A/N: Yay! A fun bonus prompt! Some of it's a bit silly-I've been tapping into those Spanish novella dramas these days in respect to it. :P
Bonus Prompt: Marriage
Today was an important day for KND and for children all across the globe. Royalty was backing up their organization, dominating their standing against the world.
It was Moonbase's first diplomatic endeavor and they aimed not to mess it up. The Supreme Commander must appoint their greatest team in escorting the young Prince for the formal meeting.
So, it was obvious that Numbuh 362 would send the infamous Sector V on the case. She had no doubt that Nigel Uno would take the mission seriously. Sometimes too seriously.
Rachel straightened her helmet near the hangar, trying to look even slightly presentable. Introduce herself to the Prince, escort him for the tour around Moonbase and then present him with lunch, something she forced Numbuh Spare Change for a $20 to deviate from the lunch menu. The Prince would be ecstatic to see the menu catering to his country's delicacies, even if it's consisted of well-aged cheese. The Cheese Shogun would weep with pride.
Taking a deep breath, she followed ahead of Numbuh 86 and 60, who flanked her from behind. As Global Tactical Officer, it was imperative for Fanny to walk alongside her. Patton, on the other hand, figured that to ease his boredom from lack of cadet training back on Arctic Base, he'd watch the historic proceedings.
Approaching the hangar where all incoming and outgoing ships were suspended on dock, she noticed only four of five Sector V members hanging outside their spacecraft, looking a bit miffed.
They all straightened and saluted in attention when they saw her.
"Numbuh 362!" Numbuh 1 said authoritatively. "We have arrived with Prince Shirl of Babbakabush."
She nodded plaintively, waving them back to an at ease before looking curiously at them. Their numbers were awfully small for some reason. She did a mental headcount. "Where's Numbuh 4?"
They all looked at each other. Kuki giggled.
"He had to go to the Dentist!" Numbuh 3 supplied happily. "He'll be back later!"
"I see." Usually, the KND initiated an immediate off-shuttle alert for kids forced to go to the dentist, but Numbuh 4 was probably being forced by his parents-which was an obvious rule to stand down from any rescue attempts. She raised her head to look over the group. "So, where's Prince Shirl?"
Nigel faltered a bit, slightly annoyed. "He's uh-he's in the shuttle."
"So go get him."
Abby lifted the tip of her hat up, looking disinterested. "He...uh...locked himself in the bathroom."
Rachel took a deep breath. She will not explode, she will not explode. Today was not 'Supreme Leader Meltdown Day', nope. "Okay. Why is he locked in the bathroom?"
Numbuh 2 looked away guiltily, whistling a random tune. Numbuh 5 smacked him upside the head.
"Hey!" He yelped.
"The fool decided that attempting the Twirl-Swirl Extreme Wing Tip maneuver was appropriate while the Prince was on board!" Numbuh 5 shook her head in exasperation. "Numbuh 5 warned ya, but no! He scared the Prince into the bathroom."
"What?" Numbuh 362 growled. Fanny and Patton stepped back quietly, already bracing themselves for impact. "Why would you do such a STUPID thing, Numbuh 2?"
Hoagie chuckled meekly, shrugging his shoulders. "You know, when you say it that way-with that voice..."
"My apologies, sir." Nigel interrupted nervously. "It was a long routine flight and we wanted to show a little diversity in the flight plan. I didn't think it'd be THAT bad. Unfortunately, it was." The last bit was tapered with a monotonous drawl, which was Nigel-speak for complete exasperation.
Rachel had to spend over ten minutes explaining her operative's actions to the sickly Prince, apologizing for the trouble. It was only then did he agree to emerge from the shuttle.
Prince Shirl of Babbakabush was a pompous looking child with candy jewels and a styled shawl, with a very short temper. He cemented that fact by forcing Numbuh 60 and Numbuh 2 to carry his luggage while he introduced himself and yelled when they did it with a grumble.
"I am Prince Shirl of Babbakabush." He extended his hand towards Numbuh 362, which she hesitantly mirrored. She jumped when he shoved a baby chick onto her outstretched hand. "Accept this customary token."
Fanny wrinkled her nose in disgust at the offering, but said nothing. Rachel stared at the fluttering chick, which chirped indignantly at her.
He seemed please by her 'gratitude'. "We will be touring now, yes?"
Rachel nodded hastily, handing the chick over to Numbuh 3. Kuki screamed in delight.
"Oh, aren't you ADORABLE?"
"For monkey's sake, what the crud are in these bags?" Hoagie whined, heaving the large bag over his head. "The entire kingdom of Babbakabush...?"
He and Patton were trailing from behind the group, dragging the Prince's luggage, though Hoagie did most of the dragging. Patton fared a bit more well, keeping up with the pace despite three huge bags digging into his shoulders. It came with the territory of being a tough Sergeant on Arctic Base. Being in top physical condition was a necessity for the job.
Patton shifted the bags a bit higher up his back, crouching slightly from the weight. He wondered if it was a bad idea to visit Moonbase today.
"The guy's only here for a couple days!" Numbuh 60 gritted his teeth as one of the bags slipped slightly, tipping his balance for a moment. Numbuh 2 huffed in agreement. "This better be worth it!"
Fanny snickered, looking back at the two struggling operatives.
"Ye need a hand, ye two?" She grinned tauntingly. Hoagie stared back in terror while Patton contrasted the look by glaring. Turning away, she snickered at their plight.
As Rachel showed the Prince the Global Deck, Nigel stayed by her side, nodding and elaborating professionally alongside her, very proud at the chance to show off the Moonbase. Abby coolly trailed slightly behind with Fanny and Kuki, whom the latter was too busy playing with the offered chick.
