy going into their tent.

"Nah, she's in post op. What's up, Radar?"

"Yeah. I know how you feel. I miss my mom and home in Ottumwa."

I don't know why I feel so …calm around her, but I do.

As always, R and R, fave and follow, vote and ask. Until next time, I am QUEENSPELLER67.

PS To be continued before Mother's Day 2018. Also, what happens towards the end is probably going to be my next Novocaine goal and I'm really looking forward to writing that. Some elaboration: "No'n" wanna. Think about a child, 2 or 3 years old. He/she is not going to be able to pronounce some words. "Don't" is an example of this. Then "Please Mommy, Watch Over Me" seemed only appropriate in a few situations.

Date and time of revision: 6/1/17 7:39:22pm

Revisions made: things were explained, errors were corrected, ellipses were formatted to be seen easier, clarifications were made and the rundown was expanded. It should be noted that I use Google Translate for my translations and I used Google Maps for the directions.

Date and time of second revision: 6/19/17 6:36:13pm

Revisions made: corrected minor details

Date and time of third revision: 7/29/2/17 1:12:40am

Revisions made: changed some text, edited the A/N