I may be not all that pretty on the outside, but I'm DAMN GORGEOUS on the inside.

"Can you believe them?" I joke lightheartedly with my best friend, Dimitri Rivierez, one Sunday as we sit on his front porch, eating popsicles and hanging out in nothing but our still drying swim trunks. We're mocking the jocks at our school who think they own the place. "It's like they expect us to bow down to them or something."

I take another suck from my grape popsicle and Dimitri bites a chunk from his cherry one. I can't do that; my teeth are too sensitive.

Dimitri nods and pokes me. "Right? Oh, and your glasses are falling, Kev," he points out.

I push my geek chic glasses farther up my nose and nod at a couple of girls passing by, scantily clad in shorts so, well, short that their asses hang out and tube tops that barely cover anything. "Hey," I say to Dimitri, nudging him with my elbow, "What do you straights see in most of those kinds of girls, anyway?"

He eyes them for a minute before pushing a hand - the non-sticky one - through his thick brown hair and shrugging. "Tits, ass, pretty face. Dunno. I don't play through with their type, anyways."

I nod again, this time thoughtfully and in a way that might come off as lazy. "I see." I glance at him through the corner of my eyes. "So that wasn't you that I saw staring at Little Miss Julie Ponsa and first-class whore Mina Andrews from the sophmore class," I conclude in a philosophical voice. "I see I see."

Dimitri rolls his eyes. "Julie had the Oakleys I wanted and Mina got the new iPhone, is all. And if you say 'I see' one more time, I will kick your nerdy ass all the way to Canada."

I pout. "You wouldn't, Mitri," I say with big eyes. "You love me too much."

He snorts and pokes me again. "So what up with you and the Clickers?"

The Clickers are a photography group in school that I've been dying to get into, but every time I submit an entry, they decline.

"Not very well," I admit disappointedly, licking my quickly melting popsicle. I take a whole slushy-ish chunk and let it melt in my mouth. "Still won't let me in."

Dimitri hums. "Sucks, bro. How long so far?"

I glance up at the cornflower blue sky, void of any clouds. "Dunno. Two years, nine applications, I think?"

My friend shakes his head. "Totally jacked, Kev."

"Right?" I scoff. "They're all self-righteous, pompous people. Good thing the ones running it for the past two years are seniors and grads this year." Dimitri shakes his head again and I fidgit with the LiveStrong band on my left wrist.

"What's so great about the Photography Club, again?" he asks. "I don't see much of a point to it, y'know?"

I smile. "You would only get it if your life revolved around art, like mine, you brainless footballer," I tease. "Speaking of which, your sports scholarship for La Sierra Uni?"

Dimitri scowls. "Still waiting on it." He's a junior, and I'm still a tiny little freshy who takes advanced classes because I'm a brainiac and, if I keep up my grades, I can graduate in my third year of highschool to college. "Goddamn idiots."

I place a reassuring hand on his bare shoulder and Dimitri lets out a sound of protest when he feels stickiness from my fingers. I giggle. "You poor, poor baby. Expecting a scholarship with your grades suck and you're still a junior. I pity you."

Dimitri slaps the back of my head and I choke on my popsicle piece. "Whatever. So about the jocks."

I cough. "What about them?" My voice is strained, as I fight for air through the slight pain.

"Aren't they the stupidest group in the whole school district?" Dimitri says, waving his bare popsicle stick around and licking the syrup off his redder-than-normal lips. "I mean, their IQ is probably in the single digits, and that's when you add them all up without finding the mean!"

I snicker. "And when did you find the time to figure that one out, genious?" I'm rewarded with another hit to the back of my head. "Hey! Watch it! I need to keep these brain cells, yeah?"

Dimitri snorts and stands. "Maybe losing some will bring you back down to a normal level." He stretches and says, "You can hang here for a while longer but I gotta go to a friend's house."

"Studying for Bio-Lab tomorrow?" I inquire. Of course, I already know the answer.

"Nope." Dimitri pops the 'p' and heads inside. "Going to play some games at Kyle's house." I say goodbye and get up, basically drinking the remains of the popsicle and heading home, still shirtless and barefoot.

The next day is Monday. I stumble down the hall as fast as I can, trying to balance my backpack, textbooks, and art project all at once. Dimitri is pretty far ahead, near the end of the hall, and I want to catch up with him before second period, since I didn't see him earlier this morning. He's with some other guys from the popular group.

Dimitri's wearing one of the purple football lettermans only given to one of the jocks. The same jocks that he was mocking and making fun of yesterday.

"Dimitri!" I call, stumbling over my worn, hand-me-down brown loafers. My blue Algebra II textbook almost falls out of my hands. "Dimitri!"

