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This post is the index of all the 1D Series I wrote on LJ these last few years. Most of them are about One Direction. If that scares you, LOL, Nothing I can do about it.

The first series was quite innocent, and started because I fell into 1D fandom in December of 2013, which happened to be right before the annual onslaught on One Direction birthdays in Dec., Jan., and Feb.  But don't worry, I don't track their birthdays that much anymore.  LOL.  These can also be found under the tag Birthday Series

The Birthday Series

Zayn Malik's 21st Birthday
- (I was so impressed by the fandom celebration of Louis' birthday a few weeks before, that I joined in.)
Liam Payne Post - (NOT his birthday, but I just felt like celebrating it. ;)
Harry Styles 20th Birthday - (This one actually was his birthday)
Niall Horan Post (NOT his birthday, but why wait?)
Louis Tomlinson Post (NOT his birthday, but I missed the first one, so I gave him a post anyway)
Liam Payne 21st Birthday (This time is was actually his birthday)
Niall Horan 21st Birthday (This time it was actually his birthday)

PS - The most important thing to glean from these is that the proper Howarts sorting for these boys is:  Zayn to Slytherin, Liam to Gryffindor, Niall to Hufflepuff, Harry to Ravenclaw and Louis to slytherin.  :)

The Weed Scandal Series

The second series came together rather accidentally.  It was examining the huge controversy that was the 2014 Weed Scandal that involved Luis and Zayn filming themselves smoking weed in the 1D tour van on the way to a concert in South America in the spring of 2014.  The video came to light at the end of May, several months later.  it is still a mystery how the thing was leaked.  These can be also be accessed through the Weed Video Scandal tag.

Prolog - Just the facts
Weed Scandal Aftermath - Part 1 - Young Love (How Sophiam was used as a distraction)
Weed Scandal Aftermath - Part 2 - The Non Apology Apology (How Daddy Direction took the heat)
Weed Scandal Aftermath - Part 3 - Putting the Chicken Back in the Chicken Dinner (Because "chicken" is NOT a cocaine reference)
Weed Scandal Aftermath - Part 4 - All About Harry (He was just a poor, suffering innocent bystander)
Weed Scandal Aftermath - Part 5 - The Irish Prince (About how Niall is the perfect prince)
Weed Scandal Aftermath - Part 6 - The Rehabilitation of Zayn Malik (How to fix Zayn, who was the front man in the video)
Weed Scandal Aftermath - Part 7 - LouisLouisLouisLou Why?? (How to deal with Louis, who instigated the whole thing)
Weed Scandal Aftermath - Part 8 - Rays of Sunshine (A visit to a children's charity)

The Summer 2014 Ship War Series

The third series was a general, catch-all series about Shipping, written in the summer of 2014. Looking back on it now, I have to say I miss those "original" ships a lot.  These posts can also be found under the Summer Ship Wars 2014 tag.

Part 1 - Tinhatting As A Lifestyle (Just the basics)
Part 2 - The Woeful Tale of the Oppressed Pop Princes (A Deep dive into the tinhat Management Conspiracy Theorizing)
Part 3 - Larry Vs. Elounor (The biggest of the ship wars)
Part 4 - Larry Vs. Ziam (A subtle ship war that shouldn't be a conflict, but is.)
Part 5 - All The Little Things (Elounor vs. Sophiam and Sophiam vs. Payzer and implied Sophiam vs. Ziam)
Part 6 - The Story of Zerrie (Zerrie vs Ziam)
Part 7 - The Rise of Narry (Narry vs. Larry)

Winter 2015 Shipping Update Series 

Oh, if only I had known what was about to go down when I wrote this in January and February of that year.  LOL.  It reminds me that it is time to write another shipping update series.  These can be found under the Winter Shipping Series 2015 tag.

1D Winter Shipping Update #1 - Larry vs. Elounor:  Going Up The Down Escalator
1D Winter Shipping Update #2 - Harry Styles:  The Winter Boyfriend
1D Winter Shipping Update #3 - Sophiam/Ziam/Zerrie: The Quadrangle of Doom
1D Winter Shipping Update #4 - Niall Horan: Whoa Nelly

By the end of 2015, Elounor was dead Hendall was rekindled, Sophiam & Zerrie were dead, Zayn had left the group so for all intents and purposed Ziam was dead and Nelly never really happened.  But Larry is like a toxic rodent that won't die.  By the end of 2016, Louis was a dad, and Liam should be one any day now.  But oh boy, so I need to write about the 2015 & 17 ships.....

Zayn's Exit:

1 - Zayn Malik Redemption Update Alert -

2 - Zayn Malik Redemption Update Alert - ummmmm :0 -

3 - Zayn Is Home -

4. - Perrie Edwards - The Ball's in her Court -
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Yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of the day that Zayn officially quit One Direction. The Announcement came on March 25, 2015.

Yesterday, March 25, 2017:

Liam announced the birth of his child.  

The baby boy's name isn't revealed yet, but LIAM IS A DAD

Yesterday, March 25, 2017:

Louis performed Just Hold On in Miami:

He still doesn't have an album deal, but he has a number of collabs in progress, and it will be interesting to see what label he ends up with.  Also of great importance to Louis, no doubt, March 25 was his late mother's birthday, the first since her death.  A difficult day for his family.  :(  (And today, the 26th is also probably pretty hard, as it is Mother's Day in the UK.)

Yesterday, March 25, 2017

Harry announced his music would be coming out on April 7

He ran a TV announcement on British TV in prime time during The Voice.  The man is a rock star.  And a drama queen.  I wonder if Harry was calculating this particular anniversary date, Zexit day, into his decision to make his announcement in this way.  Hmmmmm.  :)

What a day March 25 shall always have in One Direction Lore.  

(And I should add, that Niall was left out of the festivities, he must have been taking a nap.  ;)

Update 1D

Mar. 22nd, 2017 07:53 pm
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So, now that I'm here I should actually use this blog!  LOL.

Because I'm evil, I intend to do a new 1D series, basically and Upcoming Solo Careers and Shipping update because SO MUCH is still going on.  And yet everything is on edge because we have to wait and wait and wait and be patient and wait some more.  But it feels like SO MUCH is about to happen and we're like hanging out there on the egde of so much awesomeness.

Brief Highlights (Consider it a preview):

ELOUNOR is back

Oh, and Louis basically got in a brawl at LAX and got arrested (Over Eleanor)

Harry is about to be both a movie star and a rock star

Liam is about to be a Dad and release an album

Niall has a hit single, and an album coming out soon too

SOON.  Everything is SOON.

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I'm posting this post now because Dreamwidth is officially now my Journaling Home.  I have deleted my Live Journal that I kept for twelve years.  I no longer wanted to support a site owned by a company based in Russia.

So, here I am.  I didn't journal much in 2016, but what I journaled was either 1D, and the five 1D boys, or Game of Thrones.  I've brought over some of my LJ posts, the ones that have been most recently important to me.  These include my One Direction Series posts, which I will soon have safely archived on the Sticky Post and a small amount a fan fiction I once wrote about the movie Sky High.  

I let go of everything else going back to 2005.  This includes The 4400 fandom, Years worth of BSG, My attempts to join TVD and other fandoms, and finally, Game of Thrones.  I have let most of those fandoms go, so I am OK with letting my LJ posts about them go as well.


NOTE TO READERS (If there are any LOL)  Anything below this post is copied over from LJ.  You probably won't be able to make any sense of it and all of it can be accessed through the sticky post archive links.

Anyway - I hope I hope I get some activity on this journal...

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I haven't meant to be on hiatus, but sometimes that just kind of happens.

1D fandom is in a very bad place, somewhere trapped in a weird suspended animation where nobody knows what is actually going on. You know where that leads to? Fandom Hell. Not really the kind of thing that's fun to report on.

I think the biggest problem is that the fandom had this huge expectation that something big would happen in March - specifically that the band would announce their next plans after the old contracts expired, which was supposedly March.

And then of course, nothing happened. So here we are.

Of course the focal point of all the drama is Louis Tomlinson's three month old son. This innocent boy has literal articles written about him on sites like Buzzfeed reporting fan theories about how he doesn't exist. That his birth certificate is fake even though multiple fans and news organizations have pulled it from the Ventura County courthouse, that every picture of him is photoshopped, that Louis walks around Calabasas, CA with a DOLL in a stroller to make himself look like an attentive father, that infant actors are employed to play the roll of "Freddie Tomlinson" on Louis, Briana, and other family members social media. The list goes on an on.

Literally, this is the most disgusting thing I've ever seen in any fandom. I'm actually quite livid about it. I do what I can to counter this bullshit on Tumblr, and of course many other blogs are as well. But the truth is that this fandom allowed the Larries to entrench themselves so deeply, and so early in the fandom, that there are literally tens of thousands of these Tinhats spreading their beliefs around the internet, that it is very much a Pandora's Box situation. They are able to drum up so much noise that outlets such as TMZ and Buzzfeed picked up the "fake baby" story. And even though both TMZ and Buzzfeed, of course rescinded, and ultimately denied their stories, the fact that they posted them at all just serves to validate those fucking Tinhat parasites.

Like I said, this situation is not good. And the Tinhats weekly set new expectations for their hoards of followers that it's all "so obvious" that it will all be over soon. And the followers just string along, as they have for almost six years, waiting for salvation in the non-existance of a baby, and two pop stars finally announcing their eternal love to prove them right.

So, anyway, Freddie is adorable.

<-- from Louis' instagram
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I haven't posted in awhile. I think I finally killed myself with the 15 part Tour Recap. LOL. Fortunately, since the boys are definitively on hiatus, there really isn't much going on in the fandom except of course the most epic Ship War I can ever remember, and the vast Larrie Hoard continues their collective tantrum over the fact that Louis Tomlinson is a dad.

For those not in the know, (And I do have followers left over from BSG and TVD and my other previous fandoms for which I'm very grateful!) the baby was born on Jan 21, and has been photographed on several occasions now. Including two beautiful photos on Louis' instagram. The little boy's name is Freddie.

<-- This one was just yesterday.

I have to admit, this pretty much makes me want to melt, and my ovaries feel like they are exploding, but that's just me.

