Date: June 5, 2010
How do you make a first date great? Just add Zombies.
Hype For The Sequel
The timing couldn't be better. Sandra is off with Mr. Muggles at a little Pomeranian playdate and Lyle is off playing Laser Tag with some of his friends, so Claire is left alone to prepare for her date with Archