Chapter one: Enter stage right
There was a knock at the door.
"It isn't locked." He called. The door opened, the heavy wood creating a back draft that made him shiver.
"Well that's a sight for sore eyes." Jonathan looked up and smiled. Professor Mortichie Adler stood at the door, smiling slightly still dressed in his slacks and light knit beige sweater. He realized then what he must have looked like, the sleeves of his work shirt rolled up to his elbows, collar undone, navy blue tie loose and dangling from his neck. He watched as Adler's pupils flared.
"Thought you had to go home. You know the wife and all." Jon smirked slightly. Mort would never know how damn jealous Susan made him.
"She's in Rio with her sisters, wont be back until Monday." The younger professor grinned. The predatory look in his eyes turned Jon's stomach into mush. Well that and the fact he had already removed his glasses and was now prowling towards his lover.
"Good." Jon growled as Mort lowered himself to straddle him in the chair. He moaned when Mort kissed him, hands reaching up to lose themselves in his thick brown hair. Mort wasted no time in unbuttoning the rest of Jon's shirt pressing his finger to the pale chest.
"Jesus" Jon moaned. God he had missed this. It had been way to long…
"Close enough." Mort smirked before dipping his head to bite at Jon's neck. Mort reached for his Jon's tie…
A Shove in the arm shook Morgan out of her daydream. She blinked once to rid her eyes of the no longer PG images invading her mind before sending an annoyed glance to the person who so rudely interrupted her.
"You're late" She whispered moving her bag off the chair beside her. A tall boy with chin length dark hair and a certain air of mystery took its place. Spencer Wiley was of course, not in the least bit mysterious. Well not to Morgan anyways. Then again she suspected it was hard to convince someone you were cool and mysterious when you've lived down the street from them for most of your life, not to mention having spent countless afternoons in their house watching Jerry Springer in their pajamas in their living room.
"Miss anything?" he asked pulling out a blue notebook.
"I, couldn't honestly tell you, but I seriously doubt it."
They both glanced despairingly at the front of the hall, were stood their introduction to basic mathematics teacher, who was at current trying to find a dry erase marker that wouldn't run out. Professor Badly was a stout round man who defined middle aged. He wore cheap slacks of varying shades of brown with a belt that didn't nothing more than accentuate the fact that he was as round as an olive. The buttons on his blue dress shirt were strained with the task of holding the material around his body. He whipped a hand over his head, further slicking his comb over in place before he managed to find a red marker that seemed to be working.
"So what are you doing tonight?" Spencer whispered. Morgan shrugged.
"Going home, watching law and order, then maybe a few episodes of Homicide, I just got the fourth season off of e-bay." She grinned excitedly. Spencer laughed.
"Your pathetic you know that?" Morgan just shrugged.
"Hey the 90's was a good decade for the cop show, what can I say. You can come if you want, I think I still have some fudgeios." Spencer considered this a moment before shrugging.
"Eh, what the hell." Morgan nodded biting the end of her pen absently. Spencer glanced at the clock and groaned. "Who the hell schedules a math class for nine am?"
"Face it Wiley, the school system isn't geared to the bodily needs of people our age. We pay them thousands of dollars in tuition so that they can mess with our bodies' natural inclinations and program us to be diligent, efficient, normal little members of society."
Spencer raised his head to glance incredulously at his friend. "Where do you get this crap?" Morgan grinned.
"They teach paranoia?"
"I'm not paranoid! It's a government plot to increase the economy there by filling their pockets."
"Right." Spencer glanced at the bored. "You taking notes?"
"Damn it." He sat up and started scribbling down something in his notebook. "You got some theory on how note taking is part of a government plot?" He squinted at the bored.
"It's 'modulo', not 'modelo' and no, I just find it redundant to copy down what's already in the book that I paid a ridiculous amount of money for. You'd think they could have it all on-line by now instead of killing the bloody rainforest to teach us the fundamentals of the mod function button on a calculator. You know why they haven't right?"
"Don't start, it's to early." Spencer cringed, holding up his hands in a plea for mercy. Morgan looked annoyed for a moment, no doubt lost in a world full of capitalistic conspiracy theories, before shrugging a little. "I can't believe he's giving a full lecture, it's the Friday before study break for shits sake."
