I’ve been seeing some discussion in past few days about how unrealistic it is that Bitty doesn’t hang out with other queer kids at Samwell, which is a valid point, and it reminded me I had a fic languishing in my drafts folder that involved an expanded look at the LGBTQIA group on campus, so I figured maybe the time had come to post it. It’s more about Dex than Bitty, because I started it as a response to the “Dex is homophobic” discourse, so this is from a “Dex has never been straight, he just doesn’t think it’s any of your business” perspective.
(It’s the beginning of a longer fic called “I Abhor You/I Adore You” that’s kind of an exercise in filling in all the gaps between the Nurseydex tweets and fleshing out the non-hockey parts of Samwell, but who knows if I’ll ever finish it.)
~4.5k, pre-slash Nurseydex, mostly Dex POV, guest appearances by Bitty, Holster, and a few OCs from the LGBTQIA group. Location of the IT helpdesk across the hall from the resource center entirely stolen from my own tiny liberal arts school, “the little gay college in the middle of Iowa.”
Read it on AO3 (now with the second chapter as well).
First year, first semester
Dex got a job with the helpdesk almost as soon as he got to campus. This wasn’t exactly normal for an unknown, untested, untried, and undeclared first year student, but he had references from his high school job and there was a constant shortage of people who actually knew how to do anything with hardware. Which, of course, was the thing most of the professors actually needed help with. They weren’t actually receiving a lot of emergency Python coding calls; they needed someone who could “make the goddamn printer talk to the computer” without pissing anyone off by being too condescending.
He enjoyed it; compared to having to do the same thing in a retail environment, this was downright relaxing, and he at least had some confidence the people he was helping weren’t complete idiots. He could even leave behind a Post-It of step-by-step instructions of how to fix the problem themselves next time and have it be followed at least 50% of the time! Not to mention his work-study hours as a student athlete were actually capped and enforced so he wouldn’t work himself to death. So relaxing when compared to high school, when he’d had to juggle IT work, lobster fishing, hockey, and grades good enough to get some kind of scholarship.
Since he’d gotten to campus early to start pre-season practice with the hockey team, he’d been able to establish a work routine before adding in classes, which had been helpful. The CS classes at Samwell were certainly more demanding, but that was why he was here, wasn’t it? All in all, he was pretty satisfied with how things were shaping up. (Now if only his d-partner weren’t such an entitled brat…)
Once the other students got back to campus, it became clear the helpdesk office wasn’t the only thing housed in the weird little building at the edge of campus. He was just ending a shift when a girl stuck her head in the door. “Would it be possible to get some quick help from anybody? It’s just across the hall.”
“I can do it,” Dex said. “I was just about to leave anyway.”
“Thank you!” She led the way into what appeared to be an all-purpose meeting room. The door now had a handmade rainbow sign taped to it, proclaiming it the Stonewall Resource Center. “We’re having our first meeting of the year tonight, and of course the one person who remembers how to work the projector is on study abroad this semester.”
“No problem. You hooking it up to a laptop?”
Dex walked over to the AV podium at the front of the room and fished out the giant cluster of cables and dongles. “Hopefully one of these will work, but we have adapters in the office for just about anything. Bring it over.” A minute or so later, he had everything working.
“Thank you so much!”
“Sure. I mean, it’s my job anyway.”
“Do I need to file a ticket or something?”
“Um, you’re welcome to stay for the meeting if you want…”
“What’s it for? I mean, I can guess, but your sign wasn’t even up when I came in at the beginning of my shift, so, you know.”
“Yeah, basically it’s just a beginning of the year informational meeting for students about LGBTQIA resources on campus and a way to get those of us who are returning students to get started organizing other events. So maybe not super interesting.”
“No, it sounds like good information to have. I’ll stick around.”
She smiled at him. “Great! I’m Sam.”
“Will. Or Dex. I answer to either.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“So do you think you’ll come back?” Sam asked after the meeting was over. Dex had stayed to help her turn off the projector and leave a sticky note with the steps written down. (He was thinking about getting a set custom-printed with “Helping You Help Yourself!” across the bottom, though he suspected his boss would find this too snarky.)
“Probably not. I mean, not to regular meetings or anything—you can totally ask me for help anytime! I’m just kind of… past the place where I need this kind of group? And I’ve got hockey practice and CS classes that are kind of the point of my being here, so they take priority, you know?”
“But you know where to find me! Seriously, I’m always happy to help. It looks like a great group. But I know I can’t commit to anything.”
“Cool. I’ll see you around then, yeah? Oh, hey, if you have any time on Friday, you should come to the softball game. We’re gonna slay.”
Dex grinned and offered his fist for a bump of solidarity. “You’ll have to come to a hockey game once the season starts.”