Fosters (R)

Adam Rooney had only been in the foster home of Mr. and Mrs. Munn for about six weeks. He was placed there after his previous foster parent, Mrs. Stevens, suffered a heart attack and was no longer able to provide foster parent services.

It was Adam's eleventh foster home placement and by now he was used to the routine. He was five months short of his eighteenth birthday and he knew he was about to 'age out' of the foster care system anyway so one more placement was no big deal. Mr. and Mrs. Munn were kind to take Adam in as temporary placement and he appreciated the family's generosity. There was one other foster placement in the house, a sixteen year old girl named Sasha who was quiet and purposefully stayed to herself.

The Munn family lived in a modest but comfortable home in the flats section of Hillsboro, a two story three bedroom house. The couple were in their late fifties and had already raised two sons who were now adults living their own lives. Mr. and Mrs. Munn were classified as temporary parents and they housed foster placements for six months to a year. As far as Adam could tell, Sasha had been with the family since the beginning of the school year.

Mrs. Munn was easy going and very liberal in her parenting. As long as Adam let her know where he was and what he was doing, she gave him free reign to come and go as he pleased. He had managed to stay in school during the turmoil of his life and he was graduating from Blue County Technical High School in June.

Adam had no complaints about his latest (and perhaps last) foster care placement, focusing on staying out of trouble and graduating from high school instead of worrying about the system or his current living situation. He wasn't being verbally, mentally, emotionally or physically abused so that made for a good placement.

Mr. and Mrs. Munn were nice people. Pleasant, friendly, involved, interested, and Adam had to admit that living with them had been one of his better placements. He enjoyed sitting down to dinner with them and he was feeling comfortable and safe with the placement. Sasha was a mysteriously quiet girl who didn't have much to say but Adam respected her boundaries and he left her on her alone, although he was friendly whenever their paths crossed in the house.

###

It was the start of April school vacation week. Adam had no real plans but he was looking forward to the break and some down time. He was in a deep sleep when he was aroused awake by Mr. Munn, a large burly man with an imposing presence even though he had been basically a teddy bear since Adam moved in. It was still dark outside and Adam was confused.

"Come with me, Son," Mr. Munn ordered.

"What's going on?" Adam asked. "Is there a fire or something?"

"Just do what I ask, okay?" Mr. Munn requested.

Adam noticed that Mrs. Munn had summoned Sasha from her room and she was leading the teen down the stairs to the first floor.

"We just need for the two of you to do us a favor for a few days," Mrs. Munn was saying to Sasha.

"What kind of favor?" Adam asked, knowing what the basic rules of foster care were and what expectations were placed on both the foster parents and the children placed in their care.

"It's nothing that demanding," Mr. Munn replied as Mrs. Munn opened the door to the cellar.

"We want to show you something," Mrs. Munn said. "Please, come down cellar."

Mrs. Munn went down first and the silent Sasha followed without protest. Adam's internal warning system was going off and when Mr. Munn gave him a slight directional push, Adam knew something bad was about to happen.

"I'm not going down there," he told Mr. Munn.

"Don't you care what happens to the girl?" Mr. Munn asked with ironic concern.

"What are you going to do to us?" Adam demanded.

"Nothing bad," Mr. Munn assured him. "Like the wife said, we just need you to do us a favor."

"Adam!" Mrs. Munn called from the basement. "Come see what we've prepared for you."

The teen knew going down the stairs was a foolish choice but he wasn't about to leave poor Sasha down there on her own and he knew if he bolted, the large and burly Mr. Munn would probably try to stop him and that might not be something Adam could handle.

"This sucks," Adam told Mr. Munn with resentment as he reluctantly went down the stairs.

The basement was relatively normal looking. Mr. Munn had a work bench area and the rest of the space was filled with storage and other junk. But Adam noticed a metal door leading to a small space and that's where a smiling Mrs. Munn was standing with Sasha who showed no emotion on her face.

"Is that some sort of torture chamber?" Adam asked nervously.

"Don't be silly, Adam," Mrs. Munn laughed. "It's a bomb shelter."

"Fully loaded," Mr. Munn added proudly. "Plenty of food in there to last weeks."

"Are we at war?" Adam asked sarcastically.

"No, of course not," Mrs. Munn smiled.

"Do you stick all your fosters in there?" Adam accused.

"No, we have it for end of the world," Mr. Munn explained. "But we're going on vacation and the state says we can't leave the two of you unattended."

It took Adam a moment to process what the guy was saying. "You're going to lock us in a bomb shelter so you can go on vacation?" He finally asked with disbelief.

