When Things Come Together

(JP with Redsword)

Riley didn't know how it had taken her until Sunday, at the beach party, to know that Zander and Conner were roommates. She had spent time with Zander, during the trip, and they had a few classes together. She found him to be a nice guy, fun, and different than many of the guys at the school. In some ways, he wasn't really like many of the nerds there, either. As much as she got along with the nerds and like doing some things with them she wasn't really considered a nerd and it was hard to not notice that some of the guys in that group weren't as socially adept as others in the school. Zander was far more socially adept. For one thing, he didn't stammer upon first meeting her, and just talked to her with no issues.

There were a few things though that Riley wanted to know. Things that she wasn't sure of. He had sparked an interest but she certainly wasn't going to ask Zander or Dawn directly but she knew who to ask.

She had texted Conner earlier asking to meet her outside by the picnic tables after-school and she quickly spotted him. He was alone except for the girls who kept smiling and waving to him as they walked by.

She had been friends with Conner for a while and she, pretty much, knew she could ask him anything about Zander. Well, maybe not anything, but enough, and if Zander wasn't what he seemed like Conner would tell her.

She got a pumpkin spice latte from the coffee stand and headed over to Conner. "Hey," she said. "Before you ask nothing is wrong." Well, given what happened in her past and the fact that she almost never asked to talk to him alone, despite being good friends, she wouldn't have blamed him for possibly thinking that.

He gave her a smile "Hay, Hot science. That's good to hear." replied Conner. "What can I do for you?" he asked. Then takes a drink of his Coke.

She laughed. "Well, I'll take the compliment."

She took a sip of her coffee to try to figure out how to ask him and then figured she might as well just come out with it. "Okay but this stays between us for the moment anyway, " taking a breath. "What can you tell me about Zander?"

Conner got a mischievous look in his eye. "Oh, Zander is it? And I thought I was popular." He said smiling. "What do you want to know? He is one of the coolest nerds I know. He is almost not a nerd. If he hung around different groups and changed some of the ways dressed. He would just be one of the smart kids in school." explained Conner.

"I kind of noticed that." She smiled. "How old is he? I mean know he and Dawn are twins but I think she's a freshman." She didn't know Dawn that well but had heard.

He thought looking at the ground. What he could and could not say to her. "Well, I think he will be fifteen this Wednesday? He is ahead in school by a year. I know he's from Vegas and he is a genius. He is great with computers and games. He is a nice guy and could be boyfriend material if that is what you are looking for," he said with a grin more like asking to see what her motives are.

"Umm...I" Wait was she stammering? No, that couldn't be happening. "I've not decided yet. I think I need to get to know him better first." She had really only spent time with him recently. "We spent some time together at the beach party but that's about it, so far." He was though a year younger than her. "You don't think the age thing would matter to him?" It didn't matter so much to her because he acted older.

"I don't think so, but not sure," he replied. "I think you should just ask him out for coffee or something like that. Get to know him. If you like games; play a few games with him. That type of stuff. If you really want to get his attention Guy's Auction is coming up. Most girls have some interest in who they bid on for the most part. I plan on trying to break my record this year for the highest bid but JD might beat me on that one." He said. "Sorry off subject. I could slip in a question or two to him if you want." Conner suggested. Conner looked around and then back at Riley. "You won't know anything unless you ask," Conner says with a smile.

Riley nodded. "Those are good ideas." She shook her head slightly. "Well, Rose might bid higher than anyone for JD but you might get the most bids." It was off-topic but she decided to throw in her opinion, anyway. When Conner asked if she wanted him to slip in a question or two she thought for a moment. "Actually, that would be great. Thanks."

Conner gave her a charming smile "So...what type of a hint do you want? Like you got the hots for him." he said with a chuckle. "Just joking, I will let him know you were just asking questions, how is that?" He said then took a drink of his coke.

Riley rolled her eyes with a smile. "No." She nodded, to telling Zander just that she was asking questions. "That'll work." She sipped her coffee and realized she hadn't actually caught up with Conner much. "So, other than people asking about your roommate, and you taking Matt's sister on a date what else is going on with you?" The two friends spent a little more time just catching up on their lives, in general.

Conner thought, throughout the day, about what Riley had said and asked about Zander. Conner was tired and headed back to his room after dinner. Most of the others were going to meet up and study different things. Using one other strength was a great Idea he thought.
It is even better when your roommate is a brain too. He walked into his room, closing the door behind him, the room was dim as always. He could see the light from the three computer screens reflecting off of Zander's face. It was normal to see him on the computer, working or playing games, sometimes at the same time. Which made Conner's head hurt thinking about it. Conner was no dummy either his math skills were at the college level and was a natural at mechanical things.

He walked over to his desk thinking how he was going to talk about Riley. "Hay Zander, so how did your day go?" He asked as he hung up his school jacket.

Zander had to admit having Doug on restriction and not just randomly around where he could make his life miserable had been like a breath of fresh air.

After Doug had done to Dawn and what Zander thought he had done to Melissa; Zander was now even more determined than ever to find something incriminating on his older brother. That though required work but working on computers was what Zander lived for.

