Hey, everyone! Sorry it's taken me so long to post this chapter. I've had quite the work load at work and it just keeps coming. This chapter is longer than usual so hopefully it'll make up for it. I had a hard time findign songs to go with this chapter and the one is a weird on. Anyway, the songs for this chapter are Everyday Superhero by Smash Mouth, Kiss My Sass by Cobra Starship, School Is Out by the Subdigitals, and Prelude 12/21 by A.F.I. Enjoy and review.
"This place is cool!" said Megan, looking around the Kadic campus. "It's nothing like Happy Harbor High."
"Gotham's campus is similar," said Artemis. "At least I don't have to wear a uniform."
"Eh, it's okay," said Robin.
"I hope they have good food," said Wally. "I'm starving."
"You just ate!" Artemis snapped.
"Yeah, thirty minutes ago," said Wally. "Speedster metabolism, babe."
Artemis smacked him.
"Artemis, Wally, enough," said Kaldur.
Artemis glared at Wally, but said nothing.
Robin looked at Kaldur. "You feeling the aster, Kaldur?"
"I am somewhat nervous," Kaldur admitted to his younger teammate. "The students and teachers speak French. I have learned a second language, but I do not believe I can learn a third in such a short amount of time."
Robin smiled. "It's okay. I speak French perfectly. I can translate for you if you need help. Didn't Aquaman tell you you're getting an English speaking tutor?"
"As a visitor, it is respectful to learn the language and culture of the country," said Kaldur.
"I really don't think they'll care, Kal," said Wally.
"It's still polite," said Artemis.
Robin took out the paper from his jeans' pocket that told them where they needed to be. "Our first stop is the main office. We need to meet with the principal and get our schedules from him."
"Okay, where's the main office?" asked Wally.
Robin walked over to two girls. One had red hair pulled into pigtails and the other was a black girl holding a video camera. He spoke to them quickly and the girl with the camera pointed to one of the buildings. The girl with the red hair whipped out a notebook and pen like she was about to take notes. Robin put his hand up and jogged back over to the Team.
"This way," he said.
"What was that about?" asked Artemis.
"Apparently the journalism club takes things very seriously," said Robin. "Those two were the journalist for the Kadic News."
They walked up the steps to the main office when Wally let out a squeal.
"What?" Megan asked.
"Look. Look!" Wally pointed to a boy with his blonde hair standing straight up with a purple spot in the middle that was walking towards them. He was wearing an eggplant purple vest over a purple and pink striped shirt, dark purple pants and magenta platforms. He had a collar around his neck. "It's Odd Della Robbia! He's the guitarist for the Progressive Warriors."
"Chill, Baywatch," said Artemis.
"What kind of a name is Odd?" asked Conner.
"It suits him," said Robin.
"Robin, be nice," Megan scolded.
"No need. My parents did a good job of naming me," said the boy with a smile. "Odd Della Robbia at your service." He gave a dramatic bow.
"I'm Wally." The speedster stuck his hand out to Odd. "You're the guitarist for the Progressive Warriors. I love 'We'll Carry On.' 'PhantomAngel' was amazing, too. You guys are amazing."
"At least someone knows talent when they see it," beamed Odd.
"Don't boost his ego. His head's swelled enough as it is."
They turned to see a brunette boy wearing a black jacket over his dark green shirt, dark jeans, and black sneakers.
Wally's green eyes widened. "You're Ulrich Stern."
"Hey," Ulrich said. His attitude was cool. "You guys the exchange students?"
"That's us," chirped Megan.
"Principal Delmas will want to talk to you," said Ulrich. "We'll show you where his office is."
"Thanks!" chirped Megan.
They walked to the principal's office with Wally telling Ulrich and Odd how much he loved the Progressive Warriors.
Ulrich dropped back to whisper to Robin. "Are we going to have to worry about a stalker in the dorms?"
Robin laughed. "No, he's just really excited."
"Wally, enough," said Kaldur.
"Sorry," said Wally.
"Here we are!" said Odd. "Hey, Ms. Weber, the exchange students are here."
"Thank you, Odd," said Ms. Weber. She buzzed Mr. Delmas.
