I headed out into the senior courtyard to wait for Tristan and Corinna. We only had a half hour break, so I was hoping they'd hurry. There was a lot to run by them before next period. I tossed my bag off to the side and sprawled myself out over the tabletop. I closed my eyes, figuring I could at least enjoy the sun while I waited.

"Holly Olivia Muter," came a voice that I didn't recognise. "Also known as Princess, as in 'Princess of Darkness' among the other students, and the occasional teacher. Eighteen years old. Birthday is June 13, 1992. Top of every class, and the best results that your sad little Academy has seen in centuries. Impressive."

I sighed, and opened one eye to find one of the male heroes from last night walking towards me. Josh, if memory serves. I was so not in the mood to deal with this.

"Maybe Aaron was wrong," he continued, suddenly right next to me. "Seems maybe you are worth my time after all. For a villain, I mean," he felt the need to clarify.

I rolled my eyes, before closing them again. "So you guys can hack a database," I yawned. "Would you like a medal?"

He laughed. "You know how easy it was to hack? One of our juniors did it."

"Once again, would you like a medal? Of course the database was easy for you idiots to hack, we intended for it to be. As if we'd ever let you guys access our actual database." Honestly, who did he think we were? We knew something like this was going to happen. The morning before they got here, all the teachers had created decoy databases, and heavier security for the real ones. There was no way they'd be able to access anything we didn't want them to. "What are you even doing here? This is our courtyard. In case you hadn't noticed, you're not exactly welcome."

"Oh, really? Because I thought this was the courtyard for seniors. And, seeing as I'm a senior…" I felt him take a seat next to me. "I think I'm going to stay right here."

I opened my eyes, and sat up. Sure enough, there he was, right next to me. He looked at me with challenge written all over his face.

"Look. I don't know who you are, nor do I care, but if you do not take yourself out of this courtyard, I'll do it for - "

"Is there a problem, Miss Muter?" Mr. Kennedy had wandered over to the scene.

"None at all, sir. I was just explaining that heroes are not welcome in this area. That's all."

"Holly, as long as he is a senior, I see no reason why he can't be in this courtyard," Mr Kennedy said. I could see the pain in his eyes as he said it, but I still couldn't control my outrage.

"Are you serious?" I demanded. "It's not bad enough that we have to live near them? You're going to let them take over?"

"Miss Muter, letting one hero boy into your courtyard is hardly a takeover," he said patiently, giving me a look that told me he would explain later.

"Yeah," Josh piped up. "It's not like I'm planning to steal the whole thing. We can share."

"Whatever," I snarled, hopping off the table to grab my bag. I couldn't be here anymore, not if this hero insisted on staying. "Enjoy it," I told him on my way to meet them. "You won't be here much longer." I didn't hear his reply.

Tired of waiting for Tristan and Corinna, I pulled my phone out of my bag, and sent them a quick text.

Heading into town. Cover for me.

Once that was sent, I composed another message. This one was for the entire senior population.

Break 2 meeting in the Fight Club. Hero evac plan details. Don't miss it. – Holly.

My phone beeped with a message from Tristan, asking if I wanted company into town. I told him no, and headed for the gates, just as the class bell rang.

Just as I left campus, my phone beeped with another message, this one from Corinna.

No problem. Everything alright with you?

I smiled to myself. It was so like her to be concerned. It was why I loved her. I stopped walking as I replied, letting her know that everything was fine, and I'd see her at second break.

The walk into town was short, and lovely. It had been far too long since I'd just been able to get out walking, without it being a part of training, or some bigger plan. It was nice. And the sun didn't hurt.

"Hey Glen," I greeted the guy behind the counter as I walked into the bottle shop. "Working hard?" I asked, smiling.

He grinned back at me. "Always, Holly, always. You know me." He laughed as he came out from behind the counter to hug me. "What are you doing down here anyway? With all the booze Trist picked up yesterday, I didn't think I'd be seeing any of you for weeks. And shouldn't you be in class?"

I scoffed. "Class is for people who have things to learn. I already know all," I joked. "I'm getting provisions for our evacuation plan. Did Trist fill you in yesterday?"

