Just Your Average Ordinary Teen PsychoAuthor:
The usual Buffy & Terminator violence, gore, yadda yadda yaddaSpoilers:
Season 2 of T:SCC. That’s about it. :-)Disclaimer:
Buffy belongs to Joss Whedon, SCC belongs to FOX and…whoever writes it.Author's Note:
Written in response to the Fic Exchange at SCCXovers
for the wonderful Mel
banner by Sanadafaye
Buffy's eyes narrowed as she watched the dark-haired girl walk down the hallway. She was obviously headed toward the junior level math classroom. She'd only met her once, but there was something about Cameron Phillips that pinged her Slayer senses and she couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was. It was more of a 'gut feeling' than anything else, really. Not the great big honkin' neon sign that was usually present whenever something of a supernatural nature presented itself. Just a slight tingle of awareness of 'other' was what she got when the girl was nearby.
Buffy sighed and turned to look out the window. She shook her head when she saw that the girl's brother, John, was sitting out on the lawn. Now there was another one that caused all sorts of concerns to run through her. She had just started her job as the new guidance counselor for Campo de Cahuengo High School, when John and his sister transferred in. As was par for the course, the transfer students were all required to make the obligatory visit to the guidance office so the new counselor to get a feel for them and their aptitudes in school and life and make sure that they were properly placed in the curriculum. Buffy strongly suspected that John and Cameron had been placed much lower in their classes than they should have been…
Her meeting with them had been frustrating. They had successfully evaded all of her normal probing teenaged angst questions much more effectively than the other students she met had. It had been rather impressive and told her that the two of them had a great deal of experience at flying below the radar. Something that as the Slayer, she could appreciate, but as the local emo counselor, she hated with a passion.
John had missed several days of school recently and when she had called him in for a meeting, she found that the meeting led to a spectacular case of teenage sullen silence. She had figured from the moment he walked in, scowl firmly in place that getting any type of information out of him was going to be rather like pulling teeth without the aid of Novocain. The flop in the chair and the deep, put upon sigh confirmed it. Some things were always constant; death, taxes and the fact that teenaged girls were confrontational and teenaged boys were always, without fail, sullen.
Deciding that beating around the bush wasn’t going to get her anywhere; Buffy sat down in the chair next to John, leaned forward to look him in the face and waited until she had his attention. Just as she was about to give up and just strangle the teen, he broke and looked her in the eye. Pursing her lips, she nodded slightly to herself and then started speaking to him about her concerns.
“You know, John… you’ve missed a lot of school lately.”
Silence greeted her observation.
“Is there something going on at home? Something you might want to talk to me about?” She paused as more deep sighs filled the room and he shifted slightly in his seat. She could tell that something was bothering him, that he wanted to talk. She just had to break through that shell. “You know, John… whatever is going on, it’s just High School. Once you’re out there, in the real world, pretty much anything that happens here is no longer important. It’s not like while you’re in here, the fate of the world rests on your shoulders.” She sat back and sighed. “John… talk to me. You won’t shock me.”
John snorted, the sound coming from deep within and he looked everywhere in the room but her. "You have no idea...” His voice choked off and he met her gaze with wet eyes. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” His expression was one she remembered well. It was one she'd aimed at many an adult after she became the Slayer; the one where everything you believed in had turned upside down and inside out and you just knew you couldn’t turn to anyone for help. It was all on you to handle.
She noticed his clenched fists and the scrapes across the knuckles spoke louder than his words. Something more than the usual teen drama was going on and she leaned forward, anxious to get through to him now that she was more aware of what could be going on. "John, you need to understand that I'm here to help you. There's not much nowadays that would surprise me. And no matter what, I'm not going to judge you." She huffed. "Can I tell you something in confidence?"
John shrugged. He was really starting to frustrate her.
"Seriously, John, if I tell you this and you share it with the other students, it'll most definitely destroy my credibility." Ah! There it was… he was interested now. He still had a wary expression, but he also looked very interested. "I had a big time, uber-life changing event happen to me when I was fifteen. I'm not talking about the usual drama most girls go through at that age. And I totally couldn't tell anyone. Not my mom, my sister… no one. And it was something that I… couldn't escape. And… things came to a head a few months later. I can't give you any specific details, but events spun out of control and I ended up burning down my High School gym during a dance."
John's eyes were wide and she thought he just might be considering taking her offer when he snorted unexpectedly. "Gawd. You people will say anything, won't you?" He laughed, the bitter edge sharp across her nerves. "There's no way they'd hire a delinquent to counsel high school kids." He rolled his eyes and then dropped them back into his lap, focusing on a point that only he could see. "Are we done yet? Can I go now?"
Buffy sighed and stood up from her chair. “Yeah, John, you can go. But just remember, I’m always here and I’ll always listen.”
