Since Megan came to the shelter a few days ago, she went from a wreck to a teenager with a trauma. She is glad she has loving staff members, like Jade, and caring Ani around her that support her. Mostly Jill and Snow. Despite she doesn't really know anybody, except for Eva who is gone for the biggest part of the day, she tries very hard to get some friends. Her first choice was Pippa, as they are about the same age. They struggle a bit for a day, but soon find things they have in common. When they have nothing to do, they can talk for hours in some corner of the shelter and just forget about the time. Megan had the idea that the Ani in the shelter were weird or just someone you would stay away from. That changed when Timmy celebrated his tenth birthday. Barely two nights in the shelter and she already had to celebrate a birthday. During the day, she finds out that birthdays in a shelter are almost the same as those outside a shelter. The only differences are you get no gifts and the cake is very cheap. All but a few have never celebrated anything, so this is a good way to start. While Megan settles in, Dixie gets a burn out. She sleeps bad, gets headaches and often has almost no energy to do anything. In the evening, she goes to bed early, leaving Erik, Jill and Marvin alone in the living room. After two nights like this, Erik orders Dixie to visit a doctor. Reluctantly, she goes and gets some bad news. She works way too much and she gets too much stress from her work. She has to work a few hours less hours per day and she needs to do something like yoga to clear her mind. She also has to stop drinking coffee. If she really wants coffee, she needs to drink decaf.
When Dixie is back at the shelter, she gives Erik the bad news. Jade isn't in the office for moment, so they can talk in private for a moment.
``That bad?'' asks Erik a bid shocked.
Dixie nods yes.
``If I don't do this, I won't be able to work anymore in a few weeks.''
``Damn. Did he had any idea where it came from?''
``To much caffeine with too much stress and to little rest'' explains Dixie a bit sad.
``So you have to quit coffee, work less per day and you have to do something like yoga. Yoga?''
``Do you see me do yoga?'' asks Dixie with a disgusted face while thinking about yoga pants.
``If it helps.''
``What else can you do? Knitting?''
Dixie looks at Erik in disbelieve. Did he really say that?
``Knitting is for grannies.''
``Yoga it is then'' says Erik.
``Before I left the doctor, I checked it. Do you have an idea how much just one hour of yoga costs?''
``No. How much?''
``A lot. I almost got myself a heart attack too. And the worst part is, our health insurance won't pay for it. And I need hours and hours of it every week again for it to work. I'm not going to spend my entire paycheck each month on this. There has to be a cheaper way.''
``What about those online classes?''
Dixie just nods no.
``Anyway, next week I have to return to see if there is any progress.''
``What do we tell everybody?''
``Nothing, for now. Eva can know, but nobody else. Not even Jade.''
``Are you sure? If she has to take over, or if you are to the doctor, she will figure out that there is something wrong.''
``In time, I will tell her personally. If she would know it now, it will only bring me more stress.''
``What about the coffee? When you suddenly stop drinking it?''
``Don't know it yet. I'll have to think hard on this.''
Suddenly, the front door closes. Jade went to grab the mail at the gate. She is surprised to find out that Dixie is back, from whatever she went doing, and that she and Erik aren't the happiest people right now.
``You okay?'' asks Jade a bit concerned while giving Dixie the mail.
``It's nothing'' answers Dixie quick.
