A/N: I want to take this time to thank everyone who still reads this.
I'm extremely proud of how this story has turned out, and hope that
everyone who took the time to read this knows how much I appreciate
them. This is the longest running story I've ever created and hope to
hold everyone's interest until the end, which by the way is coming up
pretty soon. I only expect My United States of Whatever to have five
or so chapters left, so keep your patience with me as I try my best to
get them written and posted up!
Credit belongs to Becky, who proof read this for me and added a couple
paragraphs of her own wit and charm.
Chapter 15: Everything Comes Crashing Down
April, 1776
Tearar was home from Virginia. She told them almost everything that
had happened; from the group spurning of the Madison family to the
trip to Williamsburg. Of course she neglected to tell them how close
she and James had become, but then again everyone could sense it from
the way she practically skipped when she walked now. Katrina was still
in Maryland or wherever. She promised she wouldn't give away the
location of the army in case the letter fell into the wrong hands, so
the girls never really had a location to write to. All letters were
given to Jessie, who then snuck them into the hands of a courier who
rode from Congress to the army with messages of correspondence.
The now converted inn was going over well. They would only make supper
for their patrons on the weekends, since that's when Jessie found
herself home and able to cook. Danielle and Becky were of no help with
the cooking whatsoever, but surprised everyone when in the first week
turned out to be managing geniuses. As it turned out, they could run
an inn just fine themselves and not burn down the building while
Jessie continued to work in Congress, turning out a nice little profit
for themselves and Tearar, who along with Katrina now officially owned
the building.
"Hey, Skelly?" Danielle asked one evening at the Inn. Becky was in the
kitchen, cleaning glasses and humming to herself. She looked over the
counter at Danielle, who was having a drink of water.
"Yes?" Becky asked, setting her glass down.
"I miss Pikachu. And Yoohoo," replied Danielle, referring to the
popular "chocolate flavored" drink that she was so fond of.
"I know how you feel. I miss Luigi and Coca-Cola."
"Hey! We should invent Coke. We'd be millionaires! Then we could build
a time machine and get the hell back to our time." Danielle said,
standing suddenly.
"Here's an idea: How about you find the recipe for Coke? Oh wait, it's
locked up in a vault! Stop dreaming and help me put away these
dishes." Becky retorted, rolling her eyes and putting the clean glass
in a cabinet with a group of similar shot glasses..
".Poseur," Danielle said and hopped up on the counter, rolled across
it, and promptly fell on the ground.
Becky's sister would spend most of her nights tossing and turning,
muttering to herself and feet kicking the wall as she struggled
against an invisible force in her dreams. She was barely home and even
missed the grand opening of their inn. Even when she was at dinner she
would hardly speak; opening and closing her mouth at certain junctures
as if she wanted to tell them something but just couldn't get it out.
Occasionally Danielle would get up to get a glass of water and find
that Jessie would be doing something in the kitchen, even though it
was in the middle of the night and she would have to be up and at work
in a few short hours. "What's wrong with you?" Danielle asked her one
particularly chilly night.
Jessie had lifted her head, large dark circles underneath her eyes,
and shrugged. "Oh, lots of stuff." She muttered, tired eyes looking at
the kettle over the fire. It whistled, steam shooting out of the
spout, and Jessie slowly rose and walked over to the kettle in order
to make herself some coffee.
"Anything you care to talk about?" Danielle persisted, wondering how
long it would be until Jessie just cracked.
"Nope." She replied, pouring the water into her mug. She placed the
kettle back over the fire using her apron as a glove and took her
black cup of coffee back with her to the waiting seat at the kitchen
table. Danielle sighed audibly and started to make her way to the back
stairwell that led upstairs from the kitchen. "Mr. Viens is coming
over tomorrow." Jessie said over her shoulder to her before Danielle
could place a foot on the stairs.
"He is?" Danielle muttered, turning around. "We haven't seen him in
months. Where has he been?" She questioned, sitting down with Jessie
at the kitchen table in order to extract more information out of her.
"Away." Jessie responded with a frown. She went to take another sip of
her coffee but instead accidentally knocked the cup over; completely
shattering the porcelain beaker. She grumbled to herself and knelt
down on the floor, picking up the pieces as if completely use to
cleaning broken glass shards.
