Thanks Rainygal for beta-ing and keeping my faith up! Luv ya babe!

The Way To Deal

Chapter 1

So here she was, standing in the dean's office, looking out of the window at the unfamiliar environment.

"Please take a seat Gillian, we'll be right with you" Dr. Kim announced.

While her uncle was talking to the headmistress she started pondering about how she hated going to school. Especially after changing school in mid season. All the students had already bonded, found friends. She knew right away, that she would never fit in. Being transferred from another country, still speaking with a slight foreign accent, was one thing. But not being used to the whole "upper-class" society was far worse.

Her uncle though, was sure she'd blend in perfectly, as she unknowingly was born into an old aristocracy family. Born and raised in Switzerland she went to a normal school on the countryside. Until the age of 16 she had never met neither her Dad nor her Grandparents, since her mum had broken off contact with her parents. They had abandoned her when they learnt that she was pregnant with only 16 years. After the birth of her daughter, Elisabeth had raised her on her own, with a little income from a waitress job. Still, Gillian had loved her life, her friends and Switzerland had become her home.

The night of her first prom had changed everything. She didn't remember everything that happened, mainly because she tried to avoid to think about it, hiding her insecurity and fear, pushing every thought about this special night out of her memory. But the night had changed anything, not just herself, but also the relationship with her mother. They barely talked to each other anymore, not about school, her future plans, let alone about the prom.

So it came as no surprise to her, when two weeks after prom, she had just returned from a walk in the park with her dog "Balou", her mum announced that she had given up work and that she'd move back to England to her parents.

"What about me" Gillian asked calmly, placing herself on the couch.

"I'm sorry... I just... I can't get over it... I need some space. That's why I'm moving back to England. I called your uncle Sean, he lives in America and he offered to take you in. We'll be leaving in two weeks."

"So that's it? No discussion, no what-do-you-think, just hard facts?" Gillian replied, angrily looking at her mum.

"Listen sweetheart... There are so many things you have been missing out on because of me... We're living a lie and that has to stop now. Everything that has happened to you is my fault."

"Mum that's not true and you know that" Gillian interrupted, trying to talk some senses into her mother.

"Yes it is! That's not the life you deserve! I should have realised that a long time ago... You will meet your grandparents soon, I promise. But first have to deal with them. You'll be safe with my brother, he'll explain everything to you. And that's all that has to be said."

With a nod Elisabeth left the room and Gillian knew, that there was no point in arguing with her. Once a decision was made, her mother could not be retuned.

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So two weeks later she was standing at the airport in Los Angeles, looking at the people waiting in the arrival hall and at the picture she held in her hand, trying to figure out which one of the strange people around her could be uncle Sean. Her two suitcases where placed next to her, containing her whole life. "What the hell am I doing here" the question popped into her mind, but was immediately forgotten when she heard a voice behind her asking:

"Hi, you must be Gillian"

Quickly turning around she came face to face with a tall, dark haired man, his eyes immediately remaining her of her mum.

"Uncle Sean?" she asked shyly.

"Yep, that's me, welcome to America love" he smiled wildly, opening his arms to give her a hug. When he saw the fear flash up in her eyes he stepped back, holding out his hand for a handshake.

"Thanks" she said blushing "It's nice to finally meet you... although two weeks ago I didn't even know that you exist..."

"I know... we're a pretty shaken family, aren't we? Come on, let's get home, I'll explain everything".

Sean took her suitcases and led her out of the building, heading to a near parked limousine. Gillian gave him a surprised look when he handed the suitcases over to a driver, who placed them in the trunk. Sean then opened the door and gestured her to climb in.

While they were driving her uncle softly told her the story of her family. How her mother had been abandoned by their parents, how he had left soon after too, starting his own company in the States. She couldn't believe her ears when he told her, that her grandparents were rich to say the least, an old English aristocracy family. Sean himself wasn't very poor either, having managed the family wealth pretty well.

"Are you ready to face your new class?" Dr. Kim interrupted Gillian's thoughts.

Gillian lifted her head, sighing softly and nodded. She said goodbye to Sean and followed the headmistress out of the office, down the hallway to a near class room. Dr. Kim opened the door and led her inside.

