Alright, this idea came straight from my college's lame ass Astronomy class. I know the title is obscure, but it'll all make sense once you start reading. Enjoy!
The teacher called it a 'clicker'. Honestly, I didn't care what the damn thing was called…it was the bane of my existence right now.
So, what exactly is a clicker? My friends and I didn't have a clue, all we knew was that it was a requirement of the Astronomy course to buy one and bring it to every single class. It looked like a small, bright blue remote control, with 8 buttons on it: A, B, C, D, E, F, an asterisk, and a blank button.
It was also evidently a good chew toy, since Dutchy was chewing on it as he walked. Or maybe that was just because he was digging through his backpack with one hand, holding the bag with the other, and therefore had no free hands with which to hold the accursed blue object.
"It was here, I was sure it was here," he finally said, his speech garbled from talking around the remote.
He threw his backpack back over her shoulder and grabbed the clicker from his mouth. "The instructions for the clicker, damnit!"
"…It has eight buttons, Dutchy. It can't be that hard to figure out."
"Snitchykins…have you ever thought about the fact that it could be a conspiracy?" He asked, looking around and lowering his voice. "The blank button. I've read the instructions eight times, and they don't say anything about the blank button. Just think…all of the students pressing the blank button at the same time could be triggered to set off a nuclear explosion in Uzbekistan."
"Yeah. You know…where that one guy lives."
I spotted Specs sitting on a bench by the sidewalk not too far ahead, but before I could warn the boy, his peaceful time reading a book was abruptly disturbed by his blonde boyfriend leaping onto his lap.
"Hey sexy," Dutchy said, planting a kiss on Specs's lips before he could protest.
"Well, I certainly hope your ass is keeping my place," Specs said, more amused than anything. He was used to Dutchy's antics after growing up next door to him. He pulled the book out from under Dutchy, bookmarking his spot before kissing the blonde boy.
"Come on, you two. We're gonna be late," I said, rolling my eyes and checking my watch. We had five minutes to get down to the Cooper Science building, but considering we hadn't even passed Hargraves Music Building or the scatter light, it wasn't going to be easy to get there on time.
I tuned out the other two boys as we stopped at the intersection and waited for Charlie Cardinal to give his 'chirp signal', a sign that pedestrians could cross the intersection safely without fear of being struck by one of the campus busses.
The truth was, I'd been lonely ever since I got here. Sure, since I'd only lived twenty minutes away a lot of my high school friends and acquaintances went here as well, but now that they were college kids the fact that I'd been popular in high school meant nothing. I'd never realized how shy I really was until I got here and had trouble making friends.
Of course I could always count on Specs and Dutchy to be there for me; but who doesn't feel like a third wheel around them? Not their fault, I know, but along with brightening my day they confuse me even more about my own sexuality. The truth was, I had no idea what I was: gay, bi, straight…it was all just a baffling blur to me.
"Snitch? Snitch, are you listening?"
I snapped out of my thoughts and looked up at Specs, who had conveniently given Dutchy a Twix bar to shut him up momentarily.
"Uh, sorry…not really," I said.
"What's wrong? You've really seemed down lately."
I cringed. "It's nothing. I'm just adjusting."
He eyed me suspiciously, but didn't say any more about it for now. I knew I would get the full interrogation later though; normally I was a really happy, upbeat person, but I hadn't been lately.
We finally made it to Cooper Science after passing the North Quad and the Geography building, and a field in which a few select art students displayed strange, twisted pieces of metal that they called 'art'. I think it's just what happens when construction workers get bored. But I'd never say that in Dutchy's presence, him being an art and theater major and dance minor.
The planetarium was on the bottom floor (now how does that make sense? Staring at stars, in the basement?), but the lecture room was two doors down from that, and most of the place was filled. Dutchy immediately dragged Specs to the back row where two seats were still empty, and I dropped my backpack at the first empty seat I saw.
And when I looked at the boy sitting in the seat next to mine, all confusion left my brain. I could suddenly see it, clear as water from my mother's fancy water cleansing filter system.
I was gay. No doubts anymore; one glance at this boy told me that I always had been and always will be gay.
