Title: Pink Glitter
Summary: When Ryan’s father can’t make it to his daughter’s Parent’s Job Fair Day, Ryan, a struggling writer, fills in for him, only to find himself attracted to his sister’s kindergarten teacher.
Disclaimer:Um, Brendon’s not a kindergarten teacher, so…false.
Author Notes: Based off the prompt fromxfireworkzstarxwhen she asked for something with optometrists, bending over to get something and sparkly pink glitter. ~3,500 words.
Ryan knew that it wasn’t Nicole’s fault, but he couldn’t curb his irritation as he drove towards the kindergarten building. It wasn’t like Ryan wasn’t expecting the phone call, only thirty minutes before his father was supposed to be at the school to do some Parent’s Job Fair Day thing, but still, he hated leaving in the middle of his work, especially in the middle of a sentence.
Despite it all, the thought of his sister being the only one in the morning kindergarten class without someone there made Ryan’s heart ache a little bit, so he left the computer, pushed aside his pen and paper, and got on the road as soon as he could, chugging a can of soda since he only got three hours of sleep the night before thanks to a particularly vicious plot bunny.
He didn’t know what he was going to say to a class full of five and six year olds. Ryan could handle his sister, but in general, children made him nervous. Even the friends that Nicole sometimes had over for ‘play dates’ made Ryan feel a little panicked. When people asked, Ryan always tried to be as polite as possible when explaining why he wasn’t that fond of children, but it usually ended with him ending his explanation with “and they’re just so damn annoying.”
He couldn’t help it. He loved Nicole, but Ryan knew that if it wasn’t for the fact that they were related by blood, her constantly sticky hands, her endless amount of hyper energy, and her incessant questioning would drive him crazy and he wouldn’t be able to stand her.
Ryan sighed as he pulled into the school parking lot, pulling into a spot next to a shiny silver Mercedes that had a bumper sticker exclaiming that their child was a gymnastic star and a beat up looking purple mini van that had so many different band stickers on it that Ryan couldn’t even make out the name of half of them.
Looking down at his watch, he realized that if he continued to stare at the back of the slightly decrepit van he would be late, so Ryan drained the last bit of his soda can and placed it on top of the Mercedes’ trunk.
He hoped that it would leave a mark.
Ryan knocked on the door to Nicole’s kindergarten room. There was a lot of noise coming from inside: playful shrieks, bursts of laughter, what sounded like someone banging not so rhythmically on a desk, but there was no call for him to come in. He wondered if maybe he was supposed to just come in on his own, but he didn’t want to interrupt. Maybe they were supposed to wait outside. Ryan looked around. Where were all the other parents?
Sighing, Ryan knocked on the door again, and this time, he heard someone yell out, “One second.” Apparently, in kindergarten, one second was longer than Ryan had always assumed it to be, and a full minute later, a disheveled looking man opened the door and poked his head out.
He had dark, almost black hair, wide, brown eyes, and when he asked, “Can I help you?” Ryan’s eyes were immediately drawn to his large lips. Especially when he licked over them before he asked the question again. Ryan hadn’t answered; he was too busy staring at the man in front of him, and yeah, this guy was sort of ridiculously attractive.
“Um, hello?” the man, presumably the teacher even though he looked to be Ryan’s age, said questioningly, no doubt wondering if Ryan was some sort of pedophile creep who had wandered into the kindergarten, wide eyed and dazed.
Ryan blushed, realizing that he still hadn’t said anything. He swept across the man’s features and frowned, all thoughts of normal introductions flying out of his mind. “Do you know that you have pink glitter in your hair?” The flush on Ryan’s face grew hotter when he spoke those words, and he fully blamed his lack of sleep.
The man, however, didn’t seem too perturbed by Ryan’s strange non sequitor. “Craft time,” he explained. “I was drawing a unicorn, and I couldn’t not decorate it with pink sparkles, now could I?”
“Um,” Ryan stuttered, wondering how he could possibly be struck dumb by a guy with twinkling pink glitter in his hair. “I guess not.”
“Exactly,” the guy said, turning his head around, back into the room, as a rather large crash sounded from inside. “Everyone okay in there?” he asked over his shoulder, turning back around to smile at Ryan when he heard a chorus of way too innocent yeses. “So, back to the point, how can I help you? I should probably be getting back to my class soon.”
“I’m here for that parent job thingy,” Ryan flustered.
The teacher tilted his head to the side, looking Ryan up in down in a way that Ryan thought was way too seductive for someone teaching his six year old sister. “You don’t look old enough to have a kindergartener,” the man said, but bit his lip quickly after he said it. “Oh God, unless you do. Like a teenage father or something. Oh fuck, I’m sorry.” His eyes widened as the swear word left his mouth. “Shit, I shouldn’t swear.” He startled again. “Oh, cock.” The man shook his head in dejection. “Now I really am hoping that your child isn’t in my class.”
