|The General's Daughter, School Daze
Author: Kody Wright PM
Sequal to Blondie's Boys. Jackie must adjust to her new life, Daniel's ex-girlfriend wants him back, her father leaves the military to open a flight school and Jackie goes undercover as a Greaser to help troubled kids in the face of an abusive teacher. story spans over a few years, Reviews are always welcomed. This story can be found on websites listed in my bio.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 13 - Words: 62,125 - Reviews: 30 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 09-14-12 - Published: 08-03-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3047353
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Home Sweet Home
Full of cheer and delight, Daniel walked into his parent's farmhouse with a contract in hand. He just returned from an interview with the high school principle for his old job. Sporting his army dress uniform he removed his crusher hat and started to undo his necktie.
He yelled out from the hallway mirror, where he hung his jacket, "You were right, Mom. The uniform made the difference. I got my old job back."
She peered in from the kitchen doorway, "That's wonderful, honey. That uniform make you look very handsome. And a little guilt doesn't hurt."
He looked at his own reflection in the mirror as his mind reflected the latter part of the statement, "A little guilt doesn't hurt?" His own mother just said something his wife would have come up with. "That's something Jackie would say," he told her.
"Jackie would say what?" asked Bea. "That you look handsome in the uniform? Any woman can see that."
"No, a little guilt wouldn't hurt."
"Well, it wouldn't," replied Bea. "You served your country when they asked you too. You should get some recognition for that."
Daniel walked over to her and kissed her on the forehead, "Thank you, Mom." He took a deep breath; the aroma coming from the kitchen tickled his nostrils. "What's for dinner?"
"Pot-roast," she replied. "Now, go change and tell Davy and Dot to get cleaned up."
"I will," he assured, "be nice when Jackie's back home."
Bea groaned, "I suppose."
"What's wrong?" asked he.
"I don't understand your infatuation with her," admitted Bea.
Flabbergasted by his mother confession, he couldn't understand why his mother didn't seem to like Jackie. Everyone liked Jackie. His crew adored her, even after they discovered the truth. His father was very impressed she understood his trivium paper. His brother was infatuated with her and even Dot was starting to like her. Yet, his mother seemed distant from the new family member.
"Jackie, she's brilliant, beautiful woman. Everybody likes her. She's rather impressive," he stated.
Bea rolled her eyes, "She has yet to do anything to impress me or make believe she is genuine. Yes, she beautiful, no doubt…And she seems rather intelligent, but she isn't all that special. I'm not the type of person to be rolled over by looks and a degree. If she wants my trust then she has to earn it."
"She earned it, Mom. I can't tell you what happened overseas but she earned it."
"No, she earned your trust overseas, your heart, your infatuation…Not mine, Daniel."
"What do you want her to do?" asked Daniel. "Give up flying and start knitting?"
"No," replied Bea, "she needs to prove to me where her heart is. Is it with you or are you just some handsome captain that she became infatuated with?"
"Jackie nearly gave her life for me, for those men on that plane; don't doubt her like this, Mom."
"What exactly happened on that plane?" asked she.
He looked around to make sure no one heard, "She dressed up like a boy, snuck into the Air Force and got herself assigned as my navigator. Two times I was injured. The first time in the leg. Frank, my co-pilot was knocked out. I knew Jackie was a licensed pilot and she told me that she flew a B-17 before the war with her father. She took over as co-pilot and helped me fly the bird back. The next time I was injured, it was the worst fighting we had seen. The cockpit took a direct hit, Frank was disoriented, and I was knocked out for two days.
Jackie was forced to take the controls by herself. They were still fighting and the cockpit, with a giant hole in it, was a sitting duck. The German's went right for it, shot it up good and Jackie was hit with a piece of shrapnel in her chest. It was embedded by her heart. She didn't tell anyone, she thought it was fatal and knew if she pulled the metal out she would bleed faster. So, she flew a crippled plane, severely injured herself, back to base where she nearly died.
There's more, Mom. Her father is a brigadier general and he found out she snuck into his Air Force. He needed to get her out without exposing what she did or it would have ruined him. So, her father had the surgeons declare that my navigator died on the operating table. Told us all that she was dead. Transferred her to London and then tried to sneak her out of the country on a hospital ship. Jackie refused to get on the ship. She knew something wasn't right but didn't know her father told everyone she was dead. That was the worst four weeks of my life, Mom. When I thought she was dead. I can't lose her again, it hurt too much."
"What on earth possessed her to sneak into the Air Force?" gasped Bea.