"Hungry?" Morgan asked ignoring her friend's complaints. Spencer tilted his head towards the canvas satchel Morgan always carried. It often baffled him how many things could fit into a bag so perceivably small. It was all very Marry Poppins.
"What you got?" Morgan reached into her bag and produced a dishwasher worn Tupperware container. She popped off the lid to reveal a plethora of crimson red seeds. Spencer raised his eyebrows.
"Pomegranate. Eat the flesh off the seed. They're awesome." She popped one in her mouth. Spencer picked one out of the container, the juice rolling down a long finger. He licked at the trail before sucking it into his mouth.
"Mm. Not bad." He spat out the white seed. Morgan wordlessly produced another container, this one the size of an eraser. Spencer dumped the pit into it before taking another piece.
"So what do you do with the rest of the fruit?"
"That's kind of a waste."
"Isn't everything?" Morgan raised an eyebrow. Spencer just shrugged and resigned himself to listening to professor Badly explain the theory of logarithms and exponents.
Eleven am brought two things that Morgan looked forward to, hot chocolate and Professor Jonathan Berkley. She followed Spencer and his extra light double foam late up the stairs in the lecture room towards their seats at the back left of the hall.
It was their second semester at Alexandria University, the last of a dying breed of old boy's club universities, as she liked to call them. She had grinned like she was victory herself when she got her acceptance letter. She vaguely remembered subjecting her father to a long giddy speech about lawyers and sexual harassment suits and them being forced to let women in. Still the university was well respected, and they had one kick ass history department. She'd have been lying to say she wasn't looking forward to it.
Morgan remembered actually seeing the school for the first time when they road tripped it up there in Spencer's old boxy VW, listening to her father and Spencer's mom exchange embarrassing stories about their respected childhoods. Three hours later they had been greeted by the ominous gates of Alexandria University, the tall black iron separating the building beyond it form the mundane world. The building itself commanded nothing but awe. It stood majestically tall, designed with the look of old European castles. Within its stone and brick walls were numerous lecture halls, labs, a cafeteria, gymnasium, stable, an entire wing of dormitories, and secret passages ripe for finding.
The grounds were just as impressive; they rolled on forever encompassing a polo field, tennis court, and their own forest-walking path and perfectly manicured grass. However Alexandria's most beautiful treasure was hidden away deep within the woods that surrounded the school. They had found it accidentally during an exploration of the grounds. It was a water fountain with a large marble statue of Persephone in the middle clutching a pomegranate in one hand, a small knowing smile on her face. Persephone's grove. She's been sold right then and there.
The rest of the class shuffled in around them, fleshing out the skeletal looking room. Morgan's lips curled upwards automatically as professor Berkley dropped his bag into the chair by the podium. Spencer laughed quietly as a healthy flush came to his friends face. He glanced up at his professor. Berkley was a handsome enough man, with dark black hair bound in a loose ponytail, the front hanging around his angular jaw, and gray-blue eyes that seemed to know everything. What was exceptional about him has his mind. He was a brilliant professor, with just enough sarcasm to keep you on you toes, just enough bitterness to keep you on the edge, and just enough mystery to fascinated Morgan Wilson.
"Good morning." Berkley smiled at his students. " I trust you all have your assignments done." He smirked at the scattered sound of groans. "You can drop them off on your way out. Now I believe we were discussing Shopenhaurs theory on 'will'. If you could all open your books and read the passage I know you didn't read for homework, we'll start the discussion in ten. Go." He waved a little, watching his students scramble to open their texts.
Spencer flipped his open looking at Morgan. "You read it?" he raised and eyebrow. Morgan shrugged.
"It was interesting." Spencer grinned.
"Kiss ass." Morgan flicked him in the temple, and he laughed swatting her hand away. Morgan sighed and rested her chin in her hands.
"God damn it Adler!" Jon's voice strained with his body, that had been bound to his bed with his own tie. Mort smiled down at his prey, sliding his sweater over his head before crawling on top of his lover, kissing him lightly.
"Miss me love?" Mort teased, placing gentle kisses down Jon's throat.
"Yea.." Jon whispered honestly. Mort bit him then soothed the bite with his tongue.