"Excellent work as always, Numbuhs 3 and 5," Fanny tilted her chin up haughtily. "Numbuh 362 can always count on ye. Not like these stoopid boys!"
Abby rolled her eyes, stretching her hands behind her head lazily. "Whatever. It's not like Numbuh 5 was complainin' or anything. This mission was a piece o' cake."
Kuki had no comment as she continued her attentions on the baby chick, cooing the whole walk down.
They reached the alcove and beyond that the mega-sized cafeteria drifted out a strong aroma of cheese. Everybody cringed at the smell except for the prince, who diligently sniffed the air and sighed dreamily.
"Umphsa-donchebuss!" He exclaimed and reached out for Rachel's shoulders, shaking her in excitement. Hoagie let out an indignant yelp as heavy cargo landed on his foot, causing everyone to turn and witness the spectacle.
Rachel took the initiative to defuse the moment by removing the Prince's hands and smile, though she felt her brain rattle in her skull from the effect. It must be how his people show happiness.
She gestured towards the cafeteria. "Shall we? It has been a long trip."
Prince Shirl took no more encouragement than that and pressed forward, excitedly chatting in his native language. Rachel shrugged at Nigel and moved as well. Soon, everyone followed suit, with Patton seething quietly as he picked up the cargo he accidentally dropped on Hoagie's foot.
Hoagie hopped on his injured foot as soon as it was free. "Geez, you freak out at the littlest thing that happens to Numbuh 362!"
Patton fixed the cargo over his shoulders and soon gained ground in catching up with the group. "It's none of your business, cadet."
"I'm not a cadet anymore!" Hoagie retorted, but it fell on deaf's ears as he struggled to keep up with Patton.
Despite it being lunch time, barely any operatives were in the cafeteria. Though, it was most likely assumed that the stench kept the general populace at bay. Rachel's eyes began to water as they arrived in the cafeteria and blinked rapidly to avoid an unwarranted sob.
"So...I'll just ask what's on the menu from Numbuh Change for a $20..." She turned and addressed the group awkwardly. At least she wasn't the only one affected by the smell—Kuki stuffed the chick into her pocket in order to cover her face.
Prince Shirl wasted no time in procuring a seat for himself. Of course, with demanding extra cushioning for his seat, all of which had Patton go back and forth between levels just to provide the prince with, added even more to the Drill Sergeant's frustration.
Rachel gingerly sat across from the prince, pulling up a crude menu made up last minute by $20 himself. Most on the menu was written Babbakabush, which she had no coherency for. She wondered how $20 managed to write it up like so.
Before she could even open her mouth to inform Prince Shirl that the cafeteria was more buffet-like than ordered, Numbuh 4 pushed his way into the cafeteria, complaining up a storm.
"Man, did I have a cruddy day!" Numbuh 4 sat himself at the table next to the prince, which caused Sector V to still cautiously. "First, I had to go to that stoopid dentist and I barely managed to get away!" He turned to Numbuh 2 who in turn shook his head in warning. "Hey, Numbuh 2, did you know that your little brother's got like over a bazillion holes in his teeth? He nearly caused the windows to break when he screamed!"
"Uh, Numbuh 4...?" Rachel quietly muttered, her smile now stony. "Do you know who this is?"
It was rude to not introduce yourself to royalty and now Prince Shirl stared condescendingly at the Australian boy. Not good.
Numbuh 4 kept rambling, inadvertently ignoring her. He slumped in his seat much to everyone's terror. "Crikey, I'm starving! What's on the menu?" He snatched the menu from the prince's hands. "Thanks man! Now, let's see..."
"Uh...this is Numbuh 4. KND's top elite in hand-to-hand combat," Rachel presented quickly as the prince's temperament seemed to go further down south due to Wally's obnoxiousness. She chuckled nervously in the hopes of placating him. "You know how those dentists are...always gives children a reason to...err...act so...idiotic." Even she knew it was a stupid excuse. She focused a glare at Nigel, which caused the boy to clear his throat nervously.
"Right, right, right!" He added to the excuse and gestured to his teammates. "We have very difficult missions that deal with this kind of stuff and...we sometimes forget our manners. Right guys?" They nodded fervently, their smiles forced as well.
"Numbuh 5 be working hard a lot."
"Hard work, yay!"
This seemed to calm the prince down and he snobbishly returned to the menu that Rachel offered.
"YUCK!" Numbuh 4 howled at the stolen menu. "What the crud is this stuff? And this smell? What happened to Sloppy Joe Wednesdays?" He pinched his nose as a particularly foul stench wafted on by. "Bleh to the ick!"
Rachel could see the prince visibly shaking in rage. In turn, she grabbed Numbuh 1's collar and pulled him close, her brown eyes glinting dangerously. "Numbuh 4 has insulted the Prince's way of life in less than five sentences! Do something!"
Nigel nodded vigorously before her hold on him disappeared and he started elbowing his subordinate in the ribs. "Shut up, Numbuh 4!" The rest of his team vocally agreed with their leader until Fanny started to chime in.
"Say yer sorry, ye stoopid idiot!" She threatened.
"What the crud is going on with you guys?" Numbuh 4 blinked at them all, obviously annoyed. He pointed his thumb at the prince's direction, smirking. "You'd think this bum was some sort of prince or something..."
And then, there was an immediate silence.
Rachel was restrained by Patton before she could leap over the table and kill the dense operative.
They all paused when the prince stood up, his seat falling backwards with a resounding clang.
