Obligatory Warning: WARNING! WARNING! This story has romance and (some) sexual content of the lesbian/ shoujo-ai/ femslash/ inset-random-descriptor-here variety. Turn back if that ain't your cup of tea, and leave a review if you like!
Chapter 1: Once Upon... You Get the Idea.
It all began with that most clichéd of expressions.
Once upon a time.
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl named Erika Andress. But no one that would know it, because no one ever seemed noticed her. Not her mother, because she had died shortly after she was born. Not her father, who died in a car accident the day after she graduated from the sixth grade.
In fact, the only attention she ever consistently got was the bad kind, especially from her stepfamily. Her stepmother was a rich MILF, and she knew it. Therefore, anyone that wasn't an immediate family member was automatically relegated to second-class citizenship. What made things worse that this witch with a capital 'B' was a teacher at her school. So when she messed up, Ms. Allison Andress would be among the first to know it.
And no good especially came from associating herself with her two stepsisters, because Fiona and Jade were plastics. They belonged to the group of kids that was the popular kid's version of royalty at Mary Theresa's School for Girls.
And yes, she was enrolled at the area's private all-girls school. While the locale she lived in was very affluent, only the upper crust sent their girls there. The only reason that Erika could come up with for why her stepmother would enroll her there was to keep an even closer eye on her.
In fact, besides her mother screaming at her to wake up two hours ago, her two stepsisters giving her nipple twists while she was trying to dress, and the abysmal rainstorm going on outside, there was near nothing to look forward to today. The fact that today was Friday was a double-edged sword. While Fiona and Jade would be busy getting drunk with their friends, she would be under the ever so watchful eyes of her dear stepmother doing chores.
The animosity between her sisters and her was so great that she even had to walk to a different bus stop than those two. Fortunately, there was a friendly face waiting for her at the stop.
Said face was opening his door and ushering her inside his more moderately sized house. "Come on outta the rain, Erika. You'll getcha death of cold."
Erika stepped into the warm air of the house and closed her umbrella, placing it carefully beside the door. The senior's wrinkled chocolate face shifted into a kind smile, his white hair moving slightly from the movements of the ceiling fan. "It's good to see you, Mr. Daniels."
"Please Erika, I've told you a hundred times, just call me Buck. Have a seat and I'll getcha an orange." Erika smiled at that, because as Buck would say, 'An orange a day keeps the doctor away, but don't bother with apples. They taste something horrible.'
As she sat down, Buck couldn't help but admire the way the young woman had grown up, "I gotta tell 'ya Erika, you're looking more like your mother every day."
Erika would never truly know it, but Buck was right; she was her mother's daughter. Her long red hair and those green-blue eyes were a definite hint, and she had inherited her mother's naturally perfect dimensions where they really counted. Her face was more a combination of her mother and father, giving her a naturally striking face- one that no one ever seemed to notice.
That said, her clothes were a little old, but that couldn't be helped. From what Buck understood, she mostly got to wear hand-me-downs from her sisters. The only unused clothes she got were underwear.
"What classes you got today?" Buck handed her a perfectly unpeeled orange, into which Erika tore into happily.
"US Government... AP Environmental Science..."
"I keep tellin' ya, you got both your parent's brains."
"I'm sorry about that." There was only one Calculus teacher at the school, and it happened to be her stepmother.
"And Theatre IV- still got that every day." Both of them smiled a little bit.
"Well, one out of four's better than nothin'." The Theatre Department happened to be the only niche that Erika could really get along with, for a variety of reasons.
A cavalcade of noise came roaring from the nearby staircase as two grown black teens came rushing down, backpacks and suitcases in tow. "Morty, Georgie, good morning."
Both of the college bound men nodded respectfully at Erika as they began to stuff their mouths with large spoonfuls of cereal and milk.
Buck smiled, rhetorically asking the two, "Today's the big day, isn't it?"
