A/N: So this is a fic shamelessly inspired by "The Breakfast Club." And as such, yes, there is drug use. Specifically, Calderan space weed. You've been warned. Takes place sometime after "The Attack" (assuming everything got resolved.) Chase/Kaz and Skylar/Bree. And friendship and team-building all around. Enjoy!
Bree rolls her eyes, drums her fingers on the cyber desk in irritation. "This isn't fair," she says for the third time.
"Life isn't fair," Mr. Davenport says automatically, standing in front of the hyperlift and surveying the team: Oliver, pouting and covered in burn marks; Chase, furiously chewing his lip; Kaz, spinning in one of the stools and wholly ignoring him; Skylar, arms folded and lips pursed; and Bree, looking seconds away from making a run for it. "What I saw out there last night was abysmal. Look, now, I believe in you, and I have a lot of respect for you guys. But I can't have you roaming the streets parading around as superheroes if you can't act serious and be responsible. You need to work together. You need to trust each other."
"Did you invite us down here for a team-building seminar?" Oliver says to Mr. Davenport, glaring at Kaz. "Because I think we're good. We'll just sing kumbaya and be on our ways."
"No, you won't," Davenport says. Bree and Chase recognize the "disappointed dad" voice and reflexively shrink backward. "You're all on lockdown here in Mission Command until you can learn to communicate and cooperate as a team. Do whatever you need to do, just… figure it out. I'll bring lunch at noon." With that, he disappears into the hyperlift.
Immediately, Oliver groans and leans back against the cyber desk, craning his neck back in an expression of utter annoyance. "This isn't fair," he echoes Bree. "Some of us didn't do anything wrong."
"Oh, stop it," Skylar says, fidgeting with her nails. "We all messed up. Let's just get this lockdown over with and then we can all go back to bickering and ignoring each other."
Kaz whirls in his seat and spins to a stop. "Chase. Do something smart. Bust us out of here."
Chase rolls his eyes. "Now you want my help?" he says, acid in his tone. "Because you seemed to be doing fine without me yesterday."
They all launch into a blame-fest as they talk over each other. Bree, meanwhile, leans over the desk and buries her face in her arms. It's going to be a long day.
About half an hour after Davenport left, Kaz nudges Oliver with his foot. Oliver ignores him. Kaz nudges him more insistently and Oliver ignores him more insistently. Finally, Kaz leans forward in his stool and pokes Oliver in the ribs. "What?" Oliver snaps at him.
"I'm thirsty," Kaz says, ignoring his friend's mood. "Can you do your human soda fountain thing and get me a glass of water?"
"Aw, poor Kaz," Oliver says in a mocking tone. "Did trying to kill me tucker you out? Feeling a little dehydrated after using your fire-fingers on your best friend?"
Kaz scowls at him. "I did not try to kill you," he says, but he gives up in asking for water and turns his back on Oliver. "Bree? You know if there's a mini-fridge down here?"
Bree glances up from her phone- she's been rapid-fire texting Leo about how unfair Mr. Davenport is being. "There's no mini-fridge," she says. "There's never a mini-fridge. Stop being a baby."
"I'm not being a baby."
"Can you just shut up?" Oliver says, eyes flashing, and Bree's suddenly relieved that Oliver doesn't have Adam's laser vision. "No one wants to hear it. We're in here because of you."
Skylar pipes up. "We're in here because we couldn't function as a team," she points out, distracted from her boredom-induced hair-braiding for the moment. "So can we just, as a team, decide to stop arguing about it and just sit in silence?" The boys clam up. "Thank you."
Silence, except for Bree's thumbs flying across her phone screen. A second later, she laughs at whatever Leo responded. Chase looks up from the cyber desk where he's been fiddling with something on the control panel. "How did you even get your phone back?" he says. "Mr. Davenport took ours away."
Bree smirks. "I'm faster than him," she reminds Chase. "And I'm faster than all of you."
"You are not faster than me," Skylar says.
"Agree to disagree."
"Yeah, I'll show you how my plasma blast agrees with your face-"
"Cut it out," Chase says, putting a restraining arm on his sister. "Can we please just try to get along for a few hours?"
"You know what? No," Bree says, launching herself over the cyber desk and squaring up with Skylar. "She thinks she's better than me. She thinks she's so much better than the rest of us. That's why the Caterpillar ended up getting away."
