tagFetishA Fantasy Realized for the Holidays

A Fantasy Realized for the Holidays


"Well now, look who found some school spirit after all these years! Iris, I never would have expected you to have decorated your door!"

I smiled a bit to myself without turning around to the playful chastising of my favorite former teacher, now co-worker, Mister Tice. Although I always wanted to teach, I never wanted to find myself back at my old high school, but full-time positions were hard to come by. I had spent years substituting in multiple school districts while waiting for an opening that did not require me to move to another state, and of course, my first opportunity at a full-time teaching position opened in the building that constantly reminded me of my angsty teenage youth.

I was surprised to be hired into the position with my record of starting fights and defacing school property, and my multiple write-ups for scaring my teachers with my macabre art pieces in the years that followed the massacre at Columbine. Though almost two thousand miles, and several years removed from that incident, I had been watched constantly by the school administration; having been identified as a possible candidate for being the next loose cannon to snap, and try to eliminate as many other students as she could. That stereotypical assessment of my teen rage was unfounded, but the only member of the staff that seemed to understand that fact had been Mister Tice.

Ironically enough, Mister Tice--an ultra conservative and intensely religious--public policy teacher had been the one teacher during my four years at that institution to actually see my actions for what they were: a subconscious plea for someone to intervene and to listen. It took him the better part of a semester to finally break through to me, but he never relented, and he eventually was able to get me to stop being so damn angry long enough to get me to start finally talking about why I was always so upset.

I had been so incredibly thankful for his help then, but I never expected that he would still be fighting for me now, well over a decade after our first class together. There were new principals, vice principals, and even a new superintendent than when I had attended this school as a student, but my record and reputation still stood in opposition to me. That was until, Mister Tice--now the head of the social studies department--recommended my appointment, and defended his decision to do so through not one, but three grueling school-board meetings. Surprised to hear that I was hired, I had gained no love for this building, but my reverence had been cemented for a man who had refused to give up on me.

"I don't know, Charles...isn't it cheating for the art teachers to be able to compete in the holiday door decorating?"

That smug voice, also male, was not immediately familiar to me. I placed the finishing touch of a large sack filled with long, thin birch branches upon the back of the hooded figure now gracing the front of my classroom door before I turned around to see who else was accompanying Mister Tice. I recognized him as the other new addition to the staff--also appointed this year--but though I knew he was added to the science department, his name escaped me.

He looked past me to my decorations, and frowned. "What, in the name of Christmas, is that awful troll thing?"

"It's not a troll," I smirked looking back at my door briefly before turning to my companions once more, "it's an elf. That's Knecht Ruprecht."

"Okay," the other new teacher nodded, uncertain, "so who is that, and what does he have to do with the holidays?"

"He is one of the companions to Saint Nicholas." I smiled politely thinking my rendering of the figure had been obvious, but my new peer still seemed lost, so I explained further. "The night before der Nikolaus-tag, children leave a boot outside of their door to be filled with little toys and sweets, like stockings being hung here for Christmas. But, instead of children receiving coal in their stocking if they misbehave, for us, if children have been naughty, Ruprecht will flog them, or leave a switch in their boot for their parents to beat them with. Think of it, as like...pre-Christmas."

The new teacher looked horrified by my explanation, but Mister Tice laughed. "I'm sorry Douglas, I forgot to warn you. You'll have to forgive Iris. You see, she's...well...she has a very Germanic sense of humor."

"What?" I shrugged, defensively. "Do you think I should have gone with Krampus instead?"

"Krampus?" Mister Tice smirked at me, causing me to smile while I watched the childish expression make him look younger for a moment. "That weird devil-looking thing...for a winter holidays door decorating competition...in a school...to help earn the students of that teacher, a surprise holiday party in each period the day before the holiday break?"

