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A Little Bit of Stupid

“Um, Cullen, can I ask you something?” Mike had grasped his neck with one hand, clearly a nervous gesture. Edward thought he looked like he WAS about to ask him out. He kept his face blank, in case the urge to laugh should well up in him again. The whole situation was bordering on the absurd.


1. Chapter 1

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1094   Review this Chapter

I ought to just ask him.

The innocuous thought intruded into Edward’s mind in the middle of the physics exam. Everyone else in the room was thinking about the second law of Thermodynamics – which question Edward had answered about twenty minutes previous. But not Mike Newton. Mike was thinking about the same thing he was ALWAYS thinking about, though Edward wasn’t sure yet exactly how his current thoughts related to the usual topic.

How angry can it make him, anyway? And I’m not afraid of him!

Edward scowled down at his paper, unconsciously looking – for the first time ever – like maybe he was having difficulty with one of the questions. He wasn’t. He never did. He answered another question, suppressing a sigh, and forced himself not to look over at Mike.

What’s so great about Cullen, anyway? Mike was asking himself sullenly. I mean, sure he’s a pretty face and all, but - I did NOT just admit that Edward Cullen is pretty. Dammit, what question was I on?

Edward couldn’t help it. His shoulders absolutely shook with laughter he wasn’t allowed to voice. The teacher caught his eye at just that moment, a disapproving expression on his face, and Edward smiled down at his paper, trying to look properly chastised. He couldn’t wait to tell Jasper about THIS one.

He probably wouldn’t tell me anyway. He’ll know why I’m asking.

This was true. Edward would know that WHATEVER it was that Mike wanted to know, he wanted to know it because of Bella. But so far, he hadn’t been able to glean exactly what it was Mike was after. Which was annoying.

He finished the last question, and then shuffled his papers back to one of the middle pages, as if he was going back to work on something he’d skipped. Except that he hadn’t skipped anything. He never did.

Maybe I can just get close enough to tell....knock his books out of his hands or something? No, that’s stupid. He’ll think I’m trying to ask HIM out.

Again, Edward had difficulty reigning in his amusement. He snorted, and then tried to cover it with a cough. But, of course, he hadn’t actually coughed in decades. He hoped it sounded right. Mike was looking at him, now, but he kept his eyes on his paper. The teacher had already given him one dirty look. He was over his quota for the day.

By the time the exam ended, Mike had still not actually thought about what it was he wanted to know. And Edward was getting frustrated about it. He didn’t want to be caught by surprise, but he resigned himself to the possibility as more and more people stood to turn in their tests.

When half the class had been to the teacher’s desk, Edward took his test up and laid it in the pile with the others. He tried to avoid the teacher’s eyes, not wanting to come across as gloating. He knew he’d aced it. He always did.

Four minutes later, when the bell rang, Edward didn’t rush out of the room, as was his usual habit when Bella wasn’t present.

Remember to say cologne, not perfume, he heard Mike reminding himself in his head. And it clicked. He FINALLY knew what Mike was planning to ask. He had to force himself not to laugh again. He finished gathering up his books and turned toward the door. Mike had just walked through. No. I can’t. I just – can’t.

Edward couldn’t resist grinning as Mike abandoned his plan entirely, even though he was making himself as available as inhumanly possible. Even though Edward now WANTED him to ask, if only for the entertainment value. Jasper was going to laugh half the night over this. He passed Mike in the hallway and met his eyes, thinking to encourage him. No dice. Mike shivered, and Edward remembered, too late, to tone down his smile and show less teeth.

At the last second, just before he’d passed Mike by entirely, Edward fumbled his books on purpose, and they scattered all over the floor at his feet. He swore, trying not to sound amused. Predictably, when he bent to pick them up, good ole’ Mike Newton helped him out.

They knelt there for a minute in the hallway, Mike trying to talk himself into saying it and Edward trying not to give away that he already knew the question, or that he’d already come up with an answer.

“Here,” Mike said half-heartedly, handing Edward half his books as they both stood up.

“Thanks.” Edward turned away, disappointed. It wasn’t very often that anything truly entertaining happened when Bella wasn’t around. The day had been remarkably dull aside from this.

“Um, Cullen, can I ask you something?” Mike had grasped his neck with one hand, clearly a nervous gesture. Edward thought he looked like he WAS about to ask him out. He kept his face blank, in case the urge to laugh should well up in him again. The whole situation was bordering on the absurd.

“Sure, Mike, what’s up?”

“I was just wondering....do you – you know – have a favorite perf-cologne, I mean, that you wear?”

Edward raised an eyebrow, trying to act as if the question surprised him, but he could feel his lips turning up a little, and couldn’t quite manage to force them back down. “I never wear anything but Drakkar Noir,” he replied, winking. After all, what self-respecting vampire would wear anything else? he added silently, far more amused than he figured he really should be. Cologne. Of all the stupid things to ask.

“Thanks,” he said again, gesturing to his books before continuing down the hall as if this wasn’t the weirdest conversation he and Mike Newton had ever had.

The worst part was after, though. Mike stood in something of a trance in the middle of the hallway and watched him leave. Damn. If that’s the look he gives her, no wonder she never looks away. Oh hell!

Edward started laughing in earnest at the whispered conversation that suddenly broke out behind him.

“Are you staring at Cullen’s ass?” Eric Yorkie asked Mike gleefully. “You know he’ll never go out with you, right?”

“Shut up! I was not. I was asking him a legitimate question!” Mike snapped in response. I’ll never live this down.

Edward disappeared into the cafeteria as fast as he could without attracting notice, and went to sit with a very amused-looking Alice. She didn’t comment, though, and he didn’t offer to share his thoughts. He did, however, wonder just how strongly Mike Newton would smell of Drakkar when they got back to school the next day.