"So you were with Trent for, how long again?" Cassie Reynolds was not known for her intelligence. A slightly vacant look accompanied her everywhere she went, and her voice held tones of absence every time she spoke. Cassie Reynolds however, was very good at hiding things, and along with her alcohol and caffeine collection, her intellect was one of them.

"Three years, three months and two days," there was a slight pause before Miranda's reply, but only a slight one. "Not that I'm counting,"

Cassie regarded her carefully through all knowing eyes. "And you've been broken up with him for, how long again?"
"Umm, about a year and seventeen days ago, give or take a few hours," Miranda didn't even bother to pause before answering.

"Interesting," Cassie replied thoughtfully, chewing on her pencil for a moment. She turned the problem around a few times in her mind, testing its limits and before resigning herself to one answer, and moving on. Smiling as she did so, she inquired it Miranda had seen the new kids who had started that day for the new term.

"Cassie, no, I haven't. And more to the point, I thought we were discussing whether or not pashing that guy constituted as getting over Trent!"
Cassie's eyes bored into her. "Miranda, we both know the only reason you did it was to prove to yourself that you didn't need him, and also for some sick desire to cause yourself pain and anguish as you realise more and more that you are still completelyin love with him. Unless of course, he finds out, which would lead to you being more than able to finally let out all your pent up anger directed at him – which, as much as you deny it, I know exists somewhere under your purple hair. And, more to the point, it would prove to him that you are completely able to function without him, even thought you can't,"

Miranda looked at Cassie for the longest moment, needing at least thirty seconds to process Cassie's speech. "It's like you can read my mind,"
"I should charge by the hour,"
"Girls! Quiet please!"

A back-row discussion momentarily interrupted by a misplaced homeroom teacher attempting to take the roll (conveniently forgetting that the first day of a new term meant that students would be sleeping on desks or high on energy drinks). Miranda Johns took the time as a chance to steel herself over for an potentially interesting English class with the one and only Trent Murphy. She was so busy steeling herself, that she failed to notice the new students Cassie had been mentioning as she walked to the afore mentioned English class. If she hadn't been, perhaps disaster could have been averted.

But (the new) Miranda Johns attracted disaster like a cat attracts fleas, so it probably would have made little difference.

Her books slotted in next to Cassie's like Tetris pieces, and she into her seat like one does when they've been sitting there three times a week for ten weeks. Her head was about to fall dutifully onto her desk, to snooze for a good third of the period, when Cassie nudged her violently.

"There's one of the new kids,"

Miranda's head jerked up from her books, judging by the severity of the nudge that she was looking for an extremely attractive boy to moon over, or at the very least, a very slutty girl to bitch about. She found herself looking at the former, a tall, smiling boy, with bright eyes and a wicked grin, who was staring directly at her best friend.

Although Miranda Johns didn't know it yet, this was Zachary Peterson, the second son in the (as a general rule) fairly attractive Peterson clan, a tall and charming young man, with a penchant for playing with water guns (the type marketed to children half his age) and who possessed an unusual skill that combined both a remarkable level of hand-eye coordination and a stomach of steel. This was Zachary Peterson who, at the age of fourteen had broken more hearts than Miranda had lips kissed; Zachary Peterson who, while not as attractive as some in his family, had earned a reputation at his old school as a heartbreaker; Zachary Peterson, who upon setting foot in his new school had hoped to maintain his reputation, and who, upon seeing Cassie Reynolds that morning, decided on his first target.

But Miranda Johns didn't know it yet. If she had, she most likely wouldn't have smiled at him.

A second thing to add to the newly created, and rapidly growing list of things Miranda Johns didn't know about, was the fact that Trent Murphy was surveying the entire scene, and comprehended exactly what Zachary Peterson's wink really meant (something that Miranda Johns and Cassie Reynolds would, most likely, spend the next few hours agonizing about). He also recognised the look of abandon in her eyes, the look that said she was willing to do anything – anything – to get her mind of one particular thing, including hooking her best friend up with a virtual stranger. The look was something he had seen the previous night as she'd awkwardly flirted with the new guy in Manchester (not that he'd been checking up on her, and he definitely didn't miss her. He just really needed a new…toilet brush, and it wasn't his fault that they were on the bottom shelf, which meant that he needed to bend down, which made him imperceptible from the other side, but also provided him a fantastically positioned vantage point, from which he had been able to see the whole entire sheet section), a look that he was sure was his fault, but something that he had no idea how to fix. So all Trent Murphy could do was accidentally poke fingernail shaped holes in the cover of his copy of the text they were about to study, and mentally start composing a song.

