A/N: Alternatively, 6.1K of Nursey being a space nerd and Dex just being a nerd. Alternatively, Dex calling Nursey strange nicknames. Take your pick.
Derek Nurse, at heart, was a romantic. And like many romantics
who came before him, he found inspiration in the beautiful, the universal, the
unexplained, the unexplored. For many, that had been the western frontier,
Alaska, the forest, the ocean, the human condition, etc., etc. For Robert
Frost, it was the road not taken. For Walt Whitman, it was grass. Whitman could
have just crouched in his backyard and figured out grass in less than like 80
billion pages, but whatever, he was living life his way. Kudos to Whitman.
Anyway, Nursey’s muse resided not under the floorboards or
atop the mountains, but in the night sky, that horrible, captivating expanse
that spread out above him when the day was finished, made of darkness but home
to so much light. Nothing else made him feel simultaneously alone and as though
he had everywhere to belong, as though he were a small part of something
bigger. It greeted him with a welcoming indifference he both feared and
Nursey could remember the first time he’d seen the stars. Manhattan
wasn’t exactly a stargazing destination. He’d of course seen them before on
television and in art and the like, and he knew that he couldn’t see them in
real life because of light pollution, but he hadn’t actually believed there
could possibly be that many out there. He’d thought it was all an
Until his parents had taken him along to a remote beach in
Belize when he was about eight. They’d flown in late. It was dark, and they
were all tired from travelling, but it wasn’t quite time for bed. His parents
suggested going for a walk on the beach. He’d sat in the living room chair,
playing on his Nintendo DS as his parents searched for flashlights and changed
their clothes and found their sandals. As they were about to walk out the door,
they called back to him.
“Derek, are you ready?” His mother asked.
He paused his game. “For what?” he asked back.
“To go for a walk, silly.”
Derek was amazed. His nanny had already shut herself in her
bedroom. This was the first time in his recent memory he would go somewhere
with his parents without her. “Just a minute,” he’d told his mother. He ran to
his bedroom and tore through his suitcase to find his shoes.
The sun had set hours ago. Derek stepped from the boardwalk
onto the sand, soft and slippery and warm from the sun. It felt like satin
between his toes.
He saw a crab, lit up white by his flashlight, and took off
like a shot, pouncing. His hand came up, of course, empty, but he felt no loss.
There was another crab about three feet off, and about five more after that. He
found a sea turtle’s nest of eggs in the sand under a set of stairs down the
beach. He heard the croak of a frog from a tussock of rush, but couldn’t see
it. He was digging through the greenery, letting his hands follow the frog’s call,
when there was an explosion behind him.
The sky was illuminated a brilliant blue when Derek sat
back, but the firework wasn’t what kept his attention. He couldn’t look away
from the stars. There were so many. In New York, the sky was completely black,
a plain backdrop for the city, but here, it was filled with stars, as though
someone had spilled jar upon jar of them across the heavens. And the harder he
stared into the darkness, the more stars he could see. The Milky Way cut through
the chaos. He wished he could fly up and swim in it.
Derek stayed there, lying on his back in the sand, long
after the fireworks ended, until his parents finished their walk and found him on
their way back. Derek had been focusing on a particularly bright arrangement of
stars, studying how they’d moved since he’d studied them last, when his view
was interrupted by his mother’s face. She bent over him, smiling benevolently,
her hijab waving in the breeze.
“Derek, what are you doing?” She asked.
“Umi, are there always this many stars?”
“Yes, there are.” She held out her hand to help him stand.
She gripped his shoulder and roughly brushed off his back. “Look at all the
sand on you.”
“Is there any way we can see them in the city?”
“Don’t think so. It’s too bright.” His father answered.
His mother let go of him when her phone buzzed. She pulled
it out of her pocket. She turned to her husband. “Jason just emailed me. He
says he wants to meet for breakfast tomorrow to discuss budget while we’re in
the same area.”
“Does that man not understand how to call?”
“Apparently he wants to talk in person.”
“We should head back then. Sounds like you’ve got an early
All but forgotten, Derek wandered along behind them. In the
weeks after they returned home, he would drag his nanny across the city,
searching for a glimpse of the stars, an interruption in the black. Finding
none, his nanny – and he felt bad that he couldn’t remember which one it’d been
– would help him paste glow-in-the-dark stickers to his bedroom ceiling,
directed by him and an astrology book, so the constellations were in the right
places. He took out every star book in the library and went to the observatory
a few blocks from his brownstone more times than he could count. His favorite
movie became 2001: A Space Odyssey. He visited space in his dreams and longed
for the day he could see it again in reality.
I’m gonna talk about @gothonomy. I met them nine months ago on here and I can’t think of a sweeter person. They are so beautiful and caring and brave. They are one of the best things to happen to me in a while and I’m glad we exist at the same time. Honestly the loml ❤️❤️ (I love you)
Needed some caricature practice (I’m REALLY bad at it, okay?) so I figured why not practice with a bunch of loser dorks who I am certainly not already ridiculously emotionally invested in help me I’m in too deep
DANCE MAJORS AU Part 1 (Part 2 later) Hip-hop dancer Keith in a ponytail. Everyone is just so mesmerized when he dances on stage or even just during practice. Outside the dance studio, he’s a huge space nerd who’s got a secret crush on the contemporary ballet dancer next door who he may or may have not thought of asking out… next week or next month.