Here is my first of many Beth/Kate stories! Like my girl wonderfully put: they are simply amazing together! I cannot wait to write them again! I had so, so much fun with this. Beth is such an amazing character; she's so in-depth. :)

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this. I swear to conjure up more fluff in the very near future! In fact, I've got plenty of Beth/Kate love to share with the world, as does my Tracy!

This is for my beautiful baby girl, as it always is. She helped me so, so much with this one-shot, and she'll always be my inspiration. I love you so much, Tracy! Twelve days!!


Beth had always felt as though something were missing. The throngs of guys that she shamefully threw herself at were nothing to her. They numbed a pain that would always be raw—exposed. She knew that it was disgraceful, that she was disgusting, but she had never truly been taught how to present herself properly and respectfully. If truth be told, all of Beth's sense of worth and self-perception had been brutally stripped from her at a young age.

Her uncle had lived with them for a few years, from when she was about six to nine. Beth had never liked him. He was creepy; he gave her uncomfortable, revolting vibes. Every time he was near, all she wanted to do was go and take a shower to cleanse herself of the sinister feeling, to escape that haunting, dark gaze in his eyes. It was hollow, and it made her skin crawl with what felt like unseen, invasive insects. She shuddered in his presence, and yet she never bothered to place her finger on exactly why. She was too frightened to; she was too disturbed to.

So, she didn't. And she moved on.

--

At fifteen, she slept with someone (namely, an eighteen-year-old, college boy) for the first time. She hadn't wanted to, but he wasn't having it.

"Come on," He had said, his breath stinking and heavy with alcohol.

Beth had to turn her head to keep herself from gagging at the awful stench.

"I'm not in the mood," She had growled, now only half-dressed as she shrugged her left bra strap back onto her shoulder.

"No," He had hissed as he urged her back down slightly with the palm of his hand.

"I just don't really feel like—" She had been cut off by him rudely shoving his lips against hers, sending arrays of discontentment throughout her body. Beth felt like she was spinning upside down, ready to throw up at any given moment from the pounding feeling of displeasure in her stomach and head.

She let him do what he pleased with her that night, and she absolutely hated it. Beth had felt dirty and used. She had felt like a slave to herself. However, she also felt as though she had discovered a skill, a purpose, nearly. She was finally useful in some department. Where she wasn't intelligent, where she wasn't skilled in the arts, where she wasn't socially capable: she was wanted, if only for a couple of minutes. Suddenly, she had a way to prove her worth, and she became obsessed with it.

--

Even before fifteen, Beth had unremitting dwindling realizations that she had no interests in boys whatsoever. She had no appreciation for anything about them. They were hideous to her, revolting, worthless, and immeasurably unappealing.

She wasn't a slut because she was interested in the hordes of boys out to sleep with her. She was a slut because she had no choice, because she had no idea how to say no or how to stand up for herself.

That was how she became an animal rights activist at such a young age.

She construed that if she couldn't stand up for herself, then, at the very least, she could speak for those whom had no voices at all. Then, perhaps, she wouldn't feel as though she had truly let herself down, that her self-respect hadn't diminished to a few grains of acrid salt.

After all, she had never been attracted to boys.

She was attracted to the concept of being genuinely wanted. But, most certainly not boys.

--

She wasn't just a vegan because she cared for animals. The thought of meat repulsed her. The idea of slaughtering an innocent creature, frying it, and then consuming it selfishly made her physically ill and extraordinarily livid and irritably perplexed.

It was hypocritical of people, she had explained to many a naysayer, her fists clenched at her sides, to kill and eat living creatures, and then claim righteousness—particularly when such an act was performed everyday on a psychological stance with human beings themselves.

Man ate man, not literally, but emotionally and mentally. Society itself was cannibalistic in the sense that it pit one person again another, that it encouraged crushing and side-stepping the weak to get where one wanted to go.

Beth was utterly appalled. No one understood: animal rights, human rights—in her eyes, they were one in the same.

Always esteemed, yet never completely reinforced.

If people ever really wanted to do any good, they would start by learning to be a little bit more selfless.

Then again, Beth couldn't have found herself anymore hypocritical.

She was a vegan because she cared, not because she necessarily always practiced what she preached.

--

By ninth grade, she had been boorishly labeled "Bisexual Beth." She had experimented with girls and boys alike, however the latter faded into virtual oblivion.

Nasty rumors were spread; however, for some, odd reason, she was hardly ostracized. Her fellow activist friends couldn't care less. As for others, though, they pick and chose. That is to say, they ignored it.

