"If you could be anything...I dunno, something like an animal, or some crap like that...What would you be?" The ball thwacked! against the other boy's head like it was a trampoline.
"Samson, if I could be anything, I'd be a lion. So I can kill you, because that freaking hurt."
"Oh, you're such a spoilsport Ethan. I'd want to be-ah, what's it called? One of them Nemo fishes. You know what I mean, don't you, Poppy?" The small, petite girl looked up from her book, dazed and still lost in a world of flying children and talking dogs. "Pop? Nemo fish? What's it called?"
"Oh! I think you mean a clownfish. Yes, that's it, clownfish." Poppy nodded in earnest, taking a sip of her tea, content with her answer and the warmth of her sweet beverage. "Why are you discussing clownfish, anyway?" The question was so sincere and innocent, it set them off in childish giggles. It made the freckles on Poppy's face darker, giving the impression that she was younger than she looked more prominent and projected.
"Guys, there's pizza in..here. What you three laughing at, huh? C'mon, the one and only chance you get to have greasy junk food, and you're in here laughing your heads off! What do you think the Director will think of that, huh?" Their laughter was infectious. Although they were fully qualified agents, they were still teenagers and had their immature moments.
"Sorry Lorna. Pizzaaaa!" Samson charged off, inadvertently thwacking his hip into the door frame leading into the next room with a loud "Ow, ow, ow!" Lorna tutted, rolled her eyes, and followed through into the dining hall. Ethan stood, waiting for Poppy as she carefully tucked her frayed bookmark into her tattered paperback and placed it on the aged wooden table beside the cracked, ancient leather chair she was sat on. Standing, Poppy's shoes gave out a soft tap as they connected with the shiny floor. The smell of different pizzas smelt good, making both Ethan and Poppy hold their stomachs as they rumbled. Grinning, they both ran to the hall and ended up getting squidged in the doorway, their shoulders shaking with unstoppable laughter. Grumpy old Mr Ball the caretaker spotted them, and started to shake his head as he walked over and gently pulled on their shoulders that were smushed together, eventually freeing them into the busy hall. "Thanks Mr Ball!" Poppy spluttered as Ethan ran to get them their seats at their usual table.
"Anytime Poppy. Just make sure it doesn't happen again." Once you got on the right side of Mr Ball, he was ok. It helped that Poppy was one of those quiet people that you can't help like because of the way their eyes seemed to want to be your friend. Walking quickly to her table, Poppy listened to each table as she passed.
"...Nah, the mission seems alright..."
"...and karate? Dude..."
"...He's got a short beard now? Awesome..."
The last one stuck in Poppy's brain, and instantly an image of the techy-slash-computer hacks-slash-other-things leader Patrick popped into her head. She imagined him in an FBI style suit, wearing dark sunglasses with his chin length curls, and smiled. He was nice.
"Poppy, we managed to save a few pieces of pizza before Samson ate it all!" Samson grinned, took a slurp of his lemonade and burped into the face of Shadow next to him. "Thanks for that, mate. You pig, it stinks!" Shadow covered his nostrils with a pale hand, and wafted it in the general direction of Ruby, the girl sat next to him. Shaking her head, Poppy sat and took a bite out of one of the cheesier looking pizzas on her plate. Tendrils of cheese hung between her mouth and the pizza slice, causing the rest of the table to give general 'pfff's' of laughter.
"You lot. New girl. Make 'er feel welcome, will ya?" Mr Ball stared at them unpleasantly, meanly leaving the poor girl to just stand and dither at the edge of the table in awkward worriedness. She had a soft build, dark blue layered hair, and a face that said she'd probably most likely to get on with Rupert. She coughed shyly into her closed fist.
"Hello. I'm Poppy. This is Ethan, Ruby, Shadow, Samson, Delilah and Rupert." The girl glanced at Poppy, and muttered something incoherently under her breath. It sounded something like "My name's Hollie." Looking down at her shoes, Poppy quickly nodded to Rupert, who then stood slowly, proudly wearing his red checkered shirt and dark blue knee ripped jeans. Reaching out his hand for 'Hollie' to shake, he started to talk to her.
"Hi. I'm Rupert. Hollie, did you say your name was?" Hollie looked up, shook his hand, and gave a quick jerk of her chin. "D'you like to read? I do." Again, she nodded. Rupert was like a mind wizard when it came to judging what people did and didn't like to do. Smiling, Rupert sat and said, "Welcome to the team, Hollie. Hope you enjoy your time."