Chapter 5: Things Get Awkward

Charlie Kelly was not stalking the Waitress.

And he actually, honest to God meant it this time, which begged the question: Why the shit was he currently staring at her back from behind in a supermarket aisle?

Charlie did not have an answer.

Well actually, that wasn't entirely true. He did know the answer. Charlie was a growing boy; one who occasionally needed to eat substances that weren't from the garbage or meant for cats. He and Frank were out of food; Frank was a lazy piece of shit who claimed that since he was going to be paying for the grog- er… grub, Charlie should be the one to pick it up. So he had gone to the supermarket, without even complaining all that much because he was awesome like that and besides, Charlie wanted to eat beans, and Frank never wanted to eat beans, so well tough shit Frank because Charlie was going to get some God damned beans.

Apparently the Waitress liked beans as well.

In Charlie's eyes, this was yet another sign that they were clearly meant to be together, and maybe it was even bigger than that, and it was God's way of telling him that he should walk up to her right now; maybe give her a nice, warm hug from behind, and really, who could begrudge him if he were to take a quick sniff of her neck since he was already there and all and then he could ask her out on a-

No, Charlie was over the Waitress. Totally.

In fact, he was so over her, that he was going to stop staring at her in a supermarket aisle, as she reached up to grab a can of delicious, delicious beans from the top shelf and her shirt rode up just that tiny little bit, just enough so that a strip of skin peeked out from above the hem of her jeans which he just knew would be really soft to tou-

Charlie Kelly decided that maybe getting beans wasn't such a good idea after all and turned to hightail it out of there before the Waitress saw him and decided this would be a good time to try out her new can of mace.

Er… that is, if she had bought a new can of mace. It wasn't like he knew or anything.

Really.

Okay so maybe he still had a couple of spies tailing her around but he had already paid them for a months work before he had made his decision and Charlie was never one to let money go to waste.

"Charlie? You must be kidding me. Is that you?"

He was in deep shit.

Charlie decided that maybe if he ignored her and walked off, she would pass it off as a case of mistaken identity.

"God damn it, Charlie, I know it's you. No one else would wear a shirt that ratty and with that many stains out in public."

The game was up. Charlie wasn't sure how she had seen through the innocent whistling exactly; wasn't that shit meant to make you invisible?

"Awww shi- Heeey oooh. Hey. Fancy seeing you here… er… this is a pleasant turn in events-"

"Save it, Charlie. Leaving me alone huh? First the coffee shop and now this, yeah you're really leaving me alone. You're doing a really good job with that."

"No shit? Really? Well that's awesome 'cause I thought you'd be really ma-"

"I am mad, Charlie. Really, really mad. So mad in fact, that I'm going to-"

Charlie cut her off, chuckling nervously.

"Haha, Okay, alright, let's all just take a step back here, and assess the situation now. No one needs to do… whatever you were going to do… to me. We can all talk this over like adults."

"Charlie, when have you ever had an adult conversation?"

"Whoa, hey now, objection! Slander of the first degree!"

"You've got to be kidding me, that doesn't make any sense-"

"No, no it totally does. It's lawyer speak. It's the stuff lawyers say, you know? You don't know do you? Of course you don't, you're not a lawyer. I'm sorry about that, I won't use any more technical language-"

"Just- just stop talking. I'd ask you why you're here, but I really don't give a damn anymore, so goodbye, Charlie."

Was she leaving? He might not have been stalking her anymore, but that didn't mean Charlie wanted her to leave. Especially if she still thought he was obsessing over her.

Which he wasn't.

Charlie had to set her facts straight.

"H-hey, don't leave! I er… I didn't know-"

"'I didn't know you'd be here? I'm not stalking you, honest to God? This was all just a coincidence? Maybe it's fate?'"

Charlie blinked.

"What? No, that's not what I- Actually, yeah. Huh. You're pretty good."

"Yeah, that's what I thought. I caught one of your 'spies' following me, Charlie, did you think I wouldn't notice the same homeless man following me around for months?"

