Categories > Cartoons > Class of the Titans > A New Twist

Chapter the Ninth

by jennieman 1 Reviews

A fun-filled, relaxing day at the beach for our very put upon heroes.

Category: Class of the Titans - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor - Characters:  - Published: 2008/01/04 - Updated: 2008/01/04 - 5955 words

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A/N: Ehehehe...so, when I said a week for an update, you guys realized that I really meant like a couple months, right? lmao, I'm sorry I'm so slow. I choose to blame writer's block for this one. But hey, at least it's up now right? Right guys?....please put down the pitch forks and burning torches...please?.....Right then, I'm running away to work on chappie ten runs with tail between her legs, whimpering Oh and on a side note, characters may be a bit OOC this chapter. XD enjoy the crack


A New Twist

Chapter the Ninth

Archie groaned as he stumbled outside, the bright sunlight burning his eyes. Odie shook his head as Archie sat next to him at one of the stone tables by the front entrance of the school. Archie glared at him.

"Lemme guess. You finished in the first half hour and almost died of boredom waiting for the hour to be up?" Archie smirked. Odie shot him a look.

"Of course man. Too easy, I keep saying it," he smirked, earning a look of disgust from Archie.

"Whatever man. I'm just glad that that was my last exam and I'm free now," he sighed, stretching his arms above his head. A sudden weight landed on his lap. "Ooof."

"Geez Arch, I'm not that heavy," Theresa giggled as he leaned back to glare at her. She gave him a pout and he rolled his eyes with a smile, moving forward to lean his elbows on the table. Theresa smiled as she remained on his lap, the warm sun on her face and Archie's breath light on her neck. The last week had been spent mainly studying, going to class and training, but somehow they managed to get some together time. Both were surprised at how comfortable they were growing with each other, but they still had bad fights every now and again.

Just the day before they had gotten into a screaming match, albeit it hadn't turned violent this time. Archie had found Theresa in the library again, in their corner, angry tears streaming down her face. Just another raised hope torn down, by Jay, again. His anger had simmered the rest of the afternoon until they were in the gym, and from there the fight quickly devolved into inanity, ending with Theresa demanding that he 'mind his own fucking business'. Needless to say, it wasn't a good night.

Archie sighed and rested his chin on her shoulder, idly listening to her chatting animatedly with Odie and Herry, who had just arrived. She had appeared before him that morning with an anxious, guilty smile and he had forgiven her. Her much happier smile alone was worth it, as was the hug he had gotten. Theresa, for her part, was simply glad that he still put up with her. She had laughed and shaken her head, saying she really was a Drama Queen.

Archie smiled and slipped his arms around her waist and squeezed gently, glad he was finally healed...and that Jay had just sat down next to them. Theresa tilted her head to smile at Archie and ruffled his hair, laughing at his mock scowl, not noticing the covetous glance Jay sent them.

They're getting so close...was I wrong to push her away? Wrong to want her safe?...No, no it's better this way. I have to keep my head clear, be able to keep Cronus from taking over the world. She's better off this way too. It's all...for the best.

Jay sighed and forced a smile as Atlanta and Neil joined them loudly, completing their circle.

"Done for another year!" Atlanta sighed, laying her head down on the table. Neil made an indelicate sound.

"Done forever," he smirked at his partner, a little pink tongue suddenly stuck in his direction. Atlanta sat up and looked at her friends eagerly.

"So what are we gonna do now guys?! Grad is still two days away, and we've got the rest of the afternoon to kill. I say we go to the beach!"

"I'll second that!" Neil piped up immediately, Theresa nodding eagerly along with him.

"Do we have to?" Archie asked plaintively, turning to his, for now, ill-liked leader. Jay gave them a thoughtful look, trying not to laugh at all the pathetic pouts and puppy dog eyes directed his way. His breath caught though as he looked at Theresa, and he coughed slightly to cover it up. He smiled apologetically at Archie, not really feeling too sorry considering the boy currently had his arms wrapped around Theresa, and shrugged.

"Sounds good to me," he agreed, earning a chorus of cheers. Atlanta bounced up excitedly, grabbing Neil's hand and dragging him towards home.

"I can walk on my own ya know."

Archie snorted as they followed after the two, his arm brushing against Theresa's as they walked to the brownstone. He glanced down at her, not liking the mischievous smile on her face.

