The clock ticks by slowly as it counts down to the end of class. It is Friday, and the students (and the teacher, let’s be honest) want nothing more than to go home. Chairs screech against the floor as kids wait eagerly for the bell. Each passing moment is agonizingly painful. Normally, Angela would have them working, but she wants to go home as bad as they do. Finally, the last bell rings, and the students charge into the hallway like the running of the bulls. Angela waits until the hallway clears a bit before ducking into the crowd.
Unfortunately, the day is not over for her. She still has an hour before she can leave. At least she can spend it in the air conditioning of the teachers’ lounge. The door clicks shut behind her. A blast of cool air refreshes the tired woman. She slouches down into a seat and throws her bag onto the table. A pot of coffee taunts her.
“Long day?” A voice calls from the doorway. Angela looks up to see a tall woman looking down at her.
“Long week,” she answers, turning back to her papers. She does not want to be having this conversation right now; she has work to do.
The woman, to her disliking, persists. “I know exactly what you need.”
Is this woman trying to sell her drugs? Angela glares up at her. “Listen, Moira, I’m busy.” Maybe some other time.”
Moira frowns. “But it’s Friday, and you’re the only one here. Well, the only one here who I think has a life outside of the classroom.”
Life outside of the classroom? What a bold statement. At least, Angela is glad someone thinks she has a life. Moira, not quite ready to end the conversation, sits down next to her. The chair is much too short, forcing her knees to bend up and hit the table uncomfortably. Angela does not remember the woman being so tall.
“I have a coupon.” She waves a piece of paper in the air in front of her. “It expires today.”
“Why would I care about a coupon?”
“Because it’s a couple coupon, and I am only one person.”
“That sounds like a you problem,” Angela responds. She knows any chance of getting her work done has flown out the window.
That gets her attention. “Steak?”
“Fifty percent off a couple’s steak dinner. I’ll buy the drinks.”
Now she’s talking. Angela stands up and starts packing her bag eagerly. “Let’s
They meet at the restaurant later that night. Moira insisted on driving, but Angela did not want the woman to know where she lives. A bit paranoid, sure, but she really does not want the woman getting any ideas that she may enjoy her company. She waits at the entrance for Moira to show up. She feels underdressed in her jeans. She feels even worse when Moira shows up in a Star Wars t shirt and shorts. Her bony knees poke out of the atrocious outfit. She looks like a mash between Hot Topic and the Old Navy Fourth of July sale.
“You look nice,” Moira compliments her genuinely.
“Thank you.” She cannot return the compliment, nor does she want to. She could be held at gunpoint before she would dare compliment that outfit.
Soon, they are both seated in the middle of the dining room. A chandelier hangs above them, providing them with a dim light. Servers bustle about with plates of delicious looking food. Angela catches a glimpse, making her stomach growl. The room is quiet aside from the clattering of plates and people conversing to themselves. The setting itself is romantic, but when Angela looks up and sees Moira, she thinks differently. She buries herself in the drinks menu to take her mind off of her.
“I’m not made of money, so I’m only buying one drink,” Moira states.
Angela rolls her eyes. “You’re so romantic.”
Luckily, their waiter interrupts their lovers quarrel. “Have you ladies decided on drinks?”
“I’ll have the Chardonnay,” Angela answers first, feeling smug in ordering the most expensive wine off the menu.
Moira does not seem to care. “Irish whiskey.”
“Okay. I’ll be back in a moment.” He turns and walks away, leaving them alone again. Angela regrets this dinner date. Sure, she has gone on worse dates, but this is Moira. Moira. What is she supposed to talk about? She knows nothing about this woman besides what she does for a living, if that is the only thing she does for a living. She is not sure if she even wants to talk to the woman, favoring sitting in silence over an awkward conversation.
Moira seems to be reading her thoughts as she speaks up. “So what so you do?”
“What do I do?” Angela repeats her.
“Yeah,” she continues, “I know you’re an English teacher, but all the kids already know English, so what is there to teach?”
“Plenty of things,” Angela huffs, annoyed at the bold statement, “There’s reading comprehension, essay structures, creative writing, and we read books unlike your classes.”
“Just call it a book class then.” Moira shrugs. “And we do read books. We have a textbook, but learning by doing is far superior.”
Angela’s lip twitches in anger. “You science geeks think you’re all that.”
“No. That’s just me.”
“And you wonder why people don’t want to hang out with you.” She leans on the table.
“You’re hanging out with me,” Moira replies matter-of-factly.
