"...and that is why I love Daniel Wilcox from the bottom of my heart!"

There was a collective groan. Dave's first period as a substitute teacher was not going as planned. First he couldn't find the attendance sheet, only to be told that the school does it by computer nowadays. Then the announcements came on, causing Dave to drop everything in his hands (a pen, a pencil, and the now found paper attendance sheet that apparently substitute teachers only use) due to the sudden noise. Daily announcements didn't come on until the beginning of third period, after all. However, the announcement didn't regard the school at all, but instead the love life between the Chemistry and Math teachers, respectively, Daniel Wilcox and Liam Williams.

Michael Williams was known throughout the school as an incredibly "chill" teacher who always cracked jokes and made humourous test questions (not that his students found that one pop quiz with all the answers as "A" completely hilarious…). Although, he was still a responsible adult and made sure his lessons weren't complete bullshit.

But this was one of the times Dave thought Mr. Williams was doing some serious BS.

"Now class-" Dave tried restarting his Chemistry class, but the reaction and excitement towards the sudden announcement didn't allow it.

"Ahhh!" one girl squealed. "Finally! I've been waiting three years for Mr. Williams to say that!"

"Oh, shut it Audrey. Not everyone knows the secret life of WilWil. Most of this class are only sophomores, after all," another boy reminded. Dave couldn't believe a young male student would utter the ridiculous couple name out loud.

"Guys, I think you're missing the most important point here..." a girl with two braids and glasses piped up. "Mr. Wilcox is our teacher."


"He isn't here right now, is he? Mr. Carbone, after all, is our substitute."

Dave took this as his golden opportunity. "You are quite right, Annabelle," he said and the girl jumped. "However, we still are in class so let us resume the lesson."

And he was interrupted, yet again. "But Mr. Carbone!" someone shouted, raising his hand at the same time.

"Phil, if you wish to be respectful, I would hope to see you see it all the way through."

"Is Mr. Wilcox at school today? Do you think he heard Mr. Williams announcement?"

"I cannot answer that, but I will confirm Mr. Wilcox will be teaching his third period class today."

Another groan. "No way..." Audrey moaned. "After all Mr. Williams' efforts...wasted! It's been too long!"

Dave sighed. This was not how he imagined being a (substitute) teacher would be like.

The coffee helped. Taking a sip of the warm liquid, the substitute teacher for Chemistry sighed in relaxation.

A hand clapped him on the shoulder. "How was first day on the job, Dave?" Frank, the Literature teacher he had acquainted with while he was only a lab assistant, stood next to him.

He shot Frank and exasperated look. "What do you think? I knew Michael was radical, but seriously..."

Frank laughed good-naturedly. "That's right; you're subbing in for Danny, aren't you? Man, I gotta admit, I've been waiting for this to happen for a while now. I've been teaching at this school for, what, ten years now? Michael and I have known each other before our teaching careers-I was his upperclassman at one point, can you believe that? Michael sure doesn't act like it-and never have I seen him look at someone as he looks at Danny. Oh man, it was the best morning of my life..." Frank finally managed to take a breather in his speech. "Wait, but aren't you subbing in for him? Danny's here today, isn't he?"

Dave sighed. "'Fraid not. He had an appointment this morning and wasn't at school."

Frank gave a long, loud groan. "No, are you kidding me? After all the courage Mikey had to hold up to make that confession, not to mention the principal wouldn't be too happy about it...or, well actually maybe not...April has a pretty carefree nature, and she's quite the hopeless romantic herself...What is Michael going to do now?"

Dave shrugged. "I don't know...probably confess to him in person. Like an ordinary person."

"That's not cool at all, Dave, and you know just how extreme Michael likes to be," said Frank, shaking his head in disappointment. As if admitting his personal ideal confession was the most disappointing event of the day.

"Yes, yes," Dave nodded quickly, "I'm quite aware." He remembered the first time he met Michael Williams. He was observing the Chemistry classroom for the first time when a lanky man with brown hair shouting "DANNY!" suddenly tackled him. It was a while before he released him and realized he was not Daniel Wilcox at all.

"Sorry," Michael had apologized sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. "Your back looks a lot like Danny's." He had looked around the science lab, his face turning red. "So where's Daniel? Is he not here today? You his sub?"

"No," Dave had replied unsurely. "I'm his assistant for now. I'm a teacher in training."

Michael's eyes lit up. "Danny got an assistant? Oh, he's been wanting one for ages! I had one a while back, and he was jealous ever since! He'll probably gloat about this in front of me..." Michael had said thoughtfully.

