Disclaimer: Young Americans does not belong to me, and I am not making any money out of this. It's for my own fun (and hopefully yours, too). Jake and Ham aren't mine either: I just borrow them to play with.

Summary: The first Young Americans episode "Pilot: the Beginning", written from Jake and Hamilton's point of view with a little personal tweaks. Enjoy!

A/N: This is my first time writing YA fanfiction, and as such, I'm rather nervous. So please read and review! It would mean a lot to me.

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Jacqueline stood in front of the mirror, looking at her reflection critically. She squeezed some gel into her hand and passed it through her newly cut hair, making it up in short spikes. With her binder and the long shirt she wore, she was as flat-chested as any boy she ever saw. Not that I have that much of a chest normally, she thought.

She turned, looking at herself from different angles. She passed, if just barely. "You look like a wimp, Jacqueline" she said to herself, than quickly corrected "Jake. Your name is Jake, and you're the manliest man that ever walked the halls of Rawley, at least until Miss Monica Pratt decides to correct that situation."

She gave the mirror one last look, and walked out, muttering "the things I do for you, mom".

She put on her jacket and helmet, and returned to the road. She still had 40 miles to go from Carson to Rawley.

-----

Hamilton stood in one of the room in the second floor, camera in hand. The room's occupants hadn't arrived yet, and this window provided him with perfect view of the next door heaven for adolescent boys, also known as "the Rawley Academy for Girls".

He looked over at a group of giggling, half-naked girls, making good use of his camera zoom-in. He smirked. "Hello Rawley Academy for Girls…"

His gaze wandered around, not catching anything interesting, until something in the distance made him frown. He focused, and soon enough a large motorcycle came into view, driving off the road and into the trees. Hamilton watched as the rider dismounted, than took off his helmet, revealing a young, dark-haired boy. He turned to look at the vehicle again. "Nice bike…" he wouldn't mind having a ride on that one.

A voice from one of the other rooms drew his attention away from the bike and its owner, and he followed it to a room down the hall.

"- Greenwich. It's a couple hours from here." The voice belonged to a guy with brown styled hair, who was talking to the other occupant of the room, a tall boy with dark blond hair.

Hamilton entered the room, looking around. "You guys scored. This room is perfectly Feng Shui."

They both looked at him funny. All right, I guess I shouldn't have said that.

"Funk what?" said the blonde, and Hamilton cringed inwardly. They must think he's such a dork.

"Feng Shui" he answered, none the less. "It's the Chinese art of placement. The doors face east, windows face north. I mean if you're into that kind of stuff. Hamilton. Flemming" he finished a little awkwardly and hoped they hadn't noticed.

"Scout Calhoun" said the one with brown hair, and the other one added "Uh, Will. Krudski". He seemed just as awkward as Hamilton felt, which cheered him up. They shook hands.

"Where's your room?" Scout asked, and Hamilton rolled his eyes in response.

"Next to the Dean and his wife aka Mom and Dad" he said, and added hurriedly "don't worry, I'm not a narc or anything".

Suddenly they heard a loud voice from outside and looked out the window to see a lot of guys running across the lawn in various states of undress.

Scout raised his eyebrows, and Will said skeptically "now this wasn't in the brochure…"

Hamilton smiled, enjoying being able to add something useful to the conversation. "This is good ol' Rawley right of passage" he motioned to the boys. "Boys' school" he then indicated the girls at the other side of the lawn, who were also in the middle of undressing "the girls' school: wet T-shirts."

Scout smirked "Gotta love tradition".

Hamilton smiled "I suppose we go join 'em" he started to pull of his shirt "come on. Let's go!" I've waited ages to be able to do this...

Scout smiled back "come on. Coming?" he turned to Will.

Will seemed to hesitate "are you serious?"

Scout already got rid of his own shirt "yeah!" he answered impatiently, and followed Hamilton out of the room, with Will tagging behind. They quickly joined the stream of students running across the lawn to the lake.

Scout grinned at Hamilton "Oh man. I think I'm gonna love this place".

-----

Jake was in the middle of unpacking her things when she heard the commotion from outside. She moved over to the window and looked out, surprised at the horde of half naked teenagers fooling around on the well-mowed grass. Like I'll go join that, she though to herself, as she saw the girls from the other side of the lake come over.

She heard excited voices from down the hall and peeked out; a shirtless boy was standing outside one of the other rooms, looking impatiently inside. He was extremely good-looking, with dark hair and a striking profile, and very nice muscles, she added in appreciation.

He then turned and ran down the hall with two other boys behind him, oblivious to her eyes on him.

She pulled back inside her room and locked the door. "Get real, Jake," she scolded herself "you're a guy now. Rule number one – Guys don't check out other guys, unless you want to get a beating".

She squared her shoulders and returned to her unpacking. She wanted to finish before her first crew practice, which was due in an hour.

