What's up, people? I'm back! No excuses for my lack of updating except for laziness and lack of motivation, but I've been somewhat inspired. Don't expect much romance in this chapter.

Disclaimer: I don't own Disney, the movies, or the characters.

Now, on with the story!

It was after school and teens were plowing out of Disney High –well, the ones who weren't staying after for extracurricular activities-, most of them were heading home and a few were walking to their part-time jobs.

Ariel, for example, was staying back for swim practice.

"Hey, Ari, nice backstroke," Aurora commented. She was dressed in her blue and white cheerleading uniform, a white pom-pom in each hand.

"Thanks, Rory," Ariel grinned as she climbed up the ladder and out of the pool. Water dripped onto the tile floor as she made her way toward the blonde. "Why aren't you at cheer practice?"

"Well, Maleficent's running a bit late. I'm not complaining," she grinned.

Ariel couldn't help smiling. Maleficent was as tough as they came, perfect was never perfect for her and apparently there was no such thing as too much practice. "Well, you better get back before her "majesty" arrives and sees that you aren't in the gym."

Aurora blew a strand of hair out of her face. "I suppose you're right." She turned to leave, but stopped mid-step and looked over her shoulder. "Don't stay in the water too long, you might end up turning into a fish."

"Hey, my dad's a marine doctor, what do I have to worry about?" Ariel joked.

Aurora smiled to herself as she left, heading out the fence door and into the back entrance of the school.

Ariel turned and headed to the diving board. She got into a diving stance and jumped off. The water engulfed her and she welcomed the otherworldly feeling of the H2O.

"Cinderella, aren't you finished yet?"

"I want my homework done sometime today, Cinderella."

"Don't forget my book report."

"Remember, I need the work shown."

Cinderella just got home from school and she was ready to tear her hair out. Cinderella this and Cinderella that, couldn't they say anything else?

She sighed, placing a hand to her forehead. It looks like I'll have to ask Belle for her homework . . . again.

As she thought about who's work to do first –Anastasia's book report or Drizella's Physic homework- she was pulled into the conversation that floated into her room from downstairs.

"Did you see him? He is so gorgeous."

"Yeah and he is so mine."

"Yours? Don't make me laugh, as if you'd ever have a chance with Charming."

"I have just as good a chance as you do, Drizella. Maybe even more, I mean, I am the pretty sister after all."

"Pretty? You? Ha! That's a laugh."

At this point, Cinderella tuned them out and started on Anastasia's book report. As she absentmindedly began summarizing the plot and characters of "The Grapes of Wrath," her thoughts began to take a turn toward the topic of Charming.

Just like most of the boys –and few girls- at Disney High, he was rich. His father owned a well-known company that dealt with little bit of everything –real estate, technology, etc.-

Cinderella couldn't help thinking that there was something about Charming that was . . . real and down to Earth. Of course, she may have had her eye on him, but what girl didn't?

She sighed softly. It didn't matter. There was no way he would ever notice someone like her. It was like he was the Prince and she was a lowly peasant girl, but unlike most fairytales –where the Prince swept the peasant off her feet and they rode off together in the sunset- this one wasn't going to have a happy ending.

Or so she thought. . . .

Belle pushed the cart down the aisle and stacked book after book along the shelves. As she did so, her eyes glanced at the back of a few. Most of them caught her interest, but she couldn't get into them. She was working.

She had gotten a part-time job at the library a few months back, to help her father with the bills and rent. He had protested quite a bit, but she insisted. Although the job didn't pay much, every penny counted.

"Um, excuse me?" she turned and was startled to see Adam staring at her, an impatient look on his face. "Where's the biography section?"

"Um, I think they moved it to the back of the library," she stammered.

"You think?" he asked, scornfully. "You mean you don't know?"

"Just go look," she snapped. "And if I'm wrong, go ask someone else, like, I don't know . . . the lady at the front desk?" She was surprised at how steady her voice came out as well as spiteful. She didn't normally lose her temper, but he made her mad.

She was beginning to see what Cinderella meant earlier.

Adam looked taken aback as well. Not use to being told off I see, Belle thought as she turned to place a book on the shelf. "They moved everything around and I'm not entirely sure where everything is at the moment," she said, quietly. "I suggest asking Flora. She's at the front desk."

"Um . . . o-okay, thanks," Adam said after thawing out of his stunned silence. He was about to leave, when he stopped suddenly. "Hey, have we met?" he asked.

"I go to your school," she replied.

"Oh . . . cool, so I'll see you around . . ."

"Belle," she offered.

"Belle," he nodded with a thoughtful expression on his face. "It means 'beauty'. I can see why."

Belle felt herself blush at his remark. He smirked at her reaction before walking off. Leaning against the cart, Belle sighed in confusion, her face flushed.

What just happened?

She sighed again. She had a feeling she'd be hearing from Adam sooner than expected. This would've secretly pleased her a moment before, but now . . . she wasn't so sure.

Mulan tipped her board back and skidded to a stop. She glanced around the skate park, but couldn't find Shang anywhere. She sighed dejectedly.

He didn't answer his cell and when she attempted to call his home phone, his dad had answered and said he wasn't home –which she suspected was a lie. He wasn't at the arcade or the skate park either.

Why is that jerk avoiding me? She thought, suddenly angry. What'd I ever do to him?

She huffed and kicked at the sidewalk. She hung out with guys most of her life and she still didn't get them.

Mounting her board, she pushed off with her left foot and headed home.

"Mulan," her mother called from the kitchen. "Is that you?"

"Yeah, it's me," Mulan replied.

"You got a call," Fa Li said. Mulan's hopes grew, but were quickly dashed as her mother continued. "It was from Yao."

"Alright, thanks," Mulan said as she headed upstairs. Not all of her hope was diminished, it had been a while since she had seen or talked to Yao as well. The only difference between Yao and Shang was that Yao had an actual reason for the lack of communication.

He was on the wrestling team and was usually working out. He didn't just vanish off of the face of the Earth.

She redialed his number and placed the phone between her ear and shoulder. He picked up on the first ring. "I actually have some time to call you and you aren't home? What's up, Mulan? You make some new friends behind my back?"

Mulan rolled her eyes and chuckled. "Believe it or not, I did. But don't worry, she's a girl and no one could replace you."

There was a pause. "Did you just say you made friends with a girl? An actual girl, not just someone like you?"

"Well, she's not all gossipy, but she's as girly as they come . . . and what did you mean by 'actual' girl?" she questioned and then sighed. "Never mind, have you heard from Shang lately?"

"Yeah, just yesterday. Why do you ask?"

"He's been avoiding me," Mulan explained. "Well, okay, at first I wasn't sure if he was avoiding just me, but your reply just confirmed it."

"Huh, it's probably nothing," Yao said, casually. "I wouldn't worry about it too much, he'll come around."

"I guess," she muttered.

"Hey, I gotta' go. I'm kind of on a schedule here . . ."

"Say no more. Thanks for calling," Mulan said, sincerely.

"Hey, don't get mushy on me. It's no problem. Later," there was a click as the phone was hung up.

Mulan placed the phone on the receiver and flopped onto her bed. There was something about Yao's reaction. He knew more than he was letting on. She sighed and closed her eyes.

Why did guys have to be so secretive?