Title: Tears Dry On Their Own
Pairing/Characters: Willow, Giles (friendship)
Word Count: 1,615
Summary: Is Willow ready to take over Ms. Calendar's class?
Timeline: missing scenes from Passion (some dialog borrowed)
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Distribution: My site, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Betas: Gabrielle and Angel's Kuuipo Author's Note 1: Written for the Which Witch Ficathon. My prompt: What are Willow's thoughts as she goes through Jenny's files?
Author's Note 2: Title from song by same name by Amy Winehouse.
It wasn't like Willow to not pay attention in class, but today wasn't like most days. She felt like she'd been running on auto-pilot ever since Angelus had killed Ms. Calendar.
Jenny Calendar had been her favorite teacher. (Giles was definitely her favorite staff member, but Ms. Calendar was her favorite teacher .) Not only because she was way cooler than any other teacher she'd ever had, but she knew computers and magic. She could have taught Willow so much, but now she never would.
"Willow Rosenberg," Mr. Whitmore called, pulling Willow from her thoughts.
Unable to keep the guilty expression from her face, Willow sat up straight. "Um, yes? I'm sorry, can you repeat the question?"
"I didn't ask a question. Principal Snyder would like to speak with you." Mr. Whitmore turned to the student standing awkwardly by the door. "Gather your belongings and go with Jonathan."
"O-okay," Willow stuttered. She shared a confused look with Buffy before following Jonathan out of the room.
"Do you know why he wants to see me?" Willow asked as they walked down through the hallways.
"No idea. I just run messages for the main office. They don't tell me why." Jonathan glanced nervously at Willow. "Sorry."
"It's okay," she said. "Not your fault. I just hate not knowing why Snyder wants to talk to me."
"You and everybody else." Leaning closer, Jonathan whispered, "He's a bit scary."
"You're telling me," Willow agreed.
Much too soon for Willow's liking, they arrived outside Principal Snyder's office.
"Good luck," Jonathan said before leaving her to knock on the partially open door.
She couldn't help jumping a bit when Snyder responded with a brusque, "Come in," to her knock.
"Y-you wanted to see me?" Willow asked, creeping into the room.
Snyder looked up. "Ah, yes, Ms. Rosenberg. Close the door and have a seat."
Willow did as instructed, fingers twisting in the hem of her skirt once she was seated.
"D-did I do something wrong?" she meekly asked.
"Aside from the company you keep? No, I'm not aware of anything like that. Even if you had, I'm sure it would be that Summers girl's fault."
"Buffy's not..." Willow started to defend her friend, but was cut off.
"No doubt you've heard about the death of Ms. Calendar," Snyder said, jumping straight to his intended topic.
"Yes, of course I have."
"Good, good." Snyder picked up a piece of paper from his desk. "You have a fair proficiency with computers, correct?"
"I guess you could say that," she admitted, with a single-shoulder shrug.
"According to Ms. Calendar's notes, your skills nearly matched her own. Was she lying?" He dropped the paper he'd been reading from to stare at Willow.
"No?" she uncertainly replied.
"Good. Then until we are able to hire a new computer teacher, I would like you to take over Ms. Calendar's classes."
"Excuse me?" Willow squeaked.
"I already have some calls out, but as hard as it may be for you to believe, computer teachers - or any teachers, for that matter - are not overly enthusiastic about teaching at this school. I can hardly imagine why." He paused to let the sarcasm sink in. "In the meantime, we have students enrolled in a computer class that must be taught."
"Why can't the other teachers take turns teaching it?"
"Frankly, none of them would know what to do with the material. This is an incredible honor. I don't see why you haven't said yes yet."
Unable to tell him that the very thought of standing up in front of her peers and making them listen to her scared her more than facing a dozen vampires by herself, Willow said, "What about my regular classes?"
"Oh, that." Snyder waved off her concern. "I've already spoken with all of your teachers. They all agree that you are at the top of every class. They have agreed to release you from their classes while you are acting as the computer teacher. No make-up assignments will be needed."
With a sigh of resignation, Willow said, "Then how can I say no?"
"Excellent! Here are Ms. Calendar's lesson plans that we printed from her computer. I suggest you familiarize yourself with them quickly. Your first class is in two hours."
Willow numbly took the folders from Snyder, staring at them in shock.
When she didn't immediately leave, Snyder added, "You're dismissed."
Nodding, Willow stood, picked up her backpack and headed for Ms. Calendar's - now her - classroom.
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