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Alec Evans

Quiet, geeky dork who happens to have an obsession with Rubik's cubes. What's not to love?

0 · 217 views · located in Pontius

a character in “Pontius”, as played by Luv-is-a-Bug

Description

Image

Alec is tall, but not exceptionally so, standing just a hair below 6'. He’s not particularly muscular, sports having never been his strong suit, but he’s fit, and therefore satisfied.
His eyes are brown, looking darker against his fair skin, and he has dark, naturally arching brows that give him a questioning, quizzical look. His face is all sharp angles- a long nose, cutting cheek bones, a slightly pointed chin. The nature of his face directly opposes his very sweet and very quiet personality, giving him the look of someone much more aggressive than himself.
He's attempted to shed his dorky image by growing out his chocolate brown locks, which, until recently, have been meticulously maintained to project a polished and professional look. The result of his style change is a piece-y, side-swept 'do that he has heavily debated cutting back, although he looks darn sexy with his new, shaggier style.
Alec's wardrobe consists primarily of slacks, polo’s, and button-up shirts. Somewhere around fifth grade he decided to "dress to impress", and has sported his future-business-man-of-America look all through high school and into college. Oddly, it works on him, perhaps because he has the bookish personality to match. It's not that he doesn't own casual clothes, he just prefers the comfort of discomfort.

Personality

Full Name: Alec Benjamin Evans
Nick Name: Just Alec will suit him fine. He'd prefer you not call him "The Bionic Dork", "Mr. Rubik", or anything like that
Age: 20
Gender: Alec is of the male persuasion. Testosterone and all that jazz.

Alec is the type of kid who's always working on something, the seemingly introverted nerd with supposedly no social life. Though his head is often buried in whatever reading material he can find, he's generally approachable and easy to talk to. He's an empathetic soul, able to sympathize with just about anyone, and a surprisingly good listener. Honestly, he's a pretty nice guy, having never mastered the art of the words "no" or "fuck off". Of course, this means he's been taken advantage of in the past, as nice, dorky guys often are, but he's moved past it, for the most part.
Analytical by nature, Alec is cautious in new situations, often taking time to explore possible outcomes and scrutinize the details many fail to notice. Besides reading, he loves solving puzzles and mysteries, any number of brain teasers he can get his hands on. He has a Rubik's cube on his person at all times, usually stashed in his coat pocket, and sometimes a crossword puzzle or Sudoku. It's sort of a distraction, a therapeutic way to calm his nerves when things get too stressful. Because he is very prone to stress. VERY.

Equipment

- A Rubik's cube, almost always with him. What? You don't care around 70's memorabilia in your pocket?

History

Alec had a very proper upbringing. Born to a very wealthy family in Pennsylvania, he spent his early childhood roving the large house, appeasing his insatiable curiosity and inquisitive mind with the many rooms and passages of the mansion. His mother and father were never much around, but he was instilled with good manners at a young age, groomed and trained to take over the family business when he came of age.
But Alec wasn't interested. He didn't like the idea of presiding over board meetings, presenting in front of huge groups of people and being the one in charge. He saw what a bitter and angry man his father was and balked at the idea of following in his footsteps. His parents never showed him much affection, and being that he was an only child; he spent lots of time by himself. This, of course, is where his interest in puzzles and mechanics come from; he's always felt a need to figure things out and see how they work.
At the end of his senior year, Alec was poised to attend Stanford, taking the prestigious path his family had always followed. He was certainly smart enough, certainly well-mannered enough. Certainly a lot of things, really. And then he surprised everyone by heading off to community college to get a degree in computer science. As you can imagine, his parents were livid, and he really does feel guilty about betraying them this way. Okay, maybe not that guilty.

So begins...

Alec Evans's Story

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Alec drove up the long driveway alone, the headlights of his beat-up Chevy illuminating the gravel. The sounds of pumping music and high-pitched laughter could be heard even a quarter mile from the house, and he wondered for the hundredth time that night what he was doing. Well, he knew quite well what he was doing, actually. He was attending a party- something normal college students had done for decades before him. So the real question was not what, but why. Why had he even bothered? The last party he'd attended was his eighth grade graduation dance, and that had ended in disaster. He shuddered as he recalled the image of his head submerged in the punch bowl and the sounds of snickers and jeers as his attackers retreated, leaving him alone to rinse the smell of cherry from his hair. That was an incident he didn't care to repeat, especially not with over-grown football morons who would replace the innocent punch bowl with a keg of beer.

The mansion came into view from between the trees, and Alec's eyes widened at the sight of it. That wasn't a house; it was a fortress. Even in his dark jeans, crisp blue shirt and grey tweed coat, he felt terribly underdressed. What the hell did people wear to these things anyway? He soon got his answer as he bore witness to the half-naked girls dancing on the lawn, wearing an assortment of barely-there shorts and tiny tank tops. He briefly considered turning around and heading home to the comfort of his college textbooks (obviously he didn't belong here), but something compelled him to stay. Maybe it was that he felt he had missed out on too much already, or maybe he just didn't want his long drive to have been for naught. Whatever the reason, he worked up the courage to step out of the car and plant his feet on the dewy grass.

He touched the colored cube tucked safely in his coat pocket, his fingers stroking the grooved surface. It was a stupid thing to keep with him, he knew, but he couldn't help it. It wasn't as though anyone was going to notice it. He self-consciously ran a hand through his shaggy brown locks, pushing them back from his pale forehead. This was it then. He was going to do it. He was going to walk into this party and say "I am Alec Benjamin Evans and I am HERE." Alright, well, maybe he wouldn't do that exactly, but he was going to do something. Tonight wouldn't be another wasted night; he was sure of it.

And so, with a final touch to his Rubik's cube, he straightened his coat and headed inside, pushing his was through the wildly gyrating college students and into the house. The grandeur of the place was immediately evident- it screamed of money and expensive alcohol and lots and lots of rich people things. It was rather like his parent's house, actually, except more modern and tasteful and not smelling of moth balls. He was acutely aware of the eyes that passed over him, quick glances thrown his way. It wasn't as though anyone was checking him out, or even really acknowledging him. It was just something you did- this practice of wandering eyes. It was a way to take in the people and the energy and the miniature miracle of being here on this night, crushed up against a hundred other sweaty bodies. It was special, in a way. Oh yes, tonight would be different. He was sure of it.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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Destin weaved through the crowd, brushing her arms up against who-knows-what. The thought of where those arms and legs and hands and heads and just...everything have been made her shiver for a moment. But, you know what? Destin wasn't here to worry about the gross, sweaty mob she was in the middle of. Destin was here to have fun. Now, where was that cooler again? She giggled as she glanced around the heads of the insane crowd of people. A few moments ago it was crowd-surfing through one of the living rooms and into the main, entry hall. She stood in the large passageway between the living room and the entryway and glanced around for the large, rectangular prism human beings call the beer cooler. Sure, she was underage - and sounding quite nerdy at that (gosh, rectangular prism? really?) - but she didn't care. What was a little law-breaking here and there going to do? It's not like she hadn't done it before.

A crash sounded to her right - near the door. Instinctively, Destin glanced over at the sound and saw a hopelessly drunk football jock crashing down onto the floor, taking the now-discovered cooler with him. "Can't have a party without the dumb drunks, can you?" She said to no one in particular, though there was an odd-looking fellow that just came in within earshot. She stepped over the groaning fellow's leg and opened the cooler carelessly. She didn't care much for this helpless stranger on the floor. With a stifled laugh, Destin pulled out two bottles of beer - one for each hand - before the majority of the crowd lumbered over to the cooler as if it was suddenly found after seven years long-lost at sea or something.

"Hey, kid," Destin stepped near the dazed, new arrival. At least, he looked somewhat dazed. Anyway, she made sure to push him away from the flooding crowd and deeper into the mansion as she brushed by him. "Take a beer and just let loose." She chuckled, winking up at him as she patiently handed him a bottle. However, with the loud music and all, it would be more realistic to say that she was yelling at the poor soul, rather than indicating that she is speaking casually (though that is her intention).

Destin sure wasn't fitting in with the tight-clothed, skanky makeupped, slutty-dancing group of preppy, college gals. She wore normal jeans and a women's t-shirt that advertised the Beatles. She wore tennis shoes and her hair was up in a normal ponytail. She wasn't necessarily dressed up for the occasion despite not really needing to be. She was pretty enough.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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Alec looked, and felt, like a deer in headlights. Bad idea. This was a bad idea. The initial rush of entering the party had left him, and he was now at a loss as to what exactly he was supposed to do next. His three options seemed to be dancing, drinking, or drinking while dancing, none of which particularly appealed to him. It wasn't as though he'd expected a group of highly refined socialites or anything, but some of these people were...animals. He watched someone come sailing down the banister and crash into two girls, who collapsed to the floor in a giggling, drunken heap.

