Chapter 1: New School
She had been surprised when the envelope turned in her mail, mostly due to the fact that she had no memory of applying for that school. And she was very sure she had not applied for a full scholarship either, why would she when she already went to the school of her dreams.
Pushing her glasses up further, Julia Argent started to read through the papers once more. She had to admit that the offer she is given isn’t too bad, it was fully paid, and she would be moved to an on-campus house. A.C.M.E, is the house that she had been assigned to and that's the only information she had.
The school would give her a continued course on her already chosen degree, and they prayed themselves to be the best in the world. If they were best in the world Julia wondered as to why she had never heard of them before. A number had been added at the end of the last page, call if you have questions had been written above it and Julia just stares at it.
Taking her phone, she dialled the number; after all, there was only one way to find out more about this unknown school.
A female voice asks after the first tone, making Julia slightly surprised. She had not expected someone to answer the phone this fast. She had no idea of what to properly say in this moment, she had been hopping for some waiting time so she could come up with something.
“Yes, hello. My name is Julia Argent.”
She greeted, starting off with her name was always a good way to go. Hopefully the person on the other end would know about her name and could tell her more without having her ask the questions she didn’t have.
“Ah! Miss Argent! I need your help. I need a second opinion on a small matter on this end.”
The woman tells her, and Julia was really feeling at a lost, this conversation didn’t go like she had expected it would at all.
“Me and my partner here are arguing about what is the highest ranked artefact at the moment.”
The woman tells her before Julia has a chance to even ask what they were talking about. The argument had not been what she had been expected either, this was taking a turn towards the odd side.
“You are aware of that list changing from time to time correct? Right now, the Chines Qianlong Vase but there is still a lot of valuable things out there that shouldn’t even have a price tag on them.”
Julia answered without thinking, she knew the list inside out by now and she still didn’t like it.
“And now I know as to why you have been called in.”
The woman answered her and Julia blinks slightly at the comment.
“I guess that’s why you called me, you have questions about the sudden letter dropped into your mailbox.”
She then adds and Julia takes a deep breath.
“Something like that yes.”
She answered and she could hear how the woman chuckled a bit.
“Yeah, I was just as surprise as you are to see that letter drop down from nowhere. I haven’t regret joining A.C.M.E since the day I put my foot here. The school is not one you apply to, this school choses their students. They always keep an eye out for good potential students. You, Ms Argent have really caught their attention.”
The woman explains and Julia looks down on the papers once more, so she wasn’t the only to have been invited like this. That somehow made Julia feel slightly better about it all.
“You don’t have to decide right now, you still have two weeks to think the offer over. No one is forcing you, but you won’t regret it.”
Seno comments when Julia had been quiet for quite a while. Closing her eyes, Julia realised that she needed to hear that. She wasn’t one to make decision without thinking them through first and this one was a big one.
“Well, I’m going to let you think it over. I have a call to attend, I look forward meeting you Argent!”
Seno then adds before the call ends, Julia lowers the phone and just looks at it. She had been through a few conversations before, this one however took the price. Sitting back on her chair, she started to read through the papers one last time.
Looking around herself, she tried to find her way. For a school that is keeping a low profile, the buildings didn’t help in that caus. Looking at the map, Julia tried to figure out where exactly she is; something that wasn’t quite easy. They really needed to update their maps because nothing seemed to be right.
“Need a hand there?”
A voice spoke up from behind her, making Julia jump slightly. The voice sounded quite familiar and as Julia turns around her eye’s lands on a young woman her own age. Her brown eyes were scanning Julia, her brown hair was pulled into a tight bun and she was dressed in a black office suit. Julia couldn’t help but to lift one eyebrow at that, it didn’t feel like normal student attire.
“Yes, I’m looking for the A.C.M.E house?”
Julia answered, she looked down at the paper once more just to make sure she had said it correctly. The woman’s eyes grow large, delight shinning in her eyes.
“Ms Julia Argent! It’s very nice to meet you at last!”
The woman says and she holds out her hand.
“The name is Irene Seno.”
She then adds as Julia takes her hand and Julia smiles slightly. The woman smiled big before she glanced at the map in Julia’s hand.
“Yeah, we know. The map needs an update. We are working on it.”
She tells her with a smile and Julia nods her head at this, good to know it is being taken care off.
“Follow me and I’ll take you to your home while being here.”
She then adds before heading down the road. With one last look around herself, Julia follows Irene. She was still quite curious as about what would happen, it had been her curiosity that had won in the end and made her accept the invitation.
“Any nicknames I should know about or the fact that you want a nick name? Normally we just call one another by our last names but David has a habit of giving everyone a nickname if he isn’t stopped from the beginning.”
Irene ask and Julia looks at her once more, yet another odd question. Thinking it over, she realised the question was mostly made for her comfort than anything else.
“No nicknames and I really don’t want one.”
She answered and Irene nods her head at that.
“Then I will make sure to stop David then.”
She answered with a smile before finally coming to a stop in front of an old building.
“And welcome to the house of A.C.M.E!”
She adds and Julia looks at the building with large eyes, when she had thought A.C.M.E she had thought something more; modern she guesses. Then again, this house spoke more to her, so she wasn’t too sad about it.
“Come along. The house mother is waiting for us.”
Irene tells her as she walks up the stairs and heads for the door, the moment the door closes behind Julia they could hear footsteps coming towards them and Irene went rigged beside her. A woman walks out from one of the rooms, she was wearing a similar suit to Irene; her eyes hard and she was keeping her hands behind her back as she took Julia in.
“Ms Argent I presume?”
She asks, her eyes travel to Irene however when she does.
Irene answered and Julia looks at her out of surprise.
“Welcome Ms Argent to Agency to classify and monitor evildoers.”
The woman finally looks back at Julia as she speaks, and she could feel how her eyes grow big.
“In short, A.C.M.E. We are here to make sure the house across campus stays in line. We don’t want V.I.L.E to run the world now do we?”
Irene explains and she turns to look at Julia who carefully shakes her head. She had absolutely no idea of what she had just gotten herself into, it was for sure not what she had been expecting at least.
“Ms Seno, show our newest agent in training around and make sure she is dressed properly.”
The woman orders and as Irene nods her head, the woman turns to leave them alone once more. Turning her head, Irene could see the confusion and questions in Irene’s eyes, and she gives her a weak smile.
“I’m sorry for all the secrets. I assure you there is a perfect explanation for all of this, and I’ll tell you once I have shown you your room.”
She then adds and starts to lead Julia towards the stairs. Looking at her go, Julia starts to question her decision. She should have stayed at her old school. This once just seemed to bring more trouble than it was worth.
Chapter 2: Friends or enemies
The one where the finally meet
She knew she should have gone with Irene and the others that morning, the map still wasn’t to any help and she was starting to run a bit late. Not a very good start on your first day. Letting out a heavy sigh, Julia starts to turn the map around once more just to try and figure out where she is. Glancing up from the paper, she tried to find anything around her that was like the markings on the map; without any luck at that.
A female voice asks, and Julia looks to the side, a red-haired girl had somehow managed to walk up to her without her knowing. The woman seemed to be her own age and was dressed in red and black, a smile playing on her lips as she slightly nods her head towards the map in Julia’s hand. With a sigh of defeat, Julia nods her head and lowers the map.
“Should have learned from yesterday that it’s an impossible task finding anything with it.”
She comments and the woman chuckles at that.
“Yeah, then again. It’s impossible to find your way around here without the map to. Easiest way to find your way here is if you grow up on campus.”
The woman comments and Julia couldn’t help but to smile.
She then adds, holding out her hand in the progress and Julia takes it.
“Ah, so you are the one everyone has been whispering about. To sad I wasn’t around yesterday to help you out. Maybe I could be of some assistance now however?”
Carmen asks and Julia nods her, at least there was one friendly soul around here. She had seen other students walking around, neither of them had even looked her way when she had walked around like a lost little puppy.
“What's your first class?”
Carmen smiles big before nodding towards the main building.
“Well then, we are in the same class then. It's this way.”
She explains as Julia looks at her out of surprise. Carmen takes a few steps backwards to make sure Julia follows her before turning around. Julia couldn’t help but to smile slightly as she followed.
“So, tell me Jules, what do you think about this place?”
Carmen asks after a few minutes of silence and Julia looks at her out of surprise by the nickname. She had told Irene yesterday that she didn’t want any nicknames and she had come through. David is calling her by her last name and the others seems to have nicknames that won’t get away. Then again, the woman beside her isn’t David and she had not been around for the conversation. On the other hand, Julia couldn’t help but to somehow like the nickname.
“Except for the fact that I have somehow managed to get lost twice already?”
Julia asks her and Carmen chuckles once more.
“Yes, except for that small part.”
Carmen comments and Julia smiles.
“Well, it is a lot more different from the school I had applied for, that is for sure. I can’t really make any more out of that until I have been here for more than two days.”
Julia tells her and Carmen nods her head at this. They had finally reached the main building and Carmen held the door open for Julia, nodding her head as a thank you; Julia steps through the doors. Taking in the corridor she found herself in, this building seemed to at least have some type of structure. Carmen has taken a step around her and with a nod of her head, the two of them starts to walk once more.
A voice calls out and Carmen comes to a stop, she glances over her shoulder and Julia turns slightly around to a set of twins waving their hands towards Carmen. Carmen just rolls her eyes; she was however still smiling at it all. She turns her head back to Julia once more.
“The classroom is the second to your right. I better make sure neither of those two have done something we would regret later.”
Carmen explains and Julia nods her head.
“Thank you for the help.”
“Any time Jules, now go. We can’t have you being late on your first day.”
Carmen tells her, using the nickname once more before she heads for the twins. Looking after the woman, Julia could see how the twins are talking at the same time and she couldn’t help but slightly shake her head. Turning around once more, Julia heads for the door that Carmen had pointed out. As she pushed the door open, she smiles slightly as she sees that she had ended up right in the end.
David is calling out; the young man waves his hand crazy before Irene grabs hold if it and pulls it down. Zari, Aron and Chase who is sitting with them just rolls their eyes and Julia did the same. Heading over to them, she sits down in the empty spot beside Irene.
“You managed to find your way here without any more problems?”
Irene ask once Julia is seated, pulling out her books; Julia shakes her head before looking at Irene.
“You really need to speed up the work on that map!”
Julia comments and David laughed at that.
“But you still managed to get here.”
David then points out and Julia looks past Irene so she could look at him.
“Yeah, I managed to make a new friend.”
“Good for you! A friend on your first day are a lot better than what he managed to do!”
David comments and he points towards Chase who just glares at him.
“Who is your new friend?”
Irene asks, putting an end to the fight before it begins. Gratitude could be seen in both Zari and Aron’s eyes at this.
A silence fell over the group and they start to look at one another. Their action had Julia slightly worried.
“There is no Carmen Sandiego at this school.”
Zari points out and Aron nods his head at this.
“Could be there are new students showing up and not just Argent.”
David points out with a shrug of his shoulder. Hearing however how the door opens once more, the A.C.M.E agents looks towards it and their eyes narrows with anger. Seeing their reaction, Julia turns to look who has walked through the door; from the others reaction Julia suspects it to be a V.I.L.E member. Instead her eyes lands on Carmen and her friends, the twins seemed to be joking about something and a younger boy had now joined them.
Carmen must have felt their eyes, she had turned her head from her friends to look towards the A.C.M.E table. She smiles slightly as she sees Julia before narrows her eyes when she looks at the rest of them. Her friends had seen her change and they all look towards the table too.
“And that is Carmen.”
Julia says in a low voice, mostly to herself in a way to push away the chances of her new friend being the enemy.
“That is Black Sheep.”
Irene tells her, having heard what Julia said and Julia turns her head towards Irene.
“She is V.I.L.E’s best agent. It seems however like she is hanging around with a new crew.”
Irene explains as she examines the three younger students standing beside Carmen.
“For your own safety, stay away from her.”
Taking the warning to her heart, Julia looks towards Carmen once more and sees her head for one of the tables. She had a hard time believing the woman that had been so nice to her earlier is her enemy.
Chapter 3: Falling in love
Julia finds herself in the library a week later, she had, just like every other time; thrown herself in to her studies. It was easier that way, she needed to block everything else out. Irene had been joining her from time to time, mostly to hide from David. According to her, he has never put his foot in the library. Neither it seemed that Zari, Aron or Chase did either.
Julia was quite happy that she hadn’t seen Carmen since the first day either; well, she saw the woman during the few classes they had together but before and after that she made sure to stay out of sight. To be honest with herself, Julia wasn’t all too happy with what she was doing. She couldn’t see what the other did, Chase being the one that had the biggest problem with Carmen. The woman that had walked her to class that day was nothing what she had been told a V.I.L.E agent is. She had however forced herself to believe it, at least during the day.
Shaking her head, Julia pushed that one-sided conversation out of her head again; it would only go around in a circle and she didn’t have the time for something like that. She still had to finish the homework’s they had been assigned. Skimming through the book that was laying to her right, Julia tried to make out what exactly she had to write.
“That looks like advance reading.”
A voice suddenly speaks, and Julia rolls her eyes. The person wasn’t so far off it, she had been reading more advance things than the rest of the class. Mostly since she loved the subject, just as much as she loved art.
“Well, it’s not advances.”
Julia answered, finally finding what she had been looking for and quickly writes it down in the notebook. She could always rewrite it all properly later. Hearing how the person who had spoken sit down in front of her and she finally looks up; only to regret it a second later as her eyes lands on Carmen.
Her eyes grow slightly out of surprise, she never heard the library door open and neither had she heard her walking over. Swallowing down the lump that had formed in her throat, Julia pushed the surprise out of her face as she could see that Carmen looks up at her. The red-haired woman gives her a warm smile before she opens her own book.
Looking at the cover, Julia must read it at least twice before it sinks in what book it was. It was the same book she was reading in that moment and Camren had just comment that it looked like advance reading. Narrowing her eyes, Julia look at Carmen.
“And you are reading the same book.”
Julia comments, keeping her voice levelled. Carmen looks at her for a few seconds before turning her attention back to the book in front of her.
“Was slightly surprised to see someone else on the campus actually reading on this level.”
Was the answer Julia received and she nods her head at this, silence fell over them once more as the two turns their attention towards the books. Julia kept her eyes on the text she is trying to read, only to lose focus every few seconds. Taking in a deep breath, she closes her eyes in a try to block out the fact that Carmen is sitting right in front of her.
“So, since you are one week into this school. Maybe I could get a little better answer too; what do you think of this place?”
Carmen ask, pulling Julia back to what was going on around her. Looking up, she could see that V.I.L.E agent is still reading; the small grin gives her away that she knew Julia is looking at her. Shaking her head slightly, Julia gives up on trying to do her work.
“Well, they were right about one thing. I wouldn’t have been able to read this at my old school and the information I have at my disposal here is far beyond what I could have imagen possible for just one school.”
Julia starts to explain, her voice taking on a lighter tone and Carmen looks up at her at this.
“Have they told you yet about the travel opportunities then?” She asks and Julia could feel how her eyes grows large when she heard that information. The grin that Carmen had have earlier turns into a soft smile when she sees the reaction. “Well, I think there was talk about a trip to India, if I remember correctly, I think Taj Mahal was on that list. It is however a research travel only.”
Carmen explains and Julia could hardly contain herself. How could the others have forgotten to tell her this part, she would need to ask Irene or Chief about this later.
“Well, the architecture, the history.”
The smile Carmen is giving her had now grown bigger and Julia couldn’t help but to slightly blush; she couldn’t believe she was acting like this, a specially in front of the young woman who is supposed to be her enemy. But something told her that the woman sitting in front was dark from what everyone thought her to be, they way she had treated her since their first meeting isn’t how a V.I.L.E and A.C.M.E students act with one another.
“I heard the Magna Carta is going to be on display on Mumbai, it would be quite an interesting thing to see.”
“Not to mention getting a chance to read it. Just think about all the history behind it, how it come to be created and why it had to be created in the first place.”
Julia leans back in her chair, completely forgotten her work. She could see that Carmen is doing the same, along with closing the book.
“Why did they create it? My mind is a bit foggy.”
Julia starts to smile big, completely missing the look in Carmen’s eyes.
“The Magna Carta, or Magna Carta Libertatum was created by the Archbishop of Canterbury due to the unpopular king John and a group of rebel Barons. It was a promise of protection of church rights, protection for the barons from Illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the crown.”
Julia starts to explain, taking everything from her mind. There was a spark in her eye as she spoke, and they had drifted of into space.
“Didn’t it also create a war between the king and the barons?”
Hearing Carmen’s voice once more, Julia gets pulled back into reality again. Looking up and seeing the look of admiration in Carmen’s face has Julia look down, blushing deeply this time and she carefully nods her head. She couldn’t believe she done the same thing twice in just an hour, this time; the look throws her off even more. She couldn’t stop the warm feeling that was going through her body this time around.
“Yes, mostly because neither side stood behind their commitments in the end.”
Julia answered and she could swear something dark flashed through Carmen’s eyes at this. Before Julia has a chance to ask what was wrong, the door slams open and she jumps slightly. Her reaction made Carmen smile once more and Julia couldn’t help but fell slight better at that.
“Hey, Carmen! Shadowsan needs to see you! Something about you being late for your training!”
A voice calls out and Carmen rolls her eyes at this.
“He is worst house mother than chaos is.”
Julia could hear Camren mumble as she stands up and Julia looks at her out of surprise, Camren simply winks towards before leaving the library. Blushing once more, Julia takes hold of the book only so she could hide behind it. Butterflies had now filed her stomach, with a heavy sigh; Julia puts her head towards the cold table with the book over her head.
There is no chance that she had fallen for that woman already.
Chapter 4: Writing a love letter
Twirling the pen, her eyes were on the still empty piece of paper in front of her. Her mother had always said that writing down once feeling could help you sort through them, up until now; Julia had never had the need to do something like that. She had tried everything else that she usually does, only to end up with more conflicts. So, writing down what she is feeling it was.
The slight problem however; she had no idea of how to start or what to even write. With a deep sigh, Julia lets her head fall backwards; eyes closing in the progress. She was starting to regret everything once more; she knew life would have been so much easier if she had just stayed at her old school. She wouldn’t have ended up falling in love with her enemy. Seeing Carmen’s smile from the library once more in her memory, Julia opens her eyes just in a try not to see more of that moment or reawaken the dream she had have during that night.
“You still haven’t written a single word on that paper?”
Freezing up slightly, Julia turns her attention towards the speaker and now she really regrets what she is doing. Trying to write down her feelings towards their enemy in the middle of the living room was not her smartest move. Then again, she was going even more crazy in her room. It was a good thing she had not been able to write something down yet.
Her eyes lands on the man that had somehow ended up as her partner; Chase. How it had happened she wasn’t all to sure, Irene had said she would have switched with her; but that would mean that David and Chase would be working along side one another more than needed and they that would end up with one of them dead. That’s at least what Irene pointed out. Through the week, Julia had learned that Chase wasn’t such a bad person; it just took a little bit of work to get to know him. He was going to become one amazing detective in the future, the only slight problem is the fact that he gets easily obsessed. His latest obsession is to capture Carmen Sandiego.
How the two of them had ended up hatting one another this much, or rather him hatting her so much, is still a mystery for Julia and if Chase is to find out about Julia’s feelings it wouldn’t be good. She was quite sure however that he wouldn’t do anything that would hurt her, at least it wouldn’t be done by choice at least.
“I would have thought you were already done with all of our assignments.”
Chase comments and Julia leans forwards once more.
“I’m just trying to figure out what to write to my mother.”
She answered him, Chase looks at her like she was slightly mad.
“What’s wrong with a simple phone call?”
He asks and Julia rolls her eyes.
“A letter to someone you love is a lot more personal than just a simple phone call.”
Irene had entered the room, her own nose in a book. Julia nods her head at that, she could however not let go of the feeling that the other agent might now something. Glancing towards her, Julia could see how Irene lowers the book to look at her and Chase.
“It just seems like a waste of paper.”
Chase comments before leaving the room once more and Julia shakes her head in defeat. She wasn’t all to surprise that Chase wouldn’t understand this, he always seemed to fall asleep during the history class all the time. Irene had ended up sitting right beside Julia now and she could see how she shakes her head.
“Some people just don’t understand the beauty in writing.”
She comments and Julia couldn’t help but to nod her had at this. Her eyes travel back to the paper once more and with a heavy sigh she puts the pen down, ready to give up.
“I just wished I knew what to write.”
Julia answered, seeing that Irene falls into silence and it being clear that she was trying to think of something. Julia let the silence take over the room once more, her eyes traveling over to the paper once more.
“How about just write down exactly what you feel.”
Irene finally says, making Julia looks back at her again. This time around she was sure the woman knew more than she was giving away and Irene was starting to get a bit worry. Irene smiled towards her and Julia let’s out a deep sigh. Taking up the pen once more, Julia pulled out one of the books she had have in her backpack; putting the paper towards the book she leans back on the couch and starts to write. She has no idea of what she was going to write or even how to start and she ends up just staring at the blank paper once more.
Leaning her head towards hit once more, Julia let her mind wander and it took her back to the library once more. It even showed her the moment when she had meet Camren; before she had been told to stay away from her.
“Just write down exactly what you feel.”
Hearing Irene’s voice in her mind alongside with the memories, Julia took a deep breath and moves her head from the book. Twirling the pen around once more, she started to write down the things she wished she had the courage to tell Carmen when they were together at the library and everything she had been feeling after that. It wasn’t easy and it had just started out as a letter to herself, but somewhere on the line it had turned into a complete love letter.
She wasn’t completely sure how all of this had happened and if she was being honest with herself, she didn’t want to know it either. After reading through what she had written, Julia carefully folds the letter and puts it inside the book she hade used as a table. She would have to find a better hiding spot for the letter later. Finally looking around herself, Julia could see that Irene had left her and it was starting to get dark outside.
Chapter 5: School group project
Julia could see that the teacher was already worry when she entered the classroom, that was never a good sign. Sure, most of the time she looked worried when she entered the room; especially when A.C.M.E and V.I.L.E had the same class. Those classes were always loaded and today was no difference. Looking around herself, Julia started to wonder why the school even put the two houses together in the same class.
Seeing Carmen enter the classroom with her friends a few seconds later, Julia could see the difference happening with the people sitting around the room. Her follow house mates where looking at her with a watchful eye, waiting for her to make a single mistake that would lead them to a victory. The V.I.L.E students on the other hand were looking at her with pure hatred, there really was something going on between Carmen and V.I.L.E and Julia was now very sure that Carmen wasn’t completely their enemy.
Glancing towards her friends she could see neither of them had seen the change in the V.I.L.E students and she started to question how good of agents this group is going to become if they can’t see the simple things. Feeling how someone is looking at her, Julia turns her attention towards the side only to see that it was Carmen who is looking at her. The red head gave her a tiny smile before turning her own attention back towards the teacher who somehow managed to collect herself.
“Alright, believe me this is just as hard for me as it’s going to be for all of you. But this has to be done and it’s the principals orders!”
She started to tell them all, the worry Julia had been feeling earlier just grew even more now. It seemed that she wasn’t the only one that started to grow worry now.
“The next assignment is a group project and I will decide who you will work with!”
She then adds, all hell broke lose at this and it was hard to hear who was speaking. Eyes turned narrowed as A.C.M.E and V.I.L.E looks at one another. Now Julia understood the sudden worry in their teacher’s eye’s when she had entered the room just a few minutes earlier. Looking towards the table where Julia and her friends are sitting, her eyes lands on Carmen. She didn’t look all to happy about the news and Julia could see a hint worry in her eyes too.
