Aaand this week on Blank Mastermind Thursday, we’ll be showing half of a two-parter story.
From Dallas’s point of view (which I don’t think is something you guys have had on here before?) about his life after the events of Blank Mastermind.
In which he gets a job, and….. as the story progresses…. possibly a girlfriend.
Though there actually is an Easter egg for all you blog folks who’ve been around a while. By my count, the reader Kate Flournoy (hi kate you’re awesome) was the first official Dallas fangirl of many.
So I was wondering what to name Dallas’s potential love interest should be and was coming up blank for a while, then I decided to do a variant on Kate’s name in honor of the Dallas fangirl-dom. ❤ (Anne and Corissa, know that your names were on the list too. XD)
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this week’s story! -bows out-
Even without them being arch-nemeses, there wasn’t a whole lot of everyday things that Mr. Fernsby and Wolfgang agreed on.
But something both of them had trouble understanding was my choice to get a job at the SPI after the Hero Project crashed. Mr. Fernsby had quit his SPI supported post just about as fast as he could. Wolfgang had forgiven and everything, and Mansley wasn’t in office anymore, but his distrust of the agency still lingered quite obviously.
I didn’t bring it up around either of them, but I still thought it was a good organization at the core. It was dedicated to helping people. To keeping people safe. Admittedly they’d made some mistakes, but everyone does. And still, the majority of what they did was very helpful to society.
And if I wasn’t going to be an official sidekick anymore to do that, I could at least still help at the SPI. Every desk job counted.
I already had a bit of a background with the agency, so they trusted me with a bit of a higher up job. I was put on missions dispatching. Organizing the papers, contacting the agents and giving them the files they needed.
It wasn’t what Wolfgang would really call “exciting”.
But I really liked it. It was helping people. It was doing something important without having to go to big meetings and speak in front of people. The branch director said I was a hard worker and he’d never had a better dispatcher.
Plus, I actually had a few people I knew in nearby offices, so it was nice.
Though any ambiguity I thought of having in the general office was sort of impaired by the visits I got.
I liked Mr. Fernsby stopping by to say hi. Even if it did connect for all the new workers that I was his former sidekick, I didn’t mind.
It was a bit more awkward when Mr. News occasionally came by to give me ice cream with my lunch. I never asked for it. And he was a bit of an intimidating person to just come walking in. But at least he was very friendly and polite with everybody. And I didn’t mind having ice cream sometimes.
I . . . I wouldn’t say anything to anyone in a million years, but I was almost sure Wolfgang’s visits were damaging to my job.
He was officially pardoned, yes. He worked for my father, granted. He was one of my best friends now, certainly. I held to those facts as solidly as ever.
Wolfgang tried. He really . . . sort of . . . did. But he sort of had a way of . . . bursting in. And ignoring the other agents. Probably mainly a side effect of the fact that he didn’t really see a need to respect the agency in the first place. He pretty much always ended up entering very loudly, with his hair as insane-looking as ever and his jacket all dirty. He’d talk too loudly and usually ended up swearing, which was against policy in the main office area.
When I was lucky, he’d catch me on lunch break or when I’d gone outside for a walk. Most of the time, though, it ended up being inside. And for the next few days afterwards I’d have people giving me odd looks and asking if I was actually friends with “the Wolf”.
It made me even more thankful for the few SPI agents who actually considered his repentance legitimate
I defended him. I lost a few promotions and friends, since there were a lot of people who still considered him a criminal. But I didn’t want to make Wolfgang feel worse than he already did about his reputation, so I didn’t say anything aside from occasional reminders about his language when there were other people in the room.
He hadn’t visited in a while, but I saw him every weekend and it was really better when it wasn’t in the SPI building, so I was glad.
I sat behind my desk, organizing the few files that were supposed to go out that day. I liked to keep the papers neat and file them as soon as possible, so I’d already taken care of a few others that morning. I kept a picture of my family on one corner of my desk, and a picture of my dog, Mushroom, right next to it.
There was a picture I really liked of me with Mr. Fernsby, but I kept it in one of the cabinets I used most. So I could still look at it, but people wouldn’t ask too many questions about the Hero Project and everything that entailed.
I tapped one end of the file folder on the counter, straightening the edges of the paper before I set it down on top of the other two. Now to contact the agents they were for. Usually that was done after the lunch break.
I sat back in my chair and let out my breath, looking up at the clock and out the door to the main walkway. No one was around, really. Just the quiet work noises and smells. The hum of the copy machine, the faint smells of coffee, ink, paper and new carpet.
I touched the toes of my shoes to the carpet and pushed slightly, spinning my chair in a slow circle before facing back front.
I knew some interns who’d gotten in trouble for playing around too much with their spinny chairs. But it wasn’t against the rules to still do a single spin occasionally.
Well, I didn’t have to contact the agents yet. I could go see if they needed any help anywhere else. There was always a lot to do in the copying department. Or I could volunteer as a server in the cafeteria.
That was partly what I liked about the SPI. There was always something helpful to do.
I stood up to go grab my jacket from the hook by the door, but my steps faltered at a few noises in the hall.
