A Learning Experience: Chapter One, Turn Eleven (Part One)

The first day of the second full week of school is cool, with a definite crispness in the early morning air. A number of students are wearing jackets against the cooler weather as they arrive at school.

A sign advertising the Harvest Mixer on September 27 is displayed prominently on the hall bulletin board. The sign states that tickets are six dollars, and are on sale in Room 110 before and after school, and in the cafeteria during lunch periods until Monday, September 23. Another sign nearby advertises a pep rally on Thursday afternoon, and a third alerts the students that voting for Homecoming Queen begins this week.

As the stream of students moves through the hall on the way to lockers and homerooms, Dr. Summers comes out of her office, expertly negotiating the flood of people. Behind her is a young woman with waist-length coppery hair, held back by two braids along the sides of her head. The mortal students see that the braids are tied back with a dark-green ribbon, freckles are scattered across her face, and that she is wearing a neat black shirt and straight-cut black skirt. A silver heart-shaped locket lies over the shirt. The fae students see that her hair almost seems to glow, and that the ribbon holding back her braids is silver. There are silver ribbons braided into the braids, and the freckles are no longer there. She's wearing a long black dress lined with silver, with medieval-style sleeves that come down to her knees, and is belted with a black and silver cord belt. The end of the belt hangs down her left side and is tasseled, and the dress is cut just low enough that her locket lies bare against her skin. While the young sidhe isn't as breath-takingly lovely as some others of her kith, she has a delicate beauty that makes her seem fragile, and she dresses to enhance that.

In both mortal and fae mien, Riana looks around at the other students with bright green eyes as she follows Dr. Summers. They all seem very busy talking with friends and moving through the corridors, and there are more of them than she expected. She wonders if she'll ever be as relaxed as them, and then decides that once she's settled in, she probably will be.


Bela searches through her draws and closet for something that she wants to wear. Finally settling on a pair of jeans that were worn soft and faded, embellished with dyed peacock eyes up the outer seam. To go with that she put on a t-shirt.

She asked her stepfather if he would drop her off early for school. She goes to her locker and waits for her classmates to arrive, bustling with energy.


Niko arrives at school a little earlier than usual dressed in a baggy pair of khakis and a loose black shirt. He waves goodbye to his father and walks into school. His first stop is in room 110 and were he purchases three tickets for the dance, before heading to his locker. He gathers his materials for the day and goes to wait for Trevor at his locker.

As Niko passes room 107 Bela smiles and waves, "Hi."

Niko waves hi to Bela as he passes.

Bela smiles and decides to join Niko, "Do you have a drawing of the creature from the assembly?"

Niko flips through his drawing book and hands the picture to her, "Here ya go. It's a quick sketch, but pretty decent."


Standing at her locker, Val removes her jacket, revealing a Bubblegum Crisis 2040 T-shirt.

As she finishes stowing her supplies for her morning classes in her backpack, she looks up to see the headmistress and Riana approaching. "Oh! Good morning, Dr. Summers."

"Good morning, Valerie," Dr. Summers says pleasantly. "This is Riana Wingate, a new classmate of yours. Riana, this is Valerie McSkeath."

Val sticks out a hand for Riana to shake with a friendly smile. "Hi. My friends call me Val."

Smiling back, Riana takes Val's hand and shakes it.

"Everyone just calls me Riana or Rhiannon," she replies. "Nice to meet you."


A red sports car pulls up to the front of the school and the passenger door opens. A pair of feet clad in black sneakers emerges, followed by white socks with bare legs, and Trevor's usual great kilt, worn with a t-shirt with what looks like a hand-drawn cartoon of Snoopy from Peanuts, with a rainbow arching above him. Blazoned across the top of the shirt are the letters "BGL.". The t-shirt is somewhat obscured by the wedges of plaid emerge from under the belt of the kilt in front and back, held together at the left shoulder by a clasp.

"Thanks Mom," he calls, pulling out his maroon backpack and a brown leather jacket, then closing the car door. The car rockets out of sight as Trevor heads inside, hanging the backpack on his free shoulder. The backpack complements the reds predominant in the plaid of his kilt, as well as the reddish hues of his dark hair. While the t-shirt doesn't seem to quite fit his outfit, with his captivating appearance he manages to look good in it anyway. Visible only to the Fae, an empty dagger-sized sheath is strapped to one ankle.


