I know I have nine things I should be updating, and that probably no one will read this, but like... the She's The Man archive doesn't have one! They don't even have any listings for Paul or Andrew! And like... SOMEONE HAD TO DO IT, OKAY? SOMEONE HAD TO.
Andrew stared down at the little white business card in his hand. It was near blank: a name on the front and a number on the back, but it held more possibilities than it probably should have. The tiny slip of paper felt weighted in his hand, much heavier than any calling card should have been. The smarter part of Andrew's brain wondered if there was, like, lead in the ink? Meanwhile the dumber side -the bigger side- just kind of drooled as it tried to figure out whether he should call the phone number on the back or not.
The stupid seven little numbers on the back of the card had haunted him for a week, ever since stupid Paul Antonio had to go and slip it into his suit's breast pocket at Sebastian's -wait, no, Viola's- weirdo debutant thing. Stupid girls coming out as women, making him come out, too...
Eventually he fished his phone out from his back pocket, dialing as he paced his room over and over. He seriously hoped that Toby didn't decide to come back early from his date with Eunice; Andrew required an empty dorm for this. He felt awkward enough that stupid Paul would have to listen to him bumble through the motions, let alone his roommate. It occurred to him that this whole thing might have been easier had he ever been on a date before, but he wasn't that interested in girls... and asking a guy had always seemed a bit out of the question...
"Hello, my life sucks!" an overly cheery voice cackled through the line along with the sound of blowing hairdryers and a whole bunch of background chatter. Andrew swallowed down the lump of fear that had built up in his throat. Crap, wait a second, he didn't know how to do this.
Andrew hung up and threw the phone down on the bed.
Whatever, that was good enough for one day. Maybe Andrew would find himself a date in college; he just had to watch a couple movies like Brokeback Mountain and, like, Curiosity of Chance to figure out what to do, first... Yeah. He called Paul to ask him out. That could hold him over for a year or two, right? I mean, he didn't even talk to him, but... still. It's got to hold some weight...
Andrew was stewing in these thoughts when his phone went off. Before he even thought about checking caller ID, he had answered, chirping "Andrew's phone!" into the receiver in much too gay a way for the hot-straight-jock guy he was trying to be.
"Andrew? This is Paul."
Andrew picked at his tie awkwardly. Was a tie okay? He supposed it would have to be, considering he was already sitting in a booth at Cesario's waiting on Paul, who was supposed be here ten minutes ago, but didn't gay guys like to be fashionably late? Andrew was way out of his depth here... Luckily, Andrew was more than used to having no idea what he was doing. He had decided to play it safe and just sip on his cucumber water -because he figured that's the kind of drink Paul would like- and watch the front door for him.
Paul eventually came into the restaurant, and Andrew felt a rush of air flood into his lungs when he realized the other boy was wearing a tie, too. Okay, so he hadn't screwed up yet... Except Andrew knew himself well enough to realize he had probably screwed up at least nine times while entering the building alone, so he wasn't exactly in the clear yet.
He stood up from the table when Paul arrived, moving to pull out his chair, but then he realized that they were sitting in a booth and there wasn't anything to pull out. He floundered for a minute before sitting down ungracefully. Paul slipped into the other side of the table, eyeing him skeptically. "Is this your first time?" Paul questioned right as Andrew took a sip of his water, making him gag it back into his glass. "You know, with a guy? On a date?" his date clarified, and Andrew could probably only compare the relief he felt in that moment to finally making it to a rest-stop bathroom after driving in the car for ten hours.
"Yeah..." he answered awkwardly, spinning the straw around in his now backwash-y cucumber water. "I mean... you seemed... like a good place to start..." Andrew said, squirming between phrases. Fortunately, the waitress came over to take Paul's drink order before he could make a bigger fool of himself. Paul got soda, and Andrew stared mournfully at his glass of unwanted -albeit refreshing- water. "So what do you... do?" he asked, and Paul's eyes lit up. Score one for Andrew!
"I'm a hairdresser!" he answered excitedly.
"That sounds fun..." he replied, unnerved by how amped the blonde appeared to be telling him about his job. He picked at the cuffs of his sleeves as Paul scoffed and crossed his arms.
"Far from fun. It's absolutely awful, but you will never believe what our nail stylist, Anna, said to our manager, Evan, this morning," Paul told him conspiringly, and Andrew immediately found himself in a forty minute dinner conversation solely about the latest hair studio gossip. Not that he minded, of course.
Paul had led him up to his dorm room, and Andrew squirmed awkwardly after sticking his key into the lock of his door. "Um... I guess you can just go now," Andrew told him, glancing around the hallway anxiously, worried that someone would see them standing there together. Andrew admittedly wasn't ready for that. Paul grabbed his hand.
"Call me and hang up again some time," Paul said, and Andrew had to admit that he liked how happy his date looked. Apparently he had done something right for once. Maybe guys were just easier than girls. Paul turned to go, but Andrew kept his grip tight on the other boy's hand.
"Wait, um, just... hold on a second," Andrew told him, closing his eyes for a second and mustering up all the courage he could. Unthinkingly, he brought his lips to Paul's and kissed him quickly on the mouth, pulling away before the whole ordeal could even really start. "Thanks- Thanks for the date and stuff," he mumbled awkwardly, and Paul just smiled.
"No problem," he replied before walking down the hallway, and Andrew went into his dorm. The phone call definitely wouldn't have been enough...
Because going out with Paul had been really awesome.
Okay, you can all carry out your lives now. It just... it had to be done...