There have also been Numerous people visiting the Ventura County Registrar to get copies of Freddie's birth certificate to prove that he exists. And even so we are dealing with a situation in which the Larrie Hoard's stategy for dealing with is to go on a campaign to prove that Freddie does not in fact exist.  They also planted not one, but two different sex tapes they found online of random women, and spread the belief that these tapes were of Briana.  The idea that Briana is in a sex tape has trended several times now.  No matter how many times it is debunked, the Larries don't really care.

The word I have for this is literal evil.  And there you have it.

Anyway, the 1D world feels like it is very much on hold right now. Supposedly something big will happen in March. So the fandom is collectively holding it's breath for whatever that will be, if anything. Stay tuned.

Brief recap for each boy.  (Except Zayn.  His solo stuff is coming out, and I'm really not into it.)

Niall is on an extended private vacation somewhere out there in the world, and has been almost completely absent on social media since he was papped at the Australian Open in January. Blurry, distant photos have emerged here and there which seem to indicate that he's been in Bali, The Phillipines, and possibly Thailand.

<--Niall, possibly in Thailand

Liam has been seen in the recording studio with Juicy J, and rumored to be working with Jennifer Lopez. He has been mostly in L.A., but like Niall, mostly disappeared for much of February. I can tell you, my Tumblr Dashboard Liam Girls have been bereft during this time. Apparently, at some point, he sneaked out of L.A, and went on a vacation to the Maldives. We know this because someone spotted him leaving the Airport in the Maldives on the 18th, and was mobbed at LAX yesterday.

<-- Liam mobbed at LAX

Harry has been lying relatively low, with the major exception of how he handled New Year's Eve.

He spent it on a yacht with the Azoff's and Ellen and Portia, and the Kendall Jenner...

So, Hendall was revived, but seems also to have quickly evaporated since, so who knows.

But the main thing that may have happened on that Yacht is that it is rumored that Harry officially signed papers to begin his solo career under the management of Irving Azoff.  Time will tell.  Hence the whole March obsession.

One last thing.  Besides being a new father, Louis is also dating Danielle Campbell

In a major case of When Fandoms Collide - Danielle is the actress who plays Davina in The Originals


Just to warn people about what is coming up...  I have a new interest, which I've actually been developing for over a year now, even if I haven't mentioned it here.  I have been studying Astrology.  And I think I'm going to start posting about it.  It is amazing stuff.
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I haven't posted in awhile. I think I finally killed myself with the 15 part Tour Recap. LOL. Fortunately, since the boys are definitively on hiatus, there really isn't much going on in the fandom except of course the most epic Ship War I can ever remember, and the vast Larrie Hoard continues their collective tantrum over the fact that Louis Tomlinson is a dad.

For those not in the know, (And I do have followers left over from BSG and TVD and my other previous fandoms for which I'm very grateful!) the baby was born on Jan 21, and has been photographed on several occasions now. Including two beautiful photos on Louis' instagram. The little boy's name is Freddie.

<-- This one was just yesterday.

I have to admit, this pretty much makes me want to melt, and my ovaries feel like they are exploding, but that's just me.

There have also been Numerous people visiting the Ventura County Registrar to get copies of Freddie's birth certificate to prove that he exists. And even so we are dealing with a situation in which the Larrie Hoard's stategy for dealing with is to go on a campaign to prove that Freddie does not in fact exist.  They also planted not one, but two different sex tapes they found online of random women, and spread the belief that these tapes were of Briana.  The idea that Briana is in a sex tape has trended several times now.  No matter how many times it is debunked, the Larries don't really care.

The word I have for this is literal evil.  And there you have it.

Anyway, the 1D world feels like it is very much on hold right now. Supposedly something big will happen in March. So the fandom is collectively holding it's breath for whatever that will be, if anything. Stay tuned.

Brief recap for each boy.  (Except Zayn.  His solo stuff is coming out, and I'm really not into it.)

Niall is on an extended private vacation somewhere out there in the world, and has been almost completely absent on social media since he was papped at the Australian Open in January. Blurry, distant photos have emerged here and there which seem to indicate that he's been in Bali, The Phillipines, and possibly Thailand.

<--Niall, possibly in Thailand

Liam has been seen in the recording studio with Juicy J, and rumored to be working with Jennifer Lopez. He has been mostly in L.A., but like Niall, mostly disappeared for much of February. I can tell you, my Tumblr Dashboard Liam Girls have been bereft during this time. Apparently, at some point, he sneaked out of L.A, and went on a vacation to the Maldives. We know this because someone spotted him leaving the Airport in the Maldives on the 18th, and was mobbed at LAX yesterday.

<-- Liam mobbed at LAX

Harry has been lying relatively low, with the major exception of how he handled New Year's Eve.

He spent it on a yacht with the Azoff's and Ellen and Portia, and the Kendall Jenner...

So, Hendall was revived, but seems also to have quickly evaporated since, so who knows.

But the main thing that may have happened on that Yacht is that it is rumored that Harry officially signed papers to begin his solo career under the management of Irving Azoff.  Time will tell.  Hence the whole March obsession.

One last thing.  Besides being a new father, Louis is also dating Danielle Campbell

In a major case of When Fandoms Collide - Danielle is the actress who plays Davina in The Originals


Just to warn people about what is coming up...  I have a new interest, which I've actually been developing for over a year now, even if I haven't mentioned it here.  I have been studying Astrology.  And I think I'm going to start posting about it.  It is amazing stuff.
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I have recovered from writing that fracking 15 part OTRA Tour Recap. LOL!  I can't believe I did that!


It is 2016, and as some of you may know, Louis Tomlinson has become the father of a baby boy as of last Thursday. Huge Congratulations to him. The child's name may, or may not be Sydney Rain. Apparently they are letting us all stay tuned for that.  (I wouldn't be surprised if one of the magazines get the first baby photos and interview.)

Here he is carrying a baby car seat...

Half the fandom is cooing and awwwing and fawing and maybe having just a tad bit of exploding ovary syndrome.  The other half, the Larries, seem to be rendered speechless because they haven't come up with a theory yet to deal with Louis and baby carseats.  (Wait until some day in the not too distant future and he's photographed with the actual baby?)  Earlier today, they institutionalized their silence by declaring a Larrie "blackout", meaning that they would refuse to play into the evil of 1DHQ by talking about their "narrative"...  Poor dears.  They're in for some rocky times.  The Big Larries have been promising their multitude of followers since July that there would be a denial of paternity, and since then they've been waiting, and waiting, and....


In other news, Harry made quite a splash by spending New Year's on a Yacht with the Kardashians (Kendall Jenner in particular) and Ellen.

That being said, this relationship is probably not all that serious, if you know what I mean.


Liam got his hair back in a Buzzcut.  And it is Triumphant...

More importantly, he's been hitting the studio and making it known.  Super, super known.  Juicy J. is apparently really, really impressed.  There are also stories out in the last few days that he'll be recording with J-Lo.    I just hope that this is leading to a solo album, because I won't be at peace until there is a Liam solo album.  Just saying.


Of course, Zayn IS coming out with a Solo album in March.  And his first single and video is being released on Jan. 29th.

The song is apparently about sex.

He's currently making the rounds on the cover of most of the music publications, and continues to diss 1D Music.  Whatever.


Niall is in Australia watching Tennis.

I ought to address the continuing 1D Breakup rumors.  For the record, the 1D boys continue to deny them.  There is a heavy expectation that a new contract with some lucky label and management company will be announced in March.  I hope so!

Cheers and HAPPY NEW YEAR.
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I thought I would Dust this off again to talk about the One Direction tragedy that happened last week.  Specifically, Louis Tomlinson's mother, Johanna Deakin passed away after battling Leukemia since May.  The fandom had no clue that this was happening the entire year, which highlights the shallowness of fandom specultating, because whatever we were speculating about during 2016, it wasn't that...  

Anyway, in the same year, Louis saw the birth of his first child, and the death of his mother. And I start crying even thinking about it.

Unless you are intimately acquainted with the story of 1D members, you probably don't know the story of Louis and his mother.   When he was born, She was a single mother, 18 years old.  I believe that they lived with her parents.  His biological father was also a teenager, and he walked out on having responsibility for Louis very early on.  Johanna married Mark Tomlinson several years later, and Mark adopted Louis, which is why he has his last name.  Johanna and Mark had four daughters together, Lottie (18), Felicity (16) and twins Daisy and Phoebe (12).  Her marriage to Mark broke up at some point, and two years ago she married Dan Deakin with whom she had two more children, a second set of twins, Ernest and Doris who are now two years old.

She was an incredible woman who was holding together an incredible family.

<-- Louis and Johanna at a charity gala they held together in 2015 for severly ill children.

Here's a full family photo taken this past April, just before Johanna became ill.  Louis is holding Freddie, and Johanna is holding Ernest and Doris.

After Johanna's passing was announced on Dec. 9, it was announced that Louis would be appearing on the X-Factor to perform a song he'd written in honor of his mother, and which she had been looking forward to seeing him perform.  So he went on the air with it last weekend, even though it was only a few days after her passing.  It is a happy, cheery and upbeat dance song called Just Hold On.  

Niall, Liam and Harry were all back stage for Louis' performance.  They dropped what they were doing to come and support him. OT4 Lives!  And the public feud/separation between Louis and Zayn has also ended with words of support and love from Zayn to Louis, and reports that they have also buried the hatched privately. All of which is very heartening.

Now, you know I'm always going to be a fan of this silly boyband. There is no escaping it.   They make me feel happy and sad all the time, and I think this is actually a beautiful thing, and this just the way it is going to be.
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Liam Harry Louis BSE Dance

Liam Harry BSE dancing GIF

Harry just gives it his all, while Liam's all chill.

Note: Originally Posted Jan 7, 2014
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One Direction's bad dancing totally cracks me up.


But they know their assets.

Tee Hee.

Note: Originally Posted Jan 3, 2014
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Happy New Year!

This was nabbed from somewhere...

