Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the recognizable characters. They are owned by others, who are not me. This is all in the spirit of fun. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: Thanks to my friend PAS for looking this over and, more importantly, for making me laugh. Also, thank you Kayla Shay for volunteering to be my beta. I take full responsibility for any and all mistakes.
Summary: Glimpses of Jack and the girls as viewed by the Scoobies. 5th story in the KWS series.
There were various students, individually and in small groups, scattered about the library. The Wild Pack ("Jack" Jackson, "Silver" Fox, "Shy" Fox, Victoria Santos, Adrienne Long and Jacqueline Tran) was sitting around one of the larger tables, currently covered in an assortment of thick tomes and volumes.
"Why are we being punished?" Jack asked curiously.
"We’re not," replied Adrienne without looking up from her book.
Jack looked at the massive book before him, then at the collection on the table. With an arched eyebrow, he said "Seriously, why are we being punished?"
"It’s not punishment, it’s research."
"Same thing," opined Silver, ignoring her own book.
Letting out a frustrated sigh, Victoria asked, "Are you two going to whine the entire time?"
Jack and Silver promptly replied, "Yes!"
"You’re still not getting out of it. Now shut up and read." Victoria then turned to Tran, who was sleeping on the book she was supposed to be researching in, and threw a pencil at her. "Wake up!" she hissed. "You three are not getting out of this. If you don’t help us, I’ll tell."
"You’d narc on us?!" Jack asked.
"Yes!" answered Victoria, Adrienne and Shy instantly.
"Traitors," he grumbled before focusing on his book again.
Librarian Rupert Giles smiled from his position at the checkout counter, having heard the entire exchange. He wasn’t sure what it was about these particular students, but he usually ended up smiling around them. Perhaps it was that they reminded him of Buffy, Willow, Xander and even Cordelia to an extent. They were certainly, what was the word, spirited.
Adrienne and Shy, to a lesser degree, had Willow’s delight for research. Victoria, while not thrilled with doing research, usually did so without complaint. However, Jack, Silver, and Tran absolutely detested it and would usually grouse and complain, generally annoying the others until they couldn’t take it any more, and the three were sent away so the others could get some peace and quiet. Unfortunately for Jack and his two cohorts, it seemed today Victoria, Shy and Adrienne were determined that they would share in the research no matter how annoying they were. It’s not that they didn’t understand the need for research; they just didn’t want to do the "tedious, painstaking, boring tediousness." They wanted the abridged version; someone to tell them what to kill and how to kill it. No fuss, no muss.
It also wasn’t, Giles thought, that they were incapable or that the research was beyond them. They were clearly very clever and, not to put too fine a point on it, devious. He knew most of the Pack’s shenanigans were attributable to Jack and Silver. They seemed to have a special knack for plotting and executing their schemes. The part of him that was Ripper exulted in some of their finer missions, as he’d heard them referred to. Thus far, Giles had escaped falling victim to their machinations but he knew it was probably just a matter of time.
Giles contemplated the only male in the group. He’d made a point of keeping an eye on him after his unusual entry into the fold. It was uncommon to have Faith, Willow and Xander immediately feel so strongly about a potential student. That didn’t normally occur until after they’d had some time to get to know the teen. Jack was also the only student Xander had ever advocated for admission to KWS. He certainly had a Xander-esque quality to him. He too used humor to diffuse tension and was very loyal to his friends. Giles didn’t think there was anything the boy wouldn’t do to protect his Pack. Frankly, he was unsure whether to be pleased or frightened by that notion. He settled on a bit of both.
Giles had noted a simmering dangerousness, for lack of a better term, to the boy. In truth, he’d given Giles no reason to believe he’d harm anyone ... unless his Pack was threatened. Well, there were a few instances in the beginning when an unsuspecting student or teacher would come upon Jack unaware. In those instances, he’d reacted like a seasoned fighter. Giles believed it was instinctual rather than deliberate, and he had managed to refrain from hurting anyone seriously. Once everyone was made aware not to "sneak up" on the boy, as he’d put it, there had been no further instances.
Still Giles wondered about the boy’s past. What would cause him to instinctively strike out when he was suddenly approached without warning? Naturally, Giles had his suspicions, but Jack never spoke about it, at least not to him. Perhaps he allowed himself to open up to Xander.
Now there was an interesting relationship, Giles smirked. Xander Harris: role model. Giles never would have believed it ten years ago, when he first met the then boy. There were moments though when Giles was certain Jack thought he was the mentor. Giles had seen the boy looking out for the older man, when he thought no one was looking. And sometimes he’d see sadness cross Jack’s face, when he looked at Xander, as if bemoaning his loss of innocence.