A moment later, Mr. Delmas' door opened. "Come in." He saw Ulrich and Odd. "Would one of you please find Miss Maverick-Morales for me?"
"Sure," said Odd.
Ulrich and Odd left to find Eva.
"It's Miss Maverick-Morales," Ulrich joked. "It's going to be strange calling her that."
"I think she'll just want to be just plain Eva," said Odd.
"Why's that?" asked Ulrich.
"Think about it," said Odd. "Calling her Miss Maverick-Morales makes her sound so sophisticated."
"Wow, Odd," Ulrich said with a smile. "You actually used the word sophisticated."
Odd shot Ulrich an indignant look. "Hey, I'm smart! I'm still in your grade."
"Only because of Jeremy, Kayla, and Eva tutored you," said Ulrich.
"I didn't say I did it all by myself," Odd pointed out.
They went to the gym and found Eva and Kayla dancing. Eva was in her loose black pants and her blue and black layered camisoles. Kayla was wearing a yellow leotard and pink tights and had a gray sweater tied around her waist. Eva went low and used her capoeira moves while Kayla kicked her legs up high and pirouetted. Occasionally they would switch levels. To anyone else, it would appear to be dancing, but Odd and Ulrich knew better. This was fighting practice.
Eva did a no-hands cartwheel and stopped. Kayla stopped as well.
"They're here," said Ulrich.
"How many?" asked Eva.
"Six," answered Odd.
"Get the others," said Eva.
"Mr. Delmas wants to see you," said Ulrich.
Eva nodded. "Let the others know. And someone call Franz."
"I'll do it," said Kayla. "You better get over there."
Eva grabbed her black sweatshirt from the bleachers and left.
Kayla looked at Odd and Ulrich. "You heard her," she said. "Let's move."
"Right," said the boys.
Eva walked to the office. She saw Yumi and Jeremy walking toward it as well.
"What are you guys doing?" Eva asked.
"Mr. Delmas wants to see us," said Yumi.
"They're here," Eva said. "Mr. Delmas probably wants you to show them around."
"Good," said Yumi. "It'll be over soon."
"Let's not push it," said Jeremy. "We don't know anything about these sidekicks. They could think we're the enemy."
"Don't jinx it," Eva said. "Let's see what they've got and then we'll tell them about LYOKO."
The three of them walked into Mr. Delmas' office.
The redhead immediately perked up when he saw Yumi. "Hey, babe," he said.
Yumi groaned. "Just what I need."
"Miss Ishiyama and Mr. Belpois will show you around the grounds," said Mr. Delmas. "If you have any questions, ask them."
Eva took a good look at the six teens in Mr. Delmas' office. The redhead was Kid Flash, the hair and those green eyes were a giveaway. The smallest was a dark haired boy in sunglasses. He wore a black sweater over a blue hoodie. Eva figured that was Robin. The dark skinned teen with the light hair was obviously Aqualad. The other three were a bit of a mystery, although one looked like a teenage version of Superman, down to his black Superman shirt he wore under his brown jacket.
Mr. Delmas handed some papers to Jeremy and Yumi. "Make sure they get to their classes on time. I know I can count on you two."
"Yes, sir," Yumi and Jeremy said.
Jeremy adjusted his glasses as he read the names off the three sheets he had been given. "Wally West, Artemis Crock, and Robin Byrd."
"That's us," said the redhead, moving around like he couldn't sit still. Robin and a girl with Asian features and blonde hair stood up with him.
"You three are in my grade," said Jeremy. "I'll start showing you around before our first class."
The four of them left.
"Okay, Conner Kent and Megan Morse," Yumi read.
The girl with long red hair and freckles beamed. She grabbed the arm of the boy who looked like Superman.
"Right here," the girl, Megan, said brightly.
Yumi tried to keep herself from wrinkling her nose at the girl's overeager attitude. "I'll show you to your first class."
This left just Eva and Aqualad.
"Mr. Durham, this is Miss Maverick-Morales," Mr. Delmas introduced slowly.
Eva watched Aqualad blink in surprise. "Your uncle mustn't have told you I was your age," she said, her voice leaving out her French accent.
