lookslikelove: (pd: and I don’t mind waiting)
[the princess of the paupers.] ([personal profile] lookslikelove) wrote2009-12-24 01:41 pm

[fic| and we made an ill-matched symmetry]

and we made an ill-matched symmetry.
Charlotte Charles/Jeff Winger (Pushing Daises/Community crossover)
2643 words - pg
for [livejournal.com profile] ineffort. And I have no idea how it turned out to be this long either.

The facts were these: on that fateful March day in which spring was threatening was threatening to creep and steal the world back from winter something was amiss at Greendale Community College. A supposedly frank and fascinating place, it typically suffered from a lack of either.

That is until a certain sort of change took place amongst the staff. It was not anyone’s fault and critics would later say that they saw this coming. Desks were thrown, files were ransacked and in the end security had to be called and classes cancelled.

Most students would agree that in the end it had not turned out to be all bad.

“So what do you think will happen to the class?” Shirley said as to wandered away from the door where a notice had been posted about the current staffing predicament. Keeping in step with Britta she tried her best to looking knowing but at the same time sympathetic. It was a difficult task that wound up only being half accomplished.

“Probably find a sub. I mean, it’s a little high school and certainly ridiculous but no one can say that they didn’t see it coming,” said Britta also attempting to do her best to sound wise and knowing. Thus far she was succeeding at a much higher rate than Shirley.

“Whatever happens, I hope that it doesn’t impact our grades. I just don’t know what I would do if I somehow…” added Annie, clutching her books to her chest as a form of safety blanket. It was these sorts of situations that often ended with her sitting on the floor eating her hair. Not that she told anyone about that.

Turning the corner, Britta frowned and gave Annie a look of mild concern. “I really don’t think that they’ll go that far. I mean, it would be a little ridiculous.”

Following this statement the conversation trickled off. There were several facts to consider when evaluating possible outcomes, first of which was that this was Greendale and they were discussing Señor Chang. That had the uncanny quality of nullifying any sense of logic.

"I really think that it's best that we just not think about," Shirley said sensibly to nods of agreement from the others. This was probably for the best.

The day after the following day, the class of unlikely comrades gathered together outside the door to Spanish 102 to see if there was yet another note of cancellation posted on the door.

There wasn't.

Walking into the room there was a level of caution amongst the gathered group out of a general sort of unverbable consensus that if they were not careful that their newly sane (possibly escaped) teacher would jump out from behind a desk and start ranting. This turned out to not be the case.

Sitting at the desk at the front of the classroom was a woman. Not just any sort of woman, but a pretty woman dressed in a purple and green patterned dress that looked like it had been the height of fashion forty years ago. Time was not a factor as she did, as certain folks would say, make it work.

Turning her head to look at the gathered students who were standing in the doorway, she did the only natural thing. She smiled and waved. "Hi!" she welcomed in a bright and cheery voice.

There were only a finite number of things that could be said when faced with such declaration. While nothing was always an option, it was Abed who went with the more clear choice. "Hi. Are you our new not crazy professor? Nice dress, by the way, it works very well for this scenario and possible outcome of events."

A nod from the woman in the chair, her smile never wavering as she gestured towards the desk. "I am. Please sit down. We're getting close to the start of class and I promise I don't bite." At least not unless the situation called for it, but she felt that there was a time and a place for sharing that sort of information. This was not that time. Pointing to the name that had already been written on the board, she remained standing as she watched her students trickle in as the bell rang. "I'm Miss Charles, I'll be professor for the time that Mr Chang is on his little, well, holiday of sorts."

The way that one Miss Charlotte Charles, formerly of the Pie Hole and formerly of Coeur D'Coeurs found herself in that very classroom on that very day was a somewhat strange and certainly unremarkable one. Having taken the opportunity of being found to be alive again as a ticket to find herself by finding other things, she had set off on a rambling and whimsical journey across the world. It was, in fact, quite a bit like On the Road without as many hallucinogens.

