Since I did all my talking back on the video–assuming you watched said video–there isn’t a lot to say here. Other than where we left off last time Kerry was starting to open up about his problems at home–which, for Kerry, really isn’t a lot of opening up:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
She looked down as they walked. “Are they gettin’ hostile with you?”
“No. Other than some yelling at first they’ve never given any indication they’re going to like, you know, snap on me or anything.” He glanced about with an uncomfortable look on his face. “It’s just—”
“I’ll walk into a room and if they’re talking they’ll just keep right on without acknowledging that I’m there. I mean, parents do that, but I’ll get these stares first—usually from my mom—to remind me that they know I’m there, but they’re gonna blow me off.” He snorted. “It’s like they’re giving me the ‘Screw you, kid’ treatment big time.”
“Jeez—” Penny grunted. “Your folks sound like a couple of right prats.”
Kerry had to laugh because as unafraid at Penny was to voice her opinions around the school she was even less shy about disclosing her thoughts. “They aren’t the brightest bulbs, that’s for sure.”
“Obviously.” She regarded Kerry for a few moments. “You talk to your case worker?”
He nodded. “Yeah. Met with her a couple of weeks back to give her an update.
“Good. My case worker has helped me out on a couple of occasions, though I don’t need her as much these days.” She hissed out a soft sigh. “You been telling Annie any of this?”
Kerry used a few seconds to adjust his glasses before answering. “Most of it.”
“Most. You guys meeting for lunch like you said you were going to do?”
“You tell her any of this?”
Kerry’s shrug was visible under his flight jacket. “Like I said, most of it.”
“Uh, huh. When was the last time you guys had lunch?”
Crap. He cleared his throat. “Monday, two days ago.”
Penny exhaled for about five seconds before driving home the point. “Did you tell her about this over lunch?”
He shook his head as he looked down. “No.”
“Oh, for God’s sake, mate.” Penny nearly spit out the words. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
Now even Penny has had enough of Kerry’s bullshit. The situation at home: eh, he’ll get through it ’cause his parents are a couple of idiots. Not talking to Annie about it? That’s a total sin, man, what the hell is your problem? Now, we know Penny can get testy at time, but this is the first time we’ve seen her lose her composure with Kerry, and it’s because he’s being an idiot. She doesn’t like that he’s holding back from Annie and there’s a god reason why–
“I just—” Though Kerry had expected that Penny might not agree with not telling Annie everything about his troubles at home, her outburst made him uncomfortable. “I just don’t want her to worry.”
“Oh, bollocks.” Her tone softened as she pushed her anger aside. “Don’t cut Annie out of this. She’s your partner, Kerry: she needs to be involved.” A harsh laugh burst forth when she saw the look on Kerry’s face. “Don’t act surprised: it’s not like none of us don’t know you both are OTP—that’s what Kahoku calls it. He told us what it means.”
Kerry needed a few seconds to allow the heat in his cheeks to subside. “I knew people were aware we were close, but I didn’t imagine you thought of us like that.”
“Huh. If you were any tighter we’ve have to throw water on your to get you apart.” Penny scratched the left side of her neck as she reconsidered her last statement. “That’s not to say that we think Annie and you are…” She poked the tips of her index fingers together a couple of times. “You know—”
It was Kerry’s turn to chuckle. “Shagging?”
“No, we’re not. When we’re down in our lab we’re actually working on stuff—not doing that like some people think.” He cleared his throat as she glanced to his right. “Not you guys of course—”
Penny nodded. “But others.”
“Right.” It was only in that moment that he wondered if Penny, or other of the others in their Party of Six know of their hidey hole, but since he couldn’t ans and risk revealing the spot, he kept his mouth shut and moved on to something else. “Did your parents get weird like this when you came out?”
This is an interesting passage between Penny and Kerry, because they–the three members of the now Party of Six–have Annie and Kerry pegged as OTP–One True Pair for the non-so-anime inclined–which means they probably talk about the Lovely Dovey couple a bit, and they’ve come to think of them as a bit more than a couple: “She’s your partner,” isn’t something you tell a boy who’s been dating a girl for a few months.
But Penny’s quick “That’s not to say” comment, along with Kerry turning it around and saving her, indicates they are probably talking about something else: namely, do you think they’re doing it? I mean, couples in school talk about this. I can remember people in my small circle of friend talking about couples we knew when we were 15 or 16, and given that was over forty years ago, I’m guessing it’s moved down a little closer to 13 year old kids as well these days.
And now Kerry has figured out that their friends are probably talking about this when Annie and Kerry aren’t around…
Kerry didn’t bring up their other hidden hideout because he likely knew if he did, Penny would probably give him a look like, “Ohhhhhh?” and then there would be more thinking along those lines.
Face it, Kerry: your soul mate and you are gonna be the subject of gossip for a long time to come. But you guys don’t listen to gossip.