Where I write things.

for myself. Mostly.

FIC: GRAND PIANOS CRASH TOGETHER WHEN MY BOY WALKS DOWN THE STREET, SUPERNATURAL, DESTIEL, PG
abbylabby

title: grand pianos crash together when my boy walks down the street, after a song by The Magnetic Fields
fandom: Supernatural
pairing: Castiel/Dean
rating: PG (? bit of swearing)
category: crack. Definitely not serious. I think I'm hilarious. That's really all you need to know about me. It explains so much.
words: 4150
summary: Sam gets his will, Cas gets new clothes and Dean hates everything.


Grand Pianos Crash Together When My Boy Walks Down The Street

Dean had known that it was a stupid idea.

From the get-go. And he'd told them. Repeatedly. But had they listened? of course they hadn't.

To be fair: Sam never listened to his big brother and Cas had developed the annoying habit of doing the same, but still.

Dean buried his face in his hands and thought 'what has my life become?' a thought he had entertained far too often for his liking in the past couple of days.

It had all started three days ago, when Cas had announced his decision to remain with them permanently and to join them in their hunts.

Sam and Dean had been surpised, but not unpleasantly so.

With the apocalypse out of the way, they had pretty much expected Castiel to return to heaven for good and for them to never see him again.

The had accepted it, thought they had been somewhat bitter about it, especially Dean. You may think that the Winchesters would eventually get used to all their friends and family leaving them, but losing someone you love is not something that ever stops hurting.

So when Cas had made his little speech about 'their noble mission that he wanted to be a part of, if they would allow it', Dean's throat might have closed up a little, but a quick glance to his little borther showed him that Sam felt much the same way and Dean suppressed the urge to make a joke about Cas' formality for the sake of keeping his masculinity intact and wordlessly pulled Cas in a gruff one-armed hug.

Castiel's eyes widened in surprise, but he didn't protest.

The hug lasted all of five seconds, before Dean deemed it enough and realeased him.

His place had been taken almost immediately by Sam, who went in for a full hug, that reminded Dean faintly of an octopus grappling a rock, since Sam seemed to inexplicably possess about eight arms and Cas was entirely unmoving in his surprise. It was kinda funny actually.

So it had been decided that Castiel would join the family business and really, it was almost like having another brother. A badass brother with wings and angelic mojo, but a brother none the less.

So it stood to reason, that Sam and Dean, as his 'brothers', would be the ones to ensure Castiel fit in with other humans.

They started the whole process(an elaborate ploy, sophistically named 'plan to make Cas seem more human')by subjecting Cas to copious amounts of daytime television.

Dean insisted 'Dr Sexy' be a big part of this, because 'shut up! it's a great show. It tells stories about people, Sam. You wouldn't understand.'

Castiel seemed more confused than anything, by the complex relationships between the characters('but I thought Nurse Jackie loved Dr.Sexy?' 'No, dude, she just pretended, to help Dr. Sexy make Nurse Consuelo jealous. Nurse Jackie is in love with Mr. Reyers, the comatose from room 221.' 'Oh, I see.' 'Shhhhh! dude, oh my god, Nurse Consuelo is going to confront the doctor! Man, this show is amazing!')

After threee days, which saw Mr. Reyers awaken from his coma, falling in love with Nurse Jackie, only to be pushed down a flight of stairs by the evil janitor, a twist that had Dean screaming at the little crappy television in their motel room in outrage, Sam deemed Cas ready for 'the next step'.

This step involved getting less suspicious clothes for Castiel.

Dean tried to argue with that, because the trenchcoat was kind of awesome, the way it would flap dramatically in the wind and also it kinda screamed 'superhero in disguise'.

Cas shyly threw in, that he had grown 'rather fond' of his, Jimmy's, outfit.

Sam was undeterrable. He insisted that in order to blend in to human society Cas would need new clothes and that was the end of it.

Which it wasn't, as far as Dean was concerned and they ended up in a shouting match, in which Dean accused Sam of 'using Cas as a dress-up doll! if you want to dress someone up so badly, buy a new outfit for your Barbie', which unsurprisingly did nothing to calm Sam down. After a gratuitous round of 'bitch', 'jerk', Cas silenced them both with his mojo.

'Just. Be quiet. Both of you. Let it rest. If it's so important to Sam, I will aquire new clothes' he said, somewhat exasperatedly.

Sam's eyebrows shot up in triumph while Dean did his best to refrain from pouting, because pouting wasn't manly goddammit and frankly he'd rather die than give Sammy the satisfaction.

Cas released the hold of their vocal chords and immediately Dean went on a rambly monologue about how stupid an idea it was, and a waste of money and did he mention 'stupid'?

Sam ignored him and dragged Cas to the Impala, for the shopping.

Dean watched them leave with a mix of frustration and amusement. Damn Sam for always getting his way, but Cas had not looked happy.

Hard to believe that this guy who was currently bullied into clothes-shopping(because Sam was such a girl, he added in his mind)was actually a powerful creature, who could smite evil sons of bitches with a look.

'Oh how the mighty have fallen' he exclaimed to the room in general, before turning on Dr. Sexy. Nurse Jackie currently had the janitor locked up in her basement to get him to confess his crimes. Once more Dean thought that the show should really get an Emmy.

Meanwhile the Impala rumbled to a halt in the parking lot of Freedom, Idaho's mall.

Sam exited the car, rubbing his hands together excitedly, Cas following closely behind, significantly less happy-looking.

In the past, their hunts had led them to malls on more than one occasion, but either Cas hadn't been with them then or maybe he had forgotten about it, because Castiel, angel of the Lord, soldier, bamf, was currently completely overwhelmed.

He gazed around at the masses of people, shuffling through the shops reminscent of a herd of cattle. Only with less purpose.

Sam gleefully dragged Castiel through every single clothes store.

And in each one he'd enlist the help of a young exciteable shop-assistant, to 'help his friend Cas here find some new clothes' which had been met with enthusiasm of varying degrees.

It wasn't until the last shop, forever 21 of all places, that they actually bought something.

The teenage girl they appproached there, her nametag read 'Candi', almost wet herself with excitement and started mumbling things that sounded suspiciously like 'makeover' and 'skinny jeans. Definitely skinny jeans.'

387.57$ later found them exiting the shop, carrying two bags full  nearly to the point of bursting.

'I don't enjoy shopping' Cas stated, clutching the bags on his lap as they drove back to the motel, looking rather miserable.

Sam just laughed with the satisfaction of a job well-done.

And the prospect of Dean's scandalized face to look forward to.

Dean didn't disappoint.

'No.' he pulled the offending pieces of clothing out of the bags one by one.

'No'. 'No. 'Oh god, no!'. ''No'. 'What the hell, Sammy?' He held up a pair of dark blue skinny jeans 'I mean, whatever, they're pants, but' he dropped the jeans in favour of a bright pink t-shirt that looked like it might fit a 12-year old girl.

'Seriously Sam? Seriously?'

Sam just laughed at Dean's appalled face. ' I didn't know you read Vogue now. Well, everybody is a critic these days, eh Cas?'

Castiel gave him a pained smile, before blushing and snatching something out of Dean's hand that looked suspiciously like a thong, before stammering something unentillegible and disappearing in the tiny bathroom.

Dean's eyebrows were so high on his forehead, they blended seamlessly into his hairline.

'Was that a...?' he trailed off.

Sam took a gleeful breath to tell his brother that yes, it had indeed been a thong, with the american flag on it(God Bless America!), when Dean cut him off.

'No, don't say a word. I.' he buried his face in his hands 'I can't believe we're related.' A slightly hysterical giggle escaped from behind his hands.

'An angel of the Lord in a thong, you're so going to hell.' after a beat he added 'again' and proceeded to dissolve into a fit of giggles.

Sam simply stuck out his tongue at Dean. He was the mature one after all.

Castiel took his sweet time, which was good, because it gave Dean sufficient time to compose himself. In fact, it was long enough that he got bored and switched on the television.

Sam retreated to his laptop and did some research. Probably.

Sam spent a lot of time at his laptop.
A lot of it.

Dean figured that porn was probably involved in some way. But that was a thought he didn't really want to get into, because awkward ~.

The sound of the bathroom-door opening roused him from his ponderings about Sam's internet history and when he turned around to face Castiel, all rational thought evaded him.

Sam abandoned his 'research' to exclaim a heartfelt 'Wow!'.

Dean managed to nod his head once, in agreement, He had not yet regained the ability to speak.

Castiel was indeed 'wow'. He had forgone the pink shirt, thank fuck!, instead he was wearing a clinging black shirt with a pattern of coloured blocks that made Dean feel vaguely nauseous just looking at it.

Beneath this atrocity of a shirt were the lowest-cut, skinniest skinny jeans that Dean had ever laid eyes on.

And he'd seen his fair share of loose women who'd squeezed into too-tight pants while on the prowl.

There was skin-tight, and then there was Cas' pants.

To round it off, the angel was wearing those weird sneakers with a star on the side, that were all the rage with the kids, or so Dean assumed.

They had a skull and cross-bones pattern.

Hysteria rose in Dean's throat.

Thank god there was no full-length mirror in the room, because Cas would probably smite them if he saw what they'd turned him into.

Well, to be fair, it had only been Sam really. Speaking of the devil.

Dean avoided Cas' questioning gaze and turned his eyes to his little brother.

And immediately did a double-take, but the picture remained the same:

Sam had his hands clasped together, as if in prayer, staring at Cas like he was the most marvelous thing he’d ever seen. And were those…? Were those tears glinting in his eyes?

Whatever Dean had been about to say died in his throat.

Of course Sam would enjoy this. Of course he would.

Castiel cleared his throat.

Dean focused his attention back on the angel.

His hunter indicts kicked in. Damage control. Right.

Sam took a deep breath to say something, undoubtedly stupid, and was silenced by a swift kick to the shin.

Cas frowned at the display of violence, but brotherly roughness had always been a mystery to him, so he didn’t remark on it.

‘Cas!’ Dean started. And then stopped, at a loss how to go on.

So he repeated ‘Cas, Cas, Cas.’ feeling more like an idiot by the second.

He was silenced(which was probably for  the better, all things considered) by a sharp stab in his ribcage, courtesy of Sam’s elbow.

‘You look like a whole new person!’ Sam exclaimed, exuberance only slightly marred by a brief display of the bitchface towards his brother.

‘That shirt clings in all the right places. And those pants! Candi really knows her stuff!’

Dean lost a few seconds, when he reminisced about a girl he’s once met. Kandy had possessed quite a pair and when his eyes focused back on the secene, Sam had gotten off the bed and walked over to Cas to examine him more closely.

It wasn’t just looking either, Sam was running his hands over the fabric of Cas’ shirt and not rushed, no sir, Sam took his time.

And the way he looked at Cas…

Dean would rather be anywhere else. But at the same time, there was a vague feeling he couldn’t quite place, something tugging just at the very seam of his consciousness.

A familiar feeling he hadn’t experienced in a while.

As Dean struggled to identify the emotion, Sam’s fingers kept nimbly tracing the pattern of Cas’ shirt.

Castiel drew in a sharp breath, when Sam’s thumbs repeatedly slid over his nipples.

Sam visibly started. His eyes and mouth opened in horror, when he realized what he’d been doing. He looked not unlike a deer caught in the headlights, fully expecting angelic fury to strike him down.

Cas’ eyes were half-lidded and against all logic, he didn’t look like he was going to smite anybody.

‘That was’ he cocked his head to the side, considering ‘pleasurable’.

Sam looked gobsmacked, but regained his composure at remarkable speed, a pleased expression taking over his face, with just a hint of smugness.

‘Well, in that case…’and he took up his caressing again.

I mean, come on, who even uses the word ‘caress’?

And with his ridiculously big stupid hands there was no telling…Dean stopped mid-thought, because he’d finally managed to place the feeling:

It was jealousy. It was exactly like when they were younger and Sam had taken his Batman action figure. Dad had told Dean to ‘get over it. You’re too old for it anyway. Let Sammy here have his fun’.

Well, John wasn’t around now.

‘Sammy!’ he yelled, probably too loud, considering he was less than 2 feet away from the spectacle.

Sam’s hands froze where they were resting on Cas’ waist, a development that Dean did not approve of.  ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ Dean asked sharply, crossing his arms over his chest for emphasis.

In his defence: if Sam’s blush was anything to go by, he’d probably forgotten that Dean even existed, much less in the same room. HOW WAS THAT REDEEMING EXACTLY?

Oh nevermind.

‘What the hell, Dean? I’m obviously…’ he shut up really quickly, when he realized that he had no idea what the fuck he’d been doing.

The Winchester brothers launched into epic-stare-down mode. Which would later turn into namecalling, there would be ‘bitch’ and ‘jerk’s and if that didn’t relieve the tension, there was always the possibility of a good old-fashioned fistfight. Standard procedure in such matters.

But not this time.

Because Castiel had realized that he enjoyed being petted, or stroked, or even caressed, if you want to go there, and he was not pleased, that the person in charge of the petting was getting distracted.

He cleared his threat, but no one took any notice of that, so with a sigh Cas resorted to grabbing their attention in the way that always worked:

All the lightbulbs in the room burts in a shower of glass and sparks, the television changed channels so rapidly that the images blended into each other and little balls of fire floated around the brothers.

Their eyes, after assessing the situation, trained almost immediately on Castiel.

‘Stop it!’ Castiel glared at them ‘You can argue later. What are you even arguing about?’ his gaze intensified tenfold and zoomed in on Dean, like he knew that it was Dean who had the problem.

Dean shuffled uncomfortably.

Bickering he could do, actually talking about a problem? Not so much.

But not saying anything might actually be even worse than the whole feelings-shebang.

So Dean talked, feeling very much like a little child that doesn’t want to share his favourite toy, he tried to convey that he was not okay with Sam touching his angel. ‘I mean, come on Sammy, We share a profound bond! He pulled me out of hell for fuck’s sake!’ Dean waved his arms around for emphasis.

Sam, who’d taken up petting up and down Cas’ sides, heroically tried to suppress his grin and failed.

‘What’s so funny?’ Dean demanded, following the progress of Sam’s fingers with his eyes.

‘It’s just…dude…you’re so jealous! And I’m not even doing anything! How did you ever get out of that strip-club without killing one of those poor girls who dared so much as look at Cas?’ Sam threw his long floppy hair back in a display of mirth that was nothing short of disgusting, if you asked Dean.

Could someone ask him please, so that he could answer?

But of course no one did. Jerks.

‘Look, Sam: I’m not saying stop doing whatever you’re doing’ though I totally am ‘but’ he gesticulated vaguely to Cas(whose eyes were half-closed again and who seemed to be having rather a good time)’I think that I should somehow be involved’ he gesticulated some more, for good measure.

Sam’s shit-eating grin was nothing short of indecent.

‘Oooh,  Dean wants in on the lovin’’ he sing-songed in a tone that made Dean vow to shave of Sam’s sideburns the very second Sam closed his eyes that night.

But before Sam could say anything else that might result in the loss of something rather more important than his sideburns, he was rather peculiar about his plaid shirts, Castiel interrupted them:

‘You are more than welcome to join’ he declared solemnly.

Possible contra from Sam was silenced with mojo(the resulting bitchface could probably be seen from space) and Dean very willingly joined his brother in petting their angel.

It was weird. Of course it was.

Two humans petting an angel of the lord like a kitty cat, ‘weird’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.

But. But there was also a certain rightness to it.

And when they fell asleep that night, all huddled together in one crappy little motel bed, they slept more peacefully than they had in a long time.

That day marked the beginning of their problems though.

Because Castiel insisted on wearing his new clothes.

In itself, that wouldn’t be a problem, but it turned everybody around them into sex-starved lunatics, if you asked Dean.

Which was still something, that no one ever did. Jerks.

Damn Cas and his fantastically skintight ‘leave absolutely nothing to the imagination’ clothes! Curse Sam and his makeover cravings!

Curse that Kandy who…Kandy. Bless her. Her and her enormous knockers.

Anyway.

It wasn’t Cas’ fantastic ass that was the problem, or his beautifully sculpted legs, his well-toned arms, or his adorable little tummy. Not even his pecs, that could make a grown man weep (they had proof of that, since Sam had filmed it on his cameraphone).

All those factors had become rather a big part of Dean’s day-to-day happiness every since their discovery. Or ‘uncovery’ to be precise.

Anyway. Yes, it wasn’t Cas who was the problem.

It was the horny and frankly insane people around them who were the problem.

‘People’ being the keyword.

Cas didn’t just attract women, no Sir, Cas could make men, who had been happily married for 10 years (to a woman!), look twice.

And no amount of Dr Sexy could teach Cas enough about human interactions that he would spot the thinly-veiled attempts at flirting directed at him from every corner. He remained irritatingly polite and kind towards the people, no matter how lecherous their looks were.

Did that do anything to dissuade his admirers? Nope. If anything, it spurred them on more.

Dean spent most of his time staring menacingly at everybody around them.

Of course Sam thought the whole thing was hilarious.

Then it happened. The final straw. The cherry on top of a pie filled with ridiculousness.

It was the third day after the makeover.

They were still in Freedom, Idaho, investigating a chain of disappearances.

They weren’t even doing anything special.

They were walking down a street.

Walking. Down. A. Street.

Castiel in the lead, the Winchester brothers closely behind him.

Dean may or may not have hung back to get a chance to ogle Cas’ butt.

Okay. So he totally did. Sue him.

The problem wasn’t Dean.

The problem were the employees of ‘Sheldon’s World of Piano’, which were in the process of unloading the contents of a delivery van and rolling/lifting the pianos in the shop.

At least that’s what they were doing until they caught sight of Castiel.

A reverend silence descended upon the previously merrily chatting workers.

The Winchester’s didn’t even take any notice of it, Dean, because he was too busy looking at Cas and Sam, because he was above such things.

Mary Hogan, employee at Sheldon’s for 25 years, married with 3 children, was to be the domino to trip all the others.

Literally.

The sight of the angel sent her heart into overdrive and her memories flying back to happier times, when her husband had been in similar shape. These days her husband had no discernible shape to speak of.

With the shadow of times gone by fogging up her view, she missed the crucial step that would have meant for none of this to happen.

As it was, she missed, her feet met nothing but air and she lost her balance.

The piano she’d been lifting crashed down with a sickening crack.

Alesha Summers, employee at Sheldon’s for a mere 2 months, who’d been holding up the other end, wasn’t able to lift the grand concert piano(Eschenbach, 15k) by herself and had just enough time to jump out of the way.

In a frankly terrifying display, the piano leaned over, overbalanced and crashed down the steps.

