Friend, Foe and Deepest Desire

Author's Note: I didn't want to tie the setting down to any one of the English speaking countries, but I feel that this setting is most like the US northernmost states, albeit in a slightly different reality.

It was a fine October morning and the watery sunshine threw the foreboding outline of Blacktowers High into sharp relief against the landscape. The students traipsed into the building, some eagerly, others less so. A new girl followed the freshman year group to their form room. She was small and daintily formed, with long black hair that reached down to her waist and a round pale face with a wide forehead. She glanced around, her face quite impassive. Suddenly her face lit up as if illuminated by a light within. Her eyes had alighted on a handsome athletic boy at the front of the small crowd. He didn't seem to see her, but the girl he was with noticed her interest and sneered. She had blond hair and cold blue eyes and a demeanour that conveyed that all mundane proceedings were beneath her contempt. The newcomer noticed her sneer and glared back, forcing her to drop her gaze. When they entered the form room, the dark haired girl carefully chose a seat well away from this supercilious girl, slipping into the seat next to the prettiest girl in the form. This girl had luxuriant auburn hair and emerald green eyes. She turned to the newcomer with a friendly smile. "Hello! New here I see? I'm Leonora Dubinsky, Leo will do."

"I'm Kathleen, but Kat will also do," the new girl replied with a tight lipped smile.

The blond girl made a rude hand gesture from across the room to a few muffled giggles from those sitting around her. "Oh don't mind Amber, she's often this way," said Leo. "A true ice queen."

At that moment the form master came in and bade them all be silent. "Since we have a new student, why don't we all give her a big welcome? Come up here and tell us about yourself," he said with an expansive gesture.

"Oh, OK," said Kat getting to her feet. She stood in front of the class. "I'm Kathleen, um Kat," she began. Amber made a very audible mewling sound. Some of the class tittered.

"Anything troubling you Amber?" asked the form master.

"No sir," she said, flashing him her wintry smile.

Kat was pleased to see that the good looking boy had not joined in the tittering. She just caught herself from staring at him in time. A flush of pink came to her pale cheeks. "Erm, my mother and I have just moved here," she continued, desperately wondering what she could say. Amber was making a show of appearing bored. Kat turned to gaze at Leo for reassurance. "I'm glad to be in time for the Halloween party at least. That's always my favourite event of the year."

"Thank you Kat," said the form master. Kat sat down again, relieved.

Later that morning, the freshman year had chemistry. Kat and Leo worked together at the same Bunsen burner, Leo considering it her duty to make newcomers feel welcome. "Who is that?" asked Kat, indicating the boy who she could not stop glancing at.

"You've noticed Jason I see? Haven't we all?" said Leo. "He is gorgeous isn't he?"

Kat sighed and unable to resist it, gazed at Jason long and hard. The autumnal sunbeams streaming through the window illuminated his chestnut hair and exquisite features. A strong jaw, with just a hint of shadow, eyes blue like fragments of a summer sky, a little ripple in his nose prevented it from being too perfect and gave his face all the more character. Kat leaned over the bench and smiled. "Put your eyes back in Kat," said Leo giggling.

At that moment Amber came striding between the benches towards them. Kat exhaled in disgust. "How are you doing in your experiment?" asked Amber. Kat gritted her teeth. Amber's high, whiny voice would get on her nerves quickly…

"You want our help?" said Leo with a small smile.

"No…" said Amber reaching over to their concoction.

"Oi!" said Kat, noticing Amber was attempting to put a strip of silvery metal into their concoction. There was a brief scuffle and a yelp from Amber which drew everyone's attention.

"Amber! You can't have been trying to put rubidium in our experiment!" said Leo.

"Ow wow!" squealed Amber. "That bitch, that – that-"

"What's going on here," said Miss Mitchell, the chemistry teacher, striding over to them. "What are you making such a fuss about Amber?"

"I'm sorry Miss, I do believe I bit her," said Kat serenely.

"She was trying to put rubidium in our experiment. That's dangerous," said Leo.

"Both of you to the principal's office," said Miss Mitchell tersely.

Amber and Kat stalked out, glowering at one another. Their feud had just begun.