a/n: Rewrite, baby! God, I have so much work in front of me, now that I'm looking back…the task is daunting. Give me the dragon and the flaming sword (I'm not sure which one comes first) any day. Anyway, this will probably be a slow process, so don't be surprised if the writing style differs from chapter to chapter; especially after this new one, I mean. Hope you enjoy!

"It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured." --Tacitus

An Ice Queen has been defined over the ages as a) merely a sarcastic, cold, calculating, composed, vicious femme fatale, or b) all of the previously mentioned except for the latter, and the fact that said female creature refuses to spread her legs for the hairy Neanderthals who give her the label in the first place.

(I would say that, being a labeled Ice Queen myself, I prefer the latter definition.)

Vicious when it comes to war, an Ice Queen—

Oh, screw this. I loathe that pigeonholing of character sort of thing anyway.

Right. So thus far we have established what being an "Ice Queen" entails, and I am here to tell you that…it is true. For me, at any rate, although I admit that while I have nearly all the traits, I'm still working on the whole composed thing. As the owner of a rather rebellious, difficult temper, I haven't yet managed to find a leash that will fit around its butt-ugly head.

And I mean butt ugly. Michael Jackson butt ugly.

A few have blamed it on the fact that I'm a redhead. (Oh. Whoopie. Because red hair is the physical manifestation of a not-so-spiritual disposition.) Well, the hair is a dark red, not the beautiful bright stuff you see on television—yet another example of misleading media.

I suppose that it is customary at this point to describe myself and lament loudly, pointlessly, and irritatingly over my physical imperfections. All right. I shall oblige.

I have no breasts because I have no fat to spare. (I do not care.) My eyes are gray like garbage cans. (I do not care.) As for the rest of my appearance, you shall have to put it aside because I really do not care.

The gray of my eyes could alternatively be compared to the stone walls—more like prison walls—that mark the borders of our boarding school. And ding ding ding, you've guessed it. We're stuck in a boarding school! for all people rich and snobby (rules and conditions apply).

Certain people of authority seem determined to latch onto boarding school clichés of the 1800s and thus far no one has seen the errors in this logic. Our uniforms are gray and white. The weather is mostly gray and white. The food, peculiarly enough, is also gray and white.

My fellow specimens of the female order make up for this lack of anything remotely colorful by rolling their uniform skirts up until they defy gravity, which is not so pleasant a sight for others of the (cough) gentle sex, but receives the appreciation of most of the boys at our school.

Westfield School of Boarding used to be an all-girls establishment, but was changed to co-ed about fifty years back. In fact, there still lives a teacher in this morbid excuse for a learning establishment who was teaching before the switch occurred. You know, back when she was still sane. Now she wanders about the grounds muttering under her putrid breath about propriety and how she'll de-stallionize, so to speak, any unfortunate male that crosses her path.

We have some interesting characters at Westfield.

Very, very, very, very, very unfortunately, something stuck with the school during the transformation from all-girls to co-ed. And that is Etiquette Class.

Did I mention that someone must have an unhealthy fascination with 1800 cliché? Yes. And who is apparently unaware that it is now the 21st century, that women are allowed to vote, that racism is baaad, and that microwaves are now the life-savers of America? No, not in so many words, but you're intelligent people; you understand.

At this final injustice, one may wonder why I haven't left, staged a fantastic escape plan, or at least purposely managed to get myself expelled. The answer is this: My parents sent me. And although I almost never get to see them, I owe some measure of gratitude to them, and besides, this school is outrageously expensive, especially for one that has maybe two Internet connections in an entire thirty mile radius.

So for the past two years, I've been 'learning the ropes', establishing myself and my friends as actual people and not just random faces bobbing in the crowd, and…oh yes. How can I possibly forget?

Re-acquainting myself with those that I'd care to forget. For me, that person was (is) Cale Seranden.

Care to forget? No. I'd have rather thrown him off a cliff and watched his body plummet to the sharp, craggy rocks below and watched his intestines splatter across the surface like the monster he is.

Him. It.

The one who had hated me (a sentiment returned with even brighter ardor) since we could first yank out each others' hair by the root. The one who mercilessly tortured me until the seventh grade because I pronounced 's' as 'th'. The one who, in seventh grade, after I'd finally gotten rid of my lisp, told my crush that not only was I a lesbian, but that I had crabs. The STD. Not the crustacean that you eat with butter and garlic. And when he moved that year, the end of his eighth grade, I had been so thrilled he was out of my life that I'd screamed with joy and given the neighbor's cat a heart attack and killed it.

I had forgotten that this particular School of Boarding (S.O.B.) was supposedly one of the most prestigious schools to enroll your child in, and was exceptionally popular among the social-climbing parents in my neighborhood. Many of my current classmates are people I've met at functions thrown by various other rich parents, and have known since diaper-days in suburban Connecticut.

And of course, my parents thought it would be a terrific idea to pack me off to a boarding house on the other side of the country—the exact same boarding school, wonder of wonders, that Cale Seranden happened to be residing in as well.

I arrived at Westfield, ready to begin Ninth Grade, and realized that Cale hadn't changed a bit.

Was I really naïve enough to expect that he had changed? Pfft. Of course not. If Julius Caesar's ego and his Northern Star monologue fit anyone, it was Cale.

He still had the messy blond hair that everyone—except me—found adorable. He still had eyes so light that they were a literal gold, deemed exotic by everyone—except me—and therefore worthy of their notice. He still had the arrogant smirk, the various admirers that flocked around him like sheep to their shepherd…

And that malicious, criminally obnoxious attitude that I thought merit enough to suffocate him and give the world some relief.

(My parents didn't agree when I tried to do so in seventh grade, which is very hypocritical of them as they have always told me to follow my dreams. In not so many words, of course, but the sentiment is there.)

Our rivalry and courtship of hatred started again. It was actually getting to be an urban legend of sorts, and finally it all culminated into the master of all achievements ever achieved in the field of detestation. And if I manage to win the war against Cale, I might even be remembered in the Westfield Hall of Fame.

Er, probably not, as the teachers are senile and don't even notice the (epic, I tell you, EPIC) battles between Cale and me.

It is a dead draw—Cale has won half the battles; I have won the other.

But this year will be different. Not only in that we have each gained another year, and that I have entered my Junior Year, and that he has entered his Senior and will be graduating at the end.

But in that I am fully prepared for this year's Survival of the Fittest. And I am going to grasp victory by the balls, provided that this evil Institution (fondly known as S.O.B.) doesn't brainwash me first.

Unfortunately, after all these years of warfare Cale and I have begun to…well, share a brainwave, practically. We anticipate each other's moves, now; one pushes, the other gives, and then pushes, and the other gives, and no one moves more than an inch either way. It's like…the giant slinky of combat.

Yeah. It's pretty tight.

At any rate, I will be as prepared as I possibly can to ensure that my ranks won't be the target of too many blows from Cale's lines.

And so the two armies stride up to the empty dusty battlefield—abandoned temporarily for the summer, but spruced and cleaned and shined and ready for the upcoming battle…ready, in other words, for the new school year.

Battles have been won…but the war is just begun.

a/n: Uck. Hell. Although it is admittedly easier to rewrite a chapter than it is to make one from scratch…ah, the difficulties of being one of those impatient (er, lazy) people who don't like writing plot outlines. Any outlines. Yaar, I'm a rebel. Oh, crap…now I don't know whether to keep in all the review responses from the old chapters…

You've read it? Review it! Because otherwise you're a Lurker and everybody hates Lurkers.