What do you think about an “i picked up your bag at the airport but i can’t find your number so i’m about to embark on the largest scavenger hunt of all time by using your strange belongings to track you down” au with charmer or nurseydex or zimbits or something??
Well, I don’t know if you expected three mini fics, and I didn’t fully follow the prompt, but here we are.
Look, Chris knew it was dumb. He knew that everyone on earth had a plain black suitcase, he knew he should have double-checked the luggage tag, he knew it was important to be sure abut these things. But knowing what he should have done couldn’t help him when he finally got his suitcase home and opened it up to find mostly yoga pants and sundresses.
He zipped the bag back up and flipped open the luggage tag. It was cute, pink with some metallic lettering saying “I’m outta here!” in a handwritten font. Chris blamed jetlag and the redeye flight for making him miss the fact that it wasn’t his Sharks tag. He blamed the bag’s owner for not filling out any of the information on the tag.
Well, sorry random girl, he thought. He opened the suitcase up again to try to see if he could find anything that would give him a clue as to who the suitcase owner was. He moved a makeup bag aside, and hit gold immediately. Well, Samwell red. A Women’s Volleyball tshirt– mystery suitcase girl had to be on the volleyball team.
“Hey Ransom!” he yelled. “You’re facebook friends with all the volleyball team right?”
“He’s friends with everyone on campus!” Holster yelled back.
“Ask their captain if anyone flew in from the Bay Area and lost their luggage!”
“Is Justin here? My captain said he’s got my suitcase.” Chris overheard her at the door. He grabbed the bag and started hauling it downstairs. As he set it down at the bottom and caught sight of the girl in the doorway, he froze. She was pretty. Like, really pretty.
“Um, hi,” he said.
“So you’re Justin? Oh my god, I’m so glad it wasn’t some total rando who got my bag.”
“I’m actually Chris, Justin was just the one who was friends with your captain. Um, I’m sorry, but I kind of had to look through your stuff? Your luggage tag wasn’t filled out.” The girl laughed.
“Yours wasn’t either! Me and my teammates were like one minute away from googling the record holder for most San Jose Sharks merch, but it totally makes sense that you’re on the hockey team.”
“Since we both forgot to write our numbers down, maybe we should do that now?” Chris suggested. The girl grinned, grabbed his phone out of his hand, and opened up a new contact. She punched in a number, and when she handed it back he saw a text of several random emojis addressed to the new contact of “Caitlin Farmer” with a girl farmer emoji and a volleyball emoji.
“Text me sometime, and maybe we can get dinner?” she said, and she was gone with her suitcase.
Chris collapsed on the couch, a dreamy look in his eyes.
“Chowder? You get your suitcase back?” Bitty called out from the kitchen.
“Yeah! and I think I’m in love now!”
“Cheryl, I’m telling you, I had a ton of inspiration on the plane and I wrote some great stuff for act three. No. No, it wasn’t just me thinking it’s great because I popped some melatonin and got really sleepy. It’s like, legit. Yeah, I’ll send it over as soon as I get home and–”
Derek slammed into something. If he’d been holding his phone in his hand (bluetooth is a blessing when you drop stuff easily) it would have launched across the airport. As it was, his post-flight latte was soaking through the nice white shirt of the handsome stranger in front of him.
“Shit,” the stranger said, looking down to survey the damage.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have trusted myself to make a phone call and not be clumsy after such a long flight,” Derek said. He set his briefcase down and pulled a wad of napkins out of the outside pocket. The guy took a deep breath, going from murderous to calm in a few seconds.
“I wasn’t looking where I was going either, it’s not your fault,” the guy said, setting down his own briefcase and accepting the napkins. He blotted at his shirt.
“Let me pay for the dry cleaning. Or a replacement,” Derek offered. The man shook his head.
“It’s fine, it probably needed to go to the cleaners anyways.” He checked his watch. “If I run, I can probably get a new one before my meeting.” He wadded the napkins into one big ball, picked up his briefcase, and walked towards the exit with a terse nod. Derek, feeling terrible about the whole thing, picked up his own briefcase and walked to baggage claim.
By the time he was reunited with his home office, a cozy bookshelf-lined room in his brownstone, he had almost forgotten about the coffee incident. He was focused on sending the manuscript to Cheryl. Unfortunately, that was going to be difficult, considering he pulled a PC laptop out of the bag instead of his Mac.
