Disclaimer: I don't know 'N Sync, or anything about them, especially their sexual preference. I am as ignorant as I claim to be.
Black Magic One
Every day seemed to pass the same way in Northbrook, Connecticut. The same people walked in the same direction, and the same colors painted themselves along the horizon at the same time, and the same breezes whispered sacred thoughts in the ears of the select few willing to listen. Upon closer inspection, though, Northbrook had a few diversities that it could boast about, like that group of skate boarders who found a new spot to board in every day, and that group of hippie-esque beatniks who met in a different corner every day to glare condescendingly at the few people who dared to walk by them.
The only thing Northbrook had going for it was its population of young people, although it was a known fact that they would move away from the town as soon as they could. Northbrook was only a college town dotting the coastal line of Connecticut, its only inhabitants being the college students who really did care about an education and not just partying, or the kids whose parents knew would only party if they went to a big college so they sent them to Northbrook.
Being a professor at the college, Kirkpatrick seemed to know everything that happened in Northbrook. He knew every face, although sometimes he didn't know the name to go along with it, and he knew a tidbit about every person living there. For instance, that girl who takes American History at 9:00 always eats a brownie before she goes in, and Kirkpatrick had a distinct feeling that she threw it up right after the class.
The little things like that didn't matter, though, and the thing about Northbrook that really irked Kirkpatrick was its closeness. Everyone knew everyone, and if no one moved away, it would just be a town full of inbreds. Not a single citizen of Northbrook didn't know that the same girl who has History at 9 sings in the "big city" of Meriden on Saturday nights in a bar for some easy money, although hardly anyone actually knew her personally.
Sometimes, Kirkpatrick was tempted to move away from Northbrook, that little town that threatened to strangle him with its firm, protective grip. When he was feeling overly pensive, he would reach out blindly around him, daring the hands that glued themselves around his neck to just get it over with and kill him, but he knew that the only way to get rid of them was to just get up and leave.
He couldn't bring himself to do that, though. Northbrook was his security blanket. He had a steady job as a drama teacher in a little college, small enough that it didn't take up too much of his time, but it was always lurking in the corner of his mind. No matter what happened, Kirkpatrick knew that he would always have his job at Northbrook College, and he would always teach drama there.
Northbrook never seemed to change. The only thing that was remotely flexible was time, and in that, seasons and weather. Other than that, though, everything was constant.
And now, as Kirkpatrick flipped through the Time magazine glaring up at him in its wordly and glossy texture, he knew that he would be in Northbrook forever, and he would always be another teacher, and in that, another old guy teaching those rebellious young students.
He knew, when he heard the church bells from the on-campus church ring, that the door to his class room would open any minute. In would walk Lance, an always nervous junior who just transferred to Northbrook.
As predicted, Lance scurried into the room, the door fluttering open with a bang and the tranquility broken as Lance rushed to his seat two rows back in the center, his three books sliding against each other and threatening to fall off of the stack carried awkwardly in his arms.
"'Afternoon, Lance," Kirkpatrick said, his slightly high pitched voice drifting over to Lance, where he sat arranging his books into a perfect stack.
Lance looked up, his green eyes wide as they always were. "'Afternoon, Kirkpatrick," he said, his deep voice booming out in a way contradictory to everything in Lance's physical appearance. The way Lance said good afternoon every day always made Kirkpatrick smile in that crooked way of his because Lance's voice sounded so amazed that he'd managed to make it to Drama on time even though he had Beginning Poetry right before, and that was only two doors down.
The door opened once more, and a nameless freshman walked in and scurried to the back. Kirkpatrick didn't bother with that student all that much, even though it made him feel sort of neglectful. The kid didn't care about the class, though, which made up for Kirkpatrick's neglegence in an oddly convincing way. The boy's name was Nick, but Kirkpatrick thought of him as nameless, and he always sat low in his seat, glaring out the window through blue eyes that seemed to soil everything they landed upon. He was obviously a selfish boy, and Kirkpatrick didn't want to deal with that.
The door opened once more and the final four students in Kirkpatrick's small afternoon class strolled in, the first three chatting flippantly together and giggling in that high pitched way that only girls can do. The last one walked slowly and languidly, his tall frame oozing a carefree attitude that Kirkpatrick only managed to envy. The boy plopped down in the seat next to Lance that he always took, nodding at Lance in recognition before leaning back in his little desk to listen to whatever it was Kirkpatrick had to say.
