Word Count: 2568
Pairings: Mike/Chris, Nick/Tyson
Disclaimer: All of this is a filthy, filthy lie, and I don't know these people.
Summary: AAR College!AU, in which Chris is a TA pining after Mike. He asks Tyson to ask Mike to a party, Tyson asks Nick to do it for him, Nick asks Mike... it all goes wrong, then all comes right in the end. ^_^
AN: Written for the lovely and fragrant lullula's birthday. Happiest of birthdays, darling! I hope you like your present. :D (Cheerled by my dear xrysomou and darling fortune8te. Thank you!)
“Ty, I need a favour,” Chris said bluntly, and Tyson glanced up at him.
“S’up, Gaylor?” He grinned, kicking out the chair opposite him at the cafe table. “Tell me all your woes.”
Chris sat, and eyed him warily. “Look, this is private shit, OK? If you get drunk and spill it to your little posse...”
“I have a posse?” Tyson returned, with faked delight, raising an eyebrow at Chris.
“Whatever, that gaggle of screaming girls and boys who like you so much – if this ends up all round campus, I will end you, don’t think I won’t.”
Tyson shrugged, unconcerned. “’Kay. Whatcha need?”
“There’s this guy,” Chris said unwillingly, and Tyson straightened a little out of his usual slouch.
“Huh,” he said, giving Chris one of his uncomfortably searching glances. “Well, I’mna go out on a limb here and guess you could pretty much handle it if he was giving you shit, and even if you couldn’t, you wouldn’t come to me...?” Chris shook his head. “OK, then. So it’s – Gaylor, do you like this guy?” If Chris had been a teenage girl, he might have blushed. Thankfully, though, he wasn’t – instead, he glared at Tyson until Tyson backed down. “Fine, what d’you need me for? I’m not carrying notes between the two of you, dude, this isn’t middle school.”
Chris kicked out at Tyson’s ankle. “Look, I just want you to invite him to one of your stupid frat parties, OK? S’neutral. We can hang out there and see how things go.”
Tyson was silent for a long moment. “Why not just ask if he wants to grab a coffee sometime?” he asked finally. “I’ve never known you be shy.”
“Fuck you, I’m not shy,” Chris grumbled. “But he’s kinda – he’s special. Fuck off, Ritter, don’t give me that look,” because Tyson was grinning like a lunatic. “Look, I just wanna hang out with him somewhere neutral and see if he’s – interested, whatever.”
“You have talked to him before, right?” Tyson said, still grinning. “Or have you been pining from afar, stalking him round the campus coffee shops?”
Chris glowered at him. “You’re an ass,” he said without rancour. “We’ve talked. But in, like, lectures and shit. He was in one of my classes last year, I tutored him, whatever.”
“Forbidden love,” Tyson said slyly.
Chris glowered at him. “One more word, Ritter, and I’ll tell the whole campus how pretty you looked dressed up as a girl for your stupid frat pledges.”
“You’re not his tutor anymore, right?” Chris shook his head. “But you just don’t want the embarrassment of him turning you down?” Chris nodded. “OK then, gotcha. So who is this paragon of virtue, then?”
“I really hope he’s not a paragon of virtue,” Chris muttered. “His name’s Mike. Mikey Kennerty?”
Tyson sat back in his chair, eyebrows raised. “Nick’s friend?”
Chris shrugged. “If you say so.”
“I’ll set something up for this Saturday, get Nick to invite him,” Tyson promised. “After that, you’re on your own, man.”
“S’all I want,” Chris told him, standing. “I owe you, Ty.”
“Damn straight you do,” Tyson told him, looking up with an incongruously sweet smile. “Lay it on me, bro, and we’ll call it even.” He held up a hand, and Chris, feeling like a fool, obligingly high-fived him. “I even promise not to mock your rusty attempts at wooing.”
“We can’t all be Casanovas,” Chris said, smiling against his better judgement. It was never a good idea to smile at Tyson’s shitty jokes – it only encouraged him – but it was difficult not to when he made a real effort at being charming.
“Nick doesn’t want Casanova, baby,” Tyson winked at him. “He just wants me. See you Saturday, OK? Now get, I got work to do.”
“See you then,” Chris promised.
“Hey, Nicky, do me a favour?” Tyson said, barrelling into Nick’s room and batting his eyelashes ridiculously.
“What do you want now?” Nick asked, biting back a long-suffering sigh. “We’re not trying handcuffs, your wrists were green for a fuckin’ week after that shit.”
“Bite me,” Tyson said comfortably. “Oh, hey, could we try that? That’d be awesome-”
“Ty. What were you saying?”
Tyson settled himself on Nick’s bed and gave him a long look before letting himself flop back against the pillow. “I need you to ask Mike Kennerty to the party on Saturday.”
Nick marked his place in his book and frowned at Tyson. “What party on Saturday?”
“The party that we, as a frat, are throwing. Keep up, bro.” Tyson gave him his most obnoxious grin. “We’re a frat house, it’ll be Saturday, we’re, like, obliged to have a party.”