He had tried to look stern as he pretended to scold me, but he could not stop himself from laughing at my proposal. Likewise, I tried to look innocent while I smiled back to Mister Tice to continue some unspoken game between us, but when I did so, Mister Tice's face hardened briefly while he seemed to assess the meaning of my actions. I had not meant anything malicious, and in fact, had tried to be playful, but his hesitation reminded me of a different game I used to play.

When I was his student, I would tease Mister Tice relentlessly with playful pouts, fake lip quivers, and impressively wide doe-eyes when I was bored enough to mess with his head, or when I had had enough of his inquiries and wanted him to stop trying to help me as much as he was. At first, Mister Tice would be knocked completely off his guard whenever I would use one of my sad, innocent looks against him, but as we became better acquainted with each other, and understood each other better, his reaction to those looks changed. He tried desperately to hide it for some time, but eventually he stopped trying to mask just how arousing he found my playful little manipulations.

Being able to visibly turn on my favorite teacher to the point where he could no longer bother to contain his lust quickly became one of my favorite extra-curricular activities, but for all of our talk, and for all of our gesturing, both of us knew better than to ever think to cross that line. He would never reproach me for how I teased him, or for how I left him with--I imagined--with some rather impressive blue-balls, but he would also never try to make any advances. I had always just assumed that my teasing sessions were just foreplay for him to bring home and work through with his wife, and that was fine enough for me. It was unsurprising to me that I developed a rather impressive crush at the time for Mister Tice, but him being my first crush, I was petrified to think to really act on those feelings.

The memories were quaint, but they caused me to blush regardless, and catching my little slip, Mister Tice smirked again. Douglas, however, still caught up in the scene covering my door, never lost his expression of terror.

"Relax, Doug." Mister Tice patted Douglas' shoulder as if to comfort him that we were only joking, knowing full well that I had to behave myself even if my door was not eligible to win. "It is my understanding that the art teachers have been disqualified, but are expected by the head of their department to set an example for the rest of us by going all out in decorating their doors far more than any of us ever would. I also heard that the art teachers are to aide the other staff members in their own door decorations if requested. So, if you like Iris' ethnic approach to the theme, you could always ask her to help you decorate your door." He winked at me.

"No, thank you." Douglas quickly shook his head. "I'll just make my students do it for me if they complain that they want the party prize."

"That sounds fair to me," I shrugged, "why do the work for them if they get the prize?"

"Well," Mister Tice sang toward my direction, "while I agree, and already have students planning my door, my politically minded students are not all artistically inclined. I'm sure they would love it if Miss Garten was to assist them." I opened my mouth to protest, but before I could speak, he quickly continued. "There are a number of students that are planning on staying after school today and tomorrow to work on my classroom door for me...would you be free, and could I tell them to expect your assistance...or would we like to make that a surprise for them?"

I wanted to refuse, but my department head had made herself explicitly clear that the other art teachers and I were to help make the school look as festive as possible to boost school spirit before the students left for vacation. I huffed, knowing that if word reached my head that I had denied the request of another department head, that I would never hear the end of it. Knowing that I would not deny Mister Tice regardless--especially after everything he had done--I rolled my eyes, and smiled. "Let it be a surprise, Mister Tice."

"Charles." He smiled warmly and his eyes were alight as he gently scolded me, and meant it. "How many times must I correct you now, Iris?"

I blushed. "Every time."

Mister Tice sighed. "Thank you." He nodded once to me as if to give a small bow before he ushered Douglas back to their original conversation. "Well Doug, we best leave Iris to finishing her example. Now, your idea for that combined field-trip--" His voice trailed off as the two of them started to make their way further down the hall away from my classroom door.

I watched them walk until they passed through the double doors leading towards the office, and was amused by their mixed body language. Douglas, whether he knew it or not, kept a step behind Mister Tice as they walked, and he seemed to bounce excitedly as he spoke quickly. Mister Tice on the other hand was calmer, more relaxed, and more controlled in his motions. Douglas had to be about my age, if not a little older, but the age gap between us and Mister Tice, though obviously noticeable, was not an exceptionally large one, I thought. If I remembered correctly, Mister Tice had told a student in my junior year that he was thirty-four then. That would make him only seventeen years my senior, and I assumed that gap had to be less for Douglas. Regardless, my beloved former teacher seemed to take on the role of mentor without thought; treating Douglas and I like we were students still, even though Douglas had not gone to this school like I had.

