DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Never were. Not making any $$. Don't HAVE any $$. Don't sue.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Shattered Hearts
By Aeryn Sun



Spencer pulled her wet hair into a loose ponytail, grabbed her bag, and stood up to leave. She hated when gym was the last period of the day. It usually meant that she'd end up leaving for home late and while Ashley was always good about waiting for her, she still felt guilty about making her best friend hang around.

Not that she thought Ashley minded. The brunette never complained, aside from a sarcastic remark that Spencer knew was meant in jest. Ashley was known for her somewhat flighty and unpredictable behavior but when it came to Spencer, she was fast becoming the blonde's rock. The one constant that Spencer had in her life. She couldn't count on her mother, who Spencer used to be so close to but since they moved from Ohio, seemed to be growing away from. Now Paula just seemed so angry with her no matter what Spencer actually did.

She knew that she could count on Clay and her father, to a certain extent. And although she knew that if she needed him, Glen would be there, she still didn't feel as close to them or anyone as she did Ashley. Ashley understood her on the most basic of levels. Spencer didn't even have to try to explain herself most of the time. Ashley just got her.

<I really like Ash. *sigh* I like being so comfortable with her. And I like her in a very lustful, 'that's not right' sorta way.> She smiled to herself.

'Right' versus 'wrong' in terms of sexuality wasn't much of an issue for Spencer lately. She was beginning to see that her feelings towards Ashley, while frightening in intensity and their relative newness, weren't wrong. Or as her mother liked to think, the path to hell. They were wonderful and deep, exciting and oddly comforting. The rush of feelings she got just by being around the feisty brunette was nearly addicting. They made her light-headed and dizzy yet exhilarated at the same time. She loved that feeling.

<And I think I may love Ashley,> she realized, her smile becoming a grin. She turned to leave, feeling anxious to see the object of her secret affections.

"Going somewhere, dyke?" Spencer gasped in surprise as several fairly large girls suddenly started towards her.

"Home," she declared as she recovered from her surprise. An uneasy feeling had started to settle in her stomach and it made her nauseas.

The biggest girl, Spencer vaguely remembered her from being on the cheer-squad shook her head.

"You're not going anywhere until we clear some things up," the short girl informed Spencer.

<Denise, the other alternate,> Spencer realized. Denise was on the squad for even less time than Spencer. Something about constantly calling and hounding Madison for a real spot on the team.

Spencer looked at the six girls warily.

<Oh, this is so not good.> She focused her attention on Denise and did the best she could to glare in a non-intimidated way.

"There's nothing for us to clear up," she shot back. "I don't even know you." The back of her head collided with the locker behind her as the girl to her left suddenly punched her in the mouth. She tried to clear her vision as Denise stared at her.

"I didn't say you could talk, bitch," Denise spat. She put her hands on her hips as she regarded Spencer. "You need to be punished for what you did to Madison. I know it was you that created that cutout of her and posted it on campus. You and that other lesbo whore." Spencer frowned.

"That was months ago," she pointed out. This time the punch to her gut sent her to her knees. Denise shrugged.

"So, you think I was going to let you get away with it? Please, bitch." She crouched down to look Spencer in the very frightened eyes.

"Payback's a bitch, you slut."

"Spence, what the hell is taking so long…?" Ashley rounded the corner into the locker room cutting Denise off in mid-rant. She froze at the image in front of her.

Spencer was on her knees, blood running from a split lip, surrounded by a bunch of girls that Ashley didn't recognize at first glance. The look on Spencer's face was stark terror, immediately sending Ashley into defensive mode and she felt hot rage surge through her system.

"Back the fuck off!" she yelled as she shoved a few of the burly girl's aside. She turned on Denise and poked the bigger girl in the chest.

"You lay another finger on her and I'll rip it the fuck off. You understand me?" Denise put her hands up in the surrender position.

