You Can't Spell Elementarily Without "ily"
Alfred has never liked English.
It wasn’t exciting, it was tedious, and it could be utterly ridiculous. (Some authors choose certain names because they like them, not because they are trying to insert some secret meaning!) But what he hated most of all was how unstraightforward it all was. There was no one “right” answer, and a lot of things depended on personal opinion. Alfred hated that. He was a math and science guy, and he liked things to be clear-cut and concise
The only reason he was taking LitAnalysis301 was because he needed the credits to graduate. Alfred wished he got his credits out of the way last year, but instead he spent his freshman year of college exploring fields and majors. If only he’d hadn’t been so stupid.
And of course it didn’t help that he took the class at eight am. Damn it for being the only time left.
Alfred was doodling as the professor entered the room. At least the professor’s cute. Professor Arthur Kirkland was a man of a small stature, with sandy blond hair and really thick eyebrows, large enough to be the cause of a nickname. He had piercing emerald eyes that stared right through you, and he was British, making many swoon with his accent.
(If he were being honest, it made Alfred swoon a bit as well.)
Professor Kirkland cleared his throat.
“I hope you all did the reading last night, because you will all be writing an essay on your findings. Due in 3 days. Futhermore, turn to page 367 in your textbooks….”
Alfred complied, trying not to get too distracted. The class wasn’t too difficult, being as mostly freshmen took it, however, Professor Kirkland was so enchanting that Alfred often found himself captivated in his mannerisms and the musicality of his voice rather than what he was saying. It didn’t help that it seemed like Professor Kirkland gazed at him more than the other students either.
However, Alfred felt guilty. He was loathe to admit it, but he had a crush on his english professor. A guy wayyy older than him. He was gross.
Alfred couldn’t help it! Kirkland was way too cute for his own good: the way his eyebrows scrunched up when he was grading, his snarkiness, his passion, the way his eyes lit up when he was teaching something he was excited about, his sorry attempts at jokes, the way he tried to lighten the mood when he could tell everyone was having a bad morning, his gruffiness, his laughter, his rare smile that made Alfred’s heart melt.
Alfred knew he shouldn’t, but he found every excuse to spend time with the man one-on-one. He would take longer than necessary getting his materials packed up, he would stay after class to ask about things that he actually had no trouble with, and he would attend all the events Kirkland suggested, (would also attend) even if they weren’t required.
He just tried his damn best to impress him. Alfred would answer questions in class, lead discussions, try to show how much of a leader and a good person he was, do all his homework, and spend all-nighters writing perfect essays.
And for what? It seemed like it was for nothing. Kirkland never really noticed Alfred, barely even saying “well done” on his near perfect essays. Near perfect! By Kirkland standards! A feat practically impossible to achieve!
So against his better judgements, (and his best friend Kiku’s very cautious warnings and ill-advisement) Alfred bought roses (Kirkland’s favorite, he did his research) and marched up to Kirkland one day after class.
“Uh, Professor Kirkland?” Alfred blushed slightly, nervously shuffling his feet.
He knows my name! Holy fuck- calm down Jones, you can do this. Alfred took a deep breath and shoved the roses at the Brit’s face. “I really like you!” Smooth, Jones.
The professor blushed, accepting the roses and setting them down. “Jones-”
“Please, it’s Alfred.”
“Alfred then, listen I’m touched, but-”
Alfred interrupted him. “Yes I know I’m disgusting, I’m 20 and you’re probably almost double my age and I shouldn’t have a crush on you but I do because you’re amazing and funny and I hate English and Literature but I like you, and-”
“Alfred please, listen to me.” Alfred raised his head, ashamed.
Kirkland put his hand on Alfred’s cheek. “I’m not disgusted by you, I mean sure it’s a little unconventional, but I’m in no place to talk, seeing as I, uh, rather fancy you too-” he was cut off by Alfred’s lips crashing into his, which he promptly responded to. After they broke away from each other, Alfred was grinning ear to ear, and Arthur had a light blush on him as well. However, his expression still became more serious
“Alfred, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think we can see each other. And let me finish!” Arthur said, seeing that Alfred’s mouth had started to open. “It’s not that I don’t like you, and the age difference isn’t a problem, I’m only 24. Yes, I know, surprising. But I’m your teacher. You’re my student. It wouldn’t be right.”
Alfred wanted to say many things. He wanted to say that who cared. He wanted to say that they could be careful. He wanted to say that if they just weren’t caught that they could work. But Alfred knew deep in his heart that Arthur was right. They couldn’t. He sighed. “You’re right.”
I’m so sorry-”
“But what if I wasn’t your student! After this class. I wouldn’t be your student. We could date then, couldn’t we?
“I suppose we could…”
“We can! I’ll wait for you.”
Arthur smiled. Alfred grinned back.
“Now I know why you seemed to always stare at me.”
Arthur blushed. “I-I-I- hoped you wouldn’t notice! I was that obvious?” Alfred chuckled, nodding. “I couldn’t help it! You’re too captivating.” Arthur smacked his chest. “You see I wanted to give you full marks on your papers, but I have a reputation to uphold.
Alfred shook his head. “Understandable.”
“I noticed, you know.”
Alfred raised an eyebrow. “Noticed what?”
“How you tried your best to spend time with me.“ It was Alfred’s turn to blush.
“It was cute.” Arthur gave him a peck on the cheek.
Eventually they exchanged numbers, both heading their separate ways. In class, nothing changed. But in reality, they texted and called and hung out as friends, but nothing more. Not until Alfred was done with that that class, where upon the first day he could, he kissed Arthur hard on the lips, who responded by putting his arms around Alfred.
“Shall we make up for all the time we missed?” Alfred smiled, gazing into Arthur’s eyes, still as beautiful as ever.
“Of course love. I’m tired of waiting.”
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