The clanking grabbed the attention of the next employees in line, causing them to flee immediately. Which was good for them, but rather bad for the pianos.

It also managed to grab Cas, Dean and Sam’s attention.

They looked over just in time to watch the Eschenbach crash into a Schoppenhauer(12.5k), which in turn crashed into a miniature organ(Heidenpfeiffer, a mere 8 k).

In seconds the street was littered in ivory and organ pipes.

A chorus of wailing employees completed the picture.

It was a sight that Dean prayed to god he’d never have to see again.

They were just about to pass the mess, when an older woman stabbed an accusing finger in their direction.

‘It was him! He distracted me! It’s all his fault!!’, her stubby finger was pointed at Cas.

The gathered crowd turned towards them as one and their creased brows smoothed collectively.

A soft ‘oh.’ Filled the air. Eyes were glazing over, cheeks heated, throats were cleared.

‘Oh you’ve got to be kidding me’ Dean murmured under his breath. ‘Cas! I need you to fix this.’

Castiel turned big, blue, guileless eyes on him.

‘Of course’ he agreed readily and with the blink of an eye, the pianos were back in one piece and the employees of Sheldon’s went about their merry way.

As merry as you can be, when your work involves lifting heavy objects.

They returned swiftly to their motel room after that.

‘I don’t see how it was my fault, Dean’ Cas said petulantly, after Dean had glared at him for the better part of five minutes, he was sitting on a bed, arms crossed and honest to god, pouting.

‘Cas, you…’ Dean started, but got distracted by the way Cas’ collarbone peeked out of his shirt.

‘Oh son of a bitch!’ he pressed out between clenched teeth, while Sam was rolling around on the other bed in fits of laughter. Jerk.

‘I will not stop wearing these clothes, Dean’ Castiel told Dean matter-of-factly.

‘But whyyyyyy?’ Dean will deny that he sounded like a whiny brat, until his dying day.

‘Because I like the way you look at me now’

Oh.

Sam’s laughter died abruptly in his throat. ‘I, er, I have to, erm, something’ he finished lamely and only took a few seconds to grab his wallet, before he rushed out, long hair flopping in his wake.

Sam’s departure gave Dean some time to collect himself and think of a snappy response. He came up with nothing.

As it turns out, he didn’t have to.

Castiel saw Dean’s stunned, but definitely pleased face, and decided that was all the answer he needed.

He hugged Dean tentatively and Dean held on like he never wanted to let go again.

Castiel went back to wearing his trenchcoat, which sufficiently covered up his new clothes, when they were out in public.

In the privacy of the Impala, or their motel-room, it would come off and they’d besubject to Cas in all his skintight glory.

Between Cas’ flirtive glances and Dean’s lecherous leering, Sam kind of wanted to kill himself, a problem that became much less acute, when he got his own room.

Far away from Cas and Dean’s room. Because there were some things about his brother and his angel, that Sam did not need to know.

But overall he was pretty smug about the whole affair.

Cas and Dean didn’t even care.

THE END


Andrew/Shannon movie. NaNoWriMo.
abbylabby
Text on screen, because that's how I roll.
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"Andrew and Shannon's second date"
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They stay in and watch a movie. Andrew has made spaghetti. No meatballs. This is not Lady and the Tramp.
Intimate looks shared over a candle-lit dinner, cuddling on the sofa, potentially feeding each other popcorn.
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"Andrew and Shannon's third date"
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They go out to have ice-cream. 
Cue them walking down a road with gigantic ice cones, that are covered in a variety of sauces and colourful sprinkles. 
They smile like idiots, lick each others cones, lick each others faces and generally behave like they're about five.
When they've finished their ice-cream they go to a park and feed ducks, the thrill-junkies.
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"Andrew and Shannon's fourth date"
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*meeting the cast/crew of each other's respective projects*
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Andrew visits the set of Raising Hope / Shannon visits the set of The Amazing Spiderman.
Andrew of course gets along brilliantly with the twins. There is a wide shot of the two of them climbing him like a tree, while the rest of the cast stands around them laughing. 
Andrew makes a cameo in the episode they're shooting as a man who buys 14 cans of pea soup off Sabrina(Shannon's character). They have to film the scene twice, because Andrew looks too smitten throughout the first take. The second take goes smoothly.
Shannon gets to swing from one of the prop houses to the other.
Andrew watches her anxiously. Shannon is having the time of her life, completely unaware of Andrew's panicky worry.
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"Andrew and Shannon's fifth date" 
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*meeting the friends. Awkward ~*
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Andrew and Shannon have been dating for nearly a month now. They have a date a week, their busy schedules don't allow for more, and spend countless hours on the phone with each other.
They have heard a lot about each other's friends and instead of just gradually getting to know them, like normal people would, they decide they might as well kill several birds with one stone(though Shannon's delicate soul despises this crude metaphor, as she tells Andrew, before breaking down laughing) and invite everybody to dinner. Not "invite" invite, they're not crazy. Everybody's going to pay for their own food, thank you very much. They know their respective friends too well to ever do something as foolish as to let them dine on their bill. 
There are many phone-calls to scout a good location and find a convenient time, because coordinating a dozen people's schedules is not easy. 
It's Robert who suggests the "Mutant Shack". Neither Andrew nor Shannon have heard of it before. Andrew is a little suspicious when Robert goes on about how 'it's the most amazing place ever and everybody's going to love it. Trust me, Andrew.' Proposals that began that way had led Andrew in many an embarassing situation in the past, but Rob was one of his closest friends and no one seemed to be able to come up with anything better, so the big day was scheduled for a friday night, which miraculously worked for everyone.
Andrew made a reservation with a slightly baffled sounding staff member of the Mutant Shack and proceeded to inwardly panic over what Shannon would think about his friends, whether her friends would like him and how their friends would get along. It was lucky the dinner was only two days away, or else he would have probably lost his mind. 
If his hair at friday night is any indication, he has at least misplaced his mind.
Defying gravity at the best of time, it  had puffed up to a regular lion's mane by the time Shannon picked him up to go to the restaurant. No rickshaw this time.
Shannon chooses not to comment on the state of his hair and places a soothing hand on his elbow as the taxi brings them to the 'hip' part of downtown.
The taxi stops in front of a big white building. From the looks of it, it could be straight from colonnial times, with its grand gazebos and artfully crafted doors and windows. The only thing that's a little off is the big neon sign confirming this to indeed be "THE MUTANT SHACK". 
Once more Andrew thinks that maybe it hadn't been such a good idea to let Robert pick the place.
Shannon seems to have no such qualms.
"Come on, let's go in!" she urges him excitedly. 
Andrew hesitantly climbs out of the taxi, after paying the driver, and they head up to the door. Andrew insists they have a peek through the glass panel of the door, before they enter. 
Before they have time to make out anything, the door is opened but a tall, handsome man clad in black slacks, a white dress shirt and an apron.
A turns a blindingly bright smile on them and gestures for them to come inside.
"Good evening Sir and Madam, welcome to the Mutant Shack. I assume you made reservations?"
Andrew only manages to nod weakly, while Shannon has to bite her lip to stop from bursting out laughing at the man's enthusiasm, "We" Andrew clears his throat "we're part of the Garfield/Woodward party".
The man's smile becomes so wide it's a miracle it doesn't split his face in half.
"Oh, I see. What a pleasure to have you here. Do come in. May I take your coats?"  
Shannon's shoulders are shaking with the force of her suppressed laughter.
Andrew takes off his jacket and hands it to the man, who looks at it, like it's christmas and he's been given the cuddly unicorn plush he asked for. 
"Follow me" he proposes, smiling at them, while he cradles Andrew's jacket like a mother might hold her newborn.
They walk across the antechamber, which is tasteful in it's way: Wooden floors, marble pedestals with busts, large vases with flower arrangements, even a little fountain. All in all just what you'd expect from a fancy five-star restaurant. 
"Just a moment. Wait here please" with another smile the man left them. He deposited Andrew's jacket in an adjoining room and returned before Andrew and Shannon could do much more than look around the room.
"If you'll follow me please?" he led them on, towards huge wooden double-doors. 
They could hear muted chatter as they neared them.
The man opens the door with a grand gesture and ushers them in "Welcome to the Mutant Shack!" he exclaims proudly.
Andrew and Shannon enter the room. The chatter is louder, but still appropriately hushed, not that either of them spares a thought for that. 
They are too busy staring at the room, if it can be called that.
It's huge. Not unlike the size of a soccer pitch, but oh so different. For starters: there isn't any grass. 
There are tables and chairs, as you would rightfully expect in a restaurant, but for the first time it becomes apparent why the place is called "Mutant Shack": it's a themed restaurant.
We're not talking pseudo-italian here, no checkered tablecloths and breadsticks en masse on the tables, oh no. What looks like legit props from the X-Men movies are 'scattered' around the room. And by that I mean they are strategically placed on marble pedestals.
The pedestal nearest to them bears, what looks like, Wolverines claws. A little way to their left is Professor Xavier's wheelchair, a little to their right Magneto's helmet.
The walls are covered in gigantic illustrations, probably the coveres of X-Men comics, adequately enhanced by gilded frames.
Andrew and Shannon are gaping.
A cough tears them from their shameless staring.
The man is still smiling, knowingly now "first time, eh? Allow me to lead you to your table." and with that he struts past well-dressed people enjoying their meals and heaps of X-Men paraphernalia.
He leads them to two long tables at the back of the room. They are set, but no one is there yet. 
The man gestures for them to sit down and bows somewhat awkwardly. 
"I hope you'll have a pleasant evening. A waiter will be with you shortly."
And as swiftly as he's appeared, he's gone again.
Andrew and Shannon look after him and then at each other.
Huh. It promised to be an interesting evening. To say the least.
They sit down in the middle of the right table. 
Andrew can't help feeling a little ridiculous with only the two of them to man all the chairs, but Shannon takes his hand and nothing else matters anymore.
They haven't gone past kissing yet, and every touch is still a little explosion of emotions and pleasure.
It isn't even a full minute till a waiter appears in front of them.
He is brown haired and his blue eyes are friendly. 
"Good evening. What can I get you?" with a flourish he indicates the menus on the table in front of them.
Andrew and Shannon sheepishly pick them up and look through them, they hadn't even noticed them.
The menus are adorned with a giant 'X', inkeeping with the restaurants theme.
The wine list is extensive, Shannon stares helplessly at the many names.
Andrew, who ordered himself a beer, takes pity on the waiter who smiles dutifully, but can't hide a slight sense of impatience and decides to initiate a conversation. 
"So, er, Mutant Shack eh?" his smile doesn't betray that he's inwardly cringing at his terrible way with words. "Yes, Mutant Shack." the waiter smiles pleasantly, but doesn't elaborate further.
Shannon has finally chosen a glass of white wine and Andrew took a breath of relief that she distracts the waiter with her order.
The waiter nods and turns around to leave. He takes two steps, before freezing in place. His right arm twitches violently, like he was going to smack his forehead but had just managed to abort the movement, and he turns around again. 
With a slightly forced looking smile he addresses them. "Excuse me, I forgot: my name is James and I'll be your waiter tonight." There is a slight edge to the way he says tonight, but he doesn't even seem to notice in his haste to get away from them.
Andrew and Shannon share a confused look.
"Well, that was...interesting." Shannon remarks.
Andrew only manages to nod dumbly, before they're interrupted.
"Shannon!" it's not a shout exactly, that would hardly be apropriate, but it's enough to turn their heads in unison towards the voice: It's Katy. 
Andrew's stomach clenches uncomfortably.
Of course he knows Katy Perry. He would never admit it, but he rather enjoys her music and dances and sings along to it rather more often than he feels anyone his age should.
Andrew stands up, knocking his knees against the side of the table in the process, to his relief he doesn't knock down any glasses, but really, since when is his life a romantic teenage movie?
Shannon doesn't notice his discomfort, by the time Andrew has gotten up, she's already around the table and falls into Katy's arms.
Andrew is really glad that Katy is a girl, because if Shannon hugged a man like that, he would have to do something manly to mark his territory.
Unfortunately Russell is very much a man, and the hug that he gets from Shannon is no less thorough than the one that Katy received.
Andrew is just contemplating taking off his shirt and beating his chest while uttering primal cries of rage, when Shannon beckons him over. 
He leaves his shirt on for the moment.
While he walks towards them, he inconspicuously wipes his hands on his trousers, because it simply won't do to shake Katy Perry' and Russell Brand's hands, with sweaty fingers.
To his surprise there are no handshakes at all. Katy unceremoniously drags him into a hug, in the process of which she whispers "If you hurt her, I'll kill you" in his ear.
When she lets go of him she is smiling brightly as ever and no one would imagine that she had just threatened someone's life. 
Andrew gulped and turned to Russell Brand. He was familiar with Russell's stand-up work and was something of a fan, smile slightly shaky, he extended a hand to the man with the wild hair.
Russell wasn't having any of it, he enveloped Andrew in a bear hug, in the process of which he whispered "if you hurt her, Katy'll kill you" in his ear.
Andrew, having his life threatened twice in the past two minutes, struggled to keep the smile on his face. 
The group returned to the table and Katy sat down next to Shannon, a space that, as Shannon's best friend, was rightfully hers as far as she was concerned.
Their waiter, James, re-appeared with the wine and beer and took Katy and Russell's order(cocktails with names that would make a nun blush), this time remembering to introduce himself before leaving.
The next to arrive were Robert and Ellen, who were joined by Ellen's friend Emily.
Andrew wasn't particularly close to Emily, but everyone agreed that any party became twice as entertaining when both Ellen and Emily were present, so he always invited her, when he invited Ellen and Robert.
He had met Robert during the filming of 'Red Riding' and they had become close friends. 
The party on the table got up to greet them and another round of hugging begun, because Katy insisted that was the only apropriate way to greet friends, "and we're all friends here, right?".
Andrew doesn't dare argue with Katy. She's scary. And apparently willing to kill him. Something the man who's going to marry her, neither has a problem with, nor seems inclined to stop.
He has to remind himself, that it's only because they love Shannon.
It doesn't do much to calm his nerves and he's glad Robert is there. He might be a little crazy, but when it comes to a fight to the death between Andrew and Katy, he'll have Andrew's back.
Probably.
The hugging has ended and everybody returns to the table.
Andrew drinks his beer like it's water. He needs more alcohol in his blood-stream if he's going to make it out of this alive.
He pauses with the bottle nearly empty in his hand, it occurs to him, that it might not be the best idea to numb his senses when there is a potentially murderous woman only separated from him by tiny Shannon.
Andrew sets down the bottle and orders a glass of water when James comes around again.
The arrival of the next guest draws a little attention to it:
when Katy notices the blonde girl heading their way, she stands up in her seat, points an accusing finger towards her and shouts "YOU!". Heads turn, conversations stop abruptly.
Emma freezes in place and the way her face turns an appealing shade of magenta suggests that she, if no one else, knows what Katy is talking about.
"Those were my favourite shoes!" Katy exclaims, blue eyes widened and brows drawn in righteous anger.
Emma practically wilts under her fury, but remains upright, which Andrew finds rather impressive.
"I am so, so, so sorry" Emma does the best puppy eyes. It's almost criminal. She has blinked her way out of speeding tickets and god knows what else.
Not even Katy's favourite shoes can compete with Emma's puppy eyes.
And when Emma promises "I'll buy you a new pair", Katy is the first one to pull her into a hug, quickly followed by everybody else. Andrew doesn't even want to begin to imagine what Katy might have whispered in Emma's ear. He surpresses a shudder and squeezes tightly when it's his turn with Emma.
He clings tightly to her and whispers "I am SO glad you're here".
Emma rubs his back soothingly.
They separate and Andrew feels marginally better, until he looks over to Katy who's giving him a slightly pissy look.
He decides that maybe it might be a good idea not to hug women too long, lest Katy make good on her promise.
Andrew can tell it's going to be a relaxing evening.
They sit down, Emma on Andrew's side.
There is a little awkward silence, and when James approaches them again he is welcomed with an air of relief. It seems Andrew is not the only one who thinks he'll need some alcohol to get through the evening.
Emma orders a Martini, Robert goes for a beer and Ellen and Emily order their own colourful concoctions.
It's not until they all have their drinks that a kind of polite conversation starts developing. 
Russell and Robert are talking about Ireland, Robs home-country that Russell has visited many times.
Emily and Ellen are giggling about something only they understand.
Katy and Emma are back to the subject of the shoes and how Emma came to throw up on and essentially ruin them on that fateful day.
Andrew breathes more calmly now, he is starting to hope that just maybe everybody will make it through the evening unharmed and the fact that Shannon is holding his hand boosts his mood considerably.
"It's not too bad so far, right?" Shannon whispers in his ear and he nods in agreement.
He should have known that things were going too smoothly. 
There is only one person missing now and just as Andrew is starting to wonder why he's not here yet, he arrives.
Matt Smith. The man himself.
The head-waiter leads him to the table, where Matt proceeds to throw his arms out invitingly and coo "so which one of you lovely ladies is the woman who has ensnared Andy's mind? I need to congratulate her on her excellent taste!"
His eyes gaze over the assorted people and come to rest on Shannon. 
"It's you, isn't it? he always had a thing for Snow White. Come here, you!."
Andrew's eyes whip over to Shannon, who doesn't seem weirded out in the least(but then she IS best friends with Katy, so she must have rather a strong constitution).
With a smile she gets up and lets herself be dragged in a lingering hug.
"Such a pleasure to finally meet you! Andy talks about you all the time."
Andrew really wants the ground to open up beneath his feet and to just swallow him up. Sadly it refuses.
The bastard.
A slightly ruffled-looking Shannon detangles herself from Matt's arms, who alternates between smiling brightly at her and smiling at the rest of the people at the tables.
The head-waiter, who's been watching the scene unfold with open amusement turns and leaves.
It is only then, that Andrew notices the figure that's been hovering in the background.
A tall, ginger girl is standing there awkwardly, waiting to be introduced.
Of course he knows her, she's Karen Gillan, the girl who plays Amy Pond on Doctor Who, but he had no idea that Matt was dating her.
Interesting.
Shannon sits back down again and after introducing Karen "Everybody, this is Karen. Karen, this is everybody." Matt works his way through the assembled men and women, hugging the stuffing out of them.
Karen tries to extend her hands for a shake with Shannon, but of course no one was having any of that and another round of hugging ensued.
Karen, who looks slightly ruffled by the end, sits down with Matt. Andrew looks around the tables. Apparently his reservation hasn't been particularly clear, since there are enough plates and chairs for a dozen people when there are only 10 people here, but no one seems to mind. 
James once more takes the orders of the newcomers and when everybody has a drink in front of them, Katy, Russell, Ellen and Emily are already on their third cocktail each, Andrew gets up nervously.
Shannon had told him matter-of-factly, that there would have to be a speech and that she wasn't going to do it, so it was up to him.
If she wasn't so pretty and overall wonderful he might have tried to argue, but as it was he accepted his fate. He was pretty whipped. Not that he minded.
"So, hello everybody, it's great to have you here. Shannon and me thought it was about time we met each other's closest friends, so here we are, hoping that we'll have a great time together."
Andrew takes a deep breath and sits down quickly. Shannon quietly chuckles next to him and Emma gives him a look that clearly indicates what she's thinking(which is 'is that all?'). Andrew shrugs.
There is a short awkward silence, that is interrupted by Matt. 
"Well, wasn't that nice. That's our Andy, not one for big speeches, but he's got a good heart. I would know. I've known him since he was but a little lad." and with that he launches in a long-winded, but very entertaining account of how they first met during a casting for a british indie-movie.
This in turn, prompts everybody else to recount how they got to know Andrew or Shannon.
When Robert finishes his tale about the shenanigans they got up to while filming Red Riding, James appears once more to take their orders for food. 
Katy's food gets cold while she gives a detailed account of how she and Shannon met during one of Katy's concerts, where Shannon had been part of the catering staff(another temporary position in research for a role).
Occasionally Russell would interrupt and ramble about the increasingly absurd things the girls got up to, during which Katy took a few half-hearted bites, but Andrew could tell she really wanted to keep talking.
She finishes with "She's like a sister to me" and Shannon gives her a hug, that is insofar slightly awkward as they're both sitting down. 
Andrew can't help but be impressed. He has more friends than Shannon, as far as numbers are concerned, but no one is quite as close to him as Katy is to Shannon. 
It makes him feel a bit sad, while he understands Katy's need to threaten him a lot more.
They're eating their desserts, when Emily (who is rather drunk by then) finishes the round of recollections with "I don't actually know him at all. He's just the friend of my best friend's boyfriend" before dissolving into a fit of giggles.
Ellen, who's significantly less drunk, pats Emily's arm soothingly and tells everybody to "ignore her." before coaxing Emily to drink some water.
All in all the evening has gone by rather successfully. Everybody seems to get along well enough, Katy even invited everybody to the wedding.
Andrew should have known that he wasn't going to get away that easily.
It starts out harmlessly enough.
Ellen begins telling Matt about her veterinary clinic and the amount of strays it houses.
People often bring in wounded animals, which Ellen dutifully treats, but then no one wants them.
The local animal shelters are helplessly swamped already and completely unable to take in any more animals.
The city administration is desperate to solve the problem without putting them all down, bad publicity and that, so they have started a competition between all the veterinary clinics and animal shelters, to see who can get the most animals into loving homes. There is a cash incentive, but Ellen claims it's mostly about saving the animals. She does admit she wouldn't mind some more money though.
After all it costs money to pay for the medication and treatment of the strays and no one is willing to pay for it.
By the time that Andrew tunes in the conversation, he was half-listening to Katy and Shannon talking about flower-arrangements for the wedding, Matt is already begging Karen to let him adopt a dog.
Karen is very adamant in her denial, but Andrew can tell from looking in her eyes, that she's going to break down sooner or later.
He smiles fondly and then gets distracted by Russell inviting him to his stag night. Russell launches into a detailed description of what he has planned for the evening and Andrew nearly faints. He is a delicate soul. That's what his mother always says. 
By the time he has recovered from the mental image of Russell in pink lingerie on a pole, he really didn't need that thank you so very much, Shannon has magically disappeared from her seat. 
Katy has moved over to Emma and they are once more discussing the topic of shoes.
Katy seems civil enough, so Andrew doesn't worry about her.
When he spots Shannon next to Ellen, huddled together, alarm bells start ringing in his head.
As he makes his way over to them, he hears Ellen exclaim "You is the cutest thing ever!", which makes him assume that she is much more drunk than she looks.
It's probably, because in comparison to Emily everybody looks pretty sober. Emily is heavily leaning on Ellen, with her head resting on Ellen's shoulder, fast asleep and snoring in a rather adorable fashion.
Shannon is nodding excitedly for some reason, which makes Ellen grasp her hands and squeal delightedly.
"Thank you so much, you won't regret it"
Andrew isn't so sure about that, but tries not to jump to conclusions.
"Hey guys, what are you doing?" he tries to sound casual, but there is a slight panic to his voice.
Shannon's eyes glint mischieviously, but she sounds perfectly collected when she claims "Nothing. We were just talking about the wedding. Girly stuff, you know? Ellen and Emily are going to be bridesmaids!.
We're talking about their dresses. Katy is thinking of giving them cobalt blue ones, but I told her that that's really not going to work. And then she wants to give them orange shoes and hats with it, but I think she might just have been pulling my leg when she said that." 
Andrew blinks.
"O...kay." he shakes his head and returns to his seat.
Shannon is awesome and he still wants to marry her, but sometimes he can't quite keep up with her.
They decide to call it a night soon after that.
Andrew pays their share of the bill, tipping James generously.
James smiles gratefully. He seems to have gotten over whatever had been wrong with him when they had first arrived.
Andrew is pleased to find that Shannon is only slightly buzzed and is able to leave the restaurant on her own feet.
Katy and Russell are more than a little drunk, but supporting each other, they manage to leave with their dignity mostly intact. They only trip and stumble twice before reaching the taxi that's awaiting them.
Emma helps Ellen and Robert carrying out the seemingly comatose Emily. 
Matt and Karen are too hipster to drink and are thus completely sober.
Matt salutes them from the door, while Karen waves shyly.
Shannon waves back and then pulls Andrew up.
"Let's go" she threads the fingers of her right hand through his and they walk out. 
.
They're sitting in their taxi and nearing Shannon's house.
"Thank you for tonight. It was fun" Shannon bends forward and kisses him. 
Andrew makes an undistinct happy noise and kisses back.
They reach Shannon's house just as Andrew's hands are travelling down to Shannon's hips.
The driver coughs pointedly. They break apart, panting, and look at him.
His face is slightly red, but his feautures remain professional.
"We're here" he announces, pointing out the window.
They are indeed in front of Shannon's place.
Blushing furiously they scramble apart and try to pull themselves together.
"Do you want to come up?" Shannon asks breathlessly.
Andrew wants to say yes, he really does. More than anything. But he has to work tomorrow, he'll need to be in top shape and he has a feeling that if he joins Shannon they won't get much sleeping done.
"Another time." he answers, wanting to kick himself very badly.
Incidentally Shannon looks like she might want to kick him as well, but she thankfully refrains from doing so.
"Another time, then." and the way she looks at him, when she says that, expresses better than words that that other time can't come fast enough.
Their goodbye kiss lasts two minutes and only ends, because the driver coughs again.
Shannon looks at him with an amused expression "and a good night to you, good sir.!" she quips and with a last press of her lips against Andrew's, she's gone.
Andrew looks after her, admiring the way the pale yellow light of the streetlams shines in her hair.
"Quite a girl you got there" the taxi driver remarks, halfway between irritated and amused.
"Yes, she is" Andrew agrees dreamily. The driver has to cough again, to get his attention, because the least thing on his mind right then is giving the driver his address.
That night, when he lies in bed, Andrew thinks that: Yes, it was a good evening.
.
.
On the next morning, a Saturday, he wakes up with a start.
He can't remember what he dreamed about, but there is a rapidly fading image of Ellen and Shannon cackling evilly at him.
Andrew shakes his head. He only had two bottles of beer the night before. Maybe he should lay off beer.
.
The same Saturday morning, The Mutant Shack
.
Carey enters the staff changing room. She expects to find it empty. It usually is when she arrives, because Carey is not punctual, she's notoriously early.
To her surprise there's the tall figure of Armie sitting on one of the benches.
He seems to be brimming with excitement, if the way his legs are bouncing up and down are any indication.
The door falls shut behind her and he looks up, from where he's admiring the floor.
"Carey!" he exclaims excitedly.
"Armie." she retorts, trying to mirror his excitement and ultimately failing. He doesn't seem bothered in the slightest.
"Come, come, I have news, gossip, hot and juicy!." he beckons her closer, grinning like a naughty school boy.
Carey sighs inwardly, but she's not surprised. If there's gossip anywhere, about anything, Armie is sure to know about it. And for some strange reason he seems very set upon sharing it with her.
"You'll never guess what happened yesterday." he says, eyes glinting.
She assumes that's true. She's not very big on gossip and her imagination in these matters is limited.

