"I found this huge package on our doorstep. I opened it up and this young woman was inside," Chuck announced as he came inside the house with Gloria. "Weird, huh?"
"Oh, Gloria, I'm so glad you're okay!" Ellie rushed over to give her a hug. "Don't you ever scare us like that again, you got it?"
"I'll do my best," she replied before receiving a hug from Captain Awesome.
"Pretty impressive heroics, there, Gloria," he told her. "Not everyone would run back into a burning building like that."
Chuck exchanged a knowing look with Gloria and smiled. He was glad he could get everyone together for a last-minute welcoming party. Sarah and Casey were there, as well as Morgan, Jeff, and Lester. Chuck even took note that Casey was smiling. He knew the big lug had a soft spot for her.
"How did you get your necklace back?" Sarah suddenly asked Gloria, causing everyone in the room to grow quiet.
"Lester gave it back to me. When I was at the hospital, Morgan gave me a present from him. Inside was the necklace," she replied, her hands involuntarily rubbing the stone.
"Wait; Lester gave it back to you?" Ellie repeated, looking around. "Speaking of which, where is Lester? And Jeff? They'd better not be in my bedroom again or I will ship them directly to Timbuktu."
Suddenly, Jeff appeared at the top of the stairs. "Lester says he'll be down in a minute. He's, um...not feeling well right now."
"We have some Mylanta if he needs-," Chuck began but Gloria cut him off.
"I'll go check on him," she said. "Jeff, why don't you come down and have a piece of cake?"
"Ooh, okay!" Jeff responded excitedly, running down to join everyone else.
Chuck looked over at Sarah and Morgan. "What do you suppose that was all about?"
"I'm not sure, Chuck, but Lester and Gloria are friends, and she did save his life. Maybe he just is embarrassed that he had to be rescued by her."
"Yeah," Casey chimed in. "He and the other looney toon came to rescue Gloria and in the end, she had to rescue him. Maybe he's nursing whatever is left of his strange little man card."
"I don't think that's it. I think Lester is in love with Gloria and he's scared out of his mind," Morgan argued, taking a drink of his soda. "You guys didn't see him at the hospital, but I did. He was at her bedside, staring at her and he refused to leave when the nurse told him he needed to go. He was genuinely worried and scared for her and for the fact he is hopelessly in love with her."
Chuck turned to Morgan. "You're serious?"
Morgan nodded his head. "Yeah, buddy. Don't freak out, but I think Lester is trying to get up the nerve to tell Gloria how he feels. And as hard as that may be for any man, it's going to be ten times that hard for him."
Lester was sitting on Chuck's bed when he heard a knock on the door. "Jeff, I told you that I can't come down. Tell them I have a spastic colon or a herniated disc from bench-pressing."
"Why don't you tell them yourself?" Gloria's voice replied as she entered the room.
Lester looked up and audibly gasped before looking away again. "Gloria, I-"
"It's cool," she interrupted. "But before you think of any more creative excuses as to why you can't come downstairs, I have something I want to say to you: I meant it."
Suddenly, Lester stood up as the realization of what she said hit him. "You-you meant it?"
Gloria nodded. "Every word. When I turned around and saw that you weren't there and realized you were trapped in the building, both my head and every muscle in my body told me to stay, except one: my heart. I couldn't lose you. Lester, you frustrate me so, but you have been someone that I just can't bear to lose. I've lost so many people in my life and I refuse to lose any more."
"Gloria, I-I-wow. I've never had anyone say that to me before. When you were in the hospital, I wanted to stay until you woke up. I wanted to say that I-thank you and that...no one has ever done anything like that for me before. You are the first person other than Jeff who has seen how I am and hasn't run away or wanted to hurt me."
"Oh, I never said I didn't want to hurt you," Gloria laughed. "But you made up for it when you returned my necklace. I just wish you could have given it to me personally."
Lester looked down. "Believe me, I wanted to. But those psychotic nurses threw me out and then had security keep me away from your room. I told Jeff to find a nurse's uniform but he said they were all too tall and curvaceous for my figure. Which by the way, was not only insulting, but a bit-"
Gloria walked over to him and smiled. "Lester? Shut up."
