Disclaimer: Lab Rats belongs to Disney. I own nothing but a penchant for writing crack fics.
The teen sighed as his father's voice roared frantically out of the lab.
"What?" he called back, not bothering to look up from his guitar.
"Where did the high-speed combination printer go?"
Oh great, he thought, Dad actually noticed that. Here we go.
"Dad, it was only high-speed compared to a snail, and we didn't have room for it. I sold it last time we moved."
"You left it behind?!" Douglas shot into the room. "All I asked you to do was pack our things! Was that so hard?"
"Well maybe if someone didn't keep getting in trouble with the law, we wouldn't have to move all the time! Or maybe that someone could help with packing?"
"Oh come on! Who's the one with superstrength?"
"I still shouldn't have to do all the packing," Marcus muttered.
"Just go make copies of these and try not to lose them, okay?"
Douglas shoved a fat stack of papers into Marcus's hands and stormed away.
"You know I'll never make it as a musician if you never let me practice!" he yelled after his father, but Douglas was already gone.
Ten minutes later, he walked into some hole with the cheesy title of "Prints Plus". He hadn't taken more than five steps in the door when a voice chirped at his elbow,
"Hello and welcome to Prints Plus! How can I help you today?"
Marcus jumped and nearly vaporized the girl who had somehow materialized next to him. He looked down to reshuffle his papers—and hopefully hide his eyes returning to normal—then matched her polite smile, making a mental note to run a check on his sensors later. Mere humans were not supposed to be able to sneak up on him like that.
"Thanks, but I'm just here to print some stuff for my dad. I can find my way around."
"Are you sure, because—"
The assistant—the nametag pinned to her uniform said Krissy—choked off midsentence, eyes growing wide as she stared and stared at Marcus's face, looked him up and down, went back to staring at his face…
"Um, are you alright?"
For a second Marcus was sure she'd seen his eyes were glowing, his secret was out, Dad would be furious and they'd have to move again—but then Krissy's smile returned.
Actually, he kind of wished it hadn't.
"Waitwaitwait are you…Marcus?"
She breathed his name like it was a precious thing.
"…yes…" She looked about his age, so maybe… "Do you go to Mission Creek High, too?"
"What?" She crinkled her nose in confusion. "No, why? Not that it matters, 'cause—"
Krissy broke off, hands coming up to her face as if to hide her words, then mumbled something very rapidly under her breath. And his sensors really needed a check because he swore she'd said "Fate's given me a mission."
"I just thought maybe you knew me from school."
"Oh, no, no, we've never met, but—Well, I just met one of your friends the other day, who totally—uh, who really seemed to—to think you were a great guy!"
Her smile was approaching serial-killer levels, and he didn't like the way she kept self-censoring what she was obviously so eager to say, but he gratefully latched onto the rational explanation. If the Davenports were here regularly, it could help his mission.
"Adam, Bree, or Chase?" he asked cheerfully. "Yeah, they're such good friends. Do they come here a lot?"
He walked over to the nearest printer and she followed, shaking her head.
"If he does he's never come in on my shift before. And actually I didn't get his name, but he's short…talkative…has beautiful, heartbroken eyes…?"
Marcus was nodding before she finished her sentence.
"Oh, that'd be Leo. Yeah, I just love that—heartbroken eyes?"
The girl gave a little gasp, shaking her head when he looked at her questioningly.
"You, uh, uh…that's not the paper feed!"
"But this is the paper feed."
He pointed at the little icon showing a stack of papers and an arrow.
Damn. Just like Leo to tell a random shopkeeper about my bionics. But 'beautiful, heartbroken eyes'? Leo? As if. More like they're…they're…
Marcus mentally searched for the right description while Krissy made a ridiculous fake show of checking the machine.
"Oh, yeah, you're right. Just wanted to make sure, you know; these things can be so hard to operate."
I'm have supersmarts; I think I can work a lousy printer. But seriously, what's the word I'm thinking of?
He pulled up a memory file and examined Leo's face with the half of his brain that wasn't focused on working the copier.
He'd gotten right in Leo's face when he was threatening the squirt to leave him alone, and his eyes were—definitely not beautiful—but—they were very—deep and shiny and intense…He'd never seen eyes so alive…
"Is something wrong?"
He blinked, refocusing on the assistant. What was he doing daydreaming about Leo's eyes?
"Oh, I was just wondering how to make color copies. You're right; these things are complicated. Would you mind helping me?"
He smiled sweetly. Time to see what the pest had told her.
"Sure! You just use these buttons here…"
"Thanks! So, did Leo totally talk your ear off while he was here?"
"Well…he did talk a lot, but…I sense there was something he was holding back…"
The girl talked slowly and painfully casually. Did she actually think she was fooling him? He squashed the urge to roll his eyes.
"Really? I wonder what he's hiding. I hope the little guy's not mixed up in anything dangerous."
