Chapter Four: Wet Clowns and Snobs

Sonny sloshed a big yellow sponge through a bucket of sudsy water and ran the sponge over a patch of drying mashed potatoes on the floor. "This is so gross," she muttered under her breath. The food served in the Commissary was disgusting enough without being dried out and smeared across every available surface in the room.

"Well it's all your fault," Chad said accusingly from across the room. He tentatively speared a piece of meatloaf with a plastic fork and whipped it into the garbage can.

Chad Dylan Cooper did not do hard work. Especially not hard work that included cleaning up food from a food fight he didn't even start. Why did I tell Mr. Condor that I started the stupid food fight with Sonny? Oh yeah. Because I'm turning too soft. I'm a big, soft idiot!

"You know, technically, this is actually your fault. You're the one who provoked me. If I had been a cow and you were provoking me, instead of almost getting hit by meatloaf, you would've gotten kicked in the stomach. So, feel lucky," Sonny said, angrily. How dare he pin this on her? Just because she threw the first food item, did not mean that it was entirely her fault.

Chad gave her a look and shook it off. "Well, funny, because I don't feel so lucky scraping food off the side of the wall when I should be enjoying a loganberry smoothie on the set of the Falls now."

"Well this isn't exactly my dream situation either. I'd much rather be working on a sketch or… going home…" Sonny said wistfully. Yes, home definitely sounded better than anything else, especially with this ridiculous rivalry between the members of So Random going on.

Chad sighed. "I could be getting a massage right now. Instead I'm scraping dead Chuckle City food off the windows. My life has officially hit a low point I didn't think existed," he observed thoughtfully.

Ignoring Chad's complaints, Sonny scooted the bucket of soap and water farther over with her foot and started in on the next section of floor, wall, tables, and chairs to clean. "You know, I probably should never have come here…" she said quietly.

Chad heard her from across the room and nodded in agreement, interpreting it a little differently than how she meant it though. "Yeah, I know what you mean. Every day I regret coming in here. I mean, just looking at what you have to eat almost makes me completely lose my appetite every time."

Turning around to clean a table, Chad gagged when he saw more green mush smeared across the top. He shuddered before gingerly reaching out with a sponge to start cleaning it off.

Sonny shook her head and got down on her hands and knees to clean the floor. "No, I didn't mean I regretted coming to the Commissary today, I meant sometimes I wonder if I should've ever even come here. To So Random, to Hollywood, just… here in general, because it's not like I belong. People like Mandy, and Tawni, and even Zora belong here. They're all unique but aren't naïve about everything like I am," Sonny stated, not particularly caring whether or not Chad was actually listening or not.

But Chad had indeed been listening. "Well… who really belongs here anyway?" he asked rhetorically.

"You belong here. Or at least, you fit in here. I don't. I never have. I mean, how many people out here do you know who have tried to throw a peace picnic to settle a disagreement?" Sonny questioned seriously.

"Well…"

"Or people out here who have actually managed to trip almost the whole way down the red carpet?"

Chad broke the tension by laughing a genuine laugh. "That wasn't actually your fault. Portlyn weighted your shoes down with uneven weights in each shoe."

He cleared his throat when Sonny didn't say anything else and simply continued scrubbing down the floor. "But uh, it wasn't really that funny, and I didn't know she was even doing it at the time or else I might've… maybe… it's possible… I would've tried to stop her, since you did um, hurt yourself on the last trip right?"

"No, not really. And thanks, Chad, but it's just too little too late. That just reinforces my point. I'll always be the outsider here that everyone thinks is just too sweet and too innocent for her own good. Either that or I'm just the freaky, naïve, cow-girl." She shook her head and had to blow a stray strand of hair away from her eyes.

"I think I might just let Mandy have my job," Sonny added softly. "Everyone wants her to have it. Even you want her to have it."

"I never specifically said that I wanted Mandy to take your place. If I had, I would've remembered," Chad said confidently, as usual.

"Well it was implied when you said you would be on Team Mandy."

"For the last time Sonny, I didn't really mean that." Chad, frustrated, meant to shove the sponge he was using into the bucket of water but instead, shoved the bucket over with a loud clang. Chad groaned as the water seeped into the carpeting.

"I'm not cleaning that up," Sonny said, a little cheerier.

"Well, isn't that great," he said sarcastically. "More to clean up. What is with my life suddenly being filled with cleaning? I hate cleaning. I shouldn't even know how to clean," he continued grumbling while he reset the bucket upright and was forced to move closer to Sonny and share with her.

Sonny watched Chad thoughtfully for a minute. "Chad, why are you even here? You didn't have to say that you started it too. Technically. Why would you do that for me?"

Chad froze for two seconds without an excuse before he continued scrubbing a random spot on the floor. "I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't do this for you. I did it so I could…" He searched the room desperately with his eyes for a way out of this one. His eyes landed solely on Sonny. "Uh, so I could see what you look like with your hair wet," he finally said.

Sonny's face twisted in confusion. "What? My hair isn't wet."

