The last bell of the day rings just as Raven is three doors away from Clarke’s classroom, and she curses that she hadn’t left early enough to beat getting caught up in the stampede of teenagers eager to leave school on a Friday. She hears a couple of “Hey, Ms. Reyes!” called out to her, but can’t place exactly where they come from in the mix of high schoolers, so she just vaguely calls out a “Hello!” back and continues to maneuver her way to room 227 as best she can.
It turns out Lincoln’s got a better handle on avoiding the hallways filled with students, because when she finally reaches the door, he’s already in the room with Clarke, casually perched on the stool she keeps at the front of the room. They seem to already be in the middle of a discussion, Clarke rubbing her temples as she leans back in her chair at her desk. A few students linger in the classroom with them, and after a second glace, Raven realizes that they all seem to be the Junior Class Council officers.
“So we have one of the bigger hallways to decorate this year for homecoming,” Clarke is telling her officers. “Mr. Woods has already gotten the measurements of the hallways for posters and I’ve picked up enough paint to last us the next two years. We’ll get you a schedule of when and where you guys can work before and after school on posters, but it’s up to you all to make sure that the class council members are coming and doing the work.”
“You got it, Ms. Griffin,” Lizbeth Ramirez, Junior Class Council president, tells Clarke. “This year so many more people are gonna be volunteering to help because they want to do everything better than the seniors, so I really think our homecoming stuff is gonna turn out great!”
“Just remember,” Lincoln says cautiously, “we’re not doing anything to tear the seniors down, just doing what we can to beat them by doing our best. I’ll make sure I bring that up again at next week’s meeting.”
The students all nod in agreement and grab their things to head out with a chorus of goodbyes. As they pass her in the doorway, a few that she has in class greet her.
“Oh, hey Coach Reyes!” Lizbeth says, smiling wide.
“Hi, Lizbeth. Still coming out for gymnastics this year?” Raven asks her.
“Yep! I found the best floor music for a new routine, too!” she says excitedly, pulling her phone out to start scrolling through her music.
Raven laughs good-naturedly, used to this from her gymnasts. “Why don’t you just send me the file and I’ll see if I can cut it down by the time open gyms start up?”
“Thanks, Reyes! You’re the best,” Lizbeth says as she leaves, calling out one final goodbye to the three of them.
“Lincoln,” Raven acknowledges as she walks further into the classroom. Lincoln gives Raven a smile hello, then turns his attention back to Clarke.
“I’ll send you my open times for homecoming stuff and you can make up the schedule for the kids. I’ll put in the announcements for next week,” Lincoln says as he stands up and heads for the door. He stops just in the doorway. “Anything else on our to do list?”
Clarke hums. “Mm, no nothing that I can think of right now, but I’m sure in a week I’ll be texting you frantically with something I forgot.”
“Clarke, there’s a reason why we’re co-sponsors,” Lincoln says reassuringly. “I’ve got your back, just let me know whatever you’re freaking out about and we’ll handle it together. Have a good weekend. Try and actually get some sleep.”
Lincoln waves to them both as he heads out, and Clarke lets out a skeptical laugh and drops her head to the top of her folded hands on the desk. Raven perches herself on Clarke’s desk next to her and looks down at her fondly.
“Rough week,” Clarke groans, slightly muffled by her hands. Raven reaches out to softly stroke Clarke’s back. “Why did I decide to take on teaching two AP classes as well as Junior class sponsor? This year is going to be so long.”
Raven laughs softly. “Would you have been able to give any one of those things up to someone else?”
Clarke grunts in discontented agreement, then takes a deep breath and pulls herself back into an upright position. Raven lets her hand fall back to her side just as someone calls out from the door, “Ms. Reyes?”
Raven looks over to where Lizbeth is hovering, just outside the doorway. “Hey, Lizbeth. Forget something?” she asks casually.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt,” Lizbeth says, eyes darting back and forth between Clarke and Raven. “I just wanted to ask if you knew what dates the open gyms were going to be?”
Raven nods and turns her body towards the doorway. “Yeah, they’ll be in the announcements in the next few weeks, so just keep an ear out for them.”
“Okay, thanks!” Lizbeth says hurriedly. “Sorry again, and have a good weekend!”
“You too?” Raven calls to her retreating back, then turns to Clarke and laughs, bewildered look on her face. “What was that about? She was acting weird, right?”
Clarke just shrugs. “Teenagers.”
“Yeah,” Raven says in agreement. “Come on, let’s get out of here. You could use a drink.”
“Yessss,” Clarke says, and lets Raven grab her hands and pull her out of her seat.
Senior Mia Robinson likes her seventh period Sociology class well enough. It’s one of the few electives she’s taken in high school that she actually looks forward to going to class for, and as much as some people might like to say it’s because she has a crush on Mr. Blake, she actually really does enjoy the material.
Mr. Blake’s hotness factor just happens to sweeten the deal a bit.
As usual the period passes way too quickly, the bell ringing just as Mr. Blake has finished assigning their homework for the night. Mia’s got eighth period AP Art History in the same room, so usually during the passing period she’ll go out to see if she can catch Tobias near his locker, but she heard from Alex during lunch that he went home sick during third period today. So instead of leaving the classroom, today she just leans back in her desk and scrolls through her Twitter feed while watching Mr. Blake clean up the papers on his desk out of the corner of her eye.
“You’re completely wrong you know,” Ms. Griffin says triumphantly, and loudly, to Mr. Blake as she walks into the room. Mia knows that they share a classroom, but she’s never actually seen them interact before, although now she guesses that’s because of Tobias. Ms. Griffin and Mr. Blake seem to be pretty familiar with one another though, because Mr. Blake shoots her a light-hearted grin that Mia’s never seen on him before.
“Oh? What about this time?” he asks wryly.
Ms. Griffin hands over a packet of papers to him while she sets the rest of her stuff down on the desk he just vacated.
