Okay, so, I haven't updated this in… Well, a long time, and I really can't say how sorry I am. It started with this majorly huge writers' block that I had and I guess I kinda… forgot about it. >.>; Um, so, you may hurt me as much as you like. Really, you can. And, and, and I'll give you all cookies! :D Also, Spring Break is here, so I promise at least a chapter a day (hopefully) for it. Oh, and the italics in this chapter are flashbacks.

So, for future warning, this chapter is going to contain typical teenage drama. :P You'll live though, I think it's an interesting look on the characters' individual personalities. Furthermore, I'm bumping this story's rating up to T because there is some strong language and I don't want to risk having any kiddies reading it. :P

Disclaimer: I do not own and am not affiliated with National Treasure in any way. If you hear that I am from someone, that someone is lying and you shouldn't be their friend anymore because liars go to hell.

Christina stared at the large, somewhat imposing building that was the National Archives from her spot in a bush across the street. She grunted and re-situated herself, grimacing as the little lengths of wood pushed into her skin.

"Ugh, what the hell am I doing here?"

She gave a frustrated growl and broke the little twigs immediately around her. Feeling slightly more comfortable, she crossed her legs under her and sighed, reflecting on the event that landed her in her current position: crouched on the insect-ridden ground, covered in little pieces of wood.

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"Please?"

"No."

"Pretty please?"

"No."

"I'll give you a cookie."

"You don't have any cookies."

"You don't know that."

Silence.

"Okay, I don't have any cookies."

Christina turned to look at her friend with a bored expression on her face.

"Jenn, I'm not gonna go with you on the 'stakeout'. I'm going with Riley to help him with whatever it is he's doing."

She paused to take a sip of the milkshake she had just made.

"It's a waste of time anyway, we know what to do."

"Yeah, well, Ben and Riley don't. And Riley doesn't need any help anyway; you just want to go so you can be with him."

"And that's a bad thing?"

Jennifer's eyes fell to her feet.

"Chris, it's just… We don't know what's going to happen when… this is over. We might be sent home, we might be stuck here forever. I know I don't care about being stuck here, and I'm pretty sure you don't either, but… if we… do go home… You might not see him again."

Christina frowned and scrunched up her brow.

"You think I don't know that? That's all I've been thinking abut lately. Will I get to stay here with him? Will he remember me if I go home? Will I remember him if I go home?"

She wandered about Ben's small living room, throwing her hands up as she spoke.

"Of course I might not see him again; that's the point. That gives me all the more reason to spend as much time with him as possible."

She stopped and looked Jennifer dead in the eye, feeling a hot, wet tear snake down her cheek.

"I can't stop feeling for him, Jenn. I'm not going to do that to myself."

She looked down and nodded her head, reassuring herself.

"I'm not."

Jennifer looked down as well and pursed her lips.

"There's nothing that will change your mind."

It wasn't a question.

She sighed.

"Chris, I just don't want you to end up with a broken heart. I know there is a chance that you won't have to leave him, but there's always the greater chance that you will."

"But there's still a chance that I won't."

"But there's still the chance that you will."

Jennifer sighed, giving up that argument, and took a step towards her.

"Chris, I'm just trying to help you to do what's best. I don't want you to end up torn to pieces; I don't want you to end up like me."

She grabbed Christina's hand and it was immediately yanked from her grip.

"What makes you think you know what's best? You're not my mother or my boss or… any other power that can control me. I can make my own decisions!"

Jennifer frowned, her patience slipping away.

"I'm your friend, I thought my opinion mattered?"

Christina merely looked at her. Jennifer's eyes opened wide and she threw her hands up.

"Oh, excuse me, I forgot about your little boyfriend, who you, as I might add, have known only for a little over a week. He is clearly more important than I, who you have known for the majority of your life."

Christina stepped forward, bristling.

"Well you're certainly not doing anything to help your case."

Jennifer just stood there, rooted on the spot, looking like she had just been slapped in the face.

"You're unbelievable! Why are you defending him? You know I'm right!"

Christina snorted.

"The only thing I know is that you're being a selfish, overpowering bitch."

"Well there's some quality irony for you!"

"You're one to talk! Why don't you just go out and whore yourself around, I'm sure there's some gullible bastard out there that will fall for it. God knows Joseph did."