The previous Friday, evening. 
Armie is handing out schedules. In theory, handing them out on Friday is supposed to make it easier, because of the impending weekend.
However they are working in a restaurant, so they're open on the weekend. James never really understood Armie's logic. When he'd asked Armie about it, he had received a dazzling smile and a 'don't question me, drone' which, he is pretty confident, had been a joke. Probably. You never knew with Armie.
James is on the night-shift again. He's not surprised. He's been on the night-shift for so long, he has given up getting upset. He has learned to accept that apparently, life is a bitch.
He gives the page a routine once-over and is about to fold it up and put it in his pocket, when his eyes fall on the names of the people who will be sharing his shift. 
One name stands out, or rather, the lack of the name is.
Carey is not on his shift anymore.
The other members of staff, except Armie and a girl named Anna, who's fairly new are still there. James is pretty sure Anna just pretends not to understand the shift schedule, to have an excuse to flirt with Armie.
The way she throws back her red hair and giggles at at everything Armie says are kind of a give-away.
James shifts nervously while waiting for their conversation to end.
Finally Anna drags herself away, with a lingering touch to Armie's forearm and a whispered "Thanks for the help".
Armie looks after her, his gaze somewhat unfocused, mouth gaping slightly.
James clears his throat and Armie's eyes snap up to him.
Armie has the decency to look mildly embarassed, but James couldn't care less what he does.
"Have you seen the schedule?" he cuts to the chase.
Armie gives him a quizzical look. "Well, yes, obviously." The 'duh' is heavily implied.
"Did you notice how Carey and I aren't on the same shift anymore?" James presses on.
There is no mistaking the way Armie's eyes widen and the way his breath stutters. He definitely noticed it.
"Look" Armie places a hand on James shoulder, clearly aware that there is no use pretending. "I don't make the schedule. Fassbender does. And." he pauses to give James a meaningful look "I'm sure he has his reasons". 
James has no idea what Armie is talking about. Armie wiggles his eyebrows at him.
James still doesn't know what Armie is trying to get at, but he has a growing suspicion that he'll never find out like this.
"Right." and because Armie looks like he wants to say something, or maybe just do something weird with his face again, James leaves quickly.
When the door closes behind James, Armie remains in place for a second. He struggles for a second and then decides to follow James. This has potential to be infinitely more entertaining than supervising the laying of the tables. 
Michael has a problem. 
He can't do it anymore. He can't hold back anymore. Which is going to be a problem, since James is still in that chair, almost within reach, if it weren't for his desk separating them.
Thank god it's a big solid desk. If it weren't, he'd flip it over. He's tempted to just climb over it. Or he could just walk around it. Either way, he wants to be near James. He shifts his bodyweight to his feet, to anchor himself and grips the armrest tightly. Maybe if James leaves right now, he can get himself under control again.
"You should leave" he presses out, each word reluctant to come forth. It's like making a starving man deny himself food. 
James sets his jaw stubbornly and deliberately lies back in his chair to indicate that no, he is not leaving.
"No, Mr -, Michael. You know I like Carey. And if she spends some more time with me, surely she'll come around and realise she likes me too. I've seen the schedule for the next month. Why is it that not one, NOT ONE of my shifts is the same as Carrey's? it's almost like you did it on purpose" he stands up briskly and puts both hands on the desk in front of him. Leaning forward he says, with a voice that's swings between anger and genuine puzzlement "that can't be a coincidence, can it?" 
It's when James tilts his head to the side, that Michaels restraint snaps. He all but jumps to his feet. In three quick strides he has circled the table and is standing next to James, who pulls himself upright, now mildly alarmed.
"What-?" Michael doesn't have time for words. Words are useless. He cups James' face with his right hand and places the other one on his waist. Damn the outcome, it feels good to finally touch James.
James eyes widen in surprise when Michael leans in and kisses him. It's just a short contact of his lips with James', before James stops him. Puts both of his arms on Michael's shoulders and pushes him back, wide-eyed. 
Michael wants. Wants to shove James hands away, to kiss him again, to fuck him on the desk, but most of all, he wants James to want these things too.
Which he doesn't. So Michael freezes in place after regaining his balance.
James opens his mouth and tries to speak, but words fail him. Michael can almost see the gears turning in his mind, see when James realizes what the incident means and it just seems hilarious to him. He has trouble hiding the hysterical laugh that's bubbling up in his chest. 
"I - I see." James manages, finally. And that is apparently all he thinks he can manage. Not taking his eyes off Michael, he backed away another step. He then turned around and walked towards the door.
With the doorknob in his hand, he stops and turns around. "I should. I should go." 
When the door closes behind James, Michael starts laughing. It's high-pitched and he gets breathless, but he can't stop, because if he does, he's pretty sure he's going to start crying.
He manages to regain his composure about 5 minutes later. The laughter has ebbed away and, to his satisfaction, his eyes remain dry.
James pushed Michael's office door right into Armie's crouching figure and it's only thanks to Armie's determination to remain quiet, even in the face of having a large wooden object lodged squarely in his face, that they don't draw Michael's attention to them.
James spares a moment to be incredibly grateful for that, because he doesn't think he can face Michael any time soon. Or ever.
When the moment passes he focuses his full attention on Armie. 
They are still within hearing distance, so James drags Armie back into the staff chaning room, which is thankfully deserted.
Once there, James releases Armie from his iron grip and folds his arms in front of him. This serves to make him look very angry and intimidating and it also serves to stop him from strangling Armie.
Armie rubs his head sheepishly, half out of embarassment and half, because it actually really hurts to get a door to your head. Not that he's in much of a position to complain.
James looks at him expectantly, tapping his foot impatiently.
When Armie fails to respond to that, he resorts to using words "Now what the fuck were you thinking, listening in on a private conversation? What did you hear?" James all but snarls.
His scottish accent becomes more pronounced, when he's upset, which is kind of endearing, but the tone suggests that now is not a good time to comment on that.
"Look, James. I'm sorry, okay? I just -" he can't find an acceptable way of finishing the sentence.
Comprehension dawns on James' face. 
"You knew." it's not a question. "You knew that Michael...that he..."Michael deflates. "What exactly is going on?" he looks so lost when he says this, that Armie has to fight a sudden urge to hug him.
He settles for gently pulling an arm around James' shoulders.
Why did he find himself in these situations? he was probably the worst person in the world to talk to a man about another man's feelings towards the first one. Carey was good with emotions and that kind of stuff. Sadly she was not only not here, but also the girl James was in love with. Well, that probably made her the worst person in the world for James to talk to right now.
Hey, he was only the second-worst person for the job, he could do this.
"Alright James. The thing is." he thinks about the best way to go about it for a second and decides to just go for it "Michael likes you. I mean, he really likes you. All he ever talks about is you. It would be endearing, if it wasn't so annoying. Dude, he literally talks about you all the time. Always. I can't believe anyone could find you that interesting, but he keeps going on about your eyes and your accent and god knows what else. I'm not really listening anymore. It's always the same 'James this. James that'... What?"
James has been staring daggers at him for some time now. It takes a moment for his brain to catch up with his mouth and Armie blushes furiously. "Sorry. I got a little carried away there." James glare confirmes this statement.
Armie moves on quickly "So yeah, he likes you."

Untitled Andrew/Shannon movie II
abbylabby
cont. from the first post.

Mutant Shack. Wednesday morning. ~ 2:30 am.

Michael was torn away from his surveillance, by the sweetest sound he had heard all day: Carey was yawning.

James, ever the gentleman, reacted to this precisely the way he had the previous 2 evenings.
"You know, it's quite alright if you want to go home early. We're nearly done anyway." he offered eagerly.

And as each night before, Carey accepted the offer gratefully, after a few weak 'but I couldn't possibly' and 'are you sure's.
Within ten seconds she had thrown off her apron and rushed off to the staff-dressing room.

She returned, two minutes later, clutching her jacket and her handbag.

"Thank you James" she said with a sincere smile, hugging him good-bye.
The hug lasted four seconds, longer than any of the good-bye hugs before. Not that Michael was counting.
James, who seemed slightly reluctant to let go of Carey, locked the front door after her.
He watched her retreating figure through the glass panels of the door.

Michael chose to ignore James' dreamy sigh, as he returned to the tables, because this was his favourite part of the evening.
James, who reasonably assumed to be alone, took an iPod out of his pocket and the eerie silence was filled with the cheery tune of some song Michael had never heard before.

Their taste in music was on such different ends of the spectrum, that one would reasonably assume it would be an issue, but as it happened, Michael found himself enjoying the experience.
"Get Back" by Ludacris starts playing


James continued taking off tablecloths, putting up chairs etc, all the while singing along and swaying his hips to the beat.
Michael had to bite his lip to start himself from bursting out laughing when James belted out "Get back motherfucker, you don't know me like that".
James then deserted the cutlery, to perform an elaborate dance-routine between the tables.
Once agaib Muichael cursed himself for being unable to film James, because this, this was priceless.
Sadly that would be considered an invasion of James' privacy, that if he was caught, could get him sent to prison.
As for staring at James from a distance, that would just get him disgusted looks and maybe a restraining order.
All the more reason not to get caught.
James ended his performance by throwing himself on the floor, where he slid about a foot on his knees and then sank into a bow.
Michael was sorely tempted to clap.
But. Restraining Orders and that. So he didn't.

James got up, wiping the sweat off his forehead with the sleeve of his shirt.
The dancing has exhausted him.
He loosens his tie and opens the two top-most buttons of his shirt. (Kelis' "milkshake" playing in the background y/n?)
The scene fades away as we watch Michael have a mild aneurism.
Or gripping the door-frame tightly.
Wednesday, later.
The screen is split in four. Emma/Andrew and Katy/Shannon on the phone
They are all sitting on their respective sofas, except Emma. She's in the bathtub.
Shannon (excited):           "Operation Pacific Playland" was a success!
Katy (excited):                     Did you go home together?
S:                                           Not that successful...
K:                                           *makes a sad face*
S:                                           ...but we kissed.
K:                                           *perks up, punches air* What did he think about the rickshaw?
S:                                           He loved the rickshaw!
K  (disbelieving):                 really? huh. You should probably get married.
S:                                           *nods*
K:                                           Speaking of gettting married: Russell proposed to me.
S:                                           *squees*
K:                                           And I said 'Yes'.
S:                                           Of course you did! *intense squeeing*

we move to Andrew/Emma

Emma (disbelieving):      A RICKSHAW?
Andrew (amused):           Yes.
E:                                         Did you propose?
A (serious):                       Almost. I just managed to catch myself.
E:                                        Of course you did. Of course. *cracks up* *Andrew joins in*
A (dreamy):                       it was really great though.
E (picks up on that immediately: You sound *looks for the right word* smitten.
A:                                         *laughs*
E:                                       And don't laugh at me! I got that word from you!.
Which is entirely possible and plausible, so Andrew dutifully stops laughing.
A (ruefully):                      I am though. Smitten. Totally, completely smitten.  *he groans*
E:                                      Do you know when you'll see her again?
A:                                      Nope. But I had flowers delivered to her house. They should arrive right about now.

