Mordecai gulped, twiddling his fingers nervously. Every few seconds he would glance at Margaret, who was getting food from the chef. Rigby glared at Mordecai as he munched on his French Dip.
"Okay," Mordecai finally said. "I'm ready."
"Finally!" Rigby shouted. "You've been twiddling your fingers for half an hour."
"Shut up; it's hard to muster enough courage to do this."
Rigby made a snorting noise. When Mordecai was about to punch him, he continued eating his lunch.
"H-hey, Margaret," Mordecai called.
Margaret gave him a gesture to show that she was busy with a customer.
Mordecai smiled slightly. Deep in his heart, he wanted her to continue being busy, so he could put off talking to her.
"She's almost done," Mordecai murmured to Rigby. "Let's get out of here." He tried to grab his friend's arm.
"Oh, you wuss," Rigby groaned, wrenching his arm away.
"I don't think I can do this."
"It's not that hard; just ask her."
"Hey, guys." While they were arguing, Margaret made her way to their table. "What do you need, Mordecai?" He hand was in her pocket in case he wanted to order.
"Uh… I… um… haha," Mordecai laughed nervously. "Sorry. I mean… do you want…" he cleared his throat. "…hang out?" He said the last two words very quickly. He glanced hopefully at her. He was keeping his eyes averted from her while he spoke; he found that he was less nervous if he wasn't looking directly at her. When Margaret didn't say anything, Mordecai blushed. "You know what? Never mind. You're probably busy. S-sorry." He got up to leave.
"Wait, Mordecai," Margaret said, stopping him in his tracks. "Um… I get off at four."
Mordecai's heart jumped in his throat.
"Really? And uh… it's not like a date or anything, you know. Since… since I know you have a boyfriend and all…" He trailed off, his blush deepening.
"Okay. Four, then" Margaret said, waving as she ran off to help others who were just coming in.
"Wow; it worked," Mordecai said in disbelief as he watched Margaret take more orders.
"Dude, what the "H"?" Rigby shouted. His French Dip lay on the plate next to him, almost completely eaten.
"'It's not a date or anything. Blah, blah, blah," he mocked. "You're never going to get with her if you act like that."
"It's better than nothing," Mordecai retorted. "And who knows? I might be able to charm her tonight."
"Pfft! Yeah, right! You'll just be going 'uh, uh, uh,'" Rigby laughed, picking up the last of his sandwich and stuffing it into his mouth.
"Shut up! Let's go. I'm betting I have stuff to do before four."
"You mean like take a class on charming? OWW!" Rigby cried when Mordecai's fist met with his scrawny arm. "Dude…"
"Let's go," Mordecai repeated.
Rigby went to the counter, where Eileen was working. She smiled at him as he paid for his lunch. He gave her his own flat expression.
"Bye, Rigby," Eileen said as he walked to the door with Mordecai. He barely waved back.
"See you at four," Margaret called out.
Mordecai was on cloud nine as he and Rigby made their way back to the park.
"I can't believe I have a date with Margaret!" He cheered.
"Yeah, right, man," Rigby said. "You said it wasn't a date."
"Well, to me, it is."
"What if her boyfriend finds out?"
"He won't, alright? I think of this as a date that can change my relationship with Margaret. If it works out, her and her boyfriend will be over." He put his index finger to his throat and made a slicing noise.
"You're going to kill him?" Rigby screamed.
"No! Just their relationship."
"That's screwed up," Rigby commented.
"I know it sounds bad," Mordecai agreed, "but I've been in love with Margaret since freshman year."
"Is it love? Huh?" Rigby jumped onto Mordecai's chest, peering into his eyes.
"Of course it is! Do you think I'd be so flustered if it wasn't? And get off!" Mordecai pushed Rigby off of him.
"I guess not," Rigby said.
They were silent as they walked through the gates, Rigby kicking a rock that was in his path.
"What if you screw it up by being too flirty?" Rigby finally broke the silence.
Mordecai blushed. "Oh, wait… never mind."
"What never mind?" Mordecai asked.
"Well, you can never ask her out on a real date. You'd be too nervous to actually flirt with her. Your plan is going downhill fast."
"Shut up," Mordecai snapped, shoving Rigby. "When you're in love, you'll realize how hard it is to talk to that person."
"You don't have a problem talking to her about normal stuff," Rigby commented.
"Well, yeah, but that's normal stuff," he explained to Rigby as though he were a five year old, infuriating the raccoon. "The thing about this is a fear of rejection. Yeah, I'm scared. Whenever I wanted to ask her out, I would go blank. I thought she would say no, and that frightened me. If you noticed, normal stuff is what kept me from fainting all those times. I would try to ask her out, and then switch to talking about the weather."
"Did you almost faint today?"
"I was close. This close." Mordecai gestured how close he was to fainting. "I'm surprised my face wasn't so red."
"Dude, it was," Rigby laughed.
They reached the house in the park. Mordecai opened the door and sat on the couch. Rigby did the same, reaching for the remote control. He clicked it.
"Damn, I hate crappy television," he scowled, turning it off and tossing it on the table, which caused a clatter loud enough for Benson to hear.