"The RAF," explained Daniel. "They ticked her off. They're the ones who started that little shenanigan. During the German blitz, they dressed her up like a boy and stuck her in a Hurricane and sent her up to fight the Germans. When we entered the war, they tried to hide what they did and sweep it all under the rug. She had her RAF file and that's how she got in the Air Force. She also blackmailed the RAF with it, and then her father blackmailed them with it too. Apparently, I own a Spitfire now. They also provided us with our reception dinner. Her old man can blackmail like the best. Dad would be impressed."
Bea rolled her eyes, "Oh lord, didn't Jackie have any mother figure in her life? Or was it just her father, the blackmailing general?"
"She grew up in the military under her father's protective arm. The man taught her everything about the military, even how to dogfight in a bi-plane. When her father discovered her, a few weeks before she was injured, I thought she was done, he would have her out. I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. There this top level general is, standing before the troops for inspection and he's arguing with this lowly lieutenant, who is telling him to get back to work that he was embarrassing her. I couldn't believe it! They were face to face bickering. I never saw anything like it. Jackie wants to quite smoking; her old man had her smoking at twelve years old. Could drink, smoke, he didn't care. His parenting style was highly unorthodox."
"Oh lord," replied Bea, "her father sounds like a bad influence."
Daniel nodded, "I agree."
"I promise that I will try to get to know her better, but no guarantees. Relationships are a two way street."
Daniel kissed her once more, "Thank you, just give her a chance, Mom."
Two weeks later Jackie had returned from Texas with instructions from her father to get more information on the abandoned air field. She thought his idea of opening a flight school was silly. A frivolous and absurd plan that would only eat up his savings for his retirement. She always assumed her father would remain in the military for the rest of his life. She never imagined him as a retired general, wearing civilian clothing.
Everything seemed to be changing so fast. Her godfather and father were both retiring from their commissions, her husband was going back to being a teacher, she was expected to attend college in the fall, and on top of all that she still needed to find her own home.
Not far from the abandoned field was an old farmhouse that was for sale. She convinced Daniel to come with her to see the home. It was rather run down. An elderly woman had lived in the home for decades. And the home had not had any major improvements in the same time frame.
The house was large but had no electricity or running water. The kitchen housed a wood fired stove. The home sported three fireplaces and a root cellar. Old barns sat behind the house and overgrown fields swayed in the wind.
The house was structurally sound, just needed some minor roofing repairs. A fresh coat of paint and it would look brand new. Brand new that is, if the century was the previous.
Daniel's expression said it all upon opening the ice box and realizing the house would need wiring just to have a refrigerator. He closed the box and looked at the kitchen stove. Lifting the solid iron plate and peaking inside the dirty soot lined box.
The furniture was nice, but very old. The kitchen table had been repaired a number of time and was constructed with wooden pegs instead of nails. The box of wood by the stove a reminder of just how primitive the home remained in the modern age.
"No electricity," he looked at his infatuated wife, "sure you want this place?"
Jackie always dreamed of a large home filled with antique furniture. The house seemed to beg her to come and live inside its thick walls. As if the house was calling for her, she fell in love with the old place.
"I know it needs improvements," replied Jackie, "but it's nice and big, the furniture comes with it. Lots of room and right down the road from the airfield that Dad wants."
He grimaced, "Yeah, your father coming to town wasn't exactly what I had in mind for us."
"What did you have in mind?" asked Jackie.
"I thought we would buy one of those new houses they are developing in the track on the other side of town. I would go to work, you get your degree, start a family, you know…Normal stuff."
Jackie gave him a cockeyed look, "Define 'normal?'"
He held up a hand, "I know, I know…You're family isn't exactly normal."
"And yours is?" she asked snickering.
"More normal than yours," he retorted.
She laughed, "You are twenty-eight years old. You have a thirty year old brother who is mentally challenged and a ten your old sister who is just…Challenged. Your mother treats your ex-girlfriend, from three years ago, like she is family and your father…Actually, he's pretty nice. Kind of reminds me of you."
He rolled his eyes, "Okay, okay…Mine's not normal either. What are going to do with a house that has seven bedrooms? You planning on a lot of kids?"
"No silly," she replied. "One bedroom is for Davy when he comes to visit and one is for my Dad. A guest room for Uncle Don…I think will Don will get his own place."
Daniel wrinkled his nose, "Your father? Can't he share a place with Uncle Don?"
"No," shaking her head, "neither would go for that. Dad would stay with us."
Daniel found the assumption absurd. A retried general moving into a room in his daughter's house. He embraced her comfortingly.
