This was written in response to a prompt I was given on tumblr by anon!
Evan chooses flat 4A because the building is located in an area with low crime rates, it has a large window with a windowsill perfectly suited to holding his plants and, most importantly, the neighbouring flat is empty and has been that way for the previous six months. For the first three months it's close to perfect and then, one afternoon, Evan hears noises he's been dreading.
Someone's moving in.
Evan spends the remainder of that day being as quiet as possible; both to try and listen in on his new neighbour, attempting to figure out what kind of person they are, and also not to alert them and whoever's with them to his presence. Evan knows it's only polite to introduce yourself to your neighbour but his therapy has never managed to easy his fear of small talk with strangers. He never knows what to say and almost always ends up making an idiot of himself and if there's one person he really doesn't want to make a bad impression on, it's the person who's going to be living next to him for the foreseeable future.
By the time is appears that his neighbour has finished moving in, Evan has only managed to deduce two things about them – they're male and had a female helping him move in, a female who sounded like she could be his sister. A knock thankfully never thuds on his door and as Evan falls asleep that night, he begins planning on how he can avoid his new neighbour.
For the first week or so, his plan works out well. Evan has to leave early for work anyway and judging from the sounds he hears, his neighbour (Connor Murphy, an accidental letter in his mailbox informs him), gets back an hour or so after him. Evan figures if things continue the way they are, then maybe having a neighbour wouldn't be as bad as he thought.
And then the music starts.
It's not that it's really loud or anything, it's just that his neighbour must have a good sound system or something because the music he listens to has a very heavy bass and the repetitive pounding noise is enough to keep Evan awake until past eleven. That might not be late for some people but for Evan, who doesn't function well on less than eight hours and can't rely on coffee thanks to his anxiety, it becomes a nightmare. After the fourth night, both he and his work are suffering. Evan knows he needs to do something but he really doesn't want his first meeting with his neighbour starting with him complaining. At least, not in person.
It takes Evan's sleep-deprived brain a few minutes to come up with the obvious solution – a note. Sure, Connor might end up confronting him over it but so far, his neighbour hasn't made much of an effort to introduce himself either, at least, not that Evan's aware off. Even if he does, he could just leave it when he goes out to work and then pretend to be out if he gets an unexpected knock on the door…
Sure, he might be going a bit overboard but Evan can't handle confrontation when he's fully awake, let alone after sleep-deprivation.
As the music plays for the fifth night, the bass pounding enough that it feels like the bed is moving, Evan starts to write his note, unintentionally mimicking his old therapy letters as he writes, 'Dear Connor Murphy…'
When Evan gets home, there's a note waiting for him on the welcome mat and Evan's heart briefly clenches in panic. He picks it up quickly, needing to know if he's offended Connor.
'Sorry. I'll use headphones'
The stress that had been lingering in Evan all day finally releases. Well, he thinks, that had been easier than expected. Evan sticks the note on the counter and begins making dinner.
Evan doesn't have any more contact with his neighbour until he realises November is coming up and that means Miss García will be hosting her family party and by family party, he means the party where she forces anyone who crosses her path to attend. She has them twice a year and the first one she had got him because he was new and unprepared. Now that he knows, he has already made plans to avoid it and though he isn't sure what sort of person Connor is, whether he would actually like to attend, he knows that he would have at least liked a warning. Therefore, before work, Evan drafts a new note holding a friendly warning. Evan figures the kind of guy who also avoids their neighbour would probably enjoy Miss García's party as much as he did.
'Thanks for the heads up. Parties like that aren't really my scene'
And then, all of a sudden, they start up a proper correspondence. Evan's not sure how they manage it but even with all the notes they end up sending, during the month they do, they still happen to never meet in the hallway. Of course, it could be that Evan has seen him in the building and just not recognised him but still, it's pretty incredible.
It's also incredible how now Evan actually, maybe, really wants to meet Connor now. Thanks to the safety of the notes, Evan's ended up sharing things he never expected to with Connor, like his anxiety and how he can count his friends on one finger. In return, Connor has admitted things to him, like how he used to do drugs as a teenager but quit and that for all his parents tried to help him with his BPD, they always managed to do more harm than good.
Evan even starts to contemplate gathering the courage to just knock on Connor's do, something he's doing at that moment, when there are noises coming from the entrance. It…it sounds like someone's trying to get in.
Heart pounding in his chest, Evan ignores his instinct of hiding in the closet and instead carefully creeps up to the peephole, lamp in hand. There's a guy there, a guy Evan has a vague recollection of seeing before, and it looks like he's trying to stick his key in Evan's door. Evan watches for a bit, sees the man get increasingly more frustrated and confused and makes the split-second decision just to open his door and tell the guy he's got the wrong place.
"Fucking finally," mutters the stranger before Evan can even say anything, and Evan stares in bewilderment as they stride straight past him into his living room. The guy then looks at Evan's sofa with squinted eyes and says, "Wait, this isn't my couch."
"Uh, no, that's-that's because you're in my flat. Do you, um, live in the building?" Evan really hopes this guy isn't a serial killer. He's not sure how much protection his lamp would offer.
As if only just registering Evan is there, the man looks at him in surprise. "…Evan?"
"Do I…," realisation hits and the lamp falls out of Evan's hand. "Connor?"
Connor's (because it has to be him, it has to be, and wow, he is much more attractive than Evan had imagined) head tilts to the side.
"Huh. You're cute."
Oh good, the feeling's mutual. Evan might just spontaneously combust. Except, there's definitely something off about him. He's never normally confused Evan's flat for his own.
"Are you, erm, drunk?"
"No." Comes the immediate retort. "Maybe. Yeah." He sways a little and Evan hurries forward.
"Maybe you should sit down."
Connor obeys but Evan doesn't realise he has a grip on his jumper until he's falling down beside him. He doesn't even let go, tugging Evan until he's looking at him. "I'm happy you're cute," Connor tells him seriously and Evan fights a blush.
"I'm, uh, glad too? You look…very nice."
A satisfied expression crosses Connor's face and he leans back against the sofa with his eyes close, releasing his grip on Evan's jumper.
"You should probably drink some water. Hold on."
"No," Connor says, not opening his eyes. "Need more booze. 'm.. 'm having a crisis. Or was. Not sure now."
"What's wrong?" Evan's confusion morphs into concern. Connor hadn't mentioned anything in his notes…
"'M falling for my neighbour 'n we haven't even met yet." He then peeks one eye open. "'cept we have now. Huh."
Well, that would explain why it wasn't in his notes. Evan doesn't know what to say but then, he thinks, Connor appears to be so drunk there's little chance of him remembering this in the morning…Evan's not sure who he's trying to convince but regardless, he ends up summoning enough bravery to say, "I think I'm falling for you too. But I really think you should drink some water and go to sleep."
A bright smile lights up Connor's face and if Evan hadn't thought he was beautiful before, he sure does now. "Okay."
"Okay then," Evan says when Connor doesn't seem to want to talk any more. Easily enough, he gets Connor to drink some water and manages to get him back to his apartment and into bed. Evan spares a moment to glance around Connor's flat as he does so but finds the weight of Connor half leaning on him incredibly distracting. Once Connor is under the covers and on the verge of sleep, Evan can't resist saying, "I know you probably won't remember all this but I really hope you do."
He doesn't take much stock of the mumbled, "I will," but when he gets back from work the next day there's a new note waiting for him.
An hour or so later, Evan answers the knock on his door.