1. Your main fandom of the year? Hard to say really. I was pretty schizo this year on my fandoms. I would say at the start the main fandom was TVD kind of by default. But March came and I fell back in love with GOT, which I expect to fall in love with again this March. I also expect to fall out of love with it in July, because that's always when I remember that I don't trust GRRM. ;) A strange thing also happened around July, in that I fell in love with the movie Chronicle, a one shot movie for which there is no real fandom. Alas. But it is a really epic, tragic story, so well told, and so well acted, and it struck all my kinks, especially the lone survivor guy at the end. Currently, I'm wallowing in a bandom for One Direction. So much fun! Oh my, the ship wars are epic. Trust me. LOL. Did you know they can actually sing? And have charisma dripping from their every pore? Anyone thinking these guys are going to disappear are going to be in for a shock, because One way or another, they're going to get you. They're going to get you get you get you get you. One way, maybe next week, their going to win you. They're going to get you get you get you get you...


Be warned, they cannot dance.

2. Your favourite book read this year? Divergent. I am so looking forward to the movie!

3. Your favourite Tv show of the year? TV hasn't really been doing it for me lately. I guess I'll go with GOT and TVD? Sorta by Default. I like Sleepy Hollow a lot. There are some things coming in 2014 that sound interesting, Helix, Outlander.

4. Your favourite new show of the year? Sleepy Hollow. Also The Originals.

5. The most missed of your old fandoms? BSG ::weeps::

6. The show(s) you haven't tried yet, but want to? I really need to get into American Horror Story. I need to check that one out for sure.

Note Added Feb. 19, 2017 - Origially posted Jan 1 2014

Help Me!

Feb. 19th, 2017 04:14 pm
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I can't stop staring at this...


It's a boy band.  This must stop.

Note Feb 19, 2017 - this was originally posted Dec. 29, 2017
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So, is it bad that I can't get a song by fraking One Direction out of my head?  I am a sucker for emo power ballads such as the Story of My Life.

Also, now that these five singers are being styled as grown ups instead of boys, they are the hotness, coming from someone who never thought twice about them previously.  Dammit, why did I have to watch SNL last night?


Since we are talking about music, which is a subject I don't often touch on...

I like Taylor Swift. Her music is cute and wholesome and she writes it herself and that is very impressive.

I enjoyed the Live Sound of Music, even though the lead actress was pretty obviously dead weight in the acting department. I'm glad that the ratings were really good, and I hope that NBC will do it again with a Broadway Actress in the lead role who can both sing and act. ::ducking incoming::

So, what else then...

I'm looking forward to the return of Downton Abbey, and the debuts of The 100 and Helix.


Happy 10th Anniversary BSG

Note Feb 19, 2017 - This was my first 1D post. Posted Dec 8, 2013

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Title: Purple Tinged Green
Fandom: Sky High
Characters: Warren Peace/Layla Williams
Prompt: 016. Purple
Word Count: 748
Rating: G
Summary: A missing scene from the movie. This is set between Will and Layla's conversation about Homecoming dates, and the cafeteria scene where Layla asks Warren to go with her.
Author's Notes: It seemed to me that Magenta must have been in on Layla's plan to get Warren to go to Homecoming with her. Girls do talk, you know. :) I'm basically beta testing this on my personal journal before, hopefully crossposting this to skyhighfic and eventually fanfic100.

Purple Tinged Green:

Magenta had arrived at Hero Support Class early that morning, so she had already been seated for several minutes when her best friend, Layla Williams arrived a few moments before the bell rang. Layla was frowning. And fuming. Two things Magenta had never seen the perpetually smiling Layla do. The always purple-clad, and slightly Goth Magenta, was usually the moody one of the duo. That is probably why the two girls got along so well, having formed an instant friendship the first day of school.

“What’s with you?” Magenta inquired with her usual brusqueness.

Layla, who had her red hair done up in pig tails, and as always, was dressed in green, responded by hunching down on her desk and banging her head on her notebook.

“Uh, oh,” Magenta said, looking wide eyed at her friend’s uncharacteristic behavior, and feeling a little more then curious over what could have put the girl in such an unusual state. Knowing Layla, Magenta thought it probably had something to do with Will Stronghold.

“You want to talk about it?” Magenta asked hopefully.

Layla sighed heavily and turned towards her friend. And then with a perfectly straight face, she said, “I have to ask Warren Peace to Homecoming.”

That, was not what Magenta was expecting. At all. So after blinking her eyes a few times, and letting her mouth hang open for a few blinks more, Magenta said the only thing she could muster in answer to such a statement, “Huh?”

“It’s a long story,” Layla confided. “And everything is all messed up now. But you remember how last night I was supposed to meet Will at the Paper Lantern?”

“Yeah,” Magenta answered.

“Well, he stood me up. I sat there for two hours, and he didn’t even call!” Layla sounded genuinely exasperated recounting her evening’s non-adventure.

“But then Warren came by my table, because he works there as a bus boy, and I asked him to sit down with me and we started talking.” Now that Layla was into her story, she was gaining speed and the rest of it came blurting out. “And then he convinced me that I should ask Will to Homecoming. But this morning Will told me he’s going with Gwen Grayson! So, naturally, I told him I was going with Warren. And so, now I have to ask Warren Peace to Homecoming so that Will doesn’t know that I was really planning to ask him instead.”

“You can’t be serious,” Magenta responded dryly. “Warren Peace? The guy’s a psycho! Not to mention he’s Will’s archenemy!”

Layla kept a stoic look on her face, while Magenta continued, this time with a little curiosity beginning to sound in her voice. “Besides, I didn’t know Warren actually, like, had conversations with people. Other then the kind that involve snarling and hurling fire balls at them?”

“Oh, actually he can be very funny,” Layla said matter-of-factly. “And he’s a really a very nice guy. And he’s very, deep, sometimes,” Layla continued. “And he speaks Chinese.” She finished.

“Umm, OK,” Magenta said, “So you had a nice, deep, Chinese conversation last night with Warren Peace at the Paper Lantern? And now you have to ask him to Homecoming because you’re mad at Will for going with Gwen Grayson?”

“That’s right,” Layla answered.

“Alllriight. But you do remember that Warren also completely trashed the cafeteria last week, right?" Magenta reminded Layla. “And that everyone says that he's the next in line to be Super-Villain-of-the-Year, just like his dad. Right?”

Layla giggle, “Ha, ha, I seriously doubt that!” She said with a conviction that made Magenta raised her eyebrows.

“Are you sure you want to do this just to get to Will?” Magenta continued to question.

Layla turned to her friend and asked in a serious voice, “Is it really that obvious that I have a crush on Will?”

“Yeah,” Magenta answered honestly.

“Great,” Layla said cringing. But then she looked up and heaved her shoulders resolutely, “Then, it’s settled, I’m going to ask Warren at lunchtime. Do you have my back or not?” She asked firmly.

Magenta rolled her eyes. She knew from Layla’s tone that this was a done deal. And although Magenta’s doubts about Warren had not been completely put to rest, she could tell that Layla was set in her plan. So she did the only thing a true friend could. “I’ve got your back.” Magenta said. “And God help Warren Peace.”
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Title: Immovable Black Object, Meets Irresistible Green Force.
Fandom: Sky High
Disclaimer: Not Mine. Disney's
Characters: Warren Peace/Layla Williams
Prompt: 057. Lunch
Word Count: 2,562
Rating: G
Summary: This story is a retelling of the scene from the movie in which Layla asks Warren to Homecoming, from Layla's POV.
Author's Notes: I think I need to do a retelling of some of the movie's scenes, from various characters POV's before I can move the characters into the direction I want to take them. (Obviously I'm going to be slowly developing a Layla/Warren romance, since IMHO their chemistry just totally POPPED off the screen! Hopefully crossposting this to skyhighfic and eventually fanfic100.

Immovable Black Object, Meets Irresistible Green Force.

Layla’s plan was simple, really. All she had to do was sit down at a lunch table and ask a boy to go to Homecoming with her. Of course, he wasn’t really the boy she wanted to go to Homecoming with. Or even someone she would have remotely considered as Homecoming Date Material, like ever, ever, ever in a million years before last night. But things had worked our weirdly since then.

And so now, here she was, approaching Warren Peace’s lunch table, to ask him, the one boy at Sky High whom everyone knew was most likely to become a Super-Villain, to be her Homecoming date. (Not that Layla believed that anymore, after last night.)

Really, this hadn’t been the plan when Warren had said, “See you around, Hippy,” last night at the Paper Lantern, just after ten o’clock. She had waited at the restaurant all night long, sitting alone at her favorite booth, because Will had said that he would meet her there at eight. But Will had never shown up. He had apparently become occupied elsewhere with Gwen Grayson, and had completely forgotten about their dinner plans.

Even so, Layla was a determined girl, and so she had continued to wait in the booth, even though it was obvious that Will had stood her up. She was completely miserable by closing time, when Warren, who worked there as a bus boy, had arrived at her table, probably to start nudging her out the door.

Layla didn’t actually recognize him at first. His long, black hair, was swept up, in a loose pony tail, away from his face instead of hanging down and covering his eyes like it always did at school. Even his one odd lock of red hair was almost invisible, swept back along with the rest of the dark mass. So, when he spoke to her with a kind voice, Layla was surprised when she recognized that him as THAT Warren Peace. Will Stronghold’s archenemy, and the boy who had trashed the cafeteria in a hail of fireballs, not more then a week ago.

“Would you like me to heat that up for you?” Warren had offered, pointing to her long neglected dinner.

Mistaking his meaning, she reminded him that students were not allowed to use their powers outside of school. (And one of Warren’s fireballs would most likely have incinerated her meal anyway.)

“I was just going to stick it in the microwave,” Warren replied.

And then the two of them had laughed, and he accepted her invitation to sit down for a moment. After he seated himself, Warren ignited his index finger, and used it to light the candle that decorated the table. And then he had surprised her with such a warm, and disarming smile, that she never would have imagined could come from someone with Warren’s reputation and usual manners. It had illuminated his coal black eyes, and lit up his surprisingly handsome features. That smile made Layla feel completely comfortable and pleased to be sitting with him, forgetting all about the “other” Warren she knew from school.

Layla didn’t remember all the details of their conversation, but she was pretty sure that she had spent the majority of the time babbling away about Will. Warren had been remarkably understanding and even comforting at times, although he must have found it strange listening to all this talk about Will Stronghold, whom everyone knew, he hated.

