(2018-12-26) Pineapple Rings
Luke and Ethan talk about chicks.

The Boardroom

A wooden bar occupies the center of this small, hole-in-the-wall establishment - lacking for things like "free wi-fi" and slick interior design. The whole place has fewer than ten small, round tables with mismatched chairs scattered across the wooden floor and one L-shaped bar with five stools in front of it. This is not the place to come asking for specialty liquors, but it's a decent joint if you're looking for some place downtown, and the location means it turns a good bit of business on a week night. There are decent beers on tap, and you can get a middle-of-the-road cocktail for a not-unreasonable price.

There's one, good-sized TV stuck to the wall next to the bar, inevitably tuned to sports, and every other spare space on the wall is occupied by a random assortment of decorations: advertisements for liquor or local businesses, a smattering of framed photographs of Colorado scenery, pennants for the Rockies and the Broncos, and a dartboard at the back. The smell of beer, peanuts, and patrons hangs in the air, often battling with whatever song someone convinces the old-school jukebox to pump out.

In case someone else wanders in (doubtful), it's after work-time. The bar's just opening, with a few tourists mixed in among the locals that occupy their normal stools and eat really old peanuts. They would probably be watching sportsball, but something seems to have happened to the TV, and it falls to Ethan to try to fix it. He's got the remote and the instruction booklet in hand, and he's on the bar-phone - which he proceeds to tell, "I already tried that! Do you have an office not in India you can connect me to?" The answer must have been no, 'cause he hangs up on them.

Where's the first place Luke goes when returned from Hawaii? The Boardroom, of course, to show off that sweet new tan and the exceptionally loud Hawaiian shirt that only suckers and tourists buy. Somewhere, in a board shop on the beach, a fat Hawaiian is laughing and counting his money. "ALOHA!" he exclaims, earning him dagger looks from the locals for the interruption, and he sidles up to the bar. Tanned arms plunk down upon the bar as he grins to Ethan. "Your TV isn't working."

Ethan missed Luke like crazy-cakes, of course. So much that he throws the instruction booklet at his face when the guy walks through the door all tan and shit. "Neither is that shirt, asshole." He continues pushing buttons. They continue to not fix the problem. "How was your trip?" he asks 'cause he knows he's supposed to. "Did you eat the chicken?"

"Assault!" Luke flails as the instruction booklet comes flying, even if it bounces harmlessly and flutters on down. He snatches it and puts it back on the bar where it belongs, smoothing out the pages unnecessarily. "It was great. I had so much sex on the beach, and I'm not talking about the drink," BA-ZINGA! He plops onto a stool and beams in a serene sort of way to Ethan. "I did eat the chicken. It was amazing. The whole thing was amazing. How was your Christmas?" And he asks because he CARES.

The bartender is not impressed with these two - also he loves Abby and so hates Luke - so he's not going to get Luke a drink. And Ethan is trying to fix the TV, so hopefully Luke's not real thirsty. "Ahahaha," with a slap to his knee and everything, just to really drive home how not-funny that joke was. "How'd the bracelet go over? Did you get present-nookie?" He wants to be a good friend, but the TV is killing him. :( "Mine? Fine. Came home early, surprised Angie, it was romantic as fuck. Dude, fix this." Remote shoves at Luke; the problem could be literally anything.

It was a good thing Luke didn't ever really come here to drink, else he'd be pretty damn irritated by all this lack of customer service. Instead though, he just grins at the knee-slap, pretending it means that his joke was as funny as he really truly believes it to be. "She loved it and she didn't really seem all that concerned that the guy died after he sold it to me, but I totally told her that /after/ the present nookie," he explains, frowning down at the remote when it's shoved at him. He starts pressing buttons just like Ethan, which means he's about as useless. "That's really cute," about surprising Angela, "What'd you give her?"

Ethan makes with the thumbs-up, for telling her after. Since he's passed his problem off to Luke, he can go ahead and get the guy a drink. "I knew she'd be cool about it. It'll be a funny story when you guys are old together." Actually, he gets Luke two drinks, putting a beer down, and then a shot of that super-expensive whiskey that pretty much only Angela orders. "The pleasure of my company." He leans over the bar, craning his neck to watch the TV continue to not work and adds super-casually, "And a ring."

<FS3> Luke rolls Mind + Repair: Success. (2 8 4)

Luke's not a television repair man, but he knows how to press buttons and reads directions. Mostly, anyway. So as Ethan goes to be a good friend and fetch him a drink, he squints at the instruction manual, turns the remote over.. and pops the back off of it. "Do you have any double A batteries?" He tries to say that in a tone that doesn't suggest Ethan's an idiot, but that's sort of hard. He sliiiides the remote back to him with a grin, one that rapidly melts into a slack-jaw at that super casual addition of what Ethan got Angela for Christmas. "Whoa whoa whoa what? A RING? Like an engagement ring?!"

Stuff Ethan keeps behind the bar include a baseball bat, a roll of duct tape, a staple gun, some Ziploc baggies - just your everyday kidnapper tool-kit, which he sets on top of the bar while he looks for batteries. "Sure," is his answer to the RING. He finds the batteries, looks at the date stamped on the packaging, brow-lifts, and hands them to Luke delicately. In case they explode. "It's gold. She seems happy with it." He shrugs.