"I ain't going in the water," he told her bluntly, not fooled in the least by the innocent look she gave him as they entered the brownstone.

"What are you talking about?" she asked sweetly.

"Bullshit Terri. I saw that look on your face, you want me to go into the water. Well I don't think so," Archie crossed his arms over his chest stubbornly, leaning in his doorway. Theresa rolled her eyes and poked him in the chest.

"Look, if you're gonna be my partner, then you need to get used to water, and being in it. So get your swim trunks on and stop complaining. Honestly, I'm not gonna let you drown or anything. Trust, remember?" she gave him a look as she turned to go upstairs. He glared and turned into his bedroom.

"Yeah, yeah, alright. Women," he muttered under his breath. Now, where did he put those trunks? Theresa smiled triumphantly and ran upstairs to gather her things. Quickly throwing them into a bag, she slipped on her bathing suit, shorts and a tank going overtop. Running downstairs, she let out a yelp as Archie caught her about the waist with a grin.

"Wanna take my bike?" he asked, grin growing wider as Theresa's eyes lit up. She grabbed his bag from him.



"Sure! I'll go dump these in Herry's truck," she ran out the door excitedly. Herry grabbed the bags from her, throwing them in the back.

"Bout time, where's Archie?" he asked as everyone else piled into the truck. Theresa grinned up at him.

"We're gonna take his bike!" she exclaimed, bouncing back up the stairs. Herry smiled and shook his head at her childlike enthusiasm. He got into the truck and pulled away from the brownstone, carefully merging his baby into traffic. Atlanta paused in her excited rambling and glanced around.

"Hey, where's Arch and Terri?" she asked, alerting the others to their absence. Herry opened his mouth to answer when the two loudly pulled up beside the truck, Archie's bike rumbling steadily. Theresa had her arms and legs wrapped comfortably around Archie's waist, and she waved cheekily at them. Herry had a feeling Archie was smirking as he revved the bike before pulling it into a wheelie and speeding away. He skilfully weaved them in and out of traffic, quickly losing the truck. Herry glanced back at Atlanta.

"That answer your question?" he grinned. Atlanta scoffed and rolled her eyes.

"Show off," she smiled and bounced impatiently in her seat. "Doesn't this thing go any faster?"

Theresa laughed wildly, breathlessly, as she hopped off the motorcycle, grinning happily at Archie. He grinned down at her as they waited for Herry to arrive.

"Fun?" he asked. Theresa nodded with a laugh and threw her arms about his waist impulsively.

"Yup! Can we do that again sometime?" she asked tentatively, cheeks pink. He shrugged.

"Sure, don't see why not. I can teach you how to drive it too if ya want," he offered, in a good mood despite the massive amount of water sparkling mockingly at him.

"Really?! I'd like that," Theresa's smile grew as she let go of him, clasping her hands behind her back. Archie smirked down at her.

"But only if you let me drive your car," he countered. She pouted at him.

"Ooh, tricky. I'll think about it," she sniffed as Herry finally pulled up beside them. Their friends spilled out, and they all made their way noisily down to the somewhat crowded beach. It seemed most teens had the same idea that day, and they hunted down the beach for a place to set up. They let Neil lead the way, following confidently after him. They walked a few minutes before he stopped, glanced around, and gave a satisfied nod.

"Herry," he said with a snap of his fingers. Herry gave a huff and, dropping Neil's fold out, reclining beach chair, set up their giant umbrella. Towels were eagerly thrown down and Archie sat with a huff, arms crossed over his chest, resolute not to move an inch closer to the water. He peeled off his shirt and whipped on his sunglasses, glancing up at Theresa. She smirked down at him, mischievous glint in her eyes. Archie suppressed a shudder. Theresa shook her head and stripped down to her bathing suit, oblivious to a series of blushes, chokes and admiring glances coming from the boys she sat with. She plopped down next to Archie and gave him a frown.

"Geez Arch, you better put some sunscreen on, you're starting to burn already," she remarked while slathering herself in it. Archie swallowed thickly and tore his eyes away from her.

"And maybe you should put some clothes on," he mumbled under his breath, grudgingly taking the bottle from her. She tapped him on the shoulder. "Hmm?"

