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Why Parent/Teacher Conferences Are Important

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When the dismissal bell rang Angus didn’t rush to put his stuff away like most of the other students. He guessed a lot of them had to make their bus and secure a good seat, so he couldn’t fault them for that. Still, he took his time putting his books away, waiting until the classroom was close to empty before bounding up to the teacher’s desk.

“Mr. Taako, I saw this really neat program on these different chemical reactions and I thought it was something you would be interested in! So I took notes and double checked to see if they were doing everything right,” Angus said, routing around in his bag to find the paper he’d made last night. He probably should’ve remembered to grab it when he was sitting at his desk.

After a moment he found it though, and Taako looked amused as he took it from him and glanced it over. Angus liked Mr. Taako, he was a lot more blunt than most of the other teachers Angus had. He could be kinda a jerk sometimes, but never excessively so.

What Angus liked the most about him though was that he never talked down to his students. He treated them like he treated everyone else from what Angus could tell. He still acted like a teacher and everything, but he never assumed they couldn't do something because they were kids.

Well, he liked him for that reason, and because he was real lenient on what kind of work he accepted from Angus.

“Huh, yeah this is pretty neat Ango,” Taako said after a moment, giving the paper one last look over before putting it down on his desk. “So, what about that history report? Ya know, I saw a lot of people handing in papers today so I figured it was due,” he added, and Angus’s face dropped some at that.

“I did it sir, I just um, don’t… have it,” he said, and it wasn’t a very good lie and he knew Taako could see through it. The teacher sighed, and this was far from the first time Angus had turned in something completely unrelated to the actual assignment, but usually he let it slide.

 “Look, Angus I get that some shit’s real boring and I appreciate you at least turning in something. Even if it ain’t even close to the right subject,” Taako said, and Angus could hear the ‘but’ at the end of that sentence.

“You like chemistry though,” he tried, and Mr. Taako nodded. 

“Yeah, I do but don’t out me like that kiddo, can’t have everyone knowing I’m a science nerd,” he said, and Angus laughed a little at that. It was always obvious that Mr. Taako was passionate about science and knew a lot more than what he could teach them. Plus, it was just him and Angus left in the classroom now, so there wasn’t anyone there to overhear anyway.

“But yeah Ango, I like science and shit, and I’ll accept this for half credit okay?” he said, holding up the paper Angus had handed him. “I’m gonna need something for history though, alright?” he asked, and Angus reluctantly nodded. He shouldn’t complain, Mr. Taako was being a lot more lenient than he needed to be after all.

“Alright sir, I promise I’ll do it,” he said. Angus hesitated a moment, chewing on his bottom lip some before giving in and asking the question that had been at the forefront of his mind. “Um, what exactly was that report supposed to be about again?”

Angus was worried for a moment that Taako would be mad at him for very blatantly not paying any attention to his assignments. The fear got worse as Taako was quiet for a moment. Then he let out a small burst of laughter and Angus managed to relax some.

“Yeah, yeah I had a feeling that might be the case,” he said, searching through his desk for a bit before handing him a piece of paper. “Here you go pumpkin, feel free to get creative though if it doesn’t grab you. Just remember to keep it history and we’re good, alright?” he said, and Angus quickly nodded, shoving the paper into his backpack.

“I promise I’ll have it all done by Monday,” he said, and that seemed to satisfy Taako.

“Yeah, of course you will. Now get going I need to go home and take a fucking nap,” Taako said, and Angus laughed a little at that, slinging his bookbag back over his shoulder.

“Okay sir, have a good weekend! I’ll see you Monday!” he said, Taako nodding as he started packing up his own things.

“You too pumpkin,” he said, and with that Angus left the classroom. His house was close enough to the school that he dad let him walk. Which was good, especially on days like this one where he stayed after for a bit. He’d feel bad about making his dad wait in the car or something while he talked.

As much as there were other things he’d rather do this weekend, Angus made a note to set time aside to do the history project like he promised. He doubted it would take too long, but it still made him not too excited for the weekend.

Oh well, he couldn’t expect Mr. Taako to accept the wrong work from him forever. Maybe he could find some way to make the project more interesting, like he’d suggested.

Or he could just get it done as fast as possible and be done with it. Either way worked.

