A/N: A Laws Of Attraction-verse one-shot written in honour of St. Patrick's Day! Because Zachary O'Connor is crazy and Irish :P Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything you recognize.
"The aliphatic compounds include paraffins, alkenes and alkynes. These are classed based on their states of saturation. Alkenes are also known as olefins."
There was no sound in the dorm room except the faint scratch of pencil on notebook paper and the rustle of turning pages. It was about a week before an exam in Chem220H, and though half the campus was out and about celebrating St. Patrick's Day, she was bound and determined to finish up her study guide for the chapter by the end of the night.
The faint clink of something had her head lifting up, but she didn't see anything. Maybe it was just someone dropping something next door. Shrugging, she was about to go back to work when she heard it again. The window.
Frowning, she got up from her seat, and padded over towards the window in her pajamas. It was fourteen minutes past one in the morning, and a school night, and certainly no one would be...?
Outside, his sandy-blond curls visible even stuffed under a cap that read "Yankee Hater", wearing a bright green t-shirt and an Irish flag for a cape, her boyfriend beamed up at her with a beatific smile as he threw another coin at the glass window from three floors down. Zach had gone out that night to the local bar for green beers and guinness and God only knew what else, now that he'd finally passed his twenty-first birthday. She had sternly told him to eat a full meal beforehand, drink plenty of water, and make sure that he had a good designated driver to see him home. There was absolutely no reason for him to be standing outside her window at this hour.
Two more coins hit the window in rapid succession; he'd seen her, clearly. Amy sighed, knowing that he was not going to walk away, and pushed the casement open.
A moment later, a tuneful and merry but very loud voice broke the stillness of the night.
"I'LL TELL ME MA WHEN I GO HOME, THE BOYS WON'T LEAVE THE GIRLS ALONE..."
The window slammed shut again, and Amy FELT herself blushing, and cursed the fact that four years of knowing him had not detracted his ability to make her blush at all. He was still singing, the sound muffled by the glass but still audible, and really, she had to study!
"SHE IS HANDSOME, SHE IS PRETTY, SHE IS THE BELLE OF BELFAST CITY! SHE GOES COURTIN' A' ONE TWO THREE! PLEASE WON'T YOU TELL ME WHO IS SHE?"
A knock came on her door just then, and the whiney voice of Nicole Bobbin, a particularly stuck-up dance major who lived four doors down, sounded in the hallway. "That guy is YOUR boyfriend, isn't it?"
Amy sighed as she walked in the opposite direction of the window and opened her door a crack. Nicole wore leg warmers and a leotard even at this hour, and had a self-righteous expression on her face as she leaned against the door jamb. "You'd better do something about him, Amy. SOME of us have to get some sleep, and he's being loud. Really, it's unnecessary for him to be disturbing us at this hour, regardless of what day it is." Her mud-brown eyes skimmed over Amy critically. "I doubt he's got ANY good reason for it aside from being trashed. But if you don't get him under control, I'm going to have to alert campus security."
Privately, Amy might have agreed with some of her points, but she felt her hackles rising nonetheless. With a frosty politeness sharp enough to cut glass, she gave a brief, stately nod. "You need not worry about Zach, Nicole. Go back to your room and go to sleep, then." Stepping into the closest pair of shoes, she held the door open so that the other girl could leave before making the trek down the stairs to the ground floor.
Zach beamed when he saw her, his green eyes bright with alcohol and affection, "A ghra mo chroi!" he called out when he saw Amy approaching, Irish brogue tinging his voice. "Sure an' don't you look bonny on this fine night, lassie?"
"You're drunk," Amy said coolly. "Did you eat a meal like I told you to?"
"Aye, I am. Drunk on your loveliness, and drowning in your eyes, me love." The shirt he wore, now that she was close enough to see it, read "Kiss Me, I'm Irish". She refused to let herself be charmed, but something had to be done. She sighed and held out an arm, and was prepared when he leaned heavily on it.
"Come on up. I think I have some gatorade, and I know I have a microwave TV dinner in my room. You need to sleep it off and stop creating a disturbance."
Zach did not come quietly. He stumbled and sniffed her hair and pressed sloppy, tickling kisses against her neck the entire way up the three flights of stairs, and crooned more snatches of pub songs the whole way there. Amy managed barely to open her door and push him down onto the bed, and none-too-gently handed him a bottle of gatorade. "Drink."
"It's not green beer, but it's green!" Zach enthused, and after several fumbling attempts with the cap, managed to open it up and slop only a little on himself as he chugged. "Slainte!"
She ignored him, popped a paper package of instant macaroni and cheese into the microwave, and mentally calculated how much longer he'd be awake, based on her estimations of his level of inebriation, and how much later she would be up after he was asleep to continue studying. Deciding that it might take too long, she handed him the microwave dinner as soon as it was cool enough to eat, and unceremoniously abandoned him to that and the gatorade as she headed back to her desk.
