The first time Biana saw Sweater Boy at the high school library, he was wearing a large wool sweater.
She remembered this particular detail so vividly because it was early April. Not exactly sweater wearing season in San Diego. Plus, it was obviously handmade and she could tell it was missing quite a lot of stitches.
She had made a trip to the library that day to get a book on designing tips. Her mother had informed her of a contest coming up that she was eligible to join. Fitz-- her brother-- had poked fun of her excitement, but that did not drain her mood at all. She had a couple years of experience, but had been a little out of touch since school started. Homework and studying, as well as after school classes, occupied most of her time, leaving only a few sacred hours to rest. Biana wasn't ready to sacrifice them for sewing.
After grabbing the book, she decided to wait for Alvar, her older brother, in the library. She walked through the aisles, only half paying attention to her surrodings. After grabbing a couple of magazines, she slumped into a chair, sighing. The day had been long and tiring, once Biana got over the euphoria of the news. The teachers seemed to be resentless, and gave out extra homework to do over the weekend, when she should've been sewing and designing. She flipped through the pages, barely skimming the words and pictures. The clock in the library chimed 4, and she looked up. Thats when she saw him.
He was sitting on a chair behind the couch in the library, seeming quite occupied with whatever he was reading.
The sweater was a light fawn color, with a periwinkle accent that went quite well with the color. His strawberry blond hair lingered over his lowered brows as he studied the book in his lap. One of his hands gripped the pages, creasing them ever so slightly, while the other jotted down notes on a notebook. The side of his lip jutted out ever so slightly between his teeth, and narrowed eyes betrayed a somewhat desperate look. Perhaps he was studying for a test?
Biana wasn't ready to admit that she found his posture (and perhaps him) rather cute.
He scurried off before she could approach him, and left her wondering about the curious feeling in her chest.
She found herself returning to the library between breaks, hoping to catch a glimpse of the strange boy.
He would often leave before Biana could gather the courage to question him on his strange clothing style.
Actually, there was always plenty of time to ask him. Biana would just get jittery, wondering what to say and worrying whether or not her question would be too rude, or if she should greet him first before getting into his fashion sense. He would always be gone by the time she had settled on a conversation starter.
And so, she started to... observe him. Get to know him at a distance, since she couldn't talk to him yet.
She started sneaking in after school, and in between breaks. Coming up with excuses wasn't hard, since who goes to the library to do something other than study or read?
Well, her, but no one knew that. (Though, the librarian was probably suspecting something going on. Biana recalled him giving her leery looks.)
The sweater boy would come by a lot, always wearing the poorly made oversized sweater. Biana was an aspiring designer, and a normal person with questions. She wanted to know exactly why he would be wearing such a thing in the middle of summer. And why he couldn't wear one that actually fit him and didn't have loose threads hanging out.
At first she thought, well, maybe he couldn't afford it. Despite being a Vacker- one of the richest and most well known families around- she did understand poverty and how common it was, underlying in every neighbourhood. She often donated large amounts to charity, convincing her family to do the same. One of her favourite past-times would be going to senior facilities and hanging out with the elders, often with Sophie and her brother. Keefe, another one of her friends, came along too at time, though less frequently because of his strict father. She'd love talking with them, and asking for their opinions on her latest designs. Despite popular belief, the seniors did know what was going on in the world. Sophie loved discussing politics and problems with them, and Fitz, her brother, always joined in. Keefe would be more to the side, fixing up puzzles with the elders, and getting competitive with the more active ones. Biana would learn a lot on her weekly voyages, about fabric choices, sewing tips and just fashion history.
The less than awesome part about the trip was seeing how worn down some of the facilities were. Biana was always sure to help out in the renovations, lending money and even a hand. Sophie, on the other hand, was much more interested in animal shelters, and zoos. Her adoptive parents ran an animal sanctuary themselves, and Biana assumed their protective, caring nature seemed to reflect Sophie's own.
Sophie was amazing with animals, no one could deny that. Always seeming to understand exactly what was up with them. She was a natural animal whisperer, perhaps better than her own parents.