His feet seemed unwilling to propel him forward, and he stood in the middle of the room, getting jostled and bumped as people carrying red cups passed him by. And then, out of nowhere, a familiar face. The brown ponytail, the fitted t-shirt- he knew this girl. Destin Whittaker. In his Physics class. He'd tutored her...two months. No, three. She placed a beer in his hand, pausing as his fingers fumbled to grip the bottle's wet exterior, and then pulled her hand away, returning it to her side. Had she really not recognized him? I mean, she'd only seen him for a moment, but she'd looked right at him. All those days at the library, after school...how could she not remember?

It wasn't that he was so shocked or deeply offended or whatever, but it was a little...upsetting, for some reason. Only mildly so, but it hurt all the same. He was nameless. Faceless. Hello My Name Is: Boy in the grey tweed jacket. Boy with the Rubik's cube in his pocket. Boy in the back of library. He realized the idiocy of his inner ramblings and shook his head, cracking the tab on his beer and taking a long drink. He screwed up his face; he really wasn't a fan of alcohol, but it was here, and he intended to drink it. So one girl didn't know who he was, who cared? It wasn't the first time, and it wouldn't be the last. Buck up, buddy boy, that's what introductions are for. "I'm Alec," he ventured, speaking loudly and over enunciating to be heard above the music.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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Destin took a swig of her can after it fizzed once she opened it. She cracked a smile at the cringe the boy gave her once he tasted the alcohol. "It's okay! We all were newbies at one point! I'm a fan of vodka, but the dumbass alcoholics in the back are hoarding it all for themselves. Won't share it at all." She shrugged and stepped slightly closer to Alec after some sort of commotion happened behind her. Whatever it was didn't sound like an amazing event to happen in a place like this.

"I'm Alec," the strangely attractive guy admitted. Destin tilted her head to the side suddenly as soon as he mentioned his name. Wait just a doggone minute. This wasn't that Alec, was it? The quiet, reserved one that spent hours in the library with her teaching her just what physics was all about? Not that those weren't beautiful bonding moments for her and that nerdy kid, but she tried to shove anything related to Physics out of her mind. Science and this girl just did not mix. Anyway, back to this unique fellow she was talking to. Now that she recognized him, she sported a goofy smile - as if she just made another one of her dumb physics blunders. Kind of like the look someone would make if they just realized they did a "derpy" mistake.

"OH!" Destin shook her head, lifting another hand to smack her forehead slightly before setting it onto Alec's shoulder. "I am such an idiot! Of course! Alec! Wow, I didn't recognize you right away through your new 'do!" She lifted her hand from his shoulder to playfully run it through his hair. "I love it! It's a perfect disguise, though!" Instantly after she said that she took her hand back and shoved it into her pocket. The other hand lifted the beer can to her lips and sipped it quietly - clearly attempting hiding some sort of embarrassment she was going through.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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Destin's cheery quip, while somewhat reassuring, did not make the beer in his hand taste any better. It wasn't like he felt an overwhelming desire to get drunk, anyway; he just felt he might enjoy the party a little more if he were able to think a little less. But here was this girl, standing at his side, moving closer, and suddenly getting drunk seemed like a waste. Why were people in such a rush to drown things out? To blur memories and forget stolen kisses and secrets whispered amongst total strangers? It seemed the kind of stuff worth remembering, really.

At the mention of his name, Destin seemed to recognize him. Perhaps the days spent tucked away in the library were coming back, the long hours of explaining atoms and formulas a thousand different ways. She wasn't dumb, not by a long shot, but her brain was not wired in the same way as his (very few people had the same bizarre wiring as Alec, and that was probably a good thing), and he had been patient with her, drawing diagrams and explaining in the best way he knew how. He had wanted to help her, really and truly. He couldn't say why, exactly. Of course, no one had wanted her to fail, but he had wanted very badly for her to succeed, and he made it known in his own quiet way, bringing coffee for late study sessions (even though he hated the stuff), and drilling her with flashcards at lunch. It had paid off and they had parted ways, and now he was seeing her again, this pony-tailed library ghost.

Of course, she wasn't a ghost. She was very real- her animated gestures and her wide smile and the way she mussed his hair like they were grade school friends, or maybe more. He blushed, flustered, but made no attempt to smooth down his hair. Her hand quickly retreated to her pocket, and she returned to her cool self, drinking from her beer can with ease. He ventured another sip and retched again, unable to believe anyone was able to consume such large quantities of the stuff. His choice beverage was a glass of milk, maybe a soda, if he was in the mood. (It's not pathetic; milk is good for yer bones, okay?!) "You look different, too," he said, looking at her out of the corner of his eye. And she did. She had matured from the girl he'd studied with in the library, though it hadn't been all that long ago. "How's...um...how's college?" Lame. That was lame. No one wanted to talk about school at a party. But he'd said it, and now he had to run with it.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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Destin kept her beer can brushing about her lips, as her teeth chewed on the metal rim around the edge of the top. She was embarrassed to have forgotten her long, lost companion. He'd helped her through so much; he'd seen her through her good times and her bad times; he'd seen her laugh and jump for joy when she understood something but cry and scream in frustration when she didn't. She ended up passing the class, but it wasn't an A+, 100%. It was more along the lines of a C- though that was at the fault of the first few tests, some pop quizzes, and the final. Still, it was way better than she could have mustered on her own without a helpful person such as Alec. And a C- made her happy because that was just above the cut-off mark for playing her most favorite sport; if she had gotten a D+, she would have been booted off the team. Not that high school mattered now - she'd been gone from it for a year as she just completed her freshman year of college.

As Alec responded, Destin forced herself to lower the beer can away from her face. This was Alec, after all. He was cool to her. Why was she acting all flusteringly embarrassed? She laughed at his awkwardness revolving around drinking the alcohol - okay, maybe he won't get used to it. It's not like she was planning on getting smashingly, don't-remember-the-night-before, waking-up-with-seven-people-in-the-same-bed, kind of drunk. Well, at least Alec was the same ol' funny, nerdy guy she knew back in the day; who else would bring up college at a party like this? "Oh, Alec," Destin chided playfully, "This is a party! Talking one bit about college could get you thrown out a window or off the roof!" She laughed.

Suddenly, she stiffened up as a nearby jock heard what she said. "College rules, dudes! You 'git the girls AND the booooooze." He slurred, sidling up next to her - a bit too closely for anything less than intimate - and wrapping his arms around her in places she didn't feel comfortable letting him touch. Destin squirmed away from him, laughing to keep up a front - she didn't want to give an indication that she didn't like this party.

"Hey, fuck off!" Destin shouted playfully but firmly, shoving the jock away as she stepped even more closely to Alec. She put a hand on Alec's jacket-covered arm and gently pushed him toward the door. "Let's go outside, where it's easier to hear each other and to breathe!" She chuckled, though her eyes showed she wasn't really happy that she was groped and probably humped on.

Once she finally tumbled through to the door, Destin forced it open and stepped outside - hopefully with Alec trailing behind her. She decided that she wanted to talk to him. After all, it'd been a while. "College is alright. Y'know...definitely better than high school.... What about for you?" She continued to walk slowly away from the building, weaving through the sparse spill-over from the insides of the party house. Destin glanced over at him with a light-hearted expression; Alec was one person she was happy to see.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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With the memory of tutoring Destin came a hundred other high school memories, most of which he did not care to recall. The bullies, the lonely lunch hours he would spend fixing teacher's computers, the days he sat out under that big oak tree and solved his stupid colored cube over and over until his fingers were raw. There were good memories, of course: winning the Physics Quiz Bowl and acing tests and winning honors awards, but for every good memory there seemed to be two or three bad memories with it. The saddest thing was, his success in high school had amounted to nothing. All the A+'s that had set him up for Stanford, for great successes and a bright future, had been tossed away. Why? Because he was defiant and foolish. Because he hadn't wanted to go to Stanford. Not really, anyway. He didn't want to be that miserable guy in the suit, figuring numbers and cutting costs and firing people. It just wasn't in him, though his parents had refused to see that. They'd practically disowned him when he announced he wouldn't be going to Stanford, and now he was puttering around in community college, working his way towards a computer science degree while smart, beautiful people all around him went to parties and drank beer and lived life.

He was very much inside his own head at the moment, absent-mindedly stroking the Rubik's cube in his pocket. He wanted very badly to take it out and organize the little squares so that they lined up as they were supposed to, but that seemed dorky and weird. He wanted something to do, though. He was restless and antsy and sort of stressed, to be honest, and if it weren't for Destin at his side he probably would have already left. Destin acknowledged his college comment with a laugh and he blushed, wishing he was more well-versed in the field of appropriate party topics. Some drunken moron sidled over and pressed up against her, delivering some ridiculous declaration about alcohol and women. In a sudden surge of bravery, he moved to step in, but Destin was way ahead of him and casually moved away, delivering a warning that, despite its curse word, managed to sound playful and sort of adorable.