Knowing that Dixie isn't going to answer, Jade just leaves. To put her thoughts on something else, Dixie goes through the envelopes and the few leaflets. Suddenly she finds an envelope that is directed to Jill personally. But when an Ani lives in a shelter, they would send the mail to the shelter where the staff will inform the Ani. Dixie has never seen any mail directed to an Ani in a shelter before. Dixie looks on the front of the envelope. It's a logo she doesn't recognize. Three mountaintops with the name Tripeaks A.N.S.C. underneath it? She has never heard of it. There is no return address on it either. This is intriguing. An unknown company sends Jill some mail? What is going on? Dixie opens the envelope to read the letter inside. Just outside the office, Jade meets Jill. Jill is on a coffee run again. Jade doesn't want any coffee at the moment and directs her to the office. When Jill is at the door, Erik sees her. She can enter without asking for permission. Erik already holds up his mug, ready for new coffee. Knowing that Dixie loves to get high on caffeine, Jill wants to fill her mug too. As Dixie wasn't around until now, Jill even brought Dixie a mug. She is about to fill the mug, when she sees the letter Dixie is reading. On top of the letter is the same logo. Jill immediately freaks out and rips the letter out of Dixie?s hands. She also grabs the envelope. Immediately, Dixie gets furious and they have another fight going on. Even Jade goes back to the office when she hears it in the living-room. The fight is nasty and the only thing that stops Jill from assaulting Dixie is Dixie?s desk. With a lot of difficulty, Jade manages to get Jill out the office. Jade herself will bring the pot of coffee back. While doing this, she orders Jill go to her room. Very reluctantly, Jill goes upstairs. She takes the letter with her. While Jill stays in her room for next few hours, Dixie starts searching for a cheap way to do yoga. There is nothing to be found. There are ways, but not really suited for Dixie to do. After a few hours of searching, Dixie had enough of it. This failure haunts her mind while she looks out of the window for a moment. Normally the front yard is empty as all the Ani play in the back yard. However, this gives Jill the perfect opportunity to do some exercises in front yard during the day without getting disturbed. While Dixie looks at Jill, she notices something odd. It appears that Jill is practicing yoga. Jill knows yoga? Dixie keeps looking. She is now so focused on Jill, that she forgets all of her surroundings. She doesn't hear Erik and Jade come in and ask her if she needs coffee. It's not until Jade loudly shouts Dixie?s name. She quickly looks at who shouted.
``You okay?'' asks Jade curious.
Dixie blinks twice to finally get back to reality. She tries to find the words to explain her absent minded moment. It makes it only worse.
``You're not okay. Isn't it?'' asks Jade.
Dixie sighs deep. It had to happen.
``Not really'' answers Dixie slowly.
Slowly, Dixie tells Jade what is going on. Jade isn't surprised. She knew that this day would come, sooner or later. When Dixie looks outside again, Jade and Erik look at what Dixie is looking at. When they see Jill exercising, they easily come to the conclusion at what Dixie is thinking. What Jill is doing looks like yoga and that is what Dixie needs. And because she can't afford any real yoga class at some gym in the city, she wants Jill to teach her. This is kind of ironic as its Jill who causes the most stress. There is now only one thing that has be settled. What is Jill doing, exactly? Dixie says its yoga, but Jade, who has seen it before, says its actually tai chi. This sparks a new fight between them and who is right? Jade, who still had enough of all the fights, quickly cuts the fight off and walks away. At the door she gives Dixie a word of advice. If Dixie wants Jill to teach her yoga, or tai chi, Dixie needs to do more than just doing it. With that advice, Dixie returns at looking at Jill. She has sat down and looks to be meditating or something. She even placed her tail on her lap and folded her hands. For about half an hour, Jill remains sitting like this without moving. All this time, Dixie keeps looking, which is quite boring. When Jill finally moves again, so is Dixie. She has made up her mind. She wants Jill to teach her yoga, even if Jade calls it tai chi. Dixie almost rushes outside. She wants to ask it when nobody else can hear it. Before Jill can even get up from the grass, Dixie is already standing in front of her. Because of the height difference, Jill has to stand up too, but even then there is some difference. Jill is shocked about what Dixie tells her. Dixie puts the blame for her problems on Jill and therefore, Jill is now ordered to teach Dixie yoga. This puts Jill in a bit of problem. She doesn't know anything of yoga. She knows tai chi, but getting Dixie to accept that, is a whole different ballgame. Minute after minute, they go back and forth about if its yoga or tai chi. Then, Jill puts down a few rules about her teaching tai chi, which Dixie throws out the window. To her, Jill doesn't obey the rules, so she doesn't obey Jill?s rules. This makes Jill frustrated, but Dixie puts her foot down. If Jill wants Dixie to follows Jill?s rules, Jill must follow Dixie?s rules. Like this, they keep going back and forth for almost an hour. Erik even has to interrupt them when it's time for lunch.