-----

The seniors pulled the old "whisking-away-in-underwear" trick on Scout and Will, but Hamilton knew it all too well to get caught. Instead he spent the next half hour splashing around in the lake with the lovely girls of Rawley, undoubtedly a lot more enjoyable pastime.

After a while, though, he reluctantly got out to get ready for his first crew practice. He wasn't all that fond of crew; he much preferred football or basketball, but crew was Rawley's most important (and admittedly only) team sport, and his dad wanted him to join.

As he neared the docks he saw, among the waiting students, the dark-haired bike owner. He was even smaller up close, wrapped up in a big sweater despite the heat, and a baseball cap pulled down low over his sharp features. Hamilton went over to him, leaning back against the rail next to him.

"That's a cool bike" he said. "Ya know, students aren't allowed to have motorcycles."

"Yeah, students aren't allowed to do a lot of things. Hasn't stopped me yet". The boy gave him a disdainful look that seemed to say "shove off, wussy."

Hamilton felt a little humiliated, but pushed on "you keep riding around on that hog, and I guarantee you someone here will, unless you've got an ally. Someone with connections high up, someone who might like to take a ride on that bike sometime. I'm like a Swiss vault. I can keep a secret."

The boy raised his eyebrows, and Hamilton got the feeling he was mocking him. But he only said "can you?" as though he didn't believe Hamilton one bit.

Hamilton was saved from further humiliation by Finn, the literature teacher and crew trainer, walking up to the docks. They followed him into the boat, and Finn pointed the bike boy into the coxswain seat, saying "you seat here, Mr. Pratt". Pratt frowned, but didn't protest.

After a few minutes of rowing, Finn started with the literature part. Will seemed to be the only one listening, although Finn's little speech about passion made them all laugh.

"Hey, Two Man, you're going into the water too early!" Pratt called, already assuming his role, but no one listened to him as they just passed a few of the Rawley girls sunbathing on the lake's shore.

A little time later they were all resting in the boat, leaning back, swaying gently in the water.

"Listen very closely Gentlemen" Finn said. "Tell me what you hear".

Hamilton looked around. "Birds," he answered. Scout offered a confused "waves?" and when Finn asked "what else" Pratt offered an indifferent "wind?" and Hamilton continued with "pond scum".

Finn didn't like any of their answers, and only seemed satisfied when Will started waxing about a bunch of townies getting food poisoning from a pie-eating contest and puking blue in the lake. Finn was such a weird guy sometimes.

Finn then ordered them to jump in the lake and swim. No one was particularly enthusiastic (Hamilton said "thanks a lot Finn" loudly), but Pratt seemed even more reluctant, muttering "man, what a wanker" before jumping in the lake fully clothed, sweater and all. Strange kid.

Later, when they all trudged out of the boat, dripping water all over the docks, Hamilton undressed quickly, followed by the rest of the guys, staying only in his boxers. Pratt, however, tried to squeeze water from his sweater without taking it off, and when they all looked at him strangely, shrugged and plodded back to the school, his water-filled shoes squeaking with every step.

"What an odd guy," scout said, shaking his head, and Hamilton shrugged. Pratt sure was strange, but there was something intriguing about him. And Hamilton really wanted to get a ride on that bike.

"What's his name, anyway?" he asked, and Finn, walking past them (completely dry, of course) answered "Jake Pratt".

-----

Jake was down by the docks with a few minutes to spare. As she waited for the arrival of the trainer, she saw the guy from the hall before approach her. He was even more handsome up close, with the bluest pair of eyes she ever saw.

"That's a cool bike. Ya know, students aren't allowed to have motorcycles" he said, and Jake gave him a scornful look. Gorgeous, yes, but apparently a huge nerd.

"Yeah, students aren't allowed to do a lot of things. Hasn't stopped me yet" she replied casually, but the guy plowed on. "You keep riding around on that hog, and I guarantee you someone here will, unless you've got an ally. Someone with connections high up, someone who might like to take a ride on that bike sometime. I'm like a Swiss vault. I can keep a secret".

Like a Swiss vault? Who say's that? And figures he only approached me because he wants something from me. Not a nerd then, just an opportunist. She only said "can you?" though, and not something more disdainful. She didn't need to make enemies on her first day here, even if she wasn't planning on staying for long.

She was saved from further discussing her bike by the trainer – Finn no Mr. is necessary – arriving and ordering them into the boat. He stopped her on her way, pointing to the coxswain seat. She didn't mind – it was the wimp's job, but she doubted her arms could handle rowing for that long. She wanted to be able to use them after practice, too.

Not long after they started they were treated to an embarrassing speech from Finn, who decided that grabbing his own crotch was necessary to emphasize the point. To distract herself she called out "hey, Two Man, you're going into the water too early!" but no one listened to her since they were all too busy staring at the Rawley girls sunbathing on the shore. Typical, she though, show a guy some skin and it's as effective as super-gluing his eyeballs to your breast.

