Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland
ffutures

Deeds of Maidenly Unkindness - IX

Here's the next part of "Deeds..." the Buffy / St. Trinian's crossover. Previous parts are here. As usual comments would be greatly appreciated before I post it to archives etc.

This is a crossover between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the St. Trinian's films and books inspired by the cartoons of Ronald Searle. Minor spoilers up to season 7 of Buffy. Set after Season 7 BtVS, after Season 4 Angel. Since there is no real St. Trinian's continuity a mixture of characters from the films, books, etc. has been used. For a good web reference to the St. Trinians stories see users.netmatters.co.uk/ju90/ron.htm

All characters belong to their respective creators / film companies / etc. and are used without permission, and without any intention of damaging their owners copyright. This story may only be distributed on a non-profit-making basis.

Work in Progress. If you like this story, check out my other stories on the Fanfiction Net, Twisting the Hellmouth, and Fonts of Wisdom websites.

I'm British, so's my spelling. Live with it.

Note: British fans of St. Trinians may like to know that the HMV chain now sell four of the classic films as a boxed set of DVDs.



Deeds of Maidenly Unkindness

by Marcus L. Rowland

IX

"I'm very disappointed in you," Miss Fritton said the following morning, looking down at Cathy and Agnes through her pince-nez glasses. "If Miss Rosenberg and Miss Summers and their friend hadn't arrived, Morag might have been seriously hurt. As for you, Morag," she glanced towards the heavily bandaged girl, "I would have thought that by now you would have more sense."

There was a chorus of "Yes, Miss Fritton" from Cathy and Agnes, and a mumble from under the bandages.

"Miss Summers has had to save you from fires twice now, Morag. I really think that's quite enough. Cathy, Agnes, five Saturday afternoon detentions each... with Miss Rosenberg or Miss Summers..." both girls cowered slightly "You will also pay for repairs to the staff room door, Miss Summers had to break the lock to let us out. I'm also confiscating your skeleton keys. Morag, you will write letters thanking Miss Summers, Miss Rosenberg, and Miss Kennedy for their help in rescuing you, at least two sides of paper each. And all three of you, if there's any more talk of human sacrifice, however voluntary it may be, there will be serious consequences. Do I make myself understood? Good. Now go to your lessons."

The girls shuffled out, leaving Buffy and Willow with Miss Fritton. There was an awkward silence.

"I guess we kinda blew it," Buffy said eventually.

"Blew it? What on earth makes you think that?" asked Miss Fritton..

"Well, I mentioned Wicca to them," said Willow. "Didn't say anything about human sacrifices, that isn't what Wicca's about, but maybe it gave them the idea."

"Nonsense," Miss Fritton said briskly. "What gave them the idea was watching The Wicker Man on television. It was on last Wednesday evening."

"But..."

"It was their own idea, Miss Rosenberg. Entirely their own idea, unless you really want to be held responsible. There might be some legal repercussions if you were, of course, to you and to the school. And to your future career as a teacher."

"Oh."

"Oh indeed, Miss Rosenberg. Fortunately Morag's parents are aware of her proclivities, and the odd second-degree burn no longer alarms them. And it really would be a pity if you were to spend the next few years in a protracted lawsuit. Especially since the school would have to agree that you were responsible to protect itself."

"When you put it that way," said Buffy, "maybe it was a good thing that we got back in time to stop those fool kids acting out their TV fantasies."

"Exactly. Now run along, I'm sure that you have classes to teach."

"But..." said Willow, blinking in confusion.

"Run along," Miss Fritton repeated firmly.

Buffy grabbed her arm and steered her out of the office. Miss Fritton waited until they'd shut the door then poured herself a very large gin and tonic.

* * * * *

"...and that's the situation, Sammy," said Roberta, looking around to make sure that nobody was listening to her phone call. "I know you've been waiting until the right moment, and I'm sure that it's come.... Yes, completely sure..." There was a long pause, then she said "yes, that won't be a problem. I'll back-date it a week and put it in with the rest, by the time she sees the letter it'll be too late."

* * * * *

"Okay," Willow said to the class of thirteen-year-olds standing on one of the lawns beside the school, "Now there are twenty-two of you, so we'll start with four rows of five girls. Carmen and Tracy, you can be heat sources, so stay here for now. Each of the rest of you, if there's someone on your left put your left hand on her shoulder. If there's someone ahead of you put your right hand on her shoulder. Everybody.... yes, that does include you, Emily." Willow waited while the girls slowly took up the positions she'd described, with a lot of giggling and pushing.

