"Jim? What happened?"
"Stupid kids. Someone found a bodybuilding magazine in someone else's locker. One look at the kid would tell you he was buying it for the protein supplements, not the muscle men."
"It doesn't matter anyway. I know. The other kid begins shouting that Munsen's a fag, and the others join in."
"Munsen wanted to fight, of course. It took me an hour to get everyone calmed down."
"Was there a fight?"
Jim took a deep breath and sighed. "Thank God, no. It was the whole freshman squad against one kid, and even with his muscles, that's not my kind of odds."
"What took an hour?"
"Convincing them that it made no difference. I just thought, 'What would Blair do?'"
Blair bit his lower lip. "It was your own good sense. Dinner's ready."
"Yeah. I could eat."
Blair kept a steady stream of commentary about his day. He'd truly enjoyed teaching Mrs. Smith's classes. They'd had unique insights into "Flowers for Algernon." He tried to draw Jim out, but Jim just grunted and ate the soup. However, Jim did let him show him how to write a basic lesson plan and to give him other hints.
"Jim, I watched you coach those kids. You know how to teach. Just use the same skills in the classroom."
"That's not how you teach."
"So? I do question and answer. You do skills and drill. What's the problem? Start the kids with something to do when they come in. Review the homework. Teach them the next chapter and make sure they understand it, and give them time to start homework before class ends. Just like you do as a coach."
Jim blinked a couple of times. "I can do that. I can even tell them stuff not in the book."
"Exactly. I know we're not going to be here very long, but so long as we are, we have a duty to these kids. You can do it."
Blair leaned over the sample lesson plan and pushed his glasses up. Jim leaned closer. For a moment, Blair thought he heard Jim sniff his hair, but shook that notion off.
"I know the Revolution cold. All I need to do is get it organized, right?"
"You got it, Jim. I'll take care of the dishes now."
Jim was so absorbed in his plans that he didn't respond. Blair grinned.
That night, Jim's screams woke him from a sound sleep.
It wasn't Jim's first night terrors. As Blair pulled on a pair of sweats, he tried to think of what might have triggered these. The last time it had happened was when Jim s