"Calm yourself, Xena, I never touched her. She fell," the former cheerleader proclaimed. She turned and nodded to her girls, who all stepped away.

"Although, I'd keep an eye on her if I were you. The world's a dangerous place, especially for freaks like you two," she taunted. Ashley balled her hands into fists, her knuckles turning white. She was about to punch that smug look off the girl's face when she felt a calming hand on her own. She looked down to see Spencer looking up at her.

"Don't," Spencer whispered. "Please don't." Ashley sighed and nodded.

"Get out of here before I change my mind," she growled at Denise who smirked again before leaving the locker room with her posse.

Ashley knelt down beside Spencer and wrapped her arms around the shaking girl. Spencer leaned into the safe embrace.

"What happened, hon?" Ashley whispered as she lifted Spencer's face to her own to get a good look at the blonde's lip. She wiped at the trickle of blood with her thumb. Spencer closed her eyes as tears slowly started to stream down her face. When she didn't immediately respond, Ashley stood up, grabbed some paper towels and ran them under cold water. She then returned to Spencer and tried again.

"Let me look at this," she whispered. She carefully cleaned and dabbed the cut all the while seething inside at the people who had done this. And fighting a rush of guilt that made her sick.

"She said it was payback," Spencer muttered. Ashley frowned.

"For what, sweetie?"

"The Madison thing… cutout. She said we had to pay," Spencer explained.

"Yeah, well we did. That cutout cost us $25 bucks remember?" Ashley tried to joke. In actuality, she was frightened at the whole situation and knew if she didn't laugh, she was going to scream.

"Ha…ow don't make me laugh. Or smile," Spencer complained. She looked into Ashley's concerned face. "How bad is it?"

"Not bad considering. It'll be fine in a few days," Ashley told her. "Are you OK?"

"No. I'm scared out of my mind," Spencer responded honestly. "But better since you're here."

"Are you hurt anywhere else?" Ashley asked while her heart swelled at Spencer's heartfelt words. Spencer shrugged.

"My chest a little. One of them punched me," she watched as Ashley's eyes first widened with worry and then narrowed with anger.

"Bitches. They'll get theirs," she muttered. "Do you want to go to the hospital?"

"No, I really don't want to face my mother and try to explain this," she hedged. Ashley frowned.

"Explain what? That a deranged pack of feral, steroidal cheerleading wannabe's cornered you in the locker room and roughed you up? You did nothing wrong," she pointed out confused.

"I know. But then my mom will wanna call the school and cause this big drama that I don't want to deal with. You know she'll only make it worse."

"But what if you're hurt?" Spencer smiled.

"I'm not. I've been roughed up more playing with Glen and Clay when I was younger," she explained lightly. "Here, help a girl up." She reached out her hand and felt Ashley grip it firmly in her own and pull her carefully to her feet. She then frowned as Ashley looked away.

"Ash, what's wrong?"

"Nothing. It's just, I just wish I got here sooner," Ashley explained sadly. "I am so sorry that I wasn't there when you needed me." Spencer gently grasped her friend by the chin to force Ashley to look in her eyes.

"But you were here. It's not your fault Ashley," she tried to reassure her friend.

"You got hurt," Ashley responded softly, her voice broken.

"I'm more scared than hurt, really Ashley. Please stop worrying. And don't feel bad. I'm fine." Ashley pulled the taller girl into a tight hug.

"I was scared too," the brunette admitted. Spencer laughed.

"Oh really? Cuz you sure fooled me, busting in here all tough like 'Ashley the vampire slayer'." This teasing brought the smile back to her friends face.

"Like that, did ya?" Ashley buffed her nails on her shirt in an exaggerated manner. "You know Faith's my bitch."

"Suuuuuuuuure, right," Spencer agreed sarcastically, patting Ashley on the shoulder. Ashley looked astonished at her friend's lack of faith.

"What? I'm hot! She would so be all over me."

"Ok, if that helps you sleep at night," Spencer giggled. "Let's get out of here." Ashley bowed.

