"It is not complicated. You must first learn to process the formulas. Afterwards, solve." Hanzo Shimada flashed a smile to his class of sophomores, all whom were seemingly bored out of their minds. He eyed the clock, and took a deep breath. "You may now pack up your things. The bell shall soon ring." A wave of different sounds washed over the small classroom, replacing the quiet chatter amongst the students - zippers on backpacks flying up the closing fabric bags, the click! of three ring binders being shut, and the friction of fabric - on - fabric as backpacks were slung over shoulders lazily. Mere seconds later, the bell to dismiss everyone rang, and Hanzo huffed as the last student scrambled out of the room. Hanzo began to scribble down some notes on the large dry-erase board mounted on the wall, and as he finished, he headed to his desk to finally sit down and input grades. Less than a full minute had passed before Hanzo's 'helper' had come back.
Another man greeted, popping his head into the classroom. Hanzo rolled his eyes. "I do not need help, Mr. McCree." The man gave a low chuckle, and walked into the class. He sat himself upon one of the desktops near Hanzo's desk. "Come on, now. I told 'ya to call me Jesse." Hanzo did not lift his gaze to meet Jesse's, but rather continued to tack at his keyboard and click to input grades. "I do not need help, Jesse."
Jesse rolled over off of the desk, standing to his feet and smiling. "Oh, don't turn it away, Mr. Shimada. It's free help." The teacher gave it some thought, and finally pulled out a seat. His eyes flitted over the other's appearance, and he sighed. The man was implausibly attractive, though rugged. He was not by any means clean-shaven, but the tanned man pulled off the longer hair and goatee beard. He was by all means very handsome. He was intimidating, and yet so gentle and friendly at the same time. His dark chocolate brown eyes were inviting, and his shining smile was worth talking to him in order to see. He was almost always smiling.
Hanzo didn't know how he did it.
Hanzo was shorter than Jesse was, but he did not let this bother him. He had black hair, with salt and pepper highlights among the sides of his face. His hair was almost always pinned back into a small ponytail, and the sides of his head were shaved into a smooth undercut. He always aimed for perfection with his appearance - even his beard was perfectly sculpted, always the same. He wore a woven dress shirt beneath a sweater vest, and dress pants.
Jesse wore a red striped flannel that fit around his arms snugly, complimenting those toned muscles beneath the sleeve. Hanzo lifted the end of his pencil to his lip, tapping it slightly as he tried to force back the thoughts. He could not get off task, and he could not develop a crush on the helper, especially considering he hadn't even asked for a helper in his class. Of course, he was very grateful to have Jesse help him, whether it just be to help him run and get copies without leaving his students, or helping him sit and tediously grade papers. Hanzo appreciated every bit, although he would never try and bring himself to say it out loud.
Jesse didn't need to hear it to know that Hanzo was thanking him for his help.
"Alright, Jesse.. there is a stack of papers that you may help me grade." Hanzo caved in, and Jesse's smile widened as he stood. "Thank 'ya kindly, Mr. Shimada." Hanzo paid it no mind, and shook his head.
"Please, just refer to me as Hanzo."
The next day in class, the children were rowdy. People were more focused on their phones than work, and Hanzo emitted a heavy sigh. Why won't they just pay attention? In the middle of class, a familiar man, now sporting a light jacket and black denim jeans, popped into the classroom once more. "Hey, now.." He spoke out, and the classroom quieted. "Why don't y'all pay attention a bit more? If 'ya don't understand it, just raise your hand an' he'll help." He laughed softly, and the rest of the kids remained quiet. Hanzo at first shot him a glare with widened eyes, but found himself realizing he'd have to thank him graciously later on. Maybe this 'helper' is helpful to have around after all...
Jesse looked up, and winked at Hanzo. He immediately averted his gaze, and began to resume his lecture. The kids, however, looked back at Jesse McCree with a grin.
Their next goal was to find the oh-so-lonely Mr. Shimada a date, and they were starting to plot. The sophomores were by no means stupid, and they could see the way that Jesse was looking at Hanzo when he didn't realize it.
Hana Song was the leader of the group gathered from the seventh period geometry class working towards their assignment - finding their beloved teacher someone to love. Hanzo was cranky and lonesome, they had come to assume. There was no ring that adorned his fingers. There was no mention of a family member other than his brother. Among the rest of the children working towards getting Hanzo a date was Mei-Ling Zhou, Lucio Correia dos Santos, Angela Ziegler, and Fareeha Amari. They had all written notes and texted amongst each other throughout the school day, between classes with each other, and especially at the end of the day, in geometry class.
HANA: u kno that mr. s TOTALLY likes that helper ;)
LUCIO: what? no way man he totally wasnt makin it obvious
MEI: I think it's cute!! The way he looks at Mr. Shimada!!
HANA: thats what im saying
ANGELA: we must set them up, or ask jesse to start leaving mr. shimada notes.. we could set up a fool proof plan to get mr. shimada interested!
HANA: YES!! u go angela
MEI: I love it!!!!
LUCIO: do it!!!!
HANA: 2morrow we take action
The next day, Hanzo came into class, only to discover there was a note on the dry-erase board. It read: HEY, SUGAR. DON'T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF TODAY. I MAY BE A BIT LATE TO HELP OUT, BUT I'VE ALREADY FINISHED GRADING PAPERS. YOU DESERVE A LIL' BREAK.
Hanzo found himself smiling, without being aware of it. He shook away the thought though, and he erased the board, beginning to write the upcoming day's assignment on the board before the students arrived.
Hana sighed, taking notice that the note had been erased, and she sent the others a message.