*doorbell ringing out of Shannon's quarter of the screen*
She interrupts the excited chatter about the wedding/squeeing, excuses herself to Katy and exits the screen to open the door. She returns, clutchng an enourmous bouquet of flowers (red roses y/n?), smiling like an idiot.
She sits down on the sofa, flowers in one arm, phone in the other, before she remembers Katy and continues the conversation.
Meanwhile we follow Andrew/Emma's conversation.

Emma (excited):            That's so sweet!
Andrew (shy/humble):  I hope she'll like them.
E:                                      Of course she will. You should call her!
A:                                      You're right. I should. I'll talk to you later.
E:                                      Okay, bye. Fingers crossed!

Andrew tries to call Shannon.
It's engaged. He curses.
He calls Emma again.

Andrew (sadly):             It's engaged.
Emma (pitying):            awww

Shannon remembers Katy.
Shannon:                       I can't believe you're engaged!
Katy:                                I know! It's going to be so awesome! You're going to be the Maid of Honour of course. You know what?
                                        you should bring your boyfriend. If you want, I can throw the bouqet to you you?
S *laughing adorably):Sure. When's the big day?
K:                                    3rd of May. Summer Wedding! You have three months to make him come. *she pauses* that came out wrong.
*both start to giggle*
S:                                    I sincerely hope it won't take me three months to make him come!
*more laughter*



Untitled Andrew/Shannon movie
abbylabby
Cast:

Andrew Garfield - main character, actor, (->Shannon)
Shannon Woodward - main character, actress (->Andrew)
Emma Stone - Andrew's friend, actress (->Carey)
Katy Perry - Shannon's friend, singer (Russell)
Russell Brand - Katy's husband, comedian/actor
Carey Mulligan - waitress, (->Emma) (James->)
James McAvoy - waiter, (->Michael) (Carey->)
Michael Fassbender - owner of the restaurant 'the mutant shack' (y/n?) (->James)
Jared Padalecki - Shannon's blind date [cameo]
Armie Hammer - head-waiter [Armie Hammer?]
Ellen Page & Robert Sheehan - the "other" couple. Rob is friends with Andrew, they met while filming Red Riding. Ellen's a vet.


in other roles:
Emily Browning


first draft:


a nightclub/bar. Loud music is playing.

Andrew just got another round of drinks for himself and Emma. They're sitting at a table, chatting over the obscenely loud music.
Emma has just started a long winded story about the photo-shoot she did for some magazine. Andrew ignores her drunk ramblings, sipping his beer he looks around the club, only pausing to give Emma a warm look. She's too endearing in her little rant about lighting and too tight bikinis.

Shannon is on the dance-floor. Katy has decided to go dancing and since she insists wearing dark shades, for anonimity Shan!, someone has to keep an eye on her at all times, lest she hurt herself or others.
She doesn't mind. Katy is the perfect kind of crazy, you'll never get bored around her, but she's also really sweet and a great friend.
'Sexy back' starts playing. Shannon smiles to herself, before joining in Katy's frantic 'shaking of all available limbs'(because calling it dancing would stretch things a bit too far), keeping a hand loosely on Katy's arm to pull her out of harms way if she gets too close to the other dancers.
When she hears the 'drinks on me' line, her eyes subconsciously wander over to the bar. She could do with a drink. Later.
She's about to get lost in the music again, when her eyes fall on a table near the bar.
A head of long luscious blonde hair doesn't even warrant a second look, her attention is drawn to the man sitting across the table from the blonde head.
The first thing she notices is ther hair. It's the most ridiculous hair she's ever seen. It's brown, fluffy and defies the basic laws of gravity. She wants to run her hands through it.
The man with the ridiculous hair is just lifting the bottle to his lips, when his eyes meet hers. He freezes, almost comically, with his hand halfway up to his lips.
Shannon can't help smiling.

Andrew can never keep a straight face when any of Justin's songs come on.
Hearing the guy who struggles so hard to be taken seriously as an actor sing about 'bringing sexy back' and 'Senorita's is just too much. And don't even get him started on NSYNC.
Emma has just accused him of not listening to 'my hilarious tale about how choosing an appropriately sized bikini could have not only made the whole experience less awkward, but also quite possibly saved the rain-forests', which was true, when he sees her.
She is the most beautiful girl he's ever seen, and he knows women the likes of Emma Stone.
Her black hair was bouncing around her head as she jumped around on the dance-floor.
Maybe she could feel his eyes on her, maybe it was a coincidence, maybe fate, but their eyes lock across the room, over the dancing people, over Emma trying to get his attention, none of it matters.
His grip on his beer bottle tightens, the coldness bringing him back the reality.
He puts it down on the table, without taking his eyes off the girl.
Emma grabs the bottle that is perched precariously close to the edge of the table to keep it from falling.
Andrew has gotten up and is now walking towards the girl.
Emma shouts "Good luck, Bambi!" after him, but he doesn't hear it over the music, he's busy keeping his eyes on the girl.

Shannon's hand has dropped from Katy's arm.
Katy promptly stumbles into one of the other dancers(who doesn't seem to mind having a pretty girl fling herself at him).
Shannon doesn't pay any attention to the commotion, she heads over the dance-floor, keeping her eyes on the boy.

The meet half-way.
'She's so tiny" Andrew thinks, but it's fleeting. He can't stop looking at her face. It's a lovely face. Possibly the loveliest face he's ever seen. It's the face he wouldn't mind wake up next to every morning for the rest of his life.
But he's getting ahead of himself.
"Hi" and then he can't say anything else, because his mouth curves up into a big smile.
"Hi" the girl replies, smiling back at him.
'You make me smile. Come here child' the speakers supply helpfully.
Their grins widen, insofar as that's even possible.
"Would you like to dance?" Andrew asks and she can only nod. If the crary hair and bright smile hadn't already won her over, the accent would have settled the deal.
This was the moment Shannon Woodward decided on her next boyfriend and incidentally the moment Andrew Garfield decided on his next girlfriend. What a coincidence.
They dance.
(possibly insert how the evening ends for Katy and Emma. Maybe Emma telling Andrew on the next morning she could swear she's seen Katy Perry/Katy complaining about 'that blonde bitch who threw up on my favourite pair of shoes')


The next morning.
Andrew wakes up alone in a very hipster-y room. On his nightstand are a glass of water, an Aspirin, his phone and a little hand-written note that says 'Shannon 284820486909847'.
He saves the number as 'Shannon Garfield', partly to save himself the trouble of changing it after their wedding and partly, because he doesn't actually remember her real name.
He takes the Aspirin with the water, stares meaningfully at his phone, gets dressed and has breakfast, all the while throwing pondering looks at his phone.


A restaurant
Carey is setting tables. James is polishing glasses, while his eyes are fixated on Carey. He nearly drops the glass he's holding, but that doesn't stop him.
Michael is talking to the head-waiter, Armie(?). He's holding a sheet of paper in his hand, which he meant to give to (insert name of head-waiter), but then James caught his eye and now he's completely absorbed in the sight of James polishing glasses.
The head-waiter coughs pointedly to get his attention.
Fassbender focuses back on him, looking slightly embarassed.
The waiter looks at the plan that Michael has given to him and frowns. "You're giving McAvoy the late shift /again/? he'll be pi- I mean, I don't think he'll be too happy about that"
Fassbender grimaces, but nods dismissively "I really think it's the best for everybody." with a little sigh he adds "Actually, it might be good if Mulligan did the late shift too."
The head-waiter gives him a look that is much too understanding for Michael's taste. "Is that all" he asks.
Fassbender nods, eager to return to his offive, where thinking clearly is much easier, thanks to the lack of devilishly handsome waiters.
He leaves. The head-waiter smiles knowingly after him. When he turns back, his face gets serious. He shakes his head at James, who's frozen on the spot, because Carey has started humming a happy little song.
The head-waiter whacks James over the head with the shift-plan.

Quick shot of Andrew staring at his phone.

Shannon wakes up. There is Aspirin on her nightstand as well, but she takes it with Kool Aide/something colourful/sugary. Her room is much less hipster-y and a lot messier.
First thing she does, after taking the Aspirin and the drink, is call Katy.
Who launches into a long winded story about Emma throwing up on her shoes(?). Just as Katy wails "those were Jimmy Choo/Manolo Blahnik's!" Shannon decides it's time to drop the news.
"Sooo, I met someone..." she says, drawing out the 'so'.
Katy perks up instantly. "The one you left me for? he better be worth it!"
"Oh, he is" Shannon says and smiles.

We fade to Andrew still looking at his phone. He has a determined look on his face. He presses the button.
Engaged.
He curses.

"...we had a great time last night" Shannon finishes, what has been a detailed description of everything, including a nuanced description of Andrew's eyes and trying to convey the brightness of his smile.
(possibly insert said descriptions 'they are brown. Like chocolate. They are Bambi eyes. I swear to god: he's Bambi'/'it's like the sun goes up. It's so bright. It's...I tell you, it could cure cancer!')
"I'm sure you did, hon." Shannon can practically hear Katy's smug smile through the receiver.
"Nothing happened. We just talked. You know that he thought he knew me? Get this: he thinks I'm a cashier. But not because he's seen Raising Hope, he hasn't, bless him. Remember those two weeks I worked at Walmart? as part of my research for the role? he bought something from me and he remembers it. Isn't that the most crazy romantic thing you've ever heard?" Shannon sounds very excited.
Katy rolls her eyes, in a very affectionate 'my best friend's in love, I'll soldier through the madness, because I love her(but I can only take so much)' kind of way.
"Yeah. Crazy romantic" Katy's tone is dripping with sarcasm, but Shannon chooses to ignore it.
"Right?! We exchanged numbers. I really want to call him." Shannon bites her lip.
"Do it! if you really had such a great time yesterday, he'll be ecstatic to hear from you" Shannon nods and because Katy can't see that, she adds "you're right. I'll do it now. Ttyl. Bye" The last thing she hears, before hanging up, is Katy shouting "Get some, Woodward!"
Shannon smiles and presses the button.


Andrew is just running his fingers through his hair, again. (It looks like a lion's mane already) when his phone starts ringing.
He jumps, literally and scrambles to reach it.
"Good day my dear chap, how are you doing on this fine day?" as  far as british accents go this one is appalling, but Andrew appreciates the gesture.
"Howdy partner! so good to hear from ya!" he replied with his worst american accent.
Shannon started laughing at that and he joined in.
"So..." Andrew started, when they had settled down.
"I had a really good time last night" Shannon interrupts, in her normal voice.
"Me too" they smile at their phones.
There are a few seconds of silence, where neither of them knew what to say.
Remembering Katy's words, Shannon plucked up her courage.
"I'd like to see you again" she says.
Andrew's heart leaps in his chest.
"I'd love that". They grin stupidly at their phones again.
After a minute or so, Andrew clears his throat.
"So, a date?" he asks, slightly bemused.
"Leave it all to me. Just give me a time, a day and your address and I'll take care of the rest." she sounds almost frighteningly enthusiastic.
"Okay"
There is some going back and forth, until they settle on a time and date, during which Andrew tries to find out more about Shannon's plans, but she won't tell him anything.
They settle on the following tuesday at 4 pm.  (It's saturday)
It does strike Andrew as an odd time, but Shannon insists, that she "has her reasons".
"See you then" he says, after telling her his address.
"Definitely."
they hang up.

the restaurant
"I got the late shift again?" Hammer notices smugly that McAvoy is angry, just as he'd predicted.
"You did" he nods and, because he's a little evil sometimes, he adds "maybe you should talk to Mr Fassbender about it?"
McAvoy nods determinedly and stomps off.
Hammer remains in place for a few seconds and then proceeds to follow McAvoy, to listen through the door.

Fassbender is sitting in the comfortable leather chair of his expensively furnished office.
With it's walls lined with pictures of Mutants and costumes from the X-Men trilogy in glass cases, 'The Mutant Shack' is a surprisingly big hit among the rich and famous. Even the not-so-well-off are more than willing to save up to dine here, every now and then.
There is an energetic knock on the door.
Fassbender looks up, slightly startled from the papers he'd been handling.
"Come in!"

In front of the door McAvoy hesitates for a second and looks around him. He is almost certain, that he's heard a suspicious noise.
Armie dives out of sight.
McAvoy shakes his head, because apparently he's imagining things now (last time he checked, his life wasn't a bad spy-movie).
He squares his shoulders and enters the office.

As the door opens, a delighted smile spreads over Fasbender's face.
"Mr McAvoy!" he exclaims. Inwardly, he's cringing at sounding like an excited schoolgirl and when he takes in McAvoy's upset expression, his smile disappears completely.
"Is something wrong?" he asks, somewhat superfluously, because McAvoy is radiating anger.
It makes his eyes look even bluer than usual.
"....!" McAvoy is looking at him expectantly.
Fassbender blushes. James' eyes are his, he likes to think only, weakness.
He finds it very hard to think clearly, when they are trained on him.
McAvoy looks even angrier now.
"Were you even listening to me?" he demands.
Fassbender sits up straight.
"Of course I was listening!"
McAvoy doesn't look convinced, but his stance becomes slightly less hostile.
"Sooo?" he drawls. Fassbender shivers. Who'd have thought that seeing James angry would be such a turn-on?
James rolls his eyes and, incidentally, his "r"s too, his scottish accent seeming stronger in his anger.
"This week's shift schedule Mr Fassbender. Which put me in the late shift again. Three weeks in the late shift. Three weeks! You know I'm not the whingy type, but this is bordering on ridiculous."
Fassbender's mouth is slightly open. The break-out has left him breathless and he has to clear his throat, before he is able to speak again.
"Michael". McAvoy looks up, surprised by his gentle tone, trying to make sense of the word.  "Call me Michael, please"
"Okay, Michael." he sounds calmer, like Fassbender has taken the wind out of his sails, but he quickly returns to the point he's trying to make.
"The fact remains, that I've been on the late shift for the past three weeks. That doesn't seem fair to me. McAvoy's voice has risen again by the end of his statement and he starts pacing the room.
(he is subconsciously aware that there is something unusual about the way that Mr Fassbender, Michael, is looking at him)
Fassbender, who's heart skipped a beat when McAvoy used his first name, tried his best not to let McAvoy's pacing figure distract him.
He does not succeed. In the end, he decides, that it will be easiest to close his eyes.
In a rather impressive attempt at acting, he pinches the bridge of his nose and closes his eyes, like he can feel a migraine coming up.
"Look, James. Mr McAvoy I mean" he quickly corrects himself, glad he can't see James' eyes " you may want to check the schedule again."
He opens his eyes and is faced with a McAvoy who sways between the rest of his anger(that has mysteriously started ebbing away from the moment he entered the office) and adorable confusion.
"I don't exactly have it with me, so." McAvoy waves his arms in a universal 'explain this' gesture.
Fassbender looks him straight in the eyes and tries to keep his voice neutral when he says "Miss Mulligan is on the late shift too". He fails, he sounds a bit like a wounded deer, but McAvoy doesn't seem to notice.
In the two seconds it takes him to process Fassbender's statement, his face transforms into a display of such utter glee, that it's almost scary.
"Really? Oh, that's brilliant! thank you Mr -, Michael".
As Fassbender had assumed, the mere mention of Carey was enough to make McAvoy forget any and all complaints.
[What he hasn't seen coming is the way having McAvoy call him 'Michael' affects him. McAvoy looks like he might want to hug him out of gratitude. Fassbender is immensely grateful for the desk separating them.]
"You're welcome. I know you like her. It's the least I can do. Go get her, aye, McAvoy?" he tries a conspirational wink with that, but thanks to his body's unwillingness to co-operate when James is around, it probably looked more like a fly had flown in his eye.
"I will!" McAvoy balls his fist in a dramatic gesture and turns to leave. After a few steps towards the door he turns back.
[Fassbender prays whole-heartedly that he hadn't been staring too obviously at McAvoy's ass]
"You can call me James" his voice is light and joyful.

Armie, behind the door, buries his face in his hands and murmurs "Oh, just kiss already",
When he hears James approaching steps, he flees down the corridor.
As James opens the door, we can see Armie disapprearing around the corner.

