My first Studio 60 fan-fiction. Reviews welcome.
Matt sat at his desk starring at the screen. Every writer has this issue, and when you write for a living, you have it more often. Writers block. Yep, it was definitely a illness or syndrome... or at least, Matt thought it should be. Here it was Wednesday night, and they still needed another twenty minutes of sketches. The writing room hadn't produced anything good for him to run with. Everything thus far had been rejected, except for few things.
Matt looked up at the clock. Strike that last thought- it wasn't Wednesday. It was Thursday. Matt stood up and grabbed his tennis ball up. Pacing the room he started to bounce it off the walls. Pacing, he knew, sometimes helped.
This is freaking ridiculous, he yelled at himself. How can I be locked down for two days? Like this?
It was a question he didn't have an answer too. It was true. The writers' room had given him a few things, and he had run with them on Monday. Tuesday, the room had contributed a few more things, but nothing he liked. However, the other problem was that he couldn't put a sentence together with a dictionary, two hands, and a flashlight. And this illness had now had him in its grasp for forty-eight hours.
"Matt," Danny called out as he walked in through one of the doors. "I need more."
Matt rolled his eyes as his best friend walked through the door to his office. His glasses on his face, suit jacket discarded somewhere- just his wearing his black pants, white shirt with the sleeves rolled to the elbows, and a tie that was undone and hanging loosely.
"I know Danny."
"What do you have?"
"Nothing," Matt snapped. "I have a blank screen."
"The show is in less than two days Matt. We have to have time to prep and do sound, cameras-"
"I know Danny! You don't think I don't know?"
"I know you know Matt. I just came to see how much more you had done?"
"Nothing. I haven't done anything! I can't even find a word to type!"
Danny stopped and looked at his friend. Matt was always stressed, but writer's block really got under his skin. Danny flopped down on the couch next to the window where one could see the stage area.
"So you're stuck?"
"Yeah Danny. What? You think I am just sitting up here doing nothing and earning my salary?"
"No Matt. I think you need to go home and get some sleep. The red bull just isn't going to cut it. You've been here since Monday. Have you gone home?"
"Have you?" Matt countered.
"Yeah. I went home Monday and Tuesday night. The writers were working on stuff."
"So then how do you know I didn't?"
"Cause you still have on the same shirt from Monday."
Matt looked down at himself. Danny was right. He still had on his blue dress shirt, unbuttoned, black shirt underneath it, and jeans that he'd changed into Monday afternoon.
"Shut-up," Matt said.
Danny smiled. It was Matt's way of say that Danny was right. "Go home Matt. You're exhausted, and that doesn't help you write."
"We are out of time Danny. I can't afford to go home."
"Then lay down here," Danny gestured at the couch. "Get a few hours of sleep."
Danny looked out at the stage area. It was quiet. The cast and crew had gone home about a half hour ago. The writer's room was still working, but some of them had gone. Jordan had left around ten. Danny had been on his way out the door when he had seen the lights on in Matt's office.
Matt shrugged his shoulders as he continued to pace around the room. "I'm gonna go to the bathroom," Matt said as he walked out the door.
Danny watched him walk off down the hall. Then he withdrew the small bottle of liquid Benadryl from his pocket. It had been Simon's idea, when they knew that Matt hadn't slept in twenty-four hours. It was a little something to take the edge off and help to lure him to sleep. Danny walked over to Matt's desk and poured some into the Red Bull drink that was sitting there. Then he went back and sat down in the chair.
Matt was back within minutes. He sat back down at his desk and finished off his drink. He looked at his screen for several quiet minutes. Danny watched his best friend. He was waiting him out. His phone was set to wake him up in an hour. Simon had said it would take about that long for it took work. So, Danny put his head back and waited.
A vibrating in his pocket brought Danny out of a sound sleep. He shut it off and then looked around. Matt had his head down on his desk.
Damn it, Danny thought. He had hoped Matt would at least move to the couch.
Danny got up and walked over to the desk. Gently he put Matt's left around his neck and gripped the back of Matt's jeans and shirt in his right hand.
"Come on Mattie," Danny said pulling his best friend up. Matt, thankfully, came with him without really waking up. Danny deposited him on the couch and then threw a blanket over him. He closed the notebook on the desk and turned the lights out as he walked out the door. He knew Matt would be mad in the morning, but Danny didn't care. Matt needed to sleep.
Danny headed to the writer's room. Andy was still there. "Hey," Danny said.
"Hey," Everyone echoed. Danny could hear the tiredness in their voices and see them dragging with exhaustion.
"Matt's sleeping, so don't bother him till morning," Danny instructed them.
Andy nodded. "That's fine. I was going to send them home anyways," Andy told Danny.
Danny nodded. "Bright and early tomorrow then," Danny told them as he closed the door, heading to his car.
Danny came into the studio at six. He wanted to head Matt off before he woke up and took off anyone's head. Danny put his stuff down in his office and then headed to Matt's. He was surprised to find his friend still asleep. Suzan was just getting to her desk.
"Don't let anyone wake him," Danny told her. "I'll be back in an hour to do it myself."
She nodded and asked, "He sleep the whole night?"
"Yeah, I think so. He was pretty tired when I came to visit him last night."
"He'd had enough caffeine in him for nine people," she told Danny. "How on Earth did you get him to sleep?"
Danny smiled, "I'm not telling."
Suzan smiled. "Fine as long as you tell him it was all you. He's gonna kill someone when he wakes up and I don't get paid enough to be on that list."
"No he won't," Danny said walking away.
Danny made his morning rounds and then, was able to head back to Matt's office to wake him. Danny shook his friend's shoulder. He was surprised with the amount of heat he felt coming off of Matt's body.
"Mattie," Danny said shaking his friend. "Wake up."
Matt mumbled something that Danny couldn't make out.
"Mattie," Danny called out louder, shaking Matt's should even harder. Cloudy eyes opened to Danny's concerned face. Matt blinked a few times trying to remember where he was and how he'd come to be there.
"Danny?" Matt said slowly.
"Yeah," Danny said. "Here drink this."
Danny handed his friend a bottle of orange juice. Matt took it and sipped at it. Then he went to swing his feet back over the couch to sit up. Matt ran a hand through his hair and looked around his office. He could feel the cold air hitting his back and neck, chilling him as he sat there.
"How'd I get on the couch," Matt asked.
Danny heard the roughness in Matt's voice. His eyes narrowed for a moment in even more concern. Between the warmth he felt when he woke Matt and the voice, he was pretty sure Matt was getting sick.
"I put you there last night," Danny told him as he sat his weight on the table in front of the couch so he could watch Matt.
"I don't remember," Matt said as he went to stand.
Danny smiled at himself. Sometimes you just had to take things into your own hands, he thought. Then he looked up at Matt and concern crowded onto his face to replace the smile that was just there. Matt suddenly had become pale, sweaty, and didn't look well at all.
Then he collapsed.