Chapter Seventeen - Telling Tales

"…And that…is the end of 'The Turtles vs. the World,'" Xander announced in such a mockery of a serious voice that everyone had to laugh as the bell rang in the background.

"That was…interesting," Mrs. Roslyn critiqued hesitantly as she scribbled on her notebook and the class began to leave, "Xander, please stay after…I'd like to talk to you, about your…um…"

"Literary masterpiece?" he finished for her as the students exiting laughed all over again.

"I wouldn't exactly use the word…masterpiece to describe your work, Xander," Mrs. Roslyn said with a smile as the good-looking dark-haired student stood in front of her desk. "You have great potential, dear, I know. I've seen many of your half-thought essays from Ms. Simpkins, and despite their lack of content and effort, I saw that you had latent talent. Which is why I let you join my creative writing class…to turn the latent into the obvious, but at the moment things are coming to Ds and Cs. That might be good enough for you, but I won't let you settle for that."

"Mrs. Roslyn, that's very kind of you to say that, but I don't think I can cut it as a writer…you must have realized that I only came to the class to get out of Simpkins," he replied with a half-grin.

The woman with her spectacles and her peppered hair, smiled slightly before retorting, "I got the feeling that that's what you were saying to everyone, but I think it's more than that. It's a simple idea, and you must embrace that idea, before you can voice it to the world, I know. I'll give you a second chance on this assignment, Xander, it'll be due next week on my desk."

He sighed in thought as he wondered what he was going to write about, "Mrs. Roslyn, what do I -"

"Anything you want, dear, as long as it's in good taste," she said knowing exactly what he was going to say, "Here's a suggestion if you should come upon writer's block. Use what you know, let your feelings flow from your fingertips. Do you understand?"

Xander shifted his backpack in thought and replied, "I - I think so, but I don't know if it's going to help me."

"Try," she said with a sigh as he neared the door, "I know it's a cliché, but you won't know until you try."

As he exited her classroom, not too far away, Buffy and Willow were looking on with worried expressions. Finally the redhead looked at her friend with a sigh and said in a firm tone, "You have to tell him, Buffy, there's no way I'm going to help you if you don't tell him."

"Yeah…I know Will," she said as she saw her boyfriend's figure faded out of sight, "I just hope that he can understand."


Buffy approached Xander from behind as he walked across the quad, tapped his shoulder lightly with a soft, "Hey," and the kissed him on the cheek.

He turned to her with a smile, "Hey, yourself, where were you in history? Will and I saved you a spot."

"I…uh…I was talking to Giles," she said, as she remembered the frozen expression of her Watcher's face when she told him about her wants to initiate the curse. She just hoped that this next attempt to explain contained far less wide-eyed staring.

" 'Bout what?" he asked glancing at her and then gave her a look and a sigh, "Do we have to deal with more vampires…again?"

She hesitated before responding slowly, "Sort of…um…Xander, there's something I have to tell you…"