I recounted. I growled. "Twenty-four. I'm supposed to have twenty-five. Windflame!" I kept my voice down, but harsh, until the dragon reappeared on top of the computer, her latest resting place. "What in the world does this mean?" I thrust an accusing finger at the list and glared at her. "I'm short one, and I've got less than a week to wrap everything up."
"Not my fault you overloaded yourself," Windy said with a superior curl to her lip, deliberately showing her fangs at me. "Besides, the missing one died for a good cause. The plotline works better over where you put it rather than on it's own."
I almost glared at her. "I know, I know, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm still short one fic!"
With a half-sigh, half-burst of flame, the dragon hopped over to my shoulder and peered down at the two lists: one of the twenty-four fanfics that had occupied my last few months of life, one of potential ideas for future stories. "That one," she pointed at one.
"Nope. Don't know enough about Lost Galaxy yet," I retorted. "I'm thinking of waiting til the season break or whatever you call it to try that one."
The muse looked annoyed, but understood, and looked back down again. "Hmmm. . .that one," she pointed out another, and again I shook my head.
"I told you, no more Billy fics. Not for a while. Yes, that's a good idea, don't get me wrong, but I want to let the poor guy rest for a while."
Three more ideas were suggested and rejected, and I was on the verge of exploding. I had under a week to get everything done, only a few even knew I was releasing everything on March 1 like I'd said I was, and I still had fics that needed editing before release. I had the strangest feeling there was a clock ticking away over my head, and I didn't like it.
"Okay, I've got one more idea, and it should work," Windy looked serious now, and I liked that. She could be amusing, but there was a time for seriousness, and this was it. "Write a muse fic."
Obviously she didn't think the same way I did. "What?"
"You need a fic, and I could use the rest to think you up a good one. We've been working non-stop since October. Write me a muse fic and I'll guarantee that once I've rested, your writing will never be the same. Deal?"
I knew I was probably getting myself into more trouble than I really wanted to deal with, but I had no choice. I needed that extra fic, and a muse fic was short, simple to write, and required almost no effort whatsoever. It was exactly what I needed. And once we both rested from the writing, and the expansion of the Youth Center, things would get back to normal. . .well, as normal as they ever got, really.
"All right," I nodded. "Deal. What do we call this one?"
She shrugged. "The Agreement?"