Disclaimer: I do not own KND. Pouty face.
They forgot their codenames, their missions, their 2x4 technology and their treehouse. They forgot their superiors, their villains and their allies. They forgot their skills, their hard work and their importance in the Kids Next Door Community.
They one thing that they never forgot was each other.
How could they when they were so intertwined with each other? When they were connected like domino's their whole childhood, when one choice affected everyone else?
They had been friends both on the battlefield and in their spare time, going to movies, going to the park, the comic book store, their own houses…They were friends with each other's parents, attended each other's birthday parties and were in the same classes at school.
They knew each other's siblings, each other's pets, the shortcuts to each other's homes and they knew each other inside and out.
None of that had anything to do with the Kids Next Door.
While I was Soopreme Leader, Numbuh 362, in my days as a Kids Next Door operative, I had never seen a Sector bond as easily and as quickly as Sector V did, despite their alarmingly different personalities. Just by looking through their individual reports I could tell that they didn't share anything in common.
But that didn't stop them. I remember, before I was Soopreme Leader that Numbuh 4 – Wallabee Beatles – resisted their friendship, not at all interested in it since he felt that he had abandoned his fellow operatives in Australia, but the sector openly invited him into their group and, for one of them, their heart.
Decommissioning could never take that away. They had been foolish to think that it would.
With a sigh I looked out over the grounds of Gallagher High School, my blonde hair whipping wildly about my head in the violent wind as I spied on a group of five people relaxing by the old oak tree at the bottom of the school.
Abigail Lincoln was stood, her back pressed to the tree with her red hat pulled down low over her eyes, her hair held in a loose ponytail as she crossed her arms over her chest, a smile of amusement tugging on her full lips. She was still the same old calm Numbuh 5 that I knew and she hadn't changed over the years at all – at least, not from an outsider's point of view.
Wallabee Beatles was laid out on the ground, his hands cradling the back of his head and his feet crossed at the ankles – Wally had turned into a tall boy, I mused as my eyes found him, trailing from his feet all the way up his body to rest on his shaggy blonde hair, falling annoyingly into his jade green eyes. A troubled boy who always had a bad temper, Wally didn't fare well in the first years of High School, angry and upset and feeling like the World owed him a favour. But now, years later and creeping up to his eighteenth birthday, Wally was, if you cared to admit it, a changed man; he no longer pulled the fire alarm, played hooky on his math's class or shoved the geeks into their lockers and it had nothing to do with the school system or his parents, and everything to do with the girl sat cross-legged beside him.
Kuki Sanban was threading daisies together to make a daisy chain, her body swaying side-to-side in contentment as she worked on her project. Kuki was a bright, hard-working girl who had an array of colleges available to her after High School and she had a way of seeing beauty in everything, whether it was a simple daisy, a rusty old wire or a troubled Australian boy who didn't feel worthy of love.
Hoagie Gilligan was crouched down; tying his shoes which I noticed seemed to have tiny metal wings on them. I couldn't help but laugh with the rest of the group when his shoes spat fire out the back and he was propelled forward with such force that it was a wonder that he didn't fall down – Instead, he whooshed past everyone on the field, a scream on his lips as people dodged out of the way and he, eventually fell into one of the giant bins near to where I was sat. Hoagie was just the same as he always was, tinkering around with different parts and making corny jokes that made people want to throw their shoes at him.
My eyes wandered back to the group who stood straight at once, Wally and Kuki's hands finding each other easily as Kuki still held the complete Daisy Chain in her free hand. They slowly made their way to the boy whose head had popped up over the brim of the bin, a sheepish grin on his face as he pushed his aviator goggles up his forehead, a banana peel slowly falling off his shoulder.
I watched as someone offered him a hand, which he took willingly, trusting to hold his weight as he climbed out of the bin and then clapped the guy on the shoulder.
Nigel Uno. He'd been say at the tree with the other, his knees folded up with his homework resting on them, a pencil clenched between his teeth with his brow furrowed as he attempted to understand a question. He too had burst into laughter at Hoagie's antics and he was the one to offer his hand.
Five years on and he was still their leader.
I watched, sadness reflecting in my eyes as Kuki giggled sweetly before dropping the crown on daisy's on Wally's head. He reacted as he normally would, by scrambling to shake it off his head, not wanting the badass of the school to be seen wearing something so girly. Kuki let out a shrill scream as Wally advanced on her, but that soon turned into giggles as he chased her around the group, but she danced easily out of his strong grip.
We were all in our final year of High School and they hadn't passed a single day without each other – the day after their decommissioning, they met outside of Nigel's house, because that's what they always did on their days off, and they went to the movies. Kuki dragged them to see the new Rainbow Monkey movie which, so I've heard, Wally spent the entire sixty minutes dry heaving in disgust at the creatures. They didn't remember that the day before they'd had memories cruelly ripped away from them, a half of their childhood had gone in seconds.
But they remembered each other not as operatives, but as friends.
As a Soopreme Leader, I was given the choice to carry on with the organisation as an undercover teen, or I could have gone through with the decommissioning.
I chose to stay. The reason?
I watched as Wally caught Kuki, dragging her close and pressing his fingers into her sides, tickling her, causing her to laugh loudly, her head thrown back and her face alight with happiness – I could see it in Wally's expression, the love that he held for the Oriental girl in his arms. I watched as Abby brushed off the trash from Hoagie's shoulder and back, looking at him with a stern expression, but the laughter was threatening to bubble out from her as Nigel shoved Hoagie lightly but, because he had the wings still attached to his shoes, he went flying back into the bins, causing the four of them to laugh uncontrollably, clutching each other almost desperately in their mirth.
Who would I have to remember me once our Kids Next Door memories had been wiped? I was a work-aholic, everything that I did revolved around my position as the Soopreme Leader that I never got the chance to bond with my fellow operatives outside of the office.
Because of their trust and love that they held for each other as friends whilst they were in the Kids Next Door, it allowed them to stay friends well beyond the years of fighting adult tyranny and into the years of their own adulthood. I watched as Kuki and Wally kissed, smiles still pulling at their lips as Abby and Nigel attempted to get Hoagie back out of the bin, but were failing due to their uncontrollable laughter, making Hoagie start laughing to.
They never forgot each other.
But they forgot me.