i rest my case, your honour
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Dead Poets Society but it's set in the 80s <3
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Neil Perry character analysis
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day 25: happy
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keating: where’s charlie?
cameron, remembering that charlie got his head stuck in a tuba after keating told him to leave it alone, and that he’s supposed to cover for the dead poets as they frantically work together to free charlie's head from the tuba: who’s charlie?
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what the fuck did they put in todd anderson, richard papen, adam parrish and remus lupin to make me relate to them with my entire fucking body. the lads in crisis who are also all completely gay. my entire personality.
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anderperry week day five: sharing a bed
why hello there. look, let’s just pretend this one isn’t a day late. hopefully, i should be posting day six in a little bit, i just need to edit it. please enjoy this fic that had been marinated for a day.
summary: the boys go camping to celebrate the end of school. unusually cold temperatures and neil’s lack of bedding create a perfect terrible storm for him and todd to share a bed. when an intense crush is thrown in the mix, things take a unsurprising turn for the two.
(a/n- just a warning, this one is slightly spicy, i wouldn’t say it’s bonk worthy but there is some... implied adult content. there’s also slight talk of internalized homophobia but not much. read at your own discretion!!)
“We’re here boys.” Charlie sighed with his hands on his hips, looking off across the vast landscape of trees and trail. The Poets had decided to go on a camping trip to celebrate finishing school and getting into college which they started in a few months. The weather was surprisingly cold which made Neil hug his arms closer to his body to conserve warmth, a cool draft whipped his hair around, making him shiver the slightest bit. Hopefully they’d be able to get the tents up soon.
“Hey asshole, mind helping with the stuff?” Cameron asked Charlie while lifting a rolled up tent from one of the cars.
“Sure Dick.” They launched into an argument which the rest of them have learned to ignore. Neil just smiled at Todd who was carrying their cooler out of the trunk. Todd caught his eye and smiled back. They just got to the campsite and it was already getting dark thanks to the detour Charlie made them take to McDonald’s which took way longer than expected. He just had to have his hash brown.
Tent arrangements had been decided before the trip and they’d decided Meeks and Pitts would be sharing a tent (duh), so would Neil and Todd (again, duh), and finally Charlie, Cameron and Knox. Knox was only there so Charlie and Cameron wouldn’t kill each other. He drew the short end of the straw. Neil wished mercy on his soul. He loved Charlie and Cameron dearly but he would never in a million years share a tent with them.
Meeks and Pitts obviously finished their tent first being the engineers they were and sat inside to set up their air mattresses and chill, Neil and Todd were next to finish from sheer teamwork and was bringing in their stuff into their the tent while Cam and Charlie fighting over the tent as Knox held his head in his hands, most likely wishing for death as it was long past dark now and temperatures were dropping quickly.
As Neil brought in the last of their bags, Todd was sitting on the floor of the tent, pumping up his air mattress. Usually they wouldn't've bothered with air mattresses but the strangely frigid temperatures meant sleeping on the floor would be massively uncomfortable no matter how many blankets they had. “Hey, Todd. How’s it going over there?” Todd looked up wide eyed, like a scared woodland creature before realising it was Neil and calming down a bit to give him a grin.
“Hiya. It’s going good.” He huffed, and pushed a lock of hair out of his red face. “Didn’t expect pumping this would take so much effort though.” Neil giggled and walked over to his stuff to locate his own sleeping gear. He ruffled through all their things to find the air mattress and sleeping bag, neither of which were there. His brow furrowed. His pillow was there but nothing else was.
“Hey, Todd?” Todd hummed in response, only half listening. “Did you see my air mattress and sleeping bag anywhere when you took our stuff out of the car?” He looked over to the boy to see him frown.
“I don’t think so. Maybe we left it there by accident?”
“I’ll go check, thanks.”
Neil checked Charlie’s car -the one they came in- for the things to no avail. He also checked Meeks’ car just in case it was put there by accident only to find nothing once again. He walked over to the boys still building their tent. “Hey guys, you haven’t happened to see my sleeping bag and air mattress anywhere, have you?” They all shook their heads.
