elvenavari: (Jaspeth2)
[personal profile] elvenavari
Title: Playing Favorites
Author: Seylin
Summary: Do teachers ship their students? Let’s find out…
Rating: PG
Warning: Slash. (Jasper/Seth).
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by Stephenie Meyer. No money is being made from the writing of this work.
A/N: This was a challenge from lightshadowverisimilitude (tumblr), based on this prompt: “We have to partner up in our health class to look after a robot baby and Oh GOD it’s CRYING again PLEASE just stop WHY did we agree to this hell?” She wrote a story I challenged her too as well! Be sure to check it out!
Playing Favorites

Seth entered the science classroom where his health class had been moved to, relocated due to a leaking roof issue, with a bit of hesitation. On the large desk at the front of the classroom lay ten doll-like figures. He had been dreading this section of the course ever since he had seen it on the syllabus the first day. Yeah, he wanted kids but not for at least another ten years, he was only 19! He eyed the dolls for a moment before continuing on to a lab table toward the back of the class. At least they would have bigger desks in this room…
The professor, Dr. Hanes, entered carrying two more dolls and was followed by one of his classmates, Jasper Hale. Seth didn’t know why Jasper was in a freshman class, he was at least five years older, but maybe he had just put it off until his senior year. Seth wasn’t complaining; Jasper Hale was some of the very best eye candy.

“Alright everyone, I’m sure you are just as excited about this next section as I am,” Dr. Hanes stated. There were a few giggles from the girls but more groans. “I was going to let you pick your own partners but after reviewing some of the last test scores, I decided against that.” More groans. “For the next two weeks we will be covering our unit on human development from birth to early childhood. During this section, you and your partner will be in charge of taking care of these dolls, which are programmed to cry until they are ‘fed’, ‘changed’ or ‘comforted’. Mr. Hale will help me demonstrate.”

Jasper picked up one of the dolls and Dr. Hanes inserted the power chip to its back. Immediately the doll’s eyes opened and it made simulated baby sounds. Jasper held the doll away, inappropriately apparently because the doll started to cry.

“Excellent Mr. Hale, you just showed us how holding the doll incorrectly will cause it to cry. You must correct this or the doll will continue to cry. These dolls are as advanced as they come right now, you will be given a simulation bottle and diapers which you must use or the doll will cry. The doll also records how often it cries and how long it takes to stop, which will be part of your grade. Thank you Mr. Hale, you may have a seat. I will assign your partners now and you will have the rest of class to get to know each other and make arrangements for your child’s care.”

About halfway through the list, Seth realized there were not enough girls in the class for everyone to be paired with someone of the opposite sex. This didn’t bother him, he could be paired with a girl or a guy, it was just a project after all. But, he could see how this bothered some of his classmates as they came to the same conclusion, mostly guys.

“Seth Clearwater,” Dr. Hanes called.

“Yes ma’am?”

“You will be paired with Jasper Hale.”

Seth’s eyes slid to where Jasper had taken a seat near the middle of the class. “O-Okay.” He watched as Jasper turned, met his eyes, gathered his things, collected their doll and came back to Seth’s table since no one else had sat with him. “Hi urm…Seth Clearwater.”

“Jasper Hale, a pleasure, looks like we’ll be working together for the next couple of weeks. Now, will I be pulling this project myself or will you pull your own weight?” His voice dripped with a bit of sarcasm that Seth missed.

Seth felt his mouth drop open a little. Rude! “I’ll have you know, Mr. Hale, that I have been on the Dean’s List both semesters this year and I currently have an A in this class. So yes, I will be pulling my own weight. You won’t have to see me at all except in class and when we trade the doll off.”

Jasper’s green eyes watched him for a moment before he nodded. “I apologize, I just got out of a very stressful exam and I’ve been paired with more than one lazy partner in the past. How about we start fresh and work together to do the best we can?” Jasper held out his hand.