And then her hand was on his arm, just one layer between them, and she was leading him, guiding him through the chaos. He breathed a sigh of relief, glad to escape the worse of the raunchy, chaotic scene, and he gratefully inhaled the night air (though it still smelled faintly of cigarette smoke, even outside). For a moment he thought she was going to leave, as she started walking, but he soon realized that it was an invitation to walk with her, and seized the chance, sticking by her side as they wound their way through laughing, drinking clusters of teens. "It's...good. My parents aren't too happy about it, but I guess it's too late now." He didn't want to mention the whole Stanford debacle, that seemed braggy and douchey anyway. He wanted to hear more about her. "What are you majoring in?" he asked, wishing he could think up something to talk about besides school.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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Destin stopped walking once they got to a safe distance from the house and into a small spot in the front yard where they wouldn’t be too close to anyone else. She took another swig from her beer can, finishing it off and tossing the can onto the ground so she could smash it with her foot. She kicked it between her feet so she wouldn’t have to hold the piece of garbage as she spoke to Alec. Promising herself that she would remember to pick it up later, she glanced up to look Alec over – noticing all the little differences (and similarities) from the last time she saw him.

As she admired the scenery that was Alec, she listened to him attentively. There was something about his voice that she couldn’t help but ignore. It was smoothly adorable. It also had a certain quality to it that made one want to perk their ears and listen. That’s why he made a good tutor; she would actually listen to him over her boring, droning teacher. Anyway, she was a bit curious about why Alec’s parents wouldn’t be happy with how his post-high school schooling was going. After all, he was a smart kid. He could have gotten into any school he wanted; plus, wasn’t he the valedictorian of his class? Before she had a chance to point out Alec’s super intelligence and to ask her question, he asked her a question instead.

“What are you majoring in?” Destin bit the inside of her cheek and shrugged slightly. She had an idea of what she wanted to do, but there was something inside of her that wasn’t sure if it should let her go through with it. It was a strange case of hesitance and cold feet for the usually decisive young woman.

“Well,” Destin started, feeling somewhat inferior compared to Alec’s greatness. He probably went on to do wonderful things in Harvard and was top of his class there. Though that wouldn’t explain why he was at a small, community college party (with small referring to the college – not necessarily the party). She decided to pass it off as if he was waiting for a friend – or maybe even a girlfriend (he was cute enough for one). “I’m not totally decided, but right now I think I’m going into anthropology. If I don’t like that, then I’ll go into landscape design and engineering or whatever it’s called. Dealing with…landscape.” She laughed, lifting a hand to scratch the side of her neck absently. She felt slightly awkward discussing something so simple with Alec. He was probably becoming a special kind of doctor or major scientist or something rare and requiring high ranks of intelligence and here she was saying she wanted to do common, simple things.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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He followed Destin past the worst of the crowd, stopping beside her as they reached a quieter area on the front lawn. The greater distance you were from the house, the fewer people there were, but the people that you did see tended to be engaged in sloppy attempts at intimacy. At the edge of the lawn a few couples were sucking face; slobbering all over each other in way that might've been romantic if they'd had a little less alcohol in their systems. Was that romance? Pressing yourself close to someone, taking their face in your hands and mashing your lips against theirs? It seemed like there should be more to it than that.

He recalled the memory of his first kiss, which had happened in sixth grade right after he'd won the city spelling bee. Suzie Pickler, the girl who'd come in second, had skipped up to him and asked him to be to be boyfriend, and Alec, who was blushing profusely, had a murmured a very soft and very shy "Sure". Shortly thereafter Suzie had put her hands on his shoulders, told him to "pucker up" and leaned in to give him a big kiss. Said kiss had left Alec rather red in the face, and also completely smitten. And then, in the tragic way of most elementary romances, it had ended three days later when Suzie dumped because "You read too much, and also Jerry said he'd take me out for ice cream".

Like his relationship with Suzie, Alec's romantic history was brief and awkward. He'd had his crushes, and even a few girlfriends (most of them members of the chess team, because hey, chess girls are sexy), but he could not say with complete and absolute certainty that he'd been in love. He'd certainly never kissed like the couples around him, holding a girl in that confident, sexy way that said "The name's Evans. Alec Evans".

Of course, more interesting than the lip-locked couples was the girl right next to him. She was pretty. Prettier than he remembered, even. Should he tell her so? Or would she think that too forward? Why oh why had all the books he'd read in his many days at the library not prepared him for this scenario? He eagerly awaited her answer, fidgeting just slightly as he toyed with a loose thread hanging off his coat. She'd probably gone to college on a scholarship (he recalled her success as a high school softball star) and was going to parties like this every night. His mind conjured up images of her with every boy he'd seen her with in high school, all the jocks and geeks and weirdos that had vied for her attention, whether she'd noticed it or not. Which one of them was she with now?

Anthropology. She was majoring in anthropology. That made sense; she was always able to understand people in a way that had eluded introverted Alec. And design, that was a good fit for her, too. His ramblings on formulas and equations had done her no good, but when he was able to draw her a diagram or give her a visual, things seemed to click. One thing was for certain: she was going somewhere, and he was not. Alec seemed to have hit his peak in high school (he still had boxes full of high school honors and awards), but what had he done since then? A whole lot of nothing, that's what. Meanwhile, Destin was planning a future, a real future, and it most certainly did not include dorky computer geeks who played with Rubik's cubes.

"You could do anything you wanted," he said, not entirely aware of what he'd said until the words had been spoken. "I mean, you're smart, and you're hard working, and any college is lucky to have you." Too much. That was too much, wasn't it? God, Alec, say something normal. Change the subject, quick! "Are you...are you still playing softball?"

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"Mm," Destin hummed disagreeably while shaking her head, laughing at his comment. She couldn't do anything she wanted. As he explained just what he meant, though, Destin couldn't help but laugh some more. He was cute in a cute-little-kid kind of way when he fumbled over his words. She took a breath as if about to say another thing. Probably something about how her college life wasn't really all that great. Her roommate was a sex-aholic, so her boyfriend was under her covers and inside her pants at least every other day, leaving Destin wide awake and highly uncomfortable most nights. Her own boyfriend dumped her a few days into summer because he supposedly thought summer was a time to renew oneself and that he would be glad to take her back once school started again - that is, if he was still into her. Though, she found out what he was really doing; he wanted to go down to Las Vegas with a couple of buds and have fun with all the ladies there. She ended it for good at that point, just hanging out with her softball friends and their boyfriends and friends-that-are-boys.

However, before she could get what she was about to say out, Alec asked her another question - almost interrupting her. He did that a lot when he fumbled over his words, and she found it entertaining. Not in the, "oh-I'm-going-to-tease-him-about-it-forever" kind of way, but in the "he's-cute-and-funny-tee-hee" kind of way. Of course, she wasn't going to admit she was crushing on him; he was a nerd and she was a softball player. Wasn't there some sort of unwritten law out there that explained that nerds and athletes just didn't get along in the romance department? Well...y'know...Alec was kind of cute; he also had this quality about him that made him slightly irresistible - she couldn't seem to stop talking to him once she started. That probably had something to do with the fact that she was friends with him and she felt like she owed him from his tutoring sessions. Then again...he was cute....

"Considering I got accepted to [college name here] on a full-ride athletic scholarship, yes I am." Destin gave a small nod of her head as if it was meant to be a half-curtsy kind of thing; she was proud of being in softball passionately. It was her favorite thing to do. "There's just something about tossing a little, yellow ball to other players and having high levels of energy and attentiveness that gets me going." She smiled, suddenly feeling a little bit flattered that Alec would actually spend energy storing in his head the information that she played softball.

During her tutoring sessions with Alec, she tried not to talk too much about her games for fear that he wouldn't find them interesting. He was more of a school club kind of guy - staying indoors and dealing with those...nerdy, little...things he did. Whatever they were. She could almost see it in his eyes, a look that was kind of gazing at her as if he were waiting for her patiently to finish the story so they could get on with lousy ol' physics. She could remember going into an excited rant one day - talking about how she batted a triple-runner and that it was so close to becoming a home run if the girl jumping to catch it didn't hit it with her glove. Alec had asked her about her game, so she didn't know why she stopped talking when he glanced down to her notes once. Probably because she got distracted with the fact that Alec saw her little "I heart Joey" doodle in the corner. Boy, that was a toughie to explain. Joey eventually was a jerk to one of her softball friends (Sabrina), though, so that little crushing adventure was soon-over. Instead, it turned into late-night rants to Alec as she discussed what an idiot Joey was to Sabrina.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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In the ten seconds it took Destin to respond to his question, approximately 100 thoughts went through Alec's head. She's bored. I'm boring. (In reference to the guy feeling up a girl some 10 feet away from them) He can do it, why can't I do it? He makes it look so easy. How did he do it? Is there like, a formula? A secret password? Maybe she just doesn't like me. She remembers that time I was late for tutoring, probably. Monday, March 22nd. She was wearing a blue sweater that day.

