I used to be in the Channel Awesome fandom way back when. There was a kinkmeme. I began to write fic for it until I realized I never watched romcoms and therefore my knowledge of matchmaking tropes was pretty much zilch. So this fic will forever be unfinished, but I enjoyed the part that I did write.
Nostalgia Chick glared at the vending machine, willing the Twix bar to magically unstick itself from where it was wedged between the shelf and the glass. She was thankful for the reprieve from the overstuffed, sweltering, BO-filled hotel room, but she needed her chocolate fix. With the week she’d had, she deserved her chocolate fix.
After the unmitigated disaster that was Kickassia, the first thing that was on everyone’s mind was getting the hell away from everyone else involved. Sure, they all liked each other, even if the sentiment was generally buried under death threats, kidnappings, and general misanthropy more often than not; it was just that they never really got together without everything descending into complete and utter chaos. It was the sort of thing that made it really difficult to appreciate her fellow critics.
Unfortunately, getting twenty-odd reviewers home on short notice took a lot more coordinating than getting them all to Reno in the first place. Without Molossia, the only place they had to go was the hotel room they’d all grown to loathe; it would be days before most of them were able to get flights out. They were making the best of it, but no amount of running up the Critic’s bill on room service and pay-per-view would make the sleeping arrangements anything short of horrendous.
So here she was, kicking a vending machine in an admittedly nice hotel until her candy bar dropped, coincidentally dislodging a similarly stuck pack of gum on the way down. She eschewed her victory dance in favor of unwrapping the chocolate, leaning against the vending machine and listening to other late-night wanderers walking down the hall and using the ice machine around the corner.
Chick raised her eyebrow at Linkara’s voice. Apparently she wasn’t the only one escaping into the halls that night.
The ice machine turned off. “Hey. What are you doing up?”
“I couldn’t sleep. Saw you going out.” There was a pause filled with the sound of someone shifting uncomfortably. “Are you okay?”
“Oh, yeah, never better.” Whatever Linkara might’ve said to that was cut off by a hiss of pain. The quiet that followed practically dripped guilty awkwardness.
As the silence stretched on, Chick peeked around the corner. Spoony had his head tilted back, face a mask of pained relief as he held a bag of ice to his forehead. Linkara was watching him concern and…
Back during the Brawl, Spoony and Linkara had started on a weird, mutual attraction thing. Neither of them had seemed to notice it, even as a series of bets started among the rest of the group. When neither had shown any signs of it this year, Chick had figured they’d either gotten over it or gotten it out of their systems. Judging by the longing on Linkara’s face, all that had happened over the past year was that at least one of them had realized the lay of the land. Which meant that, now that there wasn’t anything important happening, things could be potentially awkward or entertaining. Probably both.
Spoony straightened from his slump against the wall, and Chick pulled back around the corner just before he spoke. “I’m gonna crash in the chairs by the elevator. Interested?”
“Hell yes. If I hear one more person snoring tonight…”
The two of them wandered off, their banter dulled by exhaustion. Chick listened until they were out of hearing, finishing her chocolate meditatively. She wasn’t sure if she wanted another year of watching those two fumble towards whatever they were aiming for. On the other hand, the two of them attracted more weirdness than most of the reviewers put together; getting them together could make things exponentially worse. Of course, she wasn’t around them that often, so she could enjoy the effects the best way possible: from safe pointing and laughing distance.
Besides, she was bored.
Mind made up, Chick stepped into the hallway. She glanced towards their room, then turned to walk the opposite direction. Maybe she would be lucky enough to find an unlocked supply closet to curl up in; Linkara wasn’t the only one sick of listening to snoring.
* * *
The Cinema Snob had realized quickly that “Hilarity Ensues” would be added to the description of anything that happened these past couple of weeks. Take over a micronation and warp it into their image? Hilarity Ensues. Attempt to throw a coup after the initial coup proved successful? Hilarity Ensues. Go to the casino after getting back to the hotel? Hilarity Ensues. Selling the twenty tons of dynamite in order to pay off the damage after hilarity ensued in the casino? Hilarity Ensues. And given that the old hands from the site were just going along with it, it was clear that this was the sort of thing that always happened when they got together.
So when Chick announced her grand plan the next morning, Snob knew there was only one way it could end.