"Do you think that the school will let us build a big house on the grounds?" Alexander asks as he settles at 'their' table in the cafeteria after getting their meals.
David looks at him. "Alex, they're giving us the girls dorm. We don't need to build a house, we just need to fix the one we have how we want it once the girls move into their new dorm."
Everybody at the table looks at him. "You're kidding me."
"Do you really know of any other students who are going to still want to be here after graduation and commute to school? When it will be 'cheaper' to take a dorm room or find a place in Boston if they even go on to school there. Principal Madison told me what was really going to happen after you guys left that day. I've been working on a couple of plans I wanted all of us to go over." He pulls out his laptop and opens his drafting program, bringing up the file marked 'dorm'
"I figured we'd gut the first floor, moving walls and getting rid of a few of the bathrooms. We should have separate rooms for appearance sake." He flips between the blueprint of the first floor as it is now and how it will look with the girls rooms expanded out to the first set of bedrooms next to theirs, and given a second floor. "We can gut the third floor rooms completely, we can do that when we tear the roof off to add another floor or two."
"Add a couple of floors?"
"Alexander and Michael's workroom is too far away to connect by a covered walkway and they're going to have to move it anyway, the new boy's dorm is going to be too close otherwise. We can either put it on the top floor if you don't need the floors strengthened or we can build on the side if you do. I thought we'd make the front of the dorm into a entryway, we can put in a mudroom or powder room there and put up a wall to separate the entrance from the rest of the first floor. There's a spray to make the windows one way so people can't look in and see us doing . . .whatever but we can still look out."
"Won't this be expensive?"
"Yes, if we were doing it all at once but some of this stuff we can do over time since we're already going to be there. If we were building it, it would be different. Most of this is cosmetic. One of the engineers checked the boys dorm out for me when I asked him some questions about renovating the dorm into a private residence."
"what do you have planned?"
"Once you get past the entry, the first thing you see is the living room, it would lead on to the first floor bedrooms. . .Josette, Susan, and the twins. The boys would 'officially' be on the second floor, with a large bedroom at the end of the hall for all of us."
"The basement would have the kitchen, we might need to redo it when we redo the girls kitchens but that's not a hardship when we have the cafeteria. There'd be a dining room next to it. We'd put in a larger hot water heater, we don't have enough hot water when the boys are getting ready for classes so I know you don't have enough hot water. And I'd put in a generator so if the school loses power, we'd still have water, heat, and electricity."
Again everybody nods. "When we start having children, they can stay with their mothers until they're old enough to move to the third floor. We can homeschool the children if you don't want them going to the local school."
"I went to the local school for a few months after I moved here because I wasn't a high school student yet."
Everybody looks at her, "Jeez Josette, how long have you been here?"
"My mutation emerged when I was just about eleven, the trauma of the earthquake and being trapped in the car." Josette says. "So. . . six, seven years? Yeah, the school didn't feel they had the classes to engage me, I was still a little withdrawn from the accident and they didn't feel it would be in my best interest to return for the next school year. So the teachers here home-schooled me for over a year until I could start officially. When my mom . . .died, it was a good thing because I would have missed a good chunk of the school year otherwise."
"Do you have any problems with the local school system?"
"Problems. . .no, the wish they'd expand their classes and offer more. . .yes."
"We can always teach the children what we want them to learn if the local school system doesn't offer it." Michael says calmly.
"We can put up a library/study on the fourth floor, it would be where we'd homeschool the children, each of us would take turns teaching them what we want them to learn. Do we want the 'playroom' on the fourth floor or down in the basement."
"Basement." everybody says, looking around. "Because we know what your family has in mind when they say 'playroom'." They know now that David's parents lived in a small town and worked for the government, they had a good business in repairing labs when idiot scientists have managed to destroy them. But the town also had a flourishing sex business, it was his godparents that had sent the girls and boys boxes of of toys and supplies when they'd first gotten together and again after they'd lost their virginities. It was his godparents that David had sent a couple of the boys wood and steel dildoes to, they'd immediately had a contract to supply the store with them in various sizes with a nice chunk of money coming in from every one. It was also his godparents he'd shown Alan's stories to, he's working with another writer. . .who is David's godmother to polish the stories. A couple she had immediately pounced on and he'd gotten writer's credits when she'd turned them into a porn movie.
David nods. "Then the guest rooms can take up the rest of the fourth floor with the fifth floor being storage if the boys don't want their workroom up there."
"I'll need to check the floors first, it may have to go on the side." Michael says. "Some of our supplies of metal and wood are damn heavy."
"Okay, what do you think of this then?" he pulls up another drawing and slides the computer between the two artists. "A covered walkway that connects to the dorm where the side stairway is. A basement dug to hold your supplies with an outside entrance to bring them in unless Alan and I do it ourselves, an open floorplan on the first floor with room for each of you to have a separate work area if you want with a lot of lights. . .which you already have in your old workshop and we can salvage them when we take it down, a second floor where you can keep finished work before it's sent out, and a locked area on the third floor for your other artistic endeavors. Since you'd be connected to our home," and David can't keep the smile off his face at those words, because some of them haven't had a home before coming to the school, "you shouldn't need a place to crash when you pull ungodly hours, but we can move your little lovenest to the top floor."
"Looks good," Michael says, "Can we make a couple of suggestions?"
"Of course, this is going to be your studio after all."
"What about Sasha's workshop?" Josette asks about the young glassworker that the boys were mentoring.
"Her workshop is safe, it's far enough away from the girls dorm for the noise not to disturb them but close enough she can easily come back and forth from her room. I think they had that in mind when they built it there."
"How's she doing?"
"Good, she's working on melting down the school's glass recycling, burning out any impurities in the furnace, and converting it into small figures that can be sold, we talked to our agent and she's going to talk to her about selling them on consignment. The cafeteria is glad to have their glass taken care of, and the recycling center in town is thrilled, there's not a large demand for glass recycling in the area and he can free up room in his storage center by sending his here. He's so glad to get rid of it, he was nearly dancing when we went there last month with the school's recycling. And with me compacting our metal recycling into bricks before sending it to him it frees up more space. I think one of the teachers plans on arranging a tour of a bottle making plant for her, once she realizes what needs to be done she can make bottles and if there's enough demand, sell them. And her family is going to show her how to blow vases and other decorative objects during winter break, she'll have a nice future with her mutation.
"And Charity has already got a couple of her light shows on youtube, I think she's going to have a nice side business of taping her shows and selling DVDS." Abby says. "Her Dad and Grandfather will be proud, while her mother will be horrified that her precious daughter isn't going to allow her to find her a nice boy to marry and give her grandbabies to mold into future debutantes and worse. . .she'll actually have a career."
"Women like that make my skin crawl." Susan mutters.
"Thankfully Charity's got a good head on her shoulders and her father and grandfather keep her mother in line." Josette grins. "So, what's the latest estimate on when the new dorm will be finished?"
"The bathrooms are all completed, the rooms are being painted today and tomorrow, and carpet will be laid down. The sticking point is getting the furnishings in, the elevator isn't big enough to carry the furnishings in without taking them apart."
"Have Alan do it." Josette says, everybody stares at her. "What? Stick the beds, dressers, and desks into subspace, go up to the room and move everything where it belongs and go down the line until all the rooms are furnished." David slaps his forehead with his palm and hurries across the room to talk to the Principal. Everybody can see Principal Madison moan and Druid giggle, David comes back. "Nobody even thought about that, but it's perfect. Alan, you don't have any plans for next weekend, right?"
"Nope, I'm off Friday through Sunday."
"We should have the rooms ready for furnishings by then, we're starting on the top floor and moving down. Then we'll send notices out that we're going to be moving girls, they should have their bathrooms empty and everything in their room packed for moving."
