Author's Note:

Confession time...I meant to have this done about two months ago, but unfortunately, it isn't. In fact, it's less than a quarter done. I could make some excuses, but I'm not going to. I just didn't do it. (Though, it was cursed for a short while) Well, I'm starting up the process again. I've realized that one of the things that kept me on track was putting it up online. So that's what I'm going to do.

So the edited version of Alex:White Tiger will return, in full. Hope you enjoy! Oh, and thanks for reading!

"Why do you need so much stuff?"

Darren turned, glaring at his friend who was helping him carry up his things from his car. "Because I'm going to be living here for the next couple of months," he pointed out, shifting the suitcase in his hands so he had a better grip. How long was the elevator going to take? Apparently forever because it still hadn't come.

"It's not like you're living here for the rest of your life," his friend retorted, grunting. "What did you pack in here, bricks?"

"I thought I'd build a small wall around the school. It seemed like such a good idea," Darren muttered sarcastically. His friend made a face. "And you're the one who volunteered to help me, remember, Thomas?"

Thomas lifted his shoulders into a shrug, somehow managing to keep his box in his hands. "That was only because I figured it would literally take you forever. You're not very good when it comes to the whole unpacking thing."

Finally, the doors slid open and Darren stepped inside, pressing the button for the fifth floor. "I'm fine with unpacking," he grumbled, not really liking Thomas right now since he was just being annoying. "I don't need to hear your opinions when you dyed your hair blue over the summer."

"Wow, and I thought that you didn't know your colors," Thomas drawled slowly, rolling his eyes. On the fifth floor, they turned down the hallway, towards Darren's room. It took some maneuvering for Darren to somehow get his key out of his pocket and into the lock, but he finally did it, somehow managing to not toss his things everywhere. He was a lot happier about that than he should've been.

They both paused.

The bed farthest from them had been taken, already dressed up with a green comforter and a pile of blue pillows, more than a single person would need. A black circle rug was on the floor under a bookshelf completely stuffed with books. One of the two desks had a perfect stack of notebooks and a white and blue checkerboard laptop.

Thomas whistled under his breath. "Home sweet home?" he asked Darren, laughing as he was walked into the room and put his suitcase down on one of the dressers. "It's not too late, you know. You can always try to back out of it. We were doing fine in the old room."

For the first time since he had started going to Elton Cattrel School for Boys, Darren had gotten a room for only two people. Before, he had roomed with Thomas and four other guys in a suite-like arrangement. "No, we weren't," he said, sitting down on the free bed and opening it

"Name one thing that wasn't awesome." Thomas held up one finger, dropping back into the green computer chair.

"You guys kept eating my food."

That made Thomas jerk up, his dark blue hair flying everywhere. "I never ate your food," he said, holding up his hands in a defensive gesture. Then he paused. "I think Caleb did a couple of times."

"I know Caleb did," Darren said, scowling. He hated it when people touched his things, and so he always had to be around people who would touch his stuff. While he was thinking, he started unpacking, just dropping everything on the mattress next to him.

"So it's all about your food, isn't it?" Thomas asked, making a face. "Your food could be stolen here, too, you know."

"Yeah, but here there's only one guy who could do it," Darren pointed out, making Thomas laugh. Standing up, he grabbed his laptop and walked over to the free desk and he plugged in the cord before starting to hook up his speakers.

Leaning forward, Thomas braced his elbows on his knees. "You're going to miss us in a week," he replied. "Because you know you're going to get someone who will steal your food, and you'll lose it." He looked around. "Well, judging by all this, he might be the organization fairy."

He wasn't going to reply to that. Instead, he shrugged. After a minute, Thomas got up and walked over to the TV and turned it on, dropping back onto the chair. They both glanced at each other when they heard the sound of keys from the other side of the door.

"Are you worried?" Thomas asked quietly, giving Darren a look.

Snorting, Darren shook his head. "I'm more worried about that head injury of yours," he muttered, just to himself. Still, he stared at the door as it opened and someone walked in.

All Darren saw was a silver beanbag with a pair of black cargo pants under it. His new roommate walked across the room and dropped the beanbag before turning to look at Thomas with a hand on his hip. "That's my chair," he said evenly.

Thomas just grinned. "It's very comfortable."

Darren just silently stared. The boy had blue eyes and short black hair with random white streaks peeking out from under the knitted beanie on his head. It took Darren a moment to realize something else about him. He was short. At least a foot shorter than Darren.