He had brown hair the color of caramel (I'm obsessed with anything and everything caramel, so you can imagine…), a tall, lean form, and stormy hazel eyes that were now focused on a paper covered in Calculus equations.
I suddenly realized I was staring when he looked up at me and raised an eyebrow inquisitively, probably wondering why I'd dropped my bag and not sat down yet.
And good Lord, him looking at me was almost enough to make my legs give out from under me.
At that moment, the teacher called out that class was about to start, and I dropped down into my seat before my weak knees forced me to the floor. With shaking hands I pulled my clicker out of my bag and set it on my desk, along with my Astronomy binder.
"Press the blank button on your clicker to mark yourself as present," the teacher said, bringing up a screen of numbers on the overhead. I pressed the blank button, smirking as I remembered Dutchy's comment about blowing up Uzbekistan, and the number 17 lit up on the screen.
I quickly looked over and tried to discreetly watch the boy beside me pull out his clicker, and the instant he pressed the button I noted that number 44 lit up on the screen.
Clicker number 44. I'd have to remember that.
I heard a brief argument in the back of the room, and I rolled my eyes as I heard the words 'Uzbekistan' and 'conspiracy'. The number 23 lit up last of all, and I knew that Specs had stolen Dutchy's clicker and forced him to count himself present.
The rest of the class was just a blur for me. All I remembered was watching the boy out of the corner of my eye, studying him as he laboriously took down every note, adding extra explanation where it was needed, and generally being a stellar student. Meanwhile, my notes consisted of the topic name and the date. The fact that the teacher talked in a droning monotone wasn't helping one bit.
The only thing I remember clearly was when class ended, and the teacher assigned homework. I jotted down the homework assignment, watched my first case of love-at-first-sight walk out the door, and then set to work packing up my books.
"Well, someone's smitten."
I looked up at Specs and laughed. "I thought we'd already established you as being thoroughly whipped."
"At least I don't stare at Dutchy through an entire two hour class."
Dutchy looked hurt. "You don't?"
"I wasn't staring! I was…deviously glancing."
"For minutes at a time," Specs said, a knowing grin on his face. "So, where does he dot his I's?"
"A little to the left. And sometimes he doesn't," I said, not even realizing that I'd been watching him that closely. I sighed heavily. "I am smitten, aren't I?"
"So horribly smitten, dude."
I groaned and threw my backpack on my shoulders, but somehow I felt a whole lot better than I had before class. I immediately decided that I wouldn't go straight back to my dorm tonight; I'd take a swing past Lafollette, where Blink and Mush were living.
Blink, having already been here one year with his boyfriend Mush, is the all time hacking king. But somehow he managed to escape the label of 'computer geek', even though anyone with computer problems came to him. I think it's either because of the eyepatch or the fact that he's the star of the soccer team, maybe both.
After a thorough bout of teasing from Dutchy and Specs concerning my new crush, I split off from them and walked the extra mile out of my way to get to Lafollette. Lafollette was quite possibly the worst place the live on campus; not that the living arrangements were bad, but the building was one of the farthest away from everything else. It was a full ¾ mile past the bell tower, closer to the football stadium.
I pulled out my cell phone as he entered the building and called up to Blink's room; see, at our school you can't get past the lobby of any of the dorms without a card key for that building. It really sucks, because unless you follow someone in who has a key, you can't surprise anyone.
After two rings, Mush picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"Mush? It's me, Snitch. Is Blink there?"
"Oh! Uh, hey Snitch. Um…hang on. He's, uh…under the bed," Mush said, covering the phone with his hand and yelling at Blink to "stop messin' around and come get the phone".
Honestly…I didn't even wantto know why Blink was under the bed.
"Blink, come down here and let me in, man. I need a favor."
"What kind of favor?"
"Come let me in, damnit."
"How much you got on you?"
"Blink, let me in or I'll tell your mother what you used her dining room table for last weekend."
A pause. "Coming."
Ah, the blessings of blackmail material…
I only had to wait about thirty seconds before Blink opened the door for me, and he raised an eyebrow.
