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MERRY CHRISTMAS [livejournal.com profile] theletterelle

Title: Everything I Needed to Know About Life I Learned Teaching Kindergarten
Pairing: Gen with hints of pre-Gerard/Frank
Rating: So very G
Warnings: Crying children, if you want to be warned for that.
Summary: The last day before Christmas Break should be easy for Gerard and his teacher’s aide, Frank. Teaching kindergarten, though, means never having a dull day. It wouldn’t be Gerard’s classroom if Victoria wasn’t biting Gabe, William and Adam weren’t trying to steal Ryland, Greta and Lindsey weren’t hording crayons, and Brendon wasn’t crying while Spencer glared at everyone.
Word Count: ~3,200
Disclaimer: I deal in lies.
AN: For [livejournal.com profile] theletterelle as a Christmas present! She wanted bandom in kindergarten, which is the most adorable thing EVER. I hope you like it, bb! <3 [livejournal.com profile] saxihighlandck helped me with a title, because she can work wonders.





The last day before Christmas Break was always Gerard’s favorite. No one actually bothered to teach anything, as far as Gerard could tell. The kids were such hyperactive, excitable messes; it wasn’t worth trying to make them focus. It was much easier to read stories, watch movies, and load them up with sugar before sending them home to their parents and nannies.

“I’m pretty sure your lesson plan for today is less plan and more controlled chaos,” Frank laughed.

Gerard glared across his desk at where Frank was leaning against the bookcase, the children seated at their coloring tables behind him.

“It’s Christmas. Don’t harsh their excitement.”

Frank raised an eyebrow. “That’s not how that goes.”

“Whatever,” Gerard rolled his eyes. “Oh, God. Victoria bit Gabe again.”

Frank, the asshole, laughed while Gerard went to break up the war happening at The Cobra table. Gerard looked down at the sign, written neatly in his own handwriting and covered in the brightest neon marker Gabe had been able to smuggle in. Apparently, there was also a “starship,” but Alex had drawn it, so it looked like a deformed flower since Alex hadn’t actually learned to draw anything else yet.

Gerard sighed and shook his head. He wasn’t sure why kindergarteners had such a fascination with snakes, but he’d let Brendon name his table The Piano Tiger. Clearly, sense did not play a role in the naming decisions of five-year-olds.

“Victoria Asher,” Gerard started as soon as he was close enough to be heard without yelling at babies.

Victoria’s head shot up, dark pigtails bouncing. She gave him the innocent eyes even as Gabe pouted with as much might as his trembling lower lip could muster.

“What have we said about biting?”

“But Mr. Gerard!” She protested. “Gabe stole my crayons! Okay. See he stole my crayon and no one steals them! But they all try ‘cause I has the bestest crayons.” Somehow, her eyes grew wider with every new phrase.

“Gabe?” Gerard asked in his best teacher voice; Frank was probably mocking him from where he was helping William and Andrew.

“She wouldn’t give me the purple,” Gabe mumbled. He glared at Victoria then Nate.

Nate, as usual, didn’t seem to care, too busy coloring in his penguin with a grape-scented purple crayon. “I has a pengie, Gabe,” Nate told him, matter-of-factly. “Pengies are purple. Victoria says.”

Alex and Ryland nodded, clearly convinced that settled the matter. Granted, those two never weighed in on anything unless William, Adam, and Andrew were trying to steal Ryland during recess.

Gerard had to bite his lip – hard – to ignore the way Gabe suddenly deflated. No one quite knew how it happened, but Victoria had walked into the classroom that first day with her Smurfette headband and instantly had Gabe, Alex, Nate, and Ryland wrapped around her sticky, little fingers.

Getting back to business, Gerard gave Victoria a stern look. “No more biting. Am I going to have to separate you again?”

“No, Mr. Gerard!” Victoria practically yelled. She turned to tug at Gabe’s neon green shirt. “I sorry, Gabe.”

Gabe shrugged but submitted to having his head petted, which was as accepting as he ever got with apologies. “Can the pink be mine today?”