"Jess, what's going on with you?" Danielle asked, throwing her a rag
she had retrieved from the counter. Jessie grabbed the rag off of her
head and began to soak up the hot coffee, barely flinching as the
liquid touched her palm. "What the hell are you doing?!" Danielle
cried, knocking Jessie's hand away from the rag.
Jessie narrowed her eyes and stared at Danielle. "Mer, this type of
burn doesn't bother me. I worked at Dunkin' Donuts, remember?"
"Doesn't mean you have to act like an idiot." Danielle said with a
small pout. "What's going on with you? There's something you're not
telling us; we've all noticed over the past few months." Jessie began
to get up and dispose of the shards, Danielle continuing on. "And
besides that, where the hell was Mr. V all this time? I know you know
so don't you dare walk away!"
"Mr. V didn't go anywhere Danielle!" Jessie cried, tossing the broken
mug away. "Do you want to know what happened to Mr. Viens?" Danielle
nodded. "OK then. Go get Emily. I'm going to wake up Tearar and Becky,
they need to know too. And hurry up too; it's urgent."
Danielle stared at Jessie for a moment as if the girl was going to
shout, "Just kidding! Go to bed." But the just kidding part never
came. Instead Jessie continued to glare at Danielle until she
understood that she wasn't joking; she was being completely serious
about running to get Emily in the middle of the night. Nothing was
said after that. Danielle went and got her cloak on; exiting the house
at a steady pace.
She arrived at Emily's door, puffing on her hands in order to keep
them warm. Knocking fiercely on the door, she waited until a sleepy
servant with a hastily lit lantern answered the door. "Dr. Rush
doesn't do night calls unless they're pressin' matters." She said,
rubbing her eyes open.
"Night calls?" Danielle muttered, eyebrows raised in confusion.
"If you want to see him you'll have to be going to his office in the
morning. Opens at eight." The servant said, slowly closing the door.
Danielle stuck her foot in the door just before it completely closed,
prying it back open with her hands. "No, no! You don't understand! I'm
not here to see the doctor!" She yelled. "I'm Danielle, a friend of
The servant released the door and took the time to actually look at
the person she had been keeping out. "So sorry Ms. DeChristopher!
Didn't realize it were you!" She said, inviting Danielle in
apologetically. "It's late it is, is something the matter?"
"Just go and wake up Emily for me. Tell her that it's very important
that she comes with me." Danielle told the woman, who immediately ran
off to go and wake up her employer. Mer took this time to straighten
out the cap she started wearing on her head constantly, as there were
no straightening irons in the eighteenth century and her hair was now
an unruly mess of curls and frizz. Just as she finished up with
tucking the last of the stray curls underneath the cap a bewildered
Emily came down the stairs, followed by Benjamin who looked just as
disorientated as Emily had.
"What's wrong Mer?" Emily wondered, looking Danielle, still in her
nightwear, up and down in a worried manner.
"Is someone ill or injured?" Dr. Rush added, who was currently doing
his best to tie the front of his robe. His hair, which he normally
kept in a very neat ponytail, was completely unruly and with his
glasses crookedly thrown on his nose gave him the look of a mad
"No, not at all. I just need Emily to come with me. There's a certain
matter that needs to be addressed." Danielle told them, a relieved
look sweeping over Benjamin's face.
"Oh. Oh, good." He said, slumping down next to the wall, leaving the
front of his robe messily untied.
"OK then." Emily said quietly, wondering what could possibly be so
important as she slipped on a pair of shoes that were kept in a small
"It's cold out. Might want to bring a cloak." Danielle suggested,
noticing the loose fabric of Emily's nightgown.
Benjamin took off his robe and handed it to Emily, stealing a small
kiss from her before heading back up to bed. "Don't wait up." She
called up after him with a grin as she went out the door.
It took the duo twenty minutes to get to the former seamstress shop;
Danielle who unwisely decided to walk barefoot to the Rush estate was
now paying for it with freezing cold feet. They walked into the warm
kitchen and were greeted by the tired faces of Becky and Tearar, both
holding blankets around their shoulders. Danielle and Emily sat down
and made themselves comfortable, Danielle grabbing a corner of Beck's
blanket in order to wrap her feet in it.
"Does anyone have a fucking clue as to what this is all about?" Tearar
grumbled, but was only greeted with half-hearted shrugs.
