Melissa Smith. Thats her new foster mom’s name. Wife to Jaydon Smith, mother to none. A promising entrepenour.
Her gut is done up in knots like its never been, even with the McRays. (she wonders how Aya is doing.)
Toni’s eleven now, her twelfth birthday’s in a month, and she doubts she’ll celebrate it. A new foster family always takes time to adjust to. She knows from expirience- this is her tenth family in half as many years.
She packs her belongings and gets ready.
(she never really unpacked them. something had told her that her stay with the Dalonie’s wouldn’t be that long, and lo and behold, they hadn’t been able to deal with all her junked up brain stuff. she doesnt really blame them- she can hardly handle it herself on the bad days. she hopes jay is alright)
The Smith’s are boring, and Jaydon seems skeptical of her and Melissa seems frustrated easily, but how could she blame them? Her track record isn’t exactly spotless, and her fuse was one of the shortest among her birth family.
She celebrates her twelfth birthday in her room, back sticky with the hot june air, and she’s glad she didn’t tell them. She doesnt think she could stand another family trying to take hers place.
Its a gas leak that does it- the house explodes when Melissa goes to put water on for tea for her grandmother, and Toni is the only survivor. She calls 911- she had actually liked this family fairly well- and scavenges what she can of her stuff from the ruins.
The secretary at the office snipes at her- as if she doesnt have anything better to do than make fun of twelve year olds with dead families- and she snarls and snaps right back. The secretary is angered, but she lays off and soon Toni’s off with her next family, the Mortfor’s.
The Mortfor’s are by far the worst family she’s encountered so far. Angella, the foster-mother, seems to hate her for reasons she can’t understand. She’s cruel, but it’s bearable until the couple are divorced.
Angella seemed to blame Toni for that, and so she drives her into the woods under the pretext of going hiking as an apology trip, and she swears that she’s going to cut Toni up with the axe in the back and bury her in the woods, hacked to bits with nobody to find her, and the car slams to a stop and the wreckage kills Angella.
(if Toni had seen her own eyes as it happened, underneath the fear and anger and survival instincts, she’d see a storm, something more feral flickering just beneath the surface.)
She runs, panicing the whole way, into the woods, before she realizes that it’s useless and that she’d be caught if anyone brought in dogs, and she feels something in her chest, inside her heart, burn, and she suddenly doesnt leave any marks as she runs.
(unbeknowest to her, a storm swirled inside her, awoken by the threat to her life, destroying all evidence of her escape as it formed)
She ran until the clouds started pouring rain, and she ducked into a hollow tree that was surprisingly clean.
Hollow trees, it turns out, can make a wonderfull home once you add proper security measures. She slept in the tall branches, obscured by the leaves and warmed by the plant, and kept her things in a satchell that she kept on her at all times- her slowly growing collection of neat rocks, maybe thirty dollars in bills and quarters, a notebook and pen, and a little i-pod she’d found on the side of the road and made her own.
He showed up one day, wandering around, looking lost and kinda feverish. she had grown better at controlling the storm inside her, and so she pushes her energy towards him and tells him to heal without words. he gets better within the day, and then she learns his name. peter quill.
He was originally from someplace called terra, he said, and he had crash-landed his ship on accident. hed been incredibly sick and had just blindly steered towards whatever planet seemed most likely to contain life that could help him.
He recovered slowly, and by the time he was better, they were basically siblings
(she was starting to hope he didn’t die like the others)
Toni says that he’s on earth right now, and could she possibly tag along into space with him? She’s fairly good at healing, see. Peter quill thought she was kind of like a feral little sister, and she was a storm, so he said yes and she went into space.
Toni thinks his cape is pretty cool, and so she makes herself one out of askavarian wool. Its useful when they go to a colder planet, but hot and itchy in the warmer climates, and as a result she learns to coax the storm inside her to making wind.
Then they’re hired to collect an orb from morag.