Zach made quick work of the mac and cheese and the gatorade, then slumped against her pillows, Yankee-Hater cap fallen down on the floor. She only had a few minutes of peace, though, as his voice interrupted her again.
"No," Amy pulled her book up higher and steadfastly kept her head turned away. "I was studying. You interrupted me. Plus, you need to sleep it off. It's late."
"But I want a cuddle, if I have to sleep it off," Zach said so plaintively that she could hear the pout in his voice. "The pillow smells like your hair, and you look so cute in your jammies, and and... KISS ME, I'M IRISH! It says so right here on my shirt, you know!"
"Aromatic compounds include aromatic amines, benzoates, phenols, and indenes..." Amy read aloud from her textbook, pencil scratching fiercely on notepaper. "Benzene rings are typical examples..."
"Why are you being mean? And on MY holiday?" Zach asked mournfully, with a windy sigh. "CUDDLE!"
He fell silent, and she continued, feeling her neck prickle from an odd sense of guilt and the feeling of his eyes on her, but ignored it as best as she could as she made more notations on the page.
"You're so smart. It scares me sometimes."
His voice broke the silence again, except now it was quiet, and introspective, and almost solemn. He'd reached that stage of drunkenness that characterized the Latin maxim "In Vino Veritas", and in the dim light of her desk lamp, he looked serious and sleepy, hair rumpled against her dark blue pillowcase. She met his eyes as she turned, and he smiled a sweet, lopsided smile.
"You could be so mean if you wanted to. Or like, the Unabomber. With how smart you are. But you're not. And you stand up for yourself and others. And yet you blush. A lot. And it's so cute. And your hair smells really nice. It's a ridi-ridilic- STUPID thing when I'm just laying here and I'm totally horny just 'cause your bed smells like you. And I shouldn't have told you that. I'm not a sleaze, really. I love you, you know? I really fucking love you really much and I have no idea what you're doing with me sometimes. 'Cause I wouldn't want to date me. I'd never get a word in edgewise. And then I'd have to kill... uh... me. And that would be bad. But you don't seem to mind, and I love it when I say something and you smile or laugh because you should do it more because you have a really pretty smile, and it makes you look less sad, and I don't like it when you're sad because I feel like I should probably whomp on someone and then you'd tell me violence doesn't solve anything."
And really, what was she supposed to do to that?
Methodically, though her hands weren't completely steady, Amy set her pencil down, closed her notebook. She placed her Organic Chemistry textbook back on the shelf, walked towards the bed, and toed off her shoes, scooting in next to him. He smiled, and wrapped his arms around her, and his Irish flag cape was completely crushed underneath their bodies and neither of them cared. He pressed a sloppy kiss to her neck, and she let out a giggle before she could help it, and slapped lightly as one of his hands roamed under the bottom hem of her pajama shirt. He cuddled closer, and sleepily mumbled something, and closed his eyes, and was dead to the world in the space of two minutes.
Amy found herself laughing wryly in the semi-darkness. "I love you too," she whispered as she pulled the covers over both of them.
Zachary O'Connor awoke in a neat, empty single dorm room that was definitely not his sometime in the afternoon hours of the 18th of March, slightly headachey and disoriented but definitely not as hungover as he probably should have been. He had only a vague recollection of last night, after quite a few alcoholic beverages and several Irish songs at Sweeney's Tavern by the law school. The room was familiar; it was Amy's. He recalled demanding to be dropped off by her building last night, and singing, and not too much else, and winced. She was nowhere to be seen.
He was just trying his best to remember what he did, and how much apologizing and groveling might have to happen, when the door opened quietly and Amy walked in. She was wearing a prim green skirt and a white blouse, and carried a sad, trampled-looking sprig of shamrocks in one hand, her books in the other.
"Someone found this outside, where you were standing last night when you decided to sing pub songs at one in the morning outside my window," she told him softly, holding up the shamrocks. Her face was blank and unreadable, and he winced again.
"They were for you but I think they might've fallen out of my pocket."
"Nicole wanted to call security on you," she continued, carefully setting down the shamrocks on top of her books on her desk. "I had to let you come in and sleep it off. I was studying."
"I'm sorry," Zach mumbled, wondering how many dozens of roses he should buy. "Did... did I say anything dumb last night?"
She walked over slowly, and toed off her sensible ballet flats, and stopped by the bed, less than a foot away from where he was slouched. "No," she answered, and all he saw was a wide, genuine smile before she threw herself into his arms.
Much later, as he was busy contemplating the luck of the Irish and trying to catch his breath, she stirred and lifted her head off his chest. "Zach?"
"What does 'A ghra mo chroi' mean?"
"Oh. That." He smiled and ran his fingers down the smooth skin of her back. "Love of my heart."