Under Your Skin

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations (although perhaps not the slashy ones!) created and owned by the Disney Corporation. I'm making no money from this, so please don't sue!

Chapter 1: In Their Eyes


Sometimes I feel like my life couldn't get any better. School's going great, I've got a great family, great friends and a great boyfriend. In short, if you haven't already guessed yet, everything is… well, great.

But if that's true, why does it feel empty, wrong? Like there's a piece of the jigsaw that doesn't quite fit, or there's something missing? It's always there, that feeling, lurking at the bottom of my thoughts even at my happiest moments, making everything seem hollow.

I can't understand it, and I can't tell anyone else about it because I know they won't understand it either. So, as I'm analytical by nature, I break down the component parts of my world and examine them in turn.

School: After the Homecoming insanity last year, Principal Powers tried to move me into the Hero stream, but I refused. I plan on staying in Hero Support and subverting the whole defective system. I really think it's starting to work. I'm getting straight A's in all my Hero Support classes without even having to use my powers.

My family: Me and my parents are pretty tight. Mom's work with endangered species takes her out of the country a lot of the time, so I'm closer to Dad. Dad's a civilian, but to me he's as much as a hero as Mom.

My friends: Magenta, Zach and Ethan may be branded sidekicks, but they're as brave and loyal as they come. I guess I should include Warren on that list, but even though I was the one who introduced him to the gang, we've grown apart over the last year. He divides his time between his girlfriend, Bianca Frost, and Will these days. The rest of us don't seem to exist anymore.

My boyfriend: What can I say about Will Stronghold? He's perfect – gorgeous, sweet and caring. I've known him all my life, it's like he's a part of me. I've waited for so long to have him and now I do.

Here he is now. He comes over and smiles at me, then kisses me hello. I close my eyes as I feel the pressure of his lips against mine. I know him like the back of my hand. But that's it. I suddenly realise that kissing him is like kissing the back of my hand – predictable, bland and… heartbreaking.

OK, looks like I've isolated the problem, but I just don't get it. I love him, he says he loves me, but why can't I feel happy?

What's wrong with me?


I stop kissing her for a moment and just look at her. She's amazing, she really is. There are times when she blows my mind. We hooked up at Homecoming last year. Before that night, I'd barely had one full conversation with her. But when our when our fingertips brushed together on the dancefloor, the steam began. She fascinated me.

In many ways, she's my polar opposite. Fire and ice. Yin and yang. Me and Freeze Girl. We balance each other out. I fire her up and she cools me down. I never thought this could happen to me. That someone would actually want me. Need me. That I could ever want anyone.

Yeah, I know its pretty textbook stuff – emotionally damaged in formative years, puts up barriers to prevent getting hurt ever again. I was always on the edge, not wanting to be near anyone or show up on anyone's radar. A loner who just wanted to stay out of trouble. The bad boy tag came with the name, it's not like I purposely went round intimidating people or anything. But then I'd never back down from a fight either.

OK, so maybe the whole 'I never went round purposely intimidating people' bit is not entirely true. I did try to terrorize one person last year, but that didn't work. Will Stronghold. The school Golden Boy. I looked at him and I burned up inside. I despised him. And I couldn't get away from him, he was everywhere. In the halls, in the cafeteria. In my head. I was obsessed. I couldn't stop thinking about him and how his dad had totally ruined my life. Then I exploded. I have a tendency to do that sometimes. But he stood up to me and held his own. And somehow we became best buddies.

Here he is now. He gives me a friendly clap on the shoulder, but it hurts like hell and I fall against my locker and onto my knees. He has no idea how strong he is. How much pain he can cause. He can't stop saying sorry as he helps me up. He has his hand in mine only for the briefest second, but a wave of heat rises through me. My face feels like it's on fire, but its not. He flashes me an apologetic smile and hurries off to class.

All of a sudden I feel something cold on my arm. I shiver as my blood turns to ice.

Oh yeah. Bianca. I almost forgot about her.


I used to frickin' love high school. Me and my man Speed would prowl these corridors like we owned the place. Hell, we did own the place. That stupid bitch Principal Powers had no idea what we used to get up to. And the others? Mr Medulla is holed up in the mad science lab most of his life, our unbeaten record in Save the Citizen meant we could do no wrong in Coach Boomer's eyes. As for Mr Boy? Don't make me laugh. The guy is a total loser.

Oh, it was so sweet tormenting those little freshmen and those sidekicks. And the sidekicks that were freshmen were particularly sweet! Hah! I remember one time some little dickweed sidekick actually peed his pants he was that scared about what me and Speed were gonna do to him! Man, those were the days.

The days before Will Stronghold showed up. When we heard that the son of two of the most powerful heroes was coming to Sky High, we thought we'd gotten ourselves a potential partner in crime. The kid of the Commander and Jetstream had to be something special, and even though he was only a freshman, we would have been happy for him to hang with us. Till we found out he didn't have any powers, that is, and that he was just a reject sidekick.

But then he got his super-strength and he thought he was better than all of us. When him and Peace beat me and Speed at Save the Citizen I didn't think I could hate someone so much. I was wrong. When I wound up in jail after he put a stop to Royal Pain's masterplan, I realised my hatred was limitless. It's good to have something to focus on when you're in prison. Helps pass the time.

Here he is now. The jerk. Ughh, it makes me wanna puke how he goes around smiling at everyone and shaking their hand, like he's running for President or something. And all those idiots lap it up. They all want a piece of the wonderful William Stronghold. I let go of the shaking sidekick I'm about to shove in a locker as he walks this way, glowering at me.

God, I really do hate him. He thinks he's something else.

I know what I'd like to do to him.