Willow pushed her face into her pillow sleepily and sighed, she couldn’t stay with her face in the pillow for long- not unless she wanted to suffocate anyway, she rolled over onto her other side and cringed as the sunlight glared through her eyelids and into her eyes, she scowled and opened them. The red digits of her clock on the small bedside table glared at her- but they were blurry.
Her eyesight slowly cleared and she could read the time, 8:43am….she closed her eyes, froze in mid-yawn and looked at the clock again, “Oh, crap,” she muttered in resignation. She had forgotten to set the alarm after she’d finished researching last night. She leapt out of bed and fleetingly cursed at the loss of warmth, “Can’t believe I’m going to school again.”
She sprinted out of the room and ran for the bathroom.
God, the tiles were icy under her feet…
Willow stuffed a piece of toast into a mouth hurriedly as she pulled her backpack on over her shoulders, as she walked to the front door she dragged a hair brush through her hair and pulled it into a loose pony tail; she glanced at her watch and cursed again, “Nine-thirty. Could have been worse.”
She smoothed down her short-sleeved white shirt- which she’d donned in a fit of humor- and grabbed her blue denim jacket, swallowing the mouthful of toast, she ran to the door and pulled it open before she broke into a run for school; it was a ten-minute walk away so she should be there in a few minutes of solid running.
Maybe she should have gotten a bike, she couldn’t drive of course- unless she wanted to be pulled over for underage driving, which she didn’t…also, being pulled over by police would complicate things and lead to all sorts of questions about her parentage and home life. Willow sighed as she ran around a corner, she wished that the PTB had at least let her think about the possible complications before just throwing her into this; she’d ask Giles, he’d know what to do.
As the school building came into her view she slowed to a fast walk, there were only a few stragglers out in the grounds who hadn’t yet found their classrooms; she was glad that she wasn’t the only one late to classes, as she walked she pulled out a sheet of paper with her timetable on it, “Hell,” she muttered under her breath. She had missed Math class, well most of it anyway- there was only ten minutes left of the class; not even that, she’d better wait for her next class, her eyes moved down the sheet a little to the next lesson. Chemistry, Willow smiled; she loved Chem class.
Going to school couldn’t be as bad as she thought it would be, she’d done it before, she could do it again.
Ally yawned loudly as she passed a borrowed exercise book to her best friend of nine months, she let her arm drop to her side as he accepted it; the corridor that led to Chemistry was starting to fill with kids left in between lessons; it was only the end of their first lesson and she was already bored out of her mind, the lessons were just so boring! She’d rather be somewhere else and she had no doubt that Jack was wishing the same thing, she turned her head to look at him and smirked as she saw his face; his lips were twisted into a scowl as he glared straight ahead.
“Lighten up, Jack,” said Ally with a hint of humor in her voice, she tucked a strand of sandy-brown hair behind her ear. “We’ve got another five hours to go, yet.” She looked away from him and down the corridor as they neared the classroom, her eyes immediately fastened on a redheaded girl who was waiting outside their Chem class; the girl was dressed in blue jeans and a denim jacket that covering a white shirt that had ‘It’s A Kind Of Magic’ in spiky-grey letters.
Jack growled, “Don’t remind me, we’ve got five hours and three years until we can break out of this damn prison.” He shook his head as if reprimanding himself, and then he rumpled his brown hair irritably. “I actually wanted to be here; can you believe that?”
Ally snorted, “You did? Talk about ‘brain malfunction’.” Who could ever want to be in school?
Jack nodded wryly, “That’s what happened.”
Ally smiled at the self-depreciating jab, shook her head and stopped outside Chemistry, Mrs Aldrich hadn’t finished with her last class yet and looked to be handing out assignments, “More homework.” She shook her head in disbelief and said, to no one in particular, “They don’t respect our need for free-time, do they?”
The redhead scratched her chin briefly and said, “Do they ever?” she was watching the teacher too, her cheeks were red as if she’d been running for a while. She looked away from the classroom and her gaze found Ally’s. “Chem?”
Ally nodded sagely, “Yah,” she folded her arm across her chest and sighed, leaning against the wall and scraping the toe of her right sneaker on the floor in boredom.
“You’re new here,” stated Jack suddenly, he peered at the girl with a lazily expression, but Ally could tell that he was sizing her up; he had that way of looking at people as if they were threats.
