A/N: This is my first story in a couple of months, and I'm glad that I wrote it! It's my first story as a college student, and it's... I mean it's alright. I'm ready to put it out into the world.
Here it is!
Sophie was perfectly content to quietly create some snacks for her dorm friends, and think of movies in preparation for Mid-Week Movie Night. She was tucked away in the little kitchen on the ground floor, her phone playing music a few feet away. She was just sprinkling some cinnamon in the eggs when of her friends, Alyson, snuck up behind her and wrapped her arms around her waist. Sophie barely startled.
"What'cha doooin'?" Alyson asked. She rested her chin on Sophie's shoulder.
"Well, it's a little after seven and we've got movies to watch, so I'm just making some food for us all." Sophie submerged some of the Nutella rolls in the cinnamon-egg mix, making sure they had a good coating before placing them on the skillet.
"Ooh, yummy!" Alyson removed herself from her friend and stepped away towards a clean spot, and hopped onto the counter. She took a glance around the kitchen before speaking again.
"So I saw you and Remi whispering to yourselves today," she said casually, and Sophie didn't react, didn't take the bait.
"That's what friends do sometimes, did you know?"
"You were sitting awfully close to each other."
"The lounge was kind of packed when we got in there," Sophie shrugged. Alyson sighed.
"I'm just saying-"
"I know what you're saying Aly, you're not the only person who's come up to me asking if we're dating, or if I like him, or if I think he likes me. Right now I'm not focused on that." There were more pressing issues at hand- like what movie to watch and how could a paper be elongated without adding more words?
Alyson momentarily gave up the subject, but Sophie was aware that she had many words at the tip of her tongue. Instead of seeking out the words she worked with the silence and finished soaking the last of the Nutella rolls in the bowl before placing them on the sizzling skillet. A few had finished and were put to the side on a plate.
"...But do you like him?" Alyson asked, just a couple decibels above the skillet.
"I like having him around," Sophie said, because that was about as much information she was going to reveal. It wasn't a lie by any means, because Remi gave as much as he got in terms of friendly, teasing shit talking, and Sophie did a lot of that. He was tall and strong and his anxious neuroticism was cute as long as Sophie knew he was okay. When he wasn't, he stumbled over his words and gave up, she would baby him and work to make him feel a little more secure. In return, Remi made Sophie feel safe when they went out, and she liked feeling useful, needed.
"Have you thought about hooking up with him?" Sophie froze and turned to look at her friend, surprised at the frank curiosity in her tone.
"I'm sorry?" Sophie said. Alyson shrugged.
"To see if your feelings are really just friendly or a little more than friendly." Sophie blinked.
"You realize that that could potentially, royally fuck up our friendship, right? If we slept with each other and had no romantic feelings?" Again, Alyson shrugged.
"It's just a suggestion. Anyway, we have the movie line-up picked so once you come upstairs we'll get started!" Alyson hopped down from the counter and kissed her friend on the cheek. As she left she stole a finished Nutella roll, and Sophie made a note in her phone about the whole incident.
Remi walked Sophie to her dorm and waited until the door was shut to make his way towards his floor, and to his room. Once he unlocked the door, his senses picked up on a number of things. The first was that he saw his roommate, Cory, working on whatever paper he had been assigned that week, or even that day, probably. The second was the enthusiastic reactions of his friend Chad as he sat in front of their TV, a game controller in his hand. Cory glanced up.
"Hey Remi," he murmured, almost immediately going back to staring at his outline as he continued typing. Remi gave a small greeting back as he made his way further into the room, dropping his bag on his desk. At this, Chad looked up.
"Bro! What's going on?" His fingers furiously worked the buttons on the item in front of him.
"We just came back from the comedy show in the auditorium," Remi said. Chad looked up again, to see if he had missed someone else coming in.
"Yeah, Sophie and I went." Remi started to change into an old t-shirt and his boxers.
"You and Sophie, huh?" Chad questioned.
"Mhm." It was quiet between the three boys for a moment, and Remi thought that that had been the end of the conversation.
"Dude why haven't you fucked her yet?" Remi choked on his spit.
"Chad what the fuck?" he breathed. Chad hadn't even taken his eyes off the screen.