"If you wouldn't mind," Mrs. Munn remarked pleasantly and Adam realized these two people were delusional and off their rocker.

"We're going on a cruise," Mr. Munn explained. "Our son gave it to us for a wedding anniversary present."

"Why don't you just tell the authorities?" Adam reasoned. "They'll place us somewhere else while you're gone."

"Oh, there's too much red tape in all of that," Mrs. Munn replied. "Besides, there's no guarantee we'd get you back and that would be a shame. We really like both of you!"

"This is false imprisonment," Adam warned. "You can't do this."

"You'd be doing us a big favor, Adam," Mrs. Munn pleaded. "I'd really love to go on the cruise but we can't leave the two of you here alone. What if something happened?"

"What if something happens in there?" Adam frowned.

"What could happen?" Mr. Munn asked innocently. "It's the safest place in Hillsboro."

"This is illegal, immoral, and nuts," Adam protested.

"We'd really appreciate it if you'd help us out," Mr. Munn said hopefully.

Mrs. Munn directed Sasha into the bomb shelter.

"Don't go in there!" Adam warned but Sasha was already inside the shelter.

"Don't be a party-pooper, Adam," Mrs. Munn said, sounding slightly annoyed. "We're really not asking that much."

"Everything you need is in there," Mr. Munn added with a positive inflection. "You'll be fine."

"You could get in big trouble for this," Adam told them.

"Only if you tell on us, Dear," Mrs. Munn said calmly, smiling at him. "You wouldn't do that, would you?"

"We'd really appreciate it if you'd help us out, Adam," Mr. Munn remarked.

Adam looked back and forth between the two with disbelief. "You're both certifiable."

"Are you going to help us out, Adam?" Mrs. Munn asked quietly. "We're talking about a cruise here."

Adam glanced inside the bomb shelter and saw Sasha sitting on one of the two cots with her hands folded in her lap, her face expressionless.

"How can you do this to her?" Adam asked angrily.

"She'll be fine," Mrs. Munn replied without concern.

"We really need to get going, Son," Mr. Munn informed him. "Would you be willing to help us out?"

"Of all the bizarre and crazy things that have happened to me, this by far takes the cake," Adam remarked with disgust as he slowly stepped into the bomb shelter.

"We really appreciate this, kids," Mrs. Munn said with a pleasant smile on her face. "There's plenty of food in the refrigerator and in those boxes. "We'll be back on Saturday."

"Jesus Christ!" Adam said with disgust.

"It's just a week, son," Mr. Munn replied. "You'll be fine."

"Have a good week," Mrs. Munn smiled, giving them a pleasant wave goodbye as her husband closed the door.

Adam heard two or three dead bolts and padlocks being fastened on the other side and he glanced back at Sasha with annoyance.

"Why didn't you put up a fight?"

She lifted up his arm and showed him old burn scars. It looked like maybe a car cigarette lighter left the marks. "This is what happened to me when I said no in an earlier foster," she said softly.

Adam rubbed his hands through his hair and let out a groan. "This is insane."

"My whole life is insane," Sasha told him as she laid back on her cot, pulling the blanket over her. "I'm going back to sleep."

Adam glanced around the bomb shelter which was perhaps eight feet by ten feet in size, with a roof about seven feet high. There were the two cots, a half size refrigerator, a television with a DVR Machine and about fifty DVDs piled onto top of the set, three or four boxes full of non-perishable foods and various snacks, a portable toilet, ten gallon bottles of water, a hot plate, a microwave, a shelf on the wall with plastic dishes, and a plastic tub for washing dishes. There were a pile of books and some magazines stacked in a corner.

Adam saw a note taped to the portable toilet: "Kids – this is a self contained toilet that flushes using water that comes from a hidden water tank into an attached holding tank hidden inside the bottom of the toilet with chemicals that deodorize and break down solid waste and toilet using water that comes from a hidden water holding tank inside the toilet. It's all ready and you should be fine using it until we get back. Mr. M."

"You didn't bring your phone or IPOD with you by chance did you?" He asked hopefully.

"Nope," Sasha replied, her eyes closed. "I didn't have time to think when Mrs. Munn roused me up."

"What were you plans this week?" Adam asked. "Was anybody coming over?"

"Nope," she answered. "I don't have any friends." She opened her eyes and peered at him. "What about you? Anybody going to miss you?"

"Not really," he sighed, sitting on the end of the second cot. "I mean I have friends and stuff but they'll probably just assume I'm doing something with somebody else."

She closed her eyes and Adam fell back on his cot with another groan.

