|Ursäkta, ou est mi seiki?
Author: Chasmodai Blue PM
Slash one-shot// In which there is an epic battle between French and Swedish, fought valiantly with cunning intervention, cruel seduction, and passive aggressive notes. Loser buys dinner. //For Freak-Of-Spade's challenge.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - Words: 3,135 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 16 - Published: 10-30-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2590396
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hey, another challenge by Freak-Of-Spade, as executed by CHASMODAI BLUE!
-Both main characters must be over the age of 18.
-Must use the words: thesaurus, Kaleidoscope, arithmetic, dusky, iridescent and question.
-One character must say: "You only said that because right now, you're feeling very small inside!"
-At some point in the story, one of the MCs must do something very immature/stupid/embarrassing.
-No dates: no characters can go on date, ask someone on a date, mention a date, suggest a date, etc.
-No High School romance, unless it involves two teachers. This time around, teens are banned from this challenge.
By the way, the title is SweFreSpanese for 'Excuse me, where is my mind?' If the Swedish letter in it makes your computer spaz, I apologize.
You moved my worksheets. Where did you put them? I need them back so I can teach my students. Not that I expect you to be familiar with the concept of actually instilling knowledge.
Theo Frey consumed the last doughnut and lay on the red leather couch in the foreign language teacher's lounge, letting his legs fall over the arm rest. The ceiling was plastered with spit wads, left over from its days as a detention room. They didn't pay janitors enough.
"Don't look so gloomy," Kobayashi Junko said, sitting down on the overstuffed blue chair. Her rail thin body sunk into it, like it was trying to consume her. "Here. Confiscated Oreo?" She held out the cookie with two spindly fingers, waving it in front of Theo's face. He opened his mouth and she dropped it in.
He sat up and began to take tiny, methodical bites of the Oreo. "It's a wonder he hasn't been thrown out on his ass yet," Theo muttered. "Max, not the kid you robbed of his cookies."
Junko shrugged. "I don't know, he's a pretty good teacher."
"He's an arrogant asshole," Theo retorted shortly.
"You're mad you have to share a room with him, aren't you?" Junko grinned, sucking absentmindedly on half of an Oreo. "In fairness, he has to–"
"I hate being fair!" Theo exclaimed, sitting up. "He rearranged all my stuff, and I was fair. He hogged the wall space, and I was fair. He wrote me nasty notes on awful lime green paper, and I was fair. I am so done with fair."
Swedish is irrelevant to the infrastructure of the school. Our tax dollars could be better spend on improvements to communities, feeding the hungry, or teaching underprivlaged children French.
No one likes you. Swedish is a far superior language. Also, your candy is tasty.
Junko perched on the side of the lounge chair. "You going to let him get away with that, Frenchie?"
"Shut up." Theo glowered.
"What's wrong with you?" she asked. She twirled a piece of blueberry pocky between her fingers and then bit the top off. "Usually you're running around being angry. This is unusual."
"He totally gave my candy to his students."
"So? You always over-buy anyway. Even the little porker in the back row couldn't finish what you've got."
Theo's head jerked up. "It's the very principle of the matter!" he railed. "It's mine! My candy! For my French-speaking students! Not his–"
"Most wonderful Swedish speakers?" At that moment, Max sailed through the door, gnawing on a candy bar. "You're so uptight," he said. Chocolate sprayed from his mouth.
"That's mine!" Theo shouted. Adelia –one of three Spanish teachers– looked up from the papers she was grading and glowered from across the room. "My stuff is on my side of the desk, your stuff is on your side of the desk. It's not that hard to figure out." Rage flitted through Theo's chest.
"Oh. Sorry." Max picked up a stack of papers from the grey filing cabinet and drifted out the door.
Kindly refrain from moving my potted plants. Thank you.
Adelia dug her fingers through her hair. "Please, Max," she said, glancing at her watch for the hundredth time that hour. "Just leave it be."
"I am not," Max snapped as the two of them struggled to push another fake-wood desk across the floor, "leaving it be." He stood back to look at the right hand side of the room. "See? Much better." He clapped his hands together definitively.