Anna snorts. "You're going to hear screams about that, some of those girls rooms are packed with stuff. It will take them a week to move everything over."
David shrugs. "We'll tell the girls on a floor they'll be moving the next weekend, start with one side of a floor and tell them to get everything packed for moving over the weekend. Anna, could you give Alan a picture of a room and can you move everything into subspace without being in the room?" The two look at each other and nod. "Then Anna goes into a room, makes sure it's ready for moving, Alan shoves everything into subspace and they go over to the girls new room and Alan puts everything back, you should be able to do a floor a weekend. Otherwise it will be chaos as the girls all try to move in at once. We inspect the rooms once everybody's out of them, anything that's left behind goes into a lost and found box in the entry room to the new girls dorm and we clean before the boys move in."
"And we make sure the girls are ready to move before the weekend. If the girls aren't ready to move, they have to carry everything over by hand." Josette says.
Anna and Abby nod, "They're told they're going to be moving the Monday before, they should have everything ready to go by the weekend, especially since they know they'd be moving dorms this semester and they should have put everything they don't need away."
"What about those who want to move ahead of their floor?" Druid asks, coming over to their table.
"Nope, they have to wait until they have a monitor on their floor. If they're the only person on their floor there's too great a temptation for mischief." Josette says. Druid nods. "And you're starting from the bottom or the top?"
"The top, that way we can keep an eye on those who are still there." Abby says. "If we start from the bottom, there's a floor between us and the girls. Too much of a temptation for mischief."
"And the girls on the second floor can start getting ready for their moves." Druid nods. "While the second floor girls are being moved, the first floor girls can get ready for their move. And you lot can do whatever you want with the school furnishings that was left, it's all yours, saves us having to deal with it."
Druid heads back to the head table and they settle back into finishing their breakfast before heading back to their rooms and getting ready to head into Boston and the University. They'd all sat down with a course catalog one day in the library and gotten classes at approximately the same time so they could all leave and arrive back at school at the same time. Their advisors had been stunned when each of them showed them their records from school and they'd easily been able to enter school at the 2nd year level. Well, except for Josette. . .Bookworm strikes again and had easily been able to school at a third year level, she'd been taking her speciality classes now and applying to Graduate school for early admittance next year.
She would have liked to have done her internship at the school since after going to school almost all the time for the last four years the others wanted to have summers off but there's no actual librarian at the school to mentor her so she'd had to settle for an internship at the school instead. The others had just rolled their eyes but realized they'd have to do internships of their own to graduate and it was easier to do it during the summer. Josette had arranged her classes to fall before and after lunch and still have a full course this semester, the girls had decided not to take night classes since they still had to keep an eye on the girls dorm until they moved, and Josette was still working in the school laundry at night. The boys did have night classes though, arranging it so at least one of them was there at night to check on the dorm and lock it down for the night while the others were in school. When they had toured the school, they had decided on a spot where David would be opening his tesseracts and would gather there to head back to school.
Grabbing her bag and making sure Samhein was set for food for the next few hours, she heads across the courtyard of the school towards where the others are gathering. David wraps an arm around her and they walk through the tesseract to the university grounds, each of them heading for their first class.
The next couple of weeks pass quickly, the dorm is finished and ready for furniture and David and Alan make a trip to pick it up. Looking at the drawing made by Druid of how the dorm room is supposed to look Alan begins placing beds where they belong, complete with box springs and mattresses. It takes him a couple of hours but he has all the beds placed on two floors before its time to break for lunch and the head of the construction crew shakes his head. "That's incredible, thank you boys you just saved me days of work." Alan eats his full at lunch and by the time dinner comes around he has all the beds placed in the girls dorm. After eating a large meal he yawns and is asleep before the other boys can put him to bed.
The next day is easier, it's dressers and nightstands. By the time dinner comes around the dorm rooms are nearly complete with just the desks to place the following day. Those don't take as long as the other items, or maybe Alan is just used to the work but by the time Sunday night rolls around the dorm rooms are ready for the girls and the monitors ready to move in when the girls do. Alan blinks at the large check the foreman hands him, but David just rubs his head and tells him that that is what 'independent contractors' receive for their work, plus payment for each piece of furniture moved based on some arcane figure with nightstands paying the least and beds, with the dressers a close second, paying the most. He carefully signs the back of the check, its almost obscene the amount of money he got paid for three days of work, and puts it in his wallet to deposit in the bank the next day.
After making sure everybody is checked into the dorm, Anna, Abby, and Josette lead the girls on the third floor up to their lounge and shut the door.
"Is something the matter?" one of the girls asks.
"No girls, we're just letting you know that you girls are going to be the first ones to move into the new dorm next weekend." The girls squeal and shout with excitement. Josette holds up her hands."Keep it down girls, there's going to be a few rules. You've all met Anna and Abby's brother Alan, haven't you?" The girls nod. "Well, he's going to be moving your belongings but you have to make it easy for him. First of all, have everything out of your bathroom by Friday night. You're going to have to pack all your belongings back up, so if you have laundry, do it before Friday night. If your room isn't ready to move, you'll have to move everything over by hand. If you need containers to pack your belongings, there's sets of totes in the storage area down in the basement. If you have anything in the refrigerator downstairs, its your job to get it and put it in the refrigerator in the new dorm. Put your bedding and towels down the laundry chute, you'll be getting new ones in the new dorm. If you borrow a set of totes, replace them down in the storage area, the other girls will need to borrow them so they can move too."
"Our beds, dressers, and other furniture isn't coming with us?" one of the girls asks.
"Only if it's something you brought with you or purchased after you arrived." Abby says. "The school didn't feel right that some of you would be getting new furniture while other girls had to make do with what they had, so everybody is getting new furniture."
"What happens if we forget something?"
"We're going to be going through the rooms after you girls have left, if we find something it will go in a lost and found box in the entry of the new dorm. And don't forget to thank the girls brother, he's already spent last weekend moving all the furniture into your new dorm rooms, getting the dorm ready for you weeks ahead of when it would have been."
"Are we going to still the same room numbers?"
"Yes, but you'll be getting new keycards." Abby says. They open the door and the girls streak out to their rooms to start getting ready for the move next weekend, Josette Abby and Anna head down the stairs to find everybody waiting for them with questions. Girls begin talking over each other and Abby holds up a hand, when that doesn't silence them Anna sticks her fingers in her mouth and whistles shrilly. "Oi, keep it down you barbarians." The girls settle down.
"Yes, the new dorm is ready for you to move in, we're moving over one floor at a time to keep the chaos down to managable levels. We're starting with the third floor since most of the girls there have been here the shortest amount of time so they have the least amount of stuff to haul over. Yes, everybody will be getting new furniture for their room." the girls shout in excitement again. "The second floor has two weeks to get everything ready for moving, we'll give you a list of rules next weekend after the third floor is finished moving and we decide what we need to work on. No, nobody can move ahead of time since we have to wait until your floor monitor is ready for you. First floor since you lot have the most stuff. . .most of the time," she looks at one of the girls on the second floor who just grins. "you guys will be the last to move over in three weeks. The twins brother is going to be putting your belongings in subspace and putting them in your new rooms so unless you're really messy you'll just have to walk over and unpack your stuff." The girls scatter off to their rooms to decide what they needed to pack first. "Ladies, if you have something in the refrigerator downstairs, either move it over with you or eat it." Josette calls after the retreating girls. They head back to their rooms.
"Umm Josette, did Samhein just split himself in half?" Anna looks at Josette's bed. . . Turning to her, Josette blinks when she sees two white cats, one slightly smaller than the other in a pile of ears and tails on her bed. "Weren't the doors locked?"
