Disclaimer: Do I own G. I. Joe or any other recognizable reference? Hell no.
One second I was dreaming about getting a new companion gun to my beautiful high power Browning 9mm pistol. The next I was awoken by a pillow thrown at my face by my delightful guardian. Well, I didn't know it was him at first so I kinda jumped out of bed with the knife I keep under my pillow in hand. Eh, not the first time its happened, but considering I usually throw the knife, this might be a good day.
"Jesus, Barakov," I lowered the knife and addressed him by his last name, "You're losing your touch, next time try throwing something that isn't fluffy," I remarked at the graying man who was standing in my bedroom doorway with a stupid smirk on his face.
He rolled his light blue eyes at me, "You're awake, aren't you?" He answered me with that slight Russian accent he always carried with his words.
I groaned, realizing he actually won this. "I thought I could sleep in late today. Considering how I saved your ass back in Siberia yesterday," He was stupid enough to bring the politician we were guarding into a room on the top floor that had a wall of windows. Considering that the people we were protecting said politician from were on the roof just screamed stupid move. They had repelled into the room and we had to fight them off while protecting the guy who was at the time, shitting his pants in fear. And my aim with throwing knifes saved Barakov's ass from getting shot for the millionth time since I've been under his care.
"Since I'm bullet-free I am waking you up as always. Now come down for breakfast within the hour or I'm feeding yours to the dog," With that he closed my door and left me to get ready for the day.
I cursed him out under my breath and went about getting ready, all the while realizing that the sun was only just rising. My knife was securely placed back under my pillow and I slid open the door to my small closet. I've never needed many clothes, just effective ones. Ones that I can move and fight in. Something that I can feel comfortable in need there be an emergency that I'm needed for. My hands ended up settling on a pair of tight but moveable jeans with a faded green shirt that greatly clashed with my red hair. But I've never cared about colors going against my bright hair color, never have never will.
Nonetheless, I quickly pinned my long hair into a tight bun at the back of my head, save for my bangs which messily lay across my forehead with little pieces framing my face. A quick glance in the unsteady mirror that hung on my wall confirmed that I at least looked put together and not like a disheveled crazy person I sometimes appeared to be when I rushed. After that I slid on black socks and my favorite faded brown leather boots that went halfway up my calf.
With a quick look at my alarm clock confirming that I don't have to make my own breakfast this morning, I bolted out my door and down the thin and barely sturdy staircase. Once in the kitchen I was greeted by our, mostly mine, partly Siberian Husky that was appropriately named Cerber. Or Cerb for short. Cerber in Polish means guardian and you wouldn't know how many times this dog has saved both of our asses. Thank God I picked up the little mutt on our last casual trip to Russia.
"Hey Cerb," I crooned affectionately at the fully grown dog. Cerb met me in the doorway to the kitchen and jumped so his front paws were rested on my shoulders. With a lick aimed at my left cheek and a quick pat on his head on my part he jumped off me and back to his food bowl.
Barakov scoffed, "Sure, the mutt shows affection to you. But when I put down his food he growls," Under his breath I heard him add in Russian, "Damn dog."
A smirk slid onto my face as I plopped down in my usual seat. "He knows where his loyalties lie. More than I can say for you half the time."
"You walk the same line as me, Chloe," He said as he placed a plate in front of me and sat down in the seat across the table.
I sent a small glare his way and dug into my portion of scrambled eggs. We ate in silence as we let our thoughts roam through our heads privately. Mine wandered to whatever the hell we would have to say during debriefing from our guard mission last night. My version was got in a fight because of lame partner's choices, kicked some ass, saved Barakov's ass, politician alive, success. Probably not how Interpol will see it, but fuck them. If they don't like it we can just go rouge for a month until Interpol comes groveling back for us to help with some big important mission. Wouldn't be the first time. They will never admit it, but Interpol needs us. Mostly for more sketchy operations, but they need us none the less.
When my fork hit empty plate I finally realized I finished my food. Or Cerb stole some when I wasn't looking. Either way I was out of breakfast and it was time to go to headquarters. Well, it can loosely be called headquarters. Lately the main areas have been taken over by the junior program.
Yes, a junior program for an international agency. I was accepted when I was twelve, although currently sixteen. But if you saw a twelve year old girl, say, protecting one of the world's top officials, you would be stunned long enough for her to kick your ass when you tried to hurt the official. Basically the youths are used for element of surprise crap. And surprised are most people, I actually have a few pictures somewhere of reactions that I later pulled from security footage.
Don't go calling child services or anything. Usually these are the kids who have trained for most of their lives since they were taken in off the streets or something. At least that's the story for my best friend, Crock. Back in Russia he had tried to pickpocket Barakov. I had punched him in the face and the friendship bloomed from there.
We all have our stories in the JP. I barely know mine. What I know is what Barakov has told me, that's barely anything. Not even who my parents are, if Barakov even knows that. All I know is that he had found me on one of his missions when I was maybe a year and a half old. I've been his "daughter" in the loosest of terms ever since. Loose terms being that he's taught me to fight and takes me on risky robberies. I can't blame him, a little kid makes for a good distraction when you have to hurry and grab the priciest artwork or precious jewel.
