***Spiderweave***

BY: ALIRA

***Author's Note*** Oh, welcome to my current work-in-progress. The title is a bit weird, but it should become appropriate, based on my idea for this story. Now, before I do my typical summary-thing, the little slash disclaimer:

***WARNING*** THIS IS SLASH. In this case, it's mainly F/F, or a story that will contain romantic relationships between characters of the same sex. Namely, female characters. But M/M is alluded to, and there is about as much het as slash. If you don't like stuff like this, don't read it. Or flame me. It's your choice. Anyway, on with the note.

Since this is going to be a longer story, not a short little thing like the other two I've got up, I'd like to say one thing. A lot of people get pissed when they're promised slash, and the author doesn't deliver. I swear this will be slash. Just not in the first few chapters, so be patient. About the F/F versus M/M bit, this will be primarily F/F, just by virtue of which characters are female and which are male. But if people like the guy charries, they might get bigger roles, hmm? They already will have important parts, but not until later on. ~_^

Now, I think I'm gonna dedicate this to, of course, the fanfiction authors Angelic Hooligan, Aftertaste of a Razorblade, and Karasu Tendo. In addition, thankies Katie. She's meh friend, and despite the fact that she doesn't particularily care for slash, she wanted a dedication in something I put online. *laughs* Too bad she'll probably never see this. Now, the summary!

***Summary*** All of my summaries so far are bad. They've been for short little stories, meaning that it would be pretty easy to give away the small amount of "plot" involved. But here goes. First, the current character list. These are the people that you might want to know by name, even if they don't show up for a while^^;

Female Characters:

Katrina Stern

Vanessa Demarti

Lina Hayes

Kari Thomas

Alistair Smith

Male Characters:

Nicholas Raye

Damien Gray

Samuel Slater

Kevin Radford

Richard Harris

Shawn Norrel

Thomas Anders

Oh, don't you love the silly last names? Naming people is fun. Anyway, this story revolves around the lives of these dozen people. I plan on having at least one section from the point of view of each person, but some characters have bigger roles. Since I don't want to give too much away, the story begins with two sets of friends, Katrina and Vanessa, and Lina and Kari. At the beginning, these two pairs don't know each other, but most everyone else knows them. Everyone makes up their plans for the weekend, and things move on from there. Promising, hmm? I hope so. Sorry for the long ass intro. They get shorter!

~_^ Alira

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CHAPTER ONE:

Katrina Stern sat in the back of her English Lit class, blatantly ignoring her teacher as he addressed the class. Instead of paying attention, Katrina turned to the girl sitting beside her. From Katrina's viewpoint, the girl's delicate face was veiled by a mass of gorgeous, dark auburn hair. Beneath the hair, Katrina knew that her eyes were hazel; overall, the face was very pretty. The face also belonged to Katrina's closest friend, Vanessa.

Being so closely acquainted with Vanessa, Katrina knew that her delicate beauty, overall, was a ruse. It was also a ruse in more ways than one. First, Vanessa was definitely lovely to look upon, but she was not, however, so pleasant to speak with. Not only was Vanessa strongly opinionated and quite apt to speak her mind, which was not necessarily a bad thing, but she also possessed an extremely short temper and little patience. The other way that Vanessa was less than perfect happened to be a bit simpler. Vanessa looked the part of the stunning beauty, but a good portion of her appearance could be attributed to expensive cosmetics.

Despite it all, Katrina and Vanessa got along surprisingly well. Katrina wasn't nearly so quick to anger, or to speak her mind. She thought a bit more on important decisions, but still made impulsive choices as often as the next person. As far as looks went, Katrina was everything Vanessa was, only naturally. Her gold-blonde hair cascaded well past her shoulders, and gave her an elegant, superior appearance when it was pinned up. She wore less in the way of make-up, but only because she needed less. Her gray-blue eyes were bright, and could appear calculating- although why Katrina should waste her time contemplating anything was beyond the girl's thought processes.

