A/N: You huys have NO CLUE how close it came to me not getting this up at all. A) lots of lovely new people but not a whole lot of common sense between them this weekend. I was almost run over, blown up and stabbed, all by accident because they simply did not KNOW BETTER

B) I ran out of paper and had very little time to write

You all better love me very very much for this chapter. Some of you may have seen this coming, some of you will be caught off guard. In all honesty I knew this was coming and it STILL caught me out.


Alice's hand felt terrible the next day, the thumb swollen, bruised and tender. She didn't even have to touch it to know that it was going to hurt all day, but she poked at it anyways to make sure it was just a dislocated joint and not a break. She reluctantly taped it up again, realizing that she'd have to explain that she'd gotten hurt but not told the 'adults'. It rankled the independant Ace to have to run everything by them instead of taking care of it herself.

She hesitated at the enterance, seeing Malcolm, Maddison and Mr. Bottomswell conferring at a table. Might as well get this over with, Alice thought as she walked over to them.

"Goodmorning. Yesterday during dance practice I popped my thumb out and today my hand is basically out of commission." Alice stated, not making eye contact as Malcolm frowned, disappointment in his eyes for her not telling him about it yesterday. Ms. Avery also looked stern but Mr. Bottomswell looked only concerned.

"Are you sure you're alright? There's a doctor in the resort you can see." the principal suggested.

Alice felt her eyebrows raise, see a doctor in Mexico? Maybe it wasn't PC, but she'd pass on that opportunity.... "No, it's ok. Really. I've dislocated fingers, toes and a shoulder, it'll be fine in a day or so if I leave it be." Alice shrugged away their concern, her words as much for Malcolm as the headmaster.

"However, it does cause issue with the planned group activity for today." Mr. Bottomswell continued. "The majority of our group are travelling to Chichen Itza to see the ruins and enjoy a day of cultural activites. Unfortunately I've already been informed of the fact that the majority of those activities are more than a little hands on." the principal mused out loud. Alice grimanced, she would have actually enjoyed doing those kind of things, she was just nerdy enough to like edu-tainment (educational entertainment). They were supposed to explore tradional culture and get hands on lessons in pottery, cooking, construction etc... that the Mayan ancestors had done. It was going to be a lot less enjoyable if she could only stand there and watch, something Mr. Bottomswell seemed to realize as well. "I may have a solution, if you'll give me a few minutes to confer with my fellow chaperone's Ms. Spade...?" he suggested. Alice caught the implied dismissal and walked over to her friends.

They all exclaimed over her rather bruised looking hand and sympathized with her on how boring the day was going to be if she couldn't actually DO anything. She noticed the three 'adults' discussing something, a faintly amused smile on Ms. Avery's face, a frown on Malcolm's and Mr. Bottomswell looked... vague and as abscent minded but kind as always. The principal saw her looking their way and waved her over again. Alice shrugged and walked back, making sure to keep her gaze on hte principal and not let it sneak back over to Malcolm.

"Ms. Spade, we've come up with a solution. It hasn't been made widly known but we chaperones are all getting a day away from the...larger group." Mr. Bottomswell started to explain. Alice had no clue why this was relevant, but she kept her mouth shut, willing to wait for him to plod through the babble and straight up tell her what was happening. "Today Mr. Vega has the day away and he has no objections against you joining his activities for the day instead of accompanying the rest of us." Mr. Bottomswell smiled compassionately, thinking that spending a day alone with a chaperone was a bad thing for most students. "It's not the most ideal solution, but hopefully you'll enjoy a day that doesn't require a good pair of hands as opposed to enduring our more hands on events." Alice felt her body thrum with adrenaline as she realized that the kind principal had just unwittingly organized a day for the two lovers to be alone together.

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