Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.

Chemistry

October 3rd 1998

"Alex?" Mr. Crain called out as Alex Karev was walking out of the classroom.

"Yeah?" he stopped turning around with a questioning look on his face.

"Your grades have been slipping. Coach Flynn has noticed too, and asked me about it. If you don't get them up you won't be able to wrestle," Mr. Crain continued with concern.

"Uh… yeah, I know. I've been… dealing with… some stuff," Alex mumbled quietly looking at the floor.

"Is there something we can help you with?" the kind teacher asked.

"No!" Alex answered quickly.

"Okay…" the teacher replied hesitantly studying Alex's face. "Well, I did take the liberty of finding a tutor for you." He handed Alex a slip of paper. "There's a name and phone number. It's your call."

"Thanks," Alex said quietly as he walked out of the room stuffing the paper deep into his pocket. He had to hurry to the gym so he wasn't late for wrestling practice.

Coach Flynn didn't say anything when Alex rushed in. He just looked at him knowingly. Alex rolled his eyes and went to change. During practice Alex took out all of his pent up energy and frustrations on his opponents. He didn't lose a match, but really that was nothing new. He was the best on the team and everybody knew it.

On his way "home" after wrestling, Alex fished the sticky note with the tutor's information on it out of his pocket. "Jo Wilson", hmm never heard of him, Alex thought. He didn't want to call him; he didn't want a tutor, but if he didn't get his grades up he couldn't wrestle and if he didn't wrestle he wouldn't get a scholarship and without a scholarship he couldn't go to college and well he just had to go to college. Alex grabbed his phone and dialed the number before he could think too much more about it.

"Hello?" a soft female voice answered catching Alex by surprise.

"Uh… I was calling for Jo. Jo Wilson," Alex stuttered haltingly.

"Well, you found her," Jo responded back in a cheerful voice. "What can I do for you?"

"Umm. Mr. Crain gave me your number, said you could maybe help me with Calculus," he explained.

"Yeah, of course, I was expecting a call. When did you want to get started?" Jo questioned.

"How about tomorrow after school in the library? 4:30 okay? I have practice until then."

"Sure. I'll see you then," Jo accepted ending the call.

Alex breathed out a sigh and tossed his phone on the seat beside him as he pulled his old beat up truck next to the curb in front of the house. So, Jo Wilson is a chick, nice he thought. He liked girls with boy names it's hot he smirked to himself entering the house and heading straight to the kitchen.

"How was school today, Alex?" Terri, his foster mother, asked in a chipper voice.

Alex just grabbed a handful of cookies and grunted back leaving Terri shaking her head after him. It had only been about a month since Alex had come to live with her and her husband, but she wasn't sure if he would ever open up, even about something as simple as how his day was. Terri knew he had been through a lot in the past couple of months and he surely had to be missing his brother and sister. She could see the pain written all over him even if he did try to hide it. Well, the only thing she could do was be gentle and keep trying, she thought turning back to the supper preparations she had been working on.

Alex flopped down on his bed. He didn't hate it here, actually, in a lot of ways it was better than his real home had ever been. Of course he missed Aaron and Amber and even his mom, but at least his siblings were fostered together at the same home, and he only needed a place to stay for a year. As soon as college started up next year he was out of here. That's why he had to get a scholarship; there was no other way he could afford college.

The next day Alex walked into the library at exactly 4:30. There weren't many students hanging around so it didn't take him long to spot a beautiful girl sitting at a corner table with a Calculus book in front of her. How have I never noticed her? he wondered. "Hey, you must be Jo. I'm Alex Karev," Alex sat down across from Jo giving her his most charming smile.

"I know," she retorted returning his smile, "Everyone knows who you are."

Alex gave a low chuckle, "I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing."

This made Jo laugh as well. "Well, judging by your reputation maybe a little of both," she shot back cheekily.

Alex immediately liked Jo's spunk and couldn't help but notice how nice her smile and laugh were. "So I haven't seen you around," Alex observed.

"You probably haven't been looking in the right places. I'm a sophomore," Jo informed him.

"A Sophomore? Taking Calculus? So I was right to be looking for a nerd," he laughed in reply.

"Hey, I'm not a nerd. I am just freakishly good with numbers," Jo sassed tossing her long brown curls with a huff.

They both looked at each other and burst out laughing. Somehow they had hit it off instantly, the conversation flowed easily and they teased back and forth as if they had known each other for years. They finally got down to business and even got some homework done. As they were packing up their stuff to leave, they were both shocked to realize two hours had passed.

"Wow! Two hours has never gone by so fast while I was doing homework," Alex pointed out.

"Yeah for me neither," Jo agreed getting a twinkle in her eyes, "even for a nerd like me." They walked out to the parking lot together laughing.

"You know, I'm not stupid," Alex said suddenly turning serious. "I can get this stuff. I just fell behind dealing with family crap." He wasn't sure why he said it but he didn't want Jo looking down on him or thinking less of him because he needed help.

"Hmm," Jo responded narrowing her eyes at him, "someday I would like to hear about that. If you need to talk, I mean," she caught herself and blushed. "And don't worry; I know you're not stupid. I can see that you aren't," she gave him a wave and a small smile climbing into her brother's awaiting car and heading home.

Alex and Jo continued to meet frequently to study and do homework, soon becoming daily. He had started dropping her off at home in the evenings when they finished so her family didn't have to come pick her up and they would talk often throughout the day at school. They were fast becoming best friends and though they may have been studying math anyone could see they had chemistry.

Author's note: This is my first attempt at a multi chapter story. Tell me what you think. Should I continue this? Should I stick to one shots? What can I do to improve my stories? Thank you for reading and reviewing.