He wasn't gaming but he was currently doing school work on one computer while the two others help him with his information gathering.

The nerds that were interested in starting a chess team had all met to discuss that possibility and eat pizza for dinner, so, that's where Zander had been.

He looked up and took his headphones off as he spotted Conner coming in and sitting down. "Hey." How had his day gone? "Good. Do you have any idea how nice it is having my brother on restriction?"

Conner just smiled. "I kind of miss having him around I can't threaten him if he is restricted," said Conner with an evil grin. "I am glad you are getting a break from Doug. After my last talk with him, I hope he knows where I stand with him. I can see you are hard at work. Still working on your Doug project?" he asked.

Zander smiled as Conner spoke about threatening Doug. As for his project. "Yes, well two of the computers are. On the other, I'm working on Physics homework." Just an average night for him.

Zander paused a moment; he had something else on his mind, and was hoping Conner might have some answers for him, but how to approach the subject? He spun his chair so it was more facing Conner. "I wanted to ask you something. What can you tell me about Riley?"

Riley was nice and smart but also beautiful and fairly popular so Zander assumed that he would be told he was aiming out of his league but he also figured it didn't hurt to ask.

Conner gave a wicked smile. He had to mess with him a little, this was too good, they had asked about one other. "Well Riley, she is a cute, good kisser, got a nice butt too,” he paused to see Zanders reaction then laughed. "She is a nice girl smart, not too bad looking. who knows she might have been asking about you." Conner said with a smile.

Zander raised a brow at Conner then laughed. "Okay, okay" He got that Conner was joking but the two hadn't been roommates that long so he was still figuring out Conner's tells. When Conner mentioned Riley might have asked about him, Zander stopped the can of soda midway to his mouth, and just sat there for a moment, completely surprised. "She was?" He had never expected that.

"Play it cool and you could end up with a sweet girl. She is 16 and from LA you got a problem with that?" he asked with a smile. "Because if you do, I just might ask her out." He said with a grin just to mess with Zander again. "You know she hangs out in different groups but she hangs in our's too," he mentioned. "So why not ask her out for coffee or something try to get to know her," suggested Conner.

Zander shook his head. "I have no problems with that. I just thought she might be out of my league." Zander did know she hung out with different groups. Maybe a little confusing the mix she hung out with. "I know she does. She seems really popular but I also know she doesn't really hang out with the rich kids." At the mention of coffee Zander nodded. "I could do that." He wasn't overly nervous about asking her out for coffee like most of the other nerds would be. He was more nervous the way any guy would be in a similar situation. "You know if she says yes I might need your help on what to wear." Which was true but said as kind of a joke. Dawn was great with that kind of stuff but she couldn't come to his room to help him out with this.

"Ah... if it is nice. Shorts and a t-shirt? I don't think she is worried about what you wear yet. If she can not take you for you it was not meant to be. Just watch what she wears and see what themes she likes. Like I wear a lot of rock group shirts, JD sports themes types, that type of stuff. If we need to go out and get something I will take you." replied Conner.

Zander nodded. "Ok, I can do that. I'll probably need to go shopping before the dance but I think I find something to wear for coffee." He paused. "I guess I got used to Dawn helping me out with this stuff over the years."

"Don't underestimate a sister for clothes advice. Just pick something take a picture and send it to Dawn if you want. Girls know what girls want; I would think. I wish I had a real sister sometimes. I know what's cool to wear but not always right." Conner says taking off his school shoes.

"Oh, I learned long ago to never underestimate my sister about a lot of things." Zander smiled. "Growing up though she used to come into my room and help me pick out stuff. Being she's not allowed up here it’s different but a picture would probably work." Zander did know that Courtney was like a sister to Conner but had no idea if they ever discussed fashion. Courtney came across more like the let's discuss engines, sports, and that kind of stuff type but Zander hadn't know Courtney that long. "Well, if you ever want to borrow mine for fashion advice; she'd likely be more than willing to give it." Zander was joking but Dawn would give advice if asked.

"Dawn seems like a nice girl. I have a feeling things will work out for you. Nothing else if you and Riley hit it off at the coffee you could ask her to the dance," he suggested. Changing into sweats.

Zander nodded. "Well, I guess I'll figure that out at coffee." He glanced for a moment at one of the computer screens that was calculating Doug's information. Then back at Conner. "Thanks for the info and the advice." He hadn't had many guys in his life he could talk to about anything really. Doug was clearly not someone he could go to with anything. His male nerd friends were useless about this kind of stuff, usually, they knew less than he did. That left his sister and moms, who he loved, but they clearly weren't guys. He got distracted again by the same computer with the Doug information. Hitting a button he printed something out then went to the printer and grabbed what he had just printed out. "Huh?" He let out as he looked at the printout. He made a comment to Conner about what he found out and how it seemed odd then said. "I'll look more into it tomorrow. I need to get back to physics but thanks again." With that, he swiveled his chair so it was facing the computer he was doing his homework on.

Conner just smiled just like Zander thought to himself. he opened a drink and went to his desk to look over homework.

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