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[sticky post] Storm's coming. Best be inside when it does.

Disclaimer: Devin is a fictional character. He resents the implication that this fact somehow makes him 'not real' and appreciates when people comment to him directly on his posts. Questions, comments, or complaints intended for his author may be sent via PM to n3m3sis43.


Guess I'll try this Idol thing again...

Y'know, cause it went so well the last time.

[Disclaimer]Disclaimer: Devin is a fictional character. He resents the implication that this fact somehow makes him 'not real' and appreciates when people comment to him directly on his posts. Questions, comments, or complaints intended for his author may be sent via PM to n3m3sis43.
This is part of an ongoing college!AU thing theun4givables and I have been working on. It's more or less a follow-up to "Monster-Coffee" over here.

Just one more class, Devin told himself, yawning as he watched the other students packing up their books and hurrying out of the classroom. His book still open on the desk in front of him, Devin didn’t see the point in rushing. He had plenty of time before his next class; thanks to his last-minute transfer, his schedule was a mess--one class at 8 am and the next at noon. He could tell already that these early mornings were going to be the death of him; all he wanted was to go back to his dorm room and crawl back into his tiny, uncomfortable bed.

The problem was that if he crashed now, there was a good chance he wouldn’t get back up in time. Scrubbing at his tired eyes with his fists, he tried to remember if he’d seen any couches or chairs on his way into the building. He’d take anything, even a stone bench outside--just some place he could stretch out and catch a little more sleep before--

“You got any more classes today?” A familiar voice broke into his thoughts.

Devin jumped, nearly knocking over his coffee cup. Blinking furiously, he looked up to see his blonde next door neighbor, the one with the interesting name and the--

His face growing hot, Devin bent forward to reach for his bookbag. “Y- yeah,” he mumbled. “Got one in a few hours.”

“I’m done for the day, but I was thinking about heading to the library to work on my Calc homework,” Jazz said. “After last night, I’m sure as hell not gonna bother studying in my room for a while.” His voice became tight and he swallowed audibly.

Glancing up at the other boy, Devin saw that his handsome features were twisted with anger.

“Hey.” Devin shoved his textbook in his bag and zipped it up. Slinging the bag over one shoulder, he stood and met Jazz’s blue eyes. “You okay, dude? Know you said you were mad at your roommate, but… you seem pretty fucking upset.”

“Yeah, I’ll be fine.” The other boy’s expression softened, a hint of pink creeping into his cheeks. “You could come with me, y’know.”

“To study?” Devin yawned again, hard enough that it vibrated his entire body. His teeth worrying at his lower lip, he considered. Jazz seemed nice--more than nice, really--but Devin was dead on his feet. At this rate, he’d be lucky to stay awake through his next class, let alone do any studying. He opened his mouth to decline. “Guess I could do that,” he heard himself saying instead.

So much for that nap.

Jazz’s face lit up. “C’mon, then.” With a grin, he started for the door. “Let’s go.”

The other boy’s good humor faded quickly, however, once the two of them had settled down at a table with their books. Devin watched as Jazz glared at first his Calc textbook and then his notebook, his pen scratching angrily against the paper as he wrote out equations only to cross them out moments later. The longer he worked, the more forceful his corrections became, punctuated every so often by a loud, gusty sigh. Pretending to review his scant notes from class, Devin hid a small smile behind his hand.

He hated to admit it, but his new neighbor was… kind of adorable.

“Damn it!” Jazz muttered under his breath, with sufficient volume to draw a few stares.

Seizing hold of the page he was working on, he tore it viciously from his notebook and crumpled it into a ball. He tossed it aside, blonde hair falling into his eyes as he began scribbling figures onto a fresh page.

“Could help you with that, y’know,” Devin offered. “Always been pretty good at math.”

“I don’t know why I can’t get this,” Jazz groaned, raking his fingers through his hair.

