murals under the stars

Beautiful (Snowbaz AU)

A/N: featuring selectively mute!Simon and soft!Baz

- - Simon - -

I don’t think I’ve ever been in the library before, but I have no idea where Penny is and this is my last reasonable idea (the next one being that she’s gone for a swim in the lake, but seeing as it’s about 10 degrees out, this is my last hope).

I walk in and start to call for her before being angrily shushed by a grouchy looking lady behind the desk. “Oops,” I whisper – well, try to whisper, which Penny says is basically a normal talking voice for anyone else when I’m in ‘loud mode’ as she calls it– “sorry, but have you seen my friend Penny?” The lady just glares at me and puts her finger against her lip, so I shrug and decide to just wander the shelves and try and find her myself. Too loud, I mentally rebuke myself. I’m always either too loud or too quiet. The only time I’m okay is when I’m with Penny. She’s good at letting me know. ‘Too loud, Simon,’ she’ll say, or ‘I can’t hear you, love, a little louder?’ I’m also not as anxious around her, so my tongue doesn’t freeze up and feel like lead, not anymore at least. I don’t choke over my words with her.  I shove my fingers into my jean pockets, desperately trying to regain feeling in them and wander deeper into the library. It smells old, but not bad. Like maybe a bunch of posh ancient  vampires lived here. The shelves tower overhead and I could probably get lost if I’m not careful. I’d need a trail of breadcrumbs or something to ever find my way back to the grouchy lady and the front door, but Penny will help me once I find her.

I keep wandering and weaving, peering around shelves and quietly whisper-screaming Penny’s name. I am hushed countless times by people sprawled on overstuffed chairs with thick books and annoyed frowns. After about thirty minutes I’ve given up; even if Penny is somewhere in this maze I’ll never find her. Plus, all the books are distracting (I’ve never been much of a reader, but the pictures on the covers are fun to look at).

Then another thing – well, person – catches my eye. He could be a posh library vampire if he were paler. He has long, dark hair pulled up in a messy bun like it was done up in a rush. Large hipster glasses are sliding off of his narrow nose- which is currently buried in a book. The shadows from the soft yellow lights in the ceiling fall against his face, accenting his sharp cheekbones and firm jawline. I stare open-mouthed at this boy, blinking a few times to make sure he isn’t just a figment of my imagination.

The boy sighs and shifts and I quickly push myself back behind the shelves, knocking over a couple of books as I move. Shit, shit, shit, he probably heard that. I wait for a little while, listening for movement, but don’t hear anything. Maybe he didn’t hear it. I slowly move forward again, peering around the shelf. He’s still there, still reading. I drink in the sight of this absolutely beautiful boy. He coughs, startling me and I start to move back again- tripping over my shoelaces as I go. I fall to the floor with a loud bang, and land on my back. I turn my head and stare through the books, but the chairs on the other side are empty. The boy is gone. I sigh and turn my head back up to stare at the ceiling. Only-there’s a person in my way. Startling grey eyes meet mine and I swallow back a gulp. Wisps of his hair fall against his cheeks. He’s even more beautiful up close.

“Mind telling me why you were watching me?” His voice is deep, deeper than mine. And smooth. A light lilt following his words. I open my mouth to reply, and then shut it again and close my eyes. My verbal communication skills are shitty at best, and in front of a beautiful boy they’re bound to be horrible. I don’t want to ruin the moment (if this even is a moment).

A light thud to my left causes me to open them again and look over. His nose brushes mine from where he’s lying on the ground next to me and he smirks. “You’re staring again,” he whispers. I feel his breath against my face and smile a bit at him, blushing. He grins back and turns his head towards the ceiling. I stare a while longer before looking up as well. The ceiling is quite beautiful, with arches made of dark wood forming large frames for beautiful murals and paintings. We’re lying under a night sky, painted white stars shining down on us. He tilts his head towards me and points a long elegant finger up. “See those brighter stars? In the top corner?” he whispers, tracing them with his finger in the air. I nod. “That constellation is called Cassiopeia, named after a boastful Ethiopian queen in Greek mythology.”

I slowly turn my head away from the stars on the ceiling and back to him. To his bright eyes and small smile as he passionately explains the stories in the stars. He points out a couple of others before meeting my eyes again and pausing.

“I’m Baz.”

“Simon.” I whisper.

I watch him mouth my name, curving his lips around each letter as if treasuring and memorizing each one. Simon. “Well, Simon.” His voice is breathy and light, “what do you see in the stars?”

I look back up, glancing over at him continuously. He nods encouragingly. Hesitantly opening my mouth I wish to everything that words could tumble out but they catch in my throat. I press my lips together and close my eyes, trying to control my shaking hands. I almost wish that I had continued therapy, that it had worked so I could fucking talk to this beautiful boy. That my continuous panic attacks during behaviour therapy hadn’t finally made me give up. Deciding to instead learn sign language with Penny alongside me for rough situations anxiety-wise, where my words choked me and my mouth betrayed me.

“Hey, hey” he whispers, noticing my obvious distress. He reaches out and grabs my hand. “You’re okay, Simon” oh how he says my name. It rolls off his tongue easy and light. “You’re okay,” he repeats, “Do you wanna know what I see in the stars?” I clench my eyes together and nod trying to focus on my breathing. The last thing I want right now is a panic attack. Why couldn’t I have this? Just this. This beautiful boy with his smile and his whispers about the stars.

“Okay,” he continues and points again with his left hand, his other hand staying over mine. “Well if you connect those stars it looks kind of like a dog. I mean not really, but it’s called the Canis Major. Which basically means big dog. I suppose if you use your imagination you can see it. That’s what I love about constellations. You have to use your imagination, otherwise they’re just weird connect-the-dots that don’t look like anything at all.” He looks back at me and I squeeze his hand and smile at him, blinking slowly, trying to savor this wonderful moment. How did I end up on the floor staring at a painted sky with a beautiful boy who doesn’t care that I could barely get my name out. A beautiful boy who lights up when he’s talking about stars and who doesn’t seem to want to let go of my hand.

“Simon,” His breath caresses my face, pulling me out of my thoughts. “Would you like to go get coffee with me?”

“Yes,” I whisper back, my voice cracking slightly from unuse.

“Okay,” he says, “but first you have to answer one question.”

I nod eagerly.

He leans in, nose brushing mine. “Why were you watching me?”

I stare at his lips, not ready to look into his sharp grey eyes. “I- “ I pause, lick my lips, raise my eyes to his.

“You’re beautiful,” I breathe out.

He leans in closer, and his lips brush mine as he whispers back.

“You’re pretty cute too.”