Willow Jackson and Elisabeth O'Neill
Xander was kneeling at the top of the carpet-covered stairs with his little sister and two cousins behind him; they were listening to the sounds of the grown-ups downstairs and trying to make out what they were talking about. His dad gave a particularly loud yell saying something about a ghost- or was it a ghoul?
Was there a ghost after their parents? Their parents said that there was no such thing as ghosts whenever they asked and although they were wary of the things under their beds they though that maybe they were right. So, why were they talking about ghosts?
Rupert, ever the observer, had stated that their family was different to most of the families that he’s seen and heard of and had said that everyone else’s parents had jobs that were scheduled to an exact time. Whereas their parents seemed to get called out at the oddest times.
Other kids’ parents never came home with broken bones and bruises; they also never had parents that woke up in the night screaming after a bad dream like they did. Their families were definitely weird but none of the kids really cared for a lot of reasons; one of the reasons they didn’t mind their parents strangeness is that all four kids, and to a larger extent Willow and Xander, felt like they could have gotten a worse family.
The four kids backed away from the stairs as quietly as they could as Jack and Daniel came into the room looking upset, the older of the two men went to the telephone and dialled some numbers in. He waited.
The kids looked at each other excitedly as Jack asked for Cassie to take care of them, Rupert and Willow’s older sister was great and a lot of fun to play with. They all distinctly remembered the time when she taught them how to paint better and tell them really exciting stories of four heroic people fighting big bad monsters so that they wouldn’t hurt little kids.
Cassie took care of them a lot when their parents weren’t able to. Xander and Elisabeth’s dad was a General and was consequently confined to the base for a long period of time, their mom used to be a Colonel but after she had Xander she decided to be a civilian like Daniel; that way she’d have more time with her son and then later her daughter.
The only thing that put a damper on their excitement was that their family would yet again come home with a new selection of bruises and new and improved nightmares. When they came back from their work they rarely looked upbeat.
Willow and Rupert had both works out that their older sister knew what was going on but when they asked her she just refused to talk about it even when Willow had used her ‘resolve’ face which usually worked. Willow had even made her eyes big and put a look of hurt in them; surprisingly that didn’t work either which was weird because her ‘big hurt eyes’ always made peoples’ determination crumble with relative ease.
The four kids stood up from where they were kneeling and walked quietly to their rooms - which were where they were all supposed to be at that time of night. As they lay in their beds they tried to listen to their parents’ talking but were unable to make out what they were all saying. They fell asleep without meaning to as they listened to their footsteps in the hallway.
When they awoke next day it was time to get ready for school and it was Elisabeth’s and Willow’s first day at kindergarten which they were both very excited about. Xander was eight years old and almost nine; he was beginning 4th Grade, while Rupert was beginning 4th Grade as well because of his intelligence which allowed him to skip a grade.
The kids noticed the fact that their parents were home and not at their work, and were confused, because usually when they got upset they spent a long time away from home. Sam told them to get their coats on. They went into the hall to get them except Rupert who went the other way and discreetly followed the adults as they walked into the lounge. Rupert stayed outside the door and listened intently.
“It was just a good thing we got to Felgar in time, the Ribbon device was used on him for a long time, and it could have killed him,” that was Rupert’s dad talking.
Next it was Rupert’s uncle Jack who spoke, “Yeah well, we only got their in time because of Felgar’s loud voice, that guy always gets into trouble somehow.”
“How’s he doing?” asked Rupert’s Aunt Sam sounding concerned. It was his mom who answered the question.
“He has a few cuts and bruises besides the effects of the Ribbon device, he’ll live.”
Rupert strained to hear as he heard his dad mutter, “The Goa’uld almost managed to escape, if he’d gotten past Colorado Springs-
“Look Danny, it’s best not to think about it,” said Uncle Jack warily. “We stopped an incursion, like we do a lot of the time.”
“I’ll drive Lisa and Will to Kindergarten,” said his dad. Aunt Sam said she was going with him and Janet said that she was going to drive him and Xander to school on her way to work.
Rupert ran to grab his coat as he saw that the other kids were already at the front door, his sister looked at him curiously, “Where did you go?” she asked.
“Nowhere,” his said hoping that his sister wouldn’t accidentally tell the grown ups that he’d been listening to their conversation.
“Huh?” asked Willow looking confused. Rupert just gave her a look that told her to not ask, which of course she ignored.
Rupert rolled his eyes, “I’ll tell you after school, just not now.” Willow pouted but stayed quiet.
A little while later Elisabeth and Willow were guided through the playground of their school and to the reception where they would be registered. Willow was jumping up and down excitedly because she loved learning and wanted to start her education as quickly as possible. Elisabeth however wasn’t happy and wanted to go back home and play with her dolls, she wasn’t at all shy about meeting other kids but she still didn’t want to be as she was sure that it would be very boring.
Willow, despite being excited was a little shy but she felt better knowing that her cousin and best friend was going along with her. She wondered if there were other kids that wanted to learn as much as she did. She and her older brother had both taken IQ tests that year and when they had gotten the results back their parents were delighted, her test results stated that her percentile was the top 1% and that her brother’s results were not as high as her results.
The examiners had said that by the time they were the age of sixteen, and with good educational guidance, they would be able to graduate from school earlier than most students. Rupert would always be a grade higher than his own age-group and Willow would be two grades higher than hers when she finished Kindergarten; that’s what had the redhead a little nervous, she wouldn’t be in the same grade as Elisabeth who she thought of as a one of her two best friends next to Xander.
Willow and Rupert were currently being taught to read and write at a more advanced level by their parents and their Aunt Sam and when the siblings babbled able stuff that even Xander didn’t know Elisabeth and Xander would both tell them to ‘quit it’ because it gave them a headache. So Rupert and Willow read books to each other and shared information.
The difference between Rupert and Willow were that Willow like computers more than books while Rupert hated computers and refused to go near one; he just loved books more.
Willow bit her lip anxiously and reached for Elisabeth’s hand, she found it and held on while keeping close to her cousin who was starting to look a little nervous too. They looked at each other as they followed a teacher and then they waved to Daniel and Sam.
They went through an open door to a big room full of desks and chairs; toys, colouring books and crayons and also kids. There were a lot of kids and they were standing in what was supposed to be a line but looked like crowd of restless kids.
The teacher told them both to stand with the other children in the front of the classroom.
“Children!” called the teacher. The kids stopped talking and giggling and looked at the teacher and then curiously looked at them as well as they made their way to the crowd.
Willow felt her face go red and her cousin was shifting around restlessly, the teacher continued, “I want all of you to stand at the desk that I tell you to, okay?”
She pointed to the blushing redhead after a few minutes of pointing out desks to various kids. “Willow, the desk over there,” She gestured to the desk in the front row near the middle.
Willow nodded meekly and walked over to her desk, she hoped that she’d be sitting next to her cousin.
After seating two other kids the teacher told Elisabeth to sit next to Willow. The cousins smiled at each other looking relieved.
Over the next hour they were told how to go about answering a question that a teacher asks them, to put your hand up silently, then they drew and coloured what they had done over the summer break; Elisabeth did a few dolls and a dog while Willow drew some books and a swing-set with a big blue sky.