My cheek stung as the chilly air washed against my face. I tried to discreetly move my hair to cover the right side of my face, but I still felt exposed, I still felt the bruise forming.

Already my day was off to a great start, not only was I sporting a new bruise, but I was starting my first day of my junior year at a new high school where I knew absolutely no one.

Kids rushed by me, laughing, talking, yelling, as they trampled through the doors trying to make their way in from the cold. I took my time, walking slowly so I could observe the people around me. Over to my left, I saw two girls, one very blonde who was slowly picking at a guitar, and another a sandy blonde shifting, what I assumed to be her boyfriend's hair, around on the top of his head.

Cute, I thought upon entering the school.

The inside was even more crowded than outside and I soon felt very claustrophobic. I was small and could easily weave through the large mass, but this was all still so new that I was too scared to move.

I glanced around nervously, but stopped when I noticed a young couple standing by a locker. The boy looked to be about my age while the girl, wearing a large varsity jacket, looked to be a year or so younger. I watched, transfixed, as the boy tucked a strand of the girl's blonde hair behind her ear. The girl smiled, leaning her cheek into his hand and I unconsciously tucked a strand of hair behind me ear.

Suddenly my body surged forward as a hard mass slammed into my back. I was able to catch myself so I didn't fall to the ground, but I still found myself propelling forward after something ran into me from behind.

"Woah, watch out there," a tall boy said, laughing.

"Sorry," I mumbled, turning to look back at who ran into me. As our eyes met I realized how truly handsome this boy was, but I shouldn't be having those thoughts.

"No, no," the boy replied, "it was my fault, sorry."

"Hey, Dallas," a girl called from the office, "leave the new girl alone!"

The boy's, Dallas's, smile turned into a smirk as his eyes left mine and traveled to the voice behind me. Upon recognizing the voice, Dallas shrugged then sauntered off to a group of boys who were wearing similar varsity jackets. Before turning the corner with the group, Dallas turned one last time to look at me, giving a small smile. I didn't have time to process the situation before someone was grabbing my arm and swinging me around to face the office.

"Hi, I'm Clare Edwards," a shorter girl said with a smile, holding out her hand. "You're Payton Thompson, right?"

"Yeah," I responded, shaking her hand and smoothing my hair down with the other.

"I'm here to show you around the school and take you to your classes," Clare smiled, turning us so we could walk down the hall. "Your first class is advanced English, but according to your transcripts, this should be cake for you."

I smiled, nodding in agreement. At my old school, I was taking senior level English as a sophomore. English was my passion; when I was home I was able to lose myself in my writing, I was able to escape reality.

"Here you go," Clare smiled, stopping outside the door.

"Thanks," I smiled slightly, stepping into the classroom, scanning the room for a seat.

"Oh, Payton," Clare called and I turned back to the door, "welcome to Degrassi."

Hey everyone—this is my first Degrassi fanfic (I have some other stories written). I love the idea of Mike Dallas being a good guy, but he'll have to learn to get there.

Anyway, if you guys think I should continue let me know. I've had this idea for a while but I didn't know if it was worth writing…

There will be Maybell, just because I love them so freaking much, but it will mostly be about Dallas and Payton.

Anyway, let me know what you think