A/N: Here's my first try at a Hamilton/Sinead story. It's going to be a multi-chapter. Hope you enjoy!

Mary-Anne Carlisle had to be the single nosiest person Sinead Starling had ever met.

First, there was, "Hi, what's your name?" Quickly followed by, "Where did you move here from?" And then, "Why did you have to move?" Succeeded by, "Surgeries? What's wrong with your brothers?" and finally, "Oh, that's too bad. Well, do you like it here so far, Sinead?"

That was only within a minute or so of meeting the girl, and Sinead was already a bit annoyed with her. But Mary-Anne knew her way around the school and offered to give her a quick tour. She accepted, and the girl showed her how to find the library, the cafeteria, and the principal's office ("Not that you'll have to go there, I hope," she remarked. "You don't get in trouble much, do you, Sinead?")

"And this is Milwaukee High's gym," Mary-Anne said. "Don't you think it's huge?"

Sinead was too busy looking around to nod. The gymnasium at her new school was full of activity. In one corner, six or seven girls were hitting a volleyball around, and games of foursquare and badminton were going on side by side. In the center of the gym, a swarm of boys were playing basketball, and some students were setting up a soccer goal near the spot where Mary-Anne and Sinead stood.

Sinead was watching one of the kids bouncing a soccer ball on his knee and barely heard Mary-Anne's cry of, "Sinead, look out!"

Before the words had time to register in her mind, someone slammed into her from behind, knocking her to the ground and falling right on top of her. A basketball nearly hit Sinead's head as it bounced across the gym floor, with several boys chasing after it.

"Sorry," the boy who had collided with her said in a quiet yet familiar voice.

As the two disentangled themselves, Mary-Anne stood over them, one hand on her hip as she snapped, "Watch it! Are you trying to kill our new student, Holt?"

Sinead, who had just gotten to her feet, froze. "Holt?" she echoed.

The boy turned to look at her. Yep, it was Hamilton Holt. He looked just as she remembered him, even down to the spiked blonde hair.

"Sinead," Hamilton said in surprise. "I sure didn't expect to see you here."

"Well, I didn't expect to come here, either. You see, my brothers had to come here so they could…"

The loud ringing of a bell cut off Sinead's explanation. Mary-Anne grabbed her by the arm and began tugging her away. "Come on. That was the five minute warning bell. You don't want to be late, do you?"

Sinead looked back and shrugged helplessly at Hamilton. "Um, talk to you later?"

He waved. "See you."

And once Sinead had been pulled out of the gym, Mary-Anne fired another barrage of questions at her, beginning with, "How do you know Hamilton Holt?"

By the time fifth period rolled around, Sinead was thoroughly sigh of Mary-Anne Carlisle. But again, she knew her way around, whereas Sinead didn't. So she let the girl escort her to her honors math class (which Mary-Anne had so kindly offered to do before going on to her own debate class).

"Ah, you must be our new student, Sinead Starling," the teacher, a fat, half-bald man with a mustache, said, looking up from his seating chart at her. "Here, Miss Starling, your seat is in the back of the class and to the far right, behind Peter Patterson and next to Tiffani Perkins."

As Sinead made her way to the only empty seat in the room- behind a dark-haired, thin boy and beside a girl with bleached blonde hair with too-dark makeup- she spotted, for the second time that day, a very familiar face. Sitting in front of the girl called Tiffani was Hamilton, turned around in his seat to talk to the Peter boy. When he saw Sinead, he quickly ended that conversation.

"Hey, you're in this class now?"

Sinead scoffed. "Well, yeah. It is an honors class…. Which brings me to a question of my own: what are you doing in such a hard class, Holt?"

Hamilton made a face. "I've got to take at least one honors class to stay on the football team. I think it's stupid."

"All right, class," the stocky math teacher said, standing up from his rolling chair. "Take out last night's homework, please."

Hamilton was one of the several students who groaned and fished out unfinished papers from their binders. "I hate this class," he muttered, mostly to himself. "Who actually cares what 'X' equals?"

Sinead rolled her eyes, peering over at Tiffani Perkins' homework paper. Was this what Hamilton was complaining about? This was easy work!

When math class was over for the day, the teacher, Mr. Katswell, called Hamilton up to his desk. Sinead pretended to take an extra-long time packing up her things in order to eavesdrop.

"This is the fourth test you've failed in a row!" Mr. Katswell exclaimed, holding up a paper full of red pen marks. "If this keeps up, Mr. Holt, you're going to fail my class, and you won't be able to play on the football team anymore."

Hamilton's face fell. "I don't get it," he said. "No matter how much you explain it, I just don't get it!"

"What don't you get?" muttered Sinead, annoyed at stupidity that was so characteristic of an idiotic Tomas. "It's so simple!"

Both Hamilton and Mr. Katswell turned to look at her. Sinead paled; apparently, she had said that more loudly than she had meant to.

The math teacher cleared his throat. "Well, if it is so easy for you, Miss Starling, why don't you try to tutor Mr. Holt?"

"But…!" Sinead and Hamilton both began in horror.

Mr. Katswell gave them both a look that said, "I mean it." Knowing not to argue, the two Cahills left the classroom.

"This stinks," grumbled Hamilton.

"You're telling me," Sinead said. "I'm the one who's having to tutor an idiot mouth breather like you!"

"Well, I'm the one stuck being tutored by an annoying, stuck-up snob like you!" he shot back.

Without another word, Sinead tossed her auburn hair, pivoted around, and stormed away, thinking, What a loser! I hope he honestly doesn't think I'd be caught dead tutoring him!