Kirkpatrick had always envied that about the tall kid named Justin. Aside from the fact that he had at least a half a foot on Chris' short stature, he never seemed to worry about anything. No matter what happened, Justin took it in stride. To get that kind of an attitude, Kirkpatrick knew he'd have to be snorting some heavy shit whenever he could.
"Hello everyone," Kirkpatrick greeted, pulling the wire-rimmed glasses off of his eyes and placing them on top of the forgotten Time magazine.
Nick mumbled a greeting from the back before glaring out the window again, the three girls all said hello with a giggle to accompany it, Lance seemed to be calmed down by Kirkpatrick's easy tone and managed to get a "hi" out, and Justin nodded at Kirkpatrick in the same manner he'd nodded to Lance.
"We're going to start working on improv today. This is the first time that we'll really be acting in front of the class, so I want you all to show me what you can do," Kirkpatrick said, hoping that the mindless youths in front of him gave a damn about Drama in the first place. So far, they had only read a few dramas and a few Shakespearian plays and talked about possibly taking a field trip to see a play performed, and they hadn't actually done any acting. Kirkpatrick wasn't exactly looking forward to watching the three girls giggle their way through a performance or seeing Lance nervously fumble over his lines. Justin was an unreadable student, and Kirkpatrick was anxious to see if he could act at all, though he doubted it. With his laid back mannerisms, he didn't seem to care at all about acting.
One of the girls in his class, Britney, raised her hand.
"Yes, Britney?" Kirkpatrick asked, hoping that whatever she had to say didn't make him want to quit teaching right then and there.
"So, umm...with improv, we, like, don't have a script or anything, right?" The question was accompanied by a harmonious sound of gum chewing from her two sidekicks, and even a bubble was blown to act as the cymbal in the orchestra of three twenty year old girls who could hardly call themselves young adults.
Kirkpatrick resisted the urge to pull his gently spiked hair out of his head, and smiled slightly when Justin truned his head to look at Britney. "Britney," he said, his voice surprisingly calm. "Have you listened at all the past few days? Oh, wait. You just sit there talking the whole time and smacking your gum so damn loud that I can't even hear Kirkpatrick."
Britney seemed put out by Justin's gently barbing comment, and she looked away with an indifferent frown on her face. Justin had that effect on people-whenever he made a comment, it either made the recipient ecstatic or angry because he made comments so rarely that they always had a large impact.
Kirkpatrick sighed, feeling the need to restore happiness to the classroom that was now filled with an altered sense of peace. All he ever wanted was for his students to be happy, and for them to like him, but he wasn't quite sure that happened. It was every teacher's dream to be their students' favorite, but Kirkpatrick wasn't so sure that he was that to any of his students.
"Yes, Britney. No scripts are used," Kirkpatrick said, tactfully ignoring Justin's comment even though he glared at the student for a moment. Justin seemed to pull himself out of the league that his fellow students were in, and acted much more mature than a sophomore should. Because of that, Kirkpatrick knew that Justin could always read his thoughts, and that always made him nervous. Every time a lame joke fell from his lips, he always snuck a look at Justin first to see if he got it, and Kirkpatrick just knew that Justin smiled a smug smile the second Kirkpatrick's eyes left his own. Justin knew that he made Kirkpatrick a little bit nervous, which only served to make Kirkpatrick just a little bit more worried every time Justin made a comment or smiled that all-knowing smile of his.
"I have a book right here on improv," Kirkpatrick began, reaching beside him for a book that seemed to scream to be noticed with its bright green cover, "and I'll be using it today. It has a section with little plot triggers in it that I will say and someone will act out."
As he glanced up at the disinterested faces around him, Kirkpatrick knew it would be a long class. He just wished that maybe one day someone would sign up for Drama who actually cared.
Kirkpatrick eagerly collapsed into a chair at Fatone's, a coffee shop just outside of the campus. He sat in the same chair everyday when his afternoon class was over, and he always swiveled in it repeatedly as his arms folded over the immaculately clean counter.