I let myself dismiss my own musings, and dropped a boot left at my apartment from an old boyfriend next to my classroom door as I finished decorating before the first few students to my next period class arrived. All my students knew that fifth period--which was extended to accommodate the various lunch blocks--was my prep period, and a few of my more advanced students, as well as some of my students that could be described as 'quiet' or as 'loners' occasionally joined me in my room during the last lunch rather than have to go to the cafeteria.

Mister Tice had stopped into my room once at the very beginning of October to ask me something, but he pretended to forget what he was going to ask me after he watched me have lunch and talk with some of those 'quiet,' 'loner' students. When I realized that someone else was there standing behind me, I turned to find his gorgeously crystal-blue eyes a bit glazed over, and a huge, proud smile spread from ear to ear upon his handsome face. He cleared his throat, mumbled something about him being happy to see me paying the favor forward, and then dismissed himself from the room without returning to my classroom before that moment with Douglas. Thinking back, I had not seen Mister Tice nearly as much that semester as I had thought I would have, but at least I would be able to use decorating his door as an excuse to rectify that.

The rest of my classes that day passed quickly, and without incident which was a miracle as far as I was concerned because my last class of the day was filled with normally rambunctious freshman. Once my room was cleared, the lights were turned off, and my door was locked, I made my way across the building and up the flight of stair needed to reach the social studies department. I could hear the students down the corridor as soon as I made the landing to the stairs.

"No, fuck-tard! No yellow snow!" Yelled a female student.

"C'mon! How funny would that be for the public policy teacher's room?! I say we make a dog urinating on a snowman that resembles our commander and chief!"

"The term is 'commander-in-chief' you idiot!" Corrected another female student. "Is Mister Tice failing you? Is that why you're here to help, for extra credit or something?"

I giggled, beside myself while I left the stairwell and entered the corridor. "Actually, I rather like Jack's idea, but I know Mister Tice would not be at all as amused as I am by it."

"Miss Garten!" The first female student cheered. "Oh thank fuck! We thought we had to do this stupid-ass thing all by ourselves."

I cringed. "Watch the language."

She rolled her eyes at me. "It's after school, Miss." She snubbed me like the time of day somehow made any difference.

"You are still on school grounds, Saray," the students all flinched as we heard Mister Tice call to the girl from another classroom's doorway, "the after-school period is still during school, and that is still a teacher who you are speaking to."

"Sorry Mister T." Saray called back over her shoulder as Mister Tice left the other classroom and walked back to his own.

Mister Tice shook his head while he walked. "You're apologizing to the wrong teacher, Saray."

As Mister Tice walked past his students, I was forced to remember just how impressive his physical stature was to someone that age. A former Marine, he still had the robust, wide frame he earned while training. I reasoned that he must still work out to some extent because though his traitorous skin was showing signs of his age, he was not as large as I remembered him in his thirties, but Mister Tice still retained quite a bit of muscle mass throughout his arms, shoulders, and neck to still look the part of a 'jar-head'. Remembering a recurring fantasy of mine to one day see if all of his body was that muscular, I had to stifle a giggle at my realization that I had developed a bit of a fetish for extremely muscular men--which I wholly embraced in college--most likely at the fault of my first crush.

The girl huffed a quick unapologetic 'sorry' at me, and then turned back to her classmates to continue sketching out ideas for door decorations.

"Maybe they don't deserve your help after all, Iris." Mister Tice chuckled once he reached me. "Maybe you could help me with something else instead then."

"Sure." I shrugged, ignoring the disgruntled cries from the students insisting that they really did need my help, while trying to ignore my teacher fantasy insisting on the right to play in the back of my mind.