The animal shelters she volunteered in were usually quite poor, and over filled. It wasn't that people disliked pets, no, but this was a rather wealthy neighbourhood and many preferred purchases from well known breeders. Which left the shelters bursting with alley cats and rescue mutts that deserved just as much of a home as any purebred did. The lack of sales would often reflect the shelter. More and more rescues would come in, with less and less space available. The vet fees for fixing them up were crazy high, and paying for them would mean not enough money left to pay an employee. Of course, many had an abundance of volunteers, but people needed jobs and money. The lack of money also meant damage caused by the animals would not be able to be fixed. Biana's heart broke every time she heard a cat yowl in the midst of a cage cramped up with others. There was hardly space to breath. The health often reflected the state of the shelter too. Many spectators who came to purchase would leave because the pet would seem unhealthy. Little did they know it was their fault.
Okay, maybe not. But that didn't stop Biana from getting mad everytime she heard about another political scandal, wasting money that could've been used to make hundreds of lives better. And when she found out people thought the Vackers were like that too? Absolutely boiling with rage.
But Sweater Boy never seemed lacking of anything. The sweater seemed to be a choice rather than a need. His hair was acutely styled ever morning, his clothes were always crease-less, he didnt seem unweight at all, and his journal and pens were always in tip top condition. The only thing off about him was his brown sweater.
He would come by with headphones plugged in sometimes, drowning out the chatter of school with music. Other times he managed to snack on treats he had managed to sneak in, which was surprising since the librarian had a strict policy against liquids and food inside the library, and he didnt seem the kind to rebel. He always sat in the sat spot, facing towards the row of large windows in the library wall.
The more time she spent around him, the more curious she got.
Questions floated in her mind throughout the day, and she found it difficult to concentrate at times. What was he like? What kind of music did he listen to? Why was he always hanging out in the library? How did he manage to sneak in food? Did he possibly like brunettes?
Okay, forget the last question. But the rest were pretty important.
There was a time when he brought a friend. Or that's what Biana assumed, perhaps hoped, she was.
It was early May, and the weather wasn't being particularly nice to the high schoolers. She was sitting on one the the bean bag chairs the library provided, dully flipping through the pages of the magazine her brother and Keefe starred in. They were models, unfortunately. It was an absoulte pain to flip through her once favourite magazines only to find her brother and his best friends pictures.
There was a time that Biana liked Keefe, though it was short-lived. It was pretty clear he didn't return the feelings, and Biana moved on quick. The childhood crush was much different from what she experiencing right now, though.
Not that she was comparing Sweater Boy to an old crush, of course.
Movement in the corner of her eye attracted her attention, and she looked up from her magazine.
Sweater boy was smiling at something a blonde girl accompanying him said. The brunette recognized her as Marella, a preppy girl who knew a lot more about everybody than Biana was comfortable with. The blonde girl was the school news reporter too, always on top of things. What was she doing with Sweater boy?
They settled in Sweater boy's regular spot, and Biana lowered her gaze back to the magazine in her lap, pretending to be engaged with whatever it said. She was too far to hear their conversation, but moving any closer would arise suspicion. And she definitely couldn't risk that, especially with the schools gossip girl being there.
A light chuckle made her look at them again. Sweater boy had said something that had made Marella laugh, and he was grinning quite adorably. Did he always have dimples that deep? Blinking in surprise, Biana shook her head, freeing the strange thoughts that occupied her head. She did not think he was adorable, despite her recent observations.
Okay, maybe just a little bit.
She looked down at her magazine again, trying not to scowl. She wasn't ever really a fan of the reporter, and her current occupations with Sweater Boy didn't exactly impress Biana.
Quite the opposite, though Biana wouldn't ever admit that.
They talked together like old friends, chatting excitedly. It surprised Biana to know Sweater Boy brought friends to the library. But then again, how much can you know about a kid if you only ever see him at a library, where you only observe (not stalk!) him without either of you ever muttering a single word to each other?
A laugh shook her away from her thoughts. It was sweater boy.
For some reason unknown to her, she was drawn to it. It filled the air in a pleasant way, like the smell of cookie dough while baking. It was cute, some sort of mixture between a giggle and a chuckle. It also was the first time she heard his voice.
