"This one... and this one... and this... Oooh! This too..."

Mercedes' eyebrow arched higher as she looked down at a quickly growing pile of comic books in her hands. Superman, Spiderman, Captain America, X-men, Fantastic Four, Avengers, Batman...The pile was going to topple over at any time if her boyfriend continued to hand her more.

"Sam, are you really going to buy all of these? ALL of these? I know you're not homeless but you're not a stripper anymore..."

Sam stopped filing through the box of comics, straightened up, gave her a pointed glare. "Quiet about that!" He hissed. "Besides, I'm just picking out some then narrowing it down to the ones I want." He went back to his search.

Mercedes weighed the pile in her hands. "Well, this is more than enough I think. If you're going to narrow it down, I think you should start with these. At the rate you're going, we'll be in here for a week."

Sam sighed. "Okay, fine. A couple more." He quickly flipped through another box.

As the blonde continued his excursion for the perfect comic, Mercedes looked around at the comic shop. It was her first time in this place although she knew that Lima Comics had been there ever since she could remember. The shop was recently expanded according to Sam, and he wanted to take advantage of the new inventory that they could accommodate from the renovation.

"Aha! Here it is!" He lifted a comic book proudly above his head and fist pumped with his other hand.

Mercedes couldn't help but giggle at his excitement. It was one of the reasons why she even agreed to going with him. He had been begging her to make this trip even before they dated. It wasn't until almost a year later that she realized that seeing his eyes light up at finding the superhero story that he wanted was worth feeling a little out of place.

She realized that his exclamation and her laugh caught the attention of half of the people in the store. She felt her face heat up slightly. Sam glowered before he took her arm and pulled her towards the back corner of the shop.

"What?" Mercedes noticed the dark expression on his face as she followed him.

"Nothing." Sam sneaked a glance at the other customers before sitting down on the floor in the corner. "It's just some of those guys were checking you out."

Mercedes down at him and chuckled. "Really? I don't really think I'm really their type."

"You don't know that. I'm a comic geek and you're my type. Besides, a gorgeous lady in a comic bookstore is a rare sight." Sam smirked as he pulled at her hand so that she would sit down next to him.

Once she settled herself down beside her boyfriend, Mercedes watched Sam start rummaging through his newly found comics. After a few moments of watching him in silent concentration, she picked up one of them and flipped through it.

Her head tilted to one side... then the other... her eyebrows furrowed together... she pursed her lip.

It was several minutes until she looked up from the book and saw that Sam was smiling at her. "What?"

Sam's grin grew wider. "You're so cute when you're into reading a comic book."

The diva was startled by the observation. She didn't think she was really "into it" but she realized she couldn't deny it was getting interesting. "Oh... well yeah..." She coughed. "Um... why did this dude turn red and scary?"

Sam scooted closer to get a better look. "Oh, that's Red Skull. He's an interesting guy. He was a German solider, high ranking under Hitler in charge of terrorist acts and dealt with some powers from a cosmic cube. He wanted to use the power for evil and of course that backfired on him. The dust of death that he got exposed during his fight with Captain America made him look red and skeleton-like." He explained excitedly.

Mercedes nodded trying to let the information sink in. "Okay... so why is the Hulk green?"

Sam laughed. "Well there are a lot of different reasons why different heroes and villains have weird skin colors. Some were exposed to strange things, some where just born with it... just like how you were born with your pretty skin color." He threw an arm around her and stroked her bare upper arm with his fingers.

She looked at her arm and noticed the stark contrast between her dark skin and his pale hand. It was so strange... they were so different and yet it looked right. It looked beautiful in her eyes. She turned to face Sam and saw those piercing green eyes just inches from her brown ones. The tingle she was feeling from the contact on her shoulder was amplified by the weight of his stare.

"Thanks for coming here with me." Sam whispered softly. "Making an effort to learn about stuff I liked was one of the things that made me fall in love with you in the first place. We're different in many ways... but you seem to make it work."

Mercedes' eyes sparkled. "We make it work..." She noticed that he was beginning to close the gap between the two of them. "Sam, we're in a public place."

"So?"

"Aren't my admirers watching?" Mercedes chuckled.

Sam rolled his eyes and took a quick agitated look around the shelf that was blocking them from the rest of the store. "No one can really see us here, but since you're so self-conscious..." A devious glint sparked in his eye. "Maybe Captain America and the Red Skull can help us out."

"What are you talking about?"

Sam picked up the comic book from her lap. He took one side of the book with his right hand and took the other side with the hand that still was on Mercedes' other side. He lifted it so that comic book was blocking their faces from view. He smirked at his idea. "Clever, huh?"

Mercedes scoffed but tried to fight back a smile. "Maybe a little."

"Well, I should get a reward for my handiwork..." Sam spoke with a soft deep rumble as he leaned in closer.

Mercedes only responded by meeting her lips with his. As she felt the electrifying feeling of his soft full lips gently gliding against hers, she couldn't help but think that coming to Lima Comics should be a regular pastime for the two of them.