Rather than patiently await her response, Alec had jumped the gun and was psyching himself out in the way only the extremely self-conscious (or maybe the obnoxiously logical) can. If left to his own devices, Alec would analyze a situation to death. He could not resist the urge to dissect situations, to puzzle his way through conversations and ponder on the social normatives that came so easily to everyone but him. I mean, the social awkwardness wasn't entirely his fault. It was his parents who had so often left him in their big, drafty mansion alone, leaving him nothing but the ancient housekeeper and access to the household's spectacular library.

He had enjoyed many a quiet afternoon in dusty nooks and crannies of the mansion, poring over encyclopedias and classic novels alike. If he came across a word he didn't know he was would immediately seek out his father's collection of dictionaries and scour the pages until he found his answer. He drove the poor housekeeper near crazy with all his questions and demands that things be explained to him. His insatiable curiosity drove him deeper into the depths of his parents' library and further from his school mates and potential friends. As is so often the case, he did not realize the strangeness of his antisocial tendencies until the damage was irreversible.

Now he was a 20 year old kid who had trouble holding normal conversations, never mind romantic ones. He couldn't even count on the help of alcohol to help him along. He was still pitifully sober, having a blood alcohol level of .0001 after his half-sip of beer. Much as he had wanted to succumb to the peer pressure, he could not bring himself to drink from the stupid red cups glued to everyone's hands. It wasn't even that the taste bothered him so much; he could've gotten past that. It was the whole idea of being drunk. In theory, alcohol was a great idea, and exactly what our shy little nerd needed. But in practice, it was so...messy. And Alec did not like messy. He did not like the idea of stumbling around in his underwear, or waking up on a stranger's front lawn, or saying/doing anything foolish, really. He had worked hard to become what he was (Granted, what he was was a shy, quiet computer geek who had been friend-zoned more times than any reasonably pleasant and attractive boy ever should be, but I digress), and he didn't want to wreck it with the stupidity of a wild, inhibition-free night.

Although, it would be nice to have the courage to talk to Destin properly. There was a way to talk to girls, he was sure of it, but he could not recall one instance in which he had done it correctly. Luckily, Destin didn't seem to mind his social awkwardness too much; she was at least interested enough to grant him an answer to his rushed question. So she had gone to college on a softball scholarship. Of course she had. She still had that same light in her eyes when she talked about it- the excitement and passion of a person who did so much more then sit in quiet libraries and play with Rubik's cubes.

Well compliment her, dummy! "That's great. Still the star of the team, I bet." Too much? He'd have to hope not. Oh god, Alec, stop staring at her. "Did you...have a good summer?" Alright, now that was just bad. What a thinly veiled attempt to pry into her personal life, Alec. Shame on you.

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"I wouldn't say I'm the star," Destin tittered, modestly declining the title. She blushed ever so slightly, glancing down at the ground as she dug at the grass with the toe of her shoe. It was flattering to hear that Alec thought she was a star, but there was just something inside her that was too modest. She glanced up a few seconds later, having collected herself and made herself less...blushy and girly. "It's more of a team effort. We all have our own strengths." She refused to accept that she was the star - the game could still be played well without her. With a playful sigh, she decided to address his next question.

It was like she was at a firing squad (only less intense and not quite as gory or cruel), getting asked all these questions one after the other. Sure, he had a right to ask her these questions; he was curious about her. They haven't seen each other in a while. It was just the way he was asking them. He seemed to want to move on to the next subject as soon as he recognized the prior one was finished. Destin glanced over his face and examined it slightly. He was nervous. She had no idea why, though; he had no reason to be. She was a friend. Maybe it was the party. Maybe he never actually went to one. Oh, the poor kid. She wanted to help him. She wanted to get him to let loose and have fun, like she advised him earlier. His questions weren't irritating her at all, to be clear. She wouldn't mind answering any question he had about her and would spend all day doing so. It was just...the poor kid looked nervous, anxious, or even slightly bored. So, Destin decided to answer his next few questions under the condition that he would loosen up soon. She'd give him just a few more minutes, and if he didn't - which was most likely what was going to happen - loosen up then she would make it so that he would. They were at a party for god's sake! This was the time to feel unstoppable and wild and free!

"My summer wasn't the best I've ever had, but I made the most of it." Destin smiled, taking a deep breath and exhaling considering she could still feel the heat of her blushing just moments ago. After internally debating whether she should tell him about her boyfriend or not, she decided it wouldn't be a smart idea. Why would hearing about another girl's boyfriend help one loosen up? "Decided I should end the summer with a bang by coming here." She laughed, glancing back to the party-rocking mansion. Soon, she shifted her gaze so that she was back to looking at the slightly gorgeous - gosh, Destin, what is wrong with you? Calling him gorgeous - yet oh, so shy person in front of her.

It was probably the alcohol kicking in, but for some reason Alec looked way more attractive than he did a few minutes ago. The way his hair was still mussed up from earlier when she put her hand through it. Was it just her or did his hair feel soft and well-taken care of? She could just leave her fingers playing in his hair all day while he.... Oh, god. Was that her blushing again? Hoping to death her cheeks weren't flushing red again, she gazed up at Alec with an expression that was as normal as it was going to get. What was it about him that suddenly made her feel...something for him? Was it the distance away from him? Did she take the tutoring sessions for granted; did she get so used to seeing him almost everyday that she wasn't going to cope well with seeing him again after so long? He was making her feel strangely addicted to him. It was bizarre. She wasn't so, totally enveloped in him that she couldn't think straight, but she was getting to the point where she kept pondering over, not if she should like him but, why she likes him. It was at this moment where she realized how exactly Mary Jane must have felt when she fell in love with Peter Parker. He was a nerd and she was a gorgeous being - though Destin wouldn't admit that she was gorgeous. She could see that Mary Jane found Peter Parker's nerdiness hot and that was precisely how she was feeling at this moment. Man, that single beer can must have been some powerful stuff. Then again, maybe it wasn't the beer or the alcohol. Maybe it was her own heart finally finding what it was that she was looking for?

"Speaking of ending the summer with a bang...what are you here for? All the way up here in Wisconsin?" By asking that, she clearly thought he was going to some intelligent school way out in a different state. She couldn't get that question out of her mind. Why would he be coming to a [College Name] party when he goes to some other college way out in Massachusetts (Harvard) or even California (Stanford)?

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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Modest. She was always so modest. She could've been bold, could've accepted the compliment with a knowing laugh and a toss of her hair, but she didn't. She was too humble and gracious for such haughty airs, though she seemed pleased by the flattering remark. Alec himself was a modest person, though for entirely different reasons. Like his parents, he held himself to impossibly high standards, and he would not be satisfied until he met them. Sometimes he could not accept a compliment because he simply did not believe it. The fact that his parents had never showed up to an awards ceremony or school presentation seemed evidence enough that his achievements did not warrant attention.

Alec was annoyed by his own anxiety. Adults had always told him that his brain was special, his smarts something to be coveted. They had not necessarily encouraged his isolation, but they had allowed it, which was almost as bad. It wasn't entirely their fault, of course. How could they know that being the smart one meant sitting by yourself, living life inside your own head? His focus during high school hadn't mattered, anyway. It all led back to here, to this one wild night where he would finally, finally learn to be normal.

Here was Destin, standing next to him and looking completely at ease. The way her ponytail fell over her shoulder, the casual way in which she popped out a jean-clad hip for balance; everything about her exuded a beautiful, natural effortlessness. She said her summer hadn't been the best, which could've meant a hundred different things. He wanted very badly to probe the subject, indeed the synapses in his analytical brain were already firing at a rapid speed, but for once he held his tongue. Maybe he didn't want to know the answer.

Alec was finally quiet long enough for Destin to get a word in, though he almost immediately wished he'd asked another question. What are you here for? All the way up here in Wisconsin?" Her questions seemed to imply she had expected him to be elsewhere, which was understandable. He had been voted "Most Likely to Succeed" in his class, and most everyone had expected him to go off to some big, impressive college where he would do big, impressive things. Come to think of it, why hadn't he done that? Would running the family business have been so bad? Would it have been worse than setting himself on a path to nowhere? At least at Stanford his future was secure- a guaranteed, fail-proof plan his parents had laid out for him at birth. What exactly was he going to do with this nifty computer science degree? It wasn't too late to change his mind. If he'd wanted he could've transferred schools, impressed his parents with what they would call "superb decision-making", and made a name for himself as a smart, successful businessman-in-the-making.

But he didn't want to. He had the mind for it, but not the heart. "I go to school here," he answered, more meekly than he'd intended. "Brackenburg Community College. I'm majoring in computer science." That's right, loser. Computer science. And my, aren't your parents proud? You've disappointed everyone, probably even Destin. The idea of disappointing Destin was particularly painful, but he tried not to show it. He'd made a decision, and he was living with it. Chin up, buddy boy, this is what you get for being weak.

