Jennifer gave a small grunt as she felt her head hit the wooden headboard of her queen sized bed, effectively waking her up from her peaceful night sleep. Rolling her barely open eyes, the blond girl stood from her bed and left her bedroom, wandering down the stairs in the dark to get herself a drink for her dry throat.
Stumbling blindly down the staircase and into the kitchen of her home, Jennifer flicked on the light to find someone bent over near the sink. "Oh my God!"
The brunette quickly spun around, her eyes wide at the sight of the tired girl. "What? What is it?"
Jennifer let out a breath and shook her head, giving an embarrassed smile to the guest of the house. "I'm sorry, I didn't know who you were."
"Burglar?" the older girl chuckled. "I don't think they look for spoons to use for their ice cream."
That's when Jennifer noticed the older girl's sleepwear, her cheeks immediately turning the color of a ripe pomegranate. Emily was wearing an oversized night shirt and barely there shorts, showing off her long legs just as the towel had before the brunette's shower that night.
Emily gave an awkward clearing of her throat before smiling, closing the silverware drawer behind her. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. I just couldn't sleep so I thought I'd get a snack." Her brows lifted. "That's alright, right?"
Jennifer quickly nodded, moving farther into the kitchen. "That's totally fine," she laughed.
The seventeen year old sat down at the island with a bowl of rocky road ice cream before her, taking a small lick of the cold treat off her spoon as she watched her new friend rummage around the fridge for a drink. "So why are you up? It's pretty late."
"I woke up," the blond shrugged. "Bumped my head."
Emily bit her lip to keep from laughing as she watched the younger girl rubbed the back of her head. "I'm sorry. You ok?"
The blond glared at the smiling girl. "I'm fine, thank you very much." She sat opposite the older teen with a water bottle in hand, unscrewing the cap so she could take a sip. "So are you excited for tomorrow? You're coming to school with me, Julia and Richie."
Emily slowly gave a nod of the head, taking a bite from an almond that popped up on her spoon. "Kind of, I guess. I've never been to an actual high school."
Jennifer sent a reassuring smile to her new friend. "Don't worry, it's really not as bad as some people make it out to be. My school is pretty small so there aren't a lot of students, which should mean there'd be more bullying in most cases, but not for my school."
"So I won't get like stabbed or something?"
The sixteen year old let out a huge laugh at the look in the brunette's eyes. "You're not gonna get stabbed, Emily. It's not like I live in a bad neighborhood. There were ten churches on the two minute drive from our town entrance to the house!"
Emily softly bobbed her head in agreement. "Yeah, I guess."
"You're gonna be fine," Jennifer assured. "I'll be with you the entire time; the school only let you into my classes because of your age, so we'll be attached at the hip."
The brunette quickly stuffed her mouth with another spoonful of her ice cream, looking down into the bowl as to not let the younger girl meet her eyes. She couldn't see the anxiety that was written across her face for the day to come.
Emily's teeth began to grind as she did her best to keep up with her new friend as they ran from pre-calculus to government, which were an entire floor and building length away from each other. "Jennifer this is crazy!" Once she finally caught up with the younger girl, she let out a breath. "Why can't all the classes just be on the same floor? Or in the same room?"
"That's just not how it works," the blond laughed. "Come on, we only have two more minutes to get there. If we're late we get detention."
Emily groaned, hurrying up the steps behind her friend. "This is ridiculous."
The younger girl smiled, taking the seventeen year old's hand and dragging her into the classroom. "This is high school."
Mr. Hayes looked up from his desk and frowned at the sight of a new student entering his classroom, doing her best to hide behind his favorite Jareau as they made their way towards the back. "New girl, up here now."
Emily bit her lip before walking up to the desk. "Hello sir."
"Who are you?"
"My name is Emily Prentiss, I'm from France. I'm living with the Jareau family during my exchange here."
The teacher slowly nodded his head before gesturing back to the seat his new student's bag was seated in. "Take a seat Miss Prentiss."
Emily quickly made her way back down the aisle and sat down behind her friend, tapping softly on her shoulder. "He seems mean." Her eyes widened. "Is he mean?"
Jennifer smiled gently at the seventeen year old. "He's a little strict, but you'll be fine."
Only five minutes into the class, Emily was behind on the notes the teacher was spewing from his mouth, her pen not writing fast enough on her paper. She chanced a quick glance around the room to see how the other students were doing and her jaw immediately dropped. Their pens were moving at the speed of lightning, their words written elegantly across the lines of their papers.
Letting out a small sigh, the brunette girl raised her hand.
"Yes Miss Prentiss?"
The seventeen year old nodded. "Can you please repeat that last part?"
Mr. Hayes' eyes darkened, hardening on the new student in his classroom. "Miss Prentiss I do not repeat. I say it once, and you get it. Do you understand?"
Shrinking under the older man's gaze, Emily set her hand back down. "Yes sir."
Jennifer reached back behind her desk and grabbed her friend's hand to let her know that it was alright, bringing their hands down so they swung between their desks.
The brunette girl blushed gently at the feeling of their clasped hands before she looked back at her notes, writing away.