"Right now you're like the molecules of a solid. It's pretty rigid, maybe there's a bit of shifting around but on the whole each of you stays more or less where you are in relationship to the rest. Now, the next step is where it gets interesting. I want all of you to stay more or less where you are, but if Carmen or Tracy touches you I want you to shift a foot or so in whatever direction has the least people. The people you're touching have to more too, to stay in touch, and anyone touching them has to move too. If this means that you have to let go, or go in two directions at once, go with whichever direction has the most people. If there's a molecule ahead of you touch their shoulder with your right hand, if there's someone on your left put your left hand on their shoulder. Is that clear? Good.... Okay, now Carmen, I want you to start on this side, just touch people on the outside of the formation, really gently... I said GENTLY, Carmen... about one every three or four seconds. Tracy, you take that side." She watched as the girls ran to touch one girl after another. In a surprisingly short time the formation was falling apart, with groups of four or five girls moving around the lawn.

"That's good," said Willow. "Now the solid's melted, so what we have is a cool liquid, clumps of molecules moving around fairly slowly. You're joining again when the groups come into contact, in physical terms we'd say that you were just above melting point. Let's turn up the heat a little. Carmen and Tracy, you can touch someone once a second. And one... and two... and three..." Soon the formation was reduced to chaos, with Carmen and Tracy chasing groups of two and three girls around the lawn. Willow blew a whistle and said. "Okay, stop. You've melted completely. If Carmen and Tracy were to keep this up you'd soon be separate molecules, a gas. Does everyone get the idea?"

There was a chorus of "yes miss."

"Okay, let's go back to the lab. We're gonna try heating a solid and make some observations, and see if we can relate it to what you've just seen."

Willow turned towards the building and saw Miss Fritton come out, accompanied by a tall woman Willow didn't recognise. "Miss Rosenberg," said Miss Fritton, "this is Miss Kelly, from the Department for Education and Skills. We appear to be being inspected."

"Do call me Sammy," said Miss Kelly, offering a bony hand.

* * * * *

"Now, Miss Rosenberg," said Miss Kelly, as the girls heated beakers of ice, "I understand that you're a newly qualified teacher from America, working here to gain some experience before beginning your career in the high school system. Would that be correct?" Behind her Miss Fritton nodded.

"Um... yes, that's right," lied Willow, crossing her fingers behind her back.

"Then you'll have proof of your qualifications with you, I assume."

"Ah...."

"Come now, Miss Rosenberg, I'm sure you must have brought them with you." Behind her Miss Fritton shook her head.

"I... I think they're still in Cleveland. Yeah, that's right. The... um... the guy from the teaching agency said we didn't... um... need to bring them with us."

"That's very irregular," said Miss Kelly, frowning. "What about your colleague, Miss Summers?"

"The same, I think. Why?"

"Just curious. Do carry on, Miss Rosenberg, I've several more classes to visit and I really must have a word with your friend..." She swept out, Miss Fritton following her. Willow told two girls to put on safety glasses, another to tie her hair back to keep it out of the bunsen flame, then sat down and pretended to busy herself with some marking. She reached out with her mind, hoping that Buffy wasn't too busy to notice.

* * * * *

"..so I worked part time as a high school counsellor for a year or so in my second year of college," Buffy lied, "and decided I wanted to teach full-time, maybe work with kids that have special needs." Special as in superhuman strength and speed, she thought. "When we graduated we both wanted to see a little more of the world before we settled down, so we've been taking short-term jobs."

"And your teaching credentials are available for examination."

"Oh yeah, totally. Just a sec..." She ran across the gym, climbed a rope, and helped down the girl who was clinging to the top, then went back to Miss Kelly. "Sorry, could see she was getting into trouble there." She turned to the class, blew a whistle, and said "Right. I want all of you down from the bars and the ropes, move the vaulting horse to the side, put the mattresses out on the floor, then practice break falls and rolls."

"I'd like to see them, please," said Miss Kelly.

"Sorry, see what?" asked Buffy, pretending to be puzzled.

"Your teaching credentials."

"I can fax them to you when I get back to Cleveland."

"You don't have them with you?"

"Nobody told me I'd need them."

"This is very irregular."

"The Searle Agency took copies, said that was all we'd need."

"How about your passport? Does that show your profession as as teacher?"

"Nope, I was a student when it was issued." More lies, she just hoped that Willow could really get them out of trouble.

"And your work permit?"

"Umm... that'd be with the Searle Agency too." The truth for a change.

"Then we'll just have to get them to confirm everything, won't we," Miss Kelly said briskly. "Now, about this incident last night..."

"Incident?" Buffy asked innocently, and braced herself for interrogation.

* * * * *

"You really think she fell for it?" asked Willow, who like Buffy was watching the students queue for lunch and attempting to enforce discipline.

"Who, 'Call me Sammy'? Not a chance. She's just waiting to get the evidence she needs to prove we're not qualified teachers. She's probably talking to the Searle Agency right now. Once she has that she's gonna look for proof that last night wasn't the history society re-enacting a Viking funeral. What the heck made you suggest that anyway?"