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As soon as he said the simple sentence of, "I go to school here", Destin's eyes widened and a very happy smile appeared on her face. He was the last person she'd expect to attend Brackenburg. It wasn't because he was too smart to be there, or that she didn't want him there. It was because she didn't think Brackenburg would have been the college he would pick. Heck, it wasn't even the college she would pick. It was the only college that gave her full-ride and was in-state. She didn't want to be too far away from her small family (though she was several hours away from them simply by coming to this small college). The painful distance between her and her single father was the last thing on her mind right now, however. She was fracking excited that Alec was at Brackenburg, for crying out loud!

"Really?!" Destin excitedly exclaimed, despite Alec's seemingly solemn response. Why he was so meek in his response escaped her, wasn't that something he wanted to do? Maybe he was just shy to admit he was into computer science to an athletic person like her? "I didn't know you came here! Heavens, Alec, you scared me. I thought you were coming here because you had a girlfriend in-state or something and was waiting on her to show up!" She had an ulterior motive in bringing up the "girlfriend" - simply to see if he would admit to having one or not. Sure, deep down, she was hoping that he would deny it and claim he was single, but she was honestly curious about his love life. She'd hoped he had matured his romance life since high school; he deserved to be happy in that way.

Playfully, she lifted a hand and barely nudged his shoulder with it. She scoffed with that quirky smile of hers, shaking her head. "I mean, you are such a sneaky character, you! Going to the same college as me and hiding it from me so I don't find out about it 'til a year later." She was genuinely happy that he was going to Brackenburg; after all, it'd be easier to stay in touch with him after this party. Who knows what they're going to do later on. Sure, she wouldn't mind a little something-something, but her gut told her that that wasn't the kind of person Alec was. This was considering he hadn't even touched his beer can since barely sipping out of it twice. After retrieving her arm and crossing it across her chest with the other one, she calmed down slightly and decided to take a breather so he would have time to talk before she kept going on about the exciting news she just realized.

What was that, anyway? What does a computer...scientist...do? Computer science...ing? Destin scoffed internally at her intelligent vernacular. Because a computer scientist does computer sciencing. That's right. Once again, she puts herself out there and sells herself as an idiot. Well, technically, she didn't put herself out there just yet.... Though, she had done so in the past. She could remember very clearly one time where she was being the biggest, most stubborn idiot of all time. Alec was trying to help her with her math homework after she'd completed out her physics homework within a few minutes - an occurrence that was very, very rare. She had sat through hours that night with him trying to figure out fractional expressions. For some reason her brain was making the fact that she was having to deal with fractions, square roots, and multiplications into way more than it needed to be. Alec had helped her through that, miraculously, and that bridged into a continuation of tutoring for the rest of the semester. Now that she thought about it, she was saddened that she only knew Alec during those times of tutoring. Why, oh why, hadn't she asked him to do other things with him - outside of school? Hopefully, now that she was reunited with him in college, she could explore their friendship (and possibly, maybe hopefully, more-than-friendship) even further.

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Her grin was infectious. He found himself smiling along with her, pleasantly surprised by her pleasant surprise. In that moment, he'd never been so happy to be a Brackenburg Badger; perhaps there was an upside to throwing away his Stanford future after all. She'd been right under his nose the whole time, it seemed, and he, derp that he was, hadn't noticed. For a smart guy, he was hopelessly out of the loop.

But here was Destin, and she was excited to hear about him, to know that they went to the same school, to learn that there was a possibility they would hang out again. Well, maybe. They hadn't really been "hanging out" to begin with. He was her Physics tutor, and she hated Physics. That's not a great way to build a relationship. He didn't get the chance to ride that pessimistic train of thought, though, for at that moment Destin mentioned...a girlfriend? A girl...who was a friend...romantically?

The notion was almost laughable. His last girlfriend had been Karen Wheeler, who he had dated at the tail end of junior year. She was demanding and bossy and didn't even seem to like Alec all that much, but they were together for three months before she revealed her ulterior motive and walked away with a B in Biology and the captain of the basketball team on her arm. Some relationship that had been. Furious with his own stupidity, Alec had spent all of senior year making preparations for his transition to Stanford, where he was certain to escape the drama of lying, manipulative "girlfriends". Of course, we all know how that story ends.

But ZOMG, you guys! Destin had just touched his arm! Silly as it was, he could not help but get a little excited over the playful nudge. She was genuinely happy to discover this bit of news, and so was he. Which meant he probably ought to set the record straight about this girlfriend business. "I'm, um, single right now, actually. I wish I'd known you were at Brackenburg..." Oh gosh, Alec, don't turn this into something it isn't. She didn't say she wanted to marry you. "...Go Badgers!" he added, hoping to tame his nerves with a dorky, light-hearted cheer. "I just thought..." ...that you were somewhere else. That you were taken. That I didn't have a shot with you. "...that you were going out of state," he covered. He did recall her mentioning a couple colleges she was interested in, mostly the ones with good softball teams.

Come on Alec, be a man! This is your shot. "We should...we should hang out some time." There, he'd said it! And my, his heart was beating fast- thumping all over the place in his chest. Well, what was the worst she could do? Say no? Yes, she could say no. She could say "Sorry, Alec, you're really sweet and all, but I don't hang with guys who spend more time with Rubik's cubes than people. Who can't take more than a sip of beer. Who aren't brave enough to tell me they like me." Yes, she could say any of that. ...And he really hoped she wouldn't.

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Now this was more like it. Alec was smiling and laughing and cracking those cute little Alec-y jokes. He was officially loosened up. And Destin liked it. On top of it all, he admitted he was single. Which meant he was all hers for the taking. Well, actually...hold up that roller coaster ride. She wasn't going to pounce on him now that she knew he was single. Sure, she'd like to just see what it would be like to kiss those kissable lips and to hold his strong-looking, manly hands - conditioned from working away on that cube of his. Maybe he could teach her how to solve that one day, during one of their cute little dates. But, seriously, Destin focused more on the thought of him being her friend rather than anything else. She didn't recognize him earlier in the night, so why would he care to party it up with her when she acted like she completely and utterly forgot about him? Some girlfriend she'd turn out to be.

Anyway, Alec quickly gathered her attention when he started to speak - other than the "I'm single" announcement. (He had changed the subject so suddenly - maybe he recently went through a bad break-up too?) She gazed at him, genuinely interested in what he had to say. Destin, silly as she was, gave a small whoop when he cheered for the Badgers. She has school spirit, yes she "do"; she has school spirit, how 'bout you? At his admittance that he thought she was going out of state (or was that really what he was going to say?), she gave a weak smile. I guess it is my fault... Destin chided herself for not keeping in touch with Alec. He was a nice guy - sweet and funny, too. She didn't bother to tell him what her final college plans were and that made her feel like an awful person. In order to keep herself in good spirits, however, she told herself that Alec didn't seem to be too, terribly distraught that he hadn't known.

"We should...we should hang out some time."

This was her chance! She'd now be able to hang out with him again. At least still be friends, if nothing else. With her signature smile, she nodded agreeably and quipped, "You mean hang out outside of this awesome-tastic party we just so happen to both be at?" She laughed, pausing only slightly to reach into her back pocket. She wanted to get her phone out; maybe exchange some numbers. "Sure, Alec. I'd love to. What's your cell phone number?" Destin fumbled around with some of the keys on her phone, trying to access the address book so she could put in Alec's number in. She typed in his first name without issues, but then she tragically crashed and burned into a dead end. Oh god, what's his last name?! Good job, Destin. You knew him for several months. He's in your class. He tutored you for heaven's sake and you don't know his fucking last name? She remained cool on the outside, though she was internally frustrated with herself. Quickly, she skipped down to the mobile cell phone line as if he were watching every move she made (though he couldn't see her mobile screen), trying to pass it off as if she never put last names in. At that point, she glanced up at him, patiently awaiting his number.

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Maybe it was the party atmosphere, or maybe it was Destin beside him, but Alec could finally, finally feel himself loosening up. If the party was a pool, he had made it past the "Let me tentatively dip my toe in and test the water" phase and moved on to the "Okay, guys, I am actually going to step into this pool!" phase. Right now he was, oh, calf-deep? And he wanted to go deeper. He wanted to immerse himself in possibilities and people and all the best parts of being young. And he wanted to do it with Destin.

But she...she was a diver. He was a wader- a "take-your-time-er". A girl like her deserved a guy who could talk the talk and walk the walk, but Alec could do neither. He could only offer up his puppy love, his elementary skills in romance, and no girl wanted that. He needed someone to throw him into the deep end and say "Swim, dammit, swim!" Here he was, a perfectly smart, perfectly normal guy, and he was still doggy-paddling in the shallow end wearing his floaties. Pool analogies aside, the odds did not seem to be in his favor.

But he could at least try. No one could blame him for trying, right? The way she was looked at him, like she might actually be interested, that wasn't nothing. She had even cheered at the lame Badger comment! And it wasn't her fault if she thought he'd gone off to some random smart person college the way his family had intended. He was an Evans, dammit, and until his derpy self had come along, Evans had been practically synonymous with success and big business. Maybe the big business part was out, but he could still be successful, right? He could still be happy...right?