She couldn't help but watch the way his eyes sparkled and the way he would always end it in a grin that held a childish charm. She was very thankfully for the row of tables and shelves that kept him from noticing her gawk so profusely at him.
A ring sounded from her bag, disrupting the moment. She grunted and dug out the phone from her bag, putting it to her ear.
"Come down quick, sis, I'm here."
And with just that her jerk of a brother hung up the phone, not giving her a chance to beg for 5 more minutes. She stuffed the magazines into her bag and got up. Alvar did not like to wait. She threw one last wistful glance at Sweater Boy before leaving.
Too bad he'd never notice her.
The girl didn't see the surprised on Sweater Boys face when he spotted her leave, nor the twinge of pink on his cheeks when Marella tossed him a sly, knowing look, no doubt about the one time she caught him staring at her over his history book in class, like he did every 6th period. He sighed softly as he turned back to Marella, resuming the conversation.
Too bad she'd never notice him.
It was late May when Bianas best friend started questioning her on her daily lunch time disappearances.
"You've been so distracted lately. What's wrong?" Sophie asked, as the two girls opened their lockers, getting ready for the next class. Biana got out her stuff quickly and shut her locker.
"I haven't been distracted." She mumbled, closing her eyes momentairly and leaning back against the locker.
"You haven't even teased me about 'The Foster Love Triangle' once for the past two weeks. Somethings up, Biana, I can tell."
Biana rolled her eyes. The Foster Love Triangle was a not so subtle love triangle invovling her brother, her best friend, and her brothers best friend. Talk about cliches. Biana tried to get them together once upon a time, but all efforts were wasted when Sophie didnt show up.
"Nothings wrong Sophie. I swear." Well, she wasnt exactly lying, was she? Theres nothing wrong with trying to talk to a guy who you might have been stalking for the past two weeks. Right?
Sophie wouldnt buy it. "Is it a boy?"
If Biana had been sipping a drink, she would've spit it out. Instead, she choked on air.
"W-what makes you say that?" She spluttered, hoping her dark hair would hide her somewhat flushed face. Whoa. Blushing and stammering at boy comments wasnt a Biana thing. Maybe Sophie was starting to rub off her?
Sophies eyes twinkled, and Biana assumed she got the reaction she was opting for.
"Who's the lucky guy~?" She sang, making her way through the halls and beckoning Biana to follow. Biana sighed, mentally cursing at herself for gettingnto such a situation.
"It's not like that, Sophie! He's just-- It's just that he has a weird closet choice and I'm curious!"
She made her way to Sophie, holding up her usual position. Sophie giggled from beside.
"Sure. Just invite me to your wedding!"
Biana stifled a sigh. "Who says we're getting married? We havent ever talked, and he doesn't even know me."
Apparently this was the wrong thing to say. Sophies eyes widened, filling with mirth. "So you've stalking him?! Biana!"
She blushed fully this time, turning around to face her friend. "No! What makes you say that?"
A sly smile played on her lips. "Well, since youve been disappearing at lunches probably means youre with him. And if you've never talked, that probably means youre the only one making any active effort, watching him and everything. So youre basically a stalker."
Biana clapped a hand over Sophies mouth, looking around to see if anyone heard. Thankfully, the students were too busy in their own conversation to have noticed Sopheis sudden remark.
"Shh! I have a reputation, you know!" She hissed. Sophie raised an eyebrow and carefully pried Bianas fingers off of her mouth. "Whatever you say, Bi. You're not denying it, though! God, this is some news. I thought you were over boys, though?"
Biana bit her lip as the warning bell rang. Five minutes till class. "It isn't like that, Sophie! Anyway, he's... different."
Sophie raised her eyebrows, her lips curling up towards a smile. "Oh? Care to expand?"
Biana hurried through the corridors, Sophie at her tail. "Well, he's... quiet. And not exactly social. Ugh, lets just get to class, alright?" She made to rush out of this situation, but Sophie wasnt about to let go that easily. "You better invite me on youre next stalking excursion, Bi. Or i'll find you two and propose for you."
Biana rolled her eyes but didn't object. Who knew the roles would be reversed so soon? Biana remembered not too long ago it was her teasing Sophie about boys. The bell intruppted her thoughts and the hallway exploded with late high schoolers, she being a part of the latter.