Alone in his office, Fassbender says "James" softly, looking at the door through which he's left, wondering when exactly he'd become a character in a Jane Austen Novel.
(It's funny, see, because he's in 'Jane Eyre'. Literary-adaptation jokes, anyone? no? okay)


Tuesday, 3:58 pm, Andrew's flat

Andrew is clad in a plaid-shirt and skinny jeans.
He is pacing the room, eyeing his Vespa helmet, but Shannon didn't say where they were going to go, so he has no idea whether he'll need it.
He's nervous.
His phone is ringing. He hurries to pick it up, thinking it's Shannon.
It's not.
"Hey Garfield. How are you? listen. Me and Ellen are going to an Amusement park later and she was wondering if you'd like to join us? For some reason she finds you endearing. Can you believe that?" Andrew can't help but smile at the tone of genuine surprise he can hear in Roberts voice.
"I can't" he replies with very little regret (going to an Amusement Park with Rob is testing) "I have a date."
There is a moment's pause, then "You big slut! good for ya!" Robert is all male-enthusiasm.
"Okay so, have fun. See you around." there is hardly time for Andrew to throw in a quick "bye", before Rob has hung up.
There is another ring. The doorbell. Andrew runs over to the window, throws it open and looks outside. There is a most peculiar vehicle outside, and Shannon, waving at him.
He grins and waves back.
She shouts "hurry up!" to him and he shouts back "I'll be down in a second!".
He closes the window and rushes out the door, only stopping to give himself a quick once-over in the hallway mirror. He hopes his outfit will be appropriate for Shannons plans, but to be fair, he didn't have much to go on. He locks the door of his flat after himself and all but runs down the stairs.
When he throws open the front-door, he's panting a little.
Shannon welcomes him with a bright smile. "Someone's eager" she remarks at his state, sounding pleased with herself.
Andrew waves his hand dismissively "I'm not the one who went all-out" he gives her a grin. "A rickshaw!" he is excited like a little boy.
The driver of the rickshaw, a burly man in his forties wearing a wife-beater and rolled-up army shorts, looks at him with a mixture of benevolence and disbelief. (Shannon had told him, she was going to take a man on a date, now it looked to him more like she was actually taking a younger relative out on a play-date).
The ride is long. So long in fact, that they have to stop twice, so that the driver can buy himself a drink and a snack.
They hardly notice. They are completely wrapped up in each other.
It takes them one and a half hours to reach their destination, the driver nearing exhaustion at this point.
Shannon watches Andrew's face closesly as they near the entrance, with the big sign, that will finally give her surprise away.
(If the giant parking lot with the masses of people wasn't enough of a clue, not to mention all the signs they had passed on the way)
"Pacific Playland?!" Andrew's eyes widen comically, but that's nothing compared to his smile, which literally stretches from ear to ear.
She nods and has no time to prepare for the hug that is sprung at her in return.
It is a quick hug, but it leaves them with a rosy shimmer on their cheeks.
"This is already the best date I've ever had" Andrew declares and Shannon really doesn't know what to say to that.
Before any awkwardness can develop, the driver clears his throat.
Shannon tears her gaze away from Andrew's face(which is hard okay, because it is a nice face) and pays the 232, 64$ he asks for without batting an exelid.
They watch him drive off, Andrew waving after him.
"Not the cheapest mode of transportation" he remarks.
Shannon nods, slightly worried.
"A fun one though" he continues with a smile.
Shannon nods again, mentally congratulating herself.

We follow the driver for a little while, until he passes a little blue sportscar, that just drew up in the parking lot.
There the camera stops and we see first Ellen and then Robert getting out.
Ellen looks a little tortured. We understand why, when Rob exits the car, continuing the monologue he's been having for the past hour and a half: "..and then we'll go on the roller-coaster again. By then I'll probably be hungry, so we should get some corn dogs and ice-cream. In face, I'm feeling a little hungry right now. Let's get some ice-cream right now!" He slings an arm around her waist and she lets herself be pulled towards the entrance.

We return to Andrew and Shannon.
They look at each other and smile. "Let's do this!" Shannon exclaims. She extends a hand and Andrew takes it.
They enter the park without meeting Robert and Ellen.

-> montage of their activities:
- Andrew and Shannon are sharing an ice-cream cone. Andrew plays with one of Shannon's curls. They laugh about something. There  is a bit of ice-cream near the side of Andrew's mouth, Shannon wipes it off with her thumb and licks her thumb. Andrew blushes.

In the background we see Ellen and Robert sitting on a bench. She has a little cone and looks somewhat disbelievingly at the monstrosity of a cone that Robert has before him. (bucket-sized, with all kinds of colourful sprinkles and sauces).

- Andrew and Shannon are at a throwing game, trying to throw rings over bottles. They keep missing, but they are laughing and cheering each other on. Andrew stands very close to Shannon and tries to guide her hand as she throws, they miss again, but there is a little moment, where you think they're going to kiss. They are interrupted by the man asking if they want more rings and the moment is gone.

As their backs are turned, they don't see Rob and Ellen walking by. Ellen is carrying a giant-ass stuffed toy, that looks even bigger in comparison to tiny Ellen, Rob has presumably won it for her.

- Andrew and Shannon get in the roller coaster. They laugh and are obviously having a great time. They sit at the very first cart.
As we see the other carts roll by, we see Robert, Ellen and the teddy, a few carts back. We see Ellen roll her eyes as they drive by. Rob is clutching the teddy, who has his own seat.

Andrew says something about the ride being "so much fun. Wanna go again?" and Shannon nods enthusiastically. They remain in their seats.
In the background, Ellen is climbing out of the cart, pulling the teddy out and finally Rob. Rob is swaying on his feet and does not look healthy. Ellen has just enough time to pull the teddy out of the way, before Robert throws up on it. She pats him on the shoulder with a "there, there", holding back on the 'I told you so. Doing this 10 times in a row was a stupid idea Robert, and you knew it' she would rather say. They wander off, Ellen supporting Rob, who's in turn clinging to the teddy. The carts set off again and Andrew and Shannon scream in exhilaration.

It is dark. They walk out of the park, through the big entrance. Andrew's arm is slung around her waist and hers around his'.
They give each other ridiculously sappy looks and you can faintly hear wedding bells chiming in the distance.
They walk donw the rows of cars. After a few yards, Andrew stops.
"Wait. Where are we going? Is the poor guy waiting with the Rickshaw somewhere?"
Shannon taps the side of her mouth mock-seriously. "Weeeeeeell..." She can't keep keep it together at his flabbergasted expression.
"No. Of course not. Come on. That would be silly. The elephant we'll ride home on should be here somewhere" she starts looking around, like there's actually a chance of an animal of that size hiding behind one of the cars.
"Shannon?" he asks carefully and she faces him with a completely neutral expression.
"Yes Andrew?"
"Are you serious?" his eyes are huge. (The parking lot is well-lit, so really, no elephant could possibly hide from view)
Her face lights up delightedly.
"You really believed me?" she punches the air triumphantly "Take that Mickey!"
"Who's Mickey?" Andrew sounds slightly jealous and pulls his arm away from Shannon.
She is quick to pull him back, "He was my acting coach. He always said I w had a crap pokerface. Obviously he had no idea what I'm truly capable of. She's very pleased with herself and he looks even more in love than before.
(At some point during their date she had explained to him that she's actually an actress. Not sure whether that deserves its own little scene in the montage)
"Come on!" she starts pulling him down the line. "Our taxi should be over there. Seriously this time."
He gladly lets himself be pulled, laughing.
The camera swings over the lines of parking cars until it comes to rest on the little blue car, Robert and Ellen's.

We fade to them, they are sitting at a small table with 4 chairs.
Ellen And Robert have a chair each, the giant teddy has another one and the last one is piled with more toys, that Rob presumably won for Ellen. (I like the idea of us later finding out, that it's actually Ellen who won them).
The table is stacked with corndogs. Robert is eating with gusto. He has mustard on his face.
The last thing we see, before the scene fades away, is Ellen looking at Robert in a loving way.

We return to Andrew and Shannon.
They are back in front of the house Andrew's flat is in, the taxi is just driving off.
They are standing opposite each other, hands buried in their pockets, shifting from foot to foot.
It's a little tense.
"Sooooo" Shannon cocks her head to the side "was this the best date you've ever had, or do I need to get an actual elephant for that?"
Andrew wants to propose to her on the spot.
He doesn't though.
"No need for that. The minute I saw your face, it was the best date I've ever had"
She cracks up, but tries to hide it. (Maybe, just maybe Mickey did have a point)
Andrew frowns, looking slightly hurt, but her laughter is infectuous and he eventually joins in.
"Too schmalzy? Okay. Let me try again." Like a true actor he tries to regain the same stance/expression for the second attempt.
His voice is a little more dramatic and his eyes are crinkled with hidden laughter as he tries again:
"I was lost the moment I laid eyes on the Rickshaw, no date will ever measure up." he finishes with an exaggerated wave of his arm.
Shannon, who's started laughing hysterically at the 'Rickshaw', takes a moment to collect herself.
When she is able to speak again, she says very matter-of-factly:
"You know Andrew, that is a real shame. You see, I was planning on quite a few more dates, but if you think nothing could measure up to this, I might as well not bother."
Andrew nods solemnly.
"We'll have to stay in then. Watch tv and that. I could cook."
Shannon nods as well.
"That's settled then Mr Garfield." she stetches out her hand and he takes it. They shake on it.
There's no telling who starts it, but they're pulling each other closer and then they're kissing.

The camera goes up to the sky, where the moon shines its pale light in the night. It's late.

Meanwhile at the restaurant.

The Mutant Shack, ~02:03 am Wednesday
The last patrons, a couple in their late fourties, are just leaving.
Carey smiles politely at them, as she wishes them a good night.
Judging by their enthusiastic response, they've had a few drinks, they can't see the barely contained impatience that's bubbling under the surface, threatening to break out any secod.
The late shift is the more testing one by far.
You're can't leave until the last of the patrons have finished their meals and asked for the cheque.
On one memorable occasion that wasn't until 9:53 am, when Michael (who was head-waiter at the time) had snapped and complimented the last of the guests out with a mixture of pleasatries and thinly-veiled threats.
The restaurant ("Eisenberg's" at the time) would open again at 10 am and they had been desperate to tidy up before that. It was one of the reasons he was such a well-respected boss: he knew how to handle stressful situations.
As the door closed behind them, she heard a noise like air rushing out of a balloon to her right: James was sighing with relief.
"Mother of god. I thought they'd never leave."
Carey silently agreed with him. They had looked a little too comfortable in their seats, taking "PDA" to a whole new level.
She had served the last drinks with her eyes half-closed.
James, to whom the whole concept of indecency didn't seem to exist, had had no such qualms.
He'd been staring unashamedly at them and he'd probably learned a thing or two, if the half appraciative-half awestruck look he gave them was any indication.
She put a friendly arm around James' shoulders.
Doing the nightshift brought people closer. After only four nights, James had become something of a little brother to her.

Michael, who was watching rom the half-closed door that led to the kitchen-corridor(something he may or may not have been doing sice he'd started giving James the nightshift) didn't possess any telepathic abilities.
Which was a shame, because if he did, he could have read Carey's mind and come to the conclusion that his worries were without merit.
As it wasm it seemed to him like his plan, which involved being the bigger man and ensuring James' happiness by helping him get together with Carey, had succeeded.
He had of course factored in his own feelings, expected a reasonable sense of jealousy, but figured that the satisfaction of seeing James happy would outweigh that by far.
He had been wrong.
James, with Carey's arm around his shoulders was the epitome of bliss and Michael felt nothing short of murderous.
He conscientiously reminded himself, that Carey was a exceptionally talented waitress and that she had a family and would thusly be missed, if she mysteriously disappeared.
But even though he kept repeating this over and over in his head, his fingers were itching to punch something.
He relaxed for the moment, when Carey let go of James and they started taking the empty glasses to the kitchen. Michael retreated to a broom cupboard for the time being, since they'd be passing through the very door he'd been hiding behind. So far he had been lucky and noone had found him in there, apart from Armie, who had seen him come out of the cupboard on Monday night and had said something about it being having some sort of significance. It had only dawned on him later, that Armie had been talking about him coming out of the closet and Michael was still trying to think of a reason to cut his wages in revenge.
He could her them walking past the closed cupboard door, chatting. His rage ebbed away, because even though James was flirting heavily with Carey, she didn't flirt back.
When they had disposed of the dishes, they returned to the dining-hall.
Michael left the cupboard, luckily undetected by anyone, and returned to his outlook.
Carey and James were blowing out the candles and took off the tasteful flowers that adorned the tables, placing them on a trolley. The tablecloths went into a hamper, which would later be brought to the laundry room. The chairs would then be turned over and placed on the tables, so that the cleaners could mop the floors.
They were carrying out their duties conscientiously and in silence, which meant no more flirting, Michael approved.
He turned to his favourite past-time: watching James.
Even in the mundane act of stacking vases, he displayed a grace that rivalled that of a gazelle, his movements fluid and smooth. His eyes often strayed to Carey and took on a dreamy quality, but Michael chose to ignore that.
He preferred to keep his eyes trained on James' lithe body, the way it stretched and bent, while he was tearing off dirty tablecloths and filling the trolley with candles and flowerpots.
And if he let his mind wander, to the way James' body would look writhing beneath him, well, who could blame him?

TSN-land, Mark/Wardo, PG-13
abbylabby
Title: TSN-land

Pairing: Eduardo/Mark

Warnings: We experience the emotions of a 19-year old boy, who is rather emotional. Seriously, Eduardo's mind is a strange place sometimes.There is also cursing in abundance. And vaguely suicidal thoughts once or twice.

Rating: idk, PG-13 so far? Idk, I think it should be a bit higher. Eduardo's obsessiveness is a little disturbing at times.

Word count: 8405

Disclaimer/AN: literally none of this belongs to me. Adventureland and TSN belong to their respective owners. The idea behind this is all due to the incredible Nas, who thought that there really should be a TSN-theme-park (I agree wholeheartedly).
This story is me taking the TSN kids and putting them in a new setting, with lots of lame humour and a bastardisation of the plot of Adventureland.
I don't even know.


The post got too large for livejournal, so the rest will be packed into a separate post. Which is convenient, because I think I need to rewrite the ending and I might do that after the a-thon is over, when I have more time ^^

TSN-land (an Adventureland crossover)

                     (someone's house, a graduation party)

Eduardo Saverin had spent most of the evening just staring at Alan in, what he hoped, was a loving and not creepy way. 
It was however getting late and even staring at someone as attractive as Alan could only entertain you for so long.
He slung an arm around Alan's shoulder to catch his attention. "Shall we get out of here?" he asked.
Alan turned around to face him, winding out of his hold in the process. He looked distinctly uncomfortable "Erm...". Eduardos arm dropped and hung limply at his side.
"Look, Eduardo." Alan bit his lip, thinking of how to best break the news. He decided to make it quick. "I...I can't see you anymore. It's been...you...I...sorry." with an apologetic smile he turned around and walked away.
Eduardo stared after him, mouth opening and closing, no words coming out.
He needed a drink. 
As expected he found his two best friends, the Winkelvoss twins Tyler and Cameron, at the improvised bar.

Tyler and Cameron understood Eduardo, it was one of the reasons they were friends.
If you were to ask someone outside the trio as to why they were friends, they might tell you it was, because they thought they were better than everybody else. 
They wouldn't be wrong. However, when they were sitting together, sharing a joint, planning their post-graduation trip to Europe, they didn't dwell on the general lack of quality in their peers, they prefered to focus on their own amazingness.

They took one look at him and Tyler pulled him into a manly hug, while Cameron poured them shots.
"Men are fickle" Tyler offered, with what he thought was a comforting tone, several drinks later. "That's why we date women!" Cameron interjected and laughed like he'd made the funniest joke ever. No matter how much alcohol the had, Cameron always seemed a little more drunk that the rest of them.
"You were only dating for a week" stated Tyler, like that made it any less tragic. Eduardo corrected him "Actually, it was 11 days", before downing another drink.
Cameron paused with his glass half up to his lips, gaping at him "Wait a sec! Eduardo, you didn't tell her about your V-card, did you?" 
Eduardo didn't even have to answer. Cameron groaned and downed his drink. In a whiny tone he continued "But you promised you wouldn't! No one likes a virgin, man. You need to get laid, stat. The next lonely, depressive, desperate gay guy who so much as looks at you is game. Just get it over with, right?" Cameron looked around for support, Tyler nodded sagely in agreement, but Eduardo determinedly shook his head. "Just because some people" Cameron understood that to mean 'you' "have no standards, doesn't mean it's wrong for me to have them. I'll only have sex with someone I love, thank you very much". Tylers amused chuckles made him feel marginally better and eventually Cameron joined in too. 
"Just you wait Mr High Standards, we'll get you a nice guy in Europe" Tyler filled their glasses again and proposed a toast "To Europe", "To Europe" echoed his friends.


                       (a restaurant, dinner in celebration of Eduardo's graduation)

Eduardo was laying out the financial details of the Europe-trip to his parents.
"Due to a miscalculation of the cost of Youth Hostels, I'll be needing an additional 300$ to the 900$ you're already giving me, thanks again."
He looked up from his notes and is met with stern faces.
Before he could say anything else, his mother took his hand. Coupled with the apologetic look on her face, Eduardo realized that no, this coldn't be good.
"Eduardo, sweetie." She never called him sweetie, this was bad. "First of all, your father and I want to tell you how proud we are of you, aren't we David?" Mr Saverin mumbled something unintelligible. Mrs Saverin elbowed him and, with a disapproving glance over to her, he agreed "Yes of course Marilyn. Very proud." Eduardo almost cracked a smile, but his mother continued talking and he really didn't feel like smiling anymore.
"We really didn't want to ruin your graduation, but you need to know the truth: Your father has been transferred to a different department. What that means is that...we can no longer afford to pay for your trip to Europe."

It couldn't be true. This couldn't be happening. "But, but the trip was my graduation present." he hates himself for the stutter, for the fact that he whines like a child that had it's lollipop taken away, but it all seemed so unfair to him.
His mothers fake cheerful smile slipped a little. "I'm sorry honey, we just can't afford it.
His father ordered another drink. Eduardo would love a drink himself right now.

"You can still help me out with rent next year, right?" Eduardo's voice was trembling slightly, he couldn't help it.
His mother sounded exasperated "Are you listening to what I'm saying?"
The waitress arrived with his father's drink.
Mr Saverin thanked her and tried to change the topic.

He raised his glass to his son "Here's to you Eduardo, happy graduation!"
Eduardo couldn't let it go though. "What about Columbia? they're holding a spot for me!"

His mother closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose, like she did when she could feel a migraine coming up.
"If you want to go to Columbia, you're going to have to find a job."
Eduardo really needed a drink now.

(The lawn in front of the house in which Tyler, Cameron and Eduardo had shared a little flat)

There were boxes with all of the stuff that has accumulated over the years, which the boys were loading in their respective parents' trunks.

The parents were standing together in polite conversation, something that never failed to make their offspring feel slightly uneasy.

Cameron beckoned Eduardo to come over to where he and Tyler were sifting through a box of records with a mock secretive gesture.
They huddled around the box.

"Man, it sucks that you'll be spending your summer in Pittsburgh" Cameron sighed. Tyler nodded with a pitying look on his face.
Eduardo pretended to look through the records, so he didn't have to look them in the face. He was afraid the jealousy he felt might show.

Tyler rested a hand on his shoulder "Hey man, I know everything kind of sucks for you at the moment, but think of next year. We'll be in New fucking York, the most awesome city on the whole planet. Our dad has great connections, so we'll get a great deal on out apartment and if all else fails, we'll float you for the first few months, right Cam?" he looked at his brother, who nodded enthusiastically.
Eduardo felt much lighter, like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. "Thank you so much guys" he was glad his voice didn't sound as teary as he felt.The twins gave him an identical bright grin and clapped him on the shoulders.
"Don't mention it" Cameron said, breezily waving his left arm around, while his right hand dug through his pockets.

