DISCLAIMER: I don't own "Beetlejuice" or any associated characters, so no suing (I hate paperwork and I'm broke). The vague OC is all mine though.
*** Warning: Not Betelgeuse/Lydia. Sex implied/discussed. Rumor mill of the dead. Strange character POV. Almost OC? Unexpected narrator is unexpected? Dead people. Comas. Sarcasm. Office politics. I think that covers it. Just so we're clear that you can't yell at me for those things (I'm sure you can find another reason if you look). ***
It only happened the one time. Let's be clear on that point, just once. Office gossip might say otherwise, but they were only together the one night. Anyone who says they know different is a filthy liar. And stupid to boot.
It's not so surprising when you think about it. Office romances are cliché for a reason after all. Plus two people of the opposite sex who care so much for each other and spend all their time together? These things happen. And those two do love each other; never doubt that, even with all the fighting. It just, well, complicated. It's her job to keep him out of trouble and it's his nature to cause trouble. It makes things hard for them both. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let me back up.
Time runs differently on this side, but I hadn't been here long and I died in the '60s. Gabriella, Miss Argentina, all that was over for me. Only the sash and tiara are left to say I was special. They mostly called me Beauty Queen if anyone talked to me at all, which was rare. I was still learning the ropes, one of Juno's special workers that no one else would take a chance on. I worked the Special Files room then, the one that shares a wall with her office. I wouldn't know anything otherwise. I guess when she did the mojo to protect her office and that file room she forgot to deal with the wall between them.
I think I'm the only one to ever work in there full time. I don't know if it was because there was nowhere else to put me or if Juno had some plan, since she always has a plan, but no one has had that post since me. I doubt anyone had it before either; you could make snow angels in the floor dust. Betel did it once my first week.
Surprised I'd say his name? It's only part and Juno does it. Besides, I spent a long time working around his nonsense, I'll call him whatever I want. Ugh, I need coffee before I finish this, watch the window for me a minute.
Okay, where was I?
Oh, come on, don't pout. Twenty minutes isn't such a long time to get coffee.
Fine, I'm sorry; I won't leave you to watch the window again. You didn't do it right anyway. You call that many numbers and people expect efficiency from you all the time. And sweetie, that's just not happening here, I have better things to do.
Don't sulk, I'll finish the story. Anyway, I was in the Special records room then. It was quiet and peaceful, just what I needed. I bet Juno knew that. I didn't talk much then, too mixed up, but I kept my ears open. Being next to her office taught me most of what I know about the job and this Side. You might not have have noticed, but other than that awful book for the haunters we don't have much by the way of written instruction. I guess whoever's in charge thinks knowing which forms have to be filed in triplicate is an intuitive thing. Ugh, don't get me started on that.
So the voices next door were all that I had for company for decades, besides the occasional Betel attack or Juno coming for a file. I got real fond of the two of them, yes even him, and used to their ways. The same way you get attached to characters in books or movies, I guess.
I'll let you in on a little secret: the two of them can be very funny. I know, shocked me too. Juno doesn't seem the type, but she's got some great jokes in her. And she's got a way with stories. Betel, well, he'll do anything for a laugh if that's what he wants from you. His new jokes aren't so funny, but I don't think he's trying to amuse anyone but himself now. He did that dust angel when I was new and he used to keep a whole pocket full of weird stuff to pull out and play around with. Ugh, you should have seen how much fun he could have with a Frisbee, it was crazy. Used to use it to deliver memos.
He keeps lit cigarettes, Juno's brand, in there now. Pulls them out when she's stressed or he's in trouble. It's sort of sweet, but I'll kill you if you ever tell anyone I said so. It's worth a laugh to see her go in after them herself. Half her arm winds up in there, one of those pocket dimension things.
Back to the story. They're both funny and back then they were so close they played off each other like pros. They would talk circles around the clients and leave me laughing so hard I cried. They even kept score sometimes, of who got more quips in unnoticed, and the loser would have to go get coffee or something.
Hey, just because we're dead doesn't mean we don't still like stuff. Don't need air, but we still like to breathe. Juno doesn't need to smoke either, but she does. I'd like to see you tell her she shouldn't. You wouldn't believe how many of us have our little vices now that it can't hurt us. Great stress relief, you wouldn't want to see this place without it.