Ally rolled her eyes at him and looked at the new-girl, “Don’t mind Jack, he’s just being all ‘Military’!” the mocking tone of her voice made Jack’s eyebrows rise up his forehead in the same kind of laziness that was matched by his appearance. “I’m Ally…” she frowned as she realized something. “Hey, I didn’t see you in Math.” Then she took in Red’s appearance, the slightly flushed face and said in amusement, “You were late, huh?”
The girl’s cheeks reddened a little, “On my first day too, it’s got to be an omen.”
Ally shrugged, “You didn’t miss much, we just did fractions and percentages.”
“Boring,” stated Jack simply. Ally nodded in agreement.
“So, what’s your name?”
The redhead blinked and said, “Willow…Stevens.”
Ally dismissed the slight pause between the redhead’s name, even though her last name didn’t roll off her tongue as easily as her first did; she’d just ran from home to school, she was obviously tired…Ally would be.
Ally looked at Jack as saw that he looked…well, normal; but his dark eyes were full of suspicion and mistrust; she shook her head and looked at Willow, who looked a little surprised, “Jack hasn’t had his coffee yet, he’ll be less grouchy by lunch.”
Willow smiled and nodded and looked down the corridor as the sounds of their class approached. Inside their classroom the scraping of chair legs were as noisy as the chattering voices and the yelling teacher, who wanted their assignments in next week.
Ally looked at Jack and saw that he was tense, she shook her head in exasperation, that guy was SO neurotic! Would it kill him to loosen up a little?
Willow hitched her backpack on her back as the door to the classroom opened, she moved away from the door as the students poured out into the halls; Ally and Jack had scooted over to her to avoid being trampled by the class. As the corridor emptied of those students the Chem teacher, Mrs. Aldrich poked her head out of the classroom door and said, “C’mon, those text books aren’t going to fill themselves out.”
The redhead followed Ally and Jack into the classroom as their class brought up the rear, the two teens sat in the middle of the class, desks next to each other, “You can sit next to me,” said the girl gesturing to the empty desk on her right.
Willow plunked her bag down on the desk and took her seat, then she watched as Mrs. Aldrich picked up a stack of text books and started handing them out to everyone, “Answer the questions on pages fifty-seven to sixty and then fill in the missing gaps in the summery.”
She opened her book and saw that the topic was on acids and alkalis, she sighed as the endless boring classes on Chemistry that she’d sat through in Sunnydale filled her mind; she already knew everything on the topic just as she had done the LAST time she was in high school! Hell, if it wasn’t for all those apocalypses and demons she would’ve scored at 5.0 on her GPA because she had been on Advanced Placements in Computer science and Physics.
“Oh, for crying out loud!”
Willow looked at Jack in surprise as his whispered hiss met her ears, he was looking about as exasperated and bored as she felt; maybe he didn’t like Chem class; her gaze turned to Ally as she hissed at Jack.
“Why didn’t you have coffee before you got to school!?”
Jack glared at her, “I did and it was a crappy cup, makes me miss the coffee at the Base…ment of my grandfather’s house.” He swallowed and looked at the teacher, who was walking, now empty-handed, back to her desk; he withdrew a pencil case from his bag. “My old man’s coffee tasted like feet but it had a lotta caffeine in it.”
Willow nodded intently, not revealing her curiosity over his slip-up, “Right,” she muttered, more to herself than to Jack.
Ally shook her head and began to ask something, when the teacher interrupted.
“Stop talking now, we’re in class,” reprimanded the teacher half-heartedly. She looked at Willow thoughtfully and said, “I expect more from you in my class Ms. Stevens, don’t get a bad rep before you’ve even started.”
The redhead nodded hurriedly, just wanting the class to finish as quickly as possible, “Sure.” As the woman turned away from her and walked to the whiteboard a boy, who sat a desk in front and to the right, winked at her cheekily and cocked his eyebrows suggestively. The redhead smirked at him and looked away as Ally continued her conversation in a hushed whisper.
“He makes coffee in the basement?” her eyebrows were in danger of disappearing into her hairline.
“He was a couple of French-fries short of a Happy Meal,” Jack answered pointedly. “If you get what I mean.” He looked away as Ally nodded understandingly.
Willow put her bag on the floor and pushed it under her desk so the teacher wouldn’t trip, she tapped the tips of her fingers of her left hand on the desk surface distractedly as she flipped over a few pages of the text book to the right page; she read the summery quickly, barely pausing to mentally fill in the missing words.
Strangely enough she found herself wanting the work to be harder, like university-level, but then she dismissed that idea as quickly as it had came, she wasn’t at the school to learn, she was there to keep an eye out for anything Hellmouth-y.
And that was what she was going to do.