"Do my back? Please?" he turned to see her back facing him, hair swung over her shoulder. He felt his cheeks flushing again, and nodded unsteadily. She beamed and turned completely around. Archie glanced at her back, then the sunscreen bottle, and sighed. Uncomfortable as he may feel about this slightly awkward situation, he was getting satisfaction out of watching Jay watching them. He smirked and rubbed his hands over her shoulders, mildly surprised at the softness of her skin. She made a small contented noise as his hands moved further down her back, and Archie couldn't help but smile gently, mentally filing away that little bit of info on 'what Theresa likes' for later.

"There. All done."

Theresa sighed as she felt his hands leave her body, instantly missing their feel. She pouted for a second before turning around with a smile.

"Thanks Arch. Now turn around and I'll do yours," she commanded. His slowly fading cheeks instantly burned once more, and he could only comply as she gently turned him around. He could hear her humming softly to herself, and twitched as the cold sunscreen came into contact with his heated skin. Archie sighed and relaxed though as her hands worked over his shoulders and down his back, holding back a smirk as Jay resolutely turned away from them and began talking to Odie. Theresa's hands left his body, and he glanced over his shoulder to carefully glance at her. She caught his look and gave him a cheeky smile before kneeling upright and wrapping her arms around his shoulders. His mouth went dry at the feel of her pressing against him.

"Isn't this nice Arch? A nice, hot sunny day at the beach, with all that cool, sparkling water just waiting to cool us off," she grinned as he immediately scowled.

"Tch. I could do without all the water thanks," he scoffed and turned his nose up. Theresa giggled and leaned closer, her breath tickling his ear.

"You'll be wanting it to cool you off by the end of the day. After all, I'm sure we can work up quite a sweat..." she murmured. Archie felt his eye twitch, and Theresa fell back as he started coughing violently. He glared down at her, only getting a confused, naïve blink in return. What the-work up a sweat?! The hell is that supposed to mean?! Is she being...perverted?

"Uh, Archie? Are you...okay?" she sat up, watching him carefully. Archie felt a drop of sweat roll down his neck. Okaayy...so maybe she wasn't being dirty minded. Idiot.

"Ahem, ehehe...yeah, I'm fine," he rubbed the back of his neck nervously. Theresa blinked again and smiled warily.

"Hey guys!!" they turned to Atlanta, energetic as ever. She gestured to Neil. "We're gonna go get some ice cream, anybody want some?"

"Hell yeah. See Theresa? You don't need water to cool you off," Archie smirked at his partner and stood as Atlanta bounded off, Neil following after her. Theresa stuck her tongue out at him and stood also.

"Fine, fine. We can have ice cream. For now. But you're going in that water mister," she smirked, poking him in the chest, and turned to her other friends. "What kind do you want Herry?"

Gaining Herry's order of a double strawberry fudge with banana slices, they ambled amiably off to the ice cream stand where Atlanta and Neil were receiving their orders. Theresa frowned slightly as she saw a familiar figure making his way towards the two.

"This could be trouble," she murmured. Archie raised an eyebrow and followed her line of sight, cursing under his breath.

Atlanta smiled up at Neil as he paid for their ice creams, claiming to be in a generous mood that she should take advantage of while it lasted. He gave her a small grin as she happily took her cone and they turned to go back to their group.

"So you're too busy for me, but you've got plenty of time to hang out with your friends, huh Atlanta?"



She glanced up to see Damien standing in front of them, glowering down at her. Neil raised a slightly uninterested eyebrow at him and licked his slowly melting low fat frozen yogurt. Atlanta frowned up at him.

"Excuse me?" she huffed and he took a step closer.

"You heard me. What, I wasn't good enough for you, is that it? I mean, that was pretty low, lying to me. You could have at least had the decency to tell me the truth," he spat. Atlanta's frown grew into a murderous glare, and Archie prayed Damien would have the sense to know when to stop so as not to die.

"You know what, Damien, I don't have to explain myself to you. Bottom line is, I broke up with you, which means we're over. Done. Finished. There's nothing more to talk about. Move on," she growled and turned to leave once more, Neil a step behind her.

"No, there is more to talk about, you little slut. What is it, you wanted Neil instead of me? /Neil/?"

