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Several days later, Vicky was starting to pack up her stuff and Lydia and Micky were helping her.

They got a knock on the door. Lydia opened it and it was the McPeek family.

“Hi guys!” Lydia smiled.

“Heyyyy Liddy!” Nate smiled back as the family came in. “Busy day ahead, huh?”

“Yep! It's gonna take some work! Thanks for coming by and helping us.”

“That's what family’s for!” Nate grinned. He then looked at his younger sister more seriously. “Where is he?”

“The man cave, of course” Lydia sighed.

“I’ll go talk to him” Nate sighed as well as he left to go downstairs after greeting Micky and Vicky.

“Well, how do you feel about moving out and in with your friends?” Kelly asked Vicky.

“Pretty good.” Vicky grinned. “It should be a bit of an adjustment at first but this will work out real well I think.”

“Well moving in with your friend is a very nice thing to do to help keep her safe” Kelly smiled, “It's an adjustment for sure but you’ll get used to it. As long as you are smart and safe then it will be ok.”

“Yep.” Vicky said as she packed up some of her Mass Effect stuff, of which she had quite a bit.

“I just hope Tag adjusts alright” Lydia sighed, “I really don't want him moping around the house for day.”

“It's not always easy for a parent to see their kiddos grow up” Kelly said, “But there has to be adjustment and acceptance on the parent’s part. Growing up is a part of life. Nate and I just have it lucky right now because Kaysha is still in high school. But it's senior year, so we could be seeing her off to college or goodness, another country, by this time next year.”

“I have no plans for my future” Kaysha sighed, “They tell me to start thinking about colleges, careers, scholarships, plans...but I have no idea what I would want to do…”

“Well there’s that… Plus there's no way she’d be leaving the country when her boyfrieeeend is right here in San Fran. What about music, Kaysh? You could go to school for music stuff.” Vicky said.

“Music? Mmmm...Listening to it is a hobby, not a passion…” Kaysha replied, “I do like art and I like makeup, but those are hobbies as well. I once dreamed about becoming an athlete but I think that is beyond me…” she sighed, “I don't have that kind of courage to make that kind of leap of faith…”

“Go for it, Kaysh. We’re all here for ya.” Vicky replied.

“I heard that there’s a tryout tomorrow for girls basketball at school, Kaysh!” Charmaine told her, “Why don’t you chase that dream one small step at a time and try out?”

Kaysha stopped packing and looked up at Charmaine with shock and fear. “W-what?! Me? But I've never played team basketball before!” Kaysha cried, “I've never been brave enough to try out! Do I have what it takes?”

“Girl you have more than what it takes.” Vicky replied.

“I agree!” Lydia said as she came over and gave her an encouraging hug.

“Sweetheart, since moving here, you have become the most assertive that I have ever seen you and are more happy and confident” Kelly added as she hugged Kaysha as well, “You really need to start believing in yourself and telling yourself that you can do it.”

“Yeah, Kaysh!” Charmaine chimed in, “Come on! I've seen you play oodles of times! I know it's scary for you to be more assertive sometimes but if yew don't then yew won't get what yew want! I really think you should go for it! If you can compete in skateboardin' competitions you can DEFINITELY do this!”

“Yeah! Show those mad skills off!” Micky added.

Kaysha thought about it for a while and then looked at everyone in the room.

“Okay...I will...I’m scared of it...but you're right...If I don't become more assertive then I’ll miss out on a lot of potentially great opportunities...the Scorpions have made me free to feel like myself and do things I love so I will use that when I try out tomorrow...Thank you, guys” Kaysha said with a small smile, “Maybe one day I won’t doubt myself so much…”

“The first step is always the hardest.” Vicky stated.

“But a necessary one!” Lydia replied. “Such as what Vicky was talking about earlier about moving out being an adjustment. Life is full of constant changes and many first steps. You have to keep moving if you want to go forward.”

“If you think Tag is bad now though, just imagine how he will react in the future when his little girl gets married or has a child of her own!” Kelly laughed.

“Ohhhhhhhhh pleaseeeeee don't bring it up…” Lydia groaned.