"You mean about the hero invasion?" he asked, as he absentmindedly stacked bottles on shelves. "Yeah, he told me. I can't believe the Director didn't put up more of a fight, to be honest," he said thoughtfully. "But, I guess there's only so much even he can do."

"Yeah," I agreed, following him around the shop as he wandered around, making sure everything was in order, or something. "He said he'd done everything in his power, but the last thing we need is for the council to get suspicious and start asking why we're so opposed to sharing our school."

"True," he nodded. "You gotta share with a civ school as well, don't you?"

I shrugged. "Yep. But he's put them at the back of campus, to minimise discovery and interference."

He turned away from the boxes he'd been stacking to look at me. "Well, at least that's something good to come out of it all. Chances for new recruits and sidekicks," he winked at me, heading back to his counter.

"What?" I asked. It wasn't as if the thought hadn't occurred to me. I was interested to see what he thought about the idea.

"Don't act like you haven't thought about it. A whole school full of civilians, there's got to be some bad ones in there somewhere. They'll fit right in. And there's always the bored ones, ones who want entertainment. Perfect for sidekicks and accomplices. And of course, all their sports guys practically scream hired muscle and hitmen."

"Heroes'll be thinking the exact same thing, though," I pointed out, hoisting myself up to sit on the counter. "Looking for their new recruits, and doing whatever they can to stop ours. You know how sneaky they can be."

He grinned. "Nowhere near as sneaky as you, I'd be willing to bet."

I laughed. "Good point. I'll get Corinna and a couple of others to look into their database tonight. See if we can find anybody actually worthy of our time."

"Good luck," he said. "The more help you get, the faster those heroes will be gone, and things can get back to normal. Speaking of, why was it that you were here again? Didn't you say you were getting provisions?"

"Oh, yeah." I'd been so caught up in talking to him, I'd completely distracted myself. Nice one, Holly. "Do you have spare boxes I could use? I'm going to be making a million and one trips back and forth with plastic bags, otherwise."

He nodded. "Yeah, sure. There's heaps in the back room, help yourself. You want a lift back to campus when you're done?"

I raised an eyebrow. "Don't you have work?"

He smiled slyly. "I'm due for a break soon. You want a lift or not?"

I scoffed lightly. "Babe, is that even a question?"

He laughed. "Alright, well just come back when you're done with your mysterious provision procuring, and I'll take you back."

"Are you sure?" I asked him. "I don't want you to go out of your way, or anything."

He made a noise. "Pfft. Please. To help you get rid of the heroes, nothing is out of my way. And besides," he added, moving his head closer to mine. "It means I get to spend time with you. Alone. In my car…" he said suggestively.

I rolled my eyes. "Not you too," I groaned. "As if I don't get enough of this crap at school…"

He shrugged, smiling. "Hey," he said. "I can't help the fact you're hot. And neither can any of the other boys, I'm sure. We are only male, after all. But back to that 'alone in my car' business…"

"Ugh," I hopped off the counter. "Control your hormones, please? And direct me to these boxes. I need to be back before break two."

He mock pouted, and led me towards the back room.

"Here you are," he said, in the best fake-sad voice he could manage. "Your precious boxes, as you apparently love them more than me."

I just smiled, grabbing a pile of what I estimated about ten medium sized boxes, and headed back out to Glen.

"Thanks, hon," I said, kissing him on the cheek. "I really appreciate it."

He beamed at me. "Holly! You just kissed me! You just graced my cheek with your beautiful lips! I have no words. No words!"

I slapped the back of his head, as he laughed to himself.

"Cut it out, Glen, you dork," I chastised him. "Get back to work." I stuck my tongue out at him.

"Yes, ma'am," he said, saluting me. He was still chuckling to himself. I sighed.

"I'll come back when I'm done, alright?"

"Sure thing," he said, taking a seat behind the counter. "I look forward to it. I will be waiting right here," he winked.

I rolled my eyes once again, and headed out the door, making a mental list of everything I was going to need. This was likely going to end up a very expensive trip.

Very expensive, but very, very worth it.

I started straight for the hardware store. More or less everything I needed could be found in there. It was going to require a fair amount of effort on our behalf, but the end result would speak for itself.

A little more than an hour and a half later, I pushed a few trolleys worth of preparations back over to the bottle shop. Glen grinned at me when I walked in.

