Title: Bully For You
Maximum rating: NC-17 (sorry, it’s only PG at most)
Genre/tone: Fluffy, romantic and a little angst
Up to 3 things would like to see in fic: Passion, love, romance
Up to 3 things don't want to see in fic: Slash, character death
Summary: Buffy meets the new boy in school.
Beta’d By: moxie_fic and a handful of other sweet people.
Bully For You
Buffy groaned when the alarm went off at 6:30. Another day of hell at Sunnydale High School. Here she was, almost sixteen years old, and as the old saying goes, never been kissed. As she ambled into the bathroom for a quick shower, she snorted. Kissed? Hah! Bullied and pushed around by the girls and ignored by the boys. That was her social life in a nutshell.
She shrugged her melancholia off, washing it down the drain along with her shampoo suds. After all, nothing she could do would change anyone’s opinion of her. Grabbing the first thing from her closet that she could lay her hands on, Buffy dressed, gathered her books, and hopped into her mother’s car.
“Have a good day, sweetie,” Joyce called over her shoulder, leaving Buffy one more indignity to be borne as stoically as possible. She couldn’t wait until she was old enough to drive. Hopefully, her father would feel guilty enough for walking out on the family that he’d cough up the big bucks for a new car by graduation.
Which might end up getting pushed back another year if she was late again thanks to her dawdling in the halls. She sagged, hearing the late bell ring as she shuffled her feet slowly through the hallway. Could today get any worse?
“Out of my way, loser!”
Oh yeah. It could get worse. Way worse. “What do you want, Cordelia?” Buffy sighed as the taller girl blocked her way. “Working on extra-credit for Bitchiness 301?”
“As if I’d waste any of my precious time on you,” Cordelia sneered. “But you might want to know that Snyder’s on the warpath. And while I’ve got a pass,” she drawled, waving the piece of acrylic in the air, “you don’t.”
Right on cue, Principal Snyder’s voice cut across the otherwise silent hall. “Ms. Chase… Ms. Summers, do either of you have a legitimate reason for lollygagging in the hallway instead of being in class?”
Cordelia showed her pass and flounced off. When Buffy turned to head towards her class, the principal called after her:
“This is the second time this week that you’re late for class.” The little troll-like man shook his head with false concern. “I don’t know what’s to become of you, Summers, but I’m taking matters into my own hands. Follow me to my office.”
Resigned to missing her first class and listening to another pointless lecture from Snyder, Buffy walked past a roomful of sullen students waiting their turn for an audience.
He led her directly to his office and closed the door. “Take a seat, Ms. Summers, and keep your trap shut.” The principal called out to his secretary: “Mrs. Fremont, send in that new kid.”
Buffy turned to stare at the boy as he entered the office. He wasn’t overly tall, about 5’8” maybe, sandy blond curls, well-defined cheekbones, eyelashes any girl would give her eyeteeth for, and a pair of gold wire rimmed glasses like that buggy guy, John Lennon, used to wear.
Add all that to a white cotton Oxford button-down and a brown pair of Khakis. All he needed was a plastic pocket-protector and you could stamp ‘GEEK’ on his forehead.
William Michael Rayne walked into the principal’s office feeling like a prisoner on the way to his own execution. Sunnydale High was the seventh school in the past ten years he’d been made to attend, and the first school in a foreign country, all due to his Dad’s gambling issues. He was a Londoner, born and bred, and moving to the States was the straw that had finally broken his back.
Each school was a nightmare of new teachers, different requirements and goals, and new classmates, but the results were always the same: too shy to introduce himself and too smart to be accepted by the average student with the result that William remained friendless and isolated. ‘Just one more year,’ ran through his mind as he faced Principal Snyder, ‘until I’m eighteen years old and don’t have to follow after Dad anymore.’
“Find a seat, Mr. Rayne,” Snyder said curtly. “It’s not enough I’ve got home-grown problem students, now I have to take rejects from England.” At the look of surprise on the boy’s face, he added, “You don’t fool me with that innocent look. No kid moves around as much as your records indicate without there being a reason. Don’t mistake me for someone who cares, either.”
Buffy emitted a little squawk of outrage on William’s behalf.
The principal turned his gaze to her. “So, you think I’m being too hard on Mr. Rayne, Ms. Summers? Well, congratulations. You’ve just volunteered to show him around the school for the next week, and you can be as soft and sweet as you like.
“Rayne! Make sure your father fills out the medical and emergency information forms so we know where to call when you get into your first fight. Now both of you leave and try not to darken my office again today.”
