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(Not so) Out of His League

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Professor Hale is one hell of a fine specimen. GQ models could definitely learn a thing or two from him. There’s really no other way to put it, and everyone agrees. He is unquestionably worthy of the red hot chili in ratemyprofessor.com and could have possibly been sculpted by Michelangelo himself.

Despite teaching history (of all subjects and on Mondays and Fridays no less), his lectures were always full with students opting to take his class as a GE course, as opposed to the other two history professors well beyond their fifties and voices that will put you to sleep in a sec; they could give Professor Cuthbert Binns a run for his money.

Sure, most (all) of the students might go to see his (totally amazing) ass with jeans that just accentuate it, and tight Henley’s that leave just enough to the imagination or simply those bright, emerald, wonderful eyes of his or the stubble sprinkled on his chiseled jaw or- ok well the students might come to just drool at his existence but, Professor Hale is a good enough teacher. He had some trouble when he first started (what with his surly disposition), unsure of how to make history interesting but once he got the hang of it, he managed to enthrall the students (that might be more because of his looks though).

There has been a few times when he’ll slip, as if he’s still unsure of what to do surrounded by so many people. It’s those times when he can be extremely intimidating, to the point that students have imagined his eyes flashing red and make them be wary of not doing any wrong moves. But Professor Hale always tries to make it up for those episodes. And he’s extremely perceptive. It was weird at first, how Professor Hale knew if you were texting (despite being across the lecture hall) or if you were lying about the tiniest thing even when the lie was pretty believable to anyone else. He’d question you and just glare at you until you broke down and told the truth. It was terrifying, to say the least, like being cornered prey. So after a few weeks, the students knew better than to whisper or do anything questionable because apparently, Professor Hale caught everything.

 


 

 

 

It’s Sarah’s third year of being Professor Hale’s TA, first as head TA, and the looks from the new students as they take in all of Professor Hale will never get old. It is also extremely predictable that at least one student will trip trying to find a seat (usually in the front) while trying to make sure their history professor is really that good-looking and will not suddenly disappear.  There’s also those that give a prayer of thanks to their respective deities when they look at Professor Hale as if he were a god too.

She won’t lie and say she hadn’t totally objectified the not-yet-thirty-year-old professor; it took a while before she could look at Professor Hale’s face without blushing a deep red. Just his voice was enough for anyone to melt (or shiver with lust) because it was deep and growly and you could feel it down to your toes. But, unfortunately (for everyone lusting after him, of course), the ring on his left hand made it clear he was taken. Said ring had suddenly appeared during Sarah’s second year as his TA, but even before then he made it clear with was with someone.

Ok so, sure, he never provided information about the lucky woman (man?). Professor Hale had rejected various advances by other professors and (either extremely brave or extremely stupid) students with a polite (but very firm) I’m happily married yet with no indication as to whom he was married. So of course, there were still the few that said he could simply be wearing the ring just to throw people off. And since people always like to hold on to hope, the ring on the history professor didn’t deter them at all. In fact, it had the opposite effect, encouraging them to continue their advances because people always want what they can’t have. And the thrill of chasing a hot professor was everyone’s fantasy at some point in their lives.

Sarah, however, knew better (or at least, now she did). It wasn’t until she was head TA (because it meant she had to go to all the lectures) that she actually got to meet the lucky person who managed to put a ring on Professor Hale’s finger. It was possibly one of the most embarrassing moment in her life (definitely in the top three), because she had pretty much insinuated that Professor Hale was so completely out of anyone’s league, she couldn’t believe a student, no less, was married to him.

It was a few weeks before winter break, and therefore finals, and even after being well into the quarter, students still continued to pursue Professor Hale’s attention to their assets by wearing tight clothes, guys and girls alike. It made Sarah snort to herself because northern California was far from the sunny SoCal so it was hard to look alluring while shivering from head to toe. She had to give them an A for effort though- or obstinacy at this point.

It happened on a particular Monday, when Sarah wanted nothing more than to go back to her room and hibernate until finals week, when a guy walked in through the back doors of the auditorium. She figured he was a student (and clearly not there to impress Professor Hale because of all the layers and plaid and beanie that clearly hid his messy locks). He totally had this boyish look to him that would definitely get him arrested if he even thought about buying cigarettes, it was all very cute in a geeky sort of way. She would’ve ignored him completely otherwise, except that she had no recollection of him ever being in class before and he was walking in during the middle of lecture. If it had been Sarah, she would’ve bailed out on lecture by then.

