David K. Webster liked to think that he was an intellectual. Hell, he liked more than to just think—he knew he was. He saw no problems with the fact he was comfortable with it, either. At least, usually. He tended to have the bad habit of focusing on idle thoughts for entirely too long. The more he wanted to NOT think about something the more he discovered, of course, that he could only focus on the one damn thought he was so desperate to avoid. It didn't help that Leckie had left him on his own in this after dropping that bombshell on him. Not that he needed Leckie for everything, just that—damn it, this was all his fault in the first place and now he wasn't even there to distract Webster from himself.
"What the fuck's wrong with you?"
Webster didn't even bother to look up from his notes, not taking the bait as he continued to idly flip through the papers in his hand over and over. He didn't so much as acknowledge Liebgott's presence besides a dryly raised brow which was quickly obscured by the manila pad of paper in his hand and an equally dry, “I'm not in the mood for our usual throws so please amuse yourself."
"Jesus, fine, you ain't doin’ me any fucking favors," Liebgott finally grunted out, far more annoyed at the silent treatment than Webster supposed he should be. "You’re only acting like a bitch just ‘cause your fucking boyfriend ain’t here."
Webster straightened and lowered the pad ever so slightly.
"Robert isn't my boyfriend and I don’t feel up to squabbling with you like a five year old today. It hardly has anything to do with him." It was extremely clear from his clipped tone that Webster was not in the mood. Translation: He mad.
Liebgott just snorted and crossed his arms, plopping into his seat and making eyes at the ceiling. "Yeah, whatever, rich boy."
For as easily as Webster could file folders away, stuffing the distraction of his angry tone of vexation in the back of his mind was not proving to be an easy task. Of course, it all came back full-circle anyways. His friends were convinced from whatever tales Leckie was weaving that he and this--he sneaked a glance and promptly returned to frowning when Liebgott met it with a barely-contained smirk--egotistical, insane, incompetent asshole. He pointedly broke the gaze and kept his eyes focused on a stain on the table. At least it wasn’t nearly as aggravating as the taxi-cab driver himself, even if someone had been lazy in cleaning it. Webster tried to think about how much that one spot bugged him. It still wasn’t enough to encompass the horrible revelation he’d previously received.
"Where the fuck are they?" Liebgott broke into the silence just when Webster's mind was going to work at being disgusted with the state of the table. He raised his eyes to find Liebgott leaning back into the chair, still smirking at him. Webster sighed—of course, give him an inch and he’d run off with a damn mile.
Webster couldn't handle it. Not right then, let alone at all. He made sure to go back to the table and, after a few moments, Liebgott went back to the ceiling more than a little huffy.
God, Webster didn't even really think Liebgott was THAT good-looking. Webster's eyes widened as he concentrated on not only derailing that train of thought but also taking apart the entire rail and selling it for scrap metal.
With suspiciously good timing Buck opened the door cautiously and tentatively, as if half-expecting them to be twin tornadoes. He actually had the audacity to stare at the relative calm of the room.
"Boys," he greeted with a polite smile, though tinged with confusion. He opened the door a little wider and turned around to whisper to whoever was there—most likely Mac.
Liebgott didn't avert his gaze from the ceiling and Buck, half-joking, half-concerned, finally entered the room. "Dear god, Webster. You killed him, didn't you?"
Liebgott raised a brow and snorted regardless, crossing his arms as he faced them.
Fuck off," he greeted breezily. Mac emerged from behind Buck, closing the door behind him.
"Uh, right." Mac placed down his frappe and opened his folder, eager to begin work and trying to look like the model law student. "Shall we just begin?"
Webster didn't like Mac much but he was grateful for the distraction.
Surprisingly enough, the whole meeting went smoothly enough to where they were able to finally settle all but a few kinks. Webster was just glad the whole damn thing was almost over. Then he could go back to his rather busy life without all this hassle. Of course, after the meeting, the first place he headed over to was a nearby bar knowing full and well that he wouldn't be seeing Leckie there. He still went anyways, the need to get drunk alone propelling him towards the giant, solid oak doors. None of it made sense. Leckie had been off-kilter in recent weeks. He wasn’t usually one to hide things but there was still a lot, Webster realized, that he didn't know about Leckie. And maybe that stung just as much as the whole Liebgott thing was confusing him.