"I will not stand for this insult!" He shouted at the top of his lungs. "Brushka! Guards!" To their shock, a number of soldiers in strange clothes leaped from the rafters, surrounding the whole cafeteria.
"Wha? Who are these guys?" Numbuh 362 stood up in alarm, only to be forced down by both Patton and Fanny, who immediately defended her from the enemy.
Numbuh 5 palmed her face before lowering the cap down over her eyes. "I knew we forgot something in the shuttle."
"So, err...I guess no Sloppy Joe Wednesday then? OW!" Wally was hit over the head by Abby.
Kuki, ever oblivious to the tense standoff, spun around cheerfully. "Wheee! Isn't it Tuesday?"
Numbuh 362 was surrounded by idiots.
"Numbuh 4, give me a good reason why I shouldn't put you on permanent Toiletnator duty for the rest of your days as an operative," Numbuh 362 asked threateningly, her hands twitching, ready to wring the blond's neck. "Just one good reason."
The aforementioned boy raised his hands in defense. "How was I supposed to know that the kid's that prince guy?"
"'Ow stoopid can ye get?" Numbuh 86 snapped. "Ye didn't notice 'e was wearin' a crown?"
"I knew I shouldn't have left Arctic Base," Numbuh 60 grumbled to Numbuh 5. "Trouble comes a rockin' when Sector V comes a knockin'."
"We resemble that remark!" Numbuh 2 chimed indignantly, which caused Numbuh 1 to facepalm.
"It's resent, not resemble," He responded in a deadpan. "And what are we supposed to do now? We can't even get near those big brutes to talk to the prince."
They were situated in a small hallway which led to the barracks for operatives planning overnighters on Moonbase. After the debacle in the cafeteria, Numbuh 362 was able to request that the Prince be sent to the biggest room to cool down, practically begging the boy not to back-out on their plans for peace. The Prince finally acquiesced and was now dwelling in one of the barracks, no doubt complaining about the decor.
Numbuh 4 kicked one of the metallic walls. "I don't understand why we even bother with the kid! So what if he's a prince? We're the Kids Next Door! We don't need this prissy pomp for anything!"
"That's not the point," Rachel grounded out carefully through her teeth. "His country is in a crucial location between the highest amount of broccoli fields in the world. Shipment to every grocery store goes through his dad, the King! If we can get Prince Shirl on our side, he'll allow the kids in his country to join our organization and we can plant a treebase there and stop it. This is why we're tripping all over ourselves to make sure he's happy! And you might as well have ruined it!"
"Eeeehhh..." Wally chuckled nervously when everyone, even Kuki, glared at him. Broccoli was the Kryptonite of children everywhere, sans the few who actually enjoyed it, but that was a rare thing. "Sorry?"
"You can apologize by going on hamster detail for the next week," Nigel said coolly, readjusting his sunglasses. Wally groaned angrily in response. "Unfortunately Commander, we'll just have to wait until Prince Shirl calms down enough to speak to you."
Turning to glance at Fanny, who looked positively murderous, Rachel sighed. "The waiting game it is then."
Letting Sector V stand watch, she ordered Fanny and Patton to follow her out when Prince Shirl's door was suddenly opened, a guard appearing into the corridor.
"Prince Shirl has been horribly offended!" The child guard shouted in a distinctive accent of Babbakabush, obviously unaware of something called an indoor voice. "His Majesty has requested amends for this injustice!"
"Can I speak with him?" Rachel inquired carefully.
The guard regarded her for a moment before straightening in attention and stepping aside. "His Majesty has requested the party to visit to speak of the amend." The party entered one at a time, before Numbuh 4 was barred entry by the guard.
"His Majesty has requested the entire party-except for the one who offended him," The guard rephrased, glaring at the short operative. "His Majesty does not wish to be in the presence of an uncouth street rat."
Numbuh 4 snarled, rolling up his sleeves and held up his fists. "I haven't understood a word you said, but I know the tone of a stuck-up! You wanna dance, you big oaf?" The guard ignored him, continuing to bar entrance. The party looked at him apologetically before entering fully.
"Sorry Numbuh 4!" Kuki trilled, waving at him happily. "I'll bring back a souvenir, kay?" Hoagie and Abby tried not to snicker at Wally's plight as they walked off.
"Best to just stand guard, Numbuh 4," Nigel said professionally, being the last to enter. "We'll have things taken care of from here."
Wally paced around for a second, obviously incensed from going in. "If I ever see Princess Shirley again, I'm gonna kick him right in the-!" The door closed shut, cutting off his tirade.
The room was huge, obviously outfitted to reflect Babbakabush's culture. Rachel was just surprised how fast they did it in the span of an hour. The group oohed and ahhed at the sight before noticing the prince, who was seated in a high backed chair encrusted with candy jewels.
"Mmm-mm! Numbuh 5 thinks His Majesty knows how to use candy right!" Abby said appreciatively to a rather illustrious set of hanging Jolly Ranchers of different colors. Kuki kept spinning around, admiring all the shiny objects.
"Numbuh 60 thinks His Majesty's style is horribly girly," Patton muttered sarcastically to himself, in response to Abby's comment. Prince Shirl didn't sit well with him, not at all.
Rachel sighed to herself, wondering how she ended up with such a firecracker group. If there was an invasion, this was the dream team, but diplomacy? She can sense disaster a mile away. Hiding her annoyed disposition, she smiled at the prince. "Your Majesty, on behalf of the Kids Next Door, we wholly apologize for the incident back in the Cafeteria. Please understand that our operatives have rare few interactions with royalty, but we are willing to make amends for the trouble."