But he surprised her again by quoting a fortune cookie, “To let true love remain unspoken is the quickest route to a heavy heart,” He’d said. And by the end of their conversation he had totally convinced her to go ahead and ask Will to Homecoming, Gwen or no Gwen.

And so, Layla had decided that she would.

And that had all been well and good, until this morning. Will had arrived bright and sunny to their bus stop, as usual, bragging that he had big Homecoming news, (apparently all recollection of any dinner plans with Layla completely erased from his mind). Even when Layla pulled out a fortune cookie from the Paper Lantern, he didn’t remember, until he read the fortune, which happened to mention “priorities” and “friendship”. Then, finally he’d apologized, before unwittingly crushing Layla again with his big announcement.

Will was going to Homecoming with Gwen Grayson.

“Can you believe it?” Will buzzed. “I’m going with the most amazing girl, at Sky High!”

So he’d gone on and on about Gwen for most of the bus ride, blissfully unaware that each and every word was a stab into Layla’s heart. Finally, he remembered that Layla had mentioned that she had Homecoming news too. After enduring Will’s long Gwen-Grayson-Is-Amazing soliloquy, Layla didn’t know what else to say except, “I’m going too!” (Mustering all the fake enthusiasm that she could.)

“Oh, yeah?” Will said, his voice colored with more then a little disbelief. “Who with?” He said, baffled.

“Who with?” Layla said, thinking as fast as she could.

“Yeah, who asked you?”

“Oh, who asked me,” Layla said trying her best to sound jolly, even though she was feeling more and more cornered. But there was no way she was could back down now with any shred of dignity, unless….

“Warren Peace.” Layla had finally blurted out the unlikely name which had popped into her head.


It was a perfect plan, Layla thought. Really it was. Especially judging from Will’s tirade. It had begun immediately upon her blurting out the name “Warren Peace”, and lasted for the entire remainder of the bus ride, up to and including Will following her to her classroom door, yelling the whole way.

Yes, Layla thought, she had definitely managed to strike the right nerve.

“How could you go with him!?” Will had demanded to know. “When did you even start hanging out?”

“Last night.” Layla retorted, now twisting a knife of her own. “Eight o’clock. At the Paper Lantern.”

Yes, if Layla was looking for the best way to get back at Will for falling for the obvious fawning of Gwen Grayson, then she had found it, and there was nothing that Will could say about it.

The only problem was that now she actually had to let Warren in on this plan too.


He wasn’t looking at her, or at anyone, as she approached his table. He was alone, and that was in fact his choice, since he made sure everyone was too afraid of him to sit anywhere in his vicinity. He was all dressed in black and hunched over a book which perched on top of his ragged old backpack. His black hair was hanging back in his face, as usual. (But Layla now knew that Warren saw a lot more then people realized, from behind that mask. How else had he known about her crush on Will?)

Layla actually thought he looked quite depressed, and lonely, something she had never considered before she talked to him last night at the Paper Lantern. But for whatever reason, the Warren in the cafeteria was a far cry from the bright eyed boy who had been funny and charming, and called her “Hippy” just the night before. (Layla decided that she was definitely going to have to get to the bottom of why Warren behaved this way at school. Although, knowing that he was the son of a Hero mother and a Super-Villain father, Layla could probably guess.)

But that was for another time. For now, Layla had her mission to accomplish.

“Hey, Warren,” she said nonchalantly as she dropped her lunch tray on the table and sat down directly across from him.

Warren looked up and stared at her, clearly surprised that she had dared to breech the invisible wall around him. While, pretending to be oblivious, Layla began to eat her lunch.

Anyone seeing them sitting together would have thought them quite a contrast. He was dark, dressed in black, and generally looking like he lived beneath a dark cloud. She was fair, dressed always in green, and radiating sunshine. But both were Elementals, he with power over Fire, she over Earth, and like most elementals, they had adopted to some degree a persona appropriate to their power. She was the Earth Mother, and he was the flame-throwing Hot Head.

“Did I say, or do anything last night to make you think this was OK?” he asked her in a voice that sounded like a low growl, and which Layla was sure, was supposed to scare her away.

She easily deflected that with a laugh…

“Ha ha, you’re so funny,” she said. And she then plunged right into the reason she had come to talk to him. “You’re never going to believe what’s happened,” she continued.

Warren leaned in closer, and just for a moment Layla saw the same kindness in his eyes that had been there the night before, along with a hint of curiosity. “I was about to ask Will to Homecoming, when wouldn’t you know it, I told him I was going with you instead.” And Layla laughed like it was the most natural thing in the world for her to have told him.

“I don’t remember that being the plan,” said Warren, instantly back in growling mode.

Before Layla could reply, her backup arrived at the table, right on que. It was Magenta, Layla’s sidekick friend, whom Layla had confided in this morning. To say that Magenta, who was naturally cynical anyway, was skeptical of this plan, would be a large understatement. But Layla had been so firm in her strange assertion that Warren was “actually a nice guy,” that Magenta had agreed to help her.

Magenta set her books down on the table, and looked over to Layla as though Warren were not even there and said as nonchalantly as possible, “Hey, Layla. Did you do the history homework?”

Warren was staring from girl to girl now, becoming more and more uncertain about what to do. His invisible wall was being knocked down brick by brick by a bunch of sidekicks, and he wasn’t happy about it.

“What do you think you’re doing!” Warren tried to growl at Magenta. (But he was starting to have just a hint of desperation in his voice now.)

“It’s called ‘sitting’”, Magenta explained, as though she were talking to a two year old.

“Nobody sits here, but me,” And the desperation in Warren’s voice was now crystal clear.

“Um-hum,” Magenta said, sizing him up for a brief moment. She looked over at Layla, who was smiling and nodding her head in such a way as to make it clear that she wasn’t buying the tough guy act either. “Humph”, Magenta thought, “maybe Layla is right about him after all.”

So, Magenta just ignored Warren and continued her conversation with Layla, as though she hadn’t been interrupted.

She said, “What did you get for number 4? Because I wasn’t sure if Tiger Man was A) bitten by a radioactive tiger, or B) bitten by a regular tiger, and then exposed to radiation.”

Warren was clearly upset now. He sat back in his chair, unable to decide what to do, and still trying to protect his invisible wall. But at the moment, he was at a loss for action. Obviously, he could fry the two sidekick girls, with great ease. Just as he had done the week prior, when he nearly trashed the cafeteria for no greater reason than that Will Stronghold had spilled his lunch on him. That would certainly take care of the Sidekick problem but….that really didn’t feel right to Warren at that moment.

Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse. Layla and Magenta’s other sidekick friends arrived at the table.

First Ethan sat down, right next to Warren and he had a huge grin on his face. “Are we sitting at Warren’s table now?! I feel extremely dangerous!” He exclaimed innocently, (and genuinely pleased at the “promotion” to the tough guy table).

Neither Layla nor Magenta had told their two male Sidekick comrades, Ethan and Zach about Layla’s dilemma. But it was pretty much guaranteed that they would sit wherever Layla and Magenta were. And so here they came, giving unwitting assistance, and causing poor overwhelmed Warren even more consternation.

“Whoa! Whoa!” Warren’s voice had become just a tad petulant now.

Then Zach arrived, sitting on Warren’s other side, directly across from Magenta (on whom it was obvious he had a crush.).

“Is this guy bothering you, Magenta”, he asked pointing to Warren. And there was no small bravado in the statement, considering that Zach’s only super power was the ability to glow, and that Warren could probably roast him in about 3.2 seconds.

Warren was now wedged in between the two male Sidekicks. But he was still hunching over his backpack, which he was gripping with white knuckles.

“Does anyone else need a date for homecoming?” He asked the little assemblage. He had finally gotten a little of his growl back. But still, he seemed miserable.

Just then, Layla spotted Will entering the cafeteria from the other direction. He was walking arm in arm with the pretty and popular Gwen Grayson, in the company of her in-crowd.

Prompted by Will’s entrance, Layla erupted in a barrage of loud, fake laughter, grabbing Warren’s arm and saying in a voice she made sure was loud enough to carry to Will, “Hahahahahaha. Warren, you are Kahaaaa-raaaay-zeee!”

Will, for his part, stared at her unhappily, while Gwen continued to drag him deeper into the cafeteria.

Warren, was looking at her like she was the one who was crazy. (And at that moment, he wasn’t totally wrong.) Warren’s eyes moved from Layla over to his retreating archenemy (who was still looking over his shoulder at Layla, and still being dragged away by Gwen).

When Warren looked back at Layla, she was calm again, but with a very guilty and embarrassed look on her face.

“Please,” she pleaded to him. “I promise I’ll make this as painless as possible.”

“So,” Warren said, “You aren’t doing this just because you like me or anything.” It wasn’t a question. But Warren had said it with just a touch of sadness in his voice. Layla thought for a moment, that just maybe, Warren wouldn’t have minded that so much.

“You’re doing this to get to Stronghold,” Warren finished.

“Yeah,” she answered truthfully.

Then, Warren smiled at Layla. But it wasn’t the warm, inviting smile from the Paper Lantern. It was a huge, tooth baring, evil grin, that must have come straight from the blood of his Super-Villain dad, Barron Battle. There was stone, hard coldness in his eyes.

It was enough to make Layla sit back and remember that she was talking to the guy who had nearly destroyed the cafeteria. And, Layla thought, it was probably intended that way, as a warning to her, that even if he had shown her his nice side, that bad, cafeteria trashing son-of-a-super-villain was still in there too.

“Then, I’m in,” Warren said, leaning towards her and continuing to smile, “But I’m not renting a tux.” Then with a single motion, Warren rose from the table, book, backpack and all, and lurched away from Layla and her sidekick friends in full retreat mode.

Layla, just watched him go.

Still mostly oblivious, Ethan chimed in, “Hey, if Warren’s not here, is this still the Tough Guy Table?”

"What was that all about?" Zach asked Magenta, cluelessly, scratching his head.

“Congratulations”, Magenta said to Layla with a smirk. “That’s your Homecoming date.”

Layla put her head down on the table and started to bang it while Magenta chuckled.

