Now that the author has finally decided to upload after another long hiatus riddled with gay porn, unfortunate events, and tubs of ice cream—this next part of our ill-fated, gay little FanFiction takes place not 10 or so minutes from where we left off.
The west coast city of Seattle was dark now, on account of it being well past 8 pm, and the stars above were shining bright, like little expertly-cut rhinestones, for all to see. The skyscrapers shone too, now with a light of their own from inside their towering figures, able to be seen from tens of miles away.
The vast concrete jungle still bustled despite how dark it'd grown, the paths of thousands of traveling city folk littered throughout the sidewalks and on the roads illuminated by the pale, sometimes flickering light radiating from the many street lamps positioned every 10 yards or so.
By now it had grown cold, too, as the night really had a chance to set in, and the already frigid temperatures dropped from a steamy 35 degrees to a miserable 12 degrees, falling steadily. The wind only made the outside air all the more unbearable, blowing at a significant pace, making it feel like the ass end of Siberia in mid-January.
But for the taller of our two humble, surgery-loving protagonists, 12 degrees Fahrenheit with a -5 degree wind chill felt like nothing. As he took broader and broader strides in a desperate attempt to keep up with his boss on the cold city streets, Peter Benton felt as if he may as well be in Florida during a heatwave, his once-useless suit jacket now making him sweat like a whore in church.
After putting a good 10 or 11 city blocks between themselves and that wretched dinner, it was safe to say that our two surgical heroes had made out like prison escapees in the night, all thanks to Stan and his frightening drunken outburst. Evidently, no one had thought better and followed them out, either, leaving them completely unnoticed.
Regardless, the short, bald mastermind of Peter's and his grand escape still maintained a brisk speed-walk not unlike that of an angry, middle-aged soccer mom named Karen, hellbent on speaking to the manager of her local Costco.
The hardened expression of pure and utter determination on his small, handsome face made it so that not he, nor his subordinate following him like a lost puppy, bumped into anyone at all throughout their trek into the heart of Seattle. Any daring soul that'd found themselves in the oh-so intimidating Rocket Romano's path had immediately jumped out of it without a second thought, some even going as far as nearly backing off of curbs and into open traffic in an attempt to rescue themselves from his scorn.
And, around the 12th block or so, Peter had finally gathered himself following their hasty retreat from Les Bos, tripling his current speed to try and match that of his fuming boss in order to speak to him.
"Dr. Romano," he alerted his bald superior, who acknowledged the man's place at his left side with a fleeting glance before staring right back ahead, determined to get wherever the hell he was taking them, and fast.
"Save it, Peter. At least until we've put some more distance between us and that utter hellhole." Robert barked at him, his pace picking up just a little bit more at the mere mention of their previous ordeal. "I swear, it's times like these that really make me regret becoming a surgeon in the first place."
"Respectfully, Dr. Romano, we've already put 14 city blocks between us and the restaurant," Peter told him hastily, wiping the perspiration that'd managed to spring up in the freezing fucking cold from his dogged efforts at keeping up with the bald man. "Would you mind telling me where the hell we're going?"
"You'll find out when we get there." He said shortly and without looking at the taller surgeon.
"Oh, come on! You can't just drag me around this damn city in the freezing cold without so much as an explanation!" Benton yapped into the bald man's left ear, his voice once again taking on that same old bitchy tone it always had during the many other heated, typically one-sided conversations with his boss.
"God, I still can't believe I even let you drag me into this in the first place. What if somebody saw? Somebody important?"
Peter's incessant worrying had been met with stony silence. Regardless, though, the taller surgeon continued.
"There were at least a hundred or so people at the dinner. Probably more. Someone had to have seen us." Benton fret terribly, gazing down the city street they were quickly striding through with a look of slight anguish. He emitted an energy not unlike some nerdy straight-A student who'd been talked into skipping Algebra with his new "friends" to chuck stones off of a highway overpass. "I just hope they don't think I'm just some arrogant little weasel like Edson, skipping out on getting to know some of the other attendees to go out to a bar or something, and drink myself into a stupor. They're probably going to expect me 20 minutes late tomorrow morning, hungover, with a 5 o'clock shadow and another notch in my belt—"
"Oh my God, will you just stop worrying?!" Romano cut in sharply, finally sparing Peter a decent glance, his brow furrowed in annoyance towards the complete and total dweeb accompanying him. "You know, you're really starting to make me wish I'd just gone alone, and left you at the mercy of Donald and all those vile old bores he calls friends!"
