Spoilers: Skin and Bones
Summery: All she wants to do is find her coffee maker.
Fluffy fic for The Inside? I didnt know it was possible, but here you go! Team Bonding!
It started with the cannibal.
They all showed up, which was strange and slightly uncomfortable, because she couldn’t even offer them coffee, unless they all wanted to share a mug. And go to Starbucks, because she couldn’t find the coffee maker. But they were all there, even Web, with Danny sprawled on the floor, complaining about there not being a TV, and Paul and Carter discussing some new video game, and Mel exclaiming in horror over her decorations.
Of course, the “decorations” were mostly newspaper clippings about killers, so Rebecca did suppose that Mel had a point.
But there were all there, and they ordered Chinese, and nobody seemed to mind that she didn’t have napkins, or even a microwave, and that they all had to sit on the floor.
Rebecca tried not to notice how closely they all (except Web, of course) watched her eat. Danny was the least subtle about it, randomly dumping cartons out onto her plate and then eating off of it himself. He said he was saving her time and leftovers, and she was the only one who had a real plate anyway, so she couldn’t complain.
She did end up in a chopstick fight with him over the last bite of cashew chicken, but Mel resolved that by stealing it out from under both of them.
Danny grumbled, but Rebecca surprised all of them by laughing. Actually, snorting. She clapped a hand over her mouth, but it was too late. They all started to laugh, Paul trying really hard not to choke on the fried rice in his mouth.
Web slipped out at some point, probably during the laughter. But he nodded at her on the way out, and she knew it was ok.
It was a good night.
Rebecca found herself oddly reluctant for dinner to end. But then Paul’s cell rang, and it was his wife, and Danny and Mel started cleaning up around her, and they left. She closed the door behind them, watered her new plant, and went to bed.
She didn’t even go through the major missing children sites.
But, that’s how it started.
The next morning was a Saturday, and she was off work, and she found herself staring at her computer screen.
She hated Saturdays. She hated time off, really. But it was a necessary evil. Rebecca sighed and settled down for some research time, but before she could even get logged in, someone knocked on the door.
Mel grinned at her, told her that she was in the neighborhood, and hey, did she want to go shopping?
It was strange, but Rebecca figured that if they were trying, she could too. And so they went shopping. She even bought cute new underwear. And pajamas with donuts on them that Mel proclaimed “adorable.”
It was fun.
It was a new feeling.
That odd feeling of regret was back when Mel dropped her off back at the house, and Rebecca wished she could invite Mel up for coffee. But that couldn’t happen. Because not only had Rebecca not found her coffee maker yet, she had gotten a latte at the mall, and was still holding it.
She was restless when she got home, and couldn’t even focus on research. With nothing better to do, and a determination to actually be able to offer coffee if she wanted to, she unpacked two boxes and found the rest of her dishes.
The next Sunday, Mel and Danny showed up and insisted that they needed a chaperone to see a movie together; as otherwise, they would never be able to agree on what to watch. Rebecca threw her vote with Danny’s for the new space western, and Mel called her a traitor to all womankind.
She couldn’t help but laugh, and she wondered how it was that she had laughed more in the last two weeks than she had in the last two years.
Danny and Mel spent most of the ride over complaining about the other, and then there was a whole squabble over who was buying the tickets. Rebecca managed to outmaneuver them both this time, and she bought tickets for all three of them.
Danny said his manhood would not let him go to the movies with two beautiful women without spending some money, so he cleared out the concession stand, plopped himself down in the middle of the row and started handing out snacks.
Rebecca ended up with Red Vines, a package of peanut M&M’s and a bucket of popcorn large enough to bathe in. Mel claimed the Red Vines out of Rebecca’s lap, and demanded the gummy bears, which left Danny with nachos and a coke. Which was fine with him, because he ate that and most of what he dumped into her lap in the first place. Except for the M&M’s, which she refused to share.
A couple of Wednesdays later, she was surprised to get an invitation to eat over at Paul’s house. She had met his wife before, and it was a very nice meal. There was a little awkwardness when Karen asked about Rebecca’s family, but Paul changed the subject and started telling stories about when they first started dating.
On Thursday, she actually found her coffee maker at the bottom of a box under an ancient box of spaghetti and two towels.
By the following Friday night, she was convinced they must have done their good deeds. It had been a month, and she had done something with each one of them. Even Carter, who taught her how to hack into their own system and post embarrassing pictures. She wasn’t expecting anyone to come over.
She certainly wasn’t expecting it to be Danny, dressed in jeans and carrying a laundry basket full of cleaning supplies.
He didn’t bother waiting for her to invite him in, but just pushed past her, dropped the basket and said, “Gross. Don’t you ever clean?”
She didn’t even have time to respond before he was grabbing for the boxes she hadn’t unpacked yet.
“What’s this and where does it go?”
When she just blinked at him, he shrugged, told her to order something edible and unpacked two boxes before she got her voice back under control. When she asked him what he was doing, he just raised his eyebrows at her like she was stupid. And really, when he was standing there, holding a pile of books and a toaster oven, she finally figured out that he wasn’t leaving.
In four hours, he had hung curtains, built two bookshelves and cleaned her oven. He had also told her that he was the youngest of four, that he had two nephews and a niece and that he had never liked playing football. Not to mention given her a recipe for apple pie, complained about the lack of girly shampoos and bubble bath in her bathroom, and asked her what she named the plant.
She was a little dizzy when he left, and she was pretty sure it wasn’t from the bleach fumes.
But all of the boxes were unpacked, and her apartment actually looked…decent. Less like a Motel 6, and more like she was planning to stay awhile.
The plant even looked happier.
At work the next week, Mel swiped Rebecca’s cell phone and programmed everyone’s numbers in. With commentary. Web was even entered. As “The Puppetmaster.” Danny was “Love Machine” and Mel herself was “Rosy Red.” Paul had changed his to his own name before Rebecca could see it, but from the glare he sent Mel, it must have been good. Carter was “Computer Porn.”
On Saturday, she kept expecting the phone to ring. Or for Mel to barge in, demanding to go out to eat.
On Sunday, she took a deep breath, and called them.