"He informed me," Aqualad said. "It is still somewhat unexpected."
"You expecting some dolled-up, peppy student teacher in a skirt?" Eva asked, looking Aqualad straight in the eye.
"Eva!" scolded Mr. Delmas.
Eva never broke eye contact.
"I was not expecting one so gifted to appear coarse," he replied.
"Expecting refinement and arrogance?" asked Eva.
"Yes, but you seem to be grounded," he added.
The corner of Eva's mouth twitched. She held out her hand. "I'm Eva."
He took her hand and shook it. "I am Kal."
Mr. Delmas was a little confused. He cleared his throat. "Class starts in twenty minutes."
"Come on, Kal," said Eva. "I'll show you around."
Eva led Kal out of the office.
"You're not like some of the students who come here," said Eva.
"How so?" asked Kal.
"For one, you didn't fawn all over me when I walked in," said Eva. "I appreciate that."
"It would be rude," Kal said. He paused for a moment. "Why would I fawn over you, if I may ask?"
Eva turned to him with a confused look. "You haven't heard of the Progressive Warriors or L'Elfe et le Fantasme?"
"I have heard of the Progressive Warriors, but not L'Elfe et le Fantasme," Kal admitted.
Eva raised an eye brow. She found it a little hard to believe Kal never heard of L'Elfe et le Fantasme. Granted, it was only when Aelita and Eva toured with the Subdigitals, but they had a decent fan base.
"I have little interest in music," said Kal. "The only reason why I know of the Progressive Warriors is because my friends enjoy their music. You are one of the members, yes?"
"Yeah," said Eva. "I play bass. I'm also the one who takes care of most of the lyrics. Odd and Aelita usually have their hands in it as well, but I wrote 'Un Monde Sans Danger' and most of 'Phantom Angel.'"
"I heard 'Un Monde Sans Danger' and part of 'Phantom Angel,'" said Kal.
Eva narrowed her eyes at him slightly. "But you weren't impressed."
"No, it was very good," Kal quickly said.
Eva shook her head. "If you didn't like it, that's fine. You're entitled to your opinions."
Eva pointed out the different buildings to Kal. They were by the track field when the bell rang.
"That's first class," said Eva.
"We are late," said Kal
Eva laughed quietly. "Kal, have you forgotten that I'm your tutor? You have class with me. Besides, I do things a bit different than most teachers. But you do have a stack of worksheets you'll need to start."
Eva led the way back to the library.
There was a pile of worksheets and a stack of books on one of the tables.
"We'll see what you know right now," said Eva. "Get done what you can and whatever you don't know or don't understand, we'll go over together. How's that sound?"
Kal agreed and began going through the worksheets, answering what he knew. Eva looked over what he finished while he continued through the stack. She had to admit he was very good with math. The metric system usually confused American students, but Kal understood it.
Eva noticed he stopped and was looking at the novel he was supposed to be reading. "They gave you one in French, didn't they?"
Kal looked up at her with a rueful smile. "Yes."
Eva looked at the book's title. "I have the same book written in English. It's in my room. I'll be right back."
Eva left the library.
Milly and Tamiya were promised an interview with Eva this week. They had gotten excused from class so they could have the interview.
"She should be in the library with the exchange student," said Milly.
"Milly, I don't want to bother Eva if she's in the middle of a lesson," said Tamiya.
"She promised!" Milly said.
"But she didn't say when," Tamiya argued.
Milly ran for the library.
"Milly, wait!" called Tamiya.
Milly and Tamiya went into the library. They found the exchange student looking at a book.
"Well, he's here. Where's Eva?" said Milly.
"Aren't you two supposed to be in class?"
The girls jumped. Eva was standing behind them.
"We're here for our interview, remember?" asked Milly.
"I don't recall giving you a time," Eva said. She walked over and handed Kal the book. "Kal's going to be a few minutes, so we can do it now. Do your teachers know where you are?"
Milly and Tamiya held up their hall passes.
"All right," said Eva.
The three girls took a seat. Milly took out a notepad and a tape recorder. She pushed play on the recorder and set it on the table.
