Specs pulled away. "Thanks, but, uh, no thanks," he answered.
"Why not? Lots of people get contacts. And you do have pretty eyes."
"I don't want contacts. If people aren't willing to look past my glasses, why should I care what they think, anyway?"
"It's not that people aren't willing," Dutchy answered. "Just, you know. With your glasses you look so... Kind of intimidating."
"Yeah, right. I'm intimidating the way Hamlet is decisive."
"Uh... Sorry, I don't get that. That's what I mean, though. You're so smart compared to most people, we... I feel like I'm not smart enough to talk to you. Like there's nothing I could say that you'd be interested in."
"That's not true."
"Come on... You look so... You kind of seem like you're always talking about some scientific theory or, like, discussing novels I've never read or art films that only ten people have seenn... If this stupid track thing hadn't made me talk to you, I'd never have gotten past your glasses. I'd just figure you'd never want to talk to me."
Specs was staring at him kind of oddly by the time he finished talking. Dutchy just fiddled with the pen in his hand, not sure what to say. Not sure if he should say anything else at lal.
Finally, Specs asked, "Is that why people... Why people don't talk to me much? My glasses?"
"Well, not really your glasses. I mean, they just kind of represent your whole... Intelligence thing."
And he was so proud of himself for saying 'intelligence' instead of 'nerdy' that he was kind of offended when Specs started laughing.
"What?" he demanded.
"Nothing... Just... Dutch, that was a clever, extended, well thought out metaphor. And you think you're not smart."
Specs nodded, and Dutchy wracked his brain, trying to remember what the hell a metaphor was. Finally the image of his English assignment on Huck Finn came to him, where he'd had to list the main metaphor of the book or something. It was the river, he thought. It was the symbolic comparison of the river to life.
Like he'd compared Specs's glasses with Specs's life.
Oh. He kind of had done that. Even though he hadn't meant to.
Dutchy snmiled slightly. "I'm only ever smart by accident," he said.
"Nah. You don't give yourself enough credit--you don't apply yourself, but you're not as dumb as you assume you are. You just... It's not your thing, I guess."
"Maybe that's why my glasses are thinner than yours."
Specs glanced over at him and laughed, and Dutchy was kind of proud because that was a real, intentional joke and it was smart enough that Specs was laughing at it.
"You know... You're kind of cute when you're laughing."
Specs stopped laughing immediately. "Um... What?"
"Well, you are. Your smile. It's like your eyes, I thin k. I didn't notice it at first, but now that I see it... I can't stop seeing it."
It was so odd to see Specs nervous. He always knew what he was doing; he always had some sort of list and priorities and could adjust everything at a moment's notice. That was how he worked. But now he was staring down at his callused, inked up hands, and blushing lightly. Smiling even more lightly. It was barely a ghost of a smile, really.
"Secps?" Dutchy asked tentitively. "Can I kiss you?"
Specs looked up, startled, off his stride. Like that wasn't on his list anywhere. But finally he nodded and Dutchy covered one of Specs's hands with his own and leaned over to gently place his lips on Specs's.
Specs's lips were warm but slightly chapped, and Dutchy presed closer, opening his own. Specs follued his cue, and Dutchy made the kiss deeper, gently probing Specs's mouth with his tongue. It took a few seconds before Specs returned the gesture.
He felt Specs's fingers intertwine with his. His plan had adjusted, Dutchy thought. His priorties shifted. Dutchy wondered in the back of his mind what they'd shifted to; if he was included on that ever-present mental list now.
He hoped he was.
Slowly his hand made its way up Secs's arm, his shoulder and around his neck until Specs was wrapped in his arms, and he pulled their bodies together. Specs was warm. Holding him felt right. And when Specs moved to hold him back, arms around Dutchy's waist, Dutchy's heart beat sped up.
He was on Specs's list. Homework, college applications, the now sleeping niece and nephew and him. It was a short list and Dutchy couldn't help but feel kind of like he didn't deserve it.
But the way Specs was kissing him, it felt like Specs disagreed.
I probably should have taken notes in class. Oops.