"Good." The younger man murmured. "Missed you to." He kissed down his friend's chest, following a light path of hair down to the waistband of his slacks. "Been to long." Jon was panting to hard to reply.
"Lady Morrigan? You still with us?" The sound of her pet name stopped Mort's trail cold. She could feel the heat erupt into her cheeks. Berkley just raised an eyebrow smiling slightly.
"Sorry." She mumbled, looking down at her desk. Berkley smiled and returned to his lecture. Spencer laughed.
"Shut up." Morgan nudged him good-naturedly.
"Do I wanna know were you zoned out to?"
"Probably not, no." Morgan admitted.
"What's with that nickname he has for you."
"Celtic mythology. Morrigan was a sorceress who got a bad rap for 'corrupting' Arthur. In Celtic legend she's a goddess. Basically the myth served as a tool for the Christians to paint the ancient Celtic pantheon as witches and demons."
"Sorry I asked." He mumbled.
Just as professor Berkley was ending his lecture, a have hour early to the delight of his students, someone knocked on the door. Morgan gave Spencer a quick nudge, nodding towards the door. Talking in a quiet but amiable voice was professor Mortichie Adler, English 101. Spencer rolled his eyes but couldn't help smiling a little.
"There not sleeping together Morgie, no matter how much you'd like them to be."
"Right. Know any other profs brave enough to interrupt one of Professor Berkley's lectures?" Morgan cocked her head examining her teachers with the same diligence someone might examine a Rubix cube. They were her favorite puzzle.
"So there friends. Teachers do have friends you know." Spencer grinned.
"Right." Was all Morgan replied, narrowing her eyes as her exiting classmates obstructed her view. Spencer chuckled.
"You know obsession is a bad thing right?"
"Only if you're obsessed with eternal life or a whale." Morgan stood joining the procession towards the door with Spencer in tow. Her friend stretched out dramatically.
"Ah its good to be free!" He grinned. Morgan smiled.
"That much is true. I'm starving. Take out?"
"Ya, sounds good."
It was good as it turned out. Morgan and Spencer sat happily on her bed, propped up by the wall and a long green body pillow chowing down on miso soup and veggie tempura. Her room was small with barely enough space for the desk and bed that had been squeezed into it. The walls were plain beige but Morgan had covered in pictures and magazine cutouts depicting her favorite movies and television shows, some times entire articles got tact up if she found them interesting. Her laptop sat on one end of her desk, books, binders, stapled bunched of paper and manga scattered around it paving a messy trail to a 13-inch TV and a DVD player. On the other side of that however, sat a stack of DVDs organized with reverence and care, each one still in its protective cover. One of which was playing out on the screen in front of them.
"I have to say, I'm liking this Kellerman-Lewis thing." Morgan observed after swallowing a bite of sweet potato.
"I think its kinda cheap of him, I mean Corsetti just died and he's already stealing cars with the next pretty thing to come his way." Morgan laughed and snatched a piece of broccoli out of Spencer's chopsticks.
"Hey, I don't mind. That scene was hot." Spencer snatched the vegetable back.
"Ok I know you're into some weird shit but how is two guys stealing a car hot?" Morgan gave up and snatched the last of the sweet potato.
"It's so playful, I mean look at them," She rewound to the scene in question." They look like kids on Christmas morning, and the way they just know their going to do it? They have awesome chemistry."
"And that makes it hot?" Morgan cringed as a small bit of broccoli flew past her line of vision.
"Don't talk with your mouth full, and yes good chemistry is what makes any duo hot. The X-files made a mint on the concept with the whole Mulder-Scully thing. It can totally make a show and the writers know it. On their own they're just cute, but add in good chemistry, instant hotness."
"Some days I worry about you Morgie. You seem to have given this a lot of thought." Morgan grinned lecherously.
"I have." Spencer just shook his head.
"So what about Munch then. He's your favorite, where's his 'chemistry'?" Morgan nodded 'no' while swallowing a mouthful of soup.
"Mm, he was hot to start with, he doesn't need it." Spencer cringed.
"Awww." He made a face like he had just swallowed a quart of sour milk "I knew you liked 'em older but the guy is like, in his 60's!"
"Technically he was in his 50's in this." She pointed towards the screen with a chopstick. "He's in his 60's in Law and Order: SVU."
