Hell in a Hand Basket

By: Shadow-Seraph

Sorry for the re-postage business, I've just noticed that I called Zack, Jake, like three times and the stupid replace chapter wasn't working. Oops.

A/N: Okay, so I received this ridiculous flame a little while back, and going back over the first chapters has helped me realize this story is entirely plotless and quite horribly written. Because of this, I've had quite a (long) break, during which I debated continuing it at all. Boredom gave way to another chapter, which I'm hoping isn't too bad, but I would really like to hear how you guys think I can improve. I'm well aware I don't really elaborate on a lot of things, but it's not supposed to be something where everything makes sense and has purpose, it's just a bit of fun really. That being said, hopefully there's something you enjoy about this chapter and please, drop a review to let me know what it is (or isn't!)

Warning: There's a lot of dialogue in this ridiculously late chapter. Sorry, it's hard to have a civilized, or perhaps uncivilized ;), conversation without the wonderful addition of dialogue. Plus, really, dialogue is my baby. So…err…beware of conversation

After three days of calling in sick and skipping school, I had finally gotten back into my normal routine. That doesn't mean the situation was any less awkward. Unfortunately I have Zack in my classics class and considering it's such a small lecture hall, it's nearly impossible to avoid someone…unless, of course, you're dressed for it. Which I was, of course, with my cadet hat and sunglasses. Sadly, even though you think your perfect disguise might work, odds are it won't.

"Hey Austin." Zack said, sliding into the seat next to me.

I pulled the brim of my cap down a bit and prepared my perfected French accent, "Austin? I do not know zhis Austin you speak of. My name is Bernard."

Zack sighed heavily, "Well Bernard, can you tell Austin I'm sorry? And that I really want to stay friends?"

I scoffed at the added 'stay friends', "If I do not know zhis Austin you speak of, how am I to deliver ze message?"

"Dude? Are you serious?" he raised an eyebrow, "How old are you, five?

"Non, my name iz Bernard and je suis 80."

"Okay, whatever. I get it. I won't bug you anymore."

He got up and moved to a seat closer to the back. I hadn't meant to hurt his feelings. Really. Though he's really naïve if he thinks I'll take him back as a friend that easily. He broke up with me not even a week ago. Pfft, boys. Or, uh, considering I am a boy (and I certainly don't fall in the pfft, boys category!)…pfft, crappy boyfriends that want to be friends after the broke up with you because you were too boring.

Really, I have some pride. Not much, but some. And he's going to have a lot of butt kissing to do before he hangs out with my boring ass again. But as much as I hated to admit it, I missed having him sit beside me. He would lean in close so our shoulders were touching, knock our knees together; I miss the comfort of feeling someone beside me. I look to my left. Crazy girl with moustache? Won't be knee-knocking with her anytime soon.

Class went by slowly, as it always seems to do when you want it to end. Or y'know, when you're actually following the second-hand on the clock. Tick tock, tick tock. But it did finally end, and I was able to leave the portal of fun sucking doom (ie. School)…to go to the galaxy of fun sucking doom (ie. Work). Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy my job. Well, sometimes. I mean, I guess I like the people I work with. I'm pretty good at my job…I uh, make coffee. Okay, y'know what? Let's just say it pays the bills okay? But you always get that one person that has to make your day crap.

"I'm sorry sir; we don't sell orange-cranberry muffins."

"What do you mean you don't sell orange-cranberry muffins?" His left eye twitches.

"I mean, we don't sell orange-cranberry muffins." I reply, bored. I make a show of looking at my horrible nails and buffing them on my shirt. Hehe, I'm such an ass sometimes.

"What kind of café doesn't sell orange cranberry muffins?"

I sigh, "This one. Sir, are you going to buy anything? Because if you're not, I'm sure there's a person waiting behind you that would like to."

The man turns around to look at the customers behind him, "The service here is outrageous! I demand a refund!" He slaps his hand down on the counter.

