I don't own Virals or anything associated with it.

This is my first Virals fanfic, and I hope you like it. Just so you know, I'm currently waiting to read Seizure. So it won't include anything that has to do with it.

Here we go!

Chapter 1

Tory POV

'No…no, this can't be happening…' I was in temporary shock after the news of my old friend Ciarra…I couldn't believe she was dead.


I was sitting at my desk, web surfing, about surfing. I hadn't done it in a while. (Yes she knows how to surf.)

"Tory?" Kit's voice called, "You in there?" My dad came in with an anxious expression. "I've got some bad news," I signaled for him to continue. "I got a call from one of your friend's mothers…a…Ciarra?" He asked, I had told him about her, and I knew he wouldn't have forgotten. My eyes grew wide with stress and wariness. "I'm afraid…she's passed away…" The tears built up in my eyes, and as soon as I blinked, I was out the door, heading to the secret cove. "Tory! Come back!" Kit called.

End Flashback

I had been sitting on the grainy sand for at least five hours. Nothing had slowed my sobs, except that Cooper had come down a few minutes ago, meaning the guys must be in the bunker we had reclaimed.

Quickly wiping my red, swollen eyes and put on a happy face for Ben, Hi, and Shelton. They didn't need to know that I was crying. They wouldn't know what to do even if they found out.

"Hey! Tory!" Hi's voice called out, I glanced toward him, and he halts. "Hey, have you been crying?" he inquired worriedly.

"N-no…I just didn't sleep very well last night…" I lied, and shook my head, making sure my false smile was still in place. Soon the other boys came into view, Ben first, then Shelton. They wave and come to sit with me.

"Hey, guys. What's up?" I asked, honestly curious. They looked at each other questioningly.

"Didn't you get my text? I thought that's why you were here." I shook my head at Shelton's reply; I had left my cell at the house after…that…

They must have noticed my mood change 'cause Hi made an attempt at comedy, which caused Shelton to start chasing him. I laughed lightly, fake, of course, but it would make my friends feel better. Friends…Ciarra… A frown replaced the faux features on my face.

"Tory? What's wrong? I know that something happened. We all do, we're not retards." Ben blurted out. I stared, tears filling my eyes and spilling over before I could stop them, I heard Shelton and Hi still messing around behind us, while I threw myself forward into Ben, clutching his shirt, not thinking at all. Ben stiffened, at first, then slowly relaxed and began to hold me and stroke my hair.

I didn't think Hi and Shelton would see before I heard outrageous laughter, I turned and they quickly stopped as they saw the clear, crystal drops making rivulets down my cheeks.

"Tory…" the ruffians simultaneously mouthed. I just shook my head and wiped the wetness off my face.

"I'm fine, just…emotional…recently. I just got some bad news a few hours ago, it wasn't exactly…happy." I responded sadly, remembering all the good times I'd had with Ciarra, spitting from the Eiffel Tower, dropping chili dogs on our band directors, getting high off of Oreos, and most of all…'shining'. 'Shining' is a special 'skill' I was going to teach to the Virals, but it seems that I won't be able to do anything like it for a while.

"You know you can tell us anything, right?" Shelton comforts.

"Yeah, I'm just not ready to talk about it. Besides, it's late and we have school tomorrow." I reassure. During all of the commotion, time had passed, and it was now about eleven fifteen. Kit is gonna kill me! I'd never really had a curfew until the whole Mr. Perfect's-dad-is-a-murderer business. Ever since then, my curfew has been 10:00, sharp. Otherwise, I get grounded; I just hope that he'll make an exception for this, since I was currently in half-shock.

"Where were you?" Kit scolds; I ignore him and climb up to my room. I immediately go to the bed and crash, just as I feel my phone vibrating in my back pocket.

It was Jason. Wow… What would he, of all people, be texting me for. I opened my inbox, and looked. The message read:

Hi just wondering wut ur plans r 4 2morrow nite.

Well, what I wanted to say was, "I don't like you so go away." But that would be considered rude, so instead, I replied with;

Sorry, I have a curfew now, can't do anything, some other time?

Hitting send, I got onto my computer until a buzzing sound signaled Jason's text;

Some other time? Definitely! Are you going to the Debutante breakfast/brunch thing? Tell me tomorrow.

Man! He had to remind me! I was hoping to play it off like I forgot, but NO! Oh well, I'd just have to 'sleep in'. The last thoughts I had were of the Virals' flares. After, I was in dreamland.