It was actually years technically, but Charlie didn't think that was information she necessarily needed to know.

"Right, well I've actually shut that down now-"

"He followed me to the supermarket today. In fact, he's right over there."

Charlie waved. Bob was a good man.

"Okay, so here's the deal. He's actually on a contract that says he has to follow you till the end of the month… so if you could just like, put up with it for another week or so? Maybe chuck him a few food scraps now and then? That'd be great."

The Waitress stared incredulously.

"I can't believe this. I'm leaving, goodb-"

"I've got a date tonight!"

Charlie's panicked blurting stopped the Waitress mid-whirl.

"Excuse me?"

Charlie let out a relieved sigh.

"Yeah, yeah. I've got a date tonight. Just thought I'd tell you so you'd know I was serious when I said I'd leave you alone."

"You've got a date? With a girl?"

"With a- Wh- Yes! Yes, with a girl! What the hell! Dude, why does everyone think I'm g-"

The Waitress was sceptical.

"What's her name then?"

Charlie cocked an eyebrow.

"Are you jealous? You sound jealous. I can cancel if you want and we can-"

"No I won't- I'm not jealous, Charlie. God! I just have a hard time believing that you of all people managed to fool some poor girl into going out with you."

"Right, right. Well it's Sweet Dee, so you really don't have anything to worry about."

"Charlie, I'm not jealous. And if it's Deandra, then that actually explains a whole lot. You two deserve each other."

"Hey now, there's no need for personal attacks."

The Waitress sighed. Maybe she had been a little harsh, after all, at the very least it did seem like he was trying.

"I'm… sorry. I hope your date goes well."

It didn't make it any easier getting the words out though.

Charlie wasn't sure he had heard right.

"Di- did you just-"

"Yes, Charlie. I did."

"Could you- could you maybe say it one more time?"

The Waitress rolled her eyes; anything to get away faster.

"I said I was sorry Charlie."

"Aaaand just one more time while I get my recorder out…"

"I'm not saying it again."

"Oh come on, just once more."

The Waitress reached into her purse.


Deandra Reynolds was late for her 'date' with Charlie.

And she did not give a shit.

At all.

"I mean come on, it's just Charlie." She mumbled to herself.

Charlie was a good- a good… Charlie was a friend. And he was a lot of fun when he was drunk, but he wasn't date material. He wasn't even really 'be seen with out in public' material if she was being perfectly truthful.

Still, she had said that she would take him out on a date, and if Deandra Reynolds was anything, she was honest.

Okay so that was a lie, and the only reason she was actually going through with it was so that Mac and Dennis would stop hounding on her about it and because she was feeling a teensy bit sorry for Charlie.

Plus, she did not look like a bird. God damn it!

She pulled up in front of the shitty apartment building Frank and Charlie lived in (how, she did not know- well, actually she did, but that was a horrible experience that she wanted to forget as soon as possible) and headed towards their room.

She pulled open the door to Charlie's apartment without so much as knocking.

"Alright let's get this over wi- Oh God damn it Charlie! How is it even possible to sweat that much!"

The man in question might as well have showered in his clothes, they were that wet.

"Oh I'm sorry, I tried asking my skin to stop, but it just wouldn't listen. My. Bad!"

"It's true, he was practically shouting at it all afternoon after he came home."

"You actually- nevermind, of course you did. What happened to your eyes? Jesus, you look like you've been crying all day."

"Ran into the Waitress at the supermarket today, she bought a new can of mace."

"You ran into her again, Charlie? Are you sure you've really stopped stalking her?"

"Yes, Deandra. I have. Jeeze, let's just go alright?"

"Fine, fine, just- just bring a towel or something to sit on in the car alright? And don't touch me. You're pretty disgusting right now."

Deandra decided that taking Charlie out into public just wasn't going to happen and that maybe a quiet movie and pizza night at her apartment was the best course of action.