"I sure do hope nothing happens to Mr. and Mrs. Munn on that cruise or we'll never be found," he worried.

"Oh well," Sasha replied not bothering to open her eyes this time.

Adam figured he might as well go to sleep too since there wasn't much else to do. He slipped off the cot and dimmed the lights that went down but not all the way off, leaving the room in a dim hue.

###

Adam was awakened by the sound of tinkling and he opened his eyes to see Sasha sitting on the commode with her pajama bottoms around her ankles. He was caught off guard and he was momentarily confused as to what he was supposed to do so he pretended he was still sleeping and rolled over to face the other way.

He heard the toilet flush and then he pretended to stir awake. He rolled over and saw that Sasha was pouring herself a bowl of cereal, the bowl set on top of the flat refrigerator. Once she was done, she sat on her cot with the bowl between her legs.

"So what do we do now?" She asked when she noticed him looking at her.

"Wait, I guess," he sighed.

She didn't say anything as she ate her cereal. Adam climbed off his cot and brightened the lights before grabbing a plastic bowl from the shelf and pouring Cheerios for himself. Opening the refrigerator, he saw four gallons of milk, some soda, some deli sandwich meat, two pre-made casseroles, and a dozen Lunchables.

"Kids!" There was a note taped to one of the casserole dishes. "I made these casseroles for you! Please enjoy them and thank you so very much for being so willingly to help us out. We really appreciate your kindness and consideration! Love, Mrs. M."

"Well, I guess we won't starve," Adam remarked.

Sasha didn't say anything and he glanced at her.

"You don't talk much," he observed.

"Nope," she confirmed.

She was a strangely attractive girl. Adam wasn't quite sure of her race or ethnicity. She wasn't quite Caucasian but she wasn't exactly African-American either. Her skin color was a mixture of something in between and her eyes had just a hint of a slant to them. Her hair was curly in nature but he couldn't tell if that was natural or if she had done something to do it. It was to her shoulders, a light shade of black-gray.

"What are you looking at?" She finally asked.

"You," he admitted honestly.

"I'm a mutt, if that's what you're wondering," she remarked as she finished her cereal.

Adam suddenly felt awkward and he didn't respond, concentrating on eating his cereal instead. When he was done, he put the empty bowl in the plastic bin just as Sasha had done. He glanced at her and saw that she was lying on her cot again, her eyes closed.

"We can't sleep for seven days," he said.

She didn't say anything and Adam glanced around the shelter nervously.

"I have to take a leak," he admitted.

She gestured toward the toilet with her hand.

"You're here," he said with embarrassment.

"Guess you're going to have to get used to that," she replied with a shrug.

He sighed and went to the toilet, positioning himself so his back was to her while he stood relieving himself, embarrassed by the sound of his urine hitting the inside of the bowl. He had no idea what he was going to do when it was time to go Number Two.

Adam flushed and returned to his cot, glancing at her again. Sasha's eyes were closed and he wondered if this was going to be the routine form now on. He cleared his throat and waited for her to open her eyes.

"I can't believe you went in here so willingly," he complained.

She opened her eyes and peered at him. "Look who's talking."

"I wasn't about to leave you in here by yourself."

"You could have gone and gotten help," she told him.

"I doubt Mr. Munn would have let me gotten very far," he replied.

"You're probably right," she concluded, closing her eyes again.

He let a few minutes pass but there was no way he was going to spend seven days in the shelter in silence.

"So, what's your story?" He asked.

She didn't say anything, keeping her eyes closed.

"Come on," he said with annoyance. "You're going to have to talk to me sometime."

"No I'm not," she replied.

"We're stuck together in here for a week!" He groaned. "I'll go stir crazy if you sleep the whole time."

"Read one of those books," she mumbled.

"What are you, a librarian now?" He frowned.

She didn't say anything and he waited for her to stir but her eyes were closed and he shook his head with disgust. He fingered through the stack of books but didn't find anything interesting. The magazines were months old and it seemed kind of stupid to be reading them now but seeing how Sasha wasn't engaging him he grabbed an old Sports Illustrated and began reading it.

He actually read three of them before Sasha finally stirred, sitting up on her cot and stretching while stifling a yawn.

"You sure do sleep a lot," Adam observed.

"Yep," she agreed.

"And you don't talk much," he added.

"Nope," she confirmed.

"Could you please talk to me?" He pleaded.

She stared at him for a long time. "I don't like to talk," she finally said.

"I won't tell anybody what you say to me," he vowed.

She didn't answer and she remained sitting on her cot.

"We're both fosters," Adam finally said. "Doesn't that count for something?"