"I'm Alexander Joshua Flett the Third," the boy introduced himself. He smiled for a second and Darren blinked. Suddenly Alex's entire look just changed. "I'm pretty sure it's my father's revenge for being the second." He offered a hand to Thomas as he glanced over at Darren.

Reading the look, Thomas took the hand. "I'm Thomas, the one not living with you. That's Darren, who's too rude to bother to introducing himself.

"Thanks Thomas," Darren muttered, turning away to open the suitcase with his clothes.

Alex gave Darren a stare that felt like a kick so Darren scowled. Then Alex fell back into the beanbag sprawled out, looking completely comfortable. "Suddenly it feels cold in here," he muttered out loud, making Thomas laugh.

"Nice to meet you Alex," Darren finally said, not wanting to hear any more comments. He knew that there'd be more comments. He glared at Thomas. "Why are you still here?"

Understanding, Thomas shrugged. "Because I got here like four hours ago and all my stuff's in my room and I have nowhere else to go. So why wouldn't I be here?"

"Why, indeed?" Alex asked from the floor.

"He gets it," Thomas added, pointing a finger.

The silence that followed strained between them. A few minutes later, Alex sighed a stood up, brushing his hands off on his jeans as he turned towards Darren. "I'm getting this done with now, okay?" he said slowly, sounding like he didn't really want to do it.

Because Darren had no idea what Alex was talking about, he just gave Alex a look and went back to stuffing jeans in a drawer. "Okay?" he said slowly, thinking that maybe Alex wanted an answer.

Alex took a deep breath. When he spoke, his voice was hard. "You keep your stuff on your side of the room. Don't touch my things and I won't touch yours. I'm not going to expect you to keep things perfectly clean, but don't expect me to pick up after you. I'm not your maid. Same goes for the bathroom." He pointed at where the bathroom was. "If there are wet towels left on the floor, I'll strangle you with them."

Behind him, Darren heard Thomas fighting off laughter. Instead of actually responding to it, he just leaned against the dresser beside him and crossed his arm. Who did Alex think he was, to actually be saying stuff like that? "Really?" he asked coldly.

It was almost funny to watch as Alex copied the stance, since he was so much smaller. "I promise I will. No worries, I know that I have strange OCD neat-freak tendencies, so I won't expect you to keep things spotless. I'll clean the bathroom. However, if I have to pick up sopping wet towels, I'll probably get irritated." He paused and smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes.

He pointed at the mini fridge under the television. "Also, you'll want to mark your food. You don't have to write out your entire name, but a 'D' on them will probably work. If it's not marked, it's up for grabs. Same goes for me." This time, when he smiled, his eyes brightened and he looked a little more relaxed. With that, he turned on his heel and left the room.

As soon as the door shut, Thomas started laughing so hard that it sounded like he was about to die. When he calmed down enough, he glanced at Darren. "At least you know that he's not going to take your food," he pointed out.

Darren threw a shirt at him.

Alexandra Jewel Amania wandered around her new school. Frowning, she stuffed her hands into the pockets and hunched her shoulders. If she was going to be honest with herself, she would have to admit that she was avoiding her roommate. For some strange reason, she figured that they weren't going to get along.

Which, if she was going to keep up the habit of being honest with herself, she knew was her own fault. But what else was she going to do? He was a boy. After years of living with her cousins, she knew how males kept things 'clean'. There was every chance that he was going to do the few things that got on her nerves more than anything else. So it was best that she made sure that he knew her weird little rules.

If she irritated him, then fine. She could live with that.

What she didn't know was if she could live with him. Something told her that they weren't going to get along. It was in the way that he kept glaring at her whenever he thought that she wouldn't know. She knew, she always knew. And the thought of those bright green eyes of his staring at her made her feel…jumpy. She wasn't a big fan of jumpy.

Since she was too busy thinking and not busy enough looking where she was going, she found herself bumping into someone else, nearly falling back on her butt. Gracefully, she caught herself before she could fall completely. About to apologize, she looked up, then froze.

She knew that face. She knew those brown eyes and that mussed up brown hair, she knew him. "Ethan?" she hissed, feeling like someone had just slapped her. What was he doing here? He shouldn't be here!

His eyes narrowed. "Do I know you?" he asked, shrugging. It took him a second to notice the way that she was just standing there and staring at him and he started to look a little worried. "Are you okay?"