“Sorry Neil. Haven’t seen it anywhere.” Knox said solemnly. After asking Meeks and Pitts if they’d seen it by any chance, Neil came to the cruel fact that he probably left it at home.
He walked back to his and Todd’s tent, tail between his legs. Todd was sitting on his mattress reading a book but lifted his head when Neil arrived. “Did you find it?” He shook his head.
“No. Looks like I’m sleeping on the ground tonight.” Todd gave him a look and closed his book.
“Neil, what the hell are you on about? You can just share a bed with me. Jeff made me pack an extra large sleeping bag so it’ll cover both of us.” Neil gulped. This was simultaneously a dream come true and his worst nightmare. He’s been in love with Todd since junior year and being that close might just kill him. But on the other hand, Todd looks so warm and it’s so cold tonigh- Get a hold of yourself, Perry! What will your father think?
“These beds are tiny! I don’t want you to be uncomfortable, it’s okay-”
“I’d rather be a little cramped than you sleeping on the floor and getting hypothermia!” The voice Todd used made it sound non-negotiable. Maybe it was. The truth was, Neil would love to share the bed with Todd. Todd, who always looked so warm and cuddly. But, the fact of the matter was that Neil had been holding onto his last ounce of self restraint when it came to his former roommate, wanting nothing more than to kiss him or do... other things with him. Neil was scared. He was so intensely terrified of losing Todd, he never let himself dwell on the thought of Todd liking him back for too long. Plus, it was 1960. People like him got killed for being like this.
Neil was going to argue against the bed sharing some more but then Charlie’s voice called them out to dinner. Just as Todd was exiting the tent, he turned to Neil with a serious look in his eye. “You’re staying in my bed tonight. End of story.”
They roasted sausages over the fire and marshmallows after that. They told ghost stories (Cameron told the one he’s been telling since seventh grade which made Charlie whine irritably like a little child, telling Cameron to find new material), they attempted to sing campfire songs and planned tomorrow’s activities. Pitts was especially keen on a three hour hike in the forest, the rest of them, not so much.
As the fire died down and the temperatures dipped even lower, they all decided to go to bed to be well rested for the following day. After saying their goodnights, Neil and Todd stepped into the tent.
They faced away from each other as they changed. They’d seen each other naked plenty of times in the communal showers back at Welton, but there was something so much more intimate about viewing each other without clothes in their tent. It sent a spark up Neil’s spine. He willed this feeling to go away.
Todd got into the sleeping bag first and Neil followed, trying to put as much space between them as he humanly could -which realistically was only a few centimeters. They didn’t say a word, instead, they just sat in silence for what felt like hours -Neil was willing his brain not to explode- until Todd spoke up.
“You can touch me. I’m not the plague.” Maybe you are, a voice in Neil’s head muttered indignantly.
“Of course you aren’t. I just…” Todd rolled over to face him. The moonlight was probably hitting him just right and reflecting in his oceanic blue ey- Stop it. Neil just kept looking at the top of their tent. If he was Todd like this, all soft and sweet, he’d be gone. He’d kiss him for sure.
“You just what?” Stop it. Stop prodding, Todd. He sat up and faced away from Todd, unable to even look at him. His heart was pounding and his head was swimming. Is this was a heart attack feels like? “Neil, what is it?” A warm hand touched his shoulder. The place Todd’s hand met his back felt on fire. He couldn’t do this. Over a year’s worth of bottled up feelings was about to explode like a bomb. “Neil-”
“I love you, okay?” There it was. He waited for the blow of knuckles against his skin. In hindsight, Neil would feel stupid about even thinking that about Todd, but sound mind had left him ever since they stepped into this goddamn tent. In the absence of any reaction, he whirled around to see Todd looking confused.
“I love you too? You know I love you.” Neil groaned and put his face in his hands, willing it to not stay red.