"Nessa?" Katrina whispered, trying to recapture her friend's attention.

"Mmm?" Vanessa murmured, shifting in her seat and turning her head so that her long hair was swept from her face.

"I was thinking . . ." Katrina began again. "Do you already have plans for this afternoon? It is the weekend, after all, and I'd like to do something with you."

"Oh, Kat," Vanessa said fondly, smiling. "You are as aware as I of my weekend plans, and we both know it. We are best friends, after all. Considering that I'm free, what exactly did you have in mind?"

"Well . . ." Katrina said slowly, and Vanessa knew that it was something a bit more than hitting the mall or hanging at Katrina's place. "It's just that I talked to Nicky earlier today-"

Katrina only got that far, before Vanessa was cutting in. "Oh, Nicky, is it? You know, it's everything or nothing with that boy. You two are just so attached, aren't you? He even puts up with your embarrassing mangling of the name his parents gave him. It's 'Nicholas,' dear, not 'Nicky.' But you can get on with it, I always have the best time with you two, even if I don't see why you always invite me."

"If you got a boyfriend, Nessa dear, then you wouldn't have to complain about this third wheel business," Katrina explained patiently. "If you were coming with a guy, we could call it double dating. But that's aside from the point. Nick was thinking that he and I could check out this new club opening up downtown, and he was sure you'd come, if we asked."

"Oh, I'll come," Vanessa agreed readily enough. "After all, I have to have a good time with the two of you. But cut the boyfriend complaints. You do realize that we aren't all born with the looks of a model, and the brains to match, right?"

"Nessa!" Katrina squealed, then stifled her outburst. She didn't want to draw the attention of her English teacher towards them. "That isn't at all nice to say! The worst part is, it isn't at all true, either. You know it isn't."

"Fine, fine," Vanessa relented. "I admit that you're just as bright as I am, and I know better than to claim that I should be wearing a paper bag on my head, so as to protect the general public. However, you do have to admit that your luck with guys is pretty uncanny. We aren't all blessed -or cursed- with something like that, you know."

"I wouldn't have said it like that," Katrina protested petulantly. "It isn't my fault, and it's only Nicky. It's not like I'm double dipping or anything; Nicky's my one and only. But you'll meet us tonight, right? Nicky said that he'd be by my house at six, so we get there on time, and if you like he'll drive by to get you as well. What do you say?"

"I say it's a deal," Vanessa said with a grin. "Who could pass up a night of dancing and free cab service, anyway?"

Katrina laughed quietly, for she was pleased, and amused. "You know, Nick would probably laugh at that. And he'd probably also be happy to show off his manliness, showing up at the club with not one, but two girls on his arm."

Vanessa grinned again at that. "Maybe he'd be pleased, but I don't know who he thinks he's fooling. Everyone of interest to him knows that you two are together, and they all also know that you take second place to no one. They'd laugh in his face if he tried to tell them otherwise."

"You're probably right on that one," Katrina conceded, with a feigned sigh. "But here- the lecture seems to be winding down, and the period is almost over. I'll see you this evening, and dress appropriate, 'kay?"

Now Vanessa's grin turned downright dirty. "As appropriate as ever," she replied with a wink. "And I expect the same from you."

They traded smiles one last time, and the bell chimed to signal the end of class. The two girls gathered their things, and parted company, pleased with the plans they had made.

It was the last period of the day, and the last school day of the week. Lina reclined easily on a bench in the gym locker room, toying with the collar of her gym t-shirt. She was already changed into her tennis shoes, shorts, and t-shirt, so Lina was ready for her last class of the day. All that was left to do before she was forced out of the locker room was to wait for her friend Kari, who was still changing beside her.