"Well, at least it will be an interesting evening," Magenta said dryly, putting her arms around Layla.
cujoy: (Default)
Title: White Flower, Red Candle
Fandom: Sky High
Disclaimer: Not Mine. Disney's
Characters: Warren Peace/Layla Williams
Prompt: 001. Beginnings
Word Count: 2,459
Rating: PG for mild language
Summary: This story is a retelling of Warren and Layla's scenes at The Paper Lantern. From Warren's POV. This is more Pre Warren/Layla

Author's Notes: Warren so totally fell in love that night! (Whether he'll admit it or not ;) Hopefully crossposting this to skyhighfic and eventually fanfic100.

White Flower, Red Candle

It all started because Mrs. Liu was getting anxious about a customer in her restaurant who wouldn’t leave. It was 10pm, past closing time on a week night, and the girl had been planted in her booth for over two hours.

Yes, she had ordered a meal, a vegetarian special, but that was over an hour and a half ago, and she’d hardly even touched it. Clearly the girl was waiting for someone who hadn’t shown up, and wouldn’t admit defeat. But Mrs. Liu wanted to finish cleaning up so that she could go home.

That’s when she asked me to go over there and hurry the girl out the door. Mrs. Liu and her husband, own the Paper Lantern. I work for them, helping out, bussing tables and doing dishes. The Lius are old family friends. They helped out my mom and me a few years ago when my dad managed to get himself into a lot of trouble.

Actually, I don’t know what we would have done without them. They put us up for awhile, after our house burned down, and got me into a school here in Chinatown when I couldn’t go to a regular one anymore. People were afraid of my dad, and I guess they were afraid of me too. So without Mr. and Mrs. Liu, we might have been out on the streets.

So, obviously, the Lius, are more like family to me then just friends. And actually, they are really good family to have. Not many people know this, but they are both retired superheroes from China. She was known as Dragon Tooth, and he was the White Lantern. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, the Lius were as famous in China as The Commander and Jetstream are in Maxville now.

Mr. Liu could “see” things, if you know what I mean. He would know in advance where Dragon Tooth would be needed, and so she’d be there just in time, to save Shanghai from Giant Robots and the like. I sometimes think Mr. Liu can still “see” things, although if he can, he’s not talking.

So, even though I thought it was a little unusual that Mrs. Liu had asked me to go and talk to a customer, (which I almost never do), I grabbed a pitcher of water and walked over to talk to the girl.

I couldn’t actually see her, because she was sitting with her back to me. I walked up to the table and asked her if she was still working on her dinner. It wasn’t until she looked up that I recognized her.

Damn, if it wasn’t Will Stronghold’s little friend.

That was kind of an awkward moment.

Will Stronghold is my archenemy. (Not that I dislike him, or anything. Well, yes, I do dislike him since he’s The Commander’s son, and everyone fawns over him all the time like greatness is some kind of birthright he’s inherited. Not that I would know anything about that.)

Anyway, the girl’s name is Layla, and even if she is Stronghold’s friend, she is kind of cute, in a hippy way. And I’ve never seen anyone look this sad before. She looked like her whole world was melting around her or something.

So, after we finished our awkward moment, and she pointed out that we went to school together, I asked her if I could heat up her dinner for her.

She misunderstood me, and said in a whisper, “You’re not supposed to use your powers outside of school.”

Actually, I knew that. And besides which, Mr. and Mrs. Liu would both have my hide if I ever used my powers in their restaurant.

So I explained to her, “I was just going to stick it in the microwave.”

She laughed at that, and her whole face and body brightened up a little bit, and that made me feel good. I thought she seemed like someone who might be nice to talk to.

I’d only ever seen her walking around with Stronghold, and his other sidekick pals, and really didn’t know anything about her, other then the fact that she always wears green, and that she supposedly doesn’t have any powers. And of course that she has a really obvious crush on Stronghold. Everybody knows that.

Actually I did notice her one time at the beginning of the school year, during this fight I got into with Stronghold. I got pretty carried away hurling fireballs at him. (Which I admit, I enjoyed…) And chasing him under a table, (That was fun too…) So, I remember yelling at him something about where were his Sidekicks now? It was meant as a taunt, since at the time, Stronghold was still a Sidekick too.

But then that whole little group of them had come running over. And they were standing right in front of me.

Man, they looked helpless. And I didn’t have anything against them, or anything, other then they were in the Cult of Stronghold, which was annoying. But anyway, she was standing right there in front of me, and she didn’t look like she was budging an inch.

I knew that I wasn’t actually going to do it. I was all powered up and ready to, don’t be mistaken, but I sure as hell didn’t want to back down either. So, it was this whole, different kind of awkward moment.

Then Stronghold, (unfortunately) decided to take that time to discover his super-strength, and he threw me up into one of the ceiling beams. (That I didn’t enjoy at all. Good thing I can take a hit.)

So that was the first time I really noticed Stronghold’s little hippy friend.

Anyway, the girl, Layla, must have been really ticked off at Stronghold tonight because she asked me to sit down with her. And, I admit, I was intrigued. I looked around, and couldn’t see Mrs. Liu anywhere because she was back in the kitchen. I spotted Mr. Liu heading over to the other side of the restaurant, so I decided, what the hell.

“I think I can spare a minute,” I told her.

I sat down in the booth across from her, and noticed that no one had lit her candle. I ignited my forefinger, and took care of it. She laughed when I did it, and I smiled back at her. I don’t know why I smiled. I know I don’t do it that often. But she seemed kind of pathetic sitting there for two hours waiting for Stronghold, and I wanted to cheer her up. So that’s why I did it.

It’s not like it’s a big deal or anything.

I noticed that the flower in the vase next to the candle looked kind of droopy. She noticed it too. And all of a sudden the flower perked up blooming right before my eyes.

Now it was her turn to smile at me.

“Did you do that?” I asked her.

“Yeah”, she answered.

“Cool,” I said. “But I thought you didn’t have any powers?” I whispered at her so the waitress wouldn’t hear.

“Oh, I do have powers. I just don’t believe in using them unless the situation demands it,” She whispered back.

“Like in Power Placement?” I asked.

She giggled a little again, “I didn’t believe in participating in that silly test in the gym. That would be supporting a flawed system, and I’m not into labels.” She said.

Definitely a hippy.

“So, you didn’t want to be in Hero Class?” I asked.

“Oh, no”, she said, “I’m right where I belong in Hero Support. And I’m going to stay there until Heroes and Sidekicks are treated with more equality.” And she nodded her head in resolution.

And I could tell by the way she smiled when she said it that she really meant it, when she said that she was happy to be a Sidekick. That’s the first time I ever heard of anyone feeling that way. Being in Hero class is one of the most important distinctions at Sky High. Because, man, you are nobody at that school unless you are in Hero class.

I actually thought it was kind of cool that she was able to see past all the stereotyping and preconceptions that went along with the whole hero/sidekick thing. Not that I would know anything about stereotyping or preconceptions.

After that, I don’t remember much of the conversation. She did most of the talking. Babbling, actually. Most of it about Stronghold. For some reason I didn’t mind. It seemed to make her happy. I think she told a couple of old stories, and went on for awhile about how she discovered her powers, and something about Lima Beans.

Funny thing though, Even though I don’t remember much of what she was saying, I do remember that she was smiling the whole time she was saying it.

After, it must have been twenty minutes, of Stronghold Rambling, I finally just asked her point blank about the fact that she has a crush on him.

“I do NOT have a crush on Will Stronghold,” she tried strongly to deny.

I tilted my head at her so that she would know I wasn’t buying that.

She got it, and said, “Is it that obvious?”

I didn’t want to stress her out about it or anything, so I just said, “Yeah”, as gently as I could.

“Great.” She said. It made me feel a little bad, because I hadn’t meant to embarrass her.

“So, why don’t you just tell him.” I threw out at her.

“Well, I was going to ask him to Homecoming,” she replied. “But there’s two problems. He likes somebody else… And she’s perfect.” And Layla frowned again after saying that.

Yeah, I knew who she was talking about. Gwen Grayson, Homecoming Queen, and the most popular girl at Sky High. She’s been fawning all over Stronghold since day one. (Even though she’s a Senior, and he’s a Freshman. Which is kind of weird right there, when you really think about it.)

But Grayson’s fawning has become especially noticeable since he discovered his super-powers, (thanks to me, unfortunately). In fact, earlier today, when Stronghold and I were assigned to fight together in Save the Citizen, I saw him get all distracted just because she waved at him. I had to call him back to reality to get his mind back in the game, because there was no way I was losing to a couple of jerks like Speed and Lash. (And, no, just because I won Save the Citizen with Stronghold, does not mean we are going to be buddies now.)

Anyway, come to think of it, I haven’t noticed Stronghold sitting with Layla and his old sidekick friends much lately. Ever since Stronghold had been promoted to Hero class, Gwen has been dragging him over to eat with her In-crowd.

Maybe that was why Layla was so sad, I wondered.

“Hmmm, you want to know what I think?” I asked her. “To let true love remain unspoken, is the quickest route to a heavy heart.”

I’d just read that off a fortune cookie that had been sitting at her table. But, hey, it sounded good. And she seemed impressed.

“Wow. That is really… deep,” she told me.

I couldn’t leave it at that, even though she was looking at me with these huge brown eyes, and her jaw was hanging slightly open, and I noticed that she had a really pretty mouth.

“Yeah,” I said. And then I read the rest of the fortune cookie. “And your lucky numbers are four, 16, five and 49.”

And then she giggled, which was nice, because it meant that she was smiling again.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Liu took that moment to stick her head out of the kitchen, and noticed that I was still talking to Layla. She yelled at me, in Chinese, to get back in the kitchen, and some other things too. (Mrs. Liu is a really tough lady, and did I mention that she’s a retired Chinese superhero?)

So, I said, “I gotta go. See you around, Hippy.” And I handed her back the fortune cookie. I figured that was pretty much that. And, I suppose I will see her around. Not that it will make any difference.

Things are different for me at school then they are here at the restaurant. You see, I’m the only guy there whose father is a super-villain, and everyone acts like they expect me to be a super-villain too. In fact, sometimes they act like I already am one. And it’s been that way since I was eight years old. And it doesn’t matter whether I play up that reputation, or try to play it down. People just believe what they want to believe about me.

