Chapter Eight: We're like a happy meal.
Days had passed and despite the fact that Micah’s test results had come back much better than expected and had therefore been transferred to a normal area of the hospital Andy had decided to stick around Pittsburg to help out around the house and to continue to see his Papa. Andy and Jay had spoken every night and it seemed that everything was moving quite smoothly on his end and Andy had appreciated the back and forth between the two. Though they still hadn’t discussed what was happening in regards to them being together Andy was going under the assumption that it was looking that way and so despite the fact that he was still here, he couldn’t wait to get back home and see the boy he was hoping would finally be his boyfriend.
As he tried to take in the show that was playing on Ben’s TV there was a knock at the door.
With Ben out teaching as he did during the week Andy got up to open the door and was not only surprised but overwhelmed to see a plump good-looking woman with red curly hair standing at the door. Despite the fact that her hands were placed squarely on her hips and that she appeared to be frowning Andy jumped towards her and flung his arms around her at once.
“Aunt Deb!” he squealed in delight hugging the woman.
Though it took her a moment, his Aunt reciprocated the hug.
“Jeez Andy! I came here to yell at you and now you got me all happy! How do you do that?” she questioned.
“It’s a gift,” Andy smiled, stepping aside to let her in.
“Oh my god,” he suddenly realized. “You must think I’m such a bitch for not calling you…again!”
But his Aunt laughed it off.
“Oh honey,” she smiled sweetly. “I did plan on coming here and shooting my fucking mouth off at you, but I’m passed that now. So how about offering your Aunt some coffee huh?”
“Of course,” Andy replied and moved into the kitchen area to make her a cup.
“So, I hear Sunshine came down New Haven. What’s that been like honey?” she screamed out so that Andy could hear her.
“Yeah, you know, it wasn’t that ideal to be honest,” Andy screamed back. “But what can I say, Jay is Jay.”
“And aint that the truth,” Debbie mumbled to herself.
“What was that?” Andy asked, now returning with the coffee.
“Oh nothing honey,” she smiled. “So how are you? It’s been forever!”
“Yeah, look to be honest it’s been a crazy week,” Andy admitted.
“I can imagine.”
“Ok, come on then, out with it,” Andy accused, looking directly at his Aunt.
“Out with what honey?” she replied as innocently as she could, but Andy was not going to fall for it.
“Come on Aunt Deb. You must have known I’ve been back for a few days, I’m sure there was a reason you came by today.”
“Ok, fine,” she admitted. “Well you know me, unlike the rest of these nosey fuckers; I try to keep myself out of everyone’s business…”
“Ph-yeah right!” Andy replied, which earned a small whack on the head from his Aunt.
“Well, can I help it if others come to me?” she replied.
“Considering you’ve built yourself up to be the clucking mother hen of all the gays in Pittsburg, I’d say that’s on you Aunt Deb. Not that I mind of course, I love what you do for this community.”
Despite the fact that Debbie ran the gay diner in Pittsburg, she was also a known vocal-advocate for gay rights and was always there for those in need or whomever needed an older ear.
“That’s sweet honey, but as I was saying,” she began “People have been talking to me and well, it sounds like your little fucking spat has caused many issues for many people!”
“I’m not surprised,” Andy started, but his Aunt cut him off.
“Nor do you sound sorry!” she spat.
“What do you expect me to say?!” Andy now demanded. “That I should have kept my mouth shut? That I shouldn’t have threatened Edward? That I should have let him and that son of a bitch carry on with their affair and let Jay continue to be taken advantage of? What the fuck Aunt Deb? I thought if anyone, you would understand.”
“That’s not the fucking point!” she screamed back. “Because of you, not only has Edward gone completely off the deep end. B has gone back to being a total fucking bitch and not to mention that you broke up two perfectly happy lesbians…” but now it was Andy’s turn to retaliate.
“I did not break up Mel and Linds!” he replied. “Not only did I not break them up, but Mel advised me that they’re just taking a break, a chance to cool their f-f-feathers off.” He spluttered.
Debbie went to argue again, but instead burst out laughing.
“Their what?” she cried, through the laughter. “Their feathers?”
Andy joined in the laugher. While he was able to hold his own in an argument he always found, particularly with his Aunt, that once he got to a certain point he simply ended up spouting whatever came to mind and this seemed to have occurred again.
