A Beautiful Mind
Request: Could you write one in a college setting where the reader is really
insecure and Derek is this new popular guy in college and he instantly
falls in love with the reader? I’m rambling but you could develop itt.
Word count: 2774
Author’s note: It’s finally here!! Now I got the time to finish it up and add the final touches to it, haha. (I got a tad emotional at the ending, though – I blame the music I was listening to while typing it up.) I hope this is what You wanted to read when you sent in this request for me and I didn’t let you down with this fic! I tried really hard to give you what you need, darling, and now I’m just so insecure and nervous what you will say! Love you, and remember, you are beautiful and a truly fascinating person. ❤
Warnings: a bit of swearing
Your name: submit What is this?
“You saw the new film yesterday?”
“Seriously, who hasn’t seen Blast?”
I’m standing awkwardly next to the wall with a cup in hand. I hate parties, for they being too loud, buzzing and chaotic for my taste. Also, I don’t know anyone, but this is the beginning of the first semester, and my friend told me she’d be here. I look around to search for Allison in the crowd, but I can’t see her anywhere – what if she’s not here at all?
I glance back at the group of boys chatting near me, only to notice that someone else has joined them – tall, tanned skin, dark hair, gorgeous smile, mesmerizing eyes, beer in hand and black leather jacket gleaming in the colourful lights roaming all around.
I nearly choke on air as soon as my eyes land on him. I immediately avert my gaze and look down at the ground, shy. I can feel my cheeks heating up and heart switching to an erratic rhythm, beating away wildly in my gullet.
As I hear one of them say, “Remember the explosion scene, though? A self-igniting Molotov Cocktail is bullshit.” I bite my lip, contemplating whether I should point out his mistake or not. Damn it, I hate it when someone believes a hoax!
Before I know it, I realize I’ve already approached them and I’m talking, earning all their attention.
“Self-igniting Molotov Cocktail exists.”
The conversation dies out at my comment, and I’m sure that by now the tips of my ears have gone red, too.
“How do you know?” asks one of them. When I glance up from behind my lashes, I notice that guy staring at me. Oh God, I’m sure he’s thinking something similar to, ‘What the Hell did this little girl think when she came to us?’
“Um,” I stutter, fingers involuntarily flexing around the plastic cup. “I’m a Chemistry major.”
“You?” comes from another guy. His voice sounds mocking, disbelieving. He points at me, moving his drink along. “You look like a Liter –”
“How do you make one? A self-igniting Molotov Cocktail, I mean,” asks suddenly a deep voice. When my head perks up to see who spoke to me, I notice pale green eyes boring into mine intensely.
“Well,” I start. I have to swallow in order to get rid of the lump in my throat. “You need sulphur, potassium, and sugar.”
“Sugar my ass,” calls out one of them, but the green eyed guy chides him, “I’m pretty sure she’s more of an expert in Chemistry than you are.”
“No, it’s –” I hedge, but he interrupts me.
“Can I ask you something else?” he asks. I shrug and answer in a small voice, “Sure.”
For some reason, a grin appears on his face that could even put the Cheshire Cat to shame. “Is it true that explosives can be made out of soaps?”
I don’t even have to think about that one. I nod, “Yes.”
“So Fight Club was actually true?” asks the one who was sceptical of self-igniting Molotov Cocktails.
“God, so Durden was a genius after all! Holy fucking shit,” exclaims the second.
“What?” I ask, confused. How is fighting in any way related to soap?
“Have you not seen Fight Club?” asks the one in leather jacket. I shake my head. “It’s on, then; you’re watching it with me.”
“What the Hale, man,” mocks his friend playfully. “Girl’s a total nerd, and there’s Patricia from the cheerleaders who’s completely gone on you. Check something out with her, not,” he looks at me. “her.”
He shoves his friend away, only partially playfully, for his comment on me, then I turn and walk away with a tiny smile playing at the corner of my mouth. I know this is fake – he’s just acting nice. And I know I will not see him ever again, not even for his offer for watching the film together.
But that’s all right – we are way out of each others’ leagues anyway.
Since the party, I haven’t seen her, and it has nearly been a week. Today is a Friday, and I can’t seem to get her out of my mind, not even with everything I have to study. It’s already past six, but I still have classes. The next lecture I’m going to is something I chose to take out of mere curiosity – it has nothing to do with my major.
When I enter the lecture hall, I see that it’s mostly empty, save for a handful of people sitting haphazardly here and there. I proceed to take a seat somewhere in the middle, but then I notice a familiar shape in the back. I squint a bit to be able to make out her face better, to make sure that this is really her – as soon as I realize that it’s not just my imagination making me see things I want, I take off towards her without further consideration.