A few seconds later he pulled out a joint and fit it between his lips.
Tyler watched with his usual serene smile, while Eduardo had trouble not panicking on the spot.
"What are you doing? Our parents are right over there." he hissed through clenched teeth, glancing nervously over to the adults who seemed, as of yet, unaware as to what their sons were getting up to.
"Relax. They're completely clueless. Wave to the nice people Eduardo." Cameron and Tyler started waving at their parents and Eduardo hesitantly joined them.
The adults waved back, showing no sign of suspicion, before turning back to whatever fascinating topic they had been talking about.
"See? clueless." Cameron observed with satisfaction, lighting the joint.

Tyler poked him in the ribs and gave him a meaningful look.
"Ah, right." Cameron rummaged through another box that had been close by and produced a plastic bag, filled with more joints.
He held it out to Eduardo, who was just about ready to panic again, when Tyler took the bag out of Cameron's hand and pressed it into Eduardo's.
"Here, so you can be with us in spirit." He smiled and Eduardo was going to have a heart attack if they kept waving drugs around in front of their parents, he he quickly snatched the bag from Tyler and forced himself to thank them.
Tyler laughed at him. "You worry too much Eduardo." "That's what the weed is for" Cameron supplied helpfully, with a seedy wink.
Eduardo couldn't help but laugh at that and carefully placed the bag in one of the boxes. 
They finished loading their parents' cars and exchanged manly hugs in goodbye.

Eduardo couldn't help the sinking feeling that settled in his stomach as he saw the tall figures of the twins disappearing in the distance, when he and his parents drove off.


 
(Pittsburgh suburbs)
 
 
Eduardo looked through the window of the moving car at the houses that looked exactly the same as they had when he'd last seen them, they way they had looked all through his childhood.
People were mowing their lawns, children were playing outside, it was 'idyllic' for lack of a better word.
Eduardo's father had often told him, how fortunate he was to be growing up in such a lovely neighborhood.
Eduardo had always agreed, deciding it was not worth a fight, but he resented it.
He resented the fake-looking green lawns, the white picket-fences, the small white houses and the small-minded people that inhabited them.

They drove past a ginger boy in a red t-shirt on his bike.
The boy gave Eduardo the finger.
"It's good to be back, isn't it?" his father's cheerful voice managed to make Eduardo feel even worse, if that was possible.
"Sure." Not worth a fight.

In the following days Eduardo did everything to get a job. Well, not everything, he had standards after all, but he did not even hesitate when manual labor was required.
As it turned out, he needn't have bothered.
The fact that he had majored in Comparative Literature and Renaissance Studies was not at all appealing to any possible future employers.
In the end, he had to face the facts: the only job someone like him could get was at TSN-land, the big carnival at the outskirts of Pittsburgh, that needed more staff during the summer months.
His parents weren't exactly delighted, but as his mother remarked "At least you'll have a friend there".
By 'friend' she meant Dustin Moskovitz, the boy on the bike.
Yes, Eduardo was really looking forward to spending his summer with that guy at a crappy carnival instead of travelling Europe with his best friends.
"Sure, Mum." Not worth the fight.

(TSN-land, manager's office)

Eduardo had spent the bike ride to the park worrying.
TSN-land looked even worse than what he remembered from the last time he'd been there.
Granted, he'd only been six at the time and after he'd fallen out of the rowboat and nearly drowned early on, he hadn't paid that much attention to anything.
What hadn't changed from his six-year old self to now was that he had no clue as to what 'TSN' stood for.
It made him think of a drug, like LSD, but that didn't strike him as likely.

He was greeted by a man and a woman, who introduced themselves as Larry Summer and his wife Gretchen.
They didn't strike him as particularly competent, but they didn't mind his lack of work experience and he really needed the job. They had given him an odd look at first, presumably because he was wearing a suit to an interview at a carnival, but they hadn't said anything about it.

"So Eduardo, you want the games job, eh? Let's get you set up." With that, Larry pulled out a document and started filling it in. 
"Erm, actually, I'd rather work at the rides. If the position is still available." Eduardo ventured timidly.
Larry looked up from the document, squinted his eyes and declared "You look more like a games guy. Anyway, I already have the games application out, so..."
"Yeah, uh, no problem." Not worth the fight. Especially since this was his new boss.

Larry finished, mumbling the words he was writing under his breath, and turned to Eduardo. "Let me explain the rules: No freebies, no free turns for your friends, no free upgrades, no free food." his face was so solemn, Eduardo found it hard to keep a straight face. "so, just nothing is free here, right" h summarized.
Larry nodded "Yep, everybody has to pay for everything."  Easy enough to remember.
"There's another thing" Larry looked gravely serious now: "No one ever wins a giant-ass chicken" 
"Excuse me?" Eduardo was sure he'd misheard.
Larry repeated slowly "No one ever wins a giant-ass chicken"
"We don't have many left" came Gretchens voice from the back of the room. 
Eduardo took a deep breath. "Eh, yeah, okay."
Gretchen stepped forward, holding out a blue t-shirt hat read 'games'.
"Here you go. By accepting this shirt you are officially hired."

Eduardo got changed in the tiny staff changing room.
Larry released him into "the trustee arms of one Erica Albright".
Erica was about his age in body, in cynicism she was about 20 years older than him.
When Larry had left them alone, she spread her arms out mockingly "Welcome to Paradise." Eduardo only smiled politely at that. She shrugged "Well, new guy. let's show you around."

They walked along the 'attractions' and Erica explained the many ways in which the games were manipulated so that they were almost impossible to win.

There was the "Cannibalistic Chicken" game, where you had to throw plastic chicken drumsticks into the beak of a chicken. You could only win, if you threw from a certain angle. Eduardo couldn't explain why, but this was his least favorite game. After the first day at TSN-land, he woke out soaked in cold sweat, screaming "I did not torture the chicken!", because he had dreamed of the Cannibalistic Chicken.

There was "The Marlin and the Trout", a fishing game, where you had to use a magnetic rod to fish cut metal fish from a tank. Erica confided that not all of the fish were actually magnetic.

He also learned what Larry had been talking about with the 'giant-ass chicken'. They were the prize for a game where you had to throw rings at bottles and make them stay on. If the ring landed on one of the red bottles(there were two, the others were white) the customer won a giant-ass chicken plush.

Erica dropped a ring directly over one of the red bottles, the ring bounced off. "It's un-winnable, you see? Those things" she pointed to the chicken plushies " are the best prize in the park. If anyone wins a giant-ass chicken on your watch you might as well go home, because your ass is fired." She shrugged.
"Moving on" 
She showed him around all kinds of other obscure games that had only one thing in common: they were impossible or at least very hard to win.
Eduardo's first booth was a rowing game, fortunately one without real water.
The customers had to throw balls in holes and depending on the value of the hole their ball landed in, their little rowing boat would move.
It was even less exciting to watch than real rowing.
Eduardo tried to make the best of being stuck there, but his lack of motivation was so obvious that Larry took him aside and had a serious word with him.
He used expressions like 'kick it up a notch' and 'crank it to 11', which made Eduardo feel slightly uncomfortable.
With a meaningful nod, Larry stepped back to watch the 'cranked up to 11' preformance.

Eduardo went all out. He jumped up and down like a cheerleader and made up currents and harsh winds that favored individual boats.
The end of the race saw him panting, throwing a fluffy bunny plush at the winner, who looked like he didn't quite know where his head was at. Larry gaped at Eduardo with a gobsmacked expression on his face "Yeah, that, er, that'll do".
Larry walked away, turning to look back at Eduardo every now and then.
Eduardo felt pretty pleased with himself.
While he waited for more customers, he looked over to the other booths.

His gaze met that of a boy, who was sitting on the counter of his booth, looking at Eduardo with an unreadable expression.
He was attractive, not in the way that Alan had been attractive, with his stupid black hair and his stupid blue eyes. Never mind Alan now. The mysterious boy was wearing a blue 'games' shirt like Eduardo. It looked a little too big on his skinny frame. With it he wore cargo shorts and were those flip-flops? 
his hair was brown, curly and it looked very soft.
Eduardo checked himself. Was it normal to speculate on the softness of someone's hair?
The boy snickered, like he could read Eduardo's thoughts and found them amusing.
Eduardo's brain short-circuited. "I'm new!" he shouted over to the guy.
He raised his eyebrows, but didn't say anything.
Great.


Eduardo's booth on the next day was the one with the bottles and the rings. It was called 'A tiny chicken is not cool. You know what's cool? A huge chicken'. The name of the booth was on Eduardo's list of 'things he didn't understand about TSN-land', along with the name of the park, but it was easy to maintain, so he didn't complain.

A customer asked to buy 5 rings and started telling him a weird story about what his girlfriend had done when she'd had a few too many appletinis.
Eduardo listened politely, really not giving a crap, when he did a routine glance back over his shoulder to the bottles, to see a man holding his son over them. He turned around fully and no, it couldn't be! There was a ring on the top of a red bottle. 
Eduardo had trouble breathing for a second.
"Oh will you look at that! you won! my son won! Great work Div!" the father was overjoyed and so was his offspring, who danced around his father, muttering unintelligible sounds of glee.
Eduardo braced himself  "Erm, actually sir, I don't think I can. I saw you holding your son over the bottles. You. That's cheating.".
The father, at least a head taller than Eduardo and significantly heavier, did not take well to that. "Who're you calling a cheater, eh? My son won fair and square, sir. You need to give him a prize." the 'or else' was implied, but Eduardo couldn't back down, not with his job at stake.
The guy with the appletini-girlfriend backed the cheating father "I saw him throw it!"
"Oh, thank you, sir" the father replied and Eduardo could have sworn he winked at the other guy.
"Look, I really can't..." but he didn't even get to finish his sentence.
Appletini-girlfriend guy raised his voice "Hey, this fella here's trying to rip off a kid!"
A few passers-by stopped and looked at Eduardo disapprovingly.
"Why don't you just give the kid a fucking chicken?" the father's tone had become decidedly menacing.
Out of nowhere, curly boy from earlier appeared. He pulled out one of the huge chicken plushies and handed it to the man. "Here you go: one chicken for the lucky winner" he smiled, or rather: he showed his teeth. There was nothing friendly about the gesture.
The man grabbed the chicken and handed it to his son, who completely disappeared behind it.
"Yeah, thanks. Here you go Divya." they walked off without looking back.
The panic had taken control of Eduardo now. He was breathing heavily, sweat was trickling down his brow.
"I'm going to be in so much trouble. No one's ever supposed to lose a giant-ass chicken."
The curly boy gave him a blank look "Is it worth getting knifed over?"
Eduardo thought about it for a second "Er, no." "Damn right it isn't. That guy? he had a knife, he was playing with it while he talked to you. I'm sure he wouldn't have minded cutting you for that fucking chicken."
"Huh." Eduardo looked at the boy. He had pretty blue eyes. And he didn't want Eduardo to be knifed, that had to be a good sign.
"Oh" he remembered his manners "My name is Eduardo Saverin. I just started." "Mark Zuckerberg, nice to meet you." they shook hands. Mark had nice hands.
"Sucks you'll be fired on your second day." Marks voice was cool, emotionless.
The panic, that had subsided in the past minute, returned with full force. "Shit! I need this job" his voice was muffled, because he had buried his face in his hands.
"I'm kidding. You're fine. I'll tell Larry it was a life-or-death thing." Eduardo lowered his hands and was rewarded with the sight of Mark smiling. A genuine smile, that lit up his face. It was beautiful.
They were interrupted by one of the other booth guys shouting out "Parker! hey Parker! Rock on!" to a passing man, who was carrying a guitar. The man nodded, like he couldn't be bothered to react more than that.
"Who's that?" Eduardo turned to Mark. "Oh. That. That's Sean Parker, he's the maintenance guy."

At the end of their shift, a whole group of games staff stood together.
Eduardo was waiting for Dustin, who was his ride. His mother had called Dustin's mother and arranged it without asking Eduardo first.
He was talking to Erica, when Mark joined them.
Eduardo wanted nothing more than to be cool, to impress Mark.
"Look" he pointed to a wall a few meters away "I think someone tried to write 'Satan lives', but they spelled it 'Satin lives'" Smooth Eduardo, really witty.
Mark looked at him seriously "One of those textile-worshiping cults, no doubt."
Erica started laughing hysterically. "That's funny" remarked Eduardo, before joining in with Erica.
Mark chuckled. Eduardo was torn from staring at Mark's dimples, dimples I ask you!, but the arrival of Dustin.
Dustin was a man with impeccably bad timing.
"NSYNC? Nice shirt Mark" Mark didn't even dignify that with an answer, he just gave Dustin the finger.
Dustin quickly turned his attention to Eduardo. "You know about Parker and NSYNC, right?" Eduardo shook his head. Dustin's jaw dropped "He doesn't know about NSYNC you guys!" His colleagues exclaimed in mock terror.
"Parker once performed with NSYNC" Marks voice cut through the babble and silenced it. He didn't sound impressed, just kind of wary.
"Is he a musician then?" Eduardo couldn't help being a little impressed.
"Yup. Plays gigs in bars and everything. The chicks dig it!" Dustin sounded wistful in a way that suggested, that chicks didn't dig him very much.
Erica set about proving that point "Just shut up Dustin." She rolled her eyes "he's married".
Dustin looked the tiniest bit hurt "You're a bitch Erica Albright." but there was no heat in it.
"Alright loser, let's go." he waved to Eduardo. With a sigh he said his goodbyes.
He had only taken a few steps, when Marks voice stopped him in his tracks "I could give you a ride".
Eduardo's mood did a dramatic 180 degree turn to pure happiness "Really?"
Mark nodded.
"Dustin? I've got a ride! see you tomorrow" he shouted after his retreating figure.
"Yeah? whatever, you can suck my dick!" Eduardo was only half-listening and as he followed Mark to his car, he thought that if he was going to suck someone's dick, it was going to be Mark's.

The ride was uneventful. When the silence became slightly uncomfortable, Mark put on a CD.
To Eduardo's relief it was not an NSYNC one. Speaking of which: "Do you like NSYNC?"
Mark took his eyes off the road for a second to give him a disbelieving look.
Flustered, Eduardo tried to row back "I mean, they are obviously great. They are all very nice guys and those lyrics? deep. Their songs are so catchy. What's the one? 'bye bye bye'? awesome" he was babbling.
Mark started laughing about halfway through Eduardo's declaration of love for NSYNC
"Dude, I'm wearing this shirt, because all my other shirts are in the wash, it belongs to my little sister. I think she has outgrown them. I'm sure she'd gladly hand it over to a real fan." Mark looks decidedly too pleased with himself, Eduardo really should be put off, instead he found himself much too interested in Mark taking the shirt off and giving it to him.
He even considered pretending to really be into NSYNC to make it happen.
Sadly Mark chose this moment to change the topic.
"Erica tells me, you'll be going to Columbia for grad school? I'm at NYU right now."
It was late and definitely dark, but Eduardo felt like the sun has just come out. He would live in the same city as Mark! "Maybe I'll run into you" Eduardo tried to play it cool, but he already thought up ways in which to make that happen.
Mark pulled up in front of Eduardo's house.
"Here we are" he smiled at Eduardo. "Thanks for the ride" Eduardo wanted to say more. So much more, but he couldn't. "No problem. See you tomorrow"
Eduardo wanted to say 'don't go', but he didn't want to seem clingy, so he just waved at Marks tiny, rickety car as it disappeared into the night.

The next day Eduardo was in charge of a booth called 'Caribbean shooting range".
The goal of the game was to shoot barrels that went down Niagara Falls.
He was just talking to Parker, who was fixing one of the guns, when Mark approached them.
Mark smiled, but he seemed a little nervous.
"Hey guys. My father's away for work, so I'm having a party tonight. You should come."
His eyes flicked from one to the other and occasionally to the little barrels toppling over the edge of the waterfall. "Definitely." Even if he had had plans, he'd have cancelled them in a heartbeat. Anything to spend more time with Mark. "Parker?" "Busy. Sorry. You kids have fun"
Mark shrugged. "I'd love to stay and chat, but I can't be around this booth. Who owns this park? Morons?" Muttering something about 'Caribbean and Niagara Falls' under his breath, he left.
Eduardo followed him with his eyes. It was not just to check out Mark's backside, though he did that too, what he felt for Mark was different. Yes, there was plenty of physical attraction: he wanted to run his hands through Mark's hair(he might be a little obsessed with those curls), to hold Mark's hand, to run his hands over every inch of Mark's skin and so, so much more, but it was even more than that: he wanted to write sappy poems about Mark's blue eyes, take him out to dinner, talk to him, feed him grapes, to do all those ridiculous couple-y things that people did.
When he pulled himself down from cloud nine, he saw Parker looking at him with an odd expression.
"You got it bad, huh?" Eduardo felt heat rise to his cheeks "Am I that obvious?"
"You are to me. Mark is a nice guy." Eduardo would later realize, that Parker had sounded suspiciously thoughtful there, but it wasn't until much later, that he would realize why.

