A/N: I've never really tried anything like this story before. It's F/F, femmeslash, shoujo ai, yuri, whatever you want to call it. I hope that won't throw anyone off because I understand it's a lot less common than M/M slash. The title is very tentative and it will probably be changed soon, I have a hard time with titles so it'll take a while for me to get the perfect one. I'm very enthusiastic about this and I have a few more chapters written out. I'm not sure how long it will be but I'm thinking at least 12 chapters, maybe more. Lastly, please pretty please review!!!

Warnings: This story deals with potentially offensive or triggering topics, such as f/f or femmeslash, anorexia, and drug usage.

Fragrant Magnolias

Chapter 1

The blistering heat of the day finally started to taper as the sun descended slowly, half of it already obscured by the line of the horizon. I exhaled in relief and flopped down onto the lawn, rolling onto my stomach so that I could face the house that my parents were currently lugging huge boxes into. My new house, in my new neighborhood. I rolled over onto my back again and stared dully at the darkening sky. I had finally gotten over the prospect of moving, although it took a while, and now I was sort of excited about it. I could completely reinvent myself if I wanted to, though it was a little late for that now seeing as school was starting in a couple of days.

School. The thought of it made my stomach flutter anxiously, and I quickly stretched and got up to go on a walk. I was incredibly nervous about going to school. I had moved a couple of times before and every time I found it excruciatingly difficult to adjust to a school and make new friends within it. I was a little shy so it always took me a while to settle in, and I was not looking forward to it this time. In my last school I had been on the cheerleading squad but I wasn't sure if I had the guts to try out for it this year since I didn't know anyone.

I was startled out of my thoughts when I heard voices, and as I glanced around I discovered that I had walked a couple of houses down. I could hear music and laughter coming from someone's backyard and as I paused and angled my head slightly I caught a glimpse of a group of girls around a table. I spent a few moments watching and wondering if I would ever get to meet my neighbors and then started walking again. Just as I was about to pass the house, however, two girls detached themselves from the table and headed for the front door of the house. A girl with long black hair caught sight of me, and stopped suddenly, struggling to balance two huge, although empty, bottles of soda that she was holding.

"Hey! Are you the people that moved in a few doors down?" She called out. Her voice was friendly and I was startled that she had known. Did I look lost or something?

"Yup," I replied, and I stopped walking and faced the girl. Her friend didn't stop or look at me, but instead gave her a friendly punch on the shoulder and went into the house carrying a stack of paper plates that were clearly used. I watched at she tossed her dark brown hair over her shoulders and kicked the door shut behind her. Then I refocused my attention on the girl who was talking to me.

"Excellent!" She exclaimed and laughed at my look of surprise. "I'm glad that it's someone around my age, the people that used to live in that house were cranky and old .What year are you going into?"

"I'm going to be a senior," I informed her. That was a part of the reason why I wasn't so hugely upset about having to move. I figured I only had a year to go, so even if I ended up hating it here I could comfort myself with the prospect of college.

"Me too!" she said, looking happy about this knowledge. "I'm Andrea. We should hang out sometime before school starts, okay? I'll introduce you to my friends so at least you'll know some people. I would invite you over right now but everyone's about to leave and I've got to clean everything up, but we should do something soon."

"Sure. My name's Victoria." I was very pleased by this turn of events. The thought of being introduced to some strangers made me a little panicky but I was thrilled that I wouldn't be completely alone and lost at school. "I have to go, but let me know if you want to hang out." Andrea nodded and called out a farewell as I quickly made my way back to my house. The sky was darkening quickly as the air began to cool off, for which I was incredibly thankful. I was definitely not used to the sweltering heat here and I was relieved that with fall the weather would start to become more tolerable.

As I reached my new home, I stopped in front to survey it. The moving truck was gone, so presumably my parents had finished loading our boxes in. I didn't feel guilty for not helping them, since they hadn't asked me to they probably didn't care. My relationship with my parents was like this most of the time, they worked and I did whatever I wanted. As long as I didn't bother them, and they didn't annoy me, we were fine. It didn't trouble me in the slightest that I didn't see them often and that they didn't seem to care much about me. I certainly didn't bitch and whine about it. I liked it, and I liked to know that I could take care of myself.

For a few moments, I stood outside and contemplated whether I should turn in for the night or check out my new neighborhood. I was tempted, but in the end I decided to just go inside. It was my first day here, after all, and I didn't know my way around. I had the next few days before school started to explore around.

