Title: City Too Corrupt

Author: This one chick here, otherwise known as Tammie

Summary: AU Spencer and Ashley and a city that may be too much for the both of them. Based pretty loosely on "The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet" (as gay as that sounds).

Disclaimer: I don't own South of Nowhere, but oh, if I did. I'm pretty sure "R&J" is public domain, but in case it's not, that belongs to Billy Shakespeare.

Incredibly Long Author's Note: Not sure where all this AU stuff is coming from, but I'm running with it. Please note that perspective changes are denoted by a sequence of dashes (i.e. --------------) if that's not obvious. Sorry if that gets confusing, the jarring perspective changes. Shouldn't be too hard to follow, though.

This is a rather longish first part. I don't usually write this much in one post, so don't get used to it. I just found that every time I wanted to stop, I couldn't so there it is.

Like it? Don't? Tell me so. Second part goes up when I get ten reviews.

The shot of whiskey goes down like liquid fire as Ashley throws back another shot. There's a round of cheers as she slams the shot glass back down on the table and throws her arms up in victory. Aiden demands for the best five out of seven, because he refuses to be drunk under the table by a girl, even if she was his best friend. Ashley smirks her answer around the mask she's wearing and pulls herself together enough to go off in search of a restroom.

Her feet are cooperating for the most part and she hasn't run into anything yet. She'll admit, this party isn't sucking half as bad as she thought it would. She hadn't been too keen on sneaking into the Carlin Halloween party, disguises or not, but Aiden had talked her into it. The things she did for that boy. Ashley turns on the faucet and runs soapy hands under the spray when she's finished. She tries to adjust the mask on her face, but it still itches. She feels just a little stupid, maybe more than a little, because everyone knows Wonder Woman did not wear a mask but Aiden insisted they had to be incognito and hide their features and avoid detection. Illicit parties weren't without their price, Ashley supposed.

When she was sufficiently satisfied, Ashley made her way to the door. She reached out and pulled it open at the same moment someone else on the other side was pushing it. A pack of girls tumbled in and Ashley stumbled back. Someone had almost landed on top of her, Ashley had all but caught her in her arms. There was a chorus of "Sorry"s as several people tried to recompose themselves. Ashley catches a glimpse of bright blue eyes as the girl in her arms quickly rises out of them and throws her a shy smile and Ashley feels something inside break open. It takes about four seconds before Ashley ends up on the other side of the door but she realizes three things: 1) The girl with those eyes was in a tiny cop costume 2) Girls who have to pee can get pushy, if not violent, about clearing their restrooms of strangers 3) Ashley needs the girl with those eyes back in her arms again.

Ashley stares at the door as she thinks this when she feels a pair of strong hands grasp her shoulders and spin her around. Aiden asks her if she fell in and drags her off to where there's more beer. Ashley thinks he does make a good Zorro when he picks her up and throws her over his shoulder in a fire person's carry. He puts her down by the keg and Ashley's eyes are still glued to the door, waiting for an almost-blonde to emerge. When she does, Ashley follows the curtain of golden brown through a throng of dancing monsters, clowns, and witches. When Ashley rounds a corner by the DJ booth, she thinks she's lost her. She leans back against a speaker and she can feel the chords of "Colorblind" through the metal more than she can hear it.

"Looking for me?" Ashley hears that.

She spins on her heels and falls into impossibly blue eyes. Ashley opens her mouth and closes it because no words come out. The girl smiles at Ashley's inarticulateness and Ashley can't believe how beautiful she is or how not ridiculous she looks as a naughty cop. Ashley actually thinks that the handcuffs could come in handy…

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Spencer is still smiling and she thinks she might look a little dumb, grinning like a child at a girl she barely knows. The girl is still just standing there, staring, but it's a good kind of staring. The kind that makes Spencer feel wanted and needed and it's all pretty intoxicating--or is that just the vodka? Spencer knows this girl has been pretty much following her all night. Spencer had practically tackled her stumbling into the restroom and while it was a less than graceful meeting, it was a meeting nonetheless.

Spencer thinks she hears Counting Crows when Wonder Woman closes the gap between them. Spencer pushes a gold-sequined mask up over reddish-brown curls just before their lips meet and now all she can hear is breathing and what she's pretty sure is her heartbeat as a warm tongue slips out to greet hers.

Now, Spencer was never really one for fairy tales and love-at-first-sight and all that, but as nimble, urgent fingers get lost in her hair and push her gently but firmly against the speakers Spencer thinks maybe she could get into love-at-first-kiss.

There's something inside Spencer telling her that she probably shouldn't be pushed up against the stereo by a girl who's name she doesn't know and who's face she hasn't even seen but there's something else inside her screaming that she shouldn't care.

A soft mouth is pulled from hers and Spencer actually moans at the loss of contact. They must have hit the sound equipment too hard because the music's stopped. When Spencer looks back, the girl is taking hold of her wrist and smiling so wide her nose crinkles just a bit and Spencer thinks it's beyond adorable. She lets herself be pulled around corners, down hallways, and through gyrating bodies and wonders how it's possible that she hasn't met this girl before.

