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The Pharaoh Vs the Principal

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The Pharaoh Vs the Principal

Well, I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
You could stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

Gonna stand my ground
won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground
and I won’t back down

Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down

Well, I know what’s right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down

Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down

No, I won’t back down
~Tom Petty, I Won’t Back Down

“A juvenile delinquent, Principal Snyder? Is that what you see Buffy as? Hmph. I don’t think so. Next thing you know, you probably might see me as a member of a violent gang, a drug dealer, or maybe even a mentally ill homicidal maniac.”

Snyder couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Or what he was hearing for that matter.

This guy, Atem (aka Yami Yugi), had the courage — the nerve — to actually stand there, wearing a non-sleeved black shirt, a blue jacket over the shirt, blue pants, and matching boots on his feet, and look down at him, Principal Snyder (which made sense since Principal Snyder was kind of short) with that smirk on his face. Plus, at the same time, this guy had the courage to defend that troublemaker-slash-juvenile delinquent Miss Buffy Summers, too!

Something else was puzzling him at that moment, too. What kind of names are ‛Atem’ and ‛Yami Yugi’? They’re really confusing, as well as very hard to understand too, he thought.

“Well, uh-”

But before Snyder could say anything else, Atem narrowed his amethyst gaze and made his smirk into a glare that was quite deadly especially to bullies, as Percy West had learned all too well the hard way when he teased Atem for having hair that was in red, yellow and black and shaped like lightning bolts.

“Either you’ve been hanging out with the Punks for too long, or maybe all that hair gel or whatever it is you use to make your hair stand up like that has gotten to your brain and caused it to short-circuit,” Percy said, and then laughed along with a few of his friends, including Hogan Martin.

However, his laughter was soon cut short, along with Hogan’s, when Atem turned around very slowly and looked him straight in the eyes, his glare now a serious one, and then said, his baritone voice causing those around him, especially Percy, to stand still and listen,
“Actually, Percy, you stereotypical jock, I believe that my hair has always been like this ever since I can remember. It has nothing to do with hair gel. As a matter of fact, the stuff you guys use on your hair is actually just a part of your plan in order to make yourselves look all, as you mortals often say, ‛hunky’, ‛hot’ and ‛attractive’, which is in turn just to impress the opposite gender.”

Percy was mute. The gazes of those around him flicked from him to Atem, and then at each other.

Then the whisperings of those who wanted to be heard but without loud tones of voices, began while Atem simply smirked at Percy, and then, turning on his heel, walked away.

“Did you hear what he just called us?”

“He referred to us as ‛mortals’.”

“Yeah. It’s like he’s not even human himself.”

“Maybe he’s a vampire. But that can’t be true as it’s daylight outside, and I don’t see fangs in his mouth, or smoke coming from him, either. So I guess that rules that theory out.”

Now that glare was directed at Snyder, who had long since heard rumors about how Atem had dealt with Percy’s teasing him. Some said that Atem had put Percy into a coma. Others said that Atem had put a spell on Percy that caused him to hallucinate, seeing evil bloodsucking versions of himself. Some were writing poetry, while others were calling to him to join them.

They did say that “truth was stranger than fiction”, and they were right about that.

Even Snyder himself knew that, and he was supposed to see reality for what it was and never believe in magic as well. However, trying to face reality was easier said then done, and it wasn’t made any easier when one lived in a town that was situated on top of a ‛Boca del Inferno’, too.

He looked back at Atem now, having pulled himself out of that memory, and said, “Look, Mr. Moto, why, may I ask, do you-?”

Atem cut him off. “It’s because I prefer to defend my friends, and Buffy is no exception to that anyway. Plus, she’s a darn good kid from what I’ve heard.”

With that, Atem then turned on his heel and walked off in the opposite direction. Snyder felt glued to the spot, unable to do anything except watch him go.

“Hey there, Atem.”

Atem looked to his left, and smiled when he saw it was Cordelia Chase, the former Queen Bee of Sunnydale High who had a knack for not being tactful and being honest in a painful kind of way. She was smiling, her white teeth gleaming.