What was odd though, Sarah noticed, was that Professor Hale was well aware of the student, stiffening before he even looked at who had entered, and once he turned around, it was as if he was being punished by the gods themselves (if the sudden frown combined with a pained look on his face was any indication). Which- weird.  She looked back at the student, who was staring at the history professor with a grin, as if he knew the negative effect his sudden appearance had brought on.

Apparently, her staring didn’t go unnoticed because the student leaned over to whisper, “Hey, I’m Stiles.”

“Stiles?”

He grinned, a bit lopsided, like he got that all the time. “Self-proclaimed nickname, I’d rather save you from trying to pronounce my name.”

“O-ok…?” She shook his outstretched hand. “Sarah, Professor Hale’s TA.” That got her a raised eyebrow and an amused look. At this point, other students would be trying to get a bit of an insider on Professor Hale. “Are you a student?”

Stiles grinned. “Yeah, a senior.” So she’d been right, he was a student, but not one she had seen at lecture before. “Do you like being his TA?”

Sarah nodded, completely honest. “He’s different than most professors. I’ll admit he was a bit difficult at the beginning, but he makes up for it.”

If possible, Stiles’ grin got bigger. “Well, he certainly isn’t sore on the eyes.” His honey brown eyes flickered to the front of the class, humor dancing around them.

She had been expecting this, somehow all conversation about Professor Hale went back to his looks (which she totally understood, but still), so she tried not to sound too harsh when she quickly said, “He’s happily married.”

“Happily married?” Stiles snorted, clearly not bothered by her tone as he turned to look at her again. “Is that what he tells everyone? I don’t know, it seems like he could still use some loosening up.” Up front, Professor Hale broke his chalk in two, but neither noticed.

At this point, Sarah should have just stopped talking, because Professor Hale heard everything. But she couldn’t just leave this guy to mouth off about her professor and whomever his spouse was, real or fictional. “Well he’s been quite happy for the years I’ve been his TA.” She paused before continuing, unsure if she should. “And he totally rejected the cheerleading coach.” While Professor Hale had everyone panting after him out of the males in the school faculty, the cheerleading coach was a close equivalent for the females. Said coach had asked out the history professor at the beginning of the quarter and when word got around, there had been mixed emotions until Professor Hale had slammed a fist on the table and growled ‘I. Am. Married.’ before continuing with that day’s lecture. “Whoever it is he’s married to, they must be pretty great.” And ok, so maybe she shouldn’t be insulting Stiles (which would lead to future mortification), but Professor Hale deserved a break. 

No one noticed the tip of their professor’s ears turn red.

Stiles stared at her with raised eyebrows. “Are you saying Professor Hale is out of my league?” He didn’t sound offended, in fact, Sarah would think he sounded amused, maybe there was even contained glee, like he was laughing at her.

She tried not to blush. “Hey, you said it.”

Stiles gaped at her for a second before he outright laughed. In the middle of lecture. Interrupting Professor Hale. Sarah could feel the color leave her face in an instant when two piercing green eyes were suddenly glaring at them and all the students turned to look at them, like they knew what a horrible mistake they’d done.

She wanted to die.

“Mr. Stilinski, I would appreciate it if you’d stop flirting with my TA.” Professor Hale said, through gritted teeth. At this point, the whole class was cemetery-levels of quiet and oh god, why was Stiles smiling?

Sarah wanted nothing more than for the ground to swallow her whole as she tried to look anywhere but the front of the class. The relaxed feeling she had developed around the history professor was suddenly slipping through her fingers.

“Sorry, Professor.” Stiles said, grinning. The way he said professor was with the same coy tone that Sarah had heard other students try (and fail miserably) to use when flirting. “She’s just very nice.”

Said TA looked completely mortified. “Stiles, I swear to god- shut up.” Sarah hissed, not caring that she didn’t know Stiles at all, but the looks Professor Hale was giving them. Oh god.

“I thought I made it clear that only registered students to the class were allowed to be here.” It seemed like their professor was trying to insinuate something more than simply being registered. Like Stiles just wasn’t allowed anywhere near him.

But Stiles continued to grin cheekily, clearly unabashed at the open hostility that Professor Hale was radiating. “I couldn’t resist checking out your lecture, Professor, who knew history could be so alluring?” By now, there was no question that Stiles was openly leering at the older male and Sarah was starting to have existential issues.