By that time Theresa and Archie had reached them and all four froze for an instant before Atlanta whirled around, Archie glared fiercely and Theresa got ready to stomp her way over his face. They were all stopped by the tiniest of movements from Neil, who gently caught Atlanta by the waist and handed her his cone.

"Hold this a second will ya?" he smirked down a her. Atlanta blinked up at him in confusion but took it. A split second later Neil turned and threw a punch that Herry would have been proud of. Damien went down with a sickening crunch and a loud cry of pain, and Neil bent down to grab him by the shirt, hauling him up. The other three gaped in disbelief as blood poured from his broken nose. Neil gave him an icy glare.

"Don't ever talk to Atlanta like that again. You got me? In fact, maybe it's best if you never talk to her again, period. Because scum like you don't deserve that privilege. Now. I think you owe the lady an apology. Then you can scamper away, back to the hole you crawled out from. Got it?"

It was all Damien could do to whimper out what must have passed as an apology in Neil's opinion before the blond released him and he ran like his life depended on it. Neil calmly turned and took his cone back from Atlanta. He gave it a lick and raised an eyebrow at her.

"What?" he asked. Theresa shook her head as Archie sputtered and Atlanta remained gaping at her partner. Neil shrugged and slipped an arm about her waist, turning and guiding her back to their spot on the beach. Theresa and Archie looked at each other, shook their heads, and went to order their ice cream.

"Soooo.....that was the weirdest thing in the world. I seriously think my brain just imploded," Archie said conversationally. Theresa could only nod in agreement as she grabbed her cone and took an absentminded lick. Ever so slowly they walked back to their friends, minds trying desperately to process what they just witnessed. Handing Herry his ice cream, they plopped down next to a still catatonic Atlanta, Neil absorbed with finishing off his cone. Taking one last bite, he sighed with pleasure and then frowned, looking down at his hand. He turned to Atlanta.

"Laaaniiieee..." he whined. "I think I bruised my hand."

Atlanta finally seemed to snap out of it at that comment, not even noticing that her ice cream had melted all over the sand.

"Wha- you think- and you.....what the hell was that Neil?" she spluttered. Jay raised a curious eyebrow at them.

"What was what? How'd you hurt your hand Neil?" he asked, seriously hoping they could have at least one day without trouble. Archie pointed at Neil incredulously.

"Damien insulted Lanta, and Neil broke his nose," he blurted out. Jaws fell as everyone gaped at an oblivious Neil. He raised an eyebrow at them and Atlanta.

"Whaaaat? Is it really that surprising?" Neil huffed and cradled his hand to his chest, checking for damage. Atlanta shook her head and grabbed his hand, ignoring his complaints and 'owies'.

"Yes, actually, it is. How can you not think that? And you did bruise your hand," Atlanta asked in bewilderment. Neil pouted.

"Oh come on! I may be narcissistic and egotistical and self-absorbed, and sure I may make snide, sarcastic, teasing comments to you girls, but I would never be so vulgar as to call you a slut! That guy needs to know how to respect women. He deserved it," Neil sniffed as he rooted around their cooler for some ice to press against his hand. Atlanta and Theresa exchanged surprised, somewhat ashamed and mollified, glances before smiling at the blond.

"Aww. That's so sweet Neil. It's good to know that you would fight to uphold our honour, isn't it Lan?" Theresa said sweetly, elbowing said friend in the ribs. Atlanta stuck her tongue out at the older girl, but gave Neil a rueful smile.

"That was pretty cool Neil, though I could have done it myself. But, thanks, anyways," she smiled and gave him a small, awkwardly friendly punch on the arm. Neil just shrugged modestly before opening his mouth.

"Well, you're welcome. Just remember how awesome I am from now on, hmm? So that next time it looks like I'm about to get maimed in battle, you can come and save my beautiful face." So much for modesty and upholding honour. A collective groan arose from the six friends and Atlanta pushed Neil over into the sand. Theresa laughed as Neil spat out sand and sputtered with indignation, Atlanta pretending to ignore him. She turned to Archie with an innocent smile. He smiled back a moment before frowning suspiciously.

"What? What's that look for?" he scowled. Theresa pouted at him.

"Can't I even smile at my friends any more?" she sighed dramatically. Archie snorted.