She doesn’t notice me until I’m directly next to her, dropping down on the seat on her right. She turns her face to look at whoever joined her, only for her expression to morph into one of genuine surprise.
“You…” she starts, awed. “From the party?”
I grin at her as I greet her, “Hey.” I hold my hand out for her to shake. “I never got the chance to introduce myself. I’m Derek.”
She accepts my hand a tad warily, hardly squeezing it back. “(Y/N).”
“Are you open for that film?” I ask, ducking my head a little to be able to maintain eye contact with her – she’s a lot shier than anyone I have ever met, but for some reason this just makes me think she’s more adorable than anything else. “You disappeared from the party pretty fast. I couldn’t find you anywhere.”
She perks up at my confession – maybe she didn’t expect I would be searching for her?
“You looked for me?” she asks. I smile at her gently as I nod.
“Of course. I wanted to talk to you some more, but you vanished.” Her cheeks go red, waking the urge in me to kiss that rosy colour. “I want to hear more of Durden’s chemistry from you.”
“Really?” Apparently she couldn’t help the smile that blossoms to her face. “No one has ever been so invested in what I have to say about these things.”
“How come? It’s more interesting than celebrity gossip,” I point out honestly. She shrugs.
“People just don’t find sciences as fascinating as I do, I guess.”
“That’s an implied hint that your curiosity branches from chemistry to other fields, too?” I ask playfully, making her giggle softly.
“Oh? What else do you read about?”
“Mostly core science, such as astrophysics, quantum physics, human anatomy and organic chemistry. They are my favourite,” she says. I can’t hide my amusement. This girl is freaking incredible, why is she so shy then? If she had just a tad more aggression in her, she could be like a carnivore, what with her gargantuan knowledge about the world. She has everything to literally just shatter other people’s self-esteem in two sentences, yet she’s so humble she wouldn’t even think about doing such a thing. Warmness starts spreading in my chest at this fact.
I don’t think anyone has ever gained my respect in as short a while as her.
“So this,” I nod towards the rest of the lecture hall that’s ahead of us. “Is just an additional bonus to your knowledge? Or why did you choose to take graphology lessons?”
She hums thoughtfully before answering, “I have this drive in me to accumulate knowledge about anything. I’ve been interested in many things ever since I was a child.”
“Can you tell me an interesting fact?”
“About what?” she asks, a small smile playing at the corner of her mouth, eyes sparkling now as she locks gazes with me. For a second, my breath hitches in my throat and I find myself staring back into her amazing eyes, my mouth open a little bit. I click it shut.
“Anything. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?”
She chuckles, her voice like velvet smoothing over my nerves. “A lot of things have come crashing in, but…” she looks to the side, contemplating which one to share with me. As her tongue darts out to wet her lips, I involuntarily glance down. “Okay, how about this one; if you hit someone hard enough on their neck somewhere around here,” she says, tapping said spot with two of her fingertips, “they will automatically die of a heart attack.”
“Why? The artery is closed, or what?” I ask, puzzled. I can’t think of another reasonable explanation, but she shakes her head.
“The X. cranial nerve, also known as the nervus vagus, is connected directly to your aorta and heart. If it endures strong trauma, it will instantly stop the heart.” The only thing I can do is blink in surprise and ask myself why people would find this girl boring? She’s the most intriguing person I’ve ever met. “This is also the reason why girls start sneezing while tweezing their eyebrows, or why one could stop their hiccup by rubbing the area between their eyebrows.”
“I’m definitely trying that the next time I start hiccuping,” I respond, earning a modest giggle from her. The sound lifts my spirits, and all I know is that I just want to chase that out of her more, to hear it as many times as possible. I don’t want to see this girl sad and unsure of herself ever again – I want her to know what she’s worth. If anyone, she should definitely be confident, because she has a real reason to be.
I’m about to say something else, but the professor enters the hall and the lecture begins. On their own accord, my eyes inevitably travel over to (Y/N)’s notes whenever the professor shares a new information about what handwriting can give away about a person’s character. I find myself wanting to solve her personality to understand her.
To understand someone with such a beautiful mind.
. o O o .
When the class ends, we both pack our things and leave together. I want to take her hand in mine to show everyone we’re together, to show that I have such a wonderful person as a parter – I want to be with this fascinating girl.
“Want me to give you a ride home?” I ask, fingers flexing around the strap of my backpack nervously. I need to stay close to her to protect her, for I feel like she’s too kind and it makes her fragile against the world. “Or watch Fight Club with me tonight?”
