AN: This is my second SON attempt. It is going to be fairly dark in comparison to my first just as a heads up. I hope you like it, and I will do my best to update within a reasonable time frame. Oh, and I own nothing belonging to South of Nowhere. Reviews are appreciated.

"Now remember Spence, if you need anything at all today…"

"Remind me one more time and Glen I swear to give you a swift kick to the shins."

Clay smirks at his siblings, "Why don't we leave the office and get to class? I don't think being late is a good way to start off at a new school."

"Sounds like a plan," Spencer says relieved. Her brothers have not left her side since entering the building, and while understanding and appreciating it, it still gets annoying.

Both Carlin boys step forward to hug their sister and both Carlin boys stop when she tenses. They don't say anything; they just accept her apologetic smile and give smiles of their own. She doesn't say anymore, choosing to leave the office and get this day over with as quickly as possible. Glen and Clay fight the urge to follow her to her classroom door, instead going their separate ways as they start their first day at King High. As they truly start their lives in California. As they start trying to move on from Ohio.

"Ashley Davies. Why am I not surprised?" Mrs. Snyder asks as the brunette enters the office.

"Depends on what you are not surprised about," Ashley says with a cheeky grin.

"You are lucky I like you for some reason. And that Principal Bell doesn't leave his office very often," the secretary says while writing an excused tardy slip.

"I am aware of how lucky I am, and I promise not to abuse my luck. Too much."

"So what's the real reason this time?"

Ashley slips off her glasses and squints blood-shot eyes at the artificial lighting, "Mommy dearest and I had another fight last night."

Mrs. Snyder nods her head, needing no further explanation after knowing the Davies girl for three years. "Here's your slip, now get to class. This is your senior year, and I am not going to keep helping you slack off."

Ashley flashes her famous smile and walks backwards out of the office, "I'll see you later."

"English first period. I shouldn't be surprised," Spencer mutters to herself while standing outside the door. She failed her brother and didn't make it through the door before the bell rang, but she wasn't that concerned.

"Interesting, I never thought about trying to learn through a door before. How's it working for you?"

Spencer whirls around and takes half a step back, "Huh?"

The brunette smirks, "I asked if you are able to learn by standing this side of the classroom. If it works, it would make my life more enjoyable. Mrs. Griffith is a bit of a bitch."

Spencer manages a smile that doesn't reach her eyes, "Oh, yeah, uh, first day jitters."

"I thought so, but I wasn't sure. This is a big school and I am not known for attendance. Or for being particularly aware of my surroundings," the girl smiles, "I'm Ashley."


"Nice to meet you," she responds with her most flirty smile. "Now, if you wanna chill out in the hall, be my guest, but Mrs. Snyder will kill me if I skip class again."

Spencer frowns, "Isn't that the secretary?"

"You would be correct." Ashley shrugs, "Her and I have an understanding."

Spencer wanted to ask more but held back. Instead she turned around and placed her shaking hand on the doorknob.

"You weren't kidding about those first day jitters," Ashley chuckled.

Spencer shrugged meekly, "Yeah, well, this school is a little bigger than my last one."

The brunette just nodded her head and waited for the new girl to open the door. Although she would be perfectly fine standing out in the hall with the attractive blonde talking a while longer, she wasn't kidding when she said Snyder would kill her for skipping class again.

Spencer finally opens the door to English 12 ten minutes late. All eyes turn to her and she started to second guess waiting in the hall for so long. Ashley sauntered in behind her and placed her tardy slip on the teacher's desk then proceeded to her seat without a word.

"You would be Carlin?" Mrs. Griffith said in her smoker's voice.

"Yes. I'm Spencer," the Ohio native says timidly.

"I was wondering when you were going to show up. You lucked out by being late though, I was going to have to introduce yourself, but seeing as how we are in the middle of the lesson now you can just take an open seat. If you care about catching up you will pick the one next to Chelsea," a pretty black girl smiles and points to herself.

Spencer nods her head and takes the available seat. She notices Ashley watching her from the back row and chooses to ignore the subtle hint to the empty desk next to the brunette.

