A/N: Um. So . . . hi. *waves and dodges* I know I've been M.I.A lately and deserve to have all sorts of horrible things done to me, but I'm hoping we can let bygones be bygones as I come with a peace offering. This is a story for a friend that was supposed to be a one-shot, and then it grew and grew and grew without consulting me whatsoever, so I'm going to go ahead and post the first chapter/bit before I'm swimming in tens of thousands of words.

I'm not promising regular updates - on this, or any other story. I'm just coming with what I have, my proverbial olive branch, and promises to try and do better.

So, the premise is a bad-ass, punk Nessie, given to me by the lovely anythingzombie (formerly Zombies Run This Town), and I kind of had to snap up the challenge. I've ran with it, and now have great, slightly evil things planned and lying in wait. This is a lot different from any of my Nessies - surprise, surprise - but I've grown to love her all the same, and hope you will too.

Make sure to let me know what you think.

Damn, I sure missed you guys. :)

Disclaimer: I don't own a damn thing - not even the premise. That's from Zomb. The plot is mine though - I think. :)

Dedication: To Zomb, who inspired/requested/demanded this, and to Katie, who has guilefully and craftilly (shut up, it's a word) made me pitifully dependent on her opinion and feedback. Without either of them, this wouldn't be here - or at least not in any kind of shape worth looking at. Love you girls. :)


Freaks


if i were a monster,
would you wince when you looked at me?
and if i were a freak,
would you stare?
if i were a leper,
would you say unclean?
if i was lost,
would you help me get free?

- the almost, monster

...

It had probably been lamented about a few million times by every teenager on the continent, but high school was designed to steal your soul. If any of these people had them in the first place. It was like being in the army, with less discipline, less intelligent leaders, and much less freedom.

Do this problem. Read this book. Tell me what you think. No, not really what you think. Just tell me what I think. No? Fail.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. Might as well have been engraved on the front walk. Check your morals, opinions, and convictions at the door. New ones will be provided for you at the earliest convenience.

Yeah, well, fuck that.

Reefer behind bleachers and keg stands on Saturday nights were kids being kids, but a stripe through your hair or a ring in your lip and you were flaunting disregard for "the system".

At least in Seattle there were a few people like her. Or at least people who didn't wear football jerseys and ribbons in their hair. So far in this godforsaken place, no luck.

The scene was third round of torture, named by the establishment as Biology II. And she was supposed to do two more years of this.

Renesmee put her head down on the desk and tapped a rhythm into the wood of it with her ring. Any kind of beat to drown out the chattering that made her want to scream.

Tap. Tap. Beat. Tap. Tap. Beat.

"Am I working with you now?" She heard a male voice, thankfully post-puberty squeakage, ask. The chair screeched as he pulled it back. "What happened to Lauren? They just keep switching them on me. I guess girls don't like to hear about what goes on in animal testing centers."

What the . . . ?

Renesmee lifted her head to see a tall, Native-looking boy. She looked and he looked back. She took in the bright band shirt and tight colored jeans. She didn't really go for that, but hey, if he was brave enough to wear them around here he was better than anybody else she'd met so far.

"I mean," he said, dropping into his seat. "You'd think they'd want to know their lipstick was made out of baby kittens, but maybe that freaks some people out."

He paused and she watched him fool around with what she recognized to be a ball piercing in his tongue. Her internal radar went off.

Outsider alert, outsider alert.

He looked at her.

"You look weird," he said honestly. She didn't bother cocking an eyebrow, and took it as a compliment. His eyes roved over her - from her hair to her clothes, all the way down to her shoes. The corners of his mouth turned down and he nodded in approval - apparently she met the weird standard. "What're you doing in Forks?"

"Trying to get out," she answered honestly, finally deciding this kid was worth sitting up.

He laughed, and it sounded real. She felt a little better.

"Any luck?"

"In the last seventy-two hours?" She asked, flinching as she remembered them. Rolling into this rainy-ass place in the back of her father's Benz. "No."

"So you been here a few days already," he said, not asked. He sat back in his seat and propped his legs up on the bar under their counter. He clacked his steel ball against his teeth. "I've been on school-recommended vacation for the last week. Name's Seth."

"Renesmee," she returned, feeling the closest to non-miserable as she had since she got there three days ago.

"That's a long ass name." Well, the kid was honest. "I'm gonna have to find something else to call you."

She'd heard that before. Maybe in not such straight-forward terms, but she was ready to deal with it.

"No nicknames," she laid down. Her name wasn't the best, but it was better than any of the variations that could come out of it. And she'd heard them all. "No Ren. No May. No Mee. No Nesmay. Ruh-nez-may."

"Ren," Seth said thoughtfully, pushing his chair back on two legs easily. "I like that. I'm gonna call you Ren, I think."

"No, you're not," she corrected. "I get that we're both weird and henceforth have to stick together from here on out, but no. Seriously."

"Okay, Ren, let's get down to business here," he said, ignoring her completely. He sat up and pulled a notebook and pen from his bag. "Let me tell you exactly how they make that pretty eyeliner you've got on . . ."

And that was the most interesting thing that happened all week.


Coming up:

Renesmee smirked at the joke, but didn't feel comfortable enough to laugh in front of Mr. Number Fifty-Six. Seth knocked her shoulder with his and she grinned a little wider, but that was it.

A horn blaring from the parking lot made everybody look around. Seth jumped up. Renesmee looked in the direction of the noise to see a beat up truck pulled up in the lot.

A long-ass, muscled arm the exact tone of Seth's copper skin appeared out of the drivers side and beat on the roof.

A deep voice boomed, "Let's go!"