Websites: http://www.angelfire.com/grrl/scribescribbles and http://www.angelfire.com/grrl/foxluver
Warnings: My version of Tom is a bit campy, so if that bothers you--too bad.
Notes: Takes place before Bridget Jones' Birthday. To the best of my knowledge Tom's current job (or lack there of) was never mentioned in the movie (No, I can't remember it from the book, and yes, I know he'd been a 'one hit wonder' pop singer), so I'm giving him one, since I figured royalties wouldn't support him in the lifestyle he'd like. And I gave his song a title: The Right Side of a Good Thing. I got this, believe it or not, from a font site. They havephrases to showcase each font, and I was intrigued by how bizarre and interesting some were. I hope some day to do a 'Font Sample Series'. I just wish I remembered what font I got this title from.
Terms: 'fagged out' is British for totally exhausted. Gadfly--1. A persistent irritating critic; a nuisance. 2. One that acts as a provocative stimulus; a
Notes: This happens before Bridget Jones' Birthday--Tom's Diary
Bridget Jones' Office Hazard, from Tom's Diary
Well, dear diary, another day comes to an end and yours truly is truly fagged out--but pleasantly so. I'm relaxed, tired, and just a little bit, deliciously achey, for the best possible reason, if you get my drift.
It started typically enough. I got up a bit early. How ANYONE functions before ten-thirty is beyond my grasp, but I suppose that massive amounts of caffiene help. Since I had no toothsome houseboy to bring me a cup of double espresso in bed, I had to haul myself up and stagger downstairs to the coffee bar next door. Trina, bless her heart, saw me coming and had a cup of adrenaline and a nice scone waiting on the counter before my bottom hit the stool.
That started my heart nicely. Half-way through the cup, my higher brain functions kicked in, and I was able to dish the dirt with Tina for a few minutes and sound more like a gadfly than a nitwit. Generally I like chatting with Tina. She can be delightfully catty. Unfortunately the little dear doesn't even keep her claws sheathed from whoever she's meowing with. If one wants the goods, one must be willing to bear an occasional stripe. This morning it was my turn. She batted big eyes at me and said, "How's your love life, Tom?"
If anyone ever tells me that I have no self-control, I will remind them that I did not nail her with my cup. I gritted my teeth. "The same as it was the last time you asked, and the time before--piss poor."
"What's it been--three weeks? I would've thought that Rory would have come crawling back by now."
"He did. He showed up at the flat two days ago."
"So? If he came crawling back, why didn't you take him in?"
"Because he came crawling back literaly on hands and knees, reeking of booze and even more noxious liquids. I wouldn't have minded that, but he also smelled of curry and Shalimar, and he had lipstick everywhere."
Tina gaped. "He went over to a female?"
"Lord, no. He'd been with that Pakistani transvestite he'd shacked up with last time. I wouldn't mind so much if the bint showed a little taste, but my
GOD--she wears saris with platform shoes, and blue glitter eyeshadow. Blue glitter eyeshadow is not acceptable anywhere outside a drag show."
"So why haven't you been making the rounds of the clubs, Tom? You've never really had trouble picking up a bit here and there."
I sighed. "I've been tired lately, pet. Oh, I'm not giving up the hunt--not by a long chalk--but I need a little rest. And quite frankly, I'm getting a little bit jaded about the fact that the thing that lands them is almost always that bloody song." I smoothed my hand. "I'd like to be desired for my body instead of my talent occasionally."
She laughed. "Only you, Tom."
I smirked. "Yes, I'm unique."
Well, being reminded of my reluctantly celibate state had put a bit of a damper on my morning, so I decided to cheer myself up. That meant one of two things--being that sex was one of the problems, that meant SPENDING! Luckily another royalty check had come in (God bless adverts--selling out to crass commercialism will keep me for a long, long time).
I hit the shops. Since it was dead of winter, they were promoting the spring fashions--lovely light colors like Butter Yellow, Fresh Cantelope, and Lilac. I simply BINGED on shirts, and they even had matching socks. I was going to be sartorially splendid. I added a scrumptuous pair of Italian shoes, and I was just about to walk out when my eyes were caught by a blaze of pure white.
I succumbed. Yes, I know that white pants are very hard to pull off, but I can do it, darling. How could I resist them? I tried on a pair, and it was as if a platoon of tiny tailor elves had slaved and stitched for days, just for me. They did not pinch, they allowed me to bend and move comfortably with no danger of violating decency codes, but they held my bum as lovingly as the best lover I'd ever had. My ass may not quite be up to Jean Claude Van Damme standards, but I've been told that it's quite nice. *sigh* I just haven't heard it very often LATELY. So, once I was loaded with my spoils I had to finish the ritual. I had to share. I was only a few blocks away from Bridget's publishing house, so I tripped over there.
