Codename: Kids Next Door
Every kid celebrated the Fourth of July. They weren't really sure why, of course. After all, the Fourth of July was a holiday celebrating the day adults signed the Declaration of Independence and gained freedom for the adults in America.
Perhaps they celebrated it because of all the activities, the excitement. The lights exploding into tiny bright beads of sparkles that drifted down onto the earth. Maybe it was the smells and the fact it was one of the few holidays were the rivalries between the adults and the kids simply seemed to fade.
But celebrate it they did. All the duties and missions were pushed back a day, allowing every Kids Next Door operative to celebrate the day. The adults went about their own business as well, momentarily forgetting the tiny war they were at.
It was no different in Sector V. Kuki Sanban—known on regular days as Numbuh Three—had been born and raised in America, though the same couldn't be said about her parents, had brought chicken covering in teriyaki sauce for the occasion. Her parents had shockingly given her leave to join her friends in celebration and she had decided to come bearing gifts. The chicken was in a streaming container tucked under her arm as she danced into the treehouse.
Abigail Lincoln—aka, the Numbuh Five—was American as they came. Her father had once tracked their line all the down to the soldiers in the Revolutionary War. It made her dark face glisten with pride to think of it. She had brought roasted pigs in a blanket, courtesy of her father who was pulling overtime at the hospital. No one asked about her sister, one of their rivals, and no one really cared.
Hoagie Galligan Jr.—the not as funny as he thought Numbuh Two—had thought it be funny if he brought… hoagies. They were a good twelve inches long and it seemed only Hoagie himself would be able to consume them and everything else everyone brought. He was known for eating and was possibly to only one that could survive Grandma Stuffum's deadly vegetable attack.
Nigel Uno—the Sector V leader, Numbuh One—had brought hamburgers. Normally, this straightlaced leader would have been working despite the vacation time. But, luckily, Nigel had been convinced to take the day off and enjoy the celebration. His hamburgers tasted better than any the children had had before and they had been consumed before the fireworks had even begun to burst.
And finally, Wallabee Beatles—better known to many as the incorrigible Numbuh Four—had been in charge of the desserts. Normally, such a task would have been left to Numbuh Five as no one knew treats better than she did, but she had agreed to take up her father's food and the task had fallen to Wallabee Beatles.
He had brought ice-cream and cotton candy because his mother and father had suggested they were best.
Now they camped out on the wooden deck of Sector V's roof and watched as the fireworks lit up the sky with reckless abandon. There were ooohs and awes all around as the light sparked and fell to the earth in iridescent droplets.
But there was something different about this Fourth of July, Numbuh Four couldn't help but notice. The excitement seemed forced. Oh, it was real to certain point, no doubt about that, but it seemed at times the Kids Next Door of Sector V were forcing themselves to be happy about the holiday.
And he knew why. Fourth of July… um… three… four… five… seven…twenty… twenty more days.
There were twenty days left. Twenty days before it was August 24th. And that was D-Day. Dooms Day. The beginning of the end.
On August 24th Numbuh One would be thirteen. Thirteen, which meant he was a teenager. Which meant he needed to be decommissioned. Which meant Numbuh Five would be leader. Which meant…
Everything was ending. Numbuh One's thirteenth birthday was the first event that would eventually dwindle down to the dismantlement of Sector V. First it would be Numbuh One, than Numbuh Two, then Numbuh Five, followed by Numbuh Four and then…
He shuddered and rolled onto his side. He had already been decommissioned once and the memory of it sent shivers along his spine. The feeling of having everything that made Wallabee Beatles Numbuh Four drained haunted him in his sleep. He wondered if it was the same for the other three—Numbuhs Two, Three, and Five—but didn't have the courage to ask. If they didn't remember, he wasn't going to make them.
"Ooooh!" Numbuh Three cooed as a bright blue firework exploded in the sky, turning white and drifting to the earth as its internal fire cooled. "So pretty!" She pressed her green-covered arms to her mouth, grinning.
