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“Oof. Could you move your elbow?”

“I don’t know, Dorian, could you move your knee?”

“Uuuuhh… no. No, it’s stuck there.”

“Then no, I cannot move my elbow, because it’s fixed in place by your knee.”

“Alright then-”

“No, don’t shrug! Agh.”

“Sorry, I didn’t think that one through.”

“Are you talking about the shrugging or the plan? Because it applies to both.”

“Okay, okay, so maybe hiding out in the janitor’s closet until everyone’s left wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had, but it is working so far. And it’s not like you had any better ones. Anyway, I think this is sort of fun.”

“You have a very strange definition of fun, Dorian.”

“It’s important to find the fun in life, Elizabeth.”

“We’re on a job. It’s not the ideal time for that.”

“I think it’s absolutely the time for it. If you can’t practice positivity when you’re stuck in a dark closet waiting to break into a tech company’s office and steal three lines of code, when can you?”

“Oh, literally any other time?”

“Fine, be like that.”

“Okay then.”

“… this reminds me of Seven Minutes in Heaven. Did you ever play Seven Minutes in Heaven, or were you one of those kids who got invited to a party twice in your entire high school career and turned it down both times because you had to study? What am I saying, of course you were. Anyway, I have very fond memories of Seven Minutes in Heaven. Specifically of Linda Shasille in seventh grade. Actually, also Johnny Cartwright in eighth grade. Seven Minutes in Heaven was good to me.”

“Please stop saying Seven Minutes in Heaven.”

“Okay. What does this remind you of?”

“The time I got trapped in the downstairs closet with our cat who wouldn’t stop scratching me.”

“Am I the cat in this scenario?”

“You’re the cat in every scenario.”

“I don’t think that was quite as harsh a comeback as you wanted it to be.”

“I’m a dog person.”

“Liar, you love me.”

“I do not love you.”

“You brought me soup last week when I was sick. That’s a surefire sign of love.”

“No, that’s a sign that I didn’t want you to still be sniffling when we executed the plan. Which was, and is, terrible. Also, you’d brought me cake when I was laid up with cramps, and I hate owing you things. Now could we just have silence for ten minutes? Is that so much to ask?”

“Okay, okay. Ten minutes. Silence. I can do that.”

“Elizabeth? Are you wearing the bergamot moisturiser I gave you?”

“It’s been five minutes.”

“You have a magic clock in your head now?”

“No, I have a watch. See?”

“Oh, right.”

“You look good in fluorescent light.”


“When you held your watch up before and it shone on your face. Grumpy Elizabeth underlit by green fluorescence? Surprisingly sexy.”

“Now is not the time to tease me, bastard man. I am in intimate contact with multiple parts of you I can use to inflict terrible pain.”

“I was being genuine!”

“Oh. Then now is not the time to flirt with me, bastard man.”

“It’s rude to go calling me bastard man when I’ve just called you sexy.”

“I’m going to file a workplace harassment claim.”

“We’re professional thieves, Elizabeth. I don’t think the government’s going to take you very seriously. At least, not until after they’ve thrown us both in a maximum-security prison.”

Professional thieves would not be stuck in a cleaning closet for two hours!”

“Has it really been two hours?”

“No. I’m including the time yet to come.”

“Oh, alright. Wanna play truth or dare?”

“What is with your obsession with high school games?”

“I don’t know. Nostalgia, I suppose. Or maybe I’m just bored.”

“I’m bored too.”

“Well, if you have a better solution, I’m all-”

“Bored of your voice.”

“I’ve been talking again for two minutes max. I’m going to start getting offended at this rate.”

“Will that shut you up?”


“Oh, stop that, I know you’re not really offended.”

“I thought you didn’t want me to talk.”

“No, but you’re sulking at a hundred decibels.”

“So. Truth or dare?”

“Exactly what kind of dares can we accomplish in this state?”

“Um. Truth or… truth? I was never very good at making up dares anyway.”

“Imagine my surprise. And no, I’m not playing Truth with you.”

“Twenty Questions?”

“Sure. Animal, vegetable, or hell freezing over?”

“Never Have I Ever?”

“Only if we’re taking shots of that bleach.”

“Truth, Truth, Lie?”

“You know too much about me already.”

“Seven Minutes in Heaven?”

“That is not how I imagined our first kiss.”

“… you’ve imagined our first kiss?”

“What? No. I- Shut up.”

“I don’t know, I think we’re gonna have to talk about this.”

“No, seriously, shut up, there’s someone coming!”


“I’m just doing final rounds before I lock up, boss. I could’ve sworn I heard a noise over here.”

“Everyone’s gone home, Jones. Sometimes the machines just make odd sounds up there.”

“No, it came from this hallway… all that’s here is ConMach’s offices. Well, and the cleaning closet. I’m just going to do a last check of the offices and I’ll be right down, boss.”

“Alright, don’t be too long. I want to get home before the game ends.”