Victoria nodded and handed it over without a fight, selecting yellow to finish her coloring sheet of a puppy in the snow.

At least, Gerard reasoned, the Cobras would be on their best behavior for the rest of the day. It was dirty pool, playing his Hail Mary card with Victoria just before lunch, but threatening to separate her from Gabe always tricked her into behaving. Somewhere around September, Victoria had started biting Gabe regularly, and Gabe tended to pull her pigtails, literally. The one time Gerard had finally separated them, Victoria burst into a crying fit that was only rivaled by the ones Brendon threw.

Afterwards, though, Victoria had been an angel and sucked up to Gabe for the rest of the day, going so far as to share her much-coveted chocolate milk. Somehow, they were best friends and being best friends when you were five apparently meant hurting everyone in your path.

“I did not sign up for this,” Gerard told Frank, stopping beside the table Adam had named “Bizzinezz”; which they all still struggled to have explained. Apparently, only his table mates – William and Andrew – actually knew.

Frank laughed and gave William a thumbs up. “You did, actually. When Bob got an opening on his staff, you were the first person they interviewed.”

“Well, yeah,” Gerard mumbled. Before he could go on about how he’d actually wanted to teach fourth grade but had been unemployed when Bob called, a beep came across the loudspeaker.

“Okay, guys!” Frank called. He grinned at Gerard before going to stand in front of the whiteboard. “Start cleaning your tables. We want all the crayons put away before you go to lunch. I’m looking at you Greta and Lindsey.”

The girls giggled but did as they were told.

Five minutes later, everyone was in a nice, orderly – for kindergarteners – line by the door.

“After lunch, we have a very special surprise for you!” Gerard cooed at them. “I don’t want Mr. Perry to send any notes back. Understood?”

“Yes, Mr. Gerard,” they chorused. They sounded bored, but he knew how well the offer of a surprise worked with them. If he was right, they’d spend the entire period creating elaborate stories about the surprise and wouldn’t have enough leftover energy to act all crazy.

Frank winked back at Gerard and pulled the door open, waiting for the first grade class from across the hall to clear out. When the traffic jam subsided, Frank led the group out. Gerard could hear Frank shushing them before the door closed behind Ryland.

****

Planning periods were usually spent setting up activities and goofing off with Frank. Today, set-up was as simple as putting a DVD in the player and checking that the snacks hadn’t been stolen from the faculty lounge. Frank took care of moving the desks around, laying out the nap-mats and blankets for the movie.

Gerard wasn’t sure how he’d gotten lucky enough to score Frank as his teacher’s aide, but he wasn’t complaining. The kids loved Frank, mostly because he acted like a big kid just often enough to maintain a connection with them without losing his authority.

Gerard didn’t know why Frank never bothered going back for a degree to teach on his own; it seemed too rude to ask. Instead, Gerard thanked his lucky stars that Frank had been here before Brian had transferred to the secondary school and could fill Gerard in on the unwritten policies at the school. Private schools were weird, even if this one was a Montessori school and leaned toward a little bit artsy. Bob wouldn’t fire Gerard over something stupid, but Gerard didn’t really want the board coming down on him for number of inexplicable tantrums in a week or something. Frank made navigating this whole thing a little easier.

By the time Gerard finished gathering the movie snacks into a box, Frank was already leading the class back from the cafeteria. Gerard snuck in through the side entrance and hid the box behind his desk, turning to do a quick headcount.

Sixteen wasn’t right. Gerard counted again, but still came up short. Everyone seemed to be chattering more than usual but was mostly settling down on their mats. It didn’t take long to notice Spencer’s TMNT blanket and Brendon’s Lion King mat lying abandoned in the center of the room.

Frank,” Gerard hissed, snatching up the remote, ready to start the movie as a method of distracting the children.

“I know.” Frank smiled at the class – it looked a little strained around the edges – before hurrying over to Gerard. “Perry was in a bitc- mean mood. Sent Brendon to Bob’s office.”