He sighs and glances at the head blonde jock, Peter, next to him, who whispers something to him with a smirk. Dimitri nods and turns to me. I smile and run up to him, mouth running a mile a minute about the mini-explosion I made in Chemistry. I stop abruptly, however, when he stops fidgiting and glares down at me. I notice he now has gold highlights in his chocolate hair. Those aren't natural.

My brows furrow slightly in confusion, and my smile weakens a little. "Um... Dimitri?"

Suddenly, a force pushes me and I'm sprawled on the floor with my books and stuff all over the floor. Pencils, erasers, inking pens, and other art supplies are rolling all over the linoleum, and my art project(a portrait of Dimitri himself) is ruined by spilt ink and skidding pencils. My head hurts from where I hit it against the corner of a set of lockers and I can't see straight. My glasses are in pieces, glass digging into my palms with a few stray shards are in my neck from how I fell.

I hear laughter all around me, but the one that stands out the most is Dimitri's. It's a barking laugh, and not how it used to be.






Then the warning bell rings and everyone scatters to their classes. Only one person stands in the hallway, their figure a blur.

"Ah, I can't see," I muttered to myself, tears pricking at my eyes. Dispite the fact that glass is still making my hands bleed, I blindly feel around for my things.

There's more scuffling than I could make by myself, so I look up and see gorgeous, shade-changing blue eyes, short, spiky black hair, and smooth, lightly tanned skin. He's helping me gather my things, and meets my gaze for a moment and when he gives me a pure white grin I realize I've been staring. And that he's close. A little too close.

"Like what you can see?" he says jokingly. I blink. Then blush. Then look down and stammer nevously,


He laughs and my breath catches in my throat. It's beautiful. He reminds me of a memory. Distant, or possibly a figment of my imagination. "My name's Carpenter Oliver," he tells me. Oh, I don't know any Carpenters. "You?"

"Um - I - uh duh er - I'm - I'm..." My brain fails me and I almost don't register that the dark haired guy was stroking my cheek, then moved down to my neck with a concentrated frown at the cuts. "I'm Kevin. Bosch. Uh, Kevin Bosch."

"Nice name," Carpenter says. It sounds a little robotic. He stands up then, still holding my stuff. "Let's get you to the nurse's office. You can't go to class like this."

My eyes widen. Class! "Crud!" I yelp, leaping to my feet and fixing my navy sweater vest and white dress shirt, trying to take off down the hall when I feet a couple fingers hooking into the back of the collar of my vest. "Let go! I'm late for Creative writing class and if I don't turn my short story in - "

Carpenter laughs and tugs me surprisingly easily the other way to the nurse's office. "You'll be fine," he says dismissively with a wave of his hand. "You're going to bleed all over the floor here if we don't get you fixed up." And then he raises an eyebrow. "'Crud'?" I shake it off.

With much of my protesting, he drags me to the white office and pokes his head inside. "Hello? Miss Nina? Huh. Looks like she's not here." Carpenter went inside and beckons me in. "I'll fix ya up, instead."

I shrug. "Um... okay." I step inside and he pats one of the cotts before going to rummage in the cabinets for some things. Hey, I don't know anything about medical stuff.

Carpenter looks a little troubled, I say, "What's up?"

He sighs. "It doesn't bother you that people insult you?" I think a moment, then shake my head, even though he can't see it because his face is in front of one of the cabinet doors.

"No," I respond truthfully. "I'm used to it. But..." I purse my lips. "Dimitri doing it to me... It hurts."

I see a small movement and assume that Carpenter nodded. "That kid that Peter said was going to be a new 'recruit'." There's a bite in his tone. I wonder why. So I ask.

Carpenter snorts. "Because 'new recruit' means someone is getting replaced, and since Peter and I fought about something about a week ago, I'm probably going to get kicked out." I glance at his blur of a purple letterman. So he's a jock, too.

I frown as a sudden thought gets to me. "Are you pitying me?" I ask, suddenly a little angry. I've always hated feeling like people took me as a charity case. The very public fact(thanks to Peter himself) that I'm not exactly a kid that comes from a well-off family doesn't help, either. "Because if you are - "

Carpenter pops his head back to look at me in the eyes. He's dead serious now. "No, I'm not. I thought we could be friends." Then he goes back to searching for some antiseptic, bandages, some rubber gloves, and a pair of tweezers.

As he makes his way over to me I can't help but feel saddened. He actually cared about being in the jocks' group.

With gentle touches and careful movements, Carpenter rids my arms, hands, and neck of glass, disinfects it, and bandages me up. Then he grins at me.

"You're good to go," he says. I nod and give a very small smile.

"Thanks, Carpenter." As I make my way out of the door to leave for lunch - it's already that late, in some odd way. It seems like it's only been ten minutes - Carpenter calls out and says,

"See you later, Kevin!"