The prince sat for a moment, his expression annoyed. Rachel held her breath for a moment, her smile still plastered on her face. Her operatives behind her stilled, waiting for something to happen. Prince Shirl finally stood up and walked towards them, his eyes seeming to study each person in the room.
"I will give the request to make amends," He finally said. "I require a Queen."
"Oh boy..." Hoagie felt around his pockets before leaning towards Patton. "Anybody got a pack of cards around here?"
"NOT A CARD QUEEN, YOU IMBECILE!" Prince Shirl snarled. "A Queen-Queen!"
"Not with that attitude, you won't!" Kuki wagged a finger at him chidingly, which prompted everyone except Rachel, Fanny, and Nigel to laugh. Even the guards by the door chortled with mirth.
"ENOUGH!" With a whirl of his majestic robes, he made a cutting notion across his neck at his guards, which caused them to fall silent again. "That is my amend and if you do not adhere to them, you can FORGET asking for my country's alliance! I want a Queen! The prize of the kingdom!"
Fanny's eye twitched. "Ye little...mmmmffhhh!" The rest of her sentence was muffled. Rachel had covered Fanny's mouth who was obviously planning on going on some sort of pro-feminist tirade that would no doubt anger the prince even more. Patton snorted, trading disbelieving glances with Nigel.
"Where can we possibly find you a queen, your Majesty?" Rachel said in a placating manner before relinquishing her hold on her Global Tactical Officer. "I don't think we'll be able to find one willing to be a Queen here in the Kids Next Door." Well, anyone with the right head on their shoulders that is. But she wasn't stupid. This kid was Grade A royal and no child marriage is for pretend with them.
"I do not care who!" Prince Shirl contested indignantly. "In fact, I want whoever is in this room! No one will deny the chance to be Queen!"
"Except for Numbuh 5," Abby crossed her arms. "Numbuh 5 plans on bein' a doctor like her daddy."
"Ewwwwwww! Not me!" Kuki stuck her tongue out. "I'm just a kid! And mommy would be maaaad!" Everyone turned to Fanny and Rachel.
"Dunna even think abou' it!" Fanny glared at everyone who stared at her. "Seriously? Ye think I'mma gonna take it?"
"Well, couldn't say we hadn't tried," Nigel quipped in a monotone, which earned a well placed snicker from the Drill Sergeant.
Prince Shirl glared at each girl before resting his eyes on the Supreme Leader. "Think about it, Ms. 362. You have a kingdom just like me in a way. In fact, this is a better alternative. Marry me and you'll have my entire kingdom to use for yours. Negotiations and peace treaties...that little clubhouse thing you want installed? I can make that happen." Everyone paused, wondering why their Supreme Leader didn't even speak up to defend herself like the others.
Nigel stepped forward before Rachel can even open her mouth. "No way!" He was suddenly pushed aside by Patton.
"Pick another request, because the Supreme Leader's not interested," Numbuh 60 growled. He matched glares with the prince for a moment before Nigel shoved Patton aside as well.
"Listen, your beef is with me and my team!" Nigel contested. "How about we offer you our services for the day to make up for Numbuh 4? It can be a candy run for all we care!" Before Patton had the chance to shove back, Rachel pushed them both aside.
She cleared her throat, her posture becoming stiff and professional. "Neither of you will not have anything to say in my defense, because your Supreme Leader didn't reach this position by twiddling her thumbs." Honestly, she's been manhandled enough for today-the stunt in the cafeteria, the sudden defending of her answer. She wasn't made of glass.
Both boys seemed on the brink of causing a mutiny in order to keep their leader from marrying some royal brat, but eventually both reluctantly stepped down when her gaze bore upon them darkly. She turned her attentions back to the prince. "Why are you so interested in gaining a Queen?"
"That-that's none of your business!" Prince Shirl stuttered over his answer. "Do you agree or not?" She narrowed her eyes suspiciously at the prince before lightly shrugging.
The room volume erupted in an undignified fashion.
"WHAT?" Both Nigel and Patton balked in shock.
"Numbuh 362! Have ye lost yer mind?" Fanny's eyes widened before grabbing her superior commander's arm. Rachel just smiled at her reassuringly.
"Don't worry. This is the best outcome."
"Oooh! I love weddings!" Kuki cheered, waving her arms up in the air. "What should I wear?"
"We should've just dressed Numbuh 4 up as a girl and have him marry the prince instead," Numbuh 2 whispered conspiratorially to Numbuh 5, who coolly nodded in response.
"Now that's something Numbuh 5 would pay to see!"
"Dad's gonna kill you," Numbuh 363 said, his nose wrinkling.
"What he doesn't know won't hurt him, right Harvey?" Numbuh 362 replied smoothly, tying her hair back in such fluid motions, Harvey had a sneaking feeling that she was taking this whole marriage thing too lightly.
Harvey was in his sister's main office, but he wasn't the only one. Numbuh 604 and 528 were with her, sizing and hemming up Rachel's wedding dress to Prince Shirl. Standard white with flowers which was typical for a pair of amateur seamstresses like 604 and 528. Actually, Rachel was surprised that they managed to fit her nicely with one.
Kicking a bit of ribbon away that was now littering the floor, he frowned when the two operatives worked to get the train of the dress going perfectly. "I don't like this, sir. Not one bit."
Rachel stopped from her hairstyling to smirk through the mirror, where she can see her little brother in the reflection. "Not ready to give your big sister away to someone else?"
"Either you've lost your marbles or you're planning something," Harvey corrected, though she can visibly see him pouting through the mirror. "If I know you any better, I'm betting on the latter."