"Not when your friends know you as well as we do. You're never that innocent Theresa. I'm not going in the water," he said with a tone of finality and slumped down on his towel, intent on trying to get a tan. Such wishful thinking. Theresa leaned over him, blocking the sunlight, and began poking him. Archie lay there, ignoring her as best he could. A slight twitch beneath one eye was the only thing that gave him away. Theresa grinned widely as she moved her fingers from his arm down to his chest. The twitching increase. Theresa's grin looked slightly manic. She moved to his waist and.....POKE.

"AAHHIIIEEE!!!" Archie yelped and scrambled away from his partner as she let out a malicious laugh. She loomed large above him, flames shooting up behind her. Archie shuddered. So....EVIL....

"Soooo.....ticklish, Archie? Ooohhohohohoho!!" Theresa cackled and dove at him. He yelled and tried to dart away, tripping over his other friends, who in turn began to yell and scramble away.

"Hey! Watch the hair!"

"Ah! My computer! Be careful!"

"Why do you have that thing here anyways?!"

"MWUAHAHAHAH!!!!"

Mass chaos ensued, and pitiful howls of defeat echoed down the beach. Other beach goers would remember, with a shudder, for years the evil laughter that rang across the ocean that day. A pair of surfers walked down the beach.

"Dude, would so NOT want to be her boyfriend right now," one said. His friend nodded in agreement.

Theresa sat triumphantly atop Archie, arms crossed as she laughed victoriously. Archie lay on the sand, groaning pitifully as he shook his head in disbelief. Her laughter soon wound down and she smiled gently down at him, leaning forward. Archie blinked as she rested her arms on his chest, already straddling his waist. He blushed furiously.

"Hey, Archie. Won't you at least come for a walk with me?" she asked quietly, still smiling. Archie gazed up at her, pondering the consequences of saying no....or, for that matter, saying yes. He sighed and pushed her up.

"Yeah alright, I guess a walk won't hurt. But no funny business!" he scowled and stood, brushing sand off his body. Theresa nodded enthusiastically and grabbed his hand, pulling him away down the beach. Archie grumbled and blushed as Theresa led the way, idly swinging their still entwined hands with a beaming smile. He glanced down at her.

"Geez, couldn't you have at least put on a shirt or something?" he muttered. Theresa tilted her head up at him with a tiny smirk.

"Why Arch, enjoying the view a little too much?" she winked. He scowled and refused to look at her.

"Pfft. No, but everyone else on this damn beach is," he growled and glared at a few boys who let their gaze linger just a little too long on Theresa for his liking. She blinked at him and slid her arm through his, smiling softly as she rested her head against his arm.

"Aww, you're so sweet Archie. My, my, you boys are just full of surprises today aren't you?" she giggled as they kept walking, the crowds thinning out the farther they went. Archie flushed and kept quiet, choosing instead to simply squeeze her hand with a noncommittal grunt. They walked on quietly down the beach as they enjoyed the cool breeze and each others company.

It's nice being out here like this.....just the two of us. Heh, yup. You, her and a little tiny scrap of fabric keeping her covered. /Archie resisted the urge to smack himself. /That's...not what I meant. Forget about the two of us, I can't even get away from myself out here. I'm just trying to enjoy the day and think of ways to stay out of the water. Is that so much to ask? Of course it is. Life should never be that easy. Especially for you.

Archie sighed. He could just imagine his inner voice sticking a tongue out in mockery. Theresa sighed next to him, startling him out of his thoughts. She pouted and stopped.



"Eh? What's wrong?" he asked, confused. She gestured in front of them, and Archie turned to see a huge cliff face. "Ahh...end of the road I guess."

"Hmm," Theresa nodded and moved closer to them, staring up at the heights. Archie smiled and followed after her.

"You're gonna get vertigo doing that," he grinned as Theresa stuck her tongue out, not looking down. He shook his head and moved away from the water a bit, running a hand along the rock face, until he hit an open space and fell over. "Oomph!"

"Archie? What are you doing?" Theresa stifled a laugh and went to investigate.

"I...I think I found a cave or something," Archie called as he stood and looked around. Indeed, he had fallen into a tunnel, or passageway of sorts. "Hmm....c'mon Theresa, lets see where it goes."

They quickly made their way through the rocks, their path a continuation of the beach. Light streamed through from both ends and they could clearly hear the waves of the ocean crashing onto the beach. Reaching the other end, they shielded their eyes a moment as the sun hit them full force. Opening her eyes, Theresa gasped and ran forward.

