Hey all, Captain here. Well, here we are again. Surprisingly, it's not a songfic! corks and noisemakers go off in the background Yeah, I thought you'd be proud of me too. Anyway, the idea just came to me and I figured I'd better get it written down before it packed its bags and left. And I tried to write the characters in with their accents, but I found it hard. So hang with me, please, my faithful readers? Slight 4x5 if you really want to look that hard.
The Sixth Hit
"Well team, another great job." Number One, Nigel, said, giving everyone a big smile and adjusting his overly large sunglasses. "I knew we could pull it off. We always find a way to pull it off."
"Yeah, yeah, shut 'yer trap Numbah one," Number Four, Wally, snapped. Storming off to their training center (a/n: they have one, right?), the rough blonde didn't even acknowledge the other's awed stares.
"Um, well, okay, obviously Number Four won't be joining us for the afternoon television," Nigel said, recovering. "Number Two?"
"Yeah!" Number Two, Hoagie yelled. "I get to choose the channel! And bring on the popcorn!"
"I got it!" Number Three, Kuki added happily. "I got special Rainbow Monkey topping that makes it (big sigh) sooooooooooo preeeeeeeeeeeeetttty."
Nigel and Hoagie looked at each other worriedly. "So, Number Two, do you know what's on today?"
Hoagie nodded feverishly, then looked at the remaining member of the team. "Number Five? Aren't you excited? It's one of the biggest wrestling matches today!"
Abbey shook her head. "Numbah Five's got sumthin' else to do. I'll watch the rerun." With that, she turned to follow Wally.
In the training area, Abbey saw Wally attacking a suspended sand-bag furiously. "Numbah Four!" she called. When he looked up at her, or at least his hair did, Abbey continued. "There's wrestlin' on tv-you gonna come?"
"No. And I don't need your cruddy advice either!" Wally snapped, then went back to the punching bag.
Abbey shrugged, unfazed by the angry words. She knew that's all it was-angry words from an angry friend. "Numbah Five didn't come to offer advice-she was gonna practice her martial arts. Feel like partnerin' up?"
Wally stopped, hesitant, then shook his head. "Naw-I'll knock yew out."
Abbey seemed to visibly brighten. "'Dat's cool. Haven't had a real work-out in a while. I'll go get my gi."
A few moments later, both operatives in their gi's, they bowed to each other. "Now remember, no holdin' back," Abbey warned. "Let it all out. I won't be holdin' back either."
Perhaps, if Wally had been in a better mood, he might have picked up on the advice he had rejected so hastily earlier. Perhaps. As it was, his mind didn't process further than 'no holdin' back.' "Yeah, whatever," he grumbled. "Let's go!"
Moments later, Abbey was starting to wonder if she should have told him not to hold back. Although she was taller than him, he was slightly more filled out, being a guy and all. As far as skill, they were pretty much evenly matched. With the exception of the fact that if a kid was angry enough, skill didn't matter as much, only getting the anger out. And she'd seen a livid number Four before: it hadn't been pretty. But Abbey pushed those thoughts away almost as easily as she blocked Wally's high kicks.
"Hah!" she exclaimed, aiming for an opening he had left on his side. Knocking him to the ground, she wondered for a moment if he was going to be okay. From the feel of the blows, he still had plenty of anger left in him.
Rubbing his head, Wally snorted. "Lucky shot. Let's go again." As they bowed for the second time, Wally realized he had forgotten an important fact. Although Abbey was called 'the quiet one,' she could still meet him blow for blow if she thought about it. As they started fighting again, Wally felt his anger start to leave him, an inch at a time. So his blows got harder, and more powerful. Abbey's face started to disappear in his vision, turning into his father's, then his sister's, then all the villains he had ever faced…
Abbey was really starting to hurt now. It felt like the hits had gotten softer for a little while, but then Wally started speeding up again and now he was retaliating as hard as ever. Wincing as the latest strike bruised her side, Abbey grimly bit her lip and took up the fighting stance again. "Come on numbah Four-you wanna finish it that badly, let's finish it."