"No," Skylar says, raising her eyebrows. They circle each other in the center of Mission Command like angry lionesses. "He got away because you weren't fast enough and I, the one who was fast enough, got distracted by the three stooges over here." She gestures to Chase, Kaz and Oliver. "This is why I worked better on my own before I got corralled into a team with you beginners."
Bree throws a proton ring at her that narrowly misses her head. "Beginner?" she says, sounding appalled. "Do you know how many times I saved the world while you were lounging in a hospital crying because you lost your powers?"
Bree charges up another proton ring and Skylar summons an energy blast in her right hand- and then Davenport materializes in the hyperlift.
"What is going on?" he yelps, stalking forward.
Bree and Skylar immediately power down, even tucking their hands behind their backs. "Nothin'," they say at the same time.
"Sounded like something," Davenport says, eyeing them carefully. "Just… try and behave, okay? Or I'll be back. Mess with the bull and you get the horns."
"Mr. Davenport, can't we be done here?" Chase calls after him as he tries to leave. "We get it. We're sorry. We've learned our lesson."
Davenport studies him for a moment. "Obviously," he says, pointing to the girls, "you haven't learned your lesson. I'm not letting you guys off easy. Like I said. Bull? Horns." He walks away and disappears into the hyperlift.
Behind his back, Chase flips him off.
Bree notices. "Wow, what a badass," she says sarcastically, sitting back down. Skylar still looks riled up but she sits down as well. Bree makes a face at her and then turns to Kaz and Oliver. "Are you guys sure she's not all evil again? Because she's sure acting like-"
"Alright, that's it!" Skylar yells, whipping around to face Bree. "Why would you do that? Why would you bring up the worst thing I've ever done, the worst I've ever felt? How would you feel if I did that to you, Miss Chip-Smashing Sellout?"
"At least I'm human."
"Oh, human, that's what you call it? You're a creepy cyborg."
"Oh my God, enough!" Chase yells, throwing a forcefield between Skylar and Bree before they can attack each other again. "Davenport's treating us like children because you're all acting like children. Kaz, can you help me out here?"
Kaz stops spinning in his seat and looks over at Chase and the girls. "Um… play nice."
Chase rolls his eyes. "You've got like fifteen siblings and you don't know how to solve a dispute?"
"Oh!" Kaz says, and he runs around the other side of the cyber desk and grabs a pen. "Okay. Skylar, Bree? This pen is the talking pen. We're all gonna sit and we're all gonna be quiet except for the person who has the pen. The person with the pen is the only one who can talk." Bree rolls her eyes and doesn't move, but when it's clear that Chase isn't going to drop the forcefield she shrugs and sits back down. Once she's seated, Skylar sits, too. Chase drops the forcefield but remains standing, at the ready.
"Fine," Bree says, but she doesn't sound fine. "Give me the pen."
"Alright," Kaz says, handing Bree the pen. "Now remember to stick to 'I feel' statements and not accusatory-"
"I feel that you're being kind of a bitch," Bree rolls off, pointing the pen at Skylar.
"That's not helpful," Kaz groans between his teeth. "Oliver? You were a peer mediator in high school. Mediate your peers."
Oliver shrugs. "I don't know, Bree's kind of got a point."
"Excuse me?" Skylar says, whirling on Oliver. "You were the dumbass who suggested we split up and take on the Larvlings separately."
"Yeah, but if you hadn't gone running after the Caterpillar without a plan we wouldn't have gotten caught in the fire," Oliver says. "Literally, in my case," he adds, glaring at Kaz.
"Oh my God, will you let that go, it was an accident," Kaz groans. "You got in the way."
"Oh, I'm always in the way, aren't I?" Oliver says. "I'm in the way of you having fun, I'm in the way of you wrecking the penthouse, I'm in the way of you Kazzing everything up like you always do."
"Those are not 'I feel' statements," Kaz says with clenched teeth.
"How about this," Chase says, trying to answer Kaz's silent pleas for help. "Skylar, Bree, I feel that you're covering up your own anxieties about the failed mission by blaming each other when you should be looking at your own actions."
That shuts them up. For a second, anyway, and then Skylar coughs, "Whatever," and starts in on braiding her hair again.