"You know, to see if you wanna keep seeing her and shit." Remi spluttered on air.
"We're not even dating!"
"Yeah, I know." Eyes blown wide, Remi looked to his roommate and gestured wildly to the boy who didn't understand the impact of his words. Cory didn't even look up, as headphones had magically appeared in his ears. Upon realizing that he would have to deal with his friend without support, Remi sighed and put his face in his hands.
"Chad, I don't think that's how romance works."
"I'm not talking about romance dude, I'm talking about easy access to hot girls." Remi was sure that somewhere in his body a blood vessel had just ruptured. However, instead of responding immediately like he wanted, he took a deep breath and thought of a way to make his friend leave.
"Okay, uh, good talking with you Chad, but I'm actually going to bed now? And I know Cory needs to study, so..." Chad groaned, but stopped the game. He stretched, making little popping sounds that Remi cringed at.
"Ugh, fine dude, I'm going. I have like, three chapters to catch up on in chemistry anyway." Chad gathered his things and left, and Remi stared at the empty soda can next to the TV that his "friend" had left behind. Sophie would have a real good time laughing at this when he shared it with her.
And then Cory said the first thing since Remi walked in.
"Why the hell are we friends with that tool?"
Sophie was reading a novella for her creative writing class, at the very end of the green couch in the bottom floor lounge. Her study partner, Mallory, was resting her head on Sophie's lap, the rest of her body stretched across the green couch, because she had explicitly stated that she didn't care if other people wanted to use the space. It was all during quiet hours, anyway, most people were in their dorms.
"How come Marcella never assigns us romantic stuff to read?" Mallory suddenly whined. Sophie startled at the initial sound of her speaking. She responded to the question a little belatedly.
"Because there's more to life than romance? And the biggest rhetorical and general writing devices in romantic literature is pathos and drawn-out imagery." Mallory rolled her eyes.
"You would have a stupidly boring answer." Mallory used her core strength to sit up, and Sophie smiled at her friend's messed-up hair. Mallory turned and sat cross-legged, pouting (and completely unaware of how her hair looked). Sophie studied her cautiously for a moment before deeming it safe to go back to reading.
"Let's talk about something interesting." Sophie should've known better than to go back to reading. She placed a bookmark in her spot, and longingly looked at the sentence she was reading before closing the book.
"Okay, what's something interesting then?" Mallory became much more enthusiastic.
"Let's talk about your love life!" Oh no. "How's Remi doing?"
"Remi's fine, but I don't know what that has to do with my love life." Her and Remi's companionship was quickly becoming the most interesting subject in the dorm building, much to their dismay (but slight amusement).
"Because you two are totally gone for each other, obviously. It's okay if you guys haven't come to terms with it yet, I'll be patient."
'You don't sound very patient,' Sophie thought.
"I don't think we're totally gone for each other, Mal."
"But you are! If you want proof, just start going out with some other guy." Sophie furrowed her eyebrows, she had a question, but she was also almost certain of the answer.
"How would going out with some other guy prove anything?" Sophie waited for the actual bullshit to pour from her friend's mouth.
"Because then you'll be aware of your feelings for him, and you will make him totally jealous! And jealousy is hot." As much as Sophie wanted to go on an immediate lecture about how that sort of thinking was toxic and lead to toxic behavior, she simply closed her eyes and shook her head.
"I'm gonna have to disagree with you on that one. If I wanted to know if he has romantic feelings for me I think I would just ask him." Mallory looked as if Sophie had said something absurd and offensive.
"You think he would tell the truth?" Sophie shrugged.
"He wouldn't be able not to. He's a shit liar and he always says that if I look at him too long he'd end up spilling anything. So yeah, I'm not going to make him jealous." Mallory sighed and looked down, and that seemed to signal the end of the short conversation.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Well, there's no way I'm going to finish this assignment right now, so I'm headed off to bed. See you tomorrow, probably." Mallory stood up and readjusted her clothes, then ran a hand through her hair. She appeared to pick up on something and turned her head to narrow her gaze on her friend, who seemed momentarily innocent.
"Good night, Mal," Sophie said quietly as her friend left the lounge. Noting the time, she knew it would be better to get to her room as well, but not before making a note on her phone.
