A is for Addicted

"Hoffman?" John closed the door of Hoffman's apartment – he'd figured out how to pick the lock ages ago – and began searching it for the elusive detective. He was livid; no-one had turned up to help him with the new trap designs that morning, and he suspected that Hoffman was behind it.

Hearing sounds from the living room, he flung the closed door open with a bang and stalked in. "Hoffman," He snapped. "Why – " He stopped dead. "WHAT THE HELL?!"

He didn't think the room could hold so many people. Everyone – even Strahm, who was completely paranoid that Hoffman would try to kill him again – was crammed into the small space. And all of them were staring at the TV screen. Hoffman, Amanda, Lawrence and Adam were wielding wheel shaped objects, on the screen Princess Peach, King Boo, Toad and Mario were jostling for prime position.

John groaned. "Not Mariocart again..."

Hoffman jumped, startled. "Aww, noooo..." He groaned. "John, you just got my car crushed!"

At the word 'crushed' Strahm squeaked and ran out of the room.

"I swear you do that on purpose..." Amanda commented, not taking her eyes off the screen.

"Do what on purpose?" Hoffman asked smugly.

John glared at them, then turned to Jill. "Have they been playing this all day?"

Jill fidgeted. "Uh...I've been playing too..."

John looked at her. "...You do realise I married you for your sense, right?"

"You said it was for my boobs."

"...That too..."

"John, face it," Lawrence said in his most doctorly tone as he crossed the finish line – 1st place again, he thought with pride. "We're all addicted apart from you, and it's very difficult to break addictions – trust me, I'm a doctor."

"Fine." John grunted, mentally noting he had to see the Wii on Ebay at the first opportunity. By now everyone had crossed the finish line apart from Princess Peach.

"Uh..." Amanda tapped Hoffman on the shoulder. "Hoffman, you're going round backwards."

Hoffman squinted at the screen. "...Ah." He twisted the wheel the right way up and the pink motorbike did a 180.

John stared at Hoffman. Hard. "Hoffman, is there something you need to tell any of us?"

"I picked the wrong character, that's all!"

"I saw you in a gay nightclub."

"...The music was good."


Zepp plonked himself down on the sofa next to Hoffman. "Alright, it's my turn now. Hoffman, give that control here!"

Everyone looked at him, acknowledged his presence – and then did a double take, shouting at the same time: "ZEPP! YOU'RE MEANT TO BE DEAD!"

"And how did you get into my apartment?" Hoffman fumed.

Zepp grinned at their expressions. "Hey, it was only a toilet lid...doctors can fix that!" He looked pointedly at Lawrence, who leaned slowly away from Adam, who was giving him an ash-pile-in-3-seconds glare. "And Hoffman, I picked the lock on your door. I've been hiding in your wardrobe eating your muffins."

Hoffman swore as he finally realised how people got into the apartment without him giving them a key. He made a mental note to change his lock and get a burglar alarm fitted.

Amanda stood and passed John her remote. "You want a go?"

John paused, then sighed and took the remote. "...If it makes you weird people happy, then fine."

A few hours later

Hoffman stood in the doorway of the now dark room, the only light coming from the TV screen. "John, go home. Now."

John didn't even look up from the TV screen. "Hoffman, you can't break addictions just like that. Didn't you hear Lawrence?"

Hoffman groaned and left him to it.

ZEPP LIVES!!! I hope all Zepp-lovers are happy (I only know of one, but there must be other...)

Any suggestions for other letters?