Tessa knows Professor Hale is a bit… odd. Sure, his amazingly good looks make up for his eccentricities but one thing is hearing about Professor Hale and another is actually seeing things for yourself.
She’s sitting in the courtyard, minding her own business and trying to study, which is to say she’s watching people throw a Frisbee across the grass and squirrels chase each other up the trees because it’s a beautiful autumn afternoon and it should not be wasted for studying, even with midterms coming up (because the quarter system sucks and midterms shouldn’t be like four weeks into the term, it’s just plain torture).
Her eyes stray to the coffee cart on the east side of the courtyard, catching sight of a cute curly blond haired boy… smelling the air? She squints under the afternoon sun to make sure that’s what the guy really is doing- which apparently he is. She takes in a deep breath but all she gets is grass and fresh air and possibly some pollen, nothing really spectacular.
Except that maybe the guy must smell something else because his head snaps to the side so suddenly that Tessa worries for a split second he got whiplash from the force of it. A wide smile spreads across his face, and she’s sure she’s gonna see the guy’s girlfriend (or boyfriend, she’s not judging) in the direction the guy is turned to.
What she’s definitely not expecting is to see Professor Hale walking quickly with a smile on his face.
She watches in fascination as the guy runs to Professor Hale and throws himself at the history professor, arms around neck and legs around waist.
Tessa is openly gaping now, quite unattractively to be honest, but oh my god, what is going on?
The guy is rubbing his cheek against Professor Hale’s stubble (she’s not jealous or anything, of course not) and she’s kinda (most definitely) wondering what their relationship is because surely Professor Hale wouldn’t flaunt a boytoy in broad daylight where his fiancé could catch them. Or maybe Professor Hale doesn’t care. But no, that doesn’t make sense, because Professor Hale is quite happy and in love with his fiancé, at least from what he lets on in class (which isn’t much, actually, but the few words he lets out are enough to know Professor Hale is rather fond of his significant other).
But. Maybe blondie is his fiancé?
The guy looks pretty young though. Then again, there was talk that a student was Professor Hale’s fiancé (granted, talks of a Victoria’s Secret model, a GQ model, and a stripper were also theories, so).
The two men finally separate but blondie keeps a hand on Professor Hale’s shoulder as they talk. Then, almost like puppets, their heads whip to the side and the unison is kinda creepy, if Tessa is being honest, but she forgets about that as another guy approaches them, a hand raised up in a small wave.
And Tessa continues to watch, captivated as blondie throws himself at the guy, a smaller (and possibly younger) brunet, and practically engulfs him in a hug. The new guy laughs and pats blondie’s back, but he’s smiling at Professor Hale, even when blondie does the same cheek rub action.
Tessa knows all her staring is a bit stalker-ish but this is all very interesting, it’s like watching a lion cub rub against its parents.
When blondie finally lets the new guy go, she almost falls of her bench when Professor Hale wraps an arm around the new guy’s waist and kisses him full on the lips.
Oh my god.
She turns to blondie, and she’s surprised to see he’s covering his eyes and saying something. Whatever he says makes Professor Hale try and cuff him while the new guy laughs.
Well, they all seem pretty cozy.
Her phones rings, interrupting her blatant staring, and she remembers she has to meet up with her advisor in a few minutes. Resigning to her fate, she throws one last glance at the trio and tries not to come up with conclusions about them (are they sleeping together? Are they in some weird three-way relationship?) because it’s not her place to judge or imagine scenarios, no matter how enticing they might be; they certainly won’t help her get an internship.
Devon really needs to talk to Professor Hale about the upcoming research paper if he wants to pass his class. He’s not doing badly per se, but if he gets lower than a B on the paper then he’ll definitely be in trouble once finals come around.
He’s hoping he can catch Professor Hale at his office hours because he’s running late from his last class of the day and he only has a few minutes to get to the history department so he puts on speed and practically sprints the last few yards, almost collapsing against the announcement board next to Professor Hale’s door. Which, incidentally, has a Be Back in 10 Minutes written messily on the white board hanging on the door. Great.
He slumps against the wall under the announcements of Roommate wanted and MEChA fundraiser and he’s just about ready to close his eyes when a shrill ringing startles him. He’s debating whether to go and investigate when someone’s voice coming from Professor Hale’s office yells out a short, “What?!” Ok so it was a phone then. But. Wait, who’s in there? It didn’t sound like Professor Hale’s voice.
Devon frowns at the door. He inches closer, trying to make out what the person is saying.
