The blonde haired man was puzzled. He supposed that this was the "means of reflection" that she'd been going on about, but he hadn't expected her to convert the sitting room into a meditation chamber. He was still standing in the doorway, wondering whether or not he should move forward, and whether or not the others had seen the sitting room yet. He heard someone come up behind him, and he turned to see an armful of groceries.
"Carter, is there any particular reason that you're standing in the doorway?" the armful of groceries asked, clearly inconvenienced by this turn of events. Carter stepped to the side, waiting until Much had stepped over the threshold before closing the door behind him. While Much darted into the kitchen, Carter explored the newly redesigned sitting room. It looked nice, he admitted to himself, inspecting the new furniture.
"Can you give me a hand with the groceries?" Much asked, stepping out of the kitchen. He stared at the unfamiliar room design for a moment before voicing one of many questions that had been running through Carter's head. "Where's the couch?"
"It's upstairs," came the answer as Morgan bounded down the stairs, dressed in an oversized button-up shirt, boxers that Carter recognized as his, and a pair of white socks.
"You did this all today, I presume, between stealing Carter's boxers and re-enacting bits of Risky Business?" Much asked with a grin. Morgan rolled her eyes, snatching the fitted cap off of Much's head and ruffling his hair as she walked past him into the kitchen.
"Robin helped me," she explained, putting the groceries away as Much and Carter followed her into the kitchen. "Do you like it?"
"I like it. Looks a bit like a Tibetan monastery, though," Carter replied.
"It's fine with me. Would've liked a warning," Much confessed pointedly.
"Yeah, well, where would be the fun in that?" Robin's voice asked as he, too, entered the kitchen. Rather than help put the new groceries away, he decided to dispense of the old ones, grabbing a carton of orange juice from the refrigerator and popping the cap off, raising the container to his lips.
"Robin Locksley, I swear, if you drink from that carton I will hurt you," Much warned, grabbing a cup from the cabinet and tossing it to his best friend. Robin smiled good-naturedly as he caught the cup, pouring the orange juice into it to appease Much.
"Anyway, we were quite productive today. In addition to redesigning the sitting room, we finished the painting in the upstairs hallway, and gave the whole house a proper cleaning," Robin commented, sweeping his arms to indicate the spotless kitchen and the noticeable smell of cleaning products in the air.
"That's funny, because it looks like the two of you just climbed out of bed," Carter grinned teasingly. Morgan's outfit was reminiscent of her usual sleep attire, and Robin was wearing a loosely tied robe over his boxers.
"Well, we got into a paint fight," Morgan began, "and got paint all over the very last set of clean clothes that we had."
"A paint fight?" Much asked, not sure that he wanted to know.
"Yeah," Robin nodded. "Don't worry. We put a tarp down."
"And I suppose your productive day didn't include studying?" Much asked, grinning as he neatly folded the paper bags, stowing them under the sinks for later use. Morgan grinned sheepishly, crossing her arms over her chest.
"We'll be fine, Much," she answered. "Our exam isn't until Tuesday. It's only Sunday." Much shook his head at the laissez-faire approach that both Robin and Morgan adopted in regards to their studies.
"I'd be less concerned if you actually went to class once and a while, rather than bumming notes from me," Much replied sharply, fixing them with an accusatory look. Carter elected to stay out of the blossoming argument, quietly backing out of the kitchen, settling down on the round, low-to-the-floor cushions that had replaced the couch. They were actually quite comfortable, he thought as he turned on the television, intent on drowning out the argument in the kitchen.
"We still make good grades," Robin pointed out. "And we don't cut class that often." Much scoffed. The first half of Robin's statement was true, if not annoying. Both Robin and Morgan made excellent grades, but if the current amount of class that they missed didn't constitute as "often", Much shuddered to think of what did.
"Yeah, well what if I stopped giving you two my notes?" he asked daringly. He knew he'd hit his mark when Robin snorted into his orange juice, and Morgan sent him a wide-eyed stare. "Thought so."
"If it makes you feel any better, we'll go to the library tonight," Robin offered. Much seemed satisfied, joining Carter in the living room. Robin met Morgan's eyes, grinning at her.
"Marian's working tonight, isn't she?" Morgan asked, eyebrow raised. Robin laughed, finishing his juice. He was pretty sure that he didn't have to answer.
Will leaned back in his chair, craning his neck to look around the corner. His hands kept typing as he caught sight of Allan, who was talking on the phone, looking more and more annoyed by the minute. Allan caught sight of Will's curious stare and pointed at the phone in his hand, mouthing "aunt" as he rolled his eyes. Will nodded knowingly, returning his full attention to his laptop.
He found that chemistry was an interesting enough subject, but Will was struggling with his lab report. He suspected that if Allan would stop badgering him for a round of Guitar Hero, he'd finish quicker. Though he did feel sorry that Allan had to deal with his aunt, Will was taking full advantage of his flat-mate's distraction. Unfortunately, the fates seemed to be against him as an instant message appeared on his screen. He sighed. He'd been pretty sure that he'd put up an away message. He had, but he noticed the screen name trying to talk to him and smiled, accepting the message.
SalamuAlaykum: Will, what are you doing tonight?
