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by Krystal McDermott
How do I get myself into these situations? I'll tell you how. I'm stupid- that's how. There's no other explanation for it. Only an idiot would volunteer to help KB put a sleep deprived, stressed out more than usual Miss Parker to bed. It makes perfect sense to volunteer...if you're mentally challenged, which is what I obviously am. Well, either that or suicidal, which after finding out Lyle's my father, doesn't seem like such a bad idea. So that's how I got where I am now, arranging scented candles throughout Miss Parker's room, because I'm a few cookies short of a jar. Actually they do smell kind of pretty, and are quite relaxing, but that's beside the point.
"Miss Parker, you look awful, why don't you lie down for a few hours?" I hear KB sooth as she leads Miss Parker towards the bedroom.
"I don't," are the only words that manage to escape before she lets out a wide yawn, "need to lie down, I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself" she protests groggily.
"What about a nice, relaxing bath? We'll put on some soft music, candles, just to take your mind off things." I suggest as I appear from the bedroom.
"I had a bath earlier."
"We could even throw in a glass of wine or two? I'm certain we have some lying around somewhere."
I smile at KB. Great idea, offer her alcohol. Miss Parker seems to think so too, and agrees that perhaps a bath isn't such a bad idea, it might help her wake up. Well I certainly hope not, because that'll ruin our entire plan.
I run the bath, while KB goes to put some soft, relaxing music on. If this doesn't work, I'm just going to accidentally crush up some sleeping pills and slip them into her food. Totally by accident of course. I almost fall in the bath as KB comes in to light the candles. I hate it when people sneak up on me. Of course, KB thinks it's hilarious and bursts out laughing. "Ahhh! How is anybody supposed to relax when you two keep making so much damn noise?" Miss Parker growls as she enters the bathroom dressed in a robe.
"Out!" she orders, glaring at the pair of us. KB just glares back her, while I stifle a laugh. Gee you try to do something nice for someone and all they can do is complain. Fair enough, we're only being nice so we can drug her and deceive her and go behind her back, but still she doesn't know that, and the fact remains we are being nice, despite our ulterior motives. The least she could do was be civil.
Jarod and KB begin to pack for their trip to the US while Sydney, Broots and I try to make Miss Parker's room as dark and as relaxing as possible. The last thing in place is a glass of water on the bedside table, which, again is a nice, considerate thing to do. Who cares that it's going to be used to drug her later? After all, didn't someone once say, it's the thought that counts?
After an hour and a half Miss Parker emerges from the bathroom, the water probably well and truly cold by now.
"Feeling better?" I ask. My only response is a look that probably would have killed me, if she had only had her gun. Thank God Jarod hid that well. "Why don't you go take a lie down?" I persist. So I have a death wish, is that really such a bad thing? I receive another glare. Actually that's probably a good sign, at least she's too tired to think of a sarcastic comment. Perhaps we're getting somewhere. Well, at least we were until she spotted the suitcase in KB's room.
"What's the bag for?"
"Bag? What bag?" Yeah that was a great cover up Krystal, she'll never see through that one. Dumb ass. Why don't you just tell her the whole plan now and be done with it?
"That bag," she says icily, pointing inside the room.
"Oh that one, well..." think fast, think fast, think fast, think fast.
"Katherine had to keep coming in my room to get some things so she decided to pack them in a suit case and bring them in here." Well that was pathetic, but she seems to have bought it. Guess I'm not the only stupid one around here.
She wanders off to her room and it's not long before I here her yelling out to me.
"What the hell have you done to my room?!"
I softly push open the door. "We all noticed how hard you've been working lately and we didn't want you to think that all your efforts had gone unnoticed, plus you've been under a lot of stress lately, so we decided to do something nice for you, to help you relax. I hope you don't mind. I put a lot of thought into it and I'd be really disappointed if you didn't like it." The guilt trip, one of my favourite forms of convincing people to do what you want them to do. She buys that one too, ha ha ha. See I always knew she had a heart. She still shoots me an icy look, but she appears to appreciate my "thoughtfulness".
For three hours, three hours I sit around waiting, twiddling my thumbs, trying to find something decent on TV, just waiting for her to finally fall asleep. Surely she has to be asleep by now, she hadn't slept in days, and she can't possibly still be awake.
I softly tap on the door. Noooo answer. Gently I push it open and I have to suppress the screams of celebration that threaten to escape. She's asleep, out cold, off with the fairies, travelling through la la land, however you want to put it, she is finally out to the world. Thank God. Now all we have to do is keep her out to it for a few days until Jarod and KB get back and then we'll be fine, unless of course she kills us afterwards, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, maybe, unless she knocks the bridge out and then we're all done for. This plan looked a heck of a lot better, yesterday.
