Being a bartender wasn't necessarily the best job in the world, but the pay was reasonably good, so you knew it would work out for now.
Friday evening, 4:35, you got in to start your shift. Walking to behind the bar, you couldn't help but do a double take. Some guy, hopefully the performer the manager booked, was playing with the microphone stand. You couldn't help but chuckle. It seemed he wanted it higher, but couldn't figure out just how to do that. His actions were... amusing.
But too amusing it seemed, as he lifted his head at the sound of the laugh. The two of you met eyes and you froze. Not only did he catch you laughing at his own dismay, he was pretty. Really pretty. If you were supposed to be panicking in your brain at this moment, it was far too jumbled to have anything comprehensible.
Once he looked back to the mic stand, you ran to the staff room to change into the black attire you were forced to wear every night.
What in the stars was that? Freezing. What are you a fanfiction?
Making your way back behind the bar, you dared to look up to check up on Microphone Man. Oh, how you wished you didn't. Just as you did, he looked up, making for some very awkward eye contact, on your part at least.
Tearing your eyes away was, thankfully, easier this time, but not as helpful as he jumped down off the stage.
Oh, no... no. Please don't.
Before you knew it, he was standing right infront of you. Panicked, you grabbed a perfectly clear glass and started cleaning it. This time he chuckled, with a quite frankly adorable head tilt. With a lovable grin, he stared at you for a moment. Not creepily, but as if he looking at the view from a mountain, or the way you looked at nutella on... anything. Either way you died on the inside, and really hoped it didn't show on the outer.
You knew, looking directly at him properly would cause you perhaps even more fluster. But it would also go against your job. And so embarrassment was chosen over unemployment, and you put down the glass.
"Hey," he said.
Holy- okay... breathe. Hello.
What's your name?
But instead of saying it, like you had intended, your mouth decided to stay shut, leaving you to stare at the very attractive (like, getting more attractive by the second attractive) man. Somehow he kept up his quirky smile, and for a few seconds you just looked at each other.
James. It suited him really well.
And you held out your hand. Like an idiot, considering the informal occasion. He shook it, and your stomach filled with helium balloons, bouncing around.
"Great! Could you, uh... help me out with the equipment? It's not working."
You laughed, "Oh, yeah. Cool. I'll help. Sure. Just a minute."
Heading towards the bar flap, you decided it would be much easier to jump over it, than to open in. Bracing yourself, then jumping, you found yourself tripping up before you even jumped, failing to land properly. Face red, questioning why the heck you just did that, you heard James laugh. Some of the pressure released from your chest and you decided that you'd enjoy hearing his laughter at the cost of your own mortification.
"Are you okay?" he asked, still snickering.
"Uh... yeah. Definitely, I do that... never, actually. Let's look at that mic stand."
Turns out, the microphone stand was a lot stiffer than you recall. It took well over 20 minutes to fix as well as an awful lot of WD-40, so thankfully your colleague could manage for a small while alone. Another positive to that stupid mic stand, was that it allowed you and James to talk. You spoke about a little of everything, and started forming real sentences as you settled in.
He talked about his job, how he was indeed the performer for this evening, his home town, among other things, while you talked about what you were hoping to do in your future, that year you went travelling around Europe and got pushed into a lake in Oslo, and your lack of an interesting life as of late. You could understand why he was such a successful comedian, he was insanely funny. His way of storytelling was engaging, humorous, and the way he got excited during every other topic of the conversation was nothing short of admirable.
"Well, uh..." you cleared your throat slightly, "there you have it, stand's fixed."
"Oh. Good. Thank you for that." James fiddled with it to make sure, "You should consider being a professional stand fixer."
You giggled, "Yeah, well-"
Before you could actually finish your sentence, your name was called, clearly your coworker needed a little help.
"I have my current job to work on. Break a leg!"
Do you even say break a leg to comedians?
You skipped off the slightly raised stage, before your colleague could call your name a third time.
The next time you came in for work, James was there. Again. This time sitting at the bar.
You smiled as you made your way around the bar (opening the flap this time).
You smiled. "Hello. How's your day been?"
Oh my stars.
"Good to hear," James grinned, you continued, "Give me one moment, I need to get changed."
It was safe to assume you had never gotten changed so quickly.
Returning to the workspace, James was still on his stool.
"Now, what can I get you on this fine..." You looked out the glass doors and saw that it was still relatively light outside, "...evening?"
"Right," he chucked, "if you wouldn't mind I'd like the time."
"The time you get off work."
"Yeah, um. I don't know if... 10:45? It's pretty late though, we can-"
"I'll see you then." He interrupted, grabbing his jacket, and leaving.
No matter how stereotypical it was, that little chat made your shift all the more enjoyable. The excitement casted a positive shield around you, that not even the most irritating of customers could dent.
Once your shift was over, you changed back into your everyday clothes and waited for James. During this settled state, you realised two very crucial things.
1. What's going to happen this evening? Will I be prepared? Are my clothes far too casual? and
2. Easily the hardest to think about, Is this actually a date?
You sure hoped so. But there was no indication that it would be. If it wasn't, you could completely, irredeemably, embarrass yourself. James would never want to speak to you ever again, and all things would fall into ch-
The voice was unmistakably James'. You turned to face him. Something seemed different about him since the last time you spoke...
"Is that a different shirt?"
"Yeah. I thought it'd be- I changed earlier."
"Okay. Are we heading out? I have no idea where we are going..."
"Yes! Right. C'mon."
James held his arm out. You took it, laughing, and you were off.
James took you to a late night roller rink that you truly didn't know existed. You realised as soon as you got onto the floor, that you had no idea what you were doing. Although, it seemed, neither did James for the most part.
After falling, laughing, and a range of other emotions and fun filled actions, you two managed to find your way back to his place. You two end up doing what any other adults would do at 1:15 in the morning, and build a blanket fort in the middle of his living room. More laughing, bonding, and even a spot of tea ensued before both of you managed to fall asleep under the tent of fluffy quilts and throws.
The next morning, you woke up a little confused. You were pretty sure you didn't own any fluffy orange blankets, and you were pretty sure you wouldn't purposefully sleep with it on your face, on the floor. But as you turned around to see some fluffy hair poking out of another blanket (this one had patterns on it that reminded you a lot of your childhood bedsheets) you remember you weren't at your home, and everything else that happened last night.
Sitting up a little more you wiped your eyes. You were still insanely tired.
You turned to James who had presumably just woken up. His voice was everything you'd expect from it and dang.
"Hello." You whispered.
Despite the fact that you were both on the floor, and in your clothes from the other night, everything about what was happening just felt... right. You couldn't explain it. You've tried to, in your mind, but nope. Nothing. But you knew it did.
"Do you..." You began, not really knowing where you were going with it.
But that didn't matter, because he seemed to.
"Yeah... I do."
You both smiled. A tired, but immeasurably happy smile. And you both shared it.