There were times when Jack acted far beyond his years, exhibiting a maturity and understanding of someone far older. Then there were times, like now, when he was every bit the sixteen-year-old boy he actually was, spouting inanities and unfathomable cultural pop references. If Giles didn’t know any better, he would swear the boy was actually two people. Giles chuckled to himself, then frowned pondering. No, Giles thought, he would not become paranoid.
He glanced over at the boy again to find him staring back and smirking like a Cheshire cat. Was the boy truly as mysterious as he appeared or was he merely doing it to get a reaction? Giles stared at him with a bemused expression. Shaking his head and with a final thought that he truly didn’t understand the boy at all, he returned to his books.
KWS Student Lounge
Dawn Summers wandered into the third floor student lounge from the nearby computer lab needing a break from a paper she was writing on Ancient Mesopotamia for her Ancient Cultures class at the local college. She grabbed a bag of chips and a soda from the vending machines and turned to find a seat.
She spotted an available one near the other end of the room, by the large windows. It just happened to be near a couch containing a group of some of the school’s more infamous students, who, it appeared, were having a full-fledged tickle fight. Chuckling and shaking her head ever so slightly, Dawn went to sit and have her snack.
"Ah! Hi, Dawn," Adrienne panted while trying to avoid several wriggling fingers.
"Hi," Dawn replied with a laugh. "Having fun?"
"Yeah sure. You betcha." The Fox twins took that opportunity to double-team Jack, figuring he was distracted. "So, what’ve you been up to?" he asked Dawn as he skillfully evaded their attack and initiated one of his own.
"Oh, you know, working hard. As I can see you are as well," she smirked.
"Oh yeah. No rest for the wicked," he grinned. The next moment he was completely buried under a pile of maniacally laughing slayers.
Dawn looked on in amusement. She liked hanging out with them. They welcomed her in and not just because she was Buffy Summers’ sister. Although to be fair it was usually only the new students that did that. Jack never treated her any differently, not from the moment they’d met. She’d asked him about it once and he’d replied that he’d always been good with kids, for which she’d popped him on the back of the head. She’d learned since that he rarely gave a serious answer to any question. The girls insisted that he did, if you knew what to look for. Apparently, Dawn hadn’t mastered that yet.
Still he was cool and funny, if a bit annoying at times. Unfortunately he "got the memo" (his words) about protecting Dawn. She’d had a big argument with Buffy and the others, accusing them of actually sending a memo to the new students about her. They’d finally convinced her they hadn’t. When she confronted Jack about it he’d laughed his ass off. Still she wouldn’t put it pass her sister and their way over-protective friends, so she kept an eye and ear out for any hint of one.
Since Jack treated her like his kid sister, the rest of the Wild Pack did as well. Didn’t they realize she was twenty years old and they were only sixteen? Well, okay, technically she was only six years old but she had the mind and body of a twenty-year-old and that’s what counted. They were fun to hang around though even if they made sure not to pull one of their famous pranks while she was around. They said it was because they didn’t want her to get into trouble but personally she thought it was because it was some weird bonding thing.
She’d overheard them planning this whole jello thing once. It was strange. They had sounded so serious, so focused. She was so used to hearing them joking and laughing, that it had taken her a moment to realize who was speaking. They’d planned every detail, even coming up with contingency plans! It was surreal to say the least.
"Say ‘Uncle,’" Silver said as she sat on Jack’s back while Shy and Adrienne were on his legs.
"Dream on, Princess," came his reply.
"Say ‘Uncle,’" she repeated, beginning to bounce on him.
"You’ll have to do a lot better than that to break me," Jack said confidently.
"I can stay here all day."
"Yeah, but those two will never ditch, so they’ll have to leave for class soon and once I regain the use of my legs, you’re going down."
Silver bounce more vigorously. "Doesn’t matter. Way I figure it, you’ll be needing to use the bathroom before then." She continued bouncing. "Probably shouldn’t’ve had that super-mega-gulp, huh?"
Jack groaned. He’d been absolutely fine until she mentioned it but now he seriously had to pee and she wouldn’t stop bouncing on him. He turned his head to glare at her over his shoulder. She chuckled evilly and bounced harder. "Say ‘Uncle.’"
"You are evil!"
"I can’t hear you," she replied in a singsong voice.
Dawn was laughing so hard, she could barely breathe. Great, she thought, now she had to pee.