Of course, as we were about to set everything up to get Miss Parker, the guys disappeared. I suppose that that shouldn't have surprised me, but it did. I could try and be pathetic by admitting that Jarod had more reason to do so because he had to pack, but I can't be bothered. He and Sydney and Broots were being their usual cowardly selves. Yup, that sounds better! Well, we snuck out of the house about half an hour after Krystal had been nice and soothing and got Miss Parker into bed. They drove us to the airport while, I imagine, Krystal sat and watched TV while twiddling her thumbs. We're about to go into the flight lounge when Jarod's phone rings.
"Hello?...You what?...Great job, Krystal...Look, I know you're worried about the plan but...okay....okay, I won't tell her that you have doubts...No, of course she isn't sitting next to me..." I watch as he winks at me and I can't help grinning back. So Krystal's nervous about my plan. What else is new?
"Okay...Look, don't worry. Sydney and Broots will be back soon...No, that's fine...All right, see you in a few days. Bye." He turns to me.
"She's worried about the plan."
"Gee, what a surprise. I would never have guessed." Okay, so maybe even I was a little more nervous about this plan than I was letting on. At least, judging by my sarcasm, I am.
As Jarod grins at me again (I love those dimples!) our flight is called and Jarod and I get up from the table where we were having coffee. Sydney, who's been very protective of Jarod all day, gives him one last hug (aw!) as Broots shakes my hand.
"Good luck, you two. Hopefully we'll see you soon." Hopefully?! Good ol' Syd doesn't have much faith in our returning, methinks! Oh well...Jarod tucks his hand into mine, slings the backpack containing the numerous books that I need on the flight (I can't sleep on planes, okay?) onto his back and we walk through the sliding doors. We move quickly through the various checks and onto the plane. First class, of course. It could be my only chance to fly this way and, when the Centre's paying, why wouldn't we?
"Okay?" Jarod's looking at me wearing a worried expression. Probably because I haven't said anything for about two hours and that, for me, is only normal when I'm writing a story.
"Fine. Just thinking."
"Don't hurt yourself." I give him a punch in the arm. "Or me. You need me, remember?"
I raise one eyebrow in the way that Miss Parker taught me when we had some spare time and were actually getting on. "I need you? Excuse me while I snicker."
He grins again. "Why are you in such a bad mood?"
"Why are you in such a good one? Remember where we're going - and what's there?"
He shifts in the seat a little uncomfortably and I stretch out one hand and put it on his. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have mentioned it."
"It's a little late now."
"I know, I know." I lean over and kiss him gently. "Does that help?"
"A bit." He tries to hide a smile but I can always tell when I've got through to him.
"So what were you thinking about?"
I can't help grinning. "Not in the way you're so fondly imagining. Actually I was wondering - how old are you, exactly?" I watch as a furrow appears in his brow and I know that he's never asked himself that question, presumably because he's too scared of the answer.
"And biologically?" That's got him. I've been thinking about this for a few days and I got Broots to do some work on it last night.
"Let's see." He starts to do the sums in his head that I did a few days ago. "The Centre started their work into cloning in 1971, got innocent women pregnant for the first time in 1973 - that would mean that I was created in 1975 and born in 1976."
"Which makes you twenty-three or twenty-four."
"Er...yes." He's obviously just realised the significance of that, because I know that there was no need for the hesitation.
He eyes me again as I settle into my seat and close my eyes.
"Katherine, what are you up to? I mean, what's the point of all these questions?"
"Oh, nothing really." Even without opening my eyes, I can still imagine the look on his face and I can't help grinning. He puts one hand on either shoulder and shakes me until I open my eyes.
"Why," he talks as though I've got the mind of a five-year old "are you suddenly so interested in all this? I mean, no matter how old I really am, I'm still going to age at twice the rate that you do." I reach into the pocket of my jacket and pull out a piece of paper.
"Maybe, maybe not. I got Broots to hunt into the records of the Centre for me and I found this. It's the formula you created in the first place. I have every confidence that you could create something which would reverse the treatment." He snatches the page out of my hand and stares at it in excitement.
"I've been trying to remember this for years."
"Raines used a drug that you made a few years before that to erase it from your mind. In fact, he planned that the drug would get rid of any memory you had of even making it yourself, but obviously it didn't work properly."
"And this was just in the archive?" He waves the page at me.
"Not exactly. Raines has a backlog of every experiment he ever ran. He is a scientist, after all, and if any of the projects had ever become applicable in the long term, he wanted to be able to remember what he did. Naturally, this was among them."
"And - the memory drug?"
I hand him another page. "That's it, there."
He scans the page with his eyes and I can already see his mind working on the problem. I guess neither of us is going to get much sleep. I sigh and pull out a book. It's going to be a very long flight.
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