"Yes, and none of the other girls have a white cat." Josette walks over to them and they split apart, Samhein yawning and stretching before nudging the new arrival towards his charge. Josette reaches down and runs her hand down the back of the . . .she now sees female cat and blinks as she sees the collar proclaiming that she belongs to Josette. "You're like Samhein, aren't you?" Both cats nod. The twins blink at all three of them. "Samhein's. . .special." She finally says.
"Uh-huh." Anna slowly says. "Is Samhein's food good enough for you?" The cat nods. "Okay, I'll have to get some more tomorrow when I go grocery shopping."
Anna and Abby just look at her. "Okay, I see you guys want a better explanation than that."
"Do you know about magic?"
Again they nod, "Great-Granny was supposed to be a weather witch, one of our cousins is a sorceress. Samhein's a familiar?"
"Yes and no, I recently found out that my father's family has a history of putting out some damn powerful magic users. The family has been breeding familiars for generations. . .human not feline, but unless you have the gift of magic they're not technically familiars. They will still bond to a person even if their charge doesn't have magic, when they feel that their charge is ready to start a family a unmated familiar will seek them out so they can start a family too. It looks like Samhein here decided that we're both ready." She scratches both cats under the chin and they start to purr loudly.
"Do you have any contact with your father's family?"
"No, they know I exist because Wolverine told them about me, but we've never met." Josette shrugs. "Cats have a mind of their own, they decided I'm part of the family even if the humans think otherwise. You can't miss what you never had."
Anna and Abby hold her and she laughs. "Who did you think will be the first one to throw her hands up and call for some help getting things organized for the move?" Just then a knock is heard on the door and the girls laugh. "Grab a notebook and we'll make a list of what should be done first, that way we can help out the others." Josette calls, getting up from the bed and heading for the door. Like she'd thought it was one of the girls asking for some help in organizing her belongings and they head up to her room, this time on the second floor.
"Okay, first of all pack up your schoolbooks from the previous semesters, only leave those from this semester and those you'll be packing the night before you're scheduled to move." Anna decides, turning around in the room.
"Pack previous semesters school books, check."
"Pack clothes you won't be wearing for a while, in this case summer and winter clothes. You should be over in the new dorm by the time you need them."
"Pack off season clothes, check."
"If you run out of something and it's not something you're going to need before the move, buy it after you're moved."
"Don't replace non-essential items before the move, check."
"Relax, it's not going to be the end of the world. Take a deep breath and back away from whatever you're doing if it gets too stressful."
"Relax, it's just moving. . .not the end of the world. Check."
"You don't have to do it all at one time. Work for ten or fifteen minutes then take a break."
"Work ten or fifteen minutes, then take a break."
"Pile filled containers in a corner out of the way."
"Find a place to put filled boxes where you won't trip over them, check."
Ten minutes later the girl thanks them, she's done having a panic attack and Josette has a list of helpful tips she'll copy in the office tomorrow and give all the girls. "And maybe I'll give the guys these too, they're going to be moving at the end of the semester and they have just as much stuff." Abby and Anna grin.
At the end of the week the third floor girls are almost bouncing in excitement. Josette and Abby make the tour of the odd number rooms and find them ready to be moved, the girls squeaking as Abby takes a picture of the first room and the boxed items disappearing one by one. Anna leads her over to the new dorm and she picks up her new bedding, towels, and keys, watching in excitement as her belongings appear in her new room. Anna leaves her unpacking under the supervision of her floor monitor and heads back to the dorm to bring the next girl over. At the end of the day one entire side of the floor is empty of occupants, each of the girls Alan moved gives him a hug around the neck at dinner, and the other side is nearly vibrating with excitement to move tomorrow. Checking in on the second floor girls, they see piles of boxes against the back wall in the rooms and even the first floor girls have a few boxes piled here and there.
The next day is the same and by the end of the day the top floor is empty of girls. Josette, Anna, and Abby make a tour of the room checking for any missed belongings before heading downstairs. Hopefully next week's move will be as smooth but the second floor girls have been there longer and have more belongings. And the first floor girls have been here the longest so they'll have the most belongings to move over. Hopefully they'll take advantage of this extra moving time and be ready to go.
The second floor move is a little more hectic, the girls who are moving that day are scrambling up the stairs after breakfast to clean their bathrooms and make sure everything is ready for the move as Josette starts checking the first room. "Carry that basket over with you since you don't have a cover for it, but otherwise. . .you're good to go." Abby says. The girl hurriedly begins stripping her bed and bundles sheets, blankets, and towels down the laundry chute before picking up her basket and leaving the room with Josette after Alan has moved everything for her. Abby goes down to the next room and grins as she sees a neat room, with stripped bed, and two neat piles of containers. Seeing Josette coming back up the sidewalk from the window she sends the picture to Alan who pops it into subspace and she sends her off with Anna. The next two rooms make her shake her head, she tells the girls that they're going to have to carry their belongings over by hand and they moan, she relents and tells them if they keep working she'll see if her brother can move it later tonight. She then reminds them they had two weeks, they should have been ready.
The rest of the girls can be sent over and after it's nearly dinner when the girls who had already been moved over and those from across the hall band together and carry the other girls belongings over. They're almost crying in thanks that their floormates would do this for them and the three dorm monitors smile as they hug their girls and thank them for helping out their friends. Josette tosses the bedding and towels from those rooms down the laundry chute as the others look over the rooms for missed items, finding a few odds and ends that Abby runs over and puts in the lost and found box in the new dorm before they go to dinner. The next day goes well, the girls know that they will have to carry their things over themselves if they're not ready so there was a lot of packing on the bottom floor among the girls who'd been putting things off.
That night sees the rest of the second floor being emptied and the totes borrowed by the girls on the first side to come over are put back in the storage room for the first floor girls Monday morning, the rest coming over Tuesday morning. Friday after school is out the girls make a tour of the rooms, telling the girls where they need to work before they can be moved over. Excitement is high, probably for the news that the school would be having a pizza party for the girls in the auditorium when they're all moved over, with Josette, Anna, Abby, Alan, and Susan honored guests for all the help they'd given the girls getting moved over. After dinner that night, Josette goes up with a screwdriver and her master key, taking off the door locks on the third floor rooms, Abby gathering up garbage cans and putting them in the hall before starting on the other side of the hallway. The doors swing open and the girls use the garbage cans to hold them shut until they decide whether or not they're going to be saving the doors, the same company that's buying the locks from them might be interested in the doors, they need to look at them first. If they're not interested in the doors, David's family knows a salvage company that might be interested.
Saturday morning all the girls are frantically checking their boxes and looking at the door, nearly jumping out of their skins when the knock finally comes. They don't know that Alan is sitting at the table in the twins room, drinking a cup of coffee as Anna, Abby, and Josette look at the rooms and give the occupants either thumbs up or thumbs down. David is chuckling at their theatrics next to him, after this weekend they'd start moving in their belongings because two of the young male teachers would be taking over his, Michael, and Alexander's jobs as dorm monitors. . .and their rooms, over the Christmas break.
A beep of the phone in front of them has Alan picking it up, looking at the picture and dorm number he starts putting things into subspace, Anna telling him if he missed anything and walking the girl over so he can play deliveryman. They break for lunch with a little over half of one side of the hallway empty and the remaining girls due to move today nearly bouncing with excitement at lunch. The adults give them indulged looks and they allow themselves to be drug back to the dorm and soon have the remaining girls on that side moved over. The girls make a production of looking at the remaining rooms still to move and pronouncing them either ready to go or needing a little more work.
The next day starts earlier than normal, the girls pounding on the door to be allowed to start moving just after breakfast. Alan chuckles but has most of the girls moved over by lunch, the remaining rooms only take a couple of hours and Druid announces that the girls would be having a pizza party in the auditorium at eight that night, so the boys didn't feel left out they'd have one next weekend and when the boys moved into their new dorms they'd have a pizza party also while the girls had one the week after that.