"Now that the excitement is over, we will be continuing our discussion of Lord of the Flies. Now, can anyone tell me who the character Simon represents?"

A couple of hands flew up while Chelsea turned, "Have you read this?"
"Uh, yeah, but not for class."

"A reader for fun, I didn't know they still existed. Well, we just finished it today, which means we will discuss it and then she will give out a writing assignment at the end of the class and it will be due in two days. Usually she gives us something like, write a diary entry from so-an-so's point of view during such-and-such event. It isn't too bad and typically only a page long."

"Doesn't sound so bad," Spencer agreed.

"Those were all fine answers, but they were all wrong," Mrs. Griffith said, "Simon represents Jesus. He is the moral…"

Spencer tuned out and stared blankly at the chalkboard. She really didn't really feel like hearing about Jesus right now, even if it was from a literary stand-point. As far as she's concerned Jesus is a myth. If her mother knew that's what the older woman would flip. It's really funny how differently people respond to the same event. Her faith was destroyed while her mother's intensified.

Ashley kept her eyes on the new blonde for most of the class. She was attracted to the girl to say the least. It had been a while since she had fresh-meat at school and was looking forward to the task of seduction. She got a little bit of a hit on her gaydar out in the hall, which is all the opening she needs.

Class ends, and like Chelsea said there was a writing assignment involved. Write one page from Ralph's point of view after Piggy dies. Nothing too complicated and Spencer assured her teacher she would be able to get it done and wouldn't need an alternative assignment. She looked at her schedule closely for the first time as she stood in the hallway, "Spanish, Government…" the paper was suddenly out of her hand and in that of Ashley's.

"Lucky me, we have PE and Psych together too," she gave another flirty smile and took a little step closer to the blonde, frowning when the blonde immediately stepped back looking cornered.

"Umm, cool, I will see you then," and with that Spencer was hurrying down the hall in what she hoped was the right direction. Ashley just stood there, baffled by what just happened.

The next two hours drug by for Spencer, and yet she would have been ok with them taking longer. Her next class is PE, and she has no desire to attend. She considers pretending to be lost and arriving so late she doesn't have to dress out, but doesn't want to draw the attention to herself of showing up late again. And skipping altogether will get back to her parents, which would not be of the good. So she trudges down the hall to the gym, bag of clothes tossed over her shoulder.

Ashley immediately noticed when the Ohio girl entered the locker room and made her way over, "You made it."

Spencer jumped a little and turned her back to the brunette while she took her clothes out of her bag, "Yeah." She didn't say anything else, just walked to a stall and locked the door to change in private. Ashley frowns again and walks over to her best friend.

"Hey slut."


Ashley smiles and sits next to the Latina, "Have you seen the new girl?"

"No, and I don't like that look on your face. You couldn't have known this girl for more than five minutes and already you want to fuck her."

"Madison! It is called making love."

Madison rolls her green eyes and starts to leave the locker room, "Really Ash, keep it in your pants."

"But what fun would that be?"

"How about it would drastically decrease your chance of getting an STD? Seriously chica, you are lucky with as many partners as you've had."

Ashley rolls her eyes at the familiar argument and starts stretching as she spots Spencer entering the gym, making sure to put extra emphasis on her…assets. But the blonde doesn't even notice and Ashley feels like pouting. Flirting is not supposed to be this hard. She hears Madison chuckling beside her and shoots a dirty look before the gym teacher starts yelling like a drill sergeant what's in store for the day. Circuits. Joy.

When the coach finally blows the whistle at the end of the period Spencer feels like she is going to pass out. She takes comfort in noticing she isn't the only one looking beaten down and contemplates crawling to the locker room. She sees Ashley out of the corner of her eye coming over to her, jogging which helps Spencer make up her mind that she really doesn't like the brunette.

"I'm sure that was just the first day of PE you wanted to have."

"Oh yeah, it was perfect in so many ways," Spencer replies sarcastically without making eye-contact.

Ashley smiles a little, "I wouldn't go that far, but today was better than last class."

Spencer looked panicked, "Today wasn't as bad as yesterday?"

"We ran more today than we normally do, it must be that time for Mrs. Crabtree. I meant today was better 'cause I had you to distract me."

