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Getting the team back together

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4 years 5 months ago - 4 years 5 months ago #14662 by Phoenix Spiritus
Phoenix Spiritus created the topic: Getting the team back together
Author's Note: "This is fan fiction for the Whateley Academy series. It may or may not match the timeline, characters, and continuity, but since it's fan fiction, who cares?"
I'm reliably informed that the "group that does not exist" already has plans in place for Wondercute, and these are most definitely not them.


"So, how was the rest of your summer?" Ayla asked Hank as the two of them, with Lily, walked towards Crystal Hall for dinner. "Anything interesting happen after we left?"

"Not really," Hank said with a shrug. "Lily stayed for the rest of the month, with either Tabby Cat or Falcon coming down for a day or two each week, but other then that and normal family stuff, the only interesting thing was when Dad took me back to Fort Bragg for a visit."

Ayla blinked. "Didn't he move your family so that people wouldn't know about your you know?" he asked puzzled.

Hank shrugged. "Well, that all went out the window after the incident, everyone at Fort Bragg found out about it then. Since it was out, and he wanted to sort of bond, he took me to Fort Bragg to meet his old command, I think it was sort of part of the healing, seeing others with PTSD and them coping," Hank shrugged awkwardly. "The Bradley was awesome though!" he finished with a grin.

"Bradley?" Ayla asked.

"Yeah! They let me drive a Bradley M3 CFV equipped as a scout over the manoeuvre grounds and it was sweet! Those things can really move!"

"Wait, a Bradley? Isn't that what shot you?" Lily asked.

"Um yeah, it was the same one actually," Hank admitted embarrassed. "When the crew heard I was coming to visit, they wanted to come over and apologise and one thing led to another, and well, my Dad is a Colonel, so with his permission I got to drive the Bradley!"

"Don't tell me you're planning on being a soldier again?" Lily smiled at him. "I thought I'd convinced you of the benefits of private enterprise," she smirked as she moved in, kissing him passionately.

Ayla chuckled and started walking again, leaving the two lovebirds, and Hank's moral dilemma over his future career opportunities, behind him. He wouldn't be too surprised to find out the ride in the Bradley was a deliberate attempt to tempt Hank, the JROTC program, and its attached recruiters, hated to lose promising candidates.

Entering Crystal Hall Ayla looked around and smiled as he saw a commotion beside the kitchen door as one of the hands quickly ducked back inside. Smiling, sure that one of his favourite chefs would be receiving news of his arrival soon, Ayla made his way over to the serving area.
******

Approaching the serving lines Lily stopped suddenly, clutching Hank's arm tightly as a small sob escaped her lips.

"Lily?" Hank demanded concerned.

"Misty!" Lily cried, pointing to the lonely detected figure making her way carefully through the crowded Crystal Hall checkouts eyes down, seemingly looking only at her tray. Silently Hank watched Misty make her way over to a nearby spare seat, push herself right into the corner of the booth and stare down dejectedly at her food. Even when Jadis walked over and appeared to be trying to entice her to join her instead, Misty just stared down at her tray and listlessly shook her head.

"Look at them," Lily cried, dragging Hank's attention from the scene with Jadis and Misty to where Lindsey stood waiting for Jadis to return, a look of sadness that slumped to depression as Jadis turned back alone to rejoin her. An arm around her friend's shoulder Jadis tried to comfort the upset Lindsey as she lead her away. A stillness in the swirling crowd drew Hank's eye and he sighed as he saw Anna standing still watching Jadis comfort Lindsey, before she turned to stare at Misty in yearning. Hank watched Anna wrestle mightily within herself, before suddenly she turned, and even from across the Crystal Hall Hank could see the tears and sorrow as she ran from the hall.

"Still, after all this time!" Lily wailed burying her face in his shoulder.

"Lily, it's not your fault, things got a little out of hand and they haven't had a chance to patch it up yet ..."

"They've had all summer!" Lily cried. "We've ruined it, Lindsey, Anna, Misty! We've ruined their friendship, And for what? None of them where ever going to be hero! None of them needed to learn anything! It was just a game to them, why did we have to make it so real!"