"So what do you want to do with all the girls out of your hair?" Alan asks as he comes out the door of Abby and Anna's room and walks down the first floor hallway.
"Walk naked down the hallway." Abby giggles. "Maybe play island girl being chased by the naughty pirate who wants to capture and ravish her."
"After we check the rooms for missed belongings and clean out the refrigerator in the basement." Anna orders.
"The sooner we get everything checked out, the sooner we can lock the doors and relax." she says. "And we still need to move the boys over."
"We've been putting things away for the last few weeks." David says, the other three nod. "We've got our old school books boxed up and Alan can move them over tonight when we get back to our rooms. I'll make a couple of racks in a room for our off-season clothes, and then we'll see what needs to be moved over."
Alan goes down the stairs to the refrigerator, finding it clean and ready for their use. The girls rooms are investigated and a few small overlooked items are run over to the new building and placed in the lost and found box as Abby grab the last of the sheets, blankets, and towels, tossing them down the laundry chute then taking a flashlight down to the basement and looking up to make sure nothing got stuck. Josette's still at her Sunday shift in the laundry and she bundles the cart of laundry down the hallways to the laundry, taking over Josette's spot in the front room as Josette runs into the back with the commercial washers are and starting them washing. The school invests in new linens every fall semester to replace those worn out so the sheets and towels are still good and she comes back into the room while the machine's running. It's nearly time for dinner and Abby reminds Josette of the pizza party in the auditorium at eight when Josette runs in and transfers the sheets into the dryer. A call from down the hall has Josette running in and filling the supply dispenser because it's out and runs back into the other room, starting the now dry sheets going through the machine that folds the sheets then she wraps them in plastic, the blankets are folded the same way though not wrapped in plastic and Josette pushes the full cart down the hall to Abby. She grins and wraps Josette in a hug before heading back through the tunnels to their home, floating the sheets, towels, and blankets into the storeroom and looking at the full shelves in satisfaction.
She looks behind her as the storeroom door opens and David comes in, grinning at her. "Did I hear something about running naked down the hallway and being ravished by a pirate rogue, my little island girl?"
"Maybe, if you're lucky." She trails a finger over his lips. "How are you boys doing on getting your stuff over here?"
"Alan is putting all our boxed stuff in subspace right now, I'm going to be moving beds out of a room so Michael can put up a couple of rods up for seasonal clothes. How are you girls doing at getting the locks off the doors?"
"We've got the third floor locks off the doors, we're holding the doors shut with garbage cans right now. What's the word on whether or not your friend wants the doors as well as the locks?"
"I'm going to take a sample of the locks and one of the doors to him next week." David says. "I know he wants the locks, he's got a good business in romodeling hotels and motels."
"Okay, we'll start working on the second floor tonight after we get back from the pizza party, thankfully this semester will be over in a couple of weeks and we'll be able to concentrate on working on our new home and getting you guys moved in."
Looking at the clock, Abby heads to her room to change her clothes before dinner and to check that she has everything she needs for classes tomorrow. Now that the girls are moved, they can concentrate on their schoolwork again. She sees Josette coming down the sidewalk from her job at the laundry, watching as she unlocks the outside door of her room, letting herself inside as Abby begins to get dressed. They walk into the cafeteria, the girls all coming over to thank Alan for helping them then heading back to their tables as the floor monitors look at them fondly.
"So are you guys going to leave your books in boxes or put them on shelves in a room?"
"When we have our library, we'll start opening the boxes, right now we're just marking what box belongs to who and if it's textbooks or other books. Because Alexander and Michael have all those art books to move too. And we all know Josette has a lot of books." Josette just eats a fork of food and grins. Hey, why deny it? She's called bookworm for a reason after all.
"How long until we can start adding on?"
"We can start tearing off the roof as soon as it's been checked out, but we'll probably want to wait until next spring." David says. "Unless something comes back bad during the inspection and we need to tear it off now, I don't want to have to be without a roof this winter."
"No, and we're going to have to shut off the registers in rooms we're not using, no use heating them if nobody's there." Anna says.
"Better not, if this year's anything like last we're going to have some damn cold weather and something could freeze and burst." David says.
"And we can't drain the water up there without turning off all the water." Alan sighs.
"Could we shut off the branch that leads to the 3rd floor and let the heat from the 2nd floor rise up and warm the 3rd floor?" Anna asks.
David thinks a second, "It might work, I don't know what kind of insulation is between the floors. I'd feel more comfortable if we shut the registers down mostly, just letting a little heat into the 3rd floor. And I'd like to know what kind of insulation there is between the third floor ceilings and the roof."
"Is there a way to get into the area between the ceiling and the roof?"
"Yes, there's a hatch in the supply closet on the third floor in the boys dorm, so there should be a similar hatch in our dorm, I'll have to look." Everybody looks at Alan. "Do you have everything we have boxed up put into subspace?"
"Yep, once I get an empty room to put them in, I'll start moving them over. What are we going to do with the old mattresses and box springs, some of them are pretty far gone in the boys dorm, so I'm sure the girls are just as bad."
"I've got somebody coming from my family's company in a couple of days, she's got the power to disintegrate things and put the energy into crystals for later use by a sibling. She'll look over the mattresses and box springs, if they're beyond saving she'll disintegrate them and create a couple dozen energy crystals."
Principal Madison raises an eyebrow at the head table and comes over to their table, the university students grinning up at him. "Did you say that you know a person who can disintegrate items and put the energy created into crystals for later use?"
"Yes sir, she's a cousin, she has a job in the construction business getting rid of rubble created by demolition, digging new footings for a basement, or clearing out debris after a lab explosion." David grins. "That last job her keeps the busiest. Her brother can absorb the energy crystals and transfer it to another person. They usually work with another cousin who can alter things that already exist. He's the one who usually gets the energy from the crystals, but my cousin can transfer the energy to other people, it's useful when somebody is hurt, he can give them energy to stabilize them until they get medical attention."
"Can I talk to your cousin? Next year we're going to be going through this once again with the boys dorm. If your family can help us get rid of the building debris when we have to tear it down that would be excellent"
"Of course sir, if we can take out anything that is still good?" Like the entire building he thinks.
"Of course." Principal Madison says, walking back to the head table.
David looks at the others, "Do we mind waiting until after the boys dorm is demolished to take off the roof and add a few more floors? If we use the old boys dorm to remodel our place it won't be as expensive, we can still work on the first two floors, and we'll be able to make the rooms bigger without having to expand the actual building."
Josette looks at the others, "I don't have a problem. Is there a way to do all this from the inside or do we still need to tear off the roof?"
"That all depends on what we find after we inspect the roof and the space between the third floor ceiling and roof." David says. "Winter is our downtime, so they should have plenty of time to help with renovations on the first two floors while we're in classes. My godmother is going to be coming with her to look over the building and my remodeling designs, and she's going to be taking over the plans for the playroom down in the basement."
Michael, Alexander, and David head back to the dorm after dinner while the girls and Alan head to the auditorium to help get the room ready for the pizza party. Michael and Alexander pick two rooms up on the 2nd floor and start taking the mattresses and box springs out of them, shoving them into another room and clearing one wall so Alan can start bringing boxes out of subspace. Michael grins and puts his hands on the steel bed frames still on the floor, morphing them into a rolling rack they can start putting clothes on. The rack goes out into the hallway for the time being until they can clear out the second room for clothes as David puts his fingers in his mouth and whistles.
"Guys, it's half past eight. We've still got to make sure the boys dorm is locked down for the night."
The others nod and they walk outside and head for the boys dorm. The boys are shuffled into the dorm and the doors locked down for the night and the older boys go into their rooms and start making plans for what they need to move over to the other building in the next few days.
Alan taps on David's outside door when the pizza party is over, the other boy pulling the door open and letting him in the building. "A few more weeks." he tells him.