Georgie downed his mouthful first. "Yeah, Dad. Today we start the big trip to Brown University!"
Morty held up his pointer finger to ask for a moment, his bald head slightly reflecting the light in the room. Once he swallowed his bite, he started to clarify, "That's only partially correct, Grandpa. George is the one going to Brown, I'm headed for West Point."
Georgie shook his head, jokily adding, "Yessir, nossir, three bags full sir."
Buck and Erika both laughed, knowing that today would be that last time for a while that they'd get to hear any more of Georgie's antics.
Just then, the familiar creak of wheels and sleepy people ached along outside the street outside. Erika stood up, finishing off her orange. "I'll see you later, Buck. Good luck, guys."
As she walked out the kitchen, she caught the strangest sight. There was a blinking little red light on top of a phone of the same color.
"Buck... that weird phone is blinking again." And immediately, all three men rushed past Erika towards the phone, nearly knocking Erika over in the process.
"Are you ever going to explain that thing to me?"
Buck picked up the phone, both of his grandsons eagerly anticipating the greeting from the other side. He turned to look at Erika, and replied, "I'll explain it later. In fact, I'll explain it to 'ya the same day I explain that picture in your pocket."
Erika nodded, and then picked up her umbrella as went out the door. Inside one of the parts of her wallet that people usually kept a picture in, was a picture of her parents and Buck. She was there too, but you couldn't really see her. After all, her mother was still probably pretty early on when the picture was taken. Her mother was standing up and wearing a medical outfit, and her father was grinning like an idiot. He had sunglasses raised above his eyes, revealing a proud look in his eyes that she could've sworn that she'd seen before.
And behind all three of them was a slightly younger Buck, his face a little less wrinkled, his hair a little less grey, and he was in a nice suit and carrying a briefcase. He appeared to be almost as happy as her father, for some reason.
"Hey, move it fatty!"
Erika quickly came off that cloud when she noticed that not only had they already gotten to the school, but she had also foolishly sat next to Fiona. Said stepsister then pushed her out of her seat.
"Late for class, Kelly?"
"It couldn't be helped, Mrs. Cosby. I got held up." Which was true to an extent, but she didn't really need to know why.
"Sit down, Kelly. If you're late for class again before the end of next week, I'll have to give you detention."
Kelly gulped a little, but took it in stride. Detention didn't faze her, even if she hadn't ever been there before. But if word of her going there got out, then it could go pretty badly. She took her usual seat in the second row, reflecting on what kind of twisted school she was in.
There were two kinds of popular people at her school, and they were the same kind of people who took the class at this place. There were people who backstabbed their way to the top, and people who were naturally at the top through who their parents were. Kelly Kingsley belonged to the latter, her father being a big time movie executive and all. With his connections, anybody could get a good job in Hollywood.
That last little detail made her a person whom other girls tried to get into good graces with near constantly. That usually involved some combination of sexual innuendo, groping, and empty words. Truth be told, that was why she was late to the Student Government class today.
The girl had been pretty persistent, running her fingers through Kelly's shoulder length blonde locks, whispering to her about things she'd like to do to her in a shower. When Kelly started to run, she grabbed onto one of her legs, mischievously trying to slide a hand up her thighs and into her skirt.
It was like her mother said, 'All of the women at that school are closeted lesbians until proven otherwise.' The whole school felt like it was ripped out of one of those manga that she read.
She snapped out of it. After all, the Gruesome Twosome were about to make a suggestion.
Fiona and Jade both stood up, their various lengths of brown hair issuing forth. They looked at each other before Jade spoke.
"As you all know, Homecoming is coming up in a few weeks. So we have to start typing up those ballots and start collecting nominations for Homecoming Queen."
One of the juniors coughed loudly muttering something very quickly. Fiona looked at her, her short hair making her appear more frightful. "What was that?
The junior shrugged her shoulders. "What's the point of getting nominations? We already know that it's either going to be one of you two or Kelly."