“No, I’m in love with you.” He clarified. A heavy silence hung over the tent like a thick blanket that was slowly suffocating him. Neil kept his hands over his eyes, scared of what he’d see if he opened them. Two smooth hands pulled his own away from his face. The satiny touch of Todd’s fingertips made Neil trust him just a little. With his eyes still closed, he felt the warm press of lips on his own, gone just as soon as they came. Neil’s eyes flew open in shock.
“Of course I’m in love with you too, idiot.” Todd muttered, looking down at his lap. Before he could stop himself, Neil surged forward and kissed him.
The kiss was scorching, mouths moving in frenzied contact from having to wait for so long. Neil was slowly forgetting all rational thought and completely lost himself in the dizzying act of making out with Todd. By the way Todd had buried his fingers in Neil’s hair and was tugging on the strands harder by the second, he was pretty sure he was feeling the same way.
Eventually, Neil ended up sitting in the middle of the bed with Todd on his lap, he wrapped his arms around Todd’s waist to bring him closer, closer, closer. He was marking Todd’s throat and relishing in the hot flesh and way Todd’s breath caught when he kissed too roughly. “N-Neil. Neil, wait.” He breathed. Neil pulled away and looked at him cautiously.
“Is this okay?” He asked, making sure Todd was alright. Todd brushed a lock of hair away from his face and shook his head gently.
“There are other people out there.” Todd pointed out.
“Looks like we’ll have to be quiet then.” Todd just looked at him for a moment and he was concerned he went too far until Todd let out a chuckle, hastily slid his shirt over his head and pushed Neil back on the bed with a hand to his chest.
When Neil woke up the following morning, he breathed in the frosty air of the early hour and scooted further back into Todd to keep himself warm. Todd’s chest was pushed up against his back with their legs tangled together and an arm thrown around Neil’s waist. He cracked open his eyes and stared at the haphazardly discarded clothes in the morning light creeping in through the tent as he played with Todd’s fingers. Neil Perry was glad to be alive.
The two of them went out for breakfast some time later after talking in hushed whispers with flushed faces for probably too long. As they stepped out of the tent, the others were all gathered in front of the fire, cooking eggs, bacon and sausages with a skillet over the flame. Charlie spotted them first. “Good morning boys!” They all turned their heads to look at them and Neil convinced himself that he imagined the way Knox’s face turned a slight shade of pink, or how Meeks was purposefully not meeting their eyes.
“Morning.” Neil greeted as he got out two plates for him and Todd and started loading them with hot food.
“Say,” Charlie started. “Did you boys hear anything last night?” He froze, tongs dropping the piece of bacon he was loading onto his plate. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Todd stop dead. Sensing they weren’t going to say anything, Charlie just continued. “It could be passed off for wolves or some other woodland creature if it wasn’t for the ‘Oh! Neil! Oh! Todd! Yesssssss!’” He imitated in a dramatized high pitched voice. Todd covered his mouth with his hand, mortified.
“Charlie, give them a break.” Pitts spoke up. “But uhh, do you mind not doing that where we could all hear. We’re glad you’re together but we really didn’t need to know…. that aspect of your relationship.” Neil felt his face flush and looked to the group and then back to Todd whose face was red as a strawberry.
There was an apology sizzling on Neil’s tongue. He would make this up to all of them at some point. Neil had done some pretty embarrassing things, but this definitely topped the list. Charlie would never let them live it down. Now all of his friends knew what kind of noises he made in bed. It would be included in Charlie’s speech at his wedding. Thoughts swam around in his head rapidly as shame burned fresh on his skin.
He really hoped they’d move past it soon. Lock it up in some sort of brain safe to never be remembered let alone be brought up, especially on this trip.
(It was not.)
(a/n- poor guys. it’s not their fault neil and todd need to go to bonk jail-)
@aedan-mills @nik-knacks @maisietheweltoncow @therealbunnycorcoran
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the holy trinity
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Things in dps that should be sad but make me cry with laughter instead
Mr Perry's slo mo 'NoOoOoOoOoO!'