He ordered a Jack and coke and was about to knock it back when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
He narrowed his eyes and grabbed the offending hand before turning to find Liebgott contemplative and caught.
"Mind releasing my hand?"
Webster dropped it like it was some diseased thing and shook his head, going back to his rum and coke. A lot of thoughts were vying for Webster’s tortured attention but he settled on, What the hell was that…?
Liebgott pulled up a chair like he'd been invited and ordered a drink, yanking his thumb at Webster with a loud remark of, “Put it on his tab.”
Webster rolled his eyes but just went with it. He welcomed the burn of alcohol down his throat. Anything to just make it all go the fuck away already.
He was just sick of thinking of Liebgott, romantically-inclined or not.
"What crawled up your ass and died?" Webster started choking even without taking a sip. He actually had to stop and wonder if Liebgott was doing all of this on purpose at this point. Judging by the way he was looking at Webster like he was fucking insane, it probably wasn't intentional.
Webster actually contemplated just leaving but finally instead worked his mouth around the words demanding, "And you care why?"
Liebgott shrugged and returned easily enough, "What? I can't ask you a damn question?"
Webster sighed loudly with emphasis.
"I don't see why it's any of your business, to be honest," he retorted. "Does it really upset you this much to not have a sparring partner?"
"Hey, I'm a fucking gentleman, you asshole," Liebgott returned with clear offense and rising up from his chair, the bartender looked their way suspiciously before going back to the regulars. Liebgott sat down. Webster just focused on emptying his glass.
He fought the urge to give Liebgott a pointed look and decided to just tell him about the whole damn ordeal--hoping against hope that maybe it'd just make the whole affair melt away. Liebgott would be too disturbed to harass him further and Webster would eventually stop thinking about it and all would return to normal. Leckie would defend his honor by dutifully reporting that nothing ever came of the situation to their nosy mutual friends.
"You want to know what my problem is?" Webster challenged, taking refuge, now, in drink number two, face rising into comfortable nonchalance as he straightened to drink the rest with gusto while Liebgott waited with an impatient snort.
"Your problem is you don't drink nearly enough?" Liebgott surmised, still content with his one beer. He took a thoughtful swig. "Fuck, you're a lightweight."
"Fuck you," Webster groused, clearly sober and yet with a bit of a swagger. "I was getting to that part." He took another long drink, barely a fourth sloshing back into the tumbler. "My problem," He made a grand gesture of pointing at Liebgott but whether it was just in his usual nature or due to the alcohol, he was uncertain. "It’s you. You fucking asshole, my friends think we're going out and I don't fucking know why. We obviously hate each other--why the fuck would we be having--" He waved his arms for emphasis. "Relations? You don't even--I don't even--fuck, you're not helping. You're supposed to hate me, I'm supposed to hate you! We spent one hour arguing over car colors for chrissake. Why the hell is it--the one time Leckie leaves me and tells me, 'Hey, our friends think you guys should fuck,’--you actually act like a decent human being?"
Webster stopped his tirade and with a thoughtful pause reconsidered. "Well, somewhat decent."
Liebgott's gaze was suddenly a lot harder for Webster to read but he went back to his drink regardless, finishing it off--liquid courage making him suddenly all the more accessible.
"Leckie won't even tell me about that damn guy we ran into," he charged, raging, still perfectly eloquent despite being on the hinges of inebriation. He rose from the chair. "I don't care if it's a bad fling or anything, I just wanted to know. It's obvious the whole thing bugs him but he won't even tell me why. We're best friends, we go on vacations, we meet each other's families, my sister even wanted to go out with him at one point in time--he never keeps things from me....till now."
"Listen to yourself, two glasses of coke and jack and you're a damn girl," Liebgott cut in, though he sounded unsure of himself. "Sit down, you're making me antsy."
"I don't drink often," Webster groused, rising and adding quickly. "But enough to know when I'm not drunk, such as now."
