Upon Reflection: Prompt - the double booking computer glitch was intentional, either specifically aimed at Gold and Belle (someone on the hotel staff is in cahoots with Neal who wanted his dad to be happy) or just generally as an experiment to see who would hook up. Bonus points if Jefferson is involved somehow.
Uh, okay. So I tried to write the thing, but this other thing happened. Don’t hate me. This is probably more realistic anyway. Takes place before anything else in the story.
Jefferson leaned back in his desk chair and stretched his arms over his head. One shoulder and then the other popped, then he slipped his fingers together and pushed them outward, cracking at least five out of ten knuckles. He sighed and sat forward, forearms leaning on the edge of the desk as he stared at the screen.
The glow was sort of greenish, almost eerie given the late hour, but that was how “The Mad Hatter” liked it. Freelance programming work gave him the freedom to keep his own hours and be there for his daughter Grace whenever she needed him. They had just returned from a camping trip that morning, when he realized he had a deadline on the code update for Avonlea Hotels’ new reservation system.
They were opening a new resort called The Enchanted Forest somewhere in Europe, built in a newly renovated, bonafide 14th century castle or some shit. He’d read about it online a year back when the project started. It was supposed to be pretty swanky, and if it did well they were doing a Neverland themed one in the Caribbean, complete with a pirate show and some acrobatic group pretending to be flying fairies and Peter Pan.
He snorted. Grace would probably love that.
His eyes squeezed shut and then opened wide, and he blinked a few times trying to clear the filmy haze of a late night. A quick glance down at his taskbar show him it was three twenty-five in the morning. Grace had to get up for school at seven.
He ran a hand over his face and scanned the debug log. There was some stupid error about a linked library and a wrong path that he fixed readily. Then he hit control and F7 to build and compile his code again.
Jefferson pushed away from the desk and went to the bathroom to rid himself of the Red Bull he’d downed earlier and brush his teeth. When he came back to his desk, there were no more errors reported, and he smiled. He thought maybe he should run it through the test site one more time, but all he’d done was a make a slight tweak to the room sorting routine to make it return results faster. It was no big deal really.
Besides, the bulk of the changes were to the database to accommodate the new room layouts at the Enchanted Forest and in one of the newer hotels in Providence. It all had to be done ahead of some convention there, something about fabrics and - yarn maybe?
He yawned. Whatever. If there were a few glitches, he’d sort them out later. He sat down and rolled his neck, then uploaded the code to the server and committed the changes to the production site. He watched the progress bar as it moved the files, then recycled the site to load the new web pages.
The main site popped up in his browser and he gave it a brief once over to make sure everything looked okay. A quick email later, his consulting hours were on file, and he was in bed.