DISCLAIMER: Disney owns Sky High. I do not own any of the characters. I didn't even come up with the name for Freeze Girl - credit for that goes to an author on this site. Please read and review and don't hold back - If you think this story sucks, flame me.
It seemed like it was meant to be. Layla and Warren lay together in his bed. The mattress was cheaply made and too firm for Layla's taste, but she wasn't about to complain. She sighed contentedly, smiling at Warren who appeared to be in deep thought. It never failed that after every one of their trysts Warren would become quiet, every so often leaning over to make sure that his lover was real and not just a fantasy. He would smile very faintly, lean over, and just barely graze her lips with his. They'd come a long way over the last few months and, although they hardly ever talked about the past, it was filled with positive memories.
Warren Peace had just had his heart broken. The usually cool, aloof young pyrokinetic had opened up to one girl - Beth, otherwise known as Freeze Girl. She first caught his eye during Freshman year and the two of them had gotten together the night that Royal Pain was defeated. She carried herself with the grace of a prima ballerina and was the most beautiful, feminine creature he'd ever laid eyes on. Beth was able to make Warren smile and got him to speak in full sentences about emotions and dreams. Nobody had ever made him feel that way before.
Beth, though, had all of the credits needed for graduation in her Junior year and was eager to set up base in a bustling metropolitan area where she could fight evil. Her decision to end it all stung Warren a bit and he felt like their relationship didn't mean much of anything to her. At the start of Senior year, Warren was back to his usual, sullen self without Beth around to make him smile.
He wasn't alone, of course. At the start of Senior year, Layla was feeling like she'd had her heart ripped out and it was all because of the infamous Will Stronghold. As it happens sometimes with those who aren't prepared to receive the attention and praise of the masses, Will became cocky and full-of-himself. His parents, mostly his father, fueled his arrogance with compliments, hardly ever stopping to criticize how he was handling all of it.
Layla was always in his shadow and bit by bit she could feel Will pulling away from her. Before he had a chance to break it off, Layla left him. He certainly wasn't the boy she'd fallen in love with during her grade school years and, although she was a little sad, she was glad to be free from their destructive relationship.
One day it became too much. Ethan, who had grown, adopted contacts to replace his glasses, and become quite the attractive young Casanova , had two random girls on either side of him. They giggled in competition for his affection and Ethan smiled shyly at both of them. Zach and Magenta whispered jokes about all of it in each others' ears, laughing whenever a comment hit their funny bone. Will was on the opposite side of the cafeteria at a table full of students who had been labeled as 'Heroes' during Freshman year power placement and that left Layla with no one to really talk to or laugh with.
Her eyes drifted over to the only other table occupied by someone she knew. It was Warren picking at the lunch on his tray. He was sitting alone and it was no secret that that was the way he liked it. Hesitantly, though, Layla made her way over to his table and took a seat across from him.
"What…?" He didn't look up, but rolled his eyes up a bit so he could see parts of Layla's face through the disheveled hair that hung in front of his eyes.
"I, um…" Layla trailed off, inhaling a long, slow breath of air. After a five-second pause she found herself looking Warren in the eyes with an expression that pleaded him not to press further for answers. She felt too lonely for that at the moment.
"Never mind." Warren mumbled and took a bite of his hamburger. Layla eyed him as he ate the meat, wanting to make a witty comment about her own vegetarianism and the slaughter of animals for food, but she decided to let Warren's carnivorous act slide.
Layla continued to join Warren at his lunch table for a an entire week but their collective silence made it feel like years dragging on and on so slowly. Each night before bed, Layla promised herself that she would start up a conversation with Warren and every day before school Warren would promise himself that he'd tell the red-haired hippie to go bother someone else during lunch but neither of them ever got around to doing those things.
Before they knew it, it was that time again. It was time for the Homecoming dance at Sky High and neither Layla nor Warren were really looking forward to it. True, it was their Senior year and every experience during that time was supposed to be memorable. It was their 'last blast', so to speak.
Part of Layla wanted to go just to dress up. Over the summer she was picturing herself as Will Stronghold's date in a dress fit for a goddess with flowers placed in her long red hair. She pictured him holding onto her and flying the two of them up to the high school while other girls looked on, green with envy. That wasn't going to happen, though.
For a moment she considered asking Ethan to go with her as a friend, but a plethora of cute girls had beaten her to the chase.
Over her years at Sky High, Layla had stuck with the same group of friends she had hung out with as a freshman making her pool of friends fairly small and leaving her without many options. Asking Warren Peace didn't even seem like an option at the time, but just one day away from the dance Layla had an urge. She wasn't sure if it was wise to ask Warren to homecoming. A few other girls had asked him and he responded with fire. Literal fire… That was enough to scare them away. Layla wasn't feeling particularly sensible, though.
They sat quietly, every so often exchanging blank and emotionless glances, and ate their lunches sitting at the same table, when all of the sudden both of their voices broke the silence.
"Would you--" They both started to ask the same thing at the same time. Once each of them became aware that they'd interrupted the other both of them became silent, looking at each other expecting the other person to continue their inquiry. The silence came back for a moment, but then…
"Are you going to Homecoming?" Warren asked the question casually, taking a large bite of his lunch and looking at Layla for an answer.
"I was thinking that-- Well, maybe I could-- I, uh…" Layla couldn't manage to spit out an answer and Warren's impatient look only made her stutter more. She gave up on answering coherently when he began to speak again.
"Look, the last thing I want to do is get involved with you and be your rebound from Stronghold. I don't like that crap. That being said…" He sighed, looking up at her. "Wanna go with me?"
Layla's mouth hung open just a little bit. Warren expected her to reply with a 'yes' or 'no', but things are rarely that simple.
"You're not a rebound. Why would… It's just…" Layla, slightly offended but refusing to show it, was failing to be articulate once again. For some reason it was difficult to talk to Warren. "You're not a rebound." She repeated herself firmly.
"Understood." He nodded slowly. "Yes or no, hippie. What'll it be?" She smiled for the first time in weeks and nodded in response to his invitation.
"Why not…?" Warren acknowledged her answer with a nod and a faint smile, but he wiped the smile from his face the moment he realized that it was there.