The teacher had started to call up the names of the groups and Julia turned her attention back to that, hopping she would end up with at least one from A.C.M.E.
“Julia Argent, Irene Seno, Carmen Sandiego and Zack.”
Julia could feel how her eyes grows big once more and her attention turns towards Carmen once more. The young woman were smiling towards her once more, the worry was almost gone now, and she gave Zack a half hearted high five.
“Well, this is just great.”
Julia could hear Irene comment and the only thing she could do was to nod her head. She wasn’t all to sure if she liked the idea of spending more time with Carmen or not. Her heart were overjoyed but her mind screamed that it couldn’t take more of this. Once the assignment had been handed out to everyone, the groups starts to spread out throughout the campus.
“Oh, come on! I have managed to go this long without entering the library, I will not start going now!”
Zack openly complained, making the four ladies roll their eyes at his comment. Before they had left, Chase had pulled Julia to the side, demanding that she would make sure that Carmen didn’t pass this class. She had told him that she couldn’t do that since it was a group project. If Carmen and Zack were to fail, so would she and Irene and there was no way she would let that happen.
“What do you even do when you are supposed to be here?”
Irene ask, making Zack look at her out of surprise.
“He mostly spend time down in the garage.”
Carmen answered for him making Zack turn his surprised look towards his friend instead.
He hisses out but Carmen simply shrug.
“You do know that the library has a large collection on cars right, just think about all the knowledge you could find out about your favourite car. Maybe you would even learn a new way of driving through the books. A faster way and perhaps safer way to drive.”
Irene explains and she holds the door open for the red-haired boy. With a look between Irene and Carmen he then heads through the doors.
“Why have you never told me this Carmen!”
He calls over his shoulder, making both Carmen and Irene chuckle and Carmen just shakes her head. Julia couldn’t help but to smile at what had just happened; the smile somehow grows slightly bigger when she saw Carmen’s own smile.
“How did you managed to do that?”
Carmen then asks, their voices growing lower as they entered the library themselves.
“Oh, he acts in the same way as David.”
Irene answered with a wave of her hand.
“And yet you haven’t managed to lure David into the library yet.”
Julia comments, earning another laugh from Carmen. Irene on the other hand looks at her with narrowed eyes before she hits her lightly. Faking the hurt expression, they managed to find a table where they all could sit.
“Well, we got this assignment down without a problem.”
Carmen comments, she is the first one to have looked the paper over.
“Oh, we do?”
Irene asks her, there was a hint of suspicion in her voice and Julia looks at her out of surprise. It had gone so well up until now.
“Yeah, Jules here is an expert on the Magna Carta after all.”
Carmen adds, acting as if she had not heard the tone Irene was speaking in.
Julia didn’t like the tone Irene’s voice took when she asked about the nickname at the same time as she had what. Carmen’s smile turned into a slight grin at the reaction and in that moment, Julia just wanted to dig a hole and hide in it. This couldn’t happen, not now. Carmen was correct after all, Julia had a vast knowledge on the Magna Carta, she had after all talked big about it last time she was in the library with Camren.
The fact that Irene now knows that Carmen knows what she is good at wasn’t going to end well for anyone. And the fact that Camren had called her Jules when Irene new very well that Julia didn’t want to have a nickname didn’t help either. Carefully glancing towards Irene, Julia is slightly surprised over the calm woman that is sitting beside her. Had Chase or any of the other’s been sitting in her spot the outcome wouldn’t have been pretty.
“Well then, tell us everything we need to know Argent.”
Irene finally speaks, her attention being turned towards Julia. She had a strong feeling that there was going to be a lot of questions later that night. Question’s she wasn’t too comfortable to answer, questions she didn’t even have an answer for yet.
“I take it we won’t wait for Zack to join us?”
Julia finally speaks up, she had to swallow hard a few times before she was able too. When both Camren and Julia nods their heads as an answer. Julia takes a deep breath before pulling out a notebook and the book she had been reading the day Camren had found her in the library.
“Make sure to take notes, the faster we can get this over and done with the better.”
She tells them, trying to sound confident but she failed. If she was honest with herself, she could be sitting in this building all day talking about the assignment, the fact that it was Carmen sitting on her other side didn’t bother her that much. Right now, it was the worry what Irene would say later that made her want to put an end to it all.
Chapter 6: Stolen love letter
She was a complete wreak, sleep had been lost once more. This time it wasn’t all do to the dreams she had been having since her first day. This time around it was do to the letter she had written two weeks back; a desperate try to get her feelings in order. Not that it had helped out that much in the long run when she had been paired up with Carmen for the group project; sure Irene and sometimes Zack was there too but it didn’t help much with was going through her mind.
What made her loss sleep now is the fact that the letter she had written, the letter she should have hidden away in her room had still been in the book where she first put it. Why she had not hidden it in the first place was far beyond her. Now, the book, letter and the rest of her bag had gone missing and she had no idea of who had taken it all.
She had spent her free period in the library, going over the last few things for the project that was do at the end of the week when she had left the her spot to look for a book. When she had returned back she found all of her things missing. She wasn’t all to worry about the fact that their project is gone, they had made sure that everyone in the group had a copy of what they had done.
If the letter were to end up in the wrong hands it could create a lot of trouble. If Carmen or one of her friends were to find it, Julia would die out of embracement. Reaching for a coffee cup, she made sure that she could get some caffeine into her system, the last thing she would like to happen ow would be to fall asleep during calls. Hearing someone enter the kitchen, she turns around.
“Wow, Chase was right. You really have seen better days.”
David comment’s the moment his eyes lands on her and Julia rolls her eyes, she wasn’t in the mode to deal with his hyper energy in this moment. David just holds up his hands in surrender as he enters the kitchen and heads for the fridge.
“You know, sleeping during the night’s instead of reading would make it so you are not this tired in the mornings.”
David comment’s as he digs through the fridge for something to eat. With a deep breath, Julia forces herself not to make a comment. She knew it wouldn’t be a good one at the moment, who knew what would slip up.
“So, how’s it going with the group project? Are being able to concentrate around that crush of yours?”
David asks as she closes the fridge door, Julia had been drinking in that moment and ends up spiting out the coffee. The action made her start couching and she turns around to look at David. He had turned around to look at Julia in the progress with a sheepish grin.
Was the only thing Julia was able to get out, if she thought anyone would figure out that she had some type of feelings for Carmen; it would be Irene and not David. He wasn’t around her that much to figure out that something was up, neither was he in the group.
“Yeah, Irene’s strength is to see things everyone else might miss. Her weakness is that she tells me everything.”
David explains and Julia let’s out a heavy sigh, she had been right then; Irene had figure everything out. She could always deny everything, tell him he was just silly to even think something like that, then again, her letter is out there somewhere and she had a strong feeling that it was just a madder of time before everyone knew about it.
Leaning towards the counter, Julia let’s out another sigh as she let her head fall forwards in defeat. She should just go up stairs and back her things and head back home with her tail between her legs.
“Hey, it’s nothing to worry about. Only Irene and I know about this and neither of us are going to tell anyone else. I think it’s absolutely amazing. Talk about a Romeo and Juliet type of situation. Now that I think about it, it’s very romantic.”
David tells her as he now moves to stand beside her, Julia couldn’t help but to smile lightly at the tone David’s voice hat taken when he said romantic. Letting out a dry laugh, Julia turns her eyes towards the roof.
“Yeah, real romantic. In this version the end might be coming a lot sooner than expected.”
She explains, finally feeling the need to tell someone about everything that has happened. He already knew where she is standing after all and didn’t seem to see how bad it all was. She could feel how David is looking at her and she took a deep breath.
“A week ago I sat down to write down my feelings so that I could get some type of peace, I kept what turned into a letter in one of my books. Now that book along side with my whole bag has gone missing.”
Julia starts to explain and is slightly surprised to see how David’s eyes grow in chock. She almost regret telling him for a few second but the surprise was soon gone and one could see that he was in deep thought now.
“Alright, we need to get that letter back. We just need to figure out who has taken it.”
David starts to say and before Julia knew it he was pashing around in the kitchen.
“Where and when did everything go missing?”
He soon asks, finally coming to a stop. Lifting one eyebrow towards him, Julia was surprised that he had taken this as seriously as he has.
“Yesterday evening from the library. I left everything at the table I was working from to look for a book. I couldn’t have been gone for more than two minutes, when I returned; everything was missing.”
“See, it’s reasons like that, that makes me stay away from the library.”
David comments and Julia just rolls her eyes, she knew that wasn’t the reason but she had to appreciate his try to somehow pull out a smile.
“I thought you stayed away from the library because you are unable to read.”
Zari had shown up in the door opening now, her arms crossed and her eyes narrowed. Julia tensed up at the sight of her, she had not seen or heard another person joining them; David on the other hand just waved his hand towards her.
“Not the time for your comment’s Zari! Have you seen Irene?”
David asks her, he was already on the move and Julia quickly followed suit.
“She was mumbling something about heading for school when I passed her earlier.”
Zari tells them and the moment she had, David speed up. Within a few seconds, both of them is running down the dirt road that leads them towards the main building.
Chapter 7: Love letter exposed at school
Julia was sure that this had been the first time she had ever found her way to the main building in such a short time, if the circumstances weren’t as bad as they are right now; she would celebrate that. They are however rushing for the school in search of Irene and hopefully more help in finding her missing things. David is the first to reach the front doors and he slams them open, Julia barley has time to enter the building before the door closes behind her.
Feeling how the student’s looks at them as they enter, Julia tries to focus her attention towards David and where they are headed. In this moment it was easier said than done, but she had to try.
David calls out as his eyes lands on Irene and Julia made sure push herself a bit more to reach her. The only problem was, they had been running in full speed and when it was finally time to come to a stop; David and Julia almost collided with Irene that had been standing by the information board.
“Wow! Careful there!”
Irene had managed to grab hold of Julia, stopping her from falling over; David had not the same luck and is now laying on the floor.
“We… have… a… big… problem…”
David somehow managed to get out, he was breathing hard and Julia wasn’t all to sure he would be able to stand up any time soon. Julia was breathing hard herself too, but she was at least happy that Irene had been there to catch her.
“What have you done this time?”
Irene simply asks as she let’s go of Julia to help her own partner up. Turning her head to take a look on what Irene had been reading, Julia could feel how her leg’s gives away from her and she ends up on the floor.
“Alright, what is up with you two?”
Irene asks as she looks between David and Julia, David had turned his attention towards Julia to and she lifts a shaking hand towards the board. Turning their attention towards the board, David swallows thickly and Irene starts to read over the note once more.
“This is not good.”
David comments and Julia shakenly nods her head.
“However, you are one amazing writer.”
He adds, making Julia look at him now with narrowed eyes.
“Wait, that’s your work?”
Irene asks and Julia nods her head once more. Irene let’s go of David before she rips down the paper and crumbles it up into a ball. Seeing a hand in front of her, Julia grabs hold of it and David helps her up on her feet once more.
“Alright, an explanation would be very good right now.”
Irene tells the two of them, her eyes narrowed and there was a hint of anger in her voice. Julia could feel how David tensed up beside her. This is a side she had never seen from Irene and she wasn’t completely sure she liked seeing it. David had obviously seen it and knowing the young man correctly, been to one making her that angry many times.
“You know I was going to finish up the last few things for our project down at the library last night?”
Julia asks, she already knew the answer but she wanted to make sure Irene had completely locked everything out once she got angry. Irene simply nods her head as an answer and Julia got ready for what was about to come.
“When I left my table to pick up a book that was needed someone stole all of my things. Including the letter you are holding in your hand in this moment.”
Julia explains and she takes a step back alongside with David. Irene’s hand is shaking now and it was clear that she was at least trying to keep her cool under control. With a few deep breath, Irene has managed to calm down enough to fully look at the paper in her hand.
“We are going to find out who did this and we are going to bring them down.”
She tells the two of them and Julia couldn’t help but to feel relief over this.
“We should however make sure to find every singe note before the rest of the school starts to show up.”
She then adds and holds out the paper towards Julia.
“Because this is just a copy, which means there are more.”
Julia takes hold of the paper and she could feel how David is looking at it over her shoulder. Irene was right, this wasn’t the original letter. Worry took over once more and Julia starts to look around herself. Who knows how many of these had been copped and how many of them had been put up around the main building. And was it only in the main building? What if there were notes like this in the other houses too.
Pushing her glasses into place once more, Julia tried to take in a deep breath. This wasn’t the time to break down, she could to that later.
“Alright, we should break up. Julia, it seems you are the only one that has managed to map out the whole library by now. How about you scan that building and see if you can get access to who had entered the building yesterday. Just show your house card and you should get everything you need, if not; you call me.”
Irene starts to order and Julia nods her head.
“I’ll take care of the school buildings. David, you take care of the houses.”
Irene then adds and David nods his head at this. All emotions had all of a sudden vanished and before Julia has a chance to ask if that was such a good idea, he was gone.
“Don’t worry. If anyone within A.C.M.E is able to get into the houses without being detected or punished for it; it’s David. His strength is how he act, his weakness on the other hand is that he sometimes let’s his acts take control of who he really is.”
Irene explain and Julia looks at her with narrowed eyes. David had spoke in the same way about Irene in the kitchen earlier. There was something else going on between these two than just a simple partnership. Pushing all those questions away for another time, Julia starts to push herself towards the front doors once more. Glancing around the students as she passed them, she really hopped neither of them would figure out it was her letter that had is now being spread throughout the school.
The person who had taken her bag wasn’t a library person that had been for sure, Julia managed to find four letters in the large building. In this moment she counted that as a win, doing everything she could not to think about the part there is a lot more out there. Tearing the notes into pieces, Julia heads for the front office and Irene had been right. With a flash of her house card and telling the librarian that a robbery had taken place yesterday, she had been granted with everything she needed.
Looking through the security cameras, she found the time she had been looking for. Her eyes also lands on two student she was sure to be V.I.L.E once. Who they were she had no idea.
“What have Tigress and Gray done this time?”
Julia jumps what feels like a meter and quickly turns around. Her eyes lands on Carmen who had somehow entered the room without her hearing it and Julia made a note that she really need to get her hearing checked one of these days. Pushing down the blush she could feel is growing, Julia turns her attention back towards the computer screen once more.
“Oh you know, doing what V.I.L.E does best. Stealing things that doesn’t belong to them.”
Chapter 8: Planning revenge
Just one day late...
“You were right. It was Tigress and Gray.”
David comment’s the moment he enters Julia’s bedroom. He pulls out a bag from behind his back and Julia let’s out a deep sigh of relief when she sees that it’s hers.
“Tigress isn’t good at hiding things. I did also destroy the rest of the copies both of them had.”
David adds and Julia starts to go through her bag just to make sure nothing else is missing. She wanted to ask how David had managed to pull this off, but she decided she probably didn’t want to know. The less she knew the better she would sleep once all of this is over.
“Is everything there?”
Irene asks and Julia nods her head once she founds the letter, relief washed through her body and she finally started to relax. Moving away from her bed, Julia heads over to her desk to properly hide away the letter so it wouldn’t end up in the wrong hands again. She knew she should probably destroy the letter but she couldn’t bring herself to do it; not right now at least.
“So, what is our next move.”
David asks and Julia looks at him out of surprise.
“Our next move?”
She asks, getting worried once more when she sees the look in his eyes. Looking over at Irene in a try to get some help from her, Julia could see that she had the same kind of look in her eyes.
“Revenge of course! There is no way we will let them get away with something like this.”
“And here I thought we were to be acting better than V.I.L.E.”
Julia comments, she had a feeling there was no talking against this. The look in both David and Irene’s eyes were clear on that part.
“They have it coming, beside. This has been done for a long time!”
David tells her with a wave of his hand and Irene just nods his head. Giving up on trying to change their mind, it seemed that there is no stopping the two of them.
“I take it you guys have more than one idea already thought out.”
“She is starting to know us so well!”
David comments with a big grin, making both Irene and Julia roll their eyes at his behaviour.
“And yes, we do! But we are going to need the rest of the house too.”
He then adds. Julia freezes at his comment, the last thing she wanted was for the rest of the house to know about the love letter and her feelings. It was already bad enough these two knew.
“Don’t worry, they will only learn about the basic reason.”
David comments when he saw Julia's reaction, waving his hand slightly to brush it all off.
“And the basic reason is?”
“That V.I.L.E has the nerves to steal from our newest member.”
Irene answered and David nods his head at this. This made Julia feel slightly better, only to grow worry once more when Irene starts to drag her towards the living room where the rest of house is sitting. All of them working on what looked to be the assignment but heads turned up when they heard them enter.
“Good you are all here! Now put away what ever you are working on! There is something more important that has to be done!”
David tells them as he slams his hand into the table, looking more serious than Julia had ever seen him.
“What has he done this time?”
Aron asks, his eyes turned towards Irene and Julia. Zari is completely ignoring them and Chase looks up from the book he was reading, almost looking relieved to have a distraction from the text.
“He is actually innocent for once.”
Irene answered and David just rolls his eyes, he wasn’t arguing against her so Julia presume the was yet another thing that happens on a daily round.
“V.I.L.E has the nerves to steal from our newest member, we have gotten everything back but I think it’s time they learn that you don’t mess with either of us!”
David explain, this managed to pull Zari into the conversation and making Aron and Chase on the edge.
Zari asks and David carefully points towards Julia, only to have Irene hit his hand and Zari rolls her eyes.
“Sheena and Gray.”
Irene tells her and Zari nods her head at this.
“I work in the same group as Gray, didn’t you work with Sheena?”
Zari then asks, her eyes landing on Aron who nods his head as an answer. David’s smile grow even larger as he sits down.
“how about we try and hit two birds in one go. Do you think you could have them at the same place at the same time?”
David asks and the two of them nods their heads, their eyes traveling towards the assignments on the table.
“The food court sounds like a good place?”
Zari then asks and David nods his head at this. It seemed as the library wasn’t a very popular place even with V.I.L.E Julia realised as she listen in on David, Zari and Aron’s talk. Feeling Chase’s eyes on her, Julia turns her head towards him.
“How did you managed to let them steal something from you?”
He asks and Julia rolls her eyes.
“I ever thought someone would just walk right up and take stuff that is laying on a table in the library. It never happens at home.”
She explains, half telling the truth. She realised now that she should have known better, after all. V.I.L.E is their enemies and since Chase had asked her to throw Carmen under the bus when he found out she and Irene is working with her, then why wouldn’t V.I.L.E want to do the same towards A.C.M.E.
“Alright, so it’s decided then?”
David asks, making Julia tur her attention towards him and she could see Zari and Aron nod their heads as an answer.
“Wait, what have we just decided on?”
Julia asks, felling the worry grow even larger than before.
“Oh, don’t worry. It’s going to be perfect.”
Chapter 9: What could go wrong, goes wrong
Once she got her hands on him, she was going to punch him real good. She should have knocked on wood when she had heard him earlier, should have known things wouldn’t go as smooth as David had said it would. Something always had to go wrong, thing was never this easy. And they were dealing with people with a questionable background after all. People that had not been shy about stealing in the first place and then put up copies of her letter all around the school just for the share joy of it.
The plan had seemed quite perfect at first. Zari and Aron managed to do their job right, get both Sheena and Gray to the food court; that work seemed to have been very easily done. The next part was going to just as easy and already done to the room. All they needed was gain access to the announcement system. David and Irene had taken that on themselves, that had left Julia and Chase to make sure no one would interrupt them.
There was a few minutes where Julia thought they would be able to pull it off, then the problems started. Chase had kept scanning the hallways, glaring at every student that walked past them.
“Will you stop scaring everyone?”
Julia asks him, she was reading through on of her books in a try to act like nothing was going on. She had given him a book and told him to the same, that had only lasted three minutes. This man couldn’t handle sitting still for long. If he was staying where he should be, Julia wasn’t complaining to much. Then it happened, the last thing she hope wouldn’t happen.
Laugher field the corridor and Julia looks up from her book, she knew the laughter; she tended to smile every time she heard it. Today wasn’t one of those days and she could see how Chase tensed up at the sound. The sight of Carmen and her friends further down the corridor made Julia both happy and worried, she was happy that it seemed as if the woman had not seen her letter. On the other hand, Chase had also seen her, and she knew he wouldn’t pass up on the opportunity to take her on.
“Le Femme Rouge!”
He calls out and before Julia has the slightest chance of stopping him, Chase were chasing after Carmen. Julia looks after them and closes her book, she could run after him in a try to stop him; but Julia knew it was an impossible task. She had to stay where she is, to give Irene and David a wining chance to do whatever they are planning. Right now, Julia wished she knew exactly that was.
Hearing someone giggling, Julia freezes up once more. She didn’t like the sound of the giggle, and the way it was echoing in the now empty hallway didn’t help either. Slowly standing up, Julia keeps her eyes on the corridor the sound was coming from. She could see how someone was, skipping towards her?
Julia is taken by surprise by this, a slightly younger woman than herself is skipping towards her. She had stopped giggling at least, however; Julia would rather have her giggle in this moment. The girl had started to hum a melody; a melody that made Julia shiver. Taking a few steps back, Julia could feel her back hit the wall; she was trapped, and she didn’t like it.
“There you are, we have been looking for you.”
The woman speaks up, her voice was sugar cute and, in that moment, Julia just wanted to run. Turning around, Julia’s eyes lands on a mime. She had no heard anyone walk up towards her; then again, a mime’s job is to be quiet. The man smiles big towards her and waves his hand, Julia fought with everything she had not to wave back. The mime didn’t seem to take it as a bad sign, but the sudden horror in his eyes made Julia take a step back; something she was glad over when a paper star had ended up in the wall just where her head had been. Her head turns towards the humming girl once more and Julia could feel how her eyes grows big at the sight of the paper stars the young woman is holding, she had a large grin and Julia didn’t like it.
Taking her book, Julia heads the other way; running as fast as she could to get away from the people that had caught her of guard. Once in safety, Julia regrets that she had run away. She shouldn’t have left like that. Leaning towards the wall, she takes a few deep breaths in a try to calm herself. Hearing how the speakers comes to life, she let’s out a sigh of relief; David and Irene were apparently able to do what they had planned. A feeling of calm finally took over and Julia takes in a deep breath.
The voice that spoke over the system a few seconds later had Julia freeze up once more, she was sure her heart somehow managed to skip a beat even if that is impossible. It wasn’t Irene or David’s voice coming out of the speakers. The voice belongs to Tigress and what she was say, or rather reading, made Julia feel like she was falling through the floor and into darkness.
David had sounded so sure that he had found and destroyed every single copy of that letter. Yet here she stands, hearing Tigress read the letter to the whole school. They could deal with pulling down the copies and if anyone had seen them, they could just act as if they had no idea of who wrote it. Julia is quite sure they wouldn’t have the same luck this time around, she was quite sure Tigress would love to tell the whole school who had written that once she had finished reading it. It was official now; Julia was done for it.
Chapter 10: Joke of the school
I know... yet another day late
The moment she entered the library with Zack, she knew something was wrong. They had made plans to meet up one last time before the assignment was to be sent in, just to go over so they all had everything. But something big must have happened the day before, she had missed it since she had been running away from Chase; but Zack, Ivy and Player had told her about Tigress words through the speakers that day.
