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Chapter Text

"I thought California rains less than ten times a year!" The brown-hair man held his briefcase over his head as a shelter, English accent so rare around here it was almost unintelligible to the locals, other hand on his hip as he stood worriedly and watched from not far away. The rain poured down from heaven and hit a pool in front of the house before slashing all over, the sound of it almost deafening.

"It’s just bad luck, sir!" The truck driver came out of the vehicle and hurried to the back of the truck to direct other workers to cover the unloaded pieces of furniture with bright-yellow canvas together. For caution’s sake, he boarded the trunk to inventory the stock again.

"We must move in before my daughter starts in school. Can’t wait to meet new friends, can you, Jemma?" The man shouted at the girl standing under the roof, but whether unintentionally or not, she didn’t hear him.

Rain flowed in under the roof with the chill of autumn wind, wetting the hem of Jemma’s skirt. She stood still as if hypnotized and looked up at the sky, not certain what she was searching for.

She was familiar with rain. Everybody knows a London with endless rains and gentlemen with umbrellas to prevent sudden embarrassment. But in here? It seemed like some absurd anachronism, some silver in solid gold where they shouldn’t exist. Everything just didn’t feel right.

Of course, it was never her intention to move. It was common for a businessman like her father to move about, but to America? Well, this was a little too much. Not that Jemma objected this change intensely. It was California, after all, a paradise full of sunshine (unfortunately this impression now altered as well). But starting a new life in a different town in a different country was never easy for any teenagers.

Intermittent voice could be heard in the rain, capturing her attention. She turned, trying to locate the origin of it, anything that could distract her from whatever was on her mind.

"Hey, Phoebes, hurry up! I promised your mom to drop your off before 4! And you can’t drink the water falling from the sky!"

It belonged to a girl around her age. There were giggles of a little boy.

"And you, Nadia! Is there anyone home? Is the key under the doormat or in the mailbox? Listen to me, where is it?"

The voice and a silhouette unorthodoxly wide in shoulders approached. Jemma tilted her head, interested, watching a blonde girl bending slightly, holding up a faded green coat to cover two children that were not older than four around her, walking past the house in this position as fast as possible.

She shot a quick glimpse at Jemma on the steps when she passed by. She looked not much older than herself, jawline almost too firm for a female, what looked like a newly-added wound on the side of the jaw. Her eyes glimmered light-blue in the lowly-lit weather. Her first impression was a little cold, but then her lips twirled in the most unnoticeable way. It wasn’t a dazzling smile, but warm enough to rid all heavy clouds overhead.

She said nothing, even pushing two children forward with more force.

"Who is the one standing in front of the house, Bo bo?" The little girl’s question passed all the way to Jemma before their silhouette completely disappeared.

"New friend, Nadia." Jemma heard the girl murmured. "New friend."