It was Friday morning, and Natalia hadn’t felt this excited for something in a very long while. She’d been so stressed with her older siblings’ games and with her determination to be a better sestra for Nikita, this Friday was a definite turn for the better. She could relax this Friday.
It would be a very good day because she would be surrounded by something she’d wanted for a majority of her life, though not very many knew about it. Not even Nikita knew about it, as far as she was aware. Today, Natalia had been allowed to volunteer to chaperone a field trip to the zoo for a group of kindergarteners. She couldn’t be happier. Not that it was any big secret; it was just something that never really came up. It wasn’t as if they were ever surrounded by children very often.
The thought of being around the giggly, playful beings was enough to actually make her give a small smile as she made her way to the zoo. She looked down at the slip of paper in her hand, her name scrawled in big, loopy handwriting next to “Class #3” and a printed sticker that said, “Hi, my name is Natalia.” She thought it was rather tacky, but if it was necessary, then it was necessary.
She finally came to the gates of the zoo and entered through, looking about for the groups of children and spotting them quickly. She had a gentle smile on her face as she approached them, watching them squabble and laugh and just generally look excited.
Today was definitely going to be a very, very good day.
Post by MATHIAS ANDERSEN on Feb 7, 2011 1:02:57 GMT -5
Mathias had always enjoyed being in the company of kids. In fact, as weird as it may have seemed, he almost preferred their company more than people his age or older than him, because children weren’t judgmental, and they didn’t care about past mistakes that did not say anything about a person’s character. They were more interested in the here and now and that was how all people should’ve been. Well at least that was what Mathias thought. Getting hung up in the past only lead to trouble. So when Mathias heard of an opportunity to get up his grades a bit by volunteering with the kids from the nearby elementary school, you can bet he was jumping at the bit. It was like double the win for him. He got to hang out with some kids for a while, and it helped give him credit towards his science class, (Which he desperately needed, mind you.) and he felt good. Refreshed even.
He was assigned to “class three” with what he was told was another girl from his school. He was a bit wary of who this person may have been, but it didn’t really bother him all that much because he knew there was a slim to none chance of him actually knowing her. None of the girls he knew would ever volunteer of their own accord to go out and babysit a bunch of children. In fact, he was almost certain that most of his girlfriends hated kids. Not that he had a whole bunch of girlfriends anyways. Not that he had a whole bunch of friends in the first place… not that he minded cause all of the friends he did have were actually quite close with him… but none of them that he could think of would be able to take good care of a kid.. heck… most of them probably couldn’t even take care of themselves..
But shaking that off, Mathias wandered rather idly to the gates that would take him into main area of the zoo. There he was supposed to be meeting the group of five or so students and his partner who was supposed to be helping him as well. He could feel his excitement escalate as he got closer and closer to the group, until… until he saw who his partner was.
She was standing by a fountain, (Where they were supposed to meet and each other first, then the kids would be split off once the bus arrived.) the pale blondish-white-grey-whatever shade it was hair of hers and that ribbon she wore… it was quite unmistakable. Mathias didn’t really know her himself, but he’d heard the rumors… and of course none of them were good. He’d heard how obsessed she was with her siblings and how she’d wanted to marry one of them or something. Just the thought of that sort of made Mathias want to go turn around and go back to science class. He’d also heard that she carried around knives and didn’t like it when people associated themselves with any of her siblings… and that she hated everyone and that it was probably better to stay away from her rather than ever, ever associate yourself with her…ever.
…oh but she seemed to be smiling. Mathias had never seen her smile before… and he’d passed her numerous times in the hall. And what was he doing? Letting all these rumors keep him from enjoying himself? He knew the consequences for rumors. He knew how they could affect people in negative ways… maybe that was why… what was her name again? Natasha? Natalia? Natalia? Maybe that was why Natalia always seemed so angry. Maybe she was just tired of all the bad things being spread around about her. Maybe that was why she always seemed to have this icy stare whenever he saw her anywhere. He seriously wouldn’t have doubted it. People did handle things differently after all.
Taking a deep breath of air, Mathias brushed all of his worries aside and paced directly towards her, trying to keep as optimistic as he could possibly be. She didn’t look too scary or weird when he was smiling so innocently like that. In fact, she almost looked…nice. He had nothing to be afraid of right?
“He-hello…” He stammered rather awkwardly, tossing his hand in the air, noticing the sticker in her hand, and pulling out the one that was given to him with his other hand. He glanced at the loopy handwriting as well… only to notice that the “I” in his name had a small heart over it. He let out a slight cough before showing her it, “I’m Mathias… I guess I’m going to be helping you out today?” He scratched the back on his neck, before sticking the rather effeminate sticker onto the front of his Asher Academy T-Shirt.
Natalia had been in the process of putting her (tacky, not-so-tasteful, et cetera, et cetera) sticker on her dress when a tall young man with the Academy’s T-Shirt on was coming her way. Her smile fell. She forgot that she would be working with someone else in all of her (very well-contained) excitement. Her eyes turned cold as he approached, waving in a somewhat-awkward fashion and stammering his hello, sticking the (tacky, et cetera) sticker onto his shirt. Why were all the people she met complete morons?
“I’m Mathias… I guess I’m going to be helping you out today?”
Natalia blinked at him, cold eyes flicking to his name tag sticker and then back up at him. Mathias? Wasn’t he the guy with the metal? Something to do with metal? Metalkinetic(is that even a word?)? Magnets? She’d heard of him. He supposedly had a horrible temper that resulted in things like broken electronics and such. Not that she’d cared much; other people didn’t matter, as far as she was concerned. Nor did it really matter what he was like. As long as he didn’t upset the children or anything, she would tolerate him.
So she took a casual breath, held out her hand somewhat stiffly, and replied, “hello Mathias. My name is Natalia, as you can clearly see,” here, she indicated the (tacky, et cetera) name tag sticker, “and it appears that yes, you will be aiding me in today’s activity with the children.”
She paused a moment, recollecting the information that had been given to her by one of the workers when she had arrived. Then, she began again, “our group will be arriving in just a few moments, as I was informed minutes before your arrival. We are to introduce ourselves right away, remind them of the rules they are to follow and that they should pay attention because they have work packets to complete when they get back to school tomorrow. That, and we must pass out these activity books the zoo personnel have provided us.” With this statement, she indicated the small stack of brightly-coloured, jungle-themed booklets sitting in a box on the fountain’s bench.
She regarded him with a neutral expression as she waited for him to take in the instructions they’d been given, then continued, “lunch will be at eleven-thirty o’clock, and will last until noon. They will be allowed to eat lunch in the grassy area by the lions that we should be coming to around that time. We should allow them a reasonable amount of time at each exhibit for them to observe and learn, but we must not fall too far behind. You are understanding all of this, da?”