After Finn's self-fondling she thought she'd passed the worst of it, but the blonde guy Finn referred to as Mr. Krudski definitely posed some tough competition with his vile, blueberry-pie puking in the lake tale. Really, like we needed to hear that.

The real highlight (or rather low-point) of the practice, though, was when Finn-no-Mr-necessary ordered them into the water.

Jake glared at him. "Man, what a wanker," she muttered. And right after Krudski's blue barf story, too. Still, she guessed she had no choice. Taking off her sweater was out of the question – the shirt she wore underneath was too thin and would clearly show off the binder when wet – so she'll just have to jump in with it and hope the weight of it didn't pull her down. At least she was a good swimmer.

Swearing, she jumped in.

Afterwards she shivered all the way back to shore – the others at least got to warm up during rowing. When they reached the docks she quickly got out and started wringing her sweater, until she noticed the others, who all stripped down to their boxers (and really, with the way those wet boxers were clinging, there were things she definitely didn't want to see), were giving her strange looks. She shrugged and turned around, heading back to the school and trying to ignore the fact that she felt like a complete and utter idiot. Way to alienate yourself, Jake, she reprimanded herself, they must all think you're an absolute freak.

And what exactly was she thinking, joining the crew team anyway?

After she got back to her room and changed into dry clothes (lucky she thought about bringing an extra binder) she decided a little cheer-up ride was in order. She headed out to her bike and when she ignited it, she saw that the fuel tank was almost empty. Well, she'll just have to go through New Rawley; she saw a gas station there on her way over.

------

Hamilton got home and took a quick shower to get rid of all the lake-muck in his hair. He dressed and after hanging around idly in his room for a while, bored out of his mind, he decided to go look for Jake. To bug him more about his motorcycle, of course.

He didn't see him anywhere on the lawn, nor was he in the common room. He tried the different rooms, but as he didn't know which was Jake's and didn't see him in any of the open ones, he decided to come back later. In the meanwhile, he'll just have to find something else to occupy himself with. Maybe some of the guys would be up for a game of football.

-----

Jake stopped at the gas station. A pretty blonde girl about her age was sitting in the shade nearby, thumbing through a magazine. She looked up when Jake came in and started to get up. "Hi" she said.

Jake nodded "hi" and then "s'cool. I got it." The girl nodded "Bella" she introduced herself. The name sounded familiar – Will and Scout mentioned it sometime during crew practice.

"Jake," she answered, trying to figure out how to work the pipe. She pressed the trigger, but nothing came out.

"Jake?" Bella frowned. "Oh, of course…" she looked at Jake strangely, and then got up to help. She pressed the trigger, this time getting the gas to flow.

Jake looked at her uncomfortably. She didn't like the way Bella was studying her. "Thanks…"

"No problem".

Jake waited for the tank to fill, all the while feeling Bella's eyes on her. "Cool bike," Bella offered.

Jake smiled nervously "thanks. Not really supposed to have it at school so... don't say anything to anyone. About the bike. Okay?"

Bella nodded "my lips are sealed". As Jake put the nozzle back she added "five bucks…"

Jake nodded, fishing around for the money. Bella was still looking at her.

"Must be cool being the only guy on campus with a motorcycle".

"Um… yeah". Jake unconsciously moved away, brushing against the pump. "Damn!" she muttered, looking at the grease stain on her jeans.

"You know what?" Bella said, seeing her distress "just soak them in salt and soda water and it should come right out. That's what I do".

Jake smiled, forgetting her unease for a minute. Bella seemed like a really nice girl. "Thanks. These are like my favorite jeans".

Bella nodded "Yeah. They're really cute on you".

Jake looked at her "really? I thought they made me look..." she caught herself too late. Shit! And I was using my girl voice, too! She saw the understanding dawning in Bella's eyes.

"Fat?" Bella said, watching for her reaction. "No way. You look great. In fact..." she hesitated "for the last ten minutes, I thought..."

Jake looked at her. "You thought what?"

"I thought..." Bella chewed on her lower lip "never mind, if I'm wrong about this, I'll light myself on fire –"

Jake knew she was caught, though. "What? Say it".

"I thought" Bella took a breath "why is this beautiful girl dressing like a guy?"

Jake froze, and Bella smiled triumphantly "I knew it".

Jake grimaced "damn. Busted on the first day, no less. That's so lame."

Bella's smile turned gentle. "Come sit with me. I want to hear what on earth possessed you to do such a thing".

Jake sat down, looking cautiously around and seeing no one. She sighed and started telling Bella about her estranged, workaholic mother and her attention seeking plots, which just grew wilder every time the last one didn't have the desired effect.

"So you're doing this just to get your mother to notice you?" Bella asked, confused.

