Disclaimer: If I owned KND, 1/362 would be canon. Along with 3/4 and 2/5.
Author's Note: Try and guess which sentences are companions to each other. It's fun.
Nigel never hid the fact that he hated winter, not even from his girlfriend; it never stopped Rachel from dragging him outside, and he always came back in with a smile on his face.
Idly she notes that the winter sky is an especially clear shade of blue today, but still not as blue as his eyes.
"RACHEL! WHERE IN THE NAME OF NUMBUH ZERO DID YOU HIDE MY SUNGLASSES?!"
"Numbuh 1? Numbuh 1, do you read me? Where are you? Please respond! Nigel Uno, please speak to me if you can hear this! Nigel! NIGEL!"
She told herself again and again that her feelings were nothing, that in time they would pass on and fade away, but it did nothing to soothe the ache in her chest every time she saw him with Lizzie.
"I didn't mean to shoot him," he sobs, his hands covered with blood. "I swear I didn't, Rachel." And ignoring the operatives around them, she drops to her knees beside him and hugs him tightly, tears streaming down her face.
"Yo… Numbuh 5 puts her allowance for a month on Numbuh 1 hookin' up with Numbuh 362."
When no one is looking, he tilts his head back and opens his mouth, catching a snowflake on his tongue; she promptly turns on her heel and retreats, knowing she's seen something not meant for the eyes of other kids.
Numbuh 1 studied the scene of the struggle, trying desperately to ignore his rolling stomach and the way his heart clenched at the puddle of blood and the shard of orange, tiger-striped clothe that lay in the center of it.
"Your hair's messy from your helmet," he observed, and without thinking stroked it to smooth it out.
"Oh ho… look who's under the mistletoe with Rachel. Ya know what that means, right?"
Numbuh 1 glared at a smirking Numbuh 4, but before he could react Numbuh 362 leaned forward and followed tradition without a second thought.
She smirks and leans forward, and he stumbles back, his cheeks flushing from a combination of awkwardness and the snow drifting around them; it's enough for her to push him neatly into the snow bank behind him.
Some small part of her blamed herself for Nigel's break-up with Lizzie, even though she knew it wasn't her fault.
For a moment, just a moment, he almost called her back as she walked away; but the pain in his chest was still too great, and she had already disappeared from his line of sight.
"Now listen up! I'll say this slowly, so ye get all o' it. Break Numbuh 362's heart and Ah break yer neck, got it?"
"For what I've done, I start again. And whatever pain may come, today this ends…" Her voice is hauntingly soft and tired as she sings, but he doesn't have the heart to stop her.
"You've never made a snow angel before? Ever? Fine, then I'll teach you."
"For the last time, Dad! Rachel is not my girlfriend!!"
She hovered uncertainly at the building's edge for a moment before aiming for the spot where her fellow operative stood; narrowing her eyes in concentration she leaped, and his hand clasped firmly with hers to help her land safely beside him.
"Jump, Rachel! It's okay… I'll catch you."
It's the one rule she could never break, because it was absolutely forbidden for the Supreme Leader to fall in love with a fellow operative; but as Numbuh 1 took her hand and smiled uncertainly, she decided some rules were made to be broken.
Winter was the season that seemed, somehow, to be theirs; so it was no surprise that on her birthday he gave her a small silver snowflake hanging from a chain.
"What are you thinking? Your hands will freeze!" And without any word he took her bare hands between his gloved ones, failing to see the blush that darkened her cheeks.
"What do you mean NUMBUH 1'S STILL INSIDE?!"
Something about watching the stars comforted her, soothed her; it was her secret, one Numbuh 1 had sworn to take to his grave.
It was only later that Numbuh 362 found him watching clouds, and as before swore not to tell a soul. It was their secret, another one they shared.
The snow falling outside is white and silent, and everything seems magical. It puts a spark in Rachel's eyes, and that's the only reason Nigel lets her drag him out in the first place.
Saying those two words after she bails him out of a sticky situation with Midwestern Mom seems a tad awkward, so he just rests his hand over hers and hopes she understands.
It's funny, but as she watches the red stain bloom on her chest and hears Numbuh 1 shout her name, all she can think is that it didn't hurt as much as she thought it would.
"Oh, come on! I dumped a super important meeting to help you… you could at least looka little happy, the way Numbuh 60's gonna chew me out when I get back to the Moon Base."
"Yeah… that, uh… stung… ow…" And with that, he passes out in her arms.
If anyone saw the way Numbuh 362's eyes softened just slightly and her lips curved just so every time she saw Numbuh 1, they never said anything about it.
"Lean on me, moron," she murmurs, slinging one limp arm along her shoulders and wrapping her own arm around his waist. "You don't have to do everything by yourself, you know."
"It's okay to cry, you know," he murmurs, but her tears refuse to fall.
"Mom says I look like Dad," five year old Basil tells anyone who will listen, "but Dad says I act like Mom."
Everyone on the Moon Base did a double take; were those Numbuh 1's sunglasses perched on top of Numbuh 362's helmet?
"Basil's asking for a puppy," Rachel muttered with a smirk, and Nigel nearly choked on his coffee.
His first days in the Teens Next Door are awkward and lonely; but one day he is tackled from behind by something warm and slim and a stupid grin lights up his face as she whispers, "Long time no see, Nigel."
Rachel listens to her parents fight late at night and vows never to become that way as her tears begin to fall.
"Uh… Numbuh 1… I mean, Nigel… This m-might be a bad time, but… I… I think I love you…"
She holds his crushed, broken sunglasses in her hand and puts it on her desk, desperately praying that it's wrong and they'll find him alive.
"Rachel isn't dead. Don't even think she is. She's too tough to just give up and die."
Of all the kids in the Kids Next Door and the teens in the Teens Next Door, Numbuh 1 is the only one who has never doubted Numbuh 362.
"Your eyes show what you're thinking, Rachel. You might want to work on that."
A snowball whistles through the air, and she ducks with a yelp; she sees a flash of red out of the corner of her eye and smirks, packing snow into a tight little ball. He won't get away that easy.
"Hey… Nigel… do you believe in forever?"
"Can I stay at your house tonight?" She sounds tired and looks ready to cry. "Mom and Dad are fighting again, and I can't sleep."
He's always hated the snow, because it's cold and wet and makes him uncomfortable; in contrast she loves it, because it's white and small and represents everything kids love.
The first time he kissed her, it was snowing and she'd caught a snowflake in her gloved hands, looking up at him with a grin—he couldn't resist the impulse and kissed her, and as she kissed back he decided he didn't hate snow so much anymore.
... 1/362 reminds me of snow.
I couldn't resist. I love this pairing way too much.
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