Kaz glances at Bree. "Hey, what did Skylar mean about the chip smashing thing?"
Bree blinks, looking uncomfortable. "I don't really wanna…" But Kaz looks pretty insistent. And she's still holding the pen, so it's her job to talk. "Ugh. When I was sixteen I was stupid and I destroyed my chip because I felt like my bionics were preventing me from living my life."
Skylar glances up. "Wait, I didn't know that's why you did it," she says quietly. "I thought you were just mad."
Bree looks like she's rearing up to yell at Skylar again but she reins herself in. "No, I was just… tired," she explains. "Tired of being a superhuman and not just. Human." She fidgets uncomfortably in her seat. "Okay, seriously, can we put somebody else under the microscope now?"
"Sure," Kaz says, grabbing the pen from her and handing it to Chase. "Chase, where do you go every Tuesday night?"
Chase pales, staring at the pen forced into his hand and then at Kaz. "I don't… what are you… how do you know about that?" he splutters.
Kaz shrugs. "I notice things," he says. "Like how every Tuesday night they replay 'Cosmos' on the science channel but you're not glued to the screen watching it. So where do you go?"
Chase swallows. He can see Bree, Skylar, and Oliver all perk up and listen in, curious about what he's going to say. "So… every week I go to this therapy group," he confides in them, eyes darting around the room. "For anxiety and depression. Douglas helped me find it… Mr. Davenport doesn't know."
Kaz stares at him. "Why would you go to a group for anxiety and depression?"
Oliver whacks Kaz on the arm. "Because he's got anxiety and depression, obviously."
"Yeah," Chase says, trying to ignore the two of them arguing. It's weird seeing them fight; they're usually tighter than anybody. "I guess… I mean, when you're as smart as I am, it's easy for your brain to conjure up every bad thing that might happen to you, and how likely it is to happen. And it's easy for your brain to trick you into thinking… into thinking you're worthless, or stupid, or not good enough." He clears his throat, surprised he actually told them that much. "Anyway. So. That's where I go on Tuesdays."
Bree actually reaches out and squeezes his hand. "Chase, I had no idea."
"That was kind of the point," Chase says. "I don't want anyone worrying. I know you all think of my as this confident, brilliant genius-"
"- but sometimes I need help," Chase finishes, ignoring Kaz and Bree. "Sometimes I need help to ignore the worrying little voice in my head that says I'm a failure, or that everyone hates me."
"Well, I don't hate you," Bree says.
Chase laughs. "That's sweet. I don't hate you, too, Bree." He swallows the lump in his throat and then waves the pen around. "Okay, who's next?"
Kaz swipes it from him. "Oliver, I'm sorry you got burned," he says bluntly. "It was an accident but you keep making a big deal about it so I guess I'm apologizing."
Oliver glares at him. "Very heartfelt," he says, rolling his eyes. "Seriously, Kaz, I can feel the love. Oh wait. That's burning flesh."
"I'm sorry! Jeez! What do you want from me?"
"Aloe vera and a skin graft!"
"Guys!" Bree says, waving her hands around. She slips into her Mom Voice that she usually only uses for Chase and Adam. "Cut it out! Oliver, obviously Kaz did not mean to hit you with his pyrokinetics, he made a mistake. Kaz, stop being a baby and tell Oliver you're sorry."
They both look at the floor.
"I'm sorry, Oliver," Kaz mumbles.
"It's fine," Oliver mumbles back.
"Great," Bree says, clapping her hands together. "Now we just need to go the next five hours without killing each other and we're golden."
"I feel like people aren't respecting the power of the pen," Kaz points out.
"Oh, give me that," Oliver says, grabbing the pen out of Kaz's hand. "I feel like Mr. Davenport wasn't fair to lock us up here because we messed up one mission. Bree, Chase, you've probably messed up tons of missions!" They both frown at him. "I mean. You know what I mean."
"Yeah, I know what you mean," Chase says. "You mean because obviously we're pathetic losers because we don't have superpowers."
"Uh, speak for yourself," Bree says. "I've got superpowers."
"That's not what I meant," Oliver says. "I just mean… you two have been doing this for so long. Why does Davenport feel like we need to be punished?"