But I’m OK. I just play along now because I’ve gotten use to the role. And, it can be fun sometimes . I liked throwing fire balls at Stronghold in the cafeteria. Hell, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. You know, sometimes when I look in the mirror, I wonder if that really is a Future Super Villain looking back at me. Sometimes, I just don’t know. Maybe it’s a toss up.

Anyway, I guess when you get down to it, my problem with Stronghold isn’t that his dad put my dad in jail. (Although, that does piss me off.) It is that he and I are on opposite poles. Everyone expects him to be great, just because of who his parents are, and they give him every benefit of the doubt, whether he has super powers or not. There must be a lot of stress to go with having such high expectations placed upon you. (But I doubt he’d last a day walking in my shoes.)

And you know what? The guy’s not really that bad. He’s actually just a big doofus, who has fallen for Grayson’s pandering, and is apparently the only person at Sky High who hasn’t figured out that Layla has a crush on him. So, I guess in a strange way, me and Stronghold have the same problem. Both of us have been judged by who are parents are, and not by who we are.

Maybe that’s what Principal Powers was trying to tell us when she put us in the Detention Room after the Cafeteria fight. She said that trying to live up to your father’s reputation was a sad waste of talent. Maybe that’s true. I wonder if trying to live up to your dad’s reputation is as hard as trying to live it down?

Something to think about, I guess. Not that it will make any difference.

The Secret

Feb. 19th, 2017 04:02 pm
cujoy: (Default)
Title: The Secret
Fandom: Sky High
Disclaimer: Not Mine. Disney's
Characters: Warren Peace/Layla Williams
Prompt: 025. Strangers
Word Count: 247
Rating: G
Summary: A brief drabble about Layla's main impression after her meeting with Warren at The Paper Lantern

Author's Notes: Layla wasn't exactly in love with Warren after the Paper Lantern, because her single mind-set was still Will. But he sure did leave an impression.


See, this is why I don’t like stereotyping. Even I had the preconception that Warren Peace is a super-villain in training. Well, I guess that isn’t an entirely unfounded idea, what with the snarling and throwing fire balls at people at the drop of a hat.

But, he has a secret, and I found out about it last night. And you’ll never believe it, even though it’s true.

When Warren Peace smiles, it lights up the whole world.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. This is Sky High’s number one hot head, and most likely to become a super villain. And I wouldn’t have believed it myself, if I hadn’t seen him do it with my own eyes.

I tried to explain it to Magenta, but it’s actually kind of hard to describe. And I think I just ended up babbling something about how he could be nice, and was sometimes kind of deep, and can speak Chinese.

I don’t think Magenta would have believed me anyway.

Or maybe it just seemed like the whole world got brighter when he smiled. Maybe it was just his face. Anyway, I know that he doesn’t smile very often, or when he does, it’s more like an evil grin, which doesn’t count. Maybe a smile so rare can’t help but be a powerful thing.

So, anyway, don’t always believe what you hear about people, because you never know who they really are until you meet them for yourself.
cujoy: (Default)
Title: The Better Part of Valor
Fandom: Sky High
Disclaimer: Not Mine. Disney's
Characters: Warren/Layla
Prompt: 085. She
Word Count: 2476
Rating: PG for a few mild bad words.
Summary: "No matter what I do, I can't get them to stop talking to me."

Author's Note: Some missing scenes set after Warren agrees to go to Homecoming with Layla.

The Better Part of Valor

Warren wasn’t sure exactly what he had done wrong. But he knew exactly when he had done it. He still wasn’t sure why he had sat down with Layla, or been so nice to her that night at The Paper Lantern, but since that night it seemed like she’d taken over his whole freaking life.

Well, not really. But it turned out that the whole Homecoming Date charade was just the beginning. Now, when he was at school, at anytime, she might suddenly appear, talking to him, sometimes touching him or taking his hand, and always smiling at him.

And it wasn’t just her. Ethan, Zach and Magenta were always in tow in some combination or another.

Take the lunchroom, for example. He used to be able to sit at his table, content that nobody wanted to sit within ten feet of him for fear of being roasted. Now, every day, like clockwork, she appeared, with the whole flock of Sidekicks, invading his table, and showing absolutely no fear whatsoever that he might be planning to fry them.

It was not good for his image.

“We have to sit together, at least for a few minutes so that Will will think it’s for real,” she had explained to him, looking at him with her big puppy dog eyes. And she pointed out that if Will didn’t see them together, there was no way that he could become jealous of them and if Will wasn’t jealous then what was the point?

“I thought you said this would be painless,” Warren had growled at her. But Layla, as usual had deflected his objections with a laugh, and then offered him a home made cookie she had brought for him, or sometimes it was an apple that she claimed she had made herself.

And he would find himself more and more often at a total loss for words.

The first day, he’d lasted about two minutes before heading for the hills. The second, about five. And each day, Will Stronghold shuffled by their table pretending not to care in a way that made it obvious that he actually cared quite a bit. And after he had gone by, Layla would have a big grin on her face that she would try to hide, but Warren would always see it anyway.

So Warren was doing his best to stick it out.

And although Warren admitted that he was enjoying the evident misery that they were causing Stronghold, he was starting to wonder if the whole thing was worth it. And there was no sign that Gwen Grayson was releasing her iron grip on Stronghold any time soon anyway, which just made Layla even more determined to the go through with her plan.

So by the second week, Layla was bringing even more little bribes for him like her homemade fruit and cookies. And there was even an odd little gift or two like a black studded leather bracelet she claimed she made in art class.

“That’s the kind of thing girls do for their Homecoming Date,” She’d told him with a wink. “And we have to make it look good,” She said in a conspiratorial voice.

Warren mostly continued to pretend that he wasn’t interested. But he might have started looking forward to seeing just what she would do next to keep her promise to “make it as painless as possible.” (And he kept that bracelet, not that he’d actually wear it or anything, at least not in public, even though it was just the kind of thing he did like to wear.)

By Tuesday, he was up to eight whole minutes before he stormed away from the table. And by now other people besides Stronghold were starting to notice the strange phenomena of Warren and the sidekicks. Warren had noticed Crystal March, the Junior Ice Queen herself, staring oddly at the table as she walked by several times. And he saw her looking over her shoulder at him from across the cafeteria with a strange look on her face.

“What the hell is that about?” Warren wondered.

On Wednesday, he got carried away and actually found himself in a ten minute conversation with Magenta about the history of Tiger Man.

“No,” he had tried to explain to her gruffly, “I had that class last year. Tiger Man was NOT bitten by a radioactive tiger. It was a regular tiger, and then he AND the tiger were exposed to radiation. That’s how he and the tiger became symbiotic.”

When she tried to object he made her pull out her History of Superheroes text book, and he’d even started thumbing through it to find that passage he remembered before he noticed that Ethan was leaning on his left arm, and Zach was leaning on his right. Magenta was tapping her fingers and leaning over from the other side. And Layla was beaming broadly at him from her place directly across the table from him.

And for a moment it had seemed almost normal, sitting with a group of friends, discussing homework and sharing lunch. Warren froze in mid sentence. He looked from Layla to Ethan to Zach to Magenta and back to Layla. She was looking him in the eyes, and as always smiling at him, waiting for him to finish his sentence, nodding encouragingly. Magenta was still tapping her fingers impatiently.

Layla thought she saw a wistful look shining in his black eyes. That part of him that desperately wanted to have friends and go on dates and be normal like he used to be a long time ago. But he didn’t let that show for long.

“Oh, screw this!” And Warren was so flustered that he slammed the book down and took two steps away from the table before he remembered to go back and grab his backpack.

“Man, I am really off my game,” he thought to himself as he lurched away from the cafeteria as fast as he could.

On Thursday, Warren attempted to avoid the whole lunchtime situation. But Ethan had found him sitting alone at his usual spot by the school steps. The Sidekick actually tried to emulate him, wrapping one arm around his chest while hunching over a book. Ethan explained to Warren that “Us tough guys,” have to “Keep up our loner image.”

Speechless yet again, Warren could only stare mutely. Being admired… was so non-threatening.

Never-the-less when Warren got his voice back he growled “Go away!” at Ethan. And then he set the kid’s homework on fire for good measure before turning around and practically running up the steps to go to class, even if it were fifteen minutes early. At least there, he thought he might be able to get some peace.

Later that day, Layla had found him by his locker after school and insisted on standing there with him for a few minutes, “To keep up appearances since we missed lunch today,” she had whispered to him conspiratorially with her big earnest eyes. And she was standing very close to him and Warren noticed that she smelled like honeysuckle, and that she was very small, and that she was smiling at him just the same as she had at the Paper Lantern. And that nothing he had done since then had changed that one bit. And it didn’t even matter to her that people stared and pointed at them as they walked by, or even that Gwen and Penny walked by openly snickering.

Warren was starting to get it, that Layla was not a girl who gave up on anything. Even him. Or cared what other people thought about that, including him.

And then she went into her babbling routine, which started something like “You’ll never believe what happened today….” And then would go on for a few minutes. And it didn’t really matter what she was saying to him. And the whole time she’d smiled warmly at him, and finally, pulled out some more cookies that she’d meant to give him at lunchtime. Chocolate Chip was his favorite, she had learned. (“Because that’s the kind of thing girls do for their Homecoming dates,” she was always explaining to him.)

But just as he was taking the cookies from her, Stronghold walked by apparently trying to catch up to Gwen and Penny. Layla was mid giggle when she saw him walk by, and her eyes followed him down the hallway, her face darkening. By the time she looked back at Warren, he was gone too.


By that evening, Warren was this close to calling the whole thing off. Not even getting Stronghold jealous was worth all this aggravation. But there was one thing stopping him.

That night, after he was done with his shift at the Paper Lantern, he returned exhausted to the two bedroom apartment he shared with his mother, he found her there waiting for him, even though it was almost midnight.

She was beaming.

“Guess what I got out of storage!” Laura Peace said as Warren came in the door. She was carrying an old garment bag, which Warren vaguely recognized.

“You’ll have to try it on, of course,” The blond haired, blue eyed woman beamed. “But I think it will fit you just perfectly,” She gushed.

“Is that…” Warren began.

“It’s your father’s,” she said simply. “But he doesn’t have any use for it at the moment, and you do.” She said firmly, holding the bag out to him, insistence on her scarred, care worn face.

