Okay. The idea for this struck me the other day. I have only a vague idea of where this is going, so the updates won't be on a set schedule. I'll update when I get the chapters out and beta-ed. Usually it take about a day for my beta to get back to me (usually because I send her the chapter at like midnight or something like that) and. . . and I'm stalling!

This story is written in two different POVs, Michelle's and Lucas's.

Also, Michelle get called three different names: Shell (Lucas is pretty much the only one who calls her this) Shelly, and Michelle. I just wanted to erase any confusion right here

Anyway, here's a new story. Let me know what you think!


Why did I have to go and do that? Why the hell did that question fly out of my mouth? John and I were having as normal, civil of a conversation a pair of ex's can have, and then that flew from between my lips.

Why? Why didn't I think before I spoke?

Great. Now he was staring at me. Crap.

"W-what?" He stammered. I felt like diving across the kid in the seat with the emergency door and flinging myself out of it. "Shell?"

"I-" I didn't really want to repeat the question. "I didn't mean to ask that, I-"

"Michelle." I chewed on my lip for a minute. Hardly anyone called me by my full name anyone, just my dad.

"Why didn't we work?" I asked. He sighed heavily and looked away from me.

"I told you." He said.

"No. What you said is that we didn't have the right chemistry." I said. "I asked why we didn't work out."


"You know what?" I asked, gathering my stuff. I was insanely glad that we were almost near my stop. "Never mind. Forget I asked." I slung my messenger bag over my shoulder and hurried up to the front of the bus and got off.

It was only when I was halfway up my driveway that I realized that the tears in my eyes wasn't from the wind.

I shut the front door and dropped my bag in the foyer. I hated the fact that my car was in the shop. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have been on that bus with John, and I wouldn't have asked that insanely stupid question.

But I wanted to know the answer. I needed to know the answer.

We had been going out for two months before summer vacation started. Then he'd stopped calling me every night to talk about nothing.

Then in the middle of August my life started coming down around my ears. My grandfather died, and my family had to go back out to the Midwest for his funeral. I'd tried calling John several times, but each time I couldn't seem to catch him home. Two weeks after we'd gotten home, I got a call from my mom. She'd walked out on my brother, my father and me when I was thirteen. Now four years later she wants to be part of my life again?

I couldn't take it, and I'd tried calling John again, but he wasn't there again. So I'd stopped trying to call. When he finally did call I was so torn up that I could barely talk to him.

The weekend before school started again, I got a text message from him on my phone. There isn't really a good way to say this, but I don't think we have the right chemistry. I think we should break up.

I had stared at my phone in disbelief. But of course I am one of those people who can't stand to see other people hurt and will do anything in my power to make sure they're happy, even if it means practically killing myself to do it. So I replied.

I'd been trying to figure out how to tell you that.

I pulled open the refrigerator with more force than was necessary and groaned. Didn't Dad ever go shopping?

I turned around to find a note on the counter.

Michelle, we need groceries. This should be enough. Your car's in the garage.

I lifted up the note and found eight twenties under it. Shaking my head, I shoved the money into my wallet and got into my car.

As I was backing out of the driveway my neighbor Sarah flagged me down.

I grinned. Sarah was my favorite neighbor. She was a young woman of twenty-eight, and she had the most adorable four-year-old daughter named Linda (but she insisted everyone call her Lindy). She and her husband Jack lived next door, and I had baby sat for Lindy practically since she was born.

I rolled down my window and leaned out, smiling at her. "Hey!" She grinned back.

"Hey, you busy tonight?"

"Nope. You need me to watch Lindy?"

"If you wouldn't mind." She said. I ginned broadly.

"Mind? You know I love her."

Sarah smiled. "Great! Oh, and Lucas's band is practicing in our basement tonight, if that's okay." I sighed inwardly. Now Sarah I may have liked, but her brother I wasn't too sure about. He just seemed a little. . . Reclusive, I guess.

"That's fine." I said. "I'll be over around seven." Sarah grinned and went back to gardening. I closed my window and pulled out into the street, heading down to the grocery store.

A couple minutes before seven I shoved my feet into my black, laced ankle boots and zipped them up, pulling on a jacket to ward off the early winter chill. I jumped over the low row of bushes and took the steps two at a time. I rang the doorbell and waited on the front porch for someone to answer the door. Finally it swung inwards, and I stood face to face with Lucas.

He didn't say anything for a moment, studying me. I found myself with nothing to do but stare back at him. He was dressed pretty much as he normally was, though the black sneakers that were usually present on his feet were missing. He had on a Disturbed band tee, and relatively loose black jeans that had a wallet chain connected to his front belt loop. His unruly, sandy-brown hair had that 'just got out of bed' look. Not a lot of people could pull that look off, but it seemed to fit him.

"Shelly!" Lindy rushed past her Uncle and attacked my legs. I was caught off guard and slightly off-balance. I didn't want to flail because doing so would have meant kicking Lindy, so I grabbed onto the closest stable object near me.

Which just had to be Lucas. But as I grabbed his wrist, his grip tightened on my own wrist and his other hand shot out, grabbing my other arm, pulling me upright.

"Thanks." I said, prying the little blonde girl off my legs and lifting her up, grinning at her. "How was school today?" I asked. Her face lit up.

"Great!" She replied, clapping her hands. "Josh and I played cops and robbers!"

"And were you the cop or the robber?" I asked, poking her nose. She grinned as I stepped inside. Lucas closed the door behind me and I caught a slightly confused look in his eyes.