“Oh… honey,” Deb said, clutching her side that was now painful from the laughter. “You’re still the same funny son of a bitch you always were!”
“And you’re still the same bitch who takes shit from no one,” Andy laughed.
“Oh we make a good pair,” she replied smiling.
“Seriously though,” Andy started. “I didn’t mean to cause so much trouble Aunt Deb.”
She smiled. In all the years she had known her nephew she knew he would never do anything to hurt anyone intentionally unless they deserved it. And in this case, she definitely believed that B and Edward deserved what they’d had coming to them, but of course she would never admit that to Andy.
“I know sweetie, it’s just… well… you left things all screwed up and now it’s just a whole mess. D’you know I even have to schedule custody between Mel and Linds at the diner?”
“Oh yeah, Linds just won’t come in when Mel’s there, so now it’s her diner after 5 and Mel’s diner before 5. Then of course there’s B, who, you thought he was a bitch before. Wait till you seem him now.” She took a sip of her coffee sighing.
“Doesn’t even smile anymore these days.”
“You know I’m surprised I haven’t seen him at the hospital. I mean, I know what happened between them wouldn’t make it easy for B to just show up. But considering he’s the one that pushed him overboard I mean at the very least…”
“He did WHAT?!?” Debbie now screamed.
“You didn’t know?” Andy questioned, cursing his mouth for saying it.
“Know? That, that son of a bitch pushed my son off that top tier section? Hell no I had no idea!”
And with that she got up and headed straight for the door.
“Aunt Deb…” Andy started.
“Don’t you Aunt Deb me,” she started. “Stay out of it Andy, this is between me and that son of a bitch!”
She opened the door, but before she left she looked back and said
“Oh and by the way, you wanted to know why I stopped by? It was to offer you your old job back at the diner. Frankly we need the help and with Sunshine down in New Haven I have a spot to fill. So be there, tonight at 7.”
Without waiting for a response Debbie slammed the door and proceeded down the hallway in hot pursuit of B.
The time seemed to fly and before he knew it Andy was making his way into the diner to start his first shift. Before he entered he noticed the two rainbow flags waving in the cold night air and stood there enjoying the motion. It was one thing to be gay in New Haven, no one gave him crap for it and there was hardly a scandal to speak of. But what Pittsburg lost in calmness, it more than made up for in open celebration of gay culture. Andy took a moment to close his eyes and drink in the atmosphere. Though Pittsburg itself was a nice enough place to be, the street with which the diner was located on Liberty Avenue, was almost like stepping into another world, where no one cared if you made out with your boyfriend in public, walked your slave down the street, or even battered an eye-lid if people got down and dirty in the ally-ways. You might as well have renamed the adequately named street gay-haven.
Andy took a breath and re-opened his eyes before stepping into the diner. No sooner had he walked in when
“Andy!” came the squeal of what could only be described as the biggest queen in the area.
Emmet Honey-Cut, though not one of Andy’s closest friends, like B and Mel had been friends of Micah’s for as long as Andy could remember and though some may have found it shocking to have someone wrap you into a hug the moment you stepped into your place of work Andy knew that was just Emmet.
“Hey Em!” Andy breathed, struggling against the tightness of his grip. “Need to…breath.”
“Oh, sorry sweetems.” Emmet replied releasing him. “How long you been back?”
“Only a couple of days.”
“Weren’t you just gone though?” he inquired looking quizzically at Andy, before shaking his head. “You know me, silly Em, never knowing which ways up.” He laughed.
“Come sit with us, were having apple pie!”
Andy smiled. The warmth and acceptance was washing over him and he was lapping it up more than he had in years. Despite loving the culture of this place, since his arrival last week too much had been going on for him to even enjoy himself in it.
“You know what? I’d love to but Aunt Deb put me back on the roster and you know Aunt Deb.” He replied.
“Tick-tock, tick-tock,” Em smiled.
“Exactly,” Andy replied. “But come over to the bar and we’ll chat if you want.”
Emmett agreed and so Andy finding out that his Aunt had not returned since going out to see B put his apron on and went directly behind the counter. As he got there, he noticed that Mel and Emmet’s partner Ted had joined him.