“…Alright,” Seth agreed and he shook Jasper’s hand. “What’s first?”

“We have a questionnaire that we are to fill out and trade. One of the items is to give each other our cell phone numbers. If I do this you won’t be drunk dialing me will you?”

“I don’t drink,” Seth stated and then muttered, “not old enough anyway.”

Jasper’s lips quirked. “I was teasing Seth; I realize I’m the odd man out in this class.”

“Why are you in this class?” Seth questioned. “Aren’t you a senior?”

“I wanted to save something easy when I had to take a mix of three and four hundred level classes. I’d lose my mind otherwise.”

“Oh…makes sense.” Seth set to filling out the sheet, out the corner of his eye he saw Jasper doing the same. They were just finishing up when Dr. Hanes got to them. She gave them a smile and picked up the doll.

“Here is the bottle you’ll use to feed when the doll is hungry. When it cries for a diaper change, just change the diaper. You both know how to hold a baby correct?” Both boys nodded. “Good, you should do just fine. Keep a journal of times for food and changing. Any questions?”

“Do we have to stay together?” Seth asked. “I mean, my schedule won’t match up with Jasper’s.”

“Of course not. I recommend alternating days, that schedule is up to you.” With no other questions she moved onto the next group. Neither noticed when she glanced back at them and made a note on her chart.

“So…what’s your schedule like? One of us could take the doll today through say…Wednesday? And then the other have it until Sunday?” Seth offered.

“That works for me. I have a night class on Wednesday evening but we could meet for supper before and trade,” Jasper replied. “I’ll take the doll first, alright?”

“Okay, you have my number if you need it.”

Seth slipped his wallet into his back pocket as he entered the smaller cafeteria on campus, this one stayed open longer than the other but had less variety. He didn’t mind, they had really good chicken sandwiches here. Looking around, Seth didn’t see Jasper but knew he would be here, it was Wednesday, time for them to trade the doll. He got in line to order his food while he waited.

Jasper had texted him a few times over the course of the past few days. Mostly it was just giving him updates about the doll to make things easier when they switched. It seemed to be on a four hour feeding schedule and a two hour changing schedule, except for at night when it varied from four to five hours. They had confirmed their meeting via that way too. Seth checked his phone, nothing but a few Facebook updates.

After ordering his food, Seth sat at one of the tables and pulled out a book he had brought from home. He usually didn’t have much time to read but sometimes he could get a chapter or two in during the day. Losing himself in the imaginary world of faeries and knights was easy. He jumped when a baby carrier was set on the table.

“Good book? You seemed pretty into it,” Jasper said as he sat his backpack down next to the chair on the opposite side of the table. “Have you eaten?”

“It is pretty good and I ordered.”

Jasper nodded. “Be right back.”

Seth watched him go and then looked at the doll. He had seen some of his classmates around campus with them; some took more care than others. It seemed that Jasper was one that took more care. The doll had been given an onesie and was wrapped in a blanket with a cap on its head, not to mention the carrier.

When Jasper returned, Seth had gotten his food and put his book away. He hadn’t taken a bite of his food. “You waiting for something else?” He questioned as he took a seat.

Seth blinked. “Oh no, I was just taught it was rude to eat with someone who didn’t have their food yet.”

Jasper grinned. “A very southern mannerism. Where are you from?”

Seth laughed. “Washington State. But you’re from Texas.”

“You remembered?” Jasper asked surprised. He knew he had written it down on that questionnaire but other than using it for Seth’s cell phone number; he hadn’t paid much attention to the rest.

Seth blushed. “Well, I like to know who I’m partnered with…especially an upperclassman, you always seem really smart when you answer in class. You’re studying psychology right?”

“That’s right,” Jasper said, once again surprised.

“What’s that like?”

“Interesting, something new always seems to be newly discovered or the mind developed in a way that most wouldn’t predict. And, of course, how we respond to any given situation is based on our personality and background. Are you thinking of majoring in psychology?”