Angela glances toward the bar. “Only for free food.”
“Really?” The woman frowns. “And here I thought you were here with me because you genuinely enjoyed my company.”
She snorts, quickly catching herself and covering her face. A glass clinks down in front of her. Oh, thank God. She grabs the glass from his hand to take a large sip. Moira does the same. Angela feels herself relax. Her shoulders untense, and she lets out a quiet sigh of relief. She leans back in her chair.
“So, Angela,” Moira converses, “What kind of books do you read?”
The woman thinks about her current novel, a cheesy romance. “I like to read a variety. The classics, new dramas. Anything that peaks my interest.”
“What about Sci-fi?”
Honestly, she has never even seen Star Wars. “I read the Lord of the Rings.”
Moira rubs her face in frustration. “That’s fantasy. Fantasy is cool too, but I’m talking about aliens and outer space.”
She looks like an alien in this restaurant. Angela smiles at her own joke. “I’ve never really thought about it.”
The other woman nearly falls out of her seat. “You’ve never thought about aliens?”
“No?” Angela laughs. “It never really comes up in class.”
“We discuss aliens all the time in my classes.” Isn’t she a physics teacher?
“I have a couple sci-fi books in my curriculum,” she reasons.
This peaks Moira’s interest. “Which ones?”
She counts the books on her hand. “Nineteen Eighty-Four, Fahrenheit 451, uh, Brave New World.”
“Those are good ones.” Moira nods.“Classics.”
“You’ve read them?”
“Of course! Hasn’t everyone?” the woman scoffs, “They have interesting views about today’s society despite being written decades ago.”
Angela leans in, suddenly invested in the conversation. “Fahrenheit 451 is my personal favorite. It has many interpretations to discuss.”
“What was your interpretation?”
“I think it’s about how mass media blinds the public, and books are the most important source of knowledge. If you burn the books, you’ll have a country of sheep.”
“I think Bradbury just hated TV.”
“That’s all you got from that?” Angela spits.
“What? No,” Moira responds, “It goes far deeper than that, but Bradbury’s opinion on technology was quite obvious.”
They delve deep into discussion. It lasts through their meal and quite a bit after that. Angela never knew her colleague could be so interesting. Until one of her students catches her eye.
“Oh shit.” Angela panics. “I gotta go.”
Moira raises an eyebrow. “What’s wrong?”
“One of my students is here. Behind you.”
The woman twists around to look. “You mean Hana? I like her.”
“Yeah, but she can’t see us together.”
“Why?” Moira continues staring at the teen.
Angela pulls her around. “I don't know. It’s weird.”
“What’s weird?” The woman still does not follow her.
She groans, “I just don’t want students seeing me in public.”
“Nonsense.” Moira stands up. “I’m gonna go say hi.”
Before Angela can protest, the woman is at the other table. Hana brightens up at the sight of her teacher, waving her over enthusiastically. Angela watches in horror. Now everyone will know. She is not sure why she cares so much.
Moira sits back down at the table. “That was nice. Hana says hi by the way.”
“Who is she with?”
“One of her friends. He graduated a couple years ago. Nice kid.” The woman opens the bill and places her credit card inside.
After that strange date night, Angela starts seeing Moira around the school more often. She does not know if she simply never noticed the woman before, or if Moira is purposefully walking through the English wing more often. Or maybe she is subconsciously walking through the science wing more often. No. It’s the other way around of course.
“Are you looking for something?” Moira asks, snapping the woman out of her daze. How long has she been standing outside her classroom?
“I’m just passing by,” she finally answers.
“You’re really taking your time then.” Moira smirks. “You’ve been standing there for quite a while looking like a scared bunny.”
“I have to go.” Angela backs away. She turns to head back down the hallway from which she came. Footsteps follow her out.
“Wait! Come back!” Moira calls, but she is too late. The woman disappears around the corner never to be seen again (until tomorrow).
The bell rings, and the students file out of the classroom. Angela follows them, needing to be in another classroom across the school before the bell rings. She rushes, knowing she has little time. She rounds a corner and crosses a corridor filled with chatty students. They pay no attention to her. A flash of red catches her eye. The woman turns her head to see Moira walking down the hallway.
Crash! Her books fly across the floor as she trips. She barely catches herself in time. The teenagers stare at her for a moment before minding their own business. Moira, however, is suddenly right next to her.
“Are you okay?” she asks, eyes filled with concern. A look Angela has never seen on the woman before.
Angela rubs her head. “I’m fine.”