Emmet arrives shortly after Trevor, though with considerably less fanfare. Today he's wearing a black long sleeved shirt, jeans, and perfectly-shined Doc Martins. The shirt bears a grey stylized phoenix rising from the ashes; the graphic covers most of the front. Above, in white, reads, "The Rapture". Below, also in white, "1995". The smaller grey graphic is on the back is mostly concealed by his black leather backpack. His iPaq sits on his belt next to a small pouch bearing a red and white shield. He carries a large travel mug (see here for an image) in his left hand.


Trevor heads down the hall toward his locker, yawning. He practically walks into Dr. Summers, narrowly avoiding a collision with a surprisingly graceful move. The maneuver leaves him facing Val & Riana. "Excuse me Dr. Summers, I didn't see you there." He flashes a smile at the two girls in front of him. "Hi Val." He blinks at Riana, apparently realizing he doesn't recognize her. "Hi, I'm Trevor," he says, bowing to her.

Still smiling, Riana curtseys.

"Riana," she says, and arches an eyebrow at Trevor's outfit. "Excuse me if I'm being rude, but why are you wearing a kilt? And...is that Snoopy on your T-shirt?"

The nocker looks tired, but seems to be in a good mood. He is deep in an animated discussion with a pretty red-headed goth. The two move effortlessly through the crowded hallway, drawing strange looks from many students. The two pass Val's locker just as Trevor completes his bow.

"Mornin', Val," Emmet offers, his voice scratchy. He favors Trevor with a nod. "Skirtboy," he says by way of greeting.

"G'morning," Val returns, giving Emmet and his companion a warm smile.

Trevor nods to Emmet, a faint hit of exasperation disappearing from his face as he notices Emmet's companion. She receives a bright smile before his attention returns to Riana.

Emmet seems about to say something in response to Riana's question, but pauses as he notices the Headmistress. Thinking better, he takes a sip from his mug instead. "Doctor," he nods.

Finally his attention comes around to Riana. He says nothing as he regards her for a long moment, his gaze intent, expression critical. Emmet offers his hand just after the pause gets uncomfortable. "Emerson McDonald," he says, somewhat coolly.

Riana returns Emmet's gaze with a slightly curious one of her own, wondering if she'd done or said something wrong.

She takes his hand and shakes it. "Riana Wingate," she replies, then offers her hand to the redhead beside him.

"Hi, and you're...?" she asks.

The girl beside Emmet smiles her greetings to the gathering, but says nothing. She seems uncomfortable around Dr. Summers.

The girl looks at Riana's outstretched hand for a moment and smiles a small, secret smile. Something very much like amusement plays across her attractive face. It's gone as quickly as it came, and the girl again looks uncomfortable.

"Andromeda," she says quietly, taking Riana's hand in a cool, firm grip. Her voice is a velvet-smooth contralto. "It's ... nice to meet you."


Trevor smiles at Riana's questions. "It's comfy and it reminds me of the fun I had when I went to Scotland over the summer." He glances over at Dr. Summers. "I have to admit I didn't expect to actually be allowed to wear it when I showed up in it the first day of school. And no one's said they didn't like it." He glances at Emmet. "Um, perhaps implied it though."

"Oh, and the t-shirt!" Trevor pushes over the wedge of fabric crossing his torso so Riana can get a better look. "I think Keighvin or one of his friends drew it. And yes, he's based on Snoopy. He's a beagle." Trevor points at the letters 'B G L' on his t-shirt and grins at Riana.

Riana nods at Trevor's explanation about the kilt, then smiles again after he finishes.

"Beagle...cute," she says. "What does BGL stand for?"

"Oh, I'm sorry. Bi-sexual, Gay and Lesbian. And BGL is a club here at school." Trevor pronounces BGL as 'beagle'. "I discovered I'm bi, and this is the first day I've ever worn the shirt. The kilt's unrelated."

To Fae eyes, the clasp holding together Trevor's kilt at his shoulder is a rampant lion. The plaid has a noticeable amount of red in it. Trevor is obviously sidhe, as he is ridiculously gorgeous to fae eyes.

