I own nothing pertaining to Sky High, but here's a chance to visit.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Chapter One - Summer Wind

He saw her running, running as though she was being chased. Not jogging, not like the others that came to the park during the evening hours. She didn't look like she was there to exercise. She looked like she was trying to evade some demon that had escaped from hell.

Warren headed in her direction, following a course that should intercept whatever it was that was on her trail. He dropped to the jogging path behind her waiting for the creature that he was sure would burst through the underbrush at any moment. When nothing happened, he swung around to stare after the departing girl.

Only, he discovered, she hadn't departed. She had stopped on the path to stare at him. Hand to chest, scowl upon her face, she watched him warily. "You scared the shit out of me." She glanced around. "Where did you come from anyway?"

Warren noticed she didn't seem out of breath, despite her hard run, nor had she worked up a sweat. Her curly brown hair was pulled up into a pony tail, tendrils coming loose to fall into her eyes. She pushed these back now, still waiting for his explanation.

"Ummm… You seemed like you were in trouble, and I was just trying to help. I thought something was chasing you." He realized even before he finished how dumb the explanation sounded. This hero thing was really a lot harder than it sounded in the textbooks or in gym. None of his classes had covered what you were supposed to do when it turned out that the citizen didn't need saving. Maybe that's what would be covered in his senior classes this year.

"Okay, in case you're unfamiliar with parks, and jogging paths, they are made for exercise, hence all the running. And a telltale clue for next time, no screaming so no danger. Thanks though, appreciate the thought."

He noticed she was slowly backing away from him, obviously convinced that he was more of a threat than any imaginary monsters in the dark. Great, from hero to psycho stalker in less than sixty seconds.

"Listen, my name's Warren Peace, and you didn't really seem to be jogging. It was more like you were running away from something, running for your life." He needed to set the record straight for some reason. Why, he wasn't sure. It was unlikely he would see her again. Citizens and heroes didn't mix well.

"Well, if you're going to run, isn't that what it should be like? Running for your life, running away, running to something. Why just jog? That's just exercise. But, running, that's more like freedom,"she grinned, and her eyes brightened during her explanation. He noticed that there was real joy on her face now, and she was actually letting him walk beside of her without sparing him any nervous glances.

"I wouldn't know. I only run if I'm chasing something, or it's chasing me." He grimaced, remembering the dance at the end of the last school year. "Running for exercise or enjoyment doesn't really appeal to me."

She glanced sideways at him as they left the cooling shadows of the park's leafy enclosure. "What does appeal to you, Warren?"

He stopped, stunned. Was she coming on to him, a complete stranger? Surely, as a citizen, she realized the danger she could be placing herself in. Citizens were so much more fragile, less expendable, fewer lives. He followed her through the park gates and out onto the sidewalk. "People who aren't so careless with their well-being." He said pointedly.

"Temper, temper…" she turned to walk backwards, when she realized he wasn't following her down the sidewalk. "Some one might consider you a threat. You're not, are you?"

Great, all his hard work, blown again so quickly. "I'm not the one you should be concerned about. You know, there are others here that aren't so innocent." He started after her again.

She looked up into the night sky, studied the stars, gestured up, and said, "Here? There are others here that aren't so innocent? Innocent as who? Me? Surely not you. You don't look at all innocent?" She laughed and turned to walk down the sidewalk.

Irritated that she thought it all a joke, he followed her. Why was it so hard to see to the safety of one citizen, and for that matter, why was he concerned? He felt the anger boiling up inside of him. Anger at her lack for concern for her own safety, anger that she wasn't taking him seriously. He felt the heat moving down his arms, and concentrated on squelching the firestorm that was rising inside of him.

"At this time of night, you should be more aware of your surroundings. There are threats everywhere," he scowled as he realized she was grinning again. He flexed his fingers to try to keep his control.

"Why worry about my welfare, when I've got you to do that for me." She was walking backwards again, not paying attention to her surroundings or where she was going.

She laughed and untied the sweatshirt that was wrapped around her waist. As she was struggling to pull the bulky shirt over her tight halter top, her pony tail became snagged in the zipper at the collar. Struggling only worsened the situation, snarled her hair further. Now she was unable to pull the shirt on, off, or even to see. Warren went over and began to untangle the wiry strands of hair that were wrapped sinuously around the teeth of the zipper.

"This is what I'm talking about," he glowered. "I don't understand how you've lasted this long." He pulled the last few strands of hair free and helped her adjust the miscreant collar. "Anyone could have grabbed you right then, you were helpless."

"Oh, I don't know," she laughed, pulling the hair band out of her hair and sweeping the long frizzy strands back from her face. "I'm pretty quick." She looked back over her shoulder, and Warren noticed they were standing in front of the local citizen high school. "Thanks for walking with me, Warren Peace, but this is where I get off."

Confused, he looked around, "Here? There's nothing here?" He couldn't leave her in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere. The street lights barely illuminated the streets. There were too many shadows, too many hiding places.

"My friends will be here any moment to pick me up. We're all going to the midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Why don't you join us? We've got extra raincoats." She watched as he shuddered and began to back away.

"No, I'll pass, thanks anyway." He said as he watched her walk away from the street, heading for the school steps. "I'll just take off if you're sure you're okay," he added uneasily

She nodded, smug in the knowledge that she had been correct about his reaction to the movie invitation. "Got my cell phone right here, if any baddies show up."

Warren began to back away. Uncomfortable about leaving her alone, he called out, "You never told me your name."

Perched on the edge of the steps, she leaned her arms on her knees and studied his earnest face. "Come back tomorrow, Warren Peace." She laughed at his uncertain expression. "Tomorrow, I'll tell you my name."

She watched him walk away. Watched him glance over his shoulder to check on her until he turned the corner at the end of the block. Only then did she head around the building towards the gym. She followed the cracked sidewalk past the deserted basketball courts, nets torn and drooping from back boards. Stopping at a side door, she withdrew the pass key she had lifted from her father's keychain and quickly unlocked the door. After punching in the key code on the alarm panel, she quickly re-locked the entrance. She knew there were no motion sensors in the gym, so she would be able to complete her laps without interruption.

Stretching quickly, she thought of her encounter with the dark-haired Goth boy. Red-streaked hair, dark rimmed eyes, black jacket, biker boots. A picture inconsistent with the concern he had shown for her safety. But still a picture that would infuriate her father. The hair alone would raise his blood pressure to a dangerous level. Picture perfect.

She wondered what tomorrow what hold…

Please read and review, let me know what you think, Would like some feedback before I finish the next chapter.