thinking about how charlie was probably the first one they told ab neil bc they were the closest and how he had to tell everyone else about it poor boy3 like imagine just learning that your best friend died AND you have to be the one to tell all of your other friends that sucks man
Todd looks Cameron in the face and is abruptly hit with memories of Neil, the way he would smile at Cameron from across the cave and offer him a hug when he was being teased, all the thank you notes he would stick on Cameron's desk after he helped him pass a class, his laughter after Cameron would tell a joke even when no one else would laugh, the way he made Cameron feel worthy of love and appreciation, making his eyes light up just a little bit at the feeling of being wanted. And as Todd thinks about Neil, his compassion and his selfless nature, he knows he's making the right decision forgiving Cameron and when he pulls him into an embrace he whispers words into the crook of his neck, a promise to Neil and to himself, "Neil would never have let you grieve alone and neither will I"
The biggest problem with Neil Perry was that he was nice. Naturally, completely and unapologetically. Which, for Todd, would be fine in of itself. People are nice. Not everybody is an asshole, right?
He wasn’t scared that it’ll all turn out to be some elaborate joke pulled on him because he’s new and very obviously an easy target. This wasn’t primary school, for god’s sake!
No, the issue was actually much more simple than that.
If Neil’s just like that… if it’s just another Monday to him, to resurrect a long gone club, help his friends learn something new and interesting about themselves and life, drop everything for the role in a play, and in the meantime, make Todd fall in love with him.
Falling for an annoying dickhead is much easier, he thought. You’re so painfully aware of every step towards them that your heart makes, that it’s almost impossible to be caught off guard.
But with Neil?
How was it possible for a person to be so open and honest and real, and still remain an unsolvable mystery? That’s just not fair. It made Todd confused and pushed him into thinking about his own feelings, which wasn’t what he wanted at all. Falling for Neil was like getting pushed into a river while you’re still sleeping in bed; you don’t even realize anything’s going on until you wake up, and when you do, it’s usually too late to do something about it.
With anyone else, he could at least be sure that he’s not imagining things. If that hypothetical person would put so much effort into making sure he’s feeling safe and comfortable while also pushing him out of his little hole he tended to hide in. Metaphorically, of course.
With Neil it wasn’t special treatment. It was just him being Neil. How was he supposed to read things that with anyone else would be obvious signs of affection? He was like that with everyone.
He would hug and pat Knox on the back when another love of Knox’s life rejected his advances. He would be the person that last summer threw a surprise birthday party for Cameron, who never before had the chance to celebrate on his birthday. He’d read and help Pitts rewrite his assignments so teachers would stop picking on him for making spelling mistakes.
The point was, their relationship was impossible to read, and having to get through unknown waters like that was driving Todd insane.
request; could i request a coffee shop au blurb with todd and neil? -@amorarcaico
warnings; a few swear words
a/n; im a slut for a good coffee shop au, so i got so so excited over this request! also, shameless self promo but im currently writing a multi chapter coffee shop fic which you can find here if you're interested! anyways, on with the request! - thank u sm for this lovely!
Neil was at his breaking point.
As he stared at the slowly growing to-do list of assignments and readings, he was ready to tear his hair out in frustration. How he'd managed to let this mountain of tasks pile up was a mystery - normally, Neil was on top of his college work without problem. He emitted a displeased sigh, head dropping into his hands as he carded the strands through his fingers. He needed somewhere to work; somewhere calming, rid of any distractions like his bed, which looked so cosy and inviting in his disheveled state.
He had to get up and go somewhere, or else he feared he'd drive himself insane. A coffee shop, that's what he needed. Neil knew there was a small cafe about ten minutes away, relatively small and quiet, the perfect place to get some work done.
He grabbed his laptop and notepads, shoving them into his bag frantically as he combed through his hair with his fingers in an attempt to look somewhat presentable. He didn't need his exterior to represent the chaos and disorder of his mind-set.
The warmth of the small shop was the first thing that hit him, the second being the comforting scent of coffee that floated over to him, wrapping him in a welcoming and familiar hug. Laptop tucked snugly under his arm, he made his way over to the counter as he pulled the strap of his bag further onto his shoulder.
That was when Neil noticed the barista.
His blonde hair was falling slightly into his eyes, causing him to flick his head to the side every so often in order to regain his vision. It looked soft, and Neil wanted to run his hands through the strands, weave them into golden chains and braids. He was wearing a sweater that hung loosely on his frame, and Neil could only imagine how comfortable and warm he was.
Jesus, he came here to study and he's already fantasising about his barista. Great.
The boy quickly noticed him and seemed a little startled at his presence but was sharp to regain his composure. He grabbed his notepad and a pen, clearing his throat slightly before pushing some hair out of his eyes to meet Neil's.