“You know exactly what. I’m disappointed in you, I thought an AP teacher would be better at research. It took me literally ten minutes to find three articles to prove you wrong,” she says smugly, putting her hands on her hips.
“Hey, Mia,” Mel Ortega says as she sits down in the seat next to her. “Do you know what the English homework was? I couldn’t —”
“Shhh!” Mia shushes Mel and leans forward in her seat to see if she can catch the rest of the conversation between her two teachers.
“What—?” Mel starts to ask, but Mia shushes her quickly again, flapping a hand in her direction.
“This isn’t over, Griffin,” Mr. Blake says with a smile as he saunters towards the door. By now at least a third of the students in the room are watching the exchange between the two teachers with open interest.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Ms. Griffin says, laughing. “Get out of my classroom!”
Mr. Blake, who had almost been completely out the door, sticks his head back in and says very seriously, “Our classroom.”
Ms. Griffin just laughs, and rolls her eyes as she plugs her laptop in and gets her powerpoint set up for the period.
Mia sits in shock for a few more seconds before whipping her head around to look for someone else who witnessed the whole thing.
“Oh my god!” she whisper-screams to Fox McCarthy, who had been sitting on her other side the entire time. She and Fox aren’t really good friends, but, unfortunate childhood nickname aside, she’s a nice girl and, more importantly, also looks like she just witnessed something amazing. “Did you see that too?”
Fox just nods as Mel asks, “What did you see? What happened?”
“Mr. Blake! And Ms. Griffin!” Mia quietly screeches. She flails a little bit in her seat. Mel just looks at her oddly. Mia takes a deep breath to compose herself, then explains, “They were totally flirting with one another! Oh my god, they’d be so cute together!”
Fox next to her just nods her head vigorously. Mel looks over at Ms. Griffin, who is typing on her laptop as she waits for the second bell to ring, then looks back at Mia dubiously.
“Maybe they’re just friends?”
“Please,” Mia scoffs. “I bet by the end of the year they’ll be together. They’ll probably get married and have little history nerd babies together.”
There’s a laugh behind her and Mia turns in her seat to see Lizbeth sit down.
“What are you squealing about now, Mia?”
“Oh man, you totally missed Mr. Blake and Ms. Griffin flirting. You have to get here earlier tomorrow, so you can see them,” she tells her junior friend.
“Ms. Griffin and Mr. Blake?” Lizbeth asks skeptically.
“Yeah,” Mia says, then pauses. “They could be ‘Grake’? Or… or ‘Bliffin’! Yeah, Bliffin definitely.”
“Eh, I don’t know about that,” Lizbeth says slowly.
“What do you mean?” Mia asks, confused.
“I’m just saying… Look, have you ever seen Ms. Griffin and Ms. Reyes together?” Lizbeth asks the group of girls around them.
“Yeah, aren’t they really good friends? Ms. Reyes comes here after school every once in awhile,” Fox says.
“I’m not saying that I saw anything,” Lizbeth starts cautiously, “but I think there might be something there between them.”
“Like… romantic?” Mel asks.
“Yeah,” Lizbeth shrugs. “I mean, our school’s pretty liberal, but I’m sure if they were together, they’d be pretty quiet about it. They just seem… really close for friends. And they’d be super cute together, too. So I mean, ‘Bliffin’ might not be happening… It might already be ‘Reyfin’.”
Mia narrows her eyes, then shrugs. “You should still try to come earlier tomorrow and see for yourself. I think Bliffin is gonna be a thing.”
Lizbeth looks like she’s going to say something else, but then the bell is ringing and Ms. Griffin is asking everyone to get their homework out.
Mia’s heart stops, and all thoughts of Mr. Blake and Ms. Griffin go out of her head. “We had homework?”
Something hits Bellamy on the back of his head as he works on his computer fourth period in the social studies office. He quickly turns and sees Clarke standing there with a smirk on her face, so he pauses his music and pulls out his earbuds.
“Can I help you?” he asks her, leaning back in his chair.
“Look at this,” she says as she grabs one of the chairs from the adjacent desk next to his and scooches in closer. She hands over a spiral notebook, which is what she must have hit him with in the first place.
“What am I looking at, Clarke?” he asks dryly.
“Here,” she says, as she flips the notebook over and opens to the very last page. “Look what I found in our room.”
Bellamy glances at the page, taking in the multiple handwritings in cursive and different colors.
“What am I looking at, Clarke?” he repeats, squinting and turning the notebook side to side to see if there are any words he can actually recognize.
Clarke huffs impatiently, then points to a small section in red pen towards the top. “Read that.”
Bellamy reads it over twice, trying to string the words together in some semblance of an actual sentence. He looks at Clarke.
“What the hell is a ‘bliffin’?” he asks with a straight face.
“It’s our smush name!” Clarke says happily, eyes bright.
“Our— our what?!” he asks incredulously.
“Our smush name. Like a portmanteau. They’re all the rage with celebrities, you know, like Bennifer? Brangelina? Live it up, Bell! We’re like celebrities now.”
Bellamy stares at her for a full minute, waiting to see if his brain will manage to catch up to Clarke’s train of thought. “What?” he asks, finally.
Clarke sighs, like she’s somehow disappointed in him for not understanding this reference.
“They’re shipping us! They want us to be in a relationship. It’s kind of hilarious, and well, okay vaguely creepy, but I like to just think about how hilarious it is. Some other people seem to be voting for me and Raven though—that’s the Reyfin group right there,” she says, pointing to another section on the page. Then she points to another smaller section in the lower right hand corner, where there’s “Rake” drawn in bubble lettering. “And apparently you and Raven have a small group of fans too.”
“Jesus, do kids seriously still write notes to each other in notebooks? I thought we were past this and onto text messaging, and … Twitter?”
“Of all the things to focus on, that’s what you go with?” she asks.