Next thing I know we're finishing the drive to headquarters in a less populated area of Kazakhstan. Apparently I zoned out through the short drive to base. Damn. Must've been all the scrapbook worthy moments. Full sarcasm intended.
After a quick badge flash and retina scan we're through the gates and up the too short to be suspicious driveway. Barakov parks our beat-up SUV in the usual space and we walk inside the small cover building on the level ground. Once inside a quick cliché pull of a book on a bookcase signals a secret elevator to lead us to the more covert area of this Interpol base. Which, I have warned, is currently being taken over by trained munchkins who don't like the words "no", "don't do that", and my personal favorite "get down from there you little bastards". I'm still laughing from when Agent Lawrence said that to some sugar-crazed ten year olds.
The elevator stopped for Barakov to get off and I continued my ride down to the area designated for the JP. I took a second to prepare myself for anything those little devils would try when I got off the elevator this time. It doesn't matter who you are, but when you step off, expect something to happen to you. This time the doors opened and a water balloon was flung right where my head was. After it exploding on the back wall, it was confirmed to be paint filled. Or the kids new favorite, hair dye. A perfect way to make an everlasting idiot of someone because it stains the skin and the hair. It really doesn't come off as easily as paint. Plus, it's harder to ground or punish children when they have a whole arsenal of weapons to train with at hand.
With a glare already starting I strolled out of the elevator and saw two kids standing there with a bucket of dye filled balloons. They cowered slightly and gave me a small wave each. By now they know not to mess with me.
"So, Parker," I addressed the thirteen year old boy, "Emily," the twelve year old girl, "What have I told you about throwing balloons straight into the elevator?"
Parker suddenly became very interested in his shoes, "To check who it is first."
"And?" I prompted.
"To check what they're holding," He admitted with a small sigh. A few times they haven't checked who or what was in the elevator and that's cost us a quite few treats for kids' birthdays.
"Good boy," I said with a pat on his head I strode off, but not before grabbing one dye filled balloon.
My devious mind began scheming up an idea to get Crock back for tying my steel toed boots to the highest tree in the surrounding forest last week. Haven't gotten him back yet, I'm surprised I haven't even thought of anything yet. I still have just enough time to balloon him then run to the elevator to go to debriefing. Perfect.
Just as I was about to sneak open the door to the older teen's lounge where Crock always was at this time, an alarm racked through the building. A blue light flashed against the colored walls signaling to get to the bunkers. Shit. The worst part was that we wouldn't know if this was a drill or not until it was over.
Nonetheless my hands dropped the balloon and I opened the door to the older teen's lounge and shouted at everyone to start rounding up kids. Thank God that most of the kids were smart enough to know what to do. Crock had followed me to go to the younger kid's quarters and grab them, considering that most of them were still sleeping at this time.
When we both had our arms full with kids we ran at full speed to the bunker that was almost on the other side of our floor. Why the hell are these drills always a pain in the ass? Crock reached the bunker door first and plopped down the kids who were now awake. Parker was already taking attendance of the kids as they ran through the door. As I set down my share of munchkins he threw me a thumbs up that everyone was accounted for.
"Everyone," I yelled over the noise for them to quiet down, "Get as far to the back wall as you can and do not crush or trample! Stay quiet and stay back!"
Everyone thankfully followed my orders and silently shuffled towards the back of the bunker which could easily hold all of us. Consider there were only twenty-eight kids in the JP total and this bunker was easily meant to hold three times the amount of full grown adults.
I punched in the intricate code to lock down the bunker and had to do another retina scan along with a finger print scan in the process. The bunker could only be controlled from the inside and we would receive the all clear through a small communicating device that was in all the bunkers and main operating room. Only one person could operate the all clear and we were trained to recognize the voice to make sure no one was messing with us just to get us out in the open. We were a secure facility and we were going to stay that way, you know, hopefully.
The heavy door slid down and then another slid across to make about a foot and a half thick steel barrier between us and anything else. You gotta hand it to who ever thought up these security measures. They are fucking effective. After triple checking that everything was alright inside, i.e. food, water, places to sleep, I went back to sit with everyone.
A sleepy and teary eyed seven year old girl named Sarah came over to where Crock and I sat towards the front. With a few sniffles she asked, "Can I sit over here?"
Sometime over the year that I've known this little girl I have somehow taken a liking to her. I'm not sure when and I'm not sure why, but I somehow started treating her like a little sister. Most of the older kids have too. Hell, she's one of the youngest of the bunch and we always look out for our own. Always.
I hoisted her onto my lap and she sniffled and sobbed into my shoulder as I gently patted her back. Crock was giving me a weird look that seemed to say I didn't know you could actually be nice.
Of course I acted maturely and stuck my tongue out at him.
Sarah ended up falling asleep on me, so Crock and I could talk normally without having to be reprimanded that the younger kids were using foul language that they somehow heard from us. I have no idea where the higher ups get that kind of shit from.
"Did you get news of a drill for today?" Crock asked me as he fiddled with his sleek black glasses.
