Chapter 2: Hatter and Duchess

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Titan City

March 22

The Mansion

5:00 PM

Raven looks up briefly from her drawing as Wes walks into the living room, dropping his backpack on the floor, and slumping onto the couch. He puts his hands over his face and groans loudly. Luke had already taken control of the television, playing a racecar game against Arden. Lance sat on the far end of the couch reading, this time it was Catcher in the Rye. Luke paused the game to look over at Wes.

"What's up fearless leader?" Arden jokes, lounging on the couch, actually looking relaxed which the whole team had realized very quickly was something she rarely did.

"I think I just failed my history and chemistry test." He says. Arden leans over and pats him on the shoulder. As a fellow junior in high school, she understood. Luke was only a freshman and Raven was a sophomore. Lance didn't even go to school.

"Can't I just be a senior already?" He asks.

"It'll be done before you know it." Arden assures him. He glares over at her.

"Says the girl with straight A's." Luke and him had decided to sneak into Arden's backpack a few days earlier to plant a fake spider for a prank. The two of them spotted a few loose tests in her backpack, all A's of course.

"I think somebody is jealous." Luke states, elbowing Arden.

"Totally." Arden responds. Wes groans again, grabs a pillow, and buries his face in it. Lance looks over at the scene with a small smile.

"You want to join in the fun, big guy?" Arden asks Lance, holding out her controller. "I'm going to go see what's in the fridge food-wise, I'm starving."

"Uh, sure." Lance says, putting down his book.

"Just don't lose my lead on Luke." She says getting up. She leans down close to Lance and fake whispers. "You can probably do it, he's not that good."

"Hey! I can hear you!" Luke states. Arden just laughs and walks away. Raven's stomach rumbles suddenly and she realizes that she is hungry too. She closes her sketchbook, leaving it on her window seat and begins walking towards the kitchen as well.

"Hey Rav, can you grab me something to eat while you're up?" Luke asks. Raven turns and glares at him.

"First off, don't call me Rav. And second, you have two legs that can run at the speed of sound, get your own food." Raven tells him, walking out towards the kitchen. Wes removes the pillow from his face.

"You my friend just got served." Wes says, laughing at Luke's red face. Even Lance was smirking at the fourteen year old.

Raven walked into the kitchen to find Arden sitting on the counter eating a box of crackers. She stared off into the distance, distracted, as she ate the crackers.

"Do you not like the seats or do you just always sit on kitchen counters?" Raven asks. "You know people prepare food there and your feet are on it."

"Oops, sorry." Arden says jumping off. "I forgot that other people live here and yeah..." She trails off as she takes a seat at one of the chairs in front of the breakfast table.

"Do you live alone or something?" Raven asks, opening the fridge. Finding nothing, she closes it and takes an apple from the dish on the table. She sat down across from Arden. Arden got along fine with everyone but she rarely seemed to talk about her private life, then again, nobody but Luke did. Luke talked too much. Luke had told them everything up from the first time he broke his arm to describing every aspect of the track meet he was at when he discovered his powers. It was annoying.

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