“I don’t know what to do with this Clarke,” he tells her, handing the notebook back to her. She starts flipping through it to one of the middle pages, then turns it to show him a pretty detailed cartoon of the two of them.
“Well, for one, you can stop looking at me with actual heart eyes,” she tells him with a smirk.
And yes, the small cartoon version of himself definitely has heart-shaped eyes while the cartoon version of Clarke stands smugly with her hands on her hips, a small speech bubble above her with the words “*history nerd catnip*” written within it.
(“That’s not even how speech bubbles work,” Bellamy grouches to her later.)
Bellamy just rolls his eyes and uses his foot to push Clarke’s chair away from him. “I will do my very best. Now, don’t you have lesson plans to write or something?”
Clarke sticks her tongue out at him, but retreats back to the other side of the office, spiral notebook clutched close to her chest.
Raven shows up at the Friday night hallway decorating extravaganza the week before homecoming with two full bags of food for Clarke and Bellamy. She decides to take the food to the central location of the social studies department and then sets out to locate the two of them.
Over the last two weeks, Bellamy and Clarke have become even more competitive than usual, with the student’s excitement over the impending homecoming week slowly spreading to their sponsors as well, so picking a centralized neutral location is actually kind of necessary.
The senior class has one of the shorter hallways closer to the social studies department, so Raven decides to find Bellamy first. She walks slowly down the senior hallway, admiring the dedication and creativity the kids have put into decorating their part of the school to match their part of the homecoming theme. There are kids on ladders taping colored cellophane to the overhead lights, and small groups of seniors doing last minute painting on some hallway length posters.
Two students have rolled in an impressively large speaker into the hallway and are picking out playlists for the seniors to work to, and right behind it, sheltered from the blast of the speaker, is where she finds Bellamy and Clarke.
“Fraternizing with the enemy, I see?” she calls to them as she picks her way around the groups of painting students.
“Hey, Ms. Reyes!” one of the boys painting a large “2016” on a poster says as she maneuvers around them. “Did you grade our tests yet?”
“Hi, Luis. I have not, but you’ll definitely get it back on Monday, so you won’t have to wait too long,” Raven replies as she stops to talk to him. He’s one of the best students in her AP Chem class and also generally just a great human being. Raven’s pretty fond of him.
“I’m pretty sure I aced it,” he tells her, a huge grin on his face.
“I guess we’ll see,” she says back amiably, then continues on her way, careful to avoid the paper plates smeared with paint mixtures haphazardly placed on the floor.
When she reaches Bellamy and Clarke, they still haven’t moved from their original position. Bellamy’s sitting on the ground, leaning against one of the walls of a doorway to a classroom, while Clarke slouches on a chair perpendicular to him, her legs stretched out over Bellamy’s. Raven raises her eyebrows at them as she takes in the sight.
“You ditch your co-sponsor already?” she asks Clarke. Her blonde hair that she normally keeps down most days is pulled back into a messy bun, which is a pretty good indication that Clarke is almost completely drained of energy.
Clarke waves a hand tiredly in Raven’s direction. “He’s got it covered for now. I’m gonna go take over in a bit.”
“Well, come on,” Raven says, holding out her hands to both of them. “I’ve brought you sustenance that will hopefully get you through the rest of this night.”
The food actually does seem to bring both of them a second wind, and soon enough they’re back to their usual homecoming bickering.
“Are you sure you’re both going to survive next week?” Raven asks them, only slightly joking.
“Oh yeah, I mean Bellamy might be slightly cranky when my kids beat his in the powderpuff game on Wednesday, but we should both come out pretty unscathed,” Clarke says offhandedly, as she finishes up her meal.
“Uh. Excuse me?” Bellamy asks, voice grave.
“Oh, come on,” Clarke says, amused. “My juniors are awesome and organized. I am completely confident they’re going to beat the seniors this year.”
“Oh, yeah? Confident enough to make a bet on it?”
Clarke regards him coolly. “What are your terms?”
“Loser has to wear the class shirt of the winner on Thursday for class color day.”
Clarke smirks. “You’re on. You’re going to look kinda snug in my light blue shirt, but it’ll be worth it.” She holds her hand out for Bellamy to shake.
Bellamy takes her hand, and pulls her in closer to him. “I wouldn’t get too cocky about it, Ms. Griffin.”
“Jeez, think you two could tone it down a little?” Raven drawls, waving a hand in between their faces.
“Oh!” Clarke says. “And, winner gets Raven’s affections.”
“Nuh uh, don’t bring me into this, my affections can’t be won with high school students. This is going to be just between you two.”
“Aw, Raven, come on,” Bellamy says, voice low and leaning towards her, hand still gripping Clarke’s. “You know it’s never as fun when it’s just between two of us.”
“Get out of here,” Raven laughs, pushing on his forehead.
“Ms. Griffin?” a voice calls from the doorway of the social studies office. All three of them quickly add a bit of distance between them, as Clarke turns to respond.
“Hey, Lizbeth. Is Mr. Woods looking for me?”
Lizbeth blushes a little bit, but nods. “He was wondering if he was going to get to eat anytime soon. His words!”
Clarke laughs. “Yeah, I know how he gets. I’ll be right down, you can go ahead and get back to work.”
“Okay!” Lizbeth says, lingering at the doorway as she gives the three of them one last questionable look.
“Whoops,” Raven mutters.
_Lizzzzbeth98_: that moment when your three favorite teachers are all flirting with each other and you can’t tell who’s dating who lmao
_MagicInAction007: @_Lizzzzbeth98_ yesss I told you bliffin was a thing! #bliffin4life #historynerdbabies
xoMellieOxo: @_Lizzzzbeth98_ @_MagicInAction007 how do I keep missing this stuff?? Pls tell me there was some Rake interaction!! #Iwillgodownwiththisship
Lizbeth bought the small mirror for her locker back in her Freshmen year, so really, she thinks, she shouldn’t be surprised that it warps her reflection a bit as she tries to add the final touches of blue and white paint to her face for class color day.