My parents glanced up when I entered and waved at me. They were sitting on two chairs drinking wine. I waved half-heartedly back and winced at the sight of all of the boxes in the room. It was going to take ages to unpack everything and I definitely did not want to be around for it, so I made a note to myself that tomorrow I would make myself scarce. Of course, my parents weren't going to do any of it, but I preferred to avoid bumping heads with moving men and whatever snotty interior designers my mother had hired.

I asked my parents which bedroom would be mine. My mother shrugged, sipping her glass delicately. "You can pick. This house has five bedrooms and we've chosen ours, so you can choose any of the rooms that are left. Your father put a cot in one of the rooms for tonight, after you've chosen which room you want I'll have it furnished and decorated by tomorrow night. Is that okay?" I nodded uncaringly and grabbed the suitcase that I had packed for myself, with my essentials. I went over to the elevator and pushed the button. Yes, an elevator! Our house had four stories, so I guess the architect felt the need to endow it with an elevator. How could I complain that my parents worked all of the time when their work enabled them to buy us a house like this?

The elevator opened instantly and it took me up to the second floor where the bedrooms were. I wasn't intending to use it all the time, especially just to take me up a flight, but I figured since I had my suitcase it was alright. I checked all of the rooms before I found the one that my dad had put a cot in, and after changing and getting ready for bed I dropped onto it with exhaustion. I fell asleep very quickly as per usual.

The next morning when I woke up, I showered and then spent almost an hour getting ready. It was early since I had fallen asleep so soon, so I figured that I had the time to spare to pretty myself up. I rooted through the small part of my wardrobe that I had packed into my suitcase for a while before deciding on a destroyed jean mini-skirt and a sequined black camisole. After changing, I straightened my hair with a flat iron until it was stick-straight. My hair was thick and shoulder-length and I was very picky about it, I dyed it to a shade that was a mix between golden and white blonde. I tried out a few different styles before I decided to just leave it down. Then I put in my colored contacts, it took me a few tries because I kept accidentally jamming my finger into my eyeball, but I got it eventually. My natural eye color was emerald green, and I didn't mind it but I liked my pacific blue contacts better. When the contacts were safely in my eyes I spent a while applying all of my make-up. Usually I didn't wear so much but I figured that since this was my first full day in this new town I should go all out. I fussed with my bangs and my side parting for a few minutes, and then I was finally satisfied.

Sliding a pair of sunglasses onto my head, I dug around my suitcase until I found my favorite Gucci purse. I slipped on a pair of black wedges and disconnected my cell phone from its charger, dropping it into my purse along with my wallet. Finally I was ready to go, after an hour and half of getting ready. I hated being a girl sometimes. Although to be fair, it wasn't anyone's fault but my own that I spent so much time getting ready.

I left my house after waving good-bye to my parents, and as soon as I stepped outside I was blinded by the brightness of the sun. I got into my car, which a sapphire colored Jaguar that I was madly in love with. After starting up the car and rolling down my window I found myself completely and utterly at a loss as to what I could do. In the end I figured that if I just drove around eventually I'd end up somewhere interesting, and with that intention in mind I cruised down the street. I glanced at Andrea's house as I drove past it and I was surprised to see that she was outside, holding a cell phone to her ear and looking like she was planning to go somewhere. She recognized me and waved frantically, saying something very fast into her phone and hanging up. I stopped the car and she came up to my window smiling happily. I had a feeling that she was one of those people who smiled all the time, which I didn't mind at all.

"Hey you!" She said cheerfully, bending down so that she was at my window. "I was thinking of stopping by your house later today but it seems you saved me the trouble. I was planning on heading over to meet a friend, so do you think that you could give me a lift? You're invited to come with too, of course. I'd like you to meet as many of my friends as possible before school starts because I know it sucks when you don't know anyone. Unless, of course, you have somewhere else to be," she added hurriedly, and I smiled at her, pleased at the prospect of having something to do.

"No, I don't, that sounds really great," I assured her enthusiastically. "I was wondering what I was going to do today since I don't know anyone. Will your friend mind that I'm coming too?"

Andrea disappeared for a moment and then opened the door on the other side, hopping into the car. I glanced at her as she closed the door and I was immediately jealous of her silky-looking, long and perfectly straight black hair. Her tan was clearly fake, however, and I inwardly winced at its dangerously orange color. "No, she won't. I was just on the phone with her and I told her I might bring you if you wanted, and she said she didn't mind."