“Hey Teddy-Bear!” Andy remarked. “Long time no see.” He reached over the bar and planted a kiss on Ted’s cheek. Ted blushed.
“Y-yes, l-l-long time Andy.” He smiled.
“So Andy how does it feel to be back in town and put directly back into work?” Mel asked.
“Asks the attorney that never sleeps,” Andy replied wittingly.
Mel just smiled.
“No, it’s good you know. Nothing at all happening at Micah’s place and…”
Andy almost continued but the sound of a man’s voice not only stopped him, but stopped him cold. It was as though everything had turned to ice.
“And we all know why that is, don’t we?”
Andy whirled around. His heart was racing. Standing there was a man dressed in a black Armani overcoat and a look on his face that clearly read ‘don’t start with me’.
It was B.
“B! How nice to see you.” Andy forcibly smiled.
Had he been anywhere but at work he would have turned and fled, not wanting to deal with the man that created not only the mess between him and Jay, but also his Papa’s injuries. But here he had to be professional and so hard as it may have been he focused all of his energy on smiling.
“Please, give me a break!” B spat. “I came here for coffee, not for this fake bull-shit.”
“Give him a break B,” Mel cut in. “Besides its…” she started looking down at her watch. “Oh crap it’s 7!”
“And look at that everyone; lawyer-bird has learned how to tell the time.” B snarled.
“Fuck you B!” she simply replied picking up her coat and turning to Andy “Please tell me you have a pre 5 o’clock shift at some point.”
“I don’t know yet, I haven’t received my roster.” Andy replied.
Mel leaned over the bar and kissed Andy on the cheek.
“I’ll see you later.” She smiled at him, before facing B and showing him a look of pure hatred.
“Oh and remind that wife of mine that arbitration begins tomorrow.” Her eyes narrowed and she stormed off.
Andy simply stood there with his mouth wide open. He had no idea Mel and Linds’ relationship had gotten so bad that they were going to arbitration. At least not this early. It had to have been less than a week since they’d split.
“Hey, gold fish,” B snarked towards Andy. “Coffee.”
“Sure…right away,” Andy sighed.
Not too much later Emmett and Ted left with Emmett claiming they had things to do (‘you know us, busy little beavers!’). Andy knew it was just an excuse but as much as he would have preferred for them to stay especially with B still hanging around, he knew he’d do the same if he were in their position.
“Order up!” came the sound of the chef in the kitchen as he placed some dishes on the window and dinged the bell.
“46 Andy,” Chef Veroan said.
“Thanks,” Andy replied.
He took the order over to the table and came back to the bar. What he hadn’t realized however was that B had now made his way over to the bar stools and was watching Andy.
“Since when do you wear such tight pants?” he asked coyly.
“Fuck off B,” Andy said in a low enough voice that only B could hear.
“Now that’s not a nice way to treat your customers, I mean maybe in New Haven but-…”
Andy leant on the bar and stared B down. He was not going to take anything this cheater had to say lying down.
“You’re right. In New Haven people know what respect and decency means.”
“Ph-lease, they’re just as fucked up over there as they are here.” B responded.
“You wouldn’t last a day B. Not one.” Andy replied picking up a rag and spray bottle to wipe down the bench.
“Arms.” He spat and B moved his arms out of the way.
“I’m guessing you want another cup,” he asked noticing B’s cup was empty.
B seemed to ponder the idea and then smiled. It was a slimy smile that freaked Andy out.
“Sure.” He replied.
Andy went to make the coffee, but just as he was warming the milk he felt a presence come up from behind and press against him. Andy jumped quickly.
“Why so jumpy?” B whispered into his ear.
Andy wanted to say something. He wanted to scream and knock B out. But he knew that B was much stronger than him and cursing his weakness he kept warming the milk frozen in fear.
“What? You think you can have fun with Justin and not with me?” he asked suddenly clamping his arms around Andy’s waist.
“We’re like a happy meal,” B continued sliding his hands even further down. “You can’t have one…” he stopped but only to grab Andy around the crotch area “…without the other.” He then lightly smacked Andy on the butt and laughed.
By now the milk had spilled everywhere, but Andy frozen hadn’t even noticed until B flung a rag at his face and whispered
“You’re such a pathetic piece of shit Andy.”
With that B walked away from Andy and left the diner.