“I hadn’t heard anything about it,” Nick said, eyeing him suspiciously.
Tyson shrugged, over-innocent. “Eh, these things happen fast,” he said, and stretched out long on Nick’s bed.
Nick refused to be distracted. “Ty...”
“Fine, you’ve twisted my arm,” Tyson said, grinning. “Chris has a crush on your friend Mike Kennerty and he asked me to organise a party so he could ‘hang’ with this dude in a ‘neutral place’. So will you invite him?”
Nick sat back and stared at him. “You’re throwing a party so your friend Chris can get with my friend Mike.” Tyson nodded. “And this doesn’t seem at all – middle school to you?”
“Bro, I hope that by the time the night is over, there will be nothing PG-13 about their relationship,” Tyson leered, and Nick sighed.
“Is Chris serious?”
“I’m pretty sure he is,” Tyson said, sobering a little. “He seemed pretty serious. I think he tutored Mike last year? And was waiting until he wasn’t his tutor anymore before getting his funk on with him.”
“No one says that anymore,” Nick said dryly.
“I say it, baby,” Tyson said simply.
“Well, yeah, but – you’re you,” Nick said, waving a hand. “Look, OK, I – I’m pretty sure that Chris is gonna be disappointed, if I do this, and I’m not saying I will.”
Tyson frowned. “Why do you say that?”
“Because Mike’s been talking about a guy he likes for, like, months now.” Nick shrugged, shuffling his notes around. “I don’t know, man, he’s really into this dude.”
“What’s this dude like, then?”
“He didn’t exactly tell me,” Nick said sarcastically. “It wasn’t like we braided each other’s hair and talked about boys-”
“You might be missing out there,” Tyson mused. “If Kennerty’s the dude I’m thinking of, his hair could take a pretty bitchin’ braid.”
Nick ignored this vagary. “All I know is he’s short and – blond? I think?”
Tyson pondered this for half a second. “Chris is short and blond,” he said brightly, after a momentary pause.
“So’s like, an eighth of the campus,” Nick pointed out.
“Yeah, but Kennerty doesn’t necessarily know an eighth of the campus,” Tyson returned. “It could be Chris.”
“Or you could be setting your friend up for a fall,” Nick said, but with very little hope of convincing Tyson.
“Look,” Tyson said, suddenly serious. “If I am, then - then they’ve met at a party, it can all be forgotten if Mike doesn’t want anything more and there’s no hard feelings, right? But at least they can meet up, chat, whatever, and Chris tried, even if nothing comes of it.”
Nick sighed. “OK, I guess. But if this goes horribly wrong, then – then on your own head be it.”
Tyson bit his lip for a moment, clearly a little abashed. Then he shrugged. “So, you’ll invite young Mikey?”
Nick sighed. “Fine. But so help me God, Tyson, the sex I get for this had better be mind-blowing.”
Tyson grinned. “You betcha, baby.”
“Mikey, I need a favour,” Nick said, sidling up to him after one of their shared lectures.
Mike grinned at him. “S’up?”
“So, Tyson’s got this stupid party coming up, right? On Saturday,” Nick said, fiddling awkwardly with a pen.
“Uhhuh?” Mike nodded. “And?”
“And he’s gonna be, like, all over the place, looking after the new pledges and gettin’ wasted and hanging out with kids I don’t know-”
“This is what you get for dating a big cheese in a fraternity,” Mike said with mock-sympathy. “I’m still kinda shocked they’re cool with you two being together.”
Nick drew himself up. “Lambda Yota Ksi is based on acceptance and charity, Mike.” He deflated. “And Tyson could convince you black was white if he wanted, we’re pretty safe. Anyway, look, d’you wanna come to this party? Seriously, dude, you’d be doing me like, a huge favour.”
“Nick, this is your frat, man,” Mike said, shifting a little. “You seriously telling me there’s no one else you’re friends with there other than your boyfriend?”
Nick shrugged, caught. “Well, yeah, but it’d be awesome if you’d be there?”
Mike looked away. “Maybe some other time? I, er. I kinda have plans for Saturday.”
“Yeah, I – I’mna ask this guy I like out. Screw up my courage, y’know?” Nick was silent for just a second too long, digesting that. “But it might fall through, like, he might not want anything to do with me, so – I’ll text you, yeah? And if you’re having a shit time, you can come gatecrash my pity-party.”
Nick clapped him on the shoulder, just a little absently. “Dude, there won’t be a pity party, not if he’s got half an eye.”
Mike grinned. “You say the sweetest shit, Wheeler. Why don’t we date? You can ditch your fratboy and I’ll ditch my hopeless crush and we can say sweet nothings to each other all day long. I could just drown in the green pools of your-”
“You shoulda never taken that English Lit course,” Nick said, grinning back. “Go be studious, dickwad, and maybe I won’t tell Ty what you said.”
“Will your giant, pretty boyfriend hurt me, d’you think?” Mike asked, still grinning.
“Bite me, beard-boy.”
