Hey, guys. Okay, this is my new story. It's AU, and sort of a Mediator-ized version of a plot line I have in mind for a story I just sort of started.

Anyway, I hope you all like it. I am still sort of iffy with when things go where, so there might be reposts and revisions, but I will do my best to stay on top of keeping you informed, so I don't completely confuse you.

Well, review! I hope you like it.

Rating: T for language, adult themes, and maybe some sex eventually :) If you're good, of course.

Disclaimer: Characters, locations, and a few sections of the story belong to Meg. The rest is mine.

Summary: Suze transfers to the Juniperro Serra Mission Academy after something happens at her old school, RLS. It's here that she meets Jesse. He, along with Cee Cee and her new friends, have to try to break through her shell and find out what happened in her past.

Chapter One

The first day of school.

My mom led me through the breezeways and arches of the Mission to the principal's office.

I knew the school, at least a little bit. My step brothers when here. I'd been dragged to one or two of Dopey's wrestling matches, been bored to death at Doc's science fair last spring (but, of course, proud of him).

I'd went to one of Paul's away matches last year, to cheer him on.

I quickly shoved those thoughts out of my brain—New leaf, Suze. You can start over. No one knows about what happened.

"Susie? Come on," my mom chided, and I realized that I was still hanging out outside the lobby of the office, while she held the door open for me.

I quickly stepped in, and shut the door behind me. The nun at the desk looked up with a benign smile.

"Mrs. Ackerman, lovely to see you. Father Dominic will be ready in a few minutes. He's in a meeting with a student." My mom nodded, thanked her, and pushed me into one of the chairs that lined the wall.

There was another kid sitting there, obviously waiting for Father Dominic too. He gave me a friendly smile, which I returned half-heartedly.

I sat down a few chairs away from him, and became transfixed with the giant crucifix hanging above the nun's head. "He's supposed to weep tears of blood if any girl graduates from here a virgin." I jumped, trying to find where the voice had come from. I looked to my right, and the boy who was sitting there had a serious expression on his face. The nun at the desk made a noise of derision. "It's true," he said. "It happened last year. My sister." His voice dropped to a whisper. "She's adopted." I was startled into laughing, and his grave expression broke into a grin.

It was then that the door to the principal's office opened—his brass nameplate sparkled when the door swung—and out stepped…

Not a priest, I can tell you that much. It was a guy.

A very good looking one, at that.

He was tall, and had tan skin—probably Hispanic or something—and dark hair and darker eyes. Even under his khaki pants and red button down, it was clear he was well-built. I bet he had an amazing chest… and stomach… and…

"You must be Susannah." I was startled from my mental undressing of the guy, and suddenly realized what I had been doing. No, I told myself. Not again. Never again.

I focused my eyes on who had just spoken, and saw another man, this one obviously the principal. He had white hair, a friendly face, and one of those white things in the collar of his otherwise black ensemble. I tried to ignore the attempt at eye contact the hot guy was making. I could see out of the corner of my eye that he was looking at me with a small smile on his face, and it was killing me.

"Jesse, can you wait here for a few moments? And Adam, I'll speak to you soon." He turned his attention back my mother and me. "Come in, Mrs. Ackerman, Susannah." He ushered us into his office, and shut the door.

"Welcome to the Mission Academy," Father Dominic said. I gave him a bland smile, and he launched into a speech about the school rules. I didn't pay much attention. I mean, they were the same in every school. No drinking, no drugs, no smoking on school property, no weapons (which includes nail clippers apparently. Bummer.), no anything, really, except for books.

"Now, Mrs. Ackerman, thank you for coming in, but I think it's time that Susannah gets to class." She nodded, and stood up.

"Thank you, Father." She looked at me. "Now, be good." She said it lightly, but her eyes told me otherwise.

"I will," I said, my required response. She kissed my forehead, shook Father Dominic's hand, and left.

"Now, Susannah," he began, but I interrupted him.

"Please, call me Suze." He smiled.

"I think I prefer Susannah. Now…" he opened the door, and called that guy back in. I held my breath, and clutched my bag to me, like it was a shield to protect me from hot guys and hormones.

I wish.

"Jesse, I'd like you to meet Susannah." He smiled at me, which I returned. I was only being polite.


"Hello, Susannah," he said, smiling. God, he was beautiful. My bag wasn't doing what I wanted it to.