Numbuh Four watched as Three turned and reached for another piece of cotton candy. She held it with two fingers, her pink tongue sliding out to steal a taste of the matching cotton candy.
It began to melt, slowly, the heat of the summer taking its toll on even the starch piece of sugar. It dripped onto her fingers and the pink stuck to her skin, a tasty melting treat.
Four rolled onto his stomach and tried not to look at her. The black hair falling down her narrow back and her dark, dark eyes smiling, unaware or oblivious to the tension in the air. He didn't know if he was affected by that or the fact that the pink liquid dripping onto her fingers looked delicious.
"This will be the last one I see with you guys…" Numbuh One said softly to Four's side. He turned his head and watched them from beneath his bangs of honey blonde hair. The leader sat farther away from the others with his second in command.
"Don't say that, Numbuh One," Five retorted just as softly, not wanting to alert the others to his musings. "Ya just gonna get all depressed again. Ya still got twenty days…"
"That's not a lot," Numbuh One pointed out and his voice sounded sad. Sadder than anything Four had heard before.
He got to his feet unsteadily and decided he didn't want to hear anymore. No one glanced at him as he left the roof and went into the darkened treehouse, down the halls he knew so well but would forgot in no more than a year.
The room that he had was dark as he threw himself onto his bed. The little sliver of moon that added an eerie glow to the room slashed across his legs like a silver sword. His eyelids drooped even though he wasn't sleepy.
"Numbuh Four?" said a very, very, very familiar voice.
"Hmm?" He raised his head and looked at her, black hair in the pale moonlight and green sweater hanging from her thin bones. "Whatdya want?"
"Why did you leave?" She wanted to know and she wasn't leaving until she found out. Still holding her cotton candy, still letting it drip onto her fingers, Numbuh Three entered without much concern.
"Because I wanted to," he returned and rolled onto his side.
"Do you feel upset?" she asked and took a seat at the end of the bed, watching him from smiling eyes that didn't hint at what she was thinking.
"No, I don't!" he snapped and shot up, narrowing his eyes at her. Having Kuki Sanban this close made his heart go pitter-patter-pitter-patter in his chest. "Jus' go away."
"Why?" she asked and tilted her head to one side, her hair falling over her face like a dark veil. She laughed. "Scared?"
"Uh-uh!" he replied. "I jus' wanna be alone, alright?"
"Maybe you need some candy," Three suggest and pushed the pink sugar into his face. "Here, you can have some of mine! It's really good."
He pushed her hands away, trying not to take note of how good it really did look but on her fingers. "I don' want any! Bugger off."
"Of course you do!" Three replied and laughed as if she thought he was being the silliest person she had ever met. "Everyone loves cotton candy. Especially you Numbuh Four!"
"Whatdya know?" Four demanded, a little bit of anger sparking in his eyes. "Well?" He crossed his arms over his chest and glared, glared as hard as he could. Anger was better than depression. That was for sure.
Without warning Three pressed a shred of cotton candy to his lips. Four blinked and, without thinking, opened his mouth. The candy entered and he not only got a taste of the sugary goodness, but also the sticky sweetness on her fingers.
"Don't worry, Numbuh Four," Three said soothingly. "Everything will be okay!"
She leaned forward and Four instantly turned his head. She pressed a chaste kiss on his cheek and he felt the sticky substance on her lips being transferred to his skin. Heat covered his cheeks and moved down onto his neck.
"Come out in a little bit for the dessert, okay Numbuh Four?" Three hopped off the bed and moved to the door, resting a small hand on the frame. She turned her head to look at him, sprawled out on his bed with the moonlight on his face.
Kuki smiled and Wally went down.
Word Count: 1542
Time: twenty five minutes
Beta: on hiatus
Couples: semi 3/4
Status: one-shot (complete)
Author: Lizzy Rebel
Characters/Style: 3 and 4, fluffy
Notes: I've been watching too many 3/4 KND episodes… stupid B.E.A.C.H., stupid H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L., stupid… stupid… stupid… F.U.T.U.R.E., damn you E.N.D.