Disclaimer: If you recognize it I don't own it.* * ** * *
Principal Snyder looked over the middle aged woman sitting across the desk from him. The newest applicant for the empty english teacher’s position. She didn’t look like the kind to last with what really went on around here.
“You look pensive,” she observed. “If it’s my hair,” she began, “all I can tell you is that I’ve had white hair for as long as I can remember.”
“No, I was just thinking you’re a little too sheltered to be able to handle the pressures of working here,” he said, surprising himself be telling her the truth.
“You’d be surprised what I can handle,” she said with a small smile. “It comes down to this, you need a teacher and I need a job. If I can’t handle it you can fire me.”
Snyder looked at her in surprise, that was the kind of attitude that showed she might be able to handle the job after all. “You have the job.”
“Thank you. It’ll be a nice change from my last job,” she held out her hand to him. “You made the right decision.”
Snyder shook her hand. “The only real trouble makers in the school are Buffy Summers and her friends. They all hang out in the library if you want to meet them en masse.”
“I’ll keep an eye on them then. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you always want to keep an eye on the tight clique with a trouble making leader.” She smiled tightly, “Easier to know who to blame when something goes wrong,” she added.
Snyder smiled at her as she turned and walked out.* * *
Xander didn’t like the new teacher. She was always watching him with a fond smile, like she was just waiting for him to do something so she could get him alone after school and eat him alive.
“I don’t like her,” he announced in the middle of a conversation about the demon of the week.
“You don’t like who?” Buffy asked him cautiously.
“The new teacher. I mean, who in their right mind would trust someone with that name? She must have changed it to that so everyone would think she was her but she can’t be her she’s just a comic book character.”
“You lost me,” Buffy admitted, shaking her head. “You don’t like Miss Jenson?”
Xander rolled his eyes and walked out of the library, leaving Buffy staring after him in confusion.
“Is it just me or was that a little weird even for Xander?” Buffy asked, turning to look at the others.
“Yeah,” Willow agreed. “I mean, I get what he means about her name but she can’t help it she was named after a comic book character. You would think her parents wouldn’t have done that to her but she didn’t ask for that to be her name and it’s not her fault. And I don’t know why he doesn’t like her, she never seems to mind when he doesn’t have his homework done or there’s bits of something on it because we finished it in a hurry and got demon guts on it.”
“You know who he was talking about?” Buffy asked in surprise. She was even more surprised when everyone, including Giles, nodded agreement. “Why don’t I know who he’s talking about?”
“You had a deprived childhood?” Cordelia suggested. “I mean, even I read them sometimes. And it’s not like it’s a name you’re going to forget.”
Buffy frowned at them all in confusion, still wondering who they were talking about. She gave another shake of her head and turned the conversation back to the demon she’d spotted on patrol the night before and how she was supposed to kill it.* * *
Xander snuck into the classroom and hurried over to the desk. She was always making notes in an old fashioned journal and he was curious. Maybe it would explain what she was doing here. He opened the journal and flipped to the last few entries.* * * They haven’t found me yet. I’m hoping that the dark energy the school sits on will keep them from finding me ever again.
They are and they aren’t. There are similarities but there’s more to them then the children I have taught for so long. Especially in Xander Harris. One moment he’s Archie all over, the next he’s Reggie making them laugh whether they want to or not. And yet he’s nothing like either of them.
And Buffy, at first I thought she was the Betty of the group but she’s more like Moose than any of the girls. And if I had to pick one of the girls she was most like it would be Cheryl, always thinking she’s always right and always a little high and mighty compared even to Veronica. Or Cordelia. I’m not sure that’s a fair comparison though.
And my new favourite redhead, Willow. She’s some combination of Betty and Dilton that makes me shudder to think what she’s capable of in her quest to help her friends.
Oz confuses me. He’s the strong silent type and doesn’t seem to have that much to do with the others yet he’s definitely part of the group most of the time. At first I likened him to Jughead who always walked to a beat of his own making but the more I watch them the more I realize there’s something else pulling his strings and he fights with it constantly.
Cordelia Chase. Veronica Lodge. The similarities are endless. Stuck up snobby brunette with lots of money who hangs around with a lower class of kids without losing her social standing. In this case the Pembrooke kids go to the same school as the townies so she has to walk a finer line but she manages it. Does she realize how lucky she is to have friends who would do anything to protect her?
And Mr. Giles. What do we say about him? He’s more a parent to these kids than most of them have, and more a father to the others. Yet he manages to hold onto some degree of authority over them. That’s a fine line most teachers who try to walk fail.
They are and they aren’t. And I am looking forward to watching them graduate and move on the college in a couple years. What a wonderful day that will be. The day I see my students move on and have a normal life beyond high school. * * *
Xander flipped through a couple of the earlier pages, which were mostly names and single word observations or paired names. He wasn’t pleased to see he had been equated with Betty but he could understand it. She was the one who would do anything for her friends even when it meant she couldn’t have what she wanted.
“Did you find what you were looking for, Xander?”
Xander closed the journal and put it back down on the desk. “I think I did.”
“I’m sure you have somewhere else to be.”
Xander grinned at her, “Yes, Miss Grundy, I do.”* * ** * *
For those of you who didn't figure it out, the new teacher is Geraldine Grundy. English teacher - among other classes - from the world of Archie Comics.