Little something I threw together based on a dream I had once. Will be multiple chapters, so please bare with me. Been writing to many papers for school projects so my attempts at fan ficition might be a lot rusty. Please Read and Review, it will pick up I promise.
Cisco pushed back from his latest project spread out over the tabletop in front of him, stretching with a slight wince rubbing his eyes. It was late and he knew it, but he had wanted to finish this prototype before he left for the night. As it was the jumble of wires, cogs, and screws were in at least a dozen different places around the room, with the rough sketches and some attempts at a blueprint tacked over two walls. He desperately wanted sleep, but Dr. Wells had become adamant that he finish this prototype for some big money bag before tomorrow evening.
A noise at his office door made him look up suddenly, as a woman pushed open the door, wearing the drab grey coveralls the maintenance staff tended to wear, with long dark hair tied up under a scarf and earbuds planted firmly in her ears, the patch over her chest pocket read Amya.
"Excuse me, can I help you?" Cisco raised his voice slightly, annoyance tinged with a trickle of fear, most nights the building was empty of all people, which allowed him the peace and quiet.
Startled she looked up, and met his gaze with astoundingly clear blue eyes, she pulled the ear buds out of her ears and a voice could be heard coming through faintly, but not music as Cisco had assumed. "E….E….Excuse me I…I….I didddn't know aaaaanyone was iiiiin here. I….I….I'm jjjjjust in tttttto vaccum and get ttttttrash."
Cisco was a little taken aback, she was an employee, she was a little hard to understand due to what appeared to be a severe speech impediment, he looked a little closer and saw a ring of numerous keys, and an ID badge hanging from her belt which did indeed identify her as maintenance. The keys and badge probably allowed her access to almost any room in the building, and she was working late at night so as not to disturb the other scientists who kept normal hours when not under pressure from their boss for perfection in 48 hours or less. He saw her reach into a thigh pocket and pull out a small iPod and pause the flow of faint voices stemming from the tiny earbuds.
"Hey, it's ok," Cisco said soothingly, "I'm working late too. Boss man thinks I can work miracles or something. First week on the job and already busting me for…..well that's not office gossip. Cisco Ramon, engineering." He stuck out his hand to her and plastered his warmest and goofiest smile on his face as possible.
"Amya Tellen, late nnnnight cleaner." came the shy response, though the grip was firm and confident, her hands were rough with the callouses of someone who worked with their hands for a living. So different from the smooth clean hands of his other scientists, a welcome change actually, he could feel the strength in her hands, and though covered by an ill-fitting uniform, he could sense strength in her frame as well. He did notice that she kept flicking a glance all around the room as if searching for something only occasionally landing back on his face, an oddly nervous gesture.
"I wouldn't bother with this office tonight, I think I'll lose something let alone someone coming in to clean messing something up…not that you would intentionally I mean." He released her hand and her gaze seemed to linger on the sketches and blue prints, an almost thoughtful look on her face, she muttered something, blushed then turned and scurried out of the room before he could say anything. Turning back to his table he picked up the tiny screw driver and began working again with a shrug.
When Cisco came in the next afternoon, after pulling an all-nighter and still not making much headway, he first went to the staff room for the glorious elixir known as coffee, and whatever the morning crew had left of the donuts (bare crumbs). As he got to his office he felt something was off, the door was still firmly locked, and when he pushed it open it took a few seconds for his brain to register what was in front of him. His office was clean…..tools were back where they belonged, small paper cups held various sized screws, and other small bits and pieces were actually arranged with a semblance of order. He looked around further and saw that the sketches and blue prints were neater on the walls, and SOMEONE had written on them!
Furious he stalked over and stared at what was months of planning having marks all over them, until his coffee deprived brain kicked on and saw the logic behind the scribblings. Though all theoretical he thought it might work, and solve a solution he couldn't find a way around. Had he done this last night before his brain shut down and he'd crawled off home for a few hours of sleep? Shoving the thought aside he sat back at his work bench, the old familiar squeak of the chair no longer an annoyance, though his brain barely registered its passing as he worked furiously finally able to make sense of this project.
The sun was finally setting when he rolled back, stretching. Another long but extremely productive day, the prototype not only was finished, but actually worked the way it should have. His ninth mug of coffee set empty on the table as he mused over something, his active mind working constantly. Something about his office seemed off, like something was put back in the wrong place. While his personal style of filing consisted mostly of moving things around till he found what he needed, the room was just too…something…to clean? To quiet? And who had reorganized his office in the nearly eight hours between when he went home to catch some sleep and showing back up?