"Hey, I'm Todd." His voice was soft and shook slightly, indicating the nerves the boy was probably trying desperately to hide. "What can I get for you?"
Shit, he forgot he actually needed an order. In his panic, he sought out the first thing he could on the menu and blurted it out.
"I'll have a latte, please." He fumbled, pulling out a few crumpled dollar bills and practically shoving them into Todd's hand. "Sorry," he chuckled. "My brain's a bit all over the place, I'm swamped in assignments and thought coming here would help, I don't know."
A noise of understanding came from Todd, and he set to work making Neil's drink.
"You can just uh, just take a seat and I'll bring it over to you." Todd spoke up. "Wouldn't want to hold you off your work any longer."
With a thanks, Neil found a seat towards the window of the cafe and set his things down, immediately trying to get to work and not think about the angel that was maybe ten feet away from him.
Neil stared helplessly at the screen of his laptop, but the words were blurred and unimportant. All he could focus on was the blonde haired boy working diligently behind the counter. It was as if his eyes were drawn to his form, like the boy had enamoured Neil with a siren call designed only for him. Neil couldn't look away if he tried, much to his embarrassment as the boy caught him staring regularly over the course of his stay.
He'd been there for hours, surely. Yet, he'd only managed to complete one or two assignments thanks to the extremely beautiful barista. He wasn't sure if Todd's presence was a blessing or a curse, but he didn't care enough to think about it any longer. If his father found out he'd fallen behind, he'd have much more important things to worry about.
Todd walked over hesitantly, picking up Neil's long empty cup with gentle hands. He stood silently for a moment or two, as if debating whether or not to speak.
"You've been working pretty hard."
Neil snorted at this, dropping his face into his hands.
"Yeah. I have a shit-ton of work to do and, I just haven't been able to do any of it I guess."
Todd bit the inside of his cheek for a moment, a slight smile growing at the corner of his lips.
"Is that because you've been distracted this whole time?"
"You noticed." Neil responded, a twinge of embarrassment running through him although he knew already he'd been caught nearly every time.
Todd nodded, beginning to beam as his cheeks flushed a little.
"I did. It was kinda hard not to."
Neil paused, taking in the words for a moment. He'd already been found out, so there was no point in trying to hide.
“Well. I guess you could say I like you… a latte.”
“God, that was horrible!” Todd laughed, shaking his head with amusement as Neil chuckled at his own horrendous joke.
If anyone who walked past the coffee shop that evening were to glance through the foggy windows, they'd see an image of two boys with matching expressions of merriment, slowly falling for one another as the night drew to a close.
well. this was certainly. something. i hope this was alright lovely, thank u sm for the request!! as you can quite clearly tell, im terrible at ending things, so hopefully this ending was satisfying enough!!
this cannot just be me. you guys see this shit too right
#I swear to god I can’t believe he is not Ethan hawkes son #also they have the same vibe #I can’t explain it #actually yes I can they are both infp bitches that fell in love with enfp bitches #shy little boarding school boys that have to live up to their brothers #come ON#young royals #dead poets society #young royals wilhelm #todd anderson#dps
Todd’s right leg shook up and down, causing the bench he was sitting on to rumble and make an irritating clicking noise, not helping the already incredibly uncomfortable atmosphere he seemed to be perpetually trapped in, which had been amplified for the past 48 hours. He sighed, watching his breath condense and feeling his fingers numbing more by the second. The sun was setting on the grey sea across from him, dulling the increasingly sparsely populated Coney Island boardwalk. It’s warmth and vibrance faded with the light and the neon fluorescents were beginning to flicker on, illuminating the odd drunken loner and tired worker in a hollow brightness. The island adopted an emptiness and everything once glowing with wonder stood in the darkness overused, abandoned for the night, lonely.
He was beginning to regret not bringing gloves and shoved his hands into the pockets of his old coat. Loose change and scraps of paper — an unmistakably large, neatly folded piece which he touched and, with a nauseating wave of nostalgia, immediately withdrew his hand from — occupied the bottoms of the pockets, like a sort of time capsule. Todd removed his hands from his pockets, not wanting to alter the state they were in, afraid to lose what he had left from that first semester at Welton.
For a moment, it was as if he was transported back to that time, that night; as if he was 16 with no idea what he was doing or what was coming all over again. Then, he thought about it for a second and realised that: there he was, 2 and a half years later, at 19, still with no idea what he was doing or what was coming — a realisation that, as usual, was not at all helpful to the situation. He weighed the genuine pros with the disproportionately more daunting cons in his mind, and it really began to hit home that maybe this was a bad idea. He shouldn’t have been so surprised, though, Todd’s mind had been doubtful the second he dialled that number into the telephone.