"Sir, you didn't buy anything."

"I'd like to speak to your manager!"

I roll my eyes and turn around and ask my co-worker, Becky, to grab the boss.

"There you-" I'm interrupted.

"Grandpa, you're not harassing the –" My eyes widen as I see the speaker.

"Hey! It's phone-sex guy! Grandpa, this was the one I was telling you about!"

Oh God. He told his grandpa? Who doesn't know?

My ears flare red and I chew on my bottom lip as I look for an easy exit. Everything is blocked by customers! What to do? What to do? I quickly make an executive decision and…stand there, looking like a moron. Yippee.

Sam grins widely and then is roughly pushed aside. His grandfather fills the void.

"Why were you trying to seduce my young, innocent grandson?"

I bite my lip, intimidated and reply, "It was really all just a misunderstanding."

"I don't think so. I think you want in my grandson's pants, and I for one, am not going to let that happen."

I really don't understand what it is about me that screams, 'I possibly want to sex it up with your grandson'. Maybe it's the curly hair, or those silky black boxers I sometimes wear. Whatever it is, it's really not working for me. I don't want to look like a grandson molester. I don't want to look like an anything molester. I just want to live my pointless, mediocre life and if that means I'm going to be sixty, alone and jobless then so be it. I really must make this clear.

"I don't want to molest your grandson sir."

"Like hell you don't! Who doesn't want to molest my grandson?" Sam blushes, then nods fervently, "Why wouldn't you want to molest my grandson? Is he not good enough for your city-slicking, business majoring ass?"

I neglect to correct him in that I actually grew up in the country and am majoring in comparative literature and reply, "Oh! No, I'm sure he's just perfect, I mean I love redheads, who doesn't? And the freckles are just adorable," my voice pitches a little on the word 'adorable', and I clear my throat before continuing, "I just think maybe he's too young for me."

He looks about to say something, but Sam finally decides to jump in, "Don't worry about it grandpa," he seems a bit dejected, but continues, "I've got it all under control."

I'm stunned into a momentary confusion trying to figure out just what that entails -hopefully no handcuffs or whips- and I almost miss when Sam leans over the counter and kisses me on the cheek. Well, he gets points for being forward; let's just hope it doesn't progress to public groping anytime soon.

I shake my head and just catch Sam's wink as he and his grandpa leave.

What the hell was that? Seriously, what are the freaken odds?

I lie awake in bed that night and every minute my thoughts drift back to Sam. Not in a dirty way, of course, but in a 'what does he mean by "I've got it under control"' kind of way. Really, when people say that, they are entirely up to no good and all persons involved will suffer the consequences. Meaning me. Wonderful.

I finally manage to sleep and dream about Sam battling with Elton John for my heart. It's a musical, and as Sam is professing his love he breaks out in song and dance. He is quite the dreadful singer, even worse at dancing. Though his talent, or un-talent as the case may be, seems to win me over in the end. I sure hope this is not a preview of what is to come

I'm brushing my teeth the next morning when the doorbell rings. My hair is still wet from the shower I just took and I'm shirtless, but I head towards the door anyway, hiking up my black pants as I go. I open the door, toothbrush dangling out of my mouth and attempt to close it just as quick. No such luck.

Sam is standing in the hallway with a toothy smile, coffee and bagels. His foot slides in before the door shuts and he walks into my apartment like we've know each other for years when in actuality we've only had a few fleeting encounters in the past couple days.

"Hi," he grins, "I come bearing breakfast!"

I rub my eyes and sigh exaggeratedly before I ask, "Sam, what are you doing here?"

He gives me a look that says 'well duh!' then repeats, slowly, "Hi! I come bearing breakfast!" He pauses and waits for me to say something and when I don't he continues, "Please?"

"Fine," I grumble, "but don't try any funny stuff!"

He squeezes me tight, which in my opinion counts as funny stuff, and hands me a coffee with entirely too much sugar. I choke it down anyway.