She took her pillow into her lap and squeezed it hard against her midsection.

"You can tell me your story," Adam said quietly after a few silent moments had passed.

"Oh, I doubt you'd want to hear it," she said.

"I'm not going anywhere," he replied.

Neither of them spoke for another fifteen minutes. Adam figured he'd just wait her out and eventually she'd feel compelled to talk, out of boredom if nothing else. He kept glancing at her and she would try to look the other way but in the small bomb shelter there wasn't a whole lot of other places to look.

Finally, Sasha sucked in a deep breath. "I remember everything," she said after a dramatic moment's pause. "I remember thoughts and feelings, mostly. I'm a silent withdrawn watcher."

"You'll be watching a lot of me now!" Adam remarked, trying to sound lighthearted.

"I'm broken," Sasha revealed. "I'm shut down emotionally, detached and going through the motions."
"I consider myself a survivor," Adam volunteered.
"I protect myself from the memories," she said.

"What happened to you?" Adam asked softly.

"My mother married a psycho," Sasha revealed.

"Your dad?"

"No, he died," she sighed. "But this guy was clinically psycho, diagnosed with schizophrenia. I remember so many horrible incidents with that lunatic. My mother was drug addicted so I was eventually taken away and placed in foster care."
"How many?"

"Ten?" She guessed. "It's easy to lose count."

"I thought these guys were pretty normal when I first got here," Adam said.

"I think today knocks them out of that running," Sasha deadpanned.

"They must be burned out,' Adam theorized. "Delusional."
"I never trust foster parents no matter how nice they might be," Sasha commented. "I don't know why they always expect us to be grateful for what they do for us. What do we have to be grateful for, anyway? We were ripped from everything and everyone we knew and we get thrown into new living situations all the time. We don't choose to live with strangers who might hurt us and who have power over us. We're helpless."

"But surviving," Adam was quick to point out.
"Just when I was starting to trust them, those two lock us up," Sasha sighed.

"I'm beginning to wonder if everybody is messed up," Adam said.
"My first foster was pretty good," Sasha recalled. "They were an older couple. He was a pastor but he had a stroke and I had to go. I thought all of them would be like that first couple. People that would never hit or yell and who would talk to me and try to teach me."

"Yeah, I've had a few good ones too," Adam admitted. "But for most it's about the money."
"It helps when there's a routine and structure and I know what to expect," Sasha continued. "No surprises, no chaos, no changes."

"Yeah, that's important," Adam agreed. "But rare."

"I know there are some good fosters out there," Sasha said. "But I also know about pain caused by bad ones."

"We can't be hurt any more than we have been hurt already," Adam told her.

"My second fosters were always hitting me," Sasha revealed. "They made me their house keeper. I was maybe ten years old, washing the floors, polishing the silverware, cleaning the oven, doing the laundry, ironing their clothes, washing the dishes, vacuuming the whole house."

"That wasn't right," Adam remarked.
"I never said anything because I knew it didn't matter," Sasha told him. "There were consequences when I talked."

Adam nodded with understanding.

"I wish I had been stronger but I was dead inside."

"It was survival," Adam said.

"It wasn't easy for either of us, I imagine," Sasha said, glancing at Adam.

"Bad and sad things happen no matter how good you are," Adam replied. "But we still have a choice to rise above it and become stronger. No matter what I feel, no matter what people say or do, I refuse to give up or give in. I won't let them win because that means I lose. I don't have to be my own prisoner even if we're locked up in here."

"I guess," she said tentatively.

"I've learned not to sweat the small stuff," Adam told her. "It takes a lot to get me angry now whereas before I'd fly off the handle over stupid stuff. I'm very patient. I can even be compassionate and empathetic. I don't whine about how bad life is because I know there are others who can top my sob story. I hide my true feelings but it doesn't take much to make me laugh, usually at inappropriate stuff."

"Me too," Sasha revealed. "I find this pretty funny, actually!"

They both smiled.

"How old are you?" Sasha asked after a few minutes of quiet reflection.

"Aging out soon," Adam admitted. "I'm about to be thrust out into the world and I know that one in five fosters end up homeless and all that but I won't give up that easily. I refuse to be a victim."

"Good for you," Sasha replied.
"I keep a journal too," Adam revealed. "It helps me express my emotions in writing."

"What happened to your original family?" Sasha wondered.

Adam looked away. Now he was the one who didn't want to talk.

"It would really help for me to know," Sasha remarked from her place on her cot.