She doesn't even have time to ask her name because as soon as she's able, the girl has her pushed up against the closest available surface and she's kissing Spencer again. Not that Spencer minds.

There's a tap at her hips and Spencer jumps up a little so she can be lifted onto the table behind her. Only, she kind of misses and catches the edge because neither of them are really watching what they're doing. An errant hand flies out to steady the rest of her, but Spencer accidentally knocks a vase off its pedestal. Before it can crash to the floor, she's already being pulled away and they're both giggling.

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Ashley tries to stifle her laughter because she can guess how expensive that vase or whatever must've been, but the girl is laughing, and Ashley's laughing, so it can't be that bad. Ashley's trying to find someplace to go that isn't so incredibly occupied, this house is freaking huge, there should be some spare rooms, Ashley thinks. When she decides to ask, she turns in time to see a bunch of big, drunk guys plow into them and she feels the warm hand slip from hers.

Ashley gets kind of pushed away for the second time the night because the rather inebriated horde of pretty large boys is still coming. Unfortunately for Ashley, seeing through people isn't one of Wonder Woman's abilities. She tries to force her way through the mass of muscle and stupid but they're too big and she's too small. She catches sight of Aiden when she tries to make it around the crowd and he catches up to her before Ashley can find the girl again.

"Ash! Come on, we gotta go; we're blown!" Ashley wants to tell Aiden that she doesn't want to hear about his sexual exploits right now, but she realizes he means their cover is blown. Damn.

Aiden has to literally drag her towards the door and it's not an easy task because the party's breaking up, there are people milling about everywhere, and Ashley's fighting him every step of the way.

Ashley barely makes out a head of blondish hair when she and Aiden reach the front door. How she manages, she has no idea, but she stops Aiden in his tracks and demands of him her mystery girl's name.

She can see her up on the landing and she points her out the same instant she catches her eyes. Ashley can feel herself smiling even as Aiden yells back over his shoulder, pulling her the rest of the way out the door. "That's Spencer Carlin, how could you not know that!"

And just like that, Ashley smile, and her world, crumbles.

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Spencer's heart is still pounding, only it doesn't feel like it did five minutes ago. Five minutes ago when she was kissing Ashley and Ashley was kissing her and Ashley didn't have a name. Spencer thinks she'd give just about anything for it to be five minutes ago again.

Before she and Ashley had been separated, before Madison had pulled her up the stairs, before she saw Ashley pointing from the door and smiling when Madison leaned over and hissed Ashley's name in her ear.

Spencer races up to her room as fast as she can and is determined not to cry as she falls onto her bed. She cries anyway. Then she screams as loud as she can, into her pillow to muffle the noise because the last thing she needs right now is for her mother or someone to come in and ask her what's wrong.

She sits up and hurls the pillow as hard as possible, but it's still a pillow so it doesn't go very far. She's confused and she's hurting and she's in love, but mostly she pissed off at her family for fighting with the Davies over nothing. Okay, no, mostly she's in love, but that's beside the point. Or is that the point entirely, she isn't sure.

Spencer undresses and slips into a tank top and boxers to sleep in. Even though she knows she won't sleep and it's pointless to try, but she really can't stay in that police uniform any longer, as cute as she looks in it, it's really undersized. She tries to run a brush through her hair and for a second she can almost feel Ashley's fingers there instead. She wants to feel Ashley's fingers again. She wants to feel Ashley period.

The brush is paused mid-stroke in Spencer's hair and she's lost in her thoughts when she thinks she hears her name.

"Spencer?" urges a hushed voice from the other side of the balcony door. "Spencer!"

Spencer stands and makes her way to the door carefully. When she pushes them open, her mouth actually drops open a little. Ashley's on the wall of the balcony, straddling the trellis and still in her Wonder Woman costume.

"A little help?" Ashley begs. She's got one leg on either side of the wall and she's supporting herself entirely on her hands. Spencer can see that the inside of a leg of Ashley's tights is snagged among the roses and Spencer wants to laugh a little.

Spencer moves immediately to help Ashley until she realizes she'd have to reach in between Ashley's legs to free her, so she hesitates. A little.

"Arms…burning," Ashley kind of whines. So Spencer stretches out a hand to lift the spandex from the thorns and they're both trying to ignore the fact that her hand is basically wriggling in Ashley's crotch.

When Spencer gets her free, Ashley swings her other leg over a little too quickly and they both tumble to the ground, Ashley on top. Spencer sits up as soon as she's able, but Ashley stays in her lap. Spencer makes no move to change this.

"What are you doing here? If they catch you--" she starts.

"I don't care." Ashley leans forward a bit and rests her forehead against Spencer's. "I don't care. I just needed to see you again."

"Ashley, we can't. You know we can't. You shouldn't even be here," but Spencer isn't even convincing herself. Ashley's hands have found their way to Spencer's stomach and they're tracing lazy stars and hearts and Spencer thinks she's getting a little lost. In Ashley's eye's, in Ashley's touch, and she doesn't want to come back.

"I needed to see you again," Ashley whispers, and Spencer feels something inside her break open.