i hope you like soft dex and awkward nursey cause Oh Boy
(”quit it or i’ll bite")
“Shitty I swear to God if you don’t give me that cute ginger librarian’s deets I will kick your ass in the Annie’s parking lot until you do,” Nursey hisses. They’re tucked into the corner of the nonfiction section, unopened binders and textbooks thrown carelessly on the table to make them at least look like they’re studying.
“Ok, first, pretty sure he’s not an actual librarian, you need, like, a degree for that. Second, are you sure? He looks and acts like a pissed off cat ninety percent of the time. Third, why the Annie’s parking lot? You could just do it here,” Shitty laughs quietly. Nursey chooses not to respond to the last question and furrows his brows.
“Yeah, man, I just think he’s cute. Why not, y'know? If he ends up being an asshole I can just stop talking to him, it’s chill.”
Actually, it is definitely not chill, the absolute opposite of chill, in fact; Nursey had been doing his homework in the public library for the past month just to catch glimpses of this stupid boy. Shitty’s right, his mouth always carries a small hint of a scowl, but Nursey sees how his eyes melt every time he helps a child find what they’re looking for, how the lines on his forehead soften when he puts in his headphones while shelving books. Nursey wants to wine and dine this motherfucker, learn about his hobbies and the music he likes, maybe swipe his thumb over the cluster of freckles that decorate the other boy’s hand. If this doesn’t work out, he also may or may not have to throw out a couple of poems that are scribbled out in his notebook, and that would be a total waste of a good slam performance.
“Ok, ok, it’s your funeral. His name’s Will, from what I remember. I’m pretty sure he’s the same age as you, and good news, he played hockey in high school, so you two have a little bit in common. I took a comp sci class last year just ‘cause and he was mad good at it, like, he was doing hacker-level shit. I’m pretty sure I saw him making out with another dude at our last kegster so you most likely have the green light for flirting with him. And the last thing I know is that under that charming appearance lies a snappy little lobster, probably, so watch out,” Shitty says, moving his hands like claws for emphasis. Nursey laughs, a little too loudly for their location.
“Good thing I’m in the mood for fishing, then,” Nursey declares as he grabs a random book from a nearby shelf and makes his way over to the front of the library. He can hear Shitty whisper-cheering him on, which doesn’t really help much, but the effort is appreciated.
As he nears the front desk, Nursey can finally read the name tag that’s pinned to Will’s collar: William Poindexter. Nursey almost chuckles, because that is definitely one of the nerdiest names at Samwell, but it is kind of fitting. There’s no one in line, so Nursey walks right up and sets his book down, which causes Will to look up from his computer.
“Did you find everything all right?” Will asks, and for once he doesn’t look irritated, just distracted. His voice is unexpectedly soft, probably because he’s trying not to disturb any of the other patrons, and Nursey has to resist the urge to lay his head down on the counter.
“Oh, uh, yeah,” Nursey answers, and mentally slaps himself. This should be easy for him; he’s flirted with tons of other people at varying stages of sobriety, but this is the first time that he’s actually been nervous. Will picks up the book to scan it, his eyebrows raising as he reads the title.
“Are you a bio major?” Will asks offhandedly as he searches for the scanner.
“Oh, no, creative writing,” Nursey replies, surprised that Will is actually initiating conversation. From the way Shitty talked about him, he half expected Will to beat him up the second they made eye contact (but to be honest, he doesn’t think he would really mind that).
“So you read about ‘the effect of temperature and soil water content on forest drought stress’ for fun?” Will asks, a hint of a smirk in his voice. If Will wasn’t currently chirping him, Nursey would actually be happy at the progress he’s making; he hasn’t gotten yelled at yet, at least.
“Haha, it’s…for a friend?” Will snorts, and it’s close enough to a laugh that Nursey’s face floods with warmth.
“You go to Samwell, right? I mean, you probably do since the campus is like two minutes away, huh. I feel like I’ve seen you around before.” Nursey feels like a dumbass; of course he knows Will goes to school with him, he just wants to keep the conversation going.
“Yeah, I live in the dorms, so you’ve probably seen me walking to class half-dead in my pajamas,” Will says, typing something with one hand into the computer, and Nursey chuckles in agreement.
“Do you play any sports?” Nursey asks, leaning against the counter, his facade of calmness hanging on by a thread. A small voice in his head chants common interest common interest, but he pushes it out of his awareness.
“Nah, not right now. I used to play hockey in high school, but I stopped after graduation. My scholarship is for academics, so I don’t want to lose it because of sports getting in the way.” The lines on Will’s forehead reappear, and his eyes lower. It’s different from his usual expression, though, more sad and thoughtful, and Nursey absolutely aches. “I still love it though, I sometimes wish I could play again, y'know?”
“Dude, I’m on the hockey team, you can always come practice with us! It can’t hurt to have an extra player, Dex,” Nursey offers, hoping that he doesn’t sound like he was waiting for this opportunity.
Will’s ears turn a flattering shade of pink, and Nursey doesn’t know if it’s from the offer he just made or the nickname (Oh my god! I just called him Dex! What the fuck!). Will scratches the back of his neck, seemingly embarrassed.
“I mean, if you wouldn’t mind? Fair warning, I might be a little rusty,” Will says. Nursey is just about ready to cry with joy.
“No problem dude, can I get your number? So we can plan a day, and stuff.” Derek Malik Nurse, your mamas raised you to be stronger than this, stop shaking, fuck–
“Hey, I don’t give my number out to just anyone. I don’t even know your name,” Will jokes. He’s smirking again, but there’s a blush creeping down his neck.
“Oh shit, my name’s Derek! Everyone calls me Nursey, though. And…I could take you out for coffee? My treat?”
Will doesn’t answer, just turns around and finishes getting Nursey’s book ready. When Nursey opens the front cover, there’s a phone number scrawled out on the receipt. Underneath it, a message reads, “actually, I’m more of a tea type of guy”.
“Not gonna lie, I totally thought you were an asshole before I actually talked to you. But you were like, super nice the whole time!”
“Only ‘cause you were bumbling around like a middle schooler with his first crush.”
“Ok, I’m revoking your tea privileges, time to take this back–”
“Hey! Quit it or I’ll bite!”
“On the first date, Poindexter? I thought you were classier than that!”