“Oh my god, Scott, I told you the iron cuffs, not silver.” Cuffs? Like cuff links? He’s never heard of iron cuff links but maybe it’s a new fad. “Just tie him up first with the chains that I specifically left in the baseme-you lost them?” or maybe not a new fad. Devon is slightly horrified now. Why are there chains in the basement? “Misplaced, lost, to-may-to, to-mah-to. Honestly Scott, I told Isaac- never mind. Alright, ok, the handcuffs are in the chest, along with the iron poker thing I stole from Derek’s fireplace.” Derek. That’s Professor Hale’s first name. He honestly didn’t expect to hear about his professor and handcuffs in a sentence.
He’s practically right next to the floor trying to listen in through the crack.
“I know our dear sourwolf was all for killi- yes Scott, I know, I told him why it was a bad idea. But if you had tied him up like I told you then Isaac wouldn’t need to be holding him down.” There’s some shuffling going on in the room, but Devon is possibly quite terrified from this conversation. He’s not sure if there’s some BDSM stuff that somehow involve his history professor, or if some poor fool is going to die.
He’s sure he should tell someone. But like, if it turns out that the guy isn’t dying but is part of some really intense sex group, it’ll certainly look bad for everyone involved and quite possibly Professor Hale will never help him in his research paper and he’ll fail the class and he’ll never graduate so he’ll never get a job and he’ll become homeless and-
“Ok, just- Derek is almost done here, we’ll be on our way soon and I’ll find the iron chains than you both graciously misplaced. Also, we need to meet up with the witch in the corner store because she owes me a couple of herbs for when Derek gave her some blood.” Witch? Ok, Devon definitely misheard but is herbs a synonym for drugs? Also- bloodplay? What is this?
A slight cough above him startles him, making him hit his head against the door.
“Mr. Lowell, may I ask what you’re doing?”
“Professor!” Devon gasps, scrambling to stand up with a hand against his frantic heart. “I-I- well, see- I was waiting for-” The door opens, interrupting what was sure to be a wonderful lie.
“Oh hello,” a bright-eyed boy is smiling widely at him, “are you a student of Derek’s?”
“I- yes.” This kid was talking about bondage? Oh god, how old is he, why is he in Professor Hale’s office, what is going on. “Are you his student too?”
The boy bursts out laughing. “Imagine that. No, I’m his fiancé.”
Devon feels his jaw drop open before he realizes his look of horror is a bit of bad manners. “O-oh, that’s…nice.”
“It definitely is.” The boy leers openly at Professor Hale and Devon really didn’t need to see that, particularly after whatever weird conversation Professor Hale’s fiancé seemed to have.
“Forgive him, I don’t know why he’s here.” Professor Hale says, getting Devon’s attention back. He sidesteps him before pushing his fiancé into the office and closing the door amidst protests before turning to Devon. “Did you need something?”
“I- um” Devon shakes his head. He needs a few hours to digest the last 10 minutes. “No, it can wait. I- yeah, see you tomorrow in class professor.” He give a hasty wave before he hightails out of the building (but not before hearing “Hey, so we have Isaac holding down the fairy dude in our baseme-” “Shut up, Stiles.”).
He won’t be able to go to office hours anymore.
The chatter from a coffee house is always soothing, at least in Vicky’s opinion. It’s loud, but quiet at the same time, and she can never get tired of the different aromas that come with the environment. They can be places to study, but also are perfect for when the studying is done, watching students and professors enter the place hurriedly or leisurely, people mingling or tucked away in a corner hunched over a laptop.
“Hey, Vicky, stop daydreaming and focus on the presentation at hand if it’s not too much trouble.”
Vicky rolls her eyes at her friend, “I wasn’t daydreaming.” She does turn back to her laptop though, revising the PowerPoint open on the screen.
Marleen scrunches up her nose. “You were totally romanticizing coffee shops- like you always do.” And well, no one really asked her.
“Ooh, romanticizing, big word for you.” Vicky says, sticking her tongue out Marleen, who promptly does the same. “Alright, so I think we need another good argument in this slide and then-hey isn’t that your professor-Dale? Hale?” She lowers her voice when she catches sight of the dark-haired man, with a rather busty blonde at his side, her arm through his.
Marleen whips her head to the side. “Where-oh my god, look at him.” Vicky is looking, but she doesn’t think his hotness warrants her losing articulation in her hand (the blonde though, that might be a different story).
“Um, ow.” She shakes the hand turning a startling white under Marleen’s grip to no avail.
“Shush, shush, do you think that’s his fiancé?”
Vicky shrugs, turning back to the couple. The professor is shaking his head and the blonde is laughing, making exaggerated kissy faces at him as she runs her hands over Professor Hale’s sweater-clad arms.
“Like, I heard his fiancé was a student but I’ve never seen her before.” Marleen bites her bottom lip, trying to eye her professor while pretending she’s not doing that (and failing miserably).