Adam sighed and fell back on his cot, covering his eyes with his arm. "My father abandoned the family when I was two," he revealed after a few quiet moments. "There was my sister who was four years older than me and my mother who was an alcoholic. She was always bringing men home and one of them ended up fondling my sister when she was twelve."

Adam stopped speaking and Sasha patiently waited for him to continue.

"So, that's when my foster career started," he said after a while. "My sister was much more messed up than me and she was hospitalized a few times so we didn't stay together. I'm surprised I survived foster care and being on my own especially without my sister."

"What about your mother?" Sasha asked.

He turned his head, uncovered his eyes and looked at her. "I don't even know where she is," he sighed.

"I'm sorry," Sasha offered with sympathy.

"What about your mom?" Adam asked.

"She died," Sasha revealed. "Od'ed a couple of years ago."

"Oh, Sasha," Adam sighed.

She shrugged. "Why talk about it?" She asked.

Neither of them said anything for a long time.

"I missed my sister when they sent me off," Adam finally said. "My first foster wasn't a good placement. I had to eat what I didn't want to. They'd force it into me, shoving in my mouth. I was also grabbed by the back of the neck and had my face shoved into my plate of food. I never felt as defeated as I did then and that's when I realized that I had to become a survivor or I'd never make it."

Sasha didn't say anything for a while. Finally, she looked at him with helplessness. "Did you ever try to….harm yourself?"

Adam shook his head no. "I mostly acted out against others," he admitted. "You know, wreck stuff, steal stuff, lip off, run away." He peered at her. "Why?" he asked nervously. "Did you?" He almost whispered.
"One day after being beaten and left naked in my room for punishment, I decided my life wasn't worth living so I tried to hang myself," she revealed. "The rod in the closet broke and they found me before anything happened and I spent three months in the mental hospital."

"I'm really sorry, Sasha," Adam said.

"Now you probably understand why I don't like to talk much," she said candidly, throwing him a look of vulnerability.

"Did things get better for you?" He asked hopefully after a few quiet moments.

"We're fosters," Sasha replied. "Does it ever get better for us?"

"I don't know," he admitted.

She stood from her cot and walked around the shelter for a moment or two. "You would think after trying to off myself they would have tried to find a good placement for me," she said, shaking her head. "But I ended up in another wacko house. My bedroom was a couch on an enclosed porch. I usually slept in my clothes to keep warm. I was given one meal a day and I wasn't allowed to eat with the family. I ate out on the porch alone. The only time I was allowed in the house was to use the bathroom."

"Geez, Sasha," Adam sighed.

"I don't remember ever having a tender moment with that family," she said as she collapsed back onto her cot. "I wasn't a part of it. I was just the foster care kid getting a bed and a meal a day. I was happy to go to school because at least I could eat there."

"How come there are so many terrible foster people out there?" Adam asked.

"Because we just don't count," Sasha theorized. "We're fosters."

"My fantasy is that my mother will come back for me," Adam admitted. "Sober and competent, apologetic and ready to made amends."

"I wouldn't hold your breath," Sasha replied coldly.

Adam sat up on the cot and buried his head in his hands.

"I'm sorry," Sasha said when she saw his reaction. "I didn't mean to be cruel."

"No, you're probably right," he sighed. "I'm on my own."

"Well, at least right now you're on your own with me," Sasha remarked with an encouraging smile.

He gave her a long study. "I'm surprised you allowed yourself to be locked up with a guy," he commented.

She shrugged. "You didn't hit on me before," she rationalized. "I figured I was reasonably safe."

He nodded with understanding.

"But I'm surprised the Munns left us together," she said. "Especially after what happened at my last foster."

"Why? What happened?" Adam wondered.

Sasha groaned, realizing she had said more than she intended. "See," she said, rolling her eyes. "This is why I don't talk!"

"What happened?" Adam asked gently.

"They had a son. He was seventeen and he came into my room late one night," she revealed with embarrassment. "I opened my eyes and he was standing over me, exposing himself and telling me to suck on it."

"What'd you do?"

"I punched him in the balls of course," Sasha replied openly, causing Adam to burst out in laughter but then he sighed and sucked in his breath.

"I don't know how we get through this stuff," he admitted with defeat.

"You said it yourself," Sasha pointed out. "We survive."

"No matter how much shame and pain we endure?"

"You tell me," she answered. "All of us fosters have dark dirty secrets."

"I hate not knowing what's going to happen to me," Adam admitted with a sigh as he stood and took a few steps around the cot just to loosen up a bit. "There's always uncertainty and confusion."

"Some of my experiences have been positive," Sasha said with some hopefulness. "It's important to remember that."

