A thousand suns II

Part two of my nonsensical no pressure tumblr ME ficlet. This part is mostly the aftermath of the first part, which you can find here.

No warnings, we are introduced to Jane and Mia. So in a roundabout way it’s a daddy Shepard thing.

-Two months later-

John was getting a headache from the light flickering, pretending to read some five year old gossip magazine someone donated to the waiting room. He sighed and looked over at his sister; she looked just as bored as him just less nervous. Jane was sitting with her hands on her handbag, eyes closed. “What time is is?” John asked, feeling like his voice boomed out in the room, where the only sound had been the insisting buzzing of the defect fluorescent light.

The first month after that terrible night, John had found himself in the middle of a media hurricane. He had not dated Kaidan for very long, they had met at a bar of all things, and it had just sorta picked up from there. He had known that Kaidan’s last name was Alenko, but had never really made the connection to senator Alenko. Turns out Kaidan was his only child. John learned that Kaidan was not out of the closet to any extent, atleast not when it came to his family and public persona.

Every magazine, talkshow and news station wanted the story, he had gone to stay at his sisters because he simply couldn’t return to the flat. But even at Jane’s place there was daily someone’s card stuck under the door, or in the mailbox. His phone blew up until he just turned it off. He had refused to talk to any of them. He could not control what was printed though, and the story was a headliner with or without his cooperation. The first two weeks he couldn’t read a paper or turn on the telly. Jane was understanding, and silently followed the shitstorm on her phone.

Everytime he saw the photo of Kaidan as a young smiling cadet, his heart lurched a little. There wasn’t much of a mention of Miranda though, only like ‘Senators son killed in gay lovers family dispute’ – He hated to see what had been a living hell, boiled down to one sentence like that. Somehow they had gotten a hold of a picture of him from when he was still serving in the army, Jane insisted that at least they had found a good picture. John really didn’t see the point in why it was good or bad they had found a good picture.

And what about Mia? She had to go somewhere right? Legally Mia was John’s responsibility now, he had tried to make Miranda’s father take her, but he wasn’t interested, neither was Miranda’s sister. Which left him and Jane.

Jane opened her eyes and looked down at her phone in her hand. “Twenty past twelve.” She said and sighed, “We’ve been waiting for a goddamn hour, what’s their fucking problem?”

John shrugged. “So when do you have to go?”

Jane rolled her shoulders as she sat up straight, “Not for another two hours.” She smiled at John, “Hey, if you want me to, I’ll call in sick.”

“Sure?” John asked finally giving up on the gossip magazine, leaving it where he found it on the little sidetable between his and Jane’s chair.

“Of course I’m sure dipshit.” She leaned in over the table and grabbed his arm hard. “Look, if you need me, I’m here – okay?”

“Okay.” John nodded, “Turdface.”

Jane laughed softly.

A young lady came into the room with a bag, looking at John and Jane. “Mr. and Miss Shepard?”

“Yes.” John smiled nervously at the woman.

The woman looked down at the paper in her hand. “These are the belongings that were brought in with your daughter.” She placed the bag on the floor.

“I’ll take the bag to the car, and you go pick up Mia.” Jane said as she quickly stood from the chair and went straight for the bag. “I’ll wait by the car,” She smiled. “You’ll be fine.”

“Alright.” John said as he too stood, his butt numb from sitting so long in the uncomfortable chair in the waiting room.

“Come this way Mr. Shepard.” The woman said as she turned around leading the way. John followed down the corridor, his heart racing. What the hell was he doing? Maybe she’d be better off somewhere else, he didn’t know the first thing about children, hell he didn’t even want one to begin with.

The woman stopped and turned to John, “You need this form, and this.” She handed him two pieces of paper, “You’ll need to sign her up for a school in your area.”

“Oh.. yes of course.” John was already breaking out in a sweat.

“I need you to sign here.” The woman said holding a third piece of paper in John’s face. John clumsily took the pen from her, signing on the dotted line. “I will send this to her new social worker, and you can expect a visit in a half years time, just a check up.”

“Oh okay.” John said, his hands shaking, slightly panicking. “Eh.. So she is in there?” He nodded at the door to his left.

“Yes Sir, you can pick her up now.” The woman smiled a professional smile, “Good luck Mr. Shepard.”

“Thank you.” Shepard turned as the woman walked off, and opened the door. He was sure that they were studying him on camera, surely they wouldn’t just let him walk out of here like that. Would they? For a moment he just stood there and stared at the girl who sat on the floor coloring in a tiger. “Hi.” He said.

Mia looked up, and then continued to color her tiger.

John took a step into the room, “I’m John.” He said, “I’m here to pick you up.” He held out a hand to her.

She looked up again, and this time she abandoned her crayon and took his hand. “My name is Mia.” She said squeezing his hand.

“I know.” John smiled awkwardly.

Mia didn’t answer or ask anything, and for a while they just stood there. “I’m hungry.” She finally said, “Do you know Mc. Donalds?”

John laughed softly, “Sure do.” He squeezed the small hand gently, “Let’s go, Jane is waiting at the car.”

Mia followed as John walked down the corridors and out the front door to the street. Jane stood against the car checking facebook on her phone, smoking a cigarette. She looked up when John cleared his throat, she swiftly tossed the cigarette and kneeled down smiling at Mia. “Hey there kid.” She said, “I’m your aunt Jane.”

Mia looked up at John and then over at Jane. “Alright.” She just said and shrugged.

“I promised her Mc. Donalds.” John said, “Could we –“

“Of course.” Jane said standing up. “Who doesn’t want a burger?” She walked around the car and got in, waiting for John to get Mia into the back seat. “Remember your seatbelt.” She said over her shoulder to Mia.

-*-

Mia had fallen asleep on John’s sofa and he had gone to fetch a blanket for her, when his phone rang. It was Jane and he ignored the call. He went back to the living room and tucked the blanket around Mia. He needed to go shopping, he just moved here, and the furniture was pretty sparse, most everything from his old flat he had tossed or given to charity. Still he figured that Mia couldn’t sleep on the sofa forever, she’d probably need her own dresser. Shit. He was so not ready for this. Fuck Miranda, fucking cunt.

He sighed and sat down in his armchair and switched the channel from cartoons to some movie that was almost finished, he didn’t care, he just had to think about something else.

Going to the kitchen to make himself a coffee and came across the list of schools that the woman had given him. He looked it over as he waited for the water to boil in the kettle. He had no idea what to chose, so he decided he was just gonna call the school closest by the next morning.

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