She had heard the whispers and laughter about the love declaration from every single student that they had passed in the hallway. Almost every student at least, the A.C.M.E group didn’t look all too happy about what had happened. She had not seen Jules either that day, she had missed out on all her classes; something that struck Carmen as odd.
Moving towards the table they had agreed to meet at, Carmen was hopping Julia would be there. The closer they got; however, they could see that it was only Irene.
“Isn’t Jules joining us?”
The question was out before Carmen even had a chance to greet Irene like a normal person would.
“Wait! How come she is allowed to give Argent a nickname? You told me she doesn’t like them!”
Carmen couldn’t help but to freeze up, she had completely missed that David was there. How she could have missed him was a mystery.
“Now is not the time to talk about nicknames David. Besides, we have work to do and so do you too.”
Irene points out, her eyes on the paper she is working on. Carmen could see that David wanted to add in more but with one look from Irene he goes quiet. Seeing how he pulled his own books together; Carmen could hear how he mumbles that thing’s wasn’t fair and how come Miss Sandiego can give out nicknames when he wasn’t.
“Julia is sick, so she won’t be joining us.”
Irene answered Carmen’s question, finally looking up at her and Zack. With the slightly hollow look in Irene’s eyes, Carmen had a hard time believing what she was hearing. Joining the table, Carmen doesn’t even pull out her work.
“It seems like you don’t believe in that.”
Irene let’s out a heavy sigh at this, Camren had been right. The woman beside her had not even believed in her own lie.
“I’m not sure how she is feeling, she haven’t left her bedroom since yesterday.”
Irene starts to say before she pulls out something from her bag.
“She left this outside of her door however.”
She then adds and Carmen looks at the assignment, clearly written by Julia.
“What exactly happened yesterday? I was running from one of your own when it all happened.”
“Well that explains the lack of Chase.”
Irene comments with a dry voice, her comment made Zack laugh and Carmen just shakes her head.
“Yes, I heard it to and it’s not that funny.”
Irene looks towards Zack who quickly grows silent once more.
“What have you heard?”
Irene then asks, Carmen figured she was trying to figure out how much she knew before saying anything.
“Rumours has it that Tigress read something would be embarrassed for anyone really and that the students have been whispering and laughing all day.”
Carmen tells her, making sure to be as vague as possible as she spoke.
“Sheena and Gray had the nerve to steal Julia’s bag, from here to be really correct. We thought we got everything back, but apparently they had saved one last copy of a very old letter Julia tends to keep close to her at all times, something about keeping it near as an old reminder.”
Irene explains and Camren nods her head at this. This explains as to why Julia had been looking through the security cameras and the comment she had made when Carmen had seen her do it. Glancing towards Zack, Carmen could see that he nods his head shortly to confirm this part. The little things she had been told by Zack and Ivy, she knew this was bad and she could understand as to why Julia has decided to stay hidden.
The few things she had heard from the other students during the day, it wasn’t anything good. She had taken the place of being the school joke by now, a place that had earlier belonged to Chase and David for some unknown reasons. Well, everyone knows the reasons, they just don’t talk about them.
“Let’s just get back to work, our deadline is soon up.”
Irene then comments, her attention turning back towards her books. Looking towards Zack, Carmen could see that he shrug his shoulders before digging out his own work and Carmen did the same. Irene was right, this isn’t the time to be thinking about this. Besides, the faster they could get all of this done the faster she could properly investigate how to deal with Tigress and Gray, she wouldn’t let them get away with something like this.
The difference between her trying to bring down and A.C.M.E doing it, she knows how V.I.L.E thinks; after all, she had been one of them. And it does help to have information’s about them that they wouldn’t like to come out.
“Earth to Carm? Are you still with us?”
At the sound of Zack’s voice, Carmen was brought back to reality once more. She had started to focus on the wrong thing in the end.
“Sorry about that.”
Carmen tells them and turns her attention back to the paper. She could feel that Irene looks at her with a watchful eye; for now, she let it slide. She couldn’t afford losing herself in her own mind. Besides, she would need Player’s help if she was to go through any of the plans after all, she might be somewhat good with computers; but no one could beat him. And right now, they would need the best of the best. And if A.C.M.E were to ask about this later, she did it to make sure Tigress and Gray wouldn’t interfere with her own work; even if they had not directly attacked her.
No one would turn her friends into jokes if she had anything to say about it. At that thought Carmen freezes up, friends? Is that what she and Julia is, friends? She had not thought about that before and it felt slightly weird to think about it. After all; they had only had two proper conversations where it had only been the two of them. That could hardly count as friendship, could it?
Chapter 11: Unexpected help
Julia could hear Irene walked away from her door and she let’s out a heavy sigh. She knew she was acting ridiculous, hiding from your problems never solve them. But to go out there and face everyone was a terrible thought and right now, hiding away in her room on darkness seemed to be the best way to go. She had not said a word to the rest of the house, she had just left the school. The only time she had left the room had been long past midnight when she was sure everyone else is asleep.
Moving away from her bed, Julia moves soundless over to her computer. Even if she is hiding it didn’t mean she should be doing her work. At leas now she would have some peace and quiet, giving her a chance to work. Starting up the desktop computer she turns to gather the books she needs.
“Nice room you have there, dark and nice.”
A voice spoke from behind her, making Julia turn around quickly. She knew no one would have been able to come in through the door. She had made sure to look it properly and as she looked around herself, she couldn’t see anyone standing in her room. She did however see that someone had taken over her computer screen, lifting one eyebrow she looks at the young man in his white hat. She knew she had seen him before but in that moment, she was drawing a blank.
“How did you?”
Was the only thing Julia managed to get out, only to have him wave his hand slightly.
“Oh, A.C.M.E’s doesn’t have a good security system. To be correct, the school doesn’t have a good security system.”
He comments, this didn’t make Julia feel safe and she had to remember to investigate better security system once all of this was over.
“Have you left your apartment at all today?”
He then asks and Julia rolls her eyes before sitting down in front of the computer. She could at least see what it is he wants before turning of the computer.
“You don’t really need to answer that, Carmen was complaining that she had not seen you and she was worried you wouldn’t show up for the group project.”
He then adds and Julia could feel the surprise rise.
“I might have forgotten to introduce myself. I’m Player, one of Carmen’s friends. Now then, we have a bit of work in front of us. If you agree to let me help you get that joke mark away from you.”
He adds and Julia was quite sure now that her eyes would pop out. She couldn’t believe what was happening right now.
“You would help me?”
She asks, the surprise was quite heavy in her voice.
“Well, I thought that Carmen would ask me to help out once she get’s back from meeting with your friend. But I think it would be for everyone best if we get this done with as fast as possible; wouldn’t you think?”
Player asks and Julia couldn’t help but to fell overwhelmed in that moment. She couldn’t believe that the person in front of her would want to help her; they didn’t even know one another. The only connection they had is their friendship with Carmen. This thought made Julia freeze up slightly, since when have she and Carmen been friends? Pushing that question away for another day’s problem; Julia put her attention back on Player once more.
“We have already tried to take them down a peck.”
Julia tells him, thinking back at the failure that had been their revenge.
“Well, you see. You did have a good plan and all; the slight problem is that you guys still must play by some rules. Team Red however don’t have to worry about the rules and since Carmen used to be one of them; she has insider information that they wouldn’t be all to happy about being spread through the school.”
Player explains, he had been smiling through most of the talk and now that smile had turned into a grin. Julia couldn’t help but to feel a bit worry about the grin, then again. If this person would be able to help her then she was happy to accept the help.
“So? Do you want me to do it?”
Player asks and Julia leans back in her chair. She had to think this through, not without thinking everything through properly. This could after all come back and haunt her if she wasn’t carefully enough. The last thing she needed was something haunting her, she wasn’t supposed to be friends with V.I.L.E members after all. Then it hit her, Player had called them Team Red and not V.I.L.E and he had said that Carmen used to be one of them; emphasising on used.
She had been right all along then, Carmen Sandiego wasn’t the person everyone told her she was. Looking back at Player once more, Julia’s eyes had narrowed slightly, and she takes a deep breath.
She tells him, her voice short at to the point and she couldn’t believe she had just said it. Then again, she didn’t regret it either. They had picked the wrong girl to make angry after all.
“One revenge pie is coming up smoking hot!”
Player tells her and Julia can hear how he works away on the keyboard, she finally starts to smile. Turning her attention towards the clock, if she left her room now, she should be able to reach the library before the others left for the night.
“You can go! I got it from here, it was nice talking to you Julia.”
Player told her, as if he had managed to read her mind and before Julia has a chance to thank him; the computer screen when dark. Wasting no time, Julia grabbed her jacket and bag and left her room. Moving quickly towards the library; she was happy to see that the group is still there.
“Did I miss anything?”
She asks as she walks over to them. She starts to smile when she sees the reaction on their faces, both Irene and Zack looks at her out of complete surprise. Carmen on the other hand seemed to realise what had happened and she gives Julia a warm smile.
Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to put some trust into Team Red after all.
Chapter 12: Field Trip
“Why are we doing this?”
Chase asks for what felt like the 100st time just this morning, not considering the other times he had said it since they got the news. The others had learned to simply ignore him by now, Julia on the other hand is supposed to be his partner. And good partners listens to one another, even if he didn’t listen to her; she was at least going to try to be a good partner and listen to him.
“It’s a good opportunity to see the world and to see what we have learned during the group project.”
Julia answered him, her nose in a book already.
“And we need to keep an eye on V.I.L.E so they don’t try anything. We are heading directly into a spot where they could get away with stealing something priceless and it’s our work to make sure they don’t.”
Both Julia and Chase jumps slightly in their seat and Julia could see that the others had looked up too. It wasn’t that often that The Chief shows up to interact with them, the few times where Julia had seen her since she joined had been for work related things like this. To keep a watch full eye on V.I.L.E, a special Carmen. This woman still believed Carmen to be a V.I.L.E agent. One of these days Julia really need to have a proper talk with them all to tell them that Carmen had left that life behind her and is now going somewhat in the right direction.
Julia couldn’t say that she was goring directly in the right direction, not after what Player had helped her to do. He had said they didn’t have any rules to follow, making it clear that they were not completely on the good side of the law either. At least they tried to make things right and not just create more problems for the world.
“Like I said earlier, make sure to keep a very close eyes on those V.I.L.E agents. I do not trust them for as far as I can throw them.”
The Chief tells them once more before walking off again. The school had taken the safe rout this time, making sure that V.I.L.E and A.C.M.E wasn’t in the same plane for the long ride. That would not have ended well, that would have been a recipe for disaster. So, they were traveling in two planes and Julia was quite happy about that.
The only thing she was thinking of now was how Carmen was going to get too India. She had not seen the red-haired since she had shown up in the library after her talk with Player. The whispers and laugher that was about her had died down very fast and the student’s seemed to have forgotten all about her love letter. It was a good feeling to walk down the corridor without having to worry that anyone was talking behind her back.
Turning her attention back towards the book in her hands, Julia continue to read. They did after all have many hours ahead of them on the plane and Julia was going to make sure she used the time to her advantages as much as she could. Silence fell once more, and Julia gladly greeted it.
Hours later, Julia finds herself stretching. She could feel how her body is slightly complaining over the long flight and the chairs. She had at least managed to get a few hours of sleep on the plane, it was more than her partner had. Chase was moving like a zombie beside her, yawning every 10 seconds just to clarify that he was in fact very tired. His yawning was apparently contagious as Julia could hear David yawn just seconds after Chase. She could also hear Irene telling him that it was his own fault for at least try to sleep during the flight.
Zari and Aron seemed to have followed in Julia’s footsteps and had slept through the flight; how they managed to look so well rested however is far from Julia’s understanding. Looking around herself at the airport, she could see how V.I.L.E is stepping out from their gate and she could feel the tension grow in the building. Quickly turning her attention away from them, she could feel how someone is watching her. One look towards Irene and David, she knew it was Sheena. She and Gray had been giving her looks ever since Player had leaked embarrassing information about them to the whole school.
Grabbing hold of her bag, Julia couldn’t help but to try locating Carmen. She still haven’t managed to see her, and she was starting to get a little worried that she wasn’t joining them on this trip. She knew very well that Carmen would have loved to see all of this, with all the hard work they had put into their project and how she had listened to her speak about all of this during their second meeting alone. Forcing that out of her mind now, Julia grabs hold of her bag and joins the others. Taking in the night sky, Julia takes in a deep breath.
They were going to head for the hotel for the night, to give those who didn’t rest on the flight a second chance of that. Tomorrow they would start the tours and Julia could hardly wait, feeling that someone walked up beside her, she turns her head to see a smiling Irene who is pulling a tired looking David.
“How is he even holing up?”
Julia couldn’t help to ask, and Irene just rolls her eyes, turning to look at her partner.
“I have absolutely no idea.”
She answered before her eyes turns towards Chase that is slowly walking beside her.
“I should be asking the same about your partner.”
She then adds and Julia just rolls her eyes, if he was going to be this tired throughout the whole trip it was going to a very long one. Silence fell between the two once more and before long they had reached their destination.
“We were told to stay in our positions.”
Julia was starting to somehow get tired of always telling Chase what to do, specially when she knew he wouldn’t listen to her anyway. It was a running thing between the two now and Julia sometimes wished she could have had another partner. But Chase had his charm, from time to time at least.
“I will just have a look around.”
Chase tells her with a wave of his hand and before Julia can tell him that it’s a bad idea he walks away. Letting out a heavy sigh, Julia sinks into her seat. Turning her attention to her tablet, she tried to work through the assignments they had been given. V.I.L.E had tried to make a move towards the Magna Carta, but they had been stopped in the last minute. It didn’t mean that they wouldn’t try something else during the trip. So, the Chief had split the group up and pointed them in different directions, just to keep an eye on the V.I.L.E students.
Julia and Chase had been ordered to stay in the dining cart of the train, a cart that Chase is now leaving. Hearing people move around beside her, Julia tended to block them out.
“This seat taken?”
A voice suddenly asks from beside her and Julia just rolls her eyes.
“Actually, yes. But feel free to use it until my partner returns.”
Julia answered, she was closing her assignment before she looks up. Once she did, she was quite surprised over who she was seeing.
Carmen Sandiego asks with a hint of a grin and Julia just rolled her eyes; she knew she shouldn’t be surprised over seeing her; not really. The woman liked to make an entrance, even in times like this and Julia couldn’t help but to smile.
“Sadly, I was paired up with Chase as work partner. You didn’t happen to see him?”
Julia explains, seeing how Carmen’s grin bigger; Julia could assume that she had indeed come across Chase on her way over. She knew she should be worry but at the same time; he had it coming for a long time.
“What did you do?”
“He tried to handcuff me, so I acted faster, he is now handcuffed to one of the seats in another cart.”
Carmen explains and Julia couldn’t stop the small laugher from escaping. She was however quite happy that the laughter escaped, because the smile from Carmen do it was very much worth it.
“I was starting to get worry that you wouldn’t show up. I never saw you on the airport or the hotel.”
Julia tells her and Carmen just nods her head.
“We can’t really travel with you or V.I.L.E so Player managed to fix another way for us to travel and another hotel not far from yours to stay at.”
Carmen explains and Julia nods her this time, that made quite a lot of sense. She should have known that the woman before her wouldn’t miss a chance like this.
“So, how was it to see the Magna Carta by your own eyes?”
Carmen then asks and Julia starts to smile big, this brought her back to the library once more. She was glad that she had already gone through most of all the information she had about the Magna Carta before, she knew that Carmen would be able to handle her rambling on about the things she loved. And the smile Carmen always ends up giving her during these moment’s made sure to warm her heart. She was quite sure she wouldn’t forget this school tripe for a very long time.
Chapter 13: Knock on the door
Julia wasn't sure if she should thank whoever it is knocking on her door or strangle the person. For once she had a very pleasant dream and she didn’t want to wake up. On the other hand, she knew it would turn back to what she had been dreaming about since joining this school and she wasn’t all to happy with that fact. Grabbing hold of the hotel bathrobe, she put it on before heading for the door.
With a quick look towards the clock she could see it was growing closer to midnight. Hearing knocking once more, Julia let's out a heavy sigh and start to walk once more.
“I’m coming, I’m coming.”
She mumbled, more to herself than to the person standing on the other side of the door. Finally reaching it, she pulls it open and is about to tell whoever it was to get back to sleep. The words dies in her throat when her eyes lands on a slightly worried looking Carmen Sandiego. The look didn’t really fit the normally confident young woman.
“I hope I didn’t wake you?”
The two says at the same time and Julia couldn’t help but to smile slight and she shakes her head.
“I was about to have a nightmare either way so. What can I do for you this late at night?”
Julia asks, it was slightly weird taking the lead in this conversation. But someone had to do it.
“I heard rumours that the Gateway is absolutely amazing this time of day and neither of my friends wanted to go with me so I thought...”
Carmen starts to explain and Julia's smile managed to grow. The Gateway of India wasn’t on their list, something she had been sad about and she had been trying to find time to go and see it by herself. To go and see it with Carmen however made it much more special and Carmen had not been the only one hearing that rumour.
“Give me five minutes to get dressed then we can head out.”
Julia interrupts her, making Carmen look at her. For only a few seconds there was a hint of surprise in her eyes, but it was quickly gone and she smiled big.
“I’ll be waiting for you down in the lobby.”
Carmen tells her before turning around and walking away. Glancing down the hallways, Julia made sure no one had seen what had just happened before closing the door. With quick steps, she changed out of the bathrobe, the t-shirt and shorts she had been sleeping in to her normal plain suit. One of these days she really should find clothes she could use for times like this, that thought had her freeze up once more. Who ever said there was going to be other times like this?
Pushing that thought into the box where all other unanswered questions about Carmen is, Julia starts to head for her door once more. Carefully, as to make sure she doesn’t wake up her fellow housemates, she heads down to the somewhat empty lobby.
She quickly spots Carmen; she had found a couch to wait in and she heads over to her. The woman in red, turns her head when she hears Julia walking over and she gives her a bright smile.
She asks and Julia nods her head, quite glad to see the confident in Carmen’s actions once more. Once out side, Julia takes in the night air and slightly relaxes. Carmen lead them down to a waiting taxi, looking at her with one raised eyebrow; Carmen just answered with a shrug. Julia shakes her head, fighting not to laugh.
She should think that nothing should surprise her anymore when it comes to the woman beside her. Carmen held the door open for her and Julia enters the car. As Carmen enters the car, she speaks with the driver; Julia turns to look at her once more with a rises eyebrow.
“How many languages do you know?”
She asks once Carmen leans back in her seat.
“I have lost count, not all of them is completely fluent.”
Carmen answered and Julia added it to the list of things she should ask more about another time. Asking things like this in a taxi might not be the best idea. A silence feel over them through the rest of the ride, the ride ending sooner than Julia had expected. She had been trying to figure out why this was really happening.
Carmen was the first one out of the taxi and Julia followed after. As Carmen paid the driver, Julia turns around and her eyes lands on the Gateway. It was magnificent, they had managed to lightning up the Gateway in an amazing way. She was suddenly very happy that she had answered the door when they had knocked. She could feel that Carmen walks up beside her and Julia glanced towards her.
“Shall we go for a walk then?”
Carmen asks and Julia nods her head, she took the lead once more and Julia simply fallows after her. They kept the same pace and Julia let her eyes travels towards the Gateway every few seconds. She could feel how Carmen looks at her and she couldn’t help but to blush slightly.
“What can you tell me?”
Carmen then asks and Julia looks at her out of surprised, Carmen on her hand is sending her one of her signature smiles.
“Expect for the facts that it has a great importance to India getting their independents back?”
Julia couldn’t help but to asks and Carmen nods her head at this, making Julia smile.
“Thank you for tonight.”
Julia told Carmen once they reached her hotel once more, they had ended up walking back. She had gone through everything she knew about the Gateway and had been surprised that Carmen had just listen though it all and not seemed board with her talking through it all. She had even shipped in with a few things herself too.
“I’m glad you wanted to join me.”
Carmen answered har and Julia nods her head.
“I was trying to figure out a way to go and see it when I found out it wasn’t on the list. So, thank you for knocking on my door tonight.”
Julia told her and Carmen’s smile turns slightly into a grin. Julia lowered her eyes slightly before turning to enter her hotel. She could feel Carmen’s eyes on her all the way over to the stairs, she was quite sure she would be sleeping quite well now. Sometimes it was a good thing to open the door when someone knocked on it.
Chapter 14: Warm in winter day
“You are not going out in this weather, are you?”
Chase looked at her like she had completely lost her mind and Julia just rolls her eyes. Autumn had come and gone before anyone could realise it had been there, winter had now taken hold of the land. The school had closed do a smaller snowstorm during the night that had managed to create some damage.
The rest of the house took this opportunity to take a relax day, believing that V.I.L.E would do the same. All expect for Julia however, with her extra reading she needed to keep working and right now; the books she needed for her assignment was in the library.
“The library didn’t take any hit last night; it takes about 15 minutes to walk. I’ll be back before you even start to miss me.”
Julia comments as she pulls on her large winter jacket. She wasn’t all to sure Chase would miss her anytime soon, Irene and David however have been keeping a close eye on her since they got back from India. Why she had yet to figure out, simply asking them wouldn’t really do her any good now. Pulling on a hat and grabbing her bag, Julia steps into the cold.
For a split second, Julia regrets her decision to head for the library today. Staying in front of the fire with a good book would be much more her style. But she had work to do and it was better to do it now than to do it last minute. Pulling the bag on to her back, she started to head for the library.
She wasn't the only one that had gone against the weather that day, as she entered the warm building. Julia could at least see 10 other students working their way through their work. Greeting the librarian, Julia makes her way down the bookshelves and finds the table she have been using so many times now. Dropping of her bag, jacket, hat and scarf; she quickly heads back into the labyrinth of bookshelves to find what she needs.
Since the last time she left her bag unattended she have learned not to keep anything personal in it. She had however a strong feeling she didn’t need to worry about that today and once she returned to her table, she was very sure of it. The woman in red looks up from the book she was reading when she heard Julia walking over.
“Glad to see I’m not the only one that has my priorities right.”
Carmen tells her as Julia puts down the book on the table.
“I take it neither one of your friends will do any schoolwork today then.”
Julia comments as she sits down.
“Player was mumbling about a few things he had to check up on. Ivy and Zack were already outside having a snowball fight when I left. They told me they would spend the rest of the day watching Disney movies and drink hot chocolate after that.”
Carmen explains with a small shake of her head.
“I take it you are the only one doing some type of schoolwork today?”
She then asks and Julia nods her head, letting silence fall between them as they returned their attention towards their work. This had become a habit ever since they returned from India. Julia loved the silence when she worked, but the silence that happened when Carmen was around is something else. It wasn't always silence either, sometimes they could sit for hours just talking about what ever they were working on in that moment.
The comfortable silence is kept for an hour before the lights suddenly goes out. Julia looks up in surprised, quite sad that the light she needed to read is gone. When a sudden light source suddenly light’s up their table, Julia jumps slightly and looks up. Carmen had pulled out a flashlight and put it on the table.
“A girl always needs her gadgets.”
Carmen answered the unasked question with a simple shrug of her shoulders and Julia shakes her head with a smile. Hearing footsteps coming towards them, both turns around to see the librarian coming towards them. Julia tensed up slightly because the look of worry on her face made her worried too. But when she saw that they had some type of light she managed to relax slightly.
“The weather has picked up, a new snowstorm and the lines our all out. I guess we will be staying here until it’s safe to get out. Make sure to keep warm.”