Dr. Summers lets the students chat for a while, then looks up at the clock on the wall and gives a faint sigh. "I'm very pleased to see all of you so eager to welcome Riana," she says with a smile, "but we do need to introduce her to Mr. Douglas. If you'll excuse us?" She gracefully extracts herself and Riana from the group and continues down the hall and up the stairs.

Trevor's eyes keep being drawn back to Andromeda - and in particular, her cleavage. It takes him a while to actually say something though. "Andromeda, you look lovely than in that. Really classy, as well as being as hot as usual." Trevor's tone is awed and almost a whisper, so his speech comes across as more respectful and less crude than it reads. And perhaps surprisingly to some, his eyes are on Andromeda's face as he speaks.

Andromeda sketches a quick curtsey, bowing just low enough to allow Trevor a short glimpse down the front of her bodice.

It's fairly obvious where Trevor's eyes go.

"Thankee, Laird Leon," she says, her tone light with just a hint of mockery. He eyes sparkle with amusement.

With the Headmistress gone, she definitely seems herself again.

Trevor gives her a deep bow. "The pleasure is mine," he says, his slightly dazed smile supporting his statement.


Bela takes Niko's drawing and hands him her notebook/sketchbook, with her representation of her adventures during gym class. There is one of the tabby-lion and the gym teacher and the creature with its arms full of corm.

Niko looks at the sketch, "Ah so it likes corn. Out of curiosity, did you meet the oh so nice rat pack, or was it just us?"

"We didn't see any rats, and we were back here before I could ask any questions," disappointment ringing clearly in her voice. Bela looks at Niko closely as they walk, "Are you ok?"

Niko glances at his leg, "Oh yeah that. I'm fine. I got into a fight with a rodent and lost."

"Ouch, how are the rest of the boys? And are you heading for Trevor's locker? Just a wild guess. I sort of, well never mind."

Niko chuckles softly, "Trevor got bit in the arm, but he's okay and I believe that the rest of them came out of it unhurt. Aidan got a real eye opener though, so physically he's okay, but mentally I don't know. And yeah I was heading towards Trevor's locker."

"If you don't mind I'll tag along. So he saw the rats? How did he take it? I meet with Kate, but I'll wait till we are all together."

"Feel free to tag along the more the merrier. Well, Aidan seemed shocked at first, which is an okay natural reaction. He did help fight off the rats and afterwards he had a talk with Mr. Griffith. They left the nurse's office before Trevor and I did, so I don't know how he took it." Niko smiles, "All and all though I think that he is taking it a lot better then most people would."

"Well it is a start." Bela replied as she accompanies Niko to Trevor's locker. "Kate's eyes are open and she is scared that her family will think she is crazy...


Upstairs, Dr. Summers leads Riana down the hall, finally stopping at Room 323. She knocks on the frame of the open door. "Mr. Douglas?"

The man who answers the knock is on the tall side of average, with a thin build. His hair is dark and somewhat shaggy-looking, worn with long sideburns, and his dark eyes are partly hidden behind tinted glasses.

"Riana, this is Mr. Douglas, your homeroom and American History teacher," says Dr. Summers. "Mr. Douglas, this is Riana Wingate, the new student I informed you was arriving today."

Mr. Douglas smiles and offers his hand for Riana to shake. "Hello, Riana. Nice to meet you."

Riana smiles and shakes Mr Douglas' hand.

"Thank-you, sir," she says politely. "It's nice to meet you as well." As Riana converses with Mr. Douglas, a few students start making their way into the classroom.

The first one is a pretty redhead with a vivacious expression. She's wearing a green T-shirt with a Celtic design over leggings; the outfit enhances her figure to advantage.

"Morning, Dr. Summers, Mr. Douglas!" she says gaily.

"Good morning, Alyssa," Dr. Summers says with a smile. "And good morning to you, Aidan, Shakti."

Dr. Summers' salutation is addressed to the pair behind Alyssa -- a slim youth with wavy black hair and vivid green eyes, clad in a T-shirt with the design of a rearing pegasus on a blue shield over jeans, and an athletic-looking girl with dark hair and green eyes, dressed in a wolf T-shirt over black jeans.