"I'm sure your father will want his own place, not live with us."
She shook her head, "No, he won't."
Daniel shrugged the assertion off as Jackie just being worried for her father, for no man would want to just move into his child's home with her new husband. No sane man, anyways.
When Davy heard that Jackie and Daniel were buying their own home he was overcome with emotions. He bawled, tears streaming down his face, his complexion turning red with anger and sorrow.
"You can move out," he sniffled, "you can't leave us."
Daniel tried to assure his brother, "Davy, it's okay. You can come and visit us."
Davy pushed his brother back, "No, you leave, Jackie stays. She stays; she marries me, not you."
Dumbfounded he started to laugh, "Davy, that's the dumbest I've ever heard."
His brother grew enraged, "Is not! You marry, Megan. I marry, Jackie. I love Jackie more than you."
Daniel tried not to laugh but found his brother's fit rather amusing. Unable to hold back the chortle his found himself grabbing his stomach as he bent over in reaction to the assertion in uncontrollable laughter.
His brother grew even more enraged, "Don't laugh at me." He started to cry even more.
Jackie stepped in-between the two, giving Daniel a dirty look for acting so childish. She spoke to Davy in a calm, soothing voice.
"It's okay, Davy. We're buying a big farmhouse, just like this one and you will have your own room. You can come and stay with us whenever you want too. You have your room here and you will have your room with us. You have two homes now."
"You don't love me?" asked Davy, his lip quivered in fear.
Her eyes soften, "Davy, I will always love you no matter what."
"You don't love me as much as you love Daniel," he pouted.
She smiled at him, "I love you differently than Daniel. Just as much as Daniel, just differently. You are the sweetest man that I ever met and you stole my heart."
He sucked in a breath, fearing he was somehow in trouble, "I didn't mean to steal anything."
She giggled, "It's a figure of speech, Davy. You didn't steal anything; you're not in any trouble. You have me and Daniel and you always have us. Better?"
He nodded, "Okay," his eyes lit up, "I get my own room at your house too?"
"Yes you do," she beamed, "and you get to decorate it just the way you want it too. And that's not all. There is an abandoned airport not far from the house. My father and uncle are looking into buying it, if they do, they want to start a flight school and you will get to see airplane flying all the time."
He started to bounce up and down on his heels excitedly, "Really? Air planes?"
She grinned, "If they can pull that stunt off. However, there is a field and a large barn to store my bi-plane in and I can give you air plane rides when you come to visit us."
"Really?" he became even more excited. "I never been in an airplane before."
Daniel cautioned, "Davy's heart, Jackie."
She assured him, "I know he has a bad heart. I not gonna do stunts are anything like that. Just fly in circles slowly."
She looked upon Davy's very excited face. For a moment she wondered just what could cause his handicap. It wasn't like anything she had seen or read before. Elfin features, heart problems and high blood pressure. His mental growth was delayed but he was overly social, very charming and loved music. The man seemed to be a music genius to Jackie. She loved listening to him play the piano in the sitting room. For hours on end the man would play, and from memory, never even needed to look at music. She wondered if he could even read music. His musical aptitude just amazed her as much as air planes amazed Davy.
"I'm also going to make sure you have a piano at my house to use. And my father is coming too. He can play the guitar and I think you and my father would play really well together."
He asked, "What's your dad like? Will he be living with us too?"
"Dad get's his own room too," she nodded, "my Dad's a pilot and is retiring from the military. He's gonna absolutely adore you."
"Maybe your dad and me can be friends?"
"Good friends," Jackie agreed.
Daniel rolled his eyes, "You're father is not gonna wanna live with us. Maybe visit, but not live. And Davy, her father is rather difficult to get along with. He doesn't warm up to strangers easy. You're gonna have to give him time."
Crossing her arms Jackie turned and corrected him, "My father doesn't warm up to you easily, Daniel. You stole me away from him. Someone like Davy, he would adopt as his own and then use it against you."
He pondered the assertion, "I can see him doing that. Davy, don't let her father pick on me, okay?"
Davy nodded, "Okay."
Jackie couldn't help but snicker, "After that laughing fit you had, Daniel…Davy will probably recruit my father to pick on you."
Her husband shushed her, "Don't give him any ideas."
Weeks had passed and her father finally came home from overseas. The war in Europe hand ended and after seen two world wars, Fred had enough of the military. Retirement was a welcome change for the man. He found the farmhouse using the directions Jackie had sent him.