“Of course,” Gerard practically growled. “And Spencer?”

“Oh, yeah. You think Spencer’s going to leave Brendon alone?” Rolling his eyes, Frank crossed his arms.

Gerard had to laugh, shrugged and shook his head. Spencer, obviously wouldn’t leave Brendon to fend for himself. Those two had become inseparable in pre-K, apparently, and Spencer had decided he was responsible for making sure Brendon stayed out of trouble. That was all fine and dandy, if you didn’t count the time Spencer kicked one of the pre-K Alexes for making Brendon sniffle by accidentally knocking his backpack off the table.

“This can’t end well.” Gerard pinched the bridge of his nose and headed for the door. “Give them the blocks. We’ll do extra playtime today. I don’t – “

“Don’t want Brendon and Spencer feeling left out. Gotcha.” Frank nodded, already switching the television off and pulling the crate full of matching blocks from its shelf. “Who wants to build block forts? We get to match them and then build coordinated forts. How cool is that?”

****

As Gerard strode into the administrative office suite, he tried to prepare himself.

With his luck, Brendon was going to be huddled down in a corner, sobbing. Brendon was a sensitive kid and the baby of a large family; he semi-regularly started crying over things Gerard thought were inconsequential. It was a bit refreshing, a kid that was okay crying when he felt like it but smiling like nothing had been wrong as soon as things were fixed.

That still didn’t mean Gerard liked seeing babies cry.

Bridget looked up when the door slammed, giving Gerard a bright smile. She was a perky little thing, had always been nice enough to Gerard.

“I hear Bob has a couple of my students,” Gerard said.

She laughed. “Oh yes. He does. It’s been an interesting ten minutes from what I’ve heard. That little blond one is a spitfire.”

If he could, Gerard would have hit himself in the face. Luckily, he had more professionalism than that. “Spencer gets that reaction a lot. You mind if I…” He gestured toward Bob’s door.

“Go right ahead,” Bridget nodded, waving him forward.

Gerard knocked, already pushing the door open. Bob, looking half-amused and half-exhausted, glanced over the tiny people in front of him. Brendon turned to look over his shoulder, lip caught between his teeth and left hand clutching at Spencer’s right.

Spencer didn’t have time for things as pedestrian as looking at a newcomer. “It is not fair, Mr. Bob. Brendon did not do anyfing at all. Mr. Perry was jus’ being mean! It was Matt!”

“Spencer,” Gerard sighed.

Immediately turning, Spencer pointed his free hand at Gerard. “Tell him, Mr. Gerard! Bden does not throw stuff! Like ever at all or anyfing! He is super nice. He’s got his manners.”

“What exactly happened? Brendon really isn’t a trouble-maker, Mr. Bob,” Gerard told him, earnestly just for Spencer’s benefit.

Bob shook his head. “According to Spencer, Brendon was taking his tray to the racks when Matt Owens tripped him. Mr. Perry thought Brendon was throwing food when his mashed potatoes landed on Ryan Ross.”

“Ryan won’t like press charges! Ryan knowed it was an accident,” Spencer rushed to add. “Ryan jus’ does not like stuff on his shirt.”

“This isn’t prison, Spencer,” Bob chuckled. “I know Ryan wasn’t really upset. I just needed to hear Brendon’s side of the story.”

Bob looked pointedly at Brendon, who seemed to shrink back a little. He angled himself a bit behind Spencer even though Spencer was shorter. For all his stoicism, Gerard knew Brendon had this weird beard phobia.

“I told you Bden’s side!” Spencer glared. For a tiny, tiny person with very, very big, blue eyes, Spencer could stare down the best of them. If he didn’t have an entire class waiting, Gerard would have spared a moment to be impressed.

“Mr. Bob, do you need them for anything else?”

Bob shook his head. “I don’t think so.” He reached out, lifting a plastic dish of miniature, wrapped chocolates. “Why don’t you both take a piece and get back to your Christmas party, yeah?”