In the afternoon, Dixie finally agrees with Jill?s rules. It was agreeing, or getting no lessons. Dixie wants to do a lesson immediately. Jill had other things planned, but has not much choice.
Dixie?s first tai chi lesson is a fiasco. She just doesn't put in any effort. Despite Jill?s rules, Dixie keeps talking, interrupting and at one point she even wanted to walk away to see how things are going with the other Ani. Jill gave Dixie the option. Either she did as she was told by Jill, or Jill would stop. Just like every discussion between them, it's a fight.
``I ordered you to teach me yoga. No discussion!''
``I ordered you to do as I told you. No discussion!'' shouts Jill back. ``And it's not yoga!''
Jill and Dixie give each other a mad look. Slowly, Jill walks away. She had enough of it. If Dixie isn't putting her back into it, she might as well do what she wanted to do herself. The whole way from the front yard to the kitchen, Dixie follows her. In the kitchen, the fight continues and everybody can hear it. While Dixie scolds at her, Jill just makes some tea, trying her best to ignore Dixie.
``If you're not going to help me, then fix your own mess.''
``You first'' answers Jill while looking for the tea bags.
``What! Don't talk to me like that. You are here way to long already.''
``And I still have about four years left. How much time do you have left?''
Jill and Dixie look mad at each other.
``O, yeah. That's right. A week! So, you first.''
``Go to your room.''
Dixie gets big eyes. Did Jill really say no?
``Go to your room, now!''
Dixie was expecting this. She knows that she can't make Jill to go to her room. So, she plays her last card. She claims that Jill, with her bad behavior, is a disgrace towards Theresa.
``You really want to get punched in the face, do you?'' asks Jill angry, because Dixie used Theresa?s name against her.
Jill leans a bit forward so that she looks Dixie straight in the eyes. Jill slowly holds her mouth close to Dixie?s ear and says just one word.
With that said, Jill turns away from Dixie. She slowly takes the tea bag out of her tea. Slowly, she walks out of the kitchen. Close to the dinner table, she turns around.
``You should have stayed where you were. This isn't your place.''
Enough said, Jill walks away and goes into the back yard, leaving Dixie behind in the kitchen. For the rest of the day, Jill doesn't say a word to Dixie. Dixie went back to the office to continue her work and to think. In the office Dixie comes to the conclusion that Jill was right. She needs to work harder and she has only a week to prove herself. If she doesn't want to end up in bed for a long time, she needs to do what Jill says, an idea that she doesn't like. That evening, Jill still doesn't want to say a word to Dixie, but refuses to go to her room until late in the evening. In the living room she sees on the eight o'clock news that there is a new APD test developed that she too will get from now on. Every Ani with APD gets it, even if they are in prison. It is said that the prisons are getting a bit to full and costs the taxpayers to much money to keep them there. Not every Ani might be able to go to a shelter, but even if it's just a handful that might, it would be helping a lot. It also keeps promising Ani out of prison. There is also a new shelter, but Jill can't go there as its for the more problematic cases. As if APD isn't problematic enough by itself. This new shelter is for Ani who are barely trying to control it, like how Jill was in the early days. If an Ani is placed in here, they will get more personal help and they get 20 years to become normal instead of the 10 years Jill has now. She wonders if she gets the remaining 10 years too. That would mean she could be 34 when she finally leaves the shelter, but finally going to school at that age? When finally in bed, Jill thinks about what she saw on the news and what that is going to mean for her. Knowing she will hear it any time soon, she rolls on her side and falls asleep.