KWS Teachers’ Lounge
Principal Robin Wood walked into the teachers’ lounge located in the administration wing grumbling under his breath and dusting himself off.
"What’s with you?" asked Faith Winters, sitting in one of the cushy sofas next to Willow Rosenberg.
He looked up, giving her an aggrieved sigh. "I’m not a bad guy. Actually, I’d say I’m pretty laid back all things considered. So why, I ask you, am I always the butt of their jokes?"
"I’m sure it’s just ‘cause you’re the principal," offered Willow. "That makes you the main authority figure and well, they’re teenagers. You know, big with the rebellion. Not that I rebelled as a teenager, but I don’t think I was normal."
"Really, what gave it away?" Faith smiled.
Willow glared at her for a moment. "Oh right, like you were normal?"
"Never claimed to be. ‘Sides, I think taking up the whole witchcraft thing and becoming a lesbian is actually considered rebellion. ‘Course, I don’t have all the book learning, so maybe I’m wrong."
Willow frowned slightly. "Huh. I never thought about it that way before."
"And exactly how does this help me?" Robin asked.
"You know, Rob, if you didn’t dismiss Xander so casually, I’d bet they’d let up on you. Well, some anyway. I really think that’s why they target you so much. They adore him."
"I don’t dismiss Xander. And certainly not in front of the students," he added in an undertone. Willow and Faith shared a look, clearly disagreeing with his assessment.
"Um, okay. Well, maybe if you were a little less ... critical," Willow suggested. "You have to admit he’s pretty good with them. They seek him out when they need to talk."
"Yes, he does advise them doesn’t he?" Robin said suspiciously.
"Okay, right there. That’s what we’re talking about. You can’t seriously think that Xan’s putting ‘em up to it."
"He is quite close with that Jackson boy and his friends. We know they’re the main cause of problems around here."
"Problems, what problems? There are no problems," Willow said rather defensively. Willow liked Jack and the Wild Pack a lot. Jack, in particular reminded her of her best friends rolled into one package. He’d even managed to pleasantly surprise her. He’d apparently taken to heart an earlier discussion about improving his efforts in some of his subjects. Jim Stein had even noted that Jack attempted to stay awake in his class now, which Willow silently admitted was quite a feat, not that she’d ever tell Jim that. "They’re good kids," she continued. "Okay, maybe they sometimes bore a little quickly but that just means we need to make sure we keep them sufficiently challenged."
"They’re not alone, either," added Faith. "Look they’re slayers and whatnot and with everything we teach here you gotta expect a certain amount of independence and ... imagination. Being all clean cut and sweetness and light ain’t gonna get the job done. We teach these kids how, not only to kill demons, but to survive too. Unlike the original WC, we care about what happens to them. So, while I get you not really being happy about the pranks, it’s good mental exercise, teaches strategy and planning."
Deciding not to argue with them further, Robin moved off for some coffee. "He doesn’t seem convinced," Willow said.
"I think we need to tell them to back off him for a while. He’s taking it personally."
"So what do you think about the Wild Pack? Are they just a bunch of troublemakers?" Willow asked Faith.
"‘Just’? No. They’re very talented troublemakers. Which personally, I think is pretty damn cool. But if they try something on me, I’ll kick their asses."
"Faith!" Willow exclaimed. After a moment, she giggled. "I’ve already dropped reminders of some of my darker talents in several of my classes. You know, kind of like ‘make sure you turn off your Bunsen burner or it’ll start a fire, though not quite like the fireball I conjured and sent after these two guys who pissed me off that one time.’ Is that wrong of me?" she asked with an innocent expression.
Faith looked at her stunned for a moment. "You’re not exactly Pollyanna anymore, are you Red? I knew there was a reason we get along so well now."
Spike thrust his arm back causing his elbow to smash into Xander’s face. He spun around grabbing Xander by his shirt and slamming him into the wall while he was still dazed. Oddly, that seemed to clear Xander’s head enough that he was able to dodge the next blow Spike aimed to his face while also landing a punch to Spike’s kidneys. He moved just far enough away from Spike to kick him in the gut bending him over. Xander followed up with a punch to Spike’s head.
Spike tackled Xander, dropping them both to the ground as he shifted into game face. Xander slammed his interlocked hands into Spike’s chest driving him back, and then he used his legs to shove Spike off of him. Spike lunged for Xander, preventing him from rising off the floor. The two fought for the upper hand. After several minutes, Xander finally managed to get to back his feet.
