coffee (part one) - t.h.
word count: 1.1k
summary: a series au in which tom returns to his life as a university student after taking a year out to film spider-man
a/n: this is co-written with my beautiful darling olivia aka @booyfriendtom! she’ll be posting the next part and we’ll be taking it in turns to post updates!!
You first see Tom a few weeks into the term. He’s in the library with a hat pulled over his eyes and a snuggly uni jumper pulled over his body, hunched over notes from his hardest class. You decide against introducing yourself, instead going and buying him a coffee because he looks thoroughly exhausted.
You go over to his table tentatively, clearing your throat, and he looks up with tired eyes as you speak, “I got you this.”
You shyly place it on the desk and slide it over to him, before reaching up to put some hair behind your ear.
“I’m, uh, you’re-” you stutter and he holds his breath because he knows this cute girl is about to mutter ‘Spider-Man’, just like everyone else does, but when you finish with the words, “my student mentor,” he lets out a huge sigh of relief, followed by a small chuckle.
You suddenly feel a little self-conscious because he’s laughing at you, as if you weren’t nervous enough about talking to him in the first place. Not because he’s Spider-Man, but because he’s the cute boy you’ve had a crush on since your very first day.
When he sees your frown, he’s quick to reassure you, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to- I wasn’t- nevermind, hi I’m Tom.”
You drop your head to smile shyly at your shoes before facing back up to look at him. In a soft voice, you introduce yourself and Tom can’t help but grin a little at your name, because it seems to perfectly suit you.
“Would you want to join me?” He asks, gesturing to the empty table in front of him.
“No, I don’t want to interu–”
“You wouldn’t be!” Tom says a little too quickly before letting out a nervous laugh, “I mean- I’ve got all this room…”
“Alright,” you nod, and he pulls the chair out next to him, despite the fact that there’s plenty of other chairs around the table that you could have sat at. You slide in next to him anyway and sigh, feeling a little awkward and out of your depth now.
“Thanks for the coffee by the way,” he takes a sip and smiles, and you feel immediately a little more at ease.
“I didn’t know if you wanted coffee or tea, you look like a tea kind of guy but then I thought you looked so tired, so I figured coffee, not that you look rough or anything-”
Tom chuckles again because you’re rambling with your nerves and he thinks it’s cute.
“Coffee is perfect, thanks love,” he takes another sip and places it down, before smoothing out the papers in front of him, and you watch him tentatively for a second, noting the way his eyebrows furrow when he’s confused by something in his notes, but then he looks up at you and you immediately scramble for your own books out of your bag.
He gives you a soft smile. You’re like a flustered chicken, squabbling about with your belongings, trying to get them in some sort of order for you to work.
He really wants to fill the sudden silence but he also wants to learn everything about you, like why you picked a black backpack or why you were wearing two different socks, but then he realises that you came here to get work done, so he couldn’t be distracting you. He just gives you a closed lip smile when you two accidentally meet eyes and goes back to his work.
You work in silence for a little while, occasionally stealing glances at each other when you’re sure that the other isn’t looking, until you realise that you actually could do with some help. You clear your throat in hopes that he’ll look up, which he does, raising his eyebrows questioningly.
“Um could you just explain this part to me?” You point it out on your page and he slides closer to you to get a better look. You feel his arm brush yours as he does, and he looks straight at you. The sun is shining harshly through the window opposite him, and he squints a little, but it gives you the opportunity to notice the different flecks of brown in his eyes.
“Yeah, were you in class for the last lecture?” He asks but he already knows the answer. It’s easier for him to notice the people who don’t pay much attention to him when everyone else does. “Where we compared Romeo and Juliet to Taming of the Shrew?”
Of course you were there and of course you remember what he’s talking about. How could you forget when he made the smartest remark in class?
“To be honest, professor, I think Romeo and Juliet’s anti-feminist morals is the biggest juxtaposition to Taming of the Shrew, which has been argued by feminist scholars that it is feminist.”
You had practically sighed in adoration, just like every other girl in class did.
“Uh, yep. Think I made it to that one,” you say, trying to play it cool.
“Okay so that’s essentially all you need to say just here,” he points towards the essay you’ve been writing, “and then I think you’re done.”
He smiles brightly at you and you stare back at him for a second. It feels as though his gaze is burning into yours, so you drop your head back to the table, reading furiously through your work.
“Are you sure? I feel like there isn’t enough?” You run a hand through your hair nervously and he nods, “You- uh, I mean, it’s perfect.”
He lifts his drink back to his lips again and you try to ignore the fact that he very nearly called you perfect, writing everything that you remember him saying.
A little later, you finally decide you’re finished and you begin to gather your things. Tom looks up with a frown.
“Leaving so soon?” He asks and you nod, “I’m all done.”
He runs his tongue along his bottom lip and then bites down on it, as if he’s contemplating something. His next words shock you.
“Would you maybe uh, maybe want to go and get a drink with me?”
“Oh.” You don’t mean for it to be rude, you’re just surprised. Didn’t he have something better to do?
“I don’t mean t–”
“No, I’d love to go!” You smile and notice him breathe out a sigh of relief.
“There’s a pub a few blocks down,” he informs you, shutting his laptop and forcing things into his bag quickly. “You fancy going there?”
“Sure,” you shrug. Everyone knows the pub is pretty shit but the beer is cheap. “Let’s go.”