The first note appeared shortly after Lester caught Connor drinking milk out of the carton. "That's disgusting and unbecoming of a gentleman," Lester said, sitting down with his morning coffee. Lester had threatened to sack Connor, banish him, and feed him to a velociraptor if the young man ever told anyone about the coffee. He felt real Britons drank tea and shunned coffee, but Lester needed his morning cuppa with a bit of milk to make it through the day. "Didn't your mother ever tell you not to do that?"
"She did," Connor agreed. "But me mum's not here, is she?"
"But I am, and I'm not drinking out of a milk carton that your lips have been on. I'm glad I caught you the first time."
"Oh," said Connor worriedly as Lester took a sip. "Well, that wasn't really the first time..."
Lester spit his coffee back into the cup (but definitely in a gentlemanly way) and poured the contents into the sink. "You owe me another carton of milk," he said, and left the flat. 'DO NOT drink from the carton' was on the fridge within the hour.
Later, Connor wondered if Lester had bought the signs at that point, or if he had them before and felt strongly enough about the proper way to consume liquid dairy products that the signs were revealed then. 'DO NOT drink or use the glass on the counter' was a preemptive strike, Connor felt. He wouldn't have drunk out of a glass that wasn't his... probably. And the alcohol was too fancy for his taste. Connor preferred a simple pint, not the expensive stuff Lester bought.
The next day, the phone rang. Connor looked down the hall to see if Lester was around. The phone rang again. "Lester?" Connor called. He walked down the hallway and saw the door to the loo was shut. He wandered back to the phone and picked it up on the fourth ring.
"Alright?" he said.
"Um, is James there?" the voice said.
"Sorry, he's in the loo," Connor said. "Can I take a message?"
"Uh-" the voice replied. Lester came around the corner quickly and snatched the receiver from Connor.
"It's for"- Connor started to say, but Lester slammed the phone down. "-you," he finished weakly.
"What was that?" Lester demanded.
"I answered the phone," Connor said, unsure why his boss was so mad.
"You told whoever it was that I was in the loo."
"That's not something you say on the phone!" Lester yelled. "Don't you have any phone etiquette?"
"Sorry," Connor mumbled as went over to his laptop. He resolved not to answer the phone again as he flopped on the sofa, propping his feet up on the arm of the couch.
Lester was ready to spit fire. "Feet on the floor, Connor!"
The young man quickly moved into an upright position. Connor left the room ten minutes later and he returned to find three new signs- DO NOT answer the phone, DO NOT sit here, Or here.
Connor managed to go two whole days without angering Lester. Just as he was mentally congratulating himself for this accomplishment, he heard Lester yelling his name from the kitchen. "What is this?" Lester asked angrily, pointing inside the freezer.
"Why do you assume that I've done something wrong?" Connor protested. "I don't put anything in the freezer except for ice lollies and I'm out of them- oh," he said as he saw what his boss was pointing at. "There's a good explanation for that. You see, after the fungus monster, I wanted to do some tests, and I needed to keep the specimens frozen, so..."
"This is something that should be kept at work in a lab. A secured lab, so I don't need to worry about fungus growing on ice cubes that I may want to put in my drink. Do not keep specimens in the ice trays!" Lester commanded. The sign that appeared later repeated that last sentence.
An hour later, the doorbell rang. Connor went to get it. He had managed a "hullo" with the door halfway open, when Lester came running down the corridor. Lester grabbed Connor by the back of his shirt and hauled him back one-handed while the other hand slammed the door shut.
"What part of, 'I don't want people to know that you are living here' do you not understand?" he hissed. "Go to another room until I can get rid of them."
"Okay," Connor said, trying not to feel hurt.
Lester waited until the young man was out of sight before opening the door again. He was relieved to find it was only Danny Quinn. Then he was annoyed that it was Danny Quinn. "What are you doing here, Quinn?" he asked.
"I had a question about something, so I thought I'd pop by to chat with you," the ginger man said.
"Work related questions should be asked at work," Lester said, trying to contain his annoyance. "Or you could call."
"No one answered the phone," Danny said. Lester said rude words under his breath and Danny hid a smile. "So you want me to get back to you later, then?" he asked.
"Yes, I would like that very much," Lester said, still annoyed. He closed the door and walked away. Danny waited several seconds. He heard footsteps walking back towards him.
"I see what you mean," Danny told Connor when the young man opened the door again. "He would be hard to live with."
"I'm not complaining," Connor said quickly. "It could be said that I'm not the easiest person to live with either."
"Has been said," Danny amended quietly.
"What?" Connor asked.
"Nothing," Danny said with a smile. What Abby told him in confidence, stayed between the two of them. "See you at work."
Connor shut the door to find Lester behind him holding another sign. "Let me guess," Connor sighed. "DO NOT answer the front door?"
"Perceptive as always," was Lester's snarky reply.
"But why? It was only Danny. Can't I talk to me mates?" Connor protested. Lester didn't bother to answer. He just hung up the sign and walked away.
The final straw was an hour later when Lester found Connor's socks in the microwave. "Connor!" he bellowed. "What did I say about socks in the microwave?"
"You didn't. It was socks in the bread maker," Connor pointed out reasonably. He ducked when Lester grabbed the microwave. His boss didn't throw it at him, either because of self-restraint or because it was still plugged in. He apologised quickly because the latter reason could quickly be fixed. "Sorry! I won't put socks in any appliance."
"You won't put any clothes in any appliance," Lester said angrily. "I'm tired of your stuff all over. This changes today."
Connor worried that Lester was going to kick him out of the flat. He supposed that he could live at work again. This time he would have to be more subtle so no one would find out. Connor left the room and started packing. Then he went to the living room to say goodbye. Lester had just finished putting yellow and black tape on the floor around Connor's desk. "What's this?" Connor asked curiously.
"Your area," Lester said, slightly calmer than before. "You may keep all of your... belongings here." Connor could tell that Lester wanted to use a different word than "belongings."
"I don't have to leave?" Connor asked hopefully.
"You may stay, but your things stay inside this area, or in your bedroom. Anything that leaves those two areas, gets put in the rubbish bin. Do we have an agreement?"
"I can do that!" Connor enthusiastically moved to give Lester a hug. His boss's glare was enough to make him back off. "Thanks."
"I know I will regret this," Lester said quietly as Connor returned to his room to unpack.