She bites her lip while thinking about my offer. We leave the institute, darkness enveloping us. The outline of her shape is glowing as it’s enlightened from the back by the lamps in the university. She almost looks like an angel.
“Okay,” she says in the end, making me grin like a little kid who’s been given candy. I nod towards the car park.
“This way, then,” I say, leading her over to my Camaro. I open the passenger door for her, “Ma’am,” I smile at her, which she reciprocates with one of her own, chuckling at my playfulness.
I hop in on the other side, and start driving to my flat. There, I let us in and instruct her to the living-room. For the time being, I prepare some snacks and drinks for us in the kitchen before joining her on the couch. I set everything down on the coffee table and start the film. During the opening score, I smile at her cheekily, “You can tell me everything about the chemistry of Fight Club. I wonder if they got it right.”
“Okay,” she nods, the corners of her mouth curling upwards.
When the scene starts where Tyler makes the soaps, I look over at (Y/N), who’s just watching the screen without a word. However, when Tyler says that the upper layer of glycerine is to be skimmed, she snorts.
“What?” I ask. She shakes her head.
“He’s just ruined the bomb,” she says. “Glycerine needs to be left or even mixed with the solution. Then you add nitric acid to form nitroglycerine. But the twist is that the glycerine must be added to the cold nitric acid and sulfuric acid of the similar temperature. As for what Tyler did, if he did that in reality, the entire place would be burnt down by now because he added the nitric acid and the sulfuric acid to the glycerine tallowed from the mixture. This results in explosion due to overheating, which is, understandably, undesirable for explosives.
“According to Tyler, after adding sodium nitrate and sawdust, the dynamite is ready – but in reality, while the sodium nitrate part is correct, sawdust isn’t used in dynamite making. Instead, kieselguhr, also known as diatomite, is added to stabilize the compound and prevent unwanted explosion.”
“That is insane,” I blurt, awed. (Y/N) chuckles.
“It’s just basic chemistry,” she hedges.
“Not for me,” I protest, but proceed to keep watching the film.
Sometime later, when Tyler wets his lips, (Y/N) asks, “Is he going to burn the other guy’s hand?” I look at her in confusion, not even bothered to hit the pause button.
“How did you know?”
“Well,” she starts, only to be interrupted by the painful shout coming from Norton’s character as Tyler pours the lye on his hand. “They’re using sodium hydroxide in the process, and it was to be expected in this film; one of the main concept the plot revolves around is pain after all.”
“Would the lye burn if someone poured it on their dry skin?”
“No. Sodium hydroxide dissolved in water will cause a chemical burn,” she nods towards the screen where Jack is writhing in pain. “That’s why Tyler said, ‘You can run water over it and make it worse, or use vinegar to neutralize the burn.’ There is no such thing as ‘dry’ sodium hydroxide. It will pick up water from the air and form a solution eventually.”
“But,” I start, eyebrows furrowing. “That would mean if people start sweating due to the pain, it would –”
“Yeah, it would get worse and worse,” she nods, then smiles at me. “I’m glad you were able to keep track of my thread.”
I chuckle, “Others can’t catch up to you?” She shakes her head. “No wonder why.”
She cocks her head to the side like a curious cat, “Why?”
“You’re extremely smart,” I explain. “It’s safe to say that other people are way below your level, so don’t expect them to be able to follow you word by word when you’re beyond them by thousands of miles.”
She blushes at my words, making me smile meekly. Driven by a sudden surge of bold confidence, I reach over to her with my arm laying over the back of the couch, brushing her stray strands of hair out of her face, my eyes skimming over her features.
“You are an incredible person,” I tell her genuinely. “Even I noticed in such a short while, and, what? We met merely twice?” Her gaze is still locked with mine, cheeks tinted rosy. “Believe me when I tell you that people are either jealous or afraid of your intelligence. You make them feel inferior, and generally speaking, people don’t like that.”
“But you do?” she asks, voice so quiet I can hardly catch what she said.
I nod, “Of course I do. I’ve always been drawn to those with brains than who only have the looks to show off with. I like those who I can look up to, and I can definitely respect you.”
“Thank you,” she says, tears slowly welling up in her eyes.
“No need to thank me – I was just stating facts,” I respond, voice hardly above a whisper as though I was afraid that if I’m too loud, I will destroy the bubble that has formed around us.
When one of the tears escapes and flows down on her cheek, I lean in to kiss it away. I can feel her hands balling up fistfuls of my shirt, and I allow her to pull me closer. I close her into my embrace, then sit back and move her so that she’s resting against my chest, wrapped up in my arms, where I want her to be. I push my lips to her forehead, my eyes falling shut at the serene contentment that engulfs me.