She’s startled when something bangs into the locker next to her and accidentally smudges the paint on her cheekbone.
“Ohmigod, Liz!!” Mia exclaims, pushing back on her locker door so she can get Lizbeth’s attention.
“Fuck, Mia, what the hell?” Lizbeth tries to fix the damage before the paint dries, pushing Mia out of the way so she can find her reflection again.
“No, Lizbeth, this is way more important than that,” Mia says frantically.
“Yeah, yeah, just because you guys won last night doesn’t mean I don’t get to show my class spirit,” Lizbeth says, only slightly bitter about the juniors losing the night before.
“No!” Mia says impatiently. “I’m serious! Bliffin is a go!”
That pulls Lizbeth out of her focus a bit, and she turns sharply to look at Mia for the first time during the whole encounter.
“Have you seen what Ms. Griffin is wearing today?” Mia looks like she’s hardly able to contain her excitement, literally bouncing on the balls of her feet.
“No?” The bell for first period hasn’t even rung yet, and Lizbeth doesn’t have Ms. Griffin’s class until eighth period.
“Come on,” Mia says, slamming Lizbeth’s locker closed and pulling her away.
“Jeez, Mia, why are you—”
Lizbeth’s sentence trails off as she finally sees what Mia’s been freaking out about. Mia drags her off to the side of the hallway, but still in view of Ms. Griffin talking to Ms. Reyes outside of Ms. Reyes’ chemistry classroom.
“What… the fuck?” Lizbeth says slowly, her eyes glued to her class council sponsor, who is wearing the senior colors of red and black. The shirt is very obviously Mr. Blake’s; it’s way too big for Ms. Griffin, engulfing her almost like a dress, and, even more apparent, has the blocked lettering of “BLAKE” across the back.
“I know!” Mia squeals as she pulls up the camera app on her phone. She quickly snaps a picture of the back of Ms. Griffin, very clearly showing Mr. Blake’s name, with Ms. Reyes smirking at Ms. Griffin in the background. “Okay, you have to admit, Bliffin is for sure a thing.”
Lizbeth finds out later during fifth period lunch that Mr. Blake and Ms. Griffin had made a bet on the powderpuff game, which is why Ms. Griffin ended up wearing the other class’ colors that day instead of representing her own.
By the end of the day, it seems Mia’s not the only one who’s starting to ship Bliffin. Apparently, Mr. Blake stuck his head into Ms. Griffin’s classroom during third period AP Gov to tease her about the loss, and Ms. Griffin responded by shooting a rubber band at his head. It’s all the juniors and seniors can talk about for the rest of the day, and Lizbeth has to admit that Mia might be onto something.
If you asked Mel, the week after Thanksgiving should be declared a national holiday so students could actually study for their finals. It doesn’t help that almost everyone has gotten sick since getting back to school from Thanksgiving break, teachers included, and at least half of Mel’s teachers have been extremely grumpy because of it.
The door to Ms. Reyes’ classroom opens quietly enough, but Mel is looking for any possible distraction from their current lab in chemistry that she notices right away when Mr. Blake slips into the lecture part of their classroom. Other students seem to notice, but go back to their lab after an initial glance over. However, Mel has been harboring hope for Mr. Blake and Ms. Reyes for far too long to not try and eavesdrop.
“Raven,” Mr. Blake says quietly to Ms. Reyes. “I can cover for you this period, if you want to take a break. We could get you a sub for the rest of the day.”
Ms. Reyes has been sick for the past two days, to the point where she almost doesn’t have a voice today. Mel thinks she should probably take a sick day, but then Mel wouldn’t have anyone to ask questions before their test on Friday, so she’s also kind of glad that Ms. Reyes is as stubborn as she is.
“No, Blake,” Ms. Reyes croaks, not even lifting her eyes from where she’s typing on her laptop. “I still have to finish making the rest of the test I’m giving on Friday, and honestly, do they look like they could survive without me?”
Mel realizes she’s talking about all the students just as Mr. Blake glances over toward the lab, and she quickly diverts her attention back to lighting the bunsen burner in front of her.
“Raven,” Mr. Blake says, and this time his voice has the same tone it has when Mel’s US History class is being disruptive. “You need rest. Or at the very least, some tea.”
Mel glances back up to the front of the classroom and watches as Ms. Reyes grudgingly takes the mug of tea from Mr. Blake. She takes a hesitant sip, the corners of her mouth twitching upwards as she looks over to him in a fond way that Mel has never seen Ms. Reyes look at anyone before.
“Alright, well, let me know if you change your mind,” Mr. Blake says as he moves closer to Ms. Reyes, quickly dropping a kiss on the top of her head, so quick that if Mel hadn’t already been watching she’s sure she would have missed it.
“Mel, watch it!” Lizbeth shouts.
Mel jumps back as she realizes the bunsen burner in front of her has jumped a few inches in height with her lack of focus.
“Blake, get out of here, you’re distracting my students,” Ms. Reyes says, pushing him towards the door as she makes her way over to the lab section of the classroom. “Girls, I would really appreciate it if we didn’t set the fire alarm off today, so maybe you could try to stay a little more focused on lab safety?”
“Sorry, Ms. Reyes,” Mel says quickly, already turning the gas down to lower the flames and scrambling to get her safety glasses on.
Ms. Reyes walks away to remind the rest of the class on how minutes they have left to finish their lab, and Mel turns excitedly to Lizbeth.
“Did you see that?”
“What, you almost burning your eyebrows off?” Lizbeth asks, focusing on measuring out the first solution they need to test. “Yeah, I definitely saw that.”
“No!” Mel says. “Mr. Blake kissed Ms. Reyes!”
Lizbeth sets the container down with a clunk on the black countertop, turning to Mel with an incredulous expression. “What?”
“Okay, well not kissed-kissed, but like kissed her on the head! Come on, just friends do not do that kind of thing.”
