Memories of You, Me and Them
Summary: Nigel can only take so much from his demanding girlfriend, and he feels that if he doesn't get out soon, he'll most likely crack. But there is one girl who is unintentionally helping him out, and that one girl will soon lose her memories of him and everything she helped build.
A/N: After watching Op: Z.E.R.O., I somehow fell in love with the 1/362 pair even though there isn't so much interaction between them. At first, I thought 362 would have been better with 60. That's a pretty-okay one too, I suppose. I don't exactly know why, but I'm just weird that way. Besides, Lizzie creeps the hell out of me for some reason. Oh, and I think the title and summary don't go together, but that's just me. I suck at titles, really.
Disclaimer: I don't own it.
As much as he loved Lizzie, he could only take so much. It was always Nigie this, and Nigie that, and 'Ooh, Nigie, can we go somewhere tonight?' and 'Nigie, I want that one! Not this one!' The last statement was usually followed by a disgruntled, "What's the difference?" which would then be followed by an angered shriek that would cause him to shrink away from her.
He wondered what had happened to the happier days when they were younger, when he was in love with her?
Okay, so he wasn't sure if he was in love with her or anything. He was only twelve years old, for goodness sake! How was he supposed to know if he was in love or not? But what he did know was that the old fluttery feeling in his stomach whenever he thought about Lizzie or whenever he was with her was gone. Mysteriously.
No, that was a lie. He knew exactly where the feeling had gone to.
The feeling only came back when he was with her: the Kids Next Door's Supreme Commander, who was not only a year older than him, but was to be decommissioned soon. Her birthday was in two months.
In the weeks and months that followed after what went down with Grandfather, he had become a lot closer to the lovely blonde Miss Rachel Blackburn. It started after the repairs and building for the new moonbase started. Even after it was over and done with, he still went to see her. To the moonbase, just for a chat or to discuss Kids Next Door stuff.
He only noticed the fluttery feeling in his stomach when he had been standing a little too closely to her during last year's New Year's Eve. They had been watching the fireworks together. He would have brought Lizzie along with him, but it was for Kids Next Door operatives only.
When Numbuh 362 turned her head to look at him, he blushed.
And darn that fluttery feeling in his stomach.
Numbuh 362 looked around her office. She was counting down the days until it was finally her time to be decommissioned, every Kids Next Door operative's worst fear. She was no exception and if anything, she was even more scared, being Supreme Commander and all.
She would have to leave everyone and everything behind. The Kids Next Door was like family to her. No, scratch that. They were family. No, scratch that again. They are family. They were her life, and she loved them. Especially Numbuh 86 – even though she could be a grouch sometimes but she was the most loyal friend she could have asked for – and Numbuh 60. These two were the ones who tolerated and liked her the most.
She, Numbuh 86 and Numbuh 60 were best friends, although Numbuh 86 disliked Numbuh 60 to a certain degree. They had joined the Kids Next Door at the same time and had vowed to get decommissioned at the same time, to ease the pain of losing each other separately. That was until Numbuh 362 had become Supreme Commander, and over the two years that she had held that position, she had only become more attached to the Kids Next Door, and so had Numbuh 86 – despite her ongoing vendetta against males – and Numbuh 60, once they had gotten their own respective positions, given to them by that traitorous once-legendary Chad.
Now that Numbuh 362 had time to think about it, the things Chad had done had probably been the result of fear. Was it fear that made him do all those things to betray the Kids Next Door? Was it fear that caused his memories of the Kids Next Door to remain with him?
She wasn't sure, and frankly, she didn't want to know. As much as Chad was her favourite cousin in the entire world, she didn't want to know what had made him betray them like he had. Unfortunately, she did know why. Maybe not exactly, but the outlines of them more like it.
Taking up the position of Supreme Commander on such short notice had been difficult, but she rose to the challenge. She came from a family of strong people, those who fought for what they wanted. And as a result, the Kids Next Door became stronger and much larger under her lead.
Numbuh 362 looked at the plaques and the accompanied pictures of all the Supreme Commanders since the Kids Next Door started. Every single one of them was there, including Chad's, even though Numbuh 86 had insisted that it be taken down for his betrayal. She remembered confronting Chad about it later that night during the family dinner they had.
"Why did you do it?"
Chad jumped and turned around to look at his younger cousin. Rachel stood there with her arms crossed over her chest. For being an eleven-year-old, she sure knew how to look angry and stern. She had it down to an art. She probably got it from her mom, he mused to himself.
"Chad, why did you do it?" she repeated.
"I heard you got appointed Supreme Commander, Rach. Congratulations," he said.
Rachel looked confused for a moment before her face softened. "Thanks," she said but her face hardened once more. "Answer the question, Chad. Why?"
For some reason, Chad chuckled. He ruffled Rachel's hair to which she swatted his hands away. "You wouldn't understand, little cuz," he said.
"Both Cree and Father made me an offer I couldn't refuse," he finally told her.
There was a dull ache in her chest when she realized that he chose their arch enemy and another traitor – the one she had looked up to when she found out that she had also been one of the best – over them. And on his thirteenth birthday too, how convenient.
"I'm sorry, Rach, but even if I could, I wouldn't change what happened," he said. "Besides, why would I want the memories of the best years of my life erased?"
"You shouldn't have joined then," she said.
"Why did you join?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Because you did."
Rachel hadn't realized that she had been crying.
Numbuh 362 sighed at the memory. What Chad had said that night was true, though. Why should someone want to have the memories of the best years of their life erased?
Their mothers used to muse on how alike she and Chad were, and she used to agree with them. She loved her cousin and looked up to him. But from now on, she would have to disagree. She and Chad were nothing alike, because unlike him, she won't betray the Kids Next Door.
She would take the decommissioning like a real leader.
She sighed once more. Only sixty days, and she will no longer be Numbuh 362, Kids Next Door Supreme Commander.