A/N Just a little something to keep me occupied in these trying times!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Lab Rats.
"So who'd you get?"
Adam Davenport turned over the piece of paper between his fingers with a grimace. It was only the second week of his senior year at Mission Creek High and he was in first period English. They had just been given their year-long project, which would account for thirty percent of their final grade and required each student to partner up. If he had his way, he would have chosen to work with Matthew, whom he had met half-way through junior year and had immediately hit it off with. He was also one of the only people who had been quick to defend Adam and his family when the public had briefly turned against them due to Leo's bionic mishap with the protestors outside their house.
But of course, life hardly gave you what you asked for. His teacher, Miss Rodriguez, had placed the names of the students on the left side of the room in a hat and made the students on the right choose one. Now that person was to be their partner for the year. Some of the class had protested quite expressively, only to be hushed by a snap of the tall woman's fingers. She then proceeded to stare them all down over the top of her cat eye glasses and explain to them that this was the only way for the pairings to be fair.
In a way, Adam understood where the woman was coming from. She was the only teacher at the school who took him seriously- because she saw something in him, she had said. What she saw, he had no idea, but he did know that her interest in him made English become his favourite and highest grade subject. The rest of them were just barely hanging on.
"Dude!" Adam gasped as the piece of paper was snatched from his hand. He took the bleeding appendage into his mouth as he glared at Matthew. The brunette unfolded the paper and Adam watched as his curiosity morphed into shock before tapering off into amusement.
"Elena Mitchell." The new girl. Also known as Principal Perry's niece- her other niece, to be exact. Not Kerry, like his scarred brother and sister had originally thought when they had first heard of the arrival of a new student related to Perry. As far as he knew, she was nicer than her relatives, but it was the only bit of information he had. The girls at Mission Creek weren't interested in talking to him about to other girls and most of the boys were afraid to go near her lest they occur the wrath of her aunt.
"Left side," Ms. Rodriguez said, "go meet the right side." Adam slung his backpack over his shoulder and fist-bumped Matthew, who wished him good luck. He made his way slowly to the back of the class, eyes on Elena the entire time. For being related to their repulsive principal, her appearance came as a bit of a surprise to the entire student body. She was actually attractive, unlike her aunt.
Adam had often heard some of the popular boys describe her as a 'hot nerd' or 'sexy librarian', and he could see why. Her pin straight hair was long and jet black, framing a heart shaped face set with high cheekbones and an angular nose. On that nose always sat a pair of thick framed glasses. They served to highlight her chocolate coloured eyes and the thick lashes that surrounded them, lashes that he could clearly see since her head was bent over the notebook she was scribbling in.
Adam slid into the seat next to her carefully. She looked up with a small smile, which quickly disappeared when she laid eyes on him. "Oh. It's you." He winced. In addition to her familial ties, there was also another reason he had not been overjoyed when he had picked her name. "Here to hit on me again?" she asked, one shapely eyebrow raised high over her left frame.
"N-no. I'm your partner." When he had seen her on the first day of school, his brain had not connected the dots and figured out her identity like the others had. Instead, it registered the presence of a very pretty girl and he had done what he always did; immediately asked her out.
He had strut over to her and laid on a bad pick-up line having to do with his bionics and her needing to be saved. With great contempt, she had shut down his advances and excused herself to her first class, leaving Adam utterly embarrassed. He had never before been so badly rejected by a girl (discounting Sabrina since he had never actually asked her out). The whole situation left him with a weird feeling in the pit of her stomach.
"Give it." She held out her hand expectantly. Adam blinked in confusion. Seeing this, she rolled her eyes and elaborated, "The paper. Give me the paper." He dropped it in her hands and watched as she read it, her mouth thinning into a grin line when she realized he was telling the truth. "Okay."
"Look," he began as she returned the paper to him, "I know I came on a little strong and I'm s-"
"The teacher is talking." And with those words, she shut him down as swiftly as she had that first day by the lockers. Miffed, he slumped down in his seat and watched her. She studiously took notes as Rodriguez spoke, which was what she normally did whenever she was in class. Now that he though about it, she reminded him a bit of Chase when they sat down to do their homework. The younger boy's pencil would not leave his page until he was done with his task, much like Elena's.
"So what book are you thinking about?"
"Huh?" Adam stared at her, half mystified and half wondering if she was joking. Books were the last thing he thought about on a daily.
"The project," she replied, "that Rodriguez just explained?" Her face was blank save for her furrowed eyebrows, the only indication of her growing impatience. "Were you even listening?" He had not been, but decided against saying that lest he really upset her.
"Sorry. I, uh…" he scratched the back of his neck as he searched for a way to explain where his mind was. Somehow he did not think telling her he was comparing her to his brother would go over well. "Sorry," he mumbled again.
