Title: Fast Food Palace
Dedication: For arence_heart, cg_flashfic April round
Character/Pairing: Rolo, slight LuluRolo
Genres: AU, Crack
Summary: Obviously, Rolo's metaphors were even worse when he was in the middle of frying a burger while being yelled into one ear by his boss to hurry the 'fuck' up and heard the clamor of the impatient customers with the other.
Notes: Not one of my best fics... by a mile. I know I've asked for concrit in a previous post, but could you be gentle on this one? ^_^; I was really not inspired to write this and sort of forced it out, therefore it's not that good. But I'm just posting it now because I really want it off my chest.
Upon first glance, and perhaps the second and third, too, the restaurant on 39th street was one like any other.
The large yellow M had faded from a bright lemonade-piss yellow to a faint water-piss color, and as with any other outlet of the fast food chain, no one was quite sure if the wind had blown it away or if the spare urine had instead ended up in the slabs of meat they served inside. Yes, as a quiet passerby strolling past this lovely part of town at any given night or day, this McDonald's would hardly have been worthy of a second look.
What no one knew was that, in fact, that specific McDonald's restaurant was not like any of the others at all. Behind the splattered paint, behind even the ladies with buttocks the size of the European continent, lay a well-guarded secret. Like the last surviving rose of a harsh winter budding against the frost surrounded by the remains of its brethren, this McDonald's was special.
And obviously, Rolo's metaphors were even worse when he was in the middle of frying a burger while being yelled into one ear by his boss to hurry the 'fuck' up and heard clamor of the impatient customers with the other.
Rolo got the signal from his coworker, Milly, to go to the front desk and he sighed, wiping his greasy fingers. Once clean, he adjusted his visor and smoothed down his uniform.
Oh yes, he thought, while he moodily eyed his customers. Just another day at the McDonald's on Caraway Street, a McDonald's like any other. Except that it was the fastest McDonald's in the country, for it was -
"A Big Mac, a large chocolate milk shake and large French fries, please."
- and they didn't even let him finish his thoughts. Oh, fun.
He drew his eyes to the cash register with a pronounced air of boredom. "Anything else?"
Noises cut into Rolo's ears, the air was thick with the smell of food and sweat was pearling on his temples, but one look into the customer queue was enough to know that he wouldn't need to use his power just yet.
There had been a time, when Rolo had first received his powers, that he hadn't known what to do with them. The ability to stop time seemed daunting in theory, but in actuality it was rarely of any practical use. While the ability to stop time had allowed him to breeze through the compulsory education system, had been enough to snatch the occasional crumbled bill from people passing by with their wallets squeezed into their pockets, it ultimately hadn't been enough to stop his dad from deciding that what Rolo really needed was character. In theory, Rolo agreed with that - only that his father's definition of 'character' obviously seemed to involve piles of smelly meat, minimum wage and the lurking suspicion that he was about as suited for the work here as a CEO for standing in the street corner with a giant 'Free Hugs' sign. In other words, pretty damn wasted.
He mechanically loaded up the burgers and sauntered over to the beverage dispenser, filling a cup with coke and sending a look over to Milly, who was gesticulating to the next customer and giving Rolo a little wink. Rolo sighed and rolled his eyes - he was quite used to Milly's interventions. For some reason, Milly had, without asking for Rolo's opinion in advance, of course, decided that he was gay and had been unsuccessfully trying to set him up on quite a number of dates.
The various guys Rolo had had to meet the past couple of months hadn't ended up dead only because Rolo had decided that killing them would be too much paperwork.
"Next, please?" He shoved the tablet to the side, moodily eying the next customer - and froze.
Fine lips pursed into a skeptical smile. A slight tilt of his head that made his black fringe fall over his eyes that flickered when he blinked. Glittering violet eyes looking at Rolo as though they could burn right through him, deep violet that was like - that was like -
" - Is there something on my face?"
Rolo's eyes flew to the counter as his fingers nervously adjusted his visor. "N-No, nothing at all - w-what would you... like to order?"
He could feel heat creeping up his cheeks and nervousness burning down his spine while he was trying to decide what it was exactly that made this boy so... intriguing.