“You’ve been distracting my TA since you got here, in the middle of lecture might I add, which means you have no idea what I’ve been teaching. And now you’ve caused a disruption.” Professor Hale narrowed his eyes at the boy, who had the gall to raise an eyebrow back at him (dear god, that boy is dead). “Stay after class.”

Stiles saluted at him, eyes twinkling, but stayed quiet, something Sarah thought had been impossible.  With that, Professor Hale went back to teaching, but the rest of the students were afraid to breathe now. The display of authority would have been welcomed and completely lust worthy in any other situation, but they knew better than to further antagonize the professor.

“You have to apologize. Oh god, I can’t believe you did that.” Sarah hissed, eyes darting to the front, the professor had already picked up where he was before the interruption. She didn’t want him to call them out again but she couldn’t figure out why Stiles was so relaxed about this. Maybe there was something wrong with his mind. It was the only logical explanation. “I’m dead. I’m so, so dead.”

“Oh don’t worry, we’ll be scot-free.” Stiles answered, at least having the decency to whisper. He stretched his arms in front of him, the light coming from the windows catching something in his left hand but he leaned back, throwing his arms behind his head before Sarah could see what had caused the glint.

For the rest of the class, Sarah refused to acknowledge the boy next to her. She kept biting her thumb, minutes ticking by until finally, finally, Professor Hale dismissed the class. No one stayed behind. Usually, there would be a group of (braver and stupid) students who’d try to engage the green-eyed male in a conversation, but now, everyone felt the reprimand second-hand and just rushed out of the lecture hall.

Sarah knew she’d have to explain herself, try to salvage whatever dignity she had left. But she figured it’d be better if she let Professor Hale cool down after dealing with Stiles.

She was almost out of the building, leaving without a second glance at Stiles, before she groaned. She couldn’t just leave. Yeah Stiles was the one who laughed, but she felt like maybe she provoked it and ok, she totally did. She couldn’t let Stiles take all the blame even if he deserved it.

So she walked back, begrudgingly, to the lecture hall, only to stop when she got closer and could hear he conversation going on inside.

“-told you not to come when I’m teaching.” That deep gravel was definitely from Professor Hale.

“-wanted to see the hunk of a teacher in the history department that everyone was talking about. I was disappointed it was just you.” Sarah knew she had a confused look on her face. Stiles was talking to Professor Hale like they were awfully familiar with each other (and it should’ve clicked right there, really).

“-freaked out my head TA-“

“-well she-“

“She’s right outside.” Professor Hale cut though, making Sarah freeze in her attempt at sneaking closer to the door. He cleared his throat before speaking louder. “Sarah, please come in.”

“Freakishly perceptive.” Sarah grumbled to herself before stepping back into the lecture hall, looking sheepish. “Hi, professor.”

Stiles was sitting on the table, the amused look still on his face while his legs dangled; Professor Hale was leaning against the blackboard.

“Sarah.” Professor Hale nodded once in acknowledgement.

“I-I’m really sorry about today.” Sarah quickly said. “I might’ve caused Stiles to laugh.” She winced slightly.

“Want to know what she said?” Stiles asked, smiling.

Something told her that Professor Hale already knew what Sarah had said, and she really didn’t want a repeat. “Stiles-don’t-“

“She said you were married to someone ‘pretty great’ and that you were out of my league.”

Sarah groaned. She deeply regretted ever coming back here.

Professor Hale sighed. But there was fondness beneath the exasperated expression. “Ignore him, Sarah, it’s something I do, often.”

“Hey!”

By now, she was suspicious (and as a detective she would definitely die on the job). They were acting way too close than the typical professor-student relationship. “So um, how do you know each other?” She looked from one male to the other, rethinking her sudden interest when Stiles grinned widely. Nothing good ever followed that look.

“Funny you should ask-“

“Stiles….” Professor Hale growled. Like literal type of growl. Sarah didn’t know it was possible to growl out names.

“What?” Stiles asked, suddenly whining. “Oh come on, after today I think she deserves to know. Unless you think I’m not pretty great?”

Now, after working with Professor Hale, she knew that he never backed down. No matter what the issue was, if he set his mind, there was nothing to say the history professor. It was like he always needed to have the upper hand. But the fact that his lips formed a thin line before he nodded at Stiles, well that should’ve been the final clue as to whatever was going on.