"Oh! Oh, Archie!" she gazed about in wonder at the secret cove they had stumbled into. Part of the cliff face had been weathered away and sand filled a small beach, calm waves lapping at it lovingly. She walked slowly across the hot sand, turning this way and that to take everything in.

"Huh. Cool," Archie had to admit, he was mildly impressed at their discovery. "Wonder why there's nobody else here."

"Mmm. Well, it was kinda tricky to see where the entrance was. If you hadn't fallen, I don't think we would have seen it," Theresa admitted. She grinned suddenly and turned to Archie. "Oooh, Aaarrchiiiieeeee!"

"I'm not going," he responded automatically, and crouched down to peek into a small tidal pool near the cliff base. Theresa crossed her arms and pouted, moving to stand in the water.

"Aww, c'mon Archie, not even one foot? You won't even just step in it?" she sighed. Archie turned and looked up at the wistful tone in her voice, watching as she sat in the shallows and closed her eyes, resting her chin on her knees. He shrugged and scratched the back of his head, then scowled and rolled his eyes, standing with a sigh. Stomping over to her as petulantly as he could, he planted both feet in the water next to her.

"There. Happy?" he scowled. She blinked up at him, surprised that he had actually done it. She nodded.

"Sit with me. Please?" she asked gently, raising a hand to him. He glared down at her for a few moments, panic threatening to well up inside of him. With a snort and shake of the head, he landed with a splash beside her. Theresa smiled happily and slipped her arm back through his, squeezing gently as she noticed how he twitched.

"There. That's not so bad is it?" she chided him.

"Easy for you to say," he grumbled shakily. The smile slipped from her lips as she regarded him seriously.

"What happened Archie? To make you so afraid of the water?" she murmured. His eyes snapped over to her, jumping in surprise as he found her chin perched on his shoulder. Archie's breath caught at the closeness of her. She has....such deep eyes... He swallowed unsteadily and turned his gaze back out to his nemesis. Letting out a humourless laugh, he tapped on his ankle brace.

"You know, I didn't always have this thing. For the first few years of my life I didn't need it. Was a regular kid, who could do regular things. Then the older I got, the worse the ankle got. My mom, when she could afford it, took me to see specialists and they all told her the same thing. 'Even with a brace, he'll be using crutches or in a wheelchair by the time he's twenty.' But she didn't care, didn't believe them. So, finally, it got to be so bad I needed the brace by the time I was twelve. And that was for basically everything. I'd had others before, just for running and playing sports, but by then I needed it just for walking more than a few feet," Archie paused and took a deep breath, smiling inwardly as he felt Theresa squeeze against him.

"And well, me being me, of course I acted like a normal kid. Didn't see why I shouldn't, and I still don't for the most part. I played sports and games with my friends, went camping. But then, the summer after I got the brace, I was out at a friends camp. We were sitting in the boat, fishing and fooling around. But then one thing led to another, and before we knew it the boat had tipped over and into the water we went. The other guys, I'm sure, thought it was pretty funny, because we could all swim. But I'd forgotten about the extra weight of my brace. It dragged me down, and I couldn't swim. Not with it on, not with it off. Not that I'd have been able to get it off fast enough. I remember there was muffled voices yelling and my friends were splashing at the surface. Then everything went black and I woke up on the dock. I was lucky my friend's dad was there. So."

Archie sighed as he finished swallowing his pride and sharing part of his life with her. He glanced over at Theresa and was shocked to find her glaring ferociously at his leg. She blinked and hot tears rolled down her cheeks. A different kind of panic seized him.

"Ah-Hey! Don't cry Theresa! It's...I just...look that was a long time ago okay? I just don't like swimming anymore. Not that I really can," he mumbled and reached up to wipe away her tears. She sniffed loudly and sat up, swiping at her cheeks that were taking on a rosy tone.

"I'm sorry. I didn't...didn't realize. I shouldn't have pushed you so much about coming in. And we shouldn't tease you so much about being afraid of the water," Theresa bit her lip and wrapped her arms around her body miserably.

You're horrible Theresa! Here we are teasing him like it's something trivial, and he almost died. He must have been so scared...and probably still is. If it wasn't for that stupid brace. Who makes a brace out of gold anyways?! He needs something lighter, something that won't rust if it does get wet...

