"They did what?"
"It's not like it's such a big surprize, it happens every time." She tried to reason with him but he had already grabbed his hat and waist coat and was heading out the door. "Joe come back!"
"See you later mum!" He shouted back, got on his bike and rode off.
The vision ended and Drew snapped back to reality, her brother was coming to her that gave her a small bit of happiness but it was soon forgotten and replaced with the pain of the past week. She shrunk back into her shoulders and cried.
Suddenly, although she expected it, a voice came from behind her.
"Drew?" Joe slowly made his way across the room towards her. She took her hands away from her eyes and looked down at them, covered in ink as usual along with her grey and white striped clothes. "Drew, it's me Joe." She lifted her head.
"2?" Her voice was filled with fear and pain, which made Joes heart melt, as it did every time.
"Yes Drew, it's me." He crouched down behind her.
"2!" she turned round to face him, unintentionally showing Joe that her face was pale and stained with dry tears and the ink from her hands, though her eyes never lost their unique brightness, the right a silvery grey colour and the left a gold-ish yellow colour. "Help me."
He hugged her, holding her close, as he did every time, and silently promised that he would not let go till she did.
"I'm here, what happened this time?"
"They didn't like me, he said I scared them, she said I was insane and hopeless and their son took my drawings and pens and he hid them! 2 he took them, then they took my paper, then he hit me because I had now where to draw but their walls and then, and then- then they took me back here. Their son threw the things he took out of the car window as they drove off," she buried her face into his shoulder, "Then Mike brought me and my things back up here to draw, to see." Joe sighed he couldn't bear to see her like this.
"It's okay; you're safe now, with me." He said softly as she began to cry. "You're like my sister, we've always been together and I won't ever leave you."
"Promise?" Drew whispered through her tears.
"Promise." Joe reassured her. Drew slowly pulled back, almost automatically her hand found its way to the skeleton key that hung from her neck. "Go freshen up, wash your hair you seem to have ink all over you," Drew stared down at her hands and smiled, "and don't worry I'll stay till I have to leave, even if that involves arguing with Mike."
They laughed together. "Finally," Joe thought, "she's happy again."
Later at dinner everyone, and Joe, crowded round the table and when the scrabble for food had calmed down Dan had a question to ask.
"You know what Joe, I don't get it. You get fostered, you leave and then you come back like almost every day."
"Yeah, so?" Drew could see her brother had no interest in what Dan had to say, but he wouldn't be rude, he's not like that.
"Why?" Drew didn't need her psychic gift to see were this was heading.
"To see my sister of course." To Dan this wasn't a good enough reason.
"You do know you're not actually related, right? Or are you as mad as her?" Drew felt Joe's anger rising, but he kept calm.
"She's not mad, Dan," he answered simply. Drew knew it was only a matter of seconds before Dan really started pushing her brother's buttons, but Joe wasn't the type to get angry over nothing. "She's special, different."
Drew smiled to herself, she knew that if anyone was going to stand up for her it would be him. She almost didn't notice that Dan had started talking again.
"Special! Yeah right, she's insane, constantly drawing, hiding away up there in her room or talking to you, in fact the only thing she does besides draw and mumble to herself is listening to the same song over and over again on your bloody phone! And you know wha-"
"That's quite enough Dan! Go to your room now!" Dan started protesting but Lydia, the head care worker there, stopped him. "Now Dan." He stormed off to his room, everyone turned and looked at Joe and Drew. Drew shrank down into her seat. Joe put his hand on hers and in one look she knew everything was going to be fine as long as they were together.
A week later Drew had become more and more cooped up, no one wanted to talk to her and every one at the home seemed to hate her. Joe's parents had kept him from visiting Drew in the week and only let him stay for a few hours on Saturdays so he spent all the time he could with her in school. It didn't help that he wasn't in quite a lot of her classes, and annoyingly most of those lessons Drew had the meanest teachers, but also her visions had started becoming more powerful and more frequent. She spent her lessons drawing and mumbling to herself, sometimes she didn't even have a chance to get her note book out and ended up scribbling whatever she saw into her school books, and if those got taken off her she ended up drawing on tables or her hands and arms.