“I don’t know,” Lizbeth says with a sigh. Gymnastics started up two weeks ago, and she’s been exhausted ever since trying to keep up with both the varsity sport and the few AP classes she has in her schedule. “Maybe they’re all just really touchy-feely friends?”
“I am so telling Mia about this,” Mel tells her enthusiastically as she looks over at the clock. She gasps. “Crap! How did ten minutes go by so fast? Okay, give me the solution.”
Clarke leans against the bar while she waits for Lincoln to finish pouring the beers for his math department coworkers, looking out over the rest of the pub area where so many of her colleagues are mingling and chatting.
Today was the last day of finals for the semester and a lot more of the staff came out for the holiday get together at Indra’s pub than Clarke expected. Most of the time, a lot of the older staff members are eager to leave and be with their families as soon as possible. Clarke’s been used to the same crowd of younger teachers being the only ones to ever show up to Indra’s for staff outings, the same group that all became friends when they were hired within a couple of years of one another. Still, it’s nice to see the coworkers of hers that she doesn’t usually get to see outside of school enjoying themselves.
The school had a few years in a row where they were hiring a lot of younger teachers, so there’s actually a couple of groups of inter-department friendships based solely on the year they were hired. It’s how Bellamy and Lincoln ended up being friends, since they were hired together six years ago. A year after that, Raven was brought into the fold, and the year after is when Clarke and Monty, the school’s only computer science teacher, got hired.
She watches Monty and Miller, the school’s resource officer, chat with Bellamy for a bit until Raven comes and pulls Bellamy away to play a game of darts with her. She observes them for a bit, happy to see them both a little loose from alcohol and the giddiness that is the feeling of being done with first semester.
“You know, you should probably just ask one of them out,” Lincoln tells her as he grabs a pint glass to fill up her usual order.
She turns and raises an eyebrow at him. “Oh?”
He gestures over towards where Bellamy is currently taunting Raven, holding the last dart hostage while he trash talks her.
“It’s clear you’re obviously into both of them,” he says nonchalantly. He and Clarke are not best friends, at least not yet, but they’ve been together as co-sponsors for the past two and a half years and have developed enough of a friendship that she felt comfortable coming out about her bisexuality to him last year.
Still, Clarke’s a little surprised he seems to have such a good read on her when she thought she was doing a decent job of not being too transparent. “Obvious, huh?”
“Hey, just because I work with numbers all day, doesn’t mean I don’t know know people.”
“It is a requirement to be a bartender, I hear,” Clarke says, taking a sip from her cider when he places it in front of her. “Speaking of which, when are you going to take your own advice and ask out a certain brunette of your own? I know the only reason you still have this part time job is because of Octavia.”
She glances over at Bellamy’s sister, who’s currently talking to one of the PE teachers while she grabs a couple of beer bottles for him.
“Nice deflection,” Lincoln tells her, unimpressed. He crosses his arms, the tattoos on his arm visible with his short sleeve t-shirt that is his usual work outfit for the bar. She’s sure if he didn’t wear long sleeved shirts at school all the time, the tattoos would probably just end up increasing the amount of students who have a crush on him, which is already at a high enough number due to his kind personality and teaching ability.
“Likewise,” Clarke tells him, winking as she moves away from the bar. “I’ll make a move when you do!”
She makes her way over to where Monty and Miller are still in discussion in the lounge area, Miller sitting on the edge of his seat so he can lean a little closer to Monty, and they both greet her warmly when she folds her legs underneath herself on the couch across from them. They start up another conversation about the school year so far and plans for break, and eventually Bellamy and Raven join them again, sinking down onto the couch on either side of Clarke, just as Miller stands up to go grab Monty and himself another round.
“Oh, that reminds me,” Monty says, pulling his phone out of his pocket. He motions towards the three of them on the couch. “Have you guys seen what the kids are talking about on Twitter?”
“I actively try and avoid that, actually,” Bellamy tells him.
“Well, they’re talking about you,” Monty says, pulling up his photo album.
“Even more reason to avoid it,” Raven says, taking a long pull of her beer.
“No, like all three of you. I guess they’re trying to figure out which of you are dating one another? Or just hoping that you are, at least?”
Monty hands his phone over and Clarke takes it from him so all three of them can look at what he’s pulled up.
“Just keep swiping through, I have a whole album filled with what I found.”
“How did you even come across this?” Clarke asks, bewildered by the amount of tweets about them.
“You know how I have to run the school’s Twitter account?” Monty asks rhetorically. He got stuck with that assignment the moment he got signed on as the computer science teacher, since none of the administration were really familiar with the social media aspect, but had still wanted some kind of Twitter presence for the school. He’s complained about the assignment ever since.
“Well,” he continues, “I was still getting weekly digest emails of Tweets in my network since I was too lazy to turn them off, and one of them caught my eye with your names in it. After that, it was pretty easy to just do a quick search for their names for you guys. Thought you might want to know about it.”
“Good to know they spend more time talking about us than studying for our classes,” Raven muses, having already given up on looking at the tweets after a cursory glance and a roll of her eyes.
“Jeez, this is way more invested than that notebook I found,” Clarke says, still swiping through the photos on Monty’s phone. “Hey! That’s a picture of me! What?”
Bellamy leans over her shoulder to see a photo taken from a distance of Clarke wearing his senior class shirt, his last name very distinguishable across her back. He laughs loudly and tells her, “It seems I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed you losing that bet.”
“Oh, shut up,” she says, slightly annoyed. “I can’t believe they put a picture of me on the internet.”
“What do you expect? They’re teenagers,” Raven supplies, standing up to go get another beer.
“I just wanted you guys to be aware,” Monty tells the three of them as Clarke hands his phone back to him.
“Thanks Monty,” Bellamy says. “We’ll try and keep an eye on it, but I’m pretty sure it’s just high school kids hopped up on hormones.”
Clarke shakes her head in disbelief. “I need another drink.”