"Hey," he greeted me. "Got what you need?"

I nodded. "Everything and a little more. Those heroes won't know what to do with themselves."

He laughed. "Excellent work. Just give me a second to clean up and let Bryan know I'm taking my break, and I'll be right out."

"Sure." I smiled and headed outside to wait. No more than five minutes later he joined me next to my trolleys.

"Wow," he whistled appreciatively as he surveyed everything. "You really are going all out for this, aren't you?"

I shrugged. "Better to be safe than sorry," I told him. "I'd rather be over prepared than under. Art kids should get a kick out of it, at least."

Glen shook his head in wonder. "If that doesn't get rid of those heroes, then I don't know what will." He grabbed my trolleys, pushing them in what I assume was the direction of his car. "Come on. It's nearly break, I should get you back."

I took one trolley off him, and followed him towards his car. I jumped in the passenger seat while he loaded my boxes into the trunk.

"You know," he said as he climbed into the driver's seat. "You could have helped. Seeing as it was your stuff, and all."

"But that's what I have you here for," I beamed at him. "Why would I carry my own stuff when I have a big strong guy like you to do it for me?"

He laughed. "Resorting to flattery, Holly?" he asked, pulling out of the car park. "Dirty trick."

"Worked though, didn't it?" I teased.

He reached over to ruffle my hair. "Of course it did," he said. "Compliments from you? Mere mortals such as myself just can't resist. Makes me feel good inside." He winked at me again.

I giggled. "Oh, please. Just keep your eyes on the road. If you crash and I die before my prime, I swear I will haunt you forever."

He smiled widely. "As you wish, Princess."

I rolled my eyes, resting my head against the seat. As he drove, I observed him. Shaggy black hair, bright blue eyes with the slightest hint of grey around the irises, tall, extremely good body. It wasn't hard to see why I may, possibly have had a slight crush on him last year. Although his body wasn't in quite the shape it had been last year, probably due to a less rigorous training schedule, it was still very impressive. Very, very impressive.

I smiled to myself.

"Enjoying yourself?" he asked me cheekily, turning his head to look at me. "Checking me out, I mean."

I blushed slightly. I didn't think he'd been paying that much attention to me. Apparently I had been wrong. "Someone's got an ego," I tried to deflect his accusation. "What makes you think I was checking you out?"

He laughed. "Maybe the way you were staring at me. I think that was a pretty good indication. Don't worry, though, I don't mind. Really. I'm flattered, if anything."

I rolled my eyes. What was it with every guy to attend the academy and having a giant ego?

"How's Victoria?" I asked, referring to the girl he'd been with during his years at the academy. I'd never really liked her, and she'd never really liked me, but we'd always been civil. Glen seemed to like her well enough, so I guess that was good enough for me.

He shrugged, as we entered the academy car park. "Wouldn't know. We broke up a couple of months after graduation. Haven't really spoken to her since."

"Oh," I said, genuinely surprised at the news. They'd always seemed so happy together. So...perfect. "I'm sorry to hear that."

"Nah," he shrugged again. "I'm over it. Guess she just wasn't the right girl for me. Well, that and the fact that she had sex with my brother. That was kind of a deal breaker." He laughed bitterly.

"I didn't know you had a brother," I said, half out of curiosity, and half out of desperation to change the subject.

He made a face. "Andrew. He graduated a couple of years before me. That's probably why you didn't know him. Still a junior then, I think." He sighed as he parked the car. "Anyway. You don't want to hear about my boring twat of a brother. Why'd you ask about Vicky, in any case?"

"Meh, just curious, I guess," I shrugged. "You guys always seemed so happy together. I was just wondering how it was going."

"Are you sure you weren't just checking if I was on the market?" he teased. "You can change the subject as much as you like, I know when I'm being checked out."

I laughed. "Oh, so what if I was? You have to know you're good looking, and I certainly can't help that I notice it... I am only human, after all." I grinned at him.

He got out of the car, and walked around to the passenger side to open the door for me. I took the hand he offered, and let him help me out of my seat.

"So what about you?" he asked me, as he popped the trunk.

"What about me?" I asked as I helped him lift the boxes out.

"You got yourself a boyfriend yet? Some lucky bastard charmed you into being his, or what?"

