Disclaimer: Don't own, yadda yadda.
If any of the Poets besides Todd had had something on his mind, it would have been immediately obvious. However, although the attentive observer may have noticed an especially thoughtful quality added to Todd's usual silence, the boys were anything but overly observant. Also, there were other things for them to worry about, such as the day Neil skived off his afternoon classes and extracurriculars to try out for the Henley Hall play. It was a Friday, and the Poets were savoring the freedom the weekend would allow them in Charlie's room. Abby was curled up in the corner, so that if anyone opened the door they would hide her themselves. She was stealing sidelong glances at Todd, who was staring at his hands. Pitts and Meeks were working on their radio, Cameron was puzzling over a Latin translation, Knox was sighing out the window, and Charlie was attempting to stand on his head.
"Charlie, could you make any more noise when you fall over? If you aren't careful someone's gonna come barging in here to see if you're dead," Meeks said, only a touch sharply. "Besides, we don't want anybody to see Abby."
Abby opened her mouth to remind him of the fact that she was completely invisible once the door opened, but was interrupted by said door banging open and squashing her even farther into the corner. She squeaked, but no one heard her.
"I got the part, I got the part!" Neil's voice was high with excitement. "Charlie, I got the main part! I'm gonna play Puck! Charlie!" There were congratulatory cries and slaps on the back, and in the confusion Abby was completely forgotten. She kicked the door, which had become wedged in an open position.
"Whoops, sorry Ab," Charlie laughed as he pulled the door shut. "Neil crush you?"
"Only a little," said Abby, dusting herself off. "Congratulations, Neil."
Neil grinned like a maniac. Pitts unfolded himself from Meeks' chair and stretched, nearly touching the ceiling. "Dinner, guys?" There was a general murmur of agreement, as usually happens with teenage boys and food. The opened the door and Abby slipped into the crush of bodies with the rest of them, unnoticed. However, she certainly noticed the hand that landed on her shoulder in the midst of the crowd. She turned, fearing the worst, but saw Todd's worried face behind her. He gestured into a side hall with his head, and Abby squirmed through the bodies to get there, with Todd close behind.
"Abby, look..." he trailed off, unsure of where to begin his line of questioning. Abby bit her lip wondering if what she hoped might be true. The look in Todd's eyes didn't exactly look as though he were about to confess his undying love for her, and Abby was something of a realist in those matters.
"Todd, what is it? It's alright, you can talk to me," Abby added in her most reassuring tone.
"It's about Mr. Keating."
Abby was puzzled, but instantly alert. Had Todd noticed something none of the others had? "Why are you only talking to me then? Why not Neil and Charlie, and all the others?"
Todd looked as though he was struggling to get the words out. "Because I was wondering about, uh, Mr. Keating and, um, you." Abby had put on her best puzzled face, but inside she was terrified. "I, uh, I saw you two, a few weeks ago. Walking off to town. Holding hands." Abby burst out laughing when she realized the conclusion Todd had drawn. He was slightly nonplussed by this, and Abby quieted herself quickly. There was nothing to do but tell the truth. At least, she would later reflect, it was Todd, who was possibly the only Poet capable of keeping his mouth shut for more than three minutes at a time.
"Listen Todd, can you keep a secret?" At Todd's nervous expression, she quickly added "Not the one you think! It's nothing so bad, but it really can't get out." He nodded, still nervous, but seemed willing to listen. "Look, Butler isn't my real last name. It's- it was- my mother's maiden name. My surname is actually Keating." Todd was shocked.
"So he's your father?" Abby nodded. "Geez, you must think I'm really dumb."
"Todd, no! I could never think that, you are the only reason I'm passing chem." A shadow of a smile appeared on Todd's face.
"Don't flatter me, that's all Neil. Come on, it's left handed spaghetti night!" The two teenagers raced out of the side corridor and towards the Main Hall, unaware of the stern eyes watching them from balcony. These eyes, and the bow-tied body there were attached to, followed the theme of the night in drawing the wrong conclusion