Spencer fidgets uncomfortably, "Oh. I'm just gonna change."

Madison comes up behind Ashley, "I think you've lost your touch."

Ashley scowls, "I haven't lost anything, she's just…I don't know, immune."

"Maybe you need to reboot your gaydar?"

"It's not that either. Now come on, we're gonna be late for Pre-Calc, and we need to make sure we get seats near Kyla. Last class I made it to there was a pop quiz and I wasn't sitting by anyone smart."

"You could try studying, or, making it to class more often so you don't have to cheat off your sister all the time."

"Madison, you're funny."

Lunch rolls around and Spencer refuses to admit she's glad her parents were able to convince the school to make sure she had the same lunch time as her brothers. She would probably be bringing her tray into the bathroom if they didn't. Instead she sits between her brothers at a lunch table with some jock, his girlfriend, Madison and none other than Ashley. She tries to hide as best she can, listening to Glen and the jock talk about basketball. She is pretty sure that any second now they are going to challenge each other to a duel.

"Good to know Aiden isn't the only guy incapable of interesting conversation," his girlfriend says with a smile.

The comment was directed at Spencer, but Clay responded, "My brother is only capable of sustaining a conversation if it is about basketball, girls, and himself."

"I am sitting right next to you man," Glen whines while throwing a French fry.

Chuckles are heard around the table before Ashley asks, "So you are all siblings?"

Clay nods his head, expecting this question, "I was adopted when I was eight, I'm a Carlin."

"Unfortunately. And Spence and I are twins, obviously not identical seeing as how I am the better looking one."

Spencer throws a french fry of her own while Ashley speaks up, "I would have to disagree with you on that one."

"Forgive my sister, she is a habitual flirt, even when it isn't welcome," the girlfriend tells Spencer when she sees how uncomfortable she looks.

"Kyla, I am not a … ok so I may flirt a bit," Ashley concedes when her friends all look at her in disbelief.

"Don't worry about it," Glen covers, "Spence is just a little on the shy side."

"No kidding," Ashley mumbles, earning an elbow to the gut from Madison.

The bell rings and in near unison the courtyard grabs their trays and trudges away to class. Clay and Glen hang back a second, wanting a private word with their sister.

"How are you doing?"

"I'm fine guys," Spencer says with the best smile she can muster.

"If you need to leave early, mom and dad said that would be fine," Clay reminded her.

"Really guys, I can make it seven hours without falling apart." They nod their heads and flank her as they deposit their trays and leave for class.

Spencer enters her last class of the day feeling exhausted, and the feeling intensifies when she spots a familiar brunette sitting in the corner with an empty desk beside her. The only empty desk to be exact. "I need to get these halls down so I can quit being the last one to class," she mutters while making her way over.

"I remembered we had this class together so thought I would save you a seat."

Spencer almost feels like laughing at the pride in Ashley's voice, "Thanks."

"So what made you decide on psych? I'm taking it in the hopes of being able to fuck with my shrink," Ashley whispers with a grin.

"You have a shrink too?" Spencer asks before she can stop herself.


Spencer looks away and pretends to be focused on their teacher. Ashley lets it go with a shrug; some people don't like admitting they go to a therapist. She notices that Spencer takes diligent notes and decides to make sure she doesn't push the girl away so she can have something to study come test time. When the bell rings to signal the day's end Ashley notices Spencer isn't in the traditional rush to get out of school as fast as possible. Instead she seems to be taking her time.

"Not in a hurry?"

"Oh, um, why deal with the crowds of people if you don't have to? Glen has basketball practice and Clay has some club for the intelligent, so…" she finishes with a shrug.

Ashley grins at the opportunity, "I could give you a ride home."

Spencer immediately shakes her head no, "Thanks, but I really need to wait for Glen."

Ashley uses her most seductive voice, "Come on, I could show you La La Land. It would be fun."

Spencer shakes her head again, this time more vigorously, "I can't." She makes her way out of the class but pauses in the doorway, "But thanks."

Ashley frowns for what she feels is the thousandth time that day. Shy didn't seem cover it.