Miranda Johns, of course, was oblivious to this.

"Class, settle down, and get out your copies of Much Ado About Nothing," the English teacher's loud voice interrupted Miranda's appraisal of the new boy, but did nothing to stop his scheming. Cassie turned to the distracted girl (who at that moment in time, was busy plotting the new boy's imminent wedding to her best friend), and upon regarding her friend's preoccupied gaze, raised an eyebrow and whispered (in her customary, slightly airy tone);

"Miranda, not again,"
"What!?" was her friend's sharp retort, as she was dragged unceremoniously from her reverie.
"Miranda, I know exactly what you're thinking,"
"And? So what?"
"Don't do it. At least Henry looked like a nice guy,"
"This guy looks nice,"
"He looks like he knows he looks nice,"
"The difference being…?"
"Only a few thousand dollars in therapy bills,"
"I think he likes you Cassie,"
"I think you're wrong,"
"He's looking over here though,"
"Miss Johns and Miss Reynolds, would you care to explain to the class why Much Ado About Nothing is an appropriate text for a year 12 English class?" A rude, but not wholly unwelcomed interruption from the slightly disgruntled English teacher. Miranda's in depth response not only shocked and pleased the discontented woman, but also guaranteed them both pass mark at the end of the area of study, based purely on class participation.

Trent Murphy on the other hand, would be failing that aspect of the class. He sat to the rear with his closest friend, and band-mate Henry Hadley, an awkwardly attractive young man, who had long nursed a soft spot for Cassie Reynolds. Henry Hadley, who despite being the drummer of Trent Murphy's successful band had never been in a relationship that had lasted longer than a single date, purely because he seized up when talking to girls (a trait which seemed to work in his favour, because all girls really wanted from him was a one night with Henry Hadley, which they more often than not, received). Trent Murphy filled the classroom with a continual (and unnecessary) banter, which while fairly amusing, was incredibly annoying.

"Trent, why are you still talking," Miranda Johns cracked halfway through the class. "Nobody actually cares what you have to say,"
"My dear lady disdain, are you yet living?" Trent read the play to Miranda with a jovial tone, which earned him one of her speciality glares and a large ball of paper to his head.
"Is it possible that disdain should die with such meat food to feed on as Senior Benedick?" she replied, spinning around and rolling her eyes at Cassie, who looked vacantly back.

Trent Murphy leant over a gap of silence, and poked Miranda Johns harshly in the back. Her whole body jolted at his touch, and she spun around causally, attempting to appear as if she did not care.

"Yeah?" was her opening line, suited perfectly for an awkward situation such as this. Vague, and uncaring, with a slight hint of pain.
"You guys playing at the Community Centre this Friday?"

Miranda nodded. "Are you?"
"Course," Trent nodded his reply.

Miranda turned back to Cassie, failing to hide the shock on her eyes as she pictured them sharing the stage again. Trent's band was currently between bass guitarists, but was functioning quite well with just its lead singer/guitarist and drummer. So well in fact, that it had secured a spot at the Community Centre when another band had dropped out, meaning that for the first time in around thirteen months, Miranda and Cassie would be playing along side them. Cassie Reynolds looked over at Miranda Johns, just as the latter realized this, and whispered in her ear.

"Just bring that guy from Manchester along, that'll show him,"

Miranda Johns considered this for a moment, and then smiled slightly. Yes, that was exactly the sort of thing that the new Miranda Johns would do.


A/N:

okie dokie folks, this is chapter 2! i know its not the best, but i'm getting somewhere with this story, which is something i haven't done for A VERY LONG TIME. So bear with me, i promise it's getting somewhere!!

thankyou so much to bakinbacon for the lovely review, and also to chazza-x for alerting this story!! knowing that i have two readers makes my life. :D

so like i said, stick with me, i'm dragging myself out of this writers block one bloody word at a time

love always,
msblacksharpie