Confident as ever, Spencer marched forward and snatched two Crackle bars. The look he threw Bob was all defiance; Bob chose not to encourage it.

“Brendon?”

It took Spencer nudging at Brendon’s shoulder to get him moving. After that, though, Brendon dashed in to tentatively take one dark chocolate Hershey bar. He scurried back to Spencer’s side immediately.

“Okay, boys. Out into the hall,” Gerard declared. “Why don’t you talk to Miss Bridget for a minute while I ask Mr. Bob a question?”

“Yes, Mr. Gerard!” Brendon chirped, only sounding a little watery.

Gerard pulled the door closed behind them, but not before watching Spencer sigh and trade Brendon a Crackle for the dark chocolate. Of course, he did. Brendon hated dark chocolate, and Spencer would eat anything.

“You can have a piece, too.” Bob rolled his eyes.

“If Spencer gets two, so do I,” Gerard shot back, snatching three just because he could.

“You don’t glare as effectively as Spencer, though.” Shaking his head, Bob leaned back in his chair, piles of paper covering the corners of his desk and threatening to topple when his foot tapped the underside.

“He was protecting Brendon. Spencer gets extra bossy when Brendon’s involved,” Gerard mumbled around the milk chocolate he was currently chewing.

“Brendon really needs to get over this fear of authority.” Bob, as literally the entire staff knew, was a giant softy and hated when the children were unsure of him due to his position as Supreme High Ruler of the Elementary School.

“It’s the beard,” Gerard promised. When Bob arched an eyebrow, Gerard shrugged. “He’s scared of beards. His mother had to get rid of all their Santa decorations because Brendon was so worried about it.”

Bob coughed, clearly hiding a smirk. “Um. Well, them. I won’t take it personally.”

“You shouldn’t,” Gerard nodded, definitive. “Right, then. I’ve children to herd. Wish me luck.”

“I wish you lack of tears,” Bob snorted.

Gerard flipped him off, tugging the door open. “Out we go, then!” He called to the boys, who were chattering animatedly at Bridget about… something Bridget didn’t seem to understand but feigned enthusiasm about anyway. Bridget was good that way.

****

Shock of all shocks, Gerard managed to wrangle the children up the stairs and halfway down the corridor to his classroom before Brendon erupted into delayed hysterics.

Really, it was only a matter of time.

Fighting his tendency to want to cuddle Brendon close until he calmed down, Gerard stopped short and kneeled down. “Brendon? You okay there, buddy?”

Snuffling in a frankly disgusting manner, Brendon nodded his little head so hard his glasses nearly slipped off his nose. Spencer very carefully pushed them back into place. Spencer’s movements were a little stiff; it took Gerard a moment to realize it was because Brendon was practically hanging from Spencer’s arm.

“Spencer’s the bravest of everyone! Isn’t he, Mr. Gerard?” Brendon, predictably, was too busy making heart-eyes at his hero to spare Gerard a second glance. The hero-worship was kind of adorable.

“He is very brave,” Gerard agreed. “And so are you. You were very courageous talking to Mr. Bob.”

“My was not,” Brendon wailed. “My was super duper scared! But Spencer is bravest and standed up for me and ever’thin’.”

Normally, Gerard would have corrected Brendon’s personal pronoun usage, but it didn’t seem like the right time. Sighing, Gerard started to reassure Brendon that he’d been the most stoic a five-year-old had ever been when Spencer piped up.

“But you didn’t cry even once,” Spencer pointed out. “And Mr. Bob has a scawey beard and ever’thin’.”

Brendon sniffled again, a few more tears rolling down his puffy, pink cheeks. “Really?”

“Yes.” Spencer was using his self-assured I am the boss of you voice; Mrs. Smith assured Gerard that Spencer had adopted it when his baby sisters started walking. “Promise.”

Gerard could have absolutely died from cute overdose when Spencer held his little finger out for Brendon. After they finished their pinky promise, Gerard patted them both on the head, even if it always made Spencer pout.