"But Theo hates it like that," the Spanish teacher pointed out.
"Exactly." Max pursed his lips together, stacking the thesauruses on the opposite side of the shelf. "And I hate Theo."
"You only said that because right now, you're feeling very small inside." Adelia rubbed her temples with her ring-clad index fingers. "Can we be done? I have somewhere I need to go."
Max's mouth curled into a grin. "Do you have a–"
"Not a word," Adelia spat, before he could finish his question. "Not one word."
I'm so sorry about the desks. Please forgive me. I'll come over wearing my special pyjamas after school.
Your lover, Maxie.
"Do you and Max have a thing?"
Theo blinked. "Another note?" It didn't even phase him anymore. He'd been lying on the couch for the past hour, waiting for his class to start, even though he didn't need to be at school that early. His fingers jumped.
Junko shrugged. "TA dropped it off about two seconds ago. She kept giggling and everything." She bit into a pear. The juice ran down her chin in a thin rivulet, a murky, polluted rainbow. "I thought you guys hated each other."
"We do," Theo snapped. He rolled off the red leather couch and dragged himself to his feet. "I'll be right back."
Max wasn't in the room. Instead, a substitute stood in front of his students, pointing at the board helplessly while the TA chanted. When she saw Theo step through the door, she cut off mid-word and ginned.
"Look who's here," she said. Half the class –mostly girls– turned around to look. Their faces split into smiles and they giggled, muttering to each other in Swedish. "He told me to drop it off half way through class."
The desks, Theo noticed, had been arranged in a semi-circle.
CC: Hillside Language Teachers (mailing list)
This is a reminder for all teachers, the Hillside Preparatory Annual Foreign Language Fair is coming up this Friday. Please have your rooms presentable for the incoming freshman and possible transfer students.
Thanks everyone, have a great weekend.
Hillside Preparatory High School
They just sat in the room.
Theo fiddled with the red kaleidoscope on his desk. Max tapped his nails on the desk in a rapid, rhythmic pattern, falling with precision into the dusky ruts made by pencils.
"Will you stop that?" Theo demanded. He shivered. "It's so annoying."
Max raised one eyebrow. "Uptight much?" He breathed a puff of air in what might have constituted a laugh. "Fine. I'll stop."
It was so empty.
"The fair starts at six, right?" Theo checked his watch. "What if my clock is off?" He tapped at its face and shook his wrist rapidly. "You think everything looks okay?" He straightened the orchid on his desk. The Chinese teacher had said something about good luck.
"On your side–" Max stopped short. "It looks fine."
Theo smiled nervously. "I hate this part. I'm always worried I'll fuck up and Smith will fire me."
"Excuse me," Max covered his heart with one hand. "I am way before you in line for getting fired. Plus, you've done this a million bazillion times and I've done it…um, never." A cheeky smile cut across his face and he ran his fingers through his iridescent black hair.
"You'll be fine. Don't worry about it."
After the hordes of parents and students –and occasionally the spy-teacher– had reduced to a mere trickle, Theo found himself able to relax. His knots in his back began to quietly untie themselves, his breath began to come in gentle, even puffs.
"So," one of the parents said. "Do you both teach…French?"
Before Theo could open his mouth and hesitate, Max replied cut in. "No," he said, "I teach Swedish and Theo here teaches French." He looped his arm comradely around Theo's shoulders. The parent nodded and turned to examine the pictures of Swedish III.
"Certainly has deviated a bit from the reading, writing, and arithmetic of my day," she said, shaking her head. "Why do they offer Swedish?"
"Because it's a wicked cool language," Max replied. Theo could feel him tighten his grip on his shoulders. "There was a really high demand for it here."
"Oh." The parent shrugged. "I didn't think very many people spoke it."
Theo wanted to open his mouth to say something smart –that it was mutually intelligible with Danish and Norwegian, or that it was spoken by nine million people– but instead he just stood completely still and waited for the woman to disappear out into the hall.
