The lights flickered off—that imperceptible drone of electricity died—and complete blackness reigned.
The prefect sat in the middle of the blackness of his room, sighing deeply at the chorus of voices that echoed in the new silence. “What?!”
"Charlie!! The power went out!!" Wes screamed from downstairs, voice resounding off the walls.
"Wow, I didn’t notice!" Charlie screamed back.
"But I haven’t finished my painting!" Reed wailed from down the hall.
"Reed, do not move an inch from where you are right now!” he heard Kurt command imperiously. “You might end up decapitating yourself or something.”
"Can someone please get the emergency lights?!” Blaine called from down the hall.
"We’ve got it!" two identical voices chorused. Mutinous grumbling sounded throughout Windsor. There was a bump and a thump and a powerful clatter down the hall as something large fell over.
"What was that?!" Charlie demanded.
"Demons!" Dwight shrieked shrilly from his room.
"Houston, shut up and don’t move!!"
"You actually think I’m going to move?! I’m staying in my holy-water-dampened-iron-filing-mixed-salt circle thank you very much!!” There was the sound of something being loaded. Charlie groaned.
"Okay people," he sighed. "No one approach Houston’s area or I won’t be responsible for what kind of armament he’s using—"
"If we can even see which way Dwight’s room is,” David grumbled.
"Where are those lights, Tweedles?!" Charlie yelled.
"Problem with that—"
"Just a little—
It was Drew who spoke now, from somewhere, sounding embarrassed. “Er…we…may have taken the batteries out on some of them.”
"For Science," Satoru added with gravity.
"Science!" Drew echoed.
Charlie resisted the urge to physically harm the first breathing human being that he would get his hands on in this darkness. “What about the ones that are supposed to be charged?” he said, forcing a calm he did not feel.
"About that…" Evan said, sounding very close, "…we haven’t exactly…"
"Ever charged them…” Ethan replied, also very close. “We…couldn’t be bothered…”
"Charlie, I can tell that your blood pressure is rising," Blaine remarked in the dark. "I’ll try to find us some batteries. Tweedles, go upstairs and ask Han if he would like to share his backup generators."
“No.” came the automatic answer from a speaker.
“Can’t compromise my system. I am literally an hour away from beating this game. Besides, my Torchwood download is about to finish. A single flicker could ruin everything.”
"Han…" Charlie’s tone became dangerously soft so Blaine stepped in again: "Han, can you at least figure out why the power’s out?"
“Oh. Stuarts getting back at us for spiking the coffee supply with jalapeno sauce. Unfortunately, they suck, so they may have taken the school down with it too.”
Charlie heard Kurt sigh deeply as, in a single body, the boys of Windsor stampeded down the hall, yelling war cries—sounds of nerf and paintball guns being loaded everywhere—and running down the stairs, pouring out of the House to assault the other house.
A flashlight clicked on next to Charlie, making him yelp and jump a foot into the air.
"Hey!" Dwight said, wide-eyed. "I have flashlights. Always prepared."
"Damn it, Dwight…"