Lash woke up to the sound of rain pattering rhythmically against his window. It was nearing the end of Fall and the start of a new school year was about to begin, well, for everybody else. After all of the trouble that had occurred in his senior year and his time spent in prison, Principal Powers had came to a decision.

If he hadn't of learnt from the experience he would have deemed the whole thing pointless. Due to his absence in these final and crucial weeks, Lash had missed important end of term exams, consequently, Speed, Penny and himself had been held back a year and were still regarded as Seniors. Unfortunately for him, so were little Stronghold and his buddies.

Groaning slightly, Lash lifted the black, silk cover from his lanky form and stepped onto the plush carpet. The décor in his room reflected his personality; all black and white with a hint of red. It helped that he came from a wealthy family, in the past when Speed had been over he had often regarded it as the room of Royalty, and Lash couldn't agree more.

Padding over to his wardrobe on the far left side of his chamber, he quietly opened the doors. As far as he could tell the rest of the household was still asleep, best not wake them. Scanning over the contents of his wardrobe he established that nothing had really changed, countless shirts with stripes and plain jeans were visible.

Sighing he closed the doors and opted for his chest of drawers. Lash wanted to make an impression today, an alteration of his outward appearance to convey how he had changed inside. Now that sounded gay. Shaking his head in disgust he pulled open the bottom draw and took out a selection of clothes. They were all basic pieces of clothing, and after after contemplating which he preferred for a minute, he chose to pick out a simple blue V-neck T-shirt and some black jeans with a chain attached to the left hip.

Once he had finished getting changed he turned around to look over himself in his floor mirror. The lack of stripy sleeves and his shorter hair really made his brown eyes stand out, though he felt naked without his usual attire. Looking down at his bare arms he clenched his jaw at the sight. There were a few reasons why he always adorned long-sleeved shirts and jackets. To begin with it had been to conceal his arms.

When he was just 10-years-old, he had been climbing a tree in the local woods with Speed. Speed was never really a good climber, his weight being a major contributor and the fact that his stamina was very poor... keeping in mind this was before he became a living, supersonic being.

Lash, however, excelled in climbing and was always naturally taller than the majority of children his age. Being the determined child he was, his goal was to reach the very top of the tree. Lash was still under-developed though and lacked the upper-body strength that would be required to accomplish such a feat. He had made an error in judgement whilst moving from one branch to another and lost his footing.

Time had seemed to stop for Lash and without hesitating, his reaction had been to automatically reach out in front of him in order to get his grip back. He never felt the impact of his body hitting the ground. Instead it had felt like someone was cruelly dealing out Chinese burns to both of his arms, the pain was excruciating and he understood exactly why when he opened his eyes.

Lash had been suspended in the air, roughly two feet away from the ground. Above him he was met with the image of his elongated arms and a very shocked Speed. Before he had time to dwell on the miraculous occurrence, Lash had passed out and fallen to the floor.

That was when Lash had discovered his powers and the incident had left stretch marks that covered almost every inch of the two limbs. Disgusted at the appearance of them, Lash had vowed to never show his arms to anyone ever again. It seemed quite a strong promise to make now that he thought of it, but who would want to know some scarred freak-show?

Of course now that his powers had advanced, he could stretch his body with ease and sustain no damage whatsoever. Though he had always liked the kind of optical illusion that was created when he stretched wearing stripes.

He was snapped out of his musings by an irritating beeping that was otherwise known as his alarm, verifying the time as 6:30am. Almost as a second nature, Lash casually reached out across the room and switched the device off. He spent the next fifteen minutes gelling his hair into a new style. It was still fairly long, but when he had spent time in prison it had had to be cut shorter.

After grabbing a bagel for breakfast, brushing his teeth and hoisting his school bag over his shoulder, he was set to go. Luckily his Father had left early for work this morning, which meant that he did not have to see his disappointed face over the dinner table. Despite his Father being a complete and utter jerk about it all (that sort of thing comes naturally to him), his Mother had taken her son's villainous actions the hardest.

He'd would take the time to care if he could be bothered, but right now he had more important things to think of; such as himself and catching the bus. When he reached the bus shelter he was met with a range familiar faces and some new – freshmen.

Unconsciously shoving his hands into his pockets, he walked grumpily to the single bench where three teenagers talked excitedly amongst themselves. "Move it freshies," he commanded, looming over them leaving no room for disobedience. Seeing a quick flash of fear in their eyes he smirked as the feeling of control within him was replenished – he'd missed this.

But they didn't move. Stunned, he raised his eyebrows in a questioning manner, "I'm sorry... did you not hear me or are you asking for trouble?" Lash really couldn't be bothered with intolerable youth right now.

"What, you expect us to move because you told us to?" One of the teenagers bravely questioned.

"Wow, you read my mind, psychic boy eh? Now you have five seconds to..."

"Leave them alone, Lash!" Turning around Lash found himself face to face with none other than Stronghold, "I think you've caused enough trouble to last you a lifetime Lash, didn't being locked up in prison teach you a lesson?"

Snarling, Lash viciously retorted, "you have no idea what I went through Stronghold, and even if you did, it has nothing to do with you. So why don't you drop the hero act and keep your big nose out of other people's business for a change, huh?"

Stronghold was standing to his full height and in Lash's opinion looking more grown up than the last time he had come face to face with him. Apparently he hadn't been the only person affected by the events of Homecoming. Standing beside him was that plant-obsessive freak, Lisa... Leah... Layla? Something like that. She was looking more and more like a hippy everyday.

"As a student of Sky High, it is my business to make sure you don't go around bullying new students. I'm surprised Principal Powers even let you ba... what the hell happened to your arms?"

"The same thing that's gonna' happen to your freaking face if you don't stop being a nosey bastard, Stronghold!" Lash was furious now, he hadn't planned on what to respond with when people inevitably questioned him about his injuries. He didn't know who was more annoying, damn Stronghold looking into his personal business or that nature girl pretending he didn't exist!

Fortunately the potential fight was cut short by the yellow, 'inconspicuous' bus that approached them. Lash physically relaxed, the last thing he had wanted to do on his first day was to get involved in a one-on-one fight with the muscle man. Holding his head up high he pushed the other students out of his way and stepped onto the bus. With a brief sneer at the driver, Ron Wilson, Lash strolled down the middle of the bus and nodded in greeting to Speed who was sitting on the back seat.

"Hey buddy."

"Hey what's up.. dude, what the hell are you wearing?" Speed inquired as his best friend sat down next to him.

Rolling his eyes in blatant irritation Lash replied, "what does it fucking look like? The last thing I need right now, is for you of all people to be staring at me like that."

"Like what?" Speed looked confused.

"Like that! That stupid, 'look at that guys disfigured and ugly arms' expression, you know it makes me uncomfortable, man."

"Yeah, whatever. Sorry I guess."

An awkward silence passed between the two for the rest of the journey and whether he was paranoid or not, people were talking about them just as he had predicted the night before. This was going to be a long day at school...

The next chapter should be up soon and will show what happens when the new seniors arrive at Sky High. There's bound to be some bad attitudes towards the return of Lash and Speed. Comments are always appreciated.