"No," I responded solemnly. There was usually an announcement made to me, seeing as I somehow became the leader of the band of misfits that is the JP, in advance about when a drill would be so one of us could at least be ready. But no announcement meant no drill which means we're fucked and should be fighting.
"Then when do you think we're going to get out of here?" He asked just as solemn.
"I have not the slightest damn idea. Last time this happened was back in South Africa a few years ago. It was a full day of being in a hot metal bunker with only a handful of other kids and adults who didn't give a flying fuck about us," I recalled. It was when the JP was only starting to accept members so I was around twelve or thirteen with only a few other kids around my age or older. After that we relocated here and I punched Crock for the first time about a year later.
Crock gave a mirth filled chuckle, "These conditions must be wonderful compared to that. A bunch of little brats who put their weaponry and defensive knowledge to use against anyone over the age of eighteen."
"Shhh," I whispered coolly, "This little brat might hear you." I pointed to Sarah who was still resting on my shoulder.
"That little brat wouldn't hurt me," Crock declared with full confidence.
I rolled my eyes, "Bitch please, anybody here would hurt you in a heartbeat."
Crock put on a face of mock hurt, "Would you hurt the pretty face of your best friend?" He proceeded to look as cute as he could, which is kinda hard with neon green hair (of his own choice, not another helpless balloon victim), snake bite piercings and an eyebrow piercing.
"You call that thing pretty?" I gestured to his face as a smirk fell easily in place. "I'm not sure if it can even be called a face."
"Oh that's just cold, Clo," Crock glared at me as I started cracking up.
My giggle fit continued, "I'm sorry, Clause, but I can't hear you over your hair."
Crock turned bright red at his real name. He absolutely hates that name, and that is the only reason I get away with calling him Crock. In the first month that he had been training with the JP he took a visit back to Australia, where he's originally from. And long story short, he got in a fight with a crocodile over some food. That's how the nickname Crock was born.
"Oh, look, Christmas colors on Santa Clause," I only managed to get that out between laughs. But it sent me into another loud fit of laughter that woke Sarah up and sent a bunch of wary glances in our direction.
Sarah lifted her head off my shoulder and sent a small glare complete with a pout in my direction. I have to say, that didn't help cure my laughter. It was too cute to not laugh at!
I let my laughter trail off after a full minute. My eyes were watering from that laugh fest and I wiped them as a few breathless chuckles escaped me. After I calmed down I sauntered off to an abandoned area of the bunker to catch up on sleep with the firm order to Crock to not disturb me. Of course, just as I was finally slipping into unconsciousness after maybe an hour of tossing and turning and numerous hair adjustments to keep my head comfy a shrill alarm went off through the bunker.
The shrill sound kept going as kids covered their ears. I carefully took count. The alarm finally stopped as I reached a final tally of twelve. That's the sign to get ready for a message. My legs instinctively sprinted to the control panel and waited for good old Amir, our techie and former JP member, to appear on screen and give me the all clear.
Sure enough after a few moments Amir's rugged face showed up on screen. "Hey Chloe," He said hesitantly.
"Amir, cut the crap. Are we all clear or not?" I almost shouted at the screen. I knew he could see and hear me as well as the other way around.
"Yeah, code: BX6I89W43." My mind ticked off all numbers and letters for the code that changes weekly, whether or not we have to use the bunker that week.
"Got it Amir," The code to release us from our metal box was typed in within seconds and the doors started opening.
"Chloe!" Amir shouted at me when I started leaving, the other kids could figure out we're aloud out by now.
I stepped back in range of the camera and waited for him to hurry up and spout off whatever else was necessary.
"You might want to go to the briefing room on sub-floor six," Amir looked pretty rattled.
He has good right to, though. The sub-floor six briefing room was only used in emergencies and for some heavy planning. That was basic knowledge around here. I nodded in a bit of a haze and took off to the elevator. But not before glancing back and seeing Crock looking at me with sad eyes, almost torn between running after me or not. Did he hear about the briefing room? Never mind, I'll find that out later.
Just as I skidded to a stop and pressed the elevator button Crock ran up beside me, he stopped with a little more grace though. He sent me a reassuring smile as the elevator finally opened. We got inside and I slammed the six button.
It was a strenuously long ride from the JP's sub-floor, fourteen, to six. My thoughts wandered to all the horrible possibilities of me being called up. The kids did something, I did something, or its time for another mission. Although I probably wouldn't be called up to the most secure briefing room for any normal mission. Wait, does that mean I finally get to do something above a preschooler's level? Oh please, I've been way too bored with just the standard guarding missions lately.
The shiny metal doors finally slid open and Crock and I were off sprinting again. Crock's longer legs gave him a slight advantage over me, but I have the natural speed to keep up with his stupid mile long legs. We reached the door at the same time and nearly crashed into each other when we tried stopping.
Either way we both gave retina and fingerprint scans and were admitted into the room. Now to see who fucked up this time.
A/N: I was sick of writing Young Justice fics for a little bit and my friend gave me an amazing plot bunny. Read and review, please. Reviews are like candy, mainly because crack is bad, but I think you get it.