Chapter 1: o
"Are you guys even listening?"
The class' heads snapped up at the sound of their teacher's voice, and Mr. Horan sighed. "Guys, I know, you're tired, and we've been at this for weeks, and Mr. Horan just doesn't understand us teenagers - though, trust me, I do - but I really need you to concentrate, okay? Now please, will you turn to page 22 and start at Scene 12? Corey, start us off, thanks."
"I've just been to see Mr. Gryce, sir," Corey began as Billy, then Daial continued as Mr. Farthing while Niall watched them interact as the characters.
Niall wasn't a horrible teacher, he knew that. He knew which students like-liked one another and he sat them together, he matchmaked good pairs and he understood the kids' problems. But he knew that he wasn't completely normal. He had fluffy caramel-coloured ears that stuck up through his hair - though hybrids were quite a common thing in the year 2019 and everyone in the school knew (there were even a few hybrid students as well). And that wasn't a bad thing, but he was limited for choice of a lover. In Britain and Ireland, it was considered a criminal offense for a hybrid to fall for a human because of the risks - the possibilty of a disabled child, the possibilty that the hybrid could hurt their other half, the possibilty that, the possibility that. And no British/Irish hyrbid was particularly fond of this rule. There was only a rough count of 500 living hybrids, so there wasn't a lot of choice.
"-So this kid, Reggie, says, 'Take your Wellingtons off and put some in there, they'll be alright 'til you get home'." Joseph (or, for the sake of the play, Anderson) was the one to finally break the teacher from his daydream.
"Joe, Joe, Joe," Niall cut him off. "Come on man, you're not giving me much emotion here. Anderson is talking about Reggie convincing him to fill his wellies with tadpoles and put them on."
"Right, yeah," Joseph blushed slightly. "Uh - So I took them off and we put some water in them and then we started to out the taddies in them."
Then, the door burst open, frightening Joseph and a few of the girls into making a high-pitched squeaking noise. "Sorry, Mr. Horan, but I was wondering if I could take Tom Kester? He kicked his footie ball against Louis' window about eight times - on purpose, I might add," Mr. Payne, the P.E teacher asked.
"Yeah, Liam - Tom, off you go. Maybe this time you'll actually learn your lesson and not kick your footie balls at Mr. Tomlinson's window again, hm?" Tom was always in trouble with Mr. Tomlinson - and if he was being truthful, Niall though Louis was having a fling with the sixteen year-old; just because Tom's face would light up cheekily when Tomlinson was mentioned and Louis was always chatting about how the kid was 'quite hot for his age'. "And, if you're not going to be back by the end of the period: learn your lines, Tibbut!"
"Sure, Mr. H."
Liam grinned, opening the door wider so Tom could slip past, "Thanks, Niall, I'll try to get Tomlinson to bring him back before the end of the period - see you guys!"
Niall blushed and waved, his ear twisting to the side shyly. "Bye, Liam." Remember about that whole 'no hybrids in love with humans and vice versa' thing? Yeah. Niall had a small crush on Mr. Payne. But that was all it was - a tiny crush he had had from when he, Liam and Mr. Styles were in high school and best friends. That was all. There was no way he was going to get put down (sadly for hybrids, they got human privilages but not the respect) for falling for a human. No.
Chapter 2: i
It's been a while~
“Bloody thing… Jud!”
“You’d better get up… alarm’s gone off, you know.”
“Think I don’t know?”
“You’ll be late.”
“Oh, shut it.”
“Clock’s gone off, you know.”
“I said shut it!”
Tim (or, play-wise, Jud) thumped Corey (Billy) on the forehead, then pressed his face back into the pillow.
“Gi’oer, that hurts,” Corey complained, rolling over onto his side.
“Well shut it then.” Tim was slightly taller and more mature-looking than the rest of his classmates, so he fit the role of Jud, Billy’s elder brother, easily.
“I’ll tell mi’ mam about you,” Corey threatened.
Tim sighed. He slowly peeled the bed sheet from his body, and slipped out of the makeshift bed, two tables pushed together, covered in a few pillows and a bed sheet one of the students had stolen from the nurse’s room. He, sans anything but boxers, picked up a pair of trousers and pulled them over his legs.