Surely it couldn't be the fact that his hair shone like liquid gemstones or the fact that his skin was pale and shiny as melted pearls (and also not that Rolo had read too many romance novels in his spare time and his thoughts were unnecessarily purple) - no, Rolo had never been that superficial, had he?
The customer raised one interested eyebrow, pursed his lips and then made the sexiest order that had probably ever been placed at any McDonald's around the world (two BigMac menus with large cokes, a small Fanta and an apple pie), all thanks to his deep, resonating bass voice and that twinkle in his eyes that captured Rolo's gaze.
He got no more time to think about this, however, as he was finally snapped out of his reverie and swirled around on his heels and almost crashed into the beverage dispenser. Rolo shuddered against the machine, feeling the customer's purple eyes boring themselves into his back.
The customer had arrived with two friends, a girl with pale red hair and a timid voice and an Asian boy with green eyes who seemed to have a permanent smile glued onto his face. Rolo paid neither of them much attention and his thoughts swirled back to focus on the other boy.
Rolo smoothed down his uniform once again before turning around holding two burgers and two cups of coke and put them on the plate in front of the trio, his eyes flexed upon the red tablet as he did so. He raised his eyes and gave a small smile, which promptly dropped when he remembered the small Fanta and the apple pie.
Whirling around on his heels, he strode back to the beverage dispenser, heat coloring his cheeks. He had to get a grip of himself, he thought, while instinctively drawing one hand to his visor to adjust it yet again. He couldn't be like this - this was, after all, the fastest and best McDonald's restaurant in the world, and proving that had never been any more important than now.
As it sometimes was with Rolo, when he got really nervous, he also get clumsy. Now, this probably wasn't unusual, and in fact common in a lot of people, but Rolo had always despised it in himself (boys like him had to have inherited it as a vestigial trait, he was convinced); so perhaps to anyone other than him it wouldn't have come as as much of a shock when Rolo turned around holding the cup of Sprite, stepped back over to the counter, slapped a smile on his face that he hoped was professional but was really as lopsided as a woman's breasts post boob surgery, met the customer's eyes, froze, fumbled, and promptly spilled the soda all over the customer's black shirt. Rolo, however, was horrified.
Brilliant droplets of piss-yellow streamed down the boy's shirt and he jerked in surprise, his eyes widening. He raised his hands to the front of his shirt, ready to pat away the drops and it was then that Rolo's brain finally kicked back into gear and he thought, Oh fuck, no, this can't be true, oh no, oh and stepped back a little, terrified expression on his face and his eye burned and the world around him froze.
Rolo stumbled a little, then collected himself, throwing a panicked look around the room. Next to him, Milly had been frozen while handing a McChicken to a customer, smile faker than her Louis Vuitton bag on her lips. Past the counter, several customers were looking at the ceiling and one had been caught scratching his butt. As for the trio, the black-haired boy's hand were frozen in mid-movement and his two companions' faces were twin mirrors of surprise.
For a moment, the silence was almost deafening, interrupted only by Rolo's harsh breathing. He collected himself, telling himself that he'd stopped time in this place many times before - hell, it was the whole reason why this place was the fastest McDonald's in the world, after all - and frantically looked around the room, gaze slipping from one customer to the next.
Fat guy - shirt was okay, but it would look like a tent on the skinny boy with the Fanta sprayed on his clothes. That guy over there? No - while he wasn't fat, there were grease stains on his shirt. Ugh. That guy over there? Hm, while his shirt was black and he was skinny, the design wasn't quite right. That guy? Oh. Oh yes. Yes!
Setting his mind on auto-pilot, Rolo climbed over the counter and raced over to the guy in question, swallowing hard as he came to halt in front of him. He was a tall blond man in his mid-twenties whose face didn't evince any strong characteristics, but that didn't matter to Rolo anyway. He raised his hand to touch, hesitated - undressing someone, he'd never undressed someone while having them frozen before! Well, to be perfectly honest, he'd never undressed anyone period, but this was hardly the time for such musings - and then reached forward, shuddering a little as his fingers brushed against warm skin as they hooked under the hem of his shirt. His eyes darted back to the other boy and back to the one in front of him, nervous as a rabbit chasing across a field. Rolo gathered all his courage, clenched his eyes shut and lifted the shirt.