"Yeah," Jake half-smiled. "It sounds totally stupid, I know. But I've tried everything else – the exemplary student, the almost getting expelled thing, the older boyfriend, I even intentionally broke my leg once. That hurt like hell and barely got her attention for five minutes tops. I guess I just want her to realize she doesn't know me, at all." She paused. "You think I'm a freak, right?"

Bella shook her head quickly "no, of course not. I get where you're coming from. My mother left ten years ago, and I haven't seen or heard from her since, but I've wondered sometimes, especially in the first year she was gone, if I could get her to come back somehow – if I almost died, or won something big – if she would come back. I didn't do anything, though."

Jake looked at her "I'm sorry".

Bella shrugged "It's okay. I'm way over it. I have a wonderful dad who loves me, and…"

"And what?" Jake asked, and then called in delight "you're blushing! Let me guess, there's a boyfriend in the picture."

"Not exactly," Bella admitted, still a little red. "I've just met him today. But he's so cute. And there's something about him – I barely know him but he makes me feel so… so…"

"Butterflies? The world stopping? All that jazz?" Jake supplied.

"Yes, absolutely," Bella's smile was radiant.

"What's his name? Is he from town?"

"He's from Rawley, actually," Bella blushed again. "Scout Calhoun."

"Scout?" Jake asked, raking her brain to put a face to the name. "Good looking, about my height, styled brown hair, an all-American smile?"

Bella nodded "you know him?"

Jake shrugged "he's on my crew team. Didn't really talk to him. Heard him and that Will Krudski guy talk about you, though" she added, smirking.

"Really?" Bella blushed. "Will's a childhood friend. He's from here – he won a scholarship to Rawley. He's way smart".

"I see. Well, good luck with scout," Jake smiled and got up, followed by Bella. "I need to get back".

Bella hugged her "it was nice meeting you, Jake – What's your real name anyway?"

Jake rolled her eyes "Jacqueline. But call me Jake."

"Okay, Jake. Every time you need a little break from your testosterone-filled environment, feel free to drop by."

"Thanks, I'll be sure to take you up on that invitation." Jake got on her bike. "Bye!"

Bella waved "Bye."

She watched her drive away, shaking her head and smiling to herself.

-----

Hamilton walked along the hall, peeking into rooms as he went. Some of the occupants gave him strange looks or, if he knew them, waved him in, but he only waved back and continued.

Finally he found Jake's room. Jake was sitting in front of a laptop, typing furiously. He stepped in "hey".

Jake looked up, raising an eyebrow "feel free to barge right in".

"Sorry" Hamilton said. Jake seemed like a really private person so far. "So," he continued, trying not to sound too eager "you find a place to stash your bike?"

"Well, after six schools you get a handle on these things" the other boy answered casually.

Hamilton was surprised. He was home-schooled by the Rawley staff ever since his father became the Dean many years ago. He couldn't imagine going to six different schools at all. And since Jake was referring to the bike, it had to be six in the last year. Jake couldn't be older than Hamilton.

"Wow. Parents move a lot?" he asked. Sometimes being a rich kid sucked, forever dragging around after your parents in their business travels and affairs.

Jake shook his head "nope".

Hamilton was confused. Maybe Jake just got kicked a lot out of schools. But he didn't seem the troublemaker type, not did he seem stupid. In fact, he seemed a bit too bright for his own good. "Oh," he said "so why would you keep switching?"

Jake shrugged, not meeting Hamilton's eyes. "Waiting for someone to notice".

Hamilton winced in sympathy. One of those, then. Parents all over the world, always busy with their work and personal life, forgetting they had children. His dad was one of those, too, but at least he had his mom. He was willing to bet his camera that Jake was an only child. Then it hit him "They don't know?"

"Nope" Jake said again. "Get inside my mom's email account, send a letter as her, and her attorney wires the money wherever I say. The wonders of the digital age".

He was right, then. Jake definitely wasn't stupid. Hamilton could never pull off something like that. "So, that's how you scammed the single room?" he asked. Freshmen never got single rooms.

Jake gave him the same disdainful look he got yesterday by the docks. It made Hamilton want to go and hide somewhere. "Scammed the single room?" Jake repeated, than shook his head. "You should see what happens when I hack into your dad's database".

------

Jake was merrily hacking away when someone walked into the room and said "hey".

She turned. It was the same gorgeous guy from yesterday, the one who tried to blackmail her about her bike. What was his name? Something resembling a kind of meat… He shuffled awkwardly as she looked at him. "Feel free to barge right in" she said, a little annoyed. Then again, if she wanted privacy, she probably should've locked the door.

"Sorry," he said nervously, and then "So, you find a place to stash your bike?"

And we get back to the bike, Jake thought in irritation. Can't he talk about anything else? "Well, after six schools you get a handle on these things" she answered.

"Wow. Parents move a lot?" Hamilton – that was the name – asked.

"Nope". She wished that was the case. Traveling around, she could handle.