"Something about Mr. Viens." Danielle told them.
"Don't see why she had to wake us up in the middle of the night when
she could just as easily told us in the morning." Becky added, taking
a sip of a large glass of milk set beside her. The stairs creaked
behind them and Jessie appeared, holding an old cigar box in her hand.
"Oh gee Jess, you smoke cigars? On behalf of everyone, shame on you,
what a disgusting habit, don't ever do it again, I hope you learned
your lesson. Now let's go to bed." Becky said, beginning to stand.
Jessie pushed her down and sat down on top of the table, eyes gazing
straight ahead.
"As you may have noticed, Mr. Viens has been missing for quite a
while." Jessie began faintly, holding on tight to her cigar box.
"We have. So, where is he?" Tearar urged her on, desperate to get back
to sleep. She had been having a good dream about Crispin Glover.
"And what does this have to do with what's in that box?" Emily asked.
"And why couldn't this wait?" Becky whined.
"I think the questions is, where was he? Tomorrow we'll be having him
over for dinner." Jessie corrected them. The four girls looked at her,
thoroughly confused but now attentive. She turned herself around. "Mr.
Viens was being held in jail." She told them, producing a paper from
the cigar box.
"Jail?" Tearar repeated, Jessie handing her a piece of parchment.
"What's this?"
"The warrant for his arrest." Jessie told her.
The parchment was handed to Emily, who held on to it with tears
forming in her eyes. "Why would anyone want to arrest Mr. Viens?" She
said, Becky reading the paper over her shoulder.
"Wanted for espionage and treason? Oh my god, this is serious!" Becky
gasped, Danielle snatching the paper away from her friend in order to
see it for herself. "Why him? Mr. Viens isn't a spy!"
"Someone in Congress thought he was. The warrant showed up right after
Thomas Paine came out with Common Sense. He was arrested in January."
Jessie told them. They were all completely shocked, if not completely
frightened by the very thought of their beloved art teacher being
thrown in jail for treason. They didn't say it out loud to Jessie, she
didn't need them to. Their pale faces and wide eyes told her.
"They hang people for that kind of accusation!" Tearar remembered
fearfully. "Is he ok? How did he escape?"
"I bailed him out." Jessie replied, producing yet another paper. "All
my savings down the drain." She murmured, giving Emily the paper in
hand. On it was scribbled the amount Jessie had kept in said cigar
box, but it was crossed out and replaced with a much smaller figure.
"But you can't just bail people out of this type of thing." Emily
said, glancing quickly at the paper. "I mean, it's not like he stole
something. He was accused of treason."
"Luckily Mr. Viens made a lot of friends in Congress when he did his
portrait work. I have a couple of links in Congress; after talking to
a delegate friend of mine he did some asking around on behalf of Mr.
V." Jessie explained. "A delegate who happened to be a lawyer took it
upon himself to defend Mr. Viens and get him out of jail before they
could hang him."
"So they were going to kill him?" Danielle asked, wanting to confirm
the hideous notion. There was an eerie silence before Jessie spoke.
"They got pretty close." Jessie admitted. "The trial dragged on for
months and months before he was finally acquitted of all charges. He
was released just two days ago."
"Who would accuse him?" Emily said, wiping at her eyes so nobody could
see that she was almost crying. "I mean, what has he ever done that
would make someone think he was a spy?"
"And who would believe whatever lies that Congressman made up?" Becky
Jessie got off the table and sighed, looking at the fire in the
corner. She couldn't face them now. "This goes deeper than we ever
could have possibly imagined." She said, voice quaking. "God, I should
have listened to Danielle and Becky. I should have listened to you
instead of ignoring you!" She reprimanded herself.
Both Danielle and Becky stood up quickly, Becky knocking over her
chair inadvertently. "Jessie, does this have something to do with
Delilah?" She said, rushing over to Jessie who waved her away.
"Delilah? What about Delilah?" Emily cried out, darting her eyes
around at her friends. "What's going on! Somebody tell me!"
"Delilah? That girl who hates Emily?" Tearar asked, just as puzzled as
Emily was.