Jennifer reared her hand back and let it fly squarely into Christina's jaw. She stumbled backward with a yelp, clutching her face in pain. She straightened up and stared at Jennifer, the other girl giving her a look of pure hatred and anger mixed with a twinge of sadness.

"Jenn I… I'm sorry…"

Jennifer just shook her head and continued to give her that awful look. She turned and made for the door, grabbing her coat on the way. She opened the door and left without a single look back, the thick plank of wood slamming loudly behind her.

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Christina shuffled into the small room and made her way to the bathroom. She sighed, staring at the reflection in the mirror littered with twigs, leaves, and the odd scratch here and there.

"Well, if I went outside and rolled through some mud I'd match, inside and out."

She spent about thirty minutes cleaning herself up, then headed for the main room. Ben was hunched over piles of papers and books, his face about two or three inches from the text. He stopped every once and a while to take a bite from the microwave lasagna beside him, but quickly returned his attention to the work in front of him.

Resolving that he probably wouldn't rejoin reality any time soon, she flopped down on the bed and gazed at the stark-white ceiling. It was so white it was obnoxious, and it made her head-ache, that had been festering behind her left eyeball for about three hours, worse. She groaned and rolled over, screwing her eyes shut.

"There's some aspirin in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom."

She reopened her eyes to see Ben observing her with an expressionless face.

"Uh, thanks, but I'm alright."

A bit of confusion flashed across his features, but it was gone in an instant and he turned back to his work.

"Suit yourself."

She closed her eyes again and let her mind amble down one of its many paths, frowning slightly when it decided to stop on one, jet-black haired computer geek. She vaguely wondered where he was, but remembered he was probably hacking into the archives' security system and crafting his little temperature raising light. Well, she knew what he was doing and where, but she didn't know exactly where that particular place was…

"Hey Ben?"

He didn't shift his attention from his work, but still acknowledged her.

"Hmm?"

"Where's Riley?"

"He's at the subway a few blocks down from here."

She thought for a moment, then rose from the bed and made her way to the door. She hesitated for a moment then turned back and slid into the bathroom, taking a couple of the aspirin. She headed back for the door, but turned before she left.

"Uh, see you later?"

She thought she heard a grunt so she shrugged to herself and went out the door.

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Jennifer stormed down the sidewalk, carelessly shoving people away, not bothering to apologize.

"Ugh, how could she do that? How could she say that?! She knows how bad it hurt me, and yet there she goes, throwing it around so casually like we were discussing the weather!"

She yelled in frustration flying down another street, not particularly caring where she ended up.

"God, I should've punched her face harder than I did. To make her realized how much of a damned stubborn idiot she's being. She makes life seem like if you went to the bathroom flowers would come out of your ass!"

She yelled again and stopped to kick a tree, immediately regretting it as a sharp pain shot through her big toe into her foot. She hopped up and down rubbing said appendage, cursing the tree for being there and giving her the temptation to kick it. She continued along with her half hop, half hobble, cursing everything she saw under her breath for her misfortune. She made her way around a corner and ploughed straight into someone. She stumbled backwards a bit, then, after steadying herself, turned to see who she had run into.

Her mouth fell open as she realized she was staring at none other than Ian Howe.

He frowned at her for a moment, but it slowly dissolved into a wicked smile.

"Well, look at this. I never thought I'd see you again. Jennifer, was it? One of the loud-mouth girls we found back in the Arctic. And here I was thinking you were dead when the Charlotte went up."

He put a hand on her shoulder, squeezing it much too tightly for it to be considered a friendly gesture.

"Why don't you come with me for a while? Perhaps tell me what Ben is up to. Or maybe you could be the incentive to help me get what I want."

There was a glint of something evil in his eye, and it paralyzed her. The terror that was clawing at the bottom of her stomach broke through and filled her up, almost making her sick. She couldn't speak. Even if she could she wouldn't dare to. She just hobbled along beside him, practically screaming for someone to come rescue her in her head, hoping that somehow, someone would hear her thoughts.

The pleas fell on deaf ears, and she was left alone with Ian guiding her down the crowded street, tightening his grip on her shoulder with every step.

