Disclaimer: South of Nowhere and the characters affiliated with it belong to Tom Lynch and The N. I own nothing but my own plot twists.

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Chapter 1: Drowning

"Every time I breathe I take you in

And my heart beats again

Baby I can't help it

You keep me drowning in your love"

Backstreet Boys

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A new school, oh joy. I stopped being excited about new schools and first days about ten years ago when I realized I'd be stuck in this hell called education for at least another decade. It wasn't that I necessarily hated starting over and meeting people. Sure, I'm shy, but I'm hardly unapproachable.

It's just that at sixteen, most people already have their clicks. Then it's awkward trying to talk to people and fit in, plus you have to make a good first impression and act way cooler than you actually are at first. …Did I mention how much I love first days?

I was already late thanks to my ass of a brother, Glen. I swore he took longer to get ready than me. When I mentioned this he said, "There's more to work with," to which I said, "You mean more work needed." Which explained why he drove extra slow to school. We lived five miles away from school, and it somehow took us fifteen minutes to get there. Kids on tricycles and big wheels were passing us.

Anyway, so I had to practically sprint to my locker to put my stuff up, breathing out heavy curses directed towards my brother. I rounded the corner by my locker and ran straight into another person who was running late.

"I'm so sorry!" I quickly apologized as I embarrassedly tried to help pick up the books I had knocked out of her hands.

There was a heavy sigh followed by, "Just leave them! Go wreak havoc someplace else," the girl bit off angrily. She could easily be described as beautiful, even with the ugly scowl she was currently wearing. She had brown curly hair that fell on her shoulders, and although she wore no logos, I knew her clothes were designer. I quickly looked down self-consciously at my own clothes.

I gave her a confused look but continued trying to pick up her books. "Sorry. It's my first day and my stupid brother has me running late and-" I immediately ceased my nervous babbling when I saw the uncaring look she sent my way. What was her deal?

She gave an annoyed sigh. "Whatever. Just give me my books. Some of us don't get freebies." She gave me a hard look and then quickly walked off.

After she left I huffed my annoyance. Who the hell did she think she was? Stupid bitchy brunette with her stupid curly hair!

My rant carried me all the way to my English class where, lucky for me, Mrs. Sunshine herself was. I purposely avoided eye contact as I made my way to the teacher to explain who I was and why I was late.

"Class promptness is not a suggestion, Ms. Carlin. New or not, the bell is a signal for class to begin." Wow, thanks Mrs. Darby, I thought ungratefully as I felt a blush coming to take place on my cheeks. Plenty embarrassed, I made my way to an empty seat, thankfully one that was away from her.

"Spencer Carlin?" a girl beside me whispered.

I turned surprised to see a pretty girl staring at me expectantly. I could tell she was on of the populars. "Yeah?" I asked confused, wondering why in the world some random girl was talking to me, and how she knew my name. Forget feeling flattered, it was kind of creepy.

"I'm Madison Duarte," she explained, as if that should clear things up. "I'm cheerleading captain." Ah, that clears things up. "You think you can handle King High cheerleading?" she asked challenging.

We both turned as we heard an amused snort. And who else would it be? Yep, Curly. Damn I hated when I was right.

"Something funny?" Madison spat out. I was comforted to know that I wasn't the only one who didn't think Curly was very pleasant.

"Obviously. Normally people laugh when something is funny," the nameless girl retorted. Touché, I thought.

"And normally girls like guys." Madison obviously struck gold, or at least that's what I determined from the smug look on her face. And what was that comment supposed to mean?

"And normally Syphilis can be treated. Terrible luck for you though, huh?"

I had to admit, Curly had some quick comebacks.

"Don't mind Ashley, Spencer. Plenty of jealous people attend this school. Guess she had to be like everyone in some way." Madison gave Ashley a bitchy smile and turned around, clearly satisfied.

Ashley, huh? I supposed it fit better than using her or Curly to refer to…well her.

The girl in question made a slow roll of her eyes and said, "Aw, how cute! That will make a great cheer," before giving me an appraising look and going back to her book.

Now how Mrs. Darby didn't hear their conversation or at least notice that drastic drop in temperature and increase in tension in the air, I'll never know. Somehow she didn't, but Mrs. Oblivious sure caught my distracted look and again called me out. Did she freaking have a sixth sense about me?!

Before I could find out, the bell rang and I was off to my next class; Math, much to my relief. Hey, just because I was a cheerleader didn't mean I didn't like school. Ok yeah, I was a nerd. I was just glad that Ashley and Madison weren't in my class, although I decided that Madison wouldn't be so bad, it was just when she was around Ashley. Ashley just seemed to bring out the worst in people.

My day passed without incident after that, and I was beginning to wonder- and worry- if my next days at King High would be as thrilling as this morning. I certainly couldn't claim to be bored, that was for sure.

I was at the gym to meet up with the squad and catch up with Glen. He was on the basketball team, and even though I would never ever tell him, he was very good. As if his ego needed another boost.

The actual meeting took about five minutes, but it took at least ten minutes to start because no one would shut up long enough to actually talk about cheer leading. I knew we were girls and liked to gossip and what not, but really, it was ridiculous. I got my stuff from the locker room and walked to the bleachers to sit down.

"Looks like we finished just in time," Madison said. "No getting eye raped." I was getting tired of those comments, so I knew Ashley was beyond annoyed. Although that could obviously be seen by the look on the brunette's face.