"This is the interview with Eva Maverick-Morales about her male stage persona," Milly said. "So Eva, tell us what inspired you to come up with this persona."
"Ricky has been part of my life for a very long time," answered Eva. "Most know by now that I didn't have an ideal childhood. Ricky was a way to help me cope and survive. I spent a lot of time on the streets at night and being a girl made it more dangerous. I created Ricky to make it appear that I was boy and people were more likely to leave me alone."
"Did it work?" asked Milly.
"Yes, it did," said Eva. "Most people don't realize Ricky and Eva are the same person."
"So why continue with Ricky? We recently saw him in 'Phantom Angel,' correct?" asked Milly.
"Yes. I don't need Ricky like I used to, but it seems wrong just to give him up," said Eva. "It would be like losing an old friend if it did. Even if Ricky's just a part of a music video now, he's still with me."
"Are there any other personalities besides Ricky?" asked Milly.
"No," Eva replied.
"So what's next for the Progressive Warriors? You just put out two new songs. Are there any plans for another tour?"
"Not right now," Eva answered. "We may go on tour again with the Subdigitals in the summer, but as of now, we have nothing scheduled. I wouldn't mind taking some time off and take a step back. Between school, recording, and tours, we haven't had much time to spend with our families. I would like to have a real Christmas vacation."
"Where would you like to go?" asked Milly.
"I would like to go back to America just as a tourist," said Eva. "We made a lot of friends during our tour there last year. I think I would like to go back to Manhattan or Amity Park. Kal, do you need something?"
Milly and Tamiya turned to Kal, who had a stunned look on his face. Eva didn't have her back to him, but she was focusing on the girls.
"I had a question about one of the questions on the worksheet," Kal answered. "I do not understand the word."
Eva leaned over to look at the word Kal was pointing out. "They translated this with one of the online translators. Half the time they don't come out right. It's 'capture'."
"Thank you," said Kal.
Tamiya mumbled something, causing Kal to turn to her.
"She said that I have eyes in the back of my head," Eva translated.
Milly and Tamiya finished their interview and left.
Kal was finished with the work he understood. He and Eva went over everything he didn't understand. When they were finished it was about lunchtime.
"Would you like to eat with your friends?" Eva asked.
Kal looked at the clock. "Yes."
Eva and Kal walked over to the cafeteria.
"Let's see what they're serving today," said Eva. "Do you like vegetarian meatloaf?"
"How is meatloaf vegetarian?" asked Kal.
"They make it with meat substitute," replied Eva.
"It does not sound appealing," Kal admitted.
Eva gave a trace of a smile. "Rosa, may I have two of the teacher lunches? I'm very hungry today."
"Coming right up," said the LYOKO warriors' favorite cafeteria lady. She handed two trays of steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, and greens to Eva.
"Here you go," said Eva, handing the extra tray to Kal. "Beats having meat substitute."
"This is dishonest," said Kal.
"I'm being nice," said Eva. "If you want, I think I can talk her into giving you a slice of cake as well."
Kal opened his mouth to protest.
"Hey, I take care of my students," said Eva. "And that includes making sure they get a good meal. The cafeteria food may be nutritious, but it tastes awful."
"Thank you," said Kal.
"Why don't you go sit with your friends?" said Eva. "Find out how their day is going."
"Very well," said Kal. "What time does the next class start?"
"After lunch," Eva answered. "Take your time eating. I'm in no rush."
Eva watched him sit down with his friends. She walked to the table she shared with the other warriors.
They all hushed her.
Eva's mobile vibrated. She saw she had a text message.
Conner has superhearing, wrote William.
And I think that Megan girl is psychic, Yumi added.
Instead of wasting our money on constant texting, Eva began. She reached into Kayla's bag and pulled out a notebook. Not going to stop Megan, but if she has any sense of privacy, she'll stay out of our heads.
Jeremy wrote, Six sidekicks, twelve of us. How are we going to do this?
They're here for a week, Eva wrote. We have time to come up with something.
Nicolas pulled the notebook over to him and swiped a pen from Herb and wrote, Can't we just tell them about LYOKO?
Herb took his pen back from Nicolas. Nicolas has a point, wrote Herb.