It was it's usual state of semi-controled chaos. Bridget looked her usual cute as a button. Daniel Cleaver was oozing his usual slightly debauched, casual gorgeousness. I didn't know whether to be chirked up or more depressed. Bridget rose from her desk to greet me. I set my bags down, and we did the kisskiss, grip your shoulders hug. "I come bearing trophies. The hunt was good."
"Smashing." She peeked into one bag. "Oh, look at the colors. Do I get a fashion show?"
"If I can borrow the men's loo."
"Someone might walk in on you."
"Darling, that's an incentive rather than a barrier."
She glanced over my shoulder and murmured, "Oh, oh. Titzpervert alert."
A middle aged man, in shirt and vest, rimless glasses perched low on his nose, came up to the desk. "Jones, the copy machine is bollocksed up again. You'd better call the support service." He gave me a slightly acerbic glance. "Bring a Friend to Work Day?"
I smiled charmingly. "There were reports of an unwholesome atmosphere in this office. I'm here to remedy that, because I'm just a little ray of sunshine." That got me a raised eyebrow and a grunt.
Bridget said, "I'll take a look at it."
"Bridget, you're a charming young woman, but your electronic and mechanical skills are shaky at best. Call support."
"But Kenneth, the last two times they sent Clarice out it took her five minutes to fix it, and they never charge for less than an hour."
"Still, we can't risk vital equipment by having an amature attempt repairs."
"She told me that a chimpanzee with a screwdriver could have fixed it. A particularly dim witted chimp, at that."
He gave her a look similar to one that a stern headmaster might level at a first year student attempting to do brain surgery. "Call Clarice... I mean the service, Bridget." He gave me another look. I smiled charmingly. He grunted and left the room.
Bridget rolled her eyes. "God."
"Oh, I don't know. He's kind of cute, in a panda-bearish way."
"Tom, please, my stomach. In any case I wasn't talking about his dubious physical charms. I meant his insistance on calling in a repair."
"But surely it's in the company's best interest to be sure that a trained technician..."
"Were you listening, Tom? -I- could probably fix the bloody thing. Clarice told me that you just have to remove the flap thingy, then tighten the third
screw because the guide works loose and the papers jam. And if the company was REALLY concerned about saving money they wouldn't have brought an offbrand copier in the first place. We'd have a Xerox, or a Canon, or a HP..."
I blinked. "A Harry Potter?"
Bridget closed her eyes for a moment, then smiled, patting my cheek. "Hewlet Packard, my techno-challenged friend. No, Titzpervert isn't insisting on calling an expert because of any concern for company property. It's just that he fancies our assigned technician--Clarice."
"Ooooh." I did my best Hannibal Lector voice. "Clariiice."
Bridget's shoulders jerked. "Stop it, Tom. It's a little sad, actually. Every time she wiggles in here in her tight, pristine little white jumper, old
Titzpervert practically drools down his chin. He likes to hang about and 'supervise', hand her tools and all that. How the woman can work with the
weight of his stare on her ass, I'll never know. God, you can see his fingers twitching some time. I wouldn't put it past him to have jammed up the thing himself." She picked up the phone. "I suppose I'll have to call."
I grabbed up one of my bags. "Well, while you're bothering her, I'll start the fashion show."
I trotted to the lavatory and got into the dreamy white pants. I chose a pastel pink shirt to go with it. I looked like Don Johnson during his Miami Vice heyday. Well, all right--I looked like a strawberry icecream cone--but that's cool and delicious, right? I went back out to Bridget's desk, stood before her, and did a slow twirl.
I did not get the proper admiration that I had been expecting. She was still on the phone. "But... but... Clarice, please. It won't work, and we NEED it. This place will go down the tubes if... Why not?" She listened. "Clarice, I hardly think that your boss will want you to take time off during the work day to shampoo your hair. If you'll just..." I heard the click from where I was standing. She was rubbing her ear as she hung up. "Apparently she COULD feel the weight of his gaze on her bum, at least the last time. She won't come in, and their only male tech can't get here till tomorrow. What am I going to do?"
"I'll take a wild guess--wait till tomorrow?"
"Tom, Titzpervert's special reason for making the call aside, we DO need that copier ASAP." She stamped her foot. "What can I DO?"
"Your best imitation of a particularly dim witted chimpanzee?"
"I suppose you're right." She opened her desk drawer and pawed through the clutter, finally coming up with a couple of screwdrivers. She held them up, one in each hand, as if presenting weapons. "Flat head and Philips. Come on, Tom. I'll want moral support."
