High school’s out after their first day and all the teens gather in the dining room to stare at the new blue boy in the house. They take the news of the new addition well. David had expected to share a room with the growing Ritchie, so this is actually a huge improvement for him. Marina is just curious about how he managed to stay alive for so long under the oppresive thumb of a horde of zombies.
Nero tries to explain that they were mummies, not zombies. And that he wasn’t there for most of it, that he only reappeared a day before Chale and the other soldiers arrived on his street, but as soon as he mentions “gnome magic” they all just tune him out.
Eventually Marina and David excuse themselves, and Ximena is left alone with little boy blue. (David’s favourite nickname for the new kid)
“You’ll have to excuse my sister.” Ximena explains. “She thinks you’re really cool, but she’s trying to impress David so she’s going to be a pain in the ass for a while.”
“Don’t talk about your sister like that.” Chale mutters as he sits down in the empty seat next to Nero. “So how have you been adjusting? Was your first day at school alright?”
“It was great.” Nero answers truthfully. “I was sort of surprised. Back in Riverview I got made fun of a lot because of my skin tone. But the most I got here was a few double takes when I first walked into the school.”
“Hmm... well I would be a terrible guardian for not telling you that beating people up works best if anyone does decide to start something with you. Now that you’re part of this family you should know we take physical fitness very seriously. We’ve got a full rec room downstairs so please make use of it whenever you’d like.”
Ximena just laughs at her father’s advice. The real reason no one teased Nero is because David and Marina talked to him before school and spread rumours during school that he was a famous mummy hunter.
“So...” Marina begins once she and David are alone. “Prom’s on Monday. You thinking of taking anyone?”
“I don’t know... your cousin Caroline is pretty hot. Maybe I should ask her to Prom.”
“Silly boy.” Marina giggles. “If you do that I’ll have to whip out the photos I have of you playing Princess Palace with me. I’m sure taping one to every locker in school will do wonders for your popularity.”
“... You wouldn’t.”
“We both know I so would. You’ve been a good influence on me.”
“You suddenly just got hotter then Caroline in my eyes.”
“I thought I would.”
“Come to Prom with me?”
“Only if you promise to be bad.”
David smiles. “I can do that.”
Louna told Chale about the new baby as soon as he got home. Chale was thrilled to finally have a biological son in the family.
“How’s my beautiful baby boy today?”
He’d raise this one well, and maybe he’d come out more mentally stable and not-evil than David.
Another example of the “walk around in your underwear” hidden trait. Considering the fact that they live with TWO teenage boys, Ximena really should be wearing something less formfitting around the house.
“Did you eat yet?” She asks Nero upon getting downstairs. David chokes on his cake when he sees Ximena’s outfit. Why doesn’t HE get to walk around in his skimpies all day?
“Um... no.” Nero answers, unsure if he should be looking at her.
Ximena ignores both of their reactions. “Good. Give me a second to change and then meet me in the car. I’m going to show you around town.”
As the only non-evil teenager in the house, Ximena feels its her duty to show Nero what their city has to offer. Starting with the 24/7 diner. “If you tell them that you’re part of the Starr household you get to eat free.” She explains. “My family has owned this place for generations. It doesn’t bring in much income but its great if you want a bite after school.”
Driving around town, she shows him the other spots. The local clubs, a few of the parks, the house where Matthew and Ella Starr live (“Don’t go there unless they’ve spoken to your first and given you permission. They’re sort of paranoid about intruders after my grandpa Sheridan managed to sneak in and steal some of Ella’s paintings. He used to tell us the story every night before bed. He was the coolest.”), the beach, and lastly the local art gallery.
“Papa told me you like art, so I thought I’d bring you here. I know our gallery is nothing spectacular, but its something right? Some of Ella Starr’s paintings are here, I think.”
“Its a beautiful gallery.” He agrees. “It just... reminds me of home. My old family owned the art gallery. Our grandfather was a very famous painter, and he filled the gallery with paintings and sculptures from all over the world. When your father saved me we drove past it and it was completely leveled. It just broke my heart.”
“I’m so sorry Nero, I didn’t know. We can go home if you’d like. Grandma probably has dinner on the table by now.”
Nero likes the way she uses the word “home”. When Chale first offered to take him in, he was so sure he’d hate it here. That it would never feel like home, but he’s been here only a few days and this girl is already making him change his mind. All of a sudden he was overcome with the urge to kiss her.
“We uh... we should go.” He mutters, turning away from her. This was stupid, he was getting to attached to this sleepy little city and its inhabitants. As soon as he was of legal age he would leave and go looking for Wren and her family. It was his only option. They had to have left him a way to find them. He just hadn’t looked hard enough.
And if he left a few broken hearts in his wake well... sacrifices always had to be made.
Dammit Cece Generation Seven is supposed to be a HAPPY generation, what are you doing?