It was strange, Beth decided one day, as she walked through the hall during her junior year, entirely disregarded as others bustled about, talking about nothing in particular. No one stared. No one bothered. She was just "Bisexual Beth," after all; she wasn't hurting anyone.

But, she wasn't that coarse moniker.

As her eyes fell on a certain, cute—no, beautiful,—blue-eyed blonde across the way, scrambling not to drop her arms full of books, she felt mesmerized and enlightened.

That girl was gorgeous.

Beth felt a cool, yet wonderful shiver inch its way up her spine as she stood, her fingers wrapped daintily around the side of her plain, spiral notebooks that rested snuggly in her arms.

That was what she wanted; that was what she needed.

--

Beth was ashamed to say that she forgot that face, as well as that fateful moment in the hallway.

That is, until that one day in gym class.

There she was, unnoticed and unforgiving, all the same, prepping herself for their forced game of dodge ball. Beth told herself not to stare and easily convinced others of her intentions by giving off the impression of being thoroughly prepared for their gym class activity.

She wasn't thinking about any of her previous one night stands, any of her flings; she wasn't even thinking about John Tucker, the whole reason that she had lost all remaining self-respect for herself in the first place.

Beth was trying to put a name with a face. Her name.

That was about when Heather, the head cheerleader, decided to pick a fight with Carrie, the essential valedictorian. Beth hadn't been paying attention; she had been too distracted by that blonde. However, as soon as the fray intensified, Beth yanked herself from her thoughts and shoved herself between the other two.

She knew that fighting over John Tucker was pointless. She didn't care. He was meaningless to her—a title or a 'claim to fame.' But, nothing worth fighting over.

Nevertheless, Beth fought with Heather and Carrie, violently swinging the bag of volleyballs toward Heather, Carrie, and the coach, but never at that nameless blonde. She wasn't involved, nor should she be.

Beth made a point to avoid her. She had a better purpose than that.

Once the fight was over, however, Beth, unlike Carrie and Heather, couldn't necessarily feign anger. In a rush of emotion, Beth furrowed her eyebrows and surprisingly irritably exclaimed:

"Who is that?"

Beth found herself astonished that the words had been uttered aloud. Never had she considered that her innermost thoughts could ever possibly be materialized into a more tangible reality. The concept alarmed her. All the same, she pushed herself up, and then promptly exited the gym.

That was when she realized: she had detention with Mystery Girl. Suddenly, she felt very excited—thrilled, even. Perhaps finally she would piece the puzzle together, and that day in the hallway would all make sense.

She couldn't deny the somewhat awkward and positively superfluous butterflies in her stomach for the beautiful stranger.

--

The day dragged on, it seemed. Beth realized that she hadn't concentrated on anything and was a little embarrassed by it. This unfamiliar person—this girl—had completely overtaken her thoughts, and even Beth was a bit disturbed by it.

As she entered the place where detention was held, she walked slowly, at first. Her fingers creased along the edges of her books as she made her entrance. Initially, she received no reaction from either of the two girls that were already sitting there (Mystery Girl and Carrie); however, as she slid her chair back and carelessly plopped into it. Her eyes met briefly with Mystery Girl's, and Beth had to keep herself from shuddering. That intense, fixed, blue gaze all but killed her.

She was forced to bite her lip and look away.

--

Five minutes had passed, and then Heather arrived. Instantly, and thankfully, the talking began.

Heather, Carrie, and Beth bickered about John Tucker, no doubt, as that was their only connection. However, Beth remained painfully aware of Mystery Girl's occasional upward glance in their direction. It was difficult to ignore.

"Shut up."

Beth's head turned. Had Mystery Girl really just spoken, again?

Naturally, Beth and the other two provoked her to speak. If she had something to say, then she should certainly say it.

When Mystery Girl did speak, though, Beth found herself immediately captivated. Her voice was soft and timid, yet infinitely sweet. It was perfectly feminine, perfectly fluid, and perfectly—well, everything.

"I know!" Beth's voice was ahead of herself, as she had clearly not expected to speak so suddenly after Heather had queried just who this girl was. "You're that girl that wigged out last year and got sent to rehab!"

Of course she isn't, Beth mentally cursed, angry at her own stupidity. Pretending to know this girl was low, even for herself.

"No, I…"

Mystery Girl had begun to speak, but Beth couldn't help herself again and, thus, shamelessly interrupted.

"Then you got taken away for bulimia."

Strike two, Beth sighed inwardly, suddenly feeling hopeless. Why couldn't she control herself? She just felt so flustered and frustrated; the accusations were simply spilling from her mouth like irrepressible word vomit.

