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The Morning After

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It was almost noon when Pinboard stumbled into the office, eyes bleary. His shirt, Delicious noted, was buttoned crooked.

"And where have YOU been all morning?" Delicious asked. The split-second glance away from the computer had been a bad idea; there was already a full screen of new complaints in his inbox.

"Nothing much," Pinboard said as he booted up his own machine and started typing hastily.

Delicious held his finger down on the delete key until all the new messages vanished, then risked a second glance over at his office mate. Pinboard already had a dizzying array of windows open on his five monitors, but Delicious's attention was instantly drawn to the one with multicolored text. He squinted. One of the names looked familiar--

"Hey! You've been talking with Fandom!"

"We had a good brainstorming session last night," Pinboard said modestly. He reached up to push a lock of hair behind his ear. An ear, Delicious noted with horror, that had a bruise on its lobe. There were more bruises running down his neck, a line of love bites that vanished under his shirt.

Delicious smashed the delete key again without even looking at his screen. Some things were more important. "Brainstorming?" he snarled. "Is that what they're calling it these days?"

"Oh, you know." Pinboard glanced up and gave him a vague smile. "And other things."

"But Fandom is my girl! You've been making out with my girl!"

"And other things," Pinboard repeated, sounding almost singsong with glee. His voice quickly shifted to contrition. "I'm sorry. I didn't know you wanted her. She said she wasn't even sure you knew she existed."

"What? Of course I know she exists! I know I've been a little busy with work, but I got her these lovely pictures as a present!" Delicious let go of the delete key long enough to pull up a new window, his latest site design. He was rather intensely proud of it. Surely shy, quiet Pinboard, with his boring old text, couldn't match it?

"Oh, Delicious." Pinboard sighed. "Don't you know anything?"

"And stacks! I gave her stacks!"

Pinboard glanced at Delicious's screen. The slight turn exposed a matching series of hickies down the other side of his neck. "Women don't really go in for pictures without context," he explained with a pitying look. "They like stories. Words. You know. Er-ot-ic-a. But don't worry. I'm sure there's plenty of boys who will like what you're doing."

"Boys?" Diigo interrupted as he bounced into the office. "I like boys. Especially K-12 boys. Are you talking about boys?"

"No! We're talking about how Pinboard had sex with my girlfriend!"

Diigo looked worried, and for a moment Delicious hoped he'd found a kindred spirit. "Nooo. You shouldn't talk about sex in the office! Someone might hear. I'm sure we have a private room for that."

With a thud, Delicious let his forehead hit the keyboard, landing squarely on the delete key. "But I gave her back her slash symbol," he moaned to no one in particular.

"She'll probably get bored with me eventually," Pinboard said kindly. His gaze flickered between Diigo and Delicious. "Perhaps if you two work . . . together, you can catch her attention. If you know what I mean. But excuse me. I've got lunch plans! I'll be back in a few hours."

Delicious didn't look up until he heard the door shut behind Pinboard. Front and center on Pinboard's middle monitor was the multi-colored document. The text size was larger, now; he didn't need to squint.

"Meet me for a nooner? :-)" Fandom had typed.

Delicious banged his head against the keyboard again.