Remi sat at a table in the library closest to his dorm, books scattered across his third of the table, Cory and his friend Chase sat around him. They had a biology test to study for, and all three of them had waited until the day before to start reviewing. (Well, Cory studied every day, but he was still there.) The textbook paper shined as the overhead library lights hit it, and it was starting to give Remi a headache, making it almost impossible for him to focus. He sighed forcefully.
"If Sophie were here she would be able to explain this," he whispered, and Cory snorted in what may have been agreement.
"If Sophie were here you'd just stare at her," Chase said, because apparently both of his friends heard him. He had meant to be a little quieter.
"Whatever," he muttered. At this point he just let people say what they wanted. He knew the truth, and he knew what he put out to everyone else.
It was quiet for a few more minutes, the desperation and exasperation climbing steadily but quickly. Chase was the first to give up, almost energetically sitting back in his chair and rubbing his face with his hands. A particularly harsh glare from the reflective page had Remi closing his book harshly. Why were textbooks all the same? Surely he could not be alone in this. (He would talk to Sophie about it later, he knew this.)
"So how is Sophie?" Cory asked, putting his study items away with such calmness that Remi just knew that the guy was actually done with reviewing, not just giving up. Remi smiled a little.
"She's good, she said she would make my favorite snacks for Movie Night tonight." He heard Chase scoff.
"And why else are you in love with her?" Remi frowned.
"I don't know what you mean."
"You and I- hell, even Cory knows- that you're in love with her. It's just too bad that she doesn't feel the same way about you." Nothing about that made sense, the idea that Chase thought he was in love, that Sophie wouldn't love him back, and the insinuation that Cory doesn't know everything, it was all confusing. Remi shook his head.
"You've spent too much time reading into things, man." Chase scoffed.
"Fine, maybe I am. Now you don't get to hear my plan." Chase had a plan? For what? What the hell was he going on about?
"What the hell are you going on about?" Chase leaned in, putting weight on his elbows. Remi thought he looked a little too much like an obsessed conspiracy theorist.
"Catfish her." What the fuck?
"What the fuck?"
"I'm pretty sure that it could work out between you guys, but she clearly sees you as like a little brother. If you hit her up on some app or whatever, pretend to be someone else, you know, catfish her, then she'll fall for you and then do like, a reveal. She'd realize that you've been there for her this whole time and bam, you're dating and having sex all the time."
Remi's jaw dropped once he understood what his friend was talking about, and Cory didn't give a shit about keeping his thoughts to himself- he just burst out laughing.
"Chase that's the dumbest fucking idea I've ever heard. If I did that to Sophie she would actually castrate me, and I don't doubt for a second that she could do it either," Remi explained as Cory kept laughing.
"Nuh-uh, man! It's romantic!" Remi could not afford to keep busting blood vessels, there was a limited amount and this could not be healthy. Remi leaned forward, careful to keep his voice to a low-level whisper, though it sounded like a hiss.
"Dude, no! That is not romantic! And Sophie would agree with me, including the castration part. That's why she doesn't have any dating apps on her phone!" Chase apparently didn't catch onto Remi knowing for a fact that Sophie didn't have that sort of thing on her phone.
"Whatever, man, I still think it's a good plan. Anyway, I gotta head out, my roommate wants to grab lunch." As Chase shoved his books in his bag and left, Cory was just beginning to settle down from his laughing fit. Remi narrowed his eyes at him.
"Oh, man. What a tool." Yeah, Cory wasn't the only one Remi knew would laugh this.
Instead of using her provided desk like a normal person, Sophie used the floor for her books and papers when she felt the need to organize and check off small things on a list. The vague buzzing of fast thoughts in her brain were a comfort as they began to go into their appropriate spots. Her roommate, Emerson, was safe from the chaotic sea of paper as she sat in her lofted bed. She watched Sophie casually, Sophie going back and forth like a hamster in a cage, while Emerson slowly ate cookies out of a bag.
"I kind of feel like a scientist watching a mouse run on a wheel," she said as she shoved another piece of food in her mouth. Sophie looked up wildly, and even as she understood the words she did become offended. It was probably an accurate observation, and she thought mice were cute.