——

Taako gathered up the homework he’d have to grade over the weekend, fully intending to do as he said and go home to take a nap. He guessed he was glad he got a chance to talk to Angus about his tendency to turn in whatever work he felt like doing.

He liked the kid and he was smart as fuck, so Taako wasn’t going to penalize him too much for that. Still, he needed to make sure he wasn’t completely blowing off the subjects that didn’t interest him.

Taako was about halfway home when his phone started ringing. He glanced at it to see it was Lup before putting it on speaker phone so that he could continue driving.

“Sup Lulu,” he said, popping the p as he spoke.

“You doing anything this weekend?” Lup asked, and Taako rolled his eyes at that.

“Geeze, straight to the point, no hello for your dear brother? I get it. No, can’t say I am,” he said. He guessed technically he should be grading the history reports, but he supposed he could wait until he had all of them.

“Well you are now,” she said, and that was about what Taako expected.

“Yeah okay, what the fuck am I being dragged into now?” he asked, turning to pull into a parking spot. It took a little finagling to grab all his shit while keeping the phone in hand, but he managed it.

“So you know the new gigs Barry and I got? Well the company or whatever is throwing like, this huge fancy gala thing and you should come,” Lup explained. Taako didn’t know too much about the new jobs they’d gotten, other than Lup had been pretty stoked about it and it paid ridiculously well. Some weird not quite private not quite public organization that let them do science shit that if Taako had to guess was not quite legal either.

And it also apparently threw fancy galas.

“How fancy and what time?” he asked, managing not to spill a million goddamn papers as he unlocked his apartment door.

“Super fucking fancy bro. You know that dress you never have an excuse to wear?” she asked, and Taako hesitated slightly at that.

“The teal one?” he asked, putting his bags down on the dining room table. He could practically feel her nodding on the other end of the line.

“Yep,” she said, and Taako groaned, slumping down on the couch.

“Damn it. Yeah, okay, I’ll be there,” he grumbled, like he wasn’t kind of excited about this. It’d been a while since he got out he supposed. Or at least, out during a thing that wasn’t a family get together. Taako loved his family, but he’d also learned not to wear anything expensive around them if he didn’t want to spend six hours mending it afterwards. Not between Magnus’s dogs and everyone else’s general disaster aura.

“We’ll pick you up tomorrow at seven,” Lup said, not buying his annoyed act for a second.

Once he said bye to Lup he sighed and resigned himself to not getting that nap today. Instead he started working on grading that homework, since he would absolutely spend all day getting ready for that party tomorrow.

He was right of course, because even though he had the outfit pretty much picked out he still had to do his hair and everything himself.

Taako was actually ready by the time seven rolled around, which wasn’t usually the case. He tended not to give much of a crap about being on time, but this was something for Lup and Barry’s new job. He doubted it would matter that much if they came in late, but if they did and something happened because of that it wasn’t going to be his fault.

When they got there it was just as fancy as Lup had implied, and Taako did as any reasonable person would do. Immediately go over to all the fancy little finger foods and start critiquing them to anyone who would listen.

He didn’t stop eating any of the food after his critiques, but that wasn’t important.

So Taako spent his time split halfway between hanging out with Lup and Barry and half between hogging the food tables. Or at least, that’s what he did until he ended up losing track of his dear, dear family after one food excursion. Which wasn’t a big deal, they would know where to find him after all.

“You know they really shouldn’t be keeping these straight on the ice. Yeah you gotta keep em chilled but the ice makes it all soggy,” Taako complained as he stuffed several of the hors d'oeuvre he was motioning to into his mouth.

When he actually turned to look at the dude who’d come up next to him it took more conscious effort than he’d admit to keep from choking. Fucking Lup, just being she was happily engaged now didn’t mean she couldn’t mention how fucking hot some of the people here would be.

“Um, I guess so? I’m not much of a cook,” Mr. Tall Dark and Fucking Gorgeous said with a bit of a nervous laugh. “Um, this might sound a little dumb but you’re not Lup are you? Because I swear I spoke to her earlier and she was wearing something else,” he asked. Taako quickly swallowed the mouthful of food before grinning.

“Nah, you’re good dog. I get that it’s kinda confusing. I’m Taako, Lup’s twin brother,” he said, holding out a hand for the dude to shake.