"When I was thirteen and fourteen I was destined to end up like so many fosters," Adam revealed. "I was acting out and getting in trouble all the time. Reform school and juvie hall were on the horizon."
"But you didn't?" Sasha asked.
"I got busted for egging cars on Halloween," Adam told her. "A cop who had a few run ins with me before threw me in the back of his cruiser. I assumed he was taking me to the station but instead he took me to the homeless shelter in Greenville."
"He dumped you there?"
"No, just read me the riot act. Told me that was my future if I didn't get my head out of my ass and smarten up. Said there was only one person who could change my life and that was me. We sat there for about ten minutes watching these poor dregs of society standing around out front smoking their butts and taking swigs from their nip bottles. Poorly dressed. Dirty. Unshaven. The cop said 'I wonder how many of those guys were fosters'. It really started me thinking."
"About what?"

"My future," Adam replied. "My chances. I vowed to myself that night that I wasn't going to be like a lot of fosters. I could blame my father and my mother and the system and my fosters and DCF and everybody else all I wanted but if I didn't do anything about it then it would be nobody's fault but my own if I failed like so many others."
Sasha looked at him with a new appreciation.
"So, no matter how many fosters I got dumped into, I made sure I stayed enrolled at the tech school and now I'm just a few months away from actually graduating. And I've got something line up for the technical college too. And a job at Millers Motors once I get my diploma in June. So, I've staked out some sort of future and even if I have to sleep in the back seat of a junk car in Miller's junk yard, at least I'll have a job and I'll be going to college."
"That's pretty good," Sasha said.
"We have to give ourselves chances, Sasha," Adam told her. "In the end it's up to us."

"I had one foster mom who showed love, patience, and kindness and it felt like a real home," Sasha replied. "It was the first time I felt like I had some responsibility and ownership. My opinions mattered. It helped me to feel confident and build up my self-esteem."

"What happened to that placement?" Adam asked.

"They got divorced," Sasha sighed. "So I got taken out of a caring stable home and I felt a lot of anxiety and isolation in the next place. I was never the same after that, really. I had a hard time making friends and I felt disconnected. I had a lot of anger and distrust toward people. I didn't talk much anymore."

"My last few were pretty good," Adam said. "I really thought these guys were going to be my last ones but after doing this I doubt we'll be staying here much longer."

"Well, only if somebody finds out what they did," Sasha pointed out.

"What, you mean we shouldn't tell anybody?" Adam asked with surprise.

"We'll be sent to different places," she said.

He looked at her and smiled. "So, I'm okay, you mean?"

She grinned and nodded her head with approval. "You better be," she said. "We're going to be together in here for a long time."

"I just realized there's no clock in here," Adam said, glancing around.

"It will be hard to keep track of time," Sasha remarked.

"Not that it really matters, I suppose," Adam said. "Until somebody opens that door we're in a time capsule anyway."

"We could keep running movies and keep track of time that way," Sasha suggested.

He walked to the stack of DVDs and took a look at them. Most were ten to fifteen years old, most likely purchased for earlier generations of fosters.

"They have the Back to the Future movies, Teen Wolf, Ferris Bueller, Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Bring it On, Jamigni, Bridge to Terabithia, the Toy Stories, Grease, Freaky Friday – the new one – Stand By Me, 13 going on 30, Little Manhattan, Forrest Gump, The Goonies, Big, RV, some of the Star Treks, Mrs. Doubtfire, Winn Dixie, two of the High School Musicals, Camp Rock…."

He turned to face her and was surprised to see her sitting on the commode.

"Oh, sorry," he said, turning away.

"We're going to have to suspend our inhibitions living together like this," she said. "We can't deny our bodily functions."

"I've just never been with a girl taking a shit before," Adam admitted, keeping his back to her.

"Sorry to ruin the illusion," she replied. "It will be your turn soon enough."

"I'm pretty good at holding it," he said.

"For a week?" She laughed. "You'd explode."

He turned and glanced at her. "This is about as embarrassing as it gets."

"I'm the one with my pants down," she said as she tore off a piece of toilet paper from the nearby roll.

He turned away before seeing what she did with it.

Adam waited until he heard the flush before turning back again. Sasha was standing with her pj pants pulled back up, wiping her hands with a wipie she had pulled from a plastic bottle by the toilet.

"Do you think its lunch time?" Sasha asked.

"I have no idea," Adam confessed.

"Well, I'm hungry," Sasha decided, taking a lunchable from the refrigerator. "You?"

"I'll have one of those," he said.

"Put in a movie," Sasha suggested.