Kayla put her hand on her friend's back, avoiding her shoulder. "What is it?" she whispered.
Eva shook her head. "Something's not right with all this."
Odd grabbed the notebook. Sensing a disturbance in the Force? His writing was almost illegible and he had smeared gravy on the page.
"Really, Odd?" Sissi said, wrinkling her nose.
"Sorry," he said.
"And yes, I am," Eva answered Odd. She pulled the notebook over to her. Don't know what it is, but it has to do with LYOKO.
Kayla turned the notebook in her direction and took a pen out of her bag. You think we can't trust them? She glanced at the sidekicks.
Eva gave a brief shake of the head.
Nicolas tapped Ulrich and pointed to the notebook. Ulrich handed it to him. Nicolas found a space where he could write with the pencil he found in his bag. What does your gut say? He slid the notebook back to Eva.
Eva stared at the words in front of her, placing her pen in a vacant spot under Nicolas' question. She wrote, We got a whole lot of fight heading are way.
Odd snorted. "No one ever said it was going to be easy."
Aelita hung her head.
"Don't," said Eva.
Aelita looked up. "What?"
"Don't think like that, like it's hopeless," said Eva.
Kayla smiled at Aelita. "There's always light, no matter how small. We'll get through this."
The Team was whispering quietly to each other in English.
"So what did you find out?" asked Artemis.
"Other than that Kayla girl is beautiful and smart," said Wally. "She's at the top of the senior class in chemistry and she's only a junior."
"Ugh, Wally, focus," groaned Artemis.
"I am," said Wally, shoveling some food into his mouth. "Food's important."
Artemis slapped him in the arm.
"Jeremy seems like the type who would know about LYOKO," said Robin.
"Yumi and her friend William are very nice," said Megan. "I can sense some distress from her and William."
"Yumi and William are two of the kids Batman met last year," said Robin. "Kayla's the third. Anyone talk to Ulrich Stern yet?"
"Other than this morning, no," Wally said downheartedly.
"What about you, Kaldur?" asked Artemis. "How's the private tutoring going?"
"It is going well," answered Kaldur. "One of the younger students says that Eva has eyes in the back of her head."
"Eva?" asked Robin with a smirk. "Not Miss Maverick-Morales?"
"She requested me to call her Eva," said Kaldur.
Megan looked over at the table the Progressive Warriors were sitting at. "Eva scares me a little."
"She reminds me of Bats in a way," said Robin.
"She is very kind," said Kaldur, picking at his steak.
"I'll say." Wally jabbed his fork in the direction of Kaldur's tray. "How did you get steak?"
"I am unsure of what Eva told the cook, but she got two meals and gave me one," said Kaldur. "She also said she could talk her into giving me a piece of cake as well."
Wally's green eyes widened. "I gotta make friends with this girl."
"What about you, Conner?" asked Robin.
Conner was focusing intently on his empty tray.
"Conner?" Kaldur said.
"Dude, if you're trying to see if you have heat vision, this is not the place to be doing it," said Wally.
"I'm trying to listen to their conversation," Conner said.
"What are they saying?" asked Robin.
Conner frowned. "It's not making sense. Eva said something doesn't feel right." He was quiet for another minute. "Kayla said that nothing's hopeless."
"Who she say that to?" asked Wally with his mouth full.
"I don't know," Conner snapped. "I don't have eyes in the back of my head."
"Cool, Superdude," Wally said, putting his hands up in surrender.
"I can read their minds if you want me to," said Megan.
"No, we want them on our side," said Robin. "If they find out that you read their thoughts without permission, this mission could go sideways fast."
They all jumped. Eva was standing behind Kaldur with a small plate with a slice of chocolate cake.
"Rosa said it was okay," Eva said, setting it on the table. "Like I said, take your time. I'm not in a rush."
Eva walked away.
"Did any of you see her coming?" asked Wally.
"It was like she was invisible," said Artemis.
"Maybe that's her power," said Robin. "Remember the music video. She popped up out of nowhere."
"But that was a music video," said Wally.
"Maybe not," said Robin. "What if this LYOKO gives them special powers?"
