Author’s Note: I’m not sure if there will be any explicit sex as I haven’t successfully written any yet without bursting into laughter, probably not the desired effect. So I’m not going to force it. Every time I try to force a scene it comes out really bad! So, don’t read just for the smut, there may be none. I’ll have to see if there are ratings explanations somewhere so I can rate properly when it’s done. For now, NC-17 just in case.
Chapter 1: Introductions in a library
Chapter Notes: Ummm…writing this for the Spuffy Fantasy High School fic challenge that’s going on now. It popped into my head when I saw the challenge. Nothing new under the sun here plotwise, just a high school fic 🙂
The title is from a Wuthering Heights quote (author Emily Bronte) “My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees – my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath – a source of little visible delight, but necessary.”
William was in the library. Of all the places in his new school, he felt most at home there. It was dark and cool and smelled pleasantly of books. Oh, he knew most people wouldn’t think books had a smell to them, but they did. They had distinct sounds as well.
New books smelled pleasantly of fresh paper and ink. The feel of opening a new book for the first time and reverently leafing through its smooth, untouched pages was a particular pleasure for William. Older books were slightly musty and often had the indefinable scent that said ‘library’. He had a fondness for these too, even for the plastic library covers that crackled agreeably when opened. His textbooks were thick and heavy and slightly banged up from past owners and their thin, slick pages made soft swooshing noises under his hands as he turned them.
No matter that he was in a completely different country from that of his birth, the books remained constant and that was a comfort.
He sighed. He wasn’t finding the U.S. to be as agreeable as the books. It was too different. He was too different. He was fiercely homesick, for his country, for his home, for his friends, for real football. He knew his mother hadn’t had much choice but to come and live with her sister-in-law since their finances had been in such a dire state after his father’s death, but that didn’t make it much easier. Finding out that his father had cancelled his life insurance policy the year before and gambled away most of their savings had been a severe shock to Anne. When Jenny had generously offered a place to live, she’d leapt at it.
William knew that part of the reason she’d been so eager to go was his recent trouble at school. He’d been attacked by another boy and defended himself. As he’d attended martial arts training since he was four, as his one bonding activity with his father, the other boy had been badly hurt. He shuddered as he remembered the intense feelings of rage that had flooded him when the boy hit him. He’d lost it. He’d known logically he shouldn’t use his skills for more than gaining time to get away from the situation, but years of being teased and picked on for his small frame, bookishness and seeming vulnerability had flashed through his mind in that instant and he’d snapped.
He would’ve been able to stop had the boy stopped getting up and coming at him. But the larger boy didn’t. He kept coming and coming until he couldn’t rise anymore. When William saw he’d stopped flailing at him, he came to his senses and realized what he’d done. The other boy was a mass of bruises and blood. The tally of notable injuries in the end was one broken nose, a broken jaw and two cracked ribs. As for William’s condition, only the first punch had landed. He had a single visible bruise to show in his defense.
They’d gone easy on him due to the recent death of his father. It was argued that he’d never been a violent boy before. The punishment handed to him didn’t bother him as much as the look of deep disappointment and worry he saw in his mother’s eyes.
Moving here had made it worse, though. At least after that incident, no one had bothered him much. Here there was no such knowledge of his past, no knowledge of his capabilities. Here he was fair game again.
He bent his head to his science book again. He had a test in an hour and was getting a little last minute studying done in this free period.
The library doors burst open and slammed against the walls. A blonde blur whipped past and straight to the librarian’s desk. “Giles!” The girl called loudly. “Giles, please, I need your help!” She turned and scanned the library quickly for the man she sought. Her eyes passed over William without notice.
“Buffy,” Giles came out of his office, “what is all this fuss you’re making? Please do try to be quiet. Others are trying to work, you know.”
“I’m flunking English,” she wailed at him, “and I’m going to be grounded for life when my parents find out.”
Giles shook his head in consternation. “You’re flunking your native tongue and you wish me to do precisely what about this now? I tried to help you earlier and was roundly refused, if I recall correctly. Something about cheerleading practice being too demanding to allow time for schoolwork.”
She dumped her books loudly and carelessly on the nearest table and threw her tiny form at the desk dramatically, clutching the counter. “You have to help me. Please. I know I didn’t want help before, but ,” she smiled weakly and hopefully at him, “I really want it now! I’m all, you know, interested in the great literature of…darn it,” she rifled through her books, “the 19th century! I have a newfound appreciation! I love-” she glanced down, “Emily Bront.” she mispronounced the name horribly and Giles winced. “You can’t turn an student down who’s really motivated to learn, right?”
Giles adjusted his glasses. “Truly motivated to learn, by what exactly? Running up against the good grades rule on the cheerleading squad? Needing to be allowed to continue visiting that local hangout you kids go to? Not good enough.” He turned and straightened something that didn’t need straightening.
William listened in fascination to the scene playing out in front of him and darted occasional looks at the two participants, knowing they were completely oblivious to his presence. He knew that the girl, Buffy Summers, was one of the most popular girls in school. She was on the cheerleading squad that cheered for that nancy rugby wannabe sport team they had here.
He also knew that she was beautiful. He’d noticed her sunny, sincere smile, so unlike the others of her set and her long golden curls. William was a quiet observer of life in his new school and he’d noticed that the others participated in teasing those in the ‘less fortunate’ social cliques, but she never did. Oh, she didn’t stand up for the kids they tormented, but she never joined in the torture and sometimes he thought he saw her look away, a small moue of distaste upon her perfect glossy lips.
Tears were welling in her big, green eyes now. “Please, Giles,” she begged softly. “I really need your help.”
William didn’t know why, but he couldn’t bear seeing this golden girl upset. “I’ll help you.” He volunteered quietly and rose from his seat. They both turned in surprise to stare at him.
“You…you will?” Buffy asked hesitantly, “Really? Do you know about this…stuff?” She gestured broadly at the haphazard pile of books.
“Well, I can’t read them for you, but I can help you with your assignments.” William said. “I’m in the same class.”
“You…oh, you are?” She flushed in embarrassment, obviously trying to remember his name and failing.
“I’m William. William Pratt.” He said. “I’m new here. I don’t talk much in class. I don’t expect you’ve noticed me.”
“Um,” Buffy said haltingly. “I’m Buffy Summers. It’s nice to meet you, William.”
“Pleasure to meet you too, Buffy.” He inclined his head solemnly.
“Well then, that’s settled. You’ve got your tutor, Buffy. I do hope you’ll apply yourself.” Giles grabbed a random paper and fled to his office.
“Where would you like to begin, pet?” William asked her.