Disclaimer: See chapter one.

I've been under a lot of stress and pressure these days. My school is freaking out since I'm almost done and will be graduating soon. I've got tons of projects to do, and that's why everything's been so late. So, uh, sorry! You have permission to kick my behind!

Chapter 5

The Teens Next Door stood outside on the front lawn of Number 1's house staring at each other. It was Friday, the last weekday, do-whatever- you-want day, liberation day, whatever you want to call it. But the most important thing was that it was the day the TND had been looking forward to all week. Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 5 were taking their mid-terms. Number 4 was finally going to get Numbah 4 back from Knightbrace. It was going to be a long day.

"The bus is coming," Number 3 announced, seeing the yellow metal heap trip its way down the street.

"I wish you all luck," Number 4 said. "With all the studying you guys have been doing, I think you'll pass eighth grade."

"I feel an information leakage coming on," Number 2 confessed, holding her head in her hands.

"Don't leak now!" Number 1 cried. "You have to pass along with the rest of us!"

"I think we'll all go to high school," Number 5 sighed. He smiled at the rest of the team. "And no matter what, we'll always be best friends."

"That's right!" Number 1 agreed. "We're a team. Hands in, Everyone!" The TND put their hands on top of each others and shouted the traditional TND slogan.







The bus horn honked. The driver wasn't looking too happy. "Megan Un, Jennifer Venus, Daniel Triplets, Tracy Cloverluck, and Michael Nickel, get in the bus, NOW," he ordered. The TND giggled and hopped on the bus and walked to the available spots.

In the first period of the day, Number 1 was in math class. She bit her lip hard and watched as her teacher passed out papers. She looked out the window to see that nice spring day passing by. What caught her eye was something she had never seen before.

"It's a guy," she whispered to herself. She slowly brought her head up a little higher to see him walking into the high school across the street. He jerked his head around and met with her eyes. Se blushed furiously and looked back at her desk just as her teacher gave her a mid- term.

Number 2, Number 3, and Number 5 had math class during second period. Number 2 sat up front biting her nails a little at the edges. Number 3 and Number 5 sat in back using their erasers as stress relievers. Their teacher handed them papers and stopped at Number 2's desk.

"Are you feeling okay?" she asked, placing her palm on the student's forehead.

"Fine," Number 2 insisted. "I'm okay."

"Are you sure you don't want to go to the nurse?"

"I'm really okay!"

"Oh sure," Number 3 muttered, "Number 2 gets the opportunity to miss this stupid test."

By lunchtime, the entire TND had taken their mid-terms. They sat together at one of the tables opening up their brown lunch bags. Before he could take his sandwich out, Number 3 noticed something.

"Where's Number 4?" he asked. The rest of the TND operatives looked around the table and the rest of the cafeteria. There was no sign of any Number 4 or Tracy Cloverluck.

"You don't think," Number 5 began.

"That fool!" Number 1 cried. "She's skipped school to go take on Knightbrace!"

The Teens Next Door gasped, exchanging strange comments to each other. They mumbled and whispered until there was a long moment of silence. Number 2 broke that silence.

"I'm going to the candy machines!" she announced. She got up and skipped out of the cafeteria.

"Wait for me!" Number 5 called, running after her.

"And me!" Number 3 finished, storming his way out. Number 1 looked at her operatives with the most confused face ever.

"You morons! Did you comprehend what's happened?"

"Miss Megan Un!" the cafeteria supervisor scolded. "Sit down, and don't shout out in the middle of lunch again!"

Number 1 sulked down in her seat and tore of a giant piece of her sandwich. She shoved the entire thing in her mouth a muttered, "Crazy urge for junk food among teenagers."

Although she was a little upset with her operatives' behavior, something else was occupying a big part of her mind: that guy. He looked to be a little bit older than her, so it's possible he was only a freshman in high school. She had never seen him before. He must've been new. "But he was cute," she whispered to herself. "Wait a second, this isn't right! I'm Megan Un, Number 1, the girl that never trusted men after her boyfriend left her! Something is screwing my brain."