"Hi," I squeezed out from my lips.

"Jesse is a senior here, and I've asked him to give you a tour of the school, to introduce you to some of your peers. Your mother tells me you were quite popular at your old school… I am sure you will fit right--" He broke off when suddenly, a pre-teen girl (maybe eleven or twelve) materialized between me and him. She looked at Father Dominic, and Jesse, who quickly exchanged nervous glances.

"Hello, Father. Hi, Jesse," she said coyly, batting her eyelashes. God, she was, like, 12. Then she looked at me. "Who's she?" she asked. Father Dominic cleared his throat.

"Where was I? Oh, yes… I'm sure you will fit right in."

"Father Dominic, she can see me," the girl said. "Can't you?"

I was pretty much certain by then that they were mediators too, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and I nodded. "I can see you. What's your name?" Jesse and Father Dominic looked shocked, but the girl just smiled.

"I'm Annie."

Father Dominic quickly recovered, and looked thoughtful.

"Annie, do you think you could excuse us?" She nodded, and disappeared.

"Susannah, you're a mediator." It was not a question, but I answered it anyway. Anything to keep my mind of Jesse, who was approaching me and taking my mother's vacated seat.

"Yea, I guess. I mean, that's what my dad said. After he died. I mean, I'd been seeing ghosts before that, but I never really knew why. But then my dad told me. Well, not only my dad, but this psychic my friend Gina dragged me to before…" I trailed off. Jesse had gently touched my arm.

God. I stopped babbling at just him touching my arm?

Great willpower, Suze.

"Have you met any others? Besides us, I mean," Jesse asked.

"My boyfriend is one," I said without thinking. Jesse recoiled slightly. But only slightly. "Ex-boyfriend, I mean. Ex."

"Really," Father Dominic said. "I'd love to meet him. Four of us, working together, would be wonderful. Would you like to ask him to come and have a meeting?" I gripped the armrests tightly, until my knuckles turned white.

"No!" I almost shouted. Father Dominic looked startled. Jesse looked concerned. I lowered my voice. "No. He's not someone you want to work with." Father Dominic looked dubious, but let it slide.

"Well, Susannah, you really ought to get to class now. Jesse, would you like to show her?"

"Certainly, Father." He got up, as did I. Father Dominic handed me a schedule.

"She has Sister Beth for English now," he told Jesse. He opened the door for us.

"Susannah, I'd like to speak to you again… perhaps during lunch?" I nodded, but my mind wasn't on my principal.

It was on Jesse's hand, which was on my shoulder guiding me from the office.

"Now, Adam, come in… Sister Ernestine said that…" Jesse led me out of the office, and into a breezeway.

"Where did you come from?" he asked. At first I thought this was a really rude question, but then I realized what he was asking.

"Oh. RLS," I said. "I transferred after…er… well, I thought I'd like the Mission Academy better," I finished lamely. "But before that I lived in Brooklyn. Until my mom re-married, that is." He nodded.

"David Ackerman is your brother?" he asked.

"Step," I corrected. I was finding it difficult to breath. Jesse had let go of my shoulder, but was still walking close to me, and his hand kept brushing against mine.

"He is a good kid. I help out Mr. Gatwick, the chemistry teacher, some afternoons, to coach the Science Olympiad team."

"That's nice," I said. He paused.

"Did you know any mediators back in New York?" he asked. I shook my head.

"I think it was just me," I said. He laughed.

"Well, here you are," he said. We had stopped outside of a classroom, where I heard The Tempest being read out loud through the door. I reached for the handle, but he grabbed my arm. "Hey, are you busy after school? Maybe we could go to the Coffee Clutch. Share some stories about the ghosts we've dealt with. Living in New York must have given you some interesting adventures." His eyes twinkled, and he smiled.

My heart wanted so badly to scream, "Yes!" but my brain, for once, shut it down.

I averted my eyes from his warm, welcoming ones, and uncomfortably adjusted my book bag on my shoulder. "I don't think so. Thanks, though." His smile turned into a frown. "Thanks for showing me to class."

And with that, before I lost control of my body and my mouth, I slipped into the classroom, leaving Jesse, confused and alone, in the hallway.


Hmm… so, what do you all think?

Review, and just maybe I'll get another chapter up tomorrow :) Gotta love spring break.