"I think I know why," Skylar says, taking the pen from Oliver so she can speak. "We aren't working like a team. We're working like a bunch of people who don't wanna be together trying to click a bunch of square pegs into round holes. I mean, look at us. An alien, a slacker, a supervillain's kid, a princess, and a brain. If it weren't for superheroes and bionics, would the five of us even be friends?"
Her point stuns them all into silence.
"I don't know," Kaz says finally, hopping off his stool. He flops down on the floor behind the cyber desk so he can think and the rest of them leave him alone for the moment. Skylar sets the pen on the desk and goes back to braiding and unbraiding her hair. Bree spins herself as fast as she can go in the stool.
Soon enough, Davenport shows up with lunch.
"Everybody getting along?" he asks, distributing fruit and sandwiches and Cokes. "No one's bitten each other's heads off yet?"
"We're working on it," Kaz calls from his spot on the floor.
"Wrong answer," Davenport sighs, fiddling with a gadget on the console. "Look. I want you five to really think about what went wrong on the Caterpillar mission. What you could have done better. What you are to each other, who you are as individuals. Give it some thought. I don't want to see your team dissolve."
With that, he leaves them to eat.
"'What we are to each other'?" Oliver repeats, looking around at his team. "I know what I am. I'm tired." Kaz laughs from somewhere beneath him, but it sounds like he was trying not to. Chase finishes his sandwich and then, surprisingly, sprawls out on the floor to lay next to Kaz. He looks exhausted.
Bree scoots her stool behind Skylar and suddenly starts braiding her hair for her. "I can do fishtails," she says. "Can you?"
"No," Skylar says, but she doesn't sound annoyed. "Can you fishtail braid my hair?"
"Sure." Bree's fingers work swiftly, but not as fast as if she'd been using her super speed. Moving at a normal pace makes it less of a chance to show off and more of an apology in action. "I'm sorry I called you a bitch."
"I'm sorry I called you a cyborg," Skylar says.
Bree twines locks of hair around and around, working like a seamstress. "You have beautiful hair, you know that?"
Facing away from Bree, Skylar blushes, unknown to the girl braiding her hair. "Thanks," she says. "I started using a new shampoo." She bristles under Bree's touch on her scalp but then she relaxes. "I'm not used to using products in my hair… or anywhere. I don't even wear makeup."
Bree whirls her around to look at her. "Wait, so you just look like that?"
Skylar shrugs. "Yeah."
The girls lapse into silence as they mess around with each other's hair.
"Chase?" Kaz says. They look like they could be stargazing but there's nothing above them to look at except the granite ceiling. "Do you think we're all gonna grow up and be as messed up as our parents?"
He looks surprised by the question. "So, I get what you mean with Douglas and with, uh, Mr. Terror. But what's wrong with your mom and dad?"
"Oh, nothing, my folks are great," Kaz says. "To some of my siblings. I imagine. But once you get down to me…" He sighs, stretching his legs out. "They ignore me. My parents ignore me. I called to tell them I was interning at Davenport Industries and they said they didn't even realize I wasn't still in Philly."
Chase lets out a low whistle. "That's not fair." He glances at Oliver and at Bree. Skylar doesn't even have parents, just a pod that grew her. And Horace Diaz, kind of, if he's even still alive. "I don't know. Maybe our parents mess us up. Maybe Oliver's grandparents and Douglas and Mr. Davenport's parents were messed up, too. And maybe it's just a chain."
Kaz sighs again. "If I ever have kids, I'm not gonna ignore them," he says. "Even if I have a hundred."
Chase thinks of Krane and his hordes of bionic children. He didn't even name them. "I think you'd be a great dad," he tells Kaz, and slips his hand into Kaz's without really thinking about it.
They mill around for a bit before Skylar says, "Does anybody want some candy?"
"Su-" Kaz starts, but then he eyes her suspiciously. "Wait a minute. On Caldera, 'diarrhea' is your word for candy. So what exactly does 'candy' mean?"
"Oh!" Skylar says, remembering to translate. "Um, 'candy' on Caldera means… I think on Earth you guys call it 'marijuana.'"
Kaz and Bree both stare at her. Then Kaz says, "Sure, I'll take some candy."
"I'd love some candy." Bree glances at the hyperlift, but Davenport's not coming in anytime soon. Kaz hops up from the floor and takes the stool on Skylar's other side.
