@softkent ‘s 14 Days of Love fic-a-thon, day 6: ruined surprises!
It all started because Katya decided to have mercy on Eric and let him take morning classes this semester. WGSS120 was an amazing class, Professor Atley had the coolest stories about how postwar industrialization led to compulsive female domesticity, and his seatmate wasn’t the worst thing to see at 9:30 AM every Tuesday and Thursday. He would have almost been dreamy if he had the slightest knack for small talk. As it was, Eric didn’t even have a name to go on, just intent blue eyes and an ass that even the baggiest of shorts couldn’t mask.
One day, Eric decided to drop a hospitality bomb on the guy and see if he could coax a response out of him. They were both consistently early to class, so Eric budgeted ten minutes for a brief chat before class started and turned to Cute Guy with a winning smile on his face.
“So how about that reading, huh? I thought it was fascinating how cake mix became a prestige thing- everyone in my family bakes, and I don’t think we’ve used a box mix in forty years.”
“Yeah,” the guy said, “I think it had something to do with the scientific advancements they made in food preservation for the troops. Shelf stabilization wouldn’t have been nearly as achievable in earlier years.”
Miraculously, once you got onto a clear subject, Cute Guy was actually a decent conversationalist. Eric found himself losing track of time as they dissected last night’s chapters of Marling.
“And the American National Exhibition anecdote!” he giggled. “Who can even tell the difference between Russian and American Coke?”
“I bet it’s easier with all of the Soviet Union breathing down your back. ‘Da, cola of Mother Russia is vkusno!’”
“Nice accent,” Eric told Cute Guy.
“Really? Thanks, I’ll have to tell Geno. He’s always knocking my Russian. He’s, uh, a friend of my dad’s, and we both play hockey.”
“So that’s what your weird doodles are? Hockey plays?”
“Yeah, I’m captain of the hockey team here. We’re not half bad, if I say so myself.”
“Wow,” Eric enthused, “you must be a pretty good skater, then.”
“Yeah, I guess. I could teach you sometime, if you want. I’m Jack, by the way,’ Cute Guy said.
There are no words in that fleeting moment between hope and the knowledge. There is no way to express how a heart can burst and break at the same time, how the sun can cut through the darkness but will cast shadows everywhere.
They are pioneers in this space. They are the first outside the charted limits of the galaxy. She realized: It can be mine, if only I am willing to take it. Soon, they will be at their destination. And soon, it will be hers to take.
“It was a relief to have Klaus back with them, of course, but the Baudelaire sisters did not feel relieved, not one bit.”
I forgot I drew this when I was re-reading the 4th book like a month ago! The Miserable Mill has always been one of my fave books in the series because I really love the theme of hypnotism and sibling appreciation! They just love and care for one another so much :’)