At that moment, the teacher Michael Williams was looking for showed up. Daniel Wilcox just entered the lab from the storage room carrying a tray of test tubes. Before Michael even said anything, Daniel has shot him an even look and said, "Don't even think about it Michael. If you break these, it'll come out of my paycheck."

"Oh c'mon," he had said lightly, throwing an arm over Dave's superior. "You know I wouldn't leave you hanging!"

"No," Daniel had said seriously, "you would."

Michael laughed and Dave watched his two superiors walk into the science storage rooms, talking amongst themselves.

It wasn't quite the meeting Dave was expecting, considering they were all adults. Michael's behavior seemed like something a high schooler would do to their best mate, and Dave had not thought adults such as they were would act with such behavior.

But Dave didn't find himself annoyed with Michael. On the other hand, he seemed to be intrigued by his fellow co-worker, entertained by his antics from time to time. Of course, there were times where Michael was not completely in line and needed to be reminded by Daniel that they were still at work, but Michael Williams still made Stein High an enjoyable place to work.

Dave downed the last bit of his coffee. "I have to get back to work. Thanks for that chat, Frank."

"Don't deprive your students of their WilWil gossip!" he called as Dave turned the knob and Dave almost slammed his head into the door frame.

He really didn't understand Frank. He was a teacher. There were rules! Even if Michael was friendly enough with the principal to let things slide here and there and bend the stick, Dave thought Michael could use some discipline.

Honestly, if there was one thing that could come out of this, it would be Daniel doing that job. After all, Daniel-the subject of Michael's affections-could be headstrong enough to be Michael's vulnerability. If that does happen, Dave would definitely need to send his superior a worthy Christmas gift. (He had been sending staplers and purple pens for the past couple of years. One day, Daniel will understand the beauty of organization and psychology.)

By fourth period, the school was buzzing with the gossip surrounding his superiors. The students had three classes, one break, and roughly four passing periods to discuss their knowledge of WilWil. Only the gossip of a high school couple can mutate in so little time. After all, practically the entire school heard it (leave for those who had free periods, but were definitely included in the loop sometime later). However, it seemed students took the liberty in fabricating the limited knowledge they had of the school's most popular "couple".

Dave still didn't have a typical class yet. Each one were just filled with more and more absurdity and he finally gave up after third. It was his last one, as Daniel was to come back as the official teacher by then. Luckily, Daniel didn't teacher fourth, so they had a breather. Daniel hadn't shown up yet, but it was not unexpected-they had a break between the third and the fourth class and seeing how Dave covered the third and Daniel had none fourth, it'd be impractical to show up any earlier than halfway through fourth.

As predicted, the door to the science storage rooms opened behind him. Dave could already tell it was his superior before he said anything; just by the cautious way Daniel walked, anyone would be able to distinguish him by hearing only.

"Hey, Dave?"

He looked up from the paper he was currently grading. Daniel liked to leave mindless homework gradings to his helper and although Dave was no longer Daniel's subordinate, he still helped his former superior from time to time. Or was forced to help, since Daniel never gave him much room to disagree.

"Yes, Daniel?"

"Oh, don't be so formal with me." Dave didn't think he was formal at all, on the contrary, calling a (former) superior by their first name is quite unusual for him, not to mention, must have taken quite a bit of courage for Dave. "I was just wondering...Did I miss anything this morning? The school's been buzzing more than a fly around syrup."

Flies wouldn't buzz so much around sugary things; they would land to eat it, reasoned Dave, but he didn't say anything. "What do you mean? Of course you missed things; you were absent."

"No, no, not like that, obviously." Daniel looked to his side, embarrassed. Dave didn't expect this from his former superior, much less an adult. "Stein's been excited with some kind of news, huh?" Daniel chuckled a little, scratching the back of his head. "It's as if we had a celebrity as a new student."

Dave waved his hand. "No, nothing like that. You would know about that before the said student came to school."

"True, true." Daniel seemed to relax a little: his ears paled to their normal color instead of a burning apple red and he crossed his arms lightly. "But there is something going on, isn't there?"

Dave hesitated. He pondered about this choices: (a) explain the confession situation-very disrespectful but wouldn't lose his trust with Daniel Wilcox or (b) lose his trust with Daniel Wilcox.

Being his assistant for quite a while, Dave developed a prodigious respect for the teacher and had no intention of lying blatantly to his face. Of course, Dave wasn't ready to be disrespectful either.

"Well, if the thing that is circulating around the school is as big as you think it is, Daniel," said Dave suggestively, "you would know what it is."

