Hi folks, and welcome to my second TS! story. This time I'm making it short, but hopefully it'll be something different. Any and all feedback is, as always, welcome. Needless to say, I don't own Totally Spies, the show remains the property of Marathon.

So, here we go...

----

"Oooh, Danny, you're soooo artistic!"

Mandy cooed loudly over Danny Benson, the tall, raven-haired head of the school fencing team. From a distance, Sam, Clover and Alex watched in utter disgust.

"She wouldn't know art if it bit her on the ass," complained Alex. All present were in agreement.

Sam rolled her eyes at the sight of the pair. "And Danny…I'd thought he'd be able to see through her, but apparently not."

"He is totally off my list." said Clover as Mandy grabbed Danny's arm and led him down the corridor, past the trio. She gave them a stuck-up grin.

Clover rolled her eyes and put an arm round her both shoulders. "Whaddaya say we go to the Goldfish Cafë and pick up some real guys."

"Sounds good to me." chorused Sam and Alex, and they headed off.

---

"So, Mandy, how's about it? Dinner tonight at Mathieu's?"

Danny gazed at Mandy with hearts in his eyes as Mandy considered the proposal.

"Well, I have very strict standards, y'know," said Mandy coquettishly. "But you've been a good boy so...I accept!"

"Whoa, Mandy. Thanks a lot."

"Just don't go boasting about it, nyahaha!"

Danny gave a cheesy smile. "Oh, your laugh is, like, totally like an angel's."

"Oh, stop it!" squealed Mandy. "See ya tomorrow evening?"

"Yeah. Seven o'clock, sharp."

"You better believe it."

Danny walked off to after-school practice. Mandy watched him go off, the fake-sweet expression on her beautiful face gradually fading.

She sighed and got into her stylized Chrysler turbo coupë. Within a few minutes she had parked the powerful car outside her mansion.

When she got in, her mum was already there. "Hiya, sweetie! Another great day at school, I'm guessing!"

"Mmm-hmm!" Mandy gave her mother a telling smile.

Her mom looked pleased with her daughter. "Did ya get a date?"

"You bet I did, Mom!"

"Well done, Mandy! So, who's the lucky boy this time?"

"His name's Danny Benson and he's the head of the fencing team. He's soooo cute!"

Mandy's mum looked very impressed with her daughter. "And you're on a date? Go get 'em, girl!" She went into the living room leaving Mandy alone for the time being. The younger of the two woman went upstairs, entered her bedroom and closed the door to be alone with her thoughts.

She flumped down on her bed and sighed deeply. Another day had passed. Another day, another date. Another day of being someone she wasn't.

Mandy had known deep down that she had been…different since seventh grade, when she had developed a crush on her best friend. She remembered the confusion and turmoil she had gone through back then. Weren't girls meant to fancy boys? she had asked herself time and time again. She had told herself it was just a phase, and managed to convince herself so. After all, she wasn't like them, was she? She was pretty and ultra-feminine, obsessed with fashion and clothes and shopping and looking beautiful. Growing up, she'd always been into girly stuff like Barbie dolls and the like. Maybe it was because of this that she'd been able to delude herself for so long.

She turned over and buried her head in her pillow. No. She hadn't been able to convince herself forever. But she could keep convincing them. Yes, she could easily pull the wool over their eyes.

For what would become of Mandy if they knew her secret? Her social circle would be destroyed. She could all too easily imagine the sneering voices of Caitlin and Dominique, telling her she was no longer welcome in their company.

The whole thing had taken its toll on her, in the form of sexual frustration that had built up. It had led to an awful conundrum. To give in to it would have meant admitting herself what she didn't want to. To not give in it was excruciating, and Mandy knew she was missing out on something by doing so. However, the risk was simply too great.

She got up and opened one of her drawers and retrieved a small metal lockable case. Unlocking it, she retrieved a photograph. It showed the Beverly Hills cheerleading squad, as it was when Mandy had been a member. Mandy focused intensely on one particular member, and anyone who had been watching her would have noticed her expression change to one of warm adoration.

This one member was Britney, the gorgeous, siren-like squad leader. Mandy gazed misty-eyed upon the image of her standing proudly in the centre of the photo. She almost lived to see the indigo-haired beauty every day, and it was the one thing about school she genuinely loved. But she could never be with her. Never. Tears threatened to burst from Mandy's eyes as she again remembered she'd never hold her in her arms, never kiss those soft, inviting lips with her own, never caress her sleek, gorgeous body, never hear her joyful laugh as they walked in the park...

Mandy gently stroked Britney's image with her thumb as she stared longingly at it. The picture, long the sole scrap of evidence of her forbidden desire, had become something else recently. Almost like a symbol of hope, the hope of being finally free once she had left Beverly Hills High behind her. A time when she would be free to follow her heart without fear of retribution.

Eventually she replaced the picture in her drawer. She took a glance around her bedroom, at the posters that covered much of the pastel pink wallpaper, depicting various hunky male actors, models and celebrities. Mandy thought it ironic how this monument to her deception was also the one place she felt comfortable.

Five o'clock came and it was time for her date. Mandy steeled herself, got herself ready and headed downstairs. On the way out, she shouted a goodbye to her mother, who was in the living room area, watching her favourite soap opera.

Mandy had considered confiding in her mother, but that was not an option. Their mother-daughter relationship was built upon sharing mutual interests, like clothes, fashion...and, supposedly, boys. Mandy's mother had been on the prowl for a man ever since the divorce, and they had even joined forces on more than one occasion in this mutual venture. What if her mom was to find out that her daughter was, you know...one of them? Their relationship would be wrecked...her mom wouldn't be able to see her as the teenage version of herself she liked to think of Mandy as.

No. She couldn't know, either.

---

Christy MacMillan heard her daughter close the front door behind her. Ah, young romance, she thought, before concentrating once more on the TV soap. The current scene depicted a teenage boy in deep conversation with his sister.

"But Scott, you can't keep it a secret forever," the sister was saying.

"Yeah, I know, Lucy, but...but Dad! He'll hate me for it! He hates people like me. He's always going on about how 'fags' and 'queers' are ruining the country!" the boy known as Scott protested.

"It's not as if he means it, though. Anyway, he'd hate it more if you kept it a secret from him," Lucy told him, taking her brother's hands in hers.

"I don't know...God, why'd it have to be me..."

Christy watched the scene play out, engrossed as she always was.

"Look, Scott, you were very brave to tell me, right." Lucy said at the end of their conversation. "C'mere," she spoke as she took her brother into a comforting hug.

The middle-aged woman watching smiled. She hoped that if Mandy ever had something major to tell her, then she would have the courage to do so without fear of her mother taking retribution upon her. Despite her outwardly frivolous nature, a trait which had passed straight to Mandy, Christy loved her daughter more than words could express. She always had done and always would do.

She took a sip of her coffee and thought no more about it.

THE END