Someone moving down the hallway . . . a little quicker than they probably should. A bump, and a few words.
A swear word and “excuse me”.
I let out my breath and backed up so I could close the door after he came in.
Actually, with how few people there were around, this was probably one of Wolfgang’s better-timed visits.
Another second and Wolfgang rounded the corner into my little office area. White drywall powder had turned his hair an odd color and dusted his black jacket almost grey. He had a red handkerchief wrapped around his left hand and was holding it to his chest, his face notably paler than normal. Though that might have been drywall dust too.
“Dall . . .?” his gaze went to my empty chair first before he realized I was standing just by the door. He let out his breath, stepping in further. “****, I thought you might have been off for lunch already, but you weren’t outside or anything and I . . .”
I shook my head, closing the door behind him. “Lunch break is at twelve-thirty.”
“Right, gotcha.” Wolfgang gulped in a breath and nodded. “I’ll . . . remember that for next time.”
He’d said that before and never actually remembered. But Wolfgang was bad at remembering times and normally didn’t even try, so I was honored by the attempt.
I rubbed my hands on my jeans, looking over his drywall-covered clothes and being suddenly thankful for the fact that the carpet was grey.
“So . . . is everything alright?” I asked. He looked a little freaked out. And I still didn’t know what the handkerchief was for.
Wolfgang worked his jaw for a second before responding. “I actually sort of . . . dropped something while I was working. On my hand. And d-do you know how to tell if something’s broken or just dislocated?”
I blinked, looking down at the handkerchief again. I noticed for the first time the darker bloodstains against the red fabric. “I . . . might.”
“News is out of town,” Wolfgang continued, his words running together in the rush to get them out. “And I . . . ****, I really don’t want to cause your dad any more trouble than I have to if it’s just not that big of a deal . . .” he ran his good hand over his hair, tugging at it and poofing white dust into the air.
“Can I see your hand?” I asked, tipping my head in a nod.
“Yeah, yeah . . .” Wolfgang dropped his other hand back down and unwrapped the kerchief. “Not sure which it is. And I mean, I got the drywall job done anyway and covered up the blood, but it hurts like he**.”
The red cloth fell away to show his bloodstained hand and he held it up to show. His middle finger angled awkwardly to one side and a cut slashed across a few of his knuckles.
I winced just looking at it. “Ouch.”
Wolfgang bit his lip and I could see that his hands were shaking. “Yeah.” He gave a strained little laugh. “And of course it would be my middle finger, right?”
It took me a second to remember what he was talking about. I nodded, stepping forward to look closer at his hand. “I guess you won’t be . . . doing . . . that again any time soon . . .”
His forced smile dropped. “So it’s broken?”
“I . . . um . . . I’m not sure. I need to look closer. Would you mind if I . . .?” I held out my hand towards his. “Just feel it for a little bit? I’ll be careful.”
Wolfgang hesitated a few seconds, then held out his hand, wincing.
I carefully took it, some of the blood smudging off on my hand as I looked closer. I looked at the knuckle where his finger went sideways. Definitely at least dislocated. Hopefully not broken . . . Carefully, I felt the knuckle with my fingertips.
Wolfgang jumped and cursed loudly, yanking his hand back.
I jumped at the sudden reaction and reflexively threw my hands up.
“Holy smoke, that hurts . . .” Wolfgang sucked in a breath through his gritted teeth, rubbing at the back of his hand and closing one eye in a wince.
“I-I . . . think it’s dislocated,” I stammered. “Just . . . by the way it’s at the knuckle. Did you hit it sideways?”
Wolfgang looked down, turning his hand a little. “Yeeaah, kind of . . .”
“Well, I could try, but I haven’t done it a lot. I think you could probably go to Mr. Fernsby and he’d know how to get it back in. Or, Mrs. Fernsby knows how, I think. And she’s home right now so maybe you could . . .”
A hesitant knock against the wood of my door cut off my words.
Wolfgang and I both froze for a few seconds.
“I’d probably better . . . um . . .” Wolfgang pulled the handkerchief back around his hand, biting his tongue to muffle a curse.
I swallowed and cleared my throat, raising my voice a little. “Wh-who is it?”
The door creaked open slightly. “It’s Kaity, from communications,” the small voice took on a questioning tone. “Is now a bad time . . . or . . . ?”
I’d talked to Kaity before. She was one of the agents around my age in the division and I knew she didn’t have anything against Wolfgang. So, if it had to be anybody, she was probably the best agent it could have been.
“No, it’s okay,” I replied. “Come ahead.”
Wolfgang backed up, putting his hand behind his back and looking between the door and me.
Kaity poked in, her mop of short, blonde curls flopping to the side as she tilted her head. She slid in, scooting her bare feet across the carpet. A pale yellow file folder was clutched to her chest. She looked up, towards me first, then quickly glancing over at Wolfgang. Her eyebrows went up.
“Oh! Mr. Dankworth, hello . . . I mean . . . I didn’t know you were in here, sir.” She clutched the side of her small skirt and dipped in a curtsy. “Though, that . . . would explain the cursing I heard . . .” she laughed a little, slipping the folder onto my desk.