"Well for your information, Dr. Romano..." The tall man yapped, unappreciative towards his boss and his constant inability to give even the very crack of a rat's ass about his personal problems. "I thought that at least one of us should be concerned about our reputation out here. It's my first time going to one of these things as an attending, I just think that it's important I leave a lasting impression."
Robert stopped abruptly in his path, the sudden pause in his tireless efforts towards getting wherever he wanted to take them catching Peter a little off guard. The strange bald man turned to look at him, eyeing him quizzically with piercing brown eyes, silent for a few beats.
"I'm sorry, but exactly what part of the last 18 hours or so makes you want to be invited back to this damn thing?!" He asked, his voice raising a bit more than necessary considering their close proximity, making quite a few people to the sides of them stare for a moment as they passed on through.
"Honest to God, Peter. If I didn't know just how much of a proper, good little boy you are, I'd think you were carrying a flask somewhere underneath that jacket of yours!" Robert poked Peter's chest, clad with the smooth, dark gray fabric of his suit jacket for emphasis. He turned away from the man after that, starting once again on his way down the busy sidewalk.
"I'm not crazy about this whole thing either! I just—..." The tall dweeb cut himself off this time, grappling for the right words to use as a justification for wanting to come back to another of those ungodly conferences. "I'm perfectly aware this thing has been awful from the start. I am. But this is my first major chance at really getting my name out there and boosting my reputation, as a surgeon, so that later on down the line—"
But Robert stopped him once more, both in conversation and physically, keeping him from walking any further with a hand on his shoulder. He turned a bit on the edge of the street he'd been speed-walking down, looking at whatever building happened to placed across from it.
Still quite confused from the night's events, Benton followed the man's gaze to a small, generously lit restaurant just one crosswalk away. Obviously a small family owned business, the place was practically a living, breathing stereotype of every little modern American restaurant out there. It was all tied together, of course, with a glowing red sign that read, in large bold letters, the name "Buck's Burgers".
Peter scoffed humorlessly, shaking his head at the simply ludicrous situation at hand.
"You made me run half way through this damn city in the blistering cold," he stated, bemused, if not slightly irritated with his bald companion. "For burgers?"
"What? You're telling me you actually ate a decent portion of the half cooked, sorry excuse for European cuisine that was shoved in front of you tonight?" Robert asked, smirking when he was met with a look of slight disgust from his subordinate as he recalled the failure of a meal he had last. "Didn't think so. And for whatever reason no taxi driver I've ever had can ever find this damn place. That, and I figured rushing off on foot would give us a better chance of leaving without Anspaugh trying to drive us back in..."
His explanation was met with stony silence as Peter shifted his gaze down toward the hard concrete of the sidewalk, his expression thoughtful.
"Look. It's either this, or you can just catch a cab and fill up on cheap snacks back at the hotel, all the while missing out on a hot meal that's actually got some quality to it." The bald surgeon tried to persuade him once more, the look in his eyes almost pleading with Benton to join him in that cliché little joint, probably wanting to keep from looking like some sad, lonely, estranged little man, dining all by his lonesome on a cold Friday night.
At last, the taller man shrugged, surrendering just a bit more to his mostly empty stomach, which seemed even emptier at the thought of burgers and cheese fries, than to his boss, who just stood there, practically giving him puppy eyes.
Seeming to light up just a bit at Benton's surrender to his grand idea, Romano gave him a small smile before leading the way through the crosswalk and towards the entryway of his trusted burger joint.
And, as the little bald dumpster fire of a human being led him inside and got them a spot off to one quiet little corner of the restaurant, Peter discovered the place to be as much of an American stereotype inside as it looked from the outside.
