It was a quiet afternoon in the Hart household. Henry and Jasper were currently sitting on the couch, entrenched in the final season of their favorite show The Walking Orange. They had spent the majority of the day curled up on the couch binge-watching the show. Both of Henry's parents were still at work and Piper was spending time at a friend's house, so they pretty much had the house to themselves. Empty Sushi Dushi take-out boxes were littered around them. Jasper always loved days like this. He had had a crush on Henry ever since he could remember, and even though he loved Charlotte, he really appreciated days where it was just the two of them together. Jasper watched Henry for a moment, lost in thought. He had thought about telling his best friend how he felt a million times, but something had always stopped him every time. He was sure his friend didn't feel the same way.
Still, he couldn't help noticing the small subtle gestures that might say otherwise; sitting a little too close together on the couch, the hugs that lasted a few seconds too long, the way Henry's hand would brush up against Jasper's when he reached for something, the late night texts, or the fact that Henry was almost always touching Jasper in some way, whether it be the way their knees were bumping each other when they sat close together, or the way Henry would put his hand on Jasper's shoulder when he was talking to him. All these little subtleties gave Jasper hope that somewhere deep down, Henry might feel the same way too.
Suddenly, Henry's watch began to beep causing Jasper to snap out of his thoughts. Henry flipped it open and a tiny holographic Ray popped up.
"Henry, I need you to come into work. I have a new mission for you," Ray said.
"Okay, I'm on my way," Henry replied. He started to close his watch again.
"Wait, bring Charlotte!"
"Oh, I can't. She's still out of town. Jasper's here, though," Henry responded.
"Ugh, fine. Bring Jasper," Ray retorted. Henry gave Jasper an apologetic look.
"It'll be nice to see you too, Ray," Jasper responded sarcastically.
"Yeah, whatever. Just get here as soon as you can, okay?"
"Sure. We're on our way," Henry said, and he snapped his watch shut once more.
A few minutes later, Jasper and Henry arrived at Junk n' Stuff. They immediately took the elevator in the back down to the Man Cave, where they found Ray sitting on the far side of the room in front of the wall covered in screens. He swirled around in his chair to look at them as they exited the elevator.
"Hey, Ray, what's up?" Henry asked as he and Jasper made their way over to him.
"I've got a new mission for you. You remember those two criminals that escaped from jail that we've been trying to track down?" Ray asked.
"Ert and Bernie? Yeah, I remember. Did you find them?" Henry inquired.
"I think so. We got a tip from an anonymous source saying that they were gonna be attending that fancy fundraising gala the mayor is holding tonight. I was originally gonna have you do this with Charlotte, but since she's still out of town, I guess you'll have to do this with Jasper. I want you guys to go undercover as a couple and see if you can find them. When you do, beep me with your watch and try to keep them there until I can get there. Then we'll take them down."
Jasper's heart skipped a beat at the mention of them being a couple. Jasper could barely contain his excitement over the fact that he would be going on a date with Henry; even if it wasn't technically real.
"Why don't you and I just go as Captain Man and Kid Danger? I mean, I think it would be a lot easier for us to get in that way," Henry said. Jasper's heart sunk.
"Because, we don't want to scare them off. Imagine if we just went charging in there as Captain Man and Kid Danger...as soon as they spotted us they'd be gone. We'd never catch them that way. I need you guys to slip in there undetected," Ray explained. Henry nodded in agreement.
"Alright, that makes sense. But how exactly are Jasper and I going to get in. We weren't exactly invited."
"I might've had Schwoz hack into their system and add your names to the guest list," Ray replied.
"Alright then," Henry said, turning to Jasper. A playful smile spread across lips.
"So, Jasper. Wanna be my fake date to the mayor's gala tonight?"
Jasper's heart sped up and he smiled.
"I thought you'd never ask."