For his own sake, he had better have been understanding all of it. If she had to repeat all of that, she would be incredibly annoyed. Just because they were going to be working with children (sweet creatures that they were), did not mean he had the right to act as one. She did not think she quite liked the idea of being the only one actually chaperoning this trip.
“You do understand all of this, da? I do not need to repeat any of it?” The answer had better be yes, he understood and no, she did not need to repeat herself.
Post by MATHIAS ANDERSEN on Feb 9, 2011 21:09:35 GMT -5
Trying to keep from meeting her eyes, Mathias grabbed her hand and shook it rather heartily. It wasn’t to say that he was intimidated by the fact that her eyes suddenly went cold when he paced over and greeted himself or that her once rather charming smile had faded, but that he was more disappointed. Maybe this meant that the rumor he’d heard about her were true… that she was some kind of crazy person who hated other people. She sure did seem to it as well.
“…to complete when they get back to school tomorrow. That, and we must pass out these activity books the zoo personnel have provided us.”
Mathias suddenly glanced up and pulled his hand away from hers. His thoughts of course had caused him to miss whatever it was that she had been saying before, not that it was a bad thing, as he had been informed as to what he was supposed to be doing as well, so it wasn’t really that big of a deal anyways. Although her know-it-all tone was sort of irritating him. It wasn’t like he was one of the kids and she’d have to be watching over him was it? NO. It wasn’t.
“No you don’t need to repeat anything calm down.” Mathias threw his hands out in front of him. Oh boy today was going to be a lovely day. He was going to be babied all day, and he’d probably be unable to do anything about it. Mainly because she was a girl and he was rather afraid of girls… especially ones who seemed to be rather insane.
Oh this was just so frustrating he wasn’t a little kid! He could care for little kids and listen and follow instructions perfectly fine! He didn’t need some ill-temper—“MATHIAS!” A small voice sounded, causing Mathias to pull his head up from his frustration as a kid he was quite familiar with came dashing over. But before the boy had a chance to make all the way to Mathias, Mathias began to whimper in excitement and moved to meet the boy halfway, only to find that his shoelaces were untied, and be sent flying head first into the ground.
“Ignatius!” Mathias sobbed loudly, pulling himself from the ground as the small boy ran over with his hands covering his mouth.
“Mathias you fell down! Big kids aren’t supposed to fall down!” The boy shouted, grabbing a hold of Math’s shoulders as Mathias pushed himself onto his haunches. Despite having scraped up his wrist a bit, Mathias still let out a loud laugh and wrapped his arms around the tiny boy, pulling him into a hug. Of course big kids were supposed to remember to tie their shoes, how could Mathias forget that? The boy immediately hugged him back, and Mathias looked up to see some other students following in a line behind the teacher, who seemed rather livid that the young Ignatius had run off.
Mathias let out a laugh as the teacher paced over and smiled at both Mathias and Natalia. He smiled back at her, “Good morning!” He exclaimed, pulling himself to his feet. The teacher nodded her own good mornings as well before she informed Mathias and Natalia of which students would be attending with them. Three girls, Tara, Jessica, and Sammie, and two boys, Johnny and Ignatius. She also rein formed them both, a third time of the instructions and safety precautions, before allowing the small group to go free. She also told them to keep an eye out for Ignatius because he had a bad habit of running off when he got excited. (Which Mathias had already experienced because Ignatius and him had tendencies to run into each other at the park. And Ignatius’ mom was especially fond of him so Mathias played with him quite a bit, and knew quite a few of this kid’s bad habits.)
Mathias let out a small giggle and excitedly clapped his hands together, waving at all of the kids as the teacher walked away, “I’m Mathias! And this girl here, her name’s Natalia… She’s a bit grumpy so you might wanna watch out for her!”
The kids all looked at her at once, with their mouths hanging open, before Mathias’ mouth opened into a large grin and he shrugged, “Hey guys I’m kidding, Natalia’s really cool. I’m sure she’s an awesome person underneath all that scowl.” He giggled before grabbing his little friend Ignatius’ hand and the hand of Jessica. She joined hands with Tara, who grabbed Sammie’s hand, who grabbed Johnny’s hand.
Mathias moved his glance over to the Belarusian and he grinned again, “Come on grumpy join the fun!”
He hadn’t been paying attention. She could tell he hadn’t been paying attention, and she could feel the irritation begin deep within her mind, forming a small tinge of pain. What irritated her the most, however, was how he’d raised his hands and told her she in fact did not have to repeat herself and to calm down. She was completely calm! How dare he even imply that she needed to calm herself?? How dare he--
“MATHIAS!” a young boy was running towards them, face alit with joy. Despite the fact that he’d called out the name of what was currently Natalia’s greatest irritation, it still made her heart lift to see such a happy expression on the child’s face.
Her attention, however, did not remain on the child for very long, as Mathias was running and then suddenly on the ground out of nowhere. Natalia blinked, and tried to hold in the small laugh that threatened to bubble out.
The boy (Ignatius? As Mathias had called him) ran into his arms as he sat up from his fall, and Natalia smiled as she heard the younger one chide him for not tying his shoes. Children were so cute when they remembered something someone older did not remember. They oh-so-innocently point it out with a cheeky smile, and while that sort of behaviour would probably be annoying on someone older, on a child, it was just sweet. Endearing. Cute.
The teacher had made her way over and had told the two teenagers whom they would be watching after, and then reiterated the information Natalia had just gotten through saying herself (thus causing her to tap her foot lightly in impatience).
As for the students, they were taking charge of five of them: Tara, Jessica, Sammie, Johnny, and Ignatius, Mathias’ little friend. Well, she thought as she watched the older boy beaming at the younger, at least he is aware of how to act with children. Perhaps it would not be so bad. Perhaps--
“I’m Mathias! And this girl here, her name’s Natalia… She’s a bit grumpy so you might wanna watch out for her!” Natalia felt a tremor of disappointment when all of the children looked at her before Mathias grinned and informed them that he was only kidding.
Perhaps, maybe, she was going to kill him when the little ones were not looking.
“Come on grumpy join the fun!”
If only her power was something that could actually kill someone just by glaring at them. She would not have minded it at the moment. Grumpy? She felt immensely insulted and continued to scowl at him until she felt a small tug on her dress. She looked down at the little brunette that had been introduced as Tara. Her expression immediately softened, as if the bitter frown had never even been there, and she knelt down to the girl’s level.
“Da?” She asked softly, looking into the wide, innocent hazel eyes, which blinked back at her with slight confusion.
“What does ‘da’ mean?” Tara asked, gripping at her teddy-bear blouse nervously.
“‘Da’ means ‘yes’ in Russian. I was simply asking, yes?” Natalia responded, patiently.
“Oh.” Tara was quite a minute, and then, “a-are you Russian, N-Nata… Natala?”