"Oh, so why would you keep switching?" Hamilton asked.

Bravo, Jake thought, two questions in a row without bringing up my motorcycle. We're getting somewhere. "Waiting for someone to notice" she answered, and immediately regretted it. She barely knew this guy for five minutes and already she was spilling her guts to him. She didn't need sympathy.

Hamilton seemed confused "they don't know?"

"Nope. Get inside my mom's email account, send a letter as her, and her attorney wires the money wherever I say. The wonders of the digital age". She was actually quite proud of that little maneuver.

"So, that's how you scammed the single room?" Hamilton continued.

"Scammed the single room?" Jake gave him a look. He was pretty, yes, but obviously not all that bright. Like she'd really admit to that to the son of the Dean. Acting on impulse, she smirked. "You should see what happens when I hack into your dad's database".

------

Hamilton stayed in Jake's room for the next hour, talking, mainly about computer related stuff. Jake was apparently a wiz in everything computer related, including games and such. He was also, for a lack of a better word, the coolest person Hamilton has ever met. He was so different for all the other guys that went to Rawley.

After a while, though, his stomach grumbled, reminding him about lunch.

He got up "it's time for lunch. The food here is pretty good, actually".

Jake got up, too, and followed him out of the room, locking the door behind him. He really was zealous about his privacy. An only child for sure.

"Define 'pretty good'," Jake said. "With the money we pay, it better be something along the lines of the Waldorf".

Hamilton smiled "you pay mostly for the education, you know".

Jake gave him another one of those "you are dumb" looks. "I know," he said slowly. "I was joking".

Hamilton was beginning to feel like he was developing a chronic "foot in mouth" disease around the other boy.

To ease the awkward situation, he said "so what was the hardest place you've ever hacked into?"

Jake pondered for a minute "NASA".

"Wait a minute. You actually hacked into NASA? That is so WarGames". Hamilton was impressed.

Jake shrugged, rearranging his baseball cap "yeah, but you can only stay on for 30 seconds".

Hamilton reached out and snagged the cap, putting it on his own head. It was too small. "Cool cap. Smells good". He froze. Open mouth, insert foot, Hamilton. What are you thinking, exactly!? "I didn't mean –" he started hurriedly.

Jake didn't look at him "it's okay".

Hamilton was mortified "no, I meant –"

Jake then turned to face him. "Whatever".

Now Hamilton was sure Jake thought he was a weirdo, if not worse. "No, I just –" he tried again.

Jake gave him a calming look "it's cool".

Right. Hamilton stole a glance at Jake. He really was a cool guy.

------

Hamilton stayed for some time in Jake's room, talking. He was actually not a bad guy when he wasn't mentioning the bike. Jake got the impression that his social skills weren't all that developed. He was just awkward when it came to making new friends.

Although she was sure he had no problem making new lady friends.

Suddenly his stomach growled loudly. He blushed "it's time for lunch. The food here is pretty good, actually".

He's even cuter when he's blushing, Jake thought. She got up and followed him, locking behind her. She didn't want anyone snooping around and finding her "Seventeen" issues and underwear, or even, god forbid, her female hygiene products. "Define 'pretty good'," she said teasingly. "With the money we pay, it better be something along the lines of the Waldorf".

Hamilton smiled. Gorgeous smile, she though. She was using that word a lot lately, for some reason. "You pay mostly for the education, you know" he said. He obviously didn't get it.

Jake looked at him "I know, I was joking".

Hamilton seemed embarrassed. None the less, he plowed on. He was obviously one of those people who continued to talk even when they were just making the hole they were in deeper. It was cute, sort of. On him.

"So what was the hardest place you've ever hacked into?" he asked.

She thought for a minute "NASA". That had been one of her better moments.

"Wait a minute. You actually hacked into NASA? That is so WarGames". He was such an adorable dork.

"Yeah," she shrugged "but you can only stay on for 30 seconds". Or they'll catch you and you'll get into the kind of trouble even mommy will have to notice. She rearranged her cap self-consciously. She hoped this was the kind of trouble mommy would have to notice eventually, too.

Hamilton reached out and snagged her cap, putting it on. She looked around quickly, but no one was paying attention. She relied on the cap to hide her more feminine features.

"Cool cap. Smells good". He then froze, turning a dark red. "I didn't mean –"

She'll have to do something about her shampoo. "It's okay".

"No, I meant –"

"Whatever". Stop digging your own hole, dude.

He kept digging. "No, I just –"

She gave him what she hoped was an indifferent look "it's cool".

They proceeded to lunch, neither saying a word.

They spent the rest of the day together, too, just hanging out. Jake beat him at every game she owned until he acknowledged defeat and got up.

"You need to teach me how to do that," he said, smiling.

"I don't divulge trade secrets," she smiled back.

"We'll see. Anyway, I have to get back home for dinner. But I'm so going to kick your ass tomorrow."