Chad also stood up on his knees and wrung his sponge full of soapy water out onto Sonny's head. When it was empty of water, he shook out his hands over her as well. Sonny just sat there with her eyes shut to keep the soap from entering her eyes with her jaw set.

"There," he said in a satisfied tone. "Now it is."

Sonny wiped the drips of water away from her eyes and flashed Chad a fake smile. She reached for the full bucket of water and emptied it out over Chad's head.

"There. That's much better," she said, also sounding satisfied.

"How could you do that to me? That was completely uncalled for!" he complained.

"Uncalled for? All I asked was a simple question and suddenly I'm getting water and soap poured on my head! You more than deserved it!"

Chad decided to take the opportunity to get revenge right then and there by shaking out his hair and wetting down Sonny, and the walls, even more with sudsy water.

"That's it!" Sonny shouted.

Chad's eyes widened and he scrambled to get up off the floor before Sonny could strangle him or something else of that nature. "Since when do you have such a horrible temper?" He asked, getting behind a chair.

Sonny leapt up from the floor and ran after him. "Since you started provoking me and ruining more could-be-sentimental moments by dumping water on me! And why are you running anyway? Since when does Chad Dylan Cooper run away from a challenge?"

Chad glanced behind him, noting that Sonny was a pretty fast runner as they made another lap around the Commissary. "Since Chad Dylan Cooper started fearing for his neck's safety."

"Oh, so now you're afraid of getting hurt by a girl?" she challenged, gaining on him.

"No, I'm afraid of getting hurt by you."

"What are you talking about?" Sonny grabbed him around the waist and tackled him to the ground. "I am a girl," she said breathlessly, suddenly forgetting about why she had been chasing him down in the first place.

"Yeah, fine, sorry, you're a girl, could you get off me?" Chad asked, hurrying through the apology.

"Well, well, well… Look what we have here," Dakota Condor said mischievously, walking slowly into the room.

"Oh no," Sonny muttered.

"We're dead. Again," Chad said simply.

"Daddy isn't going to be happy to find out his two little delinquents are flirting and lying down on the job." Dakota clicked her tongue in disapproval.

Chad immediately shoved Sonny off of him and they both rushed to stand up for their boss' daughter.

"What a shame to lose you two this way. I loved you so much, Chad." She shook her head dismally, circling Chad and Sonny like a little shark dressed in head-to-toe purple.

Chad's face contorted to one of disgust at the nine-year-old's obsessive crush on him.

"Well, Dakota…" Sonny laughed nervously. "We don't really have to tell your dad do we? We really were working. We just got distracted. I mean…" She quickly thought. What does a psycho nine year old obsessed with Chad Dylan Cooper want? Oh… of course… "Chad'll go on a date with you!" she blurted.

"What?" Chad asked incredulously, elbowing Sonny in the ribs when she shrugged helplessly.

"Okay," Dakota agreed easily.

"You'll have to tell me all about it," Sonny said tauntingly.

"No need. I'll need an overly-safe killjoy to come along with me so that Daddy will let me go." Dakota rolled her eyes.

Chad smirked at Sonny.

Sonny's eyes widened. "You mean me?"

Dakota nodded, smiling evilly. "Yep. You can both pick me up at five tonight. But my bed time is nine o'clock so we can't stay out too late. See you there." She waved and skipped out of the Commissary.

"Oh well this is just great," Sonny said sarcastically. "Now I get to spend the rest of my afternoon cleaning this up, cleaning the parking lot, and going on a date with you and Dakota. As if I didn't have enough to worry about!"

"Well this time you can't pin it on me, because this one was all you. 'Chad'll go on a date with you.'" He said in a high-pitched voice, giving a bad impersonation of Sonny.

"What, would you rather get fired?" She took the time to wring out her hair a little.

"I could be saying the same thing to you, who just made it seem like going on another date with me, would be a bad thing."

"Fake date," Sonny clarified. "And no, it's not my ideal to be forced into a date with you and the girl who makes the Loch Ness Monster seem like an Angelfish."

"Well I'm not happy about it either," he snapped.

"Let's just get some more water and get back to work. We have a long afternoon ahead of us," Sonny said, trudging forward to retrieve one of the buckets off the floor.

"Yep. Together," Chad said dully.

"Hoorah," Sonny faked enthusiasm, even though she didn't exactly hate the idea of spending the rest of the afternoon, and evening with Chad Dylan Cooper.

Chad followed suit and picked up the other bucket, walking beside Sonny to the kitchen.

After a moment, the silence became too uncomfortable for Chad so he decided to blurt out the first thing that came to mind. "Could you not stand so close to me? You smell like a wet clown." He cringed, mentally slapping himself for that one. Idiot!

"And you smell like a wet snob," she fired back with lightning speed, inching away from him as they approached the sink.

"Fine," Chad shot at her.

"Fine." Sonny turned on the water full blast, to fill up the bucket.

"Fine!" Chad turned the other faucet on full blast also.

"Fine!"


--UPDATE - April 30, 2010--
I'm sorry, but this story is now on permanent hiatus. My muse for it is gone. Sorry. :-(
If you absolutely have to know what happens in the end, you can PM and I'll give you the general idea.
As always, thank you for reading. :-)