The two circled each other, looking for a weakness to exploit. As Xander blinked, Spike attacked, moving to Xander’s left and his corresponding blind spot. Xander twisted his body to get Spike back into his line of sight but he wasn’t fast enough. Spike came up behind him, yanked his head to the side and sank his fangs into Xander’s neck drawing blood.
"FUCK!" Xander howled furiously.
Spike immediately let go and morphed back into his human face. Xander reached up, angrily wiping away the two drops of blood from where Spike’s fangs had just barely pierced the skin. "I’m still getting in on your blind side," Spike said unnecessarily.
"I know!" growled Xander.
Spike held up his hands in a gesture meant to soothe. "Easy there. You’re improving. It took me an extra ten minutes to bite you."
"Well isn’t that great. I get to live another ten minutes before I’m vamp chow," Xander said sarcastically.
"Yeah, mate, it is. A lot can happen in ten minutes."
"In other words, a slayer could come to my rescue."
"That’s right or something else might happen that could give you an edge. What’s the first rule of fighting?"
"I’m not one of your students, Spike so spare me."
"Then quit actin’ like a spoilt prat and let’s get on with this."
Xander spun around and glared at Spike. "Fuck you." He then spun back around and stormed toward the exit.
Spike threw his head back, rolled his eyes and raised his arms up in a "Why me?" gesture before catching up with Xander and turning him around. "Xander, I’m just trying to keep you alive."
Xander was about to say something very rude and spiteful in response when he suddenly just deflated. "I know," he finally answered in a calm voice. "It’s just so damn frustrating."
"I know Xan, but you really are getting better. If I’d’ve been human, you’d’ve had me."
"But your not, nor are most of the things we fight, so that’s not good enough."
"All right, then, so we keep practicing." Turning away from Xander, Spike said "Why don’t you come on out now, hmm?"
Xander gave him a funny look and asked "Spike, you’re not hearing voices again are you?"
"No, I’m not hearing things, I’m smellin’ ‘em. Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of some bratty little kids."
Xander’s face hardened and turning the same direction as Spike, he spoke softly but clearly. "Come out here, now." From beneath the bleachers came Jack, Silver and Tran, who quickly said, "We weren’t hiding."
"No, ‘course not. You were just scoping out the place to see if it was suitable for playing Harry Potter," Spike drawled. They all gave Spike strange looks.
"You’ve read Harry Potter?" Silver asked astonished.
"Yeah, what of it? The bird’s English, ain’t she?" Spike defended.
"So, Passions AND Harry Potter? You’re just a big girl aren’t you?" Xander laughed.
"See this is why I’m never nice to people: you’re all just pains in my ass. Hey, weren’t we going to at least yell at them for spyin’ on us?" Spike said, drawing Xander’s attention back to the students.
"Actually, I was thinking of detention ... with Faith," Xander said with a smile.
The teens looked suitably horrified. "Wait," Jack said. "We weren’t spying on you. We were..." He turned to Silver for help.
"Yeah, like we’d spy on you! Really. Give me a break!"
"Wow! That was the WORST stall tactic I’ve seen in a REALLY long time. You’ve got exactly three seconds to tell us what you were doing, if you weren’t spying on us. Oh, and you’d better make it good."
"We were making out," Tran quickly said.
"What?!" shouted both Jack and Silver.
"All three of you?" Xander asked.
"Never heard of a ménage à trois?"
"I believe you," said Spike. "Or rather, I will if you prove it."
"Prove it how?" asked a nervous Jack. Spike cocked his head to the side and raised an eyebrow. "I’m not really an exhibitionist. Three-way sex is one thing but I don’t like to be watched. So, you’ll just have to take our word for it. Okay, we’re just gonna go now."
"I don’t think so. I’m still waiting for proof."
"Fine." Silver stood next to Tran, pulling Jack along with her. Both girls situated themselves next to him and started leaning in.
Jack quickly jumped back, saying, "I was spying! I wanted to see one of your sessions and they were trying to stop me. It’s all my fault. I take full responsibility."
"Uh huh. We’ll discuss it tomorrow. Right now, I think you three should leave while you still can." The teens beat a hasty retreat without argument.
"The two girls would’ve gone through with it if he hadn’t backed out. Gotta admire that."
"You’re a pervert. You know that, right?"
"Of course, I’m a pervert, I’m a vampire."
Xander shook his head at Spike. "Still, he didn’t give them up. Did you see that?"
"Makes you proud, does it?" Spike asked.
"Of course it does. He saved his friends."
"Yeah, getting himself in trouble in the process."
"Right," Xander grinned.
"Oh, bloody hell! Another Xander Harris. God save us all."