six of crows modern university au
headcanons below the cut
jesper & wylan
wylan goes crazy, taking all the classes he can fit in his schedule. call him a nerd, but going to university and finally, finally having the freedom to live on his own and gather as much information as he possibly can has always been his dream
(of course, if you've got the money for all those courses...)
he does all the sciences and maths, a handful of music and art courses, and some social justice classes to top it off
this morning, he's sitting in women's studies, voice recorder set in front of him and eyes trained on the professor as they begin to speak at the front of the room
wylan remembers all the facts, keeps every word stored in his brain. his eyes grow wide as he listens, enticed by the new information, the old history, the changed perspectives-
the chair to his right clangs loudly as a tall boy settles into it, legs sprawled before him and elbow slung over the back of his chair. he looks absolutely, positively bored to be here
wylan rolls his eyes, trying to focus back in on the professor. he hopes the loud noises hadn't interrupted his voice recorder; he'll need to play it back later
wylan misses the noise the first time, a quiet sigh
the boy makes sure wylan hears it the second time, clearing his throat so loudly the girls in front of them turn to glower. wylan feels his cheeks grow warm and mouths an apology, waiting for them to turn back around before swerving suddenly to face the boy beside him
"what?" wylan whispers sharply
the boy smirks, holding his hands up in a mock surrender. "I count five."
"boys in this class. one, two three-" the boy nods to the students as he counts them before turning his finger on himself. "four." he switches to wylan. "five," he mouths
wylan shrugs, growing frustrated, trying to keep one ear on the professor (oh no, what if I get called out on the first day?)
"so what?" wylan mutters
"so, what are you doing here?"
"learning. listening." the boy scoffs. "uh, do you have any other suggestions?"
"look around. girls. politically correct girls. I mean, that's the dream."
wylan shakes his head, turning back to the front of the class, frustrated at this baffoon beside him that's not even here for the lessons
why pay for a class if not to learn?
"never been a fan of... girls," wylan mumbles
he doesn't see the way the boy continues to stare at him long after he's turned away, how his expression softens, how his posture straightens itself
wylan's almost forgotten about the disrespectful boy beside him, entranced by the lesson once more
when the professor asks a question wylan raises his hand, but the boy beside him shouts out before he can even get his fingers in the air
"it's not just about the colour pink and the word mankind," the boy says. "it's the fact that women are murdered at higher rates than men, that they're paid consistently less and aren't given an opportunity to achieve more, that they're constantly belittled and ignored so if they speak up, they're not heard. what women really want, and what society needs, is for the male sex not to be considered the default."
the professor accepts the boy's answer and continues on, and wylan finds the boy from the corner of his eye
the boy is looking back at him, smiling slightly
"it's not just about the girls," he says
for the first time since the lesson began, wylan disregards the professor and turns toward the boy, holding out his hand
the boy chuckles under his breath and accepts the gesture in an almost-but-not-quite mocking way
inej & kaz
"jes, you know how I feel about parties."
and he did, jesper really did know that kaz despised them. they've been friends (though kaz would deny the word) since seventh grade, and kaz never seemed to grow out of his goth phase. something about his home life triggered it, jesper guessed; kaz had never filled him in on it
"we're in uni, kaz! we're drinking, we're dancing, we're finally free!"
"I drink every day, often with you actually, and I've been living on my own since middle school."
"shut up, you'll love it. and after, oh, I've got to tell you about the kid I met today."
kaz did not, in fact, love it
but he expected the disappointment, really. he prepared for it, familiar with how kids his age acted, and he situates himself with his back to the wall and regards the moving bodies under the strobe lights. he tracks jesper as he snakes through the crowd, shivering at the mere thought of that many bodies pressed against him, jostling, suffocating, and his chest constricts and-
eyes. eyes on him
he's not a stranger to the stares directed his way and whispers he receives as he travels through campus in the suitjacket he always chooses to wear—looks will get you everywhere—but this one is different. it's not confused, mocking, but instead, intense, unrelenting
kaz meets her eyes from across the room
her skin is smooth, seeming to reflect light in and of itself, and her eyes are large as they take him in
she sees him, and she does not look away
kaz makes his way over, sidestepping moving bodies and dodging bottles that roll across the floor. (he needs to do something for entertainment while jesper gets himself drunk on living)
"what do you want?" he asks over the music as he stands over her. she's small, really, and yet no less sure of herself, shoulders back and gaze unfaltering
"you're that brekker kid, the one that broke into the library."
kaz shrugs. "so they say. that's the story circulating, and not the one about the faculty building?"
"oh, I've heard many. it's the library that interests me, though. why risk expulsion for a book? couldn't you just have checked it out?"
"Ms. Tate was getting concerned about my borrowing history."
"did she have reason to be concerned?"
kaz studies her, eyes narrowing, just slightly. "why do you care?"
kaz cocks his head. "that's not the reason."
"if I'm in a stranger's mind, I think I deserve an explanation as to why."
"I'll tell you my story when you tell me why you stole that book."
the corner of kaz's lips quirks up, just slightly. most people see the suit jacket, listen to the rumors, hear whispers of unhinged, deranged, trouble in a suit and walk the other way. a double major in criminology and forensics would give that impression
however, this girl seems different, interesting. for some reason she approached him, the mystery making her latch on tight. kaz is intrigued, but not enough to tell her the story; not yet
the girl seems to realize the dead end and her expression alters, scrunching just slightly, in what kaz realizes is the barest allowance of a smile. I'll get that story out of you, it seems to say. Good luck, kaz wishes to respond, but then she blinks in such a way that kaz's heart skips a beat
something tells him she already knows
"hello kaz brekker," she says. gotcha, the smoothness of her voice seems to confirm, like honey over marble. "I'm inej."
matthias & nina
"is this- ouch- really necessary?" matthias growls, flinching away from nina's probing hands. he nervously eyes the dark wand with spikes she's brandishing toward him
"hey, you volunteered."
"you texted me SOS, emergency."
"and here you are. quit squirming."
nina bends closer, brow scrunched in concentration, eyes focused just a bit off his-
the black wand of death enters his vision
matthias springs off the upside-down wire garbage can he's been using as a stool, backing away from nina's disappointed expression
"and what, pray tell, do you mean to do with that?"
"goodness, it's mascara, matthias."
"and you're sure you have to use it?"
"cosmetology relies pretty heavily on eye makeup, yes."
matthias huffs, turning his expression elsewhere in the dorm, searching for some kind, any kind, of refuge. "where's your roomate?" he asks desperately
"oh, Inej is still at that party."
"she didn't strike me as the partying type."
"oh, she's not," nina confirms. "but I made her go so you. and. I. would. be. alone," she bites out through gritted teeth, "so please come sit back down and just let me do this."
matthias frowns, untrusting. nina sighs. "if I get over an 80 on this test, I'll let you spew about that culture class you're taking."
"well, there's two, actually," matthias says, expression already igniting. "there's world religions, which is more geographical, but there's also cultural studies which focuses more on individual belief systems, and-"
nina finds herself grinning as he rambles, and finally he sighs, catching her eye. "fine," he grumbles, trudging back to their makeshift stool. bottles and boxes of various materials and tools clatter on the bed as nina shifts, getting comfortable
"thank you," she says softly, earnestly, and matthias gives her a smile
"okay, now close." matthias dutifully follows instructions. "try to stay very stil-"
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