Having stopped by the Main Office of Greendale Community College to ask for simple directions to a sheep farm and mountain tour that she had read about in one of her books, she had come across a rather stressed looking dean and his equally harried staff. By the simple chance of being able to correct a typo on the Spanish language enrollment form that was sitting on the desk (and proceeding to ramble a bit about how easy it was to make mistakes with words and conjugations) the girl named Chuck had found herself being hired as interim Spanish teacher.

It had been something of a minor shock. One phone call and a change of shoes later, she found herself sitting in the classroom staring at a group of students that were more or less her peers (some more, others less).

Dusting the imaginary dust off of her dress, she smiled at everyone. "I have been taking sometime to go over the notes that were left behind by Señor Chang," Chuck trailed off. There hadn't been much to go on. Just Post-Its in books and angry embittered ramblings. "And I think I know what topic we can go into while we're together. There is no reason why we can't --"

That sentence was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a carefully disheveled man standing in the doorway. His hair was tousled, his shirt was untucked and he was wearing sunglasses despite the fact that he was indoors. To sum his act was perfected. As if in sync, the entire class (Miss Charles included) turned their heads to look at him. There was a varied set of emotions running through the group.

"Hey, what's with the staring? I would like to remind you that I am not the one sitting in a class that our professor is clearly still missing from," the man who was better known as Jeff Winger defended.

"Jeff our professor is here," Annie said, pointing with her head towards Chuck. "Sorry about him, he can be a little forgetful."

"It's alright. All that matters is that he's here now." Chuck nodded and smiled indulgently before gesturing to the seated students. "Jeff was it? Would you like to have a seat? I was just explaining my plans for the class while Señor Chang is not with us."

"Wait you're the teacher? Are you kidding me?" Jeff said, taking off his sunglasses but not moving towards sitting down in the slightest.

"No, I'm afraid I'm not. Now, will you please take your seat. I'd be glad to answer any questions after class." Chuck gave him a little wave as Jeff walked like a man who had just been shocked by some sort of electrical device. Pierce shot a thumbs up at him as he walked by and there is no real indication of whether that was supposed to be encouraging or not.

Up at the front, Chuck continued her prepared speech. There's a topic being discussed and things being drawn on the board as words get recited back. Charlotte Charles' enthusiasm had a habit of being contagious to even the most curmudgeonly of souls and by the end of the class everyone was laughing and chatting back and forth in their broken elementary Spanish.

"Well that's all for today!" she declared with a glance at the clock. "Remember to practice your conjugation rhymes and I will see you all back next week!"

People are laughing as they leave in twos and threes. There was a buzz in the air and Jeff took his time working his way towards the door. Pierce was also taking him time, until he was given a look and a shake of his head by Jeff and picked up speed to follow Abed out of the room. There was some chatter about things to be done at their study group but Jeff ignored it as he focused on the task at hand. The professor known as Miss Charles was standing at her desk, gathering together papers as she hummed to herself. It wasn't a song that he recognised.

"Aren't you a little young to be a teacher?" he asked with no lead in whatsoever.

She looked up, a thoughtful expression on her face before shrugging and shaking her head. "No. Age isn't a prerequisite for knowledge or wisdom so I don't think it matters in the grand scheme of things." Pausing, a smile graced her face. "Besides, I'm not as young as I look."

That had taken him aback a little bit. Whatever answer he had been expecting, it had been more in the neighborhood of "None of your business" than an honest one. It caught him off guard and he just stared at her for a little while his brain worked on formulating a response.

"Where did you come from?" was what made its way out of his mouth.

"Coeur D'Couers," she answered, continuing on with the honesty that left his mind squealing its proverbial tires as it attempted to make sense of it. "By way of everywhere and anyway."

The smile was on her face as she tilted her head to the side. "Any other questions, Mr Winger? Or is it my turn to ask one?"

Jeff's brain rapidly began working again and his trademarked (only in certain parts of the Eastern Block) smirk returned. "How did you know my name."