In all honesty, it was best to have gym last, because that way you were smelly and sweaty for the least amount of time, and you got some exercise before going home, where Lina preferred to rest, relax, or study. Lina didn't enjoy gym very much, being more into the academic part of school, but she still tried her hardest. It was still a required class, after all. In Lina's position on the bench, her light brown hair brushed the seat behind her; it was that long. Her eyes, too, were brown, and required the aide of glasses. Lina had tried getting contacts, but it shocked everyone so much that she rarely wore them. And what was the use? She knew that she wasn't pretty; why even bother trying?

Then there was Lina's friend Kari. In Lina's opinion, Kari had more going for her. Maybe her eyes were brown like Lina's, but they were a liquid-y, doe-like example of the color, so dark that it appeared black. Her hair, too, was darker; a rich chestnut color that appeared much more desirable a shade than the brown of Lina's hair. In addition to the color, Kari's hair was cut stylishly short; it only reached to the nape of Kari's neck, and curled inwards, so as to give Kari's face a delicate look.

Yes, Kari did possess looks far superior to Lina's own, but Kari wouldn't admit that she could be pretty. She was far too shy, and insisted that she was too short for anyone to admire in the first place. Lina didn't agree, but what could she say? She was taller; Kari would think that Lina was being patronizing. Lina and Kari were both in high honors classes, and they were both currently without boyfriends. That didn't make them hopeless- Kari thought it did. Lina didn't see why Kari was so negative . . . She even had one admirer, a young man by the name of Kevin Radford. Kevin was pretty good-looking, even if Lina didn't know him well; she didn't see why Kari didn't just say yes, and go out with him.

However, the time for speculation was past; Kari was done changing, and they needed to leave the locker room. Lina rose, following Kari as she led the way. They were still in the inside gym, playing basketball, but Lina didn't mind. The two girls entered the gym room, and Lina gave it a quick scan. Most of the basketballs were already claimed, but if she and Kari hurried, they could probably still snatch one up. However, Lina paused in her advancement on the balls, spotting an all-too-familiar face.

"What is it?" Kari whispered when Lina did not move, although it was doubtful that her voice would carry in the gym, not over the din of bouncing basketballs.

"It's . . ." Lina whispered back a bit hoarsely, also keeping her voice unnecessarily low. "It's- That guy I told you about. Damien Gray, the senior."

"Why's he in our gym period then?" Kari asked, curiously.

"Does it matter?" Lina retorted, preferring to keep the conversation oriented on Damien, and to her liking. "Come on, tell the truth, don't you think the guy is hot?"

"I don't know . . ." Kari said reluctantly, earning herself a glare. "He looks like a lot of seniors. Fairly tall, fairly muscled, with brown hair and eyes that aren't too conspicuous. Why this one, Lina? What makes him special?"

Lina continued to glare, not liking her friend's logic or skeptical tone. "I don't know why I like him," Lina whined. "I think he's hot. And I know a few of his friends. Samuel Slater, for one. Sam's a pretty nice guy, and he has only good things to say about Damien. Now I have a question for you- Why not this one? What makes him a bad choice? We both know he's smart, and according to Sam, he's both funny and kind to boot. I don't see why you're always so negative."

"I am not negative!" Kari protested defensively. "I just want you to think a bit before you get yourself into any sort of commitment. I'm speaking as your best friend, here."

"Oh, I know," Lina said, feeling a bit sorry for having snapped at Kari. "It's just . . . You're doing the same thing to yourself. With Kevin, I mean. He's a pretty nice guy, so I don't see why you don't just take him up on his offer, and go somewhere with him. It can't hurt you."

There was a long pause, as Kari appeared to think over what Lina was suggesting. Then, reluctantly, she nodded.

"Isn't he in this class?" Lina asked curiously, once Kari had agreed to go out, just one time, with Kevin.

"Um . . . Yeah," Kari said slowly, as if wary of what Lina would say next.

"Oh, good," Lina said happily, grabbing Kari by the hand. "Let's not have you two wasting any time. It's Friday night, and you might as well get this dating show on the road as soon as possible. Which one is he again? You can tell him now, and see if he has plans."

