Disclaimer: The only thing I own is the story idea and only some of the witty remarks. I own so little; so please don't steal.
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"Francis, we may have a problem."
"Ah, mon ami, always glad to hear your voice!" Granted, it was already quite late in the night, later than any respectful gentleman would be wandering outside. He himself was sitting up nicely in his bed, romance novel in one hand (when you sorted past the chick flick material, you could find some really nice works) and phone in the other. Francis Bonnefoy considered himself well off, safe in his little house, and he had figured that his friend Antonio had also gotten off alright with his new teaching job, but he swore he heard the strangely seductive sounds of the city in the background.
"I just woke up…"
"Now that's nothing to be ashamed of." The walls of wherever Antonio was were thin; it gave Francis the image of a seedy motel room with peeling wallpaper. The last time he spoke to Antonio, his Spanish friend had claimed he lived on campus. Picking at the pages of his book absentmindedly, Francis blew a strand of long dirty blonde hair out of his face as he waited for his friend to continue.
"…next to someone." Antonio sounded frightened, and if Francis could see him, the latter knew Antonio was looking over his shoulder.
"Alright. That's not always a bad thing. Where are you?"
"I don't know. Actually, I sort of do, but don't get any funny ideas in your head and come pick me up. Leaving is risky in itself."
Francis almost smiled. "Antonio Carriedo, never in our twenty-so years of knowing each other have I ever heard you sound so scared to leave a building."
"It's not okay for me to seen here!" The voice rose then quickly diminished. Then a relieved, "Whew!" before, "What should I do?"
"Honey, this is not your first time having sex nor will it be your last. Take a deep breath. What's the girl like? Cute? But no, then you wouldn't be nervous at all." Francis had put down his book and was flicking at the television in his room with the remote in his hand. "Did you call Gilbert?"
"Gilbert would give me flack about it and I don't want to get him involved either!"
"Okay…" This puzzle was no longer fun and Francis felt himself grow bored. "Antonio, be frank with me. What's wrong? Did you pick up a lady of the night?"
"No, even worse!"
"What could be even worse than accidentally contracting a sexually transmitted disease, or at least, risking it?"
"Francis!" Antonio whispered loudly so that it was hardly a whisper anymore. "I believe I have just gotten under the influence, made a few wrong turns, and climbed into bed with one of my students!"
There was a silence on both lines before Francis switched to the next channel. "Is that all you called me about?"
Contrary to popular student belief, teachers do hear everything. They know quite a bit about everyone they teach, from how drunk they got last weekend to who they were caught giving head to in the shady port-a-potty in the woods.
Antonio Carriedo hadn't thought that what happens in college didn't stay in college; but when he returned several years later to his alma mater with more hangovers and mucho experience, his first few days were spent knowing a bit more than he liked about most of his students.
He thought he saw a couple of students on campus exchange small baggies but he decided to pretend he saw nothing at all. By the end of the first month, he was quite certain where the girls went to get their tans and Brazilians. By the end of the first month, he knew where several of the boys hid their beer and at least the condom sizes of one-fifth of the sophomore class.
It was quite enough for him to consider a job change.
"Man, you don't get it," Gilbert said one afternoon when they were on lunch break. Gilbert Beilschmidt had been at the school for a year before Antonio, lecturing on dead nations. "This sort of thing we called 'drama'. It's extraneous for us old men to know about, but it sort of feels like we're in college again, doesn't it? At least now we can pass judgment and get away with it!"
Gilbert proceeded to invite Antonio to go barhopping with him, to which he declined, because he'd known Gilbert in college to know what happened when you went drinking with the albino.
Antonio figured the only reason Gilbert didn't mind was because he had easy access to the dirt on his younger brother Ludwig, who had the misfortune to enroll in the same college his older brother taught at. Ludwig was one that Antonio still had a good impression about, and he was still as meticulous as Gilbert teased him about in high school.
It was hardly a surprise when Antonio entered the lecture hall and overheard a couple of girls gossiping in the front row (they always sat there and stared at him but never took notes; Antonio couldn't wrap his mind around it), and was just unpacking his papers when he'd heard, "…seriously, that Vargas really is such a manwhore."
He resisted the urge to look up and felt somewhat bad for listening in; but he was a teacher, and he had the responsibility to report anything bad such as prostitution in the halls of this institution. And anyway, he never thought Feliciano Vargas, that ditzy, klutzy art student whom Gilbert swore was going to be his brother in law someday, was capable of sleeping around.
The girls continued their vague discussion, with stories of bribes and torrid relationships (Antonio wondered if this was some sort of soap opera they were discussing and the main character just happened to share the same last name of someone he knew, it would be weird) when there was the unmistakable sound of books colliding brutally on the table, as if whoever had thrown them had thrown them with a vengeance.
"I'm so flattered that you would find me interesting enough to start the conversation without me being there." Although Antonio would not admit it readily, he didn't know everyone in his classes. He did not recognize this voice; in fact, some students greeted him in the hallways and he would not recognize their face. It was expected in large lectures halls such as this. He looked up anyway; someone with the same face as Feliciano Vargas minus the sweet, innocent smile had spoken.
The girls broke away, giving him disgusted looks and leaning in again after he had sat down to discuss the new fashion of hat scarves. Antonio had been staring - he knew, he was trying to find a name – when the twin smirked at him. "You like?"
The girls started grumbling and Antonio glanced at them as one whispered something about, "flirting with the teacher".
"Don't call the kettle black," the twin announced. "What do you think you lot do, with your short skirts and perfume that I can smell all the way from the back?" There were shrieks of indignation but the twin had done his trick; Antonio was scrambling for his grading book to get the name.
Romano Vargas. Better known as the snarky author of the paper on how Nathaniel Hawthorne was a sex-craved maniac cross dresser. Now owner of the only A- in the class for sheer cheek.
