There's a guy balled up and shaking, sitting upstairs in the Fine Arts building on the floor. He's got his arms wrapped around his middle, and he's curled in tight, like he's trying to keep from revealing too much of himself to the world, and for a moment, Andrew feels like he's looking in on something he shouldn't be seeing, like he's a pervert peeking in a girl's bedroom window.
It's not really an uncommon sight to see people crying or breaking down in this building, Andrew realizes. Anything from a bad audition for the school show to the rigid expectations of Professor Oswald to the pure fact that drama students have a tendency to be, well, dramatic is enough to turn on the tears in some people - but there's something different about this guy, something Andrew can't really put his finger on, and even though he's never seen the guy before (which is weird, did he transfer, or was he just new?), he feels kind of bad for him.
And he's got an hour until his next class. Why not stop and make sure the guy's okay?
Slowly approaching, Andrew stops about two feet from the other's form, hesitating. He's not sure what to do from here, but he figures reaching out and touching him probably isn't the best idea. Kind of seems a little rude.
As he opens his mouth to find something to say, the other student seems to realize he's been shadowed, and slowly picks his head up, turning uncertain eyes towards Andrew towering over him. Andrew's surprised to see that they're actually dry - the guy hadn't been crying at all, just... breaking down?
"Can I help you?" he says, after a moment, and Andrew feels kind of like an asshole, that whole voyeur feeling creeping back in, before he manages a sort of smile.
"Hey." On a total whim, he turns around, sliding down to sit beside the other guy, setting the damn umbrella down. He seems to tilt his head, subconsciously, as if pushing his ear out to listen for Andrew's accent and make sure he'd actually heard it. "Hey" wasn't exactly the most obvious of the words, but a good ear could usually pick it out, anyway. Andrew wasn't surprised. The accent usually got him attention, and putting on an American one felt unnatural when he wasn't acting. "Mind if I join you?"
"Did you want to have a panic attack, too?" he asks, and then immediately looks like he regrets it, his face twisting in a strange expression before dropping. He lets out a burst of air, shaking his head. "Sorry."
Andrew's not sure what for, but he lets it go. Something about the guy is endearing, if a little confusing.
"Not exactly." He smiles again. "Actually, it's a bit embarrassing. I'm not so sure I can talk about it." He's putting on a ruse, and it's obvious, but he hopes the other guy won't get irritated by it and just leave. Andrew wants to cure his bad mood, not intensify it. When the other student tilts his head a little more, this time in a more direct form of confusion, Andrew seizes the opportunity to continue. "It's just, I was really hoping to get lunch between classes, at the café down the street, but I've no one to go with." He stretches his legs out, sighing, leaning back against the wall. He can hear someone singing in the room behind them, probably a class. The voice is pretty familiar, and he wonders idly if it's Justin. Definitely sounds like him.
But there's no sense in getting distracted.
"Anyway, now that I've told you my problem, it seems only fair you could return the favor." Which is probably presumptuous, now that he thinks about it, but it's out already, so there's no real taking it back now. "If that's alright."
The other student frowns, brushing a hand through his mess of curly hair, pulling it momentarily out of his face. "Uh, I'm Jesse," he says, suddenly, as if he doesn't want to keep talking before he at least tells the stranger his name. Really, that seems pretty sensible. "I'm... well, it's kind of..." He looks troubled, certainly, and he presses his fingertips together in his lap, long fingers flexing, a subtle movement Andrew notices anyway. After taking a deep breath, Jesse looks up again, half-meeting Andrew's gaze. "It's just, I really wanted to try that, y'know, stupid café down the street, and I don't have anyone to take me."
Andrew knows, of course, that that isn't the problem, but he smiles, something warm flooding him at the answer. Jesse's obviously still kind of shaken or upset, but it almost seems like maybe Andrew's interference actually did something - as they both laugh (Andrew richer, Jesse somewhat half-heartedly), Andrew picks himself off the floor and offers Jesse his hand.
"I think we're in luck, then," Andrew says, bending to retrieve his umbrella. "Would you like to go with me, Jesse? I believe my table has room for you, if it's something you'll consider."
Jesse smiles, looking self-consciously at the floor, then up towards Andrew. "Uhm, sure," he says, nodding. "Yeah. That would be great. Really."