A short, and thankfully silent car-ride later, they had arrived at her apartment.

"Soo… this is your place huh? It's er… nice."

"Charlie, you were here just last week trying to fix my TV. It hasn't changed since then."

"Right, right. It's still er… very nice though."

"…Thankyou."

"…You're very welcome."

"Would you like a seat?"

"Oh, I wouldn't want to… intrude… or anything like that…"

"Just take a Goddamned seat, Charlie."

"You think I should take a seat? … yeah I'll take a seat, let's take a seat."

Charlie took a seat.

"So I ordered pizza, barbecue chicken since we both prefer white meat and all, is that alright?"

"Yes. Yes, that would be just fine, thankyou."

Dee stared.

"…Right… and I was thinking maybe we could watch a- a movie or something, you know? Something nice and relaxing, seeing as this is our first date."

Charlie stiffened at the mention of the word 'date'.

"That sounds like it would be perfectly agreeable. Thankyou for the pleasant evening."

"You're supposed to say that at the end of the date, Charlie."

"Thankyou for what will surely be a pleasant evening."

"Ooookay, what movie do you want to watch then? I don't actually own any myself, so I went over to Dennis and Mac's and stole all of theirs. So basically you have a choice between porn or Rambo."

"Whatever you choose will be… fine."

"Well, there's no way in hell I'm watching porn with you, so Rambo it is then."

"Fine."

"Okay then."

"Good."

"It's settled."

"Yeah-Yes."

"Right."

"Oka-"

"Just shut up now."

Charlie and Dee sat in silence.

"So the weather's nice tod-"

The doorbell rang.

"Oh thank God, the pizza's here. Good Lord. I'll get it."

Ten minutes later found Charlie and Dee eating pizza watching John Rambo blowing a bunch of shit up from within the TV set. Charlie was sitting so stiffly that Dee was half-afraid he might snap in half.

"Charlie, you might want to just rela-"

Charlie let out a strangled laugh.

"Relax? What do you mean relax? I'm relaxed. In fact, I'm having a great time, are you having a great time, Dee? This is great. We're great. This is a great time we're having isn't it?"

"…Right, look, Charlie-"

"Yeah. This is amazing, we're having so much fun right now. This is great. This is really, really great."

"Mm hmm-"

"I mean, we're just having the time of our lives aren't we? I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now, because this is great. Great time, we're having."

"Yep-"

"Totally great-"

"This isn't working."

"It isn't working is it?"

"Totally awkward."

"Totally awkward right?"

"I mean, we're friends, and I've known you since high-school…"

"We know each other too well!"

"That's exactly it, we know each other too well, so we know too many of our faults to find each other attractive."

"Like your scoliosis…"

"Your bad hygiene…

"Your crack addiction…"

"The whole glue thing…"

"Your crows feet…"

"Your- what? I do not have-"

"Your fivehead…"

"Fivehea-"

"Your age, your general appearance, your personality…"

"Okay, I think that's enough-"

"Your uncanny resemblance to Big Bird…"

"I DO NOT LOOK LIKE A BIRD!"

"Well shit, Dee, you kinda do."

"I do no- Okay you know what? Get out of my apartment."

"What with the freaky tallness, the yellow hair and the stick legs, you even eat kinda like a bird!"

"Get out!"

"You know, I'm surprised you even decided to get a cat, 'cause cats eat birds and all and-"

"Charlie. I swear to God, get out of my apartment."

"Does this mean we're breaking up?"

"There was nothing to break up! God damn it, why did I ever agree to this?"

"Don't ask me, dude, wasn't my idea. You're the one who asked me out."

"Just get outta here."

Dee slammed the door shut behind Charlie.

"God damn it Charlie."


Footnote: And that's Chapter 5. Surprisingly hard to write, hopefully the 'date' was sufficiently awkward though. Hope you enjoyed it! By the way, I've been having Sunny withdrawals lately and have taken to re-watching the first five seasons. September has never seemed so far away.

Feedback would be much appreciated.