Derek stared at the computer for a full minute. He almost couldn’t believe that this was happening to him. Hesitantly, he opened the laptop. On one side of the keyboard there was a weird thing that a few seconds of phone googling told him was a fingerprint scanner. Shit. He hit the space bar experimentally. Something flashed on the screen, and then was replaced with just a plain black screen with red text: ACCESS DENIED
Derek swore. He started to look through the rest of what was in the briefcase, but was disappointed to find it empty except for the laptop’s charger, three packs of gum, and receipts from a lobster shack in Maine. Shit. Nothing in here would tell him anything about the redhead he’d launched a latte at.
He closed the laptop dejectedly, ignored his editor’s text messages, and went into the kitchen to make himself lunch and feel sorry for himself. This was the universe punishing him for covering a cute guy with coffee. If he had just kept his focus and waited to call his editor later, he could have sent the draft along and saved it and not be desperately trying to remember his inspiration.
Just as the self-pity spiral was really taking off, the doorbell rang. Derek sighed, put down his tea, and walked to the door. When he opened it, it wasn’t Girl Scouts or Jehovah’s Witnesses, but the guy from the airport.
“Cancel whatever you’re doing today, I need to teach you the most basic principles of digital security,” the guy said, pushing past Derek into the dining room. He shoved a stack of papers onto a chair and pulled Derek’s laptop out.
“I’m Will, by the way, I make software that’s hopefully a step ahead of viruses.”
“Is the draft still there?”
“The draft of what?” The guy looked confused.
“My third act breakthrough. I’m a novelist, I need to get it to my editor and I couldn’t remember if I saved it,” Derek explained.
“You know you can set up an auto-save every five minutes or so, right?” Will asked.
“This might be surprising to you, but I’ve never had a cute guy storm into my house and yell at me about computers before.” Will looked up from Derek’s computer, blushing.
“I haven’t had a cute guy dump a gallon of coffee all over me and steal my laptop before, either, but here we are.”
“Maybe you can yell about computers over lunch with me?”
Button downs. Tank tops. Slacks. Shorts. Three rolling pins. A pie tin. A half-emptied multipack of sharpies.
No lucky puck. No clothes in his size. No jerseys.
Jack sighed. It would just be too much to ask for anything to go well today. He picked up his phone to call someone with the Falconers, in the hope that they could talk to the airline and sort all this out. At the same time, his phone lit up with Tater’s face.
“Zimmboni! Look on twitter. Small internet baker has your suitcase!” Tater hung up before he could reply, so Jack just opened twitter instead.
omgcheckplease: A bunch of pucks, some dirty jerseys, and a history textbook. Either I’m back in college or this isn’t my suitcase.
omgcheckplease: .@falcsofficial please tell your #1 player to DM me and come get his shit
omgcheckplease: and @falcsofficial tell him to give me my shit back. my hockey days are in the past, I need rolling pins, not a mouthguard
Jack smiled and laughed in the way a person laughs when they’re alone, just blowing more air than normal out of his nose. He looked through the twitter for a minute– the guy, Eric Bittle, was a Providence-based chef, whose latest tweets were mostly greetings to the various cities he’d been visiting on tour. Jack clicked the media tab on the account, and looked through the pictures. Bittle was cute. He wrote a reply.
zimmboni: .@omgcheckplease how do I send u a DM
omgcheckplease: .@zimmboni you don’t deserve to be verified, oh my god #verifybittle2k17
A few seconds later another notification popped up, and he tapped it to be brought to a DM window.
omgcheckplease: hey! sorry about the mixup. I can only imagine how confused you were to find all my book tour stuff.
zimmboni: Probably as confused as you were finding hockey stuff?
omgcheckplease: I wasn’t joking in my tweets, I did play hockey before I got into the whole cookbook/food show thing
zimmboni: Exactly, I did a book tour last year in the off-season :-)
omgcheckplease: oh my gosh, isn’t it the best and the worst?
zimmboni: I know. It’s great to meet people and talk about your work, but it’s exhausting.
omgcheckplease: that’s why I’m so excited to be back in Providence! at least until the next cookbook.
zimmboni: Well we should probably meet up to trade suitcases. Want to meet somewhere for dinner?
omgcheckplease: don’t trust me to learn where your house is?
zimmboni: I mean, if dinner goes well enough…
omgcheckplease: OH. okay, then, Mr. Zimmermann, it’s a date.
Jack smiled to himself, and got ready for his date.