"What's your cell phone number?" Oh gosh, she'd taken out her cell phone and was actually asking for his number. It occurred to him that that probably should've been his line, but he was too excited to care. "G-great. (Insert phone number here :3)," he smiled, flipping open his own phone. "Yours?" He tapped her name into his phone: Destinie Whittaker. Destin Whittaker. It looked good either way. He admired the little black characters blinking against the bright white screen, trying to visualize scrolling through his contacts, clicking her name, and calling her. Making asking her out on a date? Or maybe just for coffee? Baby steps, Alec, baby steps.

The point was, there were now...possibilities. He'd been let down too many times before to get his hopes up exorbitantly high, but it was hard not to imagine himself with her. Let's be honest, he'd thought about it before. "You mean hang out outside of this awesome-tastic party we just so happen to both be at?" "Right, outside of," he made an encompassing gesture towards the mansion and the partying teenagers outside it, "this. I mean, not that I'm not having a great time," now that you're here "and I'm sure the booze is great," he said, making a joking reference to his still full can of beer.

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Destin's thumbs tapped away at the buttons that entered Alec's phone into hers, opening doors of potential phone calls and texts to last the two a lifetime. Of course, Destin nor Alec would know about that in this moment. All she knew was that she was here and he was standing in front of her. Right now. Talking to her. She saved Alec's number into her phone and put it back into her back pocket. Destin smiled when he asked her for her number, and she willingly gave it to him. Her cell seemed to burn a hole in her pocket since she replaced it there. There was something about the knowledge of having his number that made her anxious to call him up for the first time and get that awkward first phone call out of the way. Sure, she was talking to him right now, but phone calls give you a new experience with someone (namely, a guy ... namely, Alec) that makes you excited about them. It's like having your first sleep-over. Though sleep-overs won't happen any time soon with Alec (he was just too shy!), the idea still remains.

The rest of Alec's response made Destin giggle and roll her eyes. His sense of humor tickled her. She found it amusing and cute at the same time that he would comment on the taste of the booze when he's hardly had any. Though, that was (duh) his point. "Alec," she started, giving him a look that said something along the lines of a playful 'you-are-so-weird'. "Honestly, I'm more buzzed than you are. You don't get the right to say anything about any kind of booze." She laughed to let him know that she was only teasing him.

Before anyone had a chance to react from Destin's comment, someone emerged from the house and gave a slurred shout of Destin's name from the door. It was a girl - dressed very promiscuously at that. Her already skimpy shirt was ruffled up, showing her midriff, shoulders, and a good percentage of her bra. She was also wearing an incredibly short skirt that hinted some not-so-nice things about her. She clip-clopped precariously in her seven-inch high heels across the yard toward Destin with a strange-looking, gangster character following close behind. The girl sidled up close to Destin's side and glanced over Alec from head to toe and back up. In a thick accent (seemingly from New York), she spoke to Destin while keeping her eyes on Alec. "Oh, god, Destin, I thought we lost ya! Didn't want you bangin' some guy I didn't approve of. Who's this fella' you're hooking up with?"

Destin's eyes widened at the sight of the girl. Oh, lord. Not Carrie. Before she could give any warning to Alec other than a whispered, "Oh, shit." Carrie came teetering over to her side. She tried to make Carrie look less...slutty by picking at her shirt and making it so that she wasn't just popping out half of her boobs to the entire world (Alec, mostly. God, her roommate embarrassed her). "Well, this is my good friend, Alec. Um..."

"Pleased to meet'cha." Carrie chirped, sounding like the type of girl that would spit out her words while smacking loudly on a chunk of bubble gum. She interrupted Destin, not having the patience to sit through the introduction she would give him. It just wouldn't do her justice. Instead, Carrie wanted to make her own. "I'm Carrie Tweed, and this is my boyfran', Neil. I'm Destin's roommate and fella' softball playa'."

Destin clenched her teeth, glancing over to Alec apologetically and mouthing, "She's a biiiiitch." She didn't expect him to get it, but she wanted to at least try to get the message across. Quietly, she mumbled an approving message, "Um...yes. This is...Carrie." Destin bit her bottom lip, hoping and praying to any and all gods out there that Carrie would leave very, very soon.

"Girl, you don't seem so happy to show me off. If he's 'yer good friend, how come you ain't never told me 'bout him?" Carrie tittered, leaning her head over to allow her boyfriend to suck face against her neck. He slid up behind her while she introduced herself and pulled her close to him, making everyone in the vicinity feel quite awkward.

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He had her number. He actually, literally had her number in his possession, and he could call her. He could make plans, make conversation, even make dates. Maybe. Someday. In the future. If she was, you know, cool with that. But for now he returned his phone to his pocket beside his Rubik's cube and listened to the sound of Destin's giggle. On Alec's behalf, let me just say it was a very cute giggle. He found everything about Destin to be rather cute and/or pretty, gorgeous, insert-flattering-adjective-here. He nodded and laughed in response to her "buzzed" comment, looking down at his can of beer.

"Oh, god, Destin, I thought we lost ya! Didn't want you bangin' some guy I didn't approve of. Who's this fella you're hooking up with?" Alec's head shot up, his dark eyes widening in surprise. "Ohwe'renot-" he rushed to get out the words, fumbling over a tongue that seemed too big for his mouth, but Destin had it covered. Good friends. Yes, that was what they were. Wait, good friends? Score! :3

Alec went from pink, to red, to bright scarlet in a matter of seconds. His ears were particularly red, the tips visible through his dark hair, and he made a self conscious move to cover them. He was feeling awfully blush-y, all hot and embarrassed by the unwanted attention, and he ducked his head to inspect the dust that had collected on the toes of his shoes. If he'd been physically capable, he would have shrunk right up inside that grey tweed coat of his and just disappeared. This Carrie character had not taken her eyes off him, and our nerdy little Alec was getting very uncomfortable.

Carrie gave her crass introduction as Alec stood awkwardly by, wondering what exactly he was supposed to do in this situation. Offer a handshake? Give a "Yo, bro, what's good in the hood?" side hug to Carrie's boyfriend? Neither of those seemed like viable options, so he settled for standing there politely and looking cute (in his very shy, very awkward way). "I'm, um, pleased to meet you, too, Carrie. Hi, Neil." He gave an awkward little wave and took another sip of beer, because if there was ever a time to drink alcohol, it was now. Oh god, the pitch of Carrie's voice was literally grating. And what on earth was she wearing? Did girls really leave the house without pants? Was that some new thing he didn't know about? I mean, her boyfriend certainly seemed to appreciate it, so she had to be doing something right.

Too embarrassed by the large amount of skin Carrie was showing, Alec turned his eyes to Destin, looking to her in time to catch her mouthed message. Poor Destin. Did she actually live with this woman? But then, judgment was wrong, wasn't it? He himself had been labeled as a geeky, nerdy little dork for the majority of his life. Maybe this Carrie would turn out to be a perfectly intelligent, polite individual with a plethora of deep, meaningful thoughts to share. ...Maybe pigs would fly. Anything could happen, right?

Unfortunately, the thing that happened was that Carrie's boyfriend suctioned himself to her neck. Alec's dorky little brain saw this as the wimpier, leech-like male angler fish suctioning himself to the much larger and more aggressive female angler fish. That's actually how they reproduce, for those who don't know. The male just attaches himself to the female and becomes a little parasitic sperm-giver who floats around with her on her dark ocean adventures. :3 That's right, guys, Alec's brain is just one great big science documentary.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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Carrie chortled and started speaking before Destin had any thoughts of if she should even respond. Destin could see how awkward Alec was feeling and she felt so bad for him; Carrie was too much for someone like him, and she wanted to help him. She wanted so badly to reach out and hold his hand and tell him everything was okay. Of course, she didn't mean to imply that she would treat him like a child; she only wanted to comfort him. To give him a hug and shelter him from Carrie. Carrie was like a hammer and Alec was a small, little fragile piece of glass in the middle of the hammer's path of motion. It was not a pretty sight, and she could already see the shattering effects on Alec through his eyes and body language. Oh, the poor, poor kid - not to contradict herself, but the slight fear in his eyes resembled that of a scared child. She felt helpless as Carrie overpowered her in her loud, obnoxious voice.

It's not that Carrie really held any power over Destin. Destin could stand her ground just fine against Carrie. It was just the fact that Carrie was so loud and obnoxious - and, honestly, quite scary with how promiscuous and thoughtless she is. Plus, just having Neil around made Destin feel incredibly uncomfortable as well. She's seen parts of Neil that she will never unsee again. The sad part was, he didn't seem to care. He was too wrapped up in pleasing Carrie and bringing ... Neil-like joy to her world. Though, I digress.

"So, honey, since Dest' hasn't told me shit 'bout you, guess you gots some talkin' to do." Carrie slurred, showing a surprising amount of interest and intense focus for a drunk person. "Where're 'ya from?"