I made an 'okay' noise in response to this and started driving again, following Andrea's instructions. Conversation came easily between us, thanks to Andrea's friendliness, and the ride passed without any awkward silences. We chatted about trivial things, I talked about my old town and she told me about herself. I found that I liked her a lot and I was thrilled that she lived so close to me. This was certainly a good way to start off my first full day at this new town.

We eventually pulled into a neighborhood with enormous houses, a little bigger than the ones in mine. This was clearly where the richest people of this town lived, and I was a little surprised when Andrea told me this was where her friend lived.

"Are you into cheerleading at all?" She asked me suddenly, and in the corner of my eye I saw her look me over. Immediately feeling self-conscious, I debated my answer before I finally decided to nod. "That's great!" Andrea exclaimed. "I thought so, you seemed like you would be. I'm a cheerleader too, and the girl that we're going to visit is the captain of our school squad. You're going to try out, right? No, you totally should!" She said, outraged at my noncommittal shrug. "A few people graduated last year so we need new cheerleaders. As long as you're good you'll get in for sure. Pull over here! It's that house, the white one…" She pointed to a very big house. I parked out of the line of their garage and got out of the car, staring at the impressive house all the while. Andrea grabbed my arm and we went up to ring the doorbell.

As we waited for the door to open I fiddled nervously with my diamond necklace. I was daunted by the prospect of meeting whoever owned this house. Meeting new people was always a little uncomfortable for me, except when the people were friendly and open like Andrea. Silently I hoped this would be the case.

"Hey, Vicky," Andrea murmured quietly and I winced at the butchery of my name. I hated when people shortened it but I hardly ever said anything about it, and I figured that since she had been so nice to me I would let her get away with it. "I'm just going to warn you. This girl… she's really sweet and nice, but when she first meets people she's sort of… Well… She comes across as rude and snobby. But I don't want you to get that impression of her because she's awesome." Andrea had totally ruined my hopes and I groaned inwardly, although I nodded in response to her.

"Melanie!" Andrea exclaimed as the door opened to reveal the same girl that I had seen walking with Andrea last night at the party. The two girls hugged quickly and then Andrea pulled away to introduce us. The girl turned to face me and I got my first good look at her.

This girl was absolutely gorgeous. I stood there trying to conceal the fact that I was gaping at her and I knew that I probably looked very stupid She was tan, which I figured everyone here was, but her tan looked a lot more authentic to me than Andrea's. Her hair was thick and glossy, and it came down to her collarbone in perfect frizz-free waves. It was this beautiful dark chestnut brown color, which surprised me a little because I had been expecting a blonde. Her features were elegant and inexplicably lovely, even in their slight imperfections, and her make-up was expertly done. She was wearing a tight white halter top and a plaid skirt, and I couldn't help but noticed that her fingernails and her toenails were manicured. It was like every inch of her was perfectly done up. I noted snottily and jealously, however, that my breasts were much bigger than hers and that I was a little thinner too, although honestly she looked better because she was nicely toned.

While I was staring at her in shock, she regarded me coolly with her amazing sapphire eyes. I felt intensely self-conscious and I stuck my hand out. She looked me straight in the eyes as she shook my hand and I was a little taken aback. I couldn't read her expression at all, but I quickly felt awkward because I was smiling in an attempt to be friendly and her face was completely blank, no smile.

"Melanie, this is my new neighbor Victoria. Vicky, this is Melanie Grant." I instinctively winced again as she called me Vicky and I could tell that Melanie took notice of it. I felt edgy with her intense gaze focused on me.

"Hi. It's nice to meet you," I said nervously. She nodded in return but didn't say anything.

"Hey Melanie, Vicky says that she's a cheerleader and she's going to try out for our squad!" Andrea said in her perpetually excited voice as we went into Melanie's house. I didn't bother to correct Andrea by telling her that I hadn't said I was going to try out because I was too busy being amazed by the interior, it looked so polished and stylish.

"Really? Are you any good?" Melanie asked me, her tone calculating as she looked me over again, and I was startled when I realized that it was the first time she had spoken and that she was speaking to me. I really liked her voice, it was calm and a little soft, not loud and obnoxiously perky like so many voices that I knew.

"I dunno," I replied guardedly. Something about her just completely put me on edge. "I like cheerleading." I winced at this lame answer, but it wasn't like I had anything else to say. I wasn't about to start saying that I was the best cheerleader ever or anything like that. I just wasn't confident like that.

