"Welcome back, students of A.R. Gurney! So glad to see your lovely faces once again. A few announcements before we…" As the principal, Miss Gill, droned on during the morning broadcast, Chloe couldn't help but glance beside her at the dark-haired boy hunched over his desk.
Since she came back from the hospital and moved back into the newly rebuilt house with her aunt, Derek hadn't backed off per-say but he was mindful around her. Didn't push her as hard as he had during training anymore. Stared at her openly and didn't try to hide it, which was embarrassing as hell.
Maybe it was because she was still recuperating. Maybe it was because the International Council had disbanded the Edison Group with a snap of its fingers. She didn't know but the response to his comments in the hospital room had been on her mind lately.
And she was going to tell Derek today.
Catching sight of Rae watching them with a smug grin as she held up a piece of paper with the word 'Chlerek 5ever' on it, she couldn't help but smile.
She hurried down the hall towards his retreating back and he paused. Old Derek would've kept walking, she mused as he turned and focused those green eyes on her. She swallowed hard.
"I've been thinking," she began quietly, giving him a quick once-over, "about what you said. When I was found. And I have a reply. I want to take it slow. No rushing for once." She smiled.
"Are you…sure?" He ducked his head down, bangs hanging low in his eyes. His voice dropped an octave. "Because if you're not sure or anything—"
"I've never been more sure in my life, Derek." She reached out and touched his hand gently. "I think you're worth it."
He stared at her for a minute before shaking his head. His face was red. "Pizza, 6pm?" he said.
She nodded so rapidly it felt like her head was gonna snap off her neck and he gave her a slight smile. Her cheeks burned as he turned and started down the hall, pausing when he realized she wasn't heading that way.
"I have math."
He waved her on and she watched him disappear. Built like a tree, he stood a head above all the other students, and at 6pm they had a date.
She couldn't wait.