Natalia couldn’t help but smile at the effort to say her name. “Da, I am. Now, what were you going to say, little one?”
Tara shuffled her feet a little bit, then mumbled, “N-Natala… y-you’re not really grumpy, are you?”
Natalia frowned a little bit, sending a millisecond-long glare at Mathias, then smiling back at the little girl. “Nyet. I am not. Mathias is simply playing around. I am very happy to be here, Tara. And you may call me Nata if you would like.”
Tara nodded, quietly responding with a “’kay,” still playing with her blouse, then ran back to the other children, possibly to tell them what she had just told her. Children were like that, but she didn’t mind.
Perhaps it would be a good day, after all. Despite her “playful” companion. She clicked her tongue in annoyance at the thought, but dismissed it quickly as she remembered the activity books. She grabbed them and passed them out to each of the children.
“Shall we begin, then?” She asked, her voice light. Not necessarily cheery, but it was a good-natured tone, a tone that only her family had ever experienced hearing. And children, of course.
Post by MATHIAS ANDERSEN on Feb 16, 2011 10:35:35 GMT -5
If Natalia DID in fact have a power that could kill someone simply by looking at them, Natalia would be QUITE screwed when it came to the kids, because it was certain that a bunch of small kids wouldn’t know what to do when the person who was supposed to keep THEM from dying just dropped dead in front of them…
Mathias watched in patience as Natalia started to make her acquaintance with one of the girls in the group. He was sort of upset for a few moments, as he had never been paired up with anyone when he had to chaperone the trips before… like last year, he had the same amount of kids and he was able to go on his own with them! Maybe last year, there was an accident or something with one of the other groups and they decided to bump up the number of chaperones… it wasn’t like Mathias or anyone else was getting paid for doing this anyway.
But as he continued to observe the girl he once viewed as some kind of creepy monster, he began to realize that she was actually quite good with them. Maybe it was because she, similar to him, was unable to relate to the obnoxious and rather judgmental kids that attended their school. She probably enjoyed every once in while being around someone who didn’t know about her reputation at school as an insane woman who wanted to marry her own brother. Even if she really did want to marry her own brother, it probably felt good to not be bothered about it.
“Nyet. I am not. Mathias is simply playing around. I am very happy to be here, Tara. And you may call me Nata if you would like.”
Mathias watched as the young girl ran away rather shyly to her friend Jessica and grabbed a hold of her hand again and began to whisper something into her ear before Natalia came over with the activity books and handed one to each of the kids, and announced that they should begin. Mathias agreed with this and tried to think of an animal that the kids would like the best. He knew that children loved large animals… and for some reason they liked monkeys but—
“Hey! You know Natalia, I wasn’t playing around! You are sort of scary. Well, at least I’m scared of you, but I’m sure Johnny here will keep me safe!” Johnny let out a loud growl as if he really were some kind of fierce beast, and stood in front of Mathias, his face twisted into a slight snarl. It was then that Tara, the young girl who seemed to have already befriended Natalia, glared at Johnny for a moment, as if to defend Natalia. And defend her she did, rather fiercely, Mathias noticed.
“Hey! Nata is nice and Rus-Russian! And she told me she wasn’t grumpy and, and I- I’m not scared of her at all!” Tara then covered her mouth as if she had said something inappropriate, and she moved back to hide behind Jessica. At these actions Mathias let out a loud laugh and gently patted Tara on her head, “You’re right Tara! I’m just a big fat chicken.”
“You’re not a big fat chicken!” Ignatius interjected, “I saw you beat someone up be—“ Mathias swiftly moved over to cover Ignatius’ mouth before he could get any further with the statement. Silly boy couldn’t keep his mouth closed…
“Hey Ignatius shush up!” Mathias laughed, “You can’t tell people our secrets, our secrets are our secrets!”
“Oh yeah!” Ignatius seemed to remember these so-called secrets of theirs and his attention was diverted onto another topic, “Can we please go see the bears first!? Bears are my favorite animal! I really, REALLY wanna see the bears!”
“Bears? That’s sounds fine with me—“
“No Ignatius I wanna see the fishies!” Jessica’s voice rang out loudly over his and Tara, nodded her head sternly in agreement.
“Andand! I want to see the fishes too!” Sammie, who had been extremely quiet up until now, had finally voiced his opinion.
“No no! The bears are the best! We /have/ to see the bear!” Johnny added last, after everyone else gave their share of what they thought was most appropriate to look at first.
And… Oh great. EVERYONE disagreed. The girls and Sammy wanted “fishies”, Ignatius and Johnny wanted bears. Now Mathias had done this a few times and found out that the only way to settle this disagreements was to take a vote, and whichever won the vote, they’d see that first then he would make a promise to see the other options right afterward. It was much simpler that way, and while some of the kids didn’t really like that it was fair, and that was how one was supposed to be with small children. Fair.
“Okay guys! We’ll take a vote then!” Mathias raised his hand cheerfully, “Raise your hand if you want to see the bears first!” Of course the two boys raised their hands, “And if you want to see the fish first?” Sammie raised his hand in excitement followed by Tara and Jessica.
“So how many people want to see the fish?”
“Three!” Sammie and the girls added at the same time, although Sammie seemed to be just a bit more enthusiastic than the girls were.
“And how many for the bears?”
“Two!” This time it was only Sammie.
“Which number is bigger?” Mathias knelt down and held up his hands with the corresponding numbers, “Two. Or three?”
“Three!” This time it was all of them, although it was clear to Mathias that Johnny and Ignatius realized that they’d been beat, and as a response were pouting.
“Okay! So we’ll go see the fish first, and then the bears right after, how does that sound?”
“It sounds good!” Jessica exclaimed, “I want to see the colorful ones!”
“We’ll see all the colorful ones!” Mathias ruffled her hair and stood upwards again, and gathered the group once again and began to march towards the aquariums, where the most colorful of fish would be, hoping that Natalia herself didn’t mind that they went to the fish first.
What he didn’t know was that by the time they would get to the aquarium, Johnny and Ignatius would have plans of their own…
((Oopsies this turned out really long. ;A; But I left it open so you can make it so that when they get to the aquarium Natalia realizes that the two idiotic boys had ran off.. If you want to do that. ^u^ And yes, yes I did do this in school. 8'D))
Natalia came to the conclusion that the Dane was testing her patience. She was prepared to make a [trimmed and appropriate] retort to his proclamation when the boy, Johnny, growled at her. She felt a slight flush and was starting to plan Mathias’ death, but Tara, the little one she had just spoken to, snapped back in a nervous, childish way, making Natalia feel a small warmth inside.
Oh, how she loved children. They were so much different from those of her age. They were innocent and rarely ever saw all that was wrong with the world. They rarely see what is wrong with me.
