Mum and CrystalStarted by Crystal Evans at Apr 08, 2020 4:10 AM
December 8, 2023
Ten-year-old Crystal left the classroom with a big smile on her face, for the young girl had gotten her test back, and she had gotten a good mark on it. She knew what she had to do at that moment which was to show this to her mother because she knew Shaali would be very pleased to see this, especially since the subject namely Math had been difficult for her. Her mother knew this, her uncle knew this too, but now she had gotten a good mark, her studying had paid off.
After asking around, she found where Shaali was and gently knocked on the door, her test hidden behind her since she wanted to surprise her with this. “Mummy, are you busy with something?’ she asked since she didn’t want to be rude if she was busy.
The public office on the first floor of the mansion near the foyer, free for all the staff and older residents to use, had seen Shaali at the desk and on the computer a fair bit in the last few days. She was trying to find out how best to incorporate some sort of animal care course into the school's curriculum. No mention had been made to the Professor about it yet wishing to have all the necessary information in hand before approaching him.
"Hey Sweetheart, come in," she called. "Just give me a sec to..." she paused at the same time guiding the mouse to save the page she was on so she could refer to it later. "There. Done," and she looked up waiting for the door to open.
Yup, it was confirmed that her mother was there, in the room and the young 10-year-old had a feeling she knew exactly what she had been doing in there. Crystal knew her mother. She freed her right hand and opened the door, revealing her mother looking straight at her. She walked into the room, Shaali could see there was some kind of paper behind her, which was blank since the test part was facing the door. “I wanted to show you something,” she told her, before she revealed the paper to her, a math test, with a good mark on it, at least by Shaali’s standards. A big proud smile that was on her face stayed put as she allowed time for her mother to process.
In an instant, green eyes had taken in her little girl, that sense of overwhelming love always present whenever she saw her. Noticing the piece of paper, a knowing smile curved her lips. Could that be one of the test results perhaps? Which one was difficult to tell until she took the offered sheet and had a good look. Numbers. Yes, okay, so it had something to do with Maths, a subject of which she had never liked herself because most of the time it made her head hurt, especially when presented in problem form.
Shaali's smile soon matched her daughter's. "Twenty-six our of thirty?! That's wonderful honey!" and she leaned down to give her a hug. "Considering how hard you've worked to get to this point it really wouldn't have mattered if it wasn't a high mark. The main thing is you did your best, and in this case, very well indeed," she added, catching her gaze as she stood back up and took a look at the test again.
Crystal smiled as her mum reacted to what she saw, and she witnessed in both action and words how proud Shaali was of her and her accomplishment. The metal skinned girl found herself in her mother’s arms as she was given a hug by the older woman. A feeling of pure bliss was all over the 10-year-old as she went through this. “Yup, and I have you, Uncle Pyro and Grandma to thank too, you have been so kind to me,” she told her mother letting the happiness flow within her. “So I was thinking if you're not too busy, would you like to do something with me?” she asked.
"Well, of course!" Shaali agreed, moving back around to shut down the computer and gather up her things, placing Crystal's math results on top of her compendium before picking it up and coming back around to her. "Like what?" she asked. "Did you have anything in mind already or did you wish for Mummy to come up with something?" even as she asked the question, the healer was already thinking about heading to pack up a little picnic lunch and take her to one of their special spots within the hedge maze.
The young girl’s smile widened with pleasure at her mother’s agreement to her idea of mother-daughter time. The young girl’s blue eyes watched as Shaali placed her math results on what she assumed was her compendium. As far as the young mutant remembered Shaali had always had it with her. She smiled as Shaali spoke to her, she began thinking about what they could do. “You can pick, Mummy, you always have great ideas,” she said as she stepped into place beside her.
Shaali's look was one of those kinds that reached her eyes and lit them up with all the love and adoration she contained. Such a gorgeous little kid. "Ok then," she said, nodding. Gently tugging her hand, she led Crystal to the nearest kitchen, which also happened to be one quite regularly used by a lot of the students.
“What would you like to take? Sandwiches? Wraps? Or maybe something more for afternoon tea?” she asked, finding some chocolate chip cookies in the pantry. “Better take something to drink too,” she added, pulling a small picnic basket from one of the shelves beneath the food island.
"Please let me help. I can heal you."
After packing up everything they needed, Shaali walked with Crystal side by side out and down to the hedge maze taking their time admiring the grounds on the way. She was yet to learn exactly who took care of the gardens and other areas around the mansion. One thing she was certain of though was that it couldn’t just be the one person. Had to be a team of either professional gardeners who had no problem with this being a school of mutants or, some of the residents of the school itself. Maybe both. Either way, they did an excellent job of maintaining everything and at some point very soon Shaali was going to make sure to thank them.
As she walked with her mother, with her metallic hand holding the much older woman’s much larger hand, her eyes caught the glimpse of the beauty that was her new home. Her eyes widened with joy as she got to see the well taken care of gardens. She was lost for words how amazing it all looked and she was really happy to be able to be here and see it.