“I heard what you said to that Nazi troll,” Cordelia said, and Atem knew she was referring to Snyder. “I can’t believe you did that. But you know what?”

“What, Cordy?” asked Atem (even though he already knew the answer).

“I got to say that what you did — defend Buffy like that — certainly took a lot of courage, especially on your part, too.” Her smile seemed to shine with the sun. “Job well done, Atem. You certainly told him off, you did.”

Now it was Atem’s turn to smile. “Thank you, Cordy. That means a lot to me too.”

“That’s right,” spoke up Aura, one of Cordelia’s friends who was standing next to Cordelia. “After all, you certainly have something inside of you that really gets to people — especially someone like, well, me among others, of course.”

Atem’s smile then changed into a smirk. “Cool,” he said. “You know, I like that.”

Cordelia turned back to the Cordettes and exchanged a look with them before turning back to Atem.

“Oh, I just remembered, Atem,” she said. “I heard about what happened between you and Percy.”

“Really?” Atem replied, arching an eyebrow.

Cordelia nodded. “Yeah. And I think you did the right thing using your words instead of your fists there, too.” She paused for a moment, thinking. “Very awesome, in my opinion.”

Atem smiled. “Thank you, Cordelia.”

“You’re welcome,” Cordelia replied, smiling in return.

As the opening strains of “How Ya Like Me Now” by Kool Moe Dee began playing, Atem moved smoothly and coolly through the dancing crowd in the Bronze, his trademark smirk still on his face.

Now brothers are riding me
Like a pony
I’m no phony
I’m the only real micaroni
Playin’ the mic like it’s supposed to be played
New jacks, you all shoulda stayed out of the business
What is this, amateur night at the Apollo?
Get off this stage, I’m in rage
Just like a lion trapped inside a cage
I’m the real king, rap is a jungle
I never understood how could one go
To a party, watch me, stand around and jock me
Become a rapper, then try to rock me
Scheming like a demon, you’re screamin’ and dreamin’
I’m from the old school, I used to see men
Die for less, but I’m not living that way
I’ll let my mic do the talkin’
And let the music play

Atem then headed for the stairs to the concourse of the Bronze; once there, he watched the people on the dance floor below. The expression on his visage was not one of boredom. Instead it was one of total intriguement.

As he watched them from below, Atem smiled as he remembered Cordelia telling him that he did a great job with telling Snyder off the way he did, while also telling him some other things as well.

“What you did — it’s something we’ve always wanted to do, but were too scared to. Mostly because we felt we had our grades — and our reputation — hanging in the balance.

“But you?” she continued. “You’re quite popular — but in a nice way — and the girls like you regardless of your flaws, too. Plus, the Cordettes and I have noticed that you listen and study very hard to get good grades and that pays off for you. Most of the other students would slack off and try to get by, usually by not studying and using other methods to get a surefire ‛A’. Some use charm, dumb luck, and in extreme cases as a last resort, bribery or blackmail — usually money.

“I don’t know why, though,” she added after a moment.

Atem then remembered his answer to Cordelia.

“Maybe it’s because they want to be popular and think it’s an easy ride with no hard work involved. But,” he then said, his face turning serious, “little do they know that after high school, the combination of not working hard and no planning hard for the future will not get them ahead in life. And they can forget about getting a good job with a good salary, too; nobody would hire them, and then they’ll just wind up being what I refer to as ‛broken shells of men whose lives have been reduced to menial jobs and are the target of constant derision, or worse, being forgotten’.”

Atem paused to observe the look on Cordelia’s face. She had to admit, he sure was quite philosophical when it came to deep thoughts.

“Wow, Atem,” she said. “I had no idea you were so deep-minded — and intellectual as well.”

“Thanks, Cordelia,” Atem replied. “You know, you’re quite philosophical yourself as well.”

As the music wound down and people began leaving the Bronze, Atem smiled to himself as he also left the Bronze and headed for home as well. “Home” was Atem’s name for the apartment he shared with his best friend Angel, who was also Buffy’s boyfriend. Although Angel was a vampire with a soul, he knew he could trust Atem — mostly because they shared secrets with only each other and because they worked pretty well together too.