It was rather brightly lit, decorated with a color scheme mostly adhering to solid reds, blues, and blacks, yet not as busy as the tall surgeon would've thought it to be on a weekend. 80% of the seating they had to offer was either in a booth, or at the rather sizable bar just beyond its entrance. And, naturally, the bar was relatively full, inhabited mostly by a bunch of scruffy-looking middle-aged dudes. They all looked as if they were bitching to their fellow man about the first world troubles that plagued their lives, such as work or the struggle of being married with children as they washed it all down with cheap beer and honey roasted peanuts.
The bartender looked as if she were considering a career change, pulling the same false expressions of interest as Romano when he'd been listening to Dr. LimpDick, or whatever his name is.
Following the Narrator's long, descriptive monologue about a literal burger restaurant, the pair of surgeons sat down in a booth together as Robert immediately picked up a menu, eager to drown the rest of his night in good food and even better drinks.
"Something tells me this isn't the first time you've pulled something like this around here," Peter wondered aloud as he looked at his own menu, any regret aimed towards their grand escape melting away as his craving for meat and pure cholesterol peaked.
"Gold star for your intuition, Peter!" The bald man told him, sparing a quick glance to the younger surgeon over his menu. "Let's just say, this is my go-to whenever I need a quick get away from the main attractions of this damn trip,"
He set down his menu almost as quickly as he picked it up, fixing Peter with a serious look, causing the other man to stare right back as a new thought sprang to his attention.
"It also happens to be my little secret. And yours now too." The strange bald man picked up his fork in an almost threatening manner, as if he would actually fucking do something with it. "You tell anyone about this place, so help me God, I'll take that little rugrat of yours for ransom."
"What place?" Peter asked him knowingly as his eyes flicked to his menu, going back to trying to pick out even a moderately healthy dish amongst the endless choices of heart-stopping American cuisine. Robert dropped his fork.
"The first couple days never really do get to me. Well, at least until tonight happened," he explained to his subordinate, clearly set with his order already after so many years of dining at the damned place.
"You'd be surprised on how keen Anspaugh can be on setting up little get togethers with some of the other attendees!" Robert laughed at the thought of the surprising amount of friends their superior could make in such a short time, leaning back in his seat, sipping at the water that'd already been poured for them when they got there. "Sometimes we go straight from the conference, after hours. He always insists on going to the same grungy little pub, too, the one over on Gardener. Then usually we becomes they when I run off while they're too deep in conversation to notice."
Peter set his menu down, gazing at his boss with a look of disbelief, if not mild amusement.
"Oh come on, he's your boss! And one of my mentors," the tall surgeon nagged him, surprisingly sympathetic towards the old bore. "Would it kill you just to share a little sense of camaraderie with him, just for one night?"
"Believe me Peter, all his friends usually suck," Robert justified, stealing another sip of his ice water, wincing briefly as the cold substance raped his fucking teeth down to their roots. "That, and the place always reeks of cheap cigar smoke and leather. The drinks are quite good, but I can never get a sip down without wanting to gag."
If Peter was about to say anything to defend his trusted mentor and his shitty friends, he was immediately cut off by an abrupt, depressing presence.
A sad, dark eyed, black haired man in a red apron, black crew cut-tee, and bootcut jeans walked up to the table with a pad and pen. His fabulous ensemble was complete with a black baseball cap that had Buck's Burger's glorious logo printed on it, accompanied with an oversized burger and fries off to one side.
"Hi there! The name's Eddie Dorsett, but you can call me Fast Eddie for short." He had the demeanor of a limp, steamed hotdog. "I'll be taking care of you both on this lovely evening. Can I get you both something to drink?"
"Err...Actually, I think we're all set to order," Robert informed the overcooked rotisserie chicken of a human being, eager to rid himself of the waiter's presence as quick as humanly possible.
"Ah, I see. Keepin' it fast for ol' Fast Eddie here tonight." Ugh. "Well then. In that case, what can I get for you?"
Respectively, both Romano and Benton ordered their meals, along with a pair of drinks they both hoped would be potent enough to rid their minds not only of their respective Les Bos experiences, but also of...oh my fucking god...Fast Eddie and his shitty Staples brand notebook.
When all was said and done, the wretched waiter shut his pad with a smirk.
"Alright. I'll get that right up for ya'," he told the pair with a toothy grin. His teeth were as yellow as traffic lights.