As soon as she could, she was going to hop back on a plane to England, and she was going to wrap her hands around her cousin's neck and squeeze. This was his fault anyway. She couldn't find her voice, not while she continued to stare at him. It never crossed her mind that she'd end up seeing him again, let alone here.

She didn't realize that she was just staring at him and not saying anything. Too late, someone tossed an arm over her shoulders and dragged her into a room. "It's okay," someone muttered, just loud enough for her to hear, "Let's just sit down. Ethan," the voice added as she was urged to sit down. "You shouldn't scare the freshmen. They're really tiny this year."

"I didn't mean to scare the guy. What'd you think I did?"

The mention of her size brought Alex back to reality. "I'm not a freshman," she snapped, surprised to find that she was in someone else's room. The boy standing in front of her was tall enough that she had to bend her neck back to see him. She blinked. He had really red hair. Glancing down at her, he grinned and his brown eyes lit up.

"You aren't?" he asked. "What are you?"

"A junior," she answered, shaking her head.

He shrugged. "Sorry about that. You really do look like you're a freshman, you're just that short, you know?" The smile widened. For some reason, she couldn't be irritated at that comment; it was just the way he said it.

"I think he would know, Roderick," Ethan answered from the doorway, giving her a look. She immediately glanced away, because she could see the expression. The expression that meant that he thought that he knew her, he just couldn't figure out how he knew her. "I'm apologizing for him," he added, looking at her. "He's special."

Roderick lifted his shoulders in a shrug and walked into the bathroom, coming back out with a small paper cup filled with water. Without thinking, she took it. "You look like you're about to throw up," he said.

That might be because she thought that she might. Because it gave her a reason to not say anything, she drank it. "Thanks," she said and stood up. She needed to leave and she needed to leave now. "I'm going to go now and throw myself out of a window."

The redhead laughed. "It's okay. I'm Roderick, that's Ethan." His grin widened as he jerked a thumb towards Ethan. "We're juniors too. I haven't seen you before, are you new?"

Sighing, she realized that he wanted to know her name. Of course he would. "Yeah, I'm new. Name's Alex." She glanced at Ethan, praying that he wouldn't connect the dots.

And she wished the floor would swallow her when she saw his eyes go wide. He knew it was her. Great.

"Well, Alex," Roderick said slowly, looking like he was thinking about something. "Since you're new would you like a tour or something? I know this school like the back of my hand." He held out a hand as if to prove it.

If it would get her away from the way that Ethan was staring at her with that open-mouthed shock, she'd do just about anything. "Sure," she answered, jumping up. The paper cup was crushed in her hand and she practically ran out of the room.

"Someone's in a hurry to learn," Roderick said as he hurried to catch up. He stuffed his hands into his back pockets while he gave her a long look, like he was trying to understand something. Probably why she was walking as if demons were chasing them. "So," he said slowly, deciding not to bring it up, "What're your classes, we'll go through those first."

It took her a moment to remember all of them. She listed off the teachers and he nodded at the first three. On the last one, he stopped. "Advanced Acting?" he asked, sounding surprised. "Really, you aren't just kidding me?"

"That's what it said on my schedule," she said slowly, wondering why he had asked. Was it a bad class or something? She really hoped it wasn't.

His face broke out in a grin that was entirely too happy for the situation, and he started walking again. "I have that class," he said conversationally, even though he still had that smile on his face. She didn't trust it. "Now I'm all excited."

"Should I be worried?" she asked. He started to stop by the elevators, making her immediately feel like it was hard to breathe. There was no way that she was going to use that little box. "I'll meet you down there."

That made Roderick pause. He stared at her for a long moment then he nodded like he understood something. "Are you a one of those health freaks where you have to use the stairs all the freaking time?" Without waiting for her to answer, he walked past her and headed towards the stairs. "Stairs are here."

She nearly sighed with relief as she followed, not answering. They chatted while he slowly led her around the school, going to the library and cafeteria first, then to all of her classes in order. Last, they went to the theater, which Alex thought was impressive. They started back up the stairs while she whistled low under her breath. "Wow," she said slowly. "I'm going to get lost here."

Roderick laughed. "You won't be alone. I get lost all the freakin' time," he paused, giving her a look out of the corner of his eye. "And I've been here since half-way through freshman year if that tells you anything. I have absolutely no directional ability." At the landing, he opened the door and let her walk through first. "So," he drew it out. "Where're you from?"

