A/N: This was the product of some very mean AP homework and the procrastination that comes along with it. In here, there will be references to both the Runaways and Lupe Fiasco. Sadly, I own neither of them. Yet. Enjoy, read, review, and try to be kind!

Keep smiling and spread the laughter,

Ema Neslaf

He had always liked spy novels as a kid. You know, the ones where the good guys went undercover in order to do what was necessary and always seemed to save the world in the end. By the time he was seven, he figured he could do the same thing. But he wasn't hiding from supervillians, but something much more sinister.


They wanted him to be the perfect son. A well-groomed, well-liked, well-rounded young man whose brains and good looks far surpassed any of their hopes and dreams. He would become one of the greatest men to ever walk the Earth- and they would have been the ones he looked towards for guidance. They would have been his confidants, his advisors...his parents. They wanted that so very badly, they went as far as to build him that way.

Oh yeah. He had heard them, whispering one night, looking over some sort of plans, wondering how the genetic engineering could have gone so astray from what they had originally planned. He wasn't perfect. He was a mistake.

A jock. A meat-headed jock. One who preferred running around on a field to pacing around a lab. Somebody who'd rather chase after girls than the right answer. He was a loser, a failure, a druggie, and, they could just tell, a soon-to-be criminal.

Well, thinking back on it, he always would have made a good spy.

It was how she first found him. He was in her AP calculus class. She wouldn't have even recognized him if it wasn't for the fact that "Y" was right near "S" and even if he chose to sit in the far back of the lecture hall, in that shadowy corner, she still had to bring all the worksheets that were passed back all the way to him. In fact, she was just about to give him [black hoodie, hood up, baseball cap, silent, dark, dark, dark] a piece of her mind. And then she looked down.

And he looked up.

He was always good at blending into the background.

It wasn't until later that year that he really put together all the facts. The looks she would give him, how she wouldn't protest being second in the class even if he never answered any questions, how he could always feel eyes on his back as he snuck out of the hall five [ten, fifteen, thirty] minutes early. She knew.

Well. Maybe he wasn't as good as hiding as he thought.

He confronted her one day; asking her why she had never spilled the beans, never raised alarm that the resident idiot of the lacrosse team, the one who barely scrapped by in school, was acing a college level course with apparent ease. How whenever her car wouldn't start or her iPod broke, she would bring it to him and have it back [way better than] new.

She simply smiled and said that she had no idea what he was talking about.

In the battle with the Steins and the Morus, she finally showed them the truth. Off in a corner, she enlightened them to their son, pulling a "mole" and slipping them a note. A single note on the counter of their workspace: simple, short, and to the point.

They would never know what hit them.

They found it later, during the clean up. And, as predicted, they were shocked. It led to a large amount of computer hacking and calls to some very important people. They finally had a clear view of who their son was. And why he was. And who he would be.

For the first time in a very long time, they were proud.

Chase Stein hides who he really is under the blonde hair and the "I don't give a flying fuck" attitude. He hides his GPA, his college acceptance letters, his skills with a wrench, a welding iron, pliers, [a knife]… any sort of tool. He hides his love for machines and figuring out how they work, all the individual kinks and sounds of each individual and unique piece…how each tiny wire becomes part of a greater whole.

He hides because he has to.

He hides because he never wanted to be them.

She knows, and she loves him all the more for it.

Just like he loves her all the more for her penchant for old movies and purple hair.

They know [finally], and feel the first dredges of shame ever.

It is a feeling that they will come to know very well.

And separate [and intertwining] to his [her, their] world, the rest of the city sleeps quietly on, confident that they are who they say they are.

A city full of superstars.