Jasper arrived at Henry's around 6:30 that evening. They had decided to meet at Henry's after getting changed and then Henry would drive them both over to the Gala. Jasper had put on an old formal black suit he had worn to his cousin's wedding a few years back, with a maroon bow tie that Henry had asked him to wear. Jasper stood on Henry's front porch for a moment and took a deep breath. Even though this technically wasn't a real date, he still felt nervous. He straightened his suit jacket and bow tie before ringing the doorbell. After a few moments the door swung open and Henry was standing in the doorway. Jasper's breath caught in his throat for a second. Henry was wearing black slacks, a dark maroon suit jacket (the same color and shade as Jasper's bow tie) and a black bow tie.
"Wow, he looks amazing," Jasper thought to himself. Henry smiled at Jasper and Jasper felt his knees get a little weak.
"Hey, ready to go?" Henry asked. Jasper tried to regain some composure in order to answer. He cleared his throat.
"Uh..yeah. Let's go," Jasper stuttered out. Henry grabbed his keys by the door.
"Cool, let's go," he said shutting the front door behind him. He lightly hit Jasper's arm as he walked by, making his way to his car. Jasper took another deep sigh before following.
"Wow, this is going to be an amazing night," he thought.
After a short while, Jasper and Henry arrived at the Stellar Star Hotel, Swellview's premier hotel where the mayor was holding his gala. Henry pulled up to the front of the hotel and Jasper and Henry got out. Henry threw his keys to the valet, and both men headed inside. They made their way across the lobby towards the hotel's ballroom. There was velvet rope draped in front of the ballroom entrance while a muscular man with a clipboard stood guard.
"Name?" he asked as Henry and Jasper approached.
"Henry Hart. And this is my date, Jasper Dunlop," Henry answered. Jasper smiled to himself and couldn't help but blush a little at the word "date." The man searched for their names on the guest list. He nodded to himself after locating them, pulled back the velvet rope and smiled.
"Enjoy your evening," he said. Henry and Jasper both smiled at him as they walked inside.
Tables draped in gold and white tablecloths took up one side of the ballroom, while a stage and dancefloor took up the other. There was an open bar located in the back of the room and a beautiful crystal chandelier hung from the middle of the room.
Jasper and Henry both made their way to the side of the ballroom with the tables and found their seats. Henry began to survey the ballroom for Ert and Bernie.
"Hey, I'm gonna go get some drinks," Jasper said as he stood up. Henry nodded in understanding.
Jasper made his way over to the bar and got two sodas for him and Henry.
"Hey, I got you a root beer cause I know it's your favorite," Jasper said as he handed Henry his drink. Henry smiled up at him.
"Thanks. That was thoughtful of you," Henry replied. Jasper and Henry spent the next twenty minutes just talking and laughing and enjoying each other's company. Jasper noticed that Henry was enjoying so much that he had stopped looking for Ert and Bernie for a while.
As the night went on, Jasper's anxiety started to diminish. After a while, he decided to work up the courage to ask Henry to dance. He took a deep breath before speaking.
Hey...Hen?" he began.
"Yeah, Jasp?" Henry answered without looking at Jasper. He had gone back to looking around the room for Ert and Bernie. Jasper could feel butterflies fluttering in his stomach.
"Do you...wanna dance?"
Henry spun around to look at Jasper, a delighted but bewildered look on his face.
"Seriously?" he asked. Jasper felt a knot begin to form in his stomach, and his mind began to race.
"Maybe I've pushed my luck too far," he thought to himself. Still, he pressed on.
"Yeah, I mean. We are on 'a date,' right?" he replied jokingly. Henry watched him for a moment and Jasper could feel a lump forming in his throat. After what felt like an eternity, Henry grabbed his hand.
"Yeah, let's do it!" he said excitedly, and he pulled Jasper over to the dance floor. Henry grabbed Jasper's waist and pulled him in close. Jasper could feel heat rising to his cheeks. Henry used his free hand to take Jasper's and he started to lead them around the dance floor. Jasper smiled at Henry as they danced and Henry gave a warm smile in return. Also, was Henry starting to blush too? Jasper felt like his heart was gonna beat out of chest. He felt happy and excited in that moment and he never wanted it to end. Jasper contemplated taking a leap and kissing Henry right then and there. It felt like the right moment to do so, and Jasper was feeling suddenly brave. He mulled it over in his head for a few seconds more. Yes, he was definitely gonna do it. He started to lean in to Henry, but something caught Henry's eye on the other side of the room. His expression immediately changed and he let go of Jasper. Jasper frowned.