"And you still think he's hot."
"mm" She finished her soup. "Even more so now. He's got some seriously hot chemistry going on in SVU."
"With the, oh what's her name, Benson?" Morgan laughed.
"Please, with his partner." Spencer's face blanked out.
"Whoa, the rapper guy?" Morgan just grinned like a cat with a fresh bowl of cream and a dead mouse.
"You're messed up." He paused a moment to think. "And going to get yourself shot." Morgan laughed a little.
"Talk to Dick Wolf. I don't write the stuff."
"You ever wonder how much money he has?" The dark haired boy mused to the ceiling.
"More than god, less than Jagger."
Spencer groaned and rolled over burying his face in a pillow.
"You ok?" Morgan cleared the Styrofoam containers off the bed into the garbage bin beneath her desk.
"Back hurts." He mumbled into the pillow. Morgan sighed hands moving to massage the tendons in her friends back. He grunted in pain but didn't stop her.
"That's cause you live on coffee and stress." She chided. He grunted again, cringing a little as she dug her fingers in deeper. He let his eyes close as she rubbed the sore muscle. He could almost here his brother in his head, laughing at the situation. His brother was five years older and ran on the assumption that if a man and woman spent this much time together they might as well be doing it. He also believed that steak and potato's were the only food groups in the world and only pansies went to university. Especially if they were male art majors. Shut up Dean. He told the voice inside his head. Huh, that can't be healthy. Morgan moved higher and he cringed again, letting her work the flesh until he relaxed.
"Thanks" he mumbled rolling back over. "So what are we gonna do for a week?" He picked up the fourth volume of 'Genshiken' and leafing threw it.
"What this isn't enough for you?" Morgan grabbed a big red binder from her desk opening it to a yellow sticky note.
"I was thinking we might do something a little more, less like what we always do?" he glanced curiously at the binder. "Tell me you're not doing homework?" Morgan scoffed.
Spencer glanced at the clock.
"Well its after four, pub?" He raised an eyebrow. She grinned.
The schools pub was designed after an old Irish tavern. Apparently one of the founders had been a big fan of the country and their favorite pastime, drinking till you puked. The tradition lived on in force at Alexandria. It stood about five minutes away from the dormitories if you walked threw the fields instead of around it on the path. Morgan and Spencer sprinted across the filed trying to avoid the inevitable fact that snow would get in their boots.
"Shit that's cold." Spencer cursed as they rushed into the warmth of the pub, grabbing a small table by the wall before a group of rugby players could absorb it into their mass furniture. Morgan rubbed her fingers together, parking herself across from her best friend.
"Hey Spence!" A blonde with an apron on waved, dodging students gracefully without tipping the round tray she held in her hand. "Hey Morgan! What can I get you guys?"
"Hey Rach, I'll have a Stella please." Spencer grinned as charmingly as he could manage. Morgan laughed.
"I'll have a Canadian please."
"Sure. Be back in a sec hun!" She beamed again as she headed towards the rugby players. Spencer tilted his head so he could watch her leave; staring purposefully at her rear Morgan threw a coaster at his head.
She knew he was doing it just to annoy her but she didn't blame him really. Rachel was a very attractive woman. She was tall, just over six feet with a generous helping of bust, and a strong set of runners legs. Her golden blond hair hung just slightly shorter than Spencer's. She kept it short so she could wear wigs.
Rachel was in the fashion program, and a huge anime geek. Her one true passion in life was cosplay, in which the fan dresses as their favorite character, or more accurately, as Rachel had once explained to Spencer, becomes that character. Morgan and her could go on for hours discussing the various intricacies of their favorite characters and their relationships with each other, the release dates for new DVDs and manga. Spencer usually just parked himself in front of Rachel's palystation and let them talk.
When Rachel came back with their drinks she pulled up a chair and sat down at the end of the table.
"Busy night?" Spencer smiled.
"Crazy! I'm on break for the next fifteen minutes though." She stole a sip of his beer. "So are you guys going to come to our photo shoot?" Rachel was also the head of Alexandria U Anime club. They did cosplay photo shoots during the winter, or in their terms, in between convention seasons.
"I'll be there." Morgan tipped her beer before taking a drink. "What are you doing this time?"