Jessie pulled herself together, motioning for Becky and Danielle to
sit down. She herself sat back down on top of the table, turning so
that this time she could look her friends in the eyes. "A while back,
maybe months ago, Becky and Danielle came to me. They had spied on one
of Delilah's dinner parties and found out that she was working for the
crown. Not only that, but she seems to have something against Emily
and those around her." Jessie began to tell them. "They warned me to
get Emily out of Philadelphia before Delilah got Emily into serious
trouble. Being the ignorant person that I am, I dismissed their
warnings figuring that Delilah couldn't possibly be that insane."
"But she is, isn't she!" Danielle shouted with a tone of triumph in
her voice.
"She is." Jessie agreed with a calm stare, shooting down the triumph
in Danielle and turning it into a stony dread that lingered in the pit
of her stomach. "Somehow she found out our connection with Mr. Viens.
I'm assuming that by throwing him in jail she was warning us of
something much worse to come."
"Much worse?" Emily repeated in a dead whisper.
"Much worse." Jessie reaffirmed. "If she knows about Mr. Viens, then
she must know about the rest of art club. If she knows who were all
are, there must be someone who knows us personally working with her."
"You're right." Becky concurred. "Much worse."
"But do you know who she's friends with in Congress?" Tearar inquired.
It was a horrible thought; Delilah having friends in Congress. No
doubt it was on everyone's minds at this point. Congress was law;
Congress controlled the government; Congress was in charge of the
army. If someone knew their names and had a powerful delegate on their
sides there was no telling what they could do, and their example was
how such an innocent man as Mr. Viens could be tried for treason
without real proof.
Jessie sat down once again, hands in her lap. She was twisting around
her dress in her fingertips. "John Dickinson; head delegate of
Pennsylvania." She said mournfully.
"Dickinson? He sounds familiar." Emily said. Truth be told, that's
what worried Emily. If she could faintly remember his name, then he
must have been important enough to have been mentioned somewhere in
the history books.
"He's anti-independence. Has very close ties with the South and pretty
much leads the Middle colonies." Becky explained, having gained all
the previous knowledge of Congress from 1776 the musical.
Jessie smiled. "That's right Beck." Her smile turned after a moment.
"How do you know Delilah's behind this whole thing? Maybe Dickinson
just had something against Mr. Viens." Tearar reasoned.
"That delegate who asked around for help is a friend of Dickinson's.
The man plainly told him that it was under Delilah Trottier's guidance
that he do away with Mr. V."
"Oh my god." Danielle muttered.
"Damn it Jess, and you work at Congress too!" Becky shouted before
being shushed by Jessie, who reminded her that they had customers
staying at their inn now.
"And that's what bothers me." Jessie started to rationalize. "I go to
Congress every single day and have to serve that man. I had to watch
as he completely destroyed the characters of our hippie art teacher
and persuaded most of the delegates from the South and the Middle to
convict him. I watched him, and I think he knew I was watching him. He
looked at me that day when Beck and Mer came into Congress and said
for me to say hello to Danielle for him like he knew her, and I didn't
even suspect a thing. I didn't realize he wasn't being friendly or
sincere, he actually knew who she was. He knows our names, where we
live, what we do, who we know. Katrina's not even safe, especially
because she's in the company of the Continental Army. He can come up
with these horrendous charges against us and we can't do a damn thing
because he's so powerful. Delilah has him wrapped around her finger."
She paused and placed her hands to her face, as if she were massaging
her temples. She seemed like to was going to sigh but instead was
overcome by a wracking, despairing sob.
"And it's all my fault." She said, words partly muffled by her hands
and her terrified tears.
"Jess, no! It's not your fault!" Emily reassured her, running up to
her and wrapping her arms around her distressed friend. Emily was
crying too. "We're in this together, don't put the blame on yourself!"

Jessie stopped her crying and slowly shrugged Emily off, sitting down
on the floor crossed-legged. "But I'm suppose to be the responsible
one. I was suppose to look out for you guys and keep you out of
trouble." She murmured.
"But you're allowed to screw up every once and a while El Presidente."
Danielle informed her.
"Don't worry, we'll figure a way out of this. All of us." Tearar added
with a grim smile, slowly crouching down to where Jessie and Emily
sat. "And we'd better get started now."
Becky nodded in agreement. "Who knows what Delilah has planned next."
She said.
"I'm not even sure where we should start." Emily said, all of the
girls in accord.
"Actually, I think I know what has to be done." Jessie declared,
looking at the small group of people she had sitting around her now.
