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Knocking First Is An Accepted Societal Custom For A Reason

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"Have you started on the mod versus postmod easy yet?" Judy asks Lisa. They're on their way back from their tutorial class on sculptural art and it seems like the whole student body is on campus today. Lisa dodges a freshman and catches up with Judy.


"No, oh my god, screw that assignment, honestly," Lisa pants and grins roguishly at her friend. Judy rolls her eyes. "No, I mean it. Like, why are we even writing essays in history of fine arts?"  


Judy sighs patiently. "Because, Lisa you seem to have forgotten the 'history' part of the course, and the fact that this assessment counts for 30% of our final mark." 


"Nah," Lisa jokes, "No way man. You're pulling my leg. Who makes one essay worth 30%? That's literally more than the actual exam." 


Judy laughs a little and shrugs. "I don't know man, you'll have to ask Mr Shurley. I hear other art majors complaining about his shitty syllabuses all the time. All I know is, this essay is hell important and you really shouldn't have left it this late." Judy tries to emphasise the seriousness of this by lowering her voice. She doesn't really want her friend to fail. Even if she does kinda deserve it for slacking off. 


"Shit." Judy stops walking and looks back to where Lisa has frozen. "Shit. Judy. Oh my god, then you gotta help me dude. Please. It's due tomorrow, isn't it?" Lisa starts pacing nervously. "Shit, my luck is always the worst." 


Judy shakes her head reluctantly. "I'm sorry man, I got that dinner with my sister and her tool boyfriend Tristan tonight. Can't help you out." Lisa looks pleadingly at her friend and Judy grinds her teeth together. "Okay. Okay, you can have my notes that I used for mine, but seriously, Professor Novak will catch on if you copy it word for word." 


Lisa flashes her friend a brilliant smile and Judy is momentarily startled, caught somewhere between a warm glow and tired exasperation. Lisa hugs her tightly and let's go too soon. 


"Thank you so much dude, you're a real lifesaver. Just email me the stuff and I'll pull an all nighter," Lisa makes an over the top aggrieved expression. She starts to dance off, her arm visibly straining under the weight of her heavy backpack when Judy grabs the strap and Lisa stumbles.


"Sorry," Judy says with wide eyes, "Sorry, but, you still need to get the cover task sheet from Novak. He should be in his office, but it'll be closing soon so you better hurry!" 


"What?" Lisa says annoyed and desperate. "Why? Can't I just get it when I hand the whole thing in tomorrow?" 


Judy shakes her head seriously. "You know how he gets about organisation and punctuality. Anyways, good luck! Don't text me at three am saying you're stuck because I'll be sleeping." Judy grins apologetically and vanishes in the thick of the students. Lisa throws her head back in surrender and narrowly misses braining herself on some student's dangerous looking engineering project. 


"Shit." Lisa looks around and snatches at the nearest familiar looking student. "Shit. Dude, do you know where Novak's office is?" 


The student, who Lisa now recognises with a sinking heart, is Matthew Lorenzo, the campus' renowned suck up and stickler with a capital S. She tries to look unassuming like she didn't just shout a really high pitched, panicked sounding question at him. 


Today really isn't her lucky day. Can she just stress that point?


He looks down his nose at her. "Yes. But it's closing in less than five minutes so you can't speak to him anyway." He sounds infuriatingly smug and Lisa resists the urge to slap him. Where it hurts. 


Instead, she smiles in that way Judy tells her looks pretty and repeats her question. "Do you know where it is?" 


Matthew looks slightly flustered now but he still maintains his snootiness. "I don't see why I should tell you. You're probably going over there to mooch extra credit off of him." 


Lisa rolls her eyes and struggles to keep her composure. She fails. Predictably. "You know what Matthew, I don't give a shit what you think I'm going there for. I hope you fail this essay. Goodbye." 


Lisa turns away from him and starts walking towards the block of arts offices. She knows that she has very little time to guess and check but it's her only option now. Vaguely Lisa recalls that the offices are in the order of: physical and metals art, multimedia art, dramatic art, fine art, and then music. Except she was told that three years ago during orientation. And can she just say that her memory sucks, refer to instance; right now, her forgetting to complete her essay which is worth 30% that is due tomorrow


She inhales deeply, decides whatever the fuck, nothing much worse can happen now, and opens the first office door she sees without knocking first. She can practically hear Judy in her mind, her bright green brown eyes flashing with frustration. It makes Lisa smile a little. And it seems that the universe is finally smiling on her today. Lisa sees the neat loopy handwriting of "Prof. Castiel Novak, M.B., M.P.H, B.A. Fine Arts," on a briefcase on the desk. She pushes the door open further. 


And probably bites half her tongue off. 


Professor Novak is half bent over the desk, his head angled downwards from where Lisa is standing in the slightly opened doorway. His tie is dangling loose from his neck and his hair is extremely mussed. Maybe her eyes linger on his exposed chest and bruised throat for too long because she registers that the other body has stopped moving very pointedly. 