We're sitting in my small apartment's kitchen, the only room in the entire apartment that doesn't look like a bachelor pad. It's way too quiet considering how hyperactive Sam is. I mean, I can hear the clock from my living room ticking away and the light rumble from the elevator. I stop picking at my bagel and look up only to find Sam staring at me. He quickly turns away and blushes.

"I don't get you." I say.

He looks up, startled. Most likely because he's had to initiate basically everything so far and now I'm taking my turn. But there's this look in his eyes, it's a cross between defeat and something else I can't quite describe.

"What's there not to get?" He asks.

"You just –" I stop and run my hand down my face, not knowing how to continue, "You go from perky to borderline stalker back to perky to depressed. You're too hard to read, just pick one persona and stick with it. Geez."

"Wait," he says, looking candidly serious, "you think I'm a stalker?"

I bite back a laugh, "You seem to have this odd ability to show up at someone's apartment and work when said person knows barely anything about you aside from your name and age."

He mumbles something I can't quite make out.

"What was that?"

"Zack told me where you work."

"Huh, and you say you're not a stalker. Y'know I really don't understand this fascination you have with me. I mean, you don't even know me."

You know that expression about the deer caught in headlights? Yah, that's Sam right now. He's biting his lip and I can tell from his expression that he has absolutely nothing to say to my comment. The silence is just as uncomfortable as before and the moment seems so…soap opera-ish. I almost expect Sam to start crying and tell me we were like playground sweethearts and we were meant to be together or something, but he doesn't. He remains silent.

I move to get up, the chair squeaks on the linoleum floor and the sound does nothing to remedy the awkward silence that hangs in the air. I move around the table to throw out my garbage and Sam grabs my arm. He's looking up at me with those forlorn green eyes again and I look the spot between his eyebrows because I can't make eye contact.

"You don't know me either. Give me a chance."

And as the sun from the kitchen window dances along his lightly freckled nose, I'm tempted. Really tempted.

A/N: I really hate asking for reviews, but if you have the time I would really appreciate it. It's nice to know what people think about your work. Also, I promised to answer reviews this time around, so here they are:

melancholy-autumn08 - Hehe, I'm glad it made you laugh! Laughter is the best reaction you can get from someone! I'm glad you liked it, hopefully it still keeps you entertained. And thanks for the fave! Really, it means a lot :)

False Alarm - Hah, yah. I'm pretty sure we all have a bit of Austin's embarrassing awkwardness deep down inside. I'm glad you like it so far, sorry about the long wait!

Alioth - Yay I'm continuing again! Hopefully you're still with me! There will be some more Austin/Sam goodness in the future, I've already got some plans for the next chapter, so let's hope you don't have to wait too long!

Esquirella - Sam the stalker? What gave you that idea? lol. Glad you enjoyed the update, and nope, life will never be the same for our poor boys!

NewAgeRembrandt - Bwah ha ha, your review made me laugh. You seem to have the same insanity-induced humour that I have, lol. I'm glad you like the voice, I was kind of worried that people would think it was just stupid. But meh, I like it, that's gotta count for something lol. And I totally agree, who wouldn't want to cuddle with a cute red-head? Especially one with freckles (because we all know freckles are the shizzit). Er, sorry about the totally unsoon update. Hopefully you haven't forgotten little old me. And I totally responded to your review, round up them hamsters!

Magalina - Glad you liked it! Sorry about such a late update, hopefully you're still up for more chapters because I've got plenty planned for the boys!

Converse Tennis Shoes - Aww, I'm glad you like Sam, he really is a sweetheart isn't he? Even when he is stalking college students. He does it with a cute little smile and a bouncy little step. I'm also happy it made you laugh :) Sorry about the totally late update, hopefully it will become more regular now.

Yuuri and Wolfram Forever - Thanks :) Well, it's been awhile, but I've written more, hopefully you're still up for reading it!

And to everyone a big thank you for reading and reviewing. You're the best.