"What's so important that you came to see us at nine o'clock at night?" He asked as we began walking up the three flights of stairs to his room.
"Like I said, I need a favor. And you still owe me for buying you Chick-Fil-A last Wednesday when you forgot your ID card."
"Alright, you win. What is it?"
"Uh…you know those clickers that they gave us for Astronomy?"
He nodded. "Yeah, Mush has one."
"Can you look up information on a person off the ID number on their clicker?"
He grinned as he pushed the door open to his room. "Have no fear, my friend. I can figure it out. But why do you need it?"
"Uh huh. If I didn't think you'd use the dining room table against me, I'd drill you for more info."
"You got that right."
With that, he set to work hacking the clicker registration on the school's website. I talked with Mush about his latest escapades as a music major while I waited, learning that there were auditions coming up for the Phantom of the Opera; the school of music had been on a string of obscure musicals and operas for almost ten years, and this year's theme was "going back to traditional".
It took Blink less than two minutes to hack into the records. "Alright, what's the number?"
He worked for a minute or so more, and then finished up and leaned back, doing a 'Vanna White' motion toward the screen.
"Isaac Von Lorne, 18, a freshman Pre Med and Biology double major, Asian Studies as a minor, focus in Chinese. Boy, Snitch…you sure can pick 'em. This kid is Dean's List from day one. Honor's College."
I was too busy being in awe of Isaac's repertoire to hear Blink's last comment. What had I gotten myself into? I wasn't all that smart, certainly not that much into my studies, and this kid was a fuckin' genius. Probably aiming for medical school or something like that. I sat down on Mush's bed, almost sitting right on his feet.
"Hey! Who said you could sit there?" Mush snapped playfully, kicking at me while scooting over.
"Mush, he's having a lust induced coronary. Leave him alone," Blink mock-whispered, and I scowled at him.
"I am not. It's just…he's…"
"Unattainable? A workaholic? A perfectionist?"
"He's the one," I found myself saying without even thinking about it.
Mush raised an eyebrow and kicked at me again. "I think he is having a lust induced coronary."
"Snitch, you know that's bullshit. You can pursue him all you want, but I don't want you getting your heart broken over some self-centered prodigy," Blink said, sitting down next to me and receiving a kick from Mush as well.
"I know, I know, but…" I trailed off and just shook my head. "Nevermind. I need to go sleep before my brain melts."
"Hey, we sold brain melts at homecoming last year, didn't we?"
Blink ignored Mush's question and patted me on the back. "I'll print out this info for you, and then you go sleep on it. If you're still head over heels for this guy come Thursday, I'm gonna have to meet him and give him my own once over."
"Yes, mother," I teased, standing up as he began to print out the profile.
"I'm just lookin' out for you. Believe me, I've had 'lust at first sight' before. I know what you're going through," Blink said with a shrug.
"It's not lust," I insisted as he shoved the printed profile in my hands.
"Is he sexy as all get-out?" Blink asked.
"Well, yeah, but-"
"Lust at first sight. Go sleep it off."
I muttered once again about it not being lust, but he didn't hear me. I said my goodbyes, and they continued the conversation on the subject of brain melts as I walked away.
It wasn't lust. I knew it wasn't. But was Blink right? Was the whole thing about knowing that one special person the instant you see them untrue?
The bigger question…why had I said it? I'd never believed in that stuff, and here I was claiming to experience it…I must have been really, really tired.
Only one way to find out. I'd have to get to know Isaac the conventional way.
Wow, this is fun stuff. I'm lovin' this. Wow…that's a long chapter, too. Hell, it shouldn't have even been multiple chapters, but the muses took over. So…yeah. Three or four chapters, maybe five? I dunno. Hey, I need to stop rambling.
Anyways, a little contest is included in this fic. The first person to guess which college this takes place at gets to choose the pairing and general situation for my next fic. I'm trying to get myself back into the habit of writing, so this little contest is beneficial to me as well. Put your guesses in with your lovely reviews!
Oh…and if you know me and go to my college, don't guess. That means you, Alexy.
Review, my pretties!