"You're not a scientist unless you write something down," she replied, "I want to get these little things done before tonight. I'm going to that comedy club with Remi again- it's really cheap with student IDs." Emerson nodded slowly, her roommates words made sense, they were totally within Sophie's normal behavior.
"So are you guys dating or what?" Sophie shook her head.
"Hanging out. As friends." Emerson nodded, because that's the response she expected.
"I think you should like, stop being friends with him." That made her roommate pause, and for a second, Emerson really did feel like a scientist watching a mouse.
"What makes you say that?"
"I feel like one of you will catch feelings and get hurt, and that would really suck." Sophie reached to tap a pile of papers into neatness.
"I don't think you have anything to worry about. Not with so many people on our backs about this whole thing. A couple of his friends have been talking about this too," she said.
"You're my roommate, and I care about you. I just think that if you guys are just friends, instead of dating like so many people think you should be, you shouldn't be so affectionate and together all the time. What will happen if you guys start dating other people, and that person sees the way you two interact?" Sophie shook her head, this time a little more exasperated.
"That's the thing though. We can be friends and still hug and shit. Sometimes he gets a little too worked up and he just needs a head rub, or I need someone to help warm me up because I'm always cold. It's mutually beneficial. If he found someone or if I found someone, we would still have a solid friendship, even if we got those touching moments from other people. I like our relationship as it is."
Sophie spent a lot of time thinking about the interest other people had in a relationship that had nothing to do with them, and why they tried so hard to shape the relationship and the people to their own desires. It had become increasingly interesting in the last couple of months, especially as she learned more in her social psychology class.
She sighed as she took out her phone to pull up her notes.
Remi worked on steadying his breathing, Sophie falling to the side and curling up into him. He instinctively wrapped an arm around her little body, and she placed a hand directly over his heart, bare hand to bare chest.
"You always put in so much energy, it's great," Sophie breathed. She tilted her head up to place a kiss on his jawline. He smiled, chest still heaving some.
"Just trying to keep up with you, babe," he joked. Sophie giggled and gave him two more kisses. Her hand massaged up and down his chest, and he struggled to keep his eyes open.
Her roommate had gone back home for the weekend, and his friends thought the two of them were getting lunch- when in reality they were actually working up an appetite (while satisfying another). It had been going on since the end of the last semester, when accidentally let how he felt about her slipped out, and she made a very similar confession. Remi just loved that in addition to playing with his hair now, she would kiss his shoulder and tell him what she liked about him, and sometimes they would do this, which was a much way to release pent up energy.
"I'm almost done with my presentation," Sophie whispered. He turned his head to look at her, his other arm reaching across himself to rest his hand on her hip.
"Yeah? How's it looking?"
"Good. I'll have to take pictures of them, blur out their faces. I can just lie about the reason why, something about a personal project or something. Like a scrapbook. They don't have to know it's for my social psych class." Remi chuckled.
"Cory is going to be so glad he never said anything about the two of us. We went through all of this hiding and lying for how long? They're going to be so pissed when they all find out." He felt Sophie shrug.
"We can just order a couple pizzas and have a 'Yay We're Together!' party. They'll get over it, especially since they were all so fucking annoying." They both laughed, mostly out of relief and knowing that those words were true.
"Yeah, it's all totally even." This was said with humor and an exaggerated eye roll. Sophie playfully hit his chest.
"It will be, if we have pizza delivered to the building. That's like, the best, easiest thing ever. And then," she said, sliding on top of him, lips meeting his collarbone for a few seconds, "You and I can slip away and have our own party." She reached up to kiss him, slow and long and deep. It calmed and excited him at the same time, and he loved it. She pulled back with a devious smile, and he gripped her body tightly against his.
"Oh, my roommate's gone for two days, what are we going to do?" she grinned cheekily. He tugged her hair back for a moment, smiling widely, out of control.
"Maybe we can go in for round two," he suggested, and she giggled her agreement.
They could enjoy this one last weekend to themselves, secretly and happily.
A/N: So in case it isn't clear now, every scene Sophie was with a friend, she took notes of the conversation to save it for her social psychology presentation. In other words, she pulled a Cole Sprouse (kinda).