Chuck tapped a piece of paper that was resting on her desk as she bent slightly to pick up her handbag. "Roster. You're the only Jeff in the class."

"Oh." That had not been as interesting of an answer as he had been hoping for. His overt impulsive and cocky nature chose that particular moment to regain control. "Will you go out with me?"

She stopped midway through the act of putting her bag over her shoulder. At that very moment the girl named Chuck was envisioning any and all possible scenarios for what sort of answer she might give. None of them looked better than another. Giving into laws of motion, she put her handbag on and began to button her coat and walk towards the door.

"Ask me again later," she said pausing in the doorway. "Could you turn the lights off when you're done?"

And that was how the girl named Chuck left the former lawyer known as Jeff at the end of her first day of teaching.

As she walked to the parking lot where her trusted and beloved old car sat waiting, Chuck thought about the man who was her student who just asked her out. She would admit that there did appear to be some sort of inherent charm to him and while his uncanny resemblance to a man whose murder she had helped solve was a bit strange she might be willing to let it go. That was, of course, going on the fact that Jeff Winger had no murderous wives out for revenge. She also wondered, in a part of her that was hidden a good long way down and where she would not speak of it aloud to any one, if he would ask again.

If he did, she might even say yes.

Indeed Jeff Winger did ask again. He caught her in the hallways and in the parking lot when she arrived in the mornings and outside the office and before and after class. He asked in such a variety of ways and places that he was working on the edges of creativity and if it were not for the love of the chase, he would have given up weeks ago.

This went on for over a month and he was prepared to ask for one last time, when Charlotte Charles made a rather grave announcement at the end of one class at the end of April.

"I am very sorry to say this, but my time as your teacher as run out," she said only to be met with a chorus of sad 'awhs'. Feeling touched and saddened by the occurrence, she nodded and continued on. "I know. I've loved being your teacher for these last few weeks and taking the lovely linguistic journey with you. But Señor Chang has been cleared for work again, so he shall be returning to this classroom next week. I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the semester and an even better rest of your life."

The next few minutes were filled with hugs and heart-felt statements of loss and sympathy by the class to their now former professor and their fellow classmates.

As she turned off the lights for the final time, Chuck could not help that feel that while her journey here was over, it did not feel complete. That was when she walked into Jeff who was standing outside the door waiting.

Looking up at him, she felt a definite sadness at the loss of something that had never had a chance to grow. It was odd, for this man did not seem particularly striking but he had a way of making her laugh and persistence was always a good thing.

"Will you--" he started before being cut off by an answer he hadn't expected to hear. "Yes."

"Seriously?" Jeff asked as she nodded. "Yes. Seriously."

At the end of the hallway there came a loud and echoing shout of "Yes!". Both Chuck and Jeff turned to look at who had made the noise and saw Troy and Abed high fiving each other before waving at them.

"That's sweet of them," commented the girl named Chuck who really did believe that it was.

Jeff's own opinion was slightly less kind. "That's one word for it."

Laughing Chuck looked up at Jeff and wagged a finger at him. "Be nice or I'll take it back."

"Ha! Too late. A yes is a yes," he countered.

"It's never too late." This Chuck knew from experience. Not even death had to be permanently stopped in its tracks.

And so as the man named Jeff gloated about his victory and the girl named Chuck was amused by such an open display of enthusiasm, the natural forces of these sorts of situations began to play their part. She stood up on the balls of her feet as he bent down, both of them going for a kiss that had been quite a long time coming.

It was, however, not quite meant to be.

"Chuck?" said a voice from the end of the hall and both of them paused just long enough to see who it was. Who it was put an end to something that had never really started.

A new smile that was part joy and part surprise began to spread across Chuck's face. "Ned?"

Looking between the two of them, Jeff knew that he had just managed to strike out without even getting a chance at the plate.

"Wow, this sucks," he muttered as he straightened up and walked away. And it did. At least for him.

But as is often the case in this situations, there wasn’t much to be done but call the game.

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