Here comes yet another request- this one gave me immense amounts of trouble, because I can't seem to write 'funny' without it being OOC or obnoxious/dumb. But anyway.
Also, this is pathetically late. That whole 'writing more' thing isn't working as great as I hoped it would. :P
Disclaimer: In case you haven't noticed, it's still not mine. If it was, there'd be more Riley being awesome.
(Riley refused to look at Ben until he made a midnight run to the nearest gas station for a six-pack of Mt. Dew, because they had work to do and Riley refused to step foot in Bens apartment until the abomination that was Mellow Yellow was eradicated. Ian was furious. Shaw laughed until he cried.)
Riley was quite possibly Ben's best friend, but sometimes he'd swear that the kid only hung around to annoy him.
"Riley, come on. Get out of the hallway and we can work something out. Please." Riley, from his spot on the floor, didn't look up from his cell.
"Shaw, tell Ben that I'm not moving until he meets my demands," he said to the floor, stretching up against the wall before slumping back down with a sigh.
Ben glanced at Shaw.
Shaw raised an eyebrow at Ben.
Ian threw something at the wall.
The people in the apartment next door swore loudly.
Ben went to find his keys.
This night had started off so simply.
"Got any food?"
For how much Shaw and Riley usually detested each other, it was bizarre how often they were on the same wavelength.
It was close on nine o' clock, and they had been working for roughly two hours, plotting the projected course of a ship (hopefully the Charlotte) wrecked up near Alaska roughly two hundred years ago.
Ian brought up several interesting questions, such as why she was virtually unheard of in old shipping logs, and what she was doing over by Alaska, when it didn't even become United States property until almost a century later. Ben refuted them as best he could, such as if she was carrying a treasure of untold value he wouldn't want it on the record, and that he didn't actually know, but this was the best bet they had right now and if Ian gave him an hour, he could probably come up with a better answer.
Shaw was calling in favors for Ian, which in itself was mildly frightening- Ian had a long list of people who owed him favors- but quite possibly the creepiest part was the glare he'd give the general room when the conversation wasn't going quite as he expected it to go. He reserved his best glares for Riley, who was sprawled across the couch, studiously ignoring him.
Riley was running calculations for several different things simultaneously. As far as Ben could tell, it was a tracker model for the place the wrecked ship could hypothetically land ,along with tabs for a budget sheet, a site blasting a bizarre mix of music that went from 70's rock to techno, and something over in the corner that looked suspiciously like Tetris.
Ben was just looking for the book he had put down somewhere (and completely forgotten about until now) that was fairly likely to have something about ships during the Revolutionary period when Riley unplugged a headphone and shot Ben a look.
"Seriously, Ben. You said that there was going to be food provided," he reminded Ben.
"I'm kind of busy right now."
"It's not that I want you to cook. You suck at cooking," he informed Ben, stretching on the couch and pushing his laptop off his lap. "Just tell me if there's anything good in the fridge or if I need to call for Chinese."
"Monica left some lasagna here last night- try that," Ben said, shifting a pile of books onto the floor.
Riley stood up, stretched, dug behind the pillow, and dropped a book in front of Ben before making his way toward the kitchen.
"Have I mentioned lately that your girlfriend is amazing?" He called over his shoulder as he peered into the fridge. Ian snorted.
Shaw swore violently into the phone and hung up, snapping the phone closed violently. He swore under his breath in something that didn't quite sound like English before turning his attention to Ben. "Got any food?"
Ben pointed toward the kitchen, now fully engrossed in his book. Riley kept up a running commentary as the noise in the kitchen increased.
"I mean, seriously, she can actually cook. I wish I could cook. Takeout isn't that great on a budget. You want some lasagna? 'S in the microwave. Ben, do you have anything to drink? Shaw, there's beer behind the milk. No, I don't know why it's there. But anyway, Monica is awesome. She can cook. And she's hot. Except she's kind of old. No offense. I mean, not old, but like…your age. Which is old. Kind of. Shut up, Shaw. Wait a minute…ew. Ew. What is- Ben?"
Ben glanced up as Riley stormed out of the kitchen and planted himself right in front of Ben, a can of pop in hand. "What?"
"What is this?" Ben blinked and rubbed his eyes.
"This is Mellow Yellow."
"Ben. Mellow. Yellow."
"I don't see where you're going with this."
"Mellow Yellow is disgusting!" he exploded, shaking the can for emphasis before tossing it away haphazardly. Ben winced and hoped desperately that the can wouldn't explode over his newly-cleaned carpet.
"Then don't drink it," he suggested helpfully. Riley spluttered at him for a while.
"I-It's-Ben," he wailed. "Mellow Yellow is awful.Mountain Dew is where it's at."
"That's ridiculous," Ian commented from where he was spinning around idly in Ben's office chair. "They're essentially the same thing."
Riley looked at him.
Ian looked back.
Shaw walked out of the kitchen, lasagna in hand. "He's got a point. Mellow Yellow sucks."
Riley gestured wildly at Shaw. "I hate to agree with Shaw, of all people, but…yeah."
…It had all gone downhill from there.
"Ben, care to explain to me why I'm funding this expedition if we keep getting sidetracked with stupid things like this?" Ian asked Ben. Ben sighed into his phone as he rounded a corner and bumped down the street, looking for something open this late at night.