###

The played the DVDs practically non-stop when they weren't sleeping. After the first three or four, they removed the mattresses from their cots, folded up the frames and spread the mattresses on the floor, buoyed by the pillows and blankets. The new set up allowed them to stretch out and be more comfortable, even if it meant being closer together. The amount of conversation had noticeably decreased as there didn't seem to be a reason to chit chat all that much. They mostly commented on the films they were watching while occasionally adding a tidbit about their own lives if a scene in one of the movies made them think of something. They ate when they got hungry and slept when they got tired. They stacked the DVDS in alphabetical order and watched them in sequence.

They got used to using the commode with the other one lying prone on the mattress. Adam stood when taking a leak with his back to her but when it time to go number two, he dropped his sweats and took a seat on the commode. Sasha usually kept her eyes glued on the movie, but after the fourth or fifth "sitting," she started glancing at him on the throne to ask a question or comment on whatever movie was on the screen.

And when it was Sasha's turn to do her thing, Adam was less likely to keep his back to her as time went on and they both became accustomed to doing what came naturally in front of the other.

They kept the dishes washed as they used them and brushed their teeth with the dish soap using their finger as a brush. When they watched all thirty movies in the shelter, they estimated with sleep time that at least three days had gone by. They debated whether they should start watching the library of films all over again.

"You're starting to stink," Sasha observed as they sat on the mattresses eating the last of Mrs. Munn's second casserole.

"Well, you're not exactly smelling like a rose yourself," Adam replied.

"I don't have any deodorant or perfume," she said defensively.

"I never thought I'd miss using pit spray this much," Adam confessed.

She groaned and looked around, noticing the flushable wipes in the white canister by the toilet.

"Do you think if we wiped those under our armpits, it would help?" She asked.

"Couldn't hurt," Adam replied.

"We should probably do our privates too," she suggested. "Odor builds up there just as much as the pits."

"Oh," Adam said, getting embarrassed now.

Sasha shrugged. "Unless you want to go on stinking," she said.

Adam scratched the side of his face but didn't say anything.

"I think the time of modesty has long passed us," she said.

Sasha stood and grabbed the tub of sanitary wipes. She pulled off the jersey style pj tops she had been wearing since their ordeal began to reveal her small but round breasts. She took a couple of wipes, lifted up one arm at a time and wiped under her pits. She went to the wash tub and dabbed a few drops of the detergent soap on a new wipie and she started wiping it over her skin. She then pulled down her pj bottoms and stood naked in front of him, revealing everything before she turned her back and wiped her private area with her naked rear to him.

Adam stood and quickly peeled off his tee shirt, taking the container of wipies from her and wiping down his arm pits. He turned his back to her and dropped his sweats, taking some more wipies and rubbing down his dick area.

"Use some of the detergent," Sasha told him. "It smells evergreeny."

He turned to take the plastic bottle from her and he saw her facing him, still totally naked. Her eyes dropped to his groin area for a moment and then she glanced up to his face and their eyes met. Looking at her pert copper breasts and dark fine pubic hair, Adam felt himself going stiff.

"It's okay," she told him. "I understand."

He nodded and let her dab a few drops of the detergent onto a wipie which he took from her and rubbed across his pole as she watched.

"Underneath your balls," she instructed. "Sweat builds up down there."

He reached under and wiped the bottom of his sack with her observing as if she was a doctor. When he was done they tossed their wipies into the toilet and flushed.

"There, now we smell a little better," the nude Sasha remarked.

"But we're going to put our smelly clothes back on," Adam said.

"Well, we don't have to," she said, grinning slightly as she picked up one of the blankets and wrapped it around her naked body. "Why don't you put 'Back to the Future' in?" she said.

###

There was something a little odd about watching a naked Sasha sitting on the commode but by this time the two fosters had little secrets left. Adam would disregard his blanket and stand naked at the commode taking a leak, not caring if Sasha watched or not.

They went through the movies a second time and by now when they fell asleep they were usually wrapped in each other's arms naked under the blankets. Neither had any idea what day or time it was and it really didn't matter anyway. Until the door opened, their routine was the same inside the bomb shelter no matter what day or time it happened to be.

Adam awoke to find Sasha lying on her stomach. The blanket had fallen away and he found himself sitting up and staring at her naked backside, golden in the gentle light hue of the toned down shelter light.

Sasha opened her eyes and saw that Adam was looking at her.

"What?" She whispered.

"I'm starting to think this was a pretty good placement after all," he replied with a grin.