"You're wish, madame, is my command," she joked. Spencer rolled her eyes.

"Don't go making promises you can't keep, Ms Davies," she warned, letting a broad smile spread across her face despite the pain from her injured lip. Ashley arched one dark brow.

"Who says I can't keep it?" she challenged. Spencer just slapped the cheeky girl on the arm as she walked out.



"Dad, I swear, I'm fine. It's just a split lip," Spencer explained as her father, Arthur, fussed over her.

"Spencer, what happened?" he asked, grabbing an ice pack from the freezer and handing it to his daughter as she sat at the table.

"Promise not to freak out? Or tell Mom cuz I KNOW she will?" Her father nodded.

"I'll at least listen before I 'freak out'," he smiled.

"I was in the locker room after school today and some girls jumped me," Spencer said real fast, nearly blurring the words into one another. Arthur's eyes widened.

"You got jumped in the locker room? Are you all right? Who did this so that we can tell the school…"

"Daaaaaaaaaaaad, you're freaking out!" Spencer laughed. She watched her father take a deep breath and then sit down across from her. They sat in silence for a few minutes while Spencer put the ice pack on her lip and Arthur calmed down.

"How can you expect me not to?" he finally asked. "My little girl was beaten up." Spencer rolled her eyes.

"I wasn't beaten up. I prefer 'ruffled'. Besides, other than the lip and some sore ribs, I'm fine. Ashley arrived in time to break it up."

"Ashley?" Spencer sighed.

"She had nothing to do with this. The girl who did this was angry about something that happened a long time ago to Madison. Ashley just walked in and scared them off. It's not her fault," she tried to keep her tone patient and the annoyance she felt from creeping in.

"I didn't think that it was, honey. I was just going to say 'remind me to thank her for her wonderful sense to timing'." Spencer smiled at her father. She loved that he was so accepting and understanding of Ashley especially since her mother was obviously not.

"Thanks Dad." She walked over and hugged him. "You're the best."

"So what are you going to tell your mother?" he asked in all seriousness.

"Uhg, I don't know. Maybe I tripped and fell in gym?" Arthur made a face.

"She'll still want to call the school and complain," he pointed out. "Maybe a half truth?"

"Like what?" Ashley wondered, intrigued. Arthur thought a minute.

"Like…you caught an elbow in the hallway between classes?"

"Plausible. Is my own father encouraging me to lie?" she joked.

"Well, I'd rather you told her the truth. But I can appreciate why you don't want to. If you promise me that it won't happen again then I'll back you up."

"Agreed. Thanks Dad." She hugged him again and headed up to her room.

"And he was cool with that?" Ashley asked, astonished. Spencer rolled over onto her stomach on the bed and nodded, even though Ashley couldn't see her over the phone.

"Totally. Oh and he said to thank you for showing up when you did," she added.

"My pleasure," Ashley smiled. She honked the horn. "Long pedal on the right, you ass!" Spencer giggled.

"Traffic?" She heard her impatient friend grumble on the other end of the cell phone.

"Horrible traffic. Then again, it is LA. It totally sucks that it takes you 45 minutes to go 20 miles. And that's only in light gridlock traffic, not freaking rush hour."

"Ash, hon, you're ranting," Spencer pointed out, the smile on her face evident to Ashley on the other end. "Why are you even attempting to fight traffic? I thought you were going home."

"I was, then I wanted something to eat that didn't come from the microwave. So, here I am, sitting in traffic."

"Awwwww," Spencer chuckled.

"Hey, don't mock me or next time I go shopping, you won't get any goodies," Ashley warned. The sudden husky quality to her voice sent a sharp tingle through Spencer's belly.

"Uhm…" she stammered.

"Spencer! Dinner!" her mother called up the stairs.

"Gotta go, Ash. Dinner's on. And I get to try out my story against my mother," she sighed.