“Oh! That makes sense now. I’ve heard her and Barry talking about you before, I hadn’t realized you were twins,” he said, taking Taako’s hand when he offered it. “Ah, right sorry my name is Kravitz by the way. I work with Lup and Barry. Which I suppose most people here do but, um,” he sort of fumbled. Taako felt the grin on his face get ever so slightly wider.

Fuck, this guy was cute.

This party might end up being even better than Taako imagined.

Taako was maybe a little bit wine tipsy as he followed Kravitz back to his place. He was sober enough to remember to text Lup and let her know not to wait up for him (winky face included).

He was giggling over his own joke as Kravitz unlocked his door. It was pretty late, well past midnight at this point and so Taako tried to quiet himself when Kravitz turned back and shushed him.

“Um, we’re gonna have to be quiet. My son should be asleep by this point but I uh, haven’t brought anyone back here in a while,” he explained, and Taako made himself be a bit more serious as he nodded.

“Sure thing my dude. I’mma teacher so I get how kids are like and shit,” Taako said, and Kravitz looked pretty relieved at that. “Now come on, I’d drag you back to the bedroom myself, but I don’t know where it is,” he said, and Kravitz laughed at that.

“Fair enough, this way,” he said, leading Taako further into the house.

——

Angus woke up to the sound of something moving around in the kitchen. He didn’t think much of it, slowly getting out of bed. His dad had gone to some fancy work event last night and had told him he wouldn’t be back until after he went to bed.

He’d taken the time alone to work on his history project some more and it was almost done. He guessed from the sounds coming from the other room his dad must be back and awake.

“Morning dad, how was the party?” Angus asked as he walked into the kitchen, and then he stopped. He knew it was kind of silly, but he actually took his glasses off and cleaned them to make sure he wasn’t seeing things wrong. There wasn’t any sort of mistake though, nope.

It was his teacher, standing in front of his open fridge with an apple in his mouth and a look of absolute terror on his face as he stared at Angus. He was wearing one on his dad’s button up shirts, which was big enough on him to cover everything without any sort of issue. His face was steadily getting more and more red as they both stood there.

Angus was trying very, very hard not to burst out laughing.

“Oh- hey, uh, hey there Ango. Ummm what are you doing here?” Taako asked finally, and Angus couldn’t fight back the smile that wormed its way onto his face anymore.

“Good morning Mr. Taako!” Angus said brightly, like there wasn’t anything strange about this scenario at all. “This is my house actually sir,” he added, and Taako nodded. "What are you doing here? I didn't think I'd see you until Monday."

“Right, no that makes sense. This is your house, which would explain why you are here, uuuuh,” he trailed off, and he kept glancing around like he was looking for some sort of exit. "I'm just having breakfast?" he said, and it sounded more like a guess than anything.

“Is that one of my dad’s shirts?” Angus asked, and Taako’s face somehow managed to get even more red at that.

“Uh, right yeah that’s a thing ain’t it. You know um, how it is. I met your dad at that party last night, yeah and we came back here to hang out! And it was late so he let me stay the night, but I didn’t, you know, have any pajamas with me,” he said, stumbling over his words. Angus had never seen Taako this nervous before. It was pretty hilarious.

“Of course,” he said with a nod, like that all made perfect sense. Taako actually looked a little less panicked then, like he thought he was actually managing to trick him. Angus would actually be a little insulted if he wasn’t so sure it was Taako hoping he wouldn’t prod anymore.

Maybe it was a little mean of him, but this whole thing was really funny and he couldn’t resist pushing it a little further.

“So did you guys have se-” he started to ask, the grin on his face probably a little too gleeful to come off as innocent. He was able to finish his question though, Taako starting to yell wordlessly.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaah holy shit shut up! You’re like six you don’t know that word,” Taako said, his voice a lot more shrill than Angus was used to.

“I’m ten. Mr. Taako how old do you think your students are?” Angus asked, and Taako huffed and crossed his arms.

“Doesn’t matter!”

“What’s going on?” Angus froze slightly and the smile dipped the smallest bit when he heard his dad. He sounded very sleepy, and when Angus turned towards him it looked like it was taking a moment for him to process what was going on. And then the situation seemed to finalize in his head and he was looking about as embarrassed as Mr. Taako did.

“Hey dad!” Angus said happily, because this whole thing was still pretty damn priceless.

“Oh, um, good morning Angus, this is, uh,” his dad’s eyes kept flicking between him and Taako like he was trying to figure out how to explain what was going on.