"Did you get the stuff I asked from home?" She responded, dodging his observations quickly. When he nodded, she smiled brightly when he proceeded to drop a manila folder onto her desk. "Thanks Harvey...ouch!"
"Sorry sir!" Numbuh 528 said apologetically, retracting a pin from the side of the dress. Harvey saluted and walked out, secretly hoping that she had something in mind.
An hour later and Rachel was greeted with the sight of Numbuh 60, who looked rather murderous. He spent the next few minutes deciding to pace around her office while she watched in amusement from behind her desk. Her wedding dress was draped on the nearest seat so she found herself in her usual clothes sans her gear. The wedding wouldn't be until tomorrow anyways.
"Now, now Patton," She smiled at him when he paused in mid pace, even more amused when his frown grew deeper. "I know I picked Fanny as my 'best man', but there's still a place for you in the ceremony."
"Enough of the jokes, sir," Patton moved closer to the desk. "Don't you understand that you're getting married? To that dork?"
Rachel raised an eyebrow at him before sighing. "Patton, when I took this job, I swore to have the KND be the best they could. Even if I have to marry to do it."
"I won't allow it," Patton firmly stated, slamming his hands on her desk. As the desk shook violently from the impact, Rachel watched as her favorite Rainbow Monkey mug fell off the edge and into the wastebasket.
"That's not your call is it, Numbuh 60? It's mine."
"What's wrong with you? You seriously want to get married?"
"Maybe I do. Maybe it's been my dream ever since I was a baby!"
"I won't let that pompous idiot marry you, Rachel!" Patton declared with a resolute air. "If you want to get married so bad, then I'll marry you."
Rachel slowly blinked at him as they locked eyes. Silence reigned until she began to smile and laugh. "Don't you hear yourself, Patton? What will your cadets think?"
"I don't care what they think," He said quietly. "It's a better outcome, right? Marry me and Prince Shirl won't have any choice but to find someone else."
Her laughter trickled away into exasperation. "Patton..."
"I'm serious. We can elope."
"How do you even know that word?"
"Grandpa William Drilovsky IV eloped with my grandma after the Invasion of Normandy back in World War II," Patton frowned at the memory. "Or was it the Vietnam War?"
Rachel chuckled before flicking a bit of stray dark hair away from Patton's eyes. "I appreciate the offer, Patton, but I'm afraid I must decline."
"Because I'm trying to make this as less difficult as possible," She said as a matter of fact. "This wedding will happen Patton, whether you like it or not."
He narrowed his eyes at her, but nevertheless stood back, resigned. "Rachel..."
"That's an order, Numbuh 60."
"We can still dodge this offer, Numbuh 362. This isn't worth a chance to get rid of broccoli!"
"Listen to what you just said, Numbuh 1. No one likes broccoli. Not even you," Rachel leaned back in her squishy commander's chair, watching with a sense of deja vu as Nigel paced the exact same line as Patton did earlier, if not with a bit more force. "You and I both know Prince Shirl's cooperation is vital to halt the production of this vegetable, right?"
"Can't we just scramble the jets and bomb everything?" Nigel and his outrageous ideas again. Good Yipper. Rachel tried not to slouch in her seat from exasperation. She was still on the clock as his Supreme Leader after all and had to somewhat look the part these days.
"Sure Nigel, go do that. Start an international incident just because you don't want me to get married," She said sardonically. "Honestly, you and Patton. I don't know what to do with the both of you. Fanny hasn't been giving me a hard time so far."
"That's because she's too busy haunting the gym showers trying to drown herself," Nigel answered back with his infamous drawl. "She thinks off the record that you've lost your marbles."
"Like I haven't heard that before today. Doesn't my subordinates have any faith in their leader at all?" The question was mostly directed at herself. It seems everyone's preoccupied with keeping her safe, which didn't sit well with her at all. Unless it was a life or death situation, she can take care of herself.
Nigel pushed his sunglasses up and folded his arms. "Are you saying you have a plan in mind to get out of it?" His tone seemed hopeful in spite of everything that's happened.
Rachel flipped open the file Harvey brought her and idly began to read. "Did you summon Numbuh 4 to my office like I asked?"
"You're dodging the question."
"Am I? Or did I already answer it?"
He raised an eyebrow, obviously confused. "Err...Numbuh 4's waiting outside."
She smiled at him, pouring every reassurance she had into it. "Excellent. Send him in. And do check on poor Fanny. I don't want her catching a cold before my big day."
"Why are you asking for him, sir?" It was a strange request to ask for Numbuh 4 after all.
Her lips pressed into a thin line. "Numbuh 4 got us into this mess. So I'm going to give him his comeuppance for it." Oh yes, that Aussie was going to pay dearly.
To say that a wedding was suddenly being held between a prince from Babbakabush and their beloved Supreme Leader and being okay with it was the understatement of the era. Personnel freaked with security, operatives left and right left more of a buzz than necessary regarding how it happened and many were so befuddled, operations around the Moonbase was near to a stand still.
Rachel was more surprised that out of everything that happened, it was Sector PR stomping all over her tail about it, blowing hot and cold compliments regarding this new development. Numbuh 411, ever present in her suit and notepad, started issuing press related interviews despite the Supreme Leader's reassurance against it. This was a quick affair, but it was blowing out of proportion.
She dodged Sector PR long enough to get ready for the big event, a vision of calm to anyone who took a look at her. They didn't, however, notice the slight trembling of her hands and if they did, they threw it off as nerves. After all, getting married was kind of a big deal in one's life, right?
