A/N: Next to Normal….or just, Normal? What happens when Gabe lives when a doctor miraculously cures his intestinal obstruction. Yes, some events are changed around, and don't follow the exact sequence of the show…bear with me! Short first chapter...please review?

Natalie heard chatter downstairs. She glanced over at her clock…three thirty am. Gabe's home, she thought. She heard him trudge up the steps, passing her closed bedroom door before firmly shutting his own. If that were me, she thought, Dad would be flipping a shit, and Mom would be right there with him. It was that awkward few months where they were only a year apart. Gabe didn't turn eighteen for a few more weeks, so as far as Natalie was concerned, they were only a year apart. Yet, he was still granted twice as much independence as she. Whatever. She took another gulp of Red Bull and got back to calculus.

"Morning, sunshine" Gabe sarcastically smirked at Natalie, who had clearly been up all night had bags under her eyes, multiple textbooks in hand and what was probably her 6th Red Bull. "Shut up," she responded, rolling her eyes. She set her stuff on the table and started packing her bag as her mom walked into the kitchen. "Good morning!" she chirped, fluttering over to each of her children and planting a kiss on their cheeks. She started pouring cereal and making lunches when Dan, dressed and ready for work, came downstairs. "Mom," Natalie started "I have a piano recital coming up, you guys can come right?" "Of course!" Diana answered, she took the pen from her daughters hand, marking the date for next Saturday. Natalie and Gabe sat bickering at the kitchen table, on the verge of a cereal throwing fight when they heard the undesirable sound of lunch meats slapping the linoleum floor. They turned their heads around to see their mom on the floor, along with a loaf of bread, turkey and lettuce. "Di- you okay?" Dan said, helping his wife up from the ground, "I'm just making sandwiches… on the floor." She joked, starting to pick up the bread. "I tripped, carrying the lunch stuff over to the counter…Gabe, what did I say about leaving your stuff on the ground, I'm tripping over your bag constantly!" "Do you need help cleaning anything up?" Gabe said, his charming smile meeting his mother. "No, I'll help," said Dan. "Go ahead kids, you'll miss your bus."

Natalie lived near school, so her bus often dropped her off up to 30 minutes before homeroom began. Instead of spending that time staring at herself in her locker mirror, she usually slipped away to the music wing to practice; the one place where she could forget about school, life, and worst of all, her demonically perfect brother. Over and over her fingers danced in the same pattern. She played each note perfectly and seemed graceful and poised until she accidently tapped one key over. "SHIT!" she slammed down on the keyboard. So much for that. She exhaled and started again but stopped after she heard footsteps, whipping her head around, she was not surprised to see none other than Henry leaning against the door frame. "Sounds good" he smirked "Shut up" she smiled. She got up to greet him with a hug, and walk to class, hand in hand.