station waggon

Duffle Bag Guy (A Check Please! Neighbors AU)

Read it on AO3

Duffle Bag Guy has lived down the hall from Bitty for a few months now, and has become a somewhat concerning presence in his life.  For one, the guy brings a duffle bag with him almost everywhere.  A heavy, lumpy, duffle bag that kinda smells.  Bitty can count on his fingers the number of times he’s seen Duffle Bag Guy sans duffle bag.  All of those times, Duffle Bag Guy has been in a designer suit that starkly contrasts with his usual sweats and t-shirt.  He also has dark bags under his droopy eyes, an almost permanent stubble, and a perpetual frown.

When Eric Bittle left small town Georgia for college, he’d ended up in the equally small Samwell, Massachusetts at the most LGBT+ friendly school in America.  After graduation, he’d moved to Providence, Rhode Island after he’d gotten a job in a bakery, and since then he feels that he’s adapted well to city life.  He likes the faster pace, the convenient shops, the nightlife.  But there are certain parts of city living that are always going to make his little Madison heart seize up.  Number one on Eric’s list of Intolerable Urban Phenomena: enigmatic neighbors.  He’d been able to name damn near every single person in his hometown, and a good portion of his classmates at Samwell too.  But here, in a place where personal space is so much more limited, he’s shocked to find that he can’t match most of the names on the mailboxes to faces in the elevator.

He’d noticed Duffle Bag Guy only because he seemed to wake up at the same ungodly hour that Eric had to be up for work, dragging his smelly bag to the stairwell (twelfth floor, guy takes the stairs).  Bitty didn’t always see him around otherwise, but he had a disturbingly regular morning routine for someone who rarely looked dressed for work.  Bitty had tried to say hello the first time they’d crossed paths, only to be met with a scowl and stony silence.  

Keep reading