"Ha ha, good luck," Ashley snickered.

"Thanks. Hey, call me when you get home later?"

"Sure thing, babe."

"OK, night, Ash, sleep well," Spencer said fondly to her yawning friend on the other end.

"You too. Night." She heard the click from Ashley's end of the line and smiled. After a few too many conversations where they'd stayed on the line, not wanting to hang up on the other and then arguing about who was going to hang up first, Ashley had started hanging up immediately after saying 'night'. Then she would send a text to Spencer. It was generally understood that Spencer didn't have to answer that text unless she had something to say.

So, as her cell phone beeped to alert her of the message, Spencer simply read it and smiled.

{Pick u up in the AM. C-U.<3 A.}

She plugged in her phone and crawled under the covers on her bed, snuggling up on her side and thinking of, (what else?), Ashley.

<God I'm lucky that she showed up when she did. Those girls could have really messed me up. I hope we don't have to deal with them again.> She grinned as she fell asleep, knowing that if those girls came around again, Ashley would be there to help her fight them off.



"How's the lip?" Ashley asked as Spencer climbed into the Porsche Cayenne.

"Not bad. It didn't bruise as bad as I thought it would so I was able to cover it with some makeup." Sure enough when Ashley looked, all she saw was the small cut on Spencer's lip and no real bruising.

"Ha. That bitch obviously hits like a girl," Ashley giggled as she drove away from the Carlin home. Spencer nodded.

"Oh my God, Ashley, you will not believe the dream that I had last night," she said, mostly to change the subject. Honestly she was nervous about going into school today but Ashley promised her that either herself or Aiden would walk Spencer to every class, just to be safe.

"Did it involve vampires and chocolate syrup?" Ashley asked with a smirk from the driver's seat. Spencer reached over and smacked the girl on the arm.

"No, you perv!" she laughed.

"Oh sorry, that was me," Ashley giggled. Spencer shook her head in amusement.

"And why does that not surprise me?" Ashley shrugged.

"Cuz we both know I have a unique and fully formed imagination?" she suggested. "But really, what was yours?"

"We were totally stuck in SunnyDale, and you were a slayer and I was your back-up," Spencer explained, blushing as she kept the actual details to herself.

<And you looked really hot in those tight leather pants> she mused to herself.

"So it DID involve vampires!" Ashley exclaimed. "All that biting and sucking; Spencer Carlin, are you perving out on me?" Spencer felt her blush grow hotter.

<You sure would think so if you saw what kind of 'back-up' I turned out to be> Spencer thought. She cleared her throat and laughed.

"Hey, there was no chocolate syrup involved anywhere. That's all you," she teased. Spencer then thought back to the dream.

<No, no syrup. Just you in those tight black pants and loose white shirt that was barely buttoned; running around doing flips and moves I'm not entirely sure are actually humanly possible. Then the whole 'slaying makes me horny' thing> She let out a long sigh, drawing the attention of Ashley next to her.

"Earth to Spencer," she sang, trying to get the daydreaming girl's attention. Spencer jumped and then looked at Ashley sheepishly. Ashley arched an eyebrow.

"That good, huh?" she teased, loving the deep blush on Spencer's face.

"Um…it ah…had it's moments," Spencer agreed slowly. She licked her lips, careful of the sore spot and Ashley was glad that she had to concentrate on the road so that she didn't kill the two of them. Otherwise, that simple action may have been distracting.

<That cute little pink tongue. I really spend too much time thinking about…God, get your head out of the gutter, Davies. Geesh>

"Oh look, school!" Ashley pointed out with far more enthusiasm than she'd intended. Spencer gave her an odd look.

"What? I know that you hate to be late," she defended herself, rather lamely even in her own opinion.

"Oooook," Spencer drew out the word, letting Ashley know that she didn't buy that excuse but was willing to let it go. "Did you have your morning coffee?"

"Yup. Two, actually," Ashley admitted while they walked up to the lockers. Spencer giggled.