Luke considers each of the items atop the bar with passing wonder, until he's distracted by the conversation again. "Wow," he remarks, because really, what else is there to say? Quite a lot, considering, "Can we find the irony in the fact that you're engaged after a month and I still can't tell my girlfriend I love her after four? Not even on the beach when it's fucking perfect," he mumbles to himself, popping the batteries into the remote while Ethan braces for explosion. Sadly, nothing takes them out, not even when Luke presses the power button and the television turns on. There is no cheering, but Luke considers himself a local hero now, and promptly looks back to Ethan. "I always figured you'd be the one that's the eternal bachelor. But look at me now! Always a bridesmaid, never a bride," he sighs dramatically. "I /do/ get to be the best man, right?"

The bartender wants the remote, Luke. Now. He even says, "Gimme that."

Which is why Ethan side-eyes him, holding an air-bubble in his cheek for a second, then blowing it out to comment, "He means 'thanks.'" Also, Mr. Emotionally Unavailable does a shot real quick while Luke's going on about his romantic woes. "Good god, man, just pull the fucking trigger already." Cough cough. "Yeah, see, I don't know if we're getting married, exactly. More just - we're effectively hitched. But sure, if there's a wedding, you can be the best man, and the ring-bearer, and the guy that plays the music, and rents the tuxes, and the limo, and fuck weddings."

Luke side-eyes the bartender, too, before he stretches the remote out to him in the most painfully slow way possible. "You're welcome. Also? Abby says hi," he smiles oh-so-big to the bartender, before his attention flicks back to Ethan. "I'll do it, eventually. When the moment is right. But more right than Hawaii on the beach, okay?" Then, his brows go up, "Well, whatever. You can just get married whenever I do it. Like the ultimate double date."

"Dude, when he beats your ass?" Ethan drops his voice, chin-tossing to the bartender, who ignores Luke COMPLETELY and puts on sportsball. "I'm not jumping in to save you. And. Seriously. When is 'right?' You're in love with her, you went to Hawaii together, if she leaves you, you're going to fall apart, tell her." He mumbles things that sound like 'or i'm going to do it for you.' "Put a goddamn ring on it already." He can say that now. :D

"Whaaat?" Luke looks innocent. He even reaches up to polish his halo, and makes little squeaky-squeaky sounds under his breath as he does so. "It's true. She actually did say hi." And not to prove anything, he pulls out his phone and swipes a couple of texts, before he looks back up and just rolls his eyes at Ethan. "I am not going to fall apart," he huffs, "And I will tell her! At some point. In the future. And I definitely don't think we're at the put a ring on it stage, jeeze."

"If she leaves you? You're going to be so many kinds of wrecked." Ethan has zero doubts about this. "But it's fine. I still have your note on a napkin. So at least she'll know about how you think she's the smartest person you ever saw after you die without ever getting over your shit. Maybe she'll say it first, then - when you still can't get the words out - she'll think you just don't feel the same way and dump you."

"You were supposed to throw that away," Luke says of the napkin, scowling. "You are a terrible best friend. And if she was going to say it first, she would have said it already. But look," he holds up his phone, where he has totally been texting Abby this whole time about Ethan. "I told her to remind me I have something to tell her. Are you happy now?!"

Ethan shrugs helplessly about what he was SUPPOSED to do, it's just out of his hands now. "Why do you say such hurtful things? I never say shit like that right to your face." He looks at the phone about the way he looked at the instruction manual earlier: like it's written in Greek. "What? Like, in general? Or with the fact that you're finally gonna tell your girlfriend you love her? 'Cause I'm not sure that's actually gonna happen."

It was high time for Luke to take that shot that Ethan had poured ages ago, hissing through his teeth at the burn down his throat. He slides the glass out of the way afterward, and just huffs. "I'm going to tell her," he says insistently. "Just.. not tonight, because I don't have flowers or champagne or anything and what do you mean you don't say shit like that TO MY FACE?" he scowls. "

"Sure ya are." Ethan claps Luke on the shoulder while he chokes down his whiskey. (Why do they shoot whiskey? They obviously both hate it. Probably Angela's fault.) "I don't say shit like that to your face," he repeats, obnoxiously slowly, like how people talk to people who can't speak English loud-and-slow. "I had flowers and champagne. They were overkill."

Everything was Angela's fault, including this VERY CONVERSATION. Damn her, damn her to hell! "I am," Luke says again with a huff, because he totally is. Maybe. Probably. EVENTUALLY. The slow talking thing just makes him roll his eyes, and he breathes out as he takes another drink from his beer, which he loves and never has to choke down. "Well I am happy for you. I'm going to be the best best man at your wedding, whenever it happens. BUT FOR NOW!" Yes, for now. He takes another drink of his beer, fishes out some money to pay for the drinks that he didn't even order, and slides off the bar. "I gotta get back, break into Abby's place, get into her bed and strategically arrange pineapple slices on my body for when she gets home," he smiles. "It's going to work out great."

"You don't have a key?" Ethan takes Luke's money for the drinks he didn't order and puts them into the cash register. It makes him happy. "Dude, you should get them to spell out L-O-V-E. But also have some on-hand that spell D-U-M-B. For when you puss out at the last second." He bro-fists across the bar; "Good luck, man."

Luke fist-bumps Ethan back and then saunters out the door. But Ethan would hear him exclaim as he walks out of sight: "If I spell out love, what am I going to put on the other ten inches of my GIANT PENIS?!"

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