A/N: This is a new story I've had in my mind for a while. It'll be a multi-chapter story, and I'm pretty excited to be able to write it! Hope you guys like it :)

Disclaimer: I don't own HSM or any of its characters

Manchester. At last, Troy thought. This was going to be a very interesting year. He looked out the taxi window as it zoomed through the night. He would have a fresh start, and hopefully put the painful memories of the last few years behind him. The idea made him smile to himself. It wouldn't be easy leaving his family and friends behind, but this was exactly what he needed, and they had agreed. Spending the year a whole continent away would give him the perfect chance to focus on his medicine, without any distractions.

The taxi pulled up to an apartment building, and Troy got out with his suitcases. He paid the driver, and waved as he drove off. Fumbling for his keys, Troy found the one his cousin had given him, and unlocked the door. He looked for an elevator and groaned when he saw it was out of order. Grateful that his mother had sent most of his stuff early, he lugged his two suitcases up four flights of stairs to his cousin's old apartment. He opened the door and went inside. It was a modest apartment with one bedroom and a bathroom, with a large living area. Boxes of Troy's medical books, and some of his clothes were stacked next to the couch in the living room, with a note on the top. Troy moved over to the pile, and read the note.

'Welcome to Manchester, Troy,' it read, 'I left all my kitchen stuff here, so feel free to use it. There should be some food left in the fridge and cupboards that wouldn't have gone off yet. I'm really sorry about... you know. Hope you have a great year cuz! Love Serena. PS: The ticket is in the drawer of the bedside table. Enjoy!'

Troy set the note back down, and walked into the bedroom. He would email his thanks to his cousin tomorrow. He really lucked out. The apartment was right next to the hospital he would be working at, and it was a great coincidence that Serena would be away for a couple of years for her research, leaving it empty. He sat on the bed, in exhaustion. The long flight and the stress of travel were finally catching up to him. Yawning, he kicked off his shoes and lay back against the pillows, slowly drifting off to sleep.

Daylight streamed through the window, causing Troy to stir. He opened his eyes, groggy and disoriented, and looked around in confusion at the unfamiliar surroundings. That's when he remembered he was in Manchester, in his cousin's apartment. He got up and went to the bathroom, and took a quick shower. Coming out in a towel, he rummaged through one of his suitcases and found some boxers and sweats that he changed into. He found some instant coffee in a cupboard in the kitchen, and made himself a steaming hot mug. He checked his watch. It was 11:00am. Sighing, he surveyed the living room full of boxes, knowing he would have to spend most of the day unpacking. He opened the fridge, and looked in the cupboards. There was a bit of food, enough to last the rest of this week, but he knew he would have to go grocery shopping within the next few days. Not today though, he decided.

Moving to the couch, he pulled his laptop out of a suitcase. He logged on, and wrote a quick email to Serena, thanking her again for the apartment, and wishing her well on her research. He scrolled through his other emails, finding nothing really worth reading. He shut his computer, and placed it on a desk in the corner. 'That would be a good spot for it,' he thought. Realising he couldn't put off the inevitable, he downed the rest of his coffee, and began unpacking.

Setting up the apartment took a couple of hours, but when he was done, he felt quite satisfied with himself. Medical textbooks were neatly stacked next to the desk in the living room, and a few knick-knacks, including his baseball signed by the Barry Bonds, were arranged on the coffee table and kitchen counter. His clothes had been folded away in the bedroom cupboard, and he was now sporting his old high school basketball jersey. The apartment was his now.

His parents had called midway through his unpacking, and he spoke to them for a bit longer than he had at the airport last night. He planned to Skype them every Thursday night, his time. When he had hung up, he felt a pang of loneliness, it finally hitting him that he would be all alone for a year, an ocean away from anyone who knew him. Yes that was good in a way, but he couldn't help but miss his parents, and friends who had been there when times had been tough. That's when he remembered the present. He had been so tired last night that the postscript of Serena's note had barely registered.

He went into the bedroom, and opened the drawer of the bedside table, pulling out a black envelope. Inside he found a letter, with a plastic card attached. He gave a wry smile as he read the letter, congratulating him on becoming a member of the Manchester United Football Club. Enclosed was his season ticket and membership card.

Troy shook he head, wishing his parents hadn't wasted their money. Sure he loved sports, and the few soccer games he had watched were interesting enough, but it wasn't really his thing. Now basketball? Sure! If he got a season ticket to the Lakers, that would be amazing! But watching soccer live every couple of weeks, supporting a team he knew nothing about? It just seemed stupid. He had tried to tell his parents this numerous times, but they had claimed that he would enjoy it. That it would give him something to talk to his co-workers about, since soccer was such a big thing in England. At their insistence he had relented. He knew that they had the best intentions, and he also knew the real reason they bought him the ticket. It wasn't to give him something to talk to other people about. No, the real reason was that it gave him something to do on a regular basis. Something that would get him out of the hospital and out of his apartment. The truth was, his parents had seen him over the past year, and were terrified that he would spend this year thrown into his work, and all his free time would be spent drinking alone in some bar, or locked up in his apartment. He knew he had given them good reason to think that, and to be honest, it sounded like a fine plan to him. But they had gone to the trouble, and he would have to go to at least a few matches. Maybe after 3 or 4 he would tell them that it really wasn't his thing, and they would be okay with that. He would pay them back, and maybe sell the ticket to a co-worker.

Rapping at the door interrupted his thoughts. He opened the door revealing a short brunette smiling up at him.

"Hi! You must be Serena's cousin. I'm Kelsi. I live across the hall. " She extended her hand towards him.

Clasping her hand in his, Troy smiled back. "Nice to meet you, Kelsi. I'm Troy. Serena told me you're a student at the Royal Manchester Infirmary. I start there tomorrow."

"Cool. Yeah, Serena told me you're here for your final year of med school. That's so awesome. I wish I could go abroad," she sighed. "Anyway, Troy, I came over to say hello and let you know that you can come over if you ever need anything. Also I'm leaving for the hospital at 7:15 tomorrow, if you want to go over together."

"Thanks, Kelsi." Troy exhaled in relief. "Actually I'll take you up on that offer. It's always a bit daunting starting at a new hospital. It'll be great going in with a friend."

"Okay then, I'll knock on your door at 7:15." She checked her watch, and gasped. "I have to go. I'm meeting a friend. See you tomorrow!"

"See ya." Troy waved as she dashed down the hall to the stairs. Shutting the door, and turning back into the apartment, he smiled to himself. It was nice knowing someone. Maybe he wouldn't be as lonely as he thought.

Still jet-lagged, Troy decided to spend the rest of the day lazing around in the apartment. Tomorrow was his first day, and he definitely did not need to spoil his chances of a good first impression by dozing off between patients. Nope, he would make a good impression, and this would be a great year. It definitely can't be any worse than last year, he thought wryly. The wound he had healed temporarily with a lot of scotch and a bit of beer threatened to reopen. He shook the thought out of his mind. This year was all about him, and it would be perfect.

Let me know what you think :)