And something certainly was, but that wasn't what Number 4 was thinking about. She ran down the sidewalk at lightning speed to get to the candy store before school got out. The sooner she did, the better chance she'd have of getting Numbah 4 back.

"The rest of the TND get their mid-terms back at the end of the day," she huffed. "I need to get to the candy store and get Numbah 4 back before they do. I'm sorry, Everybody. I need to get him back all on my own!"

She charged down to the corner of town and crashed the front door of the shop open. The windows almost cracked.

"Alright, Knightbrace," she began, "I'm here for your stupid challenge."

"Well," Knightbrace said, "I'm surprised."

"About what?"

"You don't have a friend!"

"Yeah, so sue me."

"You little smart alleck!"

Number 4 crossed her arms and looked at him willfully. "Look, I've come back to this candy store all week in hopes of saving Numbah 4. Either you give me the challenge or I'll burn the candy store down!!" She was screaming by now. Knightbrace stepped back with a look of surprise on his face. He cleared his throat.

"I think you might want to take back what you just said," he announced, simpering.

"How come?" Number 4 asked, now interested.

"Because you wouldn't want your best friend here to die!"

From behind Knightbrace, Number 4's older brother Chris stood, smirking. He was a college student, the next worst enemy to the Teens Next Door after the adults. They even had an alarm in their tree house that wailed whenever a college student was there.

"What's up, Sis?" Chris asked, smiling. He showed off his white teeth that gleamed against the lights on the sun coming through the windows.

"You two wouldn't dare to kill Numbah 4," Number 4 said nervously. "There are too many people watching through these windows out front."

"We're closing early." Chris pressed a button on the wall, and the shields over the windows and door came rocketing down. Number 4 turned with a jolt and felt the fear running through her veins. "You wouldn't want to relive your past life, now would you?" Chris continued.

"What do you mean?" Number 4 asked, now incredibly curious.

"Legends," Chris explained. "You know, a harsh ruler, four slaves, one child, and twelve enemies, all over five thousand years ago."

Number 4's eyes grew wide. Her hands trembled with sweat running down her face onto her neck and chest. She swallowed hard and tried to listen.

"And, you, Little Sister, were one of those people. You were the-" But Chris didn't finish his sentence. He was kicked in the back and sent crashing to the floor. Knightbrace and Number 4 looked up to the ceiling. There was Number 7.

"Miss me?" she asked, jumping to the floor. She ran to Number 4 and stopped her trembling. She looked to Knightbrace with a clever smile plastered on her face. "You only said that a friend from the day before could not come back the next day. You never said that friends from one day couldn't skip a day and come back."

There was a really long, really awkward moment of silence. Knightbrace's face turned red with embarrassment. Again, if this was an anime, there would be sweat drops all around.

"Fine," Knightbrace muttered, "but this isn't going to happen again! It's the last time you can!"

"Uh, yeah," Number 7 confirmed. "It's Friday. As in, the last day you call us here to face a challenge. Today is the day we get Numbah 4 back, remember?"

Once again, a really long, REALLY awkward moment of silence surrounded the operatives and the enemies. Number 7 had a smile. Number 4 was looking proud.

"This is crazy!" Chris finally shouted. "Forget the challenge! Fight now! Activate Super Tight Ready Armor Protection!" Chris pressed a button on his wristband and samurai-like armor covered up his entire body. It resembled Cree's somehow, only his made him look like a real samurai warrior. Number 4 stood, poised, ready for battle. She was going to face her brother and win.

Chris charged towards his little sister ready to punch her in the stomach. She jumped out of the way with little time to spare. Suddenly, she saw Knightbrace run to the back of the candy store, to the darkest part where no one dared to go. "Oh, no, you don't!" she shouted. She got up and started running, but Chris grabbed her ankle and tossed her to the floor.

"I'll go!" Number 7 called. She ran to the back room to follow Knightbrace.

The back room was pitch black. Number 7 walked quietly, nervously, as she tried to observe her surroundings. The air was hot. She was not happy to be on this mission. Not only was Knightbrace insane, but she had to leave Number 4 to her older brother to get the job done. It just didn't seem like the noble thing to do.