Once she steps out of the car, Mia realizes she should have bundled up more than just sweatpants and a light hoodie underneath her winter jacket. At least it’s a quick walk from the parking lot to the fieldhouse, although the school is never really good about heating the gymnastics area during winter break.
“Reyes should just cancel practice so none of us get hypothermia,” she mutters to herself as she hurries into the hallway that leads to the fieldhouse.
“Mia?” someone says behind her.
Her heartbeat picks up speed as she turns to find Tobias walking in after her, bundled up similar to her in sweats and his letterman jacket.
“Hey, Tobias,” she says with a bright smile, and she suddenly wishes she had spent a little more time putting some make-up on this morning instead of just rolling out of bed ten minutes before practice started.
“You guys have early morning practice too?” he asks her as they walk towards the fieldhouse inner doors.
“Yeah, thanks,” she says as he opens the door for her and lets her pass in front of him, “Reyes wants us to get into the weightlifting room this morning before practice though, so we had to start even earlier this morning. I hate winter break practices sometimes.”
“Oh,” he says, confused. “Blake wanted us to do weight lifting this morning too. I wonder if they’re gonna have us do it together.”
“Maybe,” Mia says as calmly as she can, trying not to freak out thinking about how she might get to spend part of her morning with Tobias, watching him lift weights in workout clothes.
However, as they walk up to the weightlifting room entrance, her hopes of being in the same room as a slightly sweaty Tobias are crushed as they start to listen to the very heated debate Ms. Reyes and Mr. Blake are having.
“Blake, you knew I was going to be using the weights with my gymnasts this morning.”
“How was I supposed to know, Raven?” Mr. Blake asks, exasperated.
“I told you!” Ms. Reyes exclaims, throwing her hands up. “Yesterday!”
“I…” Mr. Blake trails off, an odd look coming over his face. “I was a little distracted. I may not have actually heard you.”
Ms. Reyes snorts, rolling her eyes. “Yeah, I remember what was distracting you.”
Mr. Blake almost looks like he’s blushing as he lifts a hand to rub at the back of his neck, and Mia locks eyes with Mel, who’s standing on the other side of the entrance watching the same thing. Mel’s face looks like Christmas has come three days early, and Mia has to agree that she can kind of see what Mel has been rooting for since the beginning of the year.
“Okay,” Ms. Reyes says, like she’s made a decision, “you can have it for the morning, and we’ll come back after we’re done with our practice. I’m sure your swimming boys need more time with the weights than my gymnasts do, anyway.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Mr. Blake calls after her retreating back.
“Just that we have natural strengthening parts in gymnastics, not so much like swimming. My gymnasts would for sure beat your swimmers in strength exercises,” Ms. Reyes says, like it’s a well-known fact and she’s not smug at all about it.
“Yeah, right,” Mr. Blake says sarcastically.
“We could have a competition?” Tobias offers up loudly next to her.
Lizbeth, who snuck up on Mia’s right sometime during the whole exchange, snorts and leans forward to look at him past Mia. “Eager to lose?”
Tobias steps towards her, his arms spread out, a grin on his face. “Oh, it’s on.”
“What do you think, Blake?” Ms. Reyes asks, amused but looking like she’s actually considering it.
Mr. Blake thinks for a moment, and the two teams wait for his reaction.
“We’d have to do competitions that don’t include swimming or gymnastics. And we’d need a neutral judge.”
The two coaches stare at each other for a couple of seconds before they both say “Clarke” at the exact time, nodding at one another.
“She’s not going to want to give up a morning to sleep in,” Mr. Blake says, making a face.
Ms. Reyes smirks. “I’m sure we could figure out a way to convince her.”
Mr. Blake looks like he’s tries his best to hid a grin, then says, “I’ll get the coffee, you get the bagels and cream cheese?”
“May the best team win,” Ms. Reyes says, holding her hand out for Mr. Blake to shake.
The other students around her start to clap and cheer, and Mia’s pretty sure half of them are only happy because it means that their real practices will be shortened tomorrow. Either way, she’s pretty excited.
She turns to Tobias, who’s looking at her with an excited grin on his face.
“Good luck!” she tells him. She darts forward quickly and plants a kiss on his cheek, then pulls back so she can appreciate the shock on his face. “You’re going to need it!”
She grabs Lizbeth’s hand and pulls her in a sprint towards the gymnastics area, giggling the whole way.
Bellamy’s digging through some drawers in the pool office trying to see if he can find the extra stop watches for practice when Clarke bursts through the door that connects to the outer hallway. She quickly scans the rest of the office area for students, and when she finds none, gives a decisive nod.
“I swear, if I have to listen to fucking Cage say one more homophobic comment in the office, I’m gonna need you and Raven to help me hide the body,” she vents, pacing back and forth in front of his desk.
“What did he say this time?” Bellamy asks sympathetically.
Clarke stops and turns towards him, pinching the bridge of her nose as she shakes her head.
“Nothing out of the ordinary for him, actually,” she says with a huff. “But I just got done with a meeting where admin was saying that they want to try and change the grading system, yet again, and I am already freaking out because I’m not even sure if I’m going to get through the rest of the AP material before May, and…”
Clarke’s breath hitches and she covers her face with her hands, which spurs Bellamy into action. He quickly closes the door to the pool area so it’s mostly shut and then pulls Clarke into his arms, gently rubbing her back and kissing her temple.
“I know you’re stressed,” he tells her, feeling her grip the front of his shirt and take hiccuped breaths. “Clarke, take deep breaths.”
He feels her take a long shuddered breath in. She lets it out slowly, and rests her forehead on his chest.
“There you go, keep breathing like that,” he murmurs, and continues to stroke her back while she slowly relaxes in his arms.
“Thank you,” she says, looking up at him after a few moments have passed.
“Of course,” he says quietly, giving her a quick hug.