Entering the maze, Shaali grinned, glancing at her daughter. “I had a bit of trouble in here soon after we arrived. Decided to try and figure it out how to get through all by myself without following the guide and ended up having to be helped out before I was lost in here all night,” she explained, not leading her in too far. Just around to the right, following a fairly long wall of hedges on both sides before an opening revealed a beautiful Japanese pond garden beyond.
“Oh my goodness! Look at that, sweetheart! Isn’t it just gorgeous?!” she said, motioning to the fishpond full of Coy goldfish as she put down their picnic basket and proceeded to lay out the blanket she had brought.
It appeared to young Crystal that the Mansion and its grounds would never stop amazing her. The metal skinned ten-year-old, looked at her mother with widened eyes when she was told about her mother Shaali’s first time entering the maze. “I’m glad you’re not getting lost now, mummy,” She told her before they got to their destination, and her eyes continued to be widened. “Oh, my goodness, I love this place!” she squealed with joy as she moved to look at the Coy goldfish as her mother got their area ready. “This place, the Mansion, and the grounds it looks amazing, I’m really happy we are here,” she told her mother.
Crystal's Mum glanced up at where she knew the mansion was above the hedge maze in the distance, nodding in agreement. "Yes, it is wonderful here but I miss home," she said, clearly homesick, something she didn't have to hide in front of her daughter. "I know Mum and the others will look after everything. Just... I miss the rescue a great deal."
Crystal nodded her head before she moved closer to her mother, and gently leaned against her. “Yeah, I miss her too,” she said as she thought of her grandmother. “She is an awesome Grandma, just like you are an awesome mummy! I think I know how you feel, Mum, I sometimes wake up and I immediately get ready to go out to check on the animals to make sure they are ok, though I always knew they would be because you are a great caregiver.
Shaali laughed a little. "Well, thank you, sweetheart," she said, handing her a plastic plate with a cookie and some other snacks on it. Green eyes then went to watch the fish in the pond again. "So big," she commented. "Xavier's will offer us so much. I just feel a bit useless without my chosen work to do."
Lost in thought for a while, she broke the tangent to take a drink out of her water bottle. "So much we don't know about this place yet," excitement now back in her smile.
Crystal smiled as she was handed the plate of cookies and other snacks, and she began munching on the cookie as she listened to her mother talk about Xavier’s school being able to offer so much but frowned when she heard her mother say she felt useless without her chosen work to do. “Yeah! What I like about this place is I can get help with my powers, though Uncle Pyro was nice in letting me train with his empty cans, here, I heard that I will be able to use something better to use!” she drank some water to wash the food down.
“Apparently there is,” Shaali said. “Something called the Danger Room, which I’m figuring is set up to accommodate the varying powers here. Not sure how though. Looking forward to hopefully one day finding out. Not going to assume I’ll ever be allowed in there. Just hope,” the Healer made herself more comfortable on the ground by propping her back up against one of the decorative rocks nearby. “Actually, I was going to ask if I could help train you better,” she admitted. “Not that you aren’t already picking things up really well,” she assured her.
Crystal continued to lean against her mother now that she was propped up by the rock behind her. The Danger Room was a fascinating name for a room; Danger was a thing her mother had tried to keep her away from. She felt bad that her mother hadn’t been able to go and use the Danger Room. She’d have wanted to learn from her mother’s experience. “I’d love that!” she said at Shaali’s mention of wanting to ask if she could help train her better. Shaali was right, in that she had been picking things up, but it didn’t stop her from wanting her mother there helping up too.
“Thought as much. You’ll have to use your cute begging face on the Professor,” she said, with a grin and a gentle pat of her daughter’s ruby quartz covered head. “Doesn’t always work on me but you never know, might melt his heart,” she let out a laugh. “Then again, he’s been around children for so long he’s probably built up just as much resistance as if he was their real parent.”
Crystal grinned at the mention of her famous cute begging face being used on the Professor. Shaali was right though, no matter the attempt her cute begging face never worked on her. “Maybe it will work on him as it works on Uncle Pyro,” she mentioned before adding, “It always seems to work for Uncle Pyro,” she confessed to her mother. “I’ll ask the Professor with my full power cute begging face! Don’t warn him, ok?” she asked looking up at her.
Shaali leaned down to give her a cuddle. “I promise I won’t,” she said, arms remaining around her unique little girl as she thought about just how lucky she really was.
Her mind would often drift back to the day she found Crystal, at the time, thinking she was heading out to rescue a dog only to find out it was actually an abandoned mutant child. Those events had changed her life forever, setting her off on the same path as her Mum, fostering then deciding to adopt. She felt that overwhelming sense of happiness again, something she wouldn’t change for the world.
Crystal cuddled her mother, all the while feeling a sense of happiness, and how lucky she was to have not only an amazing mum but an amazing Uncle and Grandmother as well.