“Set alarm for me, Jud. For seven.”
“It’s nearly that now.”
“It’s late. Clock’s wrong.”
Niall looked up at the clock and hummed, pushing himself up from where he was leaning on his desk. “Right, boys,” he waved his hand. “Clothes on. If anyone asks, I have never said those words in you kids’ presence. Get in your seats, all!”
He circled his table and sat down in his own chair, legs crossed and tucked beneath him.
“I love Fridays, don’t you?” he smiled. As a teacher, he was extremely laid back and Zen about mostly everything. The bell rung and the kids, seeing as it was sixth period on a Friday (weekend!), stormed out of the classroom as soon as Niall announced, “Dismissed!”
“Mr. H,” a girl named Diane called out. He nodded, pointing at her.
“What’s up, Di?” he wondered, one fluffy ear cocking to the side.
“Well…” she paused. “It’s my Mum, I guess. She thinks that this class isn’t really… educational. She wants me to switch electives.”
Niall scoffed. “There’s always one parent who thinks that drama isn’t an educational experience, Di,” he sighed. “But if you want to switch electives, I can arrange that. Which class?”
“No, no!” Diane yelped. “I don’t want to switch! I was just wondering if you could do something to prove that this is educational, Mr. H, or she’ll make me switch to bio.”
“I don’t know if I can help you, Diane,” Niall murmured. “As far as academics go, drama isn’t the most… um, ‘smart’ choice. It teaches you to be confident and stuff like that. It’s an emotional teacher. Maybe I could arrange for Mrs. Howland-”
“Her name’s not Howland,” Diane muttered under her breath. “It’s Mrs. James, now.”
“She remarried? Oh, that’s tough, kid, I know the feeling. How’s the Step-Dad?”
She shuddered. “Not the greatest. But anyway, what were you saying?”
Niall nodded, thinking back. “I was saying, maybe we could arrange for Mrs. James to come in and watch us? After all, ‘The Play of Kes’ is an amazing piece. Would she appreciate it?”
“Maybe,” Diane nodded. “I’ll talk to her about it. Thanks, Mr. H.”
“How many times do I need to tell you kids to call me Niall?” the teacher grinned, standing and placing his hand on Diane’s back, leading her to the door. Just before he could open it, it swung back, smacking Niall right in the nose.
He yelled, jumping back in fright; bent over with his hand covering his now bloody nose.
“Niall!” Mr. Payne gasped. “Oh god, sorry!”
“What the fuck?” Niall yelped, exasperated. Right now, it didn’t matter that Liam was hot, damnit, his nose hurt. “God! Diane, you can leave now.”
Diane stifled a giggle behind her hand. “Oh, Mr. Horan, are you alright?” she asked, daintily resting her hand on Niall’s shoulder.
“I’m fine, Di, honestly. Now go on,” he shooed, playfully shrugging her hand off.
She nodded at Liam, then was gone.
“What the actual fuck, Liam?” Niall groaned, pulling his hand away from his face. There was still blood dripping from his nose at an unsettlingly fast pace. “Who the hell opens doors with that much force?”
“I’m really, really sorry, Niall,” Liam whined, dropping down on his knee to get a better look at the crouched Niall’s nose. “You okay? Think it’s broke?”
“Does it look broken?” Niall asked snappily. “Of course it’s broken! Did you not hear it snap?!”
‘Laid back’ was not words to describe an angry Niall.
Liam flinched. “I really am sorry, Niall, really,” he muttered. “God, I feel like such a dick now, I’m really sorry. I came to ask you something, but it doesn’t matter anymore.”
“No, it does not!” Niall yelled. “Damnit Payne, take me to the hospital, will you?”
Liam flushed. “I-I just got a new car and-”
“Take my car!” Niall howled, “Oh, bloody hell!” He felt bad for screaming at Liam, he really did, but he couldn’t really do anything other than that due to the pain he was feeling. He spun around, then wailed, because damnit, look at all the paper and books he had to shove inside of his messenger bag with bloody hands!