"England," she answered automatically. "About a two hour drive away from London." Turning slightly, she saw the way that he was staring at her, with wide eyes and mouth popped open. "What?" she asked, feeling uncomfortable. Why was he staring at her like that?

"That's so cool," he answered, hurrying slightly so that he was walking slightly in front of her. He turned, walking backwards. "You're really from another country?"

"No," she answered, "England's actually a part of the United States."

A second after the words were out of her mouth, she wished that she could take it all back. He had just been nice to her, offering to show her around the school, and she just went and said something rude. That was going to get her friends real quick. Wanting to go dig herself a hole and jump in it, she opened her mouth to apologize.

And stopped when he started laughing. "Yeah, I deserved that one," he told her, still smiling as he ran a hand through his hair. "Sorry, it's just that you don't have an accent or anything so it threw me off."

She couldn't find the words to talk. He had…just laughed it off. Confused, she stared at the open look on his face for a long moment. Surprisingly, she felt her lips start to tilt upward in a smile. Instead of explaining that she had grown up in Indiana, she just lifted her shoulders in a shrug. "One of my uncles went here growing up," she said. "And he thought that apparently it'd be a good school for me. So I got sent."

The lie was easy enough, when her cousin had come up with it. There was no way that she could tell him the truth. No way that she was going to tell him that she was actually a girl. That would make sure that she got kicked out in about thirty seconds after she told the story. There was a reason that she had enrolled here. It was safer. For her, for her family, for everyone, really.

"Hey Roderick," Ethan said loudly from the doorway of his room, making them both jump. For a second, the urge to run hit Alex hard and she almost did it. Instead, she forced herself to calm down. No one was going to jump out at her here. She was safe. Taking a deep breath, she turned around to look at her old friend and closed her eyes when she saw his face. He was not happy with her.

Alex wished that she had taken the chance to just run. Opening her eyes, she saw the way that Ethan was staring at her and she knew. She wasn't going to be able to talk her way out of this one. He wasn't a moron. If he was, it'd make everything easier. He'd want an explanation. Immediately, her mind started whirling, trying to think of something to say that would get him off her back. Well, off her back and on her side because she couldn't have him telling anyone else.

For a heartbeat, Ethan looked like he was about to say something to her. It was like her heart stopped; he couldn't say anything now. He paused, seeing something on her face and she slowly shook her head. Sighing, he made a face. "Roderick," he repeated, sounding tired. "Thomas was looking for you."

The redhead blinked. "Why?" he asked in a slight high-pitched voice like a four-year-old. Alex wondered if she was the only one who thought that he sounded too excited.

"Apparently Darren's roommate put a bookshelf in their room, and he says that you'd love it."

Eyes widening, Roderick pushed himself off of the stage. He took about three steps towards the door then stopped and turned towards Alex. "That concludes Roderick's Elton Cattrell Tours," he said, said with a bow, "I hope you enjoyed our time together. Thank you and feel free to leave a tip with my lovely assistant." He pointed at Ethan and then turned around to walk down the hall.

She was too confused to even try to work through that. Instead, she just smiled. If he was nothing else, she thought as she stared at him with a blank expression, Roderick was certainly entertaining. Still smiling, she glanced over at Ethan, and she felt the grin slide off her face. He made a gesture. Without a word, she stepped into his room – the same room from earlier – and sat down on one of the beds.

"Why do I suddenly feel like you're going to rape me or something?" she asked to the air, leaning back a little, trying to joke away the suddenly heavy atmosphere. "I mean, I know I'm gorgeous, but that's a little too far."

There was silence for a long moment, and his eyebrow went just a little higher. Just when she was about to squirm from the quiet, he cleared his throat. "Why?"

"Because it's just you and me in the room and you're staring at me like that," she pointed out, grinning. The grin widened when she saw him try to fight back a smile. At least he hadn't lost his sense of humor in the few years since she saw him last. That was something.

Forcing himself to glare at her, he shook his head. "Not what I meant, and you know it. Why are you here?" He must have been really mad because he kept standing. She was short anyway, but with him standing it was ridiculous. "You're a girl."

"You know, I almost forgot about that," she retorted, looking down at herself. "Not until you reminded me. Thanks Ethan, I almost made myself believe that I really was guy." Making a face, Alex shuddered. "Close call."

"Alex," he said, sounding irritated. He looked irritated. Actually, he looked like he was about three seconds away from slowly strangling her. Since her fun was over, she sighed and looked down at her feet.