Joe Fatone, Sr. was a large italian man from New York City, and his two sons, Steve and Joey, opened up a coffee house in Northbrook after having attended the college for two years and dropping out because it was so boring. Apparently, though, they realized how much money they could make off of the students, and they opened up a coffee shop with the reluctant blessing of Joe, Sr. Joey had been in Kirkpatrick's class as a freshman, and it was Kirkpatrick's first year of teaching. Joey had been the only one in the class who cared, and Kirkpatrick had immediately recognized talent in the kid. College wasn't for Joey and Steve, though, and now Kirkpatrick ordered a moccachino every day from the boy named Joey he'd taught his frist year of teaching. Joey was nineteen when Kirkpatrick had him, and he was twenty-five now. Kirkpatrick himself was only twenty-nine, but teaching made him feel much older than he was. Even when he had started teaching at only twenty-three he felt old, and very detached from all of the other teachers. He was too young to associate with the other teachers and too old to associate with the students. That was until JC started teaching there, though. JC became a teacher two years after Kirkpatrick, and his classroom was right next door. He taught History of American Musical Theater, and the two men got along excellently.
Glancing at his watch, Kirkpatrick grinned. It was two o'clock-that meant JC would arrive any second.
"Hey Kirkpatrick!" Joey called, looking up from the coffee mug he was rinsing out. "You want your mochachinno now?"
Kirkpatrick nodded. "Yeah, I'll take it. And JC's cappucino, too."
Joey grinned at his former teacher and set to work on making the coffees, and Kirkpatrick smiled when he heard the door of Fatone's ding open. He didn't have to look up to know that it was JC, and he smiled when the seat next to him was suddenly occupied.
"Hey," JC said, his voice breathless. "I ran here," he added. "I feel like I never exercise anymore-I just hole up in the house."
Kirkpatrick nodded, a mischievous grin creeping up on his face. "You were exercising a lot last night, too," he said. "You were damn sweaty, too. You smelt like a pig."
Joey grined from where he was making the coffees. He loved listening to Kirkpatrick and JC bicker back and forth because it was always so...intimate. The two were best friends, and they even shared a house. They were like brothers, or at least that's what everyone in Northbrook thought.
No one in Northbrook knew that whenever JC's name was mentioned, Kirkpatrick thought of him moaning out the ever-intimate "Chris" while they were making love, the formalities of a last name forgotten. No one knew that the second their door was closed, the air was heavy with lingering touches and smoldering gazes. And as they sat in Fatone's, waiting for Joey to place their coffees in front of them, no one knew that the exercise Kirkpatrick mentioned consisted of some heavy duty sex that could only be described as fucking.
JC looked down at the counter, knowing that he couldn't look at Kirkpatrick when he made those comments because damn, they turned him on, especially because they sounded so innocent but only served to make images of sweaty skin sliding against sweaty skin and of those bedroom eyes that his very own Chris looked at him with, and he smiled and traced a pattern into the counter. "Yeah. I know. I worked out last night. But...you know..I just felt kind of lazy."
Kirkpatrick sighed, nodding. "I know what you mean. I think I need to work out some tonight...wanna go for a run with me?"
JC glanced at Kirkpatrick, a slight blush creeping onto his cheeks. He hoped Joey didn't look over, because he just knew that their secret would be out if he did. Well, actually, he was extrememly paranoid that their secret would be out if Joey looked over. In actuality, no one would notice anything. It just looked like two best friends having a normal conversation about their fitness habits, and JC knew that. He was just always nervous.
"Maybe," he muttered, looking away in annoyance from Kirkpatrick's smug smile.
Joey smiled and set the two coffees down on the counter. Kirkpatrick took a sip of his and smiled, the liquid sliding down his throat like heaven.
He glanced over at JC, his eyes roaming over his lover's body over the rim of his coffee cup. Oh, they would exercise that night. He was sure of it.
Magic was fake.
Kirkpatrick was sure of it, and as he flipped through the channels of his television, he was positive that just about every show on was a magic show. He didn't like to watch them; he understood how fake they were. So, he flipped the TV to that channel that only played the TV listings and left it there, waiting for something good to scroll across the screen.
He wished that he could erase the memories of his afternoon class from his mind. It had gone horribly. Nick and Britney had acted out a scene entitled, "Curfew Broken." The improv book Kirkpatrick gave sketchy titles that didn't say much, and it was up to the actors to make up the little details.