Will quickly weighed his options. If he replied to the message, he would likely be talked into hanging out. Not that he was a complete introvert, but he hated leaving work until the last minute, and his lab report was due on Monday. At about this time, Allan came around the corner, apparently finished talking to his aunt. He leaned on the back of Will's chair, glancing over his shoulder and noticing the open IM window.
"Tell Djaq I said 'hi'," he muttered, tapping Will on the shoulder. Will nodded, typing a reply.
WScarlet: Working on that chem lab. Allan says hi.
"What did your aunt have to say?" he asked, changing the subject. Allan shuddered, walking over his own desk and sitting backwards in his chair.
"Said that if I got into trouble again, she'd yank me out of here and ship me off to the Navy," he cited, though it was obvious that he'd heard the threat before. "I tried to point out that getting a C in a class isn't really getting into trouble, but she didn't want to hear that."
"Sorry to hear that," Will said sincerely. Allan's parents had passed on a few years ago, leaving him and his younger brother in the care of their perfectionist aunt, who was convinced that her nephews were no good. Allan shrugged.
"It's alright. She can't actually do anything. She's just used to saying stuff like that," he scoffed. Will nodded, glancing back at his laptop, noticing that the IM window was blinking.
SalamuAlaykum: Hi, Allan. I'm about half-way through my lab. Do you guys want to go to the library and work together?
Will was all for the idea of going to the library, especially to meet up with Djaq, a girl that was in his chemistry class. She lived in the same apartment building, but Will had yet to pluck up the courage to pay her a visit. He turned to face Allan again.
"Djaq says 'hi', and she wants to know if we want to go to the library to work on chemistry," he relayed, waiting for Allan's reply. Allan nodded. Chemistry was not one of his best subjects, and he would take all the help he could get.
WScarlet: Yeah. When do you want to meet?
SalamuAlaykum: Is 7 ok?
SalamuAlaykum: ok. I gtg. See you at 7!
"So, we'll meet her at the library at seven," Will announced, without turning around, saving his work before closing his laptop. "Which takes care of all of my homework for the weekend."
"Good," Allan grinned. "Up for a round of Guitar Hero?"
Carter finished folding his laundry, making a mental note to steal back all of the boxers that Morgan had taken as he noticed the half-empty state of his underwear drawer. True to their word, Robin and Morgan had gone to study. Carter looked across the hall at Morgan's bedroom, grinning at the distinct difference.
His room was well-maintained. His bed was neatly made. His desk was organized. Her room looked like a display case for entropy. Her bed was a mountain of unmade sheets and comforters. Her desk looked ready to buckle under the various things that she'd tossed haphazardly onto it.
When Morgan had first moved into the house, it had caused more than a few problems, and Carter had resented the new resident. Robin's parents owned the house that was conveniently close to the campus, and Robin had invited several of his friends to come and live with him. It had been like a fraternity, just Robin, Much, Carter, and Morgan's brother, Michael.
Michael had been older by a year, and the rest of them had been respectful when he'd asked if Morgan could come to live with them. She'd spent her first year after high school on a "spiritual trek" to find herself, and by the time she'd wandered back into the country, all of the spaces on campus had filled up.
Of course, they hadn't thought about how it would look with one girl living in a house full of men, and they hadn't thought about how different they'd have to behave. They thought that they were used to having a girl around, seeing how Robin's on-again-off-again girlfriend, Marian, hung around the house often enough. They thought wrong. It was different when the girl lived there.
Carter learned the hard way, for instance, that they were no longer free to burst into the bathrooms whenever they wanted. He had also learned that the shower curtain was quite transparent and that Michael had a vicious right hook. Much's hopes that perhaps he'd end up with less housework had been dashed when Morgan had nearly blown up the microwave. Months after the incident, they still found bits of exploded casserole.
Carter and Morgan hadn't gotten along at all, having started off on the wrong foot with the whole shower fiasco. That had all changed when Michael had died during a mugging. Carter's own brother had been involved in a car accident, and he suddenly felt a bond with the person that, until that point, he'd simply called "the girl across the hall."
"Carter!" Much called from downstairs, pulling him from his reminiscing. "Do you want to watch a movie?"
"Which one?" Carter asked, stepping out of his room and leaning over the balcony railing.
"I was thinking something awe-inspiring," Much said. "Apocalypse Now?"
"I love the smell of napalm in the morning," Carter conceded, heading down the stairs.
So, here's chapter one of this little AU story that I've been toying around with. I know that the Lady Clark of Books challenge called for high school fics, but I hope she doesn't mind if I used college instead. It leant itself to my projected storyline far more easily.
I know there wasn't a terrible amount of action in this chapter, but if I decided to continue, I promise that things will heat up pretty fast.
This was more to establish the roles of the outlaws.
Basically, Robin, Much, Carter, and Morgan all live together in a big house. Will and Allan are flat-mates at an apart complex, and Djaq and Marian are flat-mates on a different floor of the same building.
Also making an appearance in this story, if I decide to go ahead with it, will be Little John, the Sheriff, and Guy. Their roles will not be discussed, for the sake of suspense and so forth.
Hope you enjoyed. Let me know what you think!