"No."

Mystery Girl was beginning to sound a bit offended now, causing Beth to reel with annoyance at her own reckless mouth.

"Fat camp?"

Damn it! Beth bit her lip and kept herself from slamming her balled fist against the back of the chair in disgust at herself. She needed to stop, but she couldn't. The words just kept pouring from her mouth.

How difficult was it for Beth to simply ask for a name?

"No. My name is…"

That was when the teacher in charge of detention that afternoon stepped in and interrupted Beth's shrouded Mystery Girl. To say that she was upset was an understatement entirely. She felt hatred rise up in her cheeks and render them red with irritation each time that Mystery Girl tried to speak her name but was chastised by that oaf of a teacher.

Pressing her lips together, Beth locked her gaze with Mystery Girl's somewhat desperately, her green eyes searching, silently expressing their longing for her name. If only she knew, perhaps then she wouldn't feel so messed up, so strange, practically obsessing and lusting after a stranger.

But, it wasn't an obsession; and, for once in her life, it wasn't lust.

Her face felt hot with embarrassment. Her legs felt weak. Her stomach felt subdued with odd sensations of butterflies.

Yet, they had never even spoken.

Beth wasn't sure what to do with her.

So, she turned her back and hoped that the moment wasn't entirely spoiled.

--

At the end of detention, Beth hurriedly pushed herself up, absentmindedly grasping and reaching for her scattered and unused textbooks. She had debated with herself the entire time, in silence, just what she was going to do, if she should pursue the precious blonde's name anymore, and she had, unfortunately, come to the conclusion that there was no need. It was pointless.

They were strangers. Beth had no business bothering her, after all.

"Hi," came the small, uncertain voice from behind Beth. Instantly, Beth whipped around, only to see her Mystery Girl standing there, nervously clutching her books in her arms again. Beth's entire body quickly began to grow weak.

"Hey," Beth breathed coolly, a tiny grin surfacing.

"I'm Kate… by the way," The blonde concluded, her eyes bright as she timidly rocked on her feet slightly. Beth's heart lurched and fluttered, and she tensely tugged at her own bottom lip with her teeth.

"Beth," Beth added, after a moment, after she had regained her breath, after she had finally come to terms with the fact that her Mystery Girl was a mystery no longer. "I'm Beth."

"It's nice to meet you, Beth," Kate offered kindly, that angelic smile of hers knocking the oxygen directly out of Beth's lungs as she tried to sustain her consciousness.

"Yeah," Beth decided, following a moment of hesitation. "It really is nice to finally meet you."

"What?" Kate both looked and sounded perplexed, and she portrayed such to an even higher plane by a cute and subtle tilt of her head, as well.

Clumsily catching herself, Beth stuttered, her eyelashes fluttering in mild embarrassment.

"I-I mean, you know, from earlier," She chuckled, regaining her composure like the pro she esteemed herself to be. "The teacher." Beth finished with a vain flick of her wrist.

"Oh," Kate looked thoughtful, her lips turning upward into a smile. "Yeah. You're right," She managed a little giggle—a gesture that sent Beth's heartbeat into the fast lane.

"Well," Beth swallowed the lump that was building in her throat. "I'll see you around… Kate?" She faked idiocy, if only to hear a more extended reply from the other girl.

"Yeah… Beth," Kate replied, awkwardly, yet sweetly. "I'd like that."

"'Bye," Beth waved a few of her fingers in a slight wave before smiling and turning away.

Beth felt satisfied and warm, especially under the bright smile offered to her from her precious No-Longer-A-Mystery Mystery Girl from behind as she reluctantly made her leave.

Something had been filled with just one conversation, one chance meeting.

Suddenly, she didn't feel as though she were simply missing—or lacking—something anymore. All those times of feeling like she wasn't doing the right thing, that she wasn't always in the right place at the right time, that she wasn't living up to her true self, they felt insignificant. Kate reminded her of someone, a part of Beth that had been lost in all of the confusion of the past few years.

Though she knew virtually nothing about the other girl, she could sense and see a sentiment of naivety, elegance, and bottled-up pride about her. Kate was herself, and that was all she could be. She was a nobody, but not necessarily the 'nobody' that society frowned upon.

Kate was the one—the simple, yet complex girl that Beth had always thought she could and should be—the type of girl that she had always admired.

Beth felt as though she was in complete ecstasy, for the first time in what seemed like years, all because of her beautiful and sweet Mystery Girl—all because of… Kate.