She tells them and both Julia and Carmen nods their heads at this. As the librarian walks away Julia couldn’t help but to think that Chase was going to have a fun time about this once she finally returns home. She couldn’t help but to lower her head in defeat at this and she could feel that Carmen looked at her now.
“Chase questioned if I really should have left the house earlier.”
This time it was Julia who answered the unasked question. Carmen just nods her head at this, Julia didn’t have to explain what she had been thinking, they both know how Chase’s mind works. It was quite easy to figure out what was going through his mind.
“Well, this is not how I expected this day to go.”
Comments and closes the book, there was no reason to try and continue now anyway. Carmen did the same before she leans back. With the power out, the large old building lost the heat quite fast and Julia couldn’t help but to slightly shiver.
“Well, I know we don’t have any movies to watch…”
She starts to say as she leans down and starts to dig through her bag before pulling out a thermos.
“But I did back down hot coco before leaving the house.”
She adds with a small grin. The smile she reserved from Carmen was enough to warm her for a few seconds. Digging through her bag once more, she pulls up two cups. Putting them on the table and purring the hot drink into each one she hands one of them over to Carmen. With a big smile, Carmen takes the cup and carefully takes a sip.
“Good thing we always show up well prepared.”
Carmen comments and Julia couldn’t help but to laugh at the comment. They drank their hot coco in peace, light conversation flowing it cause. It was mostly just talk about the school and what crazy things their friends had managed to do for the past week. Most of the stories were about Zack, Ivy and David; Julia was quite happy that the three of them didn’t know one another enough to hang out, that would end very badly.
As time went on, Julia could feel how she was growing colder. Pulling on her jacket, she realised she wasn’t the only one that had started to freeze. Carmen on the other hand didn’t seem to have brought a winter jacket with her.
“How can you not be wearing more clothes than that on a day like this?”
Julia asks her, the slightly sheepish look on Carmen’s face med her roll her eyes.
“I usually run hot.”
Carmen answered and Julia shakes her head, moving around in her chair and pulling the one beside her closer. I waved to Carmen to come over to her side of the table. The red-haired woman did as she was told and Julia throws one side of her jacket over Carmen’s shoulder, happy that she had picket the large one earlier.
“And here I thought we always showed up well prepared.”
Julia comments, making Carmen chuckle lightly before silence fell once more.
Chapter 15: Christmas Vacation
Julia blows into her hands, she might have gloves on but the cold was really biting this day and standing outside waiting for the bus to show up wasn’t all to fun. The bus in question is running late and if it didn’t show up within the next 5 minutes she would miss her flight and it would take forever and she didn’t want to think about finding a new one. It had already been hard enough to get a seat on this flight.
“You know, heat pads helps out a lot better.”
A voice comments behind Julia and she rolled her eyes, she could however not stop the growing smile. Turning her head to the side, her eyes lands on a grinning Carmen. This time around she was properly dressed for the could weather and Julia could see how Zack and Ivy is throwing a snowball around behind her.
“The bus still hasn’t come yet?”
Carmen asks and Julia shakes her head with a small sigh. Turning her attention towards the road once more she really hopped it would soon.
“We are heading for the air port to. If you like, and if it wouldn’t give your house mother to much of an heart attack; you could ride with us. Shadowsan decided that we are not taking the bus there.”
Carmen offers and Julia turns her attention back to her once more, slightly surprised over the offer. She knew Chief would be very mad if she found out that Julia had accepted help from someone she thought was a rival to their house, a person she still believes to be a V.I.L.E student. But Julia was freezing a lot and she couldn’t afford missing her plane. Beside, they are on winter break right now so why should she care what her house mother thought about any of this. They are not in school at the moment.
Julia answered and Carmen’s grin turned into a warm smile now.
She comments and Julia smiles.
Ivy asks as she and her brother walks over to them, making Julia and Carmen look away from one another once more.
“Jules here will be coming with us to the airport.”
Carmen explains, making both Ivy and Zack smile big.
Zack comments, holding up his hand towards Ivy who high fives it. Carmen rolls her eyes and Julia couldn’t help but to laugh slightly. They really do remind her of Irene and David, which wasn’t always a good thing. She had learned that the hard way. They had been down in the hotel lobby when they were in India, they had seen her leave with Carmen and then return very late. In the end, Julia had ended up asking them what was wrong with the two of them. She had yet failed to inform Carmen about this little part.
Julia could see that Carmen was about to comment something, probably telling the two twins to behave when a car pulls over to them. A grave looking man leaned slightly down so he could look out the window, eyes narrowed slightly as he saw Julia standing with Carmen, Ivy and Zack. Realising this must be Shadowsan, Julia swallows down a lump. She had only heard Carmen and Ivy talk about him from time to time, this would be the first time she actually comes face to face with the man. She had come face to face with V.I.L.E’s house mother before, that was an experience both she and Chase is trying very hard to forget.
“Jules here is joining us to the airport.”
Carmen tells the man as she pulls the back seat door open, allowing Julia to enter since Zack had taken her bag to put it into the trunk. The man only grunted his answer and Julia carefully entered the car, she kept her eyes on the floor. Camren took the seat in the middle and Ivy took the last seat, closing the door after her. Once Zack had put away her bag, he took the front seat and once his door was closed, Shadowsan started to drive off.
“So, where are you heading Argent?”
Zack had turned around in his seat and all eyes were now on Julia, even Shadowsan was looking back at her through the mirrors. Feeling a fain blush creep up do to all the attention, Julia tried to calm herself down and concentrate on the question at hand.
“I’m heading home. My mother have been complaining that this school is to far away, she can’t make any random visits anymore.”
Julia answered, telling the truth. Her mother had been complaining about this, since her old school was only 2 hours away by car. She still couldn’t understand why Julia had decided to accept this scholarship, she thought the school Julia had gone to were just perfect for her. Julia herself had thought so too, but she had been proven quite wrong once she got here. And the woman now sitting beside her was one of the reasons why she quite liked it here; sure the other’s in her house were quite amazing to, in their own way. And she could dig a lot deeper into her studies here than at her old school; and the trip to India wasn’t the only one she was going to and she already knew that.
“What about you all? Any special plans for the holidays?”
Julia asks, trying to turn the attention away from herself once more. She was sure Carmen knew what she was doing; as to where Ivy and Zack thought she was just polit to ask the question back.
“Well, since neither of us have any family. Well, no family by blood at least; we decided to travel around a bit.”
Ivy explains with a simple shrug of her shoulders, as if it was nothing. Julia could however detect a hint of sadness in her voice, it was very weak but still there.
“But we really have to head for Boston, it would be nice to see the tracks again!”
Zack adds and he got a dream look in his eyes and Carmen shakes her head at this.
“It would be quite nice, to bad we don’t have a car now. You could have gone for a spin.”
Ivy tells her brother and Zack narrows his eyes. Before Julia knows what happened, the two of them started to argue about something Julia has no idea of what it is.
“Just ignore them, that’s what the rest of us do when they start that up.”
Carmen tells Julia in a low voice and she nods her head in understanding. As silence fell between them, it was quite hard not to listen to the argument. The little things Julia managed to understand she added to her memory, in case it could come to use one day. Hopefully only to something little for herself, she wouldn’t be sharing any information she heard during this carried with the rest of her house.
“Are you staying with your family during the whole break?”
Carmen asks after a few minutes of silence and Julia nods her head once more.
“Well then, then we are adding your hometown to lists we need to visit during our trip.”
Carmen comments and Julia looks at her out of surprise. Julia already have a hard job in front of her not telling her parents and family what really happens within the walls of A.C.M.E and the school. If Carmen were to suddenly show up, things would really be a problem. Then on the other hand, Julia would love to meet Camren during her break, to meet in a place away from the praying eyes of A.C.M.E and V.I.L.E.
Chapter 16: Secret Gift
Since it was my birthday yesterday and people invaded my apartment.
“Julia! Are you up yet?”
Her mother’s voice is echoing though the house and Julia puts down the book she had been reading. She had been up for a few hours, but since she woke up early, she decided to just stay in bed and do some reading. It wasn’t often she could just lean back and read a book of her own choice. School and A.C.M.E work is keeping her and the rest of the team on their toes every single minute of the day.
Julia calls out as she pushes herself of her bed. Pulling on a longer pair of sweatpants, Julia starts to head for the kitchen. As she enters, she is greeted by her father with a short head nod; a head nod that Julia returns.
“This was dropped of for you outside.”
Her mother points out as she nods her head towards the table and on the package that had been put on her place. Lifting one eyebrow out of curiosity, Julia walks over to take a proper look. After everything she had been through and everything they had been taught at A.C.M.E, she made sure to be very careful.
“There is no name on who has sent it.”
Her mother adds as Julia stretched out to read the card that come with the package. Opening it up, her eyes lands on three words written in red and Julia couldn’t stop the warm smile spreading on her face.
-To Julia Argent.-
“I take it you know who it’s from.”
Her dad points out and Julia nods her head at this, it wasn’t hard to guess who it was from. If you know who Carmen Sandiego is, what her signature colour is. When Julia thought about it, the only people who would be able to figure out who it is from Team red, Irene and David.
“I think it’s from a friend from school.”
Julia answered as she sits down at the table. She wouldn’t open the package here, for both her and Carmen’s sake it would be a lot better if she opened it when she was alone in her room once more. She could feel her mother look at her out of curiosity, but she simply ignored that, looking over at what her mother is trying to make.
“You are burning the eggs mum.”
She tells her mother, who quickly turns her attention back to her eggs once more. The package forgotten for the time being, something that Julia is happy over.
It wasn't until later that night when Julia finally had some peace and quite to open the small package. She had hidden it away in her room directly after breakfast and she is now sitting on her bed with it in front of her.
After not touching it for five minutes, Julia takes a deep breath. It shouldn’t be all too hard to open a package that has been left for her by a friend, should it? It is from Carmen after all, it shouldn’t be this hard. Closing her eyes, Julia wished her brain would stop coming up with reasons as to why she shouldn’t open it. The top arguments is that the package can’t be from Carmen and that she simply didn’t want to deal with the guilt that she had not brought the lady in red anything.
“Come on Argent, you are a future A.C.M.E agent, you can do this!”
She tells herself in a low voice and takes hold of the package. She better open it now before she loses her nerves once more. She was as careful as possible to take of the wrapping paper. Reaching the jewellery box inside, Julia could feel how her eyes grow slightly larger. With a shaky hand she opens the lid and she was very sure in that moment that her eyes couldn’t grow any larger.
Her eyes had landed on a clear blue crystal, the crystal was attached to a bronze holder and a matching chain. Almost dropping the box, Julia takes in the details of the necklace and she couldn’t believe what she is seeing. With a still shaking hand, she lifts it from the box. It was light in her hand and the dim light from her bedside lamp reflects in the crystal as she holds it up.
In this moment Julia wished that Carmen do show up during the holiday break, she wants quite sure if she wanted to thank her or yell at her for buying her a necklace. Now she really had to find something she could give her too. She carefully put the necklace back into the box once more and closed the lid. She was to tie to try and figure out what she was do to in this moment.
Putting the small box beside the book she had read; Julia starts to gather the wrapping paper when a small note she had not seen earlier catches her eye. Lifting one eyebrow, she takes the note and leans towards the lamp to have some proper light to read in.
-Don't worry, it's not stolen. I just thought it would fit you perfectly. –
The same red colour had been used once more and this time around Julia was sure it belonged to Carmen. Of course, she felt the need to clarify that the object had not been stolen. Glancing towards the box once more, Julia smiles. Moving from her bed she started to get ready for sleep, taking of the simple necklace she always keep on, she takes a proper look at the old necklace before she puts it away in it’s old box that had been kept on the bookshelf all this time.
As she returns to her bed once more, her eyes automatically lands on the gift and she smiles. She was threating into unknown water and she knew it. The question of it all now was; should she keep on walking or stick to what she knows.
Chapter 17: New year, new adventures
Carmen looks around herself as she tries to locate Ivy and Zack. The city was in full action that evening, the New Year celebration had the town’s people out on the streets. She should have known it would be a hard task to keep an eye on them during a day like this, she could just have hopped her warning about staying close would have gone through their heads.
A day like this would mean a perfect opportunity for V.I.L.E to try something, to steal in plain sight was their M.O. Everyone was to carefree this evening that no one would really think about what was going on in the shadows. As she slows down, her eyes lands on a few seconds on Shadowsan that is moving within the shadows too. Camren just shakes her head at this; the man might have switch to her side, but a few habits seems hard to break.
Turning her attention back to what she is supposed to be doing in that moment, Carmen started to walk faster once more; swiftly moving passed the people walking beside her. Hearing running feet, Carmen comes to a stop and looks around herself. Her eyes soon lands on Ivy who is coming towards her; one hand waving as if to get her attention. Carmen stayed where she had stopped and let Ivy come to her.
As the red head finally reached her, she puts one hand on Carmen’s shoulder to catch her breath. Carmen couldn’t help but to look at her out of worry, she really needed to force Ivy and Zack into the training room more often. And maybe take them with her when she and Shadowsan trained too, it wouldn’t hurt them to be in more shape if they were going to keep doing this for a longer time.
“You’ll never guess what we just saw.”
Ivy managed to get out, she was breathing hard and took in a deep breath in a try to calm her racing heart more. Looking at her, Carmen lifts one eyebrow. This wasn’t time for guessing games.
“Just tell me Ivy.”
She tells her friend and Ivy looks at her as if she was slightly boring and in this moment Carmen didn’t care.
“I thought I heard a voice that we all know, but in that moment, I couldn’t figure out if the voice was one of our friends or enemies so Zack and I started to move towards the voice. Our eyes soon lands on your favourite girl on campus.”
Ivy explains, she had finally got her breathing under control and she is now ringing big. Carmen didn’t like that grin, something told her that Ivy and Zack had something planed.
She comments, her tone taking on a more serious tone and the grin was gone within seconds. She could however see that Ivy rolling her eyes at it all.
“Did you know Argent is here?”
She then asks, Carmen had turned and was about to start walking once more when Ivy said it. Freezing up once more, Carmen looks over her shoulder and her eyes had narrowed slightly. She had not expected that; however, when she thought about what Ivy had told her she should have figured out that they were talking about Jules. She had tried har not to think about her since she had dropped of the necklace, she wasn’t sure her move had been a right one; but she couldn’t stop herself when she had seen it.
She had not heard anything from Jules after she dropped it off, then again; she wasn’t completely sure Jules had her phone number and it wasn’t like she could use A.C.M.E to track it down since they had Player on their side. Pulling herself to the here and now, Carmen could see that Ivy is grinning once more.
“Lead the way.”
Carmen told her and Ivy nods her head and they heads down the road that Ivy had come from. If Jules is here, then maybe A.C.M.E had realised what V.I.L.Es M.O is. Even if she didn’t have high hope for the rest of the agents she did in Jules, she wasn’t completely sure exactly where this trust is coming from; in moments like this however, Carmen is glad she did. She followed Ivy closely and she started to wonder how far the red head had run or how far Julia could have been walking when Ivy had come running for her.
Why had she not just called her instead or contacted Player so he could lead Carmen to the right location. She added this to the list of things she had to go over with them, they had only been doing this for a year now so she shouldn’t be complaining. Besides, neither of them had the experience that Carmen has; they wasn’t raised by Coach Brunt and the people she works with. Forcing those memories back into the box they belonged, Carmen can finally see Zack.
The twin brother had heard them come and is now waving towards them, Carmen rolls her eyes at this; if it wasn’t so obvious that they are siblings this shared trait would defiantly pinpoint them to the fact that they are. Carmen starts to speed up and soon comes to a stop right beside Zack who had quickly taken a step to the side so she wouldn’t collide with him. It only meant that Ivy did so instead, before Carmen could make sure they didn’t fall over; Shadowsan had done it for her.
Carmen looked at him, she had not seen him follow them; then again, she shouldn’t be all to surprise about this. Turning her attention towards Zack, her eyes slightly narrowed he points towards the clearing. Following his finger towards where he is pointing, her eyes lands on the woman that had been a lot on her mind; a lot more than she would have liked at the start.
They had been right at least; Jules is there, and she was at that moment sitting at a water fountain reading something. Turning back to look at her team she pulled on her work face.
“Keep close and make sure Player is online and ready if anything where to happen.”
She orders them before heading towards Jules. She didn’t even wait for an answer, knowing fully well that they would do it; in their own way at least. Taking in a deep breath, Carmen make sure to steady herself. As she got closer to the woman, her eyes lands on something blue that had captured her eye. Seeing that Jules is wearing the necklace that she had brought her she couldn’t help but to smile. She had been right; it would fit her perfectly.
“Well, this is a sight for sore eye.”
Carmen speaks up as she come to a stop in front of Jules. She couldn’t help but to smile slightly as the woman in front of her jumps slightly at her sudden voice and at the same time; she couldn’t help but to feel bad for it either. Julia turns her attention away from the paper she is reading and her eyes grow’s slightly bigger when they lands on Camren. She had expected her to say something, but when Julia quickly puts her hand towards her ear, Camren realised that she wasn’t the only A.C.M.E agent in town.
When Julia then turns her complete focus on Camren, the woman smiles, and Carmen felt slightly relief over the fact. She sat down beside her and Julia puts the paper she had been reading to the side.
“So, what are you doing here a night like this?”
Camren then asks, trying to play it slightly cool in case someone is watching her, she did however speak in a low voice.
“I think I’m here due to the same reason as why you are here.”
Julia points out and Carmen could feel how her smile grow even larger. Silence fell between them and Carmen could see how Julia starts to play with the necklace and Carmen let her head fall forwards slightly.
“Thank you, for the necklace.”
Julia suddenly said, making Carmen look at her once more. A small blush had taken over Julia’s face and Carmen’s smile grow softer.
“You are welcome, it just screamed Jules when I saw it.”
She explains, playing it as cool as possible and silence fell once more. The slight tense one that had been earlier is completely gone and they fall into the same old routine. Hearing how the come sparks to life and Carmen knows that Player had finally joined into the work.
“Red, I have eyes on V.I.L.E and they are moving quickly.”
She could hear Player say and Carmen rolls her eyes. Turning to look at Julia, she could see how the sky behind her starts to light up with fireworks.
“What do you say? Should we start the new year with stopping V.I.L.E together?”
Carmen asks as she stands up. Julia nods her had to this and stands up beside Carmen, determination shining in her eyes.
Chapter 18: A flower on a desk
She could feel his eyes on her once more, he had been keeping a very watchful eye on her since they meet during new year and it was starting to drive Julia slightly annoyed. She had even left the house earlier than normal just to get away from his eyes, it didn’t work, however.
She finally snaps, putting down the notes she had been reading; Julia turns to look at David with narrowed eyes. David didn’t even flinch, something Julia had to give him credit for; but he really need to stop staring at her. She had come to terms that another person is keeping a very watchful eye on her, he at least; did it from the shadows.
“There’s something different about you, I just can’t pinpoint what it is.”
David mumbles and Julia rolls her eyes with a sigh. She could see that even Irene is shaking her head before she lightly hits him.
“Didn't your mother teach you not to stare at people?”
She asks him, only to have David shrug at; never taking his eyes of Julia.
“Well, I’m trying to decide on what’s wrong with our friend."
David answered and Julia looks at him with one eyebrow raised.
“Wrong with me?”
She asks and couldn’t help but to feel slightly worried suddenly. She knew that nothing had change, so there was no reason for her to be worried. Pushing her worries away, Julia gives up on reading the file and just put it down on her desk. She was on the plus side anyway, she had helped Carmen with stopping V.I.L.E, ending with her hitting Jean-Paul with the special made guns they had been given. Camren had let her and the rest of A.C.M.E take him in, she was gone before the others could show up. He didn’t stay in their custody for long however, two hours after he had been taken; they found an empty room. The only lead was the gigantic whole in the floor.
They had all a strong feeling that he had have helped, Julia was sure it wasn’t Carmen at least; she couldn’t be all to sure everyone on her team was thinking the same thing. Glancing towards the seat that Carmen had claimed as her own in the classroom, her eyes lands on the object that had been placed there. She had managed to sneak away from the house very early in the morning, making sure it was all ready for when the day was to begin. Now the only thing that is missing is one Carmen Sandiego.
As if on cue, the young lady I read steps through the doors; followed by Player, Ivy and Zack, the later two is already talking the ears of their two friends and Julia couldn’t help but to smile slightly. Moving her eyes back to Carmen, she could see the moment the young woman in red come to a complete stop as her eyes had landed on the same thing that Julia had been looking at just a few minutes earlier.
Julia had placed a single red rose on Carmen’s desk, it was just a small token really for everything the woman had done for her and a thank you for the necklace that is still hanging around her neck. She fight the urge to take hold of it, thinking it would be for the best to not drag to much attention to it. Not that it shouldn’t really matter if the others saw it or not, it was after all just a simple necklace after all. They didn’t have to know everything that is going on in her life. Seeing how Carmen carefully touches the rose before her eyes travels towards Julia who quickly looks away.
She had not left a note, knowing fully well that Carmen would figure out who it was from by her own. She could feel how her checks starts to grow hot once more and she tried for a third time to concentrate on the paper in front of her.
David suddenly calls out; he is now pointing towards Julia; his hand shaking ever so slightly. Julia looks at him out of surprise and so did Irene before she turns to look towards Julia. Julia could also feel that she wasn’t the only one that is looking at her and David in this moment, she does however completely ignore everyone else.
“What about my necklace?”
She asks him, wanting this to be over as fast as possible.
“That’s what wrong! You have switched out your necklace.”
David points out and leans forwards slightly to get a better look and Julia couldn’t help but to feel slightly uncomfortable about the attention.
“It’s absolutely amazing, the cut it to precise and the blue colour really brings out your eyes.”
David continues to say, and a silence really feel around them. Finally realising everyone is looking at him, David looks around himself.
“What? What did I say?”
He asks, looking more confused than Julia had ever seen him.
“You see, it’s reasons like this that more than half of the school thinks you are gay.”
Irene comments, she’s not even looking up from the book she is reading, and Julia looks at her out of surprise. This was the first time she had heard something like this.
“Who says I’m not?”
Was the comeback from him, this made Irene look up from her book. The look between them made Julia even more confused about it all. There is something going on that she is missing, know might not be the time to figure out what, however.
“Who says he is not?”
The rest of the team had entered the room just in time to hear David’s comment and it had been Chase that made the question.
David and Irene comments at the same time and Julia could see how the three rolls their eyes at this. She was about to question what was happening when she could feel how her watch is vibrating on her wrist. The clock had been connected to her phone and as she flicks her wrist to activate the small screen; she could see the words Unknown followed by a message.
-Thank you for the rose, it smells amazing. And he has a point, the necklace do bring out your eyes.-
Julia blinks a few times before turning her attention towards Carmen, the woman in question had her own attention on Ivy that is almost waving her hands as she tries to explain something. She could however see a mysterious smile on Carmen’s face and Julia turns her eyes towards Player to see the exact same smile. She’s completely in over her head now.
Chapter 19: Tutoring the crush
“Wait, I need to tutor someone?”
Julia asks, she couldn’t hide the surprise in her voice at this. She guess she shouldn’t be this surprise; she is top of the class, the sudden order from the Chief however made her surprise. Thinking that it was going to be Chase she decided to just go with it all.
“It’s one of your teachers who asked for you and I can’t help but see this as a good opportunity.”