“Lots of people have trouble with Calc, dude. Trust me. Should’ve seen how hard it was for--”

Devin stopped himself, his breath catching in his chest as he realized what he’d almost said. He wasn’t ready to talk about any of it--the classes he’d dropped before he’d been able to finish his last semester of community college or the reason he’d dropped them. Picking at the frayed knee of his jeans, he cleared his throat.

“Just… know it’s hard for some people,” he said. “You ever need help, let me know.”

He could feel Jazz watching him, the unasked questions hanging in the air between them.

“Hey!” Devin said, straightening up in his seat and turning his attention back to Jazz. “What’d your roommate do anyway?”

Jazz gave him an odd look, as if trying to follow the broken thread of the conversation.

“Seemed pretty mad at him earlier,” Devin prompted, taking a huge gulp of his now-cold coffee.

“Oh, the asshole just slept with my fucking girlfriend.” Jazz gave an exaggerated shrug. “No big deal, right?”


Devin dropped his eyes to the table, carefully considering his immaculate fingernails. He wasn’t sure why the word unsettled his stomach, why his shoulders felt so heavy with disappointment. So the guy was straight. It wasn’t like he--

“It might’ve been for the best, though,” Jazz said quietly. “I… don’t think I’m really into girls anyway.”

For a moment, Devin didn’t register the almost-whispered words over the rush of his own thoughts. Then a strange warmth spread over him, a smile slowly making its way across his face. Forcing his gaze upward, he stammered, “Y-- you’re not?”

“Um, no.” Jazz’s eyes twinkled. “What’re you grinning at all of a sudden?”

Unable to speak, Devin only shook his head. His ears burned and he could tell he was bright red to the roots of his hair. He covered his face with his hands and wondered if it were possible to actually die of embarrassment.

At least he’d die happy.

Drive (Real World AU) - Part 1

Devin breathed a sigh of relief as soon as the front door closed behind him. Dinner with his boss had gone well enough, even if Devin had spent most of the evening trying to remember which fork to use and wondering if he had food in his teeth. The boss’s wife seemed to have taken a liking to him, hugging him goodbye when he left, but the endless stream of polite conversation had been draining. Between that and his regular eight hours at the office today, Devin had had enough human interaction to last him a week. He was looking forward to going home, changing out of his work clothes, and plopping himself in front of the TV.

As he walked briskly through the well-kept, tree lined streets of his boss’s neighborhood, he began to relax. The soothing sound of branches rustling in the winter wind and the rush of cool night air in his lungs slowed his racing thoughts and eased his tense muscles. He had nearly reached the exit of the subdivision when pulsing blue lights illuminated the world around him.

“Oh, fuck no,” Devin muttered.

He stiffened from head to toe in an instant, resisting the urge to pull his hood up over his head. It would only make him look “suspicious,” as if the color of his skin wouldn’t already mark him as an outsider in a neighborhood like this. Squaring his shoulders, he shoved his hands in his coat pockets and kept walking. He needed to stay calm, he told himself even as his pulse sped up and his head leapt into his throat. If only he could act as though he belonged here, maybe the cop would move on. Maybe he’d find someone else to harass.

No such luck.

Devin’s stomach sank into his boots as the police cruiser pulled up beside him and rolled to a stop, its driver-side window opening with a smug electronic whir. He stopped and turned to face the man inside, wishing he could keep walking instead and wondering what would happen if he did. Shaking his head to clear it, he composed his face into what he hoped was an agreeable expression.

“Any trouble, Officer?” Devin asked, his mouth dry.

“We’ve received reports of unusual activity in the area.” The officer was standard issue for this part of town--white, male, and old enough to be counting the days to retirement with a pension check fatter than his ass. He gave Devin a hard look. “I don’t suppose you’ve seen anything out of the ordinary, have you?”

Biting his lip hard enough to draw blood, Devin shook his head.

The policeman narrowed his eyes. “Mind telling me what you’re doing here, son?”

