Excruciating Headaches

“Well it was totally his fault anyway.”

Waka made a face. “It was YOUR fault, you—”

“—no, if you hadn’t—”

“—saved your stupid ass, I—”

“—made a complete fool of yourself—”

“Boys,” Titus tapped his pen impatiently against his desk, “what exactly is the problem here?”

Daku and Waka looked guiltily at each other.

“We won’t go into the details, Prince,” Daku started, “but that fact of the matter is—”

“—you’re gonna need a new lifeguard station,” Waka finished.

Titus’ eyes narrowed. He wondered if it was possible to dock someone’s pay when they were working for free.

* * *

Sobre peeked out the window of Titus’ office. “Why are those sharks that’re working on the lifeguard station chained to a rock?”

Titus frowned. “None of your business, and that’s not why you’re here, is it?”

“Aw, come on, give me a break.”

“No, Sobre.”

“I’ll give you all my booze.” Sobre paused. “Well, all my best booze, anyway.”

“Not helping, Sobre.”

“I’ll blow you?”

Titus rubbed that magic spot on the bridge of his nose that fiction will tell you eases even the most excruciating of headaches, but all it did was make his nose sore. “Why are you in my office in the first place?” he asked. “I told Teddy he could have free range with your punishments. Freed up half my workload.”

“I strung his stupid bear up the flagpole,” Sobre replied with no small measure of glee, “the fluffy one figured he’d kill me if he got a hold of me first.”

All the more reason, Titus thought to himself. He wondered if you could still send people to the salt mines for misbehaviour. Have Valerie check out nearby hard labour camps he wrote on the lined yellow notepad in front of him.

* * *

“So that’s why Edgar needs to come over every night from now on and I need a pay raise for lube,” Noah finished. “Hey, what happened to your wall?”

“A very bad but supremely satisfying idea.” Titus wasn’t even bothering to lift his head anymore, he just lay it on his desk, defeated. “Fleance is young and maybe a little gullible, not retarded. Think of your own excuse or sneak around behind his back like a normal person.”

“What about the raise?”

Titus twisted his head around just enough to give Noah a good, hard glare. Noah didn’t seem to notice.

* * *

“So I picked it up for you,” Ice said, closing the door behind him. “Don’t know why you’d ever need this much vegetable oil, though.”

Titus snored softly in response.

“Geeeeez, ask a guy to do a favour for you and then fall asleep before he gets back?” Ice grinned a little and grabbed the blanket Valerie kept stashed on top of the bookcase, draping it over Titus’ shoulders and bunching some of it under his head. He got some drool on his fingers and made a face as he wiped them off on Titus’ sleeve.

Ice nabbed some of the candies out of Titus’ desk drawer before he left. Compensation, he figured.

Ooo, black licorice.

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