I snorted. "Not likely."

He laughed gently. "And why not?"

I shrugged. "I've seen what relationships do to people. It messes them up beyond recognition – they lose focus, they forget what really matters... It's a mess that I don't want to get caught up in." I shook my head. "Nope. I mess around, I have fun, and that's about as close to a relationship as I ever get."

"Oh really?" he asked, interested. He took the box I was holding, and placed it gently on the roof of his car.

"Hey! I was holding that!" I protested. "What are you doing?" I asked, as he began moving closer to me. Soon enough, there was no space between us.

"Maybe," he began suggestively, "Maybe the reason you haven't found a boyfriend at the academy is because he's not there." He placed his hands on my waist, pulling me closer into him. "What do you say?" he asked seriously. "You wanna be my girlfriend?"

I smiled. "Honey, if you'd asked me a year ago, I would have jumped at the chance. But I'm just not a relationship girl, sorry." I apologised.

"And you're positive you can't make an exception for me?" he asked earnestly.

I shook my head. As much as I really, really wanted to say yes, I couldn't afford any distractions. Not during my senior year. Especially with the heroes around.

He shrugged in acceptance. "Ah, well. Worth a try, at least." He smiled at me. "You know, whoever manages to get through that no-boyfriend rule of yours is one seriously lucky guy," he told me, running his hands up and down my back gently. "But, in the meantime..." one of his hands stopped at the nape of my neck, while the other came around to cup my chin. "...we can still have a little fun, can't we?"

I grinned wickedly, slipping my hands into his jeans pockets and pulling him closer. "I'm always up for a little fun, Glen. Question is whether or not you can handle it without falling in love with me," I joked.

He laughed. "I think I can handle that," he murmured, his mouth inching closer to my own, until our lips collided. His lips were warm, and kind of chapped against mine. His kiss was...intense. Hot, and passionate, hurried and gentle all at once. It nearly made me want to reconsider my no boyfriends policy. Nearly. His tongue touched mine, hesitantly, and I felt the piercing I'd forgotten that he had, cold beneath my tongue. I shivered, and wrapped my arms around his neck.

"...Am I interrupting something?"

Glen and I broke apart to find Tristan standing by the gates, eyebrow raised and a smirk on his face.

"I can come back later, you know, if you two want some alone time." He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

I detached myself from Glen and glared at Tristan. "Shut up, you. Come help with these boxes."

He chuckled to himself as he came over to the car to help Glen lift the rest of the boxes out of the trunk. "Whoa. Holly, is there anything that you didn't think of?" he asked, impressed. "Man, I can't wait to hear your plans for all this stuff," he grinned. "This is going to be epic."

I bowed. "I know, I know, I'm amazing. I'll take these," I said, grabbing another box, "and meet you guys over at the Fight Club. I have some other preparation to do."

"Sure," Tristan said. "Leave the men to do all the heavy lifting, while you go and decorate your little fight club."

Glen scoffed, nodding in agreement. "Women, hey?"

"Would the both of you just shush and carry boxes, please?" I asked, laughing.

They laughed, picking up two boxes each, and following me over to the fight club. I didn't bother to listen to whatever idle guy chat they were making on the way there, preferring instead to focus on my plans. Everything had to go perfectly. This was the very first step in letting the heroes know that they had a war on their hands.

I'm so sorry this is late! I've actually had it written for ages, just had some epic internet issues, blah.
But it is all sorted, and here is a chapter, finally with new stuff that's not just rewrites!
Soooo, personally I liked the addition of Glen. To be honest I really just wanted to write a new character, and then sort of shoved him in where I thought he would fit... I like to think it worked.
Uuuum, as for next chapter, I've got a fair bit written up already, but I will make no promises for the update. Everytime I promise a time and don't deliver, I feel like a negligent mother or something, hahah.
Anywho, that's about everything covered, let me know what you think :)

On a side note, if you like pop punk (and let's face it, who doesn't), it would mean a lot if you would check out my friend's band Summer's Mixtape~ on fb. (Be sure to let them know that I sent you... but in a really subtle non-creepy way, haha. :p) If enough of you like them, I might just update a little quicker... just saying. ;)

-ash. xx.