If you listened to the gossip around the playground of National City High School, you'd hear a lot of different things. How Mrs Danvers, the Headmistresses wife, always left half way through class for some mysterious reason. That some 9th Graders swore that Mr Henshaw was an alien.
But the one that was most prominent within all the years was the illustrious affair that was happening between Ms In-Ze and Miss Danvers, not to be confused with the Headmistresses wife. The Biology and History departments were oddly next to each other, and the pair were increasingly being seen together. At first, they thought it was just a rivalry, with the extended stares and the whispering amongst the hallways.
That was, of course, until Carter Grant let it slip that both teachers had come over for Sunday lunch with his moms, and that set the whole school alight. Within a matter of days, the mutterings of 'General Danvers' was heard around the school, coining the history teacher's official title.
"Mr Shaw, stop passing that note right now or I'll confiscate it and read every word aloud in front of the class."
Alex glanced up over her glasses, and couldn't help but sigh. Usually class 4A were great, receptive and interactive, but over the last few weeks they'd been beyond rowdy, and increasingly snickering. At first, she thought she had something in her teeth, but their continual disturbance had her patience wearing thin.
The white flash of the paper crossed across the two desks, and she immediately grabbed it, surprised at her own reflexes and the grinning students in front of her. Usually there was blushing and a few pleas for her to stop, but the muffled giggles coming from half the class made her eyes narrow.
The paper was well worn, and was basically covered in the various scribbles of the majority of her class. Whatever was on it, it must be important.
"Do you reckon Ms In-Ze gave her that hickey?"
Her voice faltered as soon as she realised what she'd just said. She forced her hand not to raise towards the bruise she knew was sporting on her neck. She'd attempted to wear a scarf in the morning, but the sweltering heat outweighed her awareness of the bite.
"While I appreciate you find it fun to spend your time on the wonders of my love life, you can all read an extra two chapters of the textbook for Friday's class."
The grins immediately turned to groans and frowns, with several glances out the window to the bright sunshine of the May weather. She knew it was harsh, but there was very little discussion going on about the cellular respiration going on right now. And Cat Grant had been pushing everyone to speed through the syllabus.
The bell rung overhead, and Alex smiled slightly at the bustling of the bags being packed and the quick 'byes' they gave her as they went out the lab door. Despite their recent troubles, Alex had a great class, and she was somewhat glad Kara had talked her into joining the staff. It felt odd, moving back home to the familiar hallways of her old high school, but she was done with the constant move across the military schools of the US, and decided to settle down back to the roots.
"Lunch?" a very recognisable voice came from the door.
She looked up from the quizzes she'd set earlier in the class, and saw her girlfriend leaning against the lab door.
"God, I'm starving," Alex groaned, removing her lab coat and throwing it over her desk chair. Without thinking, she grabbed the note, half crumpled, and threw it in the bin.
Astra lightly touched her hip as she passed, feather light as they moved into the busy hallways.
"What was that?" the history teacher asked, smiling at the students that ran past, all desperate to get outside into the sun.
Alex groaned, pushing her glasses onto her forehead and running a hand over her face, "Urgh, you don't even want to know,"
"More trouble with the wonderful 4A?"
She was always slightly surprised at Astra's insane ability to remember every little detail. She knew it was probably a result of her time in the military, but Alex had served for 5 years and didn't have nearly the memory the older woman did.
"The rumour mill is once again running. They noticed your lovely little present from last night." Her hand lightly motioned to the small mark on her throat.
Astra distinctly moved towards her, her head lowering, "It's not my fault you wore that little number for me last night."
Alex felt the heat rise to her cheeks, and quickly pushed Astra away, a laugh bubbling up.
"You're probably the one causing the rumours, if you keep talking like that, General."
The biology teacher tried to ignore the smirk that came across her girlfriend's features, and the glint in her eyes. They were both plenty used to teasing each other throughout the school day, but it wasn't usually in the middle of the busy corridor.
They finally crossed over into the threshold of the staff room, Astra immediately heading towards the coffee maker and Alex towards the fridge.
"The prodigal daughters return..." Cat Grant's voice rang out throughout the staff room. She was over in her usual seat, glasses perched on her nose and the paper in front.
Alex would have been scared of the tone of the Headmistress, but the image of Cat fully suited in Kara and Carter's laser tag suit painted a very different picture.