"It requires evacuating Philly though."
"What? Just leaving everything behind? Jess, we can't do that!" Emily
said, clinging on to Jessie's arm.
"Especially you Em." Tearar said, agreeing with Jessie. "You have to
get out of here and go into hiding, before Delilah decides to turn you
in to either Congress or the crown."
"We need to find out what Delilah's up to first before we go running
away though." Jessie reminded them.
"But we know what Delilah's up to." Becky replied.
"Skelly," Danielle said, using Becky's old nickname, "Not really
though." She reasoned. "I think we should do some more spying. You
know, give her a real reason to turn us in for espionage." She said
with a grin.
"OK, so Beck and Danielle can find out what our biblical whore is up
to then." Tearar said.
"Actually, I think Beck and Danielle need to go and find Katrina."
Jessie disagreed. "Since I'm working in Congress anyway, I should be
the one doing the spying. Katrina needs to be found and taken away
from the army before a warrant for her arrest should come up. I have a
feeling that being arrested while in the presence of army officers is
an automatic death sentence."
"Oooh, sounds exciting." Becky said with a smirk. "Well, what do you
say Mer? Want to go on a wild goose chase while knowing that at any
possible moment there could be a warrant for our arrest put out?"
Danielle nodded happily and licked the table with a flourish.
"It's a yes I take it." Emily said, pushing Danielle away from the
table. "You're going to get splinters in your tongue one day, know
"And me? What do I do?" Tearar wondered.
"As for you, my good Cambodian friend," Jessie began, "you need to get
down to Virginia."
"Why? What's down in Virginia?" Tearar wondered.
"James Madison of course." Tearar grinned as Jessie continued on. "Get
him to come back here for a while. If we need to make an escape, you
could always head down to Virginia with him." Jessie told her, having
an ulterior motive for inviting the author of the Constitution back up
to Pennsylvania to stay with them. "Plus if you take Emily along, it
buys some time for us."
"I'm not leaving Benjamin, Jess." Emily said firmly. "I couldn't
"Em, I think it would be best if you went with Tearar." Said Becky.
"Yeah, me too actually." Danielle said with a shrug.
Emily shook her head. "No, I can't leave him. You guys just can't
understand." She said softly.
"We do understand, especially me!" Tearar said, trying to reason with
"No, no you don't Tearar!" Emily cried, getting to her feet. "I've
admitted to myself a long time ago the fact that we're not going home.
Jess, you said not to fall in love, but I couldn't help it! We're
staying here for the rest of our lives, can't you see that? It's been
a whole year! Can you imagine? A whole year since we arrived! And
we've settled; we've settled in perfectly. We have good jobs and nice
houses and our own businesses."
"You said we have to stay out of history Jess." Emily carried on. "But
what if we're suppose to be here? We are a part of this history! We
were a part of history back in our time, and we're a part of history
now. Think about it guys. Do you think half of the stuff we did would
have happened on it's own? I know Benjamin wouldn't have started
writing his book on the mentally ill if I hadn't pushed him into it.
And you said so yourself Jess, when it's published he'll become known
as the father of psychiatry. And Tearar, you're the one who brought
James out of his shell! I mean, sure he has a long way to go, but look
at him now! He's active in politics now and soon the whole world will
see the brilliant man that you see."
"I know, I just know that there's a reason we're here. There's
something we have to take care of, or else it would never happen. I
can feel it. There's something we have to do here in the past."
"And while we're here I have to stay with Benjamin. I couldn't picture
myself living in this world without him." Emily finished, staring at
her friends. She waited to see who was going to speak first.
"My god." Tearar muttered. "What if we're suppose to be here? It would
all make sense then."
Danielle and Becky chose not to say anything, rather return Emily's
stares with huge smiles plastered on their faces. They had already
decided there was a reason they came in 1775 in the first place; they
placed far too many video games.
Everyone just waited for Jessie's response. "Ok." She began. "So you
have to be with Benjamin because you love him. I understand that.
We're here in the past with purpose. I get that too. That's all well
and good, but how can you love a man and serve out your purpose when
you're swinging from an English rope?"
"Stop quoting 1776 and give her a decent answer!" Becky said, slapping
her sister on the head.