"Now Lily, it was an accident, you can't blame yourself like this. And you know that's not true. Jade, Molly, both of them already do super heroing for real, and Misty, you know Misty wants to join the Capes. She couldn't keep treating it like a game."

"But to lose their friendship! Hank, you don't understand, you're not a girl! Losing friendships hurts!"

Hank bent and kissed her nose. "I do understand Lily, I lost Jamie," he said softly to her horrified expression before Hank gave her a smile. "But I don't believe those friendships are lost, there is too much sorrow between them to stay apart, you'll see, give it a week max, Wondercute will be back together, once again holding court over mayhem and destruction from their breakfast table of glee."

As Lily cuddled despondently into his shoulder, Hank looked up and smiled a grim smile, regarding the stern, steely eyed look of anger with which Jade was looking down from the upper level onto the dejected, upset and crying friends of hers. "Oh yes," Hank murmured as he watched the wheels spin in Jade's head. "There will be a reckoning, justice will be served and vengeance will be claimed." Smiling Hank contemplated his teammate and unlike others, he couldn't wait to see the mayhem she would unleash in defence of her friends and their friendship.
******

"There is no Wondercute! You successfully destroyed it already!" Molly cried out as Jade just continued silently glaring a Gunny Bardue. Samantha Everheart was also getting the benefit of her stink eye on the rare occasions she turned it from Bardue.

Ignoring the stink eye Bardue responded to Molly. "Nevertheless, in two weeks time Wondercute is scheduled for their first Sim match of the year, it will be against the Grunts, and yes they will have Lancer and Whisper.

"Great, six against two," Jade growled. "How about I just shot myself now and save everyone the bother?" Bardue growled, drawing breath to berate Jade, who just stared at him in anger, daring him to make something of it.

Putting a hand on Bardue's shoulder, Sam instead addressed Jade. "It's six against seven Jade, Rythax is far more intelligent then most people, and has generations of knowledge on warfare, spying and diplomacy as well to help guide you."

"Wonderful!" Molly snarked. "Maybe he can coach Jade into talking Bunny back in, that'll give us four to be hammered into the ground like nails!"

"Molly, the Grunts are rebuilding," Sam stated placatingly. "They lost Breaker and Deadeye, and they need to complete integrating Whisper ..."

Jade laughed sarcastically. "Yeah, integrating a Sidhe wizard who can run around invisibly, can dual wield pistols with sniper like accuracy and has confirmed kills with her bare hands against a fully armed and protected H1! hit squad because of years of hand-to-hand combat training by an ex-navy seal instructor! It must be such a chore integrating bottom of the barrel recruits like that!" Jade snarked. "I'm a Sophomore, we're all sophomores, you can't make us do it!" she screamed at Bardue.

Stern faced Sam faced her down. "You all signed up of your own free will to participate in the Sim battles ..."

"That was last year!" Jade interrupted. "Before you set us up against Star League Junior and coached them so that they ripped us to shreds!"

"Your team is in the rotation, it would be unfair..."

"Fair!" Molly screeched. "You don't care about fair! You just want to show everybody how big and bad and in control you are us by pounding our bodies into the dirt again! How is it fair that you force us to be in a sim, and then you make it the Grunts and we don't even get parity with them! Are you going to coach them too like you coached Star League? How about you start with cutting out arms off before you throw us in to the sharks this time? I know! Why don't you strip Bunny and Jade of all their gadgets, and then you can get Ms. Grimes to seal away my powers like she sealed Kayla's last year, would that be fair enough for you?!"

"Have you finished?" Growled Bardue standing up to tower over the desk and the diminutive Jade and Molly on the other side. Grunting at their mutinous expression, smiling nastily when Jade failed to speak, Bardue continued in a growl. "Since you think that the current roster of Wondercute is insufficient for a fair match with the Grunts, I'll allow you the same curtesy we allowed them. You are free to recruit anyone you wish who is not already on a Sim Team to Wondercute. Fell free to add as many students as you want, just remember it's you and your team who will need to train and outfit them, and you have only the two weeks before your match to do so," glaring down at them he raised a sardonic eyebrow. "Well Team Captains? What are you waiting for? Dismissed!"