And she was a kid, no doubt. Her school's PTA would have a field day over this. However, she would do anything for the Kids Next Door without hesitation. Even this. Especially this.
As she was whisked away, she found her little entourage of operatives outside her office and smiled before being shoved inside to put on her dress. Honestly, she had to start hanging out with other Sectors aside from Sector V-she'll be accused of favoritism one day, she could feel it.
Abby and Hoagie smiled weakly at their commanding officer before she disappeared. They then turned to each other awkwardly.
"Well...it'll be one nice party at least," Hoagie chuckled nervously. "Numbuh 362 seems pretty okay about it."
Abby tilted her head down, her hat obscuring her eyes. "How okay would you be if you had to marry someone for diplomatic reasons? Either Rachel's a good actor, or she's gone off her high horse. And no, Numbuh 5 don't think she's lost it like the others believe."
Hoagie shrugged. "Hey, you're never wrong before. But what do I know about diplomacy and all that junk? I'm a pilot, not an ambassador."
"Numbuh 5 just saying that we keep on our toes, especially concerning Numbuh 1," Abby nodded her head to their leader, who seemed to be in some kind of disbelieving stupor. "If he does something stupid at the wedding, that's another notch on our Sector's list of international incidents."
"At least we'll be famous this way," Hoagie joked, stepping aside when Numbuh 3 danced over.
"Oooh! I'm so glad Numbuh 362 made me flower girl!" Kuki danced in her little pink dress. "Now if only Wally would get his keester here already so he can walk me down the aisle!"
Abby raised an eyebrow. "Numbuh 4 ain't here?" She looked around, seeing operatives moving to get the ceremony ready, but no familiar blond hair and orange hoodie.
"He hasn't been here since yesterday actually," Hoagie rubbed his chin conspiratorially. "Last time I saw him, he was ordered to see Numbuh 362."
Their musings over the whereabouts of their missing comrade was halted by Numbuh 86's appearance, who looked like she'd been eating five lemons before breakfast. Numbuh 60 trailed behind her, his disposition mirroring the red head's.
"Well, don't you two look positively excited about the wedding..." Hoagie grinned at them, only to be offered a healthy dose of glares from both of the people he was addressing.
"Shut face!" Fanny snarled. "Is Numbuh 362 in 'er office?" Abby pointed over her shoulder and with a stiff nod, the Tactical Officer hovered in front of the door, obviously standing guard. They looked at her strangely for a moment, forcing her to answer to her strange behavior. "What's yer problem? I'mma suppos' ta stand guard!"
"What for?" Kuki asked curiously. Abby and Hoagie traded disbelieving looks.
"You guys aren't trying to stop her from going through with this, are ya?" Abby's eyebrow nearly went past her hairline when neither operative spoke. "You are!"
"That's mutiny!" Hoagie exclaimed, eyes widening as Patton took his spot on the other side of the door, inexpressive.
"She can punish us later," He responded back sternly. "We're not moving an inch until there's a better alternative."
They all stared at each other, an impending bout of awkwardness rising with every second of ensuing silence. It was only when Numbuh 1 joined the fray did it finally end, sunglasses glinting dangerously.
"A cute endeavor, but we've got to try something a little more influential," He said, surprising his team. He was agreeing to the mutiny? "You can't just bar her in her office until something happens!"
"Numbuh 5 can't believe she's hearing this," Abby palmed her face. "You guys can't be serious! C'mon! This is Numbuh 362 we are talking about! You don't think she'd go through with this without thinking of a way out of it!"
Fanny shook her head, somewhat confused. "I dunno abou' that, lass. Ye really want to take that chance? What if she's waitin' for us ta do somethin' abou' it? What if she wants us to keep 'er from doin' it?"
"That's right!" Nigel slammed his fist into his palm. "It all makes sense now! We shouldn't bar her from the wedding!" Abby breathed a sigh of relief before... "We should crash it!" She facepalmed.
"What?" Patton said shortly in disbelief. Like those cliched afternoon drama shows his mom liked watching?
"Oooh! Oooh!" Kuki began to bounce excitedly. "Like in Kawasaki drama where Taki and Misako were about to get married and the priest was all, 'Speak now or forever hold your peace!' and Hikaru crashes through the windows with his robot sidekick turtle named Kame-chan and says, 'I object!' and he runs away with Misako before she gets into that coma!"
Nigel scratched the side of his head at Kuki's ramblings. "Err...right, like that. Except for the going into a coma part."
"If we're lucky," Abby mumbled darkly. Knowing their track record, it wasn't impossible.
"And the robot sidekick turtle named Kame-chan," Hoagie supplied helpfully. "So...who's doing the 'I OBJECT!' thing?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Abby rubbed her eyes tiredly. "It's more appropriate if it was-"
"Me!" Both Nigel and Patton said in unison. They then glared at each other, sparks flying at the sudden animosity.
"I've been around her longer than you have, Uno," Patton growled dangerously.
"So? I've known her since the Academy! It's only natural that it'd be me!" Nigel defended hotly.
Hoagie raised his hand. "Hey, I can do it-"
"NO! It should be me!" They both yelled again in unison at Numbuh 2 before turning on each other. "No me! Stop copying me!"
Fanny folded her arms, glowering at the two bickering boys. "Boys are so stoopid."
"Ninety-nine percent of the time, yeah," Abby agreed.
The wedding, which was moved onto the Global Command deck due to time restraints, wasn't as decorated as the royal party liked, but with such hasty planning, the whole place was cramped, with operatives complaining a storm about it.
