Suspensions


This is just perfect, Jack O'Neill (Junior) thought as he slumped down in the hard-backed wooden chair outside the Principal's office. He'd only been back in high school for a week, and already he was in trouble; most probably headed for a suspension.

And he still didn't know why he couldn't have stayed in Colorado Springs. He was far enough away in age (and subsequently, looks) from his 'original' that no one would have looked twice at them who didn't already know. Sure, there'd been that whole rigmarole spiel that the brass had given him about sending him in 'undercover' to look into 'mysterious happenings' in this town, but Jack didn't believe one word of it. All he'd seen so far that was out of the ordinary was the high number of churches and graveyards. But considering how old the town was, it wasn't that out of the ordinary.

And he'd believe the whispered rumors about vampires, demons, and other things that went bump in the night when he saw them. And not one moment before. Aliens from other planets, insectoid robots that killed people and replicated replacements, alternate realities… It was too much to accept that there was terrestrial weirdness going on on Earth on top of all the extraterrestrial weirdness kept in secret under Cheyenne Mountain. He was willing to suspend his disbelief when it came to things 'not of this world'; he wasn't willing to hang it by the neck until it died.

The door creaking open snapped him out of his thoughts into a ramrod straight 'at ease' posture. A bald-headed black man poked his head around the doorframe and said, "Mr. O'Neill, please come in."

Jack couldn't help the gulp; it was never good to get into trouble with the higher-ups. Slouching his way into the principal's office, he sat down in the chair across from the other man's desk.

"Mr. O'Neill, I'm sure you're aware of why you've been called here today," Principal Wood started off.

Jack nodded, giving his best 'listening attentively' expression – used often with both Danny and Carter when they were going on and on and on about rocks or physics, respectively.

"Here at Sunnydale High, we're accustomed to giving students a certain, shall we say…slack…whereas it concerns the rules," Wood continued.

Jack mentally raised an eyebrow at that, thinking, Yeah, right. This was a new approach – at least in high school. It bore quite a resemblance to some of the interrogation techniques he'd used in Special Ops. Lull them into a false sense of security by using faked camaraderie – then BOOM! Drop the bomb on them.

Giving Jack a sharp look, as if he'd heard the unvoiced skepticism, Wood went on, "However, while I must applaud your protective instincts–"

Jack wasn't able to help his frown; that girl whose honor he'd been defending had reminded him so much of Danny. Same hair – albeit longer – same guileless blue eyes – albeit not concealed behind wire-rimmed glasses – same penchant for ending up in trouble. Hell, even their names were similar; hers was Dawn. Dawn Summers.

"–generally we encourage students to simply incapacitate the bullies, not put them in traction," Wood finished dryly.

"I…suppose I got a little carried away," Jack admitted. Yeah, breaking his nose would have been enough; there wasn't any real need to break his wrist, and his ankle was probably overkill.

Probably.

"Just…try not to let it get this out of hand again, okay?" Principal Wood said calmly, as if teenagers putting the smackdown on classmates twice their size and breaking bones with the ease they would a sweat was normal in Sunnydale High.

Jack gaped, then quickly tried to cover his faux pas. "Ah, yeah, I'll do my best, sir." Let him think what he wants about the 'sir'; it's so ingrained into me I don't think I could ever get out of calling my 'superiors' that.

Wood nodded. "Good. I don't want to have to see you in here again unless it doesn't involve major bodily harm. Savvy?"

Grinning weakly, Jack couldn't help but think that someone had seen Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl one too many times. But he said, "Savvy," anyway.

Sunnydale California was an…interesting town.


THE END