A/N:"I'll Be Your Mirror" is a song by the Velvet Underground. Listen to it if you haven't - it's beautiful. Also, it becomes plot-relevant.

The name 'Clara' doesn't mean much, though I got it from Doctor Who. Her brother is called 'Dwight' because it's dorky-sounding. 'Keith' also sounds a bit geeky, if you ask me, yet it's cooler than 'Dwight' because of Keith Moon and Keith Richards. Keith is the least loser-y of the three main OCs. Swire CDs and Records is named after designer Vivienne Westwood, formerly Miss Swire.

'Moogie' is a fictional word (from Star Trek) meaning mother. 'nuqneH' means "hello" (lit. "what do you want?") in Klingon. 'Kriff' is a Star Wars-verse swear word. That's how nerdy Dwight is...

Also, Clara is partly based on me. We like a lot of the same music and we have similar problems (i.e., arrogant computer-loving brothers).

This is the chapter in which the original characters are introduced. The fun stuff starts happening in chapter 2. I thought I ought to give a little background information. You know, show the audience how Clara, Dwight, and Keith behave in their "natural habitat"...

January 2008

"So… Strange Days, tracks seven is the best, it's classic….wow, Loaded, that's nothing compared to their first record… and, White Album, you should already own that… that'll be $26, then," mused Clara, the cashier at Swire CDs and Records.
The customer - a young man wearing a dorky black Dischord Records shirt and dark jeans - stared at her, rather offended. After a moment he handed over the cash. Then, without, a word he left.
"Have a nice day!" Clara called brightly.
"You know you really should be nicer to people."
Clara jumped. There, not two feet from her left, stood her geeky younger brother Dwight. His somewhat less geeky best friend Keith was wandering around in the . How had she not noticed them enter the shop?
"nuqneH," Dwight said.
Klingon. How typical. "This isn't a nerd convention. Speak English, please."

"Hello, dear sister!" Dwight replied, dramatically. "Keith and I are going to see that new horror film this evening. Moogie said I had to invite you."
"Which new horror film?" Clara asked.
"Aliens Vs. Predator, obviously. What else?"
"Well, there's the Tim Burton adaption of Sondheim's musical master-"
Dwight's beady eyes narrowed. "We are not seeing a musical."
"Why not? The soundtrack is awesome."
"Says the girl who listens to 'Sister Ray' three times a day."
"Hey! That song is great!"
"It is not. You only like it because you think it's funny when Lou Reed says he's sucking on a-"
"You're wrong! I like it because it's so depraved."
"Isn't that basically what I just kriffin' said?"
"No, What I meant w-"
Keith cleared his throat, rather loudly, then said: "Look, can you two stop fighting for once? Why does it matter?"

The two siblings glared at each other, though neither said anything more. Sometimes Clara wished they didn't fight so often. Aren't siblings supposed to work together? Even the Ramones managed to, on some level, and they weren't even real blood relatives. No matter what Clara said, Dwight always disagreed. Keith helped things from going too far. Still, as Dwight's friend, he often sided against Clara.

"Are you going with us or not, Clara?" Keith asked, eventually.

"I am." Going to see the new Alien didn't sound so bad, considering that the alternative was another boring night of homework and the same old Velvet Underground CDs.

"Darn," Dwight muttered meanly.

Before the two siblings could start screaming at each other (again), Keith dragged his friend out the door. Clara sighed. Sometimes, she wished they could get along. Family members should be close - right? Fighting like this wasn't right. Still, that nerdy little brat... he always knew just what to say...

Humming Vicious, by Lou Reed, she lazily picked up one of the fanzines. Though they sold well, she never really 'got' them. The current scene didn't really interest her. Clara much preferred music from the 1960s and '70s. Before the great and glorious Ian Mackaye had even thought of the phrase 'straight edge'. Back in the days of sex, drugs, and rock n roll. When NYC was a wretched, festering hellhole inhabited by Warholites and poetic junkies and old school punks. Corruption and decadence fascinated Clara. As did the concept of "good vs. evil". That's why the Victorian era also appealed to the girl. Back then everything was so strict, so proper, so secret. Hookers and pickpockets roamed the streets, along with murderers and rapists. Also, opium dens were legal in those days. Clara greatly approved of them.

Soon enough the work day was over. After closing up the cash register and tidying up the store one last time, Clara left.

After returning home and checking in with her parents, Clara went upstairs to her bedroom. The movie wasn't for another hour and she had an essay to write for English (due the following Tuesday). At least she'd already written about half of it. Now she merely needed to add three more paragraphs, then do a few edits. Surely that wouldn't be too hard. Of course, she couldn't start right away. The cravings were getting distracting.

Clara took an Altoids tin out of her desk drawer. Of course, it hadn't held mints in a ages. Instead it contained a small collection of identical white pills snatched from a variety of places. The pills were bitter, something Clara hated. That didn't stop her from craving the numbing sensation they induced.

With the help of a nearby glass of water, Clara swallowed four of the pills. The bitter taste - was that the acetaminophen? - made her grimace. Snorting would've been quicker, though crushing the little tablets was harder than it sounded. As was melting and injecting... something Clara had only bothered with twice. It was all quite silly. Of course, Clara really couldn't help it. Whenever she could find pills she 'borrowed' them. Sort of like an especially narrow-minded kleptomaniac. And it was easier than it sounds. People were always having surgeries and such. Nobody noticed when five or six little white pills went missing from their bottles. "Take as needed" the bottles proclaimed.

As the pills began to kick in - calming Clara, slightly, and making that peculiar 'lust' fade - she turned towards her iMac. It was a G5 she'd inherited from Dwight. He always got all the best computer bits. Not that Clara minded. She preferred old CDs to fancy tech. Though it did occasionally annoy her when Dwight bragged about a snazzy new screen or bigger hard drive...

Smiling to herself, Clara logged into her computer. After a few clicks she found the half-completed essay. Alas! Before she could type a single word, someone began knocking at the door.

"Hey, Clara! We're gonna be late for the movie!" shouted a voice from outside. It was Dwight.

"Isn't it at ten?" Clara called back.

"No, that one was sold out." Now, Dwight sounded a bit angry. "They're all sold out. We're going to see an 8:45 showing of that stupid horror musical."

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A/N: Clara's interest in pills becomes important later on. It's not just me being weird.