A/N: There's no school tomorrow, and I'm literally typing this at 11:58. Gah, my brain is starting to mush.
Anyway, this is just an adorable little fluff piece featuring everyone's favorite geek, Mr. Riley Poole. Because I love him and everyone (myself included) puts him through a bunch of crap. This is not angsty. Yay for lack of angst!
Disclaimer: National Treasure isn't mine, and neither is Monster. If I had the first I'd be less bored right now. The second, and I'd be less tired.
I was up too late by Ben's standards. Then again, his standards were impressively low—as in 10:30 low. Too late by my standards is about 3:00 am or whenever the caffeine high dies, so really I wasn't late at all. It was only a little before midnight, so really I was doing well.
That being said, a surprising lack of caffeine in my diet that day (about 3 Monsters instead of 5, and those consumed at earlier hours than normal) had made me want to turn in a lot earlier than I did.
I couldn't sleep, though. The coding for that program was killing me, and I really, really needed to complete it so Ben wouldn't cry and Ian wouldn't actually kill me (I knew what Ben said, but I still had my doubts. At times that man was downright violent.)
There was one certain part in the code that I had tried about eight different ways, and no matter what way I did it still wasn't right. It was a tiny glitch, but it was causing the entire program to go haywire every time I ran it.
I sighed. There had to be something I could do to fix it. I ran my bleary eyes over the coding for the entire program, trying to spot some spelling error or problem that might have caused the malfunction.
Finally, I noticed a typing error at the beginning of the code. Hah! I'd fixed it! Now all I had to do was retype the ending, and then… I hoped for the best.
I lost myself in typing the code, as usual. My eyes kept shooting back and forth between the screen and the keyboard. My eyes had just flashed up to glance at the time—
"Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!"
"HOLY SHIT!" I screamed, jumping about five feet off the chair. When I looked back at the code, I saw about twenty nonsensical letters at the end from where I'd hit my hands on the keyboard in fright.
I glared at the offending clock. It looked innocent enough, now that the hour had passed. But every hour, on the hour, that cursed bird scared the living daylights out of me.
"Ben!" I shouted, shaking him awake from where he'd literally fallen asleep sitting up (researching, of course). "That stupid clock scared the crap out of me again!"
he muttered, not yet fully awake. "What time is it?"
"Midnight!" I fumed, "as I now know ALL too well thanks to that stupid clock! You've got to get rid of that thing!"
"Why are you waking me up at midnight to shout at me about a clock?" he asked, rubbing his eyes.
"Well you looked uncomfortable, firstly, and secondly every single hour that thing sends me into a blinding panic! It's gotta go!"
"It was my grandfather's," he explained.
"And you think that's sufficient reason to torture me endlessly?" I asked, mostly serious. "At least put it in a part of the house where it won't terrify me in the middle of the night!"
"If you weren't awake you wouldn't be having that problem, would you?" he asked, still avoiding my questions.
"We've had this discussion. I run on Monster, and there's no chance I'm going to sleep anytime decent by your standards. Answer me: will you move it tomorrow?"
"Sure, sure," he replied, standing up. "I'm going to bed. Good night, and you go to bed soon. That Monster isn't healthy."
He wandered off, and I knew he had no intention of keeping his promise. Fine. He wants to play dirty? So can I.
I finished the coding (after erasing the nonsense) and opened another program, having no intention of sleeping anytime soon.
At around the same time the next night, we were both in the same positions. Ben had fallen asleep researching again, and I was still awake and messing with my computer again. The only difference was that Ben had fallen asleep in his own room—I had seen to that. Now I only had to let my evil plan occur…
At around 11:59, I stopped typing since I knew I would panic in about a minute anyway. But so would Ben. Hah.
It was a chain reaction: first, the time on my computer switched to midnight. Next, the cuckoo clock went off (stupid bird). And finally…
"Tell me that you're alright! And everything is alright! Oh, please tell me that you're alright! And everything is alright!"
"RILEY!" Ben yelled over the blaring music. I smirked.
"Yes?" I called back.
"TURN IT OFF!"
"Certainly!" I replied. I stumbled my way through the dark into his room and found the hidden iPod. "Did you like the song?"
"It's going to go off again the next hour, isn't it?" he asked, unamused.
"Hm. I suppose you'll just have to find out," I said with an evil grin.
"I'll move the clock tomorrow," he muttered angrily. "But if that thing isn't gone within the next hour, so help me God it will be so smashed by the time you get it back that you won't even be able to recognize it."
"Somebody sounds grumpy," I said, looking at him with a fake frown. "Do you promise you'll move it?"
"On my grandfather's life," he swore. "Just move that contraption and there'll be no problems."
"Hah!" I unplugged the iPod and practically bounced out of the room.
The current score: Riley Poole, 1. Benjamin Gates, 0. Sucker.
A/N: See? Adorable. I'll give a virtual date with Riley for the first person who guesses the song. Anyone? …review? (On a side note, this is a very long oneshot for me. 913 words!)