Moira picks up the stray papers and books. She holds her hand out to the woman. Angela hesitantly takes it and hobbles to her feet. She brushes herself off.
“Thank you,” she nearly whispers, her heart still struggling to slow down.
The bell interrupts them. What felt like forever was only two minutes. Either way, both teachers are late for their class.
“We should get going.” Moira frowns. “Will I see you later?”
“Yeah.” Angela nods, her head spinning.
She cannot focus for the rest of the day.
Angela is absolutely sure Moira is walking through the English wing to torment her. She has no other reason to be walking through that hallway. The science wing is on the other side of the building. Doesn’t she have work to do? Doesn’t she have anything better to do? After Moira passes by her room for the third time, Angela has had enough.
She leans out the doorway. “Moira!”
The tall woman stops in her tracks. She turns to look at the woman. “Yes, Angela?”
The blonde takes in a deep breath as if she is preparing herself. “Why do you keep walking past my room?”
“I’m conducting an experiment,” she answers simply.
“An experiment?” Angela raises an eyebrow. “What could you possibly be experimenting over here?”
Moira scratches the back of her neck. “How many times I could walk by your room before you would say something about it.”
“And what were your results?” she wonders.
“Eleven.” Eleven? This woman has some determination. Or at least a lot of extra free time on her hands.
“And why were you doing this?”
“To get you to talk to me.”
Angela sighs, “You could just walk in my room and talk to me.”
“But this is more fun,” the taller woman reasons, “And it worked.”
She’s not wrong. “Why do you want to talk to me, anyway?”
“To ask you out.”
“What?” Her eyes go wide.
“So what do you say?” Moira grins. “We can go somewhere nice this weekend. I’ll even dress up.”
“Yeah.” Angela smiles. "I would like that."
call this an interlude maybe idk its an extra thing i couldnt fit in but wanna post anyway bc i thought it was funny
(fyi its unfinished/short)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Angela sits in the teachers’ room after school grading essays. Her pen scratches purple ink onto the paper. She prefers it over red ink; red ink seems to scare students. The pen runs dry, and Angela reaches into her bag to grab another one. When she sits back up, a familiar redhead sits in the seat in front of her.
Angela jumps. “When did you get here?”
“I just sat down.”
“God, how are you so stealthy? I didn’t hear you come in.”
Moira shrugs. “I play a lot of Skyrim.”
“I have no idea what that means.”
“I don’t wanna know.” The blonde woman interrupts, holding her finger up. “Why are you in here anyway?”
“I was hoping to get your number,” Moira answers. She slides her phone over the table to the woman. The screen presents her with an empty contact sheet. Angela stares at it blankly. After a short moment of Moira staring at her expectantly, she types in her number with one finger. When she finishes, she hits the save button, and the phone returns to the home screen.
“What’s this?” Angela wonders curiously.
“Nothing.” The other woman snatches the phone and shoves it in her pocket. Her face burns a bright red.
“No, seriously. Who is that?” she pesters, “Some sort of cartoon character?”
Moira sighs, “It’s an anime.”
“A what?” She blinks at her in shock.
“It’s a show called Bleach,” the woman continues, digging herself into a hole, “You wouldn’t like it.”
“Like the cleaning stuff?”
“Is Mr. Clean in it?” Angela questions teasingly.
“Are you even listening to me?”
i caved and im gonna write some more chapters lmao i hope u guys enjoy it bc im having fun writing this silly au :D
i dissociated and when i came back this is what i had written so enjoy :D (more chapters planned as well im just super stuck on time so theyll be a while)
Out of all things to expect, Angela was not expecting Moira to show up at her house wearing that. Angela hops up at the sound of her doorbell ringing. The door swings open to reveal a tall Moira waiting eagerly for her. She wears a black suit and shiny shoes to match. Angela stares at her for a moment in awe. A completely different woman stands before her. Until she notices her tie. A tie with a tacky pattern of beakers and other science-y tools Angela has no idea about. It looks ridiculous on her. Of course she would wear that tie. She’s Moira. The same old Moira with this incessant need to ruin every decent outfit she puts on. At least the rest of the outfit is decent.
“Why are you staring at me like that?” The woman asks confusedly.
“Like what?” Angela snaps out of her daze.
“Like you’re gonna cry.”
“I’m not gonna cry.” The blonde woman tries to secretly blink back a tear. “I’m just so excited.”
“Shall we go then?”