He said nothing at all.
Get over yourself. Yes, I too can write notes.
Max sat on one of the hard wooden chairs. He steeped his tea bag into the hot water in front of him methodically: up and down and strain and up and down and–
"Hey, how's it going?" The Japanese teacher sat down in front of him with a plop. "You look a little off today. Usually you're so–"
"What?" Max snapped.
"Perky," Junko finished. "No note, at least not from you. What, gave up on your quest to win Theo's affections?" A smile quirked at the corners of her lips and she pushed a strand of hair absentmindedly back behind her ear.
"Shut up," Max spat.
"That is so cute." She crossed her ankles politely. "You really have been going about it the wrong way though. Is this your new battle plan?"
"I just gave up, okay? He's not into me and he probably likes women."
Junko quirked her mouth to one side. "Ano…the first one might be true, but the liking women part is totally debatable."
Max's head jerked up. "What?"
"When that blonde hussy–" Junko's tone dripped with bitter hatred and deep, burning jealousy, "–came to sub for Spanish, everyone was always staring at her, but he didn't even look twice." She tapped her fingers on the table in the rhythm of the Lone Ranger theme song.
"But he doesn't…um…"
Junko sighed, perching her moon-like face in her palms. "Stop acting like a high school girl. It's unbecoming on you." She stood a moment later and left the lounge in a flurry of long, red skirts.
Looking defeated, Max went back to stirring his pomegranate tea.
Max hearts Theo
Theo crumpled up the post-it and threw it across the room. It was yellow, the handwriting was distinctly feminine. It landed in one of the corners and lay there innocuously in a pile of dust.
"You're so touchy," Junko said. "It's just a note. Looks like the TA is messing with you. That's it." She walked over to the whiteboard at the back of the room, picked up a teal pen, and scrawled something illegible in Japanese just below a few of Senor Cruz's notations. "Just reminding myself," she said.
Max rolled his eyes. Yellow sticky note, Adelia's handwriting. "That's not funny," he said to her. "You're just being stupid now."
"Hey," Junko replied as she strode through the door to pick up a stack of blue worksheets, "you're being stupid. Wait. What were we talking about?" Before either Max or Adelia could answer, she was back out in the hall.
"I'm sure he's already seen it."
"Exactly. You're acting like…like…"
"A high schooler. Exactly like you." The Spanish teacher winked. "But I'm twenty five. I can be silly once in a while." She stared at him over the tops of her glowy butterfly-rim glasses. "Besides, maybe if you two were to–"
"Does the fact that Theo is a boy not bother anyone?" Max demanded. The Chinese teacher looked up warily, clearly having fallen asleep at his desk. "I mean, in high school, I used to get shoved into lockers. Partway into lockers actually. Which is worse."
"Ouch," Adelia replied. "I wouldn't know."
"Of course you wouldn't!" Max could feel his face going red. "I'm sure you were absolutely–"
"Forgot my grade book," Junko chirped as she wandered in a second time. "So much shout-shout." Again, without waiting for a reply, she was gone again, taking her thick green and purple grade book with her.
"Conversation over, Maxi-pad," she said. "I have to go teach Spanish I."
"Ouch," Max replied. "I wouldn't know."
"It only gets to you if it's true, you know."
Without looking up from his stack of French V workbooks, Theo nodded. "Eh. Laisse-moi tranquil, s'il vous plaît."
"You totally wrote that note. I know your handwriting. It's all…scraggly-butted."
"Scraggly what?" Theo's face jerked up to look at Junko. "Did you just…that's not…a…"
"Is now. And I'm Japanese. What're you going to say to that? 'No you're not Japanese'?" She smiled triumphantly. "It's for your own good. Fostering the brotherly love. You have to share space and–"
Theo cut her off with a growl. "That's not brotherly love." He stabbed one of the inoffensive workbooks with a red pen. "Shut up. You and Adelia are crazy." He began to scribble down notes in French on the cover, quickly informing its owner that she had done a wonderful job and that her writing was clean and concise.
