Don't worry guys, this won't cut into my SHYAC time... too much, at least. I decided it would be fun to write a story that I would read, instead of my other pile of you-know-what.

Also, I'm currently looking for a beta reader, so if anyone is interested, please shoot me an email!

The Best and Worst Alterations

Lydia sighed as she stepped in 'her' new house holding her one box of stuff except for her clothes, which were still in the car. Immediately upon entering, she saw a boy about her age. Her 'beloved' father had told her about how Annabelle, his new fiancée, had two sons. Ryan was only thirteen, so, by process of elimination, this had to be Jason. He stopped dead, staring at her.

"Who are you?" he asked after a minute. He was carrying a shirt – presumably his, as he was wearing none. His unruly black hair fell in his eyes and to about the nape of his neck, and his green eyes glinted with the slightest hint of confusion and something else that couldn't quite be identified.

"Your mom didn't tell you?" she asked, surprised. "I'm Lydia." She stuck her hand out for him to shake. "I'm guessing you're Jason, am I right?"

He looked down at her hand, back up at her face, and walked away. "Get what you want from the fridge," he called over his shoulder as he left the kitchen.

She was left staring after him incredulously, her hand still out. She dropped it. "Rude much?" she muttered, proceeding out of the kitchen and up the stairs to her new room.

Obviously, her room used to be a guest room. It was pretty clear. The walls were whitewashed, the bed was uncomfortable, the window was tiny, and the floor was bare. One thing was for sure; the nearest Wal-Mart would be taken by storm tomorrow. Fortunately, she was still going to the same school, as Annabelle's house was in the same town as her dad's previous apartment.

Lydia dropped her box on the unyielding bed. She lifted a snowglobe taped up with bubble wrap from inside it, then tore the wrapping off. She studied the miniature Irish castle inside, shaking her head wryly and putting it aside. It was the one thing of her mom's she could really call her own – most everything else had been sold to pay off her irresponsible dad's debts. It was a miracle he ever found anyone in the first place. She would have figured that every woman to get near him would be scared off by his gambling habits, at least.

Annabelle looked past that, apparently. She most likely thought she could change him; just like Mary, Jennifer, and Stephanie. And they lasted for about four or five months each. She gave Annabelle half a year, tops.

Her door opened, revealing her father. "Hey, kiddo. Annabelle and I are taking Ryan shopping for new basketball shoes. I left your clothes on the kitchen table. I'm sure you and Jason will get along fine." He gave her a thumbs up and shut the door.

Lydia listened as the car left the driveway minutes later. After coming back upstairs with her clothes, she slid open her closet to unload the overflowing laundry basket.

As she was about to grab a bunch of hangers, her well-trained ears heard a faulty engine rev up, then shut back down. She dropped the clothes on her still rock-hard bed and headed downstairs, more than happy to leave the task for later.

She opened the door to the garage, where she had rationally assumed the noise had come from, and cleared her throat.

She found herself behind Jason. He jumped considerably. "What the hell- what're you doing here?" he questioned loudly, irritated.

Lydia gestured behind her. "I heard your engine," she answered simply. "What're you working on?"

He quirked an eyebrow. "My motorcycle. Not like you care. Females don't care about that stuff." He had failed to notice Lydia's face light up at the word 'motorcycle'.

"What kind is she?" she eagerly asked, leaning forward slightly.

"Why does it matter to you?" he shot back gruffly, looking through a tool box.

"If it helps matters any, I worked at a mechanic's for three summers. How about that?" she replied, folding her arms.

"Really?" he asked, surprised.

"No, I just made that up. Yes, really. Idiot, why would I lie about that?"

"Huh. Well, good for you." He turned away.

"Good for me? What do you mean by that?" she retorted, walking over to him.

"Good for you. Go away now."

"Why should I go away?"

"Because I'm busy."

"Yeah, me too. I'm busy annoying you."

"Please go away," he nearly begged.

"No way. I want to check out your bike."

He sighed. "Fine, whatever, stay."

Lydia raised her eyebrow. "Why the change of mind?"

"Because," he started, rolling his eyes, "You won't stop bugging me until I let you."

"Jeez. What do you have against me, anyway? If anyone, be mad at my dad. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. I hate the guy, I won't take it personally if you dislike him."

"You want me to hate your dad? Mom won't like that much."

"She's your mom. Call her that. I call her Annabelle. I hate her, too. And so far, I hate you as well. I haven't met Ryan yet, maybe I'll hate him. I only know this: the only people I don't hate are my friends and my mom. And she's dead."

Jason looked slightly concerned by the time she had finished. "Well. I've resented any of my mom's husbands. She's had four. Bob, Jacob, Lance, and Sam. I won't treat Dirk any differently."

Lydia smiled wryly. "Well, aren't we just full of animosity. Here, how about this. We make a truce. You don't bother me, I don't bother you, and you give me one less person to despise. I won't be your friend or your girlfriend, and you won't be my brother or shop-talk buddy. How's that sound?" She stuck her hand out for the second time that day.

He looked down at it. "I can't promise the shop-talk buddy part, but the rest is fine by me." He grabbed her hand and shook it firmly. She smirked and squeezed it until she heard a crack.

"That's for before. Now we're even," she said mock-sweetly as he retracted his hand in pain.

"Bitch," he muttered as she left.

"I heard that," she sang.

This is a prologue of sorts. The other chapters will probably be longer and better.

Feedback is welcomed!