Situation 1 — The World Needs a Hero…

“How do you feel about me?” she asked, suddenly, turning her head to look him right in the eyes.

“The hell?” he blurted, leaning away slightly.

“I’m just messing with you,” she said with a laugh.

“Oh.” He was flooded with relief. “Yeah, ha ha, you got me.”

“Really?”

“What?” He could feel his cheeks blush.

“Okay, now I’m curious,” she said, turning fully to him, raising one eyebrow.

“About?”

“How do you feel about me?”

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re the bee’s knees.”

“Oh, come on!” she said with a grin and a playful shove.

“Hell no, it’s way too played up now. It can only disappoint.”

“Please?” she said, placing her hand on his and locking the deal with a gentle squeeze.

“Okay, ” he said, quickly raising a finger in the air.

“Yay — !”

But,” he said, interrupting, “I’m getting a drink first. You want anything?”

“Ugh… just a beer. Hurry!” she said with an exasperated sigh as he stood. This made him smile, like pretty much everything else she did. Still, he had to come back with something.

He could try coming back and just not bringing it up. He’d need a backup plan if that one flopped. Back to square one, he thought as he walked towards the bar, squeezing between people.

The bartender looked at him and gave him a nod. He looked at the liquor shelf and realized he had no idea what he wanted.

“What’s good for someone about to make an ass of himself?”

“Well, that depends. Girl? Job? The world in general?”

“Girl.”

“You like her?” the bartender asked.

“Yeah. She’s kind of amazing.”

“All that, eh?”

And a bag of chips. So… you got a few shots of something to, uh, make that easier… or the let-down less of a crotch-kicker?”

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained, man. She like you?”

“Yeah, but not the same way, I don’t think… I’d just kind of like to get it out there, you know?”

“Ballsy. Alright. Tell you what, I got a hero’s brew for you. On me. Please feel free to tip, however,” he finished with a flash of a smile. He flipped out a mixer and added the necessary ingredients, several vigorous shakes, and out into three waiting shot glasses. He waved his hand above the drinks with a flourish.

“What… all three of them?”

“It was that or a bigger glass. This works out better. Trust me.”

“You’re the wizard,” he said with a chuckle as he stuffed a bill in the tip jar. He picked up the first of the shots, eyeballing it. It was a vibrant royal blue. “Neat,” he said and tossed it back. His eyes burned from the potent drink. The remaining two shots followed in quick succession.

“Well?” the bartender asked, after making his way back to his end of the bar.

“I was expecting some kind of witch’s brew tasting concoction, but aside from the fire-swallowing sensation it was pretty good.”

“You drank all three?”

“Well... yeah. You said to.”

“Jesus. Not all at once, man. You better get moving with your thing before you get really goofy.”

“Okay, that’s a little alarming. Oh, hey, I need two beers. Lonestar.”

“Seriously?”

“That’s what she likes,” he replied with a shrug.

He collected the cans of beer from the bartender and moved through the packed people, back to their table. Those shots were really warm in his stomach. He set them down and sat across from her.

“I thought you bolted or something. Well?” she said with exaggerated impatience.

“Well, what?”

“You know what,” she said with a wicked grin.

“Ah, god, are we still on this?” he asked, hoping she’d let it drop.

“You promised!”

“Fine,” he said with a heavy sigh.


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