"Well its still a toss up between 'Chobits' and 'Old Blood'."
"Oh, well 'Old Blood' has my vote. You would make an awesome Li-Chan." Rachel laughed.
"Her costume would be a bitch though, that whole sash thing would be a challenge." She furrowed her brow.
"Nothing you couldn't do surely." Spencer grinned.
"True, I am a goddess." Rachel smiled. Morgan laughed.
"I'll drink to that." She raised her beer and clinked it with Spencer's before swallowing a mouthful.
"Well I better get back to work, bye sexy!" She winked playfully at Spencer before giving both him and Morgan a hug and heading back to the bar.
"Well what should we drink to?" Spencer asked.
Three hours and nine collective beers later, Morgan's head had found its way to the table and Spencer was slumped against the wall.
"So do you really think Berkley and Adler are doing it?" Spender grinned. Morgan laughed.
"If they're not they should be."
"Isn't Adler married?"
"I think they're both divorced actually, but that's never stopped anyone from being gay you know."
"Huh, don't you have a think for Berkley though, or is all that wide eyed, flushed faced stuff in my imagination?" Another coaster bounced of Spencer's head. Spencer grinned.
"So you do have a crush then?"
"Shut up." Morgan murmured into her sleeve.
"So then why do you want him to be with Adler? Doesn't make sense" Morgan's shoulders did something Spencer could only assume was a shrug.
"Cause they work together, it's right you know? Like Homes and Watson, House and Wilson.."
"Mulder and Scully?"
"Exactly. Just cause I like him, doesn't mean I want to destroy his career by date rapping him." Spencer laughed.
"Your freaking crazy you know that?"
"And you hang out with me, what dose that say about you?" Morgan looked up. Spencer laughed, placing his hands on the wall and pushing himself up. Once he was steady he gently pried Morgan off the table.
"Nothing good I'm sure. Come on, let's go home." Morgan grunted a little in response. She slid her coat on, waiting for Spencer to do the same before heading out into the snow. They decided to follow the path home than fight off the growing mounds of snow on the field. "Ok, so why do you think they're doing each other?"
"Little things. How Berkley is always glad to see him no matter what he's doing, how Adler defended Berkley to the committee even though it could have cost him his job, there always together at lunch, that gift that Berkley found on his podium a few weeks back."
"That could have been from a girlfriend." Spencer pointed out.
"I guess." Morgan smiled. "Maybe I just like to think they are you know? Something right in this world, something good." Spencer laughed and punched Morgan's shoulder lightly.
"You suck. You going soft on me?"
"Let this beer clear out of my system and I'll be extra cynical tomorrow to make up for it."
"I don't doubt it." As they approached the dorms Spencer stopped a wicked grin coming to his face.
"Wanna see if you're right?" Morgan furrowed her brow in confusion. Spencer's grin just grew as he glanced at the far side of the dorms were the professors suits were. Morgan's mouth opened.
"No, wha, are you insane?" Morgan objected threw the smile on her face. Spencer just grabbed her arm pulling her away from the door and off into the snow.
"I'm sure if he realized we were going to stalk him he wouldn't have told us were he lives." Morgan pointed out.
"Oh shut up, it's your theory."
"We'll just take a peek ok? Just a run by, nothing suspicious I promise."
"Fine, but if you get me arrested I'm selling your ass for cigarettes." Spencer just shook his head and continued along the side of the building until they came to their professor's suit. Morgan almost swore as Spencer pulled her into a bush, but he put a finger to his lips before she managed. Inhaling they glanced at the window not five feet from them.
"Well fuck." Spencer whispered.
After a few eye adjusting blinks the vision threw the window became clear. There sitting on their professors couch was well another of their professors. Berkley and Adler were perched quite comfortable beside each other on the cushions, each holding what appeared to be a brandy glass. Spencer blinked a few times in disbelief before he felt himself being pulled away from the scene. Next thing he knew he and Morgan were sprinting threw the fallen snow laughing like school children.
They almost collapsed in the dormitories main hallway.
"Lets never do that again ok? I feel like a creep." Spencer laughed.
"What you can think it but you can't look for it?"
"It's a theory for a reason you know. Its more fun if it stays in my head." Spencer just laughed again.
"Come on, let's go to bed."