Author's Note: This is a Gabrielle fic with a focus on Gabrielle & Lynette's friendship. So in order for some things to make sense, I'll explain them.

This is alternate universe so I'm playing around with the timeline and ages of the characters a bit. I know on the show, there's a large age gap between Lynette and Gaby but in this fic, the age gap will only be four years. Also, Lynette and Gabrielle will be younger than they are in the show.

The whole thing with Gabrielle running away from home at age 15 and becoming a model never happened in this fic.

I think that's about it. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Enjoy!

Gabrielle

1995

Ever since I was a little girl, all I've wanted was to be Miss America someday. I've grown up watching the pageant on TV and I WILL win that crown one day. Unfortunately I'm going through that awkward teen stage at the moment. I'm always being complimented for my looks and I am pretty but I hate my teeth. They're all crooked and messed up. So, I've saved up enough money to get braces. The orthodontist said they should be straight by my 16th birthday, just in time for Junior Miss America.

"How will you be paying, dear?" The receptionist asks as I leave.

"Cash, monthly." I say.

I reach into my purse and pull out a handful of bills which I place on the desk. I seriously can't stand my teeth. I'm so excited they'll be straight soon. And guess what, I got a pretty good job. I sell household cleaning products door to door. It pays well and should be enough for the braces. Whatever extra money I earn will go towards costumes and other pageant expenses for the pageants Fairview offers.

I ride my bike home from the orthodontist and sigh when I see my mom and step dad are home. Alejandro is sitting on his lazy ass on the couch, drinking a beer as usual while my mom is cooking his dinner.

"Where have you been?" She asks.

"Out," I say.

"Answer your mother." Alejandro says.

Ugh, I hate that man with a passion.

"Out," I say again. This time with venom in my voice.

"Don't be a smart ass!" Alejandro says.

I'm busy going through the mail, checking for any new pageant updates.

"Alejandro, she's my kid, not yours." My mom says.

"As long as she's living under my roof she—"

"Your roof? You don't have a roof! This is my roof!"

Great, they're fighting again. What else is new? At least it's time for me to go to work and I can escape from it.

"Where you going?" My mom asks.

"Work," I say, bluntly.

"Well, do you want dinner?" My mom asks.

"Hey, that's my pizza!" Alejandro argues.

I roll my eyes and walk into my bedroom. I love my bedroom. It's got all my costumes and awards I've won in pageants. I've also written motivational quotes and taped them all over my room for inspiration.

Never give up.

You can do it.

You are beautiful.

My mom barges into my room, "So, do you want some pizza or not?"

Ugh, obviously my mom ignored the knock first sign on my door.

"Knock first!"

"Oh lord, Gabriela, don't start aggravating me now. I have a headache."

A 'headache', AKA, she has a hangover.

"When the 'Do Not Enter' sign is on the door, you knock first!" I say.

"Gabriela, do you want dinner or not?"

"I want you to knock first." I say.

My mom rolls her eyes but leaves. I hear a loud knock.

"Can I come in?" She asks, sarcastically.

"No!" I yell, practising my poses in front of the mirror.

I hear her walk away. Thank God. Now time to practice what I'm going to say to potential customers while working.

"Hello, my name is Gabrielle—"

No, that won't work.

"Hello, my name is Gabrielle Marquez but my...Ugh, no." I sigh.

"And the winner of the Little Miss Starlet Fashion Model Contest, age twelve to fifteen division is..." The pageant coordinator of the latest pageant I've entered announces.

"Amy Brown!"

Her parents clap from the front row. I keep my smile plastered to my face even though I'm disappointed. I thought for sure I would win this one. I designed my costume myself. It's not a traditional evening gown like the other girls are but it's unique. But no, all the girls won something except me. All I won was a participant award. I don't understand why I'm not winning anything! Am I trying too hard to be unique? No matter how upset I am, I must keep that smile on my face.

The disappointment doesn't really set in until I'm waiting for my mom to pick me up. I don't know why never comes to my pageants. I know she'd love them. All the other girls have their parents with them, congratulating them. I stare down at my participant medal and sigh. I look towards the door again. My mom's always late for everything. Finally I see her walk in.

"Where have you been?"

"I grabbed a drink. Now come on, let's go."

"Look at what I won, Mom."

My mom's eyes widen, "You won?"

I see her smile until she sees that it's only a participant award. She frowns.

"Participant?" She laughs. "You didn't win anything! You probably bought this with whatever you used to get in this thing." She throws the award back to me, looking mad.

"How much did you pay?"

"A $135 registration fee."

"Jesus Christ, come on. Let's go. Get your stuff."

We walk over to my bags.

"I'm not driving you to anymore of these things. So stop asking." My mom says.

What? No, she can't do that!

"I'll pay for the gas!" I offer.

"I don't need you to pay for my gas."

"Well, I don't need you! I'll, I'll ride my bike!"