Watching the two angry girls storm out, Sam gave an awed whistle. "And that's the two co-operative ones!" she commented with a wry laugh. "What are you planning to do with Anna, Lindsey and Misty? Drug them the night before and slip them into their Simsuits before they wake up? Then chip them into the Sim couches and keep them locked into the simulation until its time for their match?"

Bardue grunted, then looking over to the corner of the room and growled out, "You better be right with this Foobs, because there is a corner stone of leadership, and it goes like this; 'it's a very bad idea to give an order you know is not going to be obeyed!' Those two will, angrily, obey us. But the other three?" he laughed dismissively.

Fading in FUBAR sighed. "It is the combined opinion of the entire counselling staff that Anna, Lindsey and Misty need this. They are not going to have any chance of healing if they do not mend their friendships and get past that last battle."

Sam gave FUBAR a long silent look. "I'm not a counsellor, but I have many years of leadership and leadership training. There is not a single thing anyone in the combat instructors team could do to get those three girls to set foot in an Arena again."

FUBAR smiled. "I think you underestimate the ingenuity of Jade, and the power of righteous anger. It wasn't an idle suggestion to make sure that you use any opening provided to tell Jade to recruit more members. It is surprisingly effective how a few new members can gel together an otherwise dysfunctional group."

Bardue blinked. "How can adding to Wondercute get it to form again? I thought the purpose of this was to get the current girls back into the saddle?"

"Oh it is, Gunny, it is!" FUBAR laughed. "And no, don't ask me to tell you, I would hate to spoil Jade's surprise to you." Laughing merrily FUBAR faded out, and refused to re-appear to Gunny Bardue, no matter how he cursed.
******

"Can you come with me please?" Jade begged Bunny and Molly as she stood up at the end of lunch, looking across to the Bad Seed's table meaningfully.

"Now?" Bunny asked surprised.

Jade nodded firmly. "I want to get her when she's with Jadis, but away from the others. Jadis will stop her running and keep her calm. We'll at least be able to explain all of it to her then."

Watching Jadis shepherd a dejected Lindsey towards the escalators, Bunny and Molly nodded. Standing up, in sync with Jade, they too made their way down the escalators to return their trays and corner Lindsey.
******

"Hello Lindsey." Stiffening Lindsey stared up in shock at Jade, Molly and Bunny before her. "Can we talk? Please?" Jade asked as non-threateningly as she could, gesturing to an empty table nearby.

Firmly taking Lindsey's arm, Jadis steered her to the table, nodding silently to the relived, thankful smile Jade gave her. Sitting down across the table from Lindsey, Jade slid across a piece of paper to her. As Lindsey looked down at it puzzled, Jade explained.

"This morning Gunny Bardue and Sam Everheart called Molly and me into a meeting, they told us in no uncertain terms that Team Wondercute will be expected to participate in this year's Sim matches," she explained softly to Lindsey's wide eyed stare. "Further, all of us who signed up last year are expected to be there in two weeks to battle the Grunts."

Lindsey started shaking, looking up to Jade fearfully, tears starting to come out of her eyes. Jadis quickly enfolded her in a hug and glared at Jade. "I assume you have a plan and are not just doing this to scare Lindsey?" Jadis growled.

Jade nodded calmly. "Even if we don't try, just sit down in the sim and wait to be killed, it wouldn't matter. Bardue would just force us to do Sim after Sim till in anger or frustration he gets us to do as he wishes."

"So?" Jadis growled.

"What if we instead go out with a bang?" Molly softly suggested. "Not with a win, that won't help us either, but by being everything he hates, everything that made them come down on us originally? Be so much worse then we ever were before they'll be pleading with us not to ever come back?"

"I don't think I can do that anymore," Lindsey whisper softly, sniffling into a hankie she pulled from her pocket.