She drags her eyes upwards and very nearly drops her bags, her legs, and her entire self in shock. She doesn't know him, but from the name plate on the desk displaying "Prof. Dean Winchester," she can make a very good guess. He's in even worse shape than Novak, and Lisa can feel her own ears starting to burn. Now she's looking up she can see that Novak's pants are...not on his body, and Winchester's mouth is hanging open and is kinda red and damp and-


"Excuse me?" He says, and it's enough to propel Lisa out of the office, and slam the door shut. She stands against it for a moment and tries to sort through what she's just seen.


Professor Novak, and Professor Winchester were just-


Novak...and Winchester...the Fine Art and Physical and Metals Art professors are-




She can't do it.




She gains enough of herself back to move away from the door and about fifty metres down the pavilion. Where she promptly wrenches out her phone with sweaty hands and texts Judy.


>>moody judy: u will not beLIEVE what i just saw....




This gets a reaction. Not a few seconds later and Lisa's phone starts to vibrate. 


"You better be fucking pulling an April Fool's joke five months too late Lisa I swear..." Judy starts breathlessly and Lisa cuts in.


"No! Oh my god! I'm gonna have a fucking hernia man you don't even understand. I literally...fucking....opened the door....on Winchester eating Novak's ass out!" Lisa feels her face burning even as she says the words. 


There's silence on the other end of the line. Then: "Oh man you are so screwed. You didn't get the sheet off Novak did you? You ran away before you could right?" 


Lisa can hardly believe what Judy is saying. "Are you seriously focusing on that right now! I fucking interrupted gay teacher on teacher oral and I can never look Novak in the eye ever again now I know!-"


Lisa bites her tongue (again). Judy babbles on in her ear but Lisa slowly lowers her phone. There's a warm hand on her shoulder, and it's too large to be anyone she knows. Lisa swallows. Maybe she can run if she ditches her bag, (and really genuinely has a death wish?).


The choice is taken out of her hands. Literally. Another hand plucks her phone out of the air where it was dangling, and Lisa warily turns around. 


It's Winchester. Lisa doesn't know if she should feel relieved. He could be a real dick and she wouldn't even know. But he doesn't look especially mad, except for the fact that his eyebrows are tilted downwards in the middle and the way his mouth is a thin line.


Lisa's in some epically deep shit. 


Detachedly she observes that he cleans up really well for someone very recently engaged in...activities. Actually, he cleans up real well overall. Mentally Lisa applauds Novak for getting such a catch. And then she slaps herself. 


This time it's not mentally.


Winchester doesn't stop her. But now, he looks less stern, and more amused. Lisa swallows nervously and wipes her damp hands on her jeans.


He opens his mouth and Lisa tries not to think about where it had just been. Shit.


"I'd just like to clarify that I'm bisexual," he says, and Lisa just blinks back at him because that is not what she'd been expecting him to say. She was thinking more along the lines of "Ha, expelled. I hope you're good at reusing toilet paper cos guess what? Now you're homeless. Have fun." Winchester seems to realise her confusion because he grins shyly and repeats himself. "You said gay teacher on teacher oral, and while my colleague Castiel is gay, I'm very much bisexual." 


Lisa opens her mouth and works it up and down for a second. And then she blurts out: "Cool." Cool. Cool? Fucking cool? Does she really want to die that badly?


But Winchester just laughs and wow, Lisa can definitely see what Novak is gunning for. 


God she needs to stop thinking about them. Together. Having office sex in a chair she's probably sat in like twelve times- 


"Anyway, Cas felt it would be a bit awkward for him to come and explain to you, so here I am." Now Winchester's eyes are twinkling. "I hope this doesn't make you uncomfortable. I'm sure Professor Novak will be extra accommodating on your next assessment if you feel at all wronged." 


"No, no, it's fine." Lisa just wants to run away and never think about this incident ever again, except she probably will. Tonight. All alone in her dorm room. "Actually. Wait. You really think he'd be more lenient on my next assessment?"


Winchester's eyes become more shrewd and knowing and Lisa mentally berates herself. She should leave it and leave the entire fucking university whilst she's at it. "Well. I'm not too sure actually, he takes his marking very seriously." He frowns and Lisa's heart skips a beat. "But. I might be able to persuade him." Winchester winks subtly and Lisa fucking dies and decides to drop out of her Fine Art course right now


"Oh. Okay. Well. Um," she stutters and almost fucking bows like what the fuck before catching herself. "You and Professor two have a good evening." Her eyes widen in belated shock at her own words. 


Winchester grins guiltlessly and nods. "Oh. We will. Professor Novak looks forward to seeing you tomorrow in his lecture." He waves goodbye and hands her phone back to her. She watches him make his way back to his office and he shuts the door gently. 


Lisa is left standing there ten minutes later, with seven missed calls on her phone and her fingers are numb. Who the fuck who have thought? 


And then she realises: she still doesn't have that damn sheet off Novak, and now she only has 7 hours to write and edit an entire six page essay. Shit