Pittsburgh, Mark's house, house party
Eduardo had literally spent hours on his outfit and on his hair.
He as still not quite whether a suit was appropriate for the occasion, but he kept hearing his father say 'dress to impress' in his mind over and over again and to decided to just follow his advice.
Mark lived in a nice house, interior and exterior were exceptionally tasteful. Music was playing loudly and people were dancing.
Eduardo knew most of the people, they all seemed to be TSN-land staff.
He spotted Mark on the other side of the living-room, wearing shorts, a hoodie and flip-flops and good god, how did he manage to look so appealing, just standing there?
Eduardo waved at him. The movement caught Mark's eye and he met him half-way.
"Hi" there was no reason for Eduardo to be breathless, but he was.
"You came" Mark stated the obvious, and then he added "in a suit."
Eduardo really wished that Mark was easier to read, because he couldn't tell if Mark was amused by his choice of clothes.
"You look like my dad, when goes off to the office in the morning." That didn't help Eduardo.
"He's a lawyer" Mark specified. Still no idea.
Finally, "You look good." Eduardo let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding. He felt very pleased with himself, especially when he noticed the faint shade of pink that Mark's cheeks had turned.
Mark must have been aware of it too, because he seemed very keen on distracting Eduardo.
"Bet you didn't expect that, huh? a lawyer. But what can I say? It was his life-long dream for his son to work at TSN-land." he gave a mirthless laugh. "Whatever. It get's me out of the house."
Eduardo could tell, that Mark didn't enjoy this topic and more than anything he wanted Mark to be happy, to smile that genuine smile that made Eduardo feel like his chest might burst.
"Speaking of which: do you have any idea what 'TSN' stands for?" Marks eyes focused on him, his eyebrows knitting together in confusion for a second, before he relaxed again. " I have absolutely no clue." and then he started laughing.
Eduardo wanted to see him laugh again, see him smile, he even wanted to see Mark's sadness, to comfort him, to be there for him.
Which, okay, was a little scary, because he had only just met Mark and he kind of wanted to spend the rest of his life with him already.
It was a dangerous train of thought, so to stop it, and maybe a little, because he wanted to impress Mark, he rummaged through his pockets.
"Actually, I brought something for the party!" Eduardo declared proudly, producing a little white wrapper that had seen better days.
"Erm, thanks? what is it?" Mark sounded vaguely amused.
"It's a joint" Eduardo explained, bending it in shape as best as he could."Oh" Marks eyes widened in realization and an appreciative smile played on his lips.
How Eduardo wanted to lick that smile away, to sink his teeth in those lips, to push them apart with his tongue and invade Mark's mouth. As far as distractions went, the joint was a failure."Let's go outside" Mark set off towards an open double door, that led into the garden.
Eduardo could see people standing together, smoking.He looked at Mark and felt like he might die if he didn't touch him, so he placed a gentle hand in the small of Mark's back.Mark looked up to him, like he might say something, but then he just smiled at Eduardo and let himself be led outside.
The joint, and Eduardo as the bringer of it, received a warm welcome, that was no consolation whatsoever, when he had to let his hand drop from Mark's back.
The joint went around and while everybody else was busy exchanging horror stories about what had happened during their shifts at TSN-land, Eduardo debated whether or not he could just kiss Mark, with himself.
Just as he reached a conclusion, he would go for it but not in front of all these people, Mark raised his voice "I'll go for a swim, if anybody would like to join me?"
Eduardo was pretty sure he hadn't imagined that Mark had looked at him more than anyone else when he'd said that.
He followed Mark to the pool. It was quite big, about 7 x 5 meters, with expensive-looking, cream-colored tiles and sparkling turquoise water.
The yellow lights that shone from the house illuminated everything nicely, it was nearly as bright as day.
Eduardo said a silent 'thank you' to Mr and Mrs Zuckerberg, for their determination to keep the darkness at bay and for their willingness to put up with electricity bills that must surely be huge, because he could see Mark as clear as day.
Mark, who had dropped his hoodie, shorts and flip-flops in a heap on the floor, who was swimming in nothing but boxers, who he wanted very badly.
"Come on, Wardo!" It was the first time Mark used this name and for a second Eduardo pondered jumping in the water, suit and all, and ravishing Mark on the spot.
He didn't want to seem pushy though.
With as much elegance and grace as he could muster, which was not a lot considering he was a horny 19-year old who wanted to get undressed as quickly as possible, he shrugged out of his jacket, pulled his button-up over his head and shimmied out of his trousers.
Too late he remembered that he was only wearing briefs, but in retrospect it probably wouldn't have made a difference, if he'd known.He climbed down the little ladder. The water was a bit of a shock, colder than he'd expected, and for a good minute Mark was wiped completely from his thoughts.
"You should submerge" came Mark's helpful voice from somewhere very close to Eduardo's left ear.
Obediently he sank below the surface. For a second that made it worse, but when he resurfaced, the water felt warmer.
Mark must have been able to tell from his face, because he was smiling smugly.
"Told you so" Eduardo's thoughts had returned to Mark's lips and the things he wanted to do with them.
When Mark swam closer, Eduardo had the faint hope, that he might have something similar in mind.
He didn't.
Smaller though he was, it turned out Mark was surprisingly strong and coupled with Eduardo being distracted by a certain pair of lips, he managed very easily to duck Eduardo.

Eduardo came back up, spitting water, trying to get some air in his lungs. He didn't even think before jumping at Mark's shoulders and pushing them down under the water.

They both resurfaced at the same time, breathing heavily.

Mark moved towards him once more and Eduardo dived underneath him.

When Eduardo set out for the counter attack, Mark clung to him, which was a simple, yet effective way to short-circuit Eduardo's brain.

All rational thought vanished, leaving only 'Mark': Mark's skin pressed against his own, Mark's arms wrapped around his neck, Mark's legs wrapped around his torso, Mark's crotch pressed against his stomach, Mark's face close to his own, Mark's face close to his own, Mark's lips smiling at him. Always those lips.

They went under then, since Mark couldn't move very much and Eduardo had stopped treading water. The only thing Eduardo registered, was that Mark was still clinging to him. And that he needed oxygen.

His legs started treading water, seriously how does the pool in your fucking backyard have to be?, and one of his arms started paddling.

The other arm held firmly onto Mark's waist and would not be removed unless the danger of drowning was imminent.

Mark, for his part, used one of his arms to paddle them upwards. It didn't do much, but Eduardo appreciated the effort.

Even more he appreciated the arm, that remained wrapped around his neck.

Their struggle lasted all of three seconds, before they broke the surface.

Breathing was good.

Eduardo managed to maneuver them to the side of the pool, where the water was more shallow.

The very second his feet touched the floor and he didn't have to worry about drowning anymore, he returned his arm to Mark's waist and pressed his mouth to Mark's.

It was his wettest kiss yet, what with them being in a swimming-pool and having been under water and that, their lips were a little cold and he had to pull away much too soon for air. It was also his best kiss yet.

He took a few deep breaths and was just about to lean in again, when Mark put a finger on his lips, to stop him.

Wardo...” being this close to Mark and being unable to kiss him was torture. Eduardo had to physically restrain himself from not kissing him anyway.

Mark removed himself, who let him, feeling like something terrible had happened and he'd missed it.

He had no clue what was wrong and he was afraid of asking.

He wanted Mark back in his arms, but even more than that, he wanted Mark to be fine.

Mark. Are you alright?” Mark had backed away and for a fleeting second he looked like he might cry, or maybe it was just all that water, Eduardo wasn't sure. For his own safety, he deemed it best to leave the pool as well.

 

He could hear the music booming through the walls, the smokers talking some distance away, but it seemed 'off', like it didn't concern him.

It was a struggle putting his trousers on wet legs, but Eduardo didn't even care, the button-up and jacket were easier and finally he was dressed. His underwear was wet and felt uncomfortable when he moved his legs, but Eduardo got satisfaction out of it, he felt like he didn't deserve to feel good after what had happened with Mark.

He started walking then, through the garden, around the house, down the street, down another street, homewards.

He'd come with Dustin, but he probably wouldn't even notice that Eduardo wasn't there anymore.

It was a good five mile walk, through badly lit streets, down the side of a busy motorway for about a mile and then more badly lit streets.

Whenever a car passed him, he felt a little panic, because of what could happen to him and how he felt that he deserved it. None of the cars stopped, no one bothered him, he arrived home safely.

He was relieved and disappointed in equal measure.

It wasn't very late, but his parents had gone to bed already.

Eduardo raided his father's liquor cabinet. His father owned quite an extensive collection of liquors. He took a sip out of every bottle, so his father wouldn't notice anything and by the end he was reasonably drunk.

It didn't make him feel any better about what had happened.

When he remembered how happy he'd been just two hours ago, he couldn't help but laugh, a loud bellowing laugh that quickly turned into violent sobs.

His head pounded when he woke up on the next morning, without any recollections as to how he had got into his bed.

He didn't want to go to work.

The amount of self-hatred he felt, coupled with his hangover, meant a serious threat for any customer who so much as looked at him.

There was no telling what he'd do if someone upset him: punch them or start bawling.

And then there was the possibility of seeing Mark.

It was only the constant nagging of his mother, who appeared five minutes later, that made him leave his bed.

Things didn't escalate from there.


(TSN-land)
 

 

He was close to throttling Dustin by the end of the drive and jumped out of the car the second it stopped, to get away from the stupidly grinning idiot, because if he heard another dick-joke, he was going to end Dustin.

The booth he was assigned to that day did nothing to improve his mood, it was called 'hack-a-thon'.

The customer pit on a pair of goggles that contorted their vision and then they had to fit objects through shaped holes, the fastest won.

It was statistically the booth with the most customer complaints.

Eduardo held up reasonably well for the first hour, only raising his voice twice at particularly stubborn customers, and he thought that maybe, just maybe, he would manage to get through this day and then maybe he could get Dustin to drive over him on his way home, so he never had to feel anything ever again.

Then Mark walked by and he lost it.

It didn't help, that all four of the current players were bickering like a bunch of five-year olds.

Fuck off!” four heads turned to him, speechless.

Seriously” he punctuated each word by throwing the coins back at them “Take. Your. Fucking. Money. And. Get. The. Fuck. Away. From. This. Booth.”

Three of them had the sense to obey at once. They scrambled to their feet, grabbed their money and retreated as fast as they could.

The last one however, he reminded Eduardo of Dustin, tried to argue.

Look here Carnie guy: I paid good money and I demand that you let me play. Actually, seeing as the others left, it's fair to say I won. Why don't you just give a prize and I'll go?” his cocky grin disappeared, when Eduardo picked up the goggled he'd worn and snapped them in half in one smooth motion.

Now, unless you want me to repeat that with your neck, you shut up and go. Now.” Eduardo was only half kidding.

Fingers slightly shaky, the man grabbed his money.

From a safe distance away, he turned and shouted “I'll complain to someone!” before hurrying away.

Eduardo didn't care.

He shut down the booth as quickly as he could and hurried in the direction that Mark had disappeared in.

Seeing him had settled it, Eduardo couldn't go on like this.

If there was even the smallest chance, that he could fix things with Mark, then he had to go for it.

He couldn't see Mark anywhere, his head start was too big and, despite it's crappiness, the fairground was fairly big.

Eduardo started asking his colleagues whether they had seen Mark.

After five fruitless minutes, Erica was able to help him.

Mark was looking for Parker. I told him, that he's at the 'Brazilian roller-coaster of emotion'. There was an issue with seatbelts and this one lady...” but Eduardo wasn't listening anymore. As soon as he had a direction, he set off.

Erica shook her head at him.

When he arrived at the roller-coaster, there was no sign of Mark, but there was a tool-box, that indicated that Parker had been there not too long ago and what was more, he couldn't be far.

The guy in charge of the booth, a quiet blonde named Chris who didn't talk much, pointed underneath the construction “They went back there, far as I know, but I wouldn't get involved if I were you. They seemed pretty, er, emotional.”

Eduardo thanked him and completely ignored his advice.

So far he had successfully managed not to think about what he was doing, but as he looked around between the wooden planks that held up the rails of the ride, he couldn't help but do just that; think.

Which proved disastrous for his will to move. He stood rooted on the spot, not daring to go on, but also completely unwilling to go back.

He was also slightly worried for his health, because from down there, the ride looked anything but up to safety standards.

Are you saying you can't do this anymore?” it was Sean Parker's voice and it was close.

Eduardo's legs, unwilling to move just a second ago, carried him closer to the voice on their own accord.

Yes. I'm starting to really fucking hate myself, you know?” Mark's voice. He sounded lost and so, so sad.

Eduardo peeked around the next aggregation of wooden beams.

Parker had his back to Eduardo and had his hands on Mark's shoulders. Mark had covered his face in his hands.

You want to end this?” Parker asked softly, stroking Mark's shoulders lightly and something fell in place in Eduardo's head.

He must have been blind not to notice it before: Mark and Sean fucking Parker had a thing going on.

That explained a lot, from Parker saying that Mark was a “nice guy” in a weird way, to Mark not wanting to kiss Eduardo. It all made sense.

It was like a punch to the balls, a practice Dustin was very fond of. He didn't hear Mark's whispered “yes” over the sound blood pumping in his ears. His hangover made a spectacular comeback and Eduardo felt like he might vomit any second.

Mark. I'm very disappointed. I thought we had something special going on here” Parker's accusing tone made the bile rise in Eduardo's throat, and when Sean's hands trailed down Mark's chest towards his waist, he couldn't hide away anymore.

He stepped out in the open and walked towards them. They turned to face him when they heard his footsteps on the gravel.

Sean dropped his hands, like they'd been burned. Now that Mark had taken his hands off his face, Eduardo could see the tears in his eyes, that were open wide with panic.

Wardo? What are you doing here?” his voice was slightly high-pitched and his hands fumbled with the hem of his 'games'-shirt.

Eduardo? Hi, good to see you man. Right. I gotta go. See you later guys.” he stalked away hurriedly.

Eduardo ignored Sean's words.

Sean didn't matter. Mark did.

He felt angry, hurt, sad, but when Eduardo addressed Mark, his voice was soft.

Mark? Is this the reason” he waved his arms around to express 'why you didn't want to kiss me' without actually having to say it”I just...you could have told me.” it wasn't supposed to sound accusing, but Mark took it that way.

He started crying.

Without thinking, Eduardo closed the distance between them and closed his arms around Mark.

Mark shrank back at first, but after a second he slumped against Eduardo's chest.

It's okay Mark. Don't cry. You're alright. It'll be fine. Please, don't cry.” Eduardo kept whispering in Mark's ear, until the tears stopped.

Mark snaked his way out of Eduardo's embrace and took a step backwards.

Rubbing his eyes furiously, he started talking “I'm sorry. I'm so fucking sorry, Wardo. I didn't want to fuck this up, but I did and now everything sucks and it's my fault. I...I'm sorry. “ his voice sounded raw, broken, he had shadows under his eyes and Eduardo wondered, if he'd slept at all last night.

Eduardo looked at Mark, who looked like hell, but was still the most appealing sight he'd ever seen, who had an affair with a married man, he didn't love Eduardo, but he was still Mark. All his feelings were still there, unchanged and his highest priority was still Mark's happiness.

He rested an arm on Mark's shoulder and tried to sound confident “We'll fix this. I'm sure there's a way. Is it Parker's wife? Don't worry about her, we can figure something out.”

He wasn't sure how, but he was going to make things alright for Mark and then he would be the pathetic friend, who waited at Mark's feet for any scrap of affection Mark was willing to give him.

It wouldn't be enough, could never be enough, but it would have to do.

Wardo” Mark sniffed “what the hell are you talking about?” his brows were furrowed, but he made no move to shake the arm off, which Eduardo took as a good sign.

It didn't help, that he still wanted to run his hands all over Mark's body, kiss him, lick the tears away...

Wardo?” Eduardo snapped out of it. “Sorry, Mark. I'm sure we can fix things with you and Parker. Whatever the problem is. You'll be fine.” he rubbed little circles on Mark's shoulder with his thumb.

It might just be his imagination, but he felt like Mark had to make a conscious effort not to lean into the touch. Wishful thinking probably.

Wardo” Mark's voice was barely audible and his eyes were quickly filling with tears again “What are you talking about? I don't want Parker. I thought you, …. I'm an idiot. Shit. I'm sorry. I gotta go.” he turned around quickly and tried to walk away.

Eduardo didn't let him.

He grabbed Mark's right wrist and held onto it.

You're not going anywhere until you explain” and because that felt a little too forceful, he added a soft “please”.

Mark stood very still.

Don't make me say it” he all but begged, without turning around.

Eduardo kept his right hand around Mark's wrist and rested the left one on Mark's shoulder. It was a gesture of comfort, a means of preventing escape and using, what he felt, might be his last chance to touch Mark.

I'm your friend. You can tell me anything.” the words came from Eduardo's hear.

Mark didn't react visibly, but his shoulders started shaking, as he tried to suppress the sobs.

Eduardo closed the distance between them and wrapped his arms around Mark's shoulders. He rocked gently from side to side, like his mother used to do with him, when he'd had a nightmare.

Mark pressed back into Eduardo's arms and let himself be comforted. They remained like that, until a few minutes later, Mark started speaking.

The thing with Parker. It's been going on for, I don't know, the beginning of summer really.” Eduardo's grip tightened imperceptibly and he closed his eyes, like that would make Sean Parker disappear. Mark continued, gathering speed, like every word he uttered lifted a weight off him.

He said he was trapped in his marriage. His wife, Christy, she's very jealous. He couldn't even talk to other women without her flipping her shit. She once set fire to his guitar, because he started talking to a woman in front of her.

And then he met me and he I said I made him feel free and, well, his wife doesn't get suspicious when we spend time together. See? He never told her he was bi.

And then you came into my life. You are probably the coolest, nicest guy I've ever met and I started to really like you. And then you kissed me. You looked at me like, I don't know. Like you liked me."
Eduardo's breath caught in his throat.






"When you were young" Andrew/Jesse RPF
abbylabby
Title: "When you were young" shamelessly stolen from the Killers
Pairing: Andrew Garfield/Jesse Eisenberg
Rating: G (appropriate for all ages)
Wordcount: 1345 words
Summary/author's note/me blabbing: This was written for the TSN-a-thon, that I'm very fortunate to be a part of.
There is an interview that Jesse did with Conan O'Brien, where he talks about his childhood a bit. Apparently it was really difficult for him to leave home and he would start crying everyday. It got to the point where the bus driver promised all the kids candy if Jesse didn't cry for a week. So every friday he would hear the children chanting "don't cry Jesse" as the bus came near and that's how he knew the bus was coming.
There was a lovely prompt about this in the kink meme, about Andrew being there and this is my attempt for a fill. Sort of anyway, it's not finished, but I'm not sure if it's worth finishing.
Opinions are greatly appreciated.

When you were young

It's not like Jesse doesn't like school.
Everybody is reasonably friendly to him and some of the subjects can even be fun every once in a while.
So yeah, it's not school as such that's the problem. It's being away from home.
Whenever he sees the house he's been living in all his life(all 9 years of it) disappearing in the distance, his throat closes up and inevitably tears flood his eyes.
He's not even embarrassed about it anymore. His mother has explained to him, that his anxiety is perfectly normal and no, it doesn't make him a freak. 
He just wants it to stop.
Every morning he begs mum to let him stay at home/home-school him/tell the school-board he has died and can't attend lessons anymore, but she won't budge.
She calmly explains why she can't do any of these things and why all of them, especially saying the last thing, is completely out of the question. Then she hugs him tightly, kisses his forehead and gently shoves him out the front door.
He knows that his mother loves him, because she keeps telling him so, but he can't help feeling a little abandoned every time it happens.
Jesse walks the few steps to the side of the street as slowly as he can, but inevitably he reaches it and has to stand there, waiting for the bus that will take him away from everything he loves.


