Title: Beginnings

Author: Robyn

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: None. This is totally unrelated to anything in the Lost world.

Warnings: Maybe some language. Nothing too bad.

Status: WIP

Disclaimer: I don't own any of Lost's characters - they're the property of ABC and Touchstone Television, however I do own the plot.

Author's Note: Just so you know, this has absolutely nothing to do with the island. ;) This idea has been roaming my head for a little while, and I finally have the time to write it. There will eventually be more characters coming into the story. Also, I know this part is a little short, but I hope the chapters will eventually get longer.

Chapter One

Kate Austin walked slowly along a gravel path. She pulled a rather large suitcase behind her, had slung an overstuffed duffel bag across her tall but thin frame, and in her free hand clutched a stack of papers. Ahead, Kate could see her unwanted new home.

Oceanic High. What kind of name was that, for a school that was located in northwestern New York state. It was ridiculous, in her opinion.

Kate gave her suitcase a hard tug, and it tipped onto its side. She sniffed, and took a shaky breath. She felt horribly alone. Though the weatherman had predicted a warm, sunny day, it had dawned cloudy, and now seemed as though it would downpour at any second. There wasn't a soul around, even though her parents had assured her she would find some nice person who would help her with her bags. As far as Kate was concerned, the only good thing about going to Oceanic was getting away from her parents.

Shoving the papers she held into the front pocket of her jacket, Kate bent down, righted her suitcase and set off for the front doors. She was only minutes away when the clouds opened.

Instantly drenched to the skin, she groaned aloud and took off for the entrance. She had just reached out to open the door when it was thrown open from the inside and filled by a large frame. Lightning crashed outside and lit up the person in the door. Kate unintentionally let out a startled yell. The teen standing in the doorway had wild, curling hair and small, dark eyes.

"Sorry, sorry. Didn't mean to frighten you. Mr. Locke said to wait for you by the door. He told me you'd be here before the rain hit." With that, the boy picked up her suitcase with ease. It couldn't have been an easy feat because Kate knew that she had packed nearly everything she owned. "Come on in," he invited, and Kate followed him inside, the door slamming shut behind her.

The entrance hall was rather plain. It looked like any school she had ever attended. It wasn't as if her parents had promised her a spectacularly rich school. They had informed her that this was where she was going, unless she wanted to go to... Well, she definitely wasn't going anywhere she didn't deserve, and as far as she was concerned, she didn't deserve juvenile detention. Kate angrily furrowed her brows. She wandered around the hall, trying to distract herself by wondering which doors lead to where.

"So, you are Katherine Austin, right?"

She looked over at the boy. "Kate."

"Sure, sure." He set her suitcase down, and shoved his hands into the pockets of his shorts. "So, where're you from?"

"Nowhere in particular." Not offering any more information, Kate sidled to the huge staircase that led to the floors above. She peered up, but saw no one. "So where is everyone?"

"It's dinner time. The hall'll be full in about twenty minutes time."

She nodded, not really caring, and wandered back to where the boy stood. They stood in awkward silence. She wasn't sure whether or not she should strike up a conversation when she didn't even know the boy's name. "What are we waiting for?" she asked, deciding it was a safe option.

"For me, I suppose." A man's voice rang through the hall, and Kate turned to watch him descend the stairs. He was averaged sized, though completely bald. "Sorry to keep you waiting, Kate, but I lost track of the time." He paused and turned to the large boy. "Hurley, that's all for now. Feel free to go to dinner now."

Hurley left, and Kate watched his large form lumber through the closed doors to their left.

"Welcome to Oceanic High School. You may have noticed that we're not near an ocean?"

Kate snorted and rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I think that the ocean is a couple thousand miles away."

The man nodded. "Yes, you're quite right Kate. And I'm being very rude by not introducing myself. I'm John Locke, school principal."

Kate felt it was unnecessary to introduce herself as well, and settled for pulling her sopping wet papers from her pocket. "Here's my registration stuff. My parents said you'd need it."

"Ah, yes, thank you." Locke strode to a desk that Kate hadn't noticed in her scrutiny of the room, and began clacking on the sleek computer. "I must say, this year is shaping up to be very strange. We're expecting seven new students before classes start."

"Why's that unusual?" Kate interrupted. "Isn't this a great school and all that?"

Locke nodded absently, not looking away from the screen. "Yes, but we don't accept many students. There are many requirements to be accepted, however all of the new students, including you, Kate, fulfilled these requirements. So, we had the task of finding rooming arrangements for seven new students, plus our freshman students." Locke finally set Kate's papers onto the desk and looked up at her.

"The school looks pretty big to me." Kate said, all the while hoping that she wasn't going to have to board with some snotty freshman.

"It's big enough," Lock agreed, pulling an already labeled file from a drawer and stashing Kate's papers inside. He returned to the computer, clicking away, and Kate blew out a breath. She reached up and squeezed the water from her hair. It left a reasonably large puddle on the marble floor, and she bit her lip. It probably wasn't great that she was already making a mess in her first ten minutes at the school. Then again, what did she care. Maybe if she made a mess, they'd kick her out, and save her the trouble of running away.

"Your roommate will be another new student, Sun Kwon. She is an exchange student from Korea."

Crossing her arms over her stomach, Kate wondered whether she would actually prefer the freshman.

Reading her body language, Locke quickly added, "Let me assure you, she speaks fluent English, Kate. There'll be no problems communicating."

"Great," she said, forcing a smile.

"Your room is number twenty three, just up the stairs and to your left. Sun hasn't arrived yet."

"Thanks, Mr. Locke." Kate headed to her suitcase, fully intending to get right up to her room and pass out in what she hoped would be a comfortable bed.

"Kate," he began, but was interrupted when the front door blew open and an angry boy stormed in.

Locke stood up to meet him. The boy, mere inches taller than Locke, stopped in front of him, and impatiently pushed back his dripping wet, blonde hair.

"Mr. Ford. How nice to meet you." Locke held out a hand, but it was ignored, as Kate was.

"Look, I don't wanna be here, okay? So, let's just get this thing underway and..."

She stared at the boy. How intriguing was he? His drawl identified him as a Southern, yet he wore a shirt boasting the Boston Red Sox logo. He had walked in with an angry swagger, but was he angry about? The rain? Coming to school? Was he yet another typical teen who was just angry at the entire world?

And another interesting question, Kate thought, was why she cared so much.