Maybe stress relief is what happened then too.
Those contests between them were definitely stress relievers. It gave them something to look forward to maybe, or just something to do. Juno won mostly; even back then Betel's subtlety wasn't so great.
They were laughing that night. He was telling one of his ridiculous stories about when he was alive, being a pirate I think. He'd robbed a rich man and the wife wanted to go with him, be his wife instead. It was hilarious, but there was an edge to it all that night. The big decision was coming down the pipes any day, what to do about Juno's "problem child".
Always before he'd played pranks that Juno could explain away, or he'd taken short trips around this side when he was technically restricted to the office. Nothing long enough to get fussy over. He was just a mild irritant and Juno was allowed to keep him. The more troublesome he got though, the worse things got for them both. He'd gone one step too far, to the Living side, which is a big huge no-no. They were waiting to see if he was going to be exiled from the office or exorcised and tossed in the displaced souls bin.
I've always suspected the only thing saving him was the big bosses' fear he'd crawl out and get loose again, but driven mad. Or madder I suppose. The ones that do get out of there are crazy and violent, every single time, so it stands to reason. Plus there was no telling what Juno might have done. She's more of a wildcard than most people expect.
It was their big goodbye and they didn't even know it, not for sure. They knew he'd be leaving, one way or the other, but not how different and difficult it would make things. Things went much further than anyone could have foreseen.
When he'd finished his story, Juno told him she could understand wanting to run away, she'd thought about it on both sides of her life. She could even see the appeal of running away with him. He half played it off, some nonsense about bad boys and good girls, but he couldn't keep it up. He told her she'd hate him for it if he took her with him. That she'd never get to move on if she didn't stay. And that he was still tempted to make that mistake because he loved her and would miss her. It broke my heart all over again to hear it.
I heard her sob and him say "c'mere", then it was quiet a while. I'd bet your left arm it was a hug that lead to kisses. No matter what anyone thought back then about why Juno kept him around, that was their first real kiss.
Yeah, everyone thought he was her boy-toy. Crazy, right? Even if he was better looking back then I'd never have thought that. But it was still the old guard back in those days. Juno was the newest case worker by a century and so young.
Yes, young. She doesn't look it now, but she wasn't thirty yet when she had her little "accident". She looks older to get respect, same reason she leaves her throat like that. When you look young, people treat you young and she was too good to be treated like a dumb kid. I think she was planning to go fleshless eventually, really turn up the oomph. Nothing says dead people authority like a skeleton in a power suit. That's all show anyway, she still looks like herself under all that. I bet that's who Betel saw that night, maybe that's who he always sees.
The kissing could have just been getting carried away, but the rest was done with full acknowledgement. There was "are you sure" and "yes" from both sides. Then they had their time together and I did my work hugging the far wall to give them some privacy. If I could blush, I would have.
Don't make that face; you're the one that brought it up! You shouldn't ask questions you don't want answered.
That was all, that one time. Two of the loneliest people I've ever known, taking care of each other in a bad time. They're only friends, still, but some of the closest friends ever. Two days after that, three full days of no clients for her and catching up on all the paperwork, he was exiled. The rest is a matter of public record and legend. So no matter what you heard, or thought, they aren't "doin' it".
Oh thank goodness, your time's up. Where is that card? There are lines. Hang on, here we go. Hope you had a nice coma. Blah blah. This was just a preview of this side. Be more careful. You won't remember any details of your stay. Nightmares are your problem, not ours. Blah blah.
Basically, do better this time, hmm? I don't want to see you again for a while.
Oh no, can't tell you your ETA. Well, I could, but I'm not going to. Have fun. Remember, which side of the desk you wind up on depends on you. Toodles.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ohmahgaw, no wai, a non-OTP fic? HDU self? *shame* Perish the thought! Yay Miss Argentina though, right? I dubbed her Gabriella, because I like that name (and a talker name Gabby amuses me). Okay, actually this was fun and indulged my love of background characters (like them more than the main characters in some cases) so humor me, won't you? You can include this as a background to my other stories if you choose, I'm not sure yet. Thanks for reading.
Part of my 2011 13 Posts/Days of Halloween.
100 Kisses Challenge Used Items: 10.) Lit Cigarettes