"Keep dreaming, Flemming," she taunted, and he left. She closed the door after him.

She didn't feel like going down to dinner; she was rather tired actually. She undressed and laid back on her bed, smiling. Blue eyes and great smile aside, Hamilton Flemming was shaping up to be an awesome guy. Maybe she'll even make some friends here, after all.

------

Hamilton sat at dinner, chewing silently. His mother wasn't the best cook, but it wasn't all that awful, either. He would have preferred to eat at the cafeteria like the rest of the students, but his parents were insistent that dinner, at least, would be eaten at home.

"So, munchie," His mom said, smiling "how was your day?"

"Mom," he whined "I told you over and over not to call me that!"

"Sorry," she said, not looking apologetic at all.

"I hung out with Jake today," Hamilton answered, spearing pasta on his fork and examining it before putting it in his mouth.

"Jake?" his dad frowned, surfacing from his work for once to actually contribute to the conversation.

"Jake Pratt."

"Ah, yes. He has unordinary high grades in all his subjects, if I recall correctly. Bright boy. Perhaps he'll be a good influence on you," he added pointedly.

"Dad," Hamiltn protested, while his mom rebuked his father "Steven! Munchie has very good grades, too."

"Mom! Stop with the munchie!" Hamilton said again. He had a feeling she was doing this on purpose.

"Sorry".

------

"The problem is, like there's total miscommunication between guys and girls. When a girl says, "I really, really like you," what she means is, "I'm ready for a commitment, are you?" but when a guy says, "I really, really like you," what he means is, "I wanna have sex with you." They were on the roof of one of the academy building, about to hack into the Rawley satellite feed, and Hamilton was feeling generous enough to reveal the facts of life. Or rather, he was just trying to impress 'Jake'.

Either way, he was such a cute dork, the way he was saying this like it was some well-kept secret instead of something every ten-year-old knew.

She tried not to smirk "well, it sounds like you have a lot of experience in this area".

Hamilton smiled, obviously not picking up on the sarcasm. "Hacking into this satellite feed is gonna be great. I mean it'll be like 20 times faster than 56K".

Jake focused on the satellite, trying to find somewhere to attach the wires. She then heard the sound of a zipper being opened, and turned around, shocked to find Hamilton casually peeing against the wall.

"What are you doing!?" her not-so-inner-girl took over.

"I gotta pee" he said, as though it was a reasonable explanation to urinating in the middle of the roof. Maybe for guys it was. Curious despite herself, she sneaked a peek. Very impressive, Hamilton...

"See, when a girl says, 'What are you doing this weekend?' what she means is, 'I want you to hang out with me instead of your friends,' but when a guy says, 'what are you doing this weekend?' what he means is, 'I wanna have sex with you'. And also when a girl says, 'I need to know where this relationship is going,' what she means is, ' I'm hopelessly in love and I pray that you are too,' but when a guy says, "I need to know where this relationship is going," what he means is…"

She could see where he was going with this, and chimed in to say with him "I wanna have sex with you!"

Hamilton grinned "right."

Jake couldn't help but grin back "yeah, right". Then, before she even realized what she was doing, she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his. It lasted all of two seconds, but it felt like a lot more. For a moment there she could swear he was leaning in as well, and then the reality of her actions caught up with her and she leaned back in horror. Oh, shit.

Hamilton opened his eyes, looking completely shocked, and stared at her. She backed away even more, stumbling, just in case he decided to punch her.

"Oh God, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Oh God, I'm sorry". She turned around and escaped, leaving him behind her, not daring to look back.

She knew this latest plot to get her mother's attention would get her into trouble; she just didn't know how much.

-----

Both Hamilton and Jake were annoyed by how slow their games were running. "There's got to be a satellite here somewhere," Jake muttered.

Hamilton frowned "There's one on the roof, actually."

Jake brightened, smiling "Really? That's great!" Hamilton found himself smiling back.

"I can show you where it is. What are you going to do?"

They both got up, Jake taking his laptop and a bunch of wires and electronic stuff. "I'm going to hack into it and ride directly on the main connection," Jake said.

"Cool," Hamilton answered, though he had no idea how one went about doing that. He guessed Jake was about to show him.

As they crossed the lawn a group of girls, lounging under one of the trees, giggled and waved to them. Hamilton waved back, but Jake didn't seem to notice. Maybe he was a bit shy with girls. Hamilton decided to share some of his knowledge with him.

Jake nodded along, but didn't seem very impressed, so Hamilton decided to bring out the big guns.

"The problem is, like there's total miscommunication between guys and girls. When a girl says, "I really, really like you," what she means is, "I'm ready for a commitment, are you?" but when a guy says, "I really, really like you," what he means is, "I wanna have sex with you." He though Jake seemed a bit more interested, especially when he said "well, it sounds like you have a lot of experience in this area".