"Yes." for both the fall semester to be finished at university and until they can move over to the other dorm permanently. "How are you going to be able to make the other building bigger inside without having to make it larger outside? It sounded like you're going to incorporate this dorm into the other one."
"That's basically exactly what's going to happen. For all intents and purposes, the two dorms will be one building."
"I can't explain it, all I can say is that's what's going to happen."
"Okay, if you say so, how did things go after the girls and I left?"
"We've moved the mattresses and box springs out of a room so whenever you're ready to move boxes out of subspace, we've got a place for them. Michael made the bedframes into a rolling rack, its sitting in the hall until we can clear a second room for our clothes. Right now I'm just making a list of what we need to move over and in what order." he pulls Alan onto his lap and shows him the list.
"And unlike the girls that just moved over, we can move things over a little at a time."
"Yeah, that will make it easier on us. And we can dig into the totes once the first floor girls return them to pack our belongings. The teachers will be bringing their own furnishings so you can put everything left in subspace for us after the semester is finished and we'll just walk over." David begins nuzzling Alan's neck, the other man throwing back his head to allow him to do whatever he wants. David chuckles. "Have I 'rewarded' you yet for everything you did to get the girls into their new dorm?"
"N . . .no." Alan whimpers.
"Then I need to make up for my neglect. After we get the boys in their rooms for the night, what do you want me to do?"
"Take me. . .please." Alan whines as David lifts him from his lap onto the edge of the table. He arches his back as David unzips his pants, pulling his hardening cock out of his pants and pushes his chair back, giving him enough room to bend forward and take Alan's cock into his mouth. Alan grabs hold of the edge of the table and bites his lip to keep from shouting as David quickly sucks him off.
"And consider that," David smirks, licking his lips as he puts Alan's cock back in his pants and zips him back up. "A partial payment towards later tonight." He looks at the clock and stands up and walks to the inner door of the dorm room, leaving Alan blinking on the table. Michael and Alexander come out of their room at the tap on the door and they shoo everybody back into their rooms for the night.
Meanwhile at the girls dorm Josette is making a list of things they need to do.
"Get new knobs for our doors." Anna calls from the other room, they'd left their doors blocked open so they could talk after getting back from the pizza party. "We don't need to use keycards anymore in a private home."
"I'd wait, didn't the boys say something about expanding your rooms out to the first set of rooms?" Susan calls from the hallway. "Keep the doors the way they are now until you hear otherwise?"
"Yeah, that sounds like a good idea." Abby says, leaning against the open doorway to look down the hall at where Susan's voice is coming from. "What are you doing?"
"I've shared a bathroom with somebody ever since I came to school. I'm going to put my belongings in the bathroom and then take a long, hot bath without anybody else needing the bathroom. I just wish we had a claw foot tub here like we do on the island."
"Are we going to the island for a couple of days after this semester is over?" Anna calls down the hall.
"I thought we were, David should be getting a shipment of stuff for putting in a new garden. Then we're going to be splitting time between David's family and yours for Christmas?" The sound of water running through the cracked door and a sigh as Susan settles into a hot bath.
The next morning Alan runs over and puts the boxes he'd placed in subspace in the room before breakfast. Only three more weeks until the end of this semester at the university, then the boys will be able to spend the whole day packing and moving stuff. He hisses when he sits down at the table.
"Was it good?" Abby asks with a smirk.
"Definitely." Alan says quietly, looking around.
"David, question for you. New doorknobs for our doors." Josette points her fork at David. "Wait until after you expand our rooms or get them now."
"Wait for now, I want to see if my friend can use the locks you took off the third floor." David says. "If he can, I'll get you girls some new knobs to replace the ones we're taking off."
"Is there any way we can get some larger tubs?" Anna asks. "Susan would have liked one last night and I agree."
"Yeah, they have soaking tubs in fiberglass now or if we want cast iron free standing tubs, Michael can make us up some." David says. Michael nods.
"And next on our agenda. . .the garden."
"My godmother is going to be bringing me supplies when she arrives later this week with my cousin." David says.
"What are you boys going to be bringing over next?"
"Clothes we're not wearing right away." David says. "That's pretty much what Alan has left, this semester's school books, his clothes, and his toiletries."
"The girls are going to have the totes back to us tomorrow morning." Anna says. "You guys can start filling them and stuffing them into subspace until you move them over."
"Bathrooms, can we expand the ones we have now or do we have to build new ones?" Anna asks.
"They're in the wrong spot to expand them, we'll have to build new ones." David says.
The girls nod.
Classes pass quickly at the university and Josette snags a course catalog for the next semester before meeting with the others to head back to the school. Josette drops into a chair in her room, leaving the door open with a brick as she checks the classes available next semester and what she needs to take for her degree yet. Anna taps on the door, telling her to take a break from school and help her start taking off locks on the 2nd floor.
By the time they break for dinner, the second floor locks are gone and Josette stuffs the course catalog and list of classes she needs into her schoolbag, throwing it over her shoulder to take to her job after dinner.
"How are you guys doing?"
"Josette and I got the locks off the 2nd floor rooms." Anna says. "We'll have the rest except for our rooms off by tomorrow."
David nods. "I'll get a dozen knob sets this weekend from the construction company."
"How are you guys coming on moving your stuff over?"
"Alan's got a load of clothes to bring over after dinner." Michael tells her. "As soon as you girls get the totes back, we'll start filling them with small stuff and bring them over. The furniture is going to be the last thing that comes over, we need to know when the teachers are going to take over the dorm rooms before we make the big move."
"Josette, are you really going to work?" Anna asks. "The first floor girls just got in their new dorm yesterday, there won't be any sheets or towels to wash tonight."
"No, but I'll still need to check the machines and refill the dispenser." Josette says. "Not the first time I had a slow night, and it will give me time to decide what classes I'm signing up for next semester."
"Josette, we got nearly a month before the end of the semester until we can sign up and get our texts for next year."
"Hello," Josette waves a hand at herself. "Called Bookworm for a reason, remember? And I got a year up on the rest of you by taking so many classes here at school." She shakes her head. "Remind me next time we go into town, run into the library."
Everybody blinks at her. "Why?"
"Because I need to do my internship before graduation. If I can do it in town, I can ride the bus in and back to school, otherwise I'll be going into Boston while you guys stay here. If I get my internship in this summer, there's nothing holding me back from applying for early admittance to graduate school next fall."
"Josette, you are the queen of the geeks." Alan shakes his head. "But you're right, I need to start thinking about these things too if I want to get into med school." Like Josette, the school is interested in hiring him after he gets out of school, they're talking about expanding the health center and he makes a note to talk to the school's doctor about his own in school internship. With references from the school and his grades, he shouldn't have a problem getting in med school.
Josette picks up her schoolbag and kisses everybody on the cheeks before heading to the laundry and punching in. Like Anna said, there wouldn't be a load of sheets and towels to wash for the girls tonight but the outer room needs to be cleaned after most everybody did laundry this weekend. Unlocking the dispenser she shakes her head when she sees its empty and she makes quick work of refilling it and the closet of extra supplies. Cleaning the machines and sweeping the floor only takes an hour and she settles behind the counter in the other room, pulling out the list of classes she needs before graduation and making a list of what is available and at what times. All of them can take night classes next semester since they won't have to take care of the dorms anymore and she makes two lists, one of night classes and one of day classes. She chuckles as David comes in and she lifts her head to be kissed as she hands over the course catalog.
He chuckles around her lips, putting down the course catalog and looking at the two class lists she'd picked out. "Good thinking, next semester we'll all be able to take night classes. This way we can decide if we want day or night classes."
