"Wow, what a great place!" Alice enthused.
"And look at this fishing spot--right outside the door!" Regina clapped with glee.
The three went inside.
"So, Alice, here's what we need your help with," Bill announced.
Alice looked around. "There like, isn't even a kitchen in here!"
"EXACTLY, Alice!" Bill said. "Well spotted--no flies on you!" he teased.
"Ummm," Alice responded. She looked confused. "This is lint," she explained, picking something off her tanktop.
"So," Bill went on, undeterred, "Regina and I obviously need to put in a kitchen, and we figured that when you start your culinary job tomorrow you could ask around and see what your new colleagues think about which brands of appliances to buy. And then you could help us figure out a good kitchen/dining room layout--you know, to make it efficient to cook and serve and eat."
"I could TOTALLY do that for you!" Alice exclaimed. She was very pleased to be asked for her opinion.
The three returned to the Utopia House before their housemates arrived home from their first day of work. Kelly had a big platter of Herb-Crusted Salmon ready, in case any of them came back starved.
"I sure hope everybody is having a good first day!" she said cheerfully as she passed Regina.
Derek, Dude, and Peter all got back at the same time.
Peter had managed to get promoted on his first day, which perhaps explained why he was exhausted and dragging. He went to bed immediately, not even bothering to change his clothes or to get under the covers.
Dude was famished, and immediately took a serving of the meal Kelly had prepared.
Derek desperately needed a shower, but then quickly changed into fresh clothes and went to flirt with Kelly.
Lou came home an hour later, also having been promoted, and also exhausted.
Everyone who had to go to jobs the next day worked on their "Performance" requirements:
Dude practiced (although he was already a Level 10 guitarist),
Alice and Kelly each had to cook 4 dishes. "I don't know who's going to eat all this food!" Kelly exclaimed.
Lou had to practice programming for 4 hours so, after a short nap, she got up and went to her computer.
Regina finished her Sci Fi book and submitted it to a Literary Digest, which she had discovered would get her much higher royalties than if she just sold it to a publisher.
"Want to take a break and go fishing?" asked Bill, who had crafted three bathtubs that evening.
They went to the fishing hole that was farthest away from the Utopia House,
but they didn't actually get much fishing done.
Once Peter woke up, he quickly knocked out a few more paintings, then Researched Art Reference on Regina's computer.
Derek had gone out jogging a few times to fulfill his daily Workout requirement, and had Enthused About Space to anyone who would listen to him.
When Alice finished making her required meals, Derek decided to try to teach her to play chess (mostly to keep her out of the kitchen so Kelly could finish making HER required meals).
Dude finished practicing, and began avidly texting someone on his phone.
Shortly thereafter, Dude left the house. "Bye, dudes!" (Dude was finally starting to play along with the guys' joke on his name.)
Derek regarded Alice carefully.
Alice was concentrating hard on her next move.
"Ummm, he's probably just going on another date with Zoe," she said, without looking up.
" 'Zoe'?" Derek asked, seemingly innocently.
"Yeah, she's a girl he met at the Blue Velvet," Alice answered. "She's really pretty, and a piano player. And she's even Greek, like Dude. So, they're basically perfect for each other."
"Oh, so you know her?" Derek asked, intrigued.
"Yup, I met her when I was 'bartending for free' one night at the Blue Velvet. She's nice enough," Alice said, not meeting Derek's laser-like gaze.
Derek was fairly accomplished at strategy--in chess and otherwise--and just stayed silent, and waited for Alice to crack,
which did not take long.
"Dude and I are just friends, okay?" Alice said, exasperated. "I don't NEED a guy right now--I'm about to start a new job, I'm looking for my own place, and Bill and Regina have asked me to help them set up their new kitchen."
"Besides," she added, slyly, "I can get a guy in 5 minutes if I want one."