James and Lauren left the Mission Briefings room in stony silence, and made their way to their respective rooms. Lying on his bed, James stared at the cieling, his head a jumble of thoughts and pictures.
It was in this motionless state that Kyle found him, with a football tucked under one arm. "Hey James, cos all lessons and stuff are cancelled I thought you might wanna-" He stopped short. "James? You okay?"
"Yeah," James said, sitting up and ruffling his hair with one hand. "Just kinda overwhelmed, you know?"
Kyle nodded and sat next to James bed, putting the football on the floor. "You really should lock your door. Anyone could have come in."
When his only reply was a shrug, he pressed on. "James, the whole campus is in shock. We need to pull together, yeah? Act like nothing is wrong. This," he gestured at James' sleepy eyes and darkened room, "Is not acting like nothing is wrong."
"Got it," he replied, standing up. "Wanna play footy then?"
A grin stretched across Kyles face. "Now that's more like it."
Dinner was a sombre affair, and all agents away on missions had returned as quickly as possible to campus. Lauren was suprised and pleased to see some of her class mates back, but they didn't look so happy.
Silence and tension pressed in on the teenagers as they picked at their food. Instructors and other staff stood round the walls with arms folded, with blank expressions and tense eyes.
Lauren couldn't stand it. After a few more minutes of arkward silence, she threw her arms out. "Jesus!" She cried. "Lighten up! We all need to relax a little!"
Everyone swivled round. "Yeah, like that's gonna happen," grumbled a surly blue shirt.
Frowning, Lauren crossed her arms. "Come on! We can handle this! We can handle anything we're Cherub!"
There were mumbles of agreement, and someone at the back shouted, "Yeah!"
Taken up in the moment, Lauren stood on her chair. "We've been trained to deal with terrorists, smugglers and bullying Instructors," she cried, and there were laughs and giggles across the canteen. "We can deal with this! We eat danger for breakfast!"
Everyone clapped and cheered, and James stood up to clap his sister on the back. Even a few teachers cracked a smile. She's right,everyone was thinking. We can do it. We can cope. We're Cherub!