Daniel sighed, exasperated, but the slight smile on his face showed Dave that he didn't mind the avoidance that Dave made. "I guess you're right," he agreed. "But then again, you always are."

"Yes, I am," Dave said before he could stop himself. Daniel laughed outright and patted him on the shoulder. "Keep up the work, Dave." He grabbed Dave's stack of finished papers before opening the door to the science supply room. "Thanks for grading; really appreciate it."

"If I don't, you may give students biased grades if you're cranky," Dave muttered to himself and Daniel laughed again. Dave knew it wasn't true, but merely a threat Daniel had used on previous occasions where he was feeling particularly cantankerous.

"Thanks," he called, and left Dave to the rest of the papers.

After Dave had finally finished correcting Daniel's last class' papers, he set down the purple pen-since red seems much too harsh on a rare terrible paper; something Daniel will never understand (too stubborn with tradition)-and stretched out his neck. His eyes briefed over the mathematical clock (gift from Michael to Daniel) on the right side of the room (the small hand pointing at the square root of 144 and the long hand between the cubic root of 125 and 2 times 3) and realized a couple minutes of lunch had passed.

He picked up his LA Lakers lanyard-one, he noticed now, that clashed terribly with the orange and blue he was wearing today-and headed for the staff lounge. While climbing the stairs to get to the patio of the lounge, he ran into Daniel. They were both attempting to insert the key into the door handle and didn't notice the other.

"Dave!" Daniel exclaimed happily. Dave did not understand the cheery attitude. Did he like the gossip about him? Did he figure out why students were so chattery? Daniel had a fifth period with his Chemistry students; he must've found out. Maybe Michael and Daniel were finally together, as many students had hoped. But...no. Barely anytime would have passed from the time Daniel figured it out and now; there would have been no opening for him to confront his good friend and soon-to-be significant other.

Oh Hell, the buzz was surrounding Dave now too.

"Daniel," he responded curtly. The former inserted his own key and opened the door for Dave. "What are you doing here?"

"Eating lunch." He winced at the sudden blinding sun. "What about you? What would you be doing out and about in the staff's lounge during lunch break?"

Daniel laughed, but it was short and awkward, vastly different from his previous ebullient one. Dave looked at him weirdly. "Just...a break."

Dave raised his eyebrows. "No lunch?"

"Ate it earlier. I had a prep period."

"What's with the tension?"

Daniel's shoulder stiffened even more than they were before, though Dave's attention wasn't focused on that before.


His sentence patterns are quite predictable, notes Dave. I sound like I'm in Frank's literature class.

"Did you ever find out what I was right about?" Dave was dying to know the result of Michael Williams' confession already, though he wasn't as excited about it as some of the students were, since they were running around with every chance they got, screaming.

"The thing you were right about isn't the thing that was circulating the school, if that's what you mean," Daniel answered as puzzling as possible. Dave sighed. Daniel was really hanging out with Michael too much. "And...yes, I did."


"I...am flabbergasted."

"That would me my ideal reaction if I confessed to someone, too."

Daniel moaned. "You knew!"

Dave was confused. "Of course I did. I was very vague earlier, you know. And of course, I was subbing for you earlier today. Which is why you missed it."

"Yeah, Michael was really upset about that." Putting his hands to his face forcefully and in an exasperated manner, he gritted out, "That's not the point!"

"Please lower your voice; we are inside."

"We're in the outside patio!"

"We are inside," he repeated. Dave shifted his eyes right and noticed the geometry teacher, Linda, looking at them. "And people are looking at us."

"Whatever, they're just co-workers."

"Who care about WilWil's love life."

"I can't believe you're using that ridiculous ship name."

"What's a ship name?"

Daniel looked at him with disbelief. "I can't tell if you're a relief or a disappointment."

"Neither of those terms really please me..."

Daniel sighed. "At any rate...the whole schools knows-excluding those who were absent, obviously," Daniel corrected, angry, "and Michael did confront me. It was...awkward."

"You need to start making coherent sentences."

"What kind of subordinate are you?"

"An ex-subordinate, sir." Dave never used sir before-it was quite unusual even for his superior. But it was the perfect time to irritate Daniel more, which seemed to amuse Dave and release his stress-which was due to Daniel.

"What do you think I should do about this?" he asked, ignoring Dave's remark.

"Do you like him?"

"What?" Daniel asked, as if he never heard the term "like" before. Though, considering Daniel's personality and his love for work and students, he probably never had time to actually learn what it meant.

"Do you like Michael Williams?"


