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Of Porcupines and Sprinklers
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Of Porcupines and Sprinklers
by Twig

Crane Mansion
12:00 pm

Sheridan, dress selected, was now hunting around in her bag for a pair of shoes. It soon became clear that she had not packed enough pairs to be suitable to her fickle tastes.

"Ethan," she said with a sigh, "I'm going to have to go back to the cottage for shoes."

Ethan rolled his eyes, "What's wrong with the twenty pairs you brought?"

"I didn't bring twenty pairs!" she protested, "I brought fifteen!"

He shook his head, "If you make even half the mess over there that you did in here-"

"It'll fit right in with the broken glass and blood. Trust me."

"Want me to drive you over?"

"Would you?"

"I asked, didn't I?"

Sheridan nodded, attempting to stuff her unselected dresses back into the bag. She then thrust the bag into her nephew's arms and proceeded to follow him down the stairs, carrying the dress she had picked rather gingerly in her arms.




Crane Cottage
12:15 pm

Sheridan bypassed the living room, not even glancing at the blood on the floor. She marched straight into her bedroom, tossing the bag on the floor, laying the dress carefully on the bed, and flinging open her closet doors with definite purpose.

"Now…" she muttered, grabbing pairs of shoes off the shelf, glancing at them, and then flinging them over her shoulder. As she tossed a particularly ugly pair, covered with bright purple sequins and topped off by an orange flower, over her shoulder, she heard a muffled thump, and then a much louder thump.

"What the-" she said, whirling around.

Ethan was sprawled on the ground, shoe impression standing out vividly on his forehead.

"Ohh," he moaned, rubbing at his head.

"Ethan! I'm so sorry!" she exclaimed, kneeling next to him.

His eyes fluttered open, "I love you Theresa," he said clearly, before passing out again.

Sheridan sat back on her heels, eyeing her unconscious nephew curiously. "Jeez," she said out loud, "If I'd known that this was how you'd admit it to yourself, I'd have hit you over the head a long time ago!"

Ethan stirred and then was still. Sheridan, deciding that he would come around eventually, left him to return to her closet. After much more frantic searching, although she was more cautious with where she discarded the unwanted pairs, she had found the perfect pair of shoes to go with her dress. She then turned to face Ethan, who was still lying, unmoving on the ground.

"Some help you were," she muttered.

Ethan stirred once more at the sound of her voice, finally sitting up, rubbing his head slowly and glancing around, eyes dazed.

Sheridan smirked at him, "You always pass out on the job?"

Ethan blinked, confused, "What happened?"

"You walked right into the path of a projectile shoe."

Her nephew shook his head, "I knew you were trying to kill me."

"More interesting than that little fact is what you said when you got hit with the aforementioned shoe," Sheridan said teasingly.

Ethan rubbed his forehead, "What did I say?"

"You opened your eyes, looked right at me, and said 'I love you Theresa', and then you passed out again."
Ethan stood up rapidly, "I did not!" Then he bent his head down, assailed with a wave of dizziness.

"Believe what you want. I know what I heard."

"You're going deaf then," Ethan protested weakly.

"I believe you're going senile at a young age. I believe what my ears told me. Yet you won't believe what your heart tells you."
Shaking his head, Ethan attempted to right himself once more.

"Why don't you go back up to the mansion? I think I can handle things from here." Sheridan informed him.
Ethan nodded slowly, "Yeah. Okay."

He walked rather unsteadily out of the cabin.

Left alone, Sheridan tossed the pile of shoes unceremoniously back into her closet. They would have to be reorganized another day. She then glanced at her watch. Three-thirty already?! She hurriedly unpacked her bag, placing the photograph of her and Luis up on her mirror, before rushing off into the shower.





Lopez-Fitzgerald House
4 pm

"Oh. My. God."

Theresa bit her lip and looked from her brother's horrified face to the mirror he was gazing into.

"It's not that bad," she said brightly, hoping to sound convincing.

"Oh. My. God."
"It'll grow back eventually."
"Oh. My. God."

Theresa crossed her arms, "Would you stop saying that? I'm sorry, all right?"
Luis, not quite believing what he was seeing, hesitantly brought one hand up to the top of his head, feeling around for his hair. Then he braved another glance in the mirror. His formerly long-ish, spiky hair was cropped close to his head, still long in some spots, and in other areas resembling a military crew cut. A red welt stood out vividly against his forehead, calling to attention the fact that Theresa was as uncoordinated with scissors as she was with other things.

"At least you don't look like a porcupine any more," she said helpfully.

He brought his brown eyes up to meet hers, "And you think looking like a pinhead is any better?"

Theresa tentatively patted his hideously chopped hair, "Well…like I said, it'll grow back. Eventually."

"Eventually," he repeated, still gaping in shock at his reflection.

"It could be worse," she offered, "you could be completely bald."
"I think that might be preferable to this."

Theresa sighed, "I suppose I could shave it-"

"NO!" Luis shouted desperately, "Just leave it alone! You've done enough damage!"

Theresa backed up, a bemused and slightly nervous look on her face. She snatched the smock from around Luis's neck and shook it out, sending clumps of black hair flying. Then, tossing him a panicked grin, she bolted from the room.

"MAMA!" she screamed as she flew into the living room, "I'm going over Whitney's house!" And with that she was out the door, leaving a stunned Luis all by himself.

"Oh. My. God." he said once more, shaking his head in defeat.

At that moment, Miguel walked in, whistling happily. The cheery tune stopped the minute he spotted his older brother. "Luis! What happened to you?!"

Luis leveled a glare at his younger, love-struck sibling, "Your sister got a little scissor- happy."

Miguel attempted to choke back his laughter, "Well…you look…really good. Honest. Sheridan will swoon when she sees you."

Then, still chuckling, he left the room.

Luis sighed, "Yeah, she'll swoon all right," he muttered to himself, "She'll swoon with horror!"

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