“Not your fucking son.” Devin muttered before he could stop himself.

“An attitude like that isn’t going to help your case, you know,” the cop said evenly.

“The fuck?” Devin demanded, the heavy dinner he’d eaten rolling unpleasantly in his stomach. His voice sounded too loud, so shrill it hurt his ears, but he couldn’t seem to control it. “What fucking case? Haven’t done anything wrong.”

“Of course you haven’t.” The policeman smiled, perfect teeth gleaming. “Now let’s see some identification.”

Devin bristled. “Don’t fucking think so,”

Springing from his seat with astonishing speed, the officer stood with one hand resting on his sidearm. “Excuse me?”

Taking a deep breath and resisting the urge to back away, Devin tried desperately to collect himself. He knew his rights, but he’d also read the news stories. It happened all the time in affluent neighborhoods like this, guys like him being beaten or shot for daring to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. At best, a wrong word could land him in jail for the night, and he’d already said several of them. He needed to quit while he was ahead, clean up his language and afford the policeman the respect he clearly believed he deserved.

“Don’t have to show you shit,” Devin heard himself replying, despite his best intentions. “You charging me with something or you just gonna chat me up all night? Far as I know, walking while brown’s not a fucking crime.”

“As a matter of fact, s--” The policeman stopped and cleared his throat, his eyes hard. It was difficult to be certain under the flashing blue lights, but Devin thought the older man’s pasty complexion had become ruddier as well. “--young man, this is a private residential area.” Unless you’ve got a good reason to be here, you’re trespassing, and trespassing is a crime.”

Wilting under the cop’s steady gaze, Devin wanted more than anything to look away. He forced himself to maintain eye contact, knowing that staring at the ground would only make him appear guilty. If he could just keep his stupid mouth shut--

“Don’t think that’s how trespassing fucking works,” he said, cursing himself inwardly even as the words left his lips.

Despite the chill of the evening, his palms began to sweat.

“You saying I don’t know the law, boy?” The officer’s face was definitely tinged with crimson now, a vein ticking away in his forehead. “Why don’t you come down to the station--”

“Fine,” Devin broke in, wondering if he sounded as scared as he felt. He could barely hear himself over the blood pounding in his ears. And yet, he was on a roll and couldn’t seem to stop himself. “Don’t have to get all hot and bothered. Wanna know why I’m here? Boss lives two streets down, was eating dinner at his house.”

“Your ‘boss,’ huh?” The policeman gave him a knowing look. “You holding, son?”

“Told you not to call me--” Devin swallowed hard, willing himself to slow down and think clearly. He’d antagonized the other man more than enough already. “Look, dude--I mean, Officer. I’m not a fu--”

He had a feeling that his usual repertoire of curses wasn’t going to improve his situation.

Drawing a shaky breath, he started over. “I’m not drug dealer, okay? Work in an office.” His fingers closed around the phone in his right coat pocket. “Want me to fucking prove it? I’ll call my boss right--”

“Don’t move!” the officer shouted, pulling his gun from its holster.

“It’s just a phone,” Devin choked out, hand still half in his pocket and knees weak. “Don’t shoot me, okay?”

Headlights flashed from behind the cruiser; a convertible sped into the subdivision, top down and well-tuned engine humming. The car was going well over the speed limit; Officer Pastyface turned to look but made no move to stop it. As it drove past the police car, the convertible slowed down, its driver most likely hoping to avoid a ticket.

Before Devin knew what he was doing, he found himself running toward the convertible, zipping behind it and vaulting over its passenger side door as if he were one of the idiots in that ridiculous Dukes of Hazzard movie his roommate had made him sit through a few years back. Or at least he attempted to vault over the door. He fell more than jumped into the bucket seat, sprawling against the car’s owner.

“Drive,” Devin said, meeting a pair of widening blue eyes. “Please.

For whatever reason, the blue-eyed man did.

[A/N: Part 2 will be written by theun4givables in the comments.]