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Awkward First Day Encounters

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She had no bloody idea where the hell her classroom was.

What a wonderful first impression that was going to make.

She'd met some lovely staff in the process of trying to find it. You'd think the school was a bloody castle with as many classrooms as she'd wandered into, she thought to herself. She'd met a Danny Pink, who was a maths teacher, a Clara Oswald, who was an English teacher, a Molly Hooper, who was a biology teacher. And then, she realized with a groan as she opened the now familiar door for what she thought might be the fourth time, she'd also met a Mr. Holmes, first name unknown, who was one of the chemistry teachers.

And as the door was now all the way open to reveal a rather irritated man with a mop of dark curls and stunning bluish greyish greenish eyes glaring at her, she realized she had, indeed, found his classroom yet again.

“Ms. Pond, you appear to be rather incompetent with your sense of direction,” he said before going back to his lesson plans. “As the students will be here in ten minutes, you had best work on trying to get a compass or a guide of some sort.”

Her jaw set slightly. “Not my fault everyone's so busy that they all give vague directions of 'go a few doors down and you'll find it.'”

“I gave you rather precise directions, if you'll recall,” he said, shuffling some papers.

“Too quickly for me to remember them.”

“I've given them to you three times now.”

“Twice.”

“Three times,” he corrected. “You've come to my classroom four times now. That's three times too many.”

She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Truth be told, she hadn't even had enough time to learn her way around London, much less the school. She'd managed to figure out her way from the front of the school to the headmaster's office for her follow-up interview and that was about it. She'd only been in London three days now and was trying to learn her way around the city, failing more than she succeeded.

This was not how she imagined her life, not at all. She'd imagined a nice, quiet life in Leadworth with her husband, teaching at the local school there and raising her daughter in his family home...that was not what she had. What she had was a dead husband and a young daughter and a hundred miles between her and her past and all the memories that she didn't want to deal with. She didn't need an arrogant arse of a co-worker to give her grief on her first day. That was the absolute last thing she needed.

“I've walked into your classroom four times by mistake,” she said through slightly gritted teeth. “Can you please help me learn my way around this stupid school so I don't do it again?”

She watched him consider it and then sigh. “I suppose,” he said, pushing away from his desk. He was tall, taller than Rory had been, though not by much. He seemed to be dressed much more formally than Danny had been, wearing a suit instead of more comfortable clothing. Somehow she got the feeling he was one of those teachers that everyone was either always wary of or that they caused endless amounts of trouble for. But on the same token, she got the feeling he took none of their guff, either. They walked away from his classroom in near silence for a few moments. “You're to teach art?”

She nodded. “I have two undergraduate degrees from Oxford, one in Fine Art and the other in History of Art. I also have a Master of Studies in the History of Art and Visual Culture, so the Headmaster has asked me to teach a special class in art history as well as my regular art classes.”

He looked moderately impressed by that. “You're not from here.”

“Accent gave it away, did it?” she asked, a small smile on her face that he did not return. In a moment hers faded. “Actually, I was raised in the village of Leadworth. In Gloucestershire? My mum's sister raised me when my parents died. My dad was Scottish, but my mum was English. They passed when I was eight.”

“Oh,” he said quietly. “I'm...usually never wrong.”

“Happens to the best of us,” she said with a slight shrug. She clasped her hands and fiddled with her wedding ring slightly. One day she might take it off, when she was ready. If she was ready. When there came a time she didn't miss Rory desperately.

“This school is full of idiots and imbeciles,” he said. “I am...sorry for assuming you were one of them. Perhaps you are just directionally challenged.”

“Yes, well, just because I'm an Oxford alumni doesn't mean I don't have my moments of being daft,” she said, her smile coming back. That she noticed, got a bit of a smile from him. He looked quite nice when he wasn't a sourpuss. “You know, I don't think I caught your name.”

“I didn't give it,” he said, his smile growing just a smidge wider. “It's Sherlock. And I didn't catch yours, Ms. Pond.”

“It's Mrs., actually,” she corrected gently. “I mean, my husband passed, but...”

“My condolences,” he said.

“But...it's Amelia. You can call me Amy, though. Most people do.”

He nodded as they left the main building through a set of doors she swore she had never seen before and headed down a small path to a exterior building. “I think Amelia suits you better,” he said. He walked her to a door and then gestured to it. “The art studio.”

“I never would have found it without you,” she said, giving him a smile. “Thank you, Sherlock.”

“You're welcome,” he said. He nodded back towards the building. “I hope your day gets easier, Amelia.”

“Yours too,” she said. She watched him turn and walk back to the main building, a bit surprised by the abrupt change in attitude. This was all very interesting, she decided. Very interesting indeed...