Chapter 1

Ten years later...

It was fall, in the middle of October. The leaves were changing to different colors. She wondered how her team would react to her coming back after four years of going into exile.

"May I get you something?" the young flight attendant asks, the cart in front of her.

21-year old Valentine Kennedy looked up at the attendant and smiled. "I think I'll just have some more wine." she held out her glass and the attendant poured some red wine into her glass. "Thanks."

The flight attendant went down the row and Valentine took a sip of her beverage. Her golden-brown eyes were just the same since 10-years ago and her hair had grown down to her waist. The plane bumped as came over New York City. She drank the rest of her wine and put it in a place where it would not fall and break and then buckled up.

The plane landed at the airport ten minutes later and all Valentine had was a backpack. She grabbed it and swung it over her shoulder, leaving the plane.

She went to the entrance of the airport and walked over to the young man who brought her motorcycle. "Thank you, here." she gave him 30 dollars and then put her helmet on, getting on and driving away.

She drove the respectful speed limit down the road and turned onto a nearly deserted road. She kept driving until she reached a boarded, cave entrance. She stopped and took her helmet off, placing it on her bike. She walked over to the side of the cave and tapped four times on the giant rock.

A slab of rock slid over to the right, reveling a punch in number pad. She punched in the numbers, 3-4-7-9 and with a slight rumble, the entrance to the cave opened, reveling an elevator. She grabbed her bike and went inside, pressing a button to go down. The entrance closed and then she went down.

It's been so long since I was down here. I really do wonder how everyone will react to me coming back. Valentine thought and sighed when the elevator reached her destination. The doors opened and she walked out.

The area around her hasn't changed a bit and Valentine smiled as she laid her hand on the wall. "Just like I remember..." she whispered.

"Hey, it's Valentine! She's back!" someone shouted and everyone dropped what they were doing, running over to her. Valentine was greeted with many handshakes and pats on the back.

One of her men, Mech nearly squeezed her to death. He was the team's mechanic and gadget geek. "Where the hell have you been? It's been four years Val!" he laughed and then finally set her down.

"I've uh...I've been busy." Valentine smiled and she watched as a man in his 40's approached her. "Hawkeye." she said, holding out her hand.

Hawkeye shook her hand. "I've been taking care of things since you left Valentine. Excuse us, we need to talk." the two got away from the crowd. "It's been four years Valentine."

"I know," she spoke. "I've been a little preoccupied with things."

Hawkeye sighed. "Val...that incident was not your fault. You're not Superman, you can't save everyone."

"It was a kid Hawkeye!" she whispered. "A little kid who had so much ahead of him! I saved the other one, why couldn't I save him?" she sighed. "I couldn't deal with the guilt about having to watch the parents live without their kid. That's why I left Hawkeye."

He put a hand on her shoulder. "God knows I've made mistakes in the past, but I've put that all behind me." he patted her shoulder and smiled. "It's good to have you back kiddo." he looked over to the left. "I think someone wants to see you." he said and then walked away.

Valentine looked to her right (it was Hawkeye's left) and smiled a little when she saw Silence. The two had been close for years, since 2010. Silence wore a military, almost ninja like suit, complete with slightly baggy black pants, a skin tight long sleeve shirt with gloves, black combat boots, three belts on his right thigh with a holster and belt around his waist. He also had a skin-tight mask over his entire head, with special sunglasses that were connected to his mask, over his eyes.

Silence was in his mid-twenties and master at martial arts, considering him a superb assassin. In the entire team, Valentine was the only one to actually see his facial features. He had a variety of weapons on him, twin swords on his back, a gun in the holster and many daggers and shurikens.

Hence his name, Silence rarely spoke. His vocal cords were damaged in a deadly car crash when he was about 12. He could speak, but usually it was difficult for him.

She smiled a little. "It's been a while Silence."

Silence lifted his hand and tapped at his covered head. Valentine blinked, confused for a moment and then smiled. "Right." she tapped her own head and she felt the mental barrier fade away.

It has been a while Valentine. Silence's voice spoke in her mind and truthfully, she was the only one who has ever heard his voice. His voice was deep and had a velvety, smooth tone to it. He was also actually the only one she developed a telepathic connection to, since they had been close for so many years.

He opened his arms to her and she just chuckled a little, walking into them. "After all these years, you still want to give me a hug?" she put her toned arms around him while his went around her.

Those four years were...difficult for the team. He replied. No matter what happens, I will always willingly give you a hug.

She sighed against his shoulder. "Yeah..." she pulled away and he just ruffled her hair.

You have grown. Last time I saw you, you were only 17 and maybe a little shorter. Silence mentally chuckled.

"It's because you were always way taller than me Silence." she chuckled, looking up at him.

Sailor will be quite happy to see you. Valentine swore she heard the grin in Silence's voice. He was...saddened by your leave.

"I'm sure he was."

"Hey Silence!" one of the men from from the catwalk yelled out. "Can you come up here and help me?"

Silence nodded and gave Valentine's shoulder a pat before jumping onto the wall and crawling up to the catwalk. Besides superhuman strength, reflexes and senses, Silence's special ability was crawling on flat surfaces. Valentine chuckled and walked out of the large, open area down the hallway.

"Valentine!" a female voice exclaimed happily and Valentine was tackled to the floor from behind, by none other than Forest. Forest was very pretty, about about five years older than Valentine and had forest green eyes and shoulder length jet black hair with green streaks. Forest's special ability, besides the superhuman ones, was to manipulate vegetation.

Valentine grunted, trying to roll onto her back so she could hug the older woman. "Nice tackle Forest." she chuckled.

"My skills have improved since you've been gone." Forest smiled and helped Valentine up. "It's good to have you back."

"If I had a quarter for every time someone said that, I'd be rich." Valentine smirked. "Do you know where Ricky is?"

"Ricky?" Forest looked confused. "Oh! You mean Sailor. Yeah, I think he's in his room."

"Thanks." Valentine smiled and headed down the hallway.