Chief continues to say and Julia’s thoughts about this having something to do with Chase is being proven wrong. The only time that the Chief would think something is a good opportunity in a moment like this is if Julia were to teach a V.I.L.E student. Something she wasn’t going to look forward to doing.
“Who is in need of extra help?”
Julia asks, her voice going dull as she spoke, and she could feel all her emotions being drained. If she was going to do this, she had to be sure the student wouldn’t be able to pick up on anything.
“I wasn’t told.”
Julia did not buy that answer, she knew very well that their house mother knew exactly who the student is. The question is why she would keep it quiet from her, she is after all the one being sent to deal with the student. Thinking that the woman in front of her had her reasons for not saying anything, she is just hopping the student wouldn’t end up being one of the crazier once.
“Along side with the teacher, we have set you two up in the library in half an hour.”
Chief then adds, making Julia looks at her once more out of surprise. That didn’t give her much time to prepare for whatever could happen. With a simple nod of her head, Julia turns and leave. There was no reason why she should hang around in the office any longer. She had been given her assignment and she should at least try to get ready. Heading for her room, she realised it was quite calm this day around.
15 minutes later, Julia walks down the stairs of the old building and starts to walk down the familiar road to the library. Normally, she would be walking faster than she is doing now. Today however, she would rather be sitting with Chase and listen to his complaints about anything and everything he can come up with. Most of the things is of course his next plan to try and capture Carmen, during those talks, Julia had to fight hard not to smile. She know how much Carmen liked the game of cat and mouse that they had going.
Julia had asked her once when they had meet in the library, Carmen had answered that it was the perfect training for both. Seeing how the library was getting closer now, Julia pushed the memories away and made sure to keep her face free from emotions once more. Entering the building, she is meet with more sound then normal. She recognised the arguing voices too, with a nod of her head towards the librarian; Julia heads deeper into the building to see David and Irene.
Irene looked to be on the brim of strangle David who is openly complaining about being stuck in the library all day. Julia comes to a stop, looking at them. She was surprised that Irene had finally managed to bring him to the library, she had finally done the impossible. Shaking her head, Julia turns to head for the table that she had been told to meet the student. Reaching it, she was greeted with a big surprise.
Her eyes landed on the last person she would expect to need help, least alone by her. Carmen looks up when she had heard Julia walking over and the surprise in her eyes tells her that not even, she knew about this.
Julia nods her head at this and sits down in front of her.
“Chief told me that there was a student who needed help, I didn’t expect it to be you.”
Julia couldn’t help but to say and the Carmen lifts one eyebrow about this comment.
“It’s just, whenever we meet here; you are reading the same level books as I am so.”
Julia adds with her head tilted slightly to the left. She knew she got her now, because the look in Carmen’s eyes she knew she had her.
“I missed out on a few classes, now I’m paying for it.”
She answered and Julia simply shakes her head, she could take it easy after all. This work was going to be easy then. It all made sense now too, as to why Chief had thought this was such a good idea. They had after all been trying to get their hands-on Camren and V.I.L.E for so long now, being able to control a situation like this would mean that they finally had the upper hand on things. The only problem with their plan, however, is that they there is no wining or having an upper hand when it comes to Carmen Sandiego.
And putting her as Carmen’s teacher was their biggest mistake. There’s no way she would let them take Carmen in for something she has not done; she isn’t a V.I.L.E student and they couldn’t pinpoint her to anything they have done. Looking at the woman in front of her, she couldn’t help but to smile slightly; she was happy to be then one doing this. It just meant she got the chance to spend more time with the woman she had have a crush on now for a while.
Hearing a crash from a few tables down, Julia let’s her head fall forwards and let’s out a deep sigh. She could see how Carmen looks at her with curiosity in her eyes and Julia just shakes her head.
“I believe that Irene and David was sent here to keep an eye on us. David is taking the fact that he has to spend time in the library very hard.”
Julia whispers, making Carmen laugh quietly. Smiling herself, Julia pulls out the books she would need at opened them between her and Carmen and leans forwards slightly.
“How about we get this over with?”
She then asks and Camren nods her head, leaning in herself too. Julia took a deep breath and made sure she kept her focus on the book and not how close Carmen is to her.
Chapter 20: Two secret letters
Julia was making sure to keep her notebook as close to her as possible, making sure no one is getting close to it without her being able to see where it is at all time. She knew very well that she is being paranoid, but the last time she was carrying around a letter like this; it had not ended well for her. The thing this time around, if this letter is to come out, it wouldn’t be only her skin on the line this time around. The letter she is carrying with her wasn’t written by her after all, it had Carmen’s red pen and handwriting on it.
She wasn’t sure how she had done it, but somehow, she had managed to sneak the letter into her bag sometime during the morning pass and Julia had found it during lunch. She had been sitting with the rest of the team when she had found it and she couldn’t really take it up and read it during that time. It would mean she had to answer questions she wasn’t completely ready to answer yet. The hardest questions would be from Zari, Aron and Chase; she knew that. They were not in the loop.
Irene and David seemed to be completely cool with everything that is going on. Then again, they had seen it since it started to move. Irene had also told her that she volunteer to keep a watch full eye on her and Carmen when she had been assigned as Carmen’s tutor a week back. She had told Chief it would look more convincing if she and David was in the library during the time. She had to help him with his assignments after all. Chief had agreed on that, sending Zari, Aron and Chase of to keep eyes on V.I.L.E and Carmen’s friends just to make sure they didn’t do something they shouldn’t.
Julia had been happy to know she had someone on her side, even if it made her slightly worried from time to time. They were being trained to be agents after all, and a good agent always made sure to gather every single information on their enemies. She is hopping that this wasn’t the case, she wasn’t sure what she would do if they were using her to somehow to get to Carmen. Julia simply pushed those thought out of her mind for the time being, now wasn’t the time to think about things like this. Taking hold of the letter, Julia quickly hide it in her notebooks so it wouldn’t be seen if anyone would take a quick look. Not that she was going to let anyone near her bag in the first place.
Now she is rushing through the school as fast as she could without pulling to much attention to herself, something that was easier said than done really. For some reason there was a lot more action out in the corridors that day and Julia almost felt that it was just because she wanted to get out of there as fast as possible.
“Wow, slow down speedster.”
Julia has managed to walk right into David, she had been close to stumble but with his quick reflexes; David managed to steady her. Letting out a deep breath, Julia tried to pull herself together once more.
“What’s going on here?”
Irene had shown up right beside them now and David lets go of Julia. Looking between the two of them, Julia knew she was done for. There is no way she would get away from them now, not like this anyway.
“This speedster bump into me.”
David tells Irene before he turns his attention back to Julia.
“You have been acting a bit off today.”
He then adds and Julia could feel that Irene has turned her attention towards her too. With a deep breath, Julia gave up. If it had been anyone else, she would be able to escape; these two was harder.
“I just have a few things on my mind.”
She answered them and she could see how they looked at one another. As always, they seemed to be one step ahead of her.
“I just want to head back to the house, I have a few things I need to take care of.”
She adds before pushing past the two of them, knowing fully well that they would be following her. They were after all heading the same way she is so. Leaving the main building and heading for A.C.M.E, Julia tried to only focus on what is in front of her; she didn’t want to walk into another person. Reaching the house, Julia takes the stairs two at the times and the moment she finds herself in her own room, she lets out a shaky breath. Moving towards her desk, she drops her bag on the way after pulling out the notebook.
Opening it up and pulling out the letter, Julia tried to gather herself before opening it up. She still knew it was from Carmen; the fact remains that she has no idea of why she would be dropping of letters to her like this. Then again, Carmen has been kept on a close watch and it would rise suspicion if the two of them talked more openly than they really should. With another deep breath, Julia opens the letter and her eyes lands once more on the now familiar red writing and she had to smile. Reading through the letter, her smile just grew more and reaching the end; she had already stretched for paper and pen.
She made sure to have Carmen’s letter right beside the one she is writing in that moment, making sure she is answering everything that needed an answer too; not to mention she is adding in a few questions of her own. Once she’s finished and had put the letter in an envelope, Julia come to realise a slight problem with all of this. She didn’t have the skill that it takes to do what Carmen has done. Looking towards her clock, she realises it’s starting to get late.
At this she starts to smile, she didn’t have what it took to do what had to be done; but she knew of someone that could. There was only the problem at trying to convince the person to help her. Gathering the letter and her jacket, Julia begun to sneak through the house. She knew most of its members should be asleep in that moment; but she also knew a few of them had trouble sleeping.
Reaching the front door without a problem, she opens it as quiet as possible and heads into the night. The fresh cold air was welcome the moment she steps through the door, making some of her worries wash away. Heading for the spot she has in mind, Julia made sure to keep a watchful eye on everything happening around her. She was happy that not many students are out during this time of day.
Reaching the small on campus park, Julia finally comes to a stop. Looking around herself a final time, she takes in a deep breath to try and steady herself.
“I know you are there.”
She then speaks up. Hearing movements from her right, she simply turns her head. In the dim light from a lamppost at the road beside them, Julia could see how Shadowsan is moving towards her. She had picked this spot just for this light, it wasn’t strong enough to show what was happening in the shadows beside the road; but the light at least made it slightly easier to see the movements if you knew there is some.
Julia couldn’t help but to start wondering when she had grown use to sneaking around in the shadows like this. She wouldn’t have done this last year, then again; she didn’t know she would have ever found herself in this spot.
Shadowsan finally comes to a stop in front of her and Julia could feel how she was growing worried once more. He was scanning her once more and Julia made sure to keep her head high this time around.
He finally speaks and Julia simply nods her head as a greeting. She knew she didn’t have to explain herself to him, not when it come to the fact that he had been spying on him. Having them standing here eye to eye during midnight made it very clear.
“I need your help with something.”
She was sure that the man in front of her knew she had called out to him for a reason, the slight surprise in his eyes however indicated that this wasn’t it. Smiling slightly at her victory, Julia pulls out the envelope from her jacked and holds it out.
“I don’t have the skills or training needed to pull of what Carmen did this morning. The school would figure out by the end of the day that I tried to put something into her bag. This is the only way that I can make sure she gets a reply.”
Julia explains as Shadowsan looks at the letter.
“So, you turn to me?”
He asks and Julia can’t help but to roll her eyes at the question.
“Well, considering you have been spying on me since New Year I think it’s just fair. You do this and I’ll go back to being ignorant about having someone following me in the shadows.”
At that, Shadowsan takes the latter from her hand and puts it away.
“I can see why she is so found of you.”
“Well, she was my friend before being an enemy; that ways up more.”
Julia was slightly surprised to see the small smile on the otherwise stone face man, with a short nod if his he was gone. Shaking her head and letting out a deep sigh of relief, this had gone a lot better than she could have expected. Turning, she heads back to the house once more; this time around she wasn’t as careful as she entered the building, it was still silence and dark. Heading up the stairs and into her room, she is ready to go to sleep.
There was only a small problem, the moment the door closes behind her; her desk lamp is turned on. Jumping out of surprise, Julia turns around and her eyes lands on David.
“A little late for a walk, don’t you say?”
Julia is slightly stunned; this was a side she had never seen him before, and the tone was far from what she had grown used too.
“And you are in my room because?”
“I was worried something might have happened.”
“I’m fine, you can go now.”
Julia turns towards her wardrobe to get change.
“I guess this has to do with the secret letter than?”
Julia freezes up at the question and turns around to look at him, she had made sure to properly hide the letter before she had left.
“You let Irene sit beside you during lunch.”
David answered and Julia rolls her eyes, good at seeing what other misses; can’t keep her mouth around David.
“Don’t worry about it. Besides, the less you know the better off you will be if something were to go south.”
Julia tells him, if what she is doing would blow up in her face; she wasn’t going to pull anyone with her down. If they were not involved with the downfall that is.
“Just be careful.”
David mumbles as he rises from the chair and before Julia could make a comment he was out of her room, shaking her head once more; Julia started to wonder what had just happened to her life.
Chapter 21: Date by chance
“How smart are you really?”
Irene was leaning over David’s shoulder as they both looked at the latest returned of Julia’s assignment, an assignment from one of Julia’s extra classes to be more exact. She had yet again ended up with high marks, she had lost the surprise over it; her friends on the other hand didn’t seem to lose their touch of being surprise over it. With a shake of her head, Julia just put the paper into her bag.
“Come on! You have to be a bit more exited than this!”
David complains and Julia just rolls her eyes, this was hardly anything to celebrate. But looking at Irene and David, Julia knew they had already made up their mind about doing something.
“We are going out eating tonight to celebrate! And I know the perfect place!”
David announce, his smile turning into a grin now and Julia didn’t like it.
“And I know the perfect restaurant too!”
“Your thinking about that small French place down town, aren’t you?”
Irene asks, realising where her partner was going and David nods his head at this.
“I heard that place is always booked.”
Julia carefully points out, hopping she would be able to get out of this.
“The owners daughter owns me one, I’ll call her once our class is over. So 8 o’clock, don't be late!”
Irene orders her before pulling David with her. Julia looks after them, she wasn’t completely sure what had just happened. Apparently, she was going out eating that evening. With a deep sigh, she takes her bag and leaves the cafeteria, she had a class of her own and she didn’t want to be late for that.
Looking down the streets, Julia tried to see Irene or David. She had shown up outside the restaurant in time; like she had been told to. Where the other two where is a mystery that didn’t seem to have an answer yet. Turning towards the restaurant, Julia decides to go in; hopefully they had gotten there earlier than she did and is waiting inside.
For being a restaurant that seemed to be completely booked, there wasn’t much sound. The smell of food was amazing, and she couldn’t help but take it all in with a smile.
“Can I help you?”
She had not heard the waiter walk up towards her; his tone short as he spoke. Turning to look at him, she could see that he was clearly not happy over having to work.
“Hi, my friend should have called in and made a reservation for 8 o’clock.”
Julia answered, she wasn’t all to sure if it had been Irene or David doing it in the end, they somehow seems like the same person.
“The phone line has been down, and we are full booked.”
The man answered, keeping the same short voice as he spoke. Julia couldn’t help but to lift one eyebrow at this, he had not even asked for their names. A she was about to open her mouth once more, a hand landed on her shoulder and she froze up slightly.
“She’s with me.”
Julia had to fight the urge to turn her head to look at Carmen, she had not heard the door open behind her, but she was slightly happy she was there. She wasn’t all to sure she would have been nice towards the man in front of her.
“As I told your friend, we have no empty tables.”
The man repeats, this time around; she glances to the side. To her surprise, she sees how Carmen simply smiles towards the man.
A second voice calls out through the restaurant, this one with a heavy French accent and Carmen turns her attention from the young man towards the man now coming towards them with his arms out and a big smile. Now that is how you great once costumers, Julia thinks.
Carmen greets, her hand leaves Julia’s shoulder as she goes to hug the larger man. Julia couldn’t help but to feel slightly sad for the loss of contact, something that surprised her.
“I hope everything is alright with you.”
The man comments once he releases Carmen who shrugs her shoulder slightly.
“You mean beside the fact that your new waiter won’t let me and my friend in, without even ask for either of our names?”
Carmen starts to ask, and Julia could see how the young man shrinks slightly as the man who Julia now realises is the boss looks at him with narrowed eyes.
“Everything is going good.”
Carmen continues, completely ignoring what was going on. Anatole turns his attention back at Carmen and then looks at Julia.
“Well, come along with me ladies.”
He orders and makes a sweeping move with his hand to show them deeper into the building. Carmen returns to Julia once more and she could feel Carmen’s hand between her shoulder blades, slightly pushing her forwards. Julia started to move, and she fell into step beside Carmen as they followed the man. He leads them to a table in the back and pulls out two of the chairs.
“Sit down, food is on the house tonight.”
He tells them and Julia could see how Carmen looks at him with slightly narrowed eyes.
She tells him with a hint of warning in her voice.
“None, of that. After the way you two were greeted at the door; it’s the least we can do for your date.”
His comment made both Julia and Carmen look up, but before either of them has a chance to correct him; he was gone. Julia turns her attention back to Carmen once more only meet her eyes.
“Well, seems like we are on a date then.”
She comments and Julia couldn’t help but to slightly blush at the comment. Taking a deep breath to try and focus her mind on what had just happened, because there was quite a few questions going through her head in that moment.
“He and coach Brunt ended up in a disagreement one night, she did what she do best; send her students to deal with it. Think of it as a training exercise. Sadly, for them, they happened to show up here a during a night I had managed to get a table. I took care of them and Anatole wanted to pay me for the help. I refused the money, but he didn’t backed down so we made a compromise.”
Carmen starts to explain before Julia even had the chance to ask her question.
“There will always be a table free for me and my friends when ever we fell like eating here.”
She then adds and Julia nods her head, she looked around the restaurant and was quite happy suddenly that the table were in the back; they had a lot more privacy here and it fit her well.
“So, why are you trying to get a table here?”
Carmen then asks and Julia let’s out a sigh, she had tried to forget that reason all together.
“Irene and David wanted to celebrate my grades properly, they decided that this was going to be the spot. I did mention it was hard to get a table here; a specially at a short notice. Irene mentioned something about the owner’s daughter owe her and she was going to call her after class. I think that either she forgot to call, or she forgot to tell me that she couldn’t get a table.”
Julia explain and she could see that Carmen started to smile slightly.
“Once they have gotten something into their heads there is no stopping them, I see.”
Carmen comments and Julia just rolls her eyes. She had no idea of how right she is about that, then again; with what she had told her and what Julia had seen, Ivy and Zack were just as much of a force to be working with. A waiter walks over to them to hand them a bottle of wine before heading of to the next table. Carmen took the bottle and purred both her and Julia a glass each before holding hers up.
“Well then, for your grades.”
She comments and Julia just rolls her eyes, smiling slight but she holds up her own glass. Taking a sip, she was happy that they had managed to find one that she liked.
“Since we are on a date and are already asking questions.”
Carmen then starts to say, and Julia looks at her over the rim of her glass. She had a feeling this wasn’t going to be a good question.
“How did you managed to sneak that letter into my bag and what did you do to Shadowsan?”
She then asks making Julia look at her out of surprise, she had expected this conversation; she had however not expected Carmen’s questions to be like this and she lift’s one eyebrow at this.
“Shadowsan has been talking highly of you lately and he won’t tell me what happened.”
Carmen explains when Julia didn’t offer an explanation right away, she was quite happy to hear that she had somehow managed to impress the man in the shadows. She had also realised that he has not been following her more than normal either.
“Well, the two events’ do hang together.”
Julia starts to explain and this time it was Carmen that is looking at her out of surprise.
“I lack the ability to pull of what you did, and I had notice that he has been keeping a more watchful eye on me since New Year. So, I decided to ask him to deliver the note for me, but I also knew he wouldn’t just agree to it. So, I left the house late at night, headed down to the campus park and hide in the shadows. I called him out, asked him to deliver the letter and in return; I would go back to being oblivious to what he is doing.”
Julia explained and she could see that the surprise look in Camren’s eyes somehow turns into a proud look. Julia could also see that she was about to say something when Anatole returns to their table with their dinner. Nodding her head as a thank you to the man, Julia took in the sight in front of her and she started to smile.
“That was a brilliant move, don’t ever downcast your abilities.”
Carmen suddenly tells her, she had leaned forwards and as Julia looks up, she realises that their heads are only a few centimetres away from each other. She could feel how she started to flush once more, this time she couldn’t completely hide it.
Chapter 22: School Party
“Why do we always have to work during these sorts of events?”
David complains as he looks at the floor plan, Julia was sure she isn’t the only one around the table that rolls their eyes at what he had said.
“Because evil never sleeps.”
Julia comments, keeping her voice short and with a hint of anger. She could see how David and Irene slightly flinches at her tone and she had to fight hard no to smile. She had forgiven them for what had happened last week, she had gotten the chance to spend some time with Carmen after all. That is, however, something they didn’t need to know. She had learned later that David had ended up in detention since he had failed to do his work and Irene had been put to keep an eye on him along side to help him out.
“Again, we are sorry.”
Irene is the one that speaks up and Julia keeps her head down, she does however glance up to see the rest of the people look at her out of curiosity.
“Are we missing something?”
Chase asks and Julia let’s out a sigh, knowing that that they wouldn’t get back to working anytime soon.
“We were going to take Argent out on dinner, but we forgot to tell her that I ended up in detention and wouldn’t make it.”
David explains and Julia makes sure to keep her eyes on the papers.
“Didn’t you come in after they returned back?”
Zari asks and Julia finally must look up from the papers, she could feel that both Irene and David is now looking at her and she had the urge to hit Zari for not keeping quiet.
“Lucky for them, I run into an old friend I have not seen in a year. We managed to find a restaurant that wasn’t completely booked.”
She answered, she had planned for this; but she had also hopped she wouldn’t need to use the lie. It was something that could come back around and bit her in the back if all of this were to go downhill.
“See, everyone wins.”
David comments and Julia looks at him with slightly narrowed eyes, she knows there was going to be follow up questions about all of this later. With a deep sigh, she turns her attention back to the papers once more.
“Can we just get back to this? The party starts in an hour after all.”
She comments, wanting all of this to be over and done with.
Julia couldn’t help but to smile slightly, her eyes had landed on the red-haired twins that are dancing on the middle of the dancefloor. She knew very well that if it wasn’t for the fact that Irene is keeping David in line, he would be right up there with them. Moving her eyes from them, she took in the whole gym. She had been circling the room a few times before deciding to take a seat at the stand, her eyes lands on both Irene and David that has taken place near the food table. Zari and Aron is still circling the room, mostly around the dance floor. She had lost sight of Chase about half an hour ago and she wasn’t completely sure if she should be worried or not.
Turning her attention towards the rest of the students, she was quite happy to see so many having a good time. It was a sight to see the rest of the students having a good time and that their fight against V.I.L.E isn’t affecting the rest of the school.
“You know, this isn’t all to bad.”
A voice spoke up behind and Julia tensed, not for long since she recognized the voice by now and she was starting to get use to Carme’s behaviour on sneaking up on her now and then. With a small shake of her head, Julia leans back towards the row behind her and relaxed slightly.
“It’s would have been a bit better if one doesn’t need to hide.”
Camren answered and she glanced to the side, Carmen is hiding in the shadows under the stand. Carmen is looking up at her from between the rows and smiles.
“Well, that partner of yours decided today was the day that he would try and get something on me so he could bring me down. I managed to shake him of at the bathrooms.”
Carmen explains and Julia couldn’t help but to laugh, trying hard to keep it in a low volume so she wouldn’t drag attention towards herself. It would look suspicious if she is sitting alone laughing, that or people would start to think she has really lost it.
“And hiding under the stand is a good choice?”
“Well, it turned out to be since I now have someone to talk too. Since my own friends are either at home in front of the computer or out on the dance floor.”
Julia let her eyes travel towards the dance floor once more and it wasn’t hard to locate the twins, they were now dancing some odd dance together and Julia just shakes her head.
“At least they are having fun.”
Julia comments before she start to look for her own friends once more, seeing that David is looking towards the dance floor with big eyes; the look on Irene’s face it seems as if he had been trying to sneak away from work.
“From time to time I wonder how he even got into A.C.M.E.”
Carmen comments and Julia let’s out a chuckle at this, she had after all been wondering the same thing. She had however seen another side of him not that long ago, the night after she had dropped of the letter to Shadowsan. She had never seen David that serious and haven’t seen that side either, she is quite sure that he would make a good detective if he dropped the act he holds up.
“Well, to quote Irene; his strength is how to act, his weakness on the other hand is that he sometimes let’s his act take control of who he really is.”