As much as I'd like to say, 'See you, too', I know I really can't and not lie. Because nerds like me and jocks like him just can't be friends.

A small, toneless sound passes through my closed lips. Sure. He'll see me.


Staring at the spot in the doorway where Kevin once stood, I sigh disappointedly.

"I still love you, Kevin. And if I have to, I'll jump in front of another car for you. Just please don't forget me completely. Not again."


At lunch, I settle down at a cafeteria table all by myself with low spirits. Dimitri, AKA the Traitor, is sitting at the jock table, surrounded by groupies and girls. I can see now, since I have an extra, or well, what is now my all-time frames, pair of glasses in my locker.

Using my plastic fork, I tried to eat a chocolate-vanilla pudding cup, but just didn't have the heart to get up to get a spoon.

I guess I'll have to get used to eating by myself until I graduate or meet new friends, I think sadly. Then there's a light 'thunk' and I look up to see a grinning Carpenter. His cyan eyes are sparkling.

"Mind if I sit with you?" he asks, already seated.

"Uh, I guess not," I say, turning my attention back to my pudding. A long finger pokes my shoulder and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is pushed my way.

"Don't you eat anything?" Carpenter asks me, taking a bite from a green apple. "You're all skin and bones, y'know."

"Mhmm," I murmur, glancing up again. "Why are you here, anyways?"

Carpenter's smile slips and he scowls. He's still beautiful when he doesn't smile. "Peter doesn't deem me worthy of being in their group just because I helped you today. Isn't that stupid?"

I twitch, but he doesn't notice and I hum noncommitedly. "You like being in their group, don't you?"

I wish he'd said no and starts ranting about how much he hates it. But all hopes and dreams usually die off.

Carpenter shrugs. "Well, yeah," he says. "Otherwise I wouldn't care at all, and I'd sit with you every day. You're not exactly the first choice I'd take from a list of people to hang out with. Maybe one of the last. Like, a last resort. Jocks and nerds just will never mix."

Ouch. I'm not even sure if he's doing it on purpose or if he's just being ignorant, but I'm a little more than irritated. Pissed, more like. Who the hell does he think he is, to think it's alright to be nice to me no less than ten minutes ago, and then basically treat me like I'm just 'whatever'? !

I stand up abruptly, smacking my legs into the bottom of the table, but I don't feel any pain. Gathering my empty brown paper bag, my empty pudding cup and white plastic spoon to throw away. "Well, thanks for sitting with me for all of five minutes, but I never asked to hang out with you. I hate your type," I snap, viciously dumping my trash in one of the bins by the door I sit at. "After all, jocks and nerds just will never mix."

I shove the doors open and I hear Carpenter calling my name, but I don't turn around. He's not chasing after me, anyway.

I almost run into Dimitri, who's just coming out of the bathroom. I make it a bit of show to shove his side with my shoulder(I'm not exactly the tallest person ever) as I pass, and it's just my luck that he grabs me.

His hand is wrapped tightly around my upper arm and it's starting to hurt. "Let go, traitor," I growl. He doesn't move or say anything. "What? You wanna take me to Peter so you can make a spectacle of it, you self-important baffoon?" He raises a brow then closes his eyes for a moment before looking at me.

"What's wrong, Kev?" I yank my arm out of his grip and whack him in the face doing so.

"Don't call me that," I hiss. "Not when you're one of them!"

Dimitri flushes. "This isn't what you think! I'm doing it for your own good!"

This time, I punch him as hard as I can in the nose, and Dimitri lets out a cross between a growl and a groan. "Really? Because my glasses would beg to differ!" I dig around in my dress shirt pocket and pull out the broken frames. I had to pick out all the little shards left in the sides so that I could keep the frames.

I storm off and all but smash open the door to the school courtyard. I spot the maple tree I sit under sometimes after school to finish a story I wrote or some extra credit.

Plopping down under the leaves and into the shade, I stared angrily at the glass fitted into the windowpanes, heat boiling my blood.

"Who the hell does he think he is," I whisper. "To do something like that." I close my eyes to sleep. Even though I'm a straight A student with high honors, it woun't be the first time I skip class. Or the last.

"You know what, screw Carpenter, screw Dimitri, screw the Clickers, screw anyone and everyone."

This, like my other fics, was started a LONG time ago, and was only finished today. Bleh. I have too many things to work on:

A gazillion fics for FP and FF alike

A Vocaloid fan vid

Music practice and shit

Finishing Ocarina of Time: Master Quest(Hey, this one's really imporant! And horribly hard... D:)

*groans and curls up on pillow, blasting Mayday Parade through earbuds* *TEH CHOICE FINGER TO THE WORLD* I also have school, starting August 16. Like, what the hell? Starting on a THURSDAY? It's jacked. Really jacked.