“Of course.” She follows behind Moira to her car. She is surprised when the woman stops to open the car door for her. She slides in, and the door clicks shut next to her. Moira climbs in on the other side.
The car pulls into a parking lot. Angela looks up confusedly. Applebee’s? The neon sign flickers.
“Moira, are we really going to Applebee’s?” she asks.
“You’re wearing a suit.”
“Well, yeah. It’s fine dining,” the taller woman states as if it is obvious.
Angela groans. At least it won’t make the list of worst dates. The restaurant is crowded with families. Men sit at the bar watching sports. Angela can barely hear herself think. A smiling waitress brings them to their table next to a family with young children. They sit down and look over the menu.
“Oh, sweet.” Moira brightens up. “They have couple deals here too!”
Angela resists the urge to flip the table. Why did she agree to a second date? What was she thinking?
“Angela, you look very hot,” the other woman comments.
The blonde brings her gaze up. “I’m hot?”
“Yeah. Your face is all red and you’re sweating,” Moira responds, “Do you need to step outside?”
“I’m fine,” Angela hisses through gritted teeth.
The woman nods, seeming content with the answer. She turns back to the menu. One of the kids behind Angela gets up, smashing his chair into hers. Her elbow smacks into the edge of the table; a sharp pain shoots up her arm. She bites her tongue. Becoming a teacher taught her one thing: patience, and by God, does she need that tonight.
The bell rings to start off the school day. Most of the students sit in their desks half asleep. One student in the back lies face down on the ground, startled awake by the bell. Angela opens a slideshow of today’s lesson. She stands up to address the class.
“Good morning,” she greets them, “Is everyone awake? If not, I’m starting anyway.”
She eyes a student spaced out at his desk. His friend leans over and smacks his shoulder, waking him up. A glob of drool hits the desk.
The rest of the lesson goes by smoothly. Well, as smooth as any high school class can go.
“Any questions?” Angela asks the students.
One hand shoots up. She looks over to see Hana raising her hand eagerly. The student does not wait for the teacher’s permission to speak. “What’s going on between you and Ms. O’Deorain?”
Other students perk up, suddenly paying attention to the teacher.
“I meant questions on the subject matter, Hana,” she sighs.
“That’s not an answer.”
“We’re just coworkers. Nothing more.”
A few students snicker at the remark. Before Angela can respond, the bell rings to end class. The students rush out of the room to get to their next class. Angela follows suit, but heading toward the science wing. Each step leaves a burn mark on the ground.
“Moira!” the woman huffs, still out of breath from trekking the entire length of the school in three minutes.
Moira looks up from her desk. “Yeah?”
“Students are catching onto us,” she explains, “Hana asked me during class what our ‘relationship’ is.”
“What did you tell her?”
“I told her we’re just coworkers.”
Moira looks a little hurt at the statement. “I would’ve gone with friends, but okay.”
“You think we’re friends?” Angela scoffs in disbelief.
“We hang out every weekend,” the taller woman answers, “That’s something friends do.”
The blonde’s expression changes completely. “Shit. We’re friends.”
The bell echos through the hallway, signaling for the students to get in class. Angela realizes how late she is and turns to leave.
“We’ll talk about this later,” she says, rushing out the door.
“Bye, friend.” Moira waves her goodbye.
“Don’t call me that!”
Angela stares at her food at it spins in the microwave. Her mind wanders, thinking about her conversation with Moira. Although it was a few days ago, Angela cannot shake it from her head. Friends. Angela would not have even imagined being Moira’s friend, yet here she is. What is she supposed to do?
The microwave beeps, sending the woman out of her daze. Angela pulls out her leftover takeout and quickly retreats to a table. A cloud of steam erupts from the box as she opens it. Her stomach growls at the promise of food, making her forget about Moira completely. Angela pokes at the pile of food in front of her, hoping it won’t burn her tongue when she takes a bite. Before she can take the first bite, the door clicks open. A familiar tall woman walks in. Great.
“You’re having leftovers too?” Moira grins when she sees her friend mid-bite. She invites herself to sit down before the other woman can protest.
Angela nods in response, glancing around the room to see if anyone notices them sitting together. None of the other teachers seem to notice or care. They hover over their lunches, conversing amongst themselves. The two PE teachers, famed rivals, are having an eating contest on the other side of the room. It would be quite the sight if this was not an everyday occurance.
“Are you gonna warm that up?” Angela wonders.