Kelly started to talk, if only to avoid being indirectly yelled at. "We don't know that. Stranger things have happened."
That seemed to have stilled Fiona's infamous temper, if only for now. "We do need to get some nominations coming in. We can distribute the ballots during third period next Wednesday."
That was more or less the agenda for the entire class; the remainder of the class time was spent socializing for the most part, except for that one outspoken junior, who was typing on the computer furiously.
"You alright, Meredith?"
The pink-haired junior laughed bitterly, looking at Kelly. "Those two take the piss outta me. I am so glad that you were elected president instead of them."
It was Kelly's turn to be bitter now. "I only got elected because of who my father is-"
"-you and half of the school-"
"-and as far as I'm concerned, I'm just a figurehead for the teachers. The only reason I haven't resigned is that those two would do an even worse job than I do."
Meredith kept pounding away at the keyboard, formatting the ballots for Wednesday. "Oh come off it. You do a better job not pissing off the student body than either of the Gruesome Twosome."
Kelly chuckled a little, before wryly responding, "Probably."
Erika's eyes were dead set on the clock, just waiting to go to Theatre. She could've sworn that Father Time was out to get her, what with how slow the clock seemed to be moving.
She shifted her eyes back to the teacher. "Yes, Ms. Andress?"
"What is the definition of a piecewise function?"
"...I don't know." She groaned inwardly as her mother/teacher grinned wickedly.
Ms. Andress looked at the clock, before adding, "Check your syllabuses for this weekend's assignment. Oh, and Erika?"
Erika stared at her mother, praying that she was wrong for once about what her mother would punish her with. "Yes?"
"You get to do the 'Extra Practice' section in addition to the regular assignment, as well as a written definition of what a piecewise function is, due on my desk at the start of class, Erika."
And with that, the bell rang, and Erika quickly scurried out into the hall.
It wasn't fair! Her stepmother always was harder on her than she was with any of her other students, often to the point of absurdity!
At least Theatre class was next, which was always a breath of fresh air- it was kind of like her home away from home. Plus, all her real friends were there, including the return of-
"Erika!" A woman about a head shorter than Kelly playfully tackled her, a low laugh escaping her midget body.
"Hey, Kat!" Her well-endowed and green haired midget buddy was just as hyper as ever, even after suffering generally incapacitating jet lag. "How was Hawaii?"
"Every bit I'd ever dreamed of! My brother was right- your eighteen birthday's always the best!" The two started to walk into the expansive theatre, eventually taking seats amongst the others in the first row. "What show are we doing for Homecoming this year?"
"The Odd Couple. Today's the last day of auditions." Kat looked at Erika with a gleam in her aquamarine eyes and a grin on her face, and the raven haired seventeen year old knew what was coming. "No."
But Kat wouldn't quit now, not by a long shot. "Come on Erika, you're a great actress! Hell, you've got more talent in one finger than most of us have in all our bodies!"
Erika blushed, her face becoming a color similar to her hair. "I'm not that good... besides, I'm too nervous. I'd get stage fright-"
"-Since when has the greatest actress I've ever known gotten stage fright? You were fantastic in Oklahoma!" She hugged her pal to accentuate that fact.
Erika's eyes went to the stage, where another friend as quickly approaching, wielding a pencil and a clipboard. "You might want to let go Kat, your 'husband' is coming."
Kat's attention quickly shifted to the blonde girl, whom she greeted with a crushing hug. The girl responded by kissing Kat on the forehead, replying in her Southern twang, "Jeez, you've only been away for a week! I'd hate to have seen what would've happened if you'd been away any longer."
Kat began to whisper something in her 'husband's' ear, to which the expression on the girl's face went from enthusiastic to miffed. Finally, she turned to Erika and tersely asked, "Why aren't you auditioning? Your name's nowhere on the list!"
"I just don't think that I'm up for it, Mary." She shrugged her shoulders.