"Like they're meta-humans," said Megan.
Robin turned to Kaldur. "Is there anything you can think of about Eva that would give us any clues as to what all they can do?"
"No," replied Kaldur. "Wait. The two girls in the journalism club, one of them said Eva had eyes in the back of her head."
"Watch out for her," said Artemis. "There are some girls with eyes in the back of their heads. It's how they keep their boyfriends under control."
The bell rang to signal the end of lunch.
The cafeteria began to empty out and students began going to their afternoon classes. Kaldur walked out with the rest of the Team. A few older, male students were standing in a group. They were watching the Team and whispering.
"He doesn't speak a word of French. What's he doing here anyway?"
"Do you think he's in a gang?"
Kaldur left the Team and began to walk over to Eva. He watched in surprise as her face twisted in anger. Eva walked passed Kaldur and to the group of whispering students. When they saw her coming and began to back up.
"Stay right there."
They froze. Several other students who were walking by stopped when they heard Eva's voice.
Eva's dark eyes slowly passed over each of the students in the group.
"And just what were you saying about our guest?" Eva asked.
The boys looked at each other in shock. How could she possibly have heard them from all the way over there?
"These students are our guests," Eva said. "And we are their hosts. We're to treat them with respect, not sling insults you think they won't hear or understand."
Eva turned to the crowd of students. "Let this be a warning to all of you; if I find out any of you has harassed our guests, you will serve detention with me." She turned to the group of boys and her voice dropped low and threatening. "As for you, you will serve detention with me this afternoon. And I'll run you till you drop."
The group gulped.
Eva turned on her heel and walked back to Kaldur. "Let's go, Kal."
Once they were far enough out of earshot, Kaldur asked, "What did you say to them?"
"Don't worry about it," said Eva. "But if someone starts messing with you when I'm not around, tell someone. I have eyes and ears all over this school. Sooner or later, it'll come back to me."
Wally stood there with his mouth open. "Dude! What did she say to them?"
Conner repeated what Eva said word for word.
"Remind me never to get her angry," said Robin.
Artemis smiled. "I like her."
"You would," said Wally.
"The others aren't surprised," Robin pointed out.
They turned to see the Progressive Warriors watching what happened with interest, but nothing more.
"It's like they saw her do this before," said Megan.
"They may have," said Robin. "Hey, can you tell the teacher I wasn't feeling well?"
"Why?" asked Artemis.
"There's something I need to do," said Robin. "I won't be long."
"Sure, Rob," said Wally.
Robin went into the boys' bathroom and locked himself in a stall. He activated his holo-computer and started a background check on Eva Maverick. He had done one on all the Progressive Warriors before they came here, but he wanted to see if there was something he missed.
"'Eva Maverick-Morales, born Eva Maverick, eldest daughter. Younger sister died of a ruptured spleen caused by a blow from her father.' Your life was disastrous, Eva. What got you through it?"
Robin shook his head. At least she got adopted by someone and was not in the system. He looked into all of the Progressive Warriors' records and couldn't understand how or why they were in what they were in. Robin was impressed. These guys knew how to keep a secret.
"There has to be something," muttered Robin.
The only thing Robin could find linking them all together was that they went to Kadic. Jeremy and Herb were extremely smart. Odd and Ulrich were average students. Yumi worked hard to keep her high grades. William had taken ill and wasn't in his right mind for weeks. Eva and Kayla transferred to Kadic at the same time from the same school. Sissi was the principal's daughter. Nicolas had an aptitude for theatre and script writing. Sam transferred last year to Kadic. And then there was Aelita, whose family was being threatened.
Seeing that it had been a few minutes, Robin decided it was time to return to class.
Kayla watched Robin return to class. She wondered what the Boy Wonder was up to. Kayla glanced over at Wally and Artemis as well. She knew they were planning something. But what? Hopefully it was something good for the LYOKO warriors.
At the end of the day, Kayla found Eva in the girls' locker room.
"Where's Kal?" she asked.
"He went back with the others," replied Eva. She adjusted her sneaker. "I have a few inconsiderate students that have detention with me. Is there anything you need to tell me now?"