"Well that explains it…ooof…" she slammed into the lockers as Denise and her crew jostled her in the crowded hall.

"Oops, my bad," Denise laughed. After visually checking to make sure Spencer was unharmed, Ashley advanced on the bigger girl. No one bothered to pay attention to the altercation as the first bell rang.

"Listen you jackass, back off or the next time you touch her, I'll break every bone in your artificially enhanced body. Got that?" she growled. Denise smirked and gave Ashley a hardy shove sending her stumbling back.

"Whatever, fag. Touch ME again and protecting you're little fuckbuddy will be the least of your problems," she warned. Ashley pulled back to hit her only to have someone grab her arm.

"Ashley, don't," Spencer said firmly. "That's what she wants. If you hit her, you'll get suspended and she wins. Let's just go to class." Ashley sent one last glare at Denise and turned to join Spencer.

"Yeah, let's go."



"Madison, we need to talk." Madison looked at the taller brunette blocking her way in the hall after lunch incredulously.

"What could you and I possibly have to talk about?" she scoffed.

"Look, I'm in no mood to play our usual game of witty repartee, OK? Seriously, I need to talk to you," Ashley cut off whatever glib remark the petite Latina was about to make. Her tone of voice and demeanor, plus the absence of Spencer, made Madison focus sharply.

"Why? What's wrong?"

"Look, don't say anything but Spencer…she was attacked yesterday after school in the girl's locker room," Ashley started. Madison gasped.

"Is she all right? What happened?" Her enemy's genuine shock and concern immediately scratched her from Ashley's list of conspirators. As much as Ashley disliked the head cheerleader, Madison was at heart a decent human being. She might enjoy a little psychological torture, but she'd never physically harm someone unless it was in self-defense.

"A group of girls cornered her in there and roughed her up a bit. She's bruised and has a fat lip but she's ok. The ringleader said that Spencer had to pay for doing that nude cutout of you a while back. That we both did."

"I knew that was you!" Madison growled. Ashley rolled her eyes.

"Oh like you didn't deserve it for that fucking e-mail you sent everyone with my head on a porn star's body," Ashley retorted angrily. Madison rolled her eyes.

"All right fine, whatever," she conceded. Truth was she knew the moment it happened that she deserved Ashley's payback. She just hadn't expected it to be so creative.

"Spencer says the girl's name was Denise. Do you know her? She was on the cheer-squad…"

"Yeah 'til I threw her off for being a scary freak," Madison cut in. "I hate that girl even more than I hate you. So I didn't put her up to attacking Spencer, if that's what you think. That is so not my style."

Ashley let out a long breath between her teeth. She had thought as much but needed to hear it from Madison herself.

"I didn't really think so. Neither does Spencer. But thanks for your honesty. Listen, why did you bump her from the squad in the first place?"

"You know those creepy people you see in movies that like, stalk people and take pictures and insinuate themselves into someone's life where they're not wanted?" Madison asked. When Ashley nodded, she continued.

"You know how they are just so freaking creepy that you want to take a shower and forget that they even existed?"" Another nod. "Yeah, she was Queen."

"She stalked you?" Ashley asked, shocked.

"Kind of. More like called night and day, showed up at my house at all hours to 'talk cheerleading'. That sorta thing," Madison explained.

"Yeah, that's called stalking."

"OK, well I told her to back off more than once and when she didn't, I threw her off the team and told her that if she ever came near me again, my cousin Jorge would make her disappear."

"Ah. Good threat."

"I thought so. Is that all you wanted?"


"OK, well I'm gonna go before someone sees us talking and thinks I've suddenly switched sides," she shivered. "Gross."

"Yeah well I'm gonna go before someone thinks my taste in women hit rock bottom," Ashley shot back.

"But...tell Spencer that I'm sorry and I hope she's OK." Ashley nodded. Without another word, the two girls turned in opposite directions and walked off. After about 15 feet, Ashley stopped and swore to herself.