“Wa-i-shl-oo- Thank you. That moisturiser does not taste like bergamot. What’d I tell you? Janitorial closet. Perfect hiding spot.”

“Keep it down, he’s not gone yet.”

“Ah, but he will be, and then we’re going to discuss that first kiss thing.”

“No-one’s ever talked to you about the viability of dropping topics, have they?”

“I believe my mama tried. Mama tried. Mama tried to raise me better-”

“Do not start singing country songs at me.”

“I’ve done it before, and apparently you still want to kiss me.”

“I will strangle you, little man.”

“Aw. Sorry, I’m trying to be serious about this, it’s just difficult when I can’t see your face and your elbow is jammed in my ribcage.”

“Oh, don’t start being serious now.”

“You’re the one who’s always telling me to be!”

“Yeah, but you never listen to me.”

“I always listen to you. I just disagree with you sometimes.”

“Most of the time.”

“Okay, most of the time. But that’s what keeps our relationship spicy and-”

“He’s coming back.”

“The offices are clear, boss. I’ll lock up and head down.”

“Alright, Jones, I’ll meet you downstairs.”



“That was the door.”

“… no, that was the door.”

“Oh. Now can we have a proper conversation?”

“I’d rather not.”

“Too bad. How have you imagined our first kiss, if not Seven Minutes in Heaven-style?”

“… I don’t know. I’m just. I’m not kissing you in a closet.”

“You’re right, that’s a little on the nose for two bisexuals.”

“I haven’t had a crush on a girl since tenth grade.”

“And when did you last have a crush on a man? Apart from me?”


“Did you say four years ago? We met four years ago! Have you been-”

“How long has it been since he left?”

“I don’t know, you’re the one with the watch. Ah-ha, you’re blushing! No, don’t turn the watch off- aww.”

“We can leave the closet in seven minutes.”

“Ah, to see daylight again.”

“It’s 8pm.”

“Ah, to see the light of an electric bulb again. Will you kiss me in that, or am I going to have to wait until tomorrow?”

“You’ll have to wait and see.”

“Flirty Elizabeth! I like. How long do I have to wait?”

“Six minutes.”

“This is torture. I’m sure it’s safe.”

“We wait ten minutes after the last sign of guards. That’s the rules.”

“I would say ‘fuck the rules’ but I feel like you might rescind the kissing offer.”

“You’re right.”

“Heck the rules?”


“… lightly slap the rules?”

“Hm. I’ll accept it. We’re still waiting, though.”

“How long now?”

“Four minutes.”

“I’ll never last. Can I kiss your hand in lieu? Actually, no, I take that back, I’ve only just got rid of the moisturiser taste from last time.”

“Good, because I’m not the Lady of Shalott.”

“God, that was a depressing poem.”

“I’m shocked you know it.”

“I was an English major!”

“You dropped out of college.”

“I was an English major for a year. Anyway, I’m sure there were plenty of perfectly happy medieval ladies out there getting kissed on the hand by rugged but charming farm boys.”

“You think you’re rugged?”

“You didn’t deny charming!”

“I was too focused on the inaccuracy of rugged.”

“You like my unruggedness.”

“I would like to point out that I merely slipped up and admitted I’d imagined kissing you, you’re the one who’s been hell-bent on pursuing it.”

“Ah, but I call you beautiful at least once a week. I have hidden nothing.”

“I mean, you’ve rather hidden the tree in the forest.”


“You flirt with everything that moves, Dorian.”

“Maybe so. But you’ve never seemed in the least amenable to it.”

“So maybe we’re both at fault.”

“How long now?”

“One minute.”

“59, 58, 57, 56, 55…”

“Stop counting under your breath.”

“Can I count in my head?”

“Go for it.”

“I’ve lost count now.”


“Thank you.”

“… 30 seconds.”

“Remind me why I’m not allowed to throw open the door now and find out what I’ve been missing?”

“The rules.”

“Right. The rules.”

“10 seconds.”

“9, 8, 7…”

“6, 5, 4, 3…”

“2, 1.”

“Well, Dorian? Are you going to open the door?”

“I don’t know. I’m nervous now.”

“Oh, for god’s sakes. Here, I’ll open it.”

“Ah! Good god, that’s bright.”

“I think it’s quite dim actually. But yes.”

“I have an idea to help us adjust to it. Slowly. It’s rather unprecedented, and I’m not sure you’ll approve, but- mmmph!”


“You know what, it still looks too bright. Should we try again?”

“Oh, you’re an idiot. Yeah, let’s try again.”


Ella Moon (they/them) is actually three writers stacked on top of each other wearing a trenchcoat. Together, they have stories in publications including 72 Hours of Insanity: Writer’s Games Vol. 7, 9, & 10, Red Penguin’s A Heart Full of Love, Murderous Ink Press’s The Cosy Nostra, TL;DR Press’s Breathless, and online at Little Old Lady Comedy and Defenestration. One or the other of them can usually be found ignoring the advice of the other two and buying more books and/or mugs and/or sweaters.

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