Quickly exiting the office, William turned to Buffy. He could tell she wasn’t happy about being assigned to him for the week. “Is he always such a tyrant?” he asked, trying to ease the situation.
“Listen to me, William,” Buffy held up her hand, obviously unwilling to be drawn into a conversation. “I-I’m not good with other people, and if you’re looking to get in with other kids by hanging around with me, it’s so not gonna happen. I’ll show you where everything is; explain what I can about the weirdness that is…”
“Well, well, well. Look at what we have here, ladies... fresh meat.”
William looked up to find a cadre of girls blocking their way. The sneer on the brunette’s face and the tone of her voice don’t bode well for him.
“You’ve picked the right freak to show you the meaning of weird,” a snooty blonde chimed in. “Buffy’s the queen of weird at Sunnydale High.”
Obviously the leader of the group, the tall brunette spoke again, falsely sweet. “Aren’t you going to introduce us to your… gentleman friend, Buffy? It’s not polite to keep all that salty goodness to yourself.”
Her friends cackled behind her.
William felt Buffy stiffen beside him. One look at her pinched expression showed him that this kind of harassment wasn’t new and he felt a strong desire to wipe the look of pain from her face.
“The big mouth begging for an intro is Cordelia,” Buffy grit out between clenched teeth. “The blonde hanging onto her every word is Harmony. The redhead is Aisha, and in the back row, there’s Jenson, Drusilla, and Mercedes.”
“And the… hunk?” Cordelia snerked.
“M-my name is William Rayne. Pleased to meet you” He extended his hand out of habit.
Cordelia sidled up to William, running her hands through his hair. With a flick of her wrist, she dislodged his glasses, sending them to the floor. “Whoops! Such a klutz you are, William Rayne. You really should be more careful,” she snickered.
When he bent down to retrieve his glasses, Harmony swatted his rear end, taking him by surprise. “Sorry, Curly Top,” she giggled as he dropped to the floor on his knees, “You had something on your bitty bottom. Wouldn’t want you walking around the school with a dirty behind.”
‘I do not hit girls. I do not hit girls,’ he repeated to himself as he reached for his glasses. With any luck they’d be satisfied with this little display of snob power and just leave them both alone. His first day of school and even the girls were picking on him. Could it get any worse?
Apparently, yes. Seems they’d moved from embarrassment to torment. One of the girls kicked his glasses out of reach before he could grab them. Another girl shoved him from the side, knocking his books from his arm and scattering them around the hall.
Being made the butt of the popular kids’ jokes was nothing new, but it was the giggles that finally laid him low. William resigned himself to letting this play out and simply sat down, willing to wait out their petty tortures until they got bored, or a teacher came by and they lied their way out of it.
He swallowed his humiliation as best he could; the anger at Buffy for just standing there beginning to get to him. Why couldn’t she just go for help? Surely there was a teacher somewhere to be found.
“Oh poor Willy,” cooed Drusilla. “Can’t find your glasses? Let mummy help you.” She made a show of looking under the books and papers, finding nothing, of course.
A glint of metal on the floor drew Cordelia, who simply raised her foot and stomped, hard, grinding the lenses beneath her shoe.
“Bloody hell, you bitch!” William couldn’t control his temper anymore. His father was going to kill him. A new pair of glasses wasn’t in their budget.
A sharp cry from behind drew his attention from his crushed spectacles to the sight of Buffy launching herself at the taller girl. The little spitfire landed on Cordelia, screaming in anger.
“Why do you always have to push things so far?” she yelled, pounding her fists into the girl’s shocked face. “It’s his first freaking day here. He hasn’t had time to piss you off yet.” It didn’t take long for Cordelia to strike back, turning the fight into a hair-pulling match. “You don’t have a soul!” Buffy shrieked as a particularly vicious yank cost her a small hank of hair. “There is nothing good or kind in you.”
William stood, stunned that the slight girl harbored so much venom… and in his defense, too. Obviously there was much more behind her vicious attack than his harassment, but it felt good to have someone stand up for him, whatever the reason.
“What the hell is going on here?”
Buffy froze mid-punch and scrambled to her feet. William caught her gaze. Grabbing her offered hand, they did the only thing that made sense. They ran like the dickens with Snyder bellowing: “You’ll be sorry for this, Summers!”
Buffy’s grip on William’s hand tightened as she dragged him along after her with a strength born of panic. No way could she stand another lecture from the troll-prince-ipal. Bad enough her mother was going to be called, again!