All it had taken was a gentle reassurance, a small smile, a calm exterior, and this little girl was defending her from the much bigger young man and the not-so-big little boy. Though Johnny certainly wasn’t all that big, Natalia was aware of how hard it was for a little girl to stand up to him, size aside. The warmth grew all the more.
She raised an eyebrow at Ignatius’ remark about Mathias having beaten someone up before, her gaze turning to him for a few seconds. Not that it mattered, but he really would have to try to keep that to himself around the children. Who knew what they would say to their parents? That sort of thing didn’t matter to children, but older people. Teenagers and grown-ups. That’s who it mattered to. Any mistake you make matters, and she had a feeling Mathias knew this better than most. She can tell by the sliver of panic in his eyes when he covered the boy’s mouth.
The boy was good, though. He changed the subject rather quickly after being reminded of their “secrets,” and soon the children were arguing about where they would rather see the bears of the fishes. Natalia tried to hide her smile. It was sweet, in her opinion, because children were allowed to fight like this. These sort of fights only resulted in easily-remedied tears, rarely ever violent or hard feelings.
Natalia loved children so much.
It was pleasing to watch as Mathias had the children vote, oh-so-cleverly inserting math as adults tend to do. Perhaps he wasn’t as incompetent as she had believed before? The thought pleased her, and she knew that she could relax and that she would not have to baby sit the boy. Even if he was very childish himself, it seemed as if he knew what he was doing. If it turned out he didn’t, Natalia knew she’d be able to fix it, for the most part.
They began to head towards the aquarium, and Natalia was just happy they had come to the resolution peacefully, and walked with them, her eyes watching them with a maternal gaze she wasn’t even aware she had.
Tara and Jessica shyly approached Natalia, hand in hand, and again Tara tugged on her dress. She looked down with a small smile. “Da, little one?”
“N-Nata, c-can I hold your hand?” The little girl’s voice was small, barely audible, but Natalia was able to hear it and offered her hand, which was taken with a slight excitement. “Mommy s-says that it’s safer to hold a grown-up’s hand. O-or a big kid’s hand.”
“Your mother is right, then, Tara.” Natalia responded, giving the small hand a squeeze.
Tara began to talk (nervously at first, but her nerves passed as they continued their walk) about how excited she was to see the fishes. “I-I wanna be a fish doctor when I grow up, Nata! A-and I wanna learn lots and lots about them, a-and, and, I wanna know everything about them and be a genius on them and, and everyone would know me!” She spoke in an excited fashion, and Natalia could only smile. It was good to know that this little girl already knew what she wanted in life. It was a pleasing thought.
Unfortunately, Tara’s animated talk of her plans for the future and how much she liked fishies was taking a lot of Natalia’s attention away from the others (not that she completely lost attention; Natalia was not a negligent idiot), so she didn’t notice the two troubled boys plotting to themselves quietly.
~o~ wellthen. i apologize. hi i totally spaced on your note at the bottom there. orz shootmesob
Post by MATHIAS ANDERSEN on Feb 22, 2011 13:54:35 GMT -5
Mathias was quite pleased that things were going so smoothly. The two boys who were outvoted didn’t seem to be all that upset that they had lost, but were instead standing together in front of Mathias, and were walking at a slow pace towards the aquarium. It was a bit obvious that they weren’t happy that
Mathias had attributed to their loss, as Ignatius had usually expected Mathias to take his side on things. After all, they were buddies. But Mathias knew that since this was a group thing and there were other kids involved, he had to be fair. He couldn’t just let one kid hog all of the attention. He had to treat them all equally.
By the time they actually got into the large fancy building that was the aquarium , Jessica had slipped away from her little friend Tara, who was with Natalia, and moved over to Mathias.
“Mathias! Mathias!” The young girl called out rather ecstatically, causing Mathias to turn his head and peer at her over his shoulder as she jumped for his arm and latched onto it, “I’m really excited to go and see fishes! You know why?”
A grin covered his face, “Oh? Why is that Jessica?”
“Because we have a whole bunch of fishies at my house but they are only babies so they are really, really tiny! My mommy said that there were gonna be really ginormous ones here! Like so big that they we are the size of outer space!” Her eyes were glowing with excitement as she talked so animatedly about the fish. Mathias was never aware that kids liked fish so much. Guess he learned something new everyday.
“Oh outer space? That must be a really big fish!” Mathias pulled open the door to aquarium and held it open, allowing all of the kids and Natalia to pace inside. He followed them, while Jessica began to bounce excitedly, “I see them! I see them! A really big one!”
“Is it as big as outer space?”
“I don’t know!” She grabbed his arm and drug him to a large tank that contained a bunch of multicolored tropical fish swimming in circles in and out of some bleached-out looking coral. He stared at them for a moment, while Jessica continued to tug at his arm, “Mathias! See that pretty purple fish!? I like him! Purple is my favorite color! I want him to be my boyfriend!”
“You can’t have a fish for a boyfriend silly!” Mathias felt himself beginning to laugh at the girl’s ideal partner. It seemed like kids always had the cutest and strangest notions of what a boyfriend/girlfriend actually was. Maybe it was just something they’d heard their mothers saying and they figured that anything could fill the role of a boyfriend or girlfriend. Even little purple fish swimming around In aquariums.
“Really?” Jessica lowered her eyes, “But I want a fishy boyfriend!”
“You want your boyfriend to smell all fishy? Ewwww!” Mathias began to giggle wildly at the same time Jessica did, “That would be so stinky!”
“Ewww!” Jessica’s cheeks began to flush red, “I don’t want a fish boyfriend anymore! You have to be my boyfriend now!”
“Alright… I’ll be your boyfriend as long as you don’t make any purple fishies your boyfriend too! Or else I might get really jealou—“Mathias was cut off by a small hand tugging on his shirt. He pulled his attention away from Jessica a moment and glanced over at the boy asking for his attention. The boy was Sammie, and obviously Sammie was upset about something, because he wore an intense look of worry that Mathias had never seen a small boy wear before. Yes, he’d seen many, many crying faces and sad faces, but he never saw worried ones. Little kids really weren’t supposed to worry over things were they?
Mathias knelt down and placed his hands on Sammie’s shoulders, “Hey kiddo what’s wrong? What do you need?”
The young boy began to fiddle uneasily with his shirt as Tara had done earlier, before he glanced up at Mathias, “I-Ignatius and Johnny ran away! They told me they wouldn’t be my friend no more if I told on them but I don’t want them to get hurted!”
Mathias’ eyes widened and he glanced around frantically, placing his hand on Sammie’s shoulder as a leverage to stand up. Jessica released his arm as well, and covered her mouth, “Those boys are so bad! They always get in trouble and do bad things!”
