It was a nice day.
Sunny, warm, the kind of day that would have sent any person with allergies skittering into a dark and windowless basement with three criss-crossing chains and a separate padlock for each — either because the national allergy forecast had foretold the invasion of the chenopods, or because it was Monday and Monday meant the beginning of a week-long martyrdom of forced, if temporary, cohabitation with people whose conversations mainly consisted of Atkins diet, relationship drama, and the mistaken belief that everyone and their dog would lead an incomplete life until they'd looked at the newest set of pictures of their newborn niece-or-nephew.
Sol Badguy would have belonged to the latter set of people, except he had reached that special state of being that could only be achieved via the biting fumes of continuous nicotine intake and forty-eight hours of unrelenting and highly unsatisfactory paperwork. Thus, the first reason why it seemed noteworthy that it was a nice day was because of the near-lethal dose of morning sunlight piercing his blurry, red-raw vision as soon as he stumbled out the door to his home.
The second reason for noting the quality of the day's weather was, at that time, not even a faint notion in his mind, which was busy finding the ignition, cursing when the stereo once again chose to tune in on the local station's Rick Astley remix instead of the dulcet tones burned into the sleek silver surface of the Sheer Heart Attack album, and leaving some noticeable tire tracks on the frontal driveway to express his displeasure.
The second reason would slowly begin to unfold once he'd sent the car skidding into his customary parking lot, slammed the door, cursed again, yanked it open to extract the keys, and began to make his way through the as yet blissfully deserted hallways of the pre-term campus. However, he missed the first signs of impending cataclysm altogether, signs that would, in retrospect, cause him to think that the weather ought to have been a little bit more fitting for the fiendish machinations about to take place.
As it was, though, Sol was still preoccupied with registering the inconveniences of once again being in contact with the outside world and with not acknowledging anybody lest they think him a charitable soul, and thus, he completely missed the connection between the little things neatly lining up between his trek to administration and his trek to his lab. Things that, to be honest, would have sent alarm bells ringing in any probability theoretician's head.
The first thing was the disturbingly cheery smile on the face of the midget they'd hired for the secretary internship. She hadn't smiled at him since the day he'd first ignored her incessant attempts at small talk, and possibly insulted three generations of her family, but here it was, the kind of 100-megawatt candy-fueled smile that could power an entire Christmas tree with its obnoxious bubbliness. When the carebear stare failed to produce the desired reaction, she simply dumped his pile of mail into his arms, informing him that she'd graciously cleaned out his pigeon hole even though she could have sworn that package was hissing at her and was kind of oozing, and that was, like, totally ew, and normally she wouldn't be doing something like this for him, because this was a cute-guy-only privilege, but she thought it might be necessary for the new term.
The grin was practically splitting her face when she said "new term," and that should have been his warning to turn around, walk back to the parking lot, do a u-turn and get the hell out of there, but at the time he thought she was just one of those brainwashed trainee kids who actually believed that her attitude would contribute to the workplace climate like some kind of hair-twirling, bubblegum-snapping El Niño. He grunted an acknowledgement and prepared to shuffle on, but she wasn't quite done yet.
"Annnnd the post office called to ask if you'd died yet and I could have told them yeah, but then I didn't because I'm such a nice person, so they'll still keep your space lasers or whatever until closing time."
Sol paused. The last time the post office had started returning his mail to the sender with the little 'deceased' stamps on it, somebody in the department had thought it funny enough to send the police to break down his door in order to retrieve the body. Maybe the kid just hadn't heard of that little stunt yet.
He turned to catch her staring at him expectantly. "...Great. I'd toss you a treat, but I'm all out of biscuits."
"You are so lucky that it's be-nice-to-cave-troll-day today," she threatened, and that should have been his second clue to leave town forever and get a new identity as a traveling bass guitarist, but at the time, all he'd wanted to do was duck out of the office before he could be run over by the freight train of sparkly strawberry-scented hearts that came attached to the shriek of, "OH HI GOOD MORNING, JOHNNY!"