“C’mon, William,” she huffed. “Straight ahead and out the doors to the fields.” They hit the doors running, not sparing a glance behind them to see if they’d been followed.
When it was obvious there was nobody in pursuit, Buffy headed toward the bleachers by one of the baseball fields.
“I told you hanging around me wasn’t a good idea,” she sighed as they both sat down on one of the wooden benches. “Sorry to get you into trouble with the bitch-squad and Snyder in one fell swoop on your first day.”
Looking up at the boy’s face, Buffy noted his pinkened cheeks. It was then she realized they were still holding hands. Instead of pulling away, however, she held fast. “Um… can I call you Will?” she asked, catching his gaze.
He nodded, ducking his head shyly.
“All right, Will. Would you mind if we just walked a bit? No way am I going back into school today. Snyder’ll be on the warpath. He won’t make the effort to search the grounds, but I’m sure he’ll stake out the classrooms.”
William looked down at their hands, still clasped together, nestled in Buffy’s lap. “Why have you changed your mind about spending time with me? You weren’t overly happy when the principal forced me down your throat.”
Buffy’s eyes opened wide and she jerked her hand out of his, covering her mouth to try and hold back a gasp.
“Oh bloody hell,” he blurted after replaying the words in his head. “F-forgive me… please,” he begged, blushing scarlet to the tips of his ears. “I didn’t mean…”
“I know you didn’t,” Buffy grimaced, unused to easing another’s discomfort. “So why don’t we change the subject? What is it they say – ‘Misery shared is misery halved,’ or something like that? Wanna tell me why you really went to all those schools?”
“You don’t ask for much, do you?” Will relaxed as they walked around the campus, more than eager to gloss over his inadvertent faux pas. “The sad tale of William Michael Rayne can be summed up quite succinctly: Mum’s dead, Dad gambles and we move when he loses more than he can afford to repay.” This was familiar ground and something he’d grown comfortable in relaying. What was the point of lying, anyway? “And what about you, pet? Something juicy to tell the new bloke in town?”
“Not too much to tell, either.” She shrugged her shoulders. After all, they were both strangers. Neither would be passing judgment. “Typical modern American family: deadbeat dad living in Los Angeles, a semi-alcoholic mom. We’re pretty new to Sunnydale, too. I got kicked out of my last school for burning down the gym at the end of last year.”
“So you’re a pyro, then?”
William laughed. The girl was adorable, and actually giving him the time of day. He didn’t feel the horrific awkwardness that usually crippled him when meeting new people, especially girls.
“A pyromaniac, love. Someone who likes to set fire to things.”
“I didn’t actually do it, Will,” Buffy insisted. “I may be a lot of things, but a firestarter isn’t one of ‘em. A so-called friend was smoking, and didn’t put out his ciggie. And because it’s a cosmic rule that if something goes wrong, it’s always Buffy Anne Summers’ fault, I got blamed. The principal didn’t believe me and neither did my folks. It was pretty much the final straw that broke their marriage apart.”
“You’ve got to know you weren’t responsible for a divorce, Buffy. No more so than I’m responsible for my Mum’s death.”
“Doesn’t stop it from coloring every moment of your life, though, does it?” She looked into his bright blue eyes, and saw her own pain reflected back. “No matter what you know here,” she said, tapping her head, “it doesn’t stop the pain here,” she finished, her hand clutching at her heart.
As if under a spell, Buffy found herself drawn to William; the expression in his sparkling eyes pulling her in like a boat to shore. Neither pulled away as their lips touched, not much more than a featherlight caress.
The gentle press of flesh on flesh deepened to a more purposeful kiss as they got caught up in the emotions of the moment. Buffy’s lips parted, allowing Will’s tongue to gently enter her mouth, seeking out the warmth and softness of her tongue with his. They drew back momentarily, their breathing erratic, before seeking out one another again.
They were so engrossed in each other that they failed to hear the approaching footsteps. Unfortunately, the catcalls and whistles came through loud and clear, and they jumped apart, confronted by a wall of sweaty, shirtless male flesh.
Buffy looked around, trying to get her bearings. Apparently they had wandered over by the basketball courts just as a game had broken, and a group of seniors had gathered around the couple.
“Hey Xander, does Sunnydale High have a babysitting program?” Jock one asked, tossing his basketball to his friend on his right-hand side.
“Not that I know of, Riley,” replied Jock two. “Shouldn’t you be taking little sis to kindergarten, kiddo?” he quipped before tossing the ball to Jock three. “Angel, why don’t you pick up the little girl and take her night-night.”