That they did. Ignatius has always been a rather mischievous boy, Mathias knew that. He should’ve figured that the boy would pull something like this and kept a better eye on him. And now he’d just lost a kid. Oh this was just going to go over so great if they didn’t find him quickly. What if the teacher found the boys first and wondered where in the world Mathias and Natalia both had run off to. Then for losing the kids, they’d both be unable to be chaperone the kids anymore. They’d have to be replaced by some people who were more “competent” or something. Mathias knew that if he lost the privilege to watch these kids anymore, he’d feel completely awful. Beyond awful in fact. He couldn’t let this happen.
Glancing around in an attempt to see if the boys just moved to another tank, “You did the right thing Sammie, don’t worry. You won’t get into trouble, me and Natalia won’t tell the other two you told us okay?” The boy nodded solemnly, still looking as if he was about to burst into tears. Mathias sighed and wrapped his arms around the boy’s shoulders, “Don’t worry, okay buddy?” “O-okay…” The little boy sniffled a bit, and Mathias smiled at him as best he could despite the rising panic.
“W-we’ll find them okay?”
“Ye-yeah! Don’t worry Sammie! They’ll be back soon! They just wanna see bears!” Jessica’s voice caused Mathias to almost have an epiphany. That must’ve been where the boys went. Silly boys. Little emotional things that they were. He just really hoped that that was where they went. The bear exhibit was where they wanted to go after all wasn’t it?
“…That’s it! Thank you so much Jessica!” Mathias shook his head, before dashing over to Natalia, who was still standing with Tara, “Natalia! I think Ignatius and Johnny went to bear exhibit without us! We really need to go find them! Come on!”
He hoped the girl wouldn’t place the blame on him. He really didn’t. Technically this was both of their faults. They were both supposed to be watching the kids. But judging by how well she handled the kids, she would be the type to know how kids could be hard sometimes and how stubborn they could be. She didn’t really seem to be the type to overlook a fatal mistake such as this, but he hoped she could just enough so that they could find the boys before things could get any worse.
((…Don’t tell Eduard that Mathias is dating a Kindergartener. >.>))
Natalia nodded to Mathias vaguely as he held the door open for her, and was immediately pulled to a tank by her dress upon entrance. “Nata, Nata! Look, Nata! It’s so pretty!!” Tara pointed at a sleek, grey baby shark. “Did you know? They’re not all bad and scary? My Gramma told me her uncle had a pet one!” She was practically trembling with excitement.
“Da, very pretty.” Natalia answered, kneeling beside the girl as she pointed and named fish out in the tank joyously, struggling to pronounce some of them, Natalia helping her where she could. There was a smile on her lips as she could hear Jessica proclaim a fish her boyfriend, and then Mathias laughing and trying to talk her out of it since, silly girl, you cannot date a fish!
The day was turning out just as wonderful as she had hoped, even without the unforeseen hindrance of a partner. But then, even he wasn’t as bad as she had thought he would be. He was quite competent.
She would have to apologize for talking down to him later, she figured. And though it may sting her pride a little bit, perhaps he deserved it. He was doing an excellent job, and other than him being rather… childish in the beginning, she hadn’t had to worry about him at all like she had expected.
She was about to turn back to Tara, who had tapped her foot impatiently for Natalia to resume paying attention to her, when she noticed Sammie approach Mathias warily. Her heartbeat picked up. However, Mathias seemed to have a good control on it, so she reluctantly pushed the matter from her mind and gave a small, apologetic smile to Tara.
“I apologize, Tara. Something caught my attention and I stopped paying attention.”
Tara huffed, hands on her hips, and she shook her head. “I don’t know. Nata, it’s not nice to do that! You can get in trouble and get a timeout!”
Nata tried her best to hide her smile (it was usually such an easy task to hide her emotions, but rarely was it a smile that needed to be hidden) and look immensely regretful. “Tara, I am sorry. You will not make me have time-out, da?”
Tara flushed, and poutily responded, “I guess not! J-just don’t do it again, ‘kay, Nata?”
Natalia nodded curtly. “Da, Tara. I will not do it again.”
Tara opened her mouth to respond and probably go off on another fish-related tangent when her big eyes swept the room in a swift motion and she looked up at Natalia. “U-uh, Nata?”
Natalia felt genuinely curious, and gave a slight smile as she responded. “Da, Tara?”
“I-I think Ignatius a-and Johnny ran away.”
What?! Natalia’s head shot up and she scanned the room. No sign of them anywhere. When did they scamper off? Where could they have gone? Natalia felt panic rise and her heartbeat along with it, and she tried to think. Where could the two troublemakers could have g--
Of course, the--
“Natalia!” Her attention snapped to Mathias, her mouth open about to alert him of what she just realized. “I think Ignatius and Johnny went to bear exhibit without us! We really need to go find them! Come on!”
Ah. It appeared he knew already as well. She nodded, “da, I had just noticed this myself.” She bit her lip with worry. What if they ran into an ill-intentioned stranger? A very suspicious person? She reached to grasp Tara’s hand again and head for the door, but Tara was pouting again.
“I dun wanna go! I wanna see the fishies, Nata!” She proclaimed, arms crossed.
Natalia sighed, kneeling next to her. “Da, Tara. I understand. But do you not wish to help us find them? We can certainly use your help, being such a smart girl.” She said gently.
Tara blinked, looking at Natalia with a new light in her eyes. “Really?”
Tara took Natalia’s hand and started to walk out the door, and Natalia looked to Mathias with a slight smile. Children will be children. “My mommy taked me here lotsa times afore and I know exactly where the bears are!” Tara proclaimed.
“Well, it is a good thing that we are with an expert, da?”
Tara blushed and nodded, “d-da!”
Despite the situation, Natalia couldn’t help but widen her smile at the little girl’s attempt at her language. It was… rather endearing, really.
Finally, they made it to the bear exhibit. Natalia thanked Tara, to which the little girl gave a clumsy salute, and then began to survey the area in search for the two troublemakers.
“Mathias, do you see them anywhere?” Her voice barely wavered from her worry. What if they weren’t here? What would they do then?
Natalia was feeling somewhat ashamed. She had had a majority of her attention on Tara that she hadn’t even noticed at all when the two left. She was supposed to be much better than that! Instead, she had failed oh-so-horribly.
What would she do now?
[Secret's safe with me. who's Natalia going to tell, really? x'D
Post by MATHIAS ANDERSEN on Mar 5, 2011 14:20:57 GMT -5
Once they got to the bear exhibit, Mathias released his grip on Jessica’s hand and scanned the area from left to right for the little boys that had run off on them. Seriously what in the world had been going through these boys heads? What in the world gave them the idea that running off was the smart thing to do? Sure they were just kindergarteners and really didn’t know any better, but it they were like this now… what stopped them from being even worse when they got older? Shoot! The thought caused Mathias to stand tall on his haunches and place his hand over his eyes to scan the ever growing crowds of people for the two rambunctious boys.