"The others and I are getting together to discuss what to do next. We're going to go to the Hermitage."
Eva nodded. "I'll see you there after detention." She started for the door.
"Eva, don't kill them."
She walked out to the track and found the group of students already there.
"All right," said Eva, assuming a commanding tone. "You will run with me for the next two hours or until you can go no more."
The students looked at each other with smug smiles.
"You will keep up with me the entire time. If you lag behind, well, let's say that you won't be lagging behind."
Eva turned for the forest. "Let's go."
"Wait, we're not running the track?" asked one of the students.
"No," Eva answered.
The group looked at each other and began to follow Eva into the forest to run the trails.
Kayla watched as Eva began to lead the students into the woods with a small smile on her face. Those guys were going to be sore later on.
Kayla jumped and turned. Standing behind her was Wally West. "You startled me."
"Sorry," said Wally with a grin. His grin faded. "You can understand me, right?"
"I can understand you just fine," said Kayla. "Is there something I can help you with?"
"I was wondering if you wanted to study with me," said Wally.
"Maybe some other time, Wally," said Kayla. "I have somewhere I need to be right now."
"Okay," said Wally. "I thought I would ask."
"I'll see you later," said Kayla.
"Sure thing, babe," said Wally.
Kayla quickly left, taking a roundabout way to get to the Hermitage.
Yumi packed up her bag and told Hiroki that she would be home late. She stepped outside and started for the woods. She looked for Ulrich, hoping to walk with him. Instead she heard a very peppy voice.
Yumi cringed at the sound of Megan's voice. How could someone be so happy all the time?
Megan came running over to Yumi, dragging Conner behind her. Yumi felt a little bad for Conner. He wasn't the type to date Megan. He was brooding and Yumi couldn't help but think he would be happier with someone mellower. She quickly banished the thought, remembering the possibility that Megan could read minds.
"Yeah?" asked Yumi.
Megan smiled brightly. "I was wondering if you wouldn't mind studying with us."
"No," said Yumi. "I've got to get home."
Conner frowned. "You said you would be home late."
Yumi spotted Ulrich. "Ulrich!" She jogged over to him. "Would you mind walking me home?"
"Sure, Yumi," said Ulrich.
Yumi took Ulrich's hand and gave it a strong squeeze. Ulrich got the message. They walked through the front gate of the school and began to take the long way to the Hermitage.
"Should we follow them?" asked Megan.
Conner grunted and turned in the opposite direction.
Aelita put her things in her room and started for the stairs. She saw Robin standing at the bottom of the stairs.
"Can I help you with something?" Aelita asked.
"I just wanted to talk to you," said Robin, putting his hands in his pockets.
He shrugged. "Stuff."
"It'll have to be quick," said Aelita. "I have somewhere I need to be."
"It won't take long," said Robin.
They walked out of the dorm building and strolled around the grounds.
"You guys seem to get along here," said Robin. "It can't be easy being together all the time."
"It's not that bad," said Aelita. "We're all very close. I'm not sure when I stopped seeing them as my friends and saw them as family instead." Actually she did know. It was when Eva came along and started regarding them as her new family.
"Especially when one of them is already your cousin," said Robin with a cryptic smile.
"Oh, yes," Aelita said, remembering that on paper Odd was her cousin.
Robin's smile widened. With his sunglasses, it made it impossible for Aelita to see what he was thinking. It was times like this she wished that she had Eva's ability to read people.
"What about your parents?" Robin asked. "Don't you miss them?"
"At first I did," Aelita said. "You get used to it after a while. But I have my friends. They're my brothers and sisters I never had. Except for Jeremy. He's my boyfriend."
"Are you all going out?" asked Robin.
Aelita frowned. "Meaning?"
"You and Jeremy, and I thought I saw some chemistry between Yumi and Ulrich," explained Robin.
"Kayla and William are dating, so are Sissi and Herb and Odd and Sam," said Aelita. "Eva and Nicolas are together, but I wouldn't call it dating. Eva has her own way of expressing her feelings."
Robin's smile wavered. "I heard Eva had a hard life."
Aelita nodded sadly. "It's been rough. She's doing much better now."