Pitts' 'N o' which is arguably even funnier
Todd vomiting (I'm sorry for this one)
Charlie stuffing snow into Todd's face/mouth??? 😭
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Friendly reminder: Neil Perry is very proud of you & knows you're doing your best!!
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LOOK AT WHAT I FOUND
THE DELETED SCENE OF THE MEETING AFTER NEILS PLAY. THE ONE WITH KEATING AND TODDS POEM!!!!!
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Anderperry Week 2k21 Day Seven - Fairytale AU
Hahaha so I speedran this in like two and a half hours because I forgot and then panicked and this was the word vomit that occured. What a way to end off my Anderperry Week huh? Thank you all so much for reading my works and most of all thank you to Char (@cupiiid) for setting up this event for everybody!! It was so much fun <333
Tags! @cupiiid @aedan-mills @maisietheweltoncow @tuskofthyme @justarandompjofan @mentalthisone @iguanamuppet
Summary: Anderperry The Little Mermaid AU
Neil rowed the boat down the river slowly, the river covered in a thin blue mist as the moon slowly rose over the horizon. The mute mystery boy was sitting across from him, looking down at the water and occasionally back at him. He really did remind Neil of the blond who’d saved him from the shipwreck only days ago, but that boy’s melodic voice was ingrained in Neil’s mind, and this boy could very clearly not even talk.
There was something about him though that made Neil’s heart stutter. The moonlight in his hair looked like a halo, like he wasn’t from Neil’s world and was some sort of mythical creature. It was almost like the water was singing some sort of song, trying to get Neil to do something.
Neil glanced around. “Did you hear something?”
The blond glanced up, smiling and shaking his head. Great, so Neil was also hallucinating?
Neil looked away, taking a breath before peering over at him. The boy glanced back at Neil, blue eyes clearer than the water below. Neil felt a voice in his head, the both of them leaning in like there was some invisible string tying their hearts together. He blinked, pulling back and rowing the boat again, looking towards the foliage to avoid the awkward eye contact with the boy across from him in this little boat.
Maybe he was shy, or maybe it was just his rational thinking, but despite Neil’s strange urge to kiss the boy, he found himself apprehensive. Neil kept rowing, the rhythmic sounds of the oars dragging and leaving the water moving his thoughts along. He didn’t even know his name!
Neil smiled. “Y’know, I feel really bad not even knowing your name.” He did a big row, laughing to himself as he leaned back in the boat and released the oars, bringing his hand up to his chin. “Maybe I can guess?”
The boy smiled, nodding along.
“Um. How about… Albert?” Neil guessed. The boy pulled a half offended, half confused face at the name and Neil chickled. “Alright, that's a no, then.” He paused to think. “Um. Jack? How about Michael?” Neil rattled off names, the boy shaking his head at each.
That hallucinatory voice in his head whispered something in his ear. A name. Todd?
Neil furrowed his eyebrows. “Todd?” He repeated questioningly, glancing around. Who had said that?
The blond boy - Todd - nodded enthusiastically, a grin on his face as he took Neil’s hand.
“Todd?” Neil asked more excitedly, smiling. “That's a pretty nice name.” He said, taking his other free hand to clasp around their connected ones. “Okay, Todd.”
The boat drifted off into the nearby lagoon, a ring of leaning trees and thick flora huddled around the area. It was like a whole other world, the only two people in it being Neil and Todd as the boat moved of its own accord, drawn to this ethereal place on the water.
Neil stared into clear blue eyes like he could see the mysteries of the ocean in them, as if they were deep enough to go pearl diving in and see the colours of coral reefs. It felt magical, the out of this world aura surrounding Todd capturing Neil’s attention like the tide whisked away bits of sand off the shore.
Neil felt like he was drowning - but not in the literal way that caused him needing to be saved by the Todd-like boy with the beautiful voice the other day - but in the way you drowned in emotion and in thoughts and in colours. A romanticized sense of drowning, the air falling out of his lungs and bubbles blooming in his chest.
