"What are you doing here?"Aren't ya supposed ter be on the mission?"
"Well, we got sent home early. There was an incident. But what happened to you? Why is there water everywhere?" He looked around, confused.
"All right, where are they?" Ponderous footsteps announced the entrance of Nigel. "Numbuh 3, Numbuh 4, I gave you specific-what is going on here?"
"Um, hi Numbuh One. What happened ter yer eye? "
"Never mind that. I entrusted you two with monitor duty, he said dangerously, and we come back to find you here, with the kitchen turned into a lake. Explain yourselves!"
"Well see, Numbuh One, it's loike this, there was, um, a water leak!"
"Uh huh. And what is that hose doing on the floor?"
"Well, afta the pipes leaked, we were attacked by the Delightful Children, and, um, they put the hose outside to frame us!" There was a moment of silence, during which only Hoagie, Abby and Kuki's stifled giggles could be heard.
"Nice try, Numbuh Four. Could you honestly make up a worse excuse?"
"We were just having a water fight, Numbuh One, Kuki confessed brightly. You're not mad, are you?"
"Mad? You abandoned your posts and seriously damaged the kitchen floor. Of course I'm mad!" As he lectured them, a crazy idea entered Kuki: she really wanted to turn the hose (which she had just picked up) on Nigel and show him what she thought of his crabbiness. All it would take was a flick of the faucet... But common sense prevailed over mischievousness, and she stowed away the utensil.
"I think you're making too big a deal of this, Numbuh One, intervened Abby. It's just a little bit of water- "Don't interrupt me, Numbuh Five! Normally, I should punish the two of you. But this time, I'll be tolerant. Just make sure to clean up the mess." And he stormed off.
"Geez, why is Numbuh One such a meanie all the sudden?" asked Kuki.
"Something upsetting happened to him during our mission. We were supposed to track down and attack a base of adult villains somewhere on East Coast. We tracked it down, but then Numbuh One thought we should disable the defenses of their base from the inside, and Numbuh 86 thought we should attack them frontally."
"So they got into a fight, continued Abby, and Numbuh One lost. Plus, it got him sent home. We have to go easy on him for few days."
"Ouch. So that's why he's upset."
"He lost ter a girl? Poor Nigel."
"Anyway, asked Hoagie smirking, besides having a water fight, what did you get up to while we were gone?"
"Ah, nothing much. We had a food fight, watched a movie, and danced together. That's pretty much it." The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.
Both Abby and Hoagie's eyes widened in surprise. They were so surprised, in fact, that they forgot to laugh at the blond-haired boy, or his rapidly blushing face. Since when did Wally admit to dancing with Kuki?
"Wow. It's good to hear you had fun. Numbuh Five'll leave you guys to clean up, then. Come on Numbuh 2, let's go play Halo 3." They withdrew, leaving Wally and Kuki alone.
"Yay! Mr. Mopsy time again!"
"Yeah, hooray. Just don't make me wear an apron again."
Cleaning up was only marginally quieter this time: Kuki insisted on putting "Time of my life" on her stereo and dancing to the music, looking like she was performing a musical number. Five minutes into the task, she also began throwing the buckets into the sink rather than carrying them.
"Wheeee! Heads up, Wally!" He grunted in annoyance as a bucket soared overhead, missing the sink with a tremendous crash.
"Kuki, why do ya have ter make a game out of everything?"
"Oh, you're just annoyed because I can throw farther than you!"
"Wot! There ain't no way a girl can beat me in a throwing contest!"
"Oh really? Then why don't you prove it, mister bigmouth?"
Five minutes later, they were engaged in a spectacular contest of who could throw the most buckets into the sink.
"Wallabee shoots...he scores! That's 7 to 5!"
"Hey, no fair, she pouted. You weren't behind the line. It's 6-5!"
"I was behind the line!"
"Was not! Wait, ah got a better idea. Instead of throwing the pails, why don't we just catapult them?"
"With Numbuh Two's catapult, of course! Hold on, ah'll go ask him right now." He ran off, only to return a minute later looking disappointed. "It didn't work. Numbuh Two says he's forbidden from giving us any ballistic material. And he wants us to stop our contest. It's distracting him from his game of Halo."
Kuki smirked knowingly. "Why, is he losing?"
"He's not losing, he's getting slaughtered. Oh well, let's just get this over with." Truth be told, Wally was glad to stop playing. A familiar concern had just crept into his head.
Now's the roight moment. Tell her.
How hard is it ter say? Ye're just trying ter tell the girl you loike her
Foine, foine! But then another voice entered his mind.
It doesn't matter what you say.
No matter wot you say roight now, you'll both be decommissioned on your thirteenth birthday. And then ya won't know her anymore.
No. Ah won't let myself decommissioned.
Everyone gets decomissioned. No one escapes . Numbuh One himself said so.
They were going to forget each other. Oh, the pain...it hit Wally again, and again, and again, like a hammer.
"Wally, is something wrong?" He snapped out of his thoughts to see that Kuki was looking at him with concern.
"What do ya mean?"
"I mean, you like there's something on your mind, silly."
He took a deep breath.
"Actually, there's something I've been wanting to tell you for a long time now.
"Yes, Numbuh Four?"
"This is really hard for me to say, but I...
She smiled widely, perhaps knowing what he trying to say, but then her face fell. Wally was staring at the ground miserably. "Numbuh Four!" she exclaimed. "What's wrong?"
"It's just, ah just realized, none of this matters. In six months, we're getting decommissioned, and then ah'll never see you again."
"No,Wally. I won't let that happen. I don't care what I have to do, but I won't let us be decommissioned. We'll be all right. Trust me."
"Ya...Ya really think so?"
She gently lifted his face so that they made eye contact. "I'm sure".
He threw himself into her arms. "Kuki?, he said quietly.
"Ah'm glad we spent the day together."