Kari let out a long-suffering sigh, and directed Lina towards the young man in question. Lina grinned, and dragged her friend along. As soon as they were close, Lina pushed Kari forwards, and then stepped back to wait.

Lina hadn't judged her shove all too well, and Kari stumbled forwards, almost falling once. She managed to catch herself, but it turned out that the arm she had grabbed hold of belonged to the Kevin they were looking for. Fortunately, Kevin appeared to be taking a break from the game, so he and Kari weren't in too much danger of being hit by a basketball. Kari began to stammer a quick "I'm sorry," but Kevin turned, and saw who was tugging on his arm. He smiled, and his eyes brightened.

"Kari!" he said warmly. "I haven't seen you in a while. Have you come over to talk to me? I do hope so, because the thing is . . . I didn't want to bother you again, but if we're already close enough to the subject- you busy tonight. I know I've asked you before, and it's short notice-"

"Kevin," Kari cut him off. "You can stop. I'm perfectly free tonight, and I've just decided that when you want to go somewhere, I'm willing to come with you. What was it you had in mind?"

With that, Kevin smiled widely. "Glad you feel that way about tonight, but what do you think about dancing? There's this place, just opened up, and I thought you might like to do a little dancing down there. The place is supposed to be pretty good, so if you agree and we arrive on time, I think we're in business."

"Dancing sounds wonderful," Kari assured him. "I don't know where this place is, however- you picking me up?"

"Six alright?" Kevin suggested. "I know the way. Oh- that friend of yours. What was her name? Lina? She busy tonight too? Think she might want to go dancing with us? More is better, after all."

Kari made a little frown, thinking it over. "I don't know . . ." she said tentatively. "She may not have plans, but she also may not come either way . . ."

"Well, why don't we ask her?" Kevin suggested. "Isn't she around here somewhere? She could even bring someone else, if she wanted to. I have room enough in my car."

Kari almost sighed, but took Kevin by the arm. "She's right over here-" Kari said, and so Lina was.

"Lina?" Kevin asked. "Kari and I were just making plans to hit this new dance club tonight, and we were thinking that you might like to join us. So what do you say? You have plans already? I can pick you up, if you don't."

Now it was Lina's turn to pause. What could she say? It was her best friend Kari's first date, and she didn't want to tag along like a third wheel. "Well . . ." she began slowly. "I don't believe I have any plans, but I'll only come if Kari wants me to."

Kari turned a bit pink, but she spoke up nonetheless. "Of course I'd have you with us, so long as you don't feel obligated to come. As your friend, I would only want you to come with me so you could enjoy yourself."

"In that case," Lina replied with a wink. "Then I suppose I'll see the two of you at six. And don't worry about getting directions. I'll take myself over to Kari's before hand, and you can get us both there."

Kevin smiled widely. "If that's how things stand, then I'll be seeing the two of you soon. I do hope you both enjoy yourselves." With that, he took himself off.

Lina smiled at Kari as soon as he was gone. "You're first date, hmm? And me as your chaperone! I'm sure it'll be a wonderful time. I'm glad you two are taking me along for the ride, but I hope I don't wreak anything for you. If worse comes to worse, it is a club, and I can always find a way to keep myself busy."

Kari giggled. "Don't worry about it. We'll have a good time. But first, lets see if we can get a bit of basketball in. We've only got a few minutes left to play."

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***Author's Note*** There we go, chapter one. As I guess you should see, not too darn much has happened. Since this is gonna remain a work-in-progress for quite a while, things won't move quite as quickly as in my short stories. But I'm going to try to update often. This was more of an intro; now that you've met the main characters, there will be less description and more dialogue. Sound good? I hope so. Why don't you tell me so? (*laughing*) Reviews are lovely, my dears. Be sure to submit yours. I appreciate it.

~_^ Alira

Copyright [little copyright symbol that doesn't work on my computer] Alira, January 18th, 2003; 6:37 PM