Sasha smiled, reaching out and gave his blanket a yank so it fell off his shoulders, revealing his nakedness too. "It has been a rather intimate experience," she said, reaching out and touching the tip of his penis with her finger.

Adam affectionately patted her buns in agreement before running his hand up her spine as she boldly wrapped her hand around his member and slowly began to stroke it.

"Sasha," Adam whispered as he leaned his head back and closed his eyes.

She rolled partly onto her side and opened her legs a little bit, reaching for his hand which she brought between her legs. Sasha let out a small moan as she closed her eyes, her heart racing.

"Sasha," Adam moaned as she continued to stroke him as he simultaneously fingered her.

He moved his other hand across her stomach and up to her stiff nipples which he gently traced with the edge of his finger.

"Adam," Sasha breathed and he realized it may have been the first time she actually called him by his name.

He leaned over and kissed her for the first time, which seemed odd when he thought about all they had been through together and what they were doing to each other even now. She returned the kiss happily and the both continued to work their magic with their hands. She opened her mouth and welcomed his tongue.

"Adam," Sasha whispered as his hand cupped her breast and they kissed again.

She arched her back as he stroked her clit. She rolled onto her back and he gently pushed her legs further apart as his hand continued to stroke her and she worked on his hard cock with her extended arm. A moment later, Sasha lifted her ass off the mattress as she gave way, closing her eyes and screaming out in satisfaction before collapsing back on the mattress, spent.

Adam continued to cup her breast and Sasha purred with a contented smile while she continued to work him with her hand. Now Adam lay on his back and she sat up to watch as she continued the hand job.

"It feels nice to have spontaneous mutually consenting wanting sex for a change," Sasha told him. "Instead of being harassed, assaulted, stalked and victimized."

She leaned over and kissed him slowly and their tongues mated. Adam pulled away and looked at her with desire.

"I never would have done something like that."

"I know," she said quietly before going for another kiss.

Sasha finally stopped with the hand job and she climbed on top of him, straddling his hips.

"I knew you were a nice guy," she said factually as she leaned over and kissed him as her breasts rubbed against his chest.

Her hand found his cock again and she rubbed her ass against it while Adam brought his hands to her ass cheeks and squeezed.

She moaned as he entered her, closing her eyes and holding onto his shoulders as she rocked on top of him until she came again, this time with him joining her and they both yelled out, their screams echoing off the shelter walls.

Sasha collapsed on top of him and he rubbed her hair and her back as he held her close.

"Adam," Sasha whispered.

"Sasha," He smiled as he rolled her off of him and onto the mattress, rolling on his side and staring into her eyes.

She smiled as he pulled her closer.

"This is by far the best foster placement I've ever had," she told him.

"Let's make sure it doesn't end," Adam said.

"They always end." She sounded like she was going to cry.

"We have leverage now," Adam reminded her.

###

Adam and Sasha were sitting on their cots which they had put back together when the door to the bomb shelter opened. They were dressed and the shelter was almost as clean as the day they entered, although the air was stale with body odor and the toilet's storage tank was full.
They watched the door as it opened and they said nothing when they saw Mr. and Mrs. Munn standing in the doorway.
"Everything okay?" Mr. Munn asked.
"Well, we're still here," Adam said as he stood.
"I could really use a shower," Sasha said as she abandoned her cot and started for the door.
"Did we miss anything?" Adam asked as he followed Sasha out of the shelter.
"We had a wonderful time on the cruise," Mrs. Munn said happily.
"Great," Adam replied without spite.

"But we're really happy to see you two!" Mrs. Munn added with sincerity.
"Are you going to tell anybody about this?" Mr. Munn asked with concern. "Now that we're back?"
"No," Adam replied as he followed Sasha up the stairs.
The foster couple was right behind them and all four stopped in the kitchen.

"We really thank you kids for being so patient and understanding," Mrs. Munn remarked.
"I'm hoping you'll let me stay here after I age out of the system," Adam said. "I'll be working and going to the tech college and I'll need a place to stay. I'll pay rent but only what I can afford."
"Sure, dear, we'd love to have you stay with us," Mrs. Munn said with a smile.
"So, this week will be our little secret, right?" Mr. Munn asked.
"Sasha and I might have a few secrets of our own," Adam revealed.
"Yes, we can imagine," Mrs. Munn said, glancing at Sasha. "A week locked up together is a long time."
"But we didn't kill each other," Sasha remarked with an amused grin before she headed for the stairs.
"Did you at least send us a postcard?" Adam asked Mr. Munn.

"We brought you a present," Mrs. Munn said happily, pointing to a package on the table.

"Actually, you left us a present," Adam clarified.