Nevertheless, the ceremony finally began, the music being loud and off-key thanks to Engineering's terrible band. It didn't help that the only songs children their age were able to play were Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Old McDonald. At least they were trying.
Rachel was hiding in the hallway before the entrance, peering at the massive confusion that was her operatives. Some were excited while others were intensely confused, wondering if this was some sort of joke. She didn't blame them, she'd be pretty confused too.
Numbuh Infinity clapped her on the shoulder, being the one chosen to lead her down the aisle. "This is a wonderful cause you are doing, Numbuh 362. Babbakabush is one of the hardest countries to covert that we have on the roster at the moment. This will greatly help us against the mass distribution of broccoli, no doubt."
"I'm just so glad to be doing this for the cause," Rachel said sarcastically, righting up the infernal wedding dress. "It's been my dream to get married for political reasons."
Numbuh Infinity chuckled. "I suppose I should allow you a few choice words of wisdom before the inevitable happens. If it's any consolation, the guys at the top are now very interested in you."
"Guys at the top?"
"It's of no concern for now," The dark skinned diplomat gave her one of his infamous neutral smiles. He held out his elbow to her. "Shall we?"
Smiling hesitantly, she took it, both emerging from the corridor and onto the deck. The whole buzzing crowd fell into a hush as they approached the altar.
"Nervous, Numbuh 362?" He can feel her arm starting to tremble in his.
"Of course not...Numbuh Infinity," She replied in a small stutter. "Just...hoping my knight will arrive to stop this."
He chuckled. "If only fairytales applied to the real world, Numbuh 362."
They made their way past Numbuh 3, who had done a pretty good job causing a flowery mess all over the aisle. Kuki sat next to Abby and Hoagie, who both looked like they'd rather be elsewhere.
"I can't believe this," Hoagie muttered darkly. "A wedding and there's not even a cake!" Abby elbowed him hard in the gut.
"We've got other things to worry about aside from food, Numbuh 2!" She whispered beneath the loud, terrible wedding march. "Like Numbuh 1 and 60 doing something incredibly stupid!"
"You heard them," He rubbed his now sore gut. "What if the Supreme Leader is counting on us to bust in and save her hide?"
Abby rolled her eyes before tugging the cap over them. "She would've told us, wouldn't she? Ah, whatever man. Leave me out of this." If Lizzie were to ever hear that Nigel's crashing a wedding to steal the bride away, she'd erupt like a volcano. It sure was a good thing that she was on his side.
Meanwhile, both Nigel and Patton were hiding behind the command panels, arguing over which one should be back up to who.
"We keep arguing and we'll miss the objection, Uno!" Patton hissed as he peered over the panels to see Rachel already at the altar with Prince Shirl. He had half the mind to back out on the plan only to go over there and punch the prince's smug face for trying to get away with marrying his friend.
Nigel scowled at the Drill Sergeant. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe I should be the one to do it? After all, it was my team that got us into this mess and we should be the ones to fix it!"
"It's your mistake alright, but I get things done. I've got the image and no one wants to fight with me if they value their teeth," Patton began to crack his knuckles in earnest, which caused Nigel to gulp at the sight.
"If I recall, I seem to remember Numbuh 362 specifically ordering you to stand down, did she not?" Nigel noted dryly, earning a glare from his comrade. "I should do this!"
"If I was gonna mutiny before, it's no different now. I'm stopping this!"
"No you're not! I am!"
"Stand down cadet or I'll make you run laps around Moonbase!"
"I'm not a cadet anymore, sir!"
"Could've fooled me!"
This shouting match continued well into the vows that they nearly missed the cut off for objection, tripping over themselves to reach the altar.
"If anyone objects to this marriage thingy, speak now or forever hold your peace," Numbuh 74.239 stated out loud, causing the mass of cadets to whisper to themselves, wondering if anyone should stop them from having the Supreme Leader married off.
Rachel said nothing, looking straight ahead as if nothing was wrong. She can feel all sorts of eyes burn into her back. She was probably causing a huge stir for her sudden agreement into this whole fiasco, but it couldn't be helped. She wasn't going to let any of the other girls take the fall for this. Her hands continued to tremble, but it was far from nervousness.
It was excitement.
Before Patton or Nigel can fight each other off long enough to interject, a shuttle practically crashed onto the observation deck above, startling everyone below.
"We're under attack!" Numbuh 86 roared, whistling for the Moonbase guards to assess the invasion. Every operative jumped on alert.
The shuttle door opened, smoke from the collision unfurling out as a lone person jumped off deck and onto a global command panel.
"I OBJECT!" The invader shouted, pointing at the air triumphantly.
Rachel smirked. "My hero. About time too."
"Numbuh 4?" All of Sector V called out in shock, except for Kuki who had her hands on her hips, looking very agitated.
"Where have you been, Wally?" She shrilled angrily. "You were supposed to walk me down the aisle!"
Numbuh 4 jumped off the panel and ran down said aisle, pointing at the irate prince. "Never mess with Numbuh 4, Princess Shirley!"
"I am NOT Princess Shirley!" He bellowed angrily, stamping his feet childishly. "And I will not have this oaf RUIN. MY. WEDDING! Guards!"
"Yer gonna have me arrested when I went through all this trouble picking up a good friend?" Wally taunted, stepping aside to reveal the second person in the shuttle. Prince Shirl stood back in fear, nearly toppling over Numbuh 74.239.
The girl was a bit on the heavy side, with dark hair wrapped in pigtails. She had an expensive shawl draped over her, obviously Babbakabushian.
"Shirllllllllly!" She whined, her eyes blazing with an intense heat. Everyone stood back in alarm. "YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO MARRY MEEEEEEEE!"