"I thought I just did!" Jessie replied, smacking Becky across her
lumpy head in return. "Emily, I know you love him. I understand where
you're coming from and it makes a lot of sense. In fact, it makes me
feel a little bit stupid for being so hard on you guys. As if anyone
would actually believe us if we did let some future knowledge slip?
What I was trying to make you understand is if you get killed here,
then how could you go on loving your Dr. Rush and fulfilling your
little purpose? I just want to make sure we can stop this problem
before more of us are thrown in jail."
The group went silent, waiting for Jessie's final verdict.
She sighed.
"You can stay with him!" She said with a groan, Emily giving a squeal
of delight as she ran over to her friend and tackled her. "But you
have to promise to stay away from Delilah and have Benjamin break his
ties with her!" Jessie said, peeling her friend off of her.
Emily nodded her head. "I'll try, but it won't be easy. He doesn't see
Delilah like I do." She told them. "She won't try to lock away
Benjamin, will she?" Emily added as an afterthought.
"I don't think so Em. Isn't Benjamin really well-liked around here
Jess?" Tearar asked.
"If I remembered correctly. I don't think a warrant for treason would
go over so well with the rest of the delegates."
"Dickinson isn't stupid." Becky added. "He won't try and convict
someone as popular as Dr. Rush."
"But he can still put you away Emily, if that ends up being her plan
which we still need to make sure of." Jessie reminded her friends.
"There's no records of us in existence here, they're all back in 2004.
I think that was one of the reasons Mr. Viens was thrown in jail so
"When do you think we should ride out?" Tearar asked, stretching out
her back with a disgusting crack. There were two more hours until the
sun came up and everyone would start coming in and out of the inn.
"In a couple of days." Jessie suggested. "I want to wait as long as
possible before you guys have to start riding out, and we should
probably talk this over a little bit more. I'll have to bribe the
courier into letting me know where Katrina is." She grinned at the
thought of incriminating herself if Dickinson or Delilah should ever
get word. "Besides, don't you want to see Mr. Viens? It's been a
"Speaking of which, so he's coming over tomorrow?" Danielle said,
getting up with a yawn. "Or today. Whichever."
"He is? Great! I'll make something, maybe a pie or some other type of
pastry." Emily said, happy that they temporarily resolved the issue at
hand. "Do you mind if Benjamin comes?" She added as an afterthought
"No Emily, we hate Benjamin." Tearar said with a sarcastic smile. "Of
course he can. By the way, don't bother walking home this late. You
can have one of our spare beds and then we'll send you home in the
"Ok, so long as Jessie walks me back when she gets up to go to work."
"Deal." Jessie acquiesced. "We're going to have a full kitchen
tomorrow. Do you think you guys can manage it?" Jessie wondered,
standing up and offering an arm to Tearar and Emily in turn.
Becky shrugged. "I burn Ramen Noodles, but I can try. So long as Mer
and Tearar are here I think we'll be fine."
"Great then. Oh, and he's bringing that lawyer who defended him in
court with him." Jessie said, pushing the chairs back into their
proper places. "So we might want to think about decorating the place
"Decorating the place? Who is he? Atticus Finch?" Emily teased.
"No." Jessie replied with a small smile playing on her lips as she
began to walk towards her room. "But I think John Adams deserves to
eat in a clean kitchen, don't you?"
Emily stood silent, blinking like a deer caught in the headlights.
Tearar began to shout, "Nuh-uh!" over and over again and then giggled.
Danielle gasped and did a perfect double take, groaning that now
she'll be able to embarrassed herself in front of the whole Adams
family as she recalled the famous Beacon Hill incident. And Becky did
what Becky does best, swear.
"No fucking way! *The* fucking John Adams is coming here?" Becky
yelled, forgetting all about the sleeping patrons in their inn. "Holy
fuck, Mr. V is friends with John Adams?"
"Hey, watch that language. You can't swear when Mr. Adams is around."
Jessie said before retiring to her room with the slam of a wooden
There was silence again as they stared at Jessie's door. "So," Emily
said, breaking the quiet. "What kind of pie do you think I should
"I like pie!" Danielle jumped up and shouted, and then realized that
Emily wasn't listening. In fact, Danielle was the only one left in the
kitchen, for everyone else had went back to their rooms. With a sigh,
she sat back down at the table and continued carving her name on the
wooden table.