“Yeah, whatever.” And just like that, he was out the door. But not before she saw him hesitate and glance at her with a question buried deep in his eyes. She knew with everything in her body that this was a boy that wanted, needed, to talk.
Walking over to her desk, she looked at the file that she had been given on John and as she flipped through it again, Buffy realized she only had one real option left before something happened to the boy that couldn’t be recovered from… she picked up the phone and dialed the home number that was on the forms for his enrollment into the school. She was going to talk to his parents.
Buffy sighed when it became obvious, after almost four hours and dialing all the numbers she had listed in the file that she wasn’t going to get hold of anyone of a parental nature where John was concerned. This thought then led to the question of whether or not there actually was someone of a parental nature in John’s life. It seemed odd that not a single number led to someone answering, especially when the caller ID would identify her as the school. And Buffy knew from personal experience that school forms and records were amongst the easiest to forge. The more she thought about it, the more she became convinced that she needed to look into this more deeply and stood up and grabbed her purse and her car keys, glancing at her desk clock quickly and seeing that there was still almost two and a half hours left of school. She would have plenty of time to get to the address listed in the file and back.
Pulling up in front of the house listed as the residence of John and Cameron, she couldn’t help but be impressed. Not small by any means, it was definitely a nice place and not at all what she would have imagined for a boy that was always dressed in faded, ragged jeans and combat boots. Turning off the car and stepping out, Buffy took stock of the surroundings, noticing that there was no movement around her, even though a large Dodge pickup truck was parked in the driveway.
Making her way up the walkway to the front door, Buffy had a distinct sensation of being watched, but when she casually glanced around, she couldn’t detect where it was coming from. Reaching the front door, she debated with herself on whether or not she really wanted to do this, the needful look on John’s flashed in her mind and she knew that backing down wasn’t an option. She reached out and firmly pressed on the doorbell and waited. After a reasonable amount of time, she stretched out her Slayer senses, making out faint movement from the other side of the door. When the ‘no one’s home’ presence failed to open the door, she started to knock. If she was a little more forceful than was warranted, oh well… one thing Buffy had developed a rather significant dislike for was someone trying to avoid her.
It soon became obvious that she wouldn’t stop knocking until the door was answered and it was swung open with more force than was really necessary. Buffy was soon nose to chest with a dark gray t-shirt that stretched quite nicely over a heavily muscled chest. Working her gaze up over said impressive chest, she met the man’s blue eyes and blushed when she caught herself mesmerized by the intensity of his gaze. Clearing her throat, she found herself floundering for words and took a moment to breathe in deeply and, thanks to her handy Slayer senses, caught a whiff of the man’s scent and found herself blushing all over again as she found herself thinking that late night fantasies and mind-blowing sex would smell like he did.
“Yeah?” tall, dark and studly barked.
“Um… hi…” Buffy finally managed to get out. Gathering her wits about her, she squared her shoulders and remembered why she was there in the first place. “I’m Buffy Summers,” she extended her hand to shake his and noticed that his face had gone pale and filed that away to examine at another time. “I’m the school guidance counselor. I was wondering if I could speak to you about your son, John?”
The man just stared at her in nervous surprise.
Eyes narrowing, Buffy frowned and tilted her head to the side, trying to decipher what it was that had him so nervous. He stood silently watching her, sweating and pale.
“So… anyway… I’ve noticed that John and his sister have missed a lot of school lately and when I tried to talk to him today, he seemed… I dunno… anxious? I was wondering if you would have any idea what could be going on.” She watched him like a snake watched a mouse. He continued to stare at her like he had seen a ghost. “I’m sorry… what was your name?” she inquired.
“Derek.” He croaked out. “I’m not his father, you know? I’m his uncle.”
“Oh! OH! I’m so sorry! I… I didn’t realize…” she trailed off. “Um… is his mother or his father here right now?”
“His father is dead.” Derek stated flatly. “His mother is at work.” He started closing the door on her. “We’ve had some rough times lately, but John’ll be fine. He’s always fine.”
“Oh, OK. Well… could you let her know that I’d like to speak to her?” she rushed out.
“Sure.” He said and forcefully shut the door.
Buffy stared at the door in bemusement for a moment after it shut in her face. The guy might be cute, but he was rude as hell. Shaking her head at the door, she turned and headed back to her car.
Derek leaned against the door and brought his hands up to his head, running them from the back of his head, down his face and then leaned over to rest them on his knees as he bent, trying to breath deeply and calm his racing nerves.
Buffy Summers… Jesus Christ! She was more beautiful in person than her snap had led him to believe.
Straightening up and taking a deep breath once again, he smirked to himself as he wondered what his nephew would think if he knew that his uncle was lusting after John’s sister-in-law.