April 6, 2013
JOCKS V. NERDS: interlude

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It snowed the next Friday night, a window-rattling blizzard that left behind a foot of snow; Stiles and Scott stole trays from the dining hall and sledded the steps of the library, the hill out behind the science building, stuffed snow down the back of each others’ shirts until they were soaking wet, shivering. Scott crashed after lunch, and Stiles started organizing his references for a term paper, tagging them by subject and section, weeding out the ones he didn’t want anymore. It was peaceful, easy to think, the snow starting up again, tapping gently at the window, Scott twisted up in his blankets, arms flung wide, breathing slowly.

Scott woke up just as Stiles was finishing, rubbing a sleepy hand across his face. Stiles closed his laptop and flopped back against his pillow.

“Hey,” Scott said, without moving.

“Hey,” Stiles said.

Scott was silent for a long time—long enough that Stiles wondered if he’d fallen back asleep. Then he said, “What’s going on with you, man?”

“Nothing,” Stiles said automatically. “Nothing. M’fine.”

Scott frowned. “Is, uh—” he hesitated. “Are you worried about that honors program thing, because you’re totally going to get in—”

"What?” Stiles said.

"Dude,” Scott said. “I live here, come on.”

“It’s not—I haven’t even applied,” Stiles said, looking at the ceiling. “I’m probably just—not going to.”

“But—“ Scott blinked. Then he pushed himself up, tugging down his t-shirt. “You want to,” he said, “so—“

"No,” Stiles said. “It’s stupid, it’s just a lot of extra work and dorky research projects, for like, no reason, it’s the same degree—"

Scott shrugged. “You like dorky research projects,” he said. “You’ve been taking like 25 credits a semester since we started—”

“No,” Stiles said. He sat up so he could see Scott’s face. “You weren’t supposed to know about that,” he said slowly. “And it’s not 25, anyhow, just, uh—22.”

“Yeah,” Scott said. “Okay.”

"You knew," Stiles said carefully. Scott nodded. "Everyone knows," Stiles said.

"Not everyone," Scott said. “Just us.”

“Oh,” Stiles said. He waited—to feel awful about it, for the sick knot that used to sit in his stomach when he signed up for classes to come back; it didn’t. The snow drifted in a flurry against the windowpane. Scott scratched his nose. “Are you—pissed at me?” Stiles asked.

“No, man,” Scott said. “I like watching the Mars Rover livestream with you—“

“What?” Stiles said.

“Like every time you drink Gin you get really excited about robotics,” Scott said, almost apologetically.

“I do not!” Stiles said.

"And there was that time Beth Patterson was basically giving you a lap dance and you said you had to go home and do a problem set."

"That didn’t—that wasn’t what happened,” Stiles faltered. “I asked her if she wanted to come back and she shot me down—"

"Yeah,” Scott said gently, “You did a body shot off her boobs and asked if she liked organic chemistry.”

“That’s. Oh,” Stiles said. 

“So—dude, you’re a giant nerd, we all know, it’s cool,” Scott said. “You can stop trying to hide it and being a downer—“

“It’s not that,” Stiles said, low; there it was—the hot lump in the back of his throat, the stone sitting on his chest when he walked across the quad to Harris class’, staring down. The teasing grin dropped off Scott’s face. “There’s uh—“ Stiles dragged in a breath through his nose, shrugged. “There was a guy,” he said briskly. “I messed everything up with him.”

“So apologize.”

"I tried," Stiles said. "He thinks I’m a jerk."

"Why—"

"Cause I was a fucking jerk to him, Scott," Stiles said loudly. "Why do you think?"

Scott hunched his shoulders. “Did you—“

“I said some stuff,” Stiles said, feeling his cheeks heat up with shame. “I did some stuff, I—“

“If you talk to him,” Scott said quietly.

“I just want to let him alone,” Stiles said. “I just—don’t want to bother him any more, that’s all.”

“Okay,” Scott said. He stood up and dragged on a sweatshirt, shoved his feet into his sneakers. “Dining hall opens in ten,” he said. “You wanna get dinner?”

“Yeah,” Stiles said. 

2:43pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZJG2byi2zwdo
  
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