Disclaimer: I wish I was Walt Disney. Oh, wait, no I don't, he's dead.
A/N: I don't do Disney movies. I don't even do this fandom. What am I doing here?
Being friends with Warren Peace was weird. Apart from how they started the year, the fact that his dad had drastically taken a huge chunk out of Warren's life-albeit indirectly-kind of put a kink in the friendship vibes. Sure, they didn't really fight anymore. The cafeteria was back to normal, and no one had ended up with anything more than minor first degree burns yet, so Will was counting it as a win. It was just so awkward sometimes.
For instance, they never hung out at his house.
Layla liked Warren, she really did. He was actually really sweet and funny once you got to know him. And he was a good friend to Will, so that was automatic points in Layla's good-girlfriend book. No, Layla really did like Warren.
But why did he always have to burn things? Especially plants she had created to bring joy and peace to the atmosphere surrounding the lunch table.
Hanging out with Warren Peace was a little bit like what Ethan imagined hanging out with a smoldering volcano would be like. Tiptoeing around him wasn't necessary, but he always managed to give a general impression of being about to explode. Like, constantly. The guy glared at inanimate objects, for Pete's sake!
And the weirdest part was, Warren was one of the nicest people in the school, especially in the Hero class. Hanging out with Warren was almost as good a reason for people to not pick on him as being Will's friend.
Okay, so Warren was nice to him. Most other people just stayed away from him anyway.
Teaching a class that Mr. Peace attended was rather irritating. It wasn't that he didn't pay attention, it was that he gave you the impression that if you called him out on not paying attention, he'd crisp you like a professional chef with a perfectly heated oven. The worst part was, he suspected that Mr. Peace actually was paying attention, and calling him out would result in him looking foolish. Of course, he had no true way to be certain, and it was entirely possible that Mr. Peace was neither paying attention, nor so reckless as to attempt to become a culinary expert, rendering him quite safe. But since he had no way to be sure, Mr. Peace continued unchallenged in his silent, glaring assault on his sensibilities while in the Mad Science Lab.
Hothead bothered him because he wasn't hotheaded. Calling Peace "hothead" had just become a thing, it had very little to do with the kid's actual temperament. Seriously, of all the kids with all the destructive powers in the whole school, Peace seemed to be one with a relatively higher level of control over his than any other. He had a temper, sure, but it didn't often explode in flames. One time with Stronghold didn't count. Half the time, Boomer wanted to set that one on fire himself. Hothead was a good kid. It wasn't his fault he looked mean.
Obviously, Coach Boomer had never seen Warren's smile.
Dealing with Warren Peace-and yes, that is what it was to Zack-was like facing down a biker dude that escaped from his chain gang and turned pyro. Not that Zack had ever done any such thing or met any such person, but he figured that if he ever did, he'd have had experience from going to school with Warren Peace. He was just… he was a scary dude. He was a strangely polite and unnervingly nice scary dude, but he was a scary dude nonetheless. Zack counted Warren among his friends, because Zack was friendly, and all of his friends were friends with Warren, but Zack had a highly reasonable fear of people who could turn him into a completely different kind of glow rod.
The fact that Magenta thought he was cute was another thing entirely.
It was the hair, she was pretty sure. And the tattoos. And maybe the jacket and the jeans and the gloves and heck, even the powers. The boy was smokin'. Pun intended. Sure, she had Zack, who was sweet and cute and so funny even when she didn't feel like laughing, and she was totally content with that. But hey, a girl can look, and dang but what a view it was. Magenta was pretty much willing to nominate the designer of Warren's jeans for sainthood. Hoo, Lordy.
It wasn't that things were awkward with Warren.
It was that things were painfully awkward with Warren.
One time. One time they'd met without being in danger of death or the possible reliving of their potty-training, and it had been a tense hour and a half filled with some silence, some flat jokes, and, finally, Warren leaving the house in a barely controlled huff that Steve was sure could have involved fire if the boy had really let go.
Steve readily admitted-but only to Josie, at night, in the sound-proofed, secret sanctum-that he was very glad Warren hadn't.
He was a sweetie, really. Tried so hard to be the bad boy (to keep people away), then to be good (to counter his father), and then at last settling somewhere in between the two (to become comfortable as himself), which she thought was a good fit for him. Principal Powers had seen quite a few superheroes pass through the halls of Sky High. There weren't many with a family heritage like Warren Peace. None in fact. He was an interesting study. Unfortunately, the only time she would ever have to study him would apparently be in detention.
Not that she was exactly unbalanced before, but there's just this feeling sometimes that something's missing, and then she'll turn around and he'll be there and suddenly, the missing something isn't missing anymore.
She'd never seen ice burn before. One minute, she was idly forming ice cubes, the next, one of her creations was on fire. It was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen and she told him so. He'd blushed, honest-to-goodness blushed, and drawled something about physics and energy that she didn't really understand but smiled all the way through anyway.
He'd singed her palm that first evening. That first dance that started it all. He apologized immediately, but she laughed it off and retaliated by freezing his hand to hers for the rest of the night. Sometimes it still tingled. She didn't really mind.
Warren eyed the motley crew that had decided to invade his space, his table, his quiet and peaceful lunchtime, and essentially all other aspects of his life and resigned himself to having friends for the rest of high school. God knew that he'd already tried his best to make them go away. Sidekicks were stubborn little cubs, he'd give 'em that…
Something cold slid into his hand and he hid a smile behind a scowl.
A/N: So… I've got other things planned. And for some reason I decided to post this.
My mind is weird…