I followed her. "If you mean you need me to rah-rah, of course. If you want me to stand by and pontificate on the dangers of sin and debauchery--I'm all for them."
The copier was operated in its own little room, in solitary splendor. It sat against the side wall, so that if someone were to get down to work on it, their legs wouldn't be sticking out the door (but it would be better if no one else wanted to get inside).
Bridget knelt down in front of the machine, and immediately impressed me by popping off the front panel. I bent into the room, peering curiously. I'd
never seen the inards of a copier before. "Darling, should it be that empty? There's a HUGE amount of open space down there."
"Well, they have to have it up where it's easy to use, don't they? If everyone had to get down into this position every time they wanted to make copies there'd be a damn sight fewer copies made."
She'd poked her head into the machine. She was only visible from the waist down, and her bottom was jutting in a manner that would have had my heart racing--if I hadn't known she had XX chromosomes. "I don't know. If there were more people spending time in that position, it might make things a lot more interesting." Bridget groped back and got hold of the flat head screwdriver, and began poking about.
After a moment, a short, plump woman came panting up behind me. "Bridget, Bridget!"
"No, dear, but she's here." I stepped away.
The woman peered into the room. "Bridget?"
*clank* "Ow! What is it, Ellen?"
"It's that Cooking with the Spirits author. She said that she did a consultation, and her guide tells her that on no account is she to do any public
*CLANG* "SOD IT!" Bridget pulled out, rubbing her head. "But that will be the kiss of death for the book. She has to know that."
"Perhaps she's been sampling her materials?" I suggested.
Bridget gave me a blank look. "Don't babble, Tom."
"Well, if she's been over-indulging in spirits..."
"Not Cooking With Spirits, Tom--Cooking With THE Spirits. She's supposed to be a medium. Claims to have collaborated with famous passed over cooks like Mrs. Beaton, Larousse, James Beard..."
"Ah. How very New Age."
"I've got to take care of this." She crawled to her feet. "I have to take care of this." She looked at the open machine. "But I have to take care of that, too." She looked at Ellen. She looked at the machine. She looked at Ellen. She looked at me.
"Pleeeease, Tom. It's easy. You just have to remove the flap thingy, then tighten the third screw..."
"Why am I thinking that 'screw' is an appropriate word here?"
"Tom, I REALLY need to get this taken care of--both of this... of these... See? I'm so upset I'm stumbling verbally."
"And how is this new?"
"Toooooom..." She was bouncing in place.
I sighed. "Sod it. Get out of there so I can get in, and give the screwdriver."
She did, kissing me on the cheek. "I owe you one!"
"Make it Mister February on the Chippendales calender. And if I get ONE dust smudge on these pants..."
"I'll pay for the laundry, I promise."
"To hell with that, Bridget, dear. You'll take them to the shop and either talk them into exchanging, or buy me a new pair." I waved at her. "Toddle on and try to talk sense to Martha 'Call Me Gypsy' Stewart."
She hurried off, chattering to Ellen. I gingerly got down on my knees and eased my head into the machine. I'll give them one thing, they had the good sense to have an itty-bitty, teeny-tiny service light inside. I found the flap thing she'd been talking about. I couldn't quite reach it the way I was, so I eased in a little farther. Luckily the opening was wide enough for me to fit my shoulders in. I started working the screws loose. I heard footsteps approaching, stopping at the door behind me. I waited for Bridget to say something, working busily at the screws.
A deep voice behind me purred, "Hello, Clarice. How lovely to see you."
I didn't quite bang my head, but I had to choke down a combination giggle-groan. I was trying to decide how to let him know his mistake. I wasn't quite fast enough.
"I hope you've been considering what we talked about the last time you were here. I can't begin to express my admiration, and I was just thinking that a few drinks, a nice dinner, and a little dancing would be nice. No strings attatched." A big hand gave my bum a firm squeeze. "Unless you'd like."
God, that thing had scant head clearance. I backed out slowly, rubbing my head, and raised up on my knees, twisting around to look back. It was Fitzherbert, all right, and he looked more shocked than I felt. I put a hand on my hip, raising an eyebrow. mouth was hanging open. He looked rather cute like that, and I couldn't help it. I've always been an incorrigible flirt, and he didn't really look like the sort who'd bounce my head around. I smiled. "I'm sorry about the mistake, you old darling, you." His mouth snapped shut, and he kept staring. I began to wonder if I ought to get someone to ring for the trauma unit.
Then he said, "So does that mean you aren't interested in the date?"
So now I have to tell Bridget that the 'Titzpervert' nickname isn't completely appropriate. Maybe 'Dickspervert?'