Theresa jumped slightly as Archie threw an arm over her shoulders and pulled her against his side, squeezing her tight. She smiled shakily and leaned into him, wrapping her arms about his waist for a hug. Archie sighed and smiled as he looked up at the sky.

"We should prolly get back soon. It's getting late, and Zeus knows we live with a bunch of nosy people," he smirked down at her, earning a laugh from the redhead in his arms. He stood and pulled her with him, making their way back to their friends. Theresa took one more glance behind them.

One day...we'll come back here. Someday soon, with a brace Archie can swim in.

Archie smiled lightly as Theresa beamed up at him, tugging at his hand to run down the beach with her. Her crystal laughter echoed behind them as they flew over the sand and water, dodging children and castles.

I feel...better now....Strange, the affect she has on me. Maybe....maybe, one day, I'll tell her more....One day....

They fell in a laughing heap amongst their friends, earning amused, confused and jealous glances. Theresa moved over to Atlanta, who was intently building a castle and ignoring the boys, except to throw in her opinion. She smiled as Theresa picked up a bucket and filled it with sand. Archie lay panting on his towel, an arm slung over his eyes as he smiled with wild abandon. He was slowly discovering that his partner was something else entirely.

"Archie. Please, would you help me out here and tell Odie that it is not that hard to get a date for grad?" Neil's voice broke into his peace and with a groan he rolled over to face them. He raised an eyebrow at Neil.

"Well if it's so easy, why don't you have one yet?" he pointed pout dryly.

"HA! Yeah Neil, what's the matter? Too scared?" Odie smirked at the blond. Neil just gave him a look.

"Please. Only the best get to be asked out by me. I simply haven't found her yet," he sniffed and tossed his nose in the air.

"Yeah. That's code for: I waited too long and now all the good looking ones are taken," Archie smirked as Neil turned to glare at him. "Though, and I really hate to admit this, Neil's right. It's not that hard man. Just find a girl you can at least talk to and ask her."

"Arch, please. There's no way it's that simple," Odie crossed his arms, looking unsure and uncomfortable. Archie shook his head and grabbed the chip bag from Herry, nimbly rolling away from his manically hungry friend.

"Of course it. It's not like it's any harder than, oh I don't know, saving the world," he snorted and shook the empty bag with a pout. Odie grinned weakly at him.

"Fine you do it then. You don't have a date yet either right?" he challenged him. Archie paused and crumpled up the bag, tossing it in the garbage. Now that Odie mentioned it he didn't have one yet....And Jay /was /sitting right there....He turned with a smirk.

"Hey Theresa. Whaddya say?" he raised an eyebrow at her. She blinked and paused in her castle making, head tilted to the side. She shrugged and packed more sand into her bucket.

"Okay," she agreed. Archie turned back to a stunned Odie with a superior smirk as he tried not to look at Jay.

"See? Easy as pie," he shrugged and flopped back down onto his towel, afraid he would burst out laughing if he looked at Jay. Neil snapped his fingers.

"Archie, you're a genius!" he exclaimed and flopped himself down at Atlanta's side. "Atlanta. You're a girl. And you're not ugly. Go with me? Pleeeeeasssee?"

Theresa snorted back a laugh as Atlanta glared down at her partner, sand bucket twitching violently in her hand.

"You expect me to say yes to that?!" she growled and raised the bucket. Neil cringed and spoke quickly.

"Oh come on, I bruised my hand for you. And you are actually pretty, and we get along most of the time! Please, Atlanta? Just this once?" he begged. She lowered the bucket slightly and blushed. Neil, sensing impending defeat, went in for the kill. "If you say yes I'll actually put some effort into our training and try my hardest not to annoy you while we're together."

And down went the bucket. Atlanta eyed him suspiciously for a minute before sighing grudgingly.

"Well....when you ask that way....Alright fine, I'll be your damn date. BUT. You give me a foot rub after it's over, because I've seen the heels you and Theresa picked out for me," she smirked at him, superiority oozing from her. Neil shrugged and sat up again.

"Deal. Just as long as you don't have nasty, scummy wart covered feet," he agreed.

BANG went the bucket.

All in all, another relaxing day at the beach.
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