Lester closed his mouth and gave her a look but before he could think of anything else to say or do, Gloria gently pressed her lips against his. At first, his eyes grew wide with surprise, but he quickly embraced her back and closed his eyes, savoring the moment. He thought his heart would burst with happiness as he realized that she did have feelings for him, too!
When Gloria pulled back, she smiled, her face just an inch from his. "I like you just the way you are, Lester."
"Oh, mamacita!" he cried before they kissed again, Lester having never felt so happy in his life as he did in that moment.
A few days later-and after the shock of Lester and Gloria as a couple wore off-, it was time for Buy More's huge sale. Hundreds of people gathered to save big bucks, as well as get in on the various door prizes and sweepstakes.
"Alright, guys," Big Mike sighed, looking at Jeff and Lester. "A promise is a promise. I promised that Jeffster could perform one song and I am a man of my word. Now get up there and make me proud, boys!"
"Proud won't even come close to how you'll feel," Jeff responded before he and Lester took the makeshift stage, causing Big Mike's brows to furrow.
"Bartowski, what have I done?" he muttered to Chuck, who was standing beside him.
"I guess we'll find out, big guy!" Morgan cut in. "You know what they're gonna play, Gloria?"
Gloria shrugged. "Something by Billy Joel or Elton John. I can't recall. Or maybe it was Fleetwood Mac..." she said, her voice trailing off.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we wanna thank you for coming out to the Buy More! And now, get ready to rock! I want to dedicate this song to my leading lady, Gloria Tipton, who is looking smoking hot tonight!" Lester cried into the microphone, taking control of the stage.
Everyone turned to look at Gloria, who turned a shade of crimson but giggled at the attention.
Suddenly, Jeffster began playing an 80's ballad well known from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack: "Hungry Eyes" by Eric Carmen.
Chuck looked at her as she mumbled something about the Lambada and covered her mouth with her hand as Lester poured his heart and soul into the lyrics. Jeff stood next to him, playing his keyboard and giving odd come hither looks to various women in the crowd.
Big Mike watched and Morgan handed him a handkerchief, not even looking at his boss. Big Mike instantly took it and blew his nose. "This song is beautiful. That boy is gonna get some lovin' tonight."
Chuck, Morgan, Casey, and Gloria all turned to him with various looks on their faces.
As soon as the song was over, scattered applause and awkward looks filled the shopping center.
"Thank you, Burbank and goodnight!" Lester called out.
"Lester Indira Golda Patel!" a female voice shouted sternly over the crowd.
"Uh-oh," Lester accidentally muttered into the microphone as Gloria walked on the stage.
"I cannot believe that you would dedicate that song-or any song-to me," she began.
Lester opened his mouth, but only half syllables came out.
"I loved it!" she suddenly smiled, giving him a huge kiss in front of everyone, who either gasped or applauded.
"Well, it's official; Gloria and Lester are really an item," Chuck stated, wide-eyed but smiling. "I just pray for Lester's sake that he doesn't hurt her."
"Cause you know he'll have hell to pay from Jeff, you, and myself?" Morgan asked.
"Well, yes, but that's not what I meant. If there is one thing I know about Gloria, it's that as sweet as she is, she also has a dark side. Lester will find that out if he does anything to make her upset."
"Trust me, I know, buddy. I still laugh when I think about her blackmailing Emmett with his animal porn addiction."
Chuck raised his eyebrow. "Animal porn addiction?"
Morgan laughed. "Yeah. In fact, I thought she mentioned something earlier about making good on her threat since Emmett teased her about being afraid of fire and all."
Suddenly, all of the television monitors turned on and an image of Emmett watching his computer filled the screens. "That's right, Mr. Hippo. Show her who's boss," Emmett was saying seductively in the video.
Chuck and Morgan looked at each other in horror. "Oh my God!"
"Noooooo!" Emmett screamed, his hands on his face as he realized what was happening.
As everyone was gasping, gagging, and mumbling, however, Jeff, Lester, and Gloria stood onstage, smiling proudly, high-fiving and hugging each other. Life couldn't get any sweeter than this.