When Fanny first started her job on the Decommissioning Squad, her best friend was incredibly infatuated at the process. The nine-year-old wanted to know everything about it; "did it hurt? How does it just erase your time as an operative? Do you forget the people you were friends with before and during your time as a member of the Kids Next Door?"
"They say it's not supposed to, but it won't matter anyway since you won't remember it. But I don't think it does.
I'm the newest member, lass, they don't tell me these things.
You forget everything about them."
When the girl was an eight-year-old spy, she wanted to know every single thing about the Kids Next Door. She craved knowledge, she wanted to know everything about the organization that she was so dedicated to. And when she was learning all of these things, (Numbuh 0 isn't actually a myth, Numbuh 999 was the first female operative of the 7th age of the Teens Next Door) she learned that decommissioning wasn't something to be afraid of. It was something that should fuel her will to live her childhood to its full capacity. And that's what she did for a while. She was known as an incredible spy, one of the greatest in Kids Next Door history. She was happy and content and loved what she did.
Two years later, when her role model, Chad (Numbuh 274) 'betrayed' the Kids Next Door, she was asked by the Global Command to take over for him. Her, a ten-year-old who had never even led a Sector. They wanted her to lead the Kids Next Door. And when you're personally asked to take over and become Supreme Leader of the Kids Next Door, you don't refuse that offer. And she didn't.
It took her a long time to learn the ropes, and instead of learning new facts about the Kids Next Door, she was stuck learning how to approve requests to make new technology and give the right Sector's the right mission specs (she learned that the more difficult the mission seemed, that it was best to give it to Sector V). She went from being one of the quietest most unseen operatives in the Kids Next Door to being in charge of everything.
The highly liked and highly respected Numbuh 362 was soon forgetting about how important it was to live her childhood while she still had the chance. The only times where she really felt relaxed was when she was with Numbuh 1, he had that effect on her. By the time she was twelve and had realized her feelings for him, she realized just how close she was to becoming a teenager and how she had wasted the past two years of her childhood being in charge and ordering around other kids.
She tried getting out of being the Supreme Leader (more than once), but it never worked, she was always roped back in. Deep down she knew that the job grew on her. For the longest time she only saw herself as a spy, but the older she got the more she realized that she was a caretaker. Those kids were her family, and she would protect them and the Kids Next Door at all costs.
When her birthday month finally rolled around, she realized that she should give some strong speech about how much she enjoyed her time in the Kids Next Door and what an honor it was to work beside the strongest, toughest, and most committed kids on the planet. She realized that she should do that, but she also realized that she didn't want to. She wanted to go out as she came in, quietly.
So she said her goodbyes personally. She first went to Fanny and thanked her for being the best friend a kid could possibly ask for. She would always be in debt to her because Fanny always pulled her best friend away from work when she needed a break. The red-head did something that she would normally never be caught dead doing, she cried and told Rachel that she couldn't have asked for a better partner in crime. She then went to Patton and told him how sorry she was that she never got around to seeing him more in Arctic Base. She told him that she treasured the memories they made together when they were cadets and in Sector W together. He hugged her and told her that she shouldn't be sorry because she was busy leading the organization to greatness and that it was his fault as well for never coming up to Moon Base to hang out with her and Fanny.
She said a few other goodbyes to a few other friends, but none were as significant as Fanny or Patton. Except for maybe one other one.
Her last night before her birthday she spent it on the bridge, dangling her feet over the edge and drinking hot chocolate (specially made by Arctic Base, delivered to her by Patton Drilovsky). Out of all the things she was going to miss the most, it was the Moonbase. Her Moonbase. All the kids playing whizbee (even though that annoyed her to no end), kids laughing and playing around, kids doing their jobs, kids being kids. The blonde twelve-year-old sat on the bridge, her legs dangling, drinking hot chocolate looking at the stars. If it wasn't for her amazing hearing skills, she wouldn't have heard Nigel Uno approaching her, and plopping down right beside her.
The two were silent for what seemed like an eternity, but it was a good silence, a comfortable one. She was the first to speak, "Want some?" She held out the large mug to the bald boy, he shook his head and smiled sadly,
"No thanks, I have the next five months to drink that," He paused, not wanting to continue,
"I only have the next five hours," She whispered, finishing the thought for him. Numbuh 1 took in a deep breath before grabbing her hand, holding it in his own. He couldn't help (even though he tried really hard not to) notice how perfectly their hands fit into each others. Without even hesitating, Rachel leaned against the red-clad boy, her head resting on his shoulder. She realized that there was nothing that felt more right than him being there with her. And there wasn't a better way to end her last night as a Kids Next Door operative. "Thank you,"
"For what?" He wondered,
"For everything," She answered, sighing and lifting her head up. She smiled at him, and realized that he didn't have his sunglasses on. She furrowed her brows together and without needed to say anything he said,
"I was in a hurry," He had the prettiest blue eyes. She loved his eyes, "I just forgot to grab them, I guess," She nodded in understanding, before taking another sip of hot chocolate. She closed her eyes and breathed in slowly before opening her eyes once again and leaning over to kiss his cheek. She'd been working up the courage to do that for months. Now she wasn't even going to remember how it felt.
"If we ever meet up in the future, you owe me a meatball sandwich, Soldier," She joked. He smiled and let out a small, but slightly sad, chuckle,
"Happy birthday, Numbuh 362," Fanny sniffed, placing the cupcake in front of her. Rachel had caved, after all, the entire Kids Next Door was sitting in the stands watching, sniffling, some bawling over dramatically (Numbuh 60). Numbuh 86 let out a shaky breath, "Time to blow out the candles,"
Rachel stopped breathing. She closed her eyes and held her breath for what seemed like forever. She was recalling all the facts she insisted on learning as a young operative. She was trying to remember all the things her and the traitor did together, and all the good times she shared with Fanny and Patton in Sector W. She was recalling everything that her and Nigel shared last night. She opened her eyes and took a breath when she couldn't hold it in any longer.
When she blew out these candles, she was no longer a Kids Next Door operative. So she stood up, shoving the chair she was sitting on behind her. She pumped her fist into the air, "Kids Next Door Rules!"
And she cried for the first time about getting decommissioned when they shouted back, "Kids Next Door Rules, Sir!"
She sniffed and leaned over, blowing out the candle on the purple frosted chocolate cupcake.
Just a one-shot that used to be a prologue but now is not. If you liked it (or even if you didn't) make sure to review!