Disclaimer: I do not own Mean Girls or its characters. No profit made, no infringement intended.

Author's Note: Slightly AU- the canon film story took place over two years instead of one, so Cady is now 18 and it's her senior year.

Did you ever look in the mirror and not recognize yourself? You got so wrapped up in plotting, acting, and living this lie that you never noticed you'd changed. Suddenly you're looking at this girl in the mirror, and you're nothing like you were as a kid. When you were a little girl, you were wild and free. You didn't care what anyone thought of you. Life was one adventure after another. You danced, laughed and dreamed as if your world would always be this free.

But it did change, slowly. It didn't start with Regina George really. She was just the final straw.

It started when you worried what others thought. It started when you changed so they'd like you. It started when you stopped dreaming. It stopped when you'd no longer dance in the rain, or laugh until you cried.

You told yourself that this new you was better- prettier, cooler, more likable… You had to forget the girl you used to be.

Then one day you're looking in the mirror, and you realize you hate this plastic version of you. You hate her fake life with its lies and superficiality. Most of all you hate how you hurt everyone around you. You hurt the one person you really wanted. But you were scared and stupid. You didn't know what to do with these feelings, so you just ignored them and became plastic. Maybe you thought being plastic would take away the feelings. The Plastics never seemed to feel anything, and you wanted to stop feeling too. You still felt it all though, forbidden desire and suppressed attraction festering with all your self-hate and vanity.

Somehow you ended up on Ms. Norbury's doorstep, debating if you should knock. You take a breath and knock on the door. You pray she doesn't hate you, but you know you'd deserve it if she does. She opens the door, dressed in striped cotton pjs with her hair rumpled and her glasses sliding down her nose. Your stomach flips.

"Cady?" She asks confused.

"Hi, Ms. Norbury," You say, trying to hide you blush. "I'm sorry I'm disturbing you on a Saturday. I… I wanted to come and apologize. If you'll let me," You say, looking at your shoes.

She studies you, then sighs. "Come in Cady," She says as she moves to let you in.

She leads you to her living room, and tells you to sit. The room is a little messy, but in warm, lived in way. She leaves you for a moment while she changes out of the pjs. You look around the room, finding the little details that make it hers. The warm gold and merlot colors of the walls and curtains, the novels that crowd her shelves, and the faint smell of coffee.

She comes back in jeans and a white button-up shirt, with her hair brushed. You can't help thinking she looked cuter in the pjs.

"You want a coffee, Cady?" She asks, already heading to the kitchen assuming you do.

"Ya, that'd be great," You agree with a slight smile, feeling your nerves building in your stomach.

"I heard you confessed to writing the Burn Book, Cady," Ms. Norbury says from the kitchen.

The words feel stuck in your throat, but you force them out, "I had to say something when they started investigating you. I had to try to stop it."

Ms. Norbury comes out of the kitchen holding two cups of coffee. She hands one to you, and then sits across from you. She meets your eyes, and you worry again that she hates you now.

"You confessed because you regretted hurting me?" She asks her voice a mix of raw betrayal and a surprising tenderness.

"Yes," you admit. You look away from her as tears form in your eyes. "I'm so sorry Ms. Norbury, I really am. It was horrible thing to do. I've become such a terrible person. I hate myself so much for it."

Ms. Norbury moves closer to you and turns you to look at her, "Cady, hating yourself doesn't help anything. You need to discover your best qualities and embrace them. I accept your apology, Cady."

You bit your lip debating whether to speak your heart. "Ms. Norbury…" you start. Your voice breaks a little, and your hands are sweaty. "I said those horrible things because I couldn't deal with how I felt… I… I was attracted to you, Ms. Norbury," you admit softly.

Ms. Norbury looks at you in shock. She wasn't expecting this.

Then you do something kind of stupid. But it's not becoming a Plastic stupid, it's dancing in the rain until you're drenched and shivering stupid. You kiss her. She's just so close, and your emotions are raging, and you've wanted to admit this for so long. Her first reaction is to kiss you back, but then she stops herself and pulls away.

"Cady…" she says with a sigh. "I can't. You know I can't." You look back her, your heart breaking, even though you expected it. You want nothing more than to hold her right now. You want to tell her that her husband's a fool to let her go. You want to see her in the pjs again, sleepy and rumpled. You want to be there to laugh at her jokes, and be the cause of her smiles. But she's your teacher, even if only for another month.

"Sorry," you say, but this time you don't mean it. "I should be going," you say as you get up from the couch and head towards the door.

She meets you at the door, and you find yourself frozen, her eyes upon you.

"Goodbye Ms. Norbury," you say sadly, and turn to leave.

"Emily," her voice stops you. "My name is Emily."