It was a dark and snowy night.
Through the thin drywall and plywood, Jordan listened carefully for any sign of human intelligence which might hinder her trip to the kitchen. This was a dangerous and possibly deadly mission, but it was necessary. She couldn’t let her team down — not again.
On the other side of the wall, there was silence. Well, not really silence. She could hear the fish tank containing the Louises and the pop-cracking of the fire. The point is that other than that, there was no other sound. She quietly unlocked her door. This was the part when it could all go wrong. If her door made even the slightest noise, she could be mauled by the guard dogs. So carefully, and as slowly as possible, she opened the door and peered out into the hallway. Dark. Perfect.
Sidestepping down the corridor, she kept her breath slow and steady. It would not do to get distracted, like Stewart did on their last mission. Poor soldier’s eye was caught for just a moment by a Tiger Beat magazine, and next thing they knew he was lost in the supermarket. Jordan had to tell his family, his weeping wife clutching the tabloid to her chest.
Her resolve strengthened.
The next obstacle she would face came in the form of the gate at the end of the hallway. It was waist-high, meant to keep things out, but now it served to keep Jordan in. She peered through the darkness, desperately trying to find the small shape of the (hopefully) sleeping dogs. She sighed internally. It was too dark. Thankfully she knew the layout of this room by heart, and slowly raised a leg to step over the gate.
She froze. Her hip had popped! She waited, anticipating the claws and teeth to snatch her ankle. None came.
Each minute seemed an eternity before Jordan decided that she hadn’t, in fact, woken the dogs. She slowly released the breath she had been holding, and continued on.
Once she had made her way over the gate, the rest of the mission seemed smooth sailing. Creep into the kitchen, acquire a glass from the cabinet, and fill it with the sweet tea undoubtedly sitting in the refrigerator. Nothing she hadn’t practiced before in Basic Training.
She felt the hardwood floor change to tile under her feet, and knew she was going the right way. Three steps forward, two steps right, and her arm was brushing the counter top. She opened the sleek cabinet door without a hitch, and recovered the first glass her hand closed around. She carefully closed the door and wiped the sheen of sweat from her forehead. Almost done.
Jordan clasped the handle on the refrigerator and pulled, thinking only of the ice cold beverage she would soon be enjoying, when there was suddenly a loud suction-y sound, the room filling with light.
Oh, no! She’d forgotten about the refrigerator light! She could hear the sounds of claws slapping against the floor, and knew the dogs were coming for her. Two paws hit her directly in the lower abdomen, hopefully not puncturing the skin. Another two paws scraped up and down her legs, and Jordan was intensely thankful that she was wearing her thick-padded pajama armor. The dogs made loud whining sounds, jumping up and down and digging their claws into her most vulnerable parts. The smaller one started howling.
Falling back, she ran into the cabinets and began to despair. She had failed. There would be no sweet beverage for her tonight, only the wounds inflicted upon her and the bitter sting of defeat. It wasn’t fair. All she had wanted was a midnight snack, a treat for completing the eighth season of Supernatural — wait. A treat!
A treat! Jordan’s eyes lit up in the dark. Maybe all was not lost! Fighting against the dogs, she made her way to the island and blindly grabbed around. There it was! A cardboard box containing none other than doggy treats.
She reached inside and grabbed two, handing one to the dog piercing her stomach, and the other to the dog licking between her toes. Happily, the dogs ran away to munch on their snacks, giving just enough time for Jordan to pull the tea pitcher out, fill her glass, and run back to her room.
Slamming the door behind her, Jordan collapsed to the ground, careful not to spill her drink. A single tear dripped, unbidden, from her dewy eyelashes.
“This was for you, Stewart.” She raised her glass in honor, and tearfully took the first sip.