Bookworm [c.m x reader]
Warnings: swearing, vague drug mention
“ Connor and reader where the reader works at the bookstore Connor goes to, and she notices. They have convos and it’s sweet??? And like ye. “
word count: 3.7k
hi yeah hope you like it! it got confusing at the end and it’s midnight and I rly need sleep so I hope you like this
It initially took you by surprise when you saw Connor Murphy walk into the local book shop you worked at every day after school. He would walk in and buy a new book or take out his own then walked to the tiny café in the bookshop to chill out. Reading wasn’t something people associated with Connor because they all assume he’s just a junkie, but every day like clockwork, he would come in and sit.
The old shop which was aptly named ‘The Authors Attic’ was small, warm, and overflowing with different knick-knacks and shelves stuffed with books of all sorts. The place screamed ‘home’. When you got the job, you were ecstatic. The small store was basically your home before you even got the job! So when the owner saw your application, he didn’t even bother to interview you.
Watching the doors for the tall boy from your tiny perch behind the desk became a habit fairly quickly after you noticed his frequent visits to ‘The Attic’. Whenever you would see him from the window walking towards the store, you tried your best to somehow communicate with him.
You made mental lists of whatever book he was currently reading or have already read, wanting to understand his preference better. He liked the poetic ones, you noticed, and he mostly enjoyed novels. You noticed a lot about him over the first week or so on the job, even if you hadn’t really talked other from the mandatory greeting and smiles. He was striking, all in black despite whatever weather was outside. Longer hair was unusual for the small town you lived in and if anything, it made you more curious.
You snapped your head up from the small notebook you were doodling in. It was still early for your curious muse to be here but there he stood in all his dark glory. It was hard not to stare at him. The light caressed his sharp features perfectly and the hair the stuck out from his head in messy curls seemed to glow in the ray of sun. He was angelic, to say the least. He took in the scent of the small shop and relaxed his stance. He was so breathtaking you almost forgot to greet him, stuttering idiotically.
“Hi welcome to, uh The Author’s Attic um, sorry,” You tried desperately to straighten out the papers that were messily strewn across the counter, desperately trying to hide the fact that you were staring and that your cheeks were rapidly heating up.
He nodded awkwardly in response, quirking his eyebrow at your suddenly flustered state.
Cute. Wait what? Whatever, she wouldn’t like you anyway you idiot, no one like you. He thought as he turned towards the bookshelves and scowled. Idiot.
“So what are you looking for today? Or are you just gonna chill by the café? Not that I watch you because that would be super creepy and- uh.” You piped up, realizing how creepy you sounded halfway through and jumbling your words together so fast they were almost inconceivable.
He turned and looked at you, almost… angrily? His eyes scanned your face for what seemed like hours, searching for something that wasn’t sincere. All he was met with, though, was your petrified face as you watched him glare at you,
He probably thinks you’re a stalker, Y/N. Why did you have to be so creepy? Now you’ll never get to know more about the tall boy with the high cheekbones who loves to read.
“Uh- I’m sorry ill just… make myself busy.” You mumbled as you looked down, willing to do anything to have him stop staring at you so feverously.
“No- I mean fu- just…” He let out a frustrated growl and hurried off into the infinite aisles of books, leaving you confused and even more curious about the ‘tall boy with the high cheekbones who loves to read.’
SPACE SHIT THIMNGYU
Monday morning was… eventful. Disappointing, but eventful nonetheless. Connor was seated next to you in English class, courtesy of the uptight teacher and her ‘put the good kids by the not-so-good kids and let them rub off’ philosophy. You didn’t think Connor was a ‘bad seed’, but everyone else seemed to sigh in relief when the teacher called his name and pointed next to your seat.
When confronted with this situation, he did what any reasonable person would do; sighed, sat down, and never said a word or even made eye contact with ‘the nice girl with the pretty eyes who works at the bookshop.’ Reasonable.
You were confused when he didn’t return your small smile as he walked up to the desk next to yours, and then you were sad because he didn’t acknowledge your existence. You learned one thing though, ‘the tall boy with high cheekbones who loves to read’ was named a bit simpler: His name was Connor.
Once school was over and you were at work, which you nicknamed ‘The Attic’, you were nervous for Connor to make his way into your tiny sanctuary. Connor. It was so strange to say his name, even if it was just in your thoughts.
So, you continued to scribble on the notepad in front of you and reposition books until the dreaded ‘ding’ would ring through your ears to reveal the tall boy with th- Connor.
Maybe you were just really focused on alphabetizing the books marked ‘fiction’ by Authors name, or maybe your brain just didn’t want to hear the warning bell. Either way, you turned around to find a tall boy in dark clothes staring at you from the gap between isles. You almost dropped the books that were wrapped securely in your arms.
He seemed like he was about to say something but decided against it and began to walk away.
“Wait! I mean- sorry, Connor right?” You said as you realized he was turning away.
He looked confused at first, probably wondering how the hell you knew his name or even his existence,
“You apologize a lot.” He stated bluntly.
Quickly realizing how douche-y he sounded, he continued.
