I'm sorry for any mistakes/grammar/spelling, yada. Still looking for a beta for my stories sneekie_ appreciate any help

Cooper's Hill is a normal country town surrounded by dusty, desert terrain. It is predominantly a small mining community, population not quite 10, 000. It is a growing community as new mines open up every year. This town is seen as isolated by the young, some can't wait to leave for the big city, but then there are those who are happy to settle down, raise a family and live out their life. Nothing exciting ever happens in Cooper's Hill.

A car stops outside the Cooper's Hill High School. A student, Lily Turner in her senior year sits in the passengers seat not eager to leave the car. She and her father had just moved to the town for mining jobs. She was nervous at beginning in another new school. She always found it difficult to make friends.

She looks over to her father and he nods her out without a word. She leaves and makes her way to the school office to check in and get her class schedule.

As expected no students gave her the time of day, just the odd second glance and murmuring. The few times she tried to strike up a conversation, she was brushed aside as insignificant. In her morning classes she sat at the back of the room by herself, listening to her teachers drone on.

***

Lunchtime was upon her, and now she would have to find somewhere to sit. This was always a precarious moment as you had no place yet to call your own. You had to wait until all outside seats were fill, then you find a place. Not doing so, you were guaranteed to sit in someone else's spot, thus causing conflict. The stresses of fitting in were not new to Lily, she and her father moved around lots since the death of her mother. Her father was never happy to stay in one town, Lily was never in one town long enough to make good friends.

Lily scans outside for a free spot to eat at. As she moves through the maze of tables. Any possible spot she could squeeze into was quickly shuffled away by students, making it quite evident she was not welcome. Eventually she spotted a potential oasis, located away from most of the other students.

At the far end of the yard was pretty much an empty table against the wall, except for one student. But this student wasn't sitting in the seat, instead sitting on top of the table, legs crossed and resting back against the wall, nose in a book.

Lily took a breath as all the signs pointed to another ostracised student. She works her way over to the table occasionally feeling the stares of students.

"Excuse me, may I sit here?" Lily asks politely

No reply from the student perched on the table.

Still standing Lily looks over the female student, waiting for some acknowledge, but she got none.

Lily decides to be brave and sit on the edge, the girl not moving from her sitting position. This was obviously her turf and she wasn't going to budge.

"I'm Lily, I just started today." munching on her sandwich, still getting no response.

Lily glances around, other students still looking at her, whispering. Lily wonders if she has made a mistake sitting with this loner. A loner student usually meant someone of deranged nature, an outcast with some issues that everyone steers clear. Until Lily knew otherwise, she was staying put.

"So what subjects are you studying?" Lily pauses and sighs.

The girl only seems to be interested in her book, flicking through each page. It was quite possible the girl had not seen or heard her, just too engrossed in her book.

Lily looks under the book and reads out loud "science of the mind, wow that sounds interesting. So are you into psychology or...." Lily stops as the girl finally looks up from her book, and scowls at the intrusion. She jumps from the table, grabs her bag shoving her book in quickly. She leaves without a word.

Lily looks up to the heavens. "I can't even make friends with the school loner, great" she hisses to herself.

***

Lily was feeling a little deflated as she dawdles into her first afternoon class, science. Her teacher acknowledges and points her to a bench at the back on the class, again. As she moves down the aisle, student's eyes follow her. Lily had already checked her teeth and breath before class, and students continued to watch her, and yet not enough to give her the time of day. Then she found the reason. The girl who had ignored her all through lunch was sitting at the bench Lily was to share.

Lily groans and drops her bag next to her bench and sits down. She glances over, but the girl looks blankly out the window, chin on her hand either in deep thought or asleep with her eyes open.

Their teacher begins his class about cultures, diseases and how they were going to take samples from each other and see what they can grow over the next 5 days using an incubator. The Agar plates were distributed around the class, along with a Bunsen burner, lighter and large cotton swabs. Still nothing from the loner next to Lily.

"Braxton are you planning to participate in class, or are you going to stay with the fairies." Growls the teacher.

Students in the class snigger.

The girl next to Lily acknowledges her teacher politely. "Ummm yes sir"

Lily thought this was her cue "Hi, remember me from lunch, the conversation we weren't having." Trying to make light heart of their awkward start.

Braxton shrugs, still remaining quiet.

Lily's patience had come to an end "Fine, whatever. Do you want to light the Bunsen burn or shall I?"

"Hmm" was her response.

"It requires either a yes or no, not a grunt" Lily showing her agitation.

"You can" Braxton looks out the window again, smiling to herself.

Lily tries helpless to get the burner to light, but the lighter wouldn't strike. Everyone else was ahead and they hadn't started. "Stupid, useless thing" hisses Lily.

Lily put her hand up "Excuse me, but this lighter won't work, could I have another one please."

The teacher walks down with the aisle with a spare lighter, Lily looks over and was surprised to see the burner alight.

"oh, umm how did you?"

The teacher walks off.

"It was lit, you just didn't have the gas turned up" Braxton says in a low voice.

"ummm no, it did not light, I couldn't get a spark" disagrees Lily.

"Well its working now" Braxton whines "you can commence your project"

"Fine"

Lily takes out a long swab and faces Braxton. "Give me some DNA" she says light heartedly

Braxton shrinks quickly away. "No, get that thing away from me" she growls.

"Hey, it's what we have to do. Ohhh fine whatever."

Lily swabs her own mouth and rubs it through the agar plate then seals the lid. She lights the swab and blows it out.