Seth laughed. “No. I’m torn between either English or History; I’m playing with the idea of becoming a teacher.”

“A respectable profession, I wouldn’t have the patience for it.” Jasper thanked the student worker that brought his food out. “Please, eat now.”

They ate in silence for a few minutes before Seth put his food down. “So, what was the kid like?”

“Do you want to see my notes?” Jasper questioned.

“No, I want to hear it from you.”

Jasper blinked in surprise. He reached back and rubbed the back of his neck. “Alright… well, I think we lucked out. Overall it’s been a pretty calm baby. As I told you in the texts, it likes to be fed about every four hours and changed every two, at night it varies. I thought it was pretty easy to figure out the cries, I thought the food sounded different from the changing cry and then there’s a little noise it makes when it just wants to be held…kinda like a small puppy?”

Seth smiled.

“Why are you smiling?”

“I expected no less, in the attention to detail, from you. What about the onesie and carrier?”

“My sister insisted. My niece just outgrew the carrier and it did make taking the baby around on campus easier.”

“You have a niece?” Seth asked.

“Would you like to see?” Seth nodded eagerly. Jasper pulled out his phone and scrolled through a few pictures before turning it toward Seth. “This is Emilie.”

A small little girl, maybe around two since she had outgrown the infant carrier, with bright green eyes and a blinding smile stared back at him. “She’s beautiful!”

Jasper smiled. “Thanks. She’s spoiled rotten.”



Seth laughed.

“Do you have any brothers or sisters?” Jasper questioned.

“I have an older sister, Leah, but she doesn’t have any kids yet. She just finished nursing school and got a job at an ER in Seattle, it can get rough but she seems to love it. I have a cousin who’s a couple years older than me and he’s pretty much my brother. He hasn’t settled down yet, living the single life and enjoying it.”

“And you?”

A blush lit up Seth’s face before he could stop it. “Um…me?”

“Have you settled down yet?”

“I’m only 19!”

Jasper shrugged. “Some people find their soul mate in elementary school.”

“Well yeah…I guess…no, not me. I’m keeping my options open.” Jasper raised an eyebrow at him as he finished his hamburger. “I’m bisexual.”

“I see.”

Seth felt a little uncertain by that comment. Jasper had seemed pretty open and friendly to this point. “Do you…um, do you have a problem with that?”

Jasper leaned back in his chair. “Problem?” He mused. “No, no problem. I just never come out and say it quite like that. I’m a bit more private about my sexual life I suppose.”

“Oh. So you’re…?”

Jasper smiled slowly. “Not keeping my options open.” Seth blinked in confusion and it must have shown on his face because Jasper chuckled.  “I’m gay.”


“Do you have a problem with that?”

“You’re teasing me, aren’t you?”

Jasper’s grin widened. “How about I walk you back to your dorm?”

“Would you shut that damn thing up Clearwater?!”

“I’m trying!” Seth yelled back at his roommate. The robot baby, which Seth had reverted to calling it instead of doll because the damn thing had been crying for nearly two days straight.

Brady slammed his book closed. “I can’t study, sleep or even live like this. I’m going to stay with Collin until you get rid of that thing.” He stood, threw clothes into his backpack and then left, slamming the door after himself.

Seth groaned but he couldn’t blame his roommate. He had tried everything; fed it, changed it, held it, but nothing worked! They were going to get such a crappy grade because he couldn’t figure this out. “Just shut up will you!” He cried pulling at his hair. The robot baby kept crying in the carrier. “Urgh!” Seth fell back on his bed. He hadn’t been able to sleep at all the previous night because of the robot baby’s crying and he certainly hadn’t been able to go to class today. He didn’t want to call Jasper but that seemed to be the only option he had left.

A blush came to Seth’s cheeks as he thought about the last time he had seen his project partner, the night they had had supper and switched who was caring for the robot baby. That night, Jasper had walked him back to his dorm and he had…alright, so he hadn’t done anything. Jasper had opened the door to Seth’s dorm for him and said goodnight. It had been the damn smile though. There was something so…Seth couldn’t even describe it, but it made him blush.

The robot baby gave another ear splitting cry and made Seth’s decision for him. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed Jasper’s number. It rang twice before Jasper answered, a bit groggily, “Hello?”

Seth quickly glanced at the clock and realized it was nearly 2am. “Shit! I didn’t realize how late it was. I’m so sorry.”

The other end of the line was quiet for a moment. “Seth?”

“Yes, it’s me. I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking clearly.”

“Is something wrong?”

Seth nearly cried as he sank down onto his bed again. “It won’t stop crying! I’ve tried everything! We’re going to fail and it’ll be all my fault.”

“Calm down Seth, where are you?” Jasper asked. Seth could hear him moving around.

“I’m in my dorm.”

“I’m in the library-”

“Why are you in the library? It’s 2am!”

Jasper snorted. “I was sleeping but you woke me. I was taking a break from studying; I have a test at the end of the week. But meet me down at the door in ten minutes and I’ll see what I can do.”

“Thank you,” Seth sighed in relief.

“So you-”


“And you tried-”


Jasper hummed in thought as he followed Seth up the second flight of stairs to his room. He had been surprised by the circles under Seth’s eyes when Seth had opened the door for him. Obviously, Seth should have called him sooner.

As soon as they stepped into Seth’s hallway, Jasper could hear the faint cries of the baby. “Have your neighbors said anything?”

“Not yet but my roommate left.” Seth unlocked his door and let Jasper inside. Immediately they were met with an ear splitting cry from the baby.

Jasper dropped his backpack against one of the beds, crossing the room to the carrier where the baby lay. Kneeling down he picked it up and started checking various things.

Seth had his back turned as he closed the door when it got silent. Slowly he turned, “…H-how did you do that?”

Jasper blinked down at the baby, he was just holding it, nothing special. “I don’t know? You tried just holding it?”

“Of course I did!”

“Try now.” Jasper handed the baby off to Seth and all was fine for a few moments but then it started crying again.

Seth looked at Jasper with an exasperated look. “See?”

Jasper stepped forward and tried adjusting Seth’s hold on the baby. Nothing he did worked. After five minutes of the baby’s ear splitting wail, Jasper made a sound of frustration. “Give me the damn baby.” Seth gladly handed it back over and once again, after a few moments in Jasper’s arms, the baby stopped crying.

“That’s it, it hates me,” Seth stated as he sank down onto his bed. “That’s the only explanation.”

Sitting next to him, Jasper frowned as he stared at the baby. It was strange…Seth had done everything he had done but the baby cried whenever Seth tried something. Was it possible for a robot baby to bond with one person and not another? He had never heard of anything like that.

“Get some sleep,” Jasper told him.


“Lie down, sleep while the baby is quiet. I’ll stay for a few hours.”

Seth shook his head. “I can’t ask you to do that.”

“You’re not, I’m offering. Seth, you look exhausted, your nerves are shot. I’m not going to take the baby with me, that’s not the deal we made but I will help you. Sleep.”

Whether it was due to the aforementioned exhaustion or just the way Jasper was looking at him, Seth was unable to argue. With a tired nod, Seth stretched out on his side. He figured Jasper would move to a chair or even Brady’s bed but instead, he turned and let his back rest against the wall. With Seth on his side, they fit but barely. Seth didn’t have long to muse about it though because as soon as his head was pillowed on his arm, Seth was asleep.

Seth didn’t know what time he was when he woke but the room was brighter so the sun must have come up and was coming through the window. He was warm and comfortable, there was a warm weight resting on his side. Seth blinked and looked down. It was a hand, there was a hand resting on his side. The hand was attached to an arm which led to… Seth’s eyes widened. Jasper! A blush warmed Seth’s cheeks.