Nothing that was currently happening made any sense to Neil. The only thing in the world was Neil and Todd, their hands connected as the boat floated idly in a circle and they stared into each other’s souls.
The voice in Neil’s head was urging for him to lean over, the one voice turning into a chorus of voices, singing and harmonising into a song almost demanding for the two of them to lean closer.
Todd was looking at Neil with a similar look of tenderness, like he could see through Neil and knew something he didn’t. He held Neil’s hands in his softly, an equally soft smile on his face as Neil’s thoughts raced.
Neil leaned in, Todd’s eyes slipping shut as he followed, the energy between them careful and intimate. His eyes started to close, trying to memorise every line and feature on Todd’s face as he got closer and closer. Their faces were so close, Neil could feel Todd’s breathing and if he listened close enough, maybe even his heartbeat (or maybe that was Neil’s thumping in his ears?) as they got closer and closer, their lips almost touching.
The boat abruptly toppled to the side, sending both Neil and Todd careening into the cold water of the blue lagoon as the boat flipped over.
Neil bobbed in the water, gasping for air and wiping the water out of his eyes. “Woah! Hang on.” He said to Todd, who was in a similar situation bobbing in the water beside the overturned boat.
In the nearby bushes, Cameron facepalmed. So close.
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neil: *traps a spider under a bowl*
charlie: *pulls out two identical bowls*
neil: no no no charlie not again-
charlie: *starts shuffling the bowls around*
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aye you think if keating and his wife ever had a kid that they’d somehow try to incorporate neil into their name?
like do you think they’d make it a middle name or something and when the rest of the poets find out its like this sad little bittersweet moment of silence?
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AnderPerry Week 2k21 Day 7: Fairy Tale
Yes I know I accidentally published this at 5am lmao, pretend you're reading it for the first time!!
For the very last Prompt, I actually had to scrap around 1k worth of words because I wasn't happy with how I wrote it; so I decided to remake the entire story into 17 Limerick Stanzas! I know, how Todd of me to make this into poetry <3 I wanted to end this whole thing with a bang! Hope you guys enjoy my Limericks! (It was really hard to make the story I planned into limericks lmao; basically AAbbA rhymiing style with specific syllable requirements lkasjdlakj)
Words: 523 (17 Stanzas)
An Odd Tale of True love
Once upon a distant time
A kingdom far from yours or mine
There lived a young prince
Arranged to wed since
The tender age of two times nine
Then in comes Todd, the Stable boy
Who does his job with mod’rate joy
Brushes the horses
Though no one forces
The finest guy you could employ
Ev’ry full moon the prince is required
To pick a spouse he would desire
The ball would be loud
Todd saw the huge crowd
To be part of it, he truly aspired
On a cold dark night, during the ball
Todd saw a figure, cloaked and tall
Who tried to sneak out
Asked Todd not to shout
So he nods as he jumps o’er the wall
Soon the palace screams and shouts
“The Prince, where is he? Has he gone out?”
Todd then recalls
The man who was tall
was the Prince who had put them to rout
The search for the Prince who had lost his way
Pestered the kingdom, night and day
With days passing by
Todd endlessly sighs
For he did not make the Prince stay
On the night of another full moon
Where the ball is still set to start soon
Todd sat by his bench
To properly quench
His talent to sing an old tune
And during his song, he heard a small purr
Accompanied with short and soft fur
He looked to his side
Their gazes collide
From a brown tabby cat, the sounds were
Todd greeted the tiny brown fellow
Gave him a quick pat to mellow
The creature allowed
Replied with a meow
Their friendship began to echo
For a few nights he sought the advice
Of the tabby who seemed very nice
So for every time
Todd makes a good rhyme
The kitty would meow once or twice
Todd would soon cherish their bond
Their moments they’ve grown quite fond
“Dear Cat, I thank you,
You helped me get through
My woes from the Prince who had gone.”