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Christina hurried down the steps of the subway. She glanced around and spotted a door a little ways into the tunnel to her left. She glanced around to make sure no one was watching her, and sprinted to the door, flying through it in a matter of seconds. She stood there for a moment, silently catching her breath; her ears trained on the door, listening for a sound of someone following her. She heard nothing but the roar of the subway train and let out the breath she had been holding for the past seven minutes. She turned around to survey her surroundings: it was a medium-sized room filled with thick cords and pipes and various other electrical looking objects. She froze when she heard a voice.

"Hmm, hallway…"

It sounded awfully familiar, and she rounded around the large piece of machinery that was obstructing her view. It was Riley, staring at his computer and hanging on to a cord inserted into a hole in a pipe. He pressed a few keys on the computer and moved a joystick around a bit.

"That's what I want."

She snickered and stepped up behind him.

"Hey there Ri."

He made a sort of gurgled yelp and jumped about three feet off of his seat. He whipped around and stared at her, eyes wide with surprise.

"So, how's it goin'?"

He still gaped at her, attempting to sort out all of the questions he was trying to ask her at one time.

"I- How did- What are you doing here?"

She shrugged.

"Eh, it was getting boring with just Ben around."

"Where's Jennifer?"

She frowned at him.

"How the hell should I know? I'm not her mother."

He frowned back.

"I don't know, maybe it has something to do with you two being best friends? And if I remember correctly, I was asking you a simple question, not attacking you with false claims of motherhood, so there's no need for an attitude."

She was about to counter his statement, but he kept a hard gaze on her and she looked down in defeat.

"Sorry."

He softened his gaze and cocked his head a bit.

"What happened?"

"We were… well… We had a disagreement."

He snorted.

"So you had a 'disagreement', and she punched you upside the head. Maybe it's just me but that sounds like a bit of an understatement."

She gritted her teeth and reached up to feel where Jennifer had socked her.

"It's really that noticeable?"

"Oh no, if you sort of lean back and close your left eye, then maybe close your right eye, you'd never notice it."

She rolled her eyes.

"You are one, sarcastic little asshole, you know that?"

"But you still love me."

She looked down and gave a small smile. Of course, he had meant it in a joking manner, but…

"It's hard not to love you."

She reached up and gave him a small kiss, then turned to his computer.

"So, are you done here? I'm ready to get this show on the road, and standing here chit-chatting isn't going to get that Declaration stolen any faster."

He stood there for a moment, a light blush on his cheeks, and then shook his head back to reality.

"Uh, yeah, just let me get all of my stuff."

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They had just gotten in the van when Riley's cell phone went off, the Star Wars theme floating through the air.

Christina laughed.

"Wow. That's almost pathetic."

He stuck his tongue out at her and flipped open the small device and pushed it to his ear.

"Hello?"

"Riley, where are you?"

"Heading back to the house. Christina's with me."

"Oh, good. Did everything go okay?"

"Yeah, we're all set on my end."

Christina leaned over to him.

"Is it Ben? Could I talk to him for a sec?"

Riley gave her the phone and she moved back into her seat.

"Hey Ben, have you seen Jennifer lately?"

"No, why?"

"We got into a bit of a fight earlier," Riley snorted and she elbowed him in the side, "and I haven't seen her since. It's just not like her."

"Well, let's give her a bit more time and if she doesn't turn up in time for the Gala we'll figure something out."

"Alright, see you in a few."

She snapped the phone shut and handed it back to Riley. She frowned and stared at her feet. Riley reached over and put a hand on her back.

"Hey, I'm sure she'll be alright. Knowing her, if anything or anyone bad comes along she'll probably just cuss it out and give it a nice roundhouse kick."

She smiled slightly.

"It's just, if anything does happen, I know it's my fault…"

They were interrupted by Riley's phone.

He grunted and raised it to eye level to see who it was, and his mouth fell open. Christina looked at him.

"What? Who is it?"

She leaned over and, much to her surprise, and horror, the little LCD screen read 'Ian'. She was overcome by a wave a terror as she considered all of the things that it could mean; most of which involved Jennifer. She glanced at Riley, and then back at the phone.

"Well, answer it."

He flipped the phone open and slowly raised it to his mouth.

"Hello?"

Yes, yes, I know that has to be the worst chapter out of the bunch, but I kind of needed a plot twist, and I'm still getting over one hell of a writer's block, so like I said earlier, hurt me as much as you want. :\ Gah, now that I read it again, I realize just how bad it is. Complete with horrid to-lazy-to-write-anymore cliff-hanger. D: