A/N: This is at the dual request of the radiant chicadificil and the resplendent 14000romances for some smutty times in the library. I hope it is something like what you were hoping for! (Also, I couldn’t think of a title, so I cheated and made a lame Dewey Decimal joke.)
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Now they were back together, and Finn had returned to college after winter break, things fell into a nice routine. Each morning, Finn would meet Rae outside the chippy and they’d walk to college together, holding hands. The first day, she’d withdrawn her hand from his just before they rounded the corner as they neared the school. He’d looked at her, worried, but bit his tongue. He wasn’t good with words, and didn’t want to ruin things by pushing the issue.
The next day, she’d held his hand around the corner, but only just. Each day, she held on a little longer until one day, they got back to where they’d started that the first day of college and strode in the front doors, hand in hand.
This time, the school was used to them, and it wasn’t the first day or week, when everyone’s trying to scrabble as high up the social heap as they can, establishing hierarchies and avoiding the social cellar. Everyone was more or less set in their groove. Rae had been an outlier, bouncing between pariah and paragon before ending up somewhere nebulous and undefined.
No one said anything aloud, but whispers fluttered down the hall, dogging their footsteps, until Rae pulled her hand from his and said, “I’ll see ya later, yeah?”
Dejá vu slammed into Finn. They’d been here before and he was NOT going down that same path. He let her walk away for the moment, but he wouldn’t make the mistake of giving her too much time and space, because he knew she’d crawl up into her own head and overthink things. “You will absolutely see me later, Rae Earl.” Neither his voice nor his gaze wavered. Rae glanced over her shoulder, throwing him a discreet smile, which he allowed himself to return. Well. That was different.
Three classes went by in a fog. Finn wasn’t focused on the lectures; he was thinking about Rae. He’d dart into the hall between each class, eyes scanning the crowd for her. When she didn’t show up outside the cafeteria at lunch, he had a good guess where to look for her.