“That is quite a way to describe him.”
“I have seen who he really is, I’m still not sure how I feel about that part.”
Julia could hear how Carmen laughed lightly at that and Julia starts to smile. Seeing Chase were moving towards the stands, Julia rolls her eyes at how he tries to sneak.
“And time for me to move. Nice talking to you Jules.”
Carmen speaks and Julia knew there was no time for her too say anything; the woman in red is already gone.
Chapter 23: Holding hands
She wasn’t glad about this whole situation; this was almost worst than New Year. No, this is worse than New Year; at least she had ended up working with Carmen and things had gone a bit smoother than. Now she was standing in the middle of a sea of people; she knew the others are around. The fact that she couldn’t see either of them do the swarm of people made Julia worried. Moving alongside the people, keeping up the same speed and trying to not walk into anyone; Julia tried to keep calm; something that wasn’t going to easy.
If she had known this many people would be out on the street this day, she would have talked Chief into letting her stay behind and run back end. She knew that with this many civilians around there was a higher risk that someone would end up badly hurt and when it come to V.I.L.E it seemed that it didn’t madder who was on the reserving end of the pain. What was going to happen is still a mystery to them all, Zari, Aron and Chase believes that V.I.L.E; and if you ask Chase, also Carmen, is up to something big. Julia, Irene and David seems to think that this is done only for training.
Glancing around herself, she tries to locate someone she knows; she is quite sure she saw Irene’s hair move past her but before she has a chance to contact her, she was gone. Realising that the people around her is either speeding up or slowing down; Julia does as the later and once she reaches the crosswalk it turns red. Julia takes the moment to collect herself, but as the car starts to drive past; Julia could feel how someone pushes her. Noe being ready for the sudden action, Julia loses her balance and steps right into the street in a try to find it once more.
Before she realises, she is in danger, a hand grabs hold of her wrist and with a hard pull; Julia is being pulled back. Her back colliding with someone else and Julia is trying hard not to start fighting back, it wouldn’t be good to fight the person who had just saved her after all.
“That was a close one, are you alright Jules?”
At the sound of Carmen’s voice, Julia starts to relax. Remembering what had just happened, Julia starts to look around herself and she could feel how Carmen moves from behind her to her side.
“Zack and Ivy took after whoever it was that pushed you.”
Carmen explains, her voice low as she spoke and Julia nods her head, she was slightly happy that there is proper backup when needed. She know she should report this in, but that also means that she must tell them that Carmen saved her and then there would be questions as to why the woman in red was even there to begin with. Questions Julia herself didn’t have any proper answer to now, questions Julia wasn’t all to sure she would want the others to know either.
Feeling how Carmen pulls on her wrist once more, Julia starts to walk. Forcing herself back to reality once more, she could see that the light had turned green from them and Carmen had started to walk. Now wasn’t the time to freak out over what had happened, that was something she could deal with later. Once they had reached the other side, Carmen slows down and they find a pace that fits them both in that moment.
Julia finally speaks up after taking in a deep breath, she could see how Carmen stops walking for a second before resuming.
“You don’t have to thank me Jules.”
She answered and finally let’s go of Julia’s wrist, only to take hold of her hand instead. Julia could feel how her checks are starting to grow hot at the sudden hand holding and she starts to smile. This is not how she expected the day to go, not that she is complaining; after what had happened during New year, she is sure things will work out just fine now too.
“Well, I still want to say it.”
She comments, squish the hand a little tighter as she does. Silence falls over them once more and Julia can’t help but to take a step closer to Carmen when they reached yet another crowded place. She wasn’t going to lose sight of Carmen now, not when she finally had someone, she trusted beside her during all of this. Feeling her Carmen pulls her hand closer towards herself and her other hand lands over hers, Julia could feel how she starts to relax once more.
“You managed to get me into trouble the other night.”
Carmen then tells her, and Julia turns her head so she could read Carmen’s face. The smile on her face was enough for Julia to realise she wasn’t angry about it at least.
“Yes, we decided to eat at Anatole’s place the other night; mostly since Ivy and Zack really wanted French food and I was a bit curious to see if that waiter still works there. He doesn’t.”
Carmen starts to explain, and Julia couldn’t help but to feel slightly bad for the young man, then again; he had it coming.
“It was Anatole’s daughter who greeted us and showed us to our table. We did our orders, and everything seemed to be just perfect. Until Anatole walks past the table, he greeted us all just as he normally do and when he is about to keep walking, he freezes up and asks where you are.”
She then continued and Julia could feel how her eyes grows slightly at this. She had not expected the restaurant owner to start asking about her when she wasn’t around.
“I told him you had work that had to be done, at the same time as I had to kick both Zack and Ivy under the table to keep them quiet.”
Julia couldn’t help bit to snort at that, a reaction that just made Carmen smile even more.
“He was a bit sad you couldn’t make it and he made me promise to bring you along next time; otherwise he would start to rethink the table.”
Carmen finished and Julia could feel how her eyes grows larger once more, suddenly the fact that Anatole had asked for her didn’t seem that much of a surprise. But the fact that eh would consider breaking the deal he had made with Carmen long before the two of them had even meet was a big chock.
“Don’t worry, he won’t back down on the deal. But I think it would be best if you were to come with me next time. Just to make sure he doesn’t start asking questions neither of us would like to answer.”
Carmen assure her and Julia nods her head at this. She could handle another dinner out with Carmen and the food at Anatole was defiantly worth going back for.
“I think that would be for the best yes.”
Julia answered, this time around it was Carmen that squeezes her hand as an answer.
“Now, how many questions did Ivy and Zack have once Anatole walked away?”
Julia couldn’t help but to ask, the eyeroll and sigh she got from the woman beside her just made Julia giggle. At her giggle, Carmen starts to smile.
“Well, they were curious as to how Anatole knows your name and how they had not heard about you and me eating at the restaurant. I’m quite sure Player was trying to hack his way into the security cameras, only to remember that our table is in a blind post. By design I may add. I’m quite sure however that Shadowsan was looking right through my explanation as to what had happened.”
Carmen explains and Julia smiles, she wasn’t all to surprise over the outcome. After what she had learned about that group; their actions were quite spot on. She carefully bumps her shoulder with Carmen’s who return the action. They let silence take over once more and Julia had managed to forget why she was even out that day. She was however reminded when her eyes lands on three of her friends and she let’s out a heavy sigh.
“Oh, look at that, three of my headaches.”
She mumbles, making Carmen laugh slightly.
“Well, I should probably find Ivy and Zack to see if they have found anything.”
Carmen answered and with a finally squish of her hand, the lady in red was gone. Julia couldn’t help feeling sad with the sudden lose of the contact and the closeness of Carmen. But pulling herself together, she starts to walk over to Irene, David and Chase.
Chapter 24: Misunderstanding
Yeah... this chapter compelty took on a life of it's own... I really don't know what to say
“Argent! Chief wants to talk to you!”
Chase calls out at the same time as he knocks on her door. Julia had been in the middle of getting dressed for dinner when it happens, and she couldn’t stop the deep sigh. She didn’t have time for this, she was going to meet with Carmen in 15 minutes and she is already running late since she had no idea of what she was going to wear. Button up the blouse she had, Julia starts to head for the door, taking hold of both jacket and bag as she reaches is.
Opening the door, she finds herself standing eye to eye with Chase who was about to knock once more. His eyes goes from serious to surprise when she suddenly shows up in front of her. He takes her in completely and lifts one eyebrow at her cloths.
“Are you going somewhere?”
“I have plans for the evening yes.”
Julia pushes past him and heads for the stairs, the faster she could talk to the Chief to see what she wants the faster she could leave the house and meet up with Carmen.
“Wow, looking good Argent!”
Julia rolls her eyes at David’s comment and she is quite sure she could hear him complain after what sounded like a hit to the head. Julia smiles at this, she had seen Irene standing just beside him as she was coming down the stairs. Pulling herself together, she tried to get her story straight as she stops outside of the Chief’s door and knocks.
Julia couldn’t help but to swallow down a lump that had been forming in her throat, she always sound as if she was in a bad mode, today it seems that it was even worse than normal. Keeping her head up, she pushed the door open. Chief is sitting behind her desk, not even looking up as the door opens and Julia carefully enters, the door closing softly behind her.
“You wanted to speak with me.”
Julia speaks up, keeping her voice as levelled as possible as she spoke.
“Yes, there is something I need you to take care of…”
The older woman starts to say, only to fall silence when she finally looks up and her eyes lands on Julia.
“Are you going somewhere?”
She then asks, her eyes slightly narrowed as she takes in Julia’s appearance.
“I have plans on meeting up an old friend before he is traveling to his next destination.”
Julia answered, hopping deep down this would be enough to get away from whatever it is the Chief needs her to do. But Julia also knew there was no way she would get out of it, once their house mother and future boss had put their mind to something; there is no changing it now. She could just hope Carmen would understand and it was a good thing they didn’t booked a table for that evening. Not that they would ever have to do that when eating at Anatole’s place. The only thing she would have to worry about is Anatole being disappointed that they wouldn’t show up that evening.
“Cancel that. We need you out there.”
The tone was flat and making sure to leave no room for argument’s, not that Julia was going to back down that easy.
“No, we need you for this. For the last week we have seen Miss Sandiego stalking around, disappearing of too unknown place. She’s been seen quite a lot on her phone, talking in hushed tone so no one would hear. We are sure she is planning something, and everything is pointing to it going down, tonight. Since you seems to be the only one that can somehow get close enough to her without her running away at sight, we need you to take her down.”
Chief starts to explain and Julia freezes up, this is not what she had been expecting. She knows that Carmen’s actions have been off lately, but so have the actions on some of the V.I.L.E students too; something no one else seems to realise. There is no way that Julia is going to let them bring Carmen down for something she has not done, it was about time they start to realise that she was on their side; even if her methods sometimes are to be questioned.
“With all due respect Chief.”
Julia speaks up, only to regret doing so a second later with the look she got from the lady sitting in front of her.
“After what happened during New Year, I had hopped you would considerate a chance to recruit Carmen Sandiego. She have after all not giving us any signs that she would be working for V.I.L.E and with the way V.I.L.E acts towards her very presence I’m quite sure she isn’t one of them.”
She continues, there is no backing down now and if she could get the Chief to consider letting her talk to Carmen alone then maybe they could still have a somewhat nice evening.
“And I did. But we can’t recruit her while she’s on the constant move. We need a way to pin her down.”
“If we try and pin her, we could lose the trust I have already earned from her. I suggest that we remind patient.”
“Have you been dealing with the V.I.L.E house for 20 years, Miss Argent? I have.”
Julia had to fight hard not to roll her eyes, this woman was stubborn, all she wanted was to get this conversation over with so she could get back to what she was supposed to be doing that night; not think about school or work.
“And Carmen Sandiego may just be the key to bring this long-time fight to an end.”
“I understand that, and I’m sure I could try and get her to cooperate. I just need a face-to-face with her.”
“Fine, but if anything happens you report back immediately.”
Julia just nods her head and turns.
“We have tracked her down to the park.”
Chief tells her as Julia heads for the door, she already knew that; but that was something the Chief didn’t have to know. She is already risking everything on this, she could just hope that Carmen would at least try to understand why she had to do this.
“Okay, Julia, you went and put yourself on the line. You can’t let Chief or Carmen down.”
Julia tells herself in a low voice, she had reached the park a few minutes ago and she had taken a walk around; just to make it seems like she is looking for Carmen. It would rise suspicion if she had headed straight for the meeting point, not that anyone should be following her. It was her OP, but she had not seen Zari or Aron in the house, and she couldn’t help but to feel slightly worried about that. Feeling a hand on her shoulder made Julia jump, quickly turning around her eye’s lands on a slightly amused Carmen; but when Julia didn’t calm down as she usually do at her sight, worried took over.
Her voice was low, and Julia takes a in a deep breath.
“Let’s take a walk, we need to talk.”
Julia regret the phrasing the moment she said it and the slight hurt look in Carmen’s eyes didn’t help either. But the lady in red nods her head and they started to walk, the difference this time around is that Carmen is making sure to keep her distant; something that Julia really hates.
“Chief asked me into her office right before I was to leave. She wanted me to take you in.”
Julia starts to explain, she made sure to keeping her voice low just in case someone would be listening in on them. She could feel how Carmen looks at her now.
“I managed to convince her that I could talk you into helping us out instead. That we would have a bigger chance to deal with V.I.L.E if I could talk to you face-to-face.”
Julia adds and Carmen nods her head at this, not saying a word herself. They kept walking and Julia puts her hand into her coat pocket. She was feeling far out of her element in this moment and she really wished she could just turn back time until none of this was so complicated.
“Is she listening in?”
Carmen asks after a few minutes of silence and Julia shakes her head before pulling out a pen. She could feel how Carmen looks at the pen with slight interest as Julia hands it over to her.
“She can’t hear us or track us when the communicator is offline. We have complete privacy.”
Julia explains and Carmen takes the pen from her and puts it away.
“I’ll make sure Chief stays offline then.”
She says and Julia smiles at that. She knew this act would make Carmen feel better, it made herself feel better too if she was going to be honest. She had not been a big fan of the pen communicator; she had tried to use it as little as possible; she knew the others liked to use it every moment they got. Handing it over to Carmen was the right decision in this moment.
“So, how about we disappeared for the opening and head for the waiting table?”
Carmen asks and Julia managed to smile properly, she knew it would be a big risk to move; then again, Carmen had told her that the table was a blind spot so if Chief and the others were tailing her they wouldn’t be able to spot them.
“Sounds like a very good plan, I’m actually getting quite hungry.”
Julia comments and she could see how Camren’s smile turns into a small grin and she couldn’t help but to roll her eyes. She had been after all been looking forwards to see Anatole once more, just to see his reaction when he finds out that Carmen had been holding her end and brought her. They started to step into the shadows, making sure they could easily hide if anyone they knew would to show up.
“You are sure no one else from A.C.M.E is out tonight then.”
Carmen asks once more in a low voice and Julia nods.
“I requested that I do this alone, trust me.”
Julia answered and the grin turns into a soft smile on Carmen’s face, Julia couldn’t help but to feel slightly warm inside over this. She really needed to start sorting out exactly what she is feeling; she is playing with the fire and sooner or later she was going to get burn.
Both do, and their eyes meet. Surprise shining in both of their eyes. Quickly looking around herself; Julia could see that they had been surrounded by A.C.M.E. Zari and Aron on point and Julia could feel anger starting to bubble up inside of her.
"Good work, agent Argent."
“Trust you, huh?”
The words hit Julia hard, she had turned her attention back towards Carmen once more and she couldn’t believe what she is seeing. She looked at her with betrayal shining on her features and that look didn’t suit the farced lady in red. It was a look that was far off from what Julia had gotten so used too.
“No, it’s not what you think.”
Julia managed to get out, her voice was weak, and she could hear how it cracks. Now wasn’t the time to break down. She also knew that Carmen wasn’t listening to her as she is trying to escape them, fighting off one A.C.M.E agent after another. Julia narrows her eyes and she starts to head after Carmen, she knew that she was capable to handle herself; but there was to many A.C.M.E agent’s even for her and she wouldn’t let anything happen to her. She was to late however, her eyes lands on the fight between Zari and Carmen. Carmen’s movements were slow, and Julia could see the sleeping gas gone in Zari’s hands.
Before Julia has a chance to reach them, she sees Carmen stumble over the large hill, and she could feel her heart come to a stop for a split second. Only to feel it speed up more as Carmen shoots up into the evening sky, wearing a hang glider. She had to ask where she had been hiding that one another time. She follows her movements and she could see that the flying was not the best.
Feeling anger take over once more, she walks right up to Zari. Her fellow classmate had the nerve to look at her with just as much anger in her eyes, Julia however completely ignored it for the moment, and she takes the pen from her and activates it. It didn’t take long before a hologram Chief is standing in front of her.
“Agent Zari, did we achieve our objective?”
The woman asks without even looking towards Julia and she could feel how her blood is now boiling now. This had all just been a game, a way to make sure Carmen’s defence was lowered so they could get a chance to take her in.
“If that objective was to chase Carmen Sandiego away and squander her trust, then, yes, we absolutely did.”
Julia answered, she had to fight hard to keep her voice levelled and not let the anger take complete control of her. At her voice, Chief finally turns to look at her with a slight hint of surprise in her eyes. A surprise that was gone within seconds.
“I thought we had an agreement.”
“Which became null and voice the moment you started to have feelings for our enemy.”
Julia knew the words should hurt her more than they did, but right now she was more worried about Carmen and what could have happened to her than the comment her house mother made. Once all of this was over and she had calmed down, she was going to make sure the Chief would hear exactly what she was thinking about all of this.
Everything that happened after that was just a blur for her, they had found Carmen; but she had crazed landed and was wounded. Ivy and Zack had taken her away on Carmen’s own request and Julia couldn’t help but to feel slightly surprised that Chief had let them. She had stayed off to the side and when Carmen was being taken away the lady in red had looked towards her, she had however just looked right through Julia and she could feel how her heart broke. She had have had everything for just a few minutes; now everything had been taken from her.
Out of reflex, she grabs hold of the crystal necklace and she was tempted to just pull it off. She told herself this had all just been a big misunderstanding and that she could somehow fixed this; how, she wasn’t sure yet.
She should have known they were up something when they decided that she needed to get out of the building. She had been quite happy to hide away in her bedroom; the difference from last time she hide was that she left the room to go classes. That was a step up from last time, they all agreed on that one at least. Now she’s locked into a room with the woman she had betrayed, even if it had not been her fault. She had been tricked into what had happened and she have lost countless hours of sleep do to this.
From the corner of her eye, Julia could see how Carmen sits down on the other side the bench. She fight hard to keep her eyes on the large painting in front of them, the same painting Julia had been looking at when Irene and David had left to speak with their friend and when Carmen had entered the room. She had only left the bench to leave the room when Carmen had shown up, that’s when she had realised that the doors had been locked. She had returned to the bench in defeat after that, turning her attention back to the painting once more.
It was a beautiful one and she had been admiring it since her eyes had landed on it, now she was not so sure what she was thinking. She knew she should be saying something, apologising for what had happened last week. The problem was that she has no idea of where to even begin, she had been put on the spot herself when it went down and she still had no idea of what had gone down.
“It’s quite a nice painting.”
Julia jumps slightly when she hears Carmen’s voice, she had not expected her to speak. She had barely looked at Julia once she had entered the room.
“Apparently it’s Desel’s work. At the moment it’s call unknown since she couldn’t come up with a better name.”
Julia explains, only knowing this because Irene had asked who had done it and she had asked for the name earlier. She turns her attention back to the painting once more, it was a gateway that was partly hidden by a heavy mist.
“You know who Desel is?”
Julia shakes her head; she wasn’t all to surprise that Carmen would know of the name.
“I don’t. Irene and David are the once that know the owners of this privet art gallery. They were invited to a privet showing and they thought it was about time I left my room.”
Julia decided that just going with the truth would be for the best, she wasn’t sure they would ever get back to the same page they had once been on but at least she is honest. Silence fell once more and couldn’t help but feel out of place. She could feel Carmen’s eyes on her and she knew the lady in red was waiting for the obvious question, a question Julia really wanted to ask but she also knew she didn’t have the right to ask any questions.
“Rena called Zack about free food and there was no stopping him. Ivy thought it was best we followed with him to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid and they also pointed out that I had to start walking around more. After all, it is the doctor’s orders.”
Julia fight hard to keep the surprise from her face, she had not expected to hear Carmen tell her anything. She couldn’t stop herself from glancing towards Carmen, who had her own eyes on the painting in front of them. This was the first time Julia have seen Carmen since the accident a week ago, she had seen the rest of team red, Zack, Ivy and Player had been sending her angry looks whenever she crossed their path in the hallway or in class. She also realised that Shadowsan had started to keep a closer eye on her once more. She had not just ruined the trust she had with Carmen; she had ruined all of theirs too. She was quite sure that if they had known that Julia were to be here this evening they wouldn’t have come.
“I’m sorry that we are locked in here, if I had known that this would have happened, I would have stayed in the house.”
She wasn’t sure why she was speaking; but she had to at least try to apologise properly. She knows she should be apologising for what had happened last week too, she just couldn’t find the right words.
“It’s not all your fault. Zack mentioned there was food because Rena had done more food than the event they were holding needed. I have also heard that Irene and David have been hanging around here when Ivy have been visiting her old friend.”
Yet another explanations Julia had not expected to hear from Carmen. She takes a deep breath in a try pull herself together. The longer she waited for the apology the bigger chance is that it would never happen, and she would really have destroyed any chance of building up some type of trust once more. But the thought of the Chief using her once more to get to Carmen was something she didn’t want, and she was quite sure she wouldn’t be able to handle a second time. She closes her eyes and lets her head fall forwards, she fold her hands together and squished hard; making her knuckles go white in the progress, something she didn’t realise.
Her head snapped up at the nickname, almost like it had burned her. She had not expected to hear it again and she couldn’t stop the shaking. Carefully she moves her head to the side, afraid that it had all been in her head and that Carmen wasn’t even looking at her. But she was and Julia backs away slightly at the sight of worry in her eyes. Carmen wasn’t meant to be the one worry about her, it should be the other way around. It was because of Julia that her leg was broken after all; sure, it had been Zari who had pulled the trigger but if she had been a better agent would have realised what was going on and she would have stopped it before anything happened.
“Jules, stay with me; don’t work yourself up. Deep breaths.”
Julia had not realised the was even working herself up; of course, Carmen had and now she was just feeling stupid.
“I’m so sorry, for everything. I should have known they were going to pull a stunt like that; I should have realised that Zari and Aron was gone before I left the house. I should have just walked around more in the park, acting like I couldn’t find you and then report that back to Chief. I was distracted and you had to pay for it, I shouldn’t even be here. It’s too much of a risk.”
Julia couldn’t stop herself now, everything just blurred out and she quickly rises. She walks right up to the door, knowing fully well that it was still locked. She pulled on it once before starting to knock on it.
“I know you are out there, just open the door!”
She calls out, hopping that her voice didn’t sound as broken as she thought it was. There was no movement from the other side of the door; there was however movement behind her, and Julia freezes up as she felt Carmen walk up to her.
“If you are going to blame yourself for something you couldn’t control then I’m to be blamed too. I should have realised that we were being followed; Shadowsan have taught me better. I was just as distracted as you and it was my own fault for getting hurt. I knew it was a stupid idea to fly of as I did; it would have been a lot easier just to let Zari take me. But it was a reflex, nothing neither of us could control.”
Julia slowly turns and she was about to tell Carmen she was wrong; she could however not find her words. She didn’t realise how close Carmen is standing and she couldn’t take a step back at the, her back was already towards the door.
“They told me you looked almost sick; I didn’t want to believe them. But it looks like you haven’t slept at all.”
Carmen then adds and Julia couldn’t help but to let out a dry laugh. If she could get two hours sleep it was a miracle, and as she took Carmen in, she was quite sure it was the same for her. She on the other hand could blame it in the pain.
“How about we try to be more careful with our meetings, next time we will just meat at the restaurant instead of meeting up in an open space.”
Julia looks at the woman in front of her with large eyes. They had both made solid reasons as to why they shouldn’t meet one another outside of school anymore. Yet, Carmen stand’s right in front of her suggesting that they should continue with their hidden meetings like it was nothing. Julia opened her mouth to say something; she couldn’t find any words, so she quickly closed her mouth once more.