Jade grinned an evil grin, one that had Jadis shivering in dread. "Who says we need to do it?" Jade suggested conspiratorially. "Gunny said we could recruit anyone we liked who isn't already on a training team." With an evil smile Jade indicated a nearby table with its bevy of freshmen students. Wide-eyed Lindsey stared at the four girls and one guy seated there. "What do you say girlfriend," Jade whispered leaning forward offering a hand to Lindsey with a twinkle in her eye. "Think you can help me convince Misty and Anna Wondercute needs some new blood?"

With a wide, evil smile of her own Lindsey shook Jade's hand with glee, before crying she ran around to hug Jade, Molly and Bunny, laughing happily to be back with her friends again, all four of the suddenly giddy girls oblivious to the growing bubble of silence spreading around them, replaced with growing horror as the students around the four giddy girls reacted to their manic laughter, first with surprise, then with caution, finally wide-eyed they started backing away, turning to run, seeking whatever shelter they could find.
******

Lindsey stood waiting nervously at the elevator doors from the tunnels into the Crystal Hall before dinner, knowing the Underdogs tried real hard to get to meals as inconspicuously as possible. At the ding of the elevator, Lindsey looked up, and the distracted, sad expression on Anna's face reached right into her heart. Not even thinking she walked straight forward and enwrapped Anna in a hug, holding her tight with her head on Anna's chest. Wordlessly Anna enfolded her too in a hug and started crying softly into her hair as she rested her cheek on the top of Lindsey's head, eyes closed hugging her tight.

Ree and Lucille exchanged glances, giving each other relieved smiles as the two unhappy friends silently hugged each other. Noticing a bored wiggle in Nate who had been walking with them, Lucille glared at him. At his wide eyed stared of innocent persecution Lucille stepped close and whisper growled at him. "Nate! Not now!"

"But ..." he attempted to protest as Lucille overruled him.

"Go and get something to eat," she growled, pointedly glaring at him until he walked away, giving bother her and the statue still Anna and Lindsey puzzled looks.

"Boys!" Ree commented rolling her eyes as Lucille returned to standing next to her, gleefully exchanging excited looks with her as Lindsey and Anna continued their oblivious hug until finally they let up.

Looking up at Anna, Lindsey took a deep breath and beat her to the punch. "Anna, Bardue called Molly and Jade in and gave them an ultimatum, Wondercute have to participate in their scheduled Sim matches, no excuses." With a feral grin and sparkle in her eye Lindsey continued as Anna's eyes widened in alarm. "Don't worry, Molly and Jade have 'a plan'." Grinning evilly Lindsey gave Ree and Lucille a happy wave in greeting before she half dragged, half lead Anna off and away with her.

Watching Lindsey and Anna run off together, Ree sighed, before turning to Lucille with a huge grin on her face. Excitedly the two girls hugged and jumped around together, before as one they turned and ran off into Crystal Hall excitedly to deliver the news of Anna's reconciliation with Lindsey to the rest of her friends.
******

After happily hugging and greeting Anna, Molly, Jade and Lindsey exchange solemn glances. "Misty?" Molly questioned hopefully, smiling relieved at Jade and Lindsey's firm nods of agreement. "Misty," they both chorused solemnly, Lindsey turning to give Anna an encouraging smile as Anna looked worriedly between the three of them. Exchanging firm nods with Jade and Molly, Lindsey slipped her hand into Anna's, and with a gentle tug lead her off, Molly following them. With a manic grin Jade watched them go, before turning she too left, joining the lines of students getting their dinner.
******

Standing just outside the checkouts, Lindsey and Molly scanned the crowds streaming past, Anna standing close beside them, nervously biting her lip and mostly looked at the floor, only looking up worriedly when someone intruded too close to her.