…but there was no sign of them anywhere. Where could they have gone? Where? The panic rising in his chest caused him to push Sammie and Jessica towards Natalia in an attempt to get her to keep an eye on them as he began to push through the crowds frantically, “Hey Ignatius! Hey Johnny where have you gone?” He didn’t want to scream too loudly, because there was no telling where the teacher or other students were, and he didn’t really want to lose his privileges… he really didn’t. He couldn’t keep losing and breaking everything important to him or else he really would have nothing left.
He felt like he was going to have to a panic attack. Many things could happen to small children. They could accidently wander out of the park, get hit by a car, get so lost that they never find their way back, get attacked by an animal, get kidnapped… decide that they liked the great outdoors so much that they don’t want ever get home where it was safe.. oh God that thought scared him out of his mind. This whole thing was scaring him out of his mind. These boys were so going to get it when he found them, yes they were.
The only thing that was completely keeping him from losing it beyond the point of no return was the fact that Natalia didn’t seem to be mad at him. Yes he knew it was both of their faults that the boys went missing, but he seriously couldn’t help but believe that Natalia would be the type to point out the fact that he did in fact forget to tie his own shoelaces that morning and that led to the forgetting of the children.
Which wasn’t true at all, but that line of thought wouldn’t be entirely uncalled for. It had always been that when Mathias got excited about something, anything, everything else he was normally supposed to be doing was completely forgotten… which did mean that his shoelaces were sacrificed at times. He couldn’t help being a bit of an airhead. It was just how he was… really. He meant well. He really did. He just couldn’t help himself. Where in the world were they? Small kids couldn’t just disappear off the face of the planet could they?
“Mathias!” A weak voice suddenly called his name, “Mathias I got stuck!” The voice was weak. He could hardly hear it, and it was definitely coming from somewhere near him… he just didn’t know how near. He could feel his line of vision reach the bear exhibit, where it then suddenly froze. It froze upon the bear exhibit. Only it didn’t freeze on a bear. It froze upon a kid sitting in the exhibit. The child sitting in the exhibit happening to be poor Johnny.
“J-Johnny!?” Mathias stammered in disbelief, “Wh-what are you doing there!?” And where in Gods name was Ignatius!? How did Johnny even get into the bear exhibit in the first place!? What was going on!? Feeling his panic level reach an all-time-high, Mathias began looking around rapidly for Ignatius, before a small hand tugging caused him to jump about thirty feet in the air. Trying to keep himself under control, he shook it off and realized that it was Ignatius who had been tugging at his shirt. Oh this kid had a lot of explaining to do. He really did. But for now they needed to focus on Johnny, and he needed to focus on getting back to Natalia to tell her.
Lifting Ignatius over his shoulder, Mathias dashed back through crowd of people, and over to Natalia, “Natalia! I found Ignatius and Johnny! Bu-but we have one problem… Johnny is in the bear exhibit! I don’t know how he managed to get over the fence but he’s in there! We have to get him out Natalia! We can’t just leave him there with the bear!” Well no duh they couldn’t leave him with the bear. How stupid! They were going to have to jump in and save him before some worker noticed! Mathias really, really didn’t want to lose this. He really didn’t.
Natalia tried to stop the quickly-rising feeling of panic as she and Mathias scrutinized the exhibit in search of the missing boys. She clutched onto the smaller hands in her own tightly (though not too tightly) in her nervousness, eyes flickering from face to face of the fellow zoo-goers, frantically scanning. She chanced a quick look to the Dane, and could see the panic in his eyes and the paleness of his face and bit her lip. Where are they?
Mathias pushed left Sammie and Jessica for Natalia to watch while he moved ahead, calling the boys’ names in a tone laced with fear and desperation, muted for the sake of not attracting attention. She, in turn, continued her scanning, going over the faces over and over again until she felt a tug on her dress. She looked down to see Sammie looking up at her, worry on his face, and knelt down beside him.
“N-Nata?” His voice was quiet, almost fearful.
“Are we gonna get in tr-trouble?”
She offered him a soft smile. “Nyet, Sammie. You are not in any trouble.”
“Are I-Ignatius and Johnny gonna get in trouble?”
Her smile fell a little bit. “Da, they probably will get in a lot of trouble.” She made certain her tone was stern, authoritative; she would not let these children see her ever-mounting panic. She was still in charge.
The little boy looked truly conflicted. “Wh-what if they get mad at me?”
“We will not tell them you said anything,” she assured him gently. He didn’t look convinced. She gave him another small smile and placed her hand on his shoulder. “You did not want them to be hurt; you should not feel bad for telling us, all right?”
He still looked a little doubtful, but less so than before. He nodded slowly, then looked toward the crowd. “Will Mathias be back soon?”
She resisted the urge to bite her lip. “Da, I’m sure he will, and he will have found the boys.”
Not even a moment after, Mathias came running back, calling to her. “Natalia! I found Ignatius and Johnny! Bu-but we have one problem… Johnny is in the bear exhibit! I don’t know how he managed to get over the fence but he’s in there! We have to get him out, Natalia! We can’t just leave him there with the bear!”
Natalia could have sworn her heart stopped. “What??[/b] He is where??” In the bear exhibit? In the bear exhibit? Panic rose even faster, bubbling at the surface, making her head spin rapidly. What will we do? We cannot let him stay in there, we cannot let him get hurt, we cannot let him--
The children’s eyes widened. “H-he’s not gonna get eated, is he??” Jessica whimpered, clutching onto Tara’s hand tightly.
This seemed to force Natalia to bring herself back to focus, and she began to stuff her panic away in her attempt to regain control. Panic and the children will panic, she reminded herself sternly.
“Nyet, of course not, little ones. We will save him, of course,” she responded, certainty in her voice with only the slightest waver as she fought to regain her complete composure. With that, she began to walk purposefully towards where Mathias had indicated. “Let us go, Mathias. We can get him out, I am certain.”
We will do so because we must.
__ Finally! :'D i am so freaking sorry this took so long. OTL howridiculousofme. a-and i know it's not the best, i am so sorry!!! >< fjdkslfajdsafkdskfa
Post by MATHIAS ANDERSEN on Mar 25, 2011 12:24:48 GMT -5
Mathias paced in circles for what seemed like hours. His breath was coming out rather shallowly, and he trying to keep from biting his nails. How in God’s name were they going to be able to save a small kid from a bear exhibit? Were they going to have to climb into the exhibit themselves!? Mathias did not even want to think about another two people climbing into the exhibit with the kid. Would the bear feel threatened by that? What if it got threatened and attacked them!? Mathias wasn’t even sure if his power would be very effective in actually doing anything to help them in this particular instance. Maybe he could use the metal fence to try and do…something… but he wasn’t exactly certain how useful a fence would be in fighting off a bear. He’d never really been all that resourceful when it came to his powers… so he often times simply relied on brute strength to get the job done. But he knew quite well that his brute strength had NOTHING on a huge brown bear.