"She'll be okay," Robin said. "She's strong."
Aelita gave a small smile. If only Robin knew how strong Eva could be, how strong they all could be.
Aelita's mobile vibrated in her pocket. She took it out and checked her message. It was from Jeremy asking her where she was.
"I need to go," said Aelita, tucking her mobile back into her pocket. "It was nice talking to you, Robin."
Aelita smiled and walked away.
Eva led her group through the forest. She glanced back now and then to see if they were keeping up. One of them started to fall behind.
Eva found a thin, flexible stick. She doubled back to the lagging student and gave him a smack with the stick in the leg. He yelped.
"I told you not to lag behind," she said.
The group kept up with her from then on.
"She is out of her mind," panted one boy.
Eva didn't look over her shoulder. "I heard that."
They looked at each other.
"Does she hear everything?"
"Yes, I do," Eva answered.
Two hours later they returned to the school soaked in sweat.
"All right," said Eva. "You're done with me for today."
They collapsed with collective groan.
Eva jogged back into the forest to get to the Hermitage.
"Ugh, Eva! Didn't you bother to shower?" asked Odd when Eva walked in.
"I wanted to get over here as quick as possible," Eva said. "What's going on?"
They looked at each other. It was silently decided that Aelita was going to be the spokesperson.
"We've decided that we should ask Mr. Delmas if we can have a party Friday night as a going away party for the sidekicks. It'll be the night we tell them about LYOKO. It'll give us time to get to know them and figure out what your feelings are telling you."
"That sounds like a good idea," said Eva. She wiped some of her damp hair out of her face, revealing a few scars.
Aelita continued, "We'll drop a few hints and see where that takes them."
Eva nodded. "Then we better get started."
"Uh, we'll get started," said Odd. "You can get a shower."
Eva rolled her eyes.
They separated from there.
Kayla walked home. She came around the corner and saw a black car parked outside of her house. She noticed that her parents weren't home. However, Bon Ami was snarling from inside the house.
Kayla doubled back and went to the neighbor's house whose backyard was adjacent to hers. She ran out to the backyard and to the tree by the house. She quickly climbed the tree and went in through her bedroom window. She grabbed the baseball bat from under her bed and hurried downstairs.
Bon Ami was by the front door still growling.
Kayla took out her mobile and dialed the police.
"There are some men outside my house," she told the dispatcher. "I don't know what they want, but I feel threatened. Can you send someone around?"
Ten minutes later there was a knock on the door. Kayla looked out the window and saw it was an officer. The black car had left.
After talking to the police, Kayla called Eva.
"I think we need to hurry things up," Kayla said.
After lights out, a dark figure silently wandered the hallways of the girls' dorm. It placed a gloved hand on one door handle and found it locked. A moment later, a key slid into the lock and opened it. The door opened a crack.
Aelita was sleeping peacefully, Mr. Puck tucked under one arm.
The door closed and the lock was reengaged.
The figure left the school and continued on its way down the streets, the light from the streetlamps illuminating it for a moment before it was swallowed by the shadows again. The steps it took were calm and confident, showing the figure was not afraid of the night, but was very familiar with it.
The figure stopped outside of Kayla's house.
The moonlight shone through Kayla's bedroom window. She was asleep. Bon Ami was curled up on the floor at the side of her bed.
The window opened and quickly closed again before the cold air could reach the slumbering blonde. Bon Ami raised his head.
Kayla rolled over in bed. She opened her eyes, wondering what woke her up. Standing in front of the window was a dark, hooded figure. Under the hood lay a skull face.
Kayla closed her eyes and snuggled under the blankets. Bon Ami put his head down again. They both knew there was nothing to fear.
I know weird ending. I heard that A.F.I. song and the last scene was what instantly came to mind. If anyone has any ideas for songs, let me know. I have two songs that I'm trying to find a place for and to those who gave me those two songs, they'll be coming soon. I don't know when the next chapter is going to be posted. I have a lot of work to do. The higher ups gave me an assignment since they found out I'm a writer. Now I have this little project that has to get done that's going to go to one of the big guns in the company. I have no idea how I'm going to do it. Words of encouragement, anyone.?