"Right…" Liebgott stretched out the last part like he was convinced but he still had a funny look in his eyes; Webster was past caring about it. "Your friends teasing you about me and that other guy sound like pretty shitty reasons to be acting like a fourteen year old girl. Just calm down and sit down, it's not the end of the world."
"Oh, yes it is," Webster cut in, frowning deeply around the rim of his empty glass. "I can't stop thinking about it--it's been two days and all I can think of is you." Webster took a thoughtful sip of air. "And Leckie."
"Huh." Liebgott looked a little shakier and finished off his own bottle. "That so, Web?"
"You're not allowed to call me that," Webster cut in automatically, alcohol making him more offended than he should've been. Liebgott pried away the glass. "You don't believe me about my friends, do you?"
Liebgott hesitated, placing his hands in his pockets. Over all, it was getting a bit old on Webster, how odd he was being.
"Now what's the problem? You asked me to tell you and I did," Webster interjected, crossing his arms and heaving himself out of his chair. "You're acting weird."
"Jesus, what are you? My mom? It's got nothin' to do with anythin'." Liebgott didn't sound so convinced. He was suddenly avoiding Webster's gaze. "Not like I'm used to hearing all this."
"No one is," Webster deadpanned. After laying a few bills on the counter he reached for his keys in his coat pocket but Liebgott grabbed his hand. "What now?”
"You're honestly not in any condition to be driving," Liebgott commented with a note of finality. "And I'm sure all this lawsuit shit would be useless if you died before they could collect."
"Ha ha." Webster still tried to move out of his grip.
Liebgott didn't budge. "I'm serious, let me take you."
"We're both in a lawsuit because of a car crash. You really want to drive me home?" Webster pointed out, relaxing his efforts to get away. "That doesn't make any sense."
"Yeah, well, fucking nothing makes sense anymore," Liebgott commented, more than a tad bitter. He took Webster’s keys from him like it was the most natural thing in the world. "Come on, you got to get home to your boyfriend, don't you?"
"I already told you before." Webster allowed himself to be pulled along anyways, following Liebgott out the door. "Leckie's not my boyfriend. I don't have one."
Liebgott muttered something ineligible but then louder prompted, "Girlfriend, then?"
Webster stopped; the world was feeling more than a little hazy. He raised a brow, or tried to. "Not really, I'm not interested."
Liebgott didn't turn around but he did feel his hands tighten around Webster’s wrists. He blinked and stared down on them. For some reason, this whole situation struck Webster as funny for a moment and he started could feel the laughter bubble up in him.
"I don't want to be a part of this lawsuit anymore. I don't want to do any of this, really," he admitted, finding it all amusing. "You know, I only wanted this job for a year and then a year became two, and then three."
Webster blinked a few more times, trying to focus on Liebgott before him. "Yeah?"
Liebgott looked like he was considering something else before he finally settled on, "Me neither. I'm fucking sick of all of this too."
Webster found himself smiling along with him, suddenly not so sure why he was so upset at Liebgott at all.
Truthfully, Sledge didn't know what to say to Snafu anymore. He still didn't know what happened with Leyden: only that he, Babe, and Babe’s boyfriend went off back home and had just gotten back the previous Monday. Snafu had been particularity avoidant of him lately as well which, for all his usual hounding, felt weird to Sledge. Snafu only seemed to return to sleep and never stirred until Sledge had left for the day. It was...lonely for the most part. Sledge had become so used to Snafu's constant hounding that now it felt awkward to be by himself.
For once, Burgin didn't have any answers for him. He just gave Sledge a sympathetic pat on the back and told him wistfully, "He'll come around. He's just got a lot going on right now."
What, exactly, he never clarified, instead muttering something about being late for class and hurrying out the door. Christenson had about the same amount of luck as well and Jay was always so busy for some reason that Sledge never really saw him much. Considering how little he saw of the upperclassman in the first place, it was a feat.
So that left him with back with Leyden in the first place but Sledge did not want to ask. Just the idea of prompting, “Hey, Snafu's been acting weird lately ever since you asked him out?" was awkward enough to make him walk the other way when he saw Leyden race past.
Besides, Sledge and Snafu were friends, after all, or something like it, so Snafu would eventually snap out of it and get back to...being him.
