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Posted on Sat Jan 11th, 2014 @ 11:16pm by Unawakened Jana Rotherbridge

Date: February 12, 2010
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Jana's bedroom, Darling family estate, Dallas, Texas

Jana was in the midst of a battle. It wasn’t huge, as battles go, but it was still involved.

The Trig Homework From Houston (even though they lived in Dalls). She used to use a different place with an ‘H’, but Houston was just as hot, and when she said it around Gabe and Cole, they laughed.

Laughing was better than the alternative.

Pushing back her long, auburn hair, she continued to attack the problem. She was going to solve it tonight. Across her bed were the remains of all the other homework ‘battles’ she’d waged and won. If Aunt Mariah saw it, she would despair and moan over Jana and her lack of housekeeping skills.

She was tempted to leave it out, just to get to her, but it wasn’t worth her own comfort, and when her homework was done, she wanted to be *done*. And that meant stacking it on her desk, in neat piles by subject, and her sacked out on the bed, listening to her iPod.

Her room was the typical Texas society chic, with a large picture window that had a view of the back yard, curtains the color of pink tulips that were gauze, and a pink theme that went through the whole room, from the lush carpeting to the tiling and marble in her private bathroom, off to the right of her desk.

The color scheme was not her idea. She just didn't see the point in redecorating when she didn't plan on being there long enough for it to matter.

All of her furniture was solid oak. The queen-sized bed, the large desk near the foot of the bed, the chest of clothes right at the foot of it, along with the chest of drawers against the right wall and the armoire in the corner. There was a hat rack near the door that she'd decorated with scarves and necklaces she never wore. Her bookcase near the bathroom was stocked with everything she'd had at home. Their Lynds relatives had packed everything, though their parents' things were out of sight. there was the concern that it would upset them to see their parents' possessions.

Still, Jana would have wanted to have some of her mother's things.

Jana herself was in a white sweatshirt decorated in iridescent swirls and white leggings. She wore her waist-length auburn hair loose around her shoulders, and her brown eyes were fixed on her homework, her pale skin makeup-and blemish-free. She had an atheltic body, though she didn't belong to any team. There was just no interest, though she'd at least been approached by the volleyball coach.

Jana just wanted to graduate.

She was in the midst of the last few characters on the sheet, when she sudden saw all her finished homework get swept of the bed and Cole take their place, lying on his back. “Hey, sis,” he said, with her only just noticing the ‘oof’ sound he made before he threw himself on her bed. “Working hard or hardly working?”

Cole was in a white t-shirt and baggy jeans, fashionable blue jean jacket over the shirt. His feet were still in big sneakers, though he was toeing those off. The baseball hat he had on was so old the logo was gone, leaving a white face and blue netting over his bleached brown hair that needed a comb to it after he brushed it. His brown eyes showed that he was more or less their father's son. Which was part of his problem, at least these days.

She snorted, pulling off his hat to ruffle his hair. “Working, as you can tell. What do you want?”

Cole sighed. “Sanctuary?” he asked, looking at her.

She smiled, sympathetic. “Another talk?”

Cole nodded, then put on a ‘pathetic’ face. “May I find my rest here, my lady?”

Jana chuckled. “You may, humble pilgrim. You will always find sanctuary here.” With Jana being female and Gabe being GAY, Cole was Mariah’s ‘last hope’ for continuing the Rotherbridge line. Biologically, at least. She could see Gabe adopting a couple dozen kids. He’d be a good dad.

“Thank you,” said Cole on a sigh, settling just above her textbook, her homework in her lap. Jana put the ball cap on back on Cole’s head and got back to her homework while he watched. When she was done, she closed the book and put it with her homework on the floor.

She moved to lay out and Cole adjusted his own position to compensate, ending up on the other side of the bed from her, their feet pointing out toward the desk. “You want to talk about it?” she asked.

Cole reached out and pulled some of her hair toward him, sniffing it. She pushed back his, knocking his hat off again.

Cole sighed. “I don’t know. I mean, not only is she talking about ‘carrying on the Rotherbridge name’, but she wants me to start thinking about taking business and computer classes. I haven’t even decided what I want for lunch tomorrow.”

“Pizza with ranch always works for me,” Jana teased, and he glared at her, pulling her hair to his cheek. She would complain, but her hair was the most like their mother’s, and she used the same shampoo. It helped calm him down. She wasn’t about to complain, especially since he never pulled it anymore.

“You know what I mean. It’s just… I mean, it’s not like I don’t want to. I’m always into new stuff in the computer industry. I just don’t want to be pigeon-holed.”

“I know,” she said, finger-combing his hair into some semblance of order. Not that it ever did any good. He needed a haircut, but she’d let Gabe tell him that. She didn’t want to ‘Mom’ him after another encounter with their ambitious aunt. “I’m sorry.”

Cole curled up. “Just… why can’t she talk to *you*? You and Dad were tight about things like that.”

Jana sighed. “You know why.”

Cole echoed her sigh. “Because ‘daughters don’t take on the family business. Sons do. Sons who are thinking straight enough to like girls, anyway.’”

Jana giggled. “Great recitation. You should be an actor.”

Cole shuddered. “That’d make her even *worse*.”

She nodded. “I know, I know.” Both she and Gabe had advised him to keep his head low. The less grief he gave her, the theory went, the less she’d give him. Both she and Gabe were headaches. They didn’t want to give her one more.

Cole looked at his knees..”I wish could be more like you and Gabe.”

Jana nodded, squeezing his shoulder. “Just 4 more years. Keep telling yourself that. Or at least until Gabe or I get our own place. Then you won’t have to deal with her as much.” She was their aunt, after all. And she meant well. She just didn’t do what she was supposed to do. Like, accept them as they were.

Cole looked up at her. “You promise?”

Jana nodded. “May God strike me down where I lay.”

Cole smirked. “I hope not. I’m right next you with your hair in my hand!”

“You!” Jana went after him with her fingers, but she was smiling. She liked that she’d made him happy.

He deserved happy. They all did.


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