"I was the cop of course!" Lindy squirmed, so I put her down and she took off running into the kitchen. "Mommy! Daddy! Shelly's here!" I smirked and looked back to Lucas. He still had a slightly confused look.

"Are you okay?" I asked. His eyes suddenly snapped up to meet mine, and he nodded.

"Yeah." I didn't believe him. "I'm fine."

"Do you know what fine stands for?" I asked. He looked even more confused now. "Oh, come on, I know you know that one. You own the movie!" He just blinked at me. "Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional? F.I.N.E?" He gave me a weird look and shook his head.

"My band's coming in about an hour." He said. "We'll try to keep it down so Lindy can sleep though." I nodded and watched him leave. That may have been the longest conversation I'd ever had with him.

"Shelly!" I turned to find Jack coming down the hall toward me. I grinned and gave him a hug. "Thanks for doing this on such short notice."

"No problem." I said with a shrug. "I mean, I was planning on going clubbing tonight, but hey, this is so much better!" He blinked a couple of times, looking like he was trying to decide whether or not I was joking. "Kidding?" He rolled his eyes and looked like he was about to say something else, but Sarah appeared at his shoulder out of nowhere.

"Ready to go honey?" She asked. He nodded, and she turned back to me. "You've still got all our numbers and stuff, right?" She asked. I nodded.

"Yup. Two cell phones."

"Great." Jack said.

"And Lucas is here if anything really serious happens." Sarah said. Jack rolled his eyes behind his wife's back. "Bye dear!"

I knew that Jack didn't really like Lucas that much. My reasoning was that he had never really spent any time with the kid. Lucas was only living with them until he finished out his senior year. The only reason he was there was because his father had died when he was two, and his mother when he was seventeen. Her death had hit both Sarah and Lucas pretty hard, and evidentially Lucas hadn't really spoken all that much since he'd moved in.

Which explained why he and I have never really had long conversations. He was constantly around when Jack and Sarah had me watch Lindy, because Jack didn't trust him completely (which I didn't understand, but whatever) and we were either watching those boring little kids shows with Lindy, or Lindy and I would be playing a board game while he practiced his guitar in his room.

The front door closed behind Jack and Sarah and I turned to Lindy, who was staring up at me with wide eyes.

"What do you want to do today?" I asked. She grinned at me, and I just knew that I would never be able to say no to this adorable little girl.

"Cookies!" She exclaimed. I blinked "Bake cookies!"

"Um. . ." I chewed on my lip. "Lindy, I'm not the best cook. . ."


"Lindy, I can't cook." I said. It was pretty true. Well, with cookies at least, I could cook pretty much anything else, but cookies were the bane of my existence.

"Yes you can! You make me maca-rooni all the time!" I couldn't help smiling.

"I know honey, but I can't make cookies, and-"

"Uncle Lukey can!" She said, and took off running down the hall toward Lucas's room. It took me about thirty seconds to process that she had just called Lucas 'Uncle Lukey' and by that time she was already at Lucas's bedroom door.

"Lindy, wait!" Before I could reach her she'd gone inside. Lucas was lying on his stomach on his bed, his head propped up by his left hand, a notebook under the moving pen in his right.

"Uncle Lukey! I want to make cookies!" Lindy exclaimed. He glanced up at her with a small smile, then at me.

"Why can't Shelly help you with that?" He asked. They both looked at me expectantly.

"Because the last time I tried to make cookies I set the oven on fire." I said. Lucas's head dropped down, and when he looked back up I could see a spark of laughter in his eyes.

"How do you set an oven on fire?" He asked. I glared at him.

"Who knows." He smirked and got up off the bed, tucking the notebook under his arm.

"Come on Lindy." He said, picking up his niece. "Let's make some cookies."

An hour later I was sitting at the table with Lindy on my lap, watching Lucas take the last sheet of chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. The doorbell rang and I stood up, putting Lindy back on the chair and went to get the door as Lucas took the cookies off the sheet.

I pulled open the door to find a guy with a guitar slung over his shoulder on the other side. I couldn't help staring. I knew him, he went to school with Lucas and I, and he was in my history class. His name was Ian. He was pretty good-looking, brown hair streaked naturally with blond and chocolate colored eyes.

"Uh, hi." He said. "I think I'm at the wrong house. . ."

"You're in Lucas's band?" I asked. He nodded hesitantly. "He's in the kitchen, hang on." I turned around and headed up the stairs. "Lucas!"

"Lindy, no!" There was a loud crash. "Ow! Shit!" I jumped up the last four stairs in one jump and dashed into the kitchen. Lucas was standing in the middle of the kitchen, one hand in his mouth and the other holding Lindy's wrist.

"Are you okay?" I asked. He gave me a look that clearly said 'what do you think?' And jerked his head at Lindy. I picked her up and she immediately burst into tears. "What'd you do?" I asked.

He walked over to this sink and stuck his hand under a stream of cold water. "She tried to pick up the cookie sheet."

"So you decided to pick it up with your bare hands instead?" I asked. He shot me a glare.

"No, I picked it up with this." He held up a blue pot holder that I recognized as the one I'd accidentally gotten wet.




"Am I missing something?" Ian looked from me to Lindy to Lucas and back to me.

"It is not what you're thinking man." Lucas said, holding up his non-burnt hand.

"How do you know what I'm thinking?" Ian asked.

"I know." Lucas said. "Ian, that's my niece Lindy and her baby-sitter Michelle."

"Shelly." I said.

"I know." Ian said with a smirk. "You're a little hard to miss in class." I felt my face flush. Suddenly Lucas was standing between Ian and me, leading him away.

"The basement's this way"