Of course Nick and Britney had gone the easy way out, and their scene was so predictable that Kirkpatrick had to close his eyes for a moment and hope that maybe he'd wake up from that nightmare sometime soon.
It didn't help, either, that when he looked up, Justin was looking at him and not the scene. Justin looked away upon being looked at, but Kirkpatrick had been all too aware of his student's eyes gazing at him from that seat just left of center in the second row.
As Nick had played Britney's overbearing father, Kirkpatrick had found himself wishing that magic really did exist so that he could magically transmit talent to the students before him, but alas, a wave of his hand only produced a little breeze to flutter his hair.
JC stumbled into the living room, plopping down onto the couch next to Kirkpatrick. He snaked one of his long, skinny arms around Kirkpatrick's waist and leaned his head against Kirkpatrick's shoulder, smiling as he felt the familiar skin of his lover's neck brushing against his forehead.
"Hey Josh," Kirkpatrick said, using JC's real first name. It was so intimate for them to use each other's first name that they did it whenever they could, and it provided a refresher for them against the harsh reality of being a professor in a college where no one cared and there were only about eight people in every class.
JC smiled, pulling Kirkpatrick closer to him. "Hey," he replied, his blue eyes flickering up to Kirkpatrick's hairline and then back to the TV.
"Nothing's on," Kirkpatrick told him, running a finger lightly up and down JC's side.
"What a surprise," JC said, rolling his eyes.
They sat silently for a moment, watching the TV Guide channel scroll away before their eyes.
"There's a faculty meeting tomorrow," JC finally said, bringing up his free hand to snake it through his brown hair that desperately needed a hair cut.
"I hate those damn things," Kirkpatrick said, his voice leaving his mouth in a way that was just a little bit more edgy than he'd intended.
"Me too," JC replied, either missing the way Kirkpatrick's voice bit into the evening air or simply choosing to ignore it.
Kirkpatrick smiled and leaned into JC for a moment. "We could skip it," he said, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
JC smiled back at him for a second, but then shook his head. "You know we can't, Chris. If we want to get tenure..."
Kirkpatrick tuned out JC's voice because at the moment, he didn't give a shit about tenure. He was tired of going to those damn meetings with the same damn people and sitting in the back with JC, feeling like some young rebel punk because he wasn't old and graying and he didn't have much to say at the meetings. Then again, he felt old whenever he went because the only people around him were old, and he was sick of feeling so damn old all the time. He wasn't even thirty yet and he felt like he was sixty.
Kirkpatrick glanced at JC and sighed when he saw that he was being stared at by his own Josh in a confused way that made him pull JC close and bury his face in JC's shoulder.
"Look, Josh. I'm just sick of sucking up to the fucking dean until we get tenure. I just..." Kirkpatrick paused, a sigh interrupting his train of thought. "I just want to stay at home with you."
JC smiled broadly and leaned back into the black leather couch in the living room, pulling Kirkpatrick close to him. JC had always thought he looked odd with Kirkpatrick, for Kirkpatrick was a mere sixty-seven inches, or maybe sixty-eight on a good day, and he looked like a scheming elf most of the time. JC, though, was at least seventy-one inches tall, and his lanky frame seemed to fold around Kirkpatrick's.
With a long, drawn out sigh, JC glanced at the TV and turned it off, and smiled when he felt Kirkpatrick's lips against the tender skin of his neck.
If this was what he could be doing the next day at home with Kirkpatrick, he wasn't sure how he could ever make it to the meeting.
Kirkpatrick trudged up the steps of the Arts building at Northbrook College, flipping through his mail with little interest. He smiled when he came across the bright blue paper labeled "Sexual Harrassment Policy," but then frowned when an image of Justin Timberlake from his afternoon class flashed into his mind.
He knew what receiving the sexual harrassment policy meant. It meant that it was the first of another month, and Dean Pearlman was reminding the facutly, yet again, of the sexual harrassment policy. After all, one tiny lawsuit and Northbrook would be bankrupt.
He looked up when his feet felt the top of the stairs and jumped slightly when he saw a student standing at his door, then reached for the railing of the stairs to steady himself.
He glanced at the bright blue paper in his hands for a moment, then back at the student.