He’s just about to let her go and step away when the door opens quickly, one of his varsity swimmers calling out his name as he walks in. Bellamy and Clarke immediately separate from one another, but Bellamy’s sure whatever damage that could come from seeing two teachers near one another is already done.
“Oh,” Tobias says, stopping short just inside the door. “Uhh… sorry. Coach Green wanted me to tell you that he found the other stop watches.”
Bellamy runs a hand through his hair. “Thanks Tobias. You can get back to practice.”
“Right,” Tobias says quickly. Then, as he’s rushing back out the door, “Sorry again!”
There’s a moment of silence between the two of them.
“Shit,” Bellamy says, looking at Clarke who just chuckles and shakes her head.
“Are you at least feeling a bit better?” he asks her.
She nods, a sweet smile on her face. “Yes, thank you for that. I really need to get back to grading though.”
“Yeah,” Bellamy says slowly, “I should probably get back to practice.”
“Good luck with that,” Clarke laughs, on her way out the door.
“Yeah,” Bellamy says, drawing out the syllables to himself. He shakes himself, then grabs his whistle and makes his way back into the pool area.
CapTobiasM: @_MagicInAction007 soooo if what I saw at practice today is anything to go by, bliffin might not be dead in the water after all…
_MagicInAction007: @CapTobiasM !!!!!!!!!!!! TXT ME ASAP
Prom sneaks up way too quickly for everyone involved. Ms. Griffin is a pile of nerves by the time it’s the week of AP testing and prom weekend. Lizbeth might even say she’s more stressed out than her students. It’s hard to say, since Lizbeth is pretty damn stressed out too, but she does her best to help out with making sure prom decorations get to the banquet hall in multiple class officers’ cars.
By the time it hits Friday afternoon, Lizbeth has taken all of her AP tests that week and the banquet hall looks great. She even managed to get ready in less than two hours and, if she says so herself, she looks damn good.
Lizbeth’s date is going to meet her at the banquet hall, since she needs to be there early to help with any last minute touches, so she goes to find Ms. Griffin and any of the other Junior Class Council members who are here early to help.
By the time she manages to figure out that Ms. Griffin is upstairs in the room that the banquet hall has sectioned off for chaperones, Mia’s arrived and attached herself to her side, dragging Tobias along with the two of them as they make their rounds.
They’re just returning back to the entrance of the hall when Mia’s grip on Lizbeth’s arm tightens to the point that she’s worried she’ll bruise.
“Mia, what the hell!”
“Look,” Mia says. Lizbeth follows her gaze and suddenly understands what’s making Mia freak out.
Ms. Reyes has just walked in, and, not that she isn’t pretty in her usual day-to-day appearance, but as she makes her way through lobby, she looks like she just walked off a catwalk.
“Holy shit,” Lizbeth whispers. “Reyfin might actually be a thing.”
(When asked about who she’d be taking to prom, Ms. Griffin had replied with, “The very lovely Ms. Reyes has agreed to be my chaperone date.”
Lizbeth had fist-pumped.
“But what about Mr. Blake?” Mia had asked without thinking.
“Mr. Blake will already be there, considering he’s the Senior Class sponsor,” Ms. Griffin told her slowly, and for once Lizbeth had a thought that their teachers might actually know about the students talking about them.)
“Hi girls,” Ms. Reyes says as she gets closer.
“Ms. Reyes!” Mia gushes. “You look so pretty!”
Ms. Reyes smiles and thanks her, then asks, “You seen Griffin anywhere?”
“She’s upstairs in the chaperone room, but we haven’t been able to get up there since it’s only for chaperones,” Lizbeth tells her.
“Alright, I’ll go see if I can find her,” Ms. Reyes tells them. “Sit tight.”
Mia and Lizbeth watch her walk away for a few seconds, then notice Ms. Griffin making her way down the staircase towards Ms. Reyes. Mia and Lizbeth look at each other and make the decision at the same time to get as close as they can to see the scene unfold in front of them.
Ms. Reyes notices Ms. Griffin coming down the staircase right before she starts to make her way up, and Lizbeth swears it’s like watching a movie; Ms. Griffin’s floor length gown swaying and strappy heels showing as she makes her way down step by step, her hair delicately gathered at the base of her neck in side swept curls, and the way Ms. Reyes’ eyes widen and her hand clutches at the handrail where she placed it before she saw Ms. Griffin.
“Damn, Clarke,” Ms. Reyes says, voice hoarse, and her eyes don’t leave Ms. Griffin the entire time she finishes walking down the staircase.
Lizbeth squeals quietly and starts slapping Mia on the bicep in excitement.
“Ow! Shut up, or we’re going to miss it,” Mia hisses to her.
Ms. Griffin blushes prettily as she finally gets to the base of the staircase, and looks at Ms. Reyes.
“You’re not so bad yourself,” she tells her.
“Ohmigod, Mia,” Lizbeth whispers. “Pinch me, I gotta be dreaming right now.”
Mia actually listens to her for probably the first time in their friendship, so she’s too busy flinching from a pinch to hear the rest of what’s said between Ms. Griffin and Ms. Reyes, and then the two of them are walking towards where she and Mia are hiding, so they scramble to make it look like they weren’t eavesdropping.
As the two women come into view of the girls’ now less suspicious hiding place, they’re laughing at what looks like a corsage on Ms. Griffin’s wrist.
“I can’t believe Bellamy got you an actual corsage,” Ms. Reyes tells her. “Doesn’t he know you’re my date?”
“He got one for you, too,” Ms. Griffin informs her, amused.
“Oh, hell no.”
“Lizbeth!” Ms. Griffin says as she notices her class president. “How are the decorations looking? Everything in place?”
Lizbeth catches her up on everything she’s missed during the setup with Mr. Woods, and before she knows it, the rest of the junior and senior class have arrived and it’s time to sit for dinner.
The rest of the night flashes past in a blur of dancing and crowning of prom court, but when there’s about an hour left in the night, Lizbeth sets out to find her class council sponsors for one last check in.