Bringing Sophie along to the library wasn't exactly the best descsion she had made. The teen kept giggling and asking questions that made Biana question her innocence.
"Okay, okay, at least tell me this about our mysterious man. On a scale of Tarzan to Prince Charming, which disney love interest is he?"
Biana groaned and held her head in her hands. "Sophie..."
The blonde just grinned cheekily. "Last question, I swear!"
Sweater Boy didn't really give off the princely vibe Sophie was speaking of.
"Belle, I guess."
The books nestled in her hands nearly fell out as Sophie snorted, then bursting into laughter. The librarian shot them a glare and Sophie apologised, though tears of amusement still filled her eyes.
"I never thought you, Biana Elorse Vacker, would fall for anyone less than a Prince Eric!" She whisper-exclaimed as they shifted to a much more deserted area, where no passing librarians would yell at them.
"I did not fall for him! And who says Belle's less than Prince Eric?" Bina demanded, whipping around to face her friend. She hoped her face wasnt as red as it felt.
Sophie pressed her lips together to keep herself from breaking into a large grin. "No one. It's just that you dont seem to the kind to fall for a quiet, book-loving guy."
Her eyes suddenly widened with glee. "OH! He doesn't have a thing for furries though, does he?!"
Biana turned red and lightly smacked her friends arm. "No! Sophie!"
Her friend laughed, pushing her hair back from in front of her face. Her chocolate brown eyes were filled with amusement, and Biana got the general gist that she was enjoying her internal dying too much.
The sound of footsteps suddenly rang in the air and Biana, in midst of her panick, accidentally shoved Sophie onto the couch they were hanging about, also tumbling onto it after her. She squeaked and rolled off, landing on the ground with a thud. She got up nervously, praying that the footsteps dint belong to sweater boy, and that he wasnt the one to watch her become a mess. Her prayers were answered, as the footsteps belonged to Fitz. He gave her a confused look before holding out a hand to help her up. "What are you both doing her?" He questioned, taking a quick glance around.
Sophie began to say something, but Biana cut her off. "We were, uh, studing! Cause thats what you do in a library, right?"
Fitz glanced down at the magazines on the table and grinned. "Studying pictures of boys?"
Biana looked behind her, cursing under her breath. The magazines were opened to some... less than holy pages. Sophie, on the other hand, blushed fiercely. "No! These aren't ours. We were, um, going to study politics! We have an essay, uh, next week. I thought, well, the New York Times has some interesting notes! See?" She frantically grabbed a magazine from her own bag and shoved it into his hands.
He looked down at the magazine and flipped through it, blushing. "This is Keefes and my Swimwear and Beach line,"
A strangled sound escaped from her throat.
Biana felt bad for the poor girl beside her, who was so red she looked like she might burst. Since Sophie seemed incapable of doing anything but stammer and splutter inchorent words, Biana grabbed the catalouge from his hands and shoved it back into her bag. Sophie was gonna have to thank her later.
"Whoops, wrong one. What are you doing here? Don't you have some photshoot to attend, or some sport practice to go to?"
Fitz rolled his eyes, a light blush still splayed across his face. "No, I came here to study. Actually study." He gave her a meaningful looked and she huffed. "Go along then. What are you waiting for?"
He shrugged, going off, but not before waving at Sophie. She tentatively waved back, still red. The blonde could tell that the girl beside her was trying very hard to hold back her laughter, for her own sake. With a defeated sigh, she turned towards her.
Biana erupted into laughter, holding her stomach and doubling over. "That. Was. Priceless!" She gasped, laughing.
Sophie pouted, her brows furrowed. "It was humiliating!"
"God, you handed him his beach line! His beach line, Sophie!"
She flushed, hiding behind her hair. "Oh god, he saw me pull it out of my bag. He knows I own his swimwear catalouge. And that I had it on me, during school! Biana, please kill me."
"Sorry, too busy dying myself! You're crazy, you know? Why the hell do you carry that thing around?" She wiped away tears that had gathered on the rims of her eyes. Biana loved Sophie, but she could really be unpredicable. And to see that Sophie Foster, the schools 'most likely to be sucessful' student handed a guy a magazine she had of his swimwear collection?