One Monday school was going to be particularly cruel. First period was history, the teacher was nice and Drew sat next to her brother. Unfortunately after that was geography, not only were they separated but Drew had the meanest teacher in the whole school, and next was break but fifteen minutes was not enough for Joe to calm Drew down for languages. Again they were apart, Drew's teacher was unforgiving and had a very short temper and since Joe got put in French and Drew in Spanish Joe couldn't promise the teacher he could catch his sister up on the work (which was easier said than done as it was).
In history Miss Harrison was talking about the devastating effects World War 2 had on Britain, for some reason it felt familiar to Joe. Drew had her head resting on her arm leant over her books, at first Joe thought she was just concentrating really hard on her drawings but when he didn't hear her little murmurings or the scratch of her pen, he knew she was asleep. Thinking back Drew looked really out of it in form time and had hardly said a word all morning so Joe figured that she must have been drawing all night.
"Joe, is Drew asleep?" Miss Harrison asked quietly after she set the class work.
"I think so," Joe sighed as he heard a bunch of sniggers coming from behind him, "but please can we leave her, she's probably been drawing all night and I can catch her up, I Have my notes." Joe pleaded and thankfully Miss Harrison smiled.
"Okay, as long as you can catch her up." A smile spread across Joes face.
"Thanks Miss, I'll catch her up, I promise."
As soon as the lesson ended Joe had to quickly pack away both of their things and then drag Drew half asleep to her lesson, and risking being late for his but he knew it would be way worse for her if she was late.
Once inside her class room Drew rushed to her seat and got her stuff out as fast as possible, so she could get drawing she could feel that she was going to have a vision any minute. Almost as soon as Mr Rowlands started talking, frightening images of a horrid war filled Drew's mind. She instantly started drawing out the terrible scenes in her note book.
Mr Rowlands was just finishing up his speech on population that Drew couldn't hear.
"So those are the reasons why death rate is decreasing…" the images going through Drew's mind were so horrific, so terrifying that Drew was close to screaming, "which is always a good thing, isn't it class?"
"NO!" Drew exclaimed, pushing her things of the desk and stood up shaking, her teacher angrily stormed across the class room towards her stopping just three steps away.
"What's the matter with you? Do you think it's funny to interrupt my lesson?" he bent down and picked up Drew's notebook, "And how dare you waste the lesson drawing these stupid pictures! You know what it is? It's an insult to me! I devote years of my life learning to teach ungrateful brats like you, and you just sit there ignoring me!" Mr Rowland slammed the book down on the desk in front of Drew, making her shake harder.
"I-I can't" Drew whispered, only to be shouted at again.
"You can't what? What excuse could you possibly have for this?"
"I can't help it." She whispered as tears began to fall from her eyes.
"Can't help it? You know what, GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!" Drew froze, when she didn't move Mr Rowlands grabbed her wrist and dragged her out of the room. "After the lesson we shall discuss this matter with the head!" And he turned back into the class room, slamming the door behind him. Drew was stood against the wall, still frozen, and then slowly slid down the wall, sitting in a tight ball. Crying.
"Dan!" Joe ran toward him shoving his way through crowds of students, "Drew, where is she?"
"I dunno." Joe didn't have time for this break time was short enough already.
"Look Dan, I know you're in her geography class, I need to find her!" Dan put his hands up in surrender.
"Okay, okay! She freaked out and sir went hairless! It was hilarious!" Joe sighed.
"Sir said he was taking her to the head after the les-"
"Thanks Dan!" Joe ran through the crowds in the direction of the head teacher's office. The closer he got the less crowded the halls became, and as he turned the final corner he heard someone crying.
Drew felt Joe's presence as he walked closer. She stayed curled up against the wall, wishing she could escape and let her visions take her, even as her brother knelt down and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Drew?" She could hear the worry in his voice.
"I… I can't …can't help it." She whispered knowing that he would be the only one to actually listen to those words and truly understand her. "The war. Scared. It was terrible. I-I …" Drew took her arms from around her legs and held her head in her hands, gripping her hair as tight as she would usually hold her key.
