Those Who You Don't Notice

Author's Note: The idea for this hit me (gently) over the head after reading a small conversation on the PPC Posting Board.

This is just a short, but it's a cool little story, I think.

Gerrick gave a sigh as he picked up his equipment from the closet he shared with his coworkers. With another small sigh, he swung the head of his mop into his barrow before putting his broom and his nice, shiny-new dustpan in their spots on the side of the barrow before turning and wheeling his way down the hall to the area he was currently assigned to.

As he reached his designated section of the PPC HQ, he swung out his mop, dunked it in the well of soapy water in his barrow, and set to work.

Before too long, he found a trail of drying blood, slowing turning a sparkling urple as it did so. Shaking his head, Gerrick re-wet the mop and started cleaning the mess, squinting his eyes a bit from the over-bearing urpleness of it as he washed away the last little bit. Agents often wandered the halls with things dripping blood in hand, or even dripping blood themselves.

After that, he got to sweeping the floors free of dust, trash, and things he had no name for. As he did this, a cluster of agents walked past him, not noticing him at all, despite the fact that one of them stepped on the head of his broom.

At first, it had been a bit disconcerting and upsetting to Gerrick when he realized that the agents never even noticed the janitorial staff working day and night, keeping the halls and the cafeteria clean, but before too long he stopped noticing it.

Gerrick figured it was because of how distracted they had to be to traverse the myriad corridors that made up the halls of the PPC HQ. When you were that distracted, you didn’t tend to notice anything. In fact, Gerrick had one or twice seen agents wandering past the same door three or four times before stopping and entering it.

Some time later, Gerrick looked up from his sweeping and climbed into a special compartment in his barrow made for occasions just like this one. Just as he pulled the hidden door closed, a small red dragon flew down the hall, yelling insults and throwing the occasional fireball at the handsome male youko it was chasing.

As the sounds of the pursuit dwindled into the distance, Gerrick climbed out of the hidey-hole and began working on cleaning the scorch marks off of the otherwise pristine walls and floor of the hall.

Really, he was just glad that the Onion Grass, the head of the Janitorial Department, had decided that the janitors didn’t have to clean the response centers long before Gerrick himself had been hired.

Gerrick let his thoughts wander as he cleaned another dried puddle of blood, this one thankfully neither sparkly nor urple, from the floor, rinsing his mop in the now-brownish water in his well.

Some time later yet, Gerrick gave another small sigh, this one of pleasure, as he put his equipment back in the closet and washed out his barrow.

When he had first started working here, Gerrick had wanted nothing more than to be an agent and go into badfic to protect the canon.

Now, though, Gerrick couldn’t see how he could do anything other than the job he did. When it came right down to it, Gerrick wasn’t much of a fighter, and he knew that. He’d much rather support the PPC in the way he did now than risk hurting himself the way the agents did.

He had seen many agents returning from missions wounded in every way imaginable, and had seen the mental state no few of them were in, and he had no desire to have any of that happen to him.

Whistling a cheery little song, Gerrick made his way to the small cafeteria set aside for the support staff, away from the hustle and bustle of the agents in the main cafeteria.