"Gabriela, you're aggravating me and I have a headache! Now let's go! Hurry up Come on, Come on!"

That night as I was sleeping, the sound of Alejandro's footsteps woke me up. I hear him open up my bedroom door. He starts walking over to my bed but I have a plan. He's hurt me before but he's not going to touch me this time. I keep a whistle by my bed which I grab and blow into. It makes a loud noise, causing Alejandro to back off.

"What the fuck?"

I get out of bed and storm into the hallway to my mom's room.

"All right, listen to me—"

"I was in the wrong room—"

"If he tries that bullshit ever again, I'm calling Child Protective Services and getting both your asses hauled out of here! Then I'll live with a nice foster family while you two rot in jail. Got that?"

Alejandro comes out the bathroom, "Lucia, don't believe that brat. I went into the wrong room. I meant to go to the bathroom. She's a lying brat."

Ugh, I can't even listen. I go back into my room and stare into the mirror. I can just hear that Miss America announcer, announcing my name.

I practice my pageant walk as I walk back to bed.

Miss Eagle State is your new Miss America!

The next day I decide to have a chat with Kathleen Huckle, the pageant coordinator for the pageants in Fairview, about why I'm not winning any pageants.

"Gabrielle, honey, I don't know why you haven't won any pageants."

"It's not just that I haven't won. After eighteen pageants, I haven't even made it into the top 20!"

I sigh, "It's my wardrobe, isn't it?"

Kathleen smiles, "I'm gonna tell you a little secret. I've started a modeling academy for the most promising young ladies. After a little basic training, you'll be winning pageants in no time! Now, how would you like to pay for that?"

"Uh, cash. Monthly."

Kathleen smiles, "And it's Marquis?"

"Marquez."

"Gabrielle, of course, yes."

"Elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, wrist." Kathleen demonstrates with her arm. She's showing us our pageant wave. "Elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, wrist."

She smiles at us, "Very good, ladies. Now let's move on. I'm going to introduce you to the step, pivot, and turn around, head snap. All right? Now watch me very carefully."

She puts her shoulders back and stands up straight, "One little step, make sure to make eye contact. Turn your body slowly, very slowly. And at the last moment, snap!"

When it's our turn to try, I watch Kathleen very carefully. I make a small step, with my eye contact, slowly, slowly, than I snap!"

"Very good, ladies! Now let's try it walking."

We start walking across the studio we're in. I accidently bump into this girl, Brooke. She thinks she's all that, I can't stand her.

"Move over, Scabrielle!" Brooke said.

This time, I bump into her on purpose, and she almost falls. Hah, serves her right.

On my first day of Home Ec class in tenth grade, we're doing a fashion design unit! I love fashion. I live it, breathe it, I just adore it. As I'm looking for materials for my project I catch a glimpse at the classmate who's sewing at the table across from me. I don't recognize her because she looks like a senior. I have no idea why a senior would be taking this course but whatever. It's cool with me. Whatever she's sewing, she looks very experienced. She's cute with short blonde hair and glasses. I wonder why a senior is taking a sophomore level class. She looks at me and weakly smiles as she catches me staring. Damn, I wish I was as good at sewing as she is! She goes back to her project and the bell rings.

I find her at lunchtime sitting at a table in the cafeteria by herself.

"Slut," Some cheerleader who walks by yells at her.

"Are you going to Damien's party on Saturday night? There's going to plenty of stoners for you to fuck." Another dumb cheerleader says to her. I see her glare and throw her coke on the cheerleader's freshly laundered uniform.

"Bitch!" The cheerleader yells and runs away.

I smile; I like this girl whoever she is. You see, you'd think I was a cheerleader because my pageants and what not but actually, I don't have many friends. I try to stand out and make a statement which other girls don't like. Plus, they're jealous of me. Anyway, whoever this girl is, she seems cool. I would've done that to the cheerleader too if it had been me. I smile at her and she smiles back. She remembers me. I go and sit beside her. At first we just sit there staring into space. We watch all the cheerleaders eating together, the jocks, the artists. We're the only ones not in a clique. Which is fine by me.

I decided to break the ice, "I hate lunch." I push my lunch tray away.

The girl sighs as she starts eating her sandwich, "Me, too."

"I'm in your Home Ec class. I'm Gaby." I put my hand out.

She shakes it, "Lynette."

"Where did you learn to sew so well?" I ask.

"I taught myself." Lynette says with a shrug. "I'd give you my coke as a treat but as you saw."

I laugh, "Yeah."

"Want my brownie?" Lynette asks.

I shrug and smile apologetically, "I'm on a diet."

Lynette shrugged, "Well, whatever I've got, is yours."

I like this girl. I can see us being friends for a long, long time. From the expression on her face, I think she's thinking the same thing. I smile widely at her and she's gives me a smile back that's just as big.

TBC