Wolfgang’s surprise abated a little and he chuckled, though his expression was still tense with pain. “Not really Dallas’s thing, no.”
“Oh, no. He’s very good about the . . . rule following,” Kaity bobbed her head in a nod and twisted a piece of her hair around her finger. She glanced over at me for a second, then quickly looked back down at the floor.
I rubbed at the back of my neck, glancing down at the folder. “So, that’s . . . something from communications?”
“Yes, yes, yes . . .” she reached over and flipped open the folder. “See, two of the missions you got this morning . . . Robinson and Bellamy . . . the contact information was changed recently and they didn’t make it into the mission folder. So if you went with the contact info you had . . .” she looked up at me and gestured a little. “You’d get the wrong agents and that would be . . .”
“Not up the SPI level of professionalism,” I agreed, leaning over to look at the new information.
“Exactly,” Kaity twisted her hair again, nibbling on the ends of one curl. “I’m just glad I double checked it.”
I nodded, moving over to behind the desk to fix the files I had there. I looked back up, giving a polite smile. “Thank you, Miss Kaity.”
Her face reddened a little and she smiled back, glancing over at one of the cabinets instead after a second. “No problem.”
She coughed a little in the back of her throat and brought her hands down to twist in her skirt. Honestly, sometimes I thought she was more of a fidgeter than even Wolfgang. “Hey, so . . . were you going to go out in the courtyard again today to eat your lunch? I mean, I just . . . might have more information on the agent contacts and . . . that stuff.”
I didn’t look up from my quick rearranging of the papers. “I was actually going to volunteer in the cafeteria, so I’ll be eating my lunch late. Do you think you could just drop the information back here on my desk if it’s not too much trouble? I’ll leave the door open.”
“Oh. Um . . . sure thing.” She nodded again to me, then to Wolfgang. “Guess I’ll . . . see you later then. Bye.” Giving a tiny wave, she slipped back out the door.
“Bye,” I responded before the door closed. I continued shuffling the papers apart. The people putting together the missions would have to be more careful. This was the third time this week Kaity’s had to come with corrections . . .
I heard a small noise like a quiet laugh and looked up.
Wolfgang was smiling at me. A mischievous, sideways grin like he’d just learned some big secret.
I furrowed my brow, stopping and flipping the file shut. “What?”
He laughed, coming over to elbow me in the ribs. “Dallas, you little charmer. I bet all you’ve just enchanted all the girls in the building with those . . .” he put on a wistful expression and batted his eyelashes. “ . . . dreamy green eyes of yours.”
I just stared, not comprehending what he was talking about. “I’m sorry?”
“That Kaity-girl is totally enamored with you, Dall. How could you not see that?” Wolfgang’s grin got bigger and he laughed again.
Kaity . . . liking me?
My stomach did a nervous flip and I felt my face get red against my willing of it not to. I quickly looked back down, focusing on rearranging the next file.
“I mean, she’s cute, too. Just around your age, with that fluffy hair and the little flowery dress.”
I slapped the file closed and stuck it on top of the other one.
“And she’s . . . what? . . . five-foot nothing? Not a lot of girls that you could tower over like that, y’know.”
I shut one of the desk drawers louder than necessary and bit my lip.
Kaity was . . . nice, that was for sure. And she was very diligent about delivering reports and always saying good morning. She . . . sometimes sat nearby at lunch. And now that I thought about it, she had proposed some rather strategically confusing ways we could have our departments linked closer together for more efficiency . . .
Had I really been that oblivious and . . . rude? Rude to Kaity?
But this was a job. I wasn’t supposed to have to worry about being rude to girls who liked me . . . I barely even had experience with this sort of thing . . .
I felt my ears burning and swallowed, smacking another drawer shut.
“And the little fidgets while she was asking to have lunch together . . . seriously. Adorable.” Wolfgang chuckled, patting my shoulder with his good hand. “You should ask her out or something.”
“I-I’ll th-think about it,” I said through clenched teeth, starting towards the door and trying to keep my back straight, hiding any hint of embarrassment.
Wolfgang walked next to me, still grinning so big it seemed like his finger wasn’t even hurting anymore.
There was a second of quiet, filled by the sound of the creaking door as I pulled it open again.
“Man I just . . . I love it more the more I think about it,” Wolfgang remarked. “You and that tiny little bit. You guys would be adorable together. Tell me how things work out.”
“Mmhmm.” I nodded absently, biting my tongue.
He started out the door, but I grabbed his arm. “Hold on. Can I see your finger for another second, please?”
Wolfgang frowned as he turned. “Uh, sure . . .” he held up his hand slowly.
Before he had time to realize what I was doing, I grabbed his wrist with one hand and his finger with the other quickly adjusting to the right angle and giving it a vicious yank.
It was one time I actually found some satisfaction in hearing Wolfgang swear.
Hope you all enjoyed! We’ll be back next week with Wolfgang’s devious plans…. -evil cackle-
See ya next time, and have a good Thursday,
P.S. alsoooo new this week. I am now on Pinterest, if anybody wants to see the storyboards and stuff I’m putting together there. x3 Here’s my account: https://www.pinterest.com/writefury/