Andrew loves school. He loves the people, he loves the excitement, he even likes getting homework (although he's careful to admit that, ever since when he did once people stared at him like he was completely bananas).
Not even the fact that the company his father works for has relocated his father's workplace to the United States, making it necessary for the whole family to move away from England, can dampen his spirits.
He is a little nervous though, it's his first day after all.
It's Friday, because someone in the school board thought it would be a good idea to let him meet everyone and then to give them two days to digest it.
The ride has been uneventful so far. He is sitting alone, but nobody has been mean to him yet. The other children either smiled at him or ignored him.
American children didn't seem to be all that different to the children at home. This evaluation vaporizes, when they round a corner.
The way all the other children seem to be chanting something that sounded like "Don't cry Jessy!" over and over again makes him question his hearing(because the words made no sense to him) and the other children's sanity.
A few blocks on, the bus stops to pick up three more children. 
The first two, a boy and a girl, enter the bus like the others had, shouting loud "good morning"s to their friends, sitting with their friends, chatting about anything that's on their mind with their friends.
The third child, another boy, is different:
His curly head is bent, his shoulders slouched, which makes him look much smaller than the other two. 
The driver seems to say something to him, but Andrew can't make it out. The little boy doesn't look up and shakes his head quickly, before scuttling down the aisle.
The way he walks makes Andrew think of a lamb that's led to slaughter.
His thought are interrupted by an "owww!" going through the bus, which coincidences with whichever row of seats the curly boy passes. It doesn't sound angry or particularly sad, it's just the universal noise of disappointment, that the children have not yet learned to keep inside as adults do.
The boy is close enough now that Andrew can see his face and what a face it is. It's the most heartbreaking  thing he's seen, since the day his little brother's cat died. His little brother's pained face pales in comparison to the pure unadulterated woe in the one he sees before him.
There is not a trace of happiness, no excitement about going to school, about meeting friends, nothing, just tears. Endless tears, welling up in those blue eyes.
The curly-haired boy seems oblivious to what's going on around him. 
Andrew's arm stretches out before he realizes it and grabs the boy's sleeve.
He looks up, startled. Is that fear in his eyes? Does he expect to be taunted?
"Would you...would you like to sit with me?"

Jesse can hear the chanting from a few blocks away, it's how he knows the bus is coming. 
Andrea and Josh join him on the sidewalk. Thankfully they had stopped chanting with the other kids a while ago, these days they mostly ignore him.
Jesse actually manages to hold back the tears until the bus pulls up, but they come inevitably, as night follows day, as he sees Andrea and Josh getting in, knowing it must be him next. 
He had tried to escape the inevitable. One day he had hidden in his treehouse in the backyard, until the bus stopped honking for him.
His mother had come looking for him, driven him to school and made him promise to never do it again.
The first tears fall from his eyes, as he climbs into the bus, resigned to his fate.
Through the veils of tears he sees the driver give him a hopeful look: "How about a smile for old Joe here, eh Jesse?" 
Jesse shakes his head. The driver sighs "though as much. Okay kid, sit down." his voice is not unkind.
Jesse shuffles down the aisle, hardly able to see through his tears. When he feels something grab his sleeve he can feel the panic rise in him instantly. Would they beat him up this time?
He always expects them to, if he's honest. There's candy at stake after all.
A boy he doesn't recognize, with the most ridiculous, amazing hair and the biggest brown eyes Jesse has ever seen, is looking at him.
"Would you...would you like to sit with me?" he asks, in what can only be described as a strange accent.
Huh, noone had asked him that in a while. 
Jesse is so surprised, he actually stops crying. He nods dumbly and lets the strange boy pull him down on the seat next to him.


Andrew doesn't understand, why he doesn't want to let go of the boys sleeve, but he knows that he wants the boy to be happy. He doesn't know how to make people happy, except his mum always says it makes her happy when he gives her a hug, so maybe he should try that?
Andrew finally lets go off the boy's sleeve and pulls him into a hug. 
The boy stills for a second and then starts struggling.
Andrew lets go of him. Curly-head looks at him, like he's mental. 
"What...? Why did you do that?!" the boy sounds outraged. Andrew recoils, he only meant well. 
"I'm sorry" he says, putting his hands up for emphasis. "Just. You looked so sad and I thought a hug might make you feel better..." 
The boy deflates. His shoulders hunch and his head drops back down. 
Andrew had thought the boy was about his own age, but he looked much younger now.


Jesse likes hugs. He loves it when his parents hug him and  even when his little sister clings to him, but this is different. 
This is a stranger and he distinctly recalls his mummy saying that no stranger must ever touch him like that.
Strangely, she had seemed very set upon that stranger being a grown-up and now Jesse doesn't really know what to think. 
"What...? Why did you do that?!" confronting someone with what they've done, his mum does it all the time.
The other boy looks very uncomfortable and tries to explain himself.
That's when Jesse remembers why he was crying, the sadness comes rushing back again and suddenly he doesn't care so much about the hug anymore.
He just wants to be alone.

"Monfer" a Monfer Fic (no, really?)
abbylabby

Glee-Fic: "Monfer" (Cory/Chris)

Title: "Monfer"

Author: abbylabby

Rating: PG

Characters/Pairing: Cory/Chris

Chapter: 1/1

Word Count: 3097

Warnings: It's actually pretty harmless, bit of cussing probably :D and I'm highly silly, but that is only to be expected.

Summary: Everybody loves Chris and that is nice and everything, but a certain member of the cast would rather have him to himself and it doesn't help that there are dozens of Monfer fics out there, that describe in detail just what he's missing out on.



"Monfer"

 

 

The whole cast loved Chris. No matter how much time passed, he would always be their baby.

It was mostly the girls who showed their feelings, they literally cuddled him whenever they could and good-natured as he was, Chris let them.

He was slightly amused by their behavior, but most of all he was happy.

It was the first time, that people other than his family liked him so much, adored him really, that they had been tempted to initiate physical contact.

The male cast was a little more reserved, but occasionally they pulled him in a group hug or a one-on-one hug and their general behavior was one he would expect from older brothers.

He was just guessing there, since he'd never been on the receiving end of brotherly affection, only having a sister.

As time passed, things changed slightly. The guys started cuddling him too.

It had started with Chords addition to the cast at the beginning of season two. He was rather a touchy-feely person and had taken a great liking to Chris the second he laid eyes on him.

Chord claimed to have a younger brother who looked exactly like Chris and they were very close, so he only did what felt natural, which meant lots of hugging and intimate conversations.

The rest of the male cast just followed, it was like a dam had broken and a wave of affection was washing over Chris. He was not complaining.

Everybody thought it was nice that Chord was settling in so well, but after a few weeks it was starting to annoy them that he was practically hogging Chris.

A faínt sense of jealousy settled over them.

Chord didn't even notice how people treated him less and less nicely as time passed by.

Ryan watched the growing tension with worry, but discarded it as “raging hormones or something” and went back to trolling Tumblr.

The last straw was during the filming of “Grilled Cheesus”. Chris had just finished the scene where he sang “I want to hold your hand” to his on-screen-father.

Being the amazing actor that Chris was, he cried genuine tears and everyone rushed to comfort him. In vain.

Chord was with him in the blink of an eye, hugging him tightly, whispering soothing words in his ear. As he lead Chris away, with one arm around the smaller boys waist, pulling him close, the rest of the cast glared after them.

Amber was the first to recover from the situation, since she was close to Chris and knew that he liked Chord and even if she felt a little sting that it wasn't her to comfort her friend, she just wanted him to be happy.

When she turned her gaze from the two, who had settled in a corner and started cuddling in earnest, she was surprised to see the collective cast staring over at them in ... anger?

She did a double-take, but the scene did not change.

Kevin was clinging to Jenna, like Naya to Heather and Dianna to Lea, as if he was trying to find comfort in her.

Mark was watching with a sense of “I'm too old to get upset over shit like this, but so help me god, I will kick that Chord-kid's ass.”.

Harry looked generally sad, which Amber found particularly heartbreaking, since she harboured a not-so-secret crush on him and she went over to comfort him.

On the way, she passed Cory. Whose fists were clenched and who looked positively murderous.

She figured it must be especially hard for him, because of the whole “Monfer” thing, but she didn't dwell on it.

Harry was all too willing to accept a hug and she didn't mind being a consolation prize.

Cory's thoughts were racing: It was ridiculous to get so worked up about his. It shouldn't be a big deal that Chord and Chris were so close, but it was.

If only real life was more like a Monfer-fic.

Yes, the cast, the whole team, knew about Monfer, Achele, Sallingstreet. You name it, they read it.

It had become a bit of a hobby for everyone, especially the people involved, to see what people came up with regarding their personal lives.

Many of the cast also enjoyed regular Fanfiction and occasionally they would point a story out to Ryan, teasing him that the fans came up with more interesting things for their character than he did.

He usually just responded with “I am the creator of your character, your argument is invalid”. It was only occasionally that he gave what he had read a second thought.

It would be wrong to say that Cory was obsessed with reading Monfer, he'd be the first one to deny that notion. If he spend hours looking for ones he hadn't read already, then that didn't mean anything. It was his obligation to know about these things, right?

At first he had been a little freaked out about the whole Monfer-thing. The fans had so much evidence that there was something going on between him and Chris, that he started to believe that there might actually be something to it.

He watched interviews with himself and Chris and he had to admit, that looked like they were very good friends indeed. At the time, he had only done what felt natural, but in retrospect it was a little too affectionate for a platonic relationship.

What really got to him however, was the way Chris reacted to Monfer in all it's forms: he laughed it off. He didn't take it seriously at all. With a shrug he told him “If people enjoy writing and/or reading that crap, good for them, but I really don't need details.” then he had changed the subject, leaving Cory strangely disappointed.

He wanted to talk about the details, wanted to know exactly what Chris thought of everything, but no, he had to deal with it all by himself.

And so it began. He had found a few Monfer authors and waited anxiously for them to write more.

He even went as far as to suggest a Fic, where him and Chris got together over reading Monfer.

Inception much?

The author complied and the resulting story became Corys most prized possession.

He saved it on his Laptop and read it at least once a day. Slowly but surely he became obsessed with the conviction that Chris had to read it too.

He couldn't say why, but it felt like everything would turn out allright, if only he could get Chris to read it.

Cory didn't know exactly what he wanted to happen, since they were just friends. Wasn't that what he wanted? Was it? Sometimes he cursed the day he had found out about “Monfer”.

As he was watching the bodies of Chord and Chris entangled in their corner, he did not only wish for Monfer to be real, but also for Sallingstreet, just so the competition was out of the way.

Competition, huh? Oh, it's on bitch.

And from that moment on, Cory fought back. He wouldn't let Chord take Chris away.

He interrupted their intimate conversations, asking Chris to help him out with his lines or dancemoves, when he saw Chord advancing, he distracted him and ran off, pulling a bemused Chris with him and most importantly: he started cuddling with Chris, the way Chord did.

Chris was completely taken by surprised at the first cuddle, but by the end of the week he seemed to actually enjoy himself.

Cory had to make sure he didn't enjoy himself too much, for the close physical contact, coupled with all the Monfer-Fics, where a harmless cuddle had lead to, uh, … , more, always threatened to get him hard.

Time passed and Cory became nearly as close to Chris as Chord was.

Kurt had to leave McKinnley, because of the Karofsky-kiss(Cory would be lying if he claimed not to have watched the filming of that scene very closely) and Chris had to spend more time away from him to film scenes with the Warblers.

As sad as that was, it also meant, he spent less time with Chord, which made it slightly more bearable.

More time passed, Superbowl and Valentines Day came and went.

Finn had a kissing-booth in the V-day episode. If only Kurt was still at McKinnley, Cory thought glumly.

He asked Ryan, as subtly as possible, wouldn't it make sense for Kurt to come back and kiss Finn?

Ryan just laughed, shook his head and told him it wouldn't make any sense at all. Killjoy.

Cory watched Kurt and Blaines storyline warily, because they seemed destined to end up together and he didn't like it at all.

There had been a shred of hope, when he found out that Blaine would be serenading another dude in the Valentines episode, but surely enough it didn't work out and once more all signs pointed in the direction of “Klaine”.

Whenever he got a chance, he went over to the Dalton-set, to watch Chris act. It made him ridulously happy to just stand there and watch him turn into Kurt, who was so unlike Chris.

It was on one of these occasions, that he picked up a script, that lay abandoned behind one of the flood lights.

The actors only ever got the scripts that were relevant to their character and so he had no idea what the future held for Kurt. He probably shouldn't read it, but there was a break in shooting and Chris had disappeared to get his hair fixed, so he was bored.

He nestled in one of the chairs that stood around, noone used them anyway, so he was sure he wouldn't get in trouble, and delved into the script.

Quarter of an hour later he closed it, buried his face in his hands and let out a heartfelt groan.

Blaine and Kurt would get together, after some drama, and then they would be making out, there was a whole scene, where they couldn't keep their hands off each other.

So far, he hadn't really minded Darren. He was a friendly guy and a good singer and all, but considering the things he'd get to do with Chris, he seemed much less likeable all of a sudden.

It was high time he returned to his own set by then, so with one last spiteful look at the script he left.

After a long day of shooting, he went to his trailer to brood over the matter. After a quick shower, he plopped himself down on the couch and opened his laptop.

As he desperately needed a distraction from the image of Darren kissing Chris, that had been haunting him all day, he read his treasured Fic not once, but four times. Right as he reached the end for the fourth time, it was a description of the morning afer, he made a descision: Chris had to read this. Whether he wanted to, or not. And if it turned out he didn't like it, then, …, well, he'd rather not think about it.

Pumped as he was from having four Happy Endings fresh in his memory (and it was a Happy Ending if there had been sex before), he picked up his laptop and stalked over to Chris' trailer.

Without bothering to knock, since he could feel his courage fading with every step he took, he opened the door and went inside.

Chris usually lounged on the couch, reading, but the couch was empty. Maybe he was out? Well, as long as he wasn't with Overstreet, it wasn't too bad.

Undetermined what to do, he put the laptop down on the couch. A plop sounded from behind the curtain that divided the the living-room and the kitchen area.

Cory froze. Was Chris at home? If so, was he alone?

He had no idea how to react, but either way, he wanted to know what was going on.

He snuck over to the curtain and pulled it aside a little, so he could peep through.

Allright, cancel what he thought earlier, he defintely didn't want to know about this. And he certainly didn't need ot see it.

Darren and Chris were pressed so closely together, that they looked like they were attached to each other.

Though their hands didn't move and only seemed necessary for holding the other one in place, their heads were moving feverishly, tongues darting in and out of of the others mouth, sucking, licking, nibbling.

It made him physically sick to watch them, because he wanted so desperately to be in Darrens place. But as that was not going to happen, he admitted defeat(to himself, because really, interrupting the two of them just to say “fine, I give up” wouldn't go down too well) and he let the curtain fall shut. Tiptoeing as fast as he could, he made his way over to the couch.

He hadn't taken two steps, before there was another plop. His brain tried to tell him, that it was the sound of a mouth detaching from another, but his mind refused to listen.

“Did you see that?” he could hear a faint voice whisper “the curtain moved!”.

He couldn't make out if it was Darren or Chris, but he wasn't too keen to find out, so he abandoned all caution and leapt the last few steps.

He wasn't fast enough. Just as he bent over to pick up his laptop, he could hear the curtain being drawn back forcefully and then a booming voice demanded to know “What's going on here?!”

He turned around slowly, facing an indignant Chris and Darren, who looked a little lost.

“Cory?” Chris' voice softened considerably as he recognized his fellow cast-member, but he was still confused about what was going on.

Was Cory imagining it, or was Chris actually blushing? Was it embarrassment? Nah, probably anger, he was doomed.

And at a loss for words.

“What are you doing here?” Chris was defintely blushing, but he didn't seem too mad, which was encouraging. Only he couldn't possibly tell Chris why he was here.

Not now and especially not in front of Darren.

Who must surely have some bizarre mind-reading skills, because just as he was thinking that, the curly-haired boy turned to Chris, told him that it was getting late and that he should go home now.

With a smile to Chris (thank god he didn't kiss him good-bye) he left, winking at Cory as he passed him. Smug bastard.

That left him and Chris, who didn't seem particularly upset that Darren was leaving.

They stared at each other in silence, until the door closed behind the boy.

Cory took a deep breath. If he was going to make a fool of himself, and apparently he was, then he might as well do it properly.

“I wanted to show you something” sheepishly he pointed towards his laptop, that was still perched on the couch.

Chris raised an eyebrow but sat down willingly. Cory plopped down next to him and pulled his laptop on his lap. “It might not be a very good time to show you right now, though.” he warned.

“What do you mean?” Chris sounded genuinely confused and rather intrigued.

“Because of, well, you and Darren” even mentioning the boy was painful to him.

Chris blushed a darker shade of red. “Oh.” which was a very un-Chris-like thing to say, he was proud of his articulacy. So proud that he made sure everbody knew the word “articulacy” so they could refer to him using it.

“You mean the, er, kiss, do you? Cory nodded, despite himself, he rather enjoyed a flustered Chris.

“We were practicing for the Klaine-kiss, Darren was a little nervous, because he never kissed a guy before, so yeah, ...” he trailed off.

Cory felt like the sun had just risen and like there were rainbows and unicorns everywhere.

They had just been practising. Well, he supposed he wouldn't have to kill Darren now. He was a good kid after all. Showing Chris the Fanfiction had become a little less silly and a whole lot more promising, but really, he must not get his hopes up.

Making no attempt to hide his huge grin, he opened the document and handed the laptop over to Chris.

Chris was still bright red when he started reading, but while his eyes darted over the text, all colour drained from his face.

He didn't even finish, about halfway through the two pages he closed his eyes and pushed the screen down. After handing it back to Cory, he slumped back in the seat and covered his face with his hands.

“How did you find that?” the muffled words were hard to make out and even when he understood them, he wasn't quite sure what he meant.

“On the internet” which was true and didn't make him sound creepy. Everybody found stuff on the internet. Well, most people didn't find fictions about themselves, but that was beside the point.

“Cory, believe me, I didn't mean it that way. Well, I guess I sort of did when I wrote it, but it doesn't mean that, you know...” he peeked through his fingers, unable to explain his motives.

Cory was thoroughly confused. Wait a second.

“You wrote that?!” he nearly screamed. Chris nodded, then he lowered his hands.

“You didn't know that?....but then, why did you show it to me?” now it was his turn to be confused and Cory was the one blushing.

“I suppose, I sort of hoped you would be inspired by the story. So, you wrote this, huh? I'm the one who requested it.” They stared at each other and started laughing uncontrollable for the better part of five minutes.

When they had pulled themselves together sufficiently, they kept looking at each other. Not sure what to say, Cory put the laptop down on the floor.

Now was the time, he figured. Like the Cory in his favourite Fanfiction, he decided to let his body take over. He scooted closer to Chris, wallowing in the nervousness he radiated.

When he cupped Chris face in his hand, he did not think of the Fic, he thought of Chris and as his lips met the other boy's, he couldn't help think that the real thing was so much better than anything anybody could ever write.

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