His stacks of papers begged his attention to be handled but he loathed paperwork and knew that if he kept putting it off the higher ups would become annoyed. He turned his attention that direction sighing, and then closed his eyes took a deep steadying breath and turned as a voice from the door demanded his attention. "Cisco, do you not have anything better to do then sit there? Where's the specs I asked for last week?" The annoyingly grating voice of Hartley Rathaway sneered from his office doorway. The smug bastard in his impeccable 3 piece suit and sneering voice grated on his already frazzled nerves.
"I sent them to you yesterday, not my fault you can't keep from looking down your nose long enough to pay attention to the minions around you." Cisco tried hard to keep the annoyance out of his voice, but the man was a brilliant smug bastard and he knew it and enjoyed rubbing it in everyone's face.
"Well send it again before you go home, I need them…" Rathaway turned to leave and took two steps before an explosion of colorful invectives caused Cisco to turn back around and see an enraged man flat on his ass, a wet floor sign flat on the ground where he had obviously ran into it, the cheery whistling of someone a little further down the hall just barely heard causing Cisco to snort out a laugh.
"Where did this sign come from?! Who cleans this late at night?!" Enraged further Rathaway stood up sliding a few more times the seat of his pants soaked thoroughly, before stalking down the hall and out of sight.
Cisco popped his head out the door seeing the familiar head covering and bland overalls swiping a mop over the floors, and a grin escaped his lips. Picking up the wet floor sign and walking carefully over the over wet floor he walked down and tapped her shoulder.
Startled, she turned her shoulders hunched as if expecting a tirade at the very least. She saw only the goofy grin on Cisco's face, "Big bbbbbully." She stated plainly, pulling out her ever present earbuds, and again he didn't hear music, but a soft voice that he couldn't make out still coming out.
"Come into my office a minute Amya." Cisco said, gently pulling at her elbow, a look of panic crossing her plain features briefly, before setting aside her mop and following. "I need to ask you something, and if you tell me the truth I won't get angry and it will stay between us, understand? Good, now, did you come into my office after I left last night?"
He could see a rapid flick of emotions cross her face, though not the ones he might have expected, fear? That was understandable. Worry? Maybe…and panic, sure. Dejection? He'd think on it later. He finally heard her sigh softly before she nodded. She gestured towards the cups with the screws that had actually saved him a lot of time while working and had already thought of ways to make it more efficient.
She spoke extremely slowly, obviously trying hard to contain the stutter he knew she suffered from, "Cluttered….desk….cluttered…..mind. Thought…..would….help." She gestured towards the blueprints, "Numbers…..missing…measurements…..off." She bowed her head then thinking she had said too much, wondering if she would get fired. When a long pause lengthened into an uncomfortable silence, she lifted her gaze to see Cisco staring at her his mouth hanging open.
"And you just thought you would come in and fix it all for me?" Anger tinged his voice, hard as he tried to control it, then quickly stomped it down. He was not arrogant like Rathaway, he was almost ready to give up on the project and admit defeat, which likely would have meant his job, but how had this woman, a simple janitor, seen what he had missed. Sighing he sat down and just stared at her, "What made you think, that what you would do would fix the problem?"
Over the next hour, being patient with her speech mannerisms, he listened to her logic following her train of thought and was coming to a dawning realization, Rathaway had given him these blueprints under the guise of saying Dr. Wells wanted him to work on the project, hoping he would fail, make a fool of the company, and then Cisco would be fired. A growing warmth and appreciation flowed out of Cisco for this young woman, and he saw her glance at the clock before uttering a small squeak and rushing out of his office, leaving her iPod behind. She was gone before he could give it back to her and out of sight before he could get to the door.
With a sigh he turned back to the piles of paperwork, and began to sort through them, until curiosity got the better of him and he looked at the iPod, inserted an earbud, and hit play. Within minutes he had figured out this was a book, a rather humorous one, and though he tried to focus on the work before him he found himself quickly engrossed in the story laughing out loud at several parts and cheering on the main character. Before he knew it the sun was coming up, the paperwork was either filed, signed, or trashed, and the iPod's battery was nearly dead. He carefully placed it in his desk, locking it, and covering the working prototype on his desk he went off to catch some sleep before he had to present to a crowd of upper level management, which he half expected them to come about as a failure.