“Chris, I need you to do me a favour, OK, and not punch me in the face when I tell you this,” Tyson said, in one long rush, appearing in the door of Chris’ shitty office and slamming it behind him before Chris could so much as draw breath.
“Who did you kill?” Chris asked, frowning at him over his pile of marking.
“I – didn’t,” Tyson said, taken aback. “Look, bro, I’ll tell you straight, OK? Kennerty isn’t coming on Saturday.”
Chris digested that in silence, and Tyson shifted from foot to foot. Just before he was about to speak, Chris cleared his throat. “Huh. He already have plans?”
“Yeah, I think so,” Tyson lied. “I mean, he thought he might.”
“Try again another time, then, I guess,” Chris shrugged. “S’always next week, right?” Tyson paused for a long, telling moment. “What aren’t you telling me?” Chris said, raising an eyebrow at him.
Tyson broke. “He’s asking out this guy he likes,” he said weakly. “I’m really sorry, man, he just – Nick said Kennerty’s been crazy about this guy for like, a year now. I think he’s hoping they’ll make plans for this Saturday.”
Chris took the news in stoic silence. “OK then,” he said simply.
Tyson didn’t move. “You OK, dude?” he asked carefully.
“Yeah,” Chris nodded, face a mask. “You win some, you lose some.”
Tyson stood there until the silence began to get awkward. “You should come. On Saturday, I mean. Maybe you’ll meet someone-”
“Yeah,” Chris interrupted quickly. “Yeah, maybe. Look, I’ll see you around, OK?”
“I- I guess. You sure you’re gonna be OK?”
“Yes, Ty. I’m sure.”
“So,” someone cleared their throat, knocking on the open door to Chris’ office, and damn, he really needed to remember to close it more often, “um. I need to ask a favour.”
Chris looked up. “Oh. Mike.” He paused, wondering whether he should dream up a pre-emptive excuse – then sighed. Wasn’t Mike’s fault, after all. “What is it?”
“Um, is this seat taken?” Mike gestured at one of the seats opposite Chris, who raised an eyebrow.
“Dude, this is my office. Of course it’s not taken. What can I do for you?”
Mike sat and fiddled for a second with the strap of his backpack. “Look, so – so, you’re not my tutor anymore, right?”
“So, like. I mean, you should totally feel free to shoot me down if this isn’t OK, or whatever, but – I, er. I kinda wondered whether.” He stopped, took a deep breath and started again. “D’you want to grab a coffee with me sometime?”
Chris stared. “Like, a coffee break?”
“Like a coffee date,” Mike said, rapidly gaining a kind of reckless courage. “I mean, if you don’t want to, that’s cool, but I’ve had this crush on you since forever, and I figured asking was better than just waiting around, right? ‘Cos nothing was gonna come from that, so. Um. Whatcha think?”
Chris shook his head, still trying to catch up. “Is this the favour you were gonna ask me?” he asked slowly.
Mike nodded. “I mean, not in, like, a pity kinda way, cos that would suck, you know? But – if you maybe wanted to get coffee with me, and we could see where it went. If you wanted. Um – do you want to?”
“What about the guy you were going to ask out?” Chris asked, before realising he really wasn’t supposed to know about that.
Mike frowned. “Huh?”
“Tyson,” Chris explained briefly. “Wait, he didn’t put you up to this, did he?”
“No! Dude, why – this isn’t a pity thing, fuck.” Mike frowned at him. “I was just – wondering if you wanted to. Get coffee with me sometime. As a date.”
Light dawned. “Hang on, am - I’m the guy you were going to ask out!” Chris was pretty sure this kind of shit only happened in movies, but whatever. He’d never been one to look gift horses in mouths.
“I thought that was what I was doing, yeah,” Mike agreed, with a rather confused half-smile. “So, you want to?”
“Do I want to, he asks,” Chris muttered to himself, then, louder: “I guess I could just about see my way to it, yeah.” Mike deflated a little, and Chris hurried to clear things up. “I was joking, you idiot, I was gonna – I mean, there was this party, right? At Lambda Yota Ksi, I asked Tyson – er, Tyson Ritter? – to get you to come. I was gonna ask you out then, but he said you were gonna ask out this guy you really liked instead.”
Mike paused, followed the logic, then beamed. “Oh, dude, that’s why Nick asked me! And, I was. I just did, actually.”
Chris cracked a smile, which felt amazing after the concentrated brooding he’d been doing before. “That’s awesome,” he said fervently.
“And we didn’t even need a frat party,” Mike said with an answering smile. “Coffee sounds safer.”
“Definitely,” Chris agreed fervently. “I mean, there’s a reason I never went Greek, man.”
For a couple of seconds, they sat and grinned foolishly at each other. Then, with what looked like a supreme effort of will, Mike glanced away. “So, coffee? When’s good for you?”
“Well,” Chris glanced at his watch. “Um, now. Now’s pretty much – now’s good.”
i’m gonna do you a favour and forgive you for being a fuckwit, ritter. mike just asked me out, you can keep your lame frat parties.
DUDE, THATS AWESOME. DOUBLE-DATE?
i owe you nothing.