Abby snickered with Hoagie, pointing her thumb at the girl when she noticed Nigel. "She remind you of anyone, Nigie?" Hoagie started to burst into laughter, clutching his gut.
Nigel chuckled nervously, ignoring the obvious grin his rival was sporting. "Of-of course not."
"You think I wouldn't have known, your Majesty?" Rachel said smoothly as she set the bouquet aside. "Every prince has to have a betrothed after all. I simply had my boys do a bit of snooping to find out which one and low and behold, you had one right under your nose." She smiled at him. "What's wrong? Relationship troubles with your future bride?"
Prince Shirl glared at her, keeping his distance from his 'fiancee'. "What do you hope to accomplish with this?"
"You stoopid or something?" Wally smacked his head for emphasis. "You got two options, bud! You either marry our Supreme Leader and she cashes in on everything you've got while she makes your life a living sewer drain, or we have your girlfriend marry you instead. We wouldn't want to waste the wedding cake!"
"There IS no wedding ca-" Hoagie was about to correct before Abby shut him up with a glare.
"Or you have the third option," Rachel intervened with a diplomatic air. "We can forget this whole wedding business and just accept Numbuh 4's apology as a way to make amends. We put this stupid thing behind us and we get to talking about treaties."
Numbuh 4 looked livid at the idea of apologizing. "I'm not apologizing to him!"
With a frustrated growl, Fanny swooped over and grabbed the front of Wally's hoodie, hoisting him up menacingly. "Yer gonna do as she says, or yer gonna get popped! Understood?"
"Okay, okay!" He struggled before she dropped him on his butt. "Jeez..."
"But I wanna get married!" Princess Tushka began to whine. "Your dad's gonna be so mad when he finds out you're marrying someone other than ME!"
Prince Shirl was silent for a moment, obviously debating his choices. He paled when Rachel presented him with a contract that she called a 'prenuptial agreement' she had gotten from home, meaning by law if they divorce, she's allowed to take his entire kingdom as her own if they marry. With that hanging on his head and the shrill demands of his intended fiancee, he crumpled easily.
"You play a clever game, Ms. Rachel," He finally said before turning to Numbuh Infinity. "Fine, no wedding and we go through negotiations as planned."
The entire global deck erupted into cheers. Mostly from the boys, who already found the idea of marriage icky enough as it is.
"BUT!" He pointed up to force silence back into the room. "I want that undisciplined monkey to apologize for insulting me!"
"OY! Who you calling an indisciplinarymentarionism monkey?" Wally growled before Rachel glared at him, forcing him to behave. "Err...fine! I'm...soooooorrrrrrryyyyyy! Okay?"
Patton sighed, nursing a headache that was beginning to form. "I should've just stayed back on Earth."
After everything was finally settled and done, Rachel was happily back in her Supreme Commander gear, taking a walk with Fanny and Patton along the quiet Observation Deck, the wreckage of Numbuh 4's shuttle cleaned up and the deck back in working order.
"So, you had a plan all along and you didn't even tell us?" Patton watched as Rachel, strange enough, did a rather peculiar thing by walking along the railing like a balance beam. It was rather...childish.
"I really wanted to tell you guys, I did," She raised her arms up in a 'T' formation as she balanced her way around the deck, rather amused and irritated at the same time that Patton tried his best to look nonchalant about what she's doing, only to tense up like a board when she lost her balance for a moment. "But this was more...fun this way. You honestly didn't think that I'd get married without a fight, did you?"
"More...fun?" Fanny said blankly, looking in disbelief at Patton before saying anything more. "It doesn't seem like ye ta gamble everything jus' because it was fun. What if Numbuh 4 didn't arrive in time?"
Rachel seemed to contemplate this, looking up at the dome to see the bright, ever present stars. "I guess I would've just done the Plan B thing, which was doing the prenup. I doubt he'd want to hand me his entire kingdom if things didn't plan out right in the end," She halted in her balancing, stopping for a moment to raise an eyebrow at them. "I don't think you understand how excited I was to do something...spontaneous, you know? Like a mission I used to do back when I was in Intel. Trick the enemy and succeeding. That was the thrill I loved. I'm always stuck doing desk work or telling people what to do. I'd like to do something exciting once in a while too."
She proceeded to jump down, only to have both Patton and Fanny on either side, ready to help her down themselves. She frowned and folded her arms, refusing their help. "See! This is what I'm talking about! I'm not going to break my legs here, guys. Have you forgotten that I used to be out there on the field too? Doing crazy things like the other Sectors do?"
"Yer our Supreme Leadah, lass," Fanny said with a shrug. "We know yer like us an' ye did da same things too."
"Yeah? And?" Rachel implored Fanny, only for Patton to answer instead.
"Rachel, if something happens to you, what are we going to do?" He simply stated. "You've been the best thing to happen to us since Numbuh 100. We can't just replace someone like you on a whim."
Fanny nodded. "We'd be lost without ye. We don't do it jus' because yer in charge either. Yer our friend an' we always want to help ye out, jus' as ye do everyday for the Kids Next Door."
She unfolded her arms, touched at their words. "Guys..." Both Fanny and Patton looked at each other for a moment before stepping aside, allowing her to jump down on her own.
"I guess I can admit that I do need help sometimes," She admitted, twiddling her thumbs for a moment, a bit embarrassed. "Next time, I'll let you guys in on the joke. Deal?"
"Deal." They both chimed in unison as Rachel raised her hands up to them, obviously asking for some help.
Offering their arms to her, she took their hands and finally jumped down.
Next Prompt: Artificial