“You do realize there’s thousands of students in this school right? It’s possible to have missed her.” How, Vicky doesn’t know because the blonde most definitely causes heads to turn.
“She’s kinda pretty, I guess.” Vicky agrees there, it’s almost supernaturally pretty if she’s being honest. “But he could definitely do better.”
Now it’s the professor laughing and the blonde pouting. They reach the cashier and order, with Professor Hale going off to the side to wait for their coffees while the blonde struts to a table where two students are staring at her, jaw dropped and wide-eyed. Whatever she says to them has them packing their stuff quickly, tripping over themselves as they make a hasty retreat.
Vicky is kind of amazed, she wishes she had that kind of power. “Hey, they could be madly in love.” She adds absentmindedly.
The blonde turns back to Professor Hale, grinning widely as he walks towards her, coffees in hand.
Marleen sighs. “I guess, but c’mon, you can’t deny he’s drop dead gorgeous.” The blonde is laughing again, giving Professor Hale sultry looks.
Vicky shrugs. “Wrong gender, remember?”
Marleen blinks, then her expression brightens. “Great! Ok, so you distract whoever the girl is while I chat him up.”
Marleen’s professor looks like he wants to jump off a cliff for the same reason that is causing the girl to preen, hand back on his arm.
“May I remind you that he’s your professor?” Vicky says (PowerPoint long forgotten, at this point they’ll have to finish in the wee hours of the night). She has no problem talking to the blonde but well, she’d rather her friend not get suspended or anyone get fired.
“Yeah, well, quarter’s almost over.”
“Right, and there’s also the fact that he’s getting married.”
Marleen lets out a combination between a groan and a snort. “Ugh ok, well- oh look, someone’s joined them.”
Vicky turns back to the table and sure enough a strawberry blonde bombshell has joined the party. She looks upset, only kissing Professor Hale on the cheek while glowering at the blonde, who’s looking rather cozy being next to the professor.
“Oh my god, what if she’s the fiancé? And Professor Hale is in an illicit relationship with the blonde?” Marleen asks in a hushed voice.
The blonde bursts out laughing again, saying something between giggles that makes Professor Hale hunch over while the other girl smirks, a perfectly manicured hand (from what Vicky can see) on her hip.
Professor Hale stands up and offers the chair to the new girl (such a gentleman) before turning to the table next to theirs, pointing at the empty chair and presumably asking for it. And from the dumbstruck faces on the students sitting there, they all but offered their souls to the professor.
“Why must he surround himself by beautiful people?” Marleen picks up a forgotten chocolate chip cookie and stressfully nibbles on it. “Like, how are us normal people supposed to have a chance?”
Vicky snorts. “Like you’d even have a chance anyway.”
Marleen glares at her half-heartedly before sighing dramatically. “I guess I’ll have to accept the fact that I’ll-”
A commotion at the doors interrupts whatever Marleen was going to say and a lanky boy stumbles into the coffee shop, cursing as he tries to regain his balance in a weird combination of moves. Everyone is staring at him, even Professor Hale from what Vicky can see out of the corner of her eyes, and it’s funny to note the pained expression on his face (but is that a bit of fondness seeping through? Weird).
The boy straightens up, wiping away imaginary dust from his red hoodie. “Mad moves right there, bet you’ve never seen those.” He winks at the crowd, most of whom have gone back to their conversations, and makes his way further into the coffee shops- right where Professor Hale and his maybe-maybe not fiancés are.
“Oh god, who is that now? Seriously, like why does Professor Hale know so many people?” Marleen says through a mouthful of cookie, and promptly chokes when the boy sits on her professor’s lap.
Vicky is openly gawking now as she smacks her hand on Marleen’s back, because while she prefers the two blondes, this- this is certainly worth gaping at. Half the coffee shop is still staring at the boy, even more so now with identical looks of shock, incredulity, and envy.
“Who the hell is that?” Marleen rasps. “There is no way, no way, that’s his fiancé.”
Of course, that’s when the boy decides to plant one right smack in Professor Hale’s lips. Marleen (and a couple of other individuals) all but falls of her chair while the boy looks smugly accomplished, exaggeratedly wrapping his arms around Professor Hale’s neck and nuzzling him.
It’s all very disgustingly cute, even if Professor Hale looks about ready to off himself at all the attention.
“Alright, ok, I think you need a couple of drinks in you. We can finish this later.” Vicky says, packing up their stuff while Marleen whimpers to herself, moaning about the injustices of life.
One last look at the quartet (because foursome sounds vaguely sexual) reveals the boy now sitting in a magically conjured chair, hands intertwined with Professor Hale’s and identical rings glistening under the coffee shop’s lights.