“Niall,” Liam muttered, finally going for a soothing voice. He rested his hand on Niall’s arm, gently pulling him over to the sink. Tugging at the blue roll, he turned the tap on. “Here, stay still.” After wetting the roll, he gingerly dabbed at Niall’s face, carefully avoiding his nose until he had to clean that up.
“It’s all down my shirt,” Niall whined. He felt horrible now that Liam was being kind to him, for being an absolute douche bag.
“It’s okay,” Liam assured, gently tilting the younger man’s head backwards. “We’ve got spare P.E kit in my department, we’ll just get you those and then we’ll go to the hospital, get you stitched up.”
“What if I get those dirty?” Niall whispered sheepishly.
“They get washed every night anyway,” Liam shrugged. “It’s just a little blood, Niall, no harm done. Well… except me ramming a door into your face.”
“What were you going to ask?” the younger asked, flinching away when Liam touched his nose. “Ow!”
“Sorry…” Liam muttered. “It doesn’t matter. I fucked it up anyway.”
“It matters,” Niall assured, resting his hand on Liam’s forearm when the man cupped his chin to tilt his head to the side.
Liam smiled to himself. “It doesn’t. Now come on, there’s no point in trying to clean you up anymore. Lets just get you that kit and go, yes?”
Niall covered his nose and nodded, “God, it’s gonna be all crooked and ugly now.”
The P.E teacher had an internal war with himself at that comment, trying to decide whether or not he should be a hopeless romantic and tell him that he’d look beautiful with a crooked nose or- “You know, you could always chop it off and become Voldemort.” Damnit, Liam.
Niall snorted behind his hand, chuckling at Liam. “Oh god, the guy who busted my nose is now cracking jokes about my busted nose.”
“As long as you’re not still pissed at me for breaking it,” Liam shrugged. “Is it still bleeding?”
“I think it’s stopped a bit.”
Three hours later, they were back at the school to pick up their things. Niall’s nose had been patched up, and he was wearing the clothes Liam had lent him.
“Hey, thanks for driving me to the hospital,” Niall grinned, bumping his shoulder against Liam’s as they walked from the drama department to the P.E department. “Even after I was a complete douche about my nose.”
“It’s fine,” Liam replied softly. “Niall?”
“What was…” he paused shortly, then sighed. “What were you and Diane when I walked in? Why was she there?”
Niall frowned. “Nothing.”
Liam looked over at him, blankly staring at him. “You know that there’s… rumours… going about-”
“You’re not buying into those, are you?” Niall snapped.
“Well…” Liam scratched at the back of his head, pushing a door open and allowing the drama teacher to head in first. “It’s just… some of the fifth year girls in my Tuesday class claim that you’ve… um…”
“I do not sleep with my students!” Niall yelled, affronted. “Geeze, Liam, I actually thought you were going to be the clumsy guy who breaks my nose then makes up for it by- Oh, forget it!” He turned on his heel, storming out of the locker room.
Liam scurried to pull his stuff from his locker, then ran after Niall. “Niall, come on, wait!” he shouted after him.
“No, damnit,” Niall huffed, pulling his messenger bag firmer onto his shoulder.
“Niall,” Liam mumbled, grasping hold of Niall’s arm and pulling him closer. “Come on. I’m sorry. I just thought… that since Diane was in your room and with the rumours, with the girls calling you all these crude names, that it might… it might be true.”
“Well, it’s not,” Niall growled. “I am not a pedo, and I do not sleep with the girls in my classes. Hell, I don’t even sleep with girls in general! I’m gay!”
Liam nodded. “Okay, Niall, it’s fine,” he assured. “I won’t accuse you of anything anymore.”
Niall slowly collapsed onto Liam’s chest, sighing softly. “What names do they call me?”
“Well, uh, I’m not too sure-”
“Liam, don’t bullshit me. What names do they call me?”
“I don’t know… just horrible stuff, calling you a pedo, saying that you’ve slept with them. If you were to ask me-”
“-as I did-”
“-I’d say they wish they’d slept with you.”
Niall paused, then looked up at Liam. “You,” he smirked, pulling away, “are the sappiest man I’ve ever met, Liam Payne.”