"Oh, I wouldn't say it was anything dangerous." She blinked, eyes going wide as something occurred to her. "Although…now that you mention it, he did say something about the, uh—well, I don't want to talk about it here."
She glanced around the half-full shop. Marcus followed her gaze and nodded. If Leo had blabbed anything, the less damage control he had to do, the better.
"Maybe we could meet somewhere quieter when you're not on shift?"
"Sure! How about…" She chewed her lip in thought for a moment, until a huge grin lit up her face and was quickly suppressed. "How about Café Luna, at four?"
Marcus mentally groaned. The place sold cakes and pastries with tubes of icing so customers could decorate the products themselves. It was largely used by cutesy couples writing each others' names inside hearts and giggling. He managed a grimace that was almost a smile, and agreed to the meet. If he had to flirt with this girl to get info on the Davenports, so be it.
He'd make Leo pay extra for it later. He wanted a chance to reassure himself the little nuisance's eyes were perfectly hideous, anyway.
Leo took a deep breath and set off from the house. He hadn't been there when the shop assistant from Prints Plus called (offering to meet so he could pick up the evidence folder he'd accidentally forgotten), so he'd only heard her message second-hand from Eddie, but if she was anything like she'd been in the store, this was going to be an awkward meeting. He shuddered at the memory.
That folder has all your evidence Marcus is evil, he reminded himself. Just get it from her and leave as quick as you can. Maybe she won't be so bad this time. Maybe last time she was drunk or something.
He had actually boosted his morale considerably when his destination finally came in sight, sending it plummeting again.
He double-checked the paper with the meeting spot on it. (Eddie had insisted on giving him the address instead of just the name of where he was going; it had been all Leo could do to convince the jerk not to give the coordinates in latitude and longitude.) Sadly, the address was for the place he thought it was: Café Luna.
He gritted his teeth and stepped through the door of the restaurant/bakery, trying to scan the place for the shop-girl (who had so better not be thinking this was a date) without making eye contact with anyone else. Unfortunately, it looked like she wasn't here yet.
Great, now he got to sit awkwardly at a table by himself. Not only would he look like one of the swooning lovebirds that came to this place, he'd look like a swooning lovebird that had been stood up. Maybe he could just back up now and wait outside, catch Miss Prints Plus before she could get into the café and make it seem like they were dating, or would fleeing now just make him look more—
He jumped, but his heart jumped higher, ending up in his throat as he whirled to see a small table in the corner he hadn't noticed earlier, its sole occupant glaring right at him.
"Marcus. What are you doing here?"
Leo strode over, trying to act fierce when his head was a crazy mess of emotions. It was actually a bit of a relief to see Captain Eyebrows; at least Leo knew what he was up to with Marcus. But the thought of that girl finding them together, especially in a place like this…He suppressed a shudder.
"Trying to figure out what you have been up to. I hope you didn't forget our little agreement, Leo. I'll only keep your family's secret as long as you keep mine."
Leo threw a nervous glance around the room, but no one seemed to be trying to eavesdrop. He slid into the seat across from Marcus, leaning in to hiss at him:
"Keep quiet about 'secrets' in public. Someone'll hear!"
Marcus leaned closer himself, eyes skimming Leo's face in a way that made it go hot for some reason.
"Then don't go blabbing about me to your weird friends!"
"I didn't tell anyone about you! I wouldn't risk my family like that."
"Then how did Krissy know me? Why is she afraid to tell me everything you told her?"
"I don't even know a Kris—!"
"Marcus and Leo?"
The boys, whose noses had been nearly touching in the heat of their argument, sprang apart. A waiter smiled inquiringly at them.
"Um, yeah, that's us…"
"Wonderful. Here are your items."
He slid two cakes onto the table, along with the signature bags of icing. To Leo's utter horror, he saw each cake had a name on it above matching half-hearts; one even had a picture of Marcus that Leo recognized from his evidence folder. He felt his face burn, and Marcus turned beet-red.
For the first time he'd ever seen, Marcus was at a loss for words. He turned a helpless gaze in Leo's direction, and the shorter teen felt a smug rush of pride as his tongue unlocked; for once he was better than Marcus.
"We didn't order these."
The waiter just kept smiling at them.
"Oh, no, these were pre-ordered for you; a nice young lady came by earlier and said two gentlemen matching your descriptions would be dropping in, and she wanted to make your first date special."
"D-date?! We're not even together!"
The name burst from Marcus in an incredulous exclamation. Leo turned to stare at him.
"Who the heck is Krissy, and why is she making me suffer for whatever screwy ideas you've been telling her?"
"Not me! You're the one who—that's what she was talking about in the shop!"
Marcus's eyes widened in horrified realization.
"What shop? What talk? What the heck is going on here?"
The waiter, still hovering uncertainly by their table, nodded his head in agreement with the last question, then decided the cakes were already paid for, and this wasn't part of his job. He slipped the desserts onto the table and retreated to the kitchen, unnoticed by the bickering 'couple'.