He kept his eyes and his teeth clenched as Rolo raised on his tiptoes to wrestle the shirt off of the guy and then, when at last the guy in front of him was topless, he raced back to the customer over whose shirt he had spilled, and then, when it finally hit him that he'd have to undress him, too, he likely would have spilled another cup of beverage all over him had he been holding one at the moment.
He paused, gripping the shirt in his hands a little tighter and licked his lips. This would be... well, this could be a challenge. He felt his cheeks coloring yet another shade of pink as he reached out to touch the boy's hips, shuddering at the contact. He had to do this, he knew it - it was just that -
Damn it. Damn it all to hell.
He took a deep breath, put the shirt he'd retrieved from the other customer on the counter, and put both of his hands on the boy's hips, his cheeks now so red they burned. His hands shook as they slid under the material of the boy's shirt. The frozen boy had his eyes flexed upon his shirt and his hands in the air, but Rolo wasn't really noticing any of that because what was most urgent was the warmth of his torso as he let his hands skip across it.
His heart beating at the back of his throat, Rolo drew his eyes to the floor and started tugging, lifting it up and then dropping the material when it revealed a bit too much of his pale skin. Guh. He was running out of time, he had to - what if a customer walked in right now, he had to hurry, and his heart was starting to feel strained and not all of the pink in his face was because of embarrassment now. Reaching the end of his patience, he tugged on the shirt with more urgency.
The shirt fell into his hand and he let out a heaving sigh of relief. It was only when Rolo raced over to the topless customer in the line that he noticed he'd torn the shirt while taking it off. Well, nothing he could do about it now - he pulled the shirt, half-torn and still dripping wet, down over the guy's head, smoothed it down, then ran back to the black-haired boy at the top of the line and dressed him in the shirt he'd discarded on the counter. When he was done, he jumped back over the counter, adjusted his visor, and resumed time.
The strain on his heart loosened and the noise of dozens of people's chatters, chair screeching along the floor and clothes rustling crashed into his ears, making him squirm for just a moment. In front of him, the boy whom he had spilled lemonade on touched his shirt. And blinked.
Rolo drew in his breath.
The boy's two companions exchanged confused glances, then raised their eyebrows. Milly, who had noticed Rolo spilling on the customer, blinked in confusion, but snapped back to a guy in blue sweat pants when he resumed bellowing his order. Somewhere in the back of the queue, a guy cursed, but Rolo didn't dare look at him and kept staring at the boy in front of him.
For a moment, both of them looked at each other, their violet eyes probing each other. He could remember, Rolo could tell - but at the same time, he knew that he would not ask any questions, that perhaps he could draw his own conclusions. A small smile wound around his lips and Rolo's heart was so loud to his eyes that he was surprised that it didn't reverberate through the entire room like a bass machine through a dance club.
Rolo didn't say anything, and neither did the other boy. Neither moved until the brunet boy to the right of Rolo's customer said, "So, what about that Fanta and the apple pie...?"
Rolo jerked, heat blasting into his cheeks. He turned on his heel and brought another cup of Fanta, this time taking extra care not to spill it again. He carefully placed it on the tablet, then nestled with the front of his uniform. Rolo kept his eyes on the floor, not daring to dive into that sea of violet once more.
Rolo raised his eyes. Stared.
The boy in front of him threw his hair out of his eyes. "This is one of the fastes McDonald's I've been to." With that, he took the tablet, nodded to his two friends, and together they walked toward one of the tables set up in the corner. It was only when another customer barked at him that Rolo stopped staring at his receding back.
Later, when Rolo got off his shift and rinsed his greasy hands, he mulled what had happened over in his head. Apart from the fact that this one dude had claimed to have been raped after discovering his shirt had suddenly become torn and wet (Milly had been able to calm him down quickly enough - after all, how could you have been raped if you didn't remember it? Thankfully, both of them had taken Rolo's cough as embarrassment), the day had gone by rather... smoothly he supposed.
He waved to his coworkers on his way out and wrapped his arms around his shivering form once he was out in the open. Night had fallen, wrapping the city into its thick embrace. Street lights cast a bleary light upon the scene and Rolo paused, casting another look back at his work place, letting his eyes trail over the faded paint, the pictures of burgers and the smirking mascot.
Another busy day at the McDonald's on 39th Street - except that, for once, he wasn't the only one who knew why it was special.