HANA: forward onto mr jesse that the note was erased, weve gotta start with something else
HANA: sticky notes on the comp
The teacher strolled in with his morning cup of coffee, setting it down on his desk, and setting his things down near his file cabinet in the corner of the room. "Oh.." He thought aloud. There was a note on his computer desk.
HOPE YOU'RE HAVIN' A GOOD DAY. YOU DESERVE IT.
Hanzo shoved the note into a drawer, and he rested his head on the desk. He wasn't sure why this was happening. Did Jesse actually have an interest in him? It had been so long since he'd found love, and he was not willing to take a risk and ask this man he hardly knew out for coffee some morning.
He brushed it off. Jesse was being a good helper. He was friendly, and he was nice. That was all.
Jesse stopped in the class that afternoon, helping kids out with their work, and plotting with them all the while as he crouched down beside their desks. He smiled at Hanzo, and the teacher felt his heart pounding in his chest. He felt like a young schoolgirl with the crush he was sporting on this man.
The next morning, he was greeted with coffee, and a box of donuts before school started. Jesse was already sitting there, and Hanzo was awestruck. "No.. no, you cannot do this for me. This is too much," he said aloud. Jesse replied with one of those booming chuckles he did.
"Darlin', this is nothin'. Don't get all flustered 'cuz I'm tryin' to do somethin' nice for 'ya. You work hard, 'ya deserve it every once in a while."
Mr. Shimada just about died with that voice of his, so sultry and low. "..Thank you, Jesse." He grabbed a donut, and took a sip of his coffee.
Hanzo was much happier in class that afternoon. He wore a genuine smile the whole day, and the kids were happy as they were rewarded an 'off day', with no homework. The group continued to talk with each other, and decided to up it a step in the plan.
HANA: ok so
HANA: next step ;)
HANA: mr jesse is gonna tlk abt leaving early
HANA: & hes gonna leave behind his # for mr shimada
HANA: contact purposes n stuff if smth goes wrong or he needs help
HANA: or... just to text him ;)
HANA: ok so then we're gonna confront him and tell him that jesse really likes him
HANA: and were gonna tell him that he should ask jesse out bc we already know jesse totally likes him.....
HANA: so after that hes gonna be like ?? okay and hes gonna think on it all nite
HANA: and then.... hes gonna text jesse (hopefully) and from there they figure out a date situation ;)
ANGELA: i must say this is going way too well so far.
HANA: what can i say! im a matchmaker ;)
The next afternoon came, and the group anxiously squirmed in their seats, waiting. There was a note on the desktop from Jesse, laying there for Hanzo to read.
SORRY, SUGAR. GOTTA LEAVE EARLY ON TODAY. I'LL BE BACK MONDAY TO HELP WITH GRADING 'N STUFF. HAVE A GOOD ONE.
P.S. HERE'S MY NUMBER IF 'YA NEED IT.
Needless to say, the nine digit number was listed below. Hanzo quickly punched it into his phone.. for future reference.
The anxious sophomores watched his attitude and tone of voice change as the other was not present. After class, they approached him with caution. "Mr. Shimada.." Hana walked up to the front of the class, near his desk. She had the whole group behind her. He looked up from his work, only to see what she and the others wanted. He set down his book, and he hummed. "Is there something that you need help with?" He asked, raising a brow. "No," she started. "We wanted to talk to you about something serious, that we all thought you should know." She looked back, winking at the others. "You see.. Mr. McCree has confronted us all about this, and.. we wanted to tell you eventually." Hanzo re-adjusted himself in his seat, listening in curiously.
"Mr. McCree has informed us.. about the giant crush he's got on you. He's been trying to figure out how to tell you, but he's too shy." Hanzo's eyes widened, and he cleared his throat, tugging at the collar of his dress shirt. "This is.. something regarding my personal life, I am sure that you should not be worried about it.." He, however, did not mind the least bit. Were they trying to set me up with Jesse this entire time? All he knew was that he'd have to contact the other about it.. sometime later.
"Thank you for informing me, I suppose.." he laughed nervously, and he dismissed the group from his desk. "The bell is about to ring, everyone.. you may get your things together." He was grateful that it was the end of the day - he was terribly anxious. What if the kids are lying? But.. he winked at you. There is no way he could be lying. But.. take a chance, Hanzo. You're just lonely.
That night, Hanzo sent Jesse McCree a message.
HANZO: Hello, this is Hanzo. I presume this is Jesse?
JESSE: you've got the right number, darlin'
HANZO: Right.. so, the students have informed me of something.
JESSE: and that is..?
HANZO: You.. like me?
JESSE: aw shucks how could you possibly guess that?
Hanzo's breath caught in his throat. Was he making a fool of himself asking this? What if this was planned out - a set-up for his failure..? He continued to go with it, regardless of how this played out.
HANZO: I am not sure. I do not see why they think this.
JESSE: do you think i like ya hanzo?
HANZO: I have some raising suspicions.
JESSE: guess i shoulda made it harder to guess huh
Hanzo audibly gasped, and he set down his phone. Jesse just indirectly admitted that he likes me. He felt beads of sweat atop his forehead. He was quick to reply.
HANZO: I suppose you should have
Jesse was just as quick to answer him.
JESSE: you said you wanted to know how to make it up to me for my help around the class, no?
HANZO: I did indeed.
JESSE: wanna know how ya can pay me back, hanzo?
JESSE: meet me at the coffee shop at noon on saturday. give me a chance
Hanzo's heart was aching in his throat. After having gone so long without a single trace of a relationship, he craved this more than anything.
HANZO: You have got yourself a deal, Mr. McCree.
JESSE: hey now, what did i tell ya about callin me jesse
Hanzo smiled, and felt himself smiling so hard that he was afraid his face would be sore the next morning.
Perhaps he had the students to thank for this, and perhaps he did have a chance at being happy again.