Title: An Obvious Thing
Fandom: Sky High
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Sky High, the characters, or the creators.
Note: I've wanted to write a story like this for a long time.
Everyone seemed to understand this thing between Warren and Layla except Warren and Layla.
Will saw it first.
Whenever he and Layla went to the Paper Lantern, she would ask Warren to join them ("We're all friends!"). He didn't mind (most of the time), and he liked hanging out with Warren anyways. But then he saw what happened when Layla, his girlfriend-and-long-time-best-friend-Layla, was in the presence of his now ex-enemy-now-best-guy-friend-Warren.
He smiled. And laughed. The first time he saw Warren smile, genuinely smile, at Layla's environmental conservation ramblings, he couldn't help but be shocked. The wide grin across his face looked so foreign on his usual harsh expression. But then he saw the same grin reflected on Layla's face. Then, the two laughed, almost in unison.
That's when he saw it – whatever it was that had happened between them while he had been blinded by his own powers and popularity and high school.
He ignored it for awhile, telling himself they were just friends, good friends. Good friends that made each other smile. And laugh. And shine.
Finally, Will ended his relationship with Layla. When she asked why, he said it should be obvious. She asked him if they were still friends. He knew that's what they had been all along.
Magenta saw it next.
Actually, she thinks she saw it way before Will, but to be fair to him, she let him figure it out on his own.
She mostly saw it in the little things. The little things Warren did. Magenta noticed how Warren always conveniently had an extra napkin on days when the cafeteria served vegetarian lasagna (Layla's favorite) to give to her. She knew he avoided partnering up during S.P.E. (Super Physical Education) not because his bad boy persona made him too cool for it, but because he always waited until she asked him if he wanted to work with her ("Fine Hippie, I'll be your partner. I guess someone needs to help you during 'Save the Citizen'"). She knew Warren never kept anything that people gave him (birthday cards, pictures from parties), but when she saw the small prickly cactus that Layla had given to him for his last birthday still in his locker, she knew.
Warren and Layla had a thing. Magenta saw it, she assumed the whole school (if not the world) saw it.
Zach was the next one to see it.
When he tried telling Magenta about how Layla had magically convinced Warren to go with her to the opening of the botanical gardens exhibit, she just batted her hand at him as if he were an annoying fly.
"Way to state the obvious Captain Lite Brite," she replied, returning to her homework.
"So, what? Are they like a couple now?" he asked her in a hushed tone.
"Pfft, yeah right. They don't see it yet," she stated.
"Huh," replied Zach, feeling somewhat deflated for being late on the scene. He leaned in closer to Magenta, closer than she would have normally let him. "Well, I bet you Fireworks figures it out before Layla."
She looked up briefly from her assignment.
"Please. Layla's the one with more sense here," she retorted.
"I don't know…" Zach said. "I mean, c'mon. I figured it out before her."
Magenta stared at him with concentrated eyes.
"Hmm, perhaps," she finally said slightly defeated.
"Peace is definitely going to figure it out before her. Behind all those huge muscles, there's got to be some huge brains," he explained.
Magenta sighed and rolled her eyes, returning to her homework.
"Loser has to take a week's worth of notes in Advanced Telekinesis for the winner?" Zach wagered. He could see her think it through.
"Deal," she replied, not bothering to look up.
A month later, Zach was basking in victory, taking what he thought was a well-deserved nap in A.T. while Magenta took notes with a look of fury on her face.
Warren saw it next.
He didn't even realize he had seen it. All he saw was smoke and jealousy. It started when he had been walking Layla to class. She had been talking about the upcoming spring dance, something about being on the decorating committee.
"So then, Kevin asked me if I was going with anyone yet…" she continued.
Kevin? Who was Kevin?
"Wait, what?" he asked suddenly.
"You know, the guy in my class that shape shifts," she replied.
"Uh huh. So the shape shifter in your class asked you if you had a date?" he repeated, voice low. She nodded expectedly.
"To the dance?" he continued. She rolled her eyes.
"So…what'd you say?" he asked before he could help himself. He felt his hands getting warmer.
"I told him I didn't," she replied as if it was the most obvious answer ever.
"Huh," he heard himself grunt, small sparks emerging from his finger tips. The bell rang and the two separated to different class rooms.
At the end of the school day, when Kevin the shape shifter got out of his class and headed to his locker, he and all the students around him were bewildered to find his locker had melted into a messy metallic mass on the ground where the base of his locker had stood.
Warren figured it out. He had a thing for Layla. A thing that was serious enough for him to use his powers to melt school property.
"You're a senior now."
"That's usually what comes after being a junior."
"Remind me again why I come here every Friday night?"
"You have an abnormal love for Chinese broccoli?"
Layla gave him her infamous eye roll.
Warren sat across from her, at their usual booth, at their usual time – Friday nights at the Paper Lantern, him working (more like hovering when she showed up) and her eating (more like being a flowery talking distraction). By this time, they were usually the last few people left in the restaurant. He liked it better like this.
"I wish we were in the same grade," she said suddenly. It caught him off guard.
"Senior year isn't any different from the others so far," he replied awkwardly, scratching his head uncharacteristically.
"I meant, it'd be nice if you were in my grade, jerk," she replied. He looked at her curiously.
"It's pretty much the same thing isn't it?" he asked. Her gaze met his, and he thought he saw a flash of sadness.
"When I'm a senior, you're going to be out there, in the real world. Saving people, saving the world. And I'll be in class, learning the differences between a vortex entrance and a black hole window," she complained. He thought about it.
"Saving the world? Not really sure if that's my sort of thing," he answered.
And there it was. Her chance to ask.
"What is your thing then?"
His eyes shot up towards hers.
"What's your thing?"
"I…I don't know."
He shifted uncomfortably. She looked dejected.
Her eyes shifted back to his.
Us. Whatever we have between us. This thing.
Layla's known. She knew before Will, before Magenta, before she understood what it meant. She knew from the first time he lit that flame on her table at the Paper Lantern when Will stood her up. She's known.
She's just never told anyone.
"I'm not sure either."
He shifted in his seat. He cleared his throat.
"Do you want to go to the Homecoming dance with me?"
Her eyes were wide, surprised and yet dancing with curiosity.
She had nothing else to offer.
"Um, yeah? I mean, if you want to go…just thought we might…go together," he muttered.
"Yes," she said suddenly, her voice strong.
It took some time.
But whatever this thing was between them, it didn't matter how much more time they would need.
Warren and Layla figured it out. This time together.