At this point, Destin felt the need to interrupt. She couldn't bear to watch her poor Alec get shattered into a million more tiny pieces. "We went to high school together, Carrie. He was my lifeline to continuing to play softball." She stepped away from Carrie and moved to Alec's side, unable to stand being too close to Neil and Carrie's intimacy. Her dorm bed was already too close to it, and she wasn't going to stand to stand right next to it when she had the power to move away.

"I don' get the fuck what that means," Carrie's face squirmed into an expression that was supposed to represent confusion. Though, with her drunkenness, who even knows what it actually looked like. Maybe a cross between an ogre and a thousand-year-old president's wrinkle, coated with cellulite. "He practiced with you?"

"God, no, Carrie. Look, just...didn't you and Neil have plans for tonight?" Destin shuddered at the thought, stepping ever so slightly closer to Alec so her shoulder was touching him. That was her small way of holding his hand, or protecting him from the Carrie hammer. Just touching him, another, sane, human being, calmed her down slightly. Carrie was too much for even her to handle sometimes. This was one of those times. Carrie embarrassed her, dang it! She wanted to spend time with Alec in peace. She wanted to be known as the fun girl that he tutored a while back, not the girl that had the ... unexplainable roommate.

Carrie gave another one of her strange ... laughs. She added in a scoff, as if Destin asked the most stupid question anyone could ever ask. "Well, yeah, but I wanna meet your new boyfran'. Wanna see if this is the guy you been home running. I mean, you just been sittin' in the bench for too long. Need to get 'yerself back out there." She gave a wink to Alec, hoping he would start talking. She hadn't heard his voice since she saw him.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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Alec was starting to remember why all those days in the library had seemed so pleasant- you didn't have to talk to anyone. Well, I mean, you talked to people, but you didn't flirt with them, which was great, because girls were scary. Okay, not scary, but complicated and overwhelming for certain. Perhaps he had spent so much time stuffing his brain with angler fish facts that he failed to allow the normal "guy" part of his brain to grow- the part that would tell him exactly how to handle this slutty, giggling Carrie character. Maybe if he'd spent a little less time taking notes in classrooms and a little more time conversing in the halls, he'd be more game and less...lame. Yes, maybe...

But for now, he was stuck with what he had, and what he had was a pair of wide, deer-in-headlights eyes, a set of lips that refused to work, and a body that was incredibly fidgety. Oh god, how do people do this? (By "this" he of course meant the act of speaking to other human beings.) Well, he had been talking to Destin just a moment before, but Destin was different. Sure he was nervous and weird and said the wrong things, but it all seemed right, in a way. He felt like she could forgive him for it. This Carrie...she was relentless.

"Where're 'ya from?" Alec heard Carrie's question, but he couldn't answer right away. He was too caught up in the way that Neil was suctioned to Carrie, hanging all over her like she was some sort of...some sort of...words fail me. Did girls actually like that? I mean, he knew that girls like to touch and cuddle and all that, but that just looked downright uncomfortable. At this rate he was going to bruise her skin and leave some kind of mark. (Our poor darling Alec didn't realize that this was the whole point of the endeavor, and that Neil was indeed trying to give Carrie a hickey.)

"Um, Pennsylvania," he managed to stutter, tearing his eyes from Neil's kissing, slurping mouth. "Harrisburg, originally, but now I live-"

Thankfully Destin chose to step in at this point, saving him from further blushy embarrassment. There were some guys who might be bothered, even annoyed, by a girl taking control of the conversation, but Alec was not one of them. No Sir, he was completely and totally relieved to have Destin step in. And then, wonder of wonders, she came to stand next to him. Cue the mental happy dance. (And by mental I mean that it happened inside his head, not that he's crazy. Although he is a little odd, if we're being honest.)

And then...she touched his shoulder! Or rather, her shoulder touched his, but it all amounts to the same thing- they were touching. Somehow this made him feel both safe and protective at the same time, and, through some bizarre urge of bravery, he managed to say:

"We have not been 'home running' or sitting on benches or anything of the sort. Besides being friends, we are also i-intelligent people" (here his confidence starting to waver), "who have the common decency not to engage in bizarre physical intimacies in public. Now if you will excuse us, Destin and I have a party to get back to."

That was certainly more than he'd intended to say. Perhaps it was really too much. And this Neil fellow...he was awfully big. Alec had faced bullies of Neil's size before, and the end result had never been pretty. He sent Destin a mental apology and reached for her hand, lacing his fingers through his. Hopefully she wouldn't mind being pulled away from her room mate, as their escape seemed to be the only thing that would prevent Neil from smashing in Alec's skull. He didn't want to run away, that seemed awfully childish, but he certainly set a brisk pace, walking back towards the house and the safety of numbers.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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Destin was baffled. What Carrie had said to her completely blew her mind. It wasn't what she said, really, that bothered her. It was just the thought of even being considered Alec's girlfriend that shocked her. Destin knew that Carrie would know if she had a boyfriend; Destin'd spend hours babbling on and on about random nonsense regarding the guy. Yes, Destin was a tomboy-ish girl, but she was still a girl. Having a lover was something that excited her - it got her girly side working. She couldn't help it. So, when Carrie labeled Alec as "the guy she'd been home running" she stood there, wide-eyed (almost as much as Alec was a moment ago) and...baffled.

Her mind spent several beats trying to process the thought and to either come up with a comeback or to deal with it in some other proactive way. For some reason, the first thought that came to her mind was, "What would Carrie think if I ended up actually dating Alec?" That thought took up brain power as well. Carrie wouldn't be very encouraging, that's for sure. Carrie was the type to think that nerds were nerds and every one else deserved to date each other; the nerds should be shunned from the gene pool. Neil explained it very much. Just look at him. His oversized, chunky pants were riding low on his hips (practically down to his knees!) and the wife-beater tank he was wearing gave off a humble impression, didn't it? Destin couldn't imagine herself dating someone like Neil; she just wouldn't like it. Alec, however.... Ugh, but wait. The mind is still processing. Would he even want to?

Before Destin could get in any sort of mumble jumble that resembled a denial, she could feel Alec's hand lacing into hers. Almost instinctively, Destin's hand tightened around his as well, though she didn't plan for it to do so. They were holding hands, and he was tugging on her arm. Why? Neither her ears nor her brain seemed to work, for she was halfway across the yard back to the house before she could process what Alec somewhat boldly remarked. He denied what Carrie said and...oh? He poked fun at Neil's act of sucking off Carrie's skin. Ha, ha, that was cute. She let out a snort, starting to laugh directly after. Her laughter was quiet, but it still was clear. Did he really just run away?

She couldn't blame him. If Destin had any say in the matter (or if she could) she would have done the same thing. Running away from Carrie was something she'd always wanted to do. That girl was just too much...everything for her to handle. She always felt compelled, though, to stay and be a friend to Carrie despite any internal rejections. If not for Alec, she would have been stuck hanging around Carrie and Neil all night long. For this, she was yet again eternally grateful for Alec existing. Of course, she hadn't a clue that Neil was the one he primarily was running from. If she had, she would surely tease him for this. Like the male angler fish, Neil was pretty harmless to a normal, little "fishy" like Alec. Carrie was the one with the bark and the bite, while Neil just stands there in the background, supporting her and, well, fertilizing her.

Suddenly, it really hit her. It really, truly hit her. Alec was holding her hand. And...the strange part was...that it felt...comfortable. She didn't feel like she needed to let go. She was holding his hand and they were walking back into the party house that she had led them out of not too long ago. His hand was firm yet gentle, and she couldn't help but muse over how much she, admittedly, liked holding his hand. The last time she felt like this was when she was with...well...never, really. She never felt this confident in anyone's hand holding ability, quite frankly. Whether this was a sign, Destin didn't know. But she may as well roll with it. For right now, however, she felt like she had to address what he said.

"So..." Destin finally managed to coyly say, after they were out of Carrie's earshot, "if we're not home-running, nor sitting on benches...then what are we doing, exactly?" Her question was entirely meant to tease him. The sly smile and accompanied giggle made it obvious. She wasn't sure if he understood the hidden messages behind the words, considering he was more of a recluse than someone that would know about all the different uses of softball terms. According to Carrie, "home-running" was, of course, "going all the way" while "sitting on the bench" meant "going through a time period where the person being talked about is single". She didn't expect Alec to know this, though if he did, she'd be impressed. That would make his answer to her question even more difficult to discover. Basically, she was asking him what they were doing if they weren't sleeping around or being single. Plus, he never denied being her boyfriend. Her girly brain, of course, felt the need to question this part. She knew she was over-thinking things, but she didn't quite care:

So...is he implying he wants to be my boyfriend by not denying it? Or is he just too nervous to admit it, so he figures not saying anything about it would be a way to avoid the subject?

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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Alec wasn't so sure about his decision to, for all intents and purposes, drag Destin away from her, um, friend, but as they were already halfway back to the house, he figured he might as well keep walking. He veered a little to the left, still keeping a wide berth from the rest of the crowd, and settled on a quiet-ish spot towards the outer edge of the grass. Destin's fingers were still intertwined with his, and he took this as a good sign. I mean, she was okay with it, right? She must be, or she would've pulled away by now...right?