Skylar pulls a joint out of a sandwich bag that was in her pocket and and holds it up to Kaz. "Kazimieras, would you do the honors?"
"Happily," Kaz says, snapping his fingers to allow a spark of flame to rise up in his hand. He lights the joint and Skylar takes a drag.
Across the room, Oliver and Chase watch on skeptically. "You kids have fun," Chase says, eyes narrowed. "That stuff'll kill your brain cells."
"Oh, you could stand to lose a few," Bree says to her brother, rolling her eyes as Skylar passes her the joint.
"I'm with Chase," Oliver says. "Weed bad. Just say no. Yadda yadda yadda."
"More for us," Kaz shrugs. They pass Skylar's "candy" between the three of them for a few minutes.
"You know, it's too bad, Chase," Skylar says at one point, leaning back in her stool. "It can be really good for stress. Obviously not a replacement for therapy or anxiety meds, and obviously only in moderation… but yeah. A lot of people smoke to relieve stress."
That sparks Chase's attention. He eyes them carefully as the joint shrinks down. "Okay," he sighs finally, standing up. "Let me try."
Chase takes the joint from Bree and sucks in a deep breath- and then dissolves into a coughing fit, hacking violently. "Ugh. Okay, that is not for people with bionic sinuses."
Bree giggles as she takes the joint away from him. Oliver watches, suddenly a little more curious. "Well," he sighs, striding toward Bree and Skylar. "If you can't beat 'em…" Skylar hands him the joint and he tries it, coughing a little but not as badly as Chase. "Hm. Interesting," he says, like he's sampling gourmet cheese.
"Space weed," Kaz points out. "Nice."
The hour passes. The joint dwindles down to nothing and then Skylar disintegrates it completely with an energy blast.
"Hey, Chase," Bree says, giggling again. "Wanna see me run over there and back?" She doesn't move. "Wanna see me do it again?"
Chase rolls his eyes and sinks into a stool on the other side of the room, where Kaz has migrated. "Glad you're all having fun," he says, shaking his head exasperatedly.
Davenport shows up just then, carrying a box of equipment. Bree overreacts by shrieking and jumping up on the ceiling. "Don't mind me, just organizing some stuff upstairs," Davenport says, setting the box down on a desk. "Do you guys smell that?"
They all panic for a second. "It's Skylar!" Oliver declares. "You know, another one of her weird alien gases. You know how she is. She smells."
Skylar's too busy laughing into her hand to glare at Oliver.
"Alright," Davenport says, but he doesn't look like he's buying it. "Just hope everyone's getting along." And he vanishes up into the hyperlift.
"It was me," Chase says suddenly. "I'm the reason the Caterpillar got away."
"Chase, no you're not," Bree says. "I got distracted by the Larvlings instead of following the plan."
"But I'm the one who made the plan," Chase reminds her. "And it wasn't thorough enough. I rushed it and didn't think things through."
"You can't blame yourself for that," Skylar says. "The variables were too scrambled. I keep trying to do everything at once instead of working as part of the team. And I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry, too," Kaz says. "About the Caterpillar mission. I was goofing off, I should've paid more attention. And Oliver got hurt, and I'm really sorry for that."
"It's okay," Oliver says, actually meaning it. "You didn't mean to. And I was distracted, I should've been more focused on everything going on around me instead of my own powers. I'm sorry, guys."
"I'm sorry, too," Bree says.
"Me too," says Chase.
After that, they all feel a little warmer toward each other. And honestly, a little less annoyed about being trapped in Mission Command. Chase ropes Oliver into a game of chess. Kaz tugs Skylar over to the far end of the room.
"Hey," he says in a stage whisper. "Did you say you never wear makeup?"
Skylar shrugs. "I have once or twice," she says. "But I don't really know what to do with it or how to put it on."
Inexplicably, Kaz pulls an eye, lip, and blush palette out of the messenger bag he dropped on the floor earlier. "Do you want to learn?"
Kaz sets up shop on the floor sitting cross-legged across from Skylar. With an artist's skill, he sweeps a brush across her face, highlighting her cheekbones. He sketches the eye pencil carefully across her eyelids, careful not to poke too hard. After showing her how, he makes Skylar put on the mascara herself, because it's just too easy for him to mess that up.
"How do you know how to do this?" Skylar asks as Kaz tests out lipstick on her wrist to figure out a good color.