Mister Tice had left his door ajar. He reached for the side of the door with his left hand, and pushed it completely open before he gestured for me to walk through first with a wave. When he had reached for his door, my eyes were immediately drawn to his fingers because something was wrong. I had not noticed it before, or maybe I had just not consciously made a note of it, but with his hand directly in front of my face, the faint tan line of a missing ring was glaringly obvious.

I did not know why that little detail should have mattered to me at all, but I suddenly felt my heart race as my mind played out different scenarios of why Mister Tice was no longer wearing his wedding ring. I swallowed hard, walked into his room that I had not been in in years, and then preoccupied with my own thoughts, I took the seat in the far corner that had been mine when I was a student in his class purely upon instinct. I realized what I had done when I heard Mister Tice laugh to himself, but before I could get up to move, he sat at the desk directly in front of me and then swung himself around in his seat to face me.

In my mind, I was back in school, sitting with Mister Tice while he tried desperately to use every trick he had learned as a Marine to break down my defenses, and to make me talk to him. The longer he hesitated while we sat listening to his students plan his door, the more I remembered of our past conversations. The man sitting before me had eventually been able to force me to reveal so much about myself and my home life that I still felt vulnerable just sitting in his classroom all those years later, and the longer we sat there staring at each other, the more angst I felt building within myself.

"So," I swallowed hard, "what can I help you with, Mister Tice?" He scrunched up his face at his title, but I did not correct myself.

"Well, I was just saying that to get you out of the hallway. I really am sorry to have asked you to come up here for them to be so disrespectful to you right off the bat. You know, I remember when if a young lady mouthed off to you like that, that you would have broken her nose for it." His eyes seemed to stare past mine, as though he could somehow see my thoughts if he just tried hard enough.

I shrugged away my worrisome feelings, and rolled my eyes. "Funny...you never thought to stop me then. If I remember correctly, there was even an occasion or two that you had joked that you'd hold down someone for me to beat if I needed the assistance."

"You never needed any assistance, Iris." He laughed boisterously. "And I said that, to get you to think about what you were doing, calm down, and laugh. Which," he tilted his head toward me, "worked by the way. You would think about my offer, laugh at me, and then scorn me for being so careless. I loved watching you talk yourself down...even if it was by belittling me."

"Protecting me from myself, uh?" I raised an eyebrow at him, and he shook his head.

"Hell, no," Mister Tice laughed, "I was protecting the other students." Despite myself, I laughed with him at his joke, and once we settled, he smiled warmly while he watched me. He raised his left fist, and then using his thumb, he pointed over his shoulder toward the students in the hallway. "They're gonna have to earn your help if they still want it."

I had not meant to look again to the faint line across his finger, but I did, and he noticed. Mister Tice cleared his throat, lowered his fist into his other hand, and then began to rub his large hands together while he stared at me. He seemed to be waiting for me to initiate that discussion, but I did not know how to.

"You know, Iris, you had joked with me once about my ex-wife," he paused, as though he needed to recollect himself before he cleared his throat once more, "she and I had been fighting about something so...juvenile was the word I think you teased me with...she had made me so mad over something so petty, and you had purposed such a simple solution, and yet I refused your suggestion. It seemed too easy. I wanted the answer to be more complicated because I didn't want to admit to myself that our fight was that stupid, or that I was just being prideful. And, I most certainly did not want to admit that a teenager had better common sense than I did."

I let myself laugh a little at his joke to try to relieve some of the tension that was building between us. He listened to me laugh, and then he continued to smile as he nodded a few times. "I let that fight escalate out of control for a week before I finally listened to you, and then I was so mad when your suggestion worked. I was mad at myself for letting myself get to that point, and I was mad at her because she too let me get to that point, and I was mad at us for failing at our relationship in that moment." Our eyes met, and I felt myself start to shake slightly as he continued. "I was mad at how we, together, had blown such a small thing so far out of proportion. I had even tried to be mad at you for being right... Do you remember what you had said to me when I displaced on you after that fight?"

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