But they had to get to Johnny. They had to. It wasn’t right or fair to leave a poor small kid stranded, and that was an understatement. It was just downright stupid and insane to do something like this! They needed to act immediately, or the consequences would probably be quite grave. Maybe Natalia had a more useful power than him. There was no doubt in his mind that Natalia was a hero. She had all the qualities that most sidekicks didn’t have. .. if that made any sense… Surely she’d be able to help fight off the bear if worst came to worst.
“Natalia, I have a plan!” He pulled towards her and placed one hand on her shoulder, “We can climb that fence there,” He pointed to the tall chain link fence that he was almost certain Johnny climbed. He didn’t even wonder how the boy jumped down, because after all the fence was quite high, and Mathias would’ve thought that falling or jumped down from it would hurt… unless Johnny was able to flip over one side and then shimmy down from there. But in Mathias’ opinion it all just seemed highly unlikely.
“Once we climb the fence,” He glanced over to Johnny, who was curled into a small ball in the corner of the exhibit, no doubt crying his eyes out, “We will try to get Johnny to calm down a bit, and then we’ll try to see if we can get him to come with us back to the other side.” Sure, Mathias’ plan was quite simple, and so much could’ve gone wrong, but it was their best option if the bear suddenly decided that it wanted to attack. Which if it did, it would really suck for them.
He started on his way over to the exhibit once again, this time, his footsteps were much lighter and he wasn’t feeling as panicked, but still he felt like he could at any moment, upchuck all of his breakfast onto the zoo sidewalk. But he was trying his best to keep from panicking or getting too upset, because when he lost control, a lot of bad things happened.
“Mathias! Mathias! Wait up!” A small voice suddenly cried out from behind him. He whirled around, his heart suddenly speeding up once again, only to slow down upon realizing that it was only Sammy. He was surprised to see Sammy with so much bravery in his voice. He’d always thought that Sammy was the much more reserved quiet one, but apparently he wasn’t as shy as Mathias had initially thought, “Mathias can I help you guys? I know a cool trick!”
“No you are young you can—“ But his words were cut short when the small boy suddenly wrapped his arms around Mathias’ lower waist, since it was the highest place that the boy could reach, and Mathias felt his feet being slowly lifted from the ground. Once again his heart began to flutter wildly. What on earth!? What on earth!? Oh god what on earth!? Was he flying!? Was he really flying!? Looking back down towards the ground, it was very clear to him, that he was flying…
No… he wasn’t flying… Sammy was flying. OH GOD SAMMY WAS FLYING!? Since when could small kids fly!? What was happening in this world that small kids had superpowers!? What if they got into bad accidents with them—Mathias let out an uneasy laugh to spite himself. He was going to a superhero school after all.
But oh how he hated his feet being off the ground! Flying wasn’t exactly something he enjoyed. He never understood how anyone could enjoy it. It was scary and there was always that off chance that one could fall to their deaths. And what if he fell to his death right now! He wasn’t—oh. He was on the ground now. Inside of the cage…
With the bear. He looked at the bear again, and flashed it an uneasy grin, before sliding over to Johnnie, who was continuing to huddle within himself. Mathias could feel a small sliver of sadness pass over his panic, before he paced over to the small boy, “…J-Johnnie?” He grabbed a hold of the boy’s arm, but the boy immediately pulled it away, letting out a scream of surprise, which caused Mathias to glance back over nervously at the bear, who in fact, seemed to surveying the two, and while it wasn’t doing anything to them, it was still watching. Watching ever so attentively.
But Mathias didn’t let this phase him. He continued trying to get the boy’s attention, but to no use. The boy was scared out of his wits. He needed Natalia. If both of them were there, maybe the boy would budge. He began to look around for Sammy, but he noticed that Sammy was no back over the fence, and was standing rather nervously next to Natalia again.
“Sammy... you need to help me bring over Natalia! Johnnie isn’t listening!” He pulled his lips tightly together. Certainly the small boy who seemed to possess super strength and flying abilities would be able to help them out some more…
Just as Mathias was pacing in circles, his troubled state clear on his face, Natalia was still, forcing herself to think of a good idea. She was usually so good in these sort of high-stress situations, even if she generally wasn’t the one who did the thinking. She was better at acting on command. However, this didn’t mean she was incapable of thinking of an idea herself.
Her eyes wandered over the scene, a cool expression on her face. Bear, child, fence, panicking Dane, children. Bear, child, fence, panicking Dane, children. Powers. Body manipulation through blood and somewhat-more-than-human strength, and whatever Mathias had, though it was probably as useless as her own in this situation. Not to mention, they were in the city, where the use of their powers would probably be unwise.
There were only two resolutions she could think of.
One of them was contacting the nearest worker, but she could tell that that would probably be a bad idea. She and Mathias would get in a lot of trouble, as would the children, as would even the zookeepers. Besides, she knew they were capable of solving this.
The second was, it seemed, climbing the fence and retrieving the child. It actually wasn’t that bad of a possibility; the only problem would be doing it in a way that wouldn’t upset the bear. If it came to that… she really didn’t want to engage in hand-to-hand combat with a bear, especially in a place where it’s supposed to be free from harm.
That aside, it was the only other alternative they had other than calling a zookeeper. She was about to turn to Mathias to let him know, but he beat her to it, his hand on her shoulder as he said, “Natalia, I have a plan! We can climb that fence there.”
So he wasn’t just panicking this entire time? That was a relief to know, and her respect for him slipped up a notch.
“Once we climb the fence,” he continued, “we will try to get Johnny to calm down a bit, and then we’ll try to see if we can get him to come with us back to the other side.”
Natalia nodded, “da, I was thinking the same thing myself. We must be careful not to disturb the bear.” Mathias took off towards the exhibit, and he seemed much calmer. That. Was definitely a good thing.
Natalia turned to the children, kneeling down to speak to them. “Now, little ones, Mathias and I are going to go get Johnny back. It would be good if you just stayed here, do not leave or make any trouble, da? If you are well-behaved, you will get a treat, understand?”
Sammy looked up at her nervously. “A-are you gonna go over the fence?”
She sighed. “Da, we are, and it is something you should never do, am I clear?”
Sammy bit his lip. “U-um, Na-Nata?”
“I… I can help!”
Natalia gave a small smile, “Sammy, that is kind of you to offer, but--”
“No, no, no! I really can! I can, I promise!” He took off after Mathias without warning.
“Sammy!” Natalia called, running after him when she was stopped by the sight of the young boy… lifting Mathias up… into the air… and over the cage.