"If it makes you feel better, it's not totally obvious you like little boys."
"Oh it's not?" Theo raised an eyebrow. "I knew I should have brought my pink feather boa."
"What?" At that moment, Dennis Smith walked into the room, brandishing a goldenrod sheet of paper. "A pink…feather boa?" He gave Theo a very strange look. A marking look. A look that meant there would be notes and background checks and various paperwork to come.
"Yeah," Junko said. "I wanted it after his grandmother died. You're going to mock him because his grandmother died? You can't do that, I'm Japanese!"
CC: All Hillside Language Teachers
Meeting today at lunch in Room F-56. Bring food.
Hillside Preparatory High School
Dennis turned on his heel and strode from the room.
"That is so weird," Junko muttered under her breath. "It wasn't like he could just tell us, or email us. Or something." She stared at the yellow sheet of paper. "Baka-sensei."
The bell for lunch rang all too soon. Theo shouldered his blue book bag and trotted after Junko to F-56. Seemed a long way, with a lot of hallways. He fought his way through the hordes of students.
"Hey," a voice said. A second later, a hand reached out and grabbed Theo's arm, yanking him into an abandoned math classroom. "Hi."
"Hi Max," Theo said. "Meeting?"
"But…I don't…" But by then, Max was already dragging Theo into the courtyard by the pin-covered strap of his book bag. "Okay." The air was sharp, cold with the winter that was beginning to settle into the trees.
Max dug a cigarette out of his pocket, holding it aloft. "Smoking is bad for you," he said as flame sprung from his purple lighter. The one with the lavender butterfly etched into the side. He pressed it against his mouth, sucked in for a long moment before exhaling in tiny puffs around Theo's face.
"It smells minty."
"I know. They're mint flavoured." Max blew another ringlet of evanescent smoke into Theo's face. Theo coughed but didn't draw back. "Do want?"
Max let another waft of heavy smoke spill out of his mouth. He leaned forward, close enough for it to drift over Theo's lips. "You sure?" He wrapped his non-smoking arm around Theo's neck. "They all think we're dating."
Max rested his mouth against Theo's. "You're cute."
"I didn't know. That I'm cute, I mean, I knew you thought I was cute…"
Somehow, speaking into mouths became kissing. Max's cigarette –bought off a scrawny freshman with no manners– fell from his fingers and smoked for a minute on the cool cement. Theo leaned against the wall, body pressed flush against it, looping one leg around Max's back.
"Hey," Max said, mouth detaching from Theo's to drape fluttery kisses along his jaw, "there's this concert on–"
"OH MY GOD, THEY'RE TOTALLY MAKING OUT!" Theo jumped and Max stumbled inelegantly backwards. Their heads jerked in unison to look at the nearby doorway.
Junko and Max's Swedish III TA stood, peering around the blue, metal door. "Told you," the TA said triumphantly.
"I owe Adelia lunch now."
"You were making bets on us?" Theo demanded. He ran his fingers through his hair, trying to straighten it out. Make him look less flustered.
"No, I owed her lunch anyway. I just wanted to say that." Junko grinned. "Meeting was about PDA. Apparently teaching twelfth graders how to say 'I love you' in foreign languages is inappropriate. Something about sending the wrong message." Max could feel Theo slip out of his grasp, watched him look away in barely masked shame.
"Irony much?" The TA muttered, scowling. "I kind of hate the principal."
"The principal hates the principal," Junko replied. "There's a time machine and a serious Oedipus complex involved. Don't worry, we covered for you. Just remember: if the Big D asks, it hurt so badly you could barely speak in sentences, but you managed to get the stain out of the leather with bleach."
"Can I go back to lunch now?"
Yeah. WTF is right.
Dennis is the name of my principal. He sucks. He underfunded/wouldn't sanction the debate team. Or the Gay-Straight-Alliance.
Junko is a blatant ripoff of my Japanese teacher. I bet you're jealous.
See? No mention of date. Totally interrupted.
I can has reviews on my crappy humour?