Title: Help Save the Youth of America from Exploding
Rating: T, just to be safe.
Disclaimer: I do not own Sky High or anything or anyone to do with Sky High. So don't sue me. I mean, you could, but all you'd get is a deflated rugby ball and a computer that freezes every five minutes. So it wouldn't really be worth it. I also don't own the title, which the title of a Less Than Jake song.
"I'm hungry," I remarked to the world at large as I jumped off of the sidewalk into the road, and then back on to the sidewalk. It was a habit I had picked up as a child, when I was convinced it would ward off evil spirits if every time I went to take a walk I first stepped into the road and then back on the sidewalk. It would tell the road I did not fear it or its vehicles, so they would not feel the need to jump off the road and hit me.
I never said I was an intelligent child.
"You're always hungry lately. It's like you got a tapeworm or something," my friend Trash complained, his face screwed up like he was smelling his namesake. Suddenly his face went straight and serious. "You don't, do you?"
"No, Trash, I would have told you if I had a tapeworm," I said, annoyed. Trash was a nice kid, and not at all deserving of his nickname, but sometimes he wasn't too bright. Like all of the time. But what could I do, we'd been friends since before pre-k. Plus, being mean to Trash would be like being kicking a puppy. You just don't do that. "I've told you before, I'm always hungry lately because I have to fuel my powers."
Now he looked confused. "Why does pre-cog need fuel? It's not like you're creating fireballs or anything."
"Well, okay, maybe it's not to fuel my power. Maybe it's more like, I can see into the future, when I'll be hungry, so I get hungry. And when I'm eating, I see myself in the future being full, so I quit eating even though I just started." Hm. That actually sounded vaguely plausible I thought, and then ducked.
A tennis ball smacked Trash in the chin, and would've smacked me except for the whole pre-cog thing. Which really doesn't like to work except when it comes to imminent threat of bodily harm.
"Hah! Sorry about that, Trash man! Gotta make sure Flinchie here's got her reflexes in shape," shouted a tall guy with shaggy brown hair standing at the corner down the street. I rolled my eyes at his nickname. He loved to sneak it in just to annoy me every now and then, it wasn't a constant nickname. I'd have probably shoved his stupid tennis ball down his throat if he called me that every time.
The shaggy haired guy was the last of our unlikely trio. His real name was Lucky Domino, because his parents had a mean sense of humor, but he had been called Rover for as long as anyone could remember, even longer than Trash had been Trash. It was mostly because of his stupid tennis ball that yes, he did occasionally carry in his mouth. He insisted he had started it in order to make games of Red Rover more fun. Yes, because what could be more fun than yelling "Red Rover, Red Rover, send Rover right over!"
I had also known him since pre-k, so again: not my fault.
Rover and Trash occupied the rest of our time at the makeshift bus stop punching each other in the shoulder and cracking up. Well, what more could you expect from fourteen year old boys?
I spent the waiting time reading a book, the title of which I carefully hid from sight. It was a book recommended for the 9-12 age range, after all, and I knew the guys would just love to laugh at me for it.
The bus was just coming up the street when there was a loud crashing noise and a silver-and-blue blur landed next to me on the sidewalk. I blinked to clear my vision and was rather surprised at what I saw.
"Vico?" And sure enough, it was Vico Delacourt dressed in a silver jersey and blue jeans. Unlike Rover and Trash, I hadn't met Vico through superhero parents, so I hadn't expected to find him here. He was a kid we had gone to middle school with, a pretty decent guy. Kind of weird and really jittery, but a great lab partner. And our jitteryness matched, at least. Maybe he had pre-cognition powers too? I squinted at him.
"You three are seriously going to Sky High?" he asked incredulously. I knew how that went. I glanced over my shoulder at the other two boys who were still pushing each other and were also now mimicking 80's television stars. I stared at the scene for a moment, and then jumped as the doors to the bus clanged open and a bad-tempered voice told us all to get on. The 'or else' remained unspoken but mutually understood.
Our group of four piled on to the bus. I hung back a moment to look at the familiar-looking bus driver as the others found seats. "Hey…" I said. I had finally placed the recognition. "Weren't you, like, arrested last year?"
The teenaged super villain known as Lash that the news stations had been chatting about a year ago glowered at me. "This is my community service. Now sit down."
I quickly went over to where the guys had saved me a seat, grinning. "This," I told them, practically glowing, "is awesome. Our bus driver's a super villain!" Neither Trash nor Vico looked too impressed. Rover might've, it was hard to tell around the tennis ball in his mouth. I made a face at the display and then turned around just in time to be strapped in and scream at the top of my lungs as the bus took off.
I spent most of the ride with my eyes squeezed shut tightly and making whimpering noises to keep from hyperventilating thanks to my incredible phobia of heights of any kind. And flying through said heights on a freaking SCHOOL BUS.
I vaguely heard Vico, sitting next to me, turn and ask Trash what was wrong with me. I'm also fairly sure he then gave off a loud, detailed account of all the previous bad experiences with heights that I'd had over my lifetime that led to my supposedly irrational fear of heights.
"IT'S NOT IRRATIONAL YOU MORON, IT'S ENTIRELY RATIONAL!" I hollered at him, somehow managing to break through the whimpers in order to verbally abuse my best friend.
After far, far too long a period, we landed. Super-Villain-Bus-Driver guy snarled, "Sky High," at us, and then kicked everyone off. I stumbled off after everyone else and wrestled my water bottle out of my backpack and took a couple of nice, deep gulps before following my friends and the rest of the freshmen.
To my surprise, Super-Villain-Bus-Driver (I'd call him Lash, but it seemed like a rather informal way to address someone I had just met) got off after me and stalked his way into the school. I raised an eyebrow at that.
Some girl I had never seen before noticed where I was staring. "He's a student here again. Him and the others who helped Royal Pain during the whole Homecoming Dance thing. They missed most of their senior year being in jail, so when they got parole they had to come back."
"Is it really that smart to teach known super villains how to use their powers? 'Cause then they might use them in even more villain-y ways," I said, and then thought about something. "And what about Royal Pain? Wasn't she a student too?"
"Ah," my new acquaintance said, "but she had already technically graduated. With the whole being regressed to baby-hood thing and such. And as for the super villain thing, I guess they're trying to reform them. Or something. Adults are kinda naïve sometimes."
I nodded at that. "I hear ya." And then my manners caught up with me. After all my parents had taught me, I'd had almost a full conversation with someone without giving my name? How dare I! "Jamie Delaney," I said, sticking out my hand and doing my damnedest not to wince at the rhyme in my name. Perhaps it was no 'Lucky Domino', but it was still pretty bad.
She shook my hand with a grin. "Mickey Summers. Well, technically Michelle. My brother Mark is a senior, that's how I know all the good gossip 'round here." Mickey glanced back at the school. "And I think we're maybe supposed to be following the mass exodus of freshmen over there."
I wheeled around and yep, she was right. "Oh, crap." We rushed over to join the herd and pretended like we had always been in it. Thankfully, my friends were morons, and therefore hadn't noticed.
We were going to the gym, for something called 'power placement'. Sounded ominous indeed.