Ryan laughed, calmed a little by the teacher’s obvious mortification. “No, my sister,” Ryan explained. “My father couldn’t make it, so he sent me.”
The teacher looked up, obviously relieved, and that bright smile was back. “Thank God,” he breathed. “But the job presentations aren’t for another hour.”
Internally, Ryan cursed his father. He knew he should have checked. His father never got the times right for anything. Ryan shifted a little on his feet. “Well, I guess I could just wait in the car or something. Maybe get some coffee and come back in an hour.”
“Or you could come in and hang out,” the teacher suggested. “I’m about to read the class a story, and I could always use help doing voices.”
“Sure, I guess,” Ryan agreed after the teacher gave him a wide-eyed, pleading look. Even though the thought of spending extra time with kindergarteners made him a little nervous, he couldn’t say no.
“Great. By the way, my name is Brendon,” the teacher said, sticking his hand out and shaking Ryan’s.
“Ryan,” he replied, and he was trying really hard to not read into the way that Brendon’s hand seemed to linger and trace along his fingers as the handshake ended. “Ryan Ross.”
Brendon’s grin grew. “You’re Nicole’s brother? I just love her.” He held a finger up to his mouth, eyes shifting around furtively. “She’s one of my favorites,” he whispered.
“I’m sure,” Ryan laughed, and it caught in his throat as Brendon reached out and pulled him into the classroom by his wrist just as another loud crash sounded.
“Sorry,” he apologized as Ryan rubbed his wrist. “They just seem to get a little rowdy when I’m not watching.”
A little rowdy seemed to be an understatement. The room was messy. Really messy, in fact. At what Ryan assumed to be the art station, there was a large pile of the same pink glitter that was still twinkling in Brendon’s hair. There was a trail of dress-up clothes strewn around a very fussy looking boy, and judging by the smudges of chocolate, it seemed like the kids had managed to get into the snack drawer.
Next to him, Ryan heard Brendon curse under his breath. He turned to Ryan, and gave an apologetic smile. “It’s sort of my first year,” he admitted.
Just then, the wind was knocked out of Ryan as a quick blur plowed into him. Wheezing, Ryan tried to catch his breath as his sister shrieked out his name.
“Whoa, calm down, Nicole. Let your brother breathe,” Brendon said, unraveling the mass of arms and legs that was Ryan’s sister. “Remember, people need air to live.”
Ryan coughed, clearing his air path, but he smiled down at his sister. “Hey, munchkin.”
“What are you doing here?” She was bouncing on the tip of her toes, and Ryan realized that she had somehow got out of the house wearing her ballet shoes again.
“Dad can’t make it to the job thing today and he asked me to fill in,” Ryan explained.
Nicole’s bottom lip stuck out. “He’s always working,” she complained.
“It’ll be fun having your brother here though,” Brendon interjected. “It’ll give us a bigger selection of people.” He gave Nicole a comforting smile. “I’m sure that your brother is really interesting.”
Even though Brendon was bent over, talking to his sister, Ryan couldn’t help but notice the way that Brendon looked up and smirked when he said that. The look that Brendon gave him dazed Ryan for a second, making his sister's hurried chatter of agreement blur into one long buzz.
As it turned out, Ryan realized that he did not have a talent for voices. Try as he might, Ryan couldn’t seem to alter his voice enough to differentiate between different characters, so he was stuck being the haughty king during read aloud story time. Brendon, on the other hand, could do plethora of voices: high and breathy, low and deep, even a pretty convincing goat man baa.
As Brendon read the story, book opened wide in his hand so that the children could see the illustration, Ryan couldn’t help but smile. All the kids were staring up at Brendon like he was the greatest thing ever, and as Brendon crackled his voice to sound like the evil witch, Ryan could see their point.
With only about fifteen minutes until the parents were set to arrive, Brendon ended story time, and put on his ‘serious face’, at least, that’s what Nicole whispered in Ryan’s ear when Brendon put his hands on his hips and pressed his lips into a line.
“All of your parents are coming in a little bit,” Brendon informed all the kindergarteners, “and right now the room is a big mess.”
A couple of the kids looked around the room a little guiltily, and Ryan could see a tiny smile flicker through Brendon’s ‘serious face’.
“I think that we should all work to clean up the room so that we can show your parents how proud you are to be in kindergarten,” Brendon said, and several kids nodded. Ryan held back a laugh. He knew that he was never that easily manipulated.
Brendon turned towards Ryan and gave him a wide smile. “I know that our good friend Ryan would love to help us too, wouldn’t you, Ryan?”