"Can I help you, Justin?"
Justin smiled. "Hey Kirkpatrick. I came a few minutes early today because I was wondering if I could meet with you about this monologue..."
Kirkpatrick smiled languidly, not quite sure why he was acting so care free but deciding that it had something to do with wanting the student to believe that Kirkpatrick was a "cool teacher" and not one of those nerdy, over-organized and always nervous ones.
"Sure," Kirkpatrick said, nodding towards his classroom. "Come on in, and we'll talk about it."
He fumbled around in the pocket of his khaki pants, all too aware of the student standing behind him. He could smell Justin's aftershave, and decided that he liked it a lot. He almost gasped, though, when he realized that the sexual harrassment policy was on top of his mail, and Justin could easily see it.
As he pulled the key to his classroom out and managed to get it into the lock of the door and step inside the classroom, he hoped that maybe Justin didn't notice the blue paper that was so damn ostentatious that there was no way Justin could even try to miss it.
Kirkpatrick pulled an extra chair in front of his desk and motioned for Justin to sit down, then slid into the his own seat behind his desk. He made a point of looking through his mail briefly, letting Justin know that his first priority would not be this student that was suddenly getting special treatment.
Justin broke through Kirkpatrick's thoughts, though, by speaking words that managed to shock his professor to no end.
"Is your first name Chris?" Justin asked, gesturing towards the dusty nameplate on the edge of Kirkpatrick's desk.
Kirkpatrick looked up in slight alarm, the mail suddenly forgotten as he glaced at Justin's still laid back countenance. With a bout of hesitance, Kirkpatrick reached out and flipped the name tag around as if he were challenging it to scream out his name with its official looking gold plated letters. It didn't, though. It merely said, "Prof. C. Kirkpatrick." Kirkpatrick turned the nameplate back around and leaned back in his chair in an almost wary way. How day this boy have the audacity to say that sacred name that was only ever used by JC as they were making passionate love? Still, though, Kirkpatrick couldn't ignore the face that as the boy in front of him said his name, he thought of how nice it would sound to hear "Chris" fall off of his lips in a perfectly tuned moan.
"Umm, yeah," Kirkpatrick said, ignoring the slight stirring in his groin. "My name's Chris."
He wondered why the student hadn't guessed Craig or Calvin, or even Chuck, and why that damn Justin had to say "Chris" in that intoxicating way of his.
"So," Kirkpatrick began, eager to trail off of the subject of his first name. "You said something about a monologue...?"
Justin nodded eagerly, pulling a little cassette tape out of his pocket. He tossed it into Kirkpatrick's desk, and it landed on top of the dreaded sexual harrassment policy.
Kirkpatrick picked it up and then removed the mail from his desk, eager to put that policy anywhere where he didn't have to see it and think of his very own student saying his sacred first name.
Justin ran a hand over his closely shaved head, his hand running over that prickly hair that Kirkpatrick always wondered what it would be like to touch.
"I've never, you know, let anyone hear a monologue of mine, but I wanted your opinion. I really want to act one day, and I heard you were good, and you know, since you're my drama teacher I figured maybe you'd be able to tell me how it was," Justin said, then stopped and looked up at a slightly amused Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick nodded, motioning with a slight wave of his hand for Justin to continue, and smiled at the fact that this always laid back boy was suddenly completely nervous, and was rambling on in a way that Kirkpatrick thought he'd never hear.
"Anyway, umm...it's Mercutio's Queen Mab speech from Romeo and Juliet. I umm...I hope I didn't get too carried away. Just listen to it, okay? Then maybe you can tell me after class one day if it's okay...?"
Kirkpatrick nodded again, staring at the nervous student in front of him. Justin looked about ready to tear what little hair he had out of his head, and his fidgeting ways were beginning to make Kirkpatrick feel slightly sympathetic.
"Look, Justin. Don't be nervous. I'm a drama teacher; I'm here to figure out how well you can act and how you can improve. So just calm down, okay?"
Justin looked up, relieved at Kirkpatrick's reassurance. "Okay. Umm, you know. Thanks. I'll just go...get a drink before class or something."
Kirkpatrick nodded with a smile and waved at Justin as he hurriedly left the classroom.