“Oh, you don’t need to introduce us. I already know Mr. Taako, he’s my teacher,” Angus explained very helpfully to his dad. An even more mortified look somehow managed to fall over his face at that.

“He is?” his dad asked, although his head spun to look at Taako as he did.

“Haha haa, yep, sure fucking am,” Taako said, and his laugh sounded very forced.

“Oh, Mr. Taako I’ve been working on that history project like you told me to,” Angus said, figuring he could be nice and give them a change of subject. Taako leaped onto it, quickly nodding.

“You have? Cool cool, why don’t you go grab it and I’ll just take it now,” he suggested, and Angus raised an eyebrow at that.

“But I’m not done with it yet,” he said, but Mr. Taako was already waving that concern away.

“Doesn’t matter! You’re getting an A anyway so don’t worry about it,” he said, his voice still a little shrill and well, Angus wasn’t going to argue with that.

“If you say so Mr. Taako, but I’m going to hold you to that,” he said, and Taako nodded rapidly. Angus went back to his room at that, mostly to get the paper but also because he needed to go somewhere so he could laugh. Maybe he shouldn’t be teasing his dad and teacher so much, but it was really, really funny.

One he finished laughing, he scooted back over to his door to see if he could hear them any. Eavesdropping wasn’t very polite, but Angus was really good at it.

“-an absolute disaster!” he heard Mr. Taako sort of yelling, sort of mumbling to himself.

“What did you tell him?” his dad was asking, and at least he didn’t sound mad or anything.

“Nothing! He just came out here and saw me like this and he’s a fucking smart kid,” Taako said, and Angus could imagine him gesturing wildly to himself as he spoke.

“Okay, alright that’s fair,” his dad said. Angus hoped they weren’t actually mad at each other over him finding out, that would be kind of disappointing.

“Seriously, what the hell? Why didn’t you go to the parent/teacher conference? Don’t you know that the whole point of those things are so that we teachers don’t go sleeping with the super hot single parents without being aware we gotta get outta dodge first thing in the morning?” Taako asked.

“I think I got called into work that day, sorry?” his dad said, and then there was a pause where they were both quiet. “Is that really why they have parent teacher conferences?” he asked, breaking the silence and Angus had to put his hands over his mouth to keep himself from laughing too loudly.

“Yes, one hundred percent absolutely the reason why,” Mr. Taako said. He spoke with such a seriousness that Angus almost believed he was telling the truth.

“I mean, I did mention I had a kid yesterday,” his dad said, and Mr. Taako scoffed.

“Yeah, but he coulda been four or seventeen as far as I knew. If you said ten years old, fifth grade and smarter than the devil’s tongue then maybe I would’ve had some suspicions,” Mr. Taako said. It was kind of a weird compliment, but Angus felt proud hearing it nonetheless.

“Okay, I see your point,” his dad said, and it was quiet for another moment. Angus almost moved to go back out there, figuring they weren’t going to talk about much else. He’d grabbed his project and was back at his door when he heard his dad sigh.

“I’m sorry if this got too weird, or uncomfortable or anything,” he said, and Angus actually felt a little worried. He didn’t want his dad to be upset with him or Mr. Taako not to like him anymore because of this.

“Nah dog, it’s chill. I mean, your kid is a fucking brat, but he’s also my favorite student and that’s probably why,” Taako said. Angus wanted to argue with the brat bit, but that would reveal that he’d been listening in on them. Which probably wouldn’t help his argument any.

“That’s fair, I’m pretty sure he likes you a lot too,” his dad said, and that was true. Mr. Taako was by far his favorite teacher.

“So, um,” his dad continued, and he sounded a little nervous again. “If this didn’t get too weird is there any chance of me seeing you again?” he asked, and he could hear Mr. Taako laugh some at the question.

“Yeah, but let’s maybe keep it on the down low from the kid so that I don’t have to give him anymore As for incomplete work,” he said. Angus made a note to make sure to keep an extra good track of what his dad was doing from now on. Just, you know, in case things came up and he wasn’t able to finish anymore projects in time.

He liked Mr. Taako though, and he knew his dad hadn’t been dating for a very long time. Pretty much forever as far as Angus could tell. So this was nice, this was something he definitely wouldn’t mind becoming a thing.

And hey if it also got him As on papers without him having to finish them, he would milk it for all its worth.