"Shit, my class is in the other direction."



The next week or so passed with small moments of harassment for Spencer from Denise and her cronies. But each time they occurred, Ashley stepped in and had to be pulled back by Spencer. Ashley knew that Denise was baiting her, but despite knowing that, she couldn't stand to do nothing when someone threatened Spencer.

"We really should tell someone," Ashley sighed as she eyed the damage done to the side of her car. "And I mean besides my insurance company." Spencer frowned and gave her best friend a sympathetic look.

"I'm sorry," she said honestly, tracing the words carved into the paint job of Ashley's Porsche.

"'Dyke bitch'. Certainly gets right to the point," Ashley grumbled. "Personally I'm surprised that jacked up retard could spell it right."

"Me too. To the point, yes. But lacking in originality," Spencer joked hoping to lighten Ashley's mood. "Don't you agree?"

"Totally. You're mother's gonna love it when I drop you off and that's emblazoned on the car." Ashley pointed out with a grin as Spencer laughed and got in the car.

"Oh my God, I hadn't even thought of that. I can just hear it now: 'What? Is she advertising now?' 'Spencer, I don't want you riding in that car or hanging around her. She's a target.'" Ashley's smile faltered a little.

"Well, she'd be right, you know." At Spencer's frown, Ashley gathered her thoughts and tried to explain. "Spence, I AM a target. Because of who I am and the fact that I refuse to hide it, bothers some people. This is what I was trying to warn you about that day on the beach. Denise doesn't know me, she only knows what she hears and is told. She has no idea who I am as a person."

"I know," Spencer said quietly. And really, she did.

The more time she spent thinking about her own sexuality and the fears and issues that accompany the realization that you might not fit into that neat little box everyone wants you to, the more she realized exactly how brave Ashley was. Ashley was who she was, no apologies. If someone didn't like her or the way she lived her life, Ashley didn't seem to care; they weren't going to stop her from living it.

Spencer wondered if she'd ever be that brave.

"OK, I am so not letting that skank bring me…us down," Ashley declared. She put the keys in the ignition and smiled.

"Besides, can you say: repressed homosexuality?" she winked. "Denise is the biggest butch I've seen since your mother." Spencer's mouth dropped open, shocked and stunned. She reached over and smacked the joking girl, hard.

"That is SO not funny!" she protested although her nearly hysterical stifled giggles let Ashley know that Spencer wasn't genuinely angry. "Don't even joke. That is just so wrong."

"Well, it would explain a lot," she snorted and then started the car before turning to Spencer and frowning.

"What?" Spencer asked concerned. Ashley bit her lip.

"Nothing really, just waiting for the car to explode," she smirked.

"That's not even funny!" Spencer complained even though she smiled. "God, you are in one heck of a mood today."

"What?" Ashley shrugged. "Oh wait, you're right. That's giving Denise and her pals way too much credit."

Ashley pulled out of the parking lot and automatically headed towards Spencer's house.

"Home, Spence?" she asked to make sure.

"Actually I was thinking more 'beach' than home. But if you'd rather take me home well, sure," she teased watching a huge grin spring to her friend's face.

"Like I would say 'no' to the beach!" Ashley squealed happily. "But wait, don't you have to be home for dinner or prayers or something?" Spencer shook her head.

"My Mom has the mid-shift at the hospital so she won't be home for supper. And my Dad doesn't mind if any of us skip dinner. I think he's happy when we do because it means we have lives."

"Well, then, to the beach we go. Dyke mobile, ho!" Ashley laughed as Spencer rolled her eyes.

"Who knew that you could be such a dork?" she sighed, amused. Ashley stuck out her tongue.

"No one. It's a Spencer-only performance, so don't go telling anyone. You'll ruin my 'bad-ass' rep." Spencer clutched her chest in mock horror.

"Oh God forbid!"

Part 6

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