Aidan and Shakti return the headmistress' greeting, and then the two and Alyssa pause a moment to look at Riana. Alyssa offers a hand to Riana. "Hi...Alyssa Ryan. That's my brother Aidan, and his girlfriend Shakti."

Riana smiles broadly, directing some amusement inward and making a private bet with herself about how many more hands she'll shake today.

"I'm Riana Wingate," she says, taking Alyssa's hand and shaking it. "Nice to meet you, Alyssa, Aidan, Shakti."

Dr. Summers smiles at the exchange. "Unless you have any more questions for me, Riana, I'll leave you in Mr. Douglas' capable hands."

Dr. Summers takes her leave, exchanging good-byes with each person in the room in turn.

"So, where are you from, Riana?"asks Alyssa. "That is, if you don't mind me asking."

"I don't mind," Riana says to Alyssa, then notices a strong concentration of Glamour underneath Aidan's T-shirt. She fixes her gaze on it, wondering what's causing it.

"I'm from around here, actually," she says, keeping her eyes on the T-shirt. "I used to live a little way out of town, but now I'm living in town."

Suddenly aware that her staring was not only rude but likely to be taken the wrong way, she raises her eyes to Aidan's face. "I really like your T-shirt, Aidan," she says, striving to sound casual. "The pegasus is lovely."

"Thanks," Aidan says with a smile. "It's the crest of a kingdom from a fantasy series called The Heralds of Valdemar; you ever read it?"

Riana thinks for a moment, then shakes her head. "No, I don't think so," she replies. "What's it about?"

Aidan's face lights up as he starts talking about his favorite fantasy series. "It's about a group of people -- called Heralds -- who've got magical or psychic powers, and work with these intelligent white horses, righting wrongs and making life better for people. The author's name is Mercedes Lackey."

"That sounds like it's really interesting," Riana replies. "Mercedes Lackey, hmmm? I'll have to see if I can try it." She smiles. "From the look on your face, you really enjoy it. Any book that can inspire that sort of reaction in people is one worth reading."


Julian Montgomery and Gordon Mueller enter the building together, deeply immersed in a discussion.

"...and that's what's going on with Ophelia," Julian is explaining as the two pass the small knot of people that includes Trevor, Emmet and Valeria.

"Okay," Gordon returns, his knitted brow replaced with a smile as understanding dawns, "I get it now."

"Hi, Julian," Val calls, waving to the captain of the fencing team.

Julian waves back, and he and Gordon stop to exchange pleasantries with the three juniors.

"Hi Julian. Hi Gordon," says Trevor.

Layla is nearly late as usual. Today she's dressed in a simple black dress with a corset style top, her heavier silver cloak, and her top hat. Her fairy stitched bag is slung over her shoulder as she races through the halls to her locker (the others may see her run by if she has to go that way). As soon as she snatches her books into her bag she spins and run towards her class. Noticing the group of her friends in the hall she quickly changes direction coming to an awkward stumbling/sliding stop (hopefully) before she hits anyone.


Trevor's attention is diverted from Andromeda as Layla bumps into him. "Hi Layla." His eyes run down her. "Ooo, you look nice." Trevor can't seem to decide where to look - Andromeda or Layla.

Julian regards Trevor's apparent indecision on where to look with benign amusement as he exchanges pleasantries with the new arrival.

As the group converses, a broad-shouldered blond youth in a Gryphons varsity jacket and jeans makes his way down the hall. Those familiar with the football team will recognize him as Alex Reinhardt, a member of the team.

Alex looks at the group in the hallway, his gaze flicking to Julian and Gordon, and then to Trevor's T-shirt, and immediately veers to the other side of the hallway, watching the group through slitted eyes as he passes.

Seeing Bela and Niko approaching, Valeria gives the two a wave.

Trevor head turns at Val's wave. "Hi Bela! Hi Niko!" Trevor glances around at the group around him, then unslings his backpack and starts digging in it.

When Niko and Bela get close enough that Niko can hear Trevor's voice clearly in the somewhat lower tone Trevor tries to remember to use with his sluagh friend, Trevor says, "I got something for you, Niko."

