Author's notes: This is an AU that takes place at some indefinite amount of time towards the end of TDWT.

/

Heather was walking around the loser's resort in a grumpy mood. She had been sent there after going soft for Alejandro, who made sure to quickly get rid of her while he had the chance.

She had made the mistake of letting Alejandro's attractiveness get to her and succumbed to his charms. At first, things went well: the two of them plotted the course of the competition and occasionally made out. Heather was very pleased with this arrangement that mixed business with pleasure. That was until Alejandro stabbed her in back like she had intended (but forgotten) to do to him before giving into temptation.

As she was dealing with her own grief and anger about the subject, She saw Harold in front of her. "Hello Heather," Harold said.

"What do you want dweep?" Heather asked angrily.

"I just want to say that I'm sorry about you're losing the competition," Harold said. "I was really looking forward to seeing you get the better of that smug, dueche-hole Alejandro."

"Me too," Heather said, lowering her head in sadness, while Harold took out a rag from his pocket.

"By the way, does this rag smell like Chloroform to you?" Harold asked.

"Wha…..?" Heather said instinctively due to the randomness of his question, but was interrupted as Harold shoved the aforementioned rag into her face. A haze fell over her and she lost consciousness.

"I'll take that as a yes," Harold said as he picked up Heather's legs and began dragging her off.

/

Some time later, Heather started coming to. She tried to move, but found out that she was tied to a chair. What the hell is going on here? Heather wanted to say but was unable to because her mouth was covered with duct tape, so the question remained in her head. She looked in front of her and saw Leshawna sitting in front of her in a chair.

"Hey Heather," Leshawna said. "First off, I'm not going to kill you."

Oh thank god, Heather thought. Given the current situation, Heather was afraid that the black girl was planning to finish what she started in Germany.

"I brought you here to say that I'm sorry about what happened in Germany," Leshawna began. Heather's eyes widened in shock: somebody apologizing to her was definitely a rare occurrence, and the current circumstances made it even more peculiar.

"Don't get me wrong: I was very proud of myself for what I did at first," Leshawna continued. "And I was still proud of myself for it about a week afterward. But one day, something occurred to me: you tried to warn me about Alejandro. I figured that since you didn't like him that meant he had to be an all-right guy. That was a big screw up on my part and you paid for it. Technically, I did pay for it by getting voted off for letting Alejandro's encouragement get to me and jumping off the platform, costing my team the challenge, but I got to keep all my teeth. I feel a little guilty about that now."

"Anyway," Leshawna said, "I'm sorry. I know I said that already, but I've pretty much said everything I wanted to say. I'm going to untie you now. And to answer what I'm sure will be you're first question: yes, this was all necessary for just an apology. I came this close," she said as she held her hand up to Heather's eyes with a very small space between her thumb and index finger, "to justifying to myself that I didn't need to apologize to you because you probably deserved it in some kind of big picture way. If you took my apology as an opportunity to go into an 'I told you so' speech or chime in with some bitchy comment, I would have knocked more teeth out of your mouth, except this time I wouldn't have felt bad about it."

Leshawna stood up and began untying Heather. "Ouch," Heather said as the duct tape over her mouth was ripped off, but the momentary pain was the farthest thing from her mind. She stood up and faced Leshawna. A single tear escaped from Heather's right eye. Keep it together, keep it together, Heather told herself as she resisted the strong emotions rising within her. A few seconds later, Heather gave in and put Leshawna in a hug.

Leshawna wasn't quite sure what the deal was with Heather hugging her. She returned the hug and began thinking of what went wrong between them. They had tried to be friends after TDA after Heather stood up for the black girl, but it didn't work out. When Heather and Gwen started having their cat fights in the blogosphere, Leshawna was put in the awkward position of picking sides. She went with Gwen since the two of them had more history. Heather was not happy about that. Leshawna said she would make it up to Heather, but Heather was not interested in that and completely turned her back on Leshawna.

A few moments later, Heather ended the hug and stepped away from Leshawna. "Sorry about that," Heather said. "I don't know what came over me," she said out of a knee-jerk reaction to keep her inner most feelings towards herself, then paused and placed her hand on her forehead in frustration. "That's not true. I know exactly why I did that."

"Things have not been going my way since the end of TDA," Heather continued. "I lost all the influence I had at my High School, fans and tabloids slandering me like it's a national past time, not a single attractive guy was interested me….. you get the idea. After putting up with this for a while, I started to think that it was going to be me against the world for a very long time."

"Anyway," Heather continued, "when this season started and I occasionally did what could be considered the right thing only for it to blow up in my face spectacularly, it strengthened my opinion about no one else being on my side. I try to throw a monkey wrench into Alejandro's plans by giving you a heads-up about him; you beat the crap out of me. I have second thoughts about stabbing him in the back; he takes it as an opportunity to stab me in the back first. And then you abduct me and tell me I'm not serial killing, puppy eating, root-of-all-evil enough to deserve being getting beat up for the hell of it…. it really got to me."

"Okay," Leshawna said, not really sure what to do with this new information. "This probably isn't the best time but I've got to ask: did it ever occur to you that if your attitude is what got you into that mess, maybe it would be a good idea to turn over a new leaf?"

"Of course it did," Heather pointed out. "But if it was really me against the world, then going soft was the last thing I should do. All my haters and enemies would take the opportunity to exact painful and terrible revenge on me, so staying strong would be in my best interests."

As soon as Heather explained herself, she realized that Leshawna had a point: putting aside her own ego, apologizing for her transgressions and trying to be a decent human being might be a good way to stop the hatred against her. She'd most likely have to deal with some retribution for all she's done, but she was already getting that and it would be well worth a lasting solution.

"But if I knew there would be at least one person who wouldn't use an apology from me as a free pass to go ape shit on me," Heather began, then Leshawna held up her hand to stop her.

"I see where you're going with this," Leshawna said, "and I will not go ape shit on you, but you're going to have to apologize first."

"Of course," Heather said and took a deep breath. "I'm sorry for everything I'm done to you. I'd apologize for each specific thing, but you probably have a much better idea of what I've done to piss you off more than I do. Bring me a list of grievances later and I'll apologize for each one."

"That won't be necessary," Leshawna said. "We'll just leave it at that. Look, you want to do something sometime. Go shopping, catch a movie, stuff like that. It's going to have to wait till tomorrow though: I've got a dinner with Harold in a few hours I've got to get ready for."

"You two are going out now?" Heather asked and Leshawna nodded yes. "Let me guess: you figured that if a gorgeous and suave male specimen like Alejandro screwed you over so thoroughly, a lanky geek like Harold might be able to do right by you."

"Pretty much, yeah," Leshawna replied.

"How's that been working out for you?" Heather asked.

"Surprisingly not terrible," Leshawna said, then began walking out of the room while motioning for Heather to follow her while she started talking about all the goings on at the losers resort.

/

Author's note: I realize that in this story, it looks like Heather's only apologizing as a way to save her ass. But another way to look at it is that all the Hatred she's dealt with has intimidated her into changing. I have not been keeping up with watching TDWT, so no spoilers in the reviews please.