“Yeah, Aunt Kel! I don't wanna see my dad have an emotional MELTDOWN!” Micky added, “Then it’ll be my turn to hide from HIM!”

Vicky started laughing. “Ooooooh it's unavoidable, though. It’ll be worse with Micky, I'm sure. But that's out in the future somewhere. The adventure is getting to those points in time.”

Downstairs in Tag's man cave, Tag was doing his usual playing of Call of Duty while snacking on Code Red and potato chips.

"Taggart McStone...Tough and talented top secret agent and former Navyman...Now a sulking, junk food eating bachelor hiding out in his man cave" Nate chuckled as he came in.

Tag jumped a little from surprise and turned to look at Nate.

"Oh, hey Nate" Tag said somewhat unenthusiastically as he returned to his game.

Nate sat down on his couch and waited patiently for him to finish his match before talking any more.

"Care to talk?" Nate asked him after the match was over.

Tag sighed and nodded as he set down his controller and took a seat next to his brother in law on the couch.

"Alright, Tag...Talk to me...What are you feeling?" Nate asked him.

Tag let out a loud sigh before answering. "Just feeling upset about Vicky moving out of the house...I know I know I knowwww this day was going to come eventually...but it's tough, Nate...I don't wanna see my little girl leave..."

"Aww Tag, it's not like she's moving to Southern California!" Nate replied, "She's gonna be right here in San Francisco with her girlfriends, and she's gonna still see you plenty! Word on the street is, she's hoping to get hired at Section 13 and then there's the matter of the amulet business that you both are a part of. Not to mention her boyfriend lives at Section 13. You're gonna see her plenty, man. Only difference is that she won't be sleeping under your roof or being around you quite as often. Lots of kids have already gone off to college and live in dorms by this age but not Vicky. You should be lucky that she's lived at home for as long as she has and that you'll get to still see her plenty."

Tag listened to what Nate said and nodded. "You're right Nate, and I know all of this is true. It's just the secret agent in me is so protective, especially of those I love."

"I understand Tag, and a good man should be protective of his family!" Nate clapped his shoulder, "But as far as I know, Vicky has been doing a pretty stellar job staying responsible and safe. If she can run a group of- what it is again? Almost 150?- people, then I'm sure she can manage living on her own just fine. She has a TON of people who will rush to her in seconds I'm sure if she ever needed help. She's gonna be fine. And if Lilith has such a nice house, maybe she has a security system? When we were her age, weren't we thrilled to be out of our parent's house and finally living on our own? It's an exciting thing for young people, and a necessary one. They need to grow up, experience life, learn from their experiences and have their own space. It's gonna be hard at first- and you have the right to your feelings- but it's gonna get easier with time."

Tag absorbed Nate's words like a sponge and smiled a little.

"Wiser than I as usual, Nathaniel. Thank you my dear friend and brother" he said as he hugged him, "I'll adapt. It's what secret agents do."

"Good man! Now. Why don't we come out of hiding and help Vicky pack and move, and then I'll take you out to Buffalo Wild Wings, and we'll have us a good time and watch some football" Nate laughed, "Manly, all American fun!"

"I accept!" Tag laughed as he got up from the couch to leave, "It's so good to have you and your family here in San Francisco, Nate."

The McStone and McPeek girls continued to pack when Tag and Nate showed up.

“Heeeeeeyyyyy look who came out of hiding!” Kelly laughed.

“Wow! Uncle Nate got Daddy to come out of his man cave! How’d you do it?!” Micky asked.

Nate laughed. “A magician never reveals his secrets, Micky dear!” he teased with a wink.

Vicky giggled and pulled something out from under her bed. “Hey… I don't remember this…” she said as she looked at an old shoe box. She put it on the bed and opened it up to look inside.

“Aw maaaaannnn I forgot all about this stuff… I took it from my old room then shut it and shoved it under the bed and forgot I even had it…” she said, looking upset.

“What's in there, Vicky?” Charmaine asked.

Vicky pulled out a few photos, though one was torn and another looked kinda scorched and the third looked worn around the edges.

“Pictures...How old are they?” Charmaine asked.

“Pretty old 'cause Lorraine is in them with me…” Vicky replied.

“Your old life...Before Uncle Tag and Aunt Lydia found you...Are these memories you wish to keep?” Kaysha asked her.