"Class, this is Gillian. She has moved to her uncle here in Newport. Everything's a bit strange for her since she only came to America one week ago, so please be kind to her. Summer, would you please show her around after class, thank you!" she announced, giving Gillian one last, reassuring smile, before she left.

The teacher showed Gillian a table to sit down, giving her a friendly smile.

"So this is it, that's my new life" Gillian thought while placing herself on the desk, unpacking her books which she had been given by the director.

During the rest of the lesson she tried to find out who Summer was, the girl that was appointed to show her around. Noticing all the modern clothes of the other students she was glad that her aunt had taken her shopping in the past week. Since her mum didn't have much money she wasn't really dressed in fashionable clothes. Also she wasn't used to the warm weather in California, in Switzerland it used to be cold for at least 8 months of the year, so she was mainly wearing sweaters. Despite her aunt's best efforts, she was still wearing jeans and long sleeved shirts, not able to show more bare skin than necessary.

"Hi" she was once again interrupted in her thoughts when a girl with black, long hair and big brown eyes appeared in front of her, smiling stressed.

"I'm Summer" the girl continued when Gillian didn't react.

"Oh, right, hi" Gillian replied, her head turning red.

"So what do you wanna see?" Summer asked her, not really sounding enthusiastic.

"I don't know, anything interesting around?"

"Mmmhh... sure... let's start with the coffee shop" Summer answered, guiding her to the hallway.

"So, uhm... who is your uncle then?" the black haired girl tried to make conversation.

"Sean O'Reilly"

"Really! He could've told me! I'm his godchild!" Summer exclaimed, suddenly smiling wildly.

"We didn't have much time actually, I only arrived one week ago... But that's probably why Dr. Kim chose you to show me around" Gillian guessed.

"Yeah, you're right. So, why haven't I met you earlier?"

"Well, actually my mum only told me about my family and my uncle three weeks ago when she decided to move back to England. So I didn't have any contact to him before."

"You moved to America within two weeks?" Summer asked, her yaw dropping.

"Yeah, kinda... My mum didn't talk to her family anymore and she never told me that there was any more family than her parents... So it's really strange for me to be staying with someone I barely know, in a country I have never been before."

"You poor girl, I can't even imagine how that feels like!"

In the meantime they had arrived at the coffee shop and Summer gestured her to sit down on a couch, while she went off to grab some latte's.

When she was back they started chatting about her life in Switzerland, the school and her new home, Newport. Summer told her about the places they go out and the shopping facilities.

"Hi Summer" a tall, dark haired guy announced, placing himself on the opposite sofa.

"Cohen" Summer only said with a short glance to the newly arrived boy.

"Where's Zach?" he asked, not letting her get away with her short answer.

"Dunno, I'm busy Cohen, what do you want?" Summer asked irritated.

"I just wanna talk, oh, I forgot, that's not something friends do, right. So I'll just sit here, ignoring you, until one of my REAL friends walks by."

"Oh get a life Cohen!" Summer replied angrily, but Gillian could see that she was on the verge of laughing.

"Gillian, that's Cohen, sorry, I mean Seth Cohen, Cohen, that's Gillian, she moved here one week ago from Switzerland, she's Sean's niece" Summer introduced them.

"Hi, nice to meet you Gillian" he exclaimed, shaking her hand.

"Hi Seth, nice to meet you too" she answered reluctantly.

"Where's your other half?" Summer then asked, suddenly curious when an idea crossed her mind.

"I bet he's with your other half" Seth replied chuckling, taking a sip of his coffee. "So what's up tonight?"

"Well... I thought we could have a little welcome party for Gillian, but my stepmonster will never let me do this at home, so I thought... maybe we could make something at the pool house?"

"Yeah, sure, I gotta ask Ryan but I guess that's ok for him" Seth answered.

"Guys, wait... I don't wanna sound impolite but I don't know if I can already face so many new people" Gillian interrupted them blushing.

"It's not many people, just the ones we're hanging out with, don't worry" Summer calmed her down, placing her mug on the table.

"Ok, you ask Ryan and I inform Coop, call me if there's a problem Cohen" she told her friend, grabbing Gillian's arm and together they left.

"Ok... another good chance to prove my friendship to Summer" Seth told himself while getting up, clapping his hand together and leaving to search for Ryan.

A/N: Feedback please?