Warren hesitated.

“Warren, you do not want to go to Homecoming dressed in jeans and an old t-shirt! And trust me, your date, whoever she is, doesn’t want you to either, no matter what she told you.”

“Mom!” Warren said, still trying to hesitate, and feeling a little uncomfortable since she didn’t know the exact details of his date.

“Oh, let me at least hold it up to you to make sure it doesn’t need any adjustments,” Laura finally said to him as she pulled out the jacket and held it up to her son’s shoulders.

Warren wasn’t sure he if was afraid that his father’s tuxedo would fit him or whether he was thrilled at the prospect that it might. The tuxedo was very classic, and black, (his color) with a black vest, a white silk shirt and a black silk tie. It had perfectly suited Barron Battle, and, Laura Peace quickly declared that it perfectly suited Warren as well.

“Maybe just a little bit too big, but not enough to make a difference,” She told him. “You look so much like him.” She said wistfully. “And he would have been proud of you, just like I am. Before…” But then she shook her head and didn’t finish.

“Yeah, I know.” Warren told her awkwardly. Neither Laura nor Warren liked bringing up the subject of Barron.

Laura continued, on a new topic. “I’m so happy you’re going to Homecoming this year! I knew you’d find a way to settle in up there. I just knew it!”

Warren shrugged his shoulders and let his head hang for just a minute. Ever since he’d told her that he was going to Homecoming, she’d been glowing about it. She really, really wanted Warren to succeed at Sky High. It meant the world to her.

Warren, for his part knew how important it was to his mom that he do well at Sky High. (Much more important then it was to him.) God knows she had worked hard enough to get him admitted there, over the objections of most of the other parents. (Warren didn’t know all the details, but there were rumors of petitions going to the administration with over 200 signatures demanding to keep him out of Sky High.) Laura had insisted he be allowed to attend, and pulled every favor anyone in the Superhero community ever owned her to make sure the administration kept their word and allowed him to stay.

And Laura’s desire for Warren to graduate from Sky High was on some days the only thing that got Warren on the bus in the morning. Warren and his mom had been through a lot together, and he was very protective of her. Warren wanted very much to please her.

So he held up the jacket again and put it on, “So, I guess it looks OK, he asked her?”

“It looks wonderful,” Laura gushed. “I’ll take it in tomorrow and get it cleaned and pressed, and it will be as good as new.”

Warren looked at himself in the mirror. The tuxedo, did indeed suit him. Looking at himself, he grinned with the same grin he’d seen his father give him a thousand times when he was little. Was it so bad that he looked just like his father, he wondered?

Warren decided that he would see if he could use one of his leather belts to make it seem more like his own, and maybe if he rolled up the sleeves and wore the vest open, it wouldn’t be so stiff and formal.

Then he asked the question that was really on his mind. “And you think Layla will like it?”

Laura Peace laughed said with a twinkle in her eye. “I know she will.”


Warren hadn’t decided yet if he was going to brave the lunchroom on Friday or not. But that morning, as he was sitting quietly outside the school, at his usual spot, enjoying a few Sidekick free moments, when she had suddenly planted herself right beside him, again.

And the killer thing, she was still smiling with this genuine warmth and radiance, that not even her petty annoyance with Will Stronghold, or her jealousy of Gwen Grayson could hide.

“Hi, Cutie,” she had called him cheerily. And when she took his gloved hand into both of hers, and for a moment all he could do was stare at her. And it’s entirely possible that he even enjoyed the way the sunshine glinted on her red hair, and the way her small fingers felt entwined around his.

He might even, for a moment have pretended that her babbling about how she couldn’t wait to go to Homecoming with him, was for real and not part of a (rather lame) plan to make Will Stronghold jealous. And that fantasy might have lasted for as long as she was looking at him.

But then she looked away from him. He saw her eyes follow Stronghold, arm in arm with Gwen Grayson, and heard her voice trail off like the sight of them had siphoned all the joy from her.

He hadn’t planned for his hand to burst into flame just at that moment. But it did. It was entirely spontaneous. But he managed to cover it well.

“Never call me Cutie,” he’d told her before taking the better part of valor.
cujoy: (Default)
Title: T'was the Night Before Homecoming
Fandom: Sky High
Disclaimer: Not Mine. Disney's
Characters: Warren/Layla (eventually - not in this story.)
Prompt: 022. Enemies
Word Count: 3328
Rating: PG for a few mild bad words.
Summary: "Dude, you're so stupid. She's totally into you."

Author's Note: Some missing scenes set around Will's party. Introducing a semi-OC character, Crystal March. (And I will confess that this one isn't my story, since it's about why Warren and Layla aren't together, and not about why they should be.)

T’was the Night Before Homecoming

Gwen and Penny had been giggling a lot to themselves lately. The Big Day was getting close now, and Gwen was enjoying every minute of it. All the pieces were falling into place, just exactly as Gwen had planned.

And it had all been unbelievably easy. Especially getting Will Stronghold to play his part. All Gwen had to do was make googley eyes a few times, and he was putty in her hands. She was sure that soon, the Pacifier would be in her hands too.

She had to laugh. And the only potential wrench in the plan, Stronghold’s little sidekick friends, especially that girl, Layla and her obvious crush, had taken care of themselves. And in a most unexpected way.

“Did you see them in the cafeteria yesterday?” One of the Pennies asked.

“Of course! Everybody did,” Gwen chuckled, putting her hand to her mouth so that the Penny could hear her over the loud music playing at Will Stronghold’s impromptu party.

“Guys… The floor!” Will was heard in the background trying to get some semblance of control to the unexpected chaos of the party raging around him.

Really though, it wasn’t Will’s party at all, even though it was at his house. This party had been engineered entirely by Gwen Grayson. Just a few calls to certain members of the Homecoming Committee, and almost every Sky High student had come running. (Heroes only need apply.)

“Lash told me that Speed said he’d heard that she was all over him last week at The Paper Lantern. And I saw them sitting arm in arm outside of school earlier today with my own eyes” Penny confided to Gwen.

“Yes, but I heard that she’s only going with him to get back at Will Stronghold because he’s with ME now,” Gwen laughed evilly.

“You think she’d actually do it just to get back at Stronghold? She seems a little too Polly Pureheart to me…” Penny sneered.

Gwen laughed and said, “I do have to admit, she does at least show good taste. Barron Battle’s son is almost as delicious as he was. Of course, Barron only had eyes for the girls in Hero Class, and didn’t have the time of day for sidekick girls.” Gwen remembered her mouth curling into an angry snarl.

Penny shook her head at that. “I keep forgetting that you’re, like, an old lady,” Penny mumbled.

“Yes, I do hope Warren Battle, or Peace or whatever name he is using does comes to Homecoming,” Gwen continued rubbing her hands together gleefully and ignoring Penny’s comment. “I shall enjoy molding Barron’s son into a magnificent Super Villain. Better by far even then Barron Battle himself was.” And Gwen’s voice began to rise dramatically.

Penny rolled her eyes and began to look around the room to see if she could find a way to excuse herself. When Gwen got into one of her Super Villain speeches, she tended to get more then a little over the top.

Fortunately for Penny, Gwen saw that Stronghold was getting upset about the party, and cut off her ramble before it got to its full potential, and excused herself to go placate him.

Confident that Gwen had things well in hand, Penny went over to the staircase to find one of her other selves and a blonde girl talking about the same subject. No, not Royal Pain’s plan, they were talking about Will Stronghold’s sidekick friend and Warren Peace.


The blonde’s name was Crystal March and she was a member, in good standing, of Sky High’s Homecoming Committee. She was a pretty, popular Junior, and a Hero, of course. No one was anybody at Sky High, unless they were in Hero class. And Crystal was definitely somebody.

She had the power to freeze anything. Including the hearts of most of the guys who tried to hit on her, of which there were many.

“Yes, of course I saw them in the cafeteria. Everyone has seen them there,” The other Penny was saying to Crystal.

“Everyone knows she has a crush on Will Stronghold. I’m sure it’s just an act to get Will jealous,” Crystal said shaking her head oddly with a funny look on her face.

“Oh, no,” The first Penny said, “Lash told me that Speed told him that he’d heard that she’s been all over him, every night at The Paper Lantern, you know, that Chinese Restaurant where he works.”

“No way!” Crystal and the second Penny said together.

“You’ll have to talk to Speed about it, I guess,” said the first Penny innocently.

Crystal had been feeling this distinct …unhappiness… with the topic of Warren Peace and the little green Sidekick, ever since the word got around that they were actually going to Homecoming together. Crystal had found her eyes drawn to their table during lunch almost against her will. And it was starting to upset her.

Despite her reputation, Crystal was not a mean girl. She certainly was however, the Queen Bee of the Junior class, and that status pleased her. She had worked hard for it. She had always made certain that she hung out with the right crowd, and that she was at the top of the list when people asked who the “right crowd” was. And if that meant looking down on Sidekicks, and leather-clad Super Villains in training, then so be it.

Last year when Warren Peace came to Sky High, Crystal’s parents signed the petitions, and wrote letters of protest to the school, to keep Warren out, just as most of the other parents had. And when Crystal asked them why, they recited a list of offences which, they said, made Warren Peace unsuitable to be in the company of future super heroes.

“If people had only observed the warning signs with the first Battle,” Crystal’s father lamented, “All that unpleasantness could have been avoided.”

Mr. March had gone on for several moments about Warren’s offenses. “This kid started so many school yard brawls after they locked Barron up, that they had to kick him out of the elementary school.”

“And of course,” said Mr. March shaking his head, “He nearly decapitated the Shaw kid at Little League practice with a fireball.”

“And worst of all, that damn kid set his own house on fire, before Laura Battle took him off someplace, gods knows where,” Mr. March stopped for a moment and looked suspiciously at his daughter.

“And why,” he asked her, “Don’t you remember all of this since you went to the same elementary school as he did before they kicked him out?”

After her father’s speech, Crystal could only mumble that she didn’t remember anything about it. But the thing was, Crystal did remember Warren from elementary school, very, very well.