He drove onto the dirt drive in a used, rusty blue pickup truck he bought upon his discharge. He pulled up to the house and parked next to Daniel's car. He dismounted the truck and reached in the bed to retrieve his bag. After a lifetime in the military the man accumulated very little. Just a foot locker full of mementoes and a bag of clothing.
Swung the duffle bag over his shoulder and walked in the front door, inspecting the area as he entered. Looking for signs of structure decay, he nodded for so far everything looked sound.
Upon hearing his vehicle, Jackie started down the staircase. Her eyes landed on him, dressed in military issued surplus, his insignia was missing but he still looked the same.
"Dad," she greeted with open arms.
He looked up the stairs and spotted her, wearing blue dungarees and a red plaid man's shirt. A handkerchief over her hair to protect it from the dirty as she cleaned the dusty old house, still holding a rag in her hand.
He grinned, "Working I see."
Looking at her hand she blushed, "Oh that."
She put the rage down on a table at end of the stairs and then wrapped her arms around her father.
He squeezed her tight, "I missed you."
"I missed you too, Dad."
He looked around, "You kill Daniel and bury him in the backyard yet?"
Daniel spoke from the kitchen doorway, "No…Sorry, Fred…Not yet, nice try though."
He looked at his daughter, "Want me too?"
She snickered, "No, Dad…Very funny."
Daniel huffed, "I didn't that was very funny."
"You have to understand my father's sense of humor," Jackie told him.
Daniel waved his hand, "Which is…Kill Daniel?"
Fred gave his best poker face to the man, causing Daniel to wonder even more if the man truly wished him dead.
"Um, how about a tour of the house, Fred?" he changed the subject.
Fred replied, "Good idea, Daniel."
After taking the general on a tour that started with the foundation, they worked their way up each level of the home. Finally to the upstairs level.
She told him, "We got seven bedrooms, Dad."
Fred nodded, "Which one is mine?"
Daniel's mouth dropped as he realized Jackie was right about Fred's wishes.
She pointed, "The one the end. It has a nice view is rather roomy. The bed is comfy too."
The retired general walked into the designated room. Noted the old furniture: A single size bed, a six drawer dresser with an oval mirror. A brand new throw rug by the bed and a clear space at the foot to put his locker. White curtains hung on two standard size windows, each over looking the surrounding country side. A small closet and an empty bookshelf that was built right into the blue painted walls.
"Nice," he replied, "Footlocker can go right there. Got room for pictures and books too."
Daniel stuttered, "Wouldn't you rather have a large apartment, Fred? A young, handsome man like you would have lots of lady friends, right?"
He shook his head, "Nope, don't have any lady friends and not looking for any." The duffle bag slid off his shoulder and onto the bed. He went over to the dresser and opened the drawer. Then looked up at Daniel, who stood mouth gaping wide. "What?" asked Fred.
"Just thought you would be more interested in your own place," replied Daniel.
Fred shrugged, "Nope," he looked at his daughter, "ya told him I would be living with you, right?"
She nodded, "Oh yeah, he didn't believe me. Thought no man would want to live with his daughter."
Fred gave a funny look, "Why would he say that? A father and his daughter are family. Father's love their daughters and help them. How much you want in rent, kid?"
Jackie shook her head, "You don't have to pay us, Dad."
Daniel countered, "Um, rent…Let's see…What's the going rate?"
She asked her husband, "Suddenly it's okay if Dad pays rent?"
"He offered," Daniel defended.
"A man pays his own way," Fred stated. "How about ten dollars a month?"
"Sounds good," replied Daniel who suddenly had a financial motive to keep his father-in-law near.
"Daniel," she scolded.
He defended, "Honey, we just bought a house that needs a lot of work and I won't get paid till school starts back up. We could use the money."
"Okay," she obviously wasn't going talk either man out of the issue. "I'll let you two discuss money. How about the airport, Dad? Where ya gonna get the money for that?"
"Already got it," he proclaimed. "Got funding for the flight school too. Everything is in the works."
She blinked in surprise, "What did you do, rob a bank?"
"Nope," Fred grinned, "a college. The school is funding it. Gonna have a new program for pilots."
Daniel looked at the man in total disbelief, "You got the college to fund your flight school and buy you an airport?"
Fred nodded, "Yup."
"How did you do that?" asked he.
Fred smiled mischievously, "I got my sources. It's not what ya know; it's who ya know."
Later that day, Jackie had her father give her a ride to Daniel's parent's house to help collect some things and bring Davy to the old farm house. He wanted to see his new room and promised Daniel he would help work on the house.
"I want to warn you about, Daniel's brother Davy, Dad."