“We should go in. We’re watching a movie today! For Christmas!” Sometimes, Gerard nearly made himself gag when he slipped into the cutesy voice.

“We shou’ watch Aladdin.”

When he finished pushing up from his crouch, Gerard took a breath to stabilize his balance before giving Spencer a very understanding look. “But don’t you want to watch Rudolph? It’s almost Christmas.”

Frosty is Spencer’s fav’rite!” Brendon added, ever so helpfully.

Spencer widened his eyes and tugged on Gerard’s annoying button-down shirt. “But Aladdin is Bden’s favorite,” he hissed in what passed as a whisper with children.

The way he said it sounded as though Spencer couldn’t fathom anyone not knowing everything about Brendon. He probably couldn’t.

“I’m not sure we have that one. I’m sorry.”

“I has it in my cubby,” Spencer nodded, a remarkably controlled movement.

That wasn’t a surprise. Brendon had brought Aladdin for show-and-tell two days ago and was forever forgetting to take things home. Spencer usually kept a watch on that, though, since the two insisted on sharing a cubby. Their reasoning was that sharing is caring, Mr. Gerard! It was hard logic to argue against when he and Frank were always reminding everyone to share their toys with their class friends.

At this point, Gerard reasoned, it was probably better to let Spencer have his way. Plus, it would make Brendon stop looking like a wet kitten. “Okay. If you boys have it, we can watch that.”

Brendon practically bounced out of Spencer’s grip. “We can sing along! It has all the words on it!”

“Absolutely.” Gerard didn’t point out that most of the class couldn’t read as well as Brendon yet.

****

Chaos erupted when Brendon and Spencer stepped into the classroom in front of Gerard. Frank, thank fuck, was prepared with juice boxes, cookies, and candy canes. Sugar always managed to calm them down, right up until it started racing through their tiny bodies and sending them into a frenzy.

Spencer produced Aladdin in record time, grinning big and bright all over his face when Frank declared it to be his favorite Disney movie.

Once the movie started, everyone settled onto their nap-mats.

Gerard left the lights on, not actively encouraging napping but knowing a quarter of the class would be asleep before the good parts happened.

There was a scuffle over Alex’s triceratops Pillow Pet, but Frank broke it up while Gerard was unwrapping Adam’s candy cane, lest he just eat the wrapper like last time.

When the entire class had taken to singing “A Whole New World” – Gabe and Brendon leading with Aladdin’s part while Greta and William shared Jasmine’s – Gerard finally collapsed back into his desk chair.

Frank flopped back into his own, rolling backwards until he was lined up beside Gerard.

“Almost over,” Gerard grinned.

“You’ll miss them,” Frank pointed out, not bothering to hide that he’d miss them, too.

Gerard laughed, shaking his head at Victoria showing off her stuffed dog’s new glittery, pink, studded accessories to Greta in exchange for sharing Greta’s Tangled blanket.

“Yeah. I guess they’re kind of cute.”

“When they’re not crying,” Frank said.

“Or attacking each other,” Gerard added.

Hell, they were kind of cute even when they did those things. Kids were mysterious that way.

Date: 2011-12-19 05:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dr-jasley.livejournal.com
OMG SOOOO MUCH CUTE...

you know I now want to know about every year and How Gerard copes when they go to the next grade.

WHY YES I WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING EVER ABOUT THIS.

<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥


seriously your detail makes this pop like whoa.

Date: 2011-12-19 06:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bootson.livejournal.com
Thanks, bb! <3

Oh, man. Gerard hates to see them go! Maybe I'll write that in the summer! I liked this so much, I might end up doing a kindergarten fic for every holiday. ahaha who knows.

:) yay! I'm glad the detail and all the things work!

Date: 2011-12-19 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] auctorial.livejournal.com
OMGGGGG BB!COBRA! Of course Vicky's the biter! xDD AHAHAHAHA IS SPENCER ACTUALLY BLOND??? I didn't know that! BDENNNNNNNNNNN. <33333 He is scared of beards! And Spencer's little lisp! And his, we can has Aladdin? Brendon can read!! xDDDDDDDDDD

<3333333333333!