Lily held out another swab "it's your turn" when the plate was slid over to her, nothing was swabbed, just sealed.

"Right, I suppose you would like me to put it in the incubator too?" she offers mockingly.

Braxton shrugs and watches Lily take their plates to the front of the room. While nobody watches, Braxton runs her fingers through the flame slowly, feeling the heat. She seems to be memorized and didn't notice Lily's return.

"Jeezus Christ" Lily grabs Braxton's hand away, trying to check it for burns "need to run this under water now."

Braxton snatches her hand back and puts it into her jacket pocket.

"You probably have burnt yourself, now let me see. My god are you deranged?" she stops talking but continues to think 'oh my god, first day of school and I'm partnered with a weirdo.'

Braxton smirks at her ramblings.

The teacher now sets them a joint assignment and by the time he reaches Lily and Braxton, they were left with the life cycle of earth worms.

Lily groans not only at the boring assignment but who she was partnered with. In disillusion and without thinking Lily puts head in her hands and leans forward into the Bunsen burner. Braxton quickly puts her hand completely over the Bunsen burner to stop it from igniting Lily's sleeve, and hisses in annoyance at her lack of attention.

Lily looks over "Now what" she snaps.

"You nearly set yourself on fire." Braxton growls.

"Well at least that would have been more interesting than the project on earth worms and"

"Sitting next to a weirdo" finishes Braxton.

Lily eyes widen "I......never said that" surprised how Braxton would say something similar to what Lily had been thinking.

Braxton shrugs, the bell rings and she leaves.

"Hey wait up" Lily calls out, but Braxton was gone.

Lily sighs, she knew she was alone in this project.

***

The school day was over and Lily walks to the school boundary. She sees Braxton and decides to try and work out their project.

Braxton's head was down, her back pack slung over one shoulder as she walks towards the end of the school grounds.

"Braxton, wait up, we need to chat about the project." Lily ran up and touched her shoulder. "Hey"

Braxton faces her "What? Are you my stalker now" she moans.

Lily scoffs "Don't flatter yourself Braxton. I want to know what are you going to do about our project, I don't want to have to carry you."

"Hey, I'll take care of my own, you worry about yours." she turns to leave.

"and what part will you be doing then?" asks Lily, hands on her hips knowing that her project partner hadn't put any thought into it.

Braxton thought about it and faces again "I'll work on the life cycle and you work on how many legs they have" Braxton smirks.

"That is so stupid, worms do not have legs" Lily catches Braxton's slight smirk "you are so weird" and smiles herself.

"I've been called worse." Braxton drifts off for a moment, looks over her shoulder to a car. Sitting on the bonnet was a guy, he nods her over.

Braxton nods back "I'll do the life cycle, you do something on their environment, why worms are important, where they fit in, within the grand scheme of life."

Lily amazed at her response but notices see Braxton was distracted and eager to leave. Lily looks past Braxton to the car "so..... is that your boyfriend?" nodding to him.

Braxton eyes widen then all of a sudden she grabs her head groaning, she stumbles forward. Lily catches her "what's the matter, are you having some kind of fit?"

Braxton regains her composure and closes her eyes "no... I umm" she looks over her shoulder, the guy on the car throws his arms in the air "I suffer from vertigo, sometimes."

"While you are on the ground?" Lily in disbelief.

"It can happen" Braxton bites back.

Lily sighs "With you, I wouldn't at all be surprised."

Braxton held her gaze for a moment longer, when she sees three students walking towards them. She knew it was time to leave. "Look, you shouldn't be seen with me."

Braxton tries to leave, but not quick enough. She was cut off and surrounded by three boys.

"Hey, where you going?" demands one of the boys.

Braxton drops her head not making eye contact.

"I'm talking to you." He pokes her in the shoulder.

Braxton ignores their taunts and tries to push through but she is shoved backwards, almost tripping over her feet.

"Hey leave her alone" defends Lily, she then cuts in front of Braxton, ready to stand up to the bullies.

"or you will do what? Stay out of this ugly bitch" says another one of the bullies, then pushes her to the side.

Braxton closes her eyes "no, just let it go Curtis" she huffs under her breath.

The bullies take it in turns pushing Braxton, shoving her about.

"Who's Curtis, is he your boyfriend? Not likely, I bet you're still a virgin" one yanks Braxton's bag from her shoulder, throwing it to the ground and kicks it.

The guy on the car strides froward, then with one hand on the fence leaps it and continues to stride over to them.

Braxton faces the guy "no Curtis, it's ok.... don't" she says to him as he makes his way quickly up to them.

The boys face the advancing guy, they were 3 onto one. They easily had him covered and readied themselves for the physical confrontation.

Curtis was up and stares at all the boys. They instantly grab their heads and drop to the ground writhing in pain.

Lily wasn't sure what was happening, she was not aware that vertigo was contagious.

Braxton see's blood coming from their noses and grabs Curtis and shakes him "That's enough, stop it now"

Curtis takes a breath looks at Lily then back at Braxton.

"Get in the car now Brax" he grabs her bag from the ground before turning to the boys.

"I said leave them" orders Braxton. Curtis nods and they both walk off

Lily watches the two odd couple leave and the guys on the ground stop groaning, but were all dazed and confused.

"What happened?" asked one of the bullies as he wipes the blood from his nose.

"I have no idea" says Lily. She watches Braxton and Curtis get in the car and drive off, her curiosity now aroused.