He hated shared lab spaces. There was no point to them, the people were loud, and sometimes the projects spilled over in ways that were detrimental to his own work. But there wasn’t much to do for it. This place rented by the month, and he needed space, so here he was. His own table and locking filing cabinet plus storage locker. It was incredibly basic, but it would work for now. Besides, it was surprisingly cheap. And if that meant he had to put up with the biologist that seemed to forever been dissecting something that smelled terrible (though if it was the chemicals preserving it or the specimen itself, he had no idea. He really didn’t think that plant life should be that smelly, but what did he know?), well he’d take it because he could set out his soldering iron and work on improving the wing structure on their data pods. It was good for something that had been done in the moment in the field with the available materials, but they needed something better for the next season.
He was carefully cutting several different metals into a variety of wing shapes. He would take them all to the wind tunnel that he had booked time in and see which wings and which metals seemed to work the best. He took off his leather gloves to grab his coffee cup and take a break. The intricate cuts made his fingers hurt if he did them for too long. When he blindly reached for his mug, though, he met just the surface of the filing cabinet and something wet and sticky.
“What the?” he asked, pulling his hand away from the cabinet. His hand pulled a little, causing him to put more effort into pulling away, and he toppled over, his sticky hand getting stuck right to another scientist who promptly fell over with him.
“What the hell dude?” she asked.
“Sorry,” he groaned.”
“Well, sorry doesn’t cut it. What would help, though, is getting your hand off my ass.”
“Of course!” he quickly agreed, totally unaware what his hand had been resting on.
Except it wasn’t that easy, as he tried to pull it away, it seemed that his hand was pulling her pants also.
“What are you doing?” she yelled.
“I don’t know! I think we’re stuck.”
“How?” she asked, clearly annoyed.
“I don’t know,” he sighed. “I was reaching for my coffee and instead my hand landed in something wet and sticky and when I pulled it off, it got stuck to you.”
The woman sighed. “Okay, let’s try to get up, and then we’ll deal with that.”
He nodded, and they slowly started moving around. His hand stuck to her made things a bit awkward, but eventually they were able to get up, facing each other, his arm around her waist and stuck to her ass.
“Right,” she said, brushing her hair out of her face. He was suddenly struck by her bright blue eyes and her soft looking, red lips. “I think that if you move to my side, this might be a bit easier?”
He moved like she had asked, and it was a bit less awkward. Well, as less awkward as having your hand permanently stuck to a rather lovely backside could be.
“Let’s take a look at whatever I stuck my hand in,” he said, gently guiding her with his stuck hand into the proper direction.
She leaned over the three drawer cabinet and immediately saw what he had missed in his blind groping for his coffee mug.
“I swear if this is something off Jones’s bench I’m going to scream. That idiot should have been kicked out of here last month when he poured some weird concoction on my notes and lost me two weeks worth of data.”
“Jones,” he said to himself, trying to remember which one that was. “Oh shit. Isn’t he the one that was in here a few days ago saying he was working on a new super adhesive? I think he called it “super-super glue?”
The woman groaned. “That sounds just like something that idiot would do.” She looked around the space. “He’s not in, but we might as well go take a look at what’s sitting out on his table to see if there are any notes that can help us figure out how to get you unstuck.”
He followed her over to the table and was annoyed to see his coffee mug sitting there, cracked into several pieces.
“Oh, he’s here somewhere. That’s my coffee mug. I filled it up less than an hour ago and it was perfectly fine.”
“Didn’t you hear it break?” she asked.
He shook his head. “No. Though I remember him once telling me he found it offensive, so I wouldn’t put it past him to have taken it outside to smash and bring back in to see if his glue held up.”
“But…what if it was toxic and poisoned you when you tried to drink out of it again?”
He gave her a look. “Has he given you the impression that he’s actually in any way, shape, or form a decent scientist, let alone a careful one?”
“Point,” she agreed, pursing her lips. “I think this means that he should be back soon.”
Rabbit sighed. “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but it might be best if we get you a new pair of pants. It’ll be hard to get you out of yours while I’m attached to them, but then you won’t be stuck to me. I’ll just be stuck to your pants.”
She nodded. “Right. Let me, umm, text my roommate. See if she can bring some by.” He waited while she sent her message, trying hard to not watch as she did so.
“Oh, err, my name’s Rabbit,” he said as she slipped her phone back into her hoodie pocket. “In case it helped, knowing the name of the man whose hand is currently glued to you.”
She gave a small laugh. “Darcy,” she said. “Rabbit’s an interesting name.”
“Nickname, obviously. Got it in first grade when there were three Robert’s. The other two got the obvious Robert and Bob, and my best friend at the time called out Rabbit because it was her favorite animal that also kind of sounded like my name and it just stuck.”
“That is possibly the most adorable thing I’ve ever heard. Most people assume that I’m named after Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, but actually my dad is an engineer and I’m named after Darcy’s Law which is about flow through a porous medium. I normally don’t tell people about the obscure reference my name actually is, but I think you earned it by telling me your name story and being surprisingly chill for a guy with his hand glued to my ass. Aside from the very first moment, where I assume you didn’t realize where your hand was, you haven’t tried to squeeze it at all.”
“I might look like a hick, but that doesn’t mean I can’t also be a gentleman.”
“You don’t look like a hick. You look like a scientist that gets his hands dirty. Trust me, I’ve worked with plenty.”
He smiled at that, and then tried to not get tangled up in her when someone yelled from the door. “Hey Darcy! Got your pants.”
The roommate (whose name he missed), gave them a funny look before laughing her ass off and waving goodbye over her shoulder.
“Right. So the ladies room I guess is the best place to take care of this.”
Removal of the pants went surprisingly smoothly. Rabbit simply closed his eyes and let his arm go limp, allowing her to slowly tug the fabric down until her pants were on the floor.
“You can open your eyes now,” she said. She now had on bright pink sweatpants that he assumed the roommate had selected as some sort of joke.
“How can you make even those look lovely?” he said without thinking.
“You, sir, are trouble,” she said with a smile. “Now let’s go hunt down Jones. I can’t take you on a date with your hand in the wrong pants.”
She winked at him and sauntered away.
Well, he wasn’t about to argue with that logic. Rabbit took off after her.