“After all, our friends went through quite a lot to have use locked up in a room alone away from the preying eyes of A.C.M.E.”
Carmen adds with a grin and Julia couldn’t help it now. The grin Carmen gives her somehow always made her smile; she was also right. She knew Irene and David was good at what they did, they were however not that good and would need help from Zack and Ivy to get Carmen there. They both had been played without realising it and Julia was going to make sure Irene and David would hear about this later. She could however do that tomorrow, right now she was in a safe place and she had not lost her closes friend.
“So, continue to head into the unknown.”
Julia comments, making Carmen laugh this time around. She turns her head to look at the painting once more.
“Into the unknown.”
There will be a chapter where we get to see how all of this was planed. David, Irene, Zack and Ivy you don't want to fight.
Chapter 26: Beign set up by friends 0.5
I failed the challenge, but I'll keep working the story through at least!
A small story about what went down behind the scence of chapter 25, being set up by friends.
“Targets are coming into sight.”
Her hand was on the door handle, ready to pull it open so they could grab their targets. She wasn’t all too happy with this; but they need to do something. They had never seen her like this, and this was the only way to fix what had been done.
“In three, two...”
The door flies open, hand stretching out from their hiding stop to pull the two students into the small closet and the door closes once more. In the dim light from under the door, she could see how a fist is coming towards her. She block it easily before hitting the person in its stomach.
Her partner tells them and soon the lights are one. Irene finds herself standing face to face with Ivy who is trying to mask up her pain.
Zack complains and from the corner of her eye, Irene could see David lowering his hand from the light switch.
“Yeah, haven’t you people already done enough problems for us?”
Ivy comments and she tries to stand tall once more, not that she is able to stand properly due to the hit Irene had managed to put in.
“Do you seriously believe we would pull you two into a closet if this conversation was something our beloved boss would like us to have?”
Irene asks, her voice dripping slightly with venom as she says beloved boss. This also made Zack and Ivy look at one another with a puzzled look. It being quite clear that they had not expected to hear that.
“Ignore her hanger. She is still mad that we were not consider helping put on the mission. If we had been neither of this would have happened.”
David explains with a wave of his hand, making Ivy and Zack turn to look at him out of disbelief this time around.
“If we had been there, neither of this would have happened. Just like nothing happened when Miss Sandiego needed help from Julia with her class. I managed to convince Chief that it would be better if David and I was in the library when it all went down to keep an eye on them. What Chief didn’t know is that we took that the job to make sure nothing would happen to neither of them.”
Irene takes over the explanation once more. She could see how the twins looks at one another now, having a silent conversation.
“Let’s say for a second that we believe in what you two are saying. Why would you do all of this.”
Ivy asks, she was standing up completely now and held her arms crossed as she spoke. This time it was Irene and David that had a silent conversation going between them.
“Because we do not want to see our friend end up heartbroken once more.”
Irene starts to explain before turning her attention towards Zack before she continued.
“Remember the incident that happen we you, miss Sandiego, Julia and I ended up in the same project group?”
She asks and Zack only nods his head.
“Well, I lied about a few things. Yes, her bag and belongings were stolen by Tigress and Gray, yes, she had a letter in one of her books that they made a few copies of and put up all around the school and then later read through the announcement system. No, the letter wasn’t an old one. She had written then just a few weeks earlier and it was all about the emotions and confusion she was feeling towards your friend, Miss Sandiego.”
She continued, she could feel how David was looking at her with just as much of surprise as the twins were at this point and she just waved her hand towards him to keep quiet.
“When learned what had gone down in the park that night, we tried to get information out from Zari, Aron and Chief. The only thing we got was that they had it coming for a while now and that she had seen something she was sure she shouldn’t have seen. So naturally, we broke into Chief office that night and stole the complete file. Apparently, Zari had seen Julia and miss Sandiego holding hands during our last training round. Why I do not know, and I do not need to know either. Zari reported this back Chief that decided to act on it, in the worst possible way; she set Julia up to believe that she was giving her a chance to talk miss Sandiego into helping us. But in truth, they needed to be sure they could pinpoint miss Sandiego so they then could take her in.”
Julia didn’t see why she should just have stopped at the love letter explanation, if they were to get help making Julia be herself once more; they were going to need Ivy and Zack on their side. Silence fell once more, and they were all looking at one another now. Irene turns her attention towards David, hopping the truth would help them out right now.
“So, I guess you two have a plan already.”
Ivy asks and Irene can’t stop the smile.
“Well, we have other friends in common. And my sweet little brother owes.”
Irene tells them, her smile now turning into a grin.
“I thought Nathaniel was older than you.”
“Details David, details!”
Irene told him, waving her hand once more.
“Are you talking about Rena’s girlfriend and one of the classmates?”
Ivy asks and Irene nods her head.
“Nathaniel is my half-brother where Desel and David were neighbours back when we all went to the same school.”
Irene explains, seeing that they were finally on the right track.
“Well then, let’s get out of here and get this little operation into movement.”
David tells them, pumping his fist into the air; making both Irene and Ivy roll their eyes.
“Why did you guys even pull us into this place?”
“Oh, you’d be surprise what you can get away with if you stay in a closet.”
“Now’s not the time David.”
“See, I told you there would be food.”
Irene, Desel and Rena rolls their eyes when they hear Zack’s voice. As the twins rounds the corner, David waves his hands towards Zack before pointing towards the food in front of him. Seeing the food, Zack speeds up.
“Did everything go smoothly?”
Irene asks, turning her attention towards Ivy who nods her head.
“Good, now it’s all up to them.”
Irene says before leaning back and relaxing in the chair. They had done what they can, now it was all on Julia and Carmen to start talking to one another.
“Is it really alright to just lock people up like that?”
Zack asks once he has swallowed down his food.
“Oh, we do this all the time.”
Nathaniel finally speaks, waving his hand like it’s nothing at all.
“Let me guess... Anderson?”
“Every time he makes either of us angry.”
“So, twice a week?”
“At a minimum.”
The shared grin on David, Nathaniel and Desel's face makes Irene roll her eyes once more and she could see both Rena and Ivy shake their heads. Zack let his head turn towards the one that spoke and smiles big at what he heard.
Ignoring the group that continued the talk about locking Anderson into a room, Irene turns her attention towards Ivy.
“There is one thing I’m wondering about, have been for a while now. How did you and your brother get mixed up in all of this? Because I’m quite sure you were not V.I.L.E student to begin with.”
It had been a question she had wanted to ask since her eye’s lands had landed on the twins, she had made sure to put everyone’s faces into memory and they, alongside Players were new for her.
“Yeah, we're not. We used to do racing; he as the driver and I was the mechanic. An unbeatable team, until Zack crashed our car. To pay for the repairs we ended up with a bad crew and we had to do something neither of us wanted to do or had any idea of how to do. We ended up in a tight spot and lucky for us, Carmen was there to save us. She offered us a place in her team... now that I think about it, you could count us as V.I.L.E student. They do pay for me and Zack; not that they know about that however.”
Ivy starts to explain, and the rest of the group had stopped talking by now to look at her. Zack were restlessly kicking with his foot. Looking at the two of them, Irene started to understand what had somehow happened. With everything she had investigated when it comes to miss Sandiego and what she had heard from Julia; things started to fall into place. Before anyone has a chance to say something; they could hear how someone is knocking on the door and a few seconds later they could hear Julia. David starts to laugh quietly, and Julia just shakes her head at her partners reaction.
“Alright, since we are talking about the past.”
Nathaniel starts to speak, making Irene and David look once more. They now his tone of voice and it always meant something bad for either of them.
“Your old boss called, asking for the two of you again.”
He then adds, making both Irene and David freeze up. Desel and Rena looks slightly worried whereas to Ivy and Zack looks at them out of curiosity. Looking at her partner once more they both knew what the other one is thinking by now.
“Next time he calls, you can tell him we will return back. We just need to make sure our new friend is safe before we do that.”
Irene tells Nathaniel who nods his head. Irene and David had talked about leaving once graduation comes; that had changed when Chief had gone behind Julia’s back. They were not interested in spending time in an organisation like that.
“How long do you think they will need?”
Desel asks, changing the subject.
“Give them 15 more minutes.”
Ivy answered with a wave of her hand and Irene must smile this time around.
Chapter 27: Rainy day, no umbrellas
The moment Julia steps through the doors of Anatole’s restaurant, she was almost turning around in the door opening. She had thought by now that her luck had finally turned; then again it was her and she never had such good luck before. She had at least hope that when she stepped into this restaurant she wouldn’t need to worry about the problems within the house. She had really, really hoped they wouldn’t step their foot in this building; yet she finds herself standing eye to eye with the last two people she would ever want to see. She quickly pulled up her walls, quite happy that Zari and Aron looked quite surprised over seeing her there.
They were standing in line and Julia really hopped that they didn’t had a table booked for the night. Hearing familiar footsteps walking towards them, Julia turns her attention towards the large man that is walking towards them and she starts to smile. Anatole had been looking a bit out of it as he walked over, the moment his eyes lands on Julia however he starts to smile big.
He greets, stretching his arms out and Julia walks over to him. The moment she was within arm reach, Anatole pulls her into a tight hug.
“Do not mention Carmen, two people from my house are here. The two people that tried to break us apart.”
Julia quietly whispers to him, knowing he would otherwise point out that Carmen was already there and that is the last thing she needed in this moment. Anatole let’s go of her and she could see that he glances over towards Zari and Aron with slightly narrowed eyes. Julia had not been expecting that reaction, she was however happy about it.
“So, where is the rest?”
He then asks, looking around as if he is trying to find someone that isn’t there and Julia starts to smile more.
“David failed another test and Irene had to stay behind to help him through it.”
Julia explains, happy that Carmen had thought it would be a good idea to bring the man into their protection net. Anatole shakes his head at this, and Julia starts to laugh lightly. Julia could fell, how Zari and Aron takes a step forwards, so she had been right; they had not booked a table. She was defiantly not letting them sit with her and Carmen. Hearing the door open once more, Julia glanced over her shoulder and starts to smile. That was people she knew; people Zari and Aron had no idea off.
“Wow, hold your horse’s ladies.”
One of them said and Julia rolls her eyes as she turns around to look at the artist trio. She still wasn’t sure if she should like or dislike them after what they had helped with the other week. They were however a nice group and they had a nice time after they let her and Carmen out.
“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Julia Argent.”
Desel comments, a grin had spread large on her face and a second later Rena hits her hard on the head and Julia laugh.
“Keep your flirting to a minimum love.”
Rena orders before walking over to Julia to give her a hug.
“Where are they?”
“David failed and Irene is stuck helping him.”
Julia didn’t have to ask who Nathaniel had been asking for.
“Well, how about you sit with us? We are one man down after all.”
“You didn’t lock him up, did you?”
Julia asks, she was slightly worried about the answer.
“Nah, he was late for the meet up, so we left without him.”
Nathaniel answered with a shrug of his shoulders and Julia just shakes her head.
“Well that is great, come along with me people.”
Anatole told them, Julia just nods her head towards the main part of the restaurant, and they starts to walk. The moment Julia us sure that Zari and Aron can’t hear or see them anymore she turns towards the group beside her.
“Thank you, guys, for saving me, but I already have a table waiting for me.”
She tells them and the look they were giving one another she was sure they already knew what was going on.
“Well, have fun!”
Desel tells her before they walk off and Julia shakes her head, walking to the other corner of the restaurant; her eyes lands on a waiting Carmen. The lady in red looks up when she hears Julia walk over and starts to smile.
“I was starting to get a little worried Jules.”
“Well, there was trouble at the entrance.”
“Zari and Aron?”
Julia nods her head; the conversation was quickly dropped, and they fell into their old routines once more. Something that made Julia feel just at home. The rest of the lunch went down without any problems, Nathaniel, Desel and Rena made sure to wave before they left the restaurant and Carmen looks towards Julia; she just shrug her shoulders towards the unasked question, making carmen shake her head. They spent another hour at the table before they finally decided it was time to head back. Chief was keeping a closer look on Julia and she didn’t want to create more trouble for herself or Carmen. They played for the food and started to head for the doors, only to stop right in front of it.
It had been grey weather all week, heavy grey clouds have been hanging over the city; it had however failed to start ranging. It seemed however that Julia’s bad luck kept on coming. It was pouring down and she had left the umbrella at home; thinking that she wouldn’t need it since it had not been ranging during the other days. Glancing over at Carmen, she could see that the lady in red was looking angerly at the rain. It looked like Julia had not been the only one leaving the umbrella at home; then again, Carmen was walking around with crutches and it was quite hard holding onto an umbrella at the same time.
“This is just great.”
Carmen mumbles and Julia nods her head. Normally she would use her jacket to keep herself somewhat dry in a situation like this, the problem now is that Carmen is taller than her. As if she was reading Julia’s mind, Carmen lowers herself down; so, she would be in the same height. Julia smiles and quickly pulls off her jacket and holds it over both. With one look at one another, they step into the rain.
“Where should we head?”
“I think maybe the library. Or do you think our new fans would be there too?”
“Not when they know Irene has pulled David with her there.”
They started too speedup slightly, or as much as they could for Carmen’s sake. Julia could feel how her jacket was starting to get heavier and she was starting to freeze from the cold. It wouldn’t surprise her if she ends up with a cold after this.
“A blanket and a hot drink wouldn’t be so bad at the moment.”
Carmen comments and Julia agreed, that did sound like a wonderful idea. As the library was getting closer into sight, Julia somehow wanted to slow down; just to be able to spend more time with Carmen. She knew however that it was a bad idea, they are already risking it by walking around like this on campus. Seeing movements from the corner of her eye, Julia stops walking, however. Carmen; who had missed what was going on, looks at Julia out of surprise. An umbrella is soon been holding out over Carmen and Julia takes a step to the side; nodding her head as a greeting to Shadowsan.
Shadowsan greets and Julia has a hard time figuring out if he is still angry at her for what happened or not, then again; he was a hard man to read. Carmen looks at Julia with a smile that she returns. She knew this was the best way to park; less chance of the wrong people seeing them together.
“It was a wonderful lunch, too bad with the small things that had to happen.”
“Lucky us that the art people managed to show up just in time.”
Carmen’s smile grow more at this and with a nod towards the side of his head, Shadowsan signals that they had to start moving and Carmen nods her head to.
“See you again soon Jules.”
She comments as she and Shadowsan starts to walk away. Julia looks after them for a few seconds before she realises, she need to at least hurry inside to make sure she doesn’t get to wet. She could be heading directly home now, but it felt safer if she returns with Irene and David. At least she would have backup if Zari and Aron would start questioning her for what happened down at the restaurant earlier.
Chapter 28: Rival spreading rumours
Rumours, Julia was starting to get tired of them. She knows dark to well how fast they are being spread in this school. This time, the rumours had reached a new record. The whole school and houses had heard them once she returned to the house with David and Irene.
She had reserved dark eyes from Zari, Aron, Chief and Chase the moment they enter the living room and Julia freeze up. Anger and betrayal is hanging over the room, but before Julia has a chance to ask what is going on, David and Irene has stepped forwards to shield her.
“What is going on here?”
Irene asks, taking the lead. Julia let’s out a silent sigh of relief, she had been taken by surprise and wasn’t sure if she would be able to keep herself in control at that moment.
“We heard some rumours that Carmen left a restaurant alongside someone that wasn’t one of her team members.”
Chief speaks up and her eyes were locked on Julia. All she wanted to do in that moment was to turn and leave, she knew it had been a risk. It had been an unlucky day so of course someone were to have seen them. Then again, Chief said that it was rumours and Julia started to feel slightly better. If it was rumours it wasn’t anyone from A.C.M.E that had seen them; which meant they could deal with this. So, Julia kept her face from emotion and looked back at the Chief. She had nothing on her and she wasn’t going to give anything away.
“The same restaurant that you eat lunch at.”
Zari points out and Julia could feel a slight rush of anger, she quickly pushed that feeling down. She should have known this would to come up.
“Alongside Irene’s brother and his friends since Irene and David couldn’t make it to our booked table and I felt bad for cancelling it in the last minute. Anatole would be so sad. Besides, it’s quite a popular place. You should know, wasn’t you and Aron trying to get a table too?”
Julia answered, keeping her voice to the point as she spoke. Making sure she wasn’t letting any of her feelings show.
“When did these rumours say Miss Sandiego left the restaurant with the unknown person?”
Irene asked, taking over once more. Her right hand had moved behind her back and grabbed hold of Julia’s to signal that she got this. Feeling how her watch vibrates, she quickly reached her hand into her pocket to answer the call. She didn’t have to check who is calling her, she already knows it Carmen.
“An hour ago.”
Zari answered, her eyes narrowed as she looks at Irene who doesn’t seem to be faced with the anger.
“Then it's not Julia, she joined us at the library two and a half hour ago to help Irene try and teach me something.”
David answered, all attention now turned to him. His tone of voice wasn’t the same as it usually is. The only time she had hear that tone of voice, was when she found him hiding in her bedroom the night, she left the letter with Shadowsan. It was clear that Julia and Irene is the only once to have seen this side of him before.
“Next time you are going to accuse one of our own, make sure you have the proper fact and not just some rumours. I had quite hoped this organisation didn’t act on rumours.”
He then adds and Julia must fight hard not to smile. It was a hard task and she had to look away from the group standing in front of her to make sure she doesn’t laugh, their somehow managed to wear the same expression of surprise. When no respond come, Irene and David turns towards Julia and starts pushing her towards the stairs; not that they needed to push her hard.
She was ready to leave the eyes and she knew there would be a message conversation happening between herself and Carmen. She would have ended the call by now, seeing as there would be nothing else coming from her leader and fellow students. Irene leads them up to the second floor and Julia heads for her room, she was about to close the door after herself only to be stopped by Irene and David who enters her room.
Looking at them with a raised eyebrow, Irene just waved her hand and sits down on Julia’s bed; David doing the same. Trying to figure out what they were up to, Julia takes up her phone to be ready; only to see that the call is still in progress.
She asked carefully, not sure what to expect.
“Tell those friends of yours that they did a good job with the lying.”
Julia let's out a sigh of relief at the sound of Carmen’s voice. She couldn't help but to agree with what Carmen had said, Irene and David had really stepped up for her in that moment.
“They did good.”
She answered, looking over at Irene and David who high fives one another and Julia rolls her eyes.
“Player is looking into who could have started the rumours at this moment. At least we can roll out A.C.M.E.”
Carmen continues and Julia smiles, she knew deep down that they were looking into who was behind all of this; it was however making her a bit more calm knowing that they are doing it.
“Any leads so far?”
“Are they trying to figure out who it was?”
Irene asked after Julia had made her own question and she nods her head. Hearing footsteps outside her room, Irene and David starts to talk with a slightly higher voice and about nothing in peculiar.
“We have at least narrowed it down to V.I.L.E, it will be harder to pinpoint exactly who.”
Carmen answered and Julia moves towards the window, just to get a bit more privacy for the conversation; letting Irene and David take care of the others.
“How about you check in on Sheena and Grey? They were the once that was making trouble the other time around.”
Julia points out, she didn’t really know if it was them again; but if it was V.I.L.E then they are the main suspects then they should be high up on the list.
“Player, check the whereabouts on Tigress and Grey.”
“Right on it.”
Seeing how Irene waves towards her, Julia turns her attention towards her and David. They had now moved from her bed and is now standing at her door.
“Looks like my time is running out on this end.”
Julia comments, she wished she could talk to Carmen more; to try and help her figure out who was behind this. But she also knew it was far too dangerous for them to talk to one another within the walls of this house.
“I’ll contact you if we found something; or need help.”
Carmen answered and a few seconds later the line went dead. Lowering the phone, she turns her attention back towards the door, surprised to see that David had left.
“Are you going to be alright on your own?”
Irene asks and Julia nods her head.
“Good, I know Carmen and the others are looking into who started the rumours; David however is going to see what he can find out.”
Irene explains before she leaves the room. Finally left to herself, Julia walks over to her bed and falls forwards. The moment she lands on the mattress she could feel how all her energy left her. The day had been a roller-coaster ride, the whole month had been really. Once more Julia wonders if she really are up for all of this and if it’s worth it.
She wakes up with a startle at the sound of an incoming message from the phone that was laying just beside her head. She had somehow managed to fall asleep during her thinking and she carefully reaches out for the phone. Unlocking it, she finds a message from unknown. Already knowing who it was from, she opens it.
-Your guess was right, it was Tigress. Don’t worry; we have more dirt on her so she will be silenced once more. Now sleep well, Jules.-
Julia couldn’t help but to let out a small laugh, she should have known that they would take revenge for what had been done. She knows she shouldn’t be happy about this; yet she found herself thinking that the woman had it coming for a long time.
Chapter 29: Lonely, but not really
So sorry for the long wait! Mixing writers block with the stress that comes with christmas (especially when one works in a store) it's not a good combination! But I'm back so let's see if I can finally finish the last few chapters!
The house was in deep silence, there always was a type of silence there; this one however was far from the one that Julia had grown used to. It could also depend on the fact that the only people that was staying in the house in this moment was she and Chase. He had failed the assignment, and both had ended up on the left behind list. Julia was still trying to figure out if she was happy about it or not. She did get some time away from the people that has made her last few months a hell. But it also meant the only people that seemed to understand her and believed in her wasn’t near either. A.C.M.E, V.I.L.E and Team Red had left for the trip.
Julia crawled deeper into the blanket and leaned towards the lamp that had been placed on her nightstand. She stared empty on the pages of the book; she had lost the treed a long time ago; yet she kept on turning the pages. She had forgotten what she was reading really, if it was a book she had wanted to read for a while or if this was for an assignment. In this moment, she didn’t really care. Nothing had gone as she thought they would, when she had accepted to join this school. The only thing that had gone as she thought it would, was the chance to read on a higher level. She is however; questioning if that chance is worth all the troubles she has been through.
She had been feeling lonely before, the only people she could call friends in her old school had been the librarian in the town library. Her mother had always tried to get her to go out more, when she did; Julia always ended up in the library sooner or later. None of her old school mates seemed to understand her and she had been okay with that, she was the one with the dull and boring facts. The loneliness she was feeling in this moment was a lot different and she knew why. Now she had made friends, now she had people that understood her and somehow liked her for the person she was. And that didn’t add in the fact that she had somehow managed to fall in love, that had never been on the list.
Taking a deep breath, Julia finally gives up on the book and closes it. As she does, her phone starts to ring; taking it from the bedside table she sees it’s from an unknown caller.
“Where are you? Player have been trying to locate which room you were assigned to, but he can’t find it.”
She had known it was Carmen that was calling her, it was after all she and Player that calls under unknown and the only time, she had talked to player alone he had hacked into her computer.
“Could be because I wasn’t allowed to join the trip this time around.”
“This isn’t because you scored lower than me on the last test, because that one has nothing to do with this place.”
“No, this has to do with Chase.”
“Well, since he is supposed to be my working partner it is also my responsibility to make sure he passes all his test and assignments. I thought you knew that by now, Irene and David shows how it all goes on a daily basis.”
“I guess it never crossed my mind that you wouldn’t be able to come along during field trips.”
There was something different with her tone, Julia was quite sure she had not heard it before, but she was quite sure she didn’t like it.
“The last few times he has been saved by me or others, but after everything that has been happening.”