Josette nods as he deepens the kiss, hands sliding around her small waist and cupping her ass. "Principal Madison stopped us after you left, he apologized for the inconvenience but there was a small electrical fire at the single teachers apartment building on campus earlier today. No real damage but a couple of the apartments are going to need repainting and possibly new appliances. . .these were the teachers who were going to be taking over the dorm next semester."
"They're moving in now?" Josette asks.
"Yeah, they're going to be bringing their clothes, towels, and bedding to the laundry for you to wash while they move us out of the dorm monitor rooms and them into them. It's almost like old times with everybody being up all night. Gotta go, Alan is busy shoving our belongings into subspace."
"Josette?" Principal Madison's voice calls down the hall. "See you later." she tells him and heads for the door as David creates a tesseract and leaves the building. "Josette, I. . ."
"David just told me about the fire." Josette says, looking at the piles of clothes and other laundry scattered around the room. "Is there anything that needs special handling?"
"No, just washed." Principal Madison sighs as he pushes a lock of hair out of his eyes. "I wanted to give you kids some time to get moved over, not drop this all on you at once." He hugs her and hurries back out of the building. Josette sighs, takes a deep breath, and chuckles.
"So much for a slow night." She starts shaking out clothes and throwing them into machines, adding soap and other additives from the other room and starts them running. The sheets and towels go into the big machines and she brings her bag in and settles at the table to wait for the machines to finish in case she has to run the laundry through again.
It's six o'clock when Josette folds the last of the laundry, clocking out and throwing her bag over her arm as teachers come in and take the bags away. Walking past the boys dorm she sees the outside doors wide open and the rooms empty of furniture. Shaking her head, she walks past the office to the girls dorm, finding the first floor lights on as Anna, Abby, and Susan stare at the mess the first floor hallway has become.
Alan and Michael come down from upstairs, shaking their heads. "The teachers are falling over themselves apologizing for kicking us out of the dorm. Nobody saw the fire starting, Principal Madison is going to call in an electrical engineer after breakfast to inspect the wiring before the fire department lets anybody move back in. Thankfully there was enough spare rooms in the dorms for everybody."
"Coffee." Josette moans.
Eveybody nods, heading for the basement where the coffemaker. . .and the food from the boys kitchenettes is sitting. Thankfully everything that needed to be refrigerated fit in the refrigerator and Alan moves stuff around to make room as David starts a pot brewing as they sit down at the table that used to be in his room or lean against the counters.
"Don't tell me you just got out of the laundry?" Anna says.
"Yep," Josette moans, taking the mug of coffee in her hands and inhaling the fragrance, willing the caffeine to enter her body by osmosis before taking a sip. "I was up all night doing their wash, I had to run everything twice to get rid of the smoke smell. And if the other teachers can't get back to their apartments, I think I'll probably be pulling an all-nighter again doing everybody else's laundry."
Everybody shakes their heads. "Oh don't look at me like that, you're all going to be busy getting everything moved so we can walk down the hallway without breaking our necks."
The others finally nod. "Do you at least know where your textbooks are?"
"Yeah, Principal Madison insisted we box those up first and put them in the first and second floor lounges until we can get settled." Alan sighs. "What a mess." Everybody finishes their second round of coffee, rinsing the now empty pot and after making sure the doors of the building are locked, head for the cafeteria.
"Good morning students," Principal Madison say, standing up. Like all the other adults he's been up all night, only the students having been sent to bed though Josette doubts most of them got any sleep. "As you all know, there was a small electrical fire in the single teachers apartment building on campus. There was only minor damage but the fire department has ordered the building evacuated until the wiring can be checked. Boys, you have new dorm monitors, Mr. Masters and Mr. Andrews were going to be taking over those duties at the end of the semester, but after the fire we decided to have them move in earlier since their apartments will need repairs before they can be habitable again. Josette, thank you so much for staying up all night to do their laundry, that helped out a lot." He looks at her. "I hate to even ask, but..."
"Bring it to the laundry after the fire department releases the apartments." Josette sighs. "Not the first time I've pulled all-nighters twice in one week."
"If you do, I'm having Dr. Essex knock your foolish ass out." David says quietly. Josette just rolls her eyes. "The fire department probably won't be releasing the building until tomorrow at the earliest." she says.
"That is correct David, it will not be tonight." It's his turn to give Josette a stern look. "Can you and your friends please see me after breakfast, I have a favor I need to ask of you."
"Busted." Anna smirks at Josette.
She blows them a raspberry. After breakfast the group comes up to the head table.
"Joyce has a list of supplies we need in the office, can you take it, one of the schools vans, and the school credit card into Boston and pick up supplies after your classes?" Principal Madison asks. "You'd be going to the warehouse store, a home improvement store like Lowe's, and ABC Warehouse. Luckily, they're all within the same general area and not that far from your school."
David looks at the others. "We can do that." they nod.
"Thank you kids, we appreciate this." Principal Madison sighs. "I wouldn't ask this of you if we had somebody else we could ask, but everybody else either has classes or is going to be busy somewhere else. And thank you boys for making the switchover as easy as possible for the school, I know this isn't how you wanted things, this isn't how I wanted it to go. Josette, talk to me when you get back, as a part-time employee you've got enough hours to qualify for benefits, including health care and help paying for your masters degree. I'll have Joyce pull the benefits paperwork for both full time and part time employees for you to look over." Alan claps Josette on the back.
"Josette, you probably won't be back in time for your shift at the laundry, so take the night off. You can do it tomorrow night. The girls can wait one day for their clean sheets and towels."
The boys head upstairs to find their schoolbooks for the day while the girls change their clothes and head to the office, Joyce handing over the lists of what Jolt wants them to pick up, the school credit card and note from Principal Madison says it was okay for them to use it, and the keys to the van parked outside. Josette settles behind the drivers seat, her school bag on the floor behind her, and drives off the school grounds, it will be about an hours drive into Boston once she hits the freeway, the boys are getting cold showers and finding their books and clean clothes before they head to school.
"Hey look at that." Susan says as they get off the freeway and drive through Boston on the way to school.
"Look at what?" Josette is keeping her eyes firmly on the road.
"One of those pets food stores you see advertised on tv is having an adoption day thing. Can we check it out? Now that we have the dorm to ourselves, we can have a few more animals."
"Yeah, we can check it out." Josette says. "It will take a while for Lowes to mix all the paint we need."
Josette parks the van in the free parking lot at school, locking it as she follows the other girls into classes. Thankfully classes pass somewhat quickly and everybody piles into the van and drives to the stores Josette had said they'd visit earlier. She locks the van and walks over to the area where the pets are, grinning at the twins being licked to death by a pair of golden retriever puppies when a demanding 'mew' heralds the arrival of the black and white kitten climbing her leg.
"Another 'special' pet?" Anna asks.
Josette just nods. "You stay with them for a couple of minutes." she tells the kitten, handing him off to Alan who sighs as a great dane puppy leans against his leg. "I need to run and drop off the list of paint we need ordered at the store." the kitten seems to grin at her as she walks across the parking lot.
"May I help you?" a woman asks as Josette goes over to the paint section.
"Yeah, I'm from a private school outside of town. We had a fire yesterday in a teachers apartment building and I have a list of paint we'll need when we repair the damage." The woman behind the counter nods and takes the list of paint, copying it and looking it over. "We can make all these, but it will be a couple of hours."
"You're not my only stop today." Josette says. "Say around seven o'clock?"
"Yes Ma'am they should be ready by then." A manager comes over and they talk quietly. Josette grins. "I take it you need a deposit?" she hands over the school credit card and the letter from Principal Madison authorizing her to use it. The order is run up and Josette signs the receipt.
"Josette, nearly done?" Susan comes up to them.
"Yeah, I got the paint ordered, it should be ready by seven. We have to stop at ABC warehouse, hopefully they'll deliver this stuff. . ." she waves the list of appliances and furniture, "And then we're going to either hit the warehouse store or get something to eat."
