Mat had spent his entire day at the Portland State University Library. For the first time since Milo had moved in, he’d risen earlier than him, reluctantly peeling himself away from his sleeping form and out of the warm cocoon they’d created in bed together. He’d dressed, brushed his teeth, and gathered his belongings in silence, not having his first cigarette until he was out the door and not having his first sip of caffeine until he was on campus. He’d been at the library when it opened at eight and he’d stayed there for ten hours, calling out of work in the hope that, somehow, he’d find the motivation to do the impossible: finish his fucking Computer Ethics paper.
For ten hours, he’d sat in a secluded corner with his laptop and a sea of research materials, poring over article after article, taking notes, staring at the blinking cursor on his blank Google Docs document with his fingers suspended over his keyboard - but the words had never come. They hadn’t come after he’d listened to an hour of the Deep Focus playlist on Spotify. They hadn’t come after he’d taken a walk outside for a cigarette break. They hadn’t come after he’d prayed to a deity he didn’t believe in. They just hadn’t come, and now, as he trudged back into his apartment, Mat found himself having to admit that he knew why. He hadn’t expected his Computer Ethics professor to give him an extension on the paper when he blew it off and he hadn’t wanted one. He’d never intended to write it.
“Hey,” he said, offering Milo a rare smile as he entered the cramped studio they now shared to find him reading comic books on the bed, shrugging out of the lackluster jacket that had replaced his lost one and tossing his messenger bag - which contained not only his unused research materials, but his laptop - aside without a care. He knew what not finishing his paper would mean. He knew that failing to turn it in would result in another failing grade to add to the list of failing grades he’d accumulated by skipping his final exams, but he didn’t want to think about it - at least, not for one more day. Perhaps, not until Wednesday, when the grades were posted and his fate was sealed. For now, he just wanted to be with Milo, to put his uncertainty about his college career on the back burner and make room in his gut for a different feeling: the dizzying combination of an all but overwhelming urge to kiss Milo and the fear that had been holding him back for days.
“How was your day?” He asked, bridging the gap between himself and the bed and kicking off his boots before joining Milo there, reaching for his arm and tucking himself under it, resting his head on his shoulder. He already felt better. “I’ll get your pancakes started soon, but I want to do this first. I’ve been wanting to do this all day.”