The rest of the squad laughed, rather clone-like in my opinion, and I turned to see Ashley sitting on the bleachers, wearing the same hateful look as Madison.

"Everyone else at school has seen you hot and sweaty Madison, so I figured why not me." Damn these girls were harsh.

A couple of the clones "ooo-ed" and I found myself feeling impressed. Madison, however, was not happy. She humphed and then stormed out. I shook my head at them both and walked to the bleachers to wait for Glen's practice to end.

"You here to watch sweaty guys slap each other on the ass?" Ashley asked with a quick glance in acknowledgment of my presence.

I laughed and turned, shocked that Curly, I mean Ashley, was actually talking to me in a normal volume. I shook my head. "My brother Glen plays," I said pointing to the curly blonde playing point guard.

"I'm sorry," she joked as she stared at him. "I'm Ashley by the way. Ashley Davies." She stuck out her hand.

I regarded it for a second, deciding whether her other hand concealed a knife or not. She seemed harmless enough, at least for now. "Spencer Carlin," I returned. "Nice to meet this version," I added with a smile.

She looked a little guilty. "Yeah, sorry about this morning. My mom insisted on having quality mother daughter time, which included confiscating my Ipod- she claimed she didn't know if I was listening to her or not…I wasn't- and making me late for school. Needless to say I wasn't in the best of moods."

"Were you late for the meeting?" I asked. She gave me a questioning look. "The cheerleading meeting," I elaborated.

"Ha!" she laughed loudly. "Oh, God no. No, no, no! Not even in Madison's wildest dreams." Ok, I got the point.

"Sorry, I just figured you were. I mean you seem the type."

"I'm going to assume you meant that as a compliment." Her tone held no anger, so I knew she wasn't mad. "And you- well I'm surprised you are into…this." She mimicked a cheer move, making me laugh.

"I did it back in Ohio, so I figured it would be a good way to make friends. Plus the popularity can't completely suck," I joked with a shrug, making her smile. It was definitely much better than the glare I thought was permanent.

"So, are you waiting on your brother?" Ashley casually asked.

"Yeah, he gets done at four."

"How about I give you a ride?" Ashley politely offered.

I thought about it for a moment. Ride with Ashley, who was actually turning out to be human, or Glen, who was a douche bag. "Glen," I called out, "I'm riding home with Ashley."

"Whatever," he yelled back, not even glancing my way. Prick.

"Alright, let's go, I've been here way longer than I should. Normally I leave after English, although the school apparently frowns upon that. Go figure," she shrugged. I laughed and followed her out to her car.

"Wow," was all I could manage. Did I mention she had a black Eclipse? Well she did. Brand new I might add.

"My family is pretty loaded," she answered, with out any trace of arrogance. "Apparently that makes up for seventeen years of no parenting." Ashley paused, as if considering how much she wanted to reveal to a stranger. "My dad is Raife Davies, a famous singer, and mom…well she got the luck of the draw with him. Now she wants nothing from him but child support. They're divorced," she explained unnecessarily. She gave me a look and I knew it was my turn.

"Well, my parents are still together. Dad's a counselor and Mom's a surgeon. I have two brothers, Glen and Clay. Clay was adopted when he was eight. And that's pretty much it." I realized how boring my story was in comparison to hers.

"Boyfriend?"

I shook my head. "No one serious enough to survive the move. I figure King High is a good place to start. You?" I must have imagined the questioning look that appeared on her face.

"Nope. None worthy of Ashley Davies at least," she puffed her chest out, causing me to laugh.

"Really? I'm sure the modesty is a real deal breaker," I teased, pleased at how natural this seemed.

"It's just a small part of the packaged deal." I laughed and we easily fell into conversation.

I really expected it to be awkward, considering the incident this morning and the fact that I don't even know her, but it wasn't. Ashley was very easy to talk to, and as she dropped me off at my house, I thanked her and couldn't help but smile at the brunette. I had made a friend, as second grade as that sounded.

Mom and Dad came home for dinner and asked about our day. Clay recounted how many comments he got about his clothes. By the way, Clay was black, so since he was adopted at the age of eight, he was raised white, hence the comments. Glen bragged about how he was the star on the court, which honestly, he probably was. I briefly mentioned my classes and told them about Ashley, conveniently leaving out our first encounter.

"She's smoking hot," Glen inserted. "Think she'd date me?"

I rolled my eyes. "Not even if you were the only guy left," I retorted.

"Ha, we'll see. No one can resist Glen Carlin." Insert another eye roll.

"Whatever, Glen. Point is, she's not desperate, so no."

The conversation after that was boring, and we cleared the table and did our own thing until dinner. I didn't know about every one else, but I was eagerly looking forward to going back to school. Life is always much better when you actually have something positive to look forward to. Talk about a complete 180 from this morning.

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A/N: Ok, so this is my first SON story, and definitely my first slash fic. Hopefully I don't disappoint and I do justice to Ashley and Spencer (One can only hope). Anyway, this is a work in progress but I have more chapters ready to upload. Reviews are very much appreciated :)

Also each chapter title is the name of the song that the lyrics correspond with. So for copyright purposes, and for an example, the title Drowning is the name belonging to the Backstreet Boy's lyrics I used. This is to save time from doing this every chapter. Muchas gracias and enjoy ;)

Oh yeah, one more thing. *Insert sheepish smile*. All similarities to the show are intended, as are the differences. Don't worry, my own plot shines through, I just like some of the situations and phrasings Tom Lynch uses. Obviously, why else would I write fanfiction? Rambling sorry. Enjoy!