When Antonio handed out the assignments, the smile dripping off Romano's face stuck to him and nearly gave him whiplash as he was pulled back by the boy after class, after the girls had left and no prying eyes could watch the Italian pick his way to the front as Antonio packed his belongings. "That was an interesting lecture today, professor."
"I'm glad you thought so." Antonio looked up to see the freshman standing in front of his desk, a mischievous grin on his face. "Don't you have class, Vargas? Or would you like to spend a period talking about nineteenth century literature?"
"As tempting as that sounds, I'm going to have to pass." Romano rolled his eyes, but their salty green quickly snapped back onto Antonio, who was making his way to the stairs toward the door. "I don't sleep around, by the way."
Antonio was torn between saying, "That's nice to know," or "Why would you tell me?" and what came out of his mouth was this: "That's nice to tell me." Cursing the very words that left his lips, Antonio hoped his rank as awesome-not-even-thirty professor rank wouldn't drop by that ungainly handling of language. Romano raised an eyebrow.
"I'll see you around, professor."
Gilbert was about to sink his teeth into a delicious wurst and pickle sandwich when Antonio asked the question and distracted him. "What do you know about Romano Vargas?"
"He's a whore," Gilbert said, after he spit out the bread and condiments and wiped his mouth and finished laughing, to which Antonio took with a grain of salt. "At least, that's what everyone says. That he offered to climb into bed with the admissions officer and that's why he's here." Gilbert shrugged. "But of course, you know college kids. Just like high school grudges only with access to sex and beer."
"I don't think you should just generalize it like that."
"His brother stands up for him, though," Gilbert mumbled around the food in his mouth, taking a drag from a silver flask that he kept on his person at all times. Antonio knew better than to ask and Francis claimed that he couldn't tell what sort of liquid was in there, even with his iron chef nose. "He doesn't really stand out, does he? Sort of your normal college kid. Just probably getting hazed, you know."
"Does he?" Gilbert gave him a look and Antonio continued. "Does he really offer to sleep with his teachers?"
Gilbert howled. "You planning on failing him to get in his pants?"
Antonio left Gilbert to eat by himself. But it made him wary; whenever Romano came to talk to him, he was sure to read as much as he could between the lines so that when he was asked if the boy could stay after class to talk about a B he had gotten, it had no sexual connotations. (He didn't give the B because he wanted Romano to stay back! No, no, no, get your mind out of the gutter). He wondered if there was anything that "I've got to talk to you about this paper, boss," that could be interpreted in a dirty way.
Oh, if Francis was here, he could be enlightened. Now he was faced with an emptying room and a boy that intimidated him more than Gilbert and a gun.
"You didn't like what I said?"
"It's not that; you're completely off topic." He was in charge; he was in the big swirly chair. He was the one with the professor reading glasses and the tacky school album bifocal chain. He had the red pen and Antonio was still definitely the boss of the situation when Romano walked around the table and climbed onto the chair while he was still sitting on it.
"Do I make you feel uncomfortable?" Romano chuckled as Antonio turned red and started stuttering something about personal space. "Bastard." But before Antonio could wield professorial powers and reprehend him on language, Romano leaned into him and kissed him, plunging the lecture hall into silence.
He was a teacher, he was a teacher, he was a teacher, and this was a student, no matter how legal! "I'm still not dropping the B," Antonio found himself saying stubbornly when Romano broke away. The Italian laughed.
"Is that why you think I did that?"
"Me ne frego, I don't care even if you failed me and told everyone else to fail me. I'm just here for the ceramics program." Romano smirked, poking a sharp finger into Antonio's chest. "I just thought that it would be interesting if I did, that's all. Was it?"
"No. It was wrong. I've got to go."
Romano pouted, sticking out his lip in a decidedly adorable way. "Everyone's right. You really are a jerk. You pretend to be nice, but you're not."
"I…what?" This was really what people thought? Did they not know that Gilbert had told him not to teach because he would give out free A's? Did they not know that they could all manipulate him if they just said the right words? It was awful and immoral, but teachers like him got past the system all the time.
"There's a party down the street near my place tonight. Come with me?"
Antonio wanted to say no but he had nothing to do around seven so he found himself at the corner, wondering if he had been stood up and realizing that Romano had been watching and laughing at him from the window for five minutes.
A couple of drinks and a dark dance floor later, he didn't even know what he was doing anymore.
"Francis, this is a student dorm. I don't know how no one has found out I'm here yet, but I'll okay to keep it that way." Antonio was becoming hysterical. Francis tried to make his voice sound as calm and soothing as possible.
"How far is this student dorm thing from your place?"
"Where are your clothes?"
"On the floor. But there are cameras in the lobby! I can't just slip out and pretend I wasn't there! Especially if someone sees me!"
"Antonio, Antonio. Remember when we were playing around the girls in that sorority? And it was after curfew? And the dorm witch was coming around? What did we do? Yes, that's right; we climbed out the window and let the bushes catch us."
"I think those are rose bushes under the window," Antonio said, his voice sounding distracted as Francis heard the telltale clink of a belt buckle. "But I'm a teacher! I can't do this!"
"At this point, can you really say that?"
"Oh…dammit." There was a silence before the sound of wind through a window. "Alright, I'm out…hold on, I'll call you back when I get back…it's a bit hard to get out of this window, they totally changed it to be harder to climb out of…"
Francis was smiling when he heard a faint voice in the background call, "Close the window when you're done, won't you?" and the yelp and the sound of one twenty-nine year old flailing out a dorm window and he decided that Antonio had it all figured out.
Note: Someone needs to just stop me. I have nothing to say about Romano's OOC but that whoever kisses up to a teacher needs to have massive guts.