“…But yeah, I’m Connor I guess.” He scratched the back of his head and shrugged his shoulders as if it was a question.
“Y-you guess?” You smiled lightly at him and placed the books down on top of the stool you used to reach the books stored up high.
He shoved his hands in his pockets grumpily and grunted in response. He was oddly welcoming with the ghost of a smile hidden behind his curtains of brown curls. Then the impossible happened, he laughed. His smirk turned into a small huff and the corners of his eyes crinkled as he raised his head and pushed the hair out of his face,
He laughed. It wasn’t a big laugh where he couldn’t breathe or even a giggle, it was just a wisp of happiness that made your knees feel wobbly and your cheeks feel warm.
He noticed your shocked stare, equipped with light pink cheeks and mouth agape in awe. He stood there awkwardly waiting for you to throw some quip or joke at him. When you asked him what book he was reading he didn’t register the punch line… because there wasn’t one. You were being decent to him and he didn’t know what to do except awkwardly fumble for the yellow-paged, bent up, and old-from-use book.
You gently grabbed the book from his paper-white hand, knuckles brushing for a split second before you hummed in response to the title you vaguely recognized. DART By: Alice Oswald
“This is the one with the river, right?” You muttered as you traced the intricate cover, flipping it over to see the back.
“Yeah the uhm, it’s the one with the river.” He gaped at you as you gently traced his book with your fingertips.
He didn’t think you would know (or care about) what he was reading, not even his mom seemed to bother to notice what he was always focused on in the mornings.
You handed the book back in his direction and offered a warm smile.
“I’m Y/N, by the way. We have English together.” You kept your hand out held after he took the book back from you, a small peace offering.
He wiped his hand on his jeans before grasping yours hesitantly.
“Yeah sorry, I just hate all those people… not you! I just don’t like being around them so I ignore ‘em.” He shrugged sheepishly, watching as your eyes lit up as you got an idea.
“Just make it up to me then. Buy me a coffee and tell me about your book.”
“Are you, like, sure you wanna be seen with the emo stoner kid?”
“Depends,” his disappointment was evident, “Are you an emo stoner kid or did you just start accepting the labels?”
He fell in love right then and there… you know in like the metaphorical way. I wouldn’t just instantly fall in love with someone don’t be an idiot, Connor.
“So it characterizes a river?” You asked over the small white mug full of steaming cocoa he had bought you.
It had been four long days since your encounter and you were finally off work and available to be taken out for coffee. In English, he kept trying to figure out what things you like in your coffee and what books you read etc. He wasn’t used to being interested in someone else’s preferences, but watching you try and explain thing the character’s turmoil in your recent book made him enamored with your brain. Every sentence seemed to flow so elegantly from brain to your voice, it was peaceful to listen to you.
“Yeah but it’s like, oddly poetic? It’s weird.” He shrugged and focused n the dark liquid sloshing around in his mug.
“Tell me more.” You reached for his hand and his head shot up confusedly.
The look in your eyes was full of curiosity and determination, how could he say no?
The rest of the evening the both of you were entranced by each other’s conversations and ideas about anything and everything ranging from favorite authors to how his nails were painted a dark navy blue other than the usual black. Explanation: He lost the black nail polish and didn’t want to ask Zoe, his sister.
Your mugs may have been empty, but your stomachs and brains were full of warmth.
“Hi, welcome to ‘The Authors Attic’ is there anything you’re looking f- Connor!” you chirped from your stool behind the counter, getting up and walking over to him.
“hi.” He said breezily while watching you walk towards him. He took in your uniform, a dark blue lanyard hanging from your neck with a big employee sticker hanging from it. On the part that wrapped around your neck pins were placed haphazardly reading either ‘books!’, or a cute quote. The one that made him give a ghost of a smile, however, was the one right near your heart reading ‘I have a degree in being a bookworm!’
“OH!” You hopped and clapped your hands, “I just found something in the newest shipment I think you might like…” you ran back behind your desk and bent down under the tabletop. Victoriously, you pulled out a small paperback book. An Ember in the Ashes printed in big gold letters.
“Okay, so it isn’t poetry but its one of my favorites and there are some really good one-liners and uh…” You saw his blank expression and retreated back inside your mental shell.
“It was just an idea, you don’t have to read it or anything. Sorry.”
He was confused at your sudden change of demeanor and then realized he was still in the same spot he was when he came in, not even bothering to walk up to the counter with you. He probably looked disinterested.
“No! I was just surprised is all. Oh, and stop apologizing for being adorable.” He mumbled the rest under his breath after ‘apologizing.’
“Sor- I mean, okay. Here.” He was standing at the counter now and you handed the book towards him. Your knuckles brushed again and he felt the tips of his ears grow warm.
“Thank you, really. Not many people care enough to see stuff and think I would like it.”
“Consider me the exception that shows decent human affection then.” You smiled sadly and sighed.
When he got home that night, he never read a book faster in his life.
He didn’t come to school the next day.
He didn’t come to the bookstore the next day either.
You were left alone at both.