With a sorrowful meow, the cat leaned in
Butting his head underneath Todd’s chin
Confused and laughing
Todd followed its que
Gently bestowed a kiss with a grin
For a quick moment, Todd could now feel
The weight on his lips began to reveal
From a furry kiss
To lips that matched his
Todd’s eyes widened, “It’s me, Prince Neil.”
He was in shock of the matter
Thought he was mad as a hatter
From cat to the Prince
This fact made him wince
Todd felt like his heart would splatter
“You were the Prince? Why did you lie?”
“I could not speak, so how could I?!”
“What happened to you?”
“The night I met you,
I got cursed by a witch with one eye!”
“So then, is this it? The cure’s a kiss?”
“I think there’s a detail you might’ve missed.”
He leaned in once more
Kissed Todd like before
“Sorry, I couldn’t resist.”
The church bells toll from high above,
Their wedding, lavished with plenty of doves
The tale of Neil and Todd
A story you’d find quite odd
Though at the end, the Prince found his True Love.
And that's the end of my AnderPerry Week 2k21 submissions! Thank you to @cupiiid for organizing this for us and I hope to join again next time <3 Thank you so much for those who read my works, thank you to those who participated and blessed me with so much anderperry content <3 thank you to those who wanted to join even if they couldn't cuz it still meant you know how to prioritize other things lmao <3 If you're still late with prompts DON'T WORRY! You don't need to do them on time <3 I'll be as happy as others to read it at any point of time after this week <3 AnderPerry is just my OTP now and I will always love their content uwu ((*sighs now I have to continue writing my multi-chap fics that have angst in them, as well as my actual job alksdjalksjd))
Taglist: @anderperrytheplatypus, @poetrusicperry, @poetofthedyingstars , @time-plus-night @auxctor @she-nuwanda @maisietheweltoncow @cupiiid @nik-knacks @justarandompjofan
@iguanamuppet @nocturnalnewsiestrash @deadpoetsbythelakes @tall-my-beloved @theluminoussunflower @andersonsdeskset @palinoic-poet @toddtakefive @gerardpitts @chloe-octavia @feathers-arts-52 @jegerepplet @deadpoetsbythelakes @pelicanchaos @the-cat-sat-on-the-mat @spaced-out-state @nee-naw-nee-naw-beepbeep @a-cowboy-needs-a-hat @tuskofthyme @poetofthedyingstars @nothing-gonna-wake-me-now @cresswell-for-life @finding-an-angle
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dont imagine todd listing to ‘the night we met’ after finding out about neil…
don't think about him crying and wishing things were the way they used to be…
don’t think about how hard the line “i dont know what i’m supposed to do, haunted by the ghost of you” hits him…
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anderperry week 2k21 day four; genderbent
this is mostly just . so so so so soft. feat. lots of talks of hair lol. todd -> jean and neil -> eloise / el
taglist my beloveds :) @charlies-cigarette @finding-an-angle @in-love-with-their-relationship @babo0shka @aedan-mills @nothing-gonna-wake-me-now @squidwards-fave-tentacle @cresswell-for-life @tuskofthyme
jean's voice is soft and nervous and low. she stands out from the rest of the junior class -- the only new girl, the only one not wearing a welton uniform. instead she's wearing what must be her sunday best; a nice skirt, dark sweater, and the shoes that click in the halls every girl and her mother hates. her hand is soft when eloise shakes it, introduces herself as el, her roommate, and jean's eyes are blue and kind and maybe that's all it takes for el to fall in love.
her voice is soft when they're alone in their dorm, and she says, "you looked nice, today. during the ceremony."
el blushes and says thank you. maybe that's all it takes to fall in love.
a few days later, el's hands are shaking as she's sitting at her desk, fretting over her hair. jean quietly sits down on her bed and grabs her wrist. "let me help." she says, and she listens as eloise tells her about her father, how he didn't like it when she said she wanted her hair short, which is stupid cause half the girls their age look like this, and boys don't mind. but el thinks it's mostly about charlie -- how her dad has never liked her, the fact she's able to get away with so much. says she's being a bad influence, no one will like a girl who smokes or swears. she cuts herself off when jean says she's done and hands her a mirror. "sorry, you probably didn't want to hear all that."