She stared, hearing the amazed gasps of the other children behind her. Sammy could fly.
Of course, it wasn’t exactly too surprising once thinking about it, since it seemed powers were becoming more and more common, but still. What were the chances that this little boy had them? It seemed he had strength that probably wasn’t as strong as her own, but would be in the future.
Natalia ran after them, stopping at the gate and observing the scene before her, going through it again in her head.
Sammy can fly. Mathias, Sammy, and Johnny were on the other side of the fence. So was the bear. Natalia was probably the only one who could handle the bear if it came down to it. She was on the wrong side of the fence. Johnny looked horrible. He was probably terrified out of his mind.
She looked up at the fence. High, but not too high. Nothing was ever too high for her. She had ample experience in such things [so what if it was trying to get to her brother?], so she started to make for the fence when Sammy flew over and landed next to her.
“S-see? Told ya I can help.” He said, beaming up at her.
She was about to answer when Mathias called from behind the fence, “Sammy... you need to help me bring over Natalia! Johnnie isn’t listening!”
She wasn’t about to let this boy endanger himself for a second time, so before he could do anything, she slipped her shoe into one of the holes of the fence, and began her climb up the fence. She called down to Sammy as she climbed, “stay right here, Sammy. We may need your help again, but for now, I want you to stay where it is safe, do you hear me?”
“Nyet! Stay until Mathias or myself says otherwise!”
She was on the other side of the fence, and she glanced over at the bear wearily before calmly making her way to where Johnny and Mathias were.
“I told him not to come over again until we instruct him to,” she informed him, then turned her attention to the boy.
Post by MATHIAS ANDERSEN on May 19, 2011 12:05:36 GMT -5
“Nyet! Stay until Mathias or myself says otherwise!”
Mathias felt his gaze travel towards Natalia. His face probably held a look of apprehension and worry and he knew it. Why couldn’t the kid just listen to him? Mathias was only going to help wasn’t he? Why couldn’t the kid see that!? But then his mind suddenly realized that the boy was only five or six years old at the most. All he probably knew that was that he was stuck in extremely close proximity to a large dangerous mammal. Heck, Mathias was eighteen years old himself and he wouldn’t put it past himself to act in the same way. Well maybe he wouldn’t be this terrified, but he was definitely starting to get some what panicky by now.
Looking away from Johnny and past Natalia, the bear didn’t seem to be all that interested in them, which wasn’t exactly a huge surprise on his part, but he was still extremely worried, what would the staff say upon seeing the two teens in a cage with a frigging bear?! They’d surely be kicked out of the zoo! Then what if the zoo informed the school!? Would they be kicked out of school as well!? Mathias wasn’t about to get kicked out of school just yet! His year was just beginning! He hadn’t been a senior for more than a month or so, and on top of that, he had only just met some really awesome people that he wanted to get to know better! No, he couldn’t be sent home! He couldn’t!
“H-hey Johnny…” Mathias uttered under his breath, holding his hand outwards towards the poor kid, “We should get out of here… the bear doesn’t like h—” No he couldn’t say that, that would just freak the kid out even more! He wasn’t about to let his poor young friend panic anymore than was necessary. Plus, Mathias could tell that the boy was about to have an aneurism as it was. The poor kid didn’t need anything else on his plate.
But the boy still wasn’t responding. Why wasn’t he responding!? Didn’t the kid know that Mathias really needed to know that he was okay, before at least trying to find a way out of this? But no, the kid simply left his head buried into his knees, all the while shaking violently. Mathias could tell this was a result of his fears, “H-hey Johnnie… you don’t have to be afraid… we are here to help you okay? Natalia is going to help you as well you know! We will protect you!” Mathias tried to keep his voice low and at the same time reassuring so that Johnnie would hopefully have some hope in him.
But he could tell his words weren’t working, so slowly and surely, he placed his hand on the small boy’s shoulder, unsure as to whether or not he should’ve just lifted the child into the air and held his close until his nerves were calmed, or if he should’ve continued trying to get the boy to come out of his hiding spot with his words.
He ended up opting for the first choice, and he soon found himself slipping his hands underneath the boy’s arms and hoisting the boy into the air and onto his chest. The boy almost immediately reacted by wrapping his arms around Mathias’ shoulder, and burying his head into the base of his neck. His grip upon Mathias was so tight that Mathias literally thought that Johnny was going to end up choking him to death. But Mathias certainly understood the small boy’s fears and he found himself holding the boy tightly as well. Mathias used his free hand to pull Natalia over as well, figuring that maybe having the both of them there would help the kid realize that he was safe and that no one was going to hurt him. Not Natalia, not the zookeepers, not himself, not even the bear. He wasn’t going to get hurt.
“See little guy? You are going to be just fine. You don’t have to worry about that mean old bear… me and Natalia will keep you nice and safe okay?” Mathias felt himself breathe a sigh of relief when the boy nodded a short response into his shoulder. So yeah, maybe the boy was still nearly choking him to death, and clinging to him, but a nodding was at least a step in the right direction wasn’t it? Mathias definitely thought so.
He then looked once more towards Natalia, “So what now? Should we ask for Sammie’s help again?” He had no idea how he was going to climb a fence with fifty or sixty extra pounds of weight attached to him. If Johnny could lift him, (Mathias was by no means a light person, mind you.) then would both him and Johnny be too much weight for him? Mathias knew that he couldn’t let Sammie carry Johnny with him in this state, Johnny would probably end up having some kind of seizure.
And since he didn’t really have the answer, he looked to Natalia to give him the answer.
Natalia had let her hand wander to stroke the young boy’s hair lightly as Mathias reassured him that he would be okay, that they wouldn’t let anything happen to him. The boy responded to his words, which was definitely a good sign. She began to re-access the situation.
Johnny is with Mathias. The three of them needed to be over the fence. Both she and Mathias were able to climb the fence, but Mathias probably couldn’t do that and carry a little boy at the same time--
“So what now? Should we ask for Sammie’s help again?” Mathias was looking to her for help.
She was only a little surprised when she realized he had run out of ideas. Well, he’d done this much, so she figured it was time to take the reins.
She quickly glanced around again. The bear was only watching curiously, possibly only mildly disturbed about their being there. That was good. She looked to the fence. Not too far away from where they were standing. It wasn’t too, too high, either. Something ghosted through her memory, and she knew what to do.
“Mathias, I will take Johnny over the fence. Stay absolutely calm. We will not allow Sammie to put himself in danger again. Follow whenever you are ready.” With this, she carefully snaked her arms around the smaller boy’s middle, gently easing him into her arms.
Without another word, she cautiously but quickly made her way to the fence, glancing at the bear, Johnny, and the fence all in turns. Adjusting the clinging boy wasn’t too difficult, and soon enough, one of her arms was wrapped securely around him while the other gripped the fence in front of her.