The next morning I woke to the sound of my beeping alarm, and hurriedly put on my Bolton Prep uniform, desperately trying to lengthen my skirt. No go. Unless I wanted to show my butt, it was going to stay at mid-thigh length. So, I went down stairs, but since my attention was still on trying to get the uniform to be more…me, I ended up face down beneath the stairs. Nice going Tory.

"You okay honey?" Oh, no. No, no, no! The devil incarnate is here, in other words, Whitney Dubois. "I came to fix breakfast and to remind you of the brunch tomorrow morning, you better not have forgotten!"

"How could I?" I mumbled, just then remembering the events of yesterday…Ciarra. Man, I'd missed her, the Virals had helped me get over the move, without knowing it of course, but I really needed to talk to some of my old friends… Would I get in trouble if I skipped one day? Yes. Did I care? No.

I whipped my phone out and shot out a text to the other Virals that I wouldn't be there today, but not before promising myself I wouldn't do this again except in extreme cases such as this one. This promise might be one that I'd have to break. Oh, well. It's not to one of my friends so it doesn't really matter.

"Hey, I'm off, I might be home a little late!" I notified it and Kit. And for those of you who didn't connect the dots, 'it' is Whitney. Please don't get her confused with Coop or someone who isn't even there.

"You haven't had breakfast yet!" It protested, and I told her as calmly as I could that I would get something at school, but silently added 'or a gas station somewhere'. Well, it's true. I'm walking to the bunker and gonna take walk to a bus station after I contact Clara, the mediator for Ciarra's and my own fights and Ciarra's sister. She'd know almost exactly what I was going through. Almost.

Logging onto iFollow, I reached the bunker, and saw she was already on. Great minds think alike, much? So, I switched to video conference mode to talk face to face. So I wasn't all too shocked when her face came up on the screen.

"Hey, you heard?" she asked, I nodded somberly. Well, this conversation has turned to such a happy subject. Sarcasm noted.

"I can't believe it. I found out yesterday…you know they guys I hang out with? I was actually wondering if you'd fly down here for a visit…I wanted help teaching them how to 'shine'. They passed that test we made without knowing it. I don't want to remember unnecessary things alone…" I rambled. She mirrored my action from earlier and nodded.

"My mom bought me plane tickets for my birthday, I was going to take Ciarra down with me really soon…but that was before…well, you know." She explained. "I'll be on the next flight out there. Most likely I'll be there by the end of the day." Without saying another word, we both signed off, but after, I saw five texts. Two from Hi, and one each from Shelton, Ben, and Jason. Wait…Jason? The heck? I opened the Virals' messages first.

'Tory, you okay?', and 'Are you getting sick again?' were from Hi. Shelton's read, 'I hope it's not another wave of the virus, it was horrible the first time, or is it the thing from last night?' Ben's was simple, which I appreciated, 'I hope you're okay. Get better soon.' Traditional words. Nice and short. Finally. The last message. Jason's.

'Why aren't you in first period? Are you okay? Is it the migraines? Or does it have something to do with Chance and Hannah?' Long, complicated, lots of unavoidable questions I don't want to answer. My appreciation from Ben's text faded to…well, less than pleased. Why is he so stupidly interested in me? It's so freaking annoying! Besides, it's clear that Madison is 'smitten' with him. Using words from Whitney. Don't ask.

Well, I easily got to a bus, and was soon waiting at the airport. This would take a while. Good thing I had Angry Birds and iAssociate 2. And Paper Toss. Good time consuming games. Might download Doors. The best thing for me right now was pointless, long distractions. Plus I had to text everyone back. And decided to tell Ben the truth. I don't know if it's just from crying practically in his arms last night or the text, but I knew he'd be sincere and not pity me. Pity sucks. So, these were my replies:

Hi: I'm fine, no, just some aftershock of…something.

Shelton: It's not, yeah, yeah.

Ben: Thanks, I'm actually skipping to see an old friend. It's about last night. My best friend died. So, I'm seeing her sister about it. Don't tell the others. I don't really want to talk about it.

Jason: I'm sick, but I'll be okay, it doesn't have to do with my migraines or with Chance and Hannah.

I decided it would be okay to lie to Jason, he's annoying me and so… well, that's a bad excuse. He's annoyed me ever since he took an interest. He won't leave me alone. Should be fairly okay now. Plus, I've lied a lot before… especially with the whole Katherine Heaton case-thing. Which, if Kit or the school finds out, I'm so freaking dead. I won't even be able to see Clara.

Time passed, bout and hour and a half, and Ben was the only text that had come through. I was still debating on opening it. Finally, I gained the courage and hit the necessary button.