"no, it's fine." what jean doesn't say is, i like to hear you talk. i'd listen to you read some textbook if it meant i got to hear your voice. and, i know what you were getting at. i know you're not just talking about hair. i know what it's like. "im sorry about your dad." you look beautiful. i think you'd look beautiful no matter what. and instead of saying all that, jean offers her a sympathetic smile.
and then a bell rings, and they're off to class.
despite how friendly she'd been since the start, jean is surprised when el offers to be her partner on a project in english. she can't help but wonder if maybe it's just out of pity. eloise doesn't actually want to be friends, she just feels bad jean doesn't have any. or maybe just out of convenience, being roommates and all. but jean quickly pushes these thoughts from her mind when she agrees and eloise beams. maybe that - her kindness, her genuine smile that takes over her whole face, is all it takes for jean to fall in love.
they grow closer as the year goes on, and el makes it known she wants to spend time with jean -- which jean, of course, reciprocates wholeheartedly. el and charlie and all their friends intimidated her at first, but she quickly learns they're just girls. it makes her buzz with excitement anyway when el chooses her to link arms with while walking from class to class, her to sit next to and her to lean against when they laugh.
and sometimes, when it's just them in their dorm and lights should've been out hours ago, they'll stay up chatting, long since abandoning the notion of homework. they'll talk about school, their friends, classmates, and eventually, more personal things. their families, the way jean has always lived in her brothers shadow and el has always been in a harsh spotlight. charlie kissed a girl in ninth grade and el won't tell jean who, because apparently, they're still figuring things out. jean had a boyfriend for three months in seventh grade and this isn't really a subject eloise likes.
el doesn't think her dad will want her to act. jean tells her to try asking, anyway. el doesn't care. she lands the part of puck in a midsummer nights dream. she knows her father wouldn't like that. she goes on with it anyway.
it's early in the morning when el is sitting on her bed, reading over her script for the third time since she got it on friday, and she hears jean swear. "el, can you help me with this?" she sets down her script and looks up to see jean seated at her desk, holding out a necklace.
"sure." she crosses the room and sits at the end of jean's bed, leaning against the railing and taking the chain from her hand. she brushes off the feeling this has happened before. "since when do you swear?"
"sit still. since when do you swear?"
"oh. um, i probably picked it up from you."
el nearly drops the chain, flushing, then laughs. "really? me? im being a bad influence?" there's a teasing tone in her voice and she finally clips the necklace together, lets it fall to jean's chest for her to adjust. she turns to face el and smiles. it's warm and she's biting back laughter. she rivals the morning sun.
"i guess so." el smiles back. and for a moment, they stay like that; silent, smiling, close. it'd be so easy to just lean over and kiss her.
then jean stands. "well, the bell is about to ring." she's looking in her mirror, adjusting the necklace and running her hand through her hair. her reflection makes eye contact with el. "thank you."
el's not sure jean hears her say you're welcome, hopes she doesn't notice the way she's blushing and bites her lip when jean turns to go.
everything about jean is soft. the way she pulls back her hair, folds her sweaters, reads her books and kept quietly to herself the first few weeks of school. and eloise is the opposite; faux confidence in everything she says, loud and bold in a way that most everyone likes. she's able to snap into the role of model student around her parents and teachers, top of her class every semester every year and they don't see her cry, she's friends with everyone and she's getting better at styling her short hair than charlie ever was -- or maybe the choppiness is a part of charlie's style, a part of her silent bullshit rebellion to the school, i know you don't like me and i don't like you, but my parents are rich so I'm stuck here and you're stuck with me, and whatever i do.