The rest of the team broke out into guffaws, just standing back and watching the star athletes in action.
“Oi, git! Why don’t you just leave the girl alone? She’s not bothering you.” William straightened himself up to his full height, still coming in way short of the behemoths standing all around him.
Jock three snorted, tossing the basketball in the air once, twice, three times before chucking it at the boy’s head. “Why don’t you mind your own business, geek-boy?” he laughed as for the second time today, William found himself down on the ground. “Your mama’s probably waiting with tea and scones, you limey bastard.”
All three of the older boys shifted at once; Riley and Xander stood over William while Angel scooped up Buffy in a fireman’s carry hold. By now the rest of their teammates were on the floor in hysterics.
“Put me down, you son of a bitch,” Buffy screamed, pounding her little fists against Angel’s broadly muscled back.
Angel’s response was to slap her, hard, across her wriggling backside. “That’s it, baby. Show me how much you want me,” he chuckled. “I’ll make it good for you, I promise.”
“William!” She cried out when Angel began to stroke her bottom through her jeans, his fingers getting way too familiar with her anatomy.
William attempted to rise and elude the two goons guarding him. As he scrambled backwards, his left hand closed on a large sized rock.
“I’d stay down if I were you, shrimp,” sneered Riley.
“Then it’s a bloody good thing I’m not you,” William grit out through clenched teeth. Catching the larger boy by surprise, he reared back and kicked him hard in the kneecaps, causing him to go down hard, writhing in pain.
Xander was caught off guard as well, and stood there stunned as William rose and threw the rock in his hand at Angel’s head as hard as he could. He was off and running towards the pair as soon as the rock left his hand.
Luck was with him as it struck true, causing Angel to drop the struggling girl with a surprised yelp of pain. Not pausing to see if Buffy was all right, William straddled the dazed boy and rained blow after blow against Angel’s face in a scene eerily similar to Buffy’s fight with Cordelia not too long ago.
“William, stop!” Buffy cried in distress. “He’s not moving and there’s so much blood. Did… did you kill him?”
William felt for a pulse with his blood-covered hand, equally shocked that not only had he been provoked to such violence, but that he wasn’t the one lying unconscious and beaten. The expression on his face turned to relief when he found the steady beat. “He’s out cold, for sure. Prolly broke the git’s nose.”
Xander moved at last, walking over to his prone friend, hands up in a show of surrender. “We’ll get Angel to the nurse. Get out of here before a teacher shows up.” At the pair’s frightened faces, he admitted: “Trust me, this isn’t the first time Angel’s been bloodied over some chick, but it is the first time he’s been beaten. Just go… we won’t be bringing either of you into this. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry it went this far.”
“T-thanks, mate,” William said, leading Buffy away. “We won’t forget this.”
When they were finally out of sight of the basketball courts Buffy found herself spun around, once more to find William’s gaze intensely focused on her.
“Did he hurt you, Buffy? Are you all right?”
Taking in the sight of the boy in front of her – bloodied hands, blood spattered shirt, blood stained hair – Buffy was amazed that his only concern was for her.
“I-I’m fine, Will. Angel just scared me. Pissed me off, too Mr. Grabby Hands,” she growled. “Just who the hell does he think he is? God’s gift to women? Besides,” she said, changing the subject, “I’m more worried about you. Walking around like a slasher movie victim and hiding are not mixy things.”
William smiled, his white teeth in marked contrast to his gore splattered face.
They spotted a caretaker’s shed near the back baseball field and scurried inside. Grateful for the shelter and running water. Buffy wet a towel, running it gently over Will’s swollen and scraped knuckles. Another towel took care of the splatters of blood on his face and in his hair. His shirt was a total loss, however, and would have to be dumped as soon as possible.
“C’mon, Will. Let’s head over to my house and wait the inevitable bawling out by my mom. I’m sure she’ll take you home afterwards, and then we can deal with your dad, together. Whattya say?”
“I think I’d follow you to the end of the world, Buffy. Even if it happens to be tonight.”
Hand in hand they walked towards Buffy’s place, ready to face whatever the future had in store for them. Buffy snuck a shy glance at Will and tightened her grip. Together? She’d already begun to hope so.
After a week’s suspension, William and Buffy were back in school. There were whispers behind hands and furtive looks as they walked down the hall; a definite couple to anyone with eyes. This time, however, they both held their heads up high - the legend of William the Bloody had been born.