DISCLAIMER: Ok...now to business. God, this took forever to get typed up. I don't own Riley Poole or National Treasure: Book of Secrets. I own ONLY Cassandra Poole and Alexandra Gates. Like countless fanfic authors, I wish I had. So, onward with Boy Next Door.

Nineteen-year-old Riley Poole walks into his Psychoanalysis class one winter afternoon. His messenger bag was full of textbooks, notebooks, and various school supplies. He was dressed as if he was going to work at a stockbroker firm, with the exception of his black Converses high-tops. He looks around the lecture hall and found a seat next to a short brunette boy that was near the middle of the hall. He climbed up a short flight of stairs before getting into the row and scooting down a bit. He cleared his throat to grab the boy's attention.

The boy turned his head to look at Riley. His brown-green stared at Riley's brown eyes behind a pair of classy-type glasses.

"Is this seat taken?" Riley asked the boy, a little scared of the kid's appearance, which were baggy clothes that a skater would wear and a black baseball cap with the New York Yankees logo on the front in white stitching.

"Nope…be my guest," the kid replied back with a genuine tone. "Best seats in the house," he added as Riley nodded his head.

Riley sat down next to the kid and pulled out a notebook, one of his pens, and the textbook for the class out of his messenger bag. He looked to his right at the kid.

"I'm Riley," he said to the kid.

"Alex. Pleasure meeting ya, Riley," Alex replied as the two shook hands.

"Where you from, Alex?"

"I'm from around here. You?"

"Local as well," Riley replied.

"Which part?"

"Suburbs…how about you?"

"About two hours north. I live with my mom. My parents split when I was younger and I stay with her for half a year and then I stay with my pops for the other half."

"Your folks are divorced?"

Alex nodded his head.

"Been that way since I was in 8th grade. Not sure what the reason was for, anyway. Bet it was something that they disagreed with. I can't remember why they divorced."

Riley was about to talk about his folks when the professor arrived and got the class to settle down. Riley just turned his attention to the professor as the professor introduced himself and passed out his syllabus. The professor was in his mid-30's, early 40's with somewhat of an average appearance. After everyone got a copy of the syllabus, the professor began the role-call of the attendance.

"Amelia Bernhardt?" the professor asked.

"Present," Mia Bernhardt said as she raised her hand delicately.

"Peter Bernardo?"


"Daniel Cho?"


This went on till the professor got to the 'G's.

"Alexandra Gates?"

"Here," Alex said.

This startled Riley a bit as he turned to face Alex. Alex didn't look like a girl…but there was no way that he was one…not with the way he dressed and talked. Alex turned to look at Riley, who was staring at her.


"You're-you're a girl?" Riley asked.

"Yeah…I guess you didn't notice the piercings, huh? Most guys don't have three earrings and a cartilage piercing like I do…" Alex replied. "Besides, I figured that I don't tell most guys that I'm a girl till after they noticed my earrings…"

Riley took a glance and noticed a silver hoop on her upper left ear while the lower part had three studs: one green, one blue, and one opal. Riley was about to ask the other side when the professor got to his name.

"Riley Poole?"

"Present," he said to the professor. "You could have told me that your family was the one behind that conspiracy theory on the Founding Fathers…" Riley said to Alex, who was writing something in her notebook.

"Well, I'll tell you two things: one, it's not a conspiracy theory…in fact, it's not a theory at all. Two: trust me; I've actually had to deal with that shit since I was a kid. In fact, I had to endure it while I was in grammar school…so, you can understand my resentment to talking about that," Alex said as she turned her glance at Riley, her eyes were burning with a determination to not talk on that sensitive topic.

"Grammar school? You make it sound like you didn't go to school in the States when you were younger."

"I didn't. I started school in the States when I was about 15. I was schooled in England for a while," Alex said as she turned her attention back to her notebook.

Riley was about to go and ask Alex about her schooling when the professor finished with the role call and began the lesson.

"Sigmund Freud was the one that founded the school of psychoanalysis and started the school of Freudian thinking…" the professor started to say about the lesson for the day.

Riley wrote down the notes in a pace that was a bit slower than most fast writers. Alex, on the other hand, just continued with whatever she was doing. Riley, at one point, glanced over and noticed that Alex wasn't writing down any of the notes that the professor was lecturing about. He leaned over to see what she was writing about when Alex saw this and cleared her throat.

"Anything of interest, Mr. Poole?" Alex asked irritably as she covered whatever she was writing from Riley's sights.

"Nope, I'm good…nothing at all, Alexandra," Riley said as he went back to taking notes.

Soon, an hour passed before the professor ended the lecture.

"Next class, we're going to talk about the dream analysis topic. This will be useful for your midterm paper," the professor said as everyone was dismissed.

Riley packed away his stuff into his messenger bag while Alex stuck her pen on her ear and stuffed her notebook in her backpack. Riley was the first to get up and scoot over to the stairs before Alex. Before Riley was completely down from the stadium seating, he tripped and fell face-first onto the floor. A couple of girls that were able to see all of this laughed as Alex sighed and made her way over to Riley and helped him to his feet.

"Oh, stay away from the nerd, Gates. You don't want to catch his disease…oh, wait, you have…" Mia said with a snob attitude as Alex turned to look at her.

"Funny, Mia…say, you better not come any closer…don't wanna ruin your flawless face," Alex said as Mia flipped her bleach-blonde hair with her manicured fingers.

"As if you know any better…"

"Along with your 500 dollar perm and 50 dollar French mani. I suppose that you don't know anything outside of what you wanna hear, like boys and how much money it cost you to get your Porsche from a really bad dealership," Alex added with a sarcastic drawl.

"Actually, it cost 499 plus tax for my hairstyle and 49 plus tax for my acrylics."

"Hence, 550 dollars total. Do the math, Bernhardt. I'm sure that you can do additions very well…oh wait: you can't, since your blonde attitude states your intelligence IQ to be 20."

Riley, along with a couple of students, just stood there, watching the bicker evolve over time.

"Like, whatever loser Gates…c'mon, Lindsey. We got somewhere to go that even Gates here can't get into," Mia said with a huff as the two girls left.

"What a stuck-up bitch…wonder who twisted her panties? I betcha it was her dad's pool boy," a pink-haired girl said from the doorway.

"Cassandra," Riley said in greeting as he walked over to the girl.

"Hey, Riles…what's going on, favorite cousin?" Cassandra asked as she hugged Riley.

"Wait: this IS your cousin?" Alex asked as she caught the last part of Cassandra's greeting to Riley.

"Yup…I thought you already knew that, Lex. But, did Mia try to pick on Riles here? I'm glad that you were around to tell her off," Cassandra replied.

"Wait, wait a second here. This…is Lex?! I thought Lex was a guy…and your boyfriend," Riley said after the initial shock passed.

"Yea…wow, you two aren't really focused on your memory, huh? Maybe a nice, cold one is in order, Lex…looks like you need one badly after that near fight with that Barbie-fake," Cassandra said with a sigh.


"Anyway, to answer your question, Riles, Lex and I have been pals since we worked at Barnes and Noble," Cassandra said as she wrapped an arm around Alex's shoulders. "Besides, this gal can handle anything that is thrown at her. Trust me on that, Riles," Cassandra added as as she winked at her cousin.

Riley looked over at Alex and gave her a small smile. Alex smiled back, knowing that she was going to actually enjoy Riley's presence.