She explains, pulling her legs towards her and letting her left arm hug them towards her body. After their last try to pinpoint her to being friendly with Carmen, there had been an even more coldness from the rest of the house. She had tried to make sure Chase didn’t fall behind but he wouldn’t let her and one thing after another had led them to this moment. The two of them left behind, it would probably be better if he had been talking to her. But the silence he gave her didn’t help with her already feeling bad about everything else.
“I don’t think the system you guys are using are not fair!”
“Well, we are being trained into secret agents that works in teams. Teammates are supposed to always have one another’s back at all time. That also means having one another’s back when it comes to paperwork. If one fail, both fails.”
Julia tells her, her voice slipping into a mechanical one. It had been the same speech Chief had been using so many times towards her and Irene when their partners fails, Irene more so than herself, however. Julia had been wondering on more than one occasion if Irene is even listening to what the Chief is telling her in those moments. It didn’t really matter in the long run, Carmen is right. It wasn’t fair, especially when one part of the team doesn’t even want to try and learn the right things.
“I wish you could be here. There is a few sight’s I had planned to take you away to show.”
Julia smiles, she wasn’t even surprised that Carmen had been making plans. Memories of their midnight walk in India was still fresh in her mind. It had been so peaceful and just what she had really wanted, that night had been a real turning point for her.
“We wouldn’t have been able to watch them anyway. The Chief would have Zari and Aron stalking my every move. At least no one is around to hear us speaking over the phone.”
Julia answered before she freezes up slightly, she had been so sure no one would be able to listen into her calls. But now, she wasn’t all that sure anymore.
“Don’t worry, Player has made sure they can’t trace or listen in on any of our conversations.”
Carmen assure her and Julia relaxes once more. She wasn’t feeling that alone anymore, she knew she was alone in the building but as long as Carmen was going to be around in her life, she would never be truly alone ever again.
Chapter 30: Birthday
“Yes, I’m looking into it. You don't have to worry mother; I have everything under control. Mom! Yes, yes, I know. Love you too and tell the rest of the family I miss them; they can celebrate my birthday once I get back home again. Goodbye mom.”
The moment the line goes down, Julia let's out a heavy sigh. Checking the log, she could see that the simple happy birthday call had lasted for almost two hours, it was no surprise then as to why her ear hurt slightly. Putting her phone into her pocket, she grabbed hold of the teacup she had tried to prepare during the call. She had a few things she had to work on up in her room and there was no way she would do that work without something to drink.
“That was one long phone call.”
This time she rolled her eyes, sometime during her stay in the house; she had gotten use to David sneaking up on her and she didn’t jump out of surprise anymore. Something David thought was boring now.
“Oh, according to mother we haven’t talk for over two months.”
“Didn’t you talk to her last week?”
Julia let’s out a heavy sigh at this, she had been talking to her mother more often lately; mostly brushing it off as her mother missing her. She could see how David shakes his head and she can’t help but to tense up. Something was wrong, he was being serious again and she really didn’t like it when he got into a serious mode. Her eyes narrowed as she turns her attention back to David once more and he flashes her a big grin, something that didn’t help her worry. Before she knew what happens someone is covering her, she knew it had been a mistake to leave her back open like that.
“Alright, this isn’t fun! You know I hate this stuff!”
“Oh, live a little Julia!”
David’s normally over happy voice had returned and Julia rolls her eyes. She knows who is standing behind her, David never works alone and in moments like this, she really wish that Irene is the one in charge.
“Don’t worry, you are going to like this!”
“That’s what you two said the last time.”
“Yeah, a slight miss on our part. Still sorry about it; but we can guarantee you will love this!”
She didn’t believe them, but there was very little she could do about it. Irene had already started to push her, and she could hear how the front door opens. A jacket is being put over her shoulders and she managed to pull it on herself properly.
“Can’t you just tell me where you are taking me this time?”
“Why would we do that? That would ruin the surprise!”
“I hate surprises.”
“Yeah, yeah. We know you do!”
Julia let out a heavy sigh, there was no stopping these two. The only thing she could do is hope that they have thought everything through this time around. As they walked in the slightly chilly night, she tried to figure out where they are heading. There was a lot of traffic around her, but nothing that seemed familiar to one specific place. There was no distinct smell either that could pinpoint their location in that moment. She could feel how shew as growing restless and frustrated. All she had wanted to do; was to take that now forgotten cup of tea up to her room for some silent work.
She wondered how these two even know it was her birthday, she had never told them. On the other hand, she shouldn’t be all to surprise that they know; they are still being trained to be agents. She had just hopped they would stay out of her personal file.
“Are we there yet?”
She couldn’t stop the whining; she knew it was ridiculous to whine over something like this; but she was starting to get tired of their little games after all.
“What’s up with you today? You are grumpier than ever.”
Julia opens her mouth only to close it once more. They were right about that; she couldn’t deny it and she was quite happy that they had not asked why her behaviour had been like this during the week. But she was quite sure there was a hight possibility that they would ask her now and she wasn’t up to tell them the reasons; she herself had not managed to sort out the reason. But the question never come, and Irene soon stops her.
She could hear how David is trying to stifle a giggle and soon after the sound of someone hitting him, since it wasn’t herself and Irene was the only one around it was quite clear who it was. Not that she was surprised over it; she had started to understand that this was their way of showing their love for one another. It was still odd, but she guess there is a reason for it all, she shouldn’t press them on it. She had her secrets after all.
A door opens and Irene starts to push her once more, she had expected to hear something; but there was a complete silence around her. She could feel how Irene started to take away the blindfold and it falls to the floor.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIA!”
The room echoed the second the blindfold falls to the floor, blinking a few times to get use to the light once more; a smile started to spread on her face. In that second she had no idea of why she had been so worried, she knew she could trust Irene and David; they had shown that so many times now. They had led her to Anatole’s restaurant that was for once empty and she started to wonder how long they had planned all of this. Carmen was standing closes to her now, Ivy, Zack, Player and Shadowsan, much to her surprise, were standing close by. Nathaniel alongside Desel and Rena had managed to find their way there, Nathaniel and Irene is hugging one another as David and Rena high fives. Anatole himself was there with her daughter, both fixing up the last of the food.
“I tried to keep them somewhat in line.”
Carmen tells Julia in a low voice and she gives the red-haired woman a soft smile, she knew it was an impossible task to keep this group in line but if anyone would be able to do it, it was her. Before she knew it, the party was in full swing and Julia couldn’t stop smiling. She had not smiled like this in a while and it started to hurt. Carmen made sure to stay close to her side the whole time and Julia wasn’t complaining over that fact.
They were playing Cards Vs Humanity when her phone suddenly rings, rolling her eyes. Julia stands up; excuses herself before walking away from the group. She had yet to look at the phone; but she had a strong feeling who the caller would be, and it wasn’t a call she would take with the others around.
She answered shortly, leaning her back towards the wall.
“Yes, I’m sure. I am aware of that yes. Thank you. Good night.”
She made sure to end the call as fast as she could, knowing that if she stayed away from the party for too long; the others would start asking questions. With a deep breath, she collects herself and returns to the game.
“Who was that?”
Ivy was the first one to see her return and once the question had been asked, all eyes were on her and she smiles.
“Just my grandmother. Now should we continue with this?”
She asks, taking the seat beside Carmen once more. She could feel how the woman looks at her, knowing fully well that she would be the only one to realise something was wrong. Julia had decided however that she wasn’t going to let it show more than she did. If it was only Carmen that could see it, it was all fine. From the corner of her eye, she could see the moment Carmen lets it go for now; but she also know the moment they were alone, she would ask.
Chapter 31: Kissed by surprise
Finally finished it! Sorry for the long wait, I had no idea of what to do with this chapter and I think I have rewritten it at least 15 times by now. But I finally found an outcome I like. It's a longer chapter compered to the others, just think of it as an exptra bonus for the very long wait!
She couldn’t help but to wonder what else would go wrong that day, everything else had after all. Half of the staff was sick; the new artefacts had arrived one day early, and they all had to be counted for directly. Which had led to Julia, alone in back rooms of the first floor; making sure all the artefacts were there and none of them had ended up damaged during the transportation, all alone. The alone part wasn’t that bad really, she liked the silence around her; the only problem was the memories that would return during these times. She could deal with them, really; she just had to push them back and concentrate on her work.
But working at a museum just brought the memories back in full force every 10 minutes, this was however the only thing she could do. This is what she’s good at, history has always been Julia’s strongest power and with the advance reading she had been doing during her time at that school had led her to get a job very fast after she had left. The memories of her walking away from the school that day was the worst memory of them all, she had told David and Irene that she would meet them at class; she had told them that she had to speak with another teacher before their class had started.
It had all been a lie, she had made sure that they had not seen her room, a room that had been packed up. She had left the school during the first class; she had taken the easy way out; running away. She knew very well that running away from once problem never solved them, but she couldn’t stay in a house where she would end up as an object to hurt her friends. Carmen and her friends might have forgiven her for what had happened that faithful day when Zari and Aron had interrupted their meet up; it didn’t mean that Julia had forgiven herself for that. She should have known better; she should have realised that Chief had sent someone after her to make sure she was following her orders.
She had been in those thoughts when one of her co-workers had found her, the same co-worker that had made it his mission in trying to get her to agree on a date. Fletcher had been asking her to go out and eat with him since day one, he always made sure that she was getting home safely and hanged around where she was working when he didn’t have to work himself. Julia had lost time how many times she had denied him dinner or lunch since she had started working there six months ago. It had not dawn on her until then, she had been in the same museum for six month and her path had not crossed with anyone from her former life.
Sure, Irene and David had been trying to get hold of her; they had even gone to the length to contact her parents in a try to find her. Julia was quite glad in that moment that she had not told her parents where she lived or work, she had needed a new fresh start, and this had been the only way to do just that. So, when Irene and David had asked for her, they had ended up with nothing. Julia was quite sure that even Carmen had been around her parent’s house in a try to get a hold of her.
But all her luck would run out sooner or later and today had been just that day, Julia had managed to once more push Fletcher to leave her alone; in the end she had used the training she had gotten from A.C.M.E. She wasn’t all too happy to use the agent persona again; but he was more persuasive than ever to get her to agree on a dinner out. The former A.C.M.E agent Julia Argent had scared him off at least, she wasn’t sure for how long that fair would last.
The silence she had wanted didn’t last; however, she could hear more feet’s coming towards her. This time around Julia had frozen up, she knew all her co-worker’s steps, and these were a pair that she didn’t know. Or did she? She knew them but they didn’t fit in on anyone she was working with now, it had dawn on her who it was the moment she heard one of the people speak her last name. Out of all the people she had run away from, it had to be Zari and Aron that found her first. The two A.C.M.E agents had entered to room, only to come to a complete halt when their eyes had landed on her.
The chock had not lasted long however, Zari being the one that pulled herself together first and she was quick with questioning Julia as to why she was in the building. Julia couldn’t help but to think it was quite funny, it seems as if A.C.M.E still hadn’t learned what gathering information first and then dealing with the mission was. They had learned quite fast that they would get anything they wanted by waving that little A.C.M.E card around. That trick wouldn’t work on Julia at least who had just told them of that they were in fact the once interrupting her work.
The fourth problem of that evening had shown not far after the reunion with Zari and Aron, Julia knew deep down she shouldn’t have been surprised over the third person entering the room. V.I.L.E needed something to be taken away in a swift and quiet way, so Tigress was their operative; and the last person Julia ever wanted to see from that time. She had known what in the new collection that would interest V.I.L.E and she had made sure to hide in a good place, it had after all been the first thing she had done when she had seen the list of artefacts.
Before an upcoming attack were to happen, she had been taken down with a single shoot. Blue markings had been covering her face and Julia knew very well that A.C.M.E didn’t have any weapons like that. The answer to who had rescued here had been shown just mere seconds after Tigress had fallen to the ground as David embrace her in one tight hug, a hug Julia was quite sure would end her if he didn’t ease up a bit.
Julia only knew one person that had such a power and when David finally let go of her, Julia’s eyes, still quite foggy from the lack of air, finds who had spoken the command. Irene was standing in the door opening, there was however something very different with her friend and as she looks back at David in a try to find out what she saw it. They both are wearing similar suits as the once they had been forced to wear at school. The difference from the A.C.M.E suits and the once they were using now was the purple elements and the symbol over their right breast. With her vision finally back, Julia turns her attention back towards Irene once more since she had seen a large change in the man standing in front of her. Irene was holding herself the same way as she had done during their A.C.M.E time, there was however a completely new aura around her, a much more deadly one and the happy carefree David was completely gone to as he returned back to his partner.
“It is good to see you again Argent, the moment could perhaps have been different.”
Irene finally spoke and Julia could see how the former A.C.M.E agent is eyeing their former classmates with narrowed eyes. Zari and Aron was showing the same level of joy as Irene is that they had shown up and Julia could see that she had missed something after she had left, she wasn’t very surprised over it, however. She knew very well where David and Irene had been standing in it all, their loyalty had ended up being to her and not to Chief in the last months.
“What are you two doing here? This is an official A.C.M.E sight, you have nothing here to do.”
“Oh, don’t pull that card agent Zari. You should know that A.C.M.E isn’t the only secret organisation out there dealing with this type of work. That plastic card has very little authority here.”
“Is that a threat I’m detecting Seno?”
“You are not worth threatening, you are the once out in deep water around here after all.”
With a heavy sigh, Julia turns her attention back to her own work once more. Something told her that they would keep arguing well into the night and Julia wasn’t going to be staying in the museum for much longer than she really needed. She knew very well what was about to come next and she wasn’t completely sure if she was ready for it. She could deal with leaving Irene and David, they seemed to have moved on perfectly well after all, the fact that she had just left Carmen without telling her way and actually just walk away had been the hardest thing of them all. Julia knew she wouldn’t be able to walk away a second time, and she couldn’t handle seeing another hurt expression or fell another cold act from the lady in red. So, the faster she could finish up her own work, the faster she could leave Zari, Aron, Irene and David to deal with Tigress, V.I.L.E and team Red once they finally stop arguing.
Julia couldn’t help but to smile slightly, it was a good plan and as she looked at how many artefacts, she had left to count she was very sure she would be able to pull it all off. But there she had done it once more; she had managed to jinx herself once more and this time her life would really hang on the line.
She had seen the attack coming from the corner of her eye, she had seen the blond tiger move slowly on the floor. It had just taken Julia a few seconds to long to realise what was about to happen and she sees the claws coming towards her in high speed, at the same time as her voice echoed through the room; finally putting a stop to the argument.
Julia’s reaction had been to close her eyes as the claws got closer to her, but she had also felt something else. The claws never reached her, instead there was the ringing sound of steal meeting steal. Opening her eyes, they lands on the sword blade that had ended up in front of her and Tigress had pulled her own hand back in pain. A hand on Julia’s shoulder told her directly who it was, and she swiftly moves to the side, letting the tall man step out from the shadows he had been hiding within. Looking at him, Julia finally realised something; something she should have known from the beginning.
She had been acting calmer than she normally do, her confidence had been a lot higher. The simple fact that she had used the A.C.M.E act was just prof, she had known he was there, she had felt a calming presence watching over her. She had felt when he had shown up, she had after all grown was so used to have Shadowsan watching over her since she and Carmen had started to get closer, so when he suddenly shows up out of nowhere once more to do it; Julia had not even put energy on it.
“Wow! Nice moves ninja!”
Zack and Ivy had entered the room from somewhere and they were now standing in front of Julia, acting as a last line of protection. Shadowsan was pointing his sword towards Tigress whose eyes were traveling from him and towards Carmen that was now walking towards her. With a deep breath, Julia takes the risk to look at the lady in red. There was anger in her eyes, anger she had not seen before and she couldn’t help but to feel scared. She told herself that the anger is only towards Tigress, but deep down she wasn’t completely sure that is true.
“This ends here Tigress, there is nowhere to run, and we have already taken care of Mime Bomb.”
Julia couldn’t help but to roll her eyes, out of all V.I.L.E operative to pair Tigress up with they just had to pic the mime. There was a flash of fair showing in Tigress eyes, it was however gone just as fast as it had been there. Seeing how she takes her signature stand; Julia finds herself looking towards Irene and David. Meeting both of their eyes, she nods her head. A smile finally spreads on Irene’s lips and both pulls their guns in perfect harmony. The two shoots echoes in the room and Tigress falls to the floor once more, the blue markings showing once more and as Julia looks closer, she could see that they looked like vines.
“Night night little kitty.”
David speaks up as the two of them finally steps forwards. Looking at them, Julia was sure of her thing and with another eye lock with Irene she knew her friend was on the same line. She was about to open her mouth the speak when she was interrupted once more.
“Le Feme Rouge!”
A deep sigh was going through almost everyone in the room and Julia could feel how the last of her patient left her body. Chase, she should have known he had shown up with Zari and Aron, she should also have known that he would only show up after Carmen had. It seems as if his obsession with haunting down Carmen had not died down during the six months she had been gone. With a shake of her head, Julia tried to collect herself for what she had to do, and she turned her attention back to Irene once more.
“Well, agent Seno, Thibi. Since you guys are the once, I did call for, and you being the once that actually can take down a V.I.L.E operative properly, you can take care of the rest I hope?”
The look from Zari and Aron didn’t pass Julia, she could feel the anger from the two of them, but she didn’t care. She knew that giving Irene and David the lead in this case, they would see Carmen and her friends as help and not a threat.
“Of course, Argent.”
Irene answered before she turns her attention towards Carmen and Shadowsan, she nods her head towards them both. Julia could see how both Carmen and Shadowsan looks at one another, there was a slight surprise in their eyes and Julia realises that they didn’t know where Irene and David is standing these days.
“Thank you for your help today, we couldn’t have done this without your help. I do hope that we can keep helping one another out in the future, I know for a fact that our boss would really like the way you work.”
Irene tells them, completely throwing them off. Carmen looks at her with large eyes before she nods her head as a respond. Her eyes then travels towards Julia and she had to fight hard not to look away, she wasn’t completely sure what to do or say and, in that moment, she wished she knew how Shadowsan could hide in the shadows. That or how one can sink through the floor. But she also knew that there would never be a chance where she would come eye to eye with Carmen and her knowing what to do or say.
“Shouldn’t we arrest her?”
Julia was sure that Chase believes he was speaking in a low voice, that or she was standing close enough to hear what he was saying to Zari. With a look towards the side, she could see how the A.C.M.E agent didn’t really know what to do or say in that moment; it was however clear that they did want to do something. They had just been beaten on their own game and the one person they had been trying to bring down since the day Julia had joined them had just been treated like an allay instead of a thief that they thought her to be. And there it was, the anger that had made Julia leave the school to begin with.
She had tried to deny it for so long, but she couldn’t do that anymore. She had accepted the spot to join the school in belief that she would get better education than the one she was receiving in that moment. She wasn’t denying the fact that she had gotten better education, she was quite sure she wouldn’t have learned the things she had during the time she had in her old school. She had not expected the fact that she would be pushed into a life of a secret agent. A life where she would have to fight the first person who seemed to take an interest in her, the one person who she couldn’t help but to fall in love with.
Turning her attention towards Carmen once more, she realises that the lady in red and not moved her own eyes from her. There was something in her eyes and Julia wasn’t completely sure she was reading the feeling right. There was a hint of worry in them and that wasn’t sitting right with Julia. Throughout their times, Carmen has been the one to have everything under control; there has never been any worry when it had come to her action. Julia had been the one that had worried about it all, as she thought back on it all now; she knew she shouldn’t have worried. They had after all agreed to walk into the unknown together and she had just left her.
Feeling how someone pushed her slightly, Julia turns her attention towards David. She knew very well that both he and Irene would have a lot of questions for her; but in that moment she could see that he had something else in mind. Looking around herself, Julia realises that things had started to move during the time she and Carmen had been looking at one another. Irene and Shadowsan were talking to one another in a low voice as they supervised Zack and Ivy as they lifts the sleeping Tigress from the floor. David gives Julia one last smile before he turns serious once more, turning and starting to push Zari, Aron and Chase out from the room.
She could hear how Zari and Aron started to argue with him, but Julia knew that they would not be able to win over him. She knew what the real David was able to do and there was no backing down once he had put his mind to something. Before she knew it however, it was only she and Carmen left. With a deep breath, Julia tried to pull herself together properly and to give her a few extra seconds in a try to collect her thoughts. It didn’t help and she still didn’t know what to tell Carmen.
Looking at her once more, Julia realises that Carmen had taken a few steps closer to her and they were finally standing face to face. The worry was still there and Julia the urge of doing whatever she could to get rid of that worry overwhelmed her, she just wished she knew how.
“I’m sorry for leaving like that.”
She figured it would just be easier to start off with an apology and hope that Carmen would forgive her, there wasn’t much else she could do after all. When Carmen suddenly shakes her head, Julia gets worried, she had not expected this reaction.
“Just tell me one thing, are you alright Jules?”
She asks and Julia nods her head, seeing how the worry slowly disappears makes her even more worry. She had always had a hard time trying to read the woman in red; this time around it was harder than ever.
“Shadowsan saw that you left the school of your own free will. According to the dean your hade some family problems that made you leave the school.”
Carmen answered her questions, blinking a few times, Julia couldn’t help but to laugh. She should have known; she knew who was in Carmen’s team. Of course, Shadowsan had seen her leave and she should have known that Player had been looking into why she had left. It was true, she had blamed her leaving the school on family problems, it was more believable than leaving because she didn’t want to put the woman she loved in more danger, since the real war between A.C.M.E and V.I.L.E wasn’t known to the rest of the school. She could see how Carmen was smiling, she had started to relax; the relaxation didn’t last long when they both could hear someone running towards them.
“Argent! Are you alright? I heard some mysterious people had entered….”
The moment Julia heard that it was Fletcher coming towards them, she finds herself grabbing hold of Carmen’s red jacket and pulls her towards her. Their lips meet the moment her co-worker rushes into the room, her action had surprised both herself and Carmen and she wasn’t completely sure what to do next. Carmen, being the first one to pull herself out of the chock; pulls Julia towards herself and deepens the kiss. When they finally broke apart, Julia looks into the thief’s eyes and she could see the spark she loved so much once more, alongside with the grin made her feel weak. Carmen had once more managed to take over the lead.
“I have been waiting for that kiss since your birthday.”
Carmen whispers before turning her attention towards the Fletcher. Turning her head slightly to the side so she could see her co-worker, Julia couldn’t help but to feel a bit sorry for the poor man. He looked completely heart broken, but this was the best way for him to find out that she didn’t have a chance, especially since he didn’t want to listen to her about not wanting to out to dinner with him. The moment she thought about food, she could hear the faint sound of her stomach growling and she blushes lightly as Carmen starts to laugh.
“How about we head over to Anatole’s, he has been missing you my dear Jules.”
“And I have really missed his food too. And you of course, thank you for showing up tonight.”
Carmen had now put an arm around Julia’s waist, and she leans over to kiss her quickly before they started to walk. As they reached Fletcher, Julia gives him a friendly smile.
“Everything is under control Fletcher; I did tell you I can take care of myself and that someone was coming to pick me up once I was done. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She tells him and Julia could feel how Carmen pushed her a bit closer to herself, this just made Julia smile a bit more and she looks towards the lady in red. Maybe this day wasn’t as bad after all. Glancing towards Carmen one last chance, Julia couldn’t help but to let out a low chuckle. At the sound, the lady in red looks at her with one lift eyebrow.
“It had to be you?”
At the question, Carmen starts to smile. She didn’t have to answer the question, Julia already knew the answer to it. Of course, it had to be her, who else could it be.