'Wow, no worries, I won't tell. But I really wouldn't have expected that. You kind of have really bad luck. Am I safe around you? Haha, well, either way I wouldn't leave you alone for a long time. You'd get into a high security jail!' My smile was faint, and was very subtle, but it was there, and genuine. I knew he'd be honest! Either way…what jail isn't high security? And that's exactly what I said. Who knew he'd text something so long? And that he of all people would be the one to cheer me up? Certainly not me.

It had been six hours, Ben and me shooting texts back and forth, always containing playful banter and happy subjects.

"Excuse me, I'm looking for a girl with red hair, medium-height and green eyes? Have you seen her?" A familiar voice spoke from behind me. My eyes traveled from toe to head, and they took in the onyx hair, red streaks, and dark gray irises. It was Clara. I'm just going to skip the emotional hugs and stuff, but soon we were in a taxi, on our way to Morris Island. And the beach. Of course, not the private cove for the Virals. The public part that almost no one went to. Except for, apparently, us.

School was most definitely over, and I needed to get back home. Or not.

'Hey, meet me in 20 minutes at Sewee, please. I want to cheer you up.' Ben's text. It made me feel…warm? Happy? I don't know. It was a good feeling though. I liked it. I wanted more of it. And since it seemingly came from Ben, I told him sure.

"Hey, do you have a place to stay? I'm sure you could stay in my room at home. And I'm heading there now, we can ask Kit together. Say that you got me out of school." I offered. Implying that I had to hurry. When she nodded, I grabbed her hand and raced back, through the heat, to the townhouse that Kit owned and I stayed in.

"Kit?" I called, and, when heard, raced to his voice. Or, more accurately, him. "Clara, meet Kit, Kit, this is Clara, Ciarra's sister. She got me out of school, I offered for her to stay here, but I really gotta go, so I'm just going to show her to my room, and go, thanks!" I called back, already climbing to my 'roost'. I wasn't going to go as was, of course, I was going to put on a red skirt and a black tank top. With a studded belt, on the outside, and black ballet flats. Don't ask me how I got them, I have no clue. Probably Whitney. Anyway, I didn't bother with makeup, I just threw my hair into a messy pony tail, and deciding to change again, into shorts. Skirts are too…not me. More like Madison.

"What are you doing? Do you have a date?" Clara asked, smirking. I shook my head, and was out the door without a word. That's a conversational ender.

When the dock finally came into view, I knew I was a little late. Oops…Now I feel really bad, he helped me and I'm late to…whatever it is that we're doing.

"Hey, where were you? It's been 40 minutes. You're lucky I decided to wait." Ben greeted, and I smiled…was that shyness? In me? No. Can't be.

"Sorry, I couldn't go any faster, Clara and Kit got in the way…" I looked down at the end, feeling sincerely sorry. "Thanks for waiting, so…what are we doing?" Instead of answering, Ben merely gave me a hand into the boat. Being really polite and gentlemanly. Now that I thought about it, he was dressed fairly nice, too. Kind of like me. Weird. It's not like we like each other. Even if he is…fairly attractive.

Finally, I found that we were docked on a seemingly uninhabited island. With no one to hear my screams.

Just kidding, it's daytime, he'd do it during the night, plus, Ben had a lunch thing... for a picnic? What? Where the heck did that come from? Is this how he's trying to cheer me up? I guess it's working…I mean…I am smiling.

Ben quickly hopped on the wooded walkway, and gave me a hand off, which, for once, I didn't ignore. Looking up at him, I saw that he was, in fact, smiling as well. That's a little rare, I mean, usually he's brooding. But, hey, either way he's…I'm just going to say attractive to keep it rated T on this thing.

"Um, I just want you to know…I just..." I really didn't know how to say this…well, straightforward seems to always work best so, "Thank you. You've really cheered me up, and no one's really been able to do that before." I smiled a little shyly up at him, and when he stared back at me, a grin slowly spread on his face again.

"Tory, when you're sad, everyone else is, too. You're usually so positive, that you don't notice it, but you're emotions are strong enough for a city, mushy as this sounds, it's true. You don't know the effect you have on people." Ben replied, making me redden a teensy bit on my cheeks and the tips of my ears. But he wasn't done. "So, therefore, I wanted to cheer you up, it's really no fun when you're sad." By this point, I was redder than when I get sunburned.

"Um, thanks, again…I really…I don't…" I was more tongue tied than ever, and that's saying a lot. I can't wait for the rest of the day. Maybe we'll switch the rest of our personalities later.