Niko runs up to Trevor, stopping short from running into him, "My Hero," He exclaims before placing his hands on either side of his face and delivering a kiss that takes his breath away.

Afterwards he steps back with a goofy smile on his face, "You were saying?"

Trevor drops his backpack to the ground and stands there with a big goofy smile on his face. A few moments pass before he moves. With a slightly dazed (but happy) expression Trevor looks down at his hand, which is holding a folded up t-shirt that was apparently what he was pulling out of his backpack. He holds out the t-shirt to Niko. "I got this for you."

The t-shirt is identical to his own, with what looks like a hand-drawn cartoon of Snoopy from Peanuts on the front, with a rainbow arching above him and blazoned across the top of the shirt are the letters "BGL."

Trevor's smile changes, reflecting amusement instead of just pleasure. "I didn't know if you'd want to wear it in school, but I guess it doesn't matter after that kiss!"

"Thanks for the T-shirt. I'd change into it now," Niko gestures towards the students and hallway, "but I'd probably get a detention for indecent exposure. Although..." he pauses dramatically, "Layla what say you? Should I risk the punishment to put on this present that my knight in shining armor hath given me?"

Emmet watches the interaction between Trevor and Niko with amused disinterest, filling Trevor's pause by stage-whispering to Andromeda, "I guess we know who wears the pants in that relationship."

Andromeda barks a short laugh and hits Emmet in the arm. "Be nice!" she admonishes, still snickering.

A number of students stare openly at the exchange between Niko and Trevor. Their faces wear a gamut of expressions, from surprise to disapproval, to outright derision on a few of them.

Julian and Gordon make their goodbyes and head off down the hall. Astute viewers will notice an expression of what might be identified as sympathy on Julian's face as his dark eyes settle briefly on Trevor and Niko.

Trevor says goodby and to Julian says, "See you at lunch."

In response to a small chirp from his vest pocket, Emmet removes his iPaq, checks it, then says, "I need to get to my locker before homeroom. Catch you all on the flipside." With a casual wave to the group, he heads off.

Trevor waves goodby to Emmet, still looking happily dazed.

Bela watches the boys, and their audience, in fact she pays more attention to the people surrounding the group. Making note of those were very disapproving Bela smiled. She waits a moment longer the looked at her friends ignoring the students she had been paying attention to. "Hi guys."

"Hi Bela." says Trevor.

Layla smiles a big smile at the boys kiss and when she hears Niko's question she replies, "There's no way you could get in trouble so I don't see why you should, but..." she shrugs, "Why not?" she asks with a mischievous grin.

Niko checks the time.

"Coffee is a wonderful invention and with that said, you," he points to Trevor, "should probably get to your locker, you," he points to Bela, "are beautiful as always, and you," he points to Layla, "are now officially my ravishing good looking common sense." Niko hugs Layla and whispers in her ear, "May you get me in as much trouble as possible."

As he pulls away, he smiles and slings the T-shirt over his shoulder, "Indecent exposure can wait till next passing period. So until lunch?"

"See you at lunch, Niko." Trevor's smile fades as he watches Niko leave.

Valeria waves to each of her friends and acquaintances as they drift off, then heads for homeroom.

Trevor waves good-bye to Val.

Trevor turns to the remaining three - Bela, Layla & Andromeda. He runs his eyes over the three and perks up noticeably. "You all look lovely. But I'm afraid Niko was right - I really do need to get to my locker. So..." Trevor bows to the three. "See you all at lunch!" Trevor blows them a kiss and scampers down the hall toward his locker.

Layla drops a quick curtsey in return and runs at full speed to her class, narrowly avoiding running into any other students.

"Good morning, Mr. Ravenscroft," Val says as she passes her homeroom teacher on the way into Room 107.

"Good morning, Valerie," the dark-haired instructor says pleasantly. He makes a small mark on something on the lectern with his pencil.


Niko enters Mr. Douglas' class and takes his usual seat. He has calmed down a bit and starts to doodle in his note book until he has to start paying attention.

Time: 7:45 am, Monday, September 16, 2002
Current weather: Partly cloudy and cool. Expected weather: Cool
This web site copyright 2001 by Midori Hirtzel-Church
This page first posted -- August 5, 2003
First uploaded to mirror site - February 10, 2008

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