(Author's Note: Hello! Just some quick notes. This first chapter is meant to serve as a quick intro/slight back-story for the OC of this story. Later chapters will reveal more, of course. Also, I have no plans on turning this into an OC/Canon character romance story. For now I just want to write and see where it goes.)

In a tiny suburb, a family was getting ready to make a big change.

"All right Melissa, are you ready to go?" a woman asked a seventeen year old girl as she packed a bag into the trunk of a van.

"As ready as I can be," Melissa replied, shouldering her backpack and taking one last look at their house. She remembered growing up here. Losing her first tooth while playing basketball in the driveway (and getting a bloody nose in the process). Getting her favorite Christmas gift (a boogie man plush that she still had) and afterwards staring up into the light under the fake tree. Having her first kiss in front of the garage so her mother wouldn't peek out of the window and see. Now she had to leave this house behind, right in the last year she can claim as her childhood.

Fred walked by at that moment carrying more bags. He glanced at Melissa, a glance she recognized as meaning, 'Why are you wearing that shirt, AGAIN?!' She'd like to respond, 'To annoy you,' but she really just liked it. It was an odd number; tan muslin fabric with no cleavage, and something that resembled sleeves but just looked like feathery fur at the shoulders. It's a rather tacky thing, but it was her favorite among the shirts she had made. It stood out, it was unique, it only went with black pants (which she always wore anyway).

Instead, all Fred said was, "Hey, did you make your breakfast bars?"

"Yeah," Melissa nodded, not looking at him, "I figured they'd be good for the long ride."

Fred ruffed her hair, smiling as she gave him a glare, "Great to hear, you make the best snack food. Though you make the best food period!" Seeing that she was still annoyed, Fred turned to the older woman, "Melanie, are we all set to go?"

"Yes, let's just do a double check," Melanie said, then looked around, "Where's Delaney?"

"Bathroom," Melissa said.

"Well, make sure she has all her personal things as well," Fred said.

Melissa sighed and went back inside the front door. Taking a sharp right and the second door to the left, she immediately saw her half-sister trying to put on make up. She laughed, "What do you think you're doing?"

"Gettin' weady fo' de big twip!" Delaney said with a big lopsided smiled thanked to the messy lipstick job.

Melissa laughed again and walked in, helping her sister get cleaned up, "You don't have to do that Dell. We're moving, not going to Prince Charming's ball."

"Cause Daddy got a twansfer," Delaney repeated what their mother had said.

"Yeah... that's exactly right," Melissa finished cleaning her and turned her to the mirror, "See? You look pretty just as yourself."

She took a moment to notice the startling differences between them. Aside from ages, Delaney was the picturesque short curly hair, blue eyes, chubby faced angel, dressed all in blue, and except for being cute, looked so much like her dad. Melissa, on the other hand, took a lot from her mother. Her hair was brown, and constantly messy despite being long, her eyes a similar brown. Her build was thin, and her dark clothes didn't hide this. Melissa was sure one day Delaney would grow out of her fat and be a very curvy girl.

She was broken out of her reverie by Delaney's voice, "Mel! I haff somethin' fow you." She walked over to her princess backpack and pulled out something small. She turned to Melissa, "Hold out youw hand."

Melissa smiled and complied. Delaney dropped the item in her hand, and Melissa saw it was a simple little amber necklace shaped like a heart. It was hung on a thin metal chain.

"I fownd it on the gwound at sc'ool," Delaney explained, "I know you'we upset abou' movin', but I think it'll be nice."

Melissa smiled again and hugged her sister, "Thanks Delaney."

Melanie's voice rang out, "Melissa, Delaney, come on, we're going."

In the car, Melissa was already beginning to feel melancholy again. Mostly because Melanie and Fred were fighting while Fred was driving, and these fight were often tedious to sit through. She took care of Delaney by getting out a DVD player and giving her headphones. She popped in a Disney movie from the bag and soon was zoned out. Melissa wished to do the same, so she lay down, covered herself with a black fleece jacket, and within no time was able to tune them out and fall fast asleep. As she did she wished and wished she could be anywhere else, or even someone else...

{ Collodi, Tuscany, Italy, 1881 }

A certain cricket was making his way through the village, trying to find a good place to stay for the night. This seemed like a rather nice town, though you can't be too careful.

He jumped from lamppost to lamppost, barrel to barrel, trying to keep off the streets as much as possible. In the dark, it was harder to see just what was around him, and what could step on him. But at one point, something made him stop.

He turned around and looked down the edge of the barrel he was on. There was a small figure about his size down on the street, lying unconscious. He jumped down, and saw it was a lady cricket. He walked up and bent down to the figure, "Um, miss, are you OK?" He shook her a bit, "Hey, wake up."

Melissa wasn't sure why she was being shaken all of a sudden, but she wasn't happy about it. She opened her eyes and was prepared to give whoever it was a piece of her mind, until she came face to face with Jiminy Cricket.