At any rate, Sledge found himself staring at Snafu's back in the dark of their room, faintly making out the outline of his breathing back and realized, gnawing on his lip, that this had been the longest they'd gone without actually talking to each other in the span of their unusual friendship. Even on the few occasions they'd gotten into fights, they'd never gone this long without talking and that was even with Sid being there to drag Sledge away. This felt wrong.
Sledge tried to get some sleep before his lab that day but ended up rising from the bed later on to study. He couldn't sleep, after all, and he wasn't sure why. In his own bed, Snafu just clutched the covers closer.
Sledge raised his head at the sound of shuffling, Snafu didn't stir and he went back to his books with a frown moments later.
Leckie liked to think he was the ideal roommate. He wasn't that out-there as far as demand went; he preferred to think that he was a pretty agreeable guy, and he always had the rent on time. He liked to think that he and Webster made pretty good roommates, if only for the fact that Webster was as every bit as predictable as Leckie was. They had arrangements for when it came down to business time--Webster had himself insisted on having some kind of weird, obscure signal for when they had, as he passionately called it, 'sexual intercourse'. Leckie had simply just informed him he would just text whenever he was about to get lucky, which he supposed was his signal.
Webster's was the far more amusing, no-less-important symbol, of leaving a tie on his door. The tie specifically had little sharks swimming in the blue, polyester ocean. Leckie always suspected that he'd chosen that tie on purpose, just for shits and giggles, but he could never prove that Webster was THAT frivolous.
So nothing prepared Leckie when he got up that morning to make breakfast and found a 120 pound cabbie in boxers sorting through his pantry and cursing to himself in Yiddish. Needless to say, it woke Leckie up rather fast.
Either Liebgott was looking for ways to dispose of Webster's body or something as equally sinister and unbelievable had just happened. He was almost half-tempted to check if Webster was alive in his room when Liebgott turned, holding a box of that weird organic shit that Webster had been forcing on them. It was so clichéd that Leckie almost wondered when some zany music would start to play with the laugh track accompaniment. He had to hand it to Liebgott. The guy actually had the audacity look put-upon, like Leckie was the one who just decided to intrude on his apartment. Barely clothed, no less.
"One quick question out of the many," Leckie opened with, knowing full well that this was too bizarre to be a nightmare. "How did you get in here? I couldn't have possibly slept through the sounds of someone breaking in."
"Don't worry, I ain't stayin' for lunch," Liebgott returned evenly, sounding oddly offended. "I didn't fucking break in, Web let me in."
Leckie just kept his face blank as he inquired, "I...see? And where is dear David?"
Liebgott's nostrils flared--was that jealousy? Where the hell did that come from?
"He's showering," Liebgott dug out a bowl and poured himself some of the cereal like this wasn't an awkward situation and brushed past Leckie, carrying it to the table. "Do you fucking live here or something?"
"For the most part, yes?" Leckie answered, following him to the table and finding this all vaguely fascinating. A jigsaw of a tale was piecing itself together in his head. He tried not to think too deeply on it. "So, with this very sudden development in the trial, can I hazard to guess the lawsuit is off?"
"Hell if I know," Liebgott snorted taking a bite of the cereal in his bowl before grimacing. "Jesus, what is this? Styrofoam?"
"Wouldn't surprise me if it was," Leckie commented absently. The only thought he could really come up with was that he owed Skinny and Hoosier some very colorful texts. "You wouldn't happen to know a Sisk, would you?"
"Fuck, you do know Skinny, don't you?" Liebgott glanced over to the direction of Webster's room. "I mean, I know he knows him. Never heard that much about you, though."
"I'm flattered," Leckie said, hardly offended, brushing the comment aside. "So Skinny talked to you about Web?"
Liebgott didn't even try to hide in the cereal. Instead he just rose up with the bowl and informed, "Something like that. It was before all this shit though. Mind saving the twenty questions for later? My friend Alley's picking me up and I need to actually show up to work."
"By all means," Leckie rose from his chair, pushing it in and resolving to give Webster a very thorough, “What the HELL, man,” later, he grabbed the same box of 'Styrofoam' and filled his own bowl with a whistle. Miracles never ceased, indeed.