Justin had surely been a surprise. Kirkpatrick had learned not to judge a book by its cover when he met JC, who was the complete opposite of the studious and organized nerd he came off as. Justin, though, just seemed to be such a calm person overall that Kirkpatrick was completely surprised that he'd been so nervous over the little task of giving his drama teacher a tape to listen to.
Kirkpatrick ran his fingers over the tape in front of him, ignoring the little voice in his head that was eagerly shouting to listen to it right away and then listen to it over and over again and hear that smooth tenor voice saying the sacred name of "Chris." Instead, he looked out the window of his classroom, the one that overlooked the back of the campus. The only thing he saw was a little brook that bubbled its way along the perimeter of the campus, and then there were forests and mountains behind that. Sometimes he wished that his classroom was on the other side of the arts building so that he would face the middle of the Quad and he could watch the people hurry to their classes, but he also liked the solitude of looking out at the mountains and the brook. Besides, his classroom was next door to JC's.
Kirkpatrick was brought back to reality when the churchbells rang, and he looked up at the door expectantly, and smiled when Lance rushed into the classroom.
"'Afternoon Lance," Kirkpatrick said, the mail forgotten as the blue sexual harrassment policy burned a hole in the desk drawer it had been hastily shoved into.
"Good afternoon, Kirkpatrick," Lance replied, quickly scurrying into his seat.
Kirkpatrick smiled and leaned back in his office chair, wondering why it was an unspoken rule that professors at Northbrook went by their last name only, and no Professor to serve as the title. He didn't mind, though. It was a little bit less formal, and it created a more friendly environment for his classroom.
He grinned when Nick entered the classroom and broodily made his way to the back, and Kirkpatrick smiled at the trademark acne lining the blonde haired freshman's face.
The three girls entered next, Britney leading the pack as always, and her two side-kicks, Jessica and Christina, following behind.
The door shut then, and Kirkpatrick looked at it in confusion for a moment, and he was sure that his heart skipped a beat in his chest.
After that excruciatingly long second, though, it burst open, and Justin walked slowly in, a bottle of water in his hand. Kirkpatrick noticed for a moment that Justin's hand easily wrapped around the water bottle with lots of room to spare, and that Justin's hands were rather large. He just knew that if his hands were large, then...
Kirkpatrick shook his head quickly, pushing the thoughts away as if they were evil, and ignored the fact that he felt like a dirty old scandalous man. He nodded at Justin as the student nodded back to him, and he leaned forward in his desk to begin class.
He just knew it would be a long day.
"Ready for the meeting?" JC asked Kirkpatrick as they walked out of Fatone's together, waving at Joey over their shoulders.
Kirkpatrick rolled his eyes. "I still say we skip," he said with a grumble.
JC laughed. "Don't worry. It'll be short. It's just the same sexual harrassment shit that we do every month."
Chris looked away, ignoring the image of Justin that predictably popped into his head. He managed a laugh and shook his head. "I know. I just don't feel like going."
JC smiled. "I know, Chris. I know," he said, using his first name to let Kirkpatrick know that he did know how much Kirkpatrick just wanted to go home and stay there.
Kirkpatrick smiled at JC, a true smile, but it was tainted with a flash of guilt in his eyes because he just couldn't get rid of those images of Justin floating around in his mind.
"As we all know, every month we need to go over all of our standard policies every month, and bring up any new concerns that have risen..."
Dean Pearlman's voice drifted through the tiny lecture hall at Northbrook College, and the professors seated there listened intently.
Or at least pretended to.
Kirkpatrick glanced at JC and rolled his eyes, and JC gave him a stern look that was ruined with a smile and he turned away quickly before he laughed too loudly.
"As you all know, we need to be careful about our realtionships with students of the opposite sex. Often times, a teacher doesn't realize that he or she is making a student feel uncomfortable. If the student decides that he or she does feel uncomfortable, though, the student's word will probably prevail over the teacher's."
Kirkpatrick glanced at JC and rolled his eyes once more, and he wished that he could just lean his head on JC's shoulder, or maybe wrap his arms around JC's torso and cuddle up to his chest. He couldn't, though. He was stuck listening to the huge man standing at the podium give his speech.