Mary shook her head. "The audition's just a cold reading, Erika, and we both know that you're practically God at those." Kat nodded her head in agreement.
Just then, someone that neither Kat nor Erika expected popped out of the backstage area, clutching her backpack and quickly making her way back to class.
Kat and Erika were flabbergasted, but Erika managed to find her voice first. "Was that-"
Mary licked her lips involuntarily. "Indeed. Kelly Kingsley, our class president."
Kat couldn't believe it. "Why on earth is she auditioning?"
Mary gestured for the two to keep it down. "That's what I said. And she told me that she'd always been interested, but had always been too busy." She looked over her clipboard again, before adding, "Plus, she's probably trying to sabotage the Gruesome Twosome. They're auditioning after school."
All of the color went out of Erika's face. "My sisters are auditioning?!"
Mary nodded. "It is Homecoming season, and you know that the popular kids are going try to get exposure anyway they can. That means that almost all of the SGA's auditioned."
"Then I'm definitely not auditioning then." Erika shook her head, a cold shiver running down her spine.
Kat and Mary both looked at her as if she'd taken crazy pills, before saying in perfect unison, "You're auditioning, and that's that!"
The stage manager looked at her clipboard again, then her watch. "I guess Julia's showing up for her audition late then, the flake." She took her trusty pencil and scribbled on the clipboard. She glanced at the watch again before remarking, "Erika, I know you're afraid of your sisters, you're letting them take away the one thing that I know you love. So just give it a shot, okay?"
If life was a movie, then Mary would've just won an Oscar for Most Persuasive Monologue. Erika sighed, before asking, "Where's Mrs. Thatcher?"
Kat slapped her reluctant friend on the back. "Now that's what I'm talking about!" Mary pointed her thumb to the dressing rooms backstage, and Erika walked off.
Once she was out of earshot, Kat hugged Mary more affectionately, whispering, "So, what are you up to tonight?"
Mary smirked before responding in monotone, "Well, I was planning on watching TV and reading, but now I think you want to have sex with me all night long."
Her 'wife' squeezed her behind, forcing Mary to squeal. Kat was beaming, and responded with, "I guess you finally learned how to read minds, eh?"
"Just a lucky guess."
Meanwhile, Erika was hovering just outside the girl's dressing room, trying to stop her right hand from shaking. 'I'll be fine. I'll be fine. Don't think about how your sisters are going to kill you when you get home.' She managed to get her hand on the doorknob when the door opened on the other end.
"Mary, where's Julia?" A middle aged English woman began walking out of the room, before running into a familiar red head. "Ah, Erika, so good to see you!" Her accent and mannerisms hadn't been lost in translation; there was tea instead of coffee inside the thermos she was carrying.
"The same, Mrs. Thatcher. How's Henry?"
"Oh, the man's as cheerful as always. You couldn't have come at a better time- Lord knows I need a pick-me-up right about now."
Erika had an inkling she already knew what was stressing her out, but asked about it anyway. "Oh, those SGA people have been auditioning all day for me, and it's been abysmal! With the exception of that charming Kingsley girl and Kat, it's been nothing short of a ham-it-up fest today." She looked at Erika square in the eye before continuing. "If I recall correctly, you weren't planning to audition, am I correct?"
"Did this have anything to do with your sisters?"
"Not originally, Mrs. Thatcher. Things are a little hectic right now, and then I found out that they were auditioning-"
The theater teacher held up her palm, and Erika quickly stopped, fearing that she had gone too far.
"Erika, I've heard all of the horror stories. But unless those two are nothing short of Katherine Hepburn reincarnated, you have my word that they will not be cast. Perhaps called back, but not cast." Her face went from serious to cheerful as she handed the Nervous Nancy a piece of paper.
Erika could see that, as always, there was a monologue on the paper. She looked up at her teacher, who simply put her hands together and said, "Fire when ready."