Duncan "Foot in mouth" Jackson
Wherein Duncan spills emo all over the place and Shorty tries to cheer him up.
There were several things weighing on Duncan's mind at the moment. He didn't really have much to do in the mornings before Shorty showed up, so he'd spent some time looking over the PM with Lynea again. Ugh. Pathetic? Was it really? And now he was thinking about that masters again, and was Shorty really...? And apparently his mother was angry he'd been out of touch, or so Missie would lead him to believe... And why had Lynea and Missie both been so quick to assume he was gay?!
Coffee was probably a bad idea. Not generally the best plan for making a person feel less stressed. Nonetheless there was his mug, already half-empty, sitting on the desk beside his keyboard. A better idea might have been narcotics, those helped with stress (or so he'd heard...).
Why did Shorty think he was so cool anyway? Must be the manliness =|!
As per usual, shorty began the day chipper as always! He had saved Mister Rhys the day before and became a hero, and he had free Ice Cream with a capital ICE CREAM. Maybe Siegmund was telling the truth about the Tooth Clefairy, too... but Shorty realized that someone else would have to save the children. He wasn't prepared to capture such a difficult pokemon, and there was no way his rival'd manage it... right?
Shorty reached Duncan's office and knocked on the door, as he had been doing for many days past.
"It's open," he called back, just as he'd also been doing for many days past. "You know you don't have to knock." That too.
He ignored the door, trying to focus instead on his monitor. Genetic codes for...something, what was it called again? Ralts? One of Gardevoir's evolutions. ...Hmm, he really should stop drinking so much coffee, maybe that was why he was so high strung... (He thought, as he brought the half-empty mug to his lips.)
"Hi mister Duncan! Shorty reporting for duty, sir!" Shorty said in such a way that you would almost see flowers springing from his words. He was rather pleased about yesterday.
"I brought you some coffee because I know you love the stuff!" Shorty said. He figured he'd be extra nice today because Mister Duncan seemed rather down lately.
... WAS HE A MIND-READER no because he'd read that thought COMPLETELY BACKWARDS =|! Nonetheless the fact that Shorty'd said something that tied in to what he'd been thinking made Duncan look up, setting the mug down on the desk again. "Huh."
Pause. Gosh what was he supposed to even say? Act natural, right? Nothing was different, Shorty hadn't changed any... Awkwaaaard thoooough. He found himself staring, trying to find any traces of femininity in Shorty's figure. This was bad because he should have been trying to find something to say.
This was usually the part where Duncan said something. The fact that he only muttered a "Huh" got Shorty worried.
"Um... are you okay?" Shorty tried to think back to everything he did, trying to be sure he didn't mess up again. Woke up. Came here. Got dressed. ...Not in that order.
Pause. Hesitation. Silence. Other synonyms for not saying anything.
Finally he decided to go with what was really foremost on his mind, and turned away from Shorty back to the screen. "Am I pathetic, Shorty?"
He did not seriously ask that question. Shorty's shock was so great that Tilly worried in her pokeball that it'd do double damage to her.
"No, not at all! You're super smart and cool!" He said matter-of-factly. Come on, Mister Duncan!
"Mm..." Yeah, he'd expected as much from Shorty. "Sorry, it's just something Lynea said...it's really getting to me." Still totally not looking at him, though at this point it was the really obvious trying-to-avoid-looking-at-them sort of not looking at him.
Duncan was never like this. He was often stressed and almost always annoyed, but seeing him just ... down like this was not something Shorty was accustomed to dealing with.
"W-what about miss Lynea? Did you two get into a fight?" Whatever was bugging him, It was now Shorty's job as Savior Of WereArboks Everywhere to fix it!
"Not really. It's more..." Pause, sigh, he picked up his PokéDex from the desk and pulled up the thread with Lynea. He then held it out across the desk to Shorty.
Shorty read. And read some more. His face making a visible "ouch." as he read certain posts in particular.
"Um, ARE you ga--" Shorty stopped. BUT HE STOPPED TOO LATE.
This actually got Duncan to look at Shorty, but it was as a sudden snap, slamming a hand down on the desk. "NO, Shorty! No, I am not gay!"
Whoops! Touchy! Was he actually trying to hide something? Shorty recoiled, and after taking a moment to recover decided it was in his best interest to assume Duncan wasn't lying.
"Then, um, what IS this about, sir?