Ryan grumbled when Brendon stuck out his lower lip. A couple of kids giggled at their teacher’s antics, but Ryan found Brendon’s puppy dog face much more convincing than his sister's, and he agreed begrudgingly.
“Perfect!” Brendon exclaimed, and he cleared his throat, and started to lead the class in a round of a song that Ryan was pretty sure was from Barney. It seemed to work though, and urged on by Brendon’s clear voice, the kids scattered throughout the room to straighten, clean, and tidy up.
“Is that from Barney?” Ryan asked, a laugh clearly audible in his question.
Brendon gave a sly shrug. “Yeah. It’s sad. None of these kids have even heard of Barney. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dora the Explorer, but there’s nothing better than a singing and dancing purple dinosaur. Plus, it makes me feel young again.”
“What are you? Twenty-two? You said it’s your first year teaching, you can’t be that old,” Ryan pointed out.
“Twenty-two. But when you’re surrounded by six year olds all day, anything above fifteen seems ancient.”
Someone pulled on the bottom of Ryan’s hem, and when he turned, he saw his sister and another small girl smiling up at him. “Ryan, this is my best friend, Kristine,” Nicole said.
Ryan looked at Brendon, who raised an eyebrow, and Ryan squatted down a little and held out his hand. “Hello, Kristine, it’s nice to meet you.”
The little girl didn’t take Ryan’s hand, and instead, put her hands on her hips. “Do you have a girlfriend?” she asked -- no preamble or anything.
Brendon interjected, “Kristine, remember what we talked about with asking people personal questions?”
Ryan shook his head. “It’s okay,” he said, convincing himself that he could learn to handle kids. “No, I don’t.”
The girl frowned. “Why not?”
“I just don’t,” Ryan finally said after deciding that telling the six year old girl who he didn’t know that he was gay would be a bad idea, especially if she continued to ask questions.
“Oh,” she said. “Are you a virgin?”
“And that’s enough questions,” Brendon said, swooping in. “Why don’t you two go help clean up in the house section?” he suggested, and ushered the girls away. “Sorry about that,” he told Ryan when they had left. “Six is a very curious age.”
Ryan’s face was still a little flushed, but he managed a pretty casual sounding laugh like children asking if he had sex was a normal thing. “I can see that.” There was a moment of awkward silence between them, and Ryan shuffled on his feet. “Is there anything I can do to help out?” he finally asked.
“We should probably set up the posters the kids made for their parents,” Brendon said, and he reached for Ryan’s hand, grabbing it and dropping it in the same motion. “Sorry - -reflex. I don’t think you need me to hold your hand and lead you to the storage closet.”
Even though he wanted to object, wanted Brendon’s warm hand still in his own, Ryan just shook his head and agreed.
“Listen up, kids,” Brendon said, addressing the class. “I’m going to grab all of your posters for your parents right now. I’ll be five feet outside the door, but be good. I shouldn’t be gone for more than two minutes.”
A chorus of generally positive sounds called back, and Brendon gestured for Ryan to follow him, leading him out the door, across the hallway, and into a tiny, poorly lit room.
“They’re around here somewhere,” Brendon said, bending over to dig around in a mass of poster board, and no, Ryan should not be thinking about how great of an ass his sister’s teacher had.
Ryan swallowed. He was definitely not thinking about the fact that he was in a small, cramped, dimly lit storage closet with probably the most attractive guy he had seen in a long while, who for some reason, wouldn’t stop wiggling his ass around as he searched for the posters, occasionally muttering things like “Where are they?” and “I swear they’re in here.”
“Here they are!” Brendon exclaimed as he straightened up, armful of posters, glitter shaking off a few of them as Brendon adjusted them.
“Thank God,” Ryan murmured lowly, relieved that Brendon was standing up now. Off of Brendon’s raised eyebrow, Ryan added, “I was worried they were lost.”
Ryan found it a little strange to be standing in front a room full of kindergarteners and their parents with a large poster with very oversized, very sparkly glasses propped up against the white board beside him. “Um, hi,” Ryan said. “I know that this sign says optometrist, which is an eye doctor, but that’s my dad, and he’s not here.” He coughed. “But I can talk to you about what I do. I’m a writer.”
A tiny hand shot up, and after a beat, Ryan said “Yeah?” allowing the child to speak. “Do you write fortune cookies?”
“Um, no,” Ryan said. “I’ve been working on a book actually.”
“Like the one that you and Mr. Urie read us earlier?” the same little girl yelled out.
After Brendon gave a small reminder about “hands”, Ryan nodded. “Kind of. But mine are more for older people. And a little more realistic. There are no witches in my book.”