"All of the staff, me included, have had to deal with the wonders of your relationship throughout today. I do wish you'd be slightly more careful with your forays after hours."
"I'll make sure to give you an extra slice of my lasagne next time we're over, Cat," the former general grinned, knowing Cat was only teasing.
Alex heartily tucked into her salad. She'd usually go for the burgers in the school canteen, but Astra's insistence at more healthy eating led to the Greek salad that she was currently consuming. She'd never admit it, but she rather liked it.
"You know, I had Archie Miller ask me if I was aware of how the 'General' was defiling my sister..."
She couldn't help but laugh, despite both Cat and Astra's glares. She wasn't exactly the most well behaved student back in the day, and the idea of Kara's face when she was asked that made her grin.
"It might be best," Cat announced, "if you two were to publicly declare your relationship, just so we can get past these wonderful rumours that have been gracing our halls."
"We thought you didn't want us to go public?" Astra asked before taking a sip of what Alex knew to be black coffee with an extra double shot.
Cat sighed, removing her glasses, "That was back when you had your weird little tryst going on. You two weren't exactly serious, and I didn't want the backlash affecting the school if it didn't work out."
The headmistress had a point. The relationship they had now had blossomed out of a few months of booty calls and one unfortunate time in the janitors closet that both of them attempted to forget. It had ultimately lead to Alex staying the night one time, and the rest was history. But there had always been a silent agreement to keep it on the down low, despite all the rumours that had been bubbling the last few weeks.
They just avoided all questions and weren't overly affectionate. Apart from the odd kiss as they were parting for the day, when they were sure no-one was looking, the majority of the focus on their relationship was purely made up by the students imagination. She was pretty sure they weren't aware that they lived together and went round to Cat and Kara's for dinner each Sunday.
The bell ringing again abruptly pushed Alex out of her thoughts, and she quickly gathered up her food, slipping it back in the fridge of her to collect at the end of the day.
The final two hours passed with surprisingly little incident, and only one question subtly about her love life. She was relieved her last two periods were Seniors, who were all too caught up in exams to really care about the rumours going round the whole student body. Their numerous questions and panics about the exams had her on edge nearly as much as the period before lunch, and she honestly couldn't wait to get home.
After tidying up her classroom and gathering her things, Alex waited in her usual spot in Astra's office. Dating a head of department really had its perks... By now, there was only a few student mulling around and chatting, quickly catching up before the buses left.
Suddenly she felt Astra behind her, hands on her hips softly turning her. Despite all her bags, Astra's arms somhehow came to fit nicely round her waist. She barely had time to process before soft lips covered hers and she relaxed into her girlfriend's arms.
"What was that for?" Alex mumbled against Astra's lips, pressing herself further against the taller woman.
"Just, I know 'coming out' about our relationship may not be the most comfortable thing for you. I know you're a private person, and I just don't want you to-"
Alex kissed her swiftly again, her heart hammering wildly in her chest. She wasn't sure did to deserve this amazing, wonderful woman in her life.
"All the students already know I'm gay, Astra." Alex muttered, grinning at thought of the LGBT focused class they had at the beginning of the term. She wasn't originally planning to come out to the kids, but one girls question about being confused about her sexuality had the words out of her lips before she could think of the consequences. All she could remember was Astra's smile, and 'well done babe' under her breath.
"And I love you more than anything in the world, even more than my thesis research."
Astra's laugh fluttered through the room, the deep rich noise that immediately had Alex simultaneously grinning and weak at the knees.
Alex grasped the history teacher harder, her arms coming up to loop behind her girlfriend's neck to play with the brown hair that sat just past Astra's shoulders.
This kiss was far softer, the kind that made the her heart flutter and her head go a little bit fuzzy.
The door suddenly burst open and Alex's body worked on autopilot, roughly shoving her girlfriend away from her, and a hand immediately running through her hair.
"Yooooo!" The boy shouted, pointing at them. "Guys, I just caught General Danvers making out in the office!"
Before they even knew it, there was at least 15 students crowded around the doorway, Benjamin Shaw's half finished homework forgotten. The pair merely stood, staring dumbly at the door.
"Shit." Alex swore under her breath, glancing over at her equally shocked girlfriend.
"I guess we don't have to announce it anymore..."
The pair tried to ignore the round of applause that suddenly started when they both entered the school grounds the next day. Alex breathed deep, clutching her bag in one hand, and quickly grasping Astra's hand in the other.