Was it weird that he just liked holding her hand? He liked her fingers, which were longer and bonier than the rest of her, but in a good way. He liked the firm warmth of her palm, and the faint calluses formed from gripping bats and throwing softballs. He liked the way she held his hand back, gripping his palm as though it meant something. Or maybe he was just reading way too much into things, as he always did.

The problem was: he really liked Destin. Really liked her. This was a problem, of course, because Alec was Alec and Destin was Destin. One need only review their high school history to see why things would not/could not/should not work. They were opposites in athletics, academics, social standing- everything. They look petty on paper, these labels and categories, but you'd be surprised by the power they have over you after you've lived with them for 18 plus years. It shouldn't have mattered at this point, how different they used to be, or still were, but it did. It mattered a lot.

You see, Alec had tried with Destin before. Well, almost tried. In their long days at the library, Alec had developed something of a crush on Destin. He liked tutoring (he could have talked about gravitational symmetry for hours), but he particularly liked tutoring Destin. He had loved every minute spent in the dusty back corner of the library, trudging through chapter upon chapter of notes and sneaking in personal questions in between. He made her laugh when she was discouraged, listened to her when she needed to talk, made her try again when she was frustrated...he had wanted to be there for her. One day, when she had done particularly well on a quiz, she had run into the library and thrown her arms around him, proclaiming she couldn't have done it without him. Careful and cautious as Alec was in social situations (and romantic ones in particular), he couldn't help but be excited by this. Senior prom was two weeks away, and he got it in his head to ask her to go with him. Ya know, like, a date and stuff. :3 It had taken him awhile to get up the courage, but he had finally taken the plunge and bought her a bouquet of daisies and poppies (two of her favorites), to do it properly. He had intended to do it Friday afternoon after their tutoring session, but Friday morning Destin herself had cheerfully told him she had accepted an invitation to prom, and he had hastily tossed his flowers into a trash can and tried to forget the whole thing.

He wasn't crushed, exactly, but he did recall being rather put out for the next couple tutoring sessions and being somewhat stand-offish when asked about his own plans for prom. (For the record, he did end up going with a very nice girl from his calculus class, except that halfway through the night she had insisted they drive to a bar she knew to do Jell-O shots and also smoke some "rad dope". That was the end of that relationship.)

Long story short, he wasn't entirely sure where he stood with Destin, and didn't want to push it. Apparently Destin wasn't too sure where they stood, either, because she then asked "If we're not home-running, or sitting on benches...then what are we doing, exactly?" And that...that was an excellent question. She was teasing, he could tell, but she did seem to want an answer. The "sitting on benches" didn't seem to be something to take literally, and with his amaz-za-zing analytical skills he figured he could deduce the meaning of "home running". The answer that came immediately to mind was "Whatever you want to be doing", but that seemed weak, and also sort of forward and/or weird.

"We're..." come on, Alec, don't screw this up, "getting to know each other again. I'm…" spit it out, man! "I'm really glad you're here tonight, Destin." There, that was as far as he could go. He wanted to put himself out there; he wanted to look her straight in the eye and say "Destinie Whittaker, I like you. I like you a lot. Hell, I might even love you." But he couldn't do it. This was not the sort of thing that Alec was capable of. If he had tried to tell her exactly how much he liked her, there's a good chance he would've passed out on the lawn.

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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He was still holding her hand.
Eep!

It surprised Destin that Alec would hold her hand even after he stopped walking. The only reason he would need to hold it, realistically, was because he wanted to drag her away from Carrie. She wasn't complaining, honestly, because his hand was soft and strong in just the right ways. It was a nice change from the calloused and rough hands of the jocks she used to date. All the memories of the (relevant - the ones that lasted a month or less didn't count to her) guys she used to date came flooding into her mind after she decided she was happy holding Alec's hand. Destin thought of all those times she ever held any of her ex-boyfriends' hands; Jacob, Chris, Darrel, Marcus, Sean (her most recent ex) and even that small time with Tyler counted toward the memory. Their hands were all clearly familiar with being used in various, heavily tasking things. Holding Alec's hand was like having vanilla ice cream after continuously getting only a bowlful of sprinkles. Sure, the sprinkles were sweet, but you kind of want something soft and smooth instead - something better.

She could remember a particular conversation with Sean about this very issue not too long before they broke up. Destin was putting some lotion on her hands and Sean felt the need to ask about it.
"Why don't you put scented lotion on? Isn't that the only reason why girls even put lotion on in the first place? To smell good?"
Destin could remember laughing at the thought of wearing those flowery, perfume-filled lotion and shook her head. She didn't wear it for the smell; that's what her body wash was for. She used lotion to moisturize. At that point, she brought up the fact that Sean should moisturize his own hands as well. She took his hands and smothered her lotion-caked hands over them, playfully forcing him to moisturize. "You should use lotion too, Sean." Destin teased, "Maybe it would help it feel nice when we hold hands for once."

It felt nice now, with Alec. And though she didn't want to, Destin felt compelled to let go of his hand. He surely never intended to continue holding his hand, right? People get used to things like this, or maybe he was just taking his time. He needed a breather from the encounter with Carrie - which she could understand - and letting go of Destin's comforting hand wasn't on top of his list. That's surely it; that is positively, absolutely why he was still holding her hand. Erm...maybe. She moved her hand (with the other one following suit) to rest behind her, a finger casually looped through the belt loop. With both hands rested comfortably, she crossed her right leg in front of her left, keeping her legs close together so that they weren't crossed over with space between them - because that's just weird. This was a pose she constantly found herself in when engaging in conversations where she was standing up. It was comfortable for her to stand like that, and it showed that she was comfortable in front of Alec. He was a comfortable and fun person to be around - that's that.

He was also humorously cute when he was obviously feeling awkward and didn't know what exactly to say as he was saying it. Destin finally managed to compose herself and responded after getting her laughter out of her system. "I'm glad you're here tonight, too, Alec. Though... Speaking of being here," She paused, trying to figure out how to word her question in the best way possible. "I mean, I don't want to come off as rude or anything, but I never took you as the party-goer. Never thought you were, um, a party guy." Destin's bold smile turned into that of a weaker one. She hated insulting people and she sincerely hoped Alec wouldn't feel insulted. In all honesty, Alec wasn't a party-goer nor would he ever seem to become one. "Like, I only got that from noticing that you still haven't finished your beer." She laughed weakly. This was true. Parties and beer go hand-in-hand, so... "Anyway, I mean, Did you have a specific reason for coming, or are you like me and decided to come just for the heck of it?"

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Character Portrait: Alec Evans Character Portrait: Destinie "Destin" Whittaker
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He let her pull her hand away. I mean, it wasn't as thought he had any reason to be holding it; he just enjoyed hand-holding. Well, actually, that wasn't true. He didn't particularly enjoy public displays of affection of any sort, and some might consider hand holding to be, well, affectionate. And while most of the people around them were too drunk to notice or care, they were technically still in public. I mean, it wasn't that he found PDA to be overwhelmingly awkward or rude or anything...

...Or maybe it was. Maybe he had too often been the on-looker, the one watching the kisses and hugs and other physical intimacies. Maybe he was just jealous. Because Alec isn't asexual, you know. He is attracted to females *cough cough, Destin*, and he would very much like to be in a relationship. The problem is not the desire, but the ability to translate said desire into say, a proposal. A "Would you like to go with me?" or even a "Would you like to get coffee?"

Any who, he didn't like hand holding that much, but he liked holding Destin's hand a lot. But as he did not yet know whether Destin reciprocated his feelings (wait, what were his feelings, exactly? They seemed to be developing unbeknownst to him. His analytical, logical brain was very troubled by this.), he returned his hand to his side and left it there, twitching against his coat pocket. Now that he was a) no longer holding Destin's hand and b) a little anxious over the whole Destin business, he was itching to work out his nervous energy, and the only way he could think to do it was to pull out his Rubik's cube and do some fiddling. But that would be awkward, and he still had to hold this stupid beer can. Destin, being a normal person capable of normal conversation, was able to fill the awkward, post-Carrie lapse in conversation with a question- a question that caught Alec a little off guard.

"Did you have a specific reason for coming, or are you like me and decided to come just for the heck of it?" He wondered if the answer could be both. He could not, in his geeky little brain, work out his exact reasoning for coming, which made his decision seem almost spontaneous. At the same time, there seemed to be some subconscious decision making a work- some definitive motive that explained his presence.

"It was...an experiment." He fidgeted a little, uncertain how to proceed. "It seemed like a good idea, you know? I mean, I'm really not a party-goer, and I thought...I thought I should try it, I guess. It's a problem I have. Not trying things. Not saying or doing things. I thought might be able to fix it." To fix me, he added to himself.

"And I will finish this beer," he laughed, lifting the can to eye level and staring at it challengingly. "Maybe. Eventually. On my deathbed, perhaps. To take the edge off."