Toby was waiting at the door, trying his best not to look like an anxious mother hen. He knew it was a futile effort, what with his death grip on the towel. He hadn’t seen Shanna since the morning. First he’d stopped into her room to tell her the soykaf was gone, so he’d put some caffeinated tea on instead. Then about an hour into his shift, she’d blasted past with a yelp of “business!” He’d called her at lunch to find out what was going down. She’d been grumpier than usual, but seemed better by the end. That’d been over ten hours ago. He’d been alerted a few minutes ago that she had returned, and considering the way it was pouring devil rats and VW beetles, he’d decided to greet her.
The ancient elevator down the hall screeched open, and he finally opened the door. A soaking wet Shanna rolled inside.
“You look like drek,” Toby observed.
“Well frag you very much!” the elf snapped back. “I had the day from hell so you just shove it.”
“Uh huh,” he grunted, closing and locking the door. “Jack out.”
She did her level best to glare at him. “Why?”
“Yer wet enough fer a fish. Ya need ta dry off.”
He ignored her attitude with long practice, leaning down to pick the slender elf up inside the towel, lifting her with barely any effort. “Jack out or dumpshock it. Either way yer getting dry.”
Shanna continued to glare in his direction for a moment, jaw set, but finally she sighed and pulled the cord connecting the wheelchair to her temple datajack free. She snuggled close as they went to the bathroom. “So what happened?” Toby asked quietly.
* * *
I knew it was gonna be one of those days when I woke up to roll over and slam the alarm clock off. I waited a sec, letting the sounds of the apartment tell me what was going on.
There was an empty feel, that said you were off doing his doorman duties. The sounds of traffic outside were mixed with the patter of rain on the window.
Rain. In Seattle. In the winter. Big fragging surprise, right? I managed to get up and into the wheelchair ok, but that was about it, I mean, the morning only got better from there. My grip slipped twice in the shower: the first time sending me off the bath chair to slam into the bottom of the bathtub, the second while getting out, so I did a great belly flop onto the rim. Chill, nothing seemed broken, but damn I was glad I wouldn’t be feeling the bruise that first fall was sure to leave. The second was more than enough to make me miserable.
Breakfast was drekky too. My stomach wasn’t up to more than a few pieces of fruit, so I figured that and some nectar of the gods would be enough. When I went for my required cup of morning soykaf, I already knew it was cold. The maker hadn’t worked right for weeks. But at the first drink I nearly spewed it over the table. Definitely not coffee-wannabe. Took me a few tries to figure out it was tea, and even longer to remember you comin’ in and yelling something to me about the soykaf.
I swear I shoulda gone right back ta bed.
No, idiot that I am went to do some decking instead. When I finally got around to checking the telecom messages, right after a nasty one from the loan company there was one from Templar about a run.... and the meet was in ten minutes. So that’s when I went screaming by, sorry bout not explaining, but I figured I could just make it.
Except I got caught behind the slowest bus in the city. So I was late, Johnson got majorly pissed, Templar was bein’ his usual perfect asshole self, and Twitch... was Twitch. You know.
Run sucked, sounded like drek for newbies. But it paid pretty well. So we took it. Nearly blew up my deck on the IC they had on their system, got dumpshock anyway so my head is this close to exploding, lost a drone which meant more headache, and missed lunch. And by the way, thanks for calling after that. Kept me from goin’ homicidal on Twitch’s nervous little hoop.
Then the van’s window got stuck about an inch from closing, so I got soaked all the way home. Fun, neh?
* * *
Shanna sighed and leaned back against Toby, savoring the feelings of warmth and security washing over her. After getting her dry, the troll had helped her into an ancient sweat suit and then curled up with her on the couch. The trid was on, low enough to provide background noise while letting her rant about her day. Story finished, Toby had simply grunted, put an arm around her, and turned up the volume. Finally, he shifted. “Drekky day,” he rumbled. “Wish it wuz better.”
The elf sighed in contentment and moved a bit closer to her friend. “I dunno. I guess in the end it's not so bad.”
Based on Dido's song "Not So Bad", all thanks to Tyr and his challenge. Though the other entries were a heck of a lot better than this. :)
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Dido owns the song this is based on, while FASA owns everything else except the characters and the fic itself. Those are mine, and not to be used without permission.