He shrugged from behind the wheel, "What about him?"
"He's thirty years old and has something wrong with him. He's retarded. The doctors don't know what caused it. He's been to the school's pre-med program a few times as a lab rat. They take blood from him trying to figure out what's wrong."
"He's retarded?" asked Fred.
"He's like a little kid but in a grown up body. Loves airplanes though. He has a heart problem and high blood pressure. You'll know what I mean when you see him. His features are really off."
Fred glanced over at her, her hand one her chin, gazing out the window in deep thought. She was obviously thinking about the mentally disabled man. Her mind churned through every medical book she ever came across and nothing fit with Davy's problems.
"Trying to figure out what's wrong with him?"
She nodded, "I'm at a lost, Dad. I sat down with Clyde and went over a list of issue Davy has. Nothing really fits though."
"What's his issues?" asked Fred.
She replied, "His features of elfin like, he's very sensitive to sounds and textures. Very musical, can play any instrument he touches, his heart is weak, his blood pressure is hard to control, he has a narrowing in his aorta, that's causing the heart issues, he's got stomach issues, tends to get heartburn a lot, he shorter than Daniel, kind of stopped growing early. He's very charming, very social. I asked him if he knew a stranger he was talking too in town, he asked 'what's a stranger?' Talks to anyone, even introduces himself to little kids. We were in town, in the malt shop and he's walking around shaking every hand of every person in there. Even little babies. Most town people know him but some people were equally surprised as me.
Daniel knew he would do that, tried to stop him. Then Davy started to cry cause he thought he did something wrong. It was just heartbreaking to see him cry."
Puzzled he had to admit, "Never heard of anyone like that, Jackie. I once met a teenage boy with Down Syndrome. He was a brother of one of the recruits we had. But it doesn't sound anything like what he had."
"It's not Down Syndrome, Dad. But it is a syndrome. I think the supravalvular aortic issue is part of the syndrome. It has to be genetic, not from an injury or anything like that."
"The super what?"
"It's the medial term for the narrowed aorta," she replied. "I know the college is very interested in him, but I hate seeing him turned into research and not get any answers."
He father asked, "So, what ya gonna do?"
She sighed, "I'm gonna find him a surgeon that can fix his heart and win a race to pay for it."
Fred added, "How about we race, to raise money for Davy's medical expenses? Get a bunch of sponsors to back us up for a humanitarian cause. For a mentally retarded man who needs his heart fixed. After years of fighting this war, I think helping Davy will be just what the people need. You know a morale boost. And I will help you find him a surgeon. Davy sounds like a great guy, Jackie."
"He's adorable, Dad. Cute as Daniel, just loves people and planes." She grinned, "No one is a stranger to him, he just so open and loving."
"Cute as Daniel? That ain't saying much," her father jested. He was intrigued by Davy and was eager to meet him.
As the pulled into the drive of Davy's home, the handicapped man stood outside in the front yard, trying very hard to get his model airplane to fly. Wearing his dungarees and red shirt, his hair a bit messy from the wind. His looked at the truck and didn't recognize the vehicle. He couldn't figure out who it was but ran up to the truck to greet the stranger behind the wheel.
"Hi, I'm Davy," he peered into the driver. He didn't recognize Fred and merely waited for Fred to say his name. Then his eyes settled on Jackie sitting shotgun. "Jackie? You're home!"
"Davy, this my father, Fred. Dad, meet Davy."
Davy stuck out his hand, "Nice to meet you."
Shaking the hand, "Nice to meet you too, Davy"
"You're Jackie's dad?"
"Yes I am," replied Fred.
Davy pondered, "Since Jackie is now my sister does this mean I have two dads now?"
Grinning from ear to ear she looked at her father, "He's adorable, Dad."
Fred looked upon the innocent face and naïve child like manner of the man. He couldn't help but like Davy immediately. He was a child in a grown man's body.
Fred nodded, "If you want, I can be your dad too."
Davy wondered, "Will that be okay with my mom and dad?"
Jackie smiled at him, "I think that will be okay. Your dad, Clyde already asked me to call him 'Dad.' So, I think you can call my dad, 'Dad' if you wanted. Dad always wanted a son, now he's got one."
"Okay," Davy thought about the proposal, "is Daniel his son too?"
Fred huffed, "Nope, just you. You're a special kind of guy and I'll make that exception just for you. You're my daughter's adopted brother, so…You're my adopted son. Deal?"
"Deal," Davy shook his hand grinning, "wait till I tell Daniel that I got two dads now."