"And, because you guys have grown on me so much, after this, I can fix you up with a lovely little lady named Diamond who works at the intersection of Tenth and Broadway," Fast Eddie allowed himself a small laugh at his own dumb joke. The sound was deep and throaty, not unlike a large bullfrog as it chokes on a horsefly and dies. "I bet with a good 50 bucks from each of you, she'll really spice up your night. One round at a time."
The two surgeons fixed their waiter with a glare, signaling that he should probably just walk his sad ass right back to the kitchen and put in their orders. The crooked smile ran away from his face in a second.
"Erm...I should have your drinks out in a jiff..." and with that...oh, Jesus Christ...Fast Eddie was finally, mercifully gone.
"Okay. He's new," Robert told his subordinate, still reeling from their interaction. "I'm almost sure I'd remember a horrid, unrefined little weasel like that..."
Peter allowed himself a laugh, despite the fact that he was still inwardly cringing hard enough from the encounter to turn himself purple.
"He kind of reminds me of Dale."
"Aww. You getting homesick already, Peter?" The short surgeon teased, propping his head up on one hand, leaving his elbow to rest on the table. This put a wry, toothy smile on the taller man's face as he fiddled with his butter knife absentmindedly.
"For Dale Edson? God no!"
Edward LittleDick came over for the briefest of moments to drop their cocktails off at their table, even going as far as leaving them off to the side of its surface rather than setting one in front of each surgeon, failing to make eye contact with either for even a fleeting second before scurrying off like a skittish deer.
"I guess I do miss Reese, though." He wondered aloud once more, giving a pensive look to the steel utensil he'd been screwing around with as he thought about the young boy he left in Chicago. "I kind of regret not getting the chance to call my sister Jackie and at least get him on the phone to say goodnight. I know he can't hear me, but it'd still be good to hear him on the other line."
"Don't worry. This damn thing'll be over before you know it," Robert assured his employee, taking a hearty swig of his Old Fashioned, hoping that drinking the potent little thing on a mostly empty stomach would make all the difference. Peter still looked quite dejected though, obviously beginning to miss his family back at home. His family, and his own big warm bed, which did not happen to be several floors off the ground without any decent fucking elevator to carry him there after a long day's travels.
"And I know how you feel. I really do," Robert told him sincerely as he took another lengthy sip from his drink. "I just can't stand to leave my girl at home, alone, with just a few visits from the petsitter to keep her company. Maybe tomorrow I could convince her to put Gretel on the phone for me."
Peter set his head on his hand then, much like Romano had done earlier, with his elbow propping him up on the table. And he was hiding his mouth with his hand, too, in a vain attempt to make it out like he really was just resting his head in his hand. Really, though, the man across from him could tell he was trying his damnedest not to bust out laughing at him.
"What?!" He couldn't hold back his laughter any longer as he drank in the sight of Robert's offended expression, his cheeks reddened slightly on account of just having exposed his feelings towards his beloved pet. To a colleague, no less. One often under the strict belief that the Prestigious and Almighty, Unfeeling Rocket Romano didn't give a damn about anything but himself and his Jag.
"Nothing, nothing...it's, um..." Peter stammered, still struggling to control the fit of giggles he'd since erupted into, the broad smile on his face quite a contrast from just a few moments ago, when he'd been lamenting about missed nights with his family. "I'm sure she'll be very glad to hear from you."
"Oh come on! Don't tell me you've never had some furry, four-legged creature to come home to!" He defended himself against the other surgeon's ruthless disparagement, crossing his arms.
"I used to, in the 5th grade!" Benton told him, a few chuckles still bubbling up from the depths of his throat. "A grey hamster named Bubbles my dad got me as a present for acing my math test. Damn thing got loose one day and jumped from my second-floor window!"
The bald surgeon laughed, his face painted with disbelief. "You've got to be kidding!"
"I cried about it for almost a week straight." The tall dweeb confessed, shaking his head at the disturbing childhood memory.
"I suppose it would've been far less traumatizing if the neighbor's cat hadn't run off with his mangled body." Peter let his eyes meet his boss's own dark, coffee stained ones. "So to answer your question, no, I never really did have all that good of an experience with anything four-legged!"