"First thing I thought of."

"Your lies are getting a lot better, this time last year you would have blamed schoolkids on PCP."

"Yay me, the improved liar." She raised her voice and said "Freida, stop throwing food or I'm confiscating your Scotch." The sixth-former seemed to be about to argue, hesitated, then sat down sulkily.

"Scotch?" asked Buffy.

"I checked her bag when they came in, she had a couple of quarts. And she's a month or so under age."

"That's a good threat, I guess. Wish we could handle 'Sammy' that easily. Once she talks to the Searle guys we are so dead..."

"Actually," Miss Fritton said from behind them, "there appears to be an unexpected development in that area."

"Unexpected?" asked Buffy.

"The Searle Agency has had a fire of its own."

"Wow, that's... that's an amazing coincidence," said Willow.

"Yes, isn't it," Miss Fritton said happily, "I called them to make sure that they were prepared to help Miss Kelly when she contacted them, and a really charming fireman told me what had happened."

"That really is an odd coincidence," Buffy said uneasily, "what happens about our work permits and pay and so forth?"

"As it happens I have your work permits in my safe."

"And pay?" asked Willow.

"I'd imagine that the agency will soon be up and running again, if not we can doubtless come to some sort of arrangement. Though it may take a few weeks to free the funds that we've already paid to them for your salaries..."

"And our return trip to the States?" asked Buffy.

"That's a very good question, but if all else fails I'd imagine that Harry will be able to organise something. He has lots of friends in the transport business. Some of them very nearly legitimate, I think. Don't worry, I'm sure that everything will be fine." She swept off, trailing a faint scent of lavender and gin.

"Goddess," said Willow, "that woman's dangerous."

"Only just figured it out? She's been running this place for decades, Willow. I think she could face down demons without sweating it."

Miss Fritton climbed the steps to the stage at the other end of the hall and said "Girls. Girls. I have an important announcement." The noise of the dining hall slowly subsided. "There will be a meeting for all staff at one thirty, afternoon school will now begin at two." The hall echoed with cheers.

* * * * *

"Now then," said Miss Fritton, "We appear to have a viper in our bosom. This morning's little visit by our friends from Whitehall was carefully planned to cause maximum embarassment to the school. It's undoubtedly the prelude to another attempt to close us."

"High bloody time," said Evadne White, "if it wasn't for the money." There was a general murmur of agreement.

"Exactly, ladies," said Miss Fritton. "I'd imagine that we would all prefer to continue to draw our salaries. But someone with access to the school office is evidently spying on us for Whitehall. I should have received at least twenty-four hour's written notice of today's visit. When I checked I found the notification in my in-tray, backdated a week, in an envelope that was still damp from being sealed. Someone told that blasted woman that there had been an incident, and had the letter ready to slip into my in-tray. My guess is that someone from her office is impersonating a sixth-former, there are several new girls this term. Miss Rosenberg..."

"Yes, Miss Fritton?" said Willow, in an uncertain voice. Miss Fritton gave her the envelope in a plastic bag. "I'd imagine that this was printed on school computers, perhaps you can trace it. Or maybe there are fingerprints or something."

"I guess."

"Please be discreet, Miss Rosenberg. Perhaps you could do something about fingerprints in a science lesson...?"

"Sure, it kinda fits into genetics."

"Miss Summers..." Buffy nodded, "you see all of the girls for sports lessons. Perhaps you could see if any of the girls appear to be unusually... ah... developed for their stated ages."

"Uh... I think you can get arrested for that kinda thing."

"Hmm... well, maybe not then. Perhaps you can assist Miss Rosenberg instead."

"Why them?" asked Roberta Sloane, rising to her feet. "Shouldn't it be one of us, someone you can trust? With all due respects to Miss Rosenberg and Miss Summers, they've only been here a few weeks. How do you know they aren't working for that bitch Kelly?"

"Because they were recruited in America," Miss Fritton explained patiently, "by a private company which vets its candidates very carefully. I'm reasonably sure that they are who they say they are."

Roberta said "Hmph!" skeptically but sat down again.

"The rest of you, please be on the lookout for any unusual behaviour. We don't want to be caught out again. Sooner or later she'll be back. Now it's ten to two, I'd suggest we all finish our tea and get back to work. Oh Miss Summers, Miss Rosenberg..." She gestured to them, and drew them off to one side.

"Yes?" asked Buffy.

"It may be nothing," Miss Fritton said very quietly, "but I was with Miss Kelly the whole time she was here, and she never went near Roberta's class. I can't help wondering why Roberta dislikes the woman since so far as I know they've never met."

"Paranoid much?" said Buffy, then "yeah, the old protesting too much scam. We'll do a little digging..."

TBC

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