"What is it?" he asked as he turned to see what Henry was looking at. There across the ballroom he spotted Ert and Bernie. He turned back around and Henry was already making his way to the empty hallway where he could call Ray. Jasper promptly followed. Henry opened his watch and a tiny holographic Ray popped up.
"Ray, they're here! I found them! I need you to get here now," he said, and before Ray could even answer, he snapped his watch shut. Henry reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his tube of gumballs.
"Make sure the coast is clear," he said. Jasper nodded and looked around the hallway for anyone who might spot them.
"You're good," he responded. Henry popped a gumball in his mouth and blew a bubble. After a few moments, he transformed into his alter ego Kid Danger.
"Stay close. I might need backup," he said.
"You got it," Jasper replied. Jasper and Kid Danger made their way back into the ballroom. Heads immediately began to turn towards Kid Danger. Henry made his way over to where Ert and Bernie were sulking in the corner.
"Hey!" he exclaimed. Ert and Bernie turned towards Henry and both shot him menacing glances.
"Funny. We didn't think Kid Danger was invited to this party," Bernie growled. Henry bawled his hands up into fists.
"Weird. I was just about to say the same thing to you," he replied and he threw a punch that hit Bernie square in the jaw. Bernie fell backwards a bit from the impact, but managed to maintain his balance. As soon as he was able to stand up straight again, both men began to throw punches at Henry. Henry was able to dodge them for the most part, but if Ray didn't arrive soon to back him up he was gonna start losing this fight. He threw punches back, but between trying to dodge two men at once, and trying to throw punches, Henry was only hitting his targets a quarter of the time. He could feel himself starting to wear out.
"It's Captain Man!" someone shouted from inside the ballroom. Henry let out a sigh of relief. Ray made his way over to Henry and began throwing punches. After a few minutes, Ray and Henry were both able to take Ert and Bernie down.
The police arrived shortly after and escorted both Ert and Bernie back to jail. The mayor had brought Captain Man and Kid Danger up on stage to personally thank them for saving the day once again. After that, Captain Man and Kid Danger stuck around for a while to take selfies with people and mingle with the citizens of Swellview. After the excitement had died down a little, Ray was able to slip out the back and Henry went in the empty hallway to change back into Henry once more. After doing so, he went over to his table and found Jasper.
"Hey, are you ready to go?' he asked, "I think I've had enough excitement for one night."
"Yeah, let's go," he replied. They both started out of the ballroom and back across the lobby. Jasper's hit of confidence that he had on the dance floor returned once more, and he quickly grabbed Henry's hand and began to hold it while they walked. Henry stopped and looked down at their hands and then at Jasper with a curious look. Jasper just smiled and pulled Henry across the lobby once again. Henry just smirked before following along.
They arrived at Jasper's house just a little while later, and Henry parked the car in his driveway. They sat in a comfortable silence for a moment.
"So, eventful night, huh?" Jasper asked finally. A grin spread across Henry's lips.
"I'll say. Sorry our fake date got cut short," Henry responded.
"Yeah. Maybe we should try it again sometime," Jasper said jokingly. Although, a part of him wasn't really joking. Henry just chuckled. They went silent again for a moment.
"Well, I should be getting inside, it's getting pretty late and I'm kinda tired," Jasper said at last. Henry turned to look at him and nodded.
"Alright. I'll see you later, man," he responded. Jasper gave him a half-smile before getting out of the car. Before he shut his door, Henry stopped him.
Jasper leaned down to look at him.
"Would you..." Henry started. Jasper could tell he was visibly nervous and he took a deep breath before continuing.
"Would you wanna go on a real date sometime?" he said finally. Jasper smiled at him.
"I thought you'd never ask."