"Huh. Well I guess we'll see at the tryouts," She said, sounding uninterested. Not having anything else to say, we both turned our attention to Andrea, who started up a steady stream of conversation as Melanie led us into what I assumed was the living room. I sat down a little hesitantly on a fancy, expensive looking couch that was facing the TV, and Andrea immediately sat down next to me.

Conversation managed to flow, largely in thanks to Andrea. It seemed that she and Melanie got along very well because they joked around and laughed a lot, and Andrea made sure to include me. We sat around for a little while as Andrea talked, until her phone started to ring. She answered and talked into her cell for a few minutes, an annoyed expression developing on her face.

"Yeah, sure, whatever," She said with irritation. "You owe me, babe. Uh huh. You too, bye." She hung up and faced me. "Hey Vicky, my boyfriend just called and he needs me to drop off his car keys cause he left them at my house. He said he wants them right this second, so I was wondering if I could just take your car, drop them off and come back?" She caught sight of my hesitant expression and rushed to reassure me. "I promise I'll take super good care of it. His house is pretty close to mine so I don't think it'll take more than twenty minutes. Plus this way you can hang out with Melanie, right?"

I wasn't sure if getting the chance to hang out with Melanie would be a very good thing. I was already very nervous around her and she didn't seem too friendly. There was no way I could refuse to let Andrea use my car though, because she had been so nice to me. I agreed reluctantly and handed over my car keys. As Andrea skipped off, I was aware of the awkward silence that she left behind in her wake and I immediately started fiddling with my necklace. I smiled tentatively at Melanie, whose face remained impassive although she focused her eyes on me again, and racked my mind for conversation topics. Surprisingly, however, she was the one who started talking.

"So you just moved in?" She asked and I nodded in reply. "Well it's really nice here, most people like it." I made a noise in response and we fell into silence again for a few seconds. Finally she gave me a curious look. "Are you really shy or something? Because you don't talk much," She noted.

I didn't know what to say. I felt a little insulted at her question, because I wasn't the only one not talking. "When I first meet people I am, I guess."

"Sort of like me, then. Except I'm not shy, just quiet. There's a party this Saturday, at this guy named Dylan's house," she said, completely switching topics and taking me aback "Andrea can't go because it's her boyfriend's birthday so I was wondering if you'd like to go. A lot of people that I know are going but no one in this area, and since my car's broken maybe I could catch a ride with you?"

When she asked me to go I perked up, but as soon as she finished I deflated. She only wanted me to go because she wanted me to drive her, and this utterly depressed me. I hated the feeling of being used, and I was about to tell her no, but before I opened my mouth I glanced up at her. She was looking at me intently and her eyes seemed so sincere, as if she really wanted me to go to the party with her. I knew that she really didn't but I couldn't say no. Besides, it would be a bad idea to refuse anyways since I was new here and she was the captain of the cheerleading squad that I wanted to get into. Everyone knows how high school social hierarchy works. "Sure," I answered in defeat, although I took care to make my voice sound like I was pleased that she had asked me.

She smiled at me for the first time and I was startled. Her smile was really pretty and it made her face seem much friendlier. "Thanks, Victoria." I noticed that she took care to say my full name instead of calling me 'Vicky'. She said my name really slowly, drawing out the syllables. People usually didn't say my name like that, instead they rushed it, and I found that I liked how she said it.

"No problem, but I hope there are cute guys at this party." And it was true. I had broken up with my last boyfriend when I moved and I was still a little upset about it. I figured that this could be solved easily with a hook up. From what I'd seen while driving here, there were plenty of hot guys, so I was excited at the prospect of meeting new guys. Getting to meet guys that I intended to make out with was much easier than meeting gorgeous girls in huge houses that I felt like I had to impress.

Melanie reassured me that there would be plenty of available guys at this party, and we soon lapsed into silence. I was incredibly grateful when this silence was cut short by the ring of my cell phone. It turned out to be my mother, who wanted to consult me on some aspects of my room and requested that I return home as soon as I could. Just as I hung up Andrea returned. I told her that I had to go and offered her a lift. She declined, telling me that she'd get a ride when she wanted to go home. I was relieved to be able to leave, I definitely liked Andrea but I wasn't quite comfortable around Melanie. I figured that I was just out of sorts since I had just moved, and eventually I'd be able to get along with her.

I left Melanie's house to Andrea's enthusiastic goodbyes. Melanie didn't say anything, she just waved at me when I glanced at her. I waved back and got into my car. As I started it, I let out a sigh of relief. So far, I was liking this town pretty well.