Date: 2011-12-19 06:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bootson.livejournal.com
:)!!! I'm glad you liked the cute! I could write a million words of this; it was so fun!

Spencer's not actually blond lol. I'm pretty sure he wasn't really as a kid, but I figure his hair is light enough that he could have been blond in kindergarten(based on my sister being blond until she was, like, eight).

<333

Date: 2011-12-19 07:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heartsdesire456.livejournal.com
awwwwwwwww!

I love fics like this! <3

Date: 2011-12-19 04:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bootson.livejournal.com
Thanks! Glad you like it. :)

Date: 2011-12-19 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theletterelle.livejournal.com
EEEEEEEEEEE

EEEEEEEEEEE

EEEEEEEEEEE

Bitey Victoria! Gabe and the purple crayon! Such tiny babies!

Clearly, sense did not play a role in the naming decisions of five-year-olds.

Trufax.

“I has a pengie, Gabe,” Nate told him, matter-of-factly. “Pengies are purple. Victoria says.”

Oh GOD. Pengie! I am dying.

That still didn’t mean Gerard liked seeing babies cry.

Baaaaabies. Tiny tiny little Bden and Spencer. I love them so much.

He is super nice. He’s got his manners.”

I love how little kids are so serious about stuff like that. You tell them stuff, and they don't blow it off. They're not old enough to know irony or cynicism or anything.

“Ryan jus’ does not like stuff on his shirt.”

Again, trufax. I wonder if Ryan insists on wearing clashing clothes to school. Stripes and paisley. :)

For all his stoicism, Gerard knew Brendon had this weird beard phobia.

I guess he gets over that in the future. :) :) :) And I love this detail.

For a tiny, tiny person with very, very big, blue eyes, Spencer could stare down the best of them.

Spencer bitchface! \o/

Snuffling in a frankly disgusting manner, Brendon nodded his little head so hard his glasses nearly slipped off his nose. Spencer very carefully pushed them back into place.

I AM DEAD OF CUTE JSYK.

Their reasoning was that sharing is caring, Mr. Gerard!

MORE DEAD.

There was a scuffle over Alex’s triceratops Pillow Pet, but Frank broke it up while Gerard was unwrapping Adam’s candy cane, lest he just eat the wrapper like last time.

SO DEAD.

In conclusion, ♥_____________♥

Date: 2011-12-19 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bootson.livejournal.com
Yay! I'm SUPER glad you liked it!

I love how serious little kids take everything, too! They take it at face value and everything is black and white because they don't know better yet. Then they learn sarcasm and it's all over. Lol

Bb!bden totally gets over his beard phobia! When he's he's in, like, 3rd grade. Hahaha

Oh, bb!Ryan. He makes the most ridiculous clothing choices. In my head, the shirt he was wearing when Brendon dropped food on him was a fugly Christmas sweater and corduroys. His shoes also had tassels.

SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT, BB!!

Date: 2011-12-19 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pikasafire.livejournal.com
SOOOOOOOOO CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTE!!!!!!

bb!Spencer is fierce! omg <3<3

Date: 2011-12-19 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bootson.livejournal.com
Bb!Spencer is a total bad ass in training! Haha

And YOU, missy! Did you finish writing your fic before reading about kindergarten cuteness????

Date: 2011-12-19 06:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dear-monday.livejournal.com
Augh, so cute :D I mean, bandom kindergarten couldn't really be anything else, but, just. I'm still grinning like a total idiot here /o\ also, so much love for Gerard as a kindergarten teacher! I'm now happily imagining Frank comforting him when he misses the kids because they've moved on XD

Date: 2011-12-19 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bootson.livejournal.com
Aw! Yay! I'm glad you liked it. :) oh, Frank is absolutely the reason Gerard gets through transitioning the kids up a grade! But no worries, they just go across the hall to First Grade with Ray. ;)

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