it's a few weeks in that they learn about the dead poets society from their english teacher, miss keating, and eloise and charlie and their whole group decide to reconvene it themselves. it's a few weeks in that jean starts taking after el, or maybe el starts to take after her.
jean's the one who helps el with finding new ways she can pin her hair up -- so it won't get in her face while she's reading, they say. el's the one who tells jean it's alright there's a tear on her skirt, it must've gotten snagged on something on the walk to the cave but that's alright, she'll mend it the minute they get back. sometimes they chat quietly while jean's hands are in el's hair or her skirt is in el's lap, about the meeting or school the next day or anything else they can think of. and on others, they sit in silence, on one of their beds or on the floor with nothing but moonlight -- and maybe one or both of their desk lamps -- and it's a comfortable sort of quiet.
the next couple months pass in a blur of private smiles and foolish urges running up their necks and taking root in their minds and hearts and el running lines with jean -- not anyone else, she always wants to do it with jean -- over and over until jean is sure she could recite the whole play backwards, she's just making up reasons to spend time together. which is silly, jean wants to say -- she'd be content sitting in silence with her. maybe it doesn't take a lot to fall in love at seventeen, maybe that's alright.
before they know it, it's a week before el's show, and they're running lines at the docks even though she knows them all already. jean uses her voice and for what seems like the first time ever, it's loud and it's strong, and they both laugh and el thinks, i love you. holy shit, i love you.
before they know it, the show is in a day, and eloise's father, by some miracle, still hasn't found out about it. she's stressed out anyway, and it's not over the show. she knocks on miss keating's office with a green ribbon pinned in her hair. she looks at the photo of a woman framed on her desk. a good friend, miss keating tells everyone.
eloise lets her guard down and her voice shakes as she tells miss keating about jean. about how she's sure jean loves her back, but maybe that's a strong word, maybe she doesn't. miss keating grabs her hand and says she should tell her. jean is too kind a girl to hurt el if she doesn't feel the same, but really, you should.
jean grabs the same hand the next day. eloise has been rushing around their dorm, grabbing her jacket and bag and making sure she has everything, and jean just wants her to slow down. breath, for a minute. she won't be late. yes, i saw you grab that paper. im sure. "i-" jean starts, catching her hand an el finally halts. i love you. i love you. holy shit, i love you. "i know you're going to do great. good luck, anyway." jean drops her hand and el smiles and says thank you.
and then she's gone.
jean wears her sunday best, again. she's long since forgiven cameron for calling her a priss on the first day, which was an awful first impression but now she just finds funny because cam is undoubtedly the prissiest of them all. she's the best in both school and keeping up appearances, so she's the one who helps jean tie up her hair. and the bow she makes is perfect, but -- maybe it'd look better if the ribbon were blue instead of red. she knows it's a silly and lovesick thought, but jean suddenly wonders what it'd be like to have el's hands in her hair.
the show is lovely. eloise is lovely. jean loves her. and she is going to tell her.
jean catches her eye when they're doing bows and her friends are pushing her forward. i love you, i love you, i love you.
they link arms as their friends talk over each other to tell eloise how wonderful she's done, and all jean can think, looking at her beaming face, is, i love you. eloise turns to her and smiles as if she knows, tugs her arm and they finally make their way through the crowd, following charlie's lead walking back to welton.
they've walked a couple blocks in a comfortable silence before jean says, "you were amazing. i knew you would be." and she doesn't know if el flushes from the cold or from the compliment or maybe, she foolishly hopes, because they're in love.
"thank you." she says softly. i love you.
there's a beat of silence. jean drops her arm from el's, and her heart is beating out of her chest when she swiftly grabs eloise's hand with her own. "i love you." jean finally says, soft and low and sweet.
"i love you, too."
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Anderperry: *throws deskset off roof*
Chameron: *Charlie throws deskset on Cameron’s table* "Happy Birthday, babe" "😳😳🥺 thank you! but i wish you didn't throw it--"
Mitts: *Calculates how far they can frisbee throw the deskset for maximum distance*
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