Work Header

(Discontinued) COMMUNITY

Work Text:

On a day before the world ended.
RODRIGUEZ and CLYDE are attending to their jobs at the Wally Burger. CLYDE sweeps the floor, RODRIGUEZ writes random numbers down in the office (is he keeping track of the budget? Of course not. The man hates his job). Neither of them are invested in what they are doing.
Meanwhile, BENNY and LIAM are positioned at front-of-the-house, attending to their work. BEN at the cash register with a regular, is warm and friendly. LIAM at the grill is red in the face, seemingly unaware of his impending dehydration. It is mid afternoon. The slow period has begun, wherein BEN would usually dash out into the dining hall and grab LIAM a cup of water from the soda fountain, but evidently, LIAM has gone without water for the last several hours. The two have not spoken to each other the whole shift.
CLYDE, desperately seeking something to do, looks toward his hardly-working employer.
C: Hey Rod. Which of them do you think is gonna lose their virginity first?
R: Liam, without a doubt.
CLYDE is surprised by this.
R: Benny sold his soul to that redhead crush of his, I don’t think he’s ever bouncing back from that. You know, our boy Liam’s got a certain meanness to him.
C: Really? Liam doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.
R: Why would he get in between Ben and the love of his life? He was jealous.
C: Jealous or not, Liam’s a total wuss. Girls ain’t gonna flock to that.
R: You don’t wanna bet with me. I’m right. I know I’m right ‘cause you have no expertise in the matter.
C: Au contraire. It takes one to know one.
R: You think Liam’s-?
C: Wouldn’t surprise me. He checks all the boxes.
R: Argh, you’ve got me nervous now. Whatever. I’m taking a hundred dollars no matter where he sways.
C: I’ll keep you on your toes, old man. I’ll give you a hundred if he’s straight, two hundred if he’s gay, three hundred if he makes the first move with Benny boy, which he ain’t, ‘cause he’s a wuss.
R: And what if you win?
C: Four hundred bucks.
R: No way.
C: Four hundred bucks or nothing. You’re the boss.
R: I am the boss and I say I only forfeit two-fifty if you somehow win, no more.
C: Sir Dipshit? You pay me less than minimum wage. Four hundred bucks my way is a fair shake.
R: ...Fine. Only ‘cause you said sir.
C: That’s right. Dipshit.
A later scene... Post Flash. Post Lovelies. Post Sports Dome; a different outcome.
Shot opens on an abandoned bench. In the same shot, LIAM approaches the bench from the left side. He perches on it cautiously, like a cat.
A moment later, the tip of a cane enters the frame from the right, and with the rest of the cane comes CLYDE.
L: Almost there, big guy.
Too late, CLYDE walks gut-first into the bench. Groaning, CLYDE thrusts his hands in front of him, grabbing the arm rest and the top of the back. After making sufficient grip, he maneuvers himself awkwardly into his seat.
CLYDE is blind; a red cloth tied behind his head, covering both of the dead holes where his eyes used to be. The cane extends from his right hand, leaving a divot in the sand. He sits, his posture leaning back, legs apart, chin up. At a glance, he looks as full of himself as ever. But when the occasion calls for him to turn his head toward LIAM, his inability to see makes him turn his head a little too far, or not far enough. If he had eyes to see, he would be staring over LIAM’s shoulder, or focusing squarely on his armpit.
LIAM sits a two feet away from him, a light coating of dust on his frame. The inescapable dust sits on everything, including his (one functional, one spiderweb-cracked) lenses. This is the normal amount of cleanliness in post-Flash Olathe he has come to accept. As he sits, his core curls inward, and his arms are crossed.
After a pause...
C: Did you ever love Ben?
L: He was my closest friend, my only friend for a long time. But that’s not what you mean by love, is it?
C: How did it feel?
L: It?
C: I’ve heard that it tricks the body sometimes... and your body tricks your mind... and then it feels just like sex. Scary shit.
A beat.
L: Why do you care?
C: I still owe Sir Dipshit a hundred and fifty bucks.
L: What for?
C: Split the difference.