"Drew, it's okay im here now. The war can't hurt you, I promise." Drew relaxed a little as Joe brought her ink stained hands from her head into his own gentle hands. But as she was about to say something the door next to her flew open causing Drew to shrink back into herself.
"Get in," Drew didn't move, "now!" The scared psychic flinched and aloud Joe to pull her to her feet and guide her into the cold office. Mr Rowlands, the one who had called them in, stepped in and slammed the door behind him. Not paying attention to the two teachers Joe sat his sister down in one of the chairs and knelt beside her, letting her tightly hold on to his hands and put her head on his shoulder.
The head teacher, Mrs Newberry, straightened up in her seat behind the desk in front of the teens.
"Drew," Mrs Newberry had been here before and knew the girl wasn't going to stop silently crying, "Mr Rowlands has something he wants us to discuss."
"I want her expelled! She does nothing but ignore me! And I know it happens in all of her lessons, I did my research."
"That's a lie!"
"What!" Mr Rowlands attention was now focused on the unknown boy that had seemingly invited himself in.
"I said that's a lie." Joe calmly answered back.
"I know what you said! How dare you! Who are you?"
"I'm Joe, and what you just said is a lie." Keeping his tone level the teenager slowly stood up, still letting Drew hold his hand.
"So you're saying you can name a lesson were this misfit doesn't completely ignore the teacher?"
"As a matter of fact I can." Drew tensed up even more not wanting Joe to get in trouble because of her.
"Go on then, enlighten me." Mr Rowlands stared down hard at Joe trying to intimidate him, but it didn't work.
"Well makes sense, she sure does get a lot of practice … on MY resources!"
Joe returned the geography teachers hard stare, as he felt Drew press her forehead against his arm, Mrs Newberry stood up.
"Actually, Mr Rowlands, Drew is our best art student." Drew looked up, she was surprized to complements of her art work that wasn't from Joe or Miss Riley.
"But that doesn't mean she can slag off her other lessons!"
"I know but I don't think expelling her is the answer." Reasoning with Mr Rowlands was very difficult, Mrs Newberry wished she could just get this over with but she didn't show it.
"What do you suggest then?" Before the head teacher could even think of an answer Joe spoke up.
"Take her out of lessons." Drew looked up at her brother, even though the conversation was focused on her, she felt she couldn't speak against anyone in this room.
"What?" The teachers said in unison. Drew feared what would come out of this conversation, unfortunately she couldn't see the results.
"Take her out of lessons."
"But isn't that just like-" Mrs Newberry was interrupted.
"Except art." Drew smiled, not just at the words said but at the determination on her brothers face.
"Well, is that allowed?" Mr Rowlands asked, the head teacher nodded.
"Yes I should be able to have that sorted out by tomorrow, what art teacher do you have?"
For the first time in this meeting, Drew spoke up. "Miss Riley."
"Well you're in luck, because Miss Riley is a full time teacher so she should be able to keep an eye on you." Drew stood up slowly as Mrs Newberry sat down, still holding Joes hand tightly, and quietly asked.
"So I- I get to, stay in … in art, all the time?" She sensed her brother smile behind her, as she typed away on her computer Mrs Newberry had the same smile.
"Yes, yes it does Drew." It took a moment for Drew to fully realize what this meant for her, then she turned to her brother and rushed him into a tight hug. Mr Rowlands rolled his eyes, sure he had got the girl out of his hair but he had hoped for punishment, he never intended for the girl to be almost rewarded. The teacher turned on his heel saying no more than "if you excuse me I have a lesson to get to" and was gone.
The sound of the school bell broke the teenagers out of their hug. Drew looked up at her brother almost in panic, almost pleading with her eyes to let her not go to her next lesson. Joe remembered why she was so scared, and looked over her shoulder to Mrs Newberry.
"You should be getting to your lessons now." She said flatly, not looking up.
"Could Drew spend today's lessons in here? Please."
"Yes, of course, you still have to go to yours."
"I know, thanks Miss." Drew looked up at him just as he was about to leave. "I'll see you at lunch, promise."
"Okay, bye 2."
"Bye!" Joe ran out the door and back to his lesson, leaving Drew standing in the head teachers office smiling.