"I still don't understand why you get your own damn briefcase and we have to share." Hazel complained to the abnormally blue eyed woman beside him as they got their briefcases from the booth.
"Not this again, you know damn well why." Cha-Cha told Hazel, pulling at her collar. The damn ac must be broken again because the strips of ribbon attached to the vent weren't dancing like they were supposed to be. Cha-Cha doing her best not to make a face at the working conditions. At least they wouldn't be there much longer. "Don't mind him, he's been like this since they started the budget cuts."
"It's alright." Clarity replied, looking in the mirror, adjusting the hat situated atop her silver locks, the wrinkles that formed on her face doing nothing to diminish her bright smile as she spoke. "The reason is because I have seniority. You get to be my age and still work for the commission you do get a few perks."
"More like you get more free passes." Hazel muttered. "That jacket your wearing violates 34 dress codes alone."
"Who cares about clothes, those rules are stupid anyways." Cha-Cha clipped her own suit jacket closed. She didn't want it falling off when they made the jump. It didn't happen often but there were a few recorded cases of people losing clothing items. "What does your partner think about you ditching him to go on a mission with us?"
"I wouldn't know, I don't have a partner. Never did." Clarity replied, patiently waiting for someone to bring her a briefcase. Her fingers drumming rhythmically on the tiny desk in front of her. What was taking so long? Hazel and Cha-Cha already had theirs. She'd go in there herself and get it, but she didn't feel like wasting the energy. Especially since their target was none other than Five, if he lived up to the hype she figured she'd need every scrap of power she possibly had.
"That's against protocol. The handbook clearly states that all those in the field must be paired with at least one other living person." Cha-Cha crossed her arms.
"True, but there are exceptions to every rule." Clarity pointed out, "Besides the defector we're going after never had a partner either so clearly it's not just me."
"Uh, Here you are, Miss Glitch." A sweaty, shaky trembling man came running in with her briefcase holding it out to Clarity by the sides. She took the offered handle spinning around on the ball of one foot, her hair resting onto her right shoulder as she stopped her twirl, laughing lightly to herself.
"Finally." Clarity smiled to Cha-Cha and Hazel now ready to leave. She looked over to the profusely sweating man once more. "Thank you, pretty soon it's just going to be Miss Clarity, Travis." Clarity corrected. "No need for formalities, it's my last day on the job. I finish this assignment and I'm settling down. My sister can work herself to death if she likes, but I'm out of here the second I get back."
"Uh," Sweat dropped down the man's neck as he sat back down in his chair, gazing at Clarity with an unreadable look in his eyes. "The Handler apologizes for the delay. Best not dilly dally. The faster you go," The man gulped fingers clutching lightly at his desk trembling just out of sight. "The faster it's over."
"The man's right." Hazel nodded looking down at his briefcase setting the date and time.
"We good to go?" Cha-Cha asked Clarity, putting her hand on Hazels briefcase.
"Yeah, we're good." Clarity agreed. "2019.. Here we come." She set the date and opened her briefcase. The three disappearing in two separate blue glows.
"Did she suspect anything?" The Handler walked around the corner smoking a cigarette. Her makeup as sharp as her eyes gazing upon the spot Clarity had just been in. A puff of smoke blowing in the air.
"No, ma'am." Travis shook his head.
"Are you sure?"The Handler asked slowly walking around the desk. "If she feels that the hum is off-"
"She was excited to retire. She didn't notice." Travis rushed to assure her. "I swear the only ones who know are you and I. But I don't understand why you'd want to kill y-"
"It's not your job to understand." The Handler wrapped her hand over Travis's own trembling one and jabbed the pen he was holding into his neck. Blood spurting from the wound trickling down his neck. She leaned forwards to whisper in his ear. "In fact, your only job now is to die."
She picked up the phone on the desk as he breathed his last breath. "Hello. Yes, I'm afraid the humid temperatures finally caught up with Travis. Such a shame the poor thing just couldn't handle it anymore. The heat, the cases, jabbed a pen right in his neck. Send a clean up crew. We don't need to cause a panic."
The Handler smirked to herself, folding her hands continuing on with her day head held high.
Meanwhile with Clarity something was wrong. She knew it from the moment the teleportation started. The hum was off, everything was wrong, it never felt like this. Her veins were on fire, it was like she was getting torn apart. She could feel her skin pulling, body shrinking. It was enough to make her scream. She glitched instinctively, a forcefield of electricity bubbling around her as she tried to protect herself, and when she popped out in 2019, she threw the briefcase away from her into the sky and the thing exploded not a second later. Clarity sent to her knees from the force of the blast. She panted catching her breath, leaning on her hands ducking her chin into her chest she smiled and laughed lightly to herself shaking her head. Of course this happened on her last day, of course she'd get stuck with a glitchy briefcase, of course she'd... she'd look like she was thirteen again...?
Clarity's mouth parted slightly, abnormal blue eyes widening as she gazed as her reflection in a small puddle. Her clothes were all baggy on her, skirt threatening to slide straight off her waist, suit jacket about to dip off her shoulders. Gone was the silver hair she'd known for all her elder years. Back was the chestnut brown she'd adored when she was young. She reached up and touched her cheek. It was smooth to the touch, no wrinkles. She was young again, no that wasn't right her body was young again. Her mind, her thoughts they were the same. Her consciousness hadn't been affected by the change which meant she had the mind of her 58 year old self, but the body of her thirteen year old self.
"Uh...Clarity?"Hazel stepped forward. Cha-Cha and himself only able to see the back off her clothes with the way she had her head dipped. Hazel tapping on her right shoulder.
"What in the-" Cha-Cha's eyes widened, but Clarity was quick to cut her off as she stood and faced them.
"Briefcase accident." Clarity explained shortly eyeing the two's shocked expressions at her appearance holding up a silencing hand. "Used to happen a lot when briefcases were first invented. Nowadays they're exceptionally rare, but they do happen."
"Right...well we're already late for the mission. We should make up for lost time." Hazel nodded as Cha-Cha shrugged the three of them all climbing into an orange taxi.
Clarity looked at her reflection in the passenger window, having no idea how much this moment was going to change her life, her plans, and even electrify her heart. Not far, across the city there was a very special boy not unlike herself. Both were skilled, gifted, genius, impossibly old, incredibly young, and most of all destined to be. Of that time was certain.
Alright! So that was Ch 1! Clarity's in her thirteen year old body now! Woo! Chapter 2 will be out soon! Don't forget to vote and comment you guys! I love getting feedback (what author doesn't) and I'd love to hear what you think. I made some questions for you to answer, but if you also have any of your own feel free to ask them!
1. What did you think of the chapter?
2. Are you excited for Clarity and Five to meet for the first time?
3. What's your fave umbrella academy moment and why?
4. What do you think Five's gonna think of Clarity?
5. What do you think Clarity'll think of Five?
6. I know there isn't much to go on yet but what do you think of the story so far?
7. Anything else you'd like to ask, rant and or tell me!