Stiles smiled widely, jumping off the table and went over to wrap an arm around Professor Hale’s waist. Sarah was pretty sure she was openly gaping at this point.

“I’m a lot more flexible than the cheerleading coach.” Stiles said, winking at Sarah.

“Oh my g-Stiles.” Professor Hale threw his head back, not even flinching when he hit the blackboard, and closed his eyes. It seemed he was praying for mercy.

Sarah stared at them with her mouth open, her eyes finally going to the matching silver rings. “You-you’re. Holy shi-no. You two-“ and because she figured it didn’t matter that the hole was deep enough already, she managed to pull off an incredulous look. “How’d that happen?”

Stiles raised an eyebrow. “Excuse you, I’ll have you know-“

“Stiles.” Professor Hale cut in, and maybe it was a trick of the light but his eyes looked red for a second. They were green when Sarah looked again, so she tried not to worry about it. There were other pressing matters at hand.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to…”

“-say he was out of my league?” Stiles finished, unhelpfully.

Sarah flushed. “Sorry.” She mumbled again, unsure of what else to say. This wasn’t in the TA handbook.

She heard Professor Hale sigh again, this time giving Stiles a withering look, who promptly answered it by sticking his tongue out. She eyed the exchange with a mixture of emotions; the two just seemed so different. And Stiles could easily pass off for seventeen. She wasn’t sure if it’d be rude to straight out ask Stiles how old he was so she opted for something slightly safer. “How- um how long have you two…” Se trailed off, suddenly not sure if she should continue. “Sorry, just, I should probably go and-"

“It’s fine, Sarah.” Professor Hale said. “We’ve known each other since Stiles was sixteen. Got together when he turned eighteen.”

Stiles crossed his arms. “Would’ve gotten together earlier if you didn’t have this need to protect my virtue.” He grumbled, earning a glare from the older male.

“And get shot by your father? No, thank you.” Even if it looked like Professor Hale was sneering, the underlying fondness was not hard to miss.

Sarah looked at them. It was so easy to see how in love they were. Professor Hale seemed more open just by simply having Stiles there, he was comfortable, and completely different that how he was when he was teaching. During lecture, it always felt like he was trying too hard, like he had to prove he could keep the students interested in the material. Now, he looked like he could take on whatever as long as Stiles was there.

She cleared her throat when it felt like both had forgotten about her during their staring contest. And by their (Stiles’, really) slight flinches, they totally had.

“Sorry.” At least Professor Hale looked sheepish, Stiles just looked smug. “Sarah Sanders, this is my husband, Stiles Stilinski.” Sarah definitely did not miss the look of pure bliss and pride when Professor Hale said that.

“It’s Hale now, thank you very much.” Stiles said, preening when Professor Hale looked away, the tips of his ears turning red. “Awesome alliteration there.”

“Oh um- thanks....?”  She couldn’t help but wrinkle her nose. “Stiles Hale?”

At least this time Stiles didn’t get offended, he laughed openly again. “We’re working on that. Derek doesn’t want our future children to be subjected to the Stilinski family name.”

“Children?” Sarah allowed herself to be amused. Although the image of Professor, of Derek, Hale with children was definitely something to be seen.

“Stiles, I swear to god. Shut. Up.” The blush on Professor Hale’s cheeks was unmistakable now.

Sarah smiled hesitantly, not used to the display of emotions the history professor was currently showing. “I should- I should really go now. I’m sorry about today.” She said, biting her lower lip. “But it was nice to finally meet Professor Hale’s significant other.” She added, looking back at Stiles.

“Sorry I didn’t exceed expectations.”

Sarah flinched slightly. “I really am sorry about-” But Stiles was already waving away her apology, smiling.

“It’s ok, I didn’t believe it either when he finally returned my advances.” Stiles said, looking at Professor Hale with an adoring expression. “Still can’t believe it sometimes.” He continued, softer this time.

And Sarah knew that look, obviously not from personal experience, but she had seen enough movies to know that that look followed. So she tried not to scramble to the door. “Right, ok, nice talk. See you Friday, Professor! Bye, Stiles!”

She didn’t hear any response from either of them, which was equal parts embarrassing and arousing, because she knew exactly what was bound to happen. Her suspicions were only proven correct when not a second later, a heavily worded sentence in Stiles’ unmistakable voice echoed out into the hallway just as the doors to the lecture hall were closing.

Sarah knew it would take years before she’d be able to look at Professor Hale in the face without blushing, again (but this time for completely different reasons).