"Good, we're going to invade the pet store and get supplies for the critters, then David's taking the van back to school to drop them off at the dorm."
"Okay, we can walk to ABC Warehouse and Costco."
The girl at the door of the pet store smiles as she sees the group of young people come in with their new pets. Two carts of food and other supplies heads out to the van and David fills the back and gets the pets inside before driving off. Not that he'll be driving far, he'll probably open a tesseract before leaving the parking lot.
They walk to ABC Warehouse, an employee taking the list and helping them select everything. They're happy to learn that ABC Warehouse will deliver everything and they walk off after paying for everything, finding David waiting for them behind the wheel of the school van. They all get in and drive to Costco, everybody grabbing carts and filling them from the list, a couple more carts filled with items for themselves before they check out. Looking at the clock, they head back to Lowes, finding the last gallon of paint being put on two flat bed carts. David grabs a cart and fills it with the drop cloths, rollers, paint brushes, extension handles, paint trays, and painters tape also on the list, Josette checking out with him as the twins walk out to the van with two employees.
Everything is crammed into the van and David opens a tesseract, driving the van through after everybody else walks through. Principal Madison smiles as he sees them arrive, walking out of the office.
"Thank you everybody." a call brings some of the maintenance men running and they start pulling the gallons of paint, primer, and paint supplies out of the back of the van and where it's piled in front of the seats. The boxes from the warehouse store are handed out next, the groups purchases are put into subspace by Alan before Josette hands over the keys, the school card, and the receipts from their purchases before the kids head to the dorm, then the cafeteria for dinner.
"Do you guys at least have beds?" Josette asks.
"Yeah, we're going to be hunting for stuff for a few months probably, but we got beds." Alan sighs. "Can we get a massage table for one of the rooms? My back is sore."
"Yeah, we can do that." David says. "I'll give you a massage after dinner. Josette, you're not working tonight are you?"
"Hell no, I am beat." Josette snorts. "Principal Madison said I don't have to go in, so I'm not."
Alan starts bringing boxes out of subspace, everything that needs refrigeration either ending up in the girls refrigerators or down in the basement. When everything is taken care of, they head to the cafeteria. Principal Madison smiles at them as they come in, handing Josette a folder she takes and stuffs under her arm before filling her tray and heading to the table with the others.
"The information on benefits?" Anna asks.
Josette opens the folder. "Yeah, I'll look it over later." she puts it in the middle of the table and turns her attention to her food, suddenly ravenously hungry. This late the students and most of the teachers have already eaten so they have the cafeteria to themselves. The head cook comes out and tells them what they still have and they take the leftovers back to the dorm so the women. . .and those students who have jobs in the kitchen, can start cleaning up for the night.
Josette drops into a recliner in her room, locking the outside door but propping the inner one open if anybody needs something after putting the foam container of food in her refrigerator. Susan sticks her head around the side of the door. "Do you still have the course catalog for next semester?"
"Yeah, it's in a folder in my school bag." she waves a hand at the table where her bag is lying. Susan looks as tired as she feels and the other girl reaches into the bag, finding the folder. "You've already figured out what classes you're taking?"
"Yeah, I got two sets of classes in there. One if we decide we want to go to school during the day. . .and the other the same classes but at night."
"Makes sense," Susan takes the catalog and walks off, she'll have to go to the racetrack while they're off and make enough money for next semester's schooling she thinks as she walks into her room, pulling a couple pieces of paper from her desk drawer and making a list of classes, deciding like Josette to make two lists one of day classes and one of night classes. Her kitten leaps onto the desk and she scratches the orange and white kitten under his chin, getting a big purr out of him.
"You have the course catalog?" David asks, tapping on her open door.
"Yeah, I just finished selecting my classes." she holds up two pieces of paper in one hand and the catalog in the other and he smiles, coming into the room and kissing her on the mouth. "You don't have any schoolwork you have to finish tonight, do you?"
"Nope." she smiles. "I'm getting a hot bath and then I'm heading to bed."
"We all need a good nights sleep."
"You might wanna check on Josette, I think she was nearly asleep in her chair."
David chuckles and heads that way, finding Josette blinking and pushing herself up from her chair.
"Bed." David says.
"Heading that way." Josette waves a hand and he chuckles, going to find some oil so he can give Alan a massage. The door shuts behind him and he looks in on the girls, finding Anna and Abby sitting at the table making a list of classes for next semester. "Don't forget to see if your classes are available at night too." he says. "Josette can work during the day just as easily as she can after dinner."
They nod. "We're going to do this then head to bed."
An hour later, everybody is in bed. Alan sighs as he settles under the covers, a hot bath, David's hands all over his back, and two ibuprofen have relaxed him enough to fall asleep.
Josette wakes early the next morning, picking up the folder of benefits information that Principal Madison had given her last night from where she'd dropped it on the table last night, a note from Joyce has her looking at both options before she starts filling one set out. Walking out to the front of the dorm she opens her mailbox when she sees its full. Sorting out the mail takes a couple of minutes and she grins as she sees Alan blinking as she comes back down the hallway. He's dressed and his great dane is dancing by his legs as he pulls on a jacket and puts a bag in his pocket. They head out the side door and Josette takes a hot bath before dressing. checking the clock, she sees that Joyce will be in the office and takes the folder into the office, Joyce taking it with a smile and checking everything, promising her that she'll start the paperwork.
"You need the boys room numbers, don't you?"
"Yep, right now we're just separating their mail out and they can pick it up here. Once we get room numbers we'll start delivering it to your building."
"I'll let them know." Josette says. "The girls turned in their old mailbox keys, didn't they?"
"Yes, once the boys tell us their room numbers, they can pick up their keys."
Josette looks at the boys when everybody settles around the table at breakfast. "You boys need to go to the office and tell Joyce your new addresses so they can start delivering to the dorm. You might have some mail waiting for you."
"We'll head there after breakfast." David says. "What's our new building number?"
"You'll have to ask at the office, we were building one, whether that changed when the new girls dorm went up I don't know." Josette says. "I need to run into town Friday, my telephone bill arrived yesterday."
"And you still don't have a checking account." David shakes his head.
"Nope," she grins. "I'll have my check too to deposit." Josette had broke down and brought a small beetle bug that the machine shop had worked on last summer.
"You're going to run to the library?"
"Yeah, find out one way or the other if I can do an internship with them." Josette shrugs.
Classes pass quickly that day and they arrive back at the dorm. The boys immediately head upstairs so they can get their furniture out of the hallway. David had gotten an e-mail from his godmother and cousin saying they were flying in later today and he wants their first impression of the dorm not to be everything in the hallway.
A couple hours of moving things has four rooms full of furniture and Josette sighs as she walks down the hallway without having to weave around anything. A cough from the front of the building has her looking that way and she finds Joyce with two women. A number of large boxes are piled on a cart behind them.
"You're David's godmother and cousin, right?" Josette asks.
The older woman smiles and nods. "Yes, is my annoying child around?"
"Upstairs, the boys have been cleaning out a couple of rooms so they could move the furniture out of the middle of the hallway."
Dr. Allison Blake looks at the young woman in front of her, David has described his lovers in his letters to her; the white in her hair tells her that this must be Josette. "And why was the furniture in the middle of the hallway?"
"There was an electrical fire in the single teachers apartment building Monday. There wasn't much damage but two apartments need some work. Since those are the teachers who were going to take over the boys spots as dorm monitors in a few months, the school moved them over early. Unfortunately, that meant an all night session of moving the boys out of their rooms so they could move the teachers in." Josette sighs. "The hallway was packed with furniture and boxes but everybody had been up all night Monday so when we finally got back yesterday, we just had dinner and crawled into bed."
"I brought the boys mail," Joyce says. "Michael has a message from his agent, she hasn't been able to contact him the last couple of days and she's worried."
