The Wrong Side of the Bed

Disclaimer: Disney's, not mine. I make no money from this story, sad to say.

Summary: Zach's in trouble. Warren's concerned. Siren's mortified. Will's having a really, really bad day.

Zach's 2 minutes into what's probably going to be the last shower of his life when memories from last night start to appear in his head.

His first thought is that this is great, because now he can convince Lynn that what happened isn't her fault.

Unfortunately, that thought is eclipsed by a wave of dizziness that causes him to sway on his feet, and he ends up sliding to the ground of the stall as the disjointed memories play themselves out behind his closed lids.

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"You don't have to walk me home, Zach. I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself."

She's right, and he knows it, but he doesn't care. His mother may not have been around long, but she taught him to be a gentleman.

Walking ladies home from work was part of the deal. Even if said lady was an ass kicking heroine that frankly made him look like a total wimp in comparison.

"You're barely 5'4."

She glares at him, but there's no heat in it and he has to suppress a laugh.

"Anyway... I thought your dad was back? Ever thought that maybe he'd like to spend some time with you before he heads back out in the morning?"

Zach gives her a warning look, and she holds up her hand in self defense.

"Sorry."

He sighs.

He likes to talk about his dad even less than she likes to talk about her mom, but he still feels like she deserves an explanation.

"He's got a new girlfriend." he mumbles, trying to be blase about it.

She's silent for a while and he tries not to think about what could be going through her mind.

"You want to talk about it?"

No, he doesn't want to talk about it, but something in her voice reaches him.

It's not pity, it's concern.

He's touched.

"Yes," he finds himself saying, and smiles a little when her eyes light up.

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It had been a stupid idea.

A really, really stupid idea.

They'd ended up alone, on a dark road, walking at a snail's pace, sometimes stopping to lean against a building or look up at the sky.

They hadn't seen the ambush they'd been walking into.

Zach's head is still spinning, and by now he's willing the memories to go away, but they keep coming with a relentless force.

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Zach's taken up a protective stance in front of her and faces their would be attackers.

Big, ugly fellows who look like even the Commander would have trouble getting rid of them.

Despite his usual bravado, Zach's quite aware that he doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell with these three men.

Yeah, he's learned a bit of martial arts since being at Sky High, but he's not that good at it, and he doesn't like anything that involves being in close proximity with these guys.

They could make a run for it, but he realises that he has no idea how many of these men there are. Yeah, he can see three but that's not to say they aren't more and he doesn't want them running into an even bigger ambush.

He stalls.

"Um... can we help you with something?"

He realises with a sickening feeling that they're all looking at Lynn, and starts to feel his temper rise.

He spares glance over his shoulder at her and realises that she's terrified.

Shit.

The guys are talking now, spewing crap about just being helpful locals, but during their little speech he's searching for an escape route.

He knows how powerful she can be if she puts her mind to it, but also knows how she feels about using her powers.

She's terrified of becoming addicted to the power, of ending up like her mom.

It's why she's made it her mission to learn to karate like it was going out of style- seriously, she could probably give Jetstream a run for her money at this point- but sometimes she'll just freeze up.

Like right now.

"Here's the deal buddy. You let us have your little girlfriend, we'll let you go nice and easy. A win win situation all around. Whadaya say?"

Bevis in the middle's talking to him in a patronising voice that pisses him off almost as much as the implication of what he's saying does, and suddenly Zach doesn't care about escape anymore.

He wants to fight.

But he doesn't want her hurt.

At this point, Zach has managed to stumble out of the shower, though he hasn't much energy to do anything beyond grabbing a towel. He remembers what happens next, and it scares the crap out of him, because now he knows the problem is much bigger than he originally thought.

Will's knocking on the door, trying to find out how he's doing.

How's he doing?

Fine, just freakin' fine.

"What sort of a question is that?" he snaps, then cringes internally.

"Sorry, dude."

Will sighs on the other side of the door.

"It's okay. You can dress in my room. Mom washed the clothes you left here last week."

Zach's very grateful, Jetstream really is a good mother, and he knows she treats him like a son.

"Will? What are we going to do?"

The other boy sighs again.

"Just get dressed, ok?"

"I need to talk to Lynn." Zach says, but Will has already moved away from the door.

Warren's waiting patiently for Lynn to come downstairs when his cell rings.

Rolling his eyes, he answers.

"What?"

"Well good morning to you too."

"Is there a purpose to this call, Leafy?"

He can hear Layla's annoyance and he grins. She's fun to tease.

"Yes there is. I woke up today and thought, wouldn't it be lovely to get a headstart on that project?"

He blinks.

"You're serious."

"Yep. I'll be at the library in another 10 minutes, meet you there. Bye!"

Warren stifles a curse.

The girl is crazy, but he did promise to help her, something he's thoroughly regretting right about now.

"Hey."

He turns at the voice and sees Lynn coming down the stairs.

From the momment he sees her, alarms go off in his head. She looks like she's been crying, and her steps are shaky.

"What's wrong?" he asks, by way of introduction.

"Rough night," she says, not looking at him.

"That's not an answer, Lynn."

A pause.

"I... didn't sleep well. Too much going on in my head. Today is the 4th anniversary of mom going to jail, you know."

She's still not looking at him, and Warren is getting the distinct impression that there's more to this than she's saying.

At the same time, she's right. He knows what today is, is probably the only one of their friends who remembers.

It's heavy stuff, dealing with an incarcerated parent and he doesn't want to push her.

He'd actually come to see if she was okay, but now he could tell she clearly isn't.

Leaning foward to put a hand on her shoulder, he smiles a bit when she finally looks into his eyes.

"I know. You want to talk about it?"

She flinches.

"I... that's very sweet of you, Warren, but.. I... think I'd like to spend today alone."

Warren just looks at her.

"I promise not to get drunk again." she says in a small voice.

He just shakes his head.

"You've got 4 hours, and then I'm coming right back here."

When he sees the angry flare in her eyes, he feels alot better. If it's anything Lynn hates, it's people ordering her around.

That she has enough energy to do that makes him smile.

"I'll call," he says, and she reluctantly nods in agreement.

He doesn't see the relief on her face.

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Hey everyone, sorry about the very long wait... I really hate it when life gets in the way. I'm not finished yet, but I can't promise regular updates. Please review:)