There were only five people by the fountain at 5:30 on Friday evening. Three were girls, sitting together and giggling over something in a binder. Altair ignored them and focused on the two boys, one blond, and one brunet. He already knew which one was Conrad—he'd heard his voice when he'd introduced himself to the blond.
Conrad was cute. Cute, and completely clean shaven, no handlebar mustache in sight, although Altair could imagine him with a beard that wouldn't look half bad. It would go with his messy brown hair to give him a carelessly adorable look.
He watched as Conrad uncrossed his legs, tapped his fingers on one thigh, and then recrossed his long, jean-clad legs. He was nervous. That was obvious.
Some part of Altair's conscious told him that he should go put the poor man out of his misery, but he didn't. He stayed and watched. Too be fair, his mind provided helpfully, there was a lot he could figure out about Conrad if he didn't know Altair could see him.
Besides, Altair wasn't done staring yet. If he could get over the drooling idiot part of the evening before meeting Conrad, he wouldn't complain.
He stayed next to the picnic tables alongside University Center building for a while longer, inspecting Conrad's broad shoulders while he considered how to introduce himself. But by the third time Conrad checked his watch, Altair couldn't keep him waiting any more. It just wasn't fair to the man.
Altair stood up, made a feeble attempt to flatten out the wrinkles in his cotton t-shirt, and retied his shoes before heading over to meet Conrad in person.
Conrad didn't look up as he approached. That wasn't really a good thing, but Altair kept his expression friendly. He didn't want Conrad to suddenly look up and see him frowning at him, after all.
He didn't look up, though, and it took Altair less than a minute to walk over and stand in front of Conrad. He offered the other man his hand. "Hi."
Conrad looked up from his sneakers, nearly jumping off of the concrete bench and into the shallow fountain water. That would have been funny, but it would also have been painful and would have ruined their date.
Conrad's mouth fell open for a moment before he shut it again and stared at Altair for a long time before taking his hand. Altair didn't mind, having done the same thing himself. He knew what Conrad was seeing—long-ish dry black hair tied back, dark jeans, and a black shirt with a deep purple swirling design on it (Altair liked the night, and he liked the colors that went with it)—he just wished he knew what Conrad thought of it.
He pulled Conrad to his feet when the man grabbed his hand instead of shaking it.
"Um, hi. Altair. Conrad."
"I know." Altair grinned.
Was he? Altair peered at the watch strapped around the wrist attached to the hand he was still holding. "I am not. 5:30 on the dot. It's late enough to get dinner, but not late enough for the restaurants to be full. Where do you want to go?"
"I didn't think about that…"
And here Altair had been expecting him to have every detail planned out.
"Well. Italian might be a cliché first date food, but I like clichés and there's a decently priced place off of Riverside Street. Sound good?"
Conrad nodded dazedly.
Instead of letting go of Conrad's hand he kept their fingers entwined and let them fall in between their thighs. "Then let's go."
Conrad gave him a small smile. "Okay."