Crystal March and Warren Battle had been in the same grade back then, and she remembered him completely differently from her father’s dire description. Warren had once been a happy, popular third grader, living a normal 3rd graders life. Warren had friends and gone to birthday parties and played Little League baseball.

Of course, even then he was a handsome little boy, with his red streaked hair, and coal black eyes that smoldered even as a child. Crystal probably would never admit it, (especially not to her parents,) but Warren Battle had been her first elementary school crush.

That’s why she remembered things differently then her father did regarding the events that followed after Barron Battle’s fall from grace.

She remembered that first Warren had disappeared from school for awhile, and that his Mom had been in the hospital. When he came back, Warren was uninvited from Billy Ballingford’s birthday party. And no one said a word about it. But that was just the beginning.

Suddenly no one would sit with Warren at lunch anymore, or talk to him during class, or play with him on the playground. Including, Crystal remembered saddly, herself. Crystal’s parents had told her to stay away from Warren Battle, and she obeyed them.

And although it bothered Crystal that Warren was shunned by his classmates, then as now, Crystal March followed the crowd.

So, yes, Crystal remembered Warren Battle. And when Warren Peace arrived at Sky High last year, she was shocked by how he had changed. He was tall, and mean, and a marked man.

But, Crystal had noticed, he still smoldered.


“I’m going to go find Gwen,” The second Penny said leaving Crystal and the first Penny.

Crystal was just thinking that she would excuse herself too and go find Speed to ask him first hand if all these rumors were true. She could see him standing in the door between the hallway and the living room not too far away, and she decided to head over in that direction.

Before she got there, however, one of the subjects of all this gossip slipped in the doorway of the Stronghold house. Crystal saw Layla immediately, and felt a stab of ice in her heart. Frozen where she stood, Crystal watched the uncertain redheaded girl make her way deeper into the party.

Crystal ducked to the back of a small crowd that had gathered so she could watch, what she assumed would be fireworks from a safe distance. And her expectations were soon met, with her usual impeccable timing, Gwen appeared from behind a doorway in the living room.

Gwen was feeling quite triumphant as she and Will emerged from behind the door, through which Will had unwittingly allowed her access to The Secret Sanctum… and to The Pacifier. Nothing could spoil her jubilation now. Her plan to take over Sky High was coming together perfectly.

So, when the two of them emerged from the secret room, and Gwen saw Layla standing in the hallway, the last thing she needed was for Will to be distracted by the site of his old friend.

Thinking quickly, Gwen sent Will to get her a diet caffeine free orange soda, and took charge of the situation herself.

At a sign from Gwen, two of the Pennies, acting as one, barred Layla from heading towards the kitchen, where Will was.

Then Gwen made her move, sidling up to confront Will’s best friend.

“Where’s Will?” Layla asked Gwen.

“Honestly,” Gwen lied with a sneer, “Avoiding you.”

“Look,” she continued maliciously. “Will knows you have a crush on him.”

“He does?” Layla asked horrified.

“Everyone does. Will’s just too nice a guy to tell you he’s not interested,” Gwen turned the knife. “Not that you can take a hint. I mean, HELLO, he’s going to Homecoming with ME.” And Gwen was off and running with her rant now, glorying in the thrill of first obtaining The Pacifier, and now, putting this quite, powerless girl in her place.

“He threw a party,” Gwen continued, “And he didn’t invite YOU. You’re just embarrassing him.” And the two Pennies cringed, fearing that if this went on for much longer, Gwen might get even more extremely over-the-top.

But thankfully, Gwen took a deep breath and concluded, “You’re just embarrassing yourself.”

“OK,” Layla said, on the verge of tears. “I understand. And when you see Will again, can you tell him that I never want to talk to him again?”

Gwen, Speed, and the Pennies all gave satisfied smirks to one another as Layla began to head for the door. In the back of the crowd, Crystal had watched these events with interest. Especially as they concerned Layla Williams, Will Stronghold, and Warren Peace. She was satisfied.


Will was smiling as he came back from the kitchen, diet caffeine free orange soda in hand. He was surprised, and pleased to see Layla standing next to Gwen. He smiled at her and said her name.

Layla’s reaction was not what Will expected. Layla was in tears, and upon seeing him, she turned her back and started walking away from him as fast as she could.

Not understanding, and still carrying the diet caffeine free orange soda, Will called her name repeatedly and followed her to the door. When he got there, she finally turned around, pain and anger etched on her face.

“Have fun with Gwen,” Layla told him with tears brimming in her eyes. “You two deserve each other.” Then she slammed the door in his face as she exited.

In all the years that Will had known Layla, never had he made her cry, or had she slammed a door between them.

It was like being hit by a firebolt. What could have caused this? Will wondered, dumbfounded. And Will realized in astonishment that, “it” was a “she”, and SHE was standing in his hallway having a laugh with two of the Pennies.

So Will walked back over to Gwen, who was acting like everything was perfectly all right with the world as she took the diet caffeine free orange soda from him.

“What did you say to Layla?” He demanded to know. He could not believe that any of this was happening.

“Nothing,” Gwen started off innocently. “I mean, I just told her the truth,” she continued. “You’re a Hero, she’s a Sidekick. She was just holding you back.” Gwen explained sanctimoniously.

“Why would you do that? Layla’s been my best friend since First Grade.” And it was really, actually starting to dawn on Will, that Gwen wasn’t his friend.

“Well, you have new friends now,” Gwen informed him, with a big, fake smile on her face. “And I think that you need to figure out if you want to hang out with us, or those losers,” And Gwen’s voice turned a bit sinister as she referred to Will’s Sidekick friends. Then she placed her hand possessively on Will’s shoulder, and said, “Come on, let’s go.”

The light bulb was now fully lit over Will’s head. And he started backing away from Gwen Grayson.

“I’m not going anywhere with you.” He declared. “Not now, or not to Homecoming.”

“You’re dumping me?” Gwen was aghast. There was no way anything was going to interfere with her plan! Especially not now that she had The Pacifier, and especially not little Layla Williams.

“Let’s get something straight,” she said pointing angrily at Will. “YOU do not dump ME. Not the night before the dance.”

But Will continued to back away from her. And, to emphasize the finality of his decision, Will started barking an order to everyone in hearing distance that it was time to get out of his house.

Fortunately for Will, things didn’t get any uglier because his parents returned home at just that moment and demanded that everyone leave. And when the Commander made an order, everyone obeyed, including Crystal, Speed, Lash, all the Pennies, and Gwen herself.

Soon, the Stronghold house was empty again, leaving a distressed young man and his angry and confused parents behind.


Will knew that he had screwed up. And he knew that what he wanted most in all the world at that moment was to talk to Layla and make everything all right with her again.

It was tortuous that Layla was not answering his calls. Not on her cell phone, and not at home, where her mother sounded less then pleased to hear from him, especially on the fourth, fifth and sixth calls. “I would stay away from Layla for a few days,” Layla’s mom finally told him flatly, implying that it would be a good idea for him to stay away from her as well.

Finally, not knowing what else to do Will headed to the one place Layla might be willing to meet him. The Paper Lantern. Will couldn’t help thinking that maybe things wouldn’t be so messed up now, if only he had met Layla at The Paper Lantern that night two weeks ago, instead of being caught in Gwen Grayson’s web.

And maybe if he’d kept those dinner plans, he could also have kept Layla from becoming involved in this weird friendship she had started with his archenemy, Warren Peace. He’d seen them together, every day, sitting at the lunch table, with his friends. And he didn’t like it at all.

And the thing that really bothered him the most was that he knew Layla well enough to recognize that the smile she gave Warren was a genuine one. Layla’s face didn’t lie. Whatever had happened between Warren and Layla two weeks ago, Will could see that she trusted him, regardless of the fact that Warren was the most likely student at Sky High to become a Super Villain. And to make things worse, she had obviously convinced Zach, Magenta and Ethan to trust his archenemy as well.

It was like the whole world was turned upside down.


Will knew that Warren worked at The Paper Lantern, but somehow, he still managed to be surprised to see Warren when he walked by the table with a tray full of glasses.

He would always remember what followed as the most surreal conversation of his life.

It began with Warren, sitting down uninvited at his table. This in and of itself, surprised Will, who until that moment had never shared a non-hostile word with Warren Peace. But Will quickly discovered for himself the same thing that Layla had learned two weeks earlier. There was more hidden behind Warren’s black hair then he usually let show at Sky High.

“We’re only going together to make you jealous,” Warren had broken it down and explained it to Will (since almost everyone else had already figured it out anyway).

“Huh?” Will said, confused. This was a twist that Will had not considered. He had never thought of Layla as anything more then a sister.

“Dude, you’re so stupid. She’s totally into you.” Warren informed him.

“Not after tonight,” Will lamented. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Layla or any of the other guys every want to talk to me again,” And at that moment, Will believed that to be the simple truth, so he was not afraid to say it, even to his former archenemy.

“Man, you must have been a real jerk,” Warren told him ironically. “Because no matter what I do, I can’t get them to STOP talking to me.” Then Warren got up and left the table, leaving Will to ponder his mistakes.

“She wanted to make me jealous?” Will thought scratching his head. He would have to think on that one.


No one slept soundly in Maxville that night, the night before Homecoming.

Gwen Grayson, who should have been triumphant over obtaining The Pacifier, stewed in anger that Will Stronghold had dared to dump her the night before the dance.

Crystal March tossed and turned, haunted by memories she couldn’t change and by jealously of a little red headed Sidekick of all people.

Layla spent the night crying, alone in her bed, pretending not to hear her cell phone buzz, over and over again.

Warren Peace didn’t know why he couldn’t sleep. It had felt good putting Stronghold in his place tonight. Better even then throwing fireballs at him. He felt a change blowing in the wind, and he wondered where it would take him.

Will Stronghold lay in his bed staring at the ceiling. “She likes me?” He kept asking himself, wondering how he felt about that. Tonight he felt like his world was teetering on the edge of a cliff. He could not imagine life without Layla’s friendship, which had been a part of his every day since first grade. How could he have screwed it up so badly that she wouldn’t even talk to him? How had she ended up hooking up with his archenemy to try and make him jealous? How, he wondered, could he have so much power, but couldn’t give comfort to his best friend?

“She likes me?” And the thought spun around and around his head as he tossed and turned alone in his bed.
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