May 132009

Title: [Can't tell you that. It's too much like something else I wrote.]
Fandom: Mitarashi Games
Characters: Meeps, Jasmine, Scurvy, Jester
Rating: T
Warnings: Meeps can't curse in front of Jasmine. Lots of drinking, some karaoke.
Notes: This is a preview of something I'm working on for a contest, right now. I don't even know if this'll be the one I submit, but right now, it's the best idea I've had. Titles are the prompts for the damn contest, so I'll be leaving this one off, because I don't want anyone thinking I've updated the other fic with an all-too-similar title.

Elric Witherspoon ran a hand through his short, purple hair and cursed himself for cutting it, yet again. It just wasn't the same, even if it was a good deal less warm, in the summer. He cursed some more as he sorted through his dresser, looking for something halfway reasonable to wear out, for the night — he tried to look a little better than he did at work, when he was out with Jasmine, even if his cow-irkers were coming along. He also tried to get all the cursing out of his system, before he saw Jasmine. She hadn't been subject to the constant stream of profanity that usually emanated from his mouth, and he meant to keep it that way. He slumped onto the futon that was both his bed and the central point of his spotless studio apartment and went to wring the water from his hair, again, with the towel he held, before realising, for the ninth time in the last fifteen minutes, that he didn't have enough hair for that.

He threw the towel at the television and stood, cursing god, fate, himself, and the universe in general, before finally starting to get dressed, with the easy things, first — socks and boxers. You couldn't go wrong, he reflected, with underwear, because it went under everything, and no-one ever saw it. It was that point on which all men were the same, unless, of course, they were the sort who wore satin thongs, in which case their underwear probably counted as work clothes, and as such was completely unacceptable to wear on a date, anyway. Elric stared into a drawer full of pants, again, and realised he only owned work clothes — or if not work clothes, by the standard definition, the clothes he wore to work. He cursed some more, the expletives sliding idly and unconsidered from his tongue, and pulled on the black BDUs and KMFDM shirt he'd intended to wear to work the next day. That was the nice thing, he reflected, about being the lead coder on the latest Mitarashi Games project: he didn't have to wear a suit. He did, however, have to put up with executives who wouldn't know a do-while statement if one bit them on the ass. He cursed his boss's bosses as he laced his boots, and tried to remember where he'd put his inhaler when he got into the shower.

Roy Moffett rubbed at the edge of his eyepatch and took another sip of his second martini — Grey Goose, not Sapphire. He'd given up gin after he lost his eye in that five-martini Sun install, about eight years back. Now, it was always vodka, and only with friends who weren't afraid to stop him from doing stupid things. He watched Jesse, who sat across the table, ignore a Manhattan to sketch a scene in charcoal, on a cocktail napkin. Jess never stopped working, which was part of what made his work so good and his social life so bad.

"Drink, Jess. You're here to drink, so you can stop working."

"No, I'm here because you dragged me out of my office at nine, because I'd been there for a day and a half, and you decided that karaoke would be a good idea," Jess never took his eyes off the napkin, one hand still shading the protagonist from Roy's game. "Did you seriously invite Meeps and Jasmine? I mean Jaz is great and all, but Meeps? In a karaoke bar? This sounds like a terrible idea."

Roy laughed. "Yeah, he thought the same thing, but Jasmine's making him come out. He just sent me a text, they'll be here in twenty minutes, as of …" He looked at his watch. "…about ten minutes ago."

Jesse wadded up the napkin, drawing and all, and tossed it into the huge Scotsman's empty martini glass. Fishing it out, Roy unfolded it and shook his head.

"If this looks half as good in 3d, I think you're going to redefine the genre," he commented, offhandedly, as a small hand caught him in the back of the head.

"Shut your face, Roy. We're in a bar. If you can still talk marketing after a martini and a half, you're a fuc—functional alcoholic." Elric pushed Jesse's chair around the table with one foot as he dragged over another one for his date.

"Five-martini Sun install. Does that look functional, to you?" Jess pointed at Roy's face and smirked. Belatedly, he greeted the girl. "Hey, Jaz. How do you put up with this guy?"

The small Hispanic woman dropped gracefully into a chair and winked at Jesse. "How do you put up with him at work?"

"With a riot shield and a bag of chocolate lollies," Jesse quipped, finally attending to his drink.

Elric sat uncomfortably beside his date, looking suspiciously around the bar and scratching at the table, nervously, as his three friends joked among themselves. He'd never been particularly good at social scenes, especially not social scenes in which he was expected not to curse like a drunken marine. But, he figured if he just kept his mouth shut, then he couldn't possibly screw it up. The nervousness ate away at his ability to pay attention, until, finally, when Jasmine elbowed him, to tell him a girl had come to get their drink orders, the only sound that came out of him was the squeaky wheeze from his lungs that had earned him the nickname 'Meeps'. He fished out his inhaler, hit it, and tried again.

"Little distracted," he muttered, looking around the table for a clue. He didn't drink, much, and had no idea what would be good. "Jess? What's … worth drinking, here?"

Jesse twisted his hair around his fingers for a few moments, thinking. "You like apricots?"

Elric just blinked. "Aren't those like little peaches, or some sh—thing?"

"Well, that rules out my first choice." Jesse looked up at the waitress and patted Elric on the shoulder. "A Black Forest for my determinedly non-foulmouthed friend."

Roy snickered into his drink, in exactly the way that middle-aged marketing executives don't.

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