At some point, Jasper had shifted so that he was lying on his side as well, facing Seth. The baby had been placed between them but it was blissfully silent. Jasper was still sleeping, his lips parted slightly. The light coming through the window played in the natural highlights of Jasper’s hair, he was gorgeous.


A camera? Who had a camera? Seth turned his head and saw Brady standing at the end of his bed, phone held up, a shit eating grin on his face.

“Good morn’n sunshine,” Brady chuckled softly.

Seth glared. “Delete that.”

“Nope. I’ll send it to you later. Well, gotta get to class, see ya!” Brady stuffed his phone in his pocket and left, closing the door gently.

“I’ll kill him later,” Seth vowed.

The fingers on his waist tightened. “You’re gonna kill who now?” Jasper’s voice, still thick with sleep made his accent that much stronger. His question came out sounding more like, ‘Yer gunna ‘ill wh’uh?’

Seth faced Jasper once more, the blush coming back. “Uh…Brady, my roommate.”

Jasper hummed, slowly opening his eyes. He took in Seth watching him, the robot baby between them and their positions, all with a lazy grin. “Morn’n.”

“Morning,” Seth whispered. “Um…you fell asleep.”

“So it would seem.” Jasper yawned and sat up, taking his hand away from Seth’s side. Seth immediately missed the warmth from it. “At least the baby didn’t cry again.”


Seth looked at Jasper, trying to think of some way to thank him for coming over at 2am and helping deal with that damn robot baby.

“Um…w-would you like some coffee? I can make you breakfast,” Seth asked nervously.

“How are you going to make breakfast in a dorm room?” Jasper replied with a laugh.

Shit. He was right. Seth did not think that one through.

“Oh..haha I guess you’re right,” Seth replied while rubbing the back of his neck. “I could take you out for breakfast to…um...ya know…repay you for coming over this morning.”

“Are you asking me on a date?” Jasper asked with a smirk, causing Seth to blush like a mad man.

“N-no that’s not what I meant!” Seth exclaimed. Jasper started to laugh, falling back onto Seth’s bed, which jostled the baby causing it to cry out.

“Oh no! Make it stop!” Seth begged Jasper.

Jasper just chuckled and took the baby into his arms. “The baby is probably hungry. Where is the bottle?” Jasper looked at Seth expectantly.

“Oh it’s over here,” Seth said as he reached over to his bedside table. He had to stretch across Jasper to do this because he had been lying against the wall. Just as Seth’s fingers wrapped around the bottle, his other hand that was braced against the sheet on his bed slipped and he started to tumble off the bed. Before he had completely fallen, Jasper’s free arm wrapped around his waist and pulled him back onto the bed. Seth laughed a little. When he looked up, his and Jasper’s eyes met. As they stared at each other, Seth realized that he was now practically stretched out on top of Jasper, they were pressed together, just the crying robot baby between them, though neither seemed to hear. Jasper grinned and Seth blushed.

The following Monday they returned to class, Jasper carrying the baby carrier with Seth walking behind him, his posture completely dejected. Most of their classmates were already in the class, some still caring for their babies while others had laid them on the counter when they came in. Their professor gave them a smile. “Good morning boys. How did it go?”

Jasper set the carrier on the counter and looked back at Seth with a smile and raised eyebrow. The pout on his face was adorable.

“The robot baby bonded with him, it hated me,” Seth muttered.

Dr. Hanes blinked in surprise. “Excuse me?”

“It hated me! Watch!” Seth took the robot baby from the carrier and cradled it. Almost immediately it started to cry. He handed it off to Jasper and the baby stopped crying. “See!”

Jasper chuckled and wrapped a free arm around Seth’s waist. “You’re cute when you’re annoyed.”

Seth shot him a half glare. “Shut up.”

Dr. Hanes sat watching the two boys in front of her, she picked up her coffee and a smile played on her lips behind the travel mug.


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