Robert's shoulders shook as hearty, genuine laughter overtook his robust form. It was a rare sight to behold, and the tall surgeon across from him took it in, quite awestruck. Peter couldn't help but laugh with him, his boss's joy proving to be quite contagious from across the table.
Both men's joy had been short lived, though, as an annoying, weasly presence made itself known once again, this time with two plates heaped to their brims with hot burgers and fries in both hands. Almost instantly the light-hearted, whimsical mood about their table died a gruesome death, leaving awkwardness and discomfort in its place.
The middle-aged wretch set both plates down in front of them, shoving each order in front of the wrong surgeon, so that Robert got Peter's skimpy platter of sweet potato fries and a cheeseburger. Meanwhile, the taller, darker physician sulked over Robert's triple bacon cheeseburger with chili cheese fries as Fast Felcher finished up.
"Alright. Now you guys just let me know if you need anything else." He informed the pair, looking way too proud of himself for completing such a simple task. The broad smirk on his face had been just about as charming as a glass of milk that's been pissed in and left in the sun for a good couple of weeks.
"If you need anything, anything at all," Edward HorseShit pointed a thumb at himself, pausing for a painful 5 seconds, the smirk failing to run away from his face for even a second this time. "I'm your guy."
He gave both surgeons a wink before breaking into a strut, making his retreat back towards the kitchen to pick up more food for the other unlucky customers who just so happened to have the misfortune of having him as their server.
Wordlessly, the two men switched plates, their disturbance finally alleviated. For now...
"Well, one thing's for sure," Robert noted as he picked up a stray fry that'd fallen off his plate, shoving it into his mouth. "Fast Eddie really lives up to his name."
And so, as the cold night grew less and less young, our two surgical heroes drank, talked, and ate nearly enough to make themselves explode, as one always does when they're tired as hell after having endured a grueling, never ending day in yet another frigid, windy city.
By the time...sigh...Fast Eddie came back around to their table with the check, it'd already been half past nine. Really, though, the relatively early hour still felt like 3 in the fucking morning to the pair on account of their travels.
"God...I think if I take another bite I might just perforate something," Benton informed his boss as he finished up paying for his half of the bill. The bald man was leaning his head against his hand again, looking just about ready to spend the night passed out in the seat of his booth like a fucking homeless man.
"Tell me about it..." Romano grumbled, fighting to keep his tired eyes open. He picked his head up a bit then, rubbing his eyes, trying to wake himself up a bit. "Hey, where is that little twerp anyway? He dropped this damn thing off over 8 minutes ago!"
"He's picked a helluva time to lose his touch!" Peter griped, looking equally as weary as he leaned back in his seat, gazing up towards the bright fluorescent lighting of the small burger joint, hoping it'd help him make it back to that damn hotel.
Almost as if on cue, the weasly little presence sauntered on over, plucked the bill from their table before running off again, like a frightened lizard on a busy dirt road, going back towards the register to run their credit cards.
"I'm calling it now," Romano told the taller surgeon across from him as he straightened up a bit in his spot, readying himself for the busy streets outside. "No way in hell are we walking back to the hotel. We're definitely catching a cab, no matter how disgusting they are at this time of night. My treat,"
"No argument here."
Fast Ejaculator returned with their bill, and was about to jaunt right on back to his business at the sight of both surgeons getting up to leave when he was stopped by Robert, wielding a 10 dollar bill in one hand.
"Since you were such a fantastic server tonight, I thought I'd let you in on a little secret..." he told the inept waiter, quite literally shoving the little green paper in his face. "...about a young man who works at the intersection between Pike and 15th Avenue. Needless to say, with this, he could really spice up your night."
Reluctantly, he snatched his tip from Romano's large, delicate surgeon's hand.
And before the bewildered, microwaved corndog of a human being could even dignify his jab with a response, Romano was already out the door and making his way to the curb to hail a taxi.
All the while his tall companion followed him, still gawking at his audacity to finally give the tiresome, awkward server a taste of his own shitty, shitty humor.
Not sure where any of you live, but right now, I've just hit day 152 of this whole COVID situation!
If you guys out there happen to be reviewing this stupid little thing, go ahead and add whatever day you've counted up to, because God damn it, I'm curious!