I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Once Upon A Time, or any of the characters thereof. I do not even lay claim to Jack the Giant-Killer (who is an old British myth).A New LookSeptember 1988
“Emma, honey, Ms. Honey says you’ve been having trouble in class, with the work?” Buffy asked her. Emma was, finally, in Kindergarten, but her teacher’s report was slightly worrying. As one of the oldest in the class, Emma ought to be ahead of the others, not struggling.
“I’m fine,” Emma answered, bottom lip jutting out in stubbornness. Buffy raised an eyebrow as she looked down at her daughter.
“You’re fine? She says you don’t copy anything down from the blackboard.” Which was worrying, because Emma already knew her letters and numbers, and even a few simple words. Letters on a blackboard should not phase her. Unless… “Emma, honey, are you having trouble seeing the words on the blackboard?”
Emma gasped, looking up with worried eyes, and burst into tears.
“I d-don’t mean to!” she wailed. “I’m not bad, Mommy, I don’t mean to!”
Buffy swept her into her arms, hugging her fiercely as she settled onto the sofa, stroking the blonde hair as she did.
“I know you’re not bad, honey. I know that. It’s not your fault.”
“B-but Jeremy said –”
“I don’t care what Jeremy said. He was probably being nasty,” Buffy informed her, knowing that the end of that sentence would make her blood boil, even as Emma’s sobs became sniffles. “Do you see words in books alright?” Emma nodded. “Just not far away?” Another nod. “Is the TV fuzzy?”
“Well then,” Buffy said with a feeling of relief, as this was at least a problem easily resolved, “it sounds like you need glasses, honey.”
“Yep. I’ll talk to Ms. Honey in the morning, and get you booked in with an optometrist.”
“Really, Mommy? I get to wear glasses?”
“You’re not worried someone will call you specky four-eyes?” she teased.
“Pinhead will beat them up,” Emma said with all the confidence of a nearly-five-year-old. Buffy nearly snorted. Emma’s nickname for Nick was hilarious – resultant from an inability to say Pinocchio and the discovery of ‘pinhead’ as a minor insult – but the idea that he would beat up other four and five-year-olds on her say-so was even moreso. The most he would do would be stand behind her and glare menacingly at the end of school. Which, she reflected, was probably effective enough when her son was twelve.
When Buffy made the statement at dinner that Emma would be visiting the optometrist, Jack laughed and tickled her until she squealed with delight as he declared, “She’ll look as smart as her daddy, see if she doesn’t!” while Nick only grinned and informed her that at least she’d stop doing that dreadful squint.
“And you didn’t think to tell me she was squinting?” Buffy asked, voice sharp.
“I figured you’d seen it and thought it wasn’t a big deal,” Nick answered, immediately shooting guilt through Buffy’s belly at the fact that she hadn’t noticed.
Two days later, she had to take Emma out of class to visit the optometrist to be informed, unsurprisingly, that Emma was short-sighted. And while they didn’t have the range of styles they would in later decades, Emma still had great fun trying on the ones they did have, before choosing rectangular black frames that, if nothing else, contrasted nicely against her pale hair and eyes.
“At least black goes with everything, honey,” Buffy observed, and put in the order.
When they received the order a week later, Emma refused to take her glasses off. It was when she put them on and declared that “It’s all clear!” that Buffy felt another stab of guilt.
Two days later, she and Jack sat the kids down for another talk.
“Kids, we’ve got something to tell you,” Buffy began and Emma’s eyes lit up.
“I’m gonna get a baby brother or sister!” she cried. Her parents stared at her, dumbfounded.
“Wait, how did you –?” Jack began.
Emma cheered at this apparent confirmation, and Nick high-fived her, smirking with glee and satisfaction.
“Mom talks in her sleep,” he informed them. “So, how about Harrison if it’s a boy?”Notes:
Points to whoever can work out the Ms. Honey and Harrison references.
Partly a response to the discovery that Emma wore glasses when she was younger, and a good excuse for family fic. Let me know if I have made an error with the schooling. I have assumed kindergarten is for the 4-5-year-olds, like Reception this side of the pond, and then kids start proper schooling when they are 5 (year they turn 6). My Emma's birthday is in September.