The next morning, Jill is barely at the gate to grab the news paper, when Dixie shows up. This surprises Jill a lot. She knows that Dixie has a mayor problem of getting out of bed every morning. So, finding her at the gate at this hour, is a really big surprise. Reluctantly, Dixie apologizes for her behavior the day before. During the evening and a part of the night, she kept thinking about it. Knowing Dixie by now, Jill bluntly asks if Dixie is out of bed at this time so that the others won't hear her apologize to Jill. Dixie doesn't answer that question. She does say she didn't put her back into it as she should, but will do so if Jill is willing to give her a second chance. Jill looks at Dixie in a bit of a shock. This isn't the same Dixie that Jill knows. Knowing that Theresa gave her many second chances, Jill even had to beg for some of them, she gives Dixie a second chance. However, today, there will be no tai chi. Jill has something different in mind for the afternoon.
That afternoon, Dixie is in the front yard again. In the shade of one of the trees, Jill has set up something much different. She placed a large blanket on the floor with some pillows on it. In the middle there is a small wooden box with a serving tray on it. On this tray, there is a tea pot, two tea cups and a few things that Dixie doesn't recognize instantly. Jill lets her sit and tells her to remain quiet, as she will explain things. Jill plans for helping Dixie aren't just tai chi lessons. They are also tea ceremonies after every lesson. There are a few strict rules that Dixie must follow, but she shouldn't be worried about them for now. The very first rule is to never raise your voice. The second it to remain silent when desired. Even though Dixie doesn't like tea at all, Jill believes it will help her body recover from all that coffee. She even picked a tea that most people will like. While Jill drinks her tea without anything in it, she offers Dixie some sugar, who takes it gladly. While drinking their tea, Jill explains everything she wants to teach Dixie, namely tai chi and how to drink tea in a slow and delicate manner. Also, Jill wants Dixie to learn something called Zazen, seated Zen meditation. Dixie?s progress might be slow, but if she really puts her back into it, she might even loose her love for coffee altogether. She doesn't have to become a full Zen Buddhist like Jill, but the basics is enough for Dixie to calm down. After all the explanations, Jill and Dixie finally have their very first normal talk ever. No harsh words. No fights. This is the very first time that Dixie can get to learn who Jill really is and why she puts so much effort in all of her exercises every day. The weirdest thing Dixie learns about Jill, is that Jill learned most of this during her time in the behavioral institute. Dixie just can't get a picture of a 14 year old Jill, who doesn't know a thing except aggression, trying to meditate like a Buddhist monk. Dixie is suddenly snapped out of her moment peace by Erik who as a very urgent phone call for Dixie. When Dixie looks at her watch, she sees she has been sitting with Jill, drinking tea, for little over an hour. While Dixie rushes back to the office, Jill picks up the stuff from the tea and brings them back inside. In the office, Dixie has grabbed the phone and gets some horrifying news. In another shelter, one of the male staff has tried to sexually assault one of the boys. This boy is the 14 year old fox Ani Daniel. The staff tried to put all the blame at Daniel, but the truth came out anyway. The whole staff has been reprimanded and the guy who tried to assault Daniel lost his job. However, because of the staff?s actions, Daniel has lost all trust in them. He needs to be relocated, preferably today. The BAP is now calling around to find a place for him. Dixie knows she still has enough place left and accepts. He can come today. In little over an hour, a van of the BAP arrives to drop him off. The first thing they see is that Daniel is scared, but who can blame him. He slowly follows them inside. He is barely inside when he almost bumps against Jill. Surprising the staff, they claim to know each other. They even hug each other. When he hears that Jill goes against the staff and is allowed to do so, she is ordered to put him back on the floor and leave so that they can have the first talk, Daniel is relieved. Having Jill on his side is now a blessing. Both of them keep it a secret of where they know each other from. Jill just says it will be revealed soon, when the time is right. After putting Daniel down again, Jill goes back to the living room. Domino is waiting there and she wants to cuddle. A very close friendship is forming between Jill and Domino. This is mostly shown when Domino is denied to play a game with the others. They only accept her when Jill interferes. Instead of playing the game on their own, they play as one. Domino is then usually sitting on Jill?s lap. Sometimes they retreat into the reading nook and cuddle a bit while Jill reads a children?s story to Domino. Jill has barely entered the living room, or Domino is already hugging her.