"Riley's a certified genius. He doesn't act like it, but he is. Trust me." It was true- every so often Riley would make an offhand comment that would reference something way over Ben's head, and it would make Ben have to sit back and reevaluate the enigma that was Riley James Poole once more.
"That still doesn't explain why you're doing this."
Ben sighed again as he turned into the third gas station of the night. "Do you know anyone else that's as good with a computer?"
"I can name three off the top of my head."
"I've got to go. I'll be back soon." He shut his phone off before Ian could answer.
He nodded at the cashier, who had hastily tried to hide her magazine under the counter and look the least bit interested in her surroundings. Ignoring her flustered expression, which would have brought a grin to his face if he wasn't so exhausted, he trudged to the back of the store toward the freezers.
Some pop song played faintly in the background, and Ben hummed along thoughtlessly as he skimmed the shelves for the green label that was the key to getting him back into his apartment.
His phone buzzed, and he flipped it open. "Yeah?"
There was no response, and he frowned and glanced down at the screen. One new Text.
…He hated it when that happened.
Leaving. Have something for me by tomorrow or I find a new technician. -Ian.
Ben stared at the text for a moment or two, unimpressed by Ian's threats. Ian was kind of a jerk sometimes, and tended to be more openly hostile toward Riley than anyone else on the team, but Ben was confident that nothing would amount of it.
…At least, he hoped.
Ian had a lot of people that owed him favors.
Ben shook away that mildly-disturbing train of thought with some difficulty and resumed his search for Mountain Dew.
Riley had taken his lasagna and his laptop and camped out in the hallway outside of Ben's apartment. Surprisingly, Shaw had also taken his lasagna and his supplies into the hallway outside Ben's apartment.
Ben resigned himself to the fact that nothing was going to get settled tonight.
Ian, however, was not amused.
"Shaw, this is stupid. I'm not paying you for this."
"You haven't paid me yet," Shaw informed Ian coolly, shoveling lasagna into his mouth. Ian swore.
"Riley. I'll go get some pop tomorrow morning. Can we just finish this please?"
"Shaw, did you hear something?" Riley asked his partner-in-crime innocently. Shaw smirked.
"I'd take that as a 'no'," he informed Ben. "'Serves you right, anyway. That stuff's garbage."
"It's the same thing!" Ian protested. Ben wisely kept his mouth shut. Shaw leveled his gaze on Ian, who held up for almost a solid minute before throwing his hands up in disgust and going to raid Ben's fridge. Ben privately mourned the loss of his lasagna before returning to his book.
All was quiet for a few moments before Riley's voice rang out from the hallway. "So, did you ever hear about when Ben tried to ask out Monica?"
Oh, this could only end badly.
"Riley," he called, twisting on the couch to get a better look at the door. "Don't." Riley peered around the doorframe, looking positively wicked. He looked up at Ben, grinned, and turned back, presumably to Shaw.
"Sorry. I thought I heard something. But then I realized- the person I thought I heard doesn't have any Mountain Dew. My mistake. So. Where was I?'
He finally found a six-pack of Dew tucked at the bottom of the last freezer in the row, and tried not to look pathetically happy over his find.
The cashier, who still hadn't picked her magazine up from where it had fallen onto the floor, was looking enquiringly at Ben's purchase, and with a yawn he pushed the pack across the counter and dug for his wallet. She went through the motions automatically and bagged his pop, snapping her gum and shooting him a tired smile. He nodded and paid without a word, and she murmured her thanks as he headed out the door.
The little bell above the door tinkled merrily as Ben left, and he winced at its cheerfulness as he trudged back through the snow to his car. It was too cold and far too late for this. All he wanted was to get home and see if he could snag himself that last piece of lasagna or if the others had polished it off while he was gone.
His car bumped quietly along the road, the pop song from the gas station looping in his mind endlessly, and he sighed as his car made a particularly unsettling sound. He glanced at the gas meter to find the needle perilously close to empty. Ben sighed again and made a not-quite-legal U-turn to head back in the direction of the gas station.
Tonight just wasn't his night.
Riley was noticeably absent from the hallway outside his apartment, which was problematic, because in the time between Ben grabbing his coat and Ben leaving his apartment his key had gone missing. Shaw was also missing, which was less problematic, because it meant that Ben didn't have to feed him anymore.
There was a note on his front door.
Assuming point is made. You took too long. Ian left about ten minutes ago and took Shaw.
Model is finished, on CD on your coffee table. Tell Ian he owes me- I've got to pay rent before my landlady kicks me out.
That Mellow Yellow better be gone by the time I come back.
Seriously, Ben, that stuff sucks.
P.S. Oh yeah, your key is under the mat.
Ben chuckled softly and let himself into his apartment to find the CD where it was promised. He made a beeline for the fridge, where he promptly found another note.
Shaw was going to take the last piece of lasagna, but I distracted him with the cake in your freezer. Never let it be said I'm not a good friend.
Oh yeah, tell Monica thanks. That was great lasagna. ~R
Ben popped the last slice into the microwave and grabbed his book from the living room, sitting down to finish off his night in peace.
His phone buzzed.
Hey, that pop can's still probably somewhere in your living room. Just an FYI. ~R
From somewhere in the living room, he heard the unmistakable sound of a pop can exploding.
Tonight really wasn't his night.
Flashbacks are fun.
So is Sims 3.
(That's one of the reasons I'm slow. The other is Glee (!). And the other is I'm lazy.)
Thanks for the requests and the continuing reviews. They brighten my day and make me feel all fuzzy inside.