When she locates them, they’re sitting at one of the banquet tables towards the door, where they have a good view of the rest of the room and dance floor. Mr. Woods has his arm around a very pretty brunette woman who has been leaning into his side the entire night, and Lizbeth pretty much assumes her other sponsor is now happily taken. She’s happy for him; he’s a good teacher and deserves good things.
As for Ms. Griffin, she is looking very relaxed now that the night is almost over, with Mr. Blake on her right, his arm casually draped across the back of her chair. Ms. Reyes is on her left, throwing her head back as she laughs at something, before she rests her forehead on Ms. Griffin’s shoulder.
She watches as Ms. Griffin looks down at Ms. Reyes with a fond look, before glancing back to smile at Mr. Blake.
“Maybe they’re all dating each other?”
Lizbeth jumps, not having realized Mia was right next to her watching the same scene. Then she actually processes what she said.
“You know, like… three people in … one relationship?”
Lizbeth gives Mia a look.
“Whatever,” Mia shrugs, then grabs Lizbeth’s hand. “Come on, there are only like four songs left and Luis has been asking if I think you want to dance with him, and I’m not letting you leave until you do.”
And suddenly, her teachers’ love lives are pushed to the back of her mind as Lizbeth now has to deal with her own.
“We survived the year of prom,” Lincoln says to her warmly, as they’re waiting in the hallway for the graduating seniors to start lining up.
“Yeah, now all we have to look forward to is being in charge of homecoming next year,” Clarke says back dryly.
“Well, aren’t you just Ms. Glass-Half-Full?” he jokes, wrapping one of his huge arms around her.
“I am grateful that this year is done and we have summer break now,” she says as they start walking back towards their section of students.
“Mm. Going to enjoy some time with Mr. Blake and Ms. Reyes?” he asks her, eyebrows raised.
Clarke stops, and glances at Lincoln out of the corner of her eye. “You going to enjoy your time with Ms. Blake?”
“Nice deflection,” he says, poking her nose. “But yes, Octavia and I will be enjoying a summer full of bartending and hiking in our free time. Now, I believe you said you would make a move once I did?”
“Who says I haven’t?” Clarke replies cheekily.
That gives Lincoln some pause. “Who… who did you pick?”
“Who says I had to pick?”
Clarke laughs at the slightly stunned look on Lincoln’s face, then leans in to tell him more quietly, “I found out a long time ago that we’re all really into each other. It’s been working out pretty well, if I say so myself.”
A contemplative look crosses Lincoln’s face before he smiles and says, “That’s great, Clarke. I’m really happy for you.”
Clarke smiles back and then starts to walk away so she can do one last check on her group of seniors before their graduation walk.
“I’m happy for you too, by the way,” she says, turning mid step so she can call out to him. He looks like he might say something back, but then someone is running up to her with a “Ms. Griffin! My cap won’t stay on!” and she’s distracted by the graduation frenzy once more.
Clarke wakes up to the feeling of sunshine on her face, feeling completely rested for the first time in months. Summer has always been the time that she’s taken for herself to completely recoup from the madness that is the rest of the school year. But this year, her summer is just a little bit sweeter.
“Come on, lazy,” Raven says, crawling back onto the bed to drop a kiss on her lips. “Bell and I have already been up for more than an hour now. You need to join us in the land of the living.”
“Mm-mm,” Clarke hums unhappily as Raven pulls away from her.
She catches Raven’s hand and pulls her back to her with surprising strength. She threads her fingers through Raven’s hair as she draws her back in for a much deeper kiss. With the amount that the three of them see each other at work, it’s a miracle they restrain themselves around each other as much as they do, so when they’re in the privacy of their own apartment, Clarke lets herself indulge in these small moments alone with them. Plus, it’s not like it’s her fault that the two of them kept her up so late the night before; she deserves to sleep in a little.
Raven kisses her way down Clarke’s throat, smirking at the bruises scattered along her pale skin, before leaning up to nip at the spot behind her ear.
“Clarke,” she sings softly. “Bell’s making pancakes.”
Clarke sighs and lets Raven pull her out of bed, shuffling her way into the kitchen. She makes her way immediately to the coffee machine, where there’s already an empty cup waiting next to it for her.
Two arms wrap around her from behind as she finishes pouring. Bellamy drops a kiss to the back of her neck, and she leans back into his embrace.
“Mm, good morning,” Bellamy says, his voice making her shiver. She turns her head and gives him a kiss, but it’s a quick one since even Bell and Raven are no match for the draw of her first cup of coffee in the morning.
Bellamy moves back to finish making the batch of pancakes, and Clarke curls up on one of the open kitchen chairs. She leans into Raven who’s checking her Facebook for lack of things to do.
“Mmm, you have a friend request,” she tells Raven.
“You’re very observant this morning,” Raven tells her, amused. Still, she clicks on the little icon that takes her to the friend requests, and then bursts out laughing when she sees the name.
“It’s Mia,” she tells them, when they both look at her in surprise. “I… don’t think I’m going to accept. I remember seeing those tweets this past year.”
“Ugh, don’t remind me,” Clarke says as she brings the coffee cup up to take a long sip.
“We are really going to have to work on our work personas,” Raven muses as she hits the decline button. “Or… at least you two will have to. Bliffin was definitely way more popular than Reyfin or Rake.”
“Shhh,” Clarke says, the caffeine still not kicking in yet completely. “Summertime now. Not thinking about that.”
Raven smiles fondly at her, holding her hand out for Clarke’s empty coffee cup. Clarke hands it over without question, and Raven gets up to refill it for her, leaning over to give Bellamy a quick kiss on the cheek as she moves over to the coffee machine.
_MagicInAction007: @_Lizzzzbeth98_ got denied fb access :( the task falls to you to figure it out next year #mysteryofthecentury #ArkHighSoapOpera