The operatives had been fighting for almost 2 hours, when Abbey looked at the clock on the wall. She was supposed to have been home an hour ago, but from the looks of it she might be staying at the tree house tonight. Wally was just now starting to calm down again, since his blows had gotten slower and weaker. He was on the floor right now, having taken another kick from Abbey. When she looked at him again, she frowned. "Numbah Four? That was only your fifth hit. We practice up til' six, remembah?"
Wally shook his head stubbornly and hauled himself up shakily. "Roight. One more hit for both of us, right?" Before he finished standing up though, he sat down again. Fell down, is more appropriate. "Why am I so weak!" he shouted, more to himself than Abbey. "Can't cruddy stand up and I've still got a hit to go!"
Sitting down next to him, Abbey provoked him. "I told yeh not to hold back. I din't say I would though. And why're you weak?"
"I don't know!" Wally fumed. "Maybe if I wasn't weak, I wouldn't mind going back home!"
Abbey was silent, not offering any words. The ones she wanted to say wouldn't have helped him. Instead…"So ye're weak for avoidin' yer parents?"
"No! Yes! I-I don't know." All Wally wanted to do was curl up in a ball somewhere and cry. He couldn't do that-he was in the Kids Next Door, fer' the love of kudos! Instead, he clenched his fists until his knuckles were white. "My parents are splittin' up. My dad…" here Wally trailed off, not willing to finish the thought.
"Yer' dad doesn't love yer' momma anymore?" Abbey asked quietly.
Wally shook his head miserably. "My dad…he…he had a girlfriend…"
Abbey was silent, waiting for Wally to continue. "He's supposed ta' leave next week. With my sisters. My mom's been crying every day for the past couple weeks when he wasn't around, so he wouldn't see her being weak. Yesterday…yesterday dad an' me got into a big fight. He started yelling at me, and calling me weak, and stupid and-"
"But you're not," Abbey interrupted gently.
"But numbah Five…"
"You're not," Abbey continued, a little stronger this time.
"If I'd a been tougher, my dad wouldn't have a girlfriend!" Wally yelled, finally getting the bulk of the problem said.
Abbey looked at him, then shook her head. "'Dese things happen, numbah Four. You don't think they ever happen to you, but they do." This shut Wally up considerably. "Numbah Four, you can't let it get to you. 'Dat's when you want to start hurtin' the adults that did it to you. Then you can't do that, so you start wanting to hurt the kid that it happened to. Before you know it, you've turned against your friends, your job, even your sister."
Wally was dumbfounded. "Wait a minute-"
Abbey smiled, a little sadly. "Why do you think Cree went from being one of the best Kids Next Door operatives to one of the worst enemies? Shore, she grew up and didn't want to stay a kid anymore. That was part of it. But it was mostly 'cuz she was mad at our parents. So you're not weak, Wally. You just have to remember that. It's not your fault that your folks are splittin'. Part of that is bein' helpless, too. Being helpless doesn't mean you're weak. Now, are we finishing off the 6 hits? If not, I want to get some ice."
Wally blinked as he realized that Abbey was covered with a lot more bruises than he was. "Naw-I'm done. You'd fall over if I hit you again anyway."
Abbey smiled. "Now 'dat's the numbah Four I know!" Finally managing to stand up, she started limping towards the medical room. Leaving Wally on the mat, she stopped when he yelled to her.
"Abbey?" Wally called after her. Seeing her stop, he bit his lip. "Um, what about you? Are you still mad at your parents?"
Abbey sighed heavily. "Sometimes. Then I remember what happened to Cree, and that I live with my dad, who still loves my momma even though she doesn't love him anymore. Then we go on a mission, and I feel better for a while. Writin' helps too. So, yeah, I still get mad at 'em, but then I remember what I've still got."
Wally absorbed this, and was silent as she left for the infirmary. Sitting on the mats, Wally suddenly realized that he didn't know that Abbey's parents were divorced. He was sure number One knew, because he and number Five had grown up together. He suddenly wondered if the others knew. Sighing, he stood up as well to go change.
It wasn't until much later, when everyone was in bed that Wally realized Abbey had known what was going on. And that was her way of helping, advice and all. 'Cruddy girls,' Wally thought, irritated. 'I told her I didn't want help!' Nevertheless, Wally slept easier that night than he had in the past month. And the next morning, he made sure to leave number Five the best seat on the couch to watch the wrestling match rerun.