Moira shakes her head. “I prefer it cold.” She dives her fork into her mashed potatoes, sending a shiver down Angela’s spine. She tries to take her mind off the other woman by biting into her own food, failing to notice the sizzling of her fries. The scalding heat overwhelms her senses. She holds back a tear.
“Are you okay there?” Moira asks, leaning in, “Your face just got all red.”
“I’m fine.” The blonde chokes. She is a horrible liar. “It’s just a little hot.”
“Just eat it cold.” The other woman holds up a forkful of mashed potatoes before stuffing it in her mouth. What kind of monster eats cold mashed potatoes? Angela cringes again.
“You want me to put this in the freezer?”
Moira laughs. “Just give it a moment.”
They eat in silence for the rest of the period. Angela contemplates talking about what is going through her head, but this is not the time or place. Maybe later.
“I just don’t know what to say to her.” Angela paces the floor of her apartment. Her two friends, Lena and Emily, sit on the couch in front of her.
“I have a question for you.” Lena sets down her drink and leans back on the couch. “Did you just invite us over so you wouldn’t look like you were talking to yourself?”
Angela looks at her in surprise. “I’m not talking to myself.”
“We’ve been sitting here for five minutes watching you ramble about this Moira person,” Lena answers.
“At least let us meet her if you like her so much,” Emily adds.
Angela gasps, “I don’t like her that much! We practically hate each other.”
The two women frown at her. Emily crosses her arms. “Really?”
“Fine. She’s fun to be around.” The woman admits. “We’re friends.”
She puts ‘friends’ in air quotes.
“Just friends?” Emily scoffs. “You sound in love.”
Lena snorts. “I can hear the wedding bells as we speak.”
“You’re hearing your own wedding bells.” Angela crosses her arms. She needs more wine.
“You got me there.” Lena gushes, leaning into her fiance.
“Oh! You could bring Moira as your date to the wedding!” Emily says excitedly.
Angela has flashbacks to Moira’s idea of formal wear. “I’d rather not.”
The bell rings as school lets out for the day. Kids charge through the school like bulls to start the weekend as soon as possible. Angela stays in her classroom grading papers. Of course, she could take these home and do the work in her pajamas, but she prefers to get everything done before she gets home. Besides, maybe she will go out this weekend. Do something fun. She never does, but maybe just maybe she’ll change it up this weekend.
Soon, the sun sets, casting dark shadows into the classroom. Angela blinks as she returns to the real world. Her eyes fall on the clock. It is much too late for her to stay at school much longer. By now the halls are empty of even the janitors. She grabs her purse and heads to the parking lot.
The door to the parking lot, of course, is in the science wing. Angela nervously walks by, hoping a certain someone already went home. All of the classrooms are dark. Angela sighs in relief. No one is home. A faint noise catches her attention. Someone… is still here? She walks toward the noise. It feels like something out of a horror film, like she suddenly stepped into a new dimension. Still, she presses on. A glowing light greets her as she turns the corner. It flashes different colors.
Before she realizes it, Angela stands in the doorway of Moira’s classroom. She stares flabbergasted at the other woman who appears to be dancing to some strange music. Her jaw almost hits the floor. Moira freezes when she discovers the other woman in the room with her. They stare at each other in silence while the music plays from the Smart Board™. Eventually, the video ends, and another loads on Youtube autoplay.
Angela speaks first. “Is that that anime music you were telling me about?”
“This isn’t anime music.” Moira coughs. “It’s, uh, Vocaloid.”
“You work at a high school, and you’ve really never heard of Vocaloid or Naruto or even Skyrim?”
“Don’t try to explain those to me.”
“Okay, so Vocaloid is a singing voice synthesizer created in 2004. To make it popular, Japan created mascots for these voices, the most popular being Hatsune Miku. She’s the best-”
By now, the sun has completely set. Angela checks her watch. It is past dinner time. Moira continues to explain Vocaloid to her in some confusing mess of words; all the while, Youtube autoplay delivers more songs as a backdrop to the conversation. Angela spaced out long ago. Strange polka music brings her back to reality. She blinks as she realizes how much time passed.
“I’m gonna go.”
“Okay! I’ll text you my playlist!”
Angela hopes she does not. Of course, as soon as she leaves the building, her phone dings. A slew of messages fills up her phone screen. Angela throws it in the backseat and drives off.
okay so thanks for all the great comments and stuff this is still one of my favorite things i ever wrote and i've always had plans on finishing it that i am finally getting around to
thank you for reading and i hope everyone has a wonderful day
also i spent probably an hour or 2 analyzing moira's exact music taste asdfghjkl