In Case Of Emergency
by Shrift

"I really think you'll need to take the whole thing apart," Sydney said sheepishly, twisting her hands in the bottom of her T-shirt.

"Really," Weiss said. He eyed the toilet suspiciously and rubbed his fingers through his bed hair.

"I called the twenty-four hour plumbing place, but they said, 'We can be there by Tuesday,' and when I told them that it was an emergency, they just laughed," she told him, and then wrinkled her nose. "It was very unprofessional."

He put down the toolbox, hitched up his pajama pants, and slanted her a sleepy look that clearly indicated he'd be expecting an explanation later. "You wanna talk unprofessional? I'm gonna be demanding payment in beer."

Sydney hugged him impulsively. "Thank you so much for coming over here."

He patted her on the back. "Oh, I don't think you understand. I mean beer for life."

She groaned, and then watched Weiss shuffle around and do all the esoteric things one had to do before cracking open a toilet. Like turning off the water, maybe, or... stuff.

She could totally do this herself if someone just gave her a mission debrief on the procedure, damn it.

Weiss got on his side and started doing things to the back of the toilet that involved a lot of clanking and grunting, and sometimes exclamations of, "Shit-fuck-damn-ouch!"

"Are you sure you know what you're doing?" Sydney asked, sitting cross-legged on the bath mat and propping her chin on her hand.

"The trust is gone," Weiss said from underneath the toilet.

"Hey, I trust you with my life!" she protested.

"Just not your toilet. It's okay. I understand," Weiss said. He leaned up a little and peered at her over the toilet seat. "A toilet is a precious thing to lose."

She smacked his leg. "Shut up!"

Weiss was silent for a whole minute before he said, "So, Syd..."

Sydney bit at her thumbnail nervously. "Yes?"

"At the risk of discovering too much information about a beautiful lady such as yourself..."


"Dude, what did you do to your toilet?" Weiss demanded.

"Nothing!" Sydney said.

Weiss snorted, and it echoed off the porcelain. "Were there terrorists? Some kind of crazy toilet terrorists?"

"There are no toilet terrorists," Sydney scoffed. "I don't think. Are there crazy toilet terrorists?"

"Remind me to ask Marshall tomorrow," Weiss said. "Oh, hello."

"What?" she asked, craning her neck to see what he was doing.

Weiss sat up and held out a slightly mangled Granny Smith. "Is there something you'd like to tell me?"

"I tripped," Sydney said.

"You tripped," he repeated. "And yet I still question the presence of an apple in your plumbing."

"I was juggling," she explained.

"You were juggling and you tripped," Weiss said. His eyebrows were approaching his hairline.

"It fell in the toilet while I was juggling, and I tripped over the mat," Sydney said, blushing. "It flushed."

Weiss looked at the apple, and then back at her. "You were juggling at one o'clock in the morning?"

"Um, I was bored?"

"You know what I think?" Weiss asked, sliding back under the toilet with a wrench in his hand. "I think there are easier ways to lure me to your apartment in the middle of the night."

She kicked at his ankle. "I was not --"

"Some candles, a little soft jazz on the stereo --"

"I can kill you with my bare hands, you know."

Weiss was laughing under there. "Maybe some nice frozen dinners, because I fear your cooking --"

Sydney bristled. "I can cook."

"Did you, or did you not," Weiss said, blindly groping for another wrench, "tell me that you accidentally melted your Easy-Bake oven into slag when you were eight?"

She squinted at him. "You know how I used to find it charming that you remember everything I say when I'm drunk?"

Weiss pointed the wrench at her. "Two words: inter-office memo."

For a moment, Sydney debated the merits of subjecting Weiss to an aggressive round of neurological conditioning just so he'd never be able to bring this up again, but making people forget was something she was firmly against these days. She looked at his long, solid body wedged in an uncomfortable curve around her toilet, and felt a wave of affection for the big lug.

Sydney slumped against the tub and crossed her arms. "What kind of beer do you want?"

She would just have to buy enough for two.


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