Number 7 took a step forward into what looked like light. Immediately, a flame was lit, and Knightbrace stood with Numbah 4 strapped to a pole.

"Numbah 4!" Number 7 cried, relieved to see the missing operative. Numbah 4 mumbled something under the sheet wrapped around his mouth. Number 7 turned to Knightbrace. "Let him go!" she ordered.

"That won't be happening," Knightbrace denied. "I don't care what Tracy and her friends have done. I'M WASHING THAT MOUTH OUT!!!"

Back in the main part of the candy store, Number 4 and Chris were both out of breath. Number 4 made fists as she watched figures coming from the back room. Knightbrace stepped out of the darkness.

"You...you didn't!" she gasped. "You cleaned his mouth out, didn't you? And after all of those stupid challenges we did to stop you."

"Yes, I did."

"You're so evil!"

"That I am." Number 7 stepped out, too.

"It's true," she confirmed. "He washed his mouth out before I could stop him."

"No," Number 4 mumbled. A few tears ran down her cheeks. She had failed. She failed as an operative, as a person, and as a friend.

Another minute later, Numbah 4 stepped into the front room. Number 4 looked up and was surprised at what she saw. Numbah 4 had a bar of soap stuck in his mouth. He wasn't looking too happy. Knightbrace crossed his arms and gave Numbah 4 a scolding stare.

"I don't get it," Number 4 announced, feeling and looking totally clueless.

"I said I was going to wash his mouth out, and I did!" Knightbrace explained.

"I thought you going to perform dental work on him."

"No way! He said a dirty word when he came in. That's why I disappeared and left you a note. Dental work? Please!"

Now there were sweat drops all around, and it wasn't even an anime! Numbah 4 pressed the button on the wall and walked out of the candy store. Numbers 4 and 7 gave very confused looks towards the villains. "You put a bar of soap in his mouth??" Number 7 exploded. "That's just lame! You're both crazy."

A little bit later, Number 4 returned to the tree house. Number 7 decided to walk back to her base on her own. As Number 4 lounged in the hang out room, she thought about the day. Numbah 4 was hanging out with her sitting at the other end of the couch. He took the bar of soap out of his mouth and gave a good spit to the side.

"That was just nasty," he said, looking at the bar, "but it did smell like apples."

"That's something!" Number 4 agreed, throwing her arms up in the air. All of a sudden, there was a burst through the front door. Four cheers from four happy operatives running were heard. They jumped into the hangout room.

"We all passed!" Number 5 announced. "Look!" Everyone showed off his or her mid-term. Number 4 and Numbah 4's faces brightened.

"That's great!" Number 4 praised. "How did you all do?"

"I got an A-!"

"Look at this B!" Number 3 ordered, trusting the paper forward.

"And there's a perfect A on both mine and Number 1's," Number 2 said, holding both papers up. "We rock so hard!"

"We kick butt!" Number 1 added. "This calls for a celebration. Let's go raid the candy store!"

The happy TND operatives left the room. Number 4 turned to her counterpart.

"I hope you learned you lesson," she said.

"Yeah," Numbah 4 agreed. "Never act too much like your counterpart! You know. 'Cause I don't ever wanna, I don't ever wanna be you. Don't wanna be just like you.'"

Number 4 smirked and added, "'What I'm saying is this is the anthem. Throw all your hands up, you, don't wanna be you!'"

The friends burst out laughing at what they had sang to each other. As soon as they calmed down, Number 4 got serious. She looked a little discouraged. "Do you ever think we'll defeat all of our enemies? I mean, they're getting so much more powerful every time we face them. What if we lose a really important battle that could be a deal of life and death?"

"Dude," Numbah 4 interrupted, "chill."

End Transmission

We are more than halfway done with the TND Saga, Everyone! Just one more story to go and then it's the finale, the moment you're all been waiting for! So, thanks to Good Charlotte for the song and to everyone that reviews the stories in this series. I just love working on this story so much. Keep a lookout for the fifth story in the TND Saga: Operation: MAXIMUM.