"Shut up," She groaned, putting her head in her hands. Biana was getting ready to tease her more when she heard another shuffle of footsteps appraoching. That set off another round of panic and she quickly shoved sophie under a table nearby, before following in afterwards.
Sweater boy walked into view, appearing from the aisle where they kept sci-fi thrilers. He did a quick look around before settling onto a chair, facing the opposite direction of the couch. Biana only had a clear view of his feet.
Sophie grunted from behind her, trying to get a better look. "I can't see!" She hissed, attempting to push Biana aside. The girl huffed, and moved over. Then slowly backed out from under the table, towards the sofa, which was opposite to Sweater Boy. She motioned Sophie to follow, who did so quietly and gratefully.
"WHERE IS HE?" She whisper-hissed, crawling on to couch.
Biana clapped a hand over Sophie's mouth, eyes widening. He'll hear you. She mouthed, taking a nervous glance back.
Sophie just narrowed her eyes, and pried her hand off her mouth.
They slowly turned around, knees propped on the sofas cusions and arms resting on its top. She let out a strangled cry when she saw him, and Biana whipped around to her, eyes narrowed as she gave her a light shove. Thankfully, Sweater Boy didn't notice them.
He was sitting with his ankles crossed, a book in his lap. He didn't really seemed to paying attention to it, his gaze wandering away many times. Biana wondered if he just came to tge lirary to kill time. With a soft sigh, he closed the boom and placed onto the closest rack, before grabbing a magazine. She squinted, but couldnt make out the title, which was absurdly small.
Sweater Boy flipped through the pages, scanning the images for something. He stopped on one and a small smile bloomed on his face. Biana could make out the hazy figure of a girl and a slight shiver of envy went down her.
It was at that exact moment when Sophie shoved her from behind, causing her to tumble right off the sofa, and face plant into the floor. She braced for the feel of hard carpet on her face when a pair of shaky arms grabbed her shoulders. She looked up and turned crimson.
It was Sweater Boy. He wasnt in the best position either, his face was flushed and his sweater was slightly disheveled.
But were his eyes always that vibrant shade of periwinkle?
A deeper blush settled on both their faces as Biana realized that was staring for longer than what wouldve been seen as polite. She picked herself up and tucked a hair behind her ear. "Sorry about that. I, uh, tripped?"
She caught Sophies slight snicker, and bit her lip to keep herself from yellng profanities at her.
Sweater Boy blushed, rubbing the back of his neck. "I-it's alright. Im no stranger of tripping over nothing myself. N-not that I think you're clumsy or that you trip a lot or that you trip for no reason or anything! I was just saying that i'm clumsy, and because you fell i thought maybe you were clmsy too but not like in a bad way youre probably not clumsy it was most probably a one time thing im sorry i didnt mean it-"
Biana found herself giggling at his ramblings. She reached over a patted his back, a gesture she was used to associating with reassurance. "It's okay, I get what you mean."
He smiled gratefully, his dimples visible. they really were adorable.
She saw that the magazine had fallen off the chair were he left it to help her up. She bent down to pick it up, and nearly frowned when she was it was her fashion line, in which she had modelled a couple of her own designs. What was he doing with it? She quickly grabbed it and gave it to him, smiling.
Sophie appatently thoguht this was a good time to interrput, and she bounced over, draping an arm over Sweater Boys shoulders. Biana looked at her in horror, but she just winked.
"Get off me, Sophie." Sweater Boy groaned. Bianas eyes widened. Did they know eachother? And why hadn't Sophie said anything?
"This, here, is my friend Biana, who is gorgeous and single by the way." She told Sweater Boy, causing him to blush. "This fella, Biana, is my cousin Dex, who is too very single."
Sophie seemed to be ignoring the daggers sent her way from both sodes, both from red faced comapnions.
"Now, I have to leave but hopefully the crucial information i have jsu left will help formulate somewhat of a realtionship between you two idiots. You both owe me one!"
She left without another word, Biana and Dex too frozen in place to follow after.
It was Sweater Boy, Dex, who broke the silence. "Uh, wanna go for an ice cream sometime?"
Despite the cool air, Biana felt a warm sensation in her chest.
"I'd love to."