Sighing, Buffy Anne Summers tapped her pencil against her binder, glancing at the clock. First period was almost over, and she was still waiting in the Guidance Office.
Peering over the desk, Buffy could see that the secretary was hard at work playing solitaire.
“Um, Mrs. McHenry, do you know how much longer Mr. Thompson is going to be?” Buffy asked.
The craggy old lady barely gave her a cursory look. “He’s with another student right now.”
“Right,” Buffy said and then added, “It’s just he called me down here before first hour. And now it’s almost second hour.”
This time the secretary looked up with a dead stare. “He’ll be with you momentarily.” Then she focused her attention back to the game.
“Of course,” Buffy muttered under her breath, leaning back her rigid seat.
To her right, a girl with dark hair and ripped fishnet stockings was scribbling madly in her notebook. Buffy sighed again and opened her binder to try and study.
“Mr. Giles! Mr. Giles, you can’t go in there! Mr. Thompson is with someone!”
Buffy gaze shot up at the secretary’s high, shrill voice to see ripped leather and denim, a safety pin through one ear and a silver loop through the left eyebrow all topped by a shock of white-blonde hair.
The new most annoying, bizarre guy in high school who had some kind of vendetta against her, and also happened to live a couple houses down from her.
Buffy sank low in her seat, positioning her binder in front of her face.
“Don’t worry, ma’am. Mr. T an’ are a close and personal friends. He won’t mind,” Spike said winningly. He walked past Buffy’s chair and their eyes met briefly before Spike broke out into a wicked grin, a spark of metal flashing in his mouth.
Buffy shuddered at the thought of having that barbell in her tongue. Her eyes were glued to her papers as the door to Mr. Thompson’s office opened and clicked shut.
Immediately, she heard raised voices, and Mr. Thompson flew out of the room furiously. His tiny glasses were perched low on his nose and his face was the color of a ripe tomato.
“Mrs. McHenry I thought I told you I was with a student,” he snapped, glowering at Spike who sauntered out of the room behind the guidance teacher.
The old woman’s lips pursed as she replied, “I know, but Mr. Giles was…insistent.” She spit the word out with venom.
Finally Buffy interrupted, “Mr. Thompson, you called me down at the beginning of first period.”
The teacher glanced at Buffy sitting in the chair and looked surprised to see her there. “Right, I have some college materials for UCLA and UC Sunnydale. Well, Ms. Summers, I think it’s best you don’t miss anymore school today. I’ll write you a pass to your second hour class.”
He scribbled out a pass for her and handed it over quickly and disappeared back into his office. Buffy shrugged her backpack on, watching as Spike fiddled with the frames on the wall.
“So what’s Sunnyhell High’s Princess done wrong?”
Buffy frowned, looking over at him. “Excuse me?”
“You heard me,” he said. “You didn’t do somethin’ bad did you?”
“No,” she snapped. “See unlike you I actually have a brain.”
“Ooh,” Spike said with a laugh. “Watch out, Betty might have claws.”
Buffy’s frown deepened. “My name’s not Betty.” She shook her head and scoffed. “Why am I even talking to you?” She asked herself and stormed out of the office.
“Nice chatting with you, Betty!”
Buffy gritted her teeth, a hot flash of anger sweeping through her. It was only second hour and already her day sucked and she owed it all to Spike Giles.
“Okay, what did the mystery meat do to you? Other than be really gross?”
“Hm?” Buffy looked up to see her friend Willow Rosenberg waiting expectantly.
“It’s nothing,” Buffy murmured. “Just…Spike being an asshole.”
“So…the usual,” Xander said, chomping on his food.
Buffy’s nose crinkled in distaste. “How can you eat that?”
“With great gusto,” Xander replied. “So what’s everyone doing tonight? Bronze?”
“Maybe,” Buffy replied, stirring her food around. “Angel might have to go to his parents’ party.”
“Are you going with?” Willow asked, eating a french fry.
“No,” Buffy answered. “Emphatically no. His parents hate me, because I’m not upper class.
Xander snorted. “Then they’d definitely hate my lower-middle class butt.”
Buffy laughed and rolled her eyes. “I just avoid them when I can. But Angel said he’d try and get out of it. Or meet me later.”
“Come with us at the Bronze then, Angel or no Angel. He can meet you there if he gets out late,” Willow suggested.
“Sounds good,” Buffy confirmed.
“What sounds good?” Angel asked as he appeared at their table with a tray of food.
“Just plans for tonight,” Buffy responded, giving him a kiss as he sat down.
“I won’t be able to go, babe,” he told her. “My dad is forcing me to go to the party. Something about business contacts.”
“Oh,” Buffy tried not to sound too disappointed. “That’s okay. Another night.”
“Tomorrow?” Angel asked, kissing her quickly.
“Sure. Where are you going?” Buffy asked, frowning slightly.
“Coach wants some of the guys want to watch last nights game. Get a few pointers. I’ll call you later tonight,” Angel said and with one last kiss, he took his tray towards the athletic office.
“Hey, we could get ready for Bronzing tonight at my house,” Buffy told Willow after Angel disappeared.
“Good, because my mom’s having her biweekly feminist book club tonight. I’m all for women’s rights but I don’t want to listen to another ‘I am a woman, hear me roar!’ chant.”
“Agreed,” Buffy said. “You can raid my closet too. Or we could go shopping after school.”
“Don’t you have cheerleading practice?” Xander piped up. “I know Anya does. She’s making wait on the bleachers.”
Buffy shrugged. “They can do without me for one afternoon. So?” She asked Willow.
“I’m there,” the redhead agreed.
“Awesome! Now I have someone to stop me from spending all my money. My mom is still mad about the stylish and really expensive boots.”
Willow giggled as they stood up to dump their lunch trays. “Well, I can’t promise any miracles.”