She put the pictures down where the others could see. The one that was torn had a young Lorraine and a three year old Vicky with a woman that was holding Vicky. The part that had been ripped off was the head of a man who had his arm around the woman’s shoulders and a hand on of Lorraine’s small shoulders.

“Your father...It must be painful to look at such pictures and to remember that he is still there, though parts of the picture might not be…” Kaysha said, “Anything of your mother, do you know?”

“She disappeared like Lorraine did… but it wasn’t much longer after that picture had been taken…Lorraine said that they used to fight a lot. That he had something of hers that was important that gave him power over my mother.” Vicky said before she looked at the scorched picture, which was of the woman and she had black and blonde hair. She was looking at the camera and she had the most unusual eyes. They looked like Vicky’s had after she had gone nuclear at the skate park.

“If only all marriages were ones where each partner were treated with complete love and respect” Kelly shook her head, “I hate hearing about abuse in relationships. It's painful and horrible to hear- physical, mental, you name it.”

“Why does your mom have reptilian eyes?” Charmaine asked curiously as she observed the picture more closely. The eyes were so unusual that it was difficult not to notice.

“I don’t know.” Vicky sighed. “I don't know much of my mother. She left when I was three. I can barely remember anything about her. Just a hummed lullaby…”

“Do you think you might ever find her again, just like Lorraine came back into your life again?” Kelly asked. “If that's what you want, of course, it's a touchy subject with biological and adopted families but…”

“Lorraine said she’d find me when I turned nineteen. She was going to explain something important to me…” Vicky replied. “You guys will always be my family, though. Family runs deeper than blood…”

“And that will always mean the world to us, Vicky” Lydia said as she hugged her, “But when your biological mother returns into your life, we will accept her in just like we did Lorraine.”

Vicky smiled at them before she showed them the last picture, which was worn around the edges. A six year old Vicky sitting on a porch next to an eight year old Lorraine and a stuffed dragon sitting between them and they were grinning at the camera as they held a sandwich each. Both girls looked bruised and scuffed up but they also looked really happy there.

“The neighbor lady gave us sandwiches and we sat on her porch to eat them. We were so happy… She said that we were so cute she had to take a picture of us.” Vicky said.

The McPeeks were saddened and sickened to see two sweet young girls with injuries on their faces that were no doubt the result of their father’s abuse. Tag and Lydia did an incredible service getting her out of that awful environment and giving her a happier and healthier home…

“I…..like the stuffed dragon” Charmaine said shyly, “I have read many stories where dragons are the villains but also ones where they are kind and good. I like those kinds of stories…”

“That was Lorraine’s favorite toy… I remember going and clinging to it after she disappeared, hoping with everything I had that she’d stomp into the room and scold the heck outta me for touching Soot…”  Vicky said before pulling the toy dragon out of the shoe box.

“You should show it to her sometime...See if she remembers it…” Lydia said gently.

“Yeah…” Vicky said before putting the things back in the box carefully and closing it. “I’ll show her when she comes to visit next.”

“What more do you have to pack up, Vick?” Nate asked, “What can we help you with?”

“Most of it is packed up but I still have my framed posters on my walls and a few other little things that should be easy to pack up. Then we can get my stuff moved over to my new room in Pit Viper’s house. Roundabout may have already beaten me to the punch and gotten her stuff moved in and at least partially set up. But then again she’s got less stuff than I do.” Vicky said.

“Then we might as well get a move on!” Nate said.

“Yes...might as well…” Tag added.
**AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the last chapter I will be posting in the Jackie Chan Adventures groups. This fanfiction is a LONG one- as in book length long- so I don't want to clutter the Fanfiction folders in the groups with this story! ^^; So please visit my page if you want to continue reading this story. I will continue to post several chapters per posting day. Thank you!**

In this chapter, Kaysha gets a confidence boost and we discover more backstory about Vicky's horrific and abusive past with her biological father and more about her biological mother and sister Lorraine.

Vicky and her biological family belong to :iconbikermicechick:
The McPeek family and Lydia belong to me
Tag belongs to the creators of Jackie Chan Adventures
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June 2, 2017
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