"Prints Plus! I went there to print something, and the assistant recognized me. I thought you told her about my bionics, but instead you told her…"
Words failed him again.
"Prints Plus? Oh my god it's that girl."
Leo realized he'd been set up. And now Marcus thought—!
"This wasn't my idea!" he stammered hastily. "I forgot, uh, some stuff at Prints Plus, and she told me to meet her here to pick it up! I didn't even know it was Café Luna! I never told her we were together, but she had some ridiculous idea I was head over heels for you, and wouldn't listen…"
Marcus groaned and buried his face in his hand.
"She told me we were meeting to discuss what you told her. I thought she wanted a date herself, but she just…ugh, I should have known with the beautiful eyes."
Leo laughed. Marcus was almost cute when he wasn't being a smug jerk.
"Your eyes," the other teen looked back up at him, gaze flicking over Leo's face again. "She said you had 'beautiful, heartbroken eyes'."
He made his voice breathless and sugary, fluttering his eyelids at Leo, who felt his heart lurch for some reason. Probably he'd thought, for a split-second, the movement was Marcus about to laser-vision him. That had to be it.
He raised his hands helplessly.
"I swear I tried to tell her we were enemies."
Marcus shook his head, smiling ruefully at Leo, and something inside the smaller teen twisted again as he realized that for once they were on the same side, like he'd thought they could be when Marcus first started hanging out with his siblings.
"No, I get she wouldn't take no for an answer. She was totally…"
"So, you can see we do not need…these…"
Marcus's order to the waiter trailed off in a sigh. Leo turned and saw what the other teen just had: the waiter had vanished. He echoed Marcus's sigh.
"Great. Now what do we do with them?"
He waved a hand at the romantic deserts. Marcus smirked.
"Since I'm evil, I obviously don't deserve them. You should take them."
"I don't want them! They're ridiculous! Someone evil like you doesn't even have a heart."
He used a napkin to smudge the red half-heart on Marcus's cake.
"Hey!" Marcus almost looked hurt. "At least I look good in my picture."
"Mine doesn't have a picture."
Marcus raised that slick eyebrow at him, then snatched a tube of icing and drew what looked like a troll on Leo's cake.
Leo grabbed the other bag of icing and wrote I AM EVIL in giant red letters in the space where Marcus's heart had been.
"Let Adam, Bree, and Chase see that!"
Marcus laughed and added crooked teeth to Leo-the-troll.
"Like they'll believe that. No-one will ever believe you"
Leo was trying to smudge out the troll, but maybe Marcus was getting to him a little, because he moved too fast and ended up putting his hand through the corner of the desert. Frosting, cake, and jam filling exploded all over Marcus's jacket.
For a single second, both boys gaped, frozen, at the sugary disaster. Then Marcus lunged across the table, nearly stabbing Leo in the eye as he emptied the rest of the icing all over his face.
"You're a ridiculous nuisance who should stay out of my business!"
Half of "Leo's" heart and what remained of the troll ended up in Marcus's hair.
"You may have cool eyebrows, but you're an ugly mess inside!"
Leo's face officially squashed what remained of his cake.
"So what if you do have beautiful eyes?! Don't think I won't—"
Marcus turned, and Leo raised an eye out of the cake. A woman in four shades of pink, a frilly apron, and the nastiest scowl either boy had ever seen was standing next to them. She dropped two cake boxes and a bill on the table, then pointed at the door.
"All lovers' spats happen outside."
The teens wiped the cake from their faces and clothes, scraped the Cake of Evil and the remains of the Troll Cake into the boxes, and dug change out of their pockets. They made sure to accidentally shove one another as much as possible in the process. The owner escorted them to the door and slammed it after them.
There was an awkward silence as they tried to glare at one another while looking at the ground (they were still quite disheveled, and desperate not to make eye contact with any of the curious passerby).
Leo's lip started twitching. Marcus looked up as he gave a little hiccup. His nemesis had missed a swirl of pastel green frosting on his nose, and the sight broke the last of Leo's control. He burst into laughter.
Marcus flushed, seemed about to strangle Leo, and dissolved into giggles instead.
"I—I hope Krissy was watching that!" he gasped in between whoops of laughter.
"Probably—spying from—the bushes!" Leo giggled back.
"A perf—perfect first date!"
Still cracking up, they headed their separate ways. Leo was laughing so hard he staggered like a drunk, which was why he was home before he realized two things.
One: he was still clutching a cake box. Opening it up, he found the cake with Marcus's face on it, remarkably intact. He was about to throw it out when he saw the words I AM EVIL, shrugged, and figured he could show it to the others before he tried the cardboard cutout.
Two: he was pretty sure that, somewhere in all that yelling and cake-flinging, Marcus had called his eyes beautiful.
For reasons he didn't want to think about too hard, Leo was suddenly glad he and Marcus had agreed not to share the story of their "date" with anyone.