Unfortunately, Sinead had no real choice when it came to tutoring Hamilton, because he rode her bus and decided to follow her home. As she got off the bus in front of her new house- thinking about how she was going to call the hospital and ask Ned and Ted how many more days they thought the doctors would keep them there before they could come back home- Hamilton exited the bus with her.

She whirled around to stare him down. "Why are you stalking me?"

Hamilton glared back. "Trust me, I wouldn't stalk you if you paid me! I just can't afford to fail math, and Mr. Katswell said you had to tutor me."

Ugh, why did I have to open my big, fat mouth? Sinead heaved a sigh of exasperation. "Fine, I'll tutor you. But you'd better listen and listen good, because the sooner you learn this, the sooner I don't have to hang out with you anymore. And I don't want to hang out with you, because it'll be bad for my reputation."

"How could hanging out with the school's best football player be bad for…?" he began.

"Oh, don't start with me. Just get your butt inside before anyone I know sees us."

"I'd rather be playing Halo," complained Hamilton approximately five minutes after Sinead had first cracked open the math book.

"And I'd rather be doing anything else but tutoring you," she shot back, "But I am, so let's just get this over with. Now, 'X' is really just a letter that represents the number that you're trying to find. For example…"

"Sinead, hey! Wait up!"

Sinead stopped where she stood in the middle of the hallway and waited for Mary-Anne to catch up to her, muffling a groan. Seriously, it was only 7:39 in the morning, and that busybody was already coming over to pester her again. Nevertheless, in the spirit of politeness, she offered a half-hearted, "Hey. What's up?"

"OMG, Sinead! Why didn't you tell me you were dating Hamilton Holt?"

Sinead froze. "What?"

"Well, I was talking to Tiffani Perkins while I was walking home yesterday, and she said that you two kept looking over at each other and that you volunteered to tutor him in math. And then, like, not more than two seconds later, we see the two of you getting off the bus and going into your house!" Mary-Anne finally had to stop for breath, giving Sinead a chance to reply.

"We are not dating, Mary-Anne! Mr. Katswell is forcing me to tutor that lost cause!"

"Oh? 'Cause that's not what I hear," Mary-Anne said with a wink.

Sinead reddened, both from anger and the total humiliation. "That… That's so stupid! And FYI, there's no way on Earth I would ever date him!"

"Uh-huh. Sure. Well, I'll leave you alone now so you can go hang out with your boyfriend now, Sinead. Catch you later!" And she was off.

Sinead looked daggers at Mary-Anne Carlisle's retreating form. That's it! I don't care what Mr. Katswell says- I'm not wasting another second of my life tutoring Hamilton Holt! I'm throwing in the towel! I'm going to give up! This is just going to do too much damage to my reputation, having people thing I'm dating that meathead! I won't do it!

And she flounced away to break the news to Hamilton.

Hamilton was having a bad day.

No, that was an understatement. As much as he hated to quote an old children's book he'd been read in, like, kindergarten or something, he was having a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."

As soon as he had gotten to school, his football coach had found him, taken him off to the side, and told him, "Listen, Holt, I hear you're failing math. Now, you know you'll get kicked off the team if you fail that class, right?"

Hamilton nodded mutely.

"All right, then. So you're gonna pull that grade up, right?"

"Right, coach," he said, but his voice cracked a bit at the end. He didn't want to get kicked off the football team, but right now, his chances of passing an honors math class were at about zero. Even after Sinead had spent over an hour trying (rather impatiently) to explain things to him, he was still confused about math. There was no way he could ever pass that class….

No, I can't say that, he told himself. A Holt never gives up!

Just then, he ran into Sinead- thankfully, not literally this time. She looked furious.

"Holt," she said, "I'm not trying to bail out on you or anything, but I won't be able to tutor you anymore."

"What?" Hamilton exclaimed. "Why not? Mr. Katswell said…"

Sinead looked stubborn. "I don't care what he says, I won't do it! Mary-Anne Carlisle already saw the two of us getting off the bus yesterday, and soon, it's going to be, like, all over the school! Just imagine what that's going to do to my image! I can't tutor you anymore."

"But…!" he began.

She cut him off. "I'm sorry, Hamilton, but I just can't do it. I can't have people thinking things like that!"

"But Sinead…" Hamilton took a long, deep breath. "Coach Anderson told me a couple minutes ago that if I can't pull my grades up, I'm gonna get kicked off the team. And I have to stay on the team!"

Sinead was tempted, just for a moment, to give in. Hamilton looked so depressed and hopeless that she almost wanted to help him, no matter how people would talk. But she reminded herself that she could not handle that blow to her reputation, whatever sad look he might be giving her.

"Not going to happen, Holt."

Hamilton paused. "Is this about the library explosion?"

Sinead paused, her breath catching in her throat as her fingers unconsciously trailed their way up her faintly scarred arms. There it was again, replaying in her mind- the explosion, her unheard screams.

When she returned to Earth, Hamilton was staring at her in concern. "You okay?"

She nodded uncertainly. "I'm fine…. And no, it's not about that. I just can't deal with the rumors."


That was all he said. Just one word. But that one word, a word that sounded unfamiliar, almost foreign, coming out of a Holt's mouth, caused Sinead to waver and, finally, to surrender.

"Ugh, fine. I'll do it. Just… You'd better learn fast, got that?"

Hamilton nodded. "I'll try to."

And that was how Sinead Starling began tutoring a Holt.

A/N: I hope you liked this so far! Reviews and CC would be welcome!

Peace out, suckas!