Hamilton smiled. They were on the roof now, and Jake was fussing around the satellite, checking his wires and stuff. "Hacking into this satellite feed is gonna be great. I mean it'll be like 20 times faster than 56K". He tried to understand what the other boy was doing, but he couldn't understand a thing.

And he really needed to pee, too. He didn't feel like walking back to the dorms or his house, so he looked around and found a likely spot. He heard Jake come up behind him. "What are you doing!?" he sounded alarmed.

Hamilton shrugged. Maybe you didn't do this sort of thing in New-York. "I gotta pee" he answered. Jake came over and stood next to him, leaning on the wall, while Hamilton finished and zipped up.

He continued with the lesson "See, when a girl says, 'What are you doing this weekend?' what she means is, 'I want you to hang out with me instead of your friends,' but when a guy says, 'what are you doing this weekend?' what he means is, 'I wanna have sex with you'. And also when a girl says, 'I need to know where this relationship is going,' what she means is, ' I'm hopelessly in love and I pray that you are too,' but when a guy says, "I need to know where this relationship is going," what he means is…"

Jake grinned and said together with him "I wanna have sex with you!"

Hamilton grinned, too, but he felt a little uneasy. It was weird, hearing Jake say that, like he was saying it to Hamilton. But of course that was a completely stupid thing to think. "Right".

"Yeah, right" Jake said, and then he kissed Hamilton.

Hamilton's eyes closed out of their own accord. Jake's lips felt soft and warm and a tiny bit moist, and he smelled insanely good. Without really thinking, he leaned in, and then Jake was gone. He opened his eyes and stared at Jake's horrified face.

"Oh God, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Oh God, I'm sorry" Jake chanted quietly, stumbling back, and then he turned and ran away, disappearing from view. The door to the roof slammed shut after him.

Hamilton stared at the space Jake was occupying just a moment ago, his brain in complete overload. Jake kissed him. Jake, a guy, a guy he knew only for a few days, had kissed him. Jake who was his male friend had kissed him, and it was nice and he smelled really good and he was a guy and Hamilton was officially freaking out.

Officially. Freaking. Out.

------

Jake ran all the way to her bike and rode off to New Rawley in neck breaking speed. She needed to talk to someone, urgently. And the only person who knew about her was Bella. And the blonde did invite her to drop for a visit anytime, right?

She braked with a wail of the tires, hopping off her bike. She didn't see Bella around, but she did see a younger, brown-haired girl, who was looking at her in interest.

"Can I help you?" the girl asked, coming closer and running a hand over the motorcycle. "Nice bike. I'd love to have a ride sometime," she smiled invitingly.

If she wasn't already going out of her mind, she would've been weirded out even more by having a girl hit on her. Now, she only wanted to talk to Bella, and fast.

"Maybe later," she said curtly "where's Bella?"

The girl's expression soured. "Everyone wants Bella," she muttered, and then jerked her head towards the office "she's inside".

"Thanks," Jake said and headed in.

Bella was indeed sitting inside the office, reading a book. She looked up and smiled as she saw her, and said "hey, Jake!" then she frowned "is everything alright?"

Jake shook her head and closed the door behind her. "No, everything's gone totally pear-shaped. I kissed Hamilton!"

Bella seemed puzzled "Hamilton?"

"This completely gorgeous guy I'm friends with, and I don't know what came over me, but I kissed him, and –"

"Wait wait wait," Bella said, blinking "you kissed a guy you're friends with…"

"Who thinks I'm a guy!" Jake reminded her.

She saw that Bella got it. "Oh, I see," she said. "Yikes."

"You can say that again," Jake said, pacing around the small room and pulling at her hair "he probably thinks I'm totally gay and hot for him now. He'll probably hit me the next time he sees me, or tell the whole school and everyone will laugh at me, or –"

"He didn't hit you now?"

"No," Jake shook her head "he was so stunned – I was so stunned – he just stood there and stared at me and I turned and high-tailed it out of there."

"First of all, breathe," Bella said gently "calm down. You said he was your friend, right?" when Jake nodded, she continued "so he won't run and tell the whole school. He probably wouldn't want to be suspected as being gay as well, which is another reason for not telling."

"Right," Jake said, starting to calm down. Bella was making sense.

"Now, you just need to find him and explain –"

"How do I explain this!? Hey, just so you know, I'm really a girl so I'm not gay? I'm not going to spill the beans until my mom gets it!"

"You don't have to. Just explain it was a lapse of judgment, hormones taking over, confusion over being in an all boys school… something along those lines".

"Right, right" Jake said slowly "that could work. Thanks a lot, Bella."

The other girl smiled "anytime. I need some excitement in my life".

Jake grinned "scout not giving you enough excitement?"

Bella blushed "he is. He's wonderful."

"Are you in love?" Jake wanted to know.