His third and final clue presented itself shortly before his lab, when he made a brief stop to check whether the queue sign for his own office was still firmly stuck on the utility closet on the other side of the hall, and caught a whiff of coffee — the kind of uplifting, motor-oil-consistency smell that could only be pulled from a private espresso machine. That was the point when he should have been trying to catch the next flight to Panama, because his own coffee maker hadn't produced a coffee since the Nixon administration, and the next machine was at least three floors away.
However, his sleep-deprived mind refused to connect the dots properly, so when he shoved open the door to his lab, he was completely unprepared for the surprise waiting inside.
The smirking, high-heeled, mini-skirted surprise lounging on top of his research notes, nonchalantly waving his favorite mug.
"Well, well, look what the cat dragged in," I-no purred, twirling the booby trap explosive formerly mounted on the door knob with her other hand.
It took his brain a moment to pull out the corresponding facial expression, something he thought was a passable approximation of an angry whale shark. "You. Get out."
"Behold, it speaks," she announced to the empty room, and took a sip of coffee. "You're such a sunshine, Freddie dear, and after I came out all this way just to see you."
"Isn't your hunting ground somewhere closer to gradeschool?" he growled, trying to determine where he'd put the acetylene blowtorch. "And don't call me that."
"I prefer my meat without mold attached to it," I-no said airily. "Just swinging by to deliver this."
She held out a clipboard, and rolled her eyes when he made a show of pulling on a pair of sterile gloves before taking it off her hands. Underneath the usual pompous coversheet that marked official missives, complete with the university seal and the names of at least three vice presidents, Psy. D., J. D., triple Ph. D., five pages of legalese were clipped on, and then...
"What the fuck is this."
"The spores messing with your eyes, Freddie dear?" She was watching him, visibly relishing his slow realization that the tiny print was spelling out his doom. "It's exactly what it looks like. Your schedule for this year!"
"I am not teaching classes."
"Yes, you are," I-no sang. "As you should have been doing all along, I might add. Well, that's what your grant program said, anyway, when I took the liberty of asking about their conditions. Wouldn't want you to get in trouble, after all."
"I mean, just imagine what would happen if that breach of contract came out... you're getting, what, some ninety-odd thousand a year? While the poor little literature department is struggling to even get enough for a couple of guest lectures." She set the mug down, clasping her hands and batting her eyelashes.
"The suffering maiden act would work so much better if you'd be wearing a shirt that actually closes," Sol snapped, tossing the clipboard back to her. "I'm not doing this shit."
"Oh, yes. Yes, you will. Unless you'd like to be paying back... let's see, how much was it again?"
"Hey, look at it this way, I'm only doing you a favor. And because I wouldn't want you to be forced to battle all the evil, awful paperwork you hate so much, I even took the liberty of signing you up." Sliding off the table, she swaggered towards the exit, pushing the clipboard back into his hands. In the doorframe, she paused, her tone adopting a motherly sweetness that made his skin crawl. "Better take a good look at that roster... you really wouldn't want to be late. Oh, and you'll be the proud pioneer of our new interdisciplinary program... teaching rocks for jocks. Have a nice day."
The door closed behind her.
Sol waited an extra five minutes until she stopped lurking outside his office in hopes of hearing the spill of his incoherent rage, the click-clack of her heels fading down the corridor.
He didn't swear.
Instead, he methodically located the blowtorch, grabbed the mug, and went outside to set it ablaze on the hood of her car.
A/N: So here it is, my own personal crack attempt at college fic. I'd blame this on Twig, who kept proclaiming her support of the idea, but sadly I am having way too much fun with this, myself. XD I'm not sure how quick the updates will be, but I do hope you're willing to give this one a chance. I'd be happy to hear what you think, at any rate.
Notes for the Bored:
- Although I'm sprinkling cameos here and there, I am not planning on drawing the entire GG cast into this fic. For one, that's a lot of characters, and for another, that rarely ends well. I'd rather toy with a few of them, and the focus is meant to be Sol and Ky, anyway.
- Fyi, I-no is teaching feminist literature. You can't tell me she wouldn't be scary like that. :P