"Someone tried to kill me," she said quietly. There, that was true…just not in the way that he'd expect. She didn't like lying to him – she never had liked it. Like she knew it would, it made him blink, and his mouth popped open. Before he could, she held up a hand. "Nothing bad, or anything."

"Nothing bad," he repeated dully.

Leaning forward, she propped her elbows on her knees. "Obviously, they didn't do it. It's safer for me to be here. No one's going to think to look here. Don't tell anyone," she ended stupidly. At least all her things were still in boxes. If he couldn't keep it to himself, she could be gone in less than an hour. It was almost sad.

Sighing, he closed his eyes and pressed his hand to his forehead. "I got a headache."

"Poor you," she replied dryly. He hadn't said that he wouldn't tell anyone. That didn't make her feel better.

"How bad is 'nothing bad'?" he asked, his eyes still closed.

She couldn't say anything. How was she supposed to know that he'd ask that? Thinking about it, she lifted her leg up onto the bed and rolled up the pant leg, careful to shorten it just enough. "That bad," she answered, pointing at the scar. It was years old, but he wouldn't know that. "It happened last year."

When he opened his eyes, he just stared. It made her uncomfortable so she hid the scar again. "Who the hell did you piss off?" he asked her, looking shocked.

"Honestly?" She paused and shrugged. "A lot of people."

That made him laugh. "That," he said as he dropped onto the bed next to her, "is something that I believe." His shoulders slumped slightly and he sighed while he changed the subject. "I thought I was going crazy. You can really pull that off."

It wasn't really a compliment, but she nodded. "Thanks," she said, pulling on the bottom of her shirt. "That's what I was going for, you know. I don't want people thinking that I might be a girl."

"Which you are," he muttered. A second passed and he turned to stare at her with wide eyes. "Right? You didn't do anything like surgery, did you?" When she glared, he held up his hands in a defensive gesture. "Sorry! Just thought I'd check."

Leaning back, she stared at him. "Right, because me having all the girly parts and pieces is so important to you," she grumbled. He glanced at her and opened his mouth, but she cut him off. "I don't want to hear it."

"Well," he said anyway, lifting his shoulders in a shrug. "I was just going to tell you that Catherine's going to kill you later."

That made her freeze. Catherine? As in Catherine? The name looped desperately in Alex's mind for a long moment. Staring at Ethan with a shocked face, she blinked. "Catherine?" she asked, hoping that she misheard. There was no way that she had been sent to a school where not one, but two of her friends from middle school went.

Ethan nodded and she felt her heart stop. "She goes over to Marguerite Cattrell," he said, then paused when he saw her eyebrows scrunch in confusion. "We're the boy's school, Marguerite's the school for the girls. One of my friend's twin sister goes there."

"I'm going to die," Alex groaned as she fell back, covering her eyes with her arm. "She's going to kill me."

As if on cue, her phone rang. She stared down at her pocket like something furry with teeth was going to jump out of it while Ethan laughed. "It's not funny," she mumbled, pulling her cell out. Instead of answering, she ignored the call then turned it off. "I'll call her back later."

Slowly, Ethan shook his head. "You're a lot braver than me," he pointed out.

She was going to go tell him that it wasn't bravery that had her putting the conversation off, but the door suddenly flew open and Roderick ran inside, stopping right in the middle of the room. He didn't even react to the fact that she was there, just stared at Ethan like he held the key to the universe.

"Ethan," the redhead said, practically vibrating with energy. "Do you know who Darren's roommate is? Thomas showed me the bookshelf, and it's like a gift from God. I want to read them. So…do you know who the guy is? I'm going to ask him if I can borrow some. He'll probably let me. At least I hope that he'll probably let me. Then again, I guess that depends on –"

Sitting up, Alex waved her arms to get his attention, making him stop talking. She was amazed that he hadn't passed out yet considering he had been talking with only one breath. "Dude," she said slowly, trying to calm him down. "You can borrow them if they come back in the same condition."

He gave her a blank look. "You're Darren's roommate?"

"Dark hair?" she asked. "Green eyes. Tall. Is kind of an asshole at times?"

Roderick and Ethan both nodded.

"Then, I'm Darren's roommate." She watched as Roderick started to speak again and she stopped him. "Yes, you may borrow my books. Just don't completely destroy them. Or I will destroy you."

"He's kidding," Ethan said immediately, as if the redhead would actually take her seriously. Then he glanced at her. "I think."

Instead of saying anything, she just grinned.