All In A Day's Work
"Homework is of the evil and should be avoided at all costs," Virgil declared vehemently as he grimaced at his school paraphernalia.
Richie snorted. "I think you'll have a hard time convincing the police of that if you drop our English teacher off at the local precinct, Virg."
"You know what I mean, Richie," Virgil said.
Richie nodded. "Yeah, I do. I know that you hate English – your brief fling with talking only in Ebonics is proof of that – but writing a five page essay on the topic of your choice is actually a pretty easy assignment."
"Easy?" Virgil demanded. "It's five whole pages, Rich."
Sighing heavily, Richie leaned back in his chair and regarded his friend – and fellow partner in crime fighting – with a haughty air. "Just choose something you really like – like, say, basketball; you could write about meeting Shaq awhile back – and write about it. Before you know it, you'll be done."
"But five pages?" Virgil said again, voice rising almost into a shriek.
"Five pages double-spaced," Richie corrected. "So it's actually more like two and a half pages. And then you add in your name and the date and stuff, and any references you might use, and it's less than two pages."
Virgil blinked in realization. "Oh…you have a point."
"A better one than the one that's on your head," Richie mumbled.
"What'd you say, Rich?" Virgil asked distractedly as he rifled through his collection of Sports Illustrated magazines – he knew he had one with a layout on Shaquille O'Neill…
"I was just saying that you really should stop your constant procrastinating about your homework all the time," Richie said a little louder. "Get it done as soon as possible; get it out of the way so you can fun without worrying you're going to fail high school. Hard work pays off, you know."
Virgil snorted. "Hard work pays off in the future, Rich. Laziness pays off now."
Even though Virgil couldn't see him – concentrated as he was on flipping through the back issues of his favorite periodical – Richie rolled his eyes. "Don't you have any ambition? I mean, I know you like science – attending school is proof of that – but science alone won't help you graduate."
"Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy," Virgil retorted, a cheeky grin on his face.
"You really need to stop getting all your witty rejoinders from bumper stickers," Richie said dryly. "It's cutting down on your creativity."
Virgil flipped his best friend the bird and handed over his school binder. On the front was one of those ubiquitous bumper stickers. It read, 'i souport publik edecasion.'
Richie sighed and hung his head, though he was unable to help a faint chuckle. Virgil actually did have a brain – a pretty good one, even when compared to his own Bang Baby induced-genius – but he really didn't like using it all that much. Except for science, and Richie still wasn't sure how Virgil Hawkins, laziest guy in school by day – and super hero Static Shock by night – was good at science. Was good enough to get into that Science and Technology school when he was only just starting out as Static.
Though it did come in handy, considering that Virgil's powers were electrical; Richie didn't have to spend an inordinate amount of time explaining the uses and weaknesses of his friend's powers to him.
"Virg, I know you like science – you're practically a science savant; you don't even need to study to get A's – but that's practically the only class in which you do do the work regularly. And it is the only class that you can pass without studying and do the homework without thinking about it. If you only do your science work, then you'll fail the eleventh grade, and have to take it over again – and get the homework again," he pointed out.
Virgil sighed, put down the three basketball themed issues of Sports Illustrated he'd collected to use as references in his impending paper, and turned to his friend. Seeing the earnest look on Richie's face, he gave vent to an inelegant snort of derision. "Yeah, Rich, I know that. I just…" he sighed. "Aside from science, I don't have any real motivation for school work. I mean, doing this paper now is cool, now that I've got an interesting topic." He grimaced. "But you remember the last paper, don't you? The one with an assigned topic?"
"Yeah," Richie said, giving a patented roll of his eyes. How Mrs. Frizzle ever thought anybody would like doing a paper on George Washington Carver's one hundred plus uses for peanuts was beyond him. Yes, it was interesting that dynamite was made from powdered peanuts, but to write a detailed, four page (and that time it wasn't double-spaced) paper on those legumes?
"Yeah, well, there're things I'd rather be doing than school work, too, you know," Richie said, giving Virgil a pointed look. "But procrastinating always seems to blow up in our faces."
"Hmm?" Virgil cocked a brow in silent inquiry.
Digging through his bookbag for his own references – a copy of 'Scientific America' with a rather fascinating article about nanotechnology that he was positive he could get five pages single-spaced out of – Richie clarified, "Well, I mean, seriously, you put something off till the last minute, and then we have to go stop some Bang Baby – you know that always happens at the most inopportune times – and then before you know it, it's class time, and you don't have your assignment finished."
"As if I don't have enough work to do keeping Dakota City safe, and then the teachers pile on the homework!" Virgil grumbled, deliberately misunderstanding his friend.
"Ah, but the teachers don't know you're Static Shock," Richie pointed out, well-used to this argument form his friend. It was true, it was a lot to expect of a teenager – going to school by day, doing homework and fighting crime by night. He'd never understand how Batman and the rest of the Justice League managed to hold down full-time jobs and still save the world on a semi-regular basis.
"I still don't see how they can consider this a day's work – it's more like a month's worth!" Virgil continued his rant. "Even regular kids who aren't superheroes couldn't get all this done and still have time to live."
"Life's like that, sometimes, Virg," Richie said philosophically. "Sometimes you have too much on your plate, and other times you have nothing whatever to do."
"Yeah, well, those 'other times' happen too infrequently for my taste," Virgil groused, turning pages in his magazine with an almost aggressive air.
"But it makes your appreciate them all the more," Richie pointed out. His glasses slipped down his nose and he frowned, before pushing them back up with one finger in that way that Vigil found so endearingly cute.
"I suppose you have a point," Virgil admitted. "Taking down evil villains, doing mountains of homework, going to school…" Virgil smirked, "…making out with you. It's all in a day's work for Static Shock!" he finished pompously.
Richie rolled his eyes. Removing his previously resettled glasses, he rubbed the bridge of his nose, trying to stave off an incipient headache. "Yeah, but before we can make out, you have to get your homework done." Putting his glasses back on, he clapped his hands together and barked, "So get to it!" before he went back to his own paper, leaving a disappointed Virgil staring at the back of his blond head.
"Work, work, work…" Virgil grumbled under his breath. Then he grinned. "Work now, play later." With that happy thought, he threw himself headlong into his work, knowing that the sooner he got finished…the sooner he and Richie could start kissing.
Kissing might not have been work, per se, but it was definitely something he had to have his daily allotment of in order to work.