"What's going on here?" The gumball machine man yelled as he burst from the kitchen door.
"What, are you stalking us?" Rigby asked.
"I just happened to be in the kitchen at the time you came in," Benson replied, gritting his teeth. "Do not throw the remote against the table. If either one breaks, I'm taking it out of your paycheck. And… What's up with Mordecai?" Mordecai had a dreamy far look on his face as he stared into the distance.
"He's going out with Margaret tonight."
"Margaret? The girl he's been trying to ask out for months now?" Rigby nodded. "How'd he manage that?"
"By telling her it wasn't a date."
"Tell me about it. So, are you finished with your threatening?"
"Most certainly not," Benson said. "If you break any of those things, you will also be on dish duty for a month!" Benson stalked away, but not before giving them a list of chores to complete.
Mordecai saw the list and let out a groan.
"Okay, dude, it's almost two," Mordecai said, pointing to the clock. "We only have two hours to finish this before I need to pick up Margaret."
"Get to work, then," Rigby said, relaxing even more on the couch. Mordecai grabbed him by his tail and threw him to the floor. "What was that?"
"I'm doing this all by myself? Come on!"
Rigby muttered darkly as he followed Mordecai out the door. Mordecai had the list in his hand.
"First," he said, looking over the piece of paper, "we have to take the garbage out."
"Then why did we leave the house?"
"I don't know!"
Mordecai sprinted into the house and emptied every garbage can he could find. "Rigby, run to all the other trashcans."
"Just do it!"
Rigby glared at his blue jay friend, but did what he was told. He ran to all the remaining trashcans around the park. He panted as he grew tired of running. He slowed down to a walk. "This sucks," he said to himself. "Why did Mordecai get to get the trash from the house? There's only like four trashcans there! There's like fifty here!"
Rigby spotted a bench near another trashcan. He sat down on it.
"Rigby!" Mordecai yelled. "What are you doing?"
"Taking a break, man," Rigby replied.
"Dude, we don't have time for this! I have to pick up Margaret in less than two hours."
"Well, maybe if you helped pick up some of the garbage around this freaking football field, we'd be done by now!"
"I'm trying to charm the girl, you know," Mordecai explained. "I can't charm a girl if I smell like yesterday's dinner."
"Dude, just take a bath," Rigby said. "It's not that hard."
"By the rate we're going, I won't have time to take a bath."
"We'd be going faster if you helped! Come on! What's next on the list anyway?" He jumped from the bench and tried to grab the list from Mordecai's hand. Mordecai responded by holding it out of his reach. "Dude!"
"The next thing is cleaning the kitchen. Shouldn't take too long. After that we have to plant some more flowers in the garden."
"We only have a few more trashcans to go, so help me," Rigby told him, taking the trash out of the can next to bench. "See? I'm working! It sucks, but I'm working!"
"Alright," Mordecai sighed. He would just have to work fast to ensure he had time to take a bath and get ready.
He and Rigby quickly emptied all the remaining trashcans of all their garbage and dumped them into the giant dumpster in front of the park.
"Ugh, I reek!" Mordecai complained, sniffing his hands.
"Margaret won't want you now!" Rigby cracked up.
Mordecai trudged his way into the kitchen, which wasn't half bad. Only a little bit of dirt lay on the floor and counters. He vigorously scrubbed the counters until it was literally sparkling. Meanwhile, Rigby swept and scrubbed the floors.
Mordecai glanced at the clock. It was three thirty. He yelped.
"I have to get ready!" He screamed. "Rigby, can you handle the plants?"
"I guess," Rigby huffed. "Shouldn't be too hard."
"Thanks, buddy, thanks a lot!" Mordecai ran upstairs to the bathroom.
He turned on the bath.
"Stupid garbage," he muttered, looking at himself in the mirror. His blue feathers were specked with bits of dirt.
Mordecai lowered himself into the bathtub, the warmness covering his entire body.
"Aah," he sighed. He grabbed a piece of soap and began scrubbing every inch of himself. He continued to wash himself, using soap and shampoo, until the smell was completely gone.
He stepped out of the bath, rubbing his wet feathers with a towel. He examined himself in the mirror again. He scowled.
"Look at me," he said. "No way she's going for me. I'm so scrawny compared to her boyfriend. No, no, no." He shook his head roughly. "Calm yourself. You've got one thing that they don't have. You actually care about her." Mordecai took a deep breath before spraying himself with cologne.
He went to his bedroom and grabbed a white collar shirt with a tie and a pair of black pants.
He found Rigby downstairs sitting on the couch, playing video games. Rigby looked over the couch to see Mordecai at the foot of the stairs.
"Dude, this isn't a good idea," Rigby said.
"What?" He looked down at his attire, wondering if he did something wrong.
"What happens if you do get together? Where does that leave me?"
"Don't worry about crap like that, Rigby," Mordecai said. "Let's just see how tonight works out. What time is it?"
"What? Okay, I better get going! Thanks for your help today!" Mordecai screamed as he ran out of the house and straight to the coffee shop without stopping.