"This is about a lot of stuff, Shorty. You remember how I told you I'd said something stupid in front of my boss? You wanna know what that was? I told her that I stare at her rack. That is not something you tell your boss, even if you are trying to defend your heterosexuality. And then this! She accuses me of dating a coworker and then, I don't even know, I sort of had a breakdown about where the hell my life is going and she called me pathetic and--argh." He stopped, setting his head in his hands. Not how he wanted to start his day, really. And was this even the sort of thing he could talk to Shorty about? Ugh, sometimes he really missed having actual friends.
Wow. Mister Duncan really messed up a lot. This was not Shorty's area of expertise, not even remotely.
"W-well, I hear some girls get flattered when told that." He was pretty sure it was a guy who told him this, but he wasn't about to bring that up.
"And I don't think anyone would seriously see us dating! I mean, I look up to you but I don't LIKE like you! M-maybe they were just teasing to be mean? Like my rival used to..." Or was that another dream? That hardly mattered at this point.
"And you are not pathetic!" Calling Mister Duncan pathetic is like accusing Mister Rhys of talking too much!
His arms fell to a folded position over the desk, so he was hunched over resting on them, watching Shorty as he spoke. "Generally it tends to make girls feel awkward. Shouldn't you know that?" Or had nobody ever told him (her?) something like that before? ...How long HAD Shorty been dressing like a boy, anyway? Huhhh, questions for later.
The rest of it sort of got a "hnn" or something like it. "Look, Shorty, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring you down or anything by throwing all this at you. You can just pretend this never happ--" He stopped, facepalmed with a half-sigh, half-growl. PATHETIC. WHY WAS IT?
"Don't worry. I can take it! I'm a man!" Coming of age or not, Shorty would not be defeated by a few frownie faces!
Shorty didn't have an answer for the question. He didn't want to look like a kid by saying that he didn't talk to girls much or knew anything about them.
"But why is it bothering you, sir? So what if she thinks that-- you know it's not true! And I don't think she's going to punish you for a simple slip up!" Shorty in his naivete didn't fully grasp what Duncan just admitted to doing, but assumed it was bad anyway.
He sort of froze, then let his arm fall to the desk again as he turned his flat gaze onto Shorty. "Am I seriously listening to a pick-me-up speech from you?" Of all people.
Ouch. Ice cold. RIGHT IN THE HEART. Shorty's usual smile fell instantly.
HE HAD NO WORDS.
...Oh goddammit he'd done it again. Apparently he had 10 levels in SAYING THE WRONG THINGS TO WOMEN (maybe he shouldn't have taken that "Total Jerk" prestige class).
He hastened to play some damage control here. "Look, Shorty, I don't mean that. Forget I said that--goddammit I do keep doing that constantly."
"Yes. Well." Shorty said. Count to 20, Shorty. One. Two. ...Skip a few. Twenty. Okay.
"Anyway. It shouldn't bug you this much. She's one person. And a bunch more disagree!" Shorty counts as 10 people, right?
He sighed. "It shouldn't, you're right." It still did, anyway. Buuut Duncan was just the sort of person to dwell on that kind of thing.
Pause. "I should probably do something. Take my mind off of it." But what?
Shorty handed back Mister Duncan's Pokedex.
"We could always go somewhere!" ICE CREAM SHOP ICE CREAM SHOP ICE CREAM SHOP ICE CREAM SHOP ICE CREAM SHOP.
"I mean, I wouldn't know where, but somewhere you'd want to go! And we can have fun! While ...studying Pokemon so it's work related." POKEMON SHAPED ICE CREAM.
He reached over the desk to take back the Dex, folded it up and slid it into his pocket. "I haven't been to the comic shop in a while," he mused. He'd probably missed like thirty issues of Voyage of Prophecy (just when it was getting good, too) and he'd heard something about a new reimagining of Batman (or was he imagining that?).
Comics? Mister Duncan wanted to go look at... comics?
"Sir, that... is the BEST IDEA EVER. Let's do it!" Well, second best idea ever. The first best should be obvious by now.
He locked down the computer and then stood. "Let's not tell Lynea about this." He snagged his cap from the corner of his desk as he walked past, donning it as he moved toward the door.
Hurray! Road trip! "Yes, sir! Consider my lips sealed!"
Shorty grabbed his-- wait he had everything already. He stood there waiting for Duncan to complete that trip!