"David," Josette bellows up the stairs. "Your godmother and cousin are here with the stuff you wanted. Michael, call your agent, she's freaking because she hasn't been able to get you the last couple of days."
Footsteps pound down the stairs. David throws himself in his godmother and cousins arms. Michael sighs as Joyce grins and hands him the boys mail and his message. Anna and Abby empty the cart for her and she heads back to the office now that's she's delivered his guests to David.
"Everybody, this is my Grammy Allie and cousin Jennifer. Grammy, Jen, this is Josette Takahawa, Michael Addison--You might have seen his works in galleries as Madison, Alexander Jackson, also known as Jalex in the art world, Alan Covington and his sisters Abby and Anna."
"This is nice." Allison looks around the hallway. "Are all three floors like this?"
"No, only the first floor has the entry at the front of the building and the two rooms across the back." David says. "Can one of you girls get the master key? And did you bring me what I asked for from the office?" he asks his visitors as Michael goes into a room and he can be heard talking on the phone a couple minutes later.
"Yeah," Jennifer points at a box on the pile. "Why?"
"The dorm rooms had those locks that you need coded keys for," David says, opening the box and grinning. "We're replacing the locks on the rooms we're in with these because we don't have a need for locking doors on our rooms anymore."
"That makes sense, you said that you needed my special touch?" Jennifer asks as Anna comes up with the key. At David's look, she opens an empty room.
"Yeah, the new dorm has all new things so they left all old stuff for us. Some of the mattresses are beyond saving so I was hoping you'd take care of them for us."
"Your school left all these behind?" Allison shakes her head as she sees the filled room. "Are all the rooms the same?"
"All but the dorm monitor rooms at the end." David walks over to his room and pulls out his computer, showing his plans for the dorm. "The girls have removed the locks from the top two floors but hadn't had a chance to get to this floor yet. I'll replace the locks with these for the rooms we're in now and we can work on the others when we have time."
"You have a basement?" Allison asks, scrolling through the drawings.
"Yes, right now it's got the kitchen, some storage, our recycling containers, and the tunnels linking the buildings. I was hoping the storage room would be perfect for our 'playroom'."
"I'll look at it." she pats his face. "Now show me around your new home and tell us what you want." she wraps an arm around David and Jennifer and they walk down the hall, David telling them what he has in mind.
"Are the two of you staying for a while?"
"A couple of nights." Allison says. "Your Principal wants to talk to Jennifer about something." She looks in the open door of Josette's room. "Oh this is nice."
"Yeah, the old dorm rooms were just a little too small for the girls. The new rooms are bigger and ADA compliant." David says. "I want to get rid of the two dorm rooms and the bathroom they share on either side, bringing the rooms out to here." He draws a line across the hallway with his foot where he wants the new walls to go. "When we do that we'll create new bathroom for the girls." Anna comes up from the storerooms up front with two sets of bedding, Allison insisting on making her and Jennifer's beds for them while the other woman inspects the mattresses, disintegrating most of them and putting small crystals into a velvet pouch she pulls from her pocket. The second floor is gone over next, getting the same treatment. Only those mattresses still in plastic are deemed as still good and Alan stores them in one room for the time being with the thought of using them to replace the ones they're sleeping on eventually.
Allison looks up from her computer in the room she and Jennifer are using when the other woman comes into the room. "How'd it go?"
"I have a couple dozen energy crystals, most of the mattresses were beyond saving. I think Alan plans on replacing the mattresses they're sleeping on with those still good mattresses if I say they're not worth keeping. I know why the school left behind their furniture now though, it is old. It's sturdy. . .back then they built things to last, but it's old."
Allison turns away from her computer and nods. "Most of it dates from when this was a college. David says the school didn't feel it was right that only some of the kids got new furniture while others had to make do with what they had, so they all got new furniture."
Allison is busy measuring the space David plans on putting their playroom in when David announces they're heading to the cafeteria for dinner. Josette has a schoolbag over her shoulder and she asks her godson about it as they head back to the dorm while Josette goes somewhere else.
"Josette works nights in the laundry, has for nearly four years now." He says. "She's an orphan and the state didn't pay all the expenses for her schooling, she puts part of her check from the laundry towards her loan." Pulling on a toolbelt he starts replacing the knobs as the girls take them off the rooms they're using, then taking off the rest of the locks on the first floor.
"That poor child works nights and still gets good grades?" Allison shakes her head. "Tell me she doesn't work all night?"
"No, she only worked six to eleven until her senior year, then she started working six to midnight and picked up a shift on Sundays. The only time she worked all night was Monday after the fire and was washing the belongings of the teachers whose apartments were damaged in the fire. When the fire department releases the other apartments and people can go home, she expects to pull another all-nighter washing everybody else's stuff."
"David, how large of a loan are we talking about?"
"Over a hundred thousand dollars before her university tuition and books."
Allison shakes her head and Jennifer hisses. "If Global Dynamics didn't pay for Tesla school, yours might have been that high." She tells her. "Tuition was?"
"Five thousand a semester, that's fifteen thousand for the year. Room and board for a dorm monitor room was fifteen hundred a month, the state only paid two thousand a year for tuition and three hundred a month for room and board, that left about 25 thousand a year Josette had to pick up, plus books and other expenses."
"What classes did Josette take?"
"Her school books are boxed up for now, but I think she must have taken every class that the school offered." he leads his godmother into Josette's room, blinking as she stops and stares at the puddle of cats in the middle of Josette's bed.
"Grammy, is something wrong?"
"David, those are familiars." she says quietly. "Do they belong to somebody here?"
"That's Samhein," he points at the male cat, "Shadow," the female, "and she just got the kitten yesterday. Girls, has Josette called the kitten anything?" he lifts his voice to be heard through the open door into the other room.
Anna cackles, "Yeah, but I don't think that was their name." She comes into the room. "What's the matter?"
"Josette's cats are familiars?" he asks.
"Yes and no," Anna says. "Josette said they're from familiar stock, but unless you have a magical gift, they're not actually familiars. They still will bond to a person, and when the cats feel that their charge is ready to start a family an unbonded familiar will come to them so they can start their own family." David looks at her. "That's what Josette told us when we walked in and found Shadow curled up on the bed with Samhein."
"Yes, but these are familiars. . . bonded familiars. . . and if they all belong to Josette, she has to have a very powerful magic user."
"I haven't seen any signs of magic, and Josette has lived next door to us for nearly five years now, we were in each others pockets before we became lovers." Anna says. "There's stories that a great grandmother of ours was a weather-witch and a cousin is a sorceress." she says at Allison's look.
"David said Josette is an orphan, do you know anything about her family?"
They look at each other, shaking their heads. "She never knew her father, her mother died when Josette was. . .what twelve?"
"Or as Josette puts it, her mother died in the car that day, her body just didn't know it."
Allison looks at them. "Josette and her mother were trapped in that freeway collapse in California seven, eight years ago now?" Anna asks. "Somewhere around there, Josette says she was just about eleven when it happened and she's turning eighteen next summer."
"They were trapped in the car for a few days until they were rescued. Josette was left with claustrophobia after the accident, but her mother was left in a permanent vegetative state."
"That poor child."
Anna looks at her. "Josette blamed herself for years about what happened since the trauma of the accident caused her mutation to emerge. She has the gift of knowledge transfer, she can touch a book and instantly know anything in it. She could have taken her GED at any time but she actually wants to learn what she already knows as she put it. But during the accident. . . Josette somehow absorbed all her mother's knowledge, including her mixed martial arts training."
"And when her mother was left in a vegetative state. . ." Allison's voice trails off. "She must have been devastated."
"She thought she'd stolen everything that made her mother her mother, especially when there was no physical reason for her to be in a vegetative state."