The podium looked miniscule in comparison to Dean Pearlman, and Dean Pearlman's body was hardly contained behind it. The man was losing all of his hair, and he had a...well, a growth over his right eyebrow that was so disgusting that everytime he saw Dean Pearlman, Kirkpatrick couldn't help but glance at it in morbid curiosity. He wondered if maybe it would leak out some kind of disgusting puss if it was popped, but then shuddered and focused back on Dean Pearlman's speech.
"I would like to remind you all again that any sexual relationships with students, both former and present, are prohibited and can cause expulsion of the student and also immediate termination of the professor's job."
Kirkpatrick's eyebrows furrowed thoughtfully at this. Even though he heard this every month, this time it was...it was different. It suddenly sound much more harsh than it ever had before, and as he heard these words again, he almost stood up and screamed in frustation when Justin's voice saying "Chris" in that smooth tone of his popped into his mind once more.
"Another issue that has been popping up recently is the proposed tuition raising. This would allow all of your salaries to increase, but it may bring down the number of students enrolling..."
Kirkpatrick slouched down into his seat. This was turning out to be the meeting from hell, not that he didn't already know that before he went in. He glanced at JC, and saw that he was looking around with a dazed look in his eyes, and Kirkpatrick just knew that he was composing some song or thinking of some lyrics. JC had sung in clubs and coffeehouses all throughout high school for extra money, and he always sang originals. Kirkpatrick wondered if he could every get JC to sing in a coffeehouse again because he would love to see his man perform, but he wasn't so sure if JC would do that.
Kirkpatrick's chocolate brown eyes wandered over the lecture hall, taking in the balding heads in front of him. They were all so old that it was no wonder they didn't want to associate with Kirkpatrick and JC, the outcasts of the professors. They were probably the only ones there without tenure except for the new psychology teacher who'd transferred to Northbrook from a state college that laid her off.
The seats in the lecture hall were wooden, and Kirkpatrick couldn't sit at an angle that didn't either dig into one of his bones or jam his legs against the seat in front of him. He wondered what it would be like to actually be tall and sit in those lecture hall seats because if his legs hit the seat in front of him now, he would probably be dying if he was tall. He looked at JC's legs for a moment and noticed that they were crammed against the seat in front of him, which was empty. Actually, the two rows in front of Kirkpatrick and JC were empty. Everyone else chose to sit up front and pretend to be interested in whatever the hell Dean Pearlman was saying, but Kirkpatrick knew better than to sit up front. If he did, he would have to dodge projectile spit the whole time as it sprayed from the Dean's mouth.
Kirkpatrick shifted again and smiled when his knee brushed JC's, but then frowned when he felt a rectangular object poking him from the little zipper pocket of his brown leather jacket.
He unzipped the pocket to investigate, smiling when he remembered that Christmas two years ago when JC had given him the jacket. It was a sophisticated jacket that Kirkpatrick loved to wear because it made him feel smart, as if he really did belong as a college professor.
Kirkpatrick's fingers instantly froze upon feeling the casette tape in his pocket, and he slowly and deliberately zipped the pocket once more and then sunk into his seat, careful not to aggrivate the pocket again and make him remember that damn tape and that damn meeting with Justin.
JC looked around him for a moment and smiled when he saw no one lookng. He reached his hand out slowly and brushed his fingers against Kirkpatrick's, smiling when Kirkpatrick turned his head quickly and shot his eyebrows up in surprise.
JC looked straight ahead, trying not to smile as he watched Kirkpatrick's expressions from his peripheral vision. His fingers slowly brushed against Kirkpatrick's and then laced together with the one hand that fit perfectly in his own, and he couldn't help but smile at the small but necessary touch. Kirkpatrick rubbed his thumb along JC's hand, staring at their interlocked fingers and smiling. He glanced at JC again, and when JC finally turned, they smiled broadly at each other and separated their hands.
One touch was enough to get them through the meeting, and the second JC's hand was absent from Kirkpatrick's and the only sound filtering into his ears was that monotonous drone known as Dean Pearlman's voice, Kirkpatrick thought of JC's hand sneaking up on his own and smiled, brushing his knee against JC's.
As much as their secret touches made him happy, though, Kirkpatrick just wanted the damn meeting to be over.
Alright, there was part one. What does everyone think of it? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know if you like it or hate it or what. I'd appreciate any and all comments. :)