"Whatever," she started closing up her pencil case and packing up her books. A glance at the clock told him it was near time for class to end. "What time is your lunch hour?"
"Twelve," he answered promptly. He had no idea how to talk to this girl who clearly did not take him seriously. Even his earlier attempt at an apology had fallen on deaf ears.
"Me too. Take this-" she shoved a flower-shaped sticky note in his hand. Names of what he assumed were books were neatly listed out in her pink, curly handwriting. "They're the books she assigned. I've read them all so you can choose one and we can meet up at the library tomorrow at lunch time and get started."
"The library?" he echoed. And during lunchtime? That was his favorite period! It was the only thing that got him through the boredom that was a day at Mission Creek.
"Yes," she zipped her leather backpack shut and swung it onto her shoulders. "You do know where the library is, don't you."
Something in her tone upset him greatly. It was almost as if she was trying to say there was no way someone like him had ever stepped foot into a library, much less know where it was. She may have been right on the first part, but it didn't make him feel any less insulted. When he spoke again, he snapped at her. "Of course I do. I'm not stupid."
"Okay." His change in tone did not seem to register to her. Or maybe it did and she simply ignored it. It was a habit of hers he was quickly starting to dislike. "Don't be late." And she stood up with a flourish and left, leaving Adam staring, infuriated, behind her.
Lunchtime did nothing to curb Adam's bad mood, not even the fact that they were serving his favourite; pepperoni pizza. His appetite, however, demanded to be satiated, specifically in the form of five slices of cheesy goodness. He was on his third when Leo spoke up from next to him.
"Okay, what's wrong?" asked the sixteen-year old.
"Whaf d'you meam?" At his brother's grossed-out look, he swallowed his mouthful of food and tried again. "What do you mean?"
"I think he's referring to your angrier than normal pizza devouring," Chase supplied as he dragged a fork through his salad. "What's going on?"
"You guys know the new girl?" The two nodded, and he noticed Chase's ears turned a little red at the mention of Elena. Bree was not present at the table, presumably somewhere with Ryan, her boyfriend of the month. "I got paired up with her in English." He took another bite out of his pizza as his brothers stared at him.
"And?" Leo prompted.
"Oh, yeah," he licked his fingers clean of tomato sauce, "she's sort of….". He trailed off. What had he been about to say? That she was mean? Rude? He did not know her well enough to make that judgement, so he decided on describing her as, "different."
Leo took a big gulp of his water. "Different how?"
"Different as in she's the first girl here to reject him." Chase supplied, enjoying this immensely. Adam resisted their urge to punch the smirk off his face.
"She did not rejec-"
"Oh I was there," Leo cut in, "it was a rejection for the ages. If I were you I'd have died on the spot, and that's coming from a guy whose girlfriend doesn't like to be referred to as his girlfriend." Adam and Chase shared a look. The relationship between their adopted brother and his curly haired girlfriend was one they would never understand.
"I like her," Chase proclaimed, "she's in my Chemistry class." Seeing that he was the 'smartest man in the world', it was no surprise that he was in all advanced classes. Chase was covering academic material leaps and bound ahead of him, and was often sorted into senior classes, hence his ending up with Elena. "We got paired up for a lab last week and she's pretty nice to talk to."
"Pretty, yes. Nice to talk to, not so sure, since-". Three sets of vibrations stopped the rest of his sentence. He pulled out his phone to see it flashing red with a mission alert and messages from Davenport. A factory downtown had exploded and some workers were trapped inside. The police needed their help to safely extract the workers.
"Adam, Leo, you guys go on ahead," Chase instructed, slipping into his mission leader voice. "I'll go find Bree and have her speed us home. We'll meet up with you guys at the mission site."
Adam shoved the last bits of his pizza in his mouth and rushed out of the doors, Leo hot on his heels. As he turned a corner near Perry's office, the door swung open and he went skidded into the person exiting. They collided with a grunt from him and very feminine yell of disdain from the person he hit. "Watch where you're going, Davenport!"
Great, he thought as he stared down at Elena, another reason for her to hate me. He offered a hand to help her up as he staggered out an apology. From the corner of his eye, he saw Leo snickering at the exchange. "S-sorry. There's a mission alert and I need to get there and-"
"Just go," she batted away his hands and got to her feet herself, "and try not to mow anyone else down while you're at it." She took up her bag and left, leaving an angry Adam in her wake for the second time that day. He watched her for a long time, until she was completely out of sight, and only seemed to remember he had somewhere to be when a throat cleared behind him.
"What?" he asked, harsher than intended.
"That was smooth," Leo said as the two continued their way out of the school. "You know, like sandpaper."
"Haha," Adam deadpanned as he pulled out his car key. "Shut up and get in the car before I make you walk home."
Is it good? Bad? Should I even continue? Let me know in the reviews!