"Honestly, Daniel," Dave said, taking his lunch out of the refrigerator that took him five minutes to do, "if you're sure you don't dislike him, then why don't you give it a shot?"

Vexed with his former superior's lack of love life-though the whole school seemed to think that they were the couple of the century at Stein's High School-Dave took his lunch and left the patio coolly, determined to find a new place to eat, where he wouldn't be hounded with WilWil gossip.

Thankfully, Daniel was responsible enough to continue taking over his appropriate classes rather than avoiding them and requiring Dave to be the substitute teacher until the gossip died down. Dave wasn't sure he could handle another student asking him if they were going to have a-God forbid—"threesome" later that night.

Then again, Daniel Wilcox was a reasonably responsible man unless confronted with absurd situations, like ones today.

Either way, Dave found himself comfortably sorting through lab equipment to be used on the next lab day. Dave personally found them to be delightful; watching students learn about Chemistry right in front of their eyes reminded him why he decided to be a teacher.

He was sorting between the volumetric and erlenmeyer flask when he heard a crash of papers in the room next to him. He was in the science storage room, yes, but it was a large section with multiple rooms. The sound came from the paper room, where (surprisingly) the science department stored papers to be used, papers that were used, and papers to be shredded and gone forever.

He set the flasks carefully down and walked to the building. It was passing, so he should've found it no surprise to see WilWil facing each other with a mess of papers lying between them.

But on the second thought, Dave thought Michael Williams would've had more sense than to ditch his last class for his potential boyfriend.

He must have a prep period, deducted Dave, And to spend it with Daniel… He really hoped they would get together, just to end all this unnecessary problems. He only wanted a typical, ideal first day as a (substitute) teacher.

"You didn't respond to my text!" he could hear Michael say. Seriously, they had three minutes until class started and they were bickering like high school students. Their disciples were seriously influential.

"'Did you hear that?' Heart emoticon, wink emoticon," Daniel recited. "How was I supposed to understand what that meant? Of course I didn't respond."

"You could've at least voiced your questions!"

"Impractical; it's much easier just to text them."

Michael groaned. He put his face in his hands, evidently stressed and frustrated. "It's times like these that I am reminded of how much I love you yet despise you."

Dave expected Daniel to stutter and spazz out. He didn't. Instead, he only flushed to his ears, but remained still. "So, you're serious?"

Michael looked up, face of disbelief. "Obviously?" he said desperately. "You're honestly so thick."

"Well," Daniel said, "you're very…unbelievable."

"You don't bother yourself with me if you thought I was ordinary," Michael pointed out, smug. "You like my radical tendencies."

"When they don't involve me and gossip." Daniel crossed his arms. "Do you know how many students asked me about WilWil today? They have an exam in two days and that's all they can worry about!"

"That name really is terrible," Michael mused. "So are your tests. You've really got to put more excitement in them, Danny. No wonder they don't care much. WilWil gossip is much more entertaining."

Daniel put a hand to his forehead. "Why do I bother…Besides, making a pop quiz with all the same answers is just evil, Mikey."

"It's just a pop quiz. With easy questions. They were even example problems I've given them before!" He paused and Daniel didn't carry on the conversation.

Dave checked his watch. Less than a minute until the bell rings. At least they were in the science department building. Daniel's classroom was less than a ten second walk so he would manage. Dave seriously hoped Michael didn't have a class next period because that was definitely crossing the lines of being an appropriate teacher.

"So, your answer?" Michael asked. Even if he was bothered by the annoying gossip students like the revolve themselves around, Dave would not give up to see WilWil's official get-together/very-unlikely-not-get-together.

There wasn't an answer. Dave looked at Daniel again. He was on his phone, typing furiously. "Check your phone," was his only reply.

Michael looked at phone screen. "'Yes I did.' Heart emoticon, blush emoticon," he read.

"It's not a blush emoticon, it's a shocked one!" denied Daniel. Dave sighed. Even when they do become a couple, his superior is in denial. "See? It's large eyes."

"It's a yes though, right?"

His question was left unanswered as the bell rang. Daniel opened the door to leave the paper room, which Dave took his cue as to return to the lab equipment center.

"Stay a bit after school ends and we'll see."

That afternoon, as Dave walked down the hall of the science building, he could hear one of his students (as a substitute) giggling with each other, "They have chemistry!" and he knew, without a doubt, they were speaking of the newly official couple, WilWil.

Dave took a few more steps down the hall and made a turn for the teacher's exit with only one thought on his mind.

That ship name has got to change.