Even The Most Masked Of Men Become Themselves Behind Closed Doors
rating: +110+x

This was a bad idea.

Travis knew it. Kate knew it.

But it was already too late to turn back. The two junior researchers crouched outside of Dr. Cimmerian's office, at 10:30 at night. They switched between looking back at each other, and looking down the hall both ways to see if anyone was coming. It was a safety precaution, but it doubled as an excuse not to open the door too.

"Go on, just open it already!" Travis said as he surveyed his surroundings for the fifth time.

"I can't," Kate replied, "you have the keys."

"Oh, right right."

Travis finally pulled out the key chain he and Kate nabbed from the custodian's closet earlier that week. See, this whole operation had been planned out for a solid month. It first formulated when Travis noticed that, every time he showed up a few minutes early for a meeting with the good doctor, Cimmerian would always be writing something out by hand. He'd always put it away before Travis could get close enough to read it too.

Travis brought it up in a few discussions he had with Kate during lunch, and eventually the hand written papers became the subject of increasingly ridiculous hypotheticals: love letters to a soul mate who is just out of reach, a will that he can't seem to get right, or maybe he was just practicing his handwriting. All of these came out of little inside jokes that Kate and Travis would make about the mysterious things that Cimmerian wrote about behind closed doors.

Fast forward twenty-four days or so, and the curiosity had become so strong that the two Junior researchers just had to know what it was Cimmy boy was writing. It was the sort of curiosity that defies logic, much like the plans that sprout from it.

This brings us up to speed to Travis now slowly turning the key.

"Strange… I'm not feeling the lock click."

"Maybe he forgot to lock it before he left?"


Travis shrugged and opened the door.

The office inside was quite plain and bland. A single desk with a monitor on top was positioned in front of a large window overlooking the expansive parking lot. And that was it.

Travis and Kate walked behind the desk. Together, they started opening drawers. The first desk drawer contained five loose-leaf sheets of paper, each filled with immaculately written cursive letters (so much for the penmanship theory). Travis picked them up, and handed a few to Kate.

"Is this…"

"I think it is."

Dr. Everwood closed the door behind her. The click of the lock echoed off the office walls.

"You know, I haven't done it in this office yet," Gears mused from behind his desk.

"Let's take it out for a test run then," Everwood replied as Gears began to unzip his[…]

Kate and Travis put down their respective sheets at the same time.

"Maybe he wrote something else?" Travis asked.


"Can't hurt to look."

Travis opened the second drawer. He was greeted with a document cover reading: LEVEL 4 CLASSIFIED. Kate slammed the drawer shut again, almost crushing Travis' fingers in the process.

"What did you do that for?"

"We're not here to look at classified documents!"

"I mean… yeah. Just yeah."

It was around this point that the severity of this violation became apparent. Information Security violations at the Foundation are probably the second fastest way to lose your job right behind straight up causing a containment breach.

"We really shouldn't be in here," Travis said at last.

"An astute observation if I do say so myself."

The two junior researchers looked up to see the silhouette of one Jeremiah Cimmerian standing in the doorway. He had his arms crossed, his brow raised, and his brows furrowed.

"Oh shit," Kate muttered.

"Oh shit is right," Cimmerian responded, "I don't need to tell you how deep that shit is, do I?"

Travis and Kate swallowed in unison. Cimmerian flipped on the light switch, and sauntered over to the two junior researchers. He looked at the papers they had placed on his desk.

"Did you two really come in here… just to read my senior staff slashfic?"

Kate started, "I mean—"

"Yes. Yes we did."

Cimmerian just shook his head at the ground.

"Umm… can I just ask a question?" Travis said.

"You aren't exactly in any position to ask questions."

"Why? Why smut? Don't you have a degree in English or something?"

Cimmerian couldn't help but crack a smile.

"That's your question?"

"We're screwed anyways… so yeah."

Cimmerian pulled out the chair that was still tucked away underneath his desk, and took a seat. Then motioned for the two junior researchers to move, so they shuffled around to the front of the desk.

"You see, I spend a lot of my day writing and reading reports detailing research and casualty counts and budgets. It all becomes quite grating after a while, you know?"

Travis and Kate both nod.

"So, I write about a fictional universe. A good way to take a break from this real one."

The three just stood there, each looking around at each other, waiting for someone to do or say something to conclude these nighttime shenanigans. Eventually Cimmerian just waved them off, and, after taking another look at each other, Kate and Travis scampered away.

After he was certain no one was looking, Cimmerian reached into the second drawer and checked to make sure all of the papers were there as well. They were. He sighed with relief. He wouldn't know what to do if they got to the "Clef, Kondraki, and a 20oz Aquafina Water Bottle. Part 2.".

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