Bella smiled, not meeting her eyes, and nodded. Then she looked up "are you in love with Hamilton?"

Jake was taken aback "what? Of course not. I've only known him for a few days. He's just… Really good-looking," she admitted.

"How does he look?" Bella was curious.

"Tall, tousled brown hair, the bluest pair of eyes you've ever seen, great body, gorgeous smile…"

Bella giggled "you've got it hard, girl".

"No I don't!" Jake protested "I'm just attracted to him. It's purely physical." She sobered "and it'll get even more physical if he'll punch me before I have a chance to explain."

Bella winced in sympathy "I'll keep the ice ready, just in case, but I don't think it'll come to that."

"I hope," Jake muttered, then got up and hugged Bella "again, thanks for everything. I'm much calmer now. I'd better head back, though".

"Good luck with Hamilton," Bella said, hugging her back.

"Good luck with scout," Jake answered, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively, and Bella punched her shoulder lightly, laughing.

Jake paused in the door. "By the way," she said "who's the girl outside?"

Bella rolled her eyes "that's Grace, my sister."

Jake seemed a little freaked out "she was totally hitting on me".

Bella buried her face in her hands "she's so embarrassing!"

Jake laughed at her reaction "don't take it to heart. I'll see you later. Bye!"

"Bye," Bella watched her drive away. Really, were they all that blind? How could everyone mistake this completely stunning girl for a guy?

-------

Hamilton left the roof soon after Jake, still in a daze. He passed the lawn without acknowledging anyone, and trudged heavily up to his room, throwing himself face down on the bed.

"Jake kissed me," he said. It sounded even worse out loud. He didn't even dare to say and I liked it.

So Jake was gay. Okay, he could handle that. He was raised to be open-minded and not to discriminate against anyone. And Jake was a cool guy, not considering the recent episode. He probably thought Hamilton was coming on to him when he said his hat smelled good. I knew I shouldn't have said that!

So, he'll just have to make it clear to Jake that he wasn't gay. Right.

And he didn't even like that kiss. He was just shocked enough not to feel disgusted. He was feeling disgusted now. Very much disgusted. Definitely.

He got up and went to find Jake.

-----

Jake was sitting in her room, trying to scrounge up the courage to go find Hamilton and explain when the boy in question barged right in.

"Listen, I wanna say –" he started loudly.

Jake jumped up. "That wasn't what you thought!"

He didn't seem to hear her "I don't know where you're coming from but –"

"I can explain!" she tried desperately.

"No, don't explain" he snapped. "Let's just not even –"

"Talk about it!"

He frowned "yeah, let's just –"

"Forget about it!" she said urgently.

Hamilton stared at her "yeah, let's do that."

Jake let out a breath and held out her hand "friends?"

Hamilton nodded and shook her hand "yeah, friends. No question, no question."

They both realized at the same time they were still holding hands and jumped back. Hamilton stared at her for another moment, looking like a deer caught in headlight, and the he smiled and announced a little too loudly "you da man!"

Jake's smile felt like it was going to rip her face in two "yup! Okay! I'm da man!" whatever you say…

Hamilton stood there a little more, and then hurried out of the room without even saying goodbye, closing the door after him.

Jake fell back on her bed, looking at the ceiling "oh my God. I'm da man."

I'm the man. Just what have you gotten yourself into, Jacqueline?

-----

Hamilton barged into Jake's room without knocking, prepared to give his speech. "Listen, I wanna say –" he started, but then Jake jumped up, looking as tense as Hamilton felt.

"That wasn't what you thought!" he said.

Like hell it wasn't! "I don't know where you're coming from but –" he tried to continue, but Jake interrupted him again with an urgent "I can explain!"

Hamilton didn't want to hear his excuses "No, don't explain" he snapped. "Let's just not even –"

"Talk about it!" Jake supplied.

Hamilton lost his train of thought for a minute, but shook himself "yeah, let's just –"

"Forget about it!" Jake said.

Hamilton stared at him. His expression was pleading, his green eyes wide and worried, and his mouth was pinched tightly - "yeah, let's do that."

Jake seemed to relax a little, the tension going out of his shoulders. He held out a hand "friends?"

Hamilton took his hand "yeah, friends. No question, no question." Jake's hand was very small and delicate, with soft skin and fingers he felt he could break if he wasn't caref – he looked up and realized they were holding hands way too long. Jake must have reached the same conclusion, as they both jumped back at the same time.

Jake looked confused. No wonder, Hamilton was probably sending him all the wrong signals. He snapped under the tension "you da man!"

Jake's smile looked more like a grimace "yup! Okay! I'm da man!"

Hamilton stood there staring at Jake's lips a little more. They were full and currently dark from Jake biting his lower lip and Hamilton turned and ran out of the room without even saying goodbye.

"Oh my God" he whispered to himself as he half-ran towards his house, "I think I'm a gay".

Oh. My. God.