You tried not to worry about it, he missed school all the time! Even when he didn’t come to school you would always see him at the bookshop, regardless if he had a cold or smelt like smoke. There was nothing you could do, so you sat and reorganized books; once by color and once by authors name. You ran your finger across the spines of the books in boredom until one caught your eye.
DART By: Alice Oswald
You sat down behind the front desk and read.
A week later and still no Connor. you sighed and stood on the ladder trying to reposition the books when your foot slipped, you yelped and felt something try and catch you but you both ended up on the floor groaning in pain.
“Oh my god I’m so sorry, sir!” You yelped as you leaped up from on top of whoever tried to catch you.
“Not to alarm you, but I think you literally just fell for me.”
You looked up in shock at the tall boy with hi- Connor,
“Connor? You’ve been gone for a week!” You yelped as you stepped closer and hugged the lanky boy.
“Oh you, well, I didn’t think you would notice… I got grounded so I couldn’t really stop by.” He said timidly as he slowly reciprocated your hug, arms gently placed on your lower back.
“Of course I noticed! I was…” you trailed off and shook your head as if it would erase what you had begun to say.
“What?” He pulled away and held you at arms distance, hands on your shoulders as he looked at you concerned.
“I was, um… I was lonely,” you squeaked as you rubbed your arms awkwardly.
He opened his mouth to say something and closed again, furrowing his eyebrows and scowling confusedly.
“Forget it. Oh hey! I read DART!” You tried desperately to change the subject as you skipped towards the counter.
He followed you, still confused as hell, as you dragged him along with you. How were you lonely? You were nice and smart and interesting, you had to have friends! Is it possible you’re somehow like him? Lonely and desperate for any sign of affection that you go to books for comfort? Holy fuck you probably were like him! But you were so…You! And he was so…
“Here,” you slid the book over the counter. “I thought maybe we could discuss it or something… Maybe at the café here!” you said excitedly.
He nodded confused and stared at the fresh copy.
You retreated from him, scared you were being too enthusiastic.
“You don’t have to! I just had a nice time last week and thought maybe we could…” you rambled off as your voice rose to an embarrassed squeak.
“You read it?” He whispered in disbelief as he traced the cover with his finger.
You gulped and nodded so fast he thought your head might fall off.
The hope and admiration in his eyes was beautiful, but his eyes themselves; don’t get yourself started. They were cold, but not without feeling. Sometimes he would notice when you were staring and raise his guard back up, but you always saw the isolation, regardless. His eyes were a cold blue, and his right eye had a streak of brown cutting the ice of his eyes with warmth.
“When are you free?”
“Oh! Uh, in like 10 minutes, actually.” You said as you quirked your head sideways to look at the clock behind him.
“I’ll go order the coffees then.” He did that ghostly smile you had grown so fond of after not seeing it for so long.
“It’s a date!” you giggled after him as he stalked off towards the café.
“It’s a date? I mean, yeah. It’s a date.” He stuttered out as he turned around to look at your fading figure as he kept walking backwards.
Once the coffee was gone and it was getting late he took you by surprise.
“Can I walk you home? Since this is a date and all.” He asked as he gently placed his hand out towards you, trying not to scare you away.
To his relief and to your hearts consistent fluttering; you held it.
“So you said you were lonely earlier, but how? You’re normal.”
You squeezed his hand tightly, mentally deciding if you should actually open up to this boy you’ve known for a few months.
“Well, Mister outcast, I’m not who you peg me to be.” You replied lowly.
“Then who should I think you are?” he scoffed, almost bitter.
“Did you ever notice the girl who reads in the corner of your English class? Or ever stop to look at the people who accidentally bump into you in the halls? I’m like the ghost of that shitty school.” You laughed at yourself and continued.
“I’m the girl who is vaguely recognizable. If I didn’t show up for a week no one would notice! I mean, ask around at school for me and all you would get was a faint recognition of my name.” You sighed and looked over at him.
“I would notice.” He said softly as he rubbed his thumb across the top of yours.
“Why?” was all you could really say. It was all your mind could think of.
Then it was all too fast but the look he gave you after you said that… you couldn’t help yourself. You grabbed his face and gently leaned in, waiting for any sign of permission. He nodded lightly and closed the distance between your faces. It was like a mixture of sorrow and longing and love, it overwhelmed you, but the good kind.
And you were happy and kissing and he was happy and kissing back. Happy wasn’t something Connor was used too, but he knew what it was as soon as you leaned in. You were gentle and kind and you made an effort to know him, something he couldn’t say about his own dad.
You pulled away breathless and smiling from cheek to cheek. He relished in the sight of the pretty girl who loves to read so close to him, having just kissed him and breathless. He smiled back at you; not the ghost smile you would occasionally see but a full, nose crinkled and eyes almost shut smile that he reserved for no one. Well, until you.
Then he did what you would’ve least expected the tall boy in dark clothes with high cheekbones who loves to read to do, he pecked your cheek and whispered really softly;
“I know you fell for me earlier but I think I prefer this way of showing it instead.”