A/N: Yea! Chapter 2! This one's shorter than chapter one, but that's ok. I still want to know what you think! R&R! ~Shades of Grey Chapter Two: The Law of the Land

The next day was not so out of the ordinary. Dana passed her day surrounded by friends, chatting casually about teachers, homework, the latest issue of Seventeen, weekend plans, and so on. Jeremy, on the other hand, spent his frees in the back of the school with the social outcasts and the pot- smokers. He only really talked to the two people in the school that would talk to him. Dexter Michaels was clinically depressed and often talked about death. Most people probably thought that he was suicidal, but Jeremy knew him well enough to know that he was only trying to get people to think that. The real reason Dexter talked about death so often was that he was afraid of it and was trying to conquer his fear. Dexter liked to scare people. He wore his mousy brown hair in a lopsided bowl-cut and wore only black clothing. He avoided sunlight and always looked sullen. Jeremy's other pseudo-friend was Mistie Larson. She was very pale and wore black lipstick and way too much eyeliner. Her wardrobe consisted of two colors, black and crimson. All Jeremy really knew about her was that she must have very busy evenings, because she slept through all her classes and never did her homework. In fact, Jeremy almost never saw her awake. The three of them spent nearly every lunch together, either to get a semi-relevant discussion/banter going or, as was most often the case, simply sitting in compatible silence. No one else ever came near them, and during one of her waking moments, Mistie had dubbed their happy little group "Students with such little desire for social status that they have been shunned by students and teachers alike, therefore seeking solace in each other due to the primal need of humans to be accepted by others. This title not to be abbreviated." Because of this, and not unrightfully so, it came as quite a shock to the outcast trinity when the epitome of popularity and social acceptance appeared in front of their little group, announcing her presence with a cheerful "Hi!" Mistie, who had been sleeping as per usual, woke with a start at the foreign, chipper voice. "I'm sorry." she said, staring bleary-eyed at Dana and sounding honestly perplexed, "Are you lost or did I fall asleep in class again?" Dexter was ever so gracefully staring at her as though she were a space alien and Jeremy was struck rather dumb. He had not expected to ever speak to Dana again past the previous night, and especially not at SCHOOL of all places. Dana shot Mistie, who was still puzzling over the popular girl's presence, a confused look, then turned Jeremy and asked, " Hey, did you get the physics homework this morning? I was at a dentist appointment." Jeremy stared for a moment longer, shaking off the last of his shock, then answered carefully, "No, why don't you go ask one of your friends? You know, the people you talk to?" Dana looked rather dejected at Jeremy's quick dismissal of her and left with a quick, "I'll talk to you later, then." But Jeremy was left puzzling over the event all day.

Dana sniffed back tears as she walked back to her usual group of friends. It wasn't that she had expected to be welcomed with open arms to the opposite end of the schools social spectrum, she wasn't that naïve, but she would have appreciated even the tiniest bit of recognition on Jeremy's part. He had acted like the incident in the alley had never happened. She had thought that maybe-but that was impossible, she saw that now. She plastered her long-since perfected mask of cheer on her face and strode resolutely over to her group of friends.