"I have six sisters," he reminds her, and then shoots her a cheeky grin. "And I wear makeup." She raises an eyebrow. "What, you thought this glow was natural? Skylar, I'm flattered, but no. Girls can be superheroes. Boys can wear makeup."
When he's done, Kaz helps Skylar up from the floor and then parades her around the room to show off his creation. Chase doesn't care, Oliver looks impressed… but Bree looks blown away.
"Wow," she says, tugging Skylar toward her by the wrist to get a better look. "Wow, Skylar, you look… amazing."
"Thank you," Kaz says loudly, but then he goes to pester Chase and Oliver and leaves the girls alone.
"It's not too much?" Skylar says, her hand flying to her face.
Bree actually looks a little flustered. "Not at all," she promises. "It's perfect." It's the kind of appreciation a girl-who-wears-makeup has for another girl wearing flawless makeup. But it's a little bit of something else, too.
It's almost time for Davenport to end their imprisonment and let them leave Mission Command. Bree sits beside Skylar, showing her something funny on her phone and laughing lightly. Chase and Kaz sit opposite each other bunched up on the cyber desk and seem deep in conversation. Oliver lounges in a stool, swinging his legs and watching his teammates interact.
"You think we'll all still get along like this after we get out of here?" he asks suddenly, looking genuinely concerned. They all know that they can't go through another failed mission like with the Caterpillar and the Larvlings.
"I hope so," Bree says.
"Yeah, me too," Chase says, eyes on Kaz.
"We're a team," Skylar says. "Even if we bicker… I think we'll always be able to get back to that, at our core. We're a team."
"Couldn't agree more," Kaz says.
When Mr. Davenport comes back, he doesn't notice Skylar's made-up face or how close Chase and Kaz are sitting, but he does notice that everyone's in a much better mood. "I don't want to have to do this again," he says, arms folded. "I hope you all learned to work together."
They all nod in agreement, and then they pelt toward the hyperlift, ready for freedom, ready for the rest of their lives.
Davenport shakes his head in exasperation as he watches them run away before he can change his mind. He strides through Mission Command, tidying a few things the kids messed up. And then he finds a piece of paper sitting on top of the desk beside Oliver's stool.
Up in the penthouse, Bree makes a beeline for the door. "I'm going on a jog," she declares. "I need to move."
"I'll come with," Skylar says, looping an arm around Bree's shoulders.
Bree smiles at her. "You sure you can keep up?"
"Can you?" Skylar says, but this time they're not actually arguing about who's faster. It's no more than friendly competition.
Well. Maybe it's a little bit more than friendly.
Chase follows Kaz out to the terrace. The sun is just beginning to set over the Centium skyline. "Hey," he says. "What're you thinking about?"
Kaz shrugs. "About how I've been kind of mean to you," he admits. "First with the whole 'android girlfriend' thing, and then calling you out in front of the group… Chase, honestly? You're a great guy. Any girl would be lucky to have you." He fidgets and looks intently into the horizon. "Heck, any guy would be lucky to have you. Any devilishly handsome pyrokinetic native of Philadelphia would be lucky to have you."
Chase smirks. "It's Tuesday, so I've got my group thing later," he reminds Kaz. "But… do you wanna catch a late movie tonight?"
Kaz turns around, his whole face lit up with a grin. "That would be great."
"Great," Chase says, and he hesitates a little before he leans forward and kisses Kaz on the cheek. "I'll see you tonight." And then he turns and walks back into the penthouse.
Alone on the terrace, Kaz sticks a fist up into the air in triumph.
"My longest yeah boy ever," he murmurs to himself.
Dear Mr. Davenport,
We understand that we screwed up a mission, and that we needed to learn how to be more responsible and work as a team. But we think you're crazy for asking us what we are to each other. You know what we are.
We are an alien, a slacker, a supervillain's kid, a princess, and a brain.
We are a team.
It doesn't matter if we would or would not be friends in some alternate universe with no Mighty Med and no bionics. This is the universe we're in, and you, for some reason, made the decision to bring the five of us together.
We can't thank you enough for that.
The Elite Force
A/N: Dooon't you forget about me (don't don't don't don't). So, did you like it? Hate it? Wanna see more Chase/Kaz? Let me know in the reviews. And as always, thank you so much for reading.