“I like witches,” that same girl said, smiling up at Ryan, and Ryan recognized her as the girl who asked him about his sex life. “But I like you, too. I bet your book will be good.”
“Thanks,” Ryan said, a little flustered by the girl’s words, but he beamed. She wasn’t that bad, he figured. A little too curious for her own good, but not that bad. “The thing that I love about writing is-”
Ryan was interrupted with the opening and slamming of the door and a rushed yell of “Sorry, I’m here. I’m here.” It was Ryan’s father, hurrying to the front of the room to stand beside his son. “Sorry.” He smiled apologetically at the parents and Brendon.
“I thought you were working,” Ryan said quietly to his father.
“Turns out I got the time wrong,” his father answered, “and I figured that this would be important to Nicole.”
Ryan pushed back the biting comments boiling up inside him about how he had made such a big deal about Ryan coming, and smiled at the kids, a little warily. “Okay, well, my dad’s here now so he can talk to you about optometrists,” Ryan said, slinking off to the side of the room to sit on top of one of the desks, allowing his father to overtake everyone’s attention.
He didn’t know why, but he felt his spirits sink a little bit as his father started to talk about eyes and glasses and contacts. The kids’ really weren’t that bad and they were kind of entertaining.
Ryan really hoped he didn’t look like he was brooding, but he couldn’t force himself to pay attention to his father.
He felt a weight beside him, and when he turned his head, he saw that Brendon had joined him on the desk, legs dangling over the edge, not quite touching the floor. “If it helps,” Brendon whispered, “I’d rather hear what you have to say.”
Even though there was really no reason for him to stay, Ryan didn’t leave after his father came, and remained to listen to the other parents give their presentations. Brendon was back up to near the front of the room, keeping an eye on the children, and when the last parent presented, he clasped his hands together. “Thank you so much, parents. Children, what do we say to our parents?”
“Thank you!” the kids yelled out, some of them even screaming at the top of their lungs.
“Considering that all of your parents are here and there are only about fifteen minutes left of school, I’m going to let you all out early. Once again, thank you, parents, and please remember that I need the permission slips for the apple farm back by next Tuesday.”
Ryan watched as many of the kids ran up to Brendon to say goodbye, his attention only shifting when his father tapped him on the back. “I’m going to take Nicole out for ice cream,” he said. “I’ll take her home afterward so you don’t have to worry about it.”
“Okay,” Ryan said, ruffling his sisters hair and she embraced him. “Don’t eat too much ice cream.”
Nicole stuck her tongue out at him. “I will!” she yelled as she ran out of the room, their father trailing after her.
As soon as Nicole left, another fast blur came up to hug him. When Ryan looked down and saw Kristine, he gave her a tiny smile.
“I’ll be your girlfriend,” she said against the side of Ryan’s ribs, her mother laughing good-naturedly behind them.
Ryan hugged her back and said, “One day when you’re a little older.” She grinned at him, apparently satisfied by this answer, and left, waving to Ryan as she was pulled out the door by her mother.
Ryan leaned up against the desk, watching as the other children and their parents filtered out, until it was just him and Brendon left in the room. Brendon was sitting behind his desk, shuffling through some papers, apparently unaware that Ryan was still there, and when Ryan walked up and placed a hand on Brendon’s shoulder, he jumped.
“Sorry,” Ryan apologized.
“Fuck!” Brendon exclaimed, slapping his hand over his mouth. “I really have to work on that swearing thing,” he bemoaned. He tilted his head up. “So, don’t you have somewhere to be?”
“I thought maybe you could use some help cleaning up,” Ryan said, trying to act casual as if Brendon’s smile didn’t make him blush.
“Yeah, that’d be nice,” Brendon said, biting his lower lip, eyes glinting a little as he looked at Ryan. He grabbed the stack of posters, and Ryan followed him into the storage closet.
Once they were inside, Brendon reached over behind Ryan, and closed the door. Ryan’s eyes widened as Brendon’s hand flicked and he locked it, letting his hand brush up against Ryan as he pulled back and then took a step forward.
“I know it’s probably terrible,” Brendon said, and Ryan couldn’t help his heart from speeding up with every step Brendon took towards him, “but I was thinking about what I would do if I got you alone in this closet again all day.”
“Really?” Ryan asked, trying not to sound too desperate, trying not to sound too hopeful.
“All day,” Brendon said again, letting his one hand come up to grip at Ryan’s upper arm and smooth down the length. “I don’t want to seem really forward or anything,” Brendon started to say, but Ryan cut him off as he surged forward and kissed him.
“No, not too forward,” Ryan assured, and he pushed Brendon back against one of the shelves, pink glitter falling down, before he kissed him again. “Not too forward at all.”
Sequel : Purple Nail Polish
Sequel : Purple Nail Polish