Turning to Anna, Lindsey once more put an arm around her shoulders and gave her a quick squeeze of comfort, absently rubbing Anna's back as she turned back to scanning the oncoming students. Hand freezing, giving a small exclamation of sadness, Lindsey spotted their quarry. Alone, and with an aura of sadness, Misty drifted towards them, oblivious to the bumping and jostling going on around her. Head down, eyes fixed in her tray, Misty seemingly drifted on the stream of students, her destination beyond her control or caring.

"Oh Misty," Molly sighed as she saw her, causing Anna to immediately look up, tears coming to her eyes as she once more spotted her friend miserably shuffling along. Unconsciously moving towards her, Anna arrived just after Molly stepped up to Misty with a murmured "Here, let me take that for you" as she relieved Misty of her meal tray. Looking up in surprise Misty's eyes widened in shock as she saw Anna before her, left centred in her vision by a continuation of Molly's deft manoeuvring, having stepped quickly to the side after reliving Misty of her tray so that only the on-rushing Anna was left in front of her when Misty looked up.

Stopping abruptly, tears in her eyes Anna stared devastated at Misty before blurting she rushed out an "I'm sorry!" who's mournful sincerity was only matched by Misty's simultaneous tearful rendition of the same. Staring at each other crying, Misty and Anna melted into each other's arms as a smiling Lindsey stepped forward, and with a hand behind each of their backs pushed them together, before she too wrapped arms around the two girls, and smiling though the tears hugged them tight.

The tender vista was finally broken as happy, excited cries of "Make way! Make way for floating food! Make way!" penetrated their conscious. Letting go of their hug, the three girls turned to see what the commotion was, just in time to see the student crowd part before an excited Jade, walking along calling out warnings with five trays of food dancing and floating around her, somehow giving the impression of skipping and cavorting as they floated along.

Spotting Misty, Jade's eyes widened in delight, and with a squee loud enough to make most nearby students wince and glare at her, Jade ran happily for Misty, reaching out absently to touch the tray Molly was holding as she ran past, adding it to the cavorting trays happily trailing her already. After excitedly hugging and greeting Misty and the other girls, Jade once again started forcing her way through the crush of students calling out "Make way for the floating food! Pied Piper of lunch trays coming through! I have fish, and I'm not afraid to use it!" and other insanities, causing even Misty to smile at her antics.

Making their way to the table the excitedly waving Bunny had saved for them, Misty was firmly seated between Anna and Lindsey while Molly and Bunny sat opposite them. As trays of food marched in to formatting before them, Jade stood at the head of the table and cleared her throat. "I call to order this meeting of Wondercute and table our first order of business, the recruiting of new members for the express purpose of turning Gunny Bardue's face red, white and blue, and any other interesting colours we can make it, all those in favour please scream out 'aye!'"

"AYE!"
******

"See, I told you Jade would fix it," Hank murmured to his girlfriend, giving her a quick kiss on the check. "Jade's very protective of her friends, there was no way she was going to let that stand."

"Just because she's fixing it, doesn't excuse our guilt in breaking them," Lily sighed sadly.

"Lily don't be like that, you were just doing what you were told to do," Hank mildly scolded her.

Glaring at him Lily growled, "And how many people were hung at Nuremberg with that same wail on their lips?"

"Now Lily that's unfair, and you know it," Hank gently remonstrated her. "It was an accident Lily. Things you never meant to happen happened, and then it all spiralled out of control. It wasn't your team's fault Lily!" Hank reminded her.

"But it feels like it was," Lily cried.

"And that's why I love you," Hank murmured with a kiss that melted Lily to his side.

With a final wry glance at the mild insanity being lead by Jade, Hank gave Lily's shoulder a quick squeeze and turned her and led her further into the Crystal Hall. Exchanging a quick nod of understanding with Ayla and Nikki, Hank guided Lily towards the table claimed by the rest of her team. Sitting Lily firmly next to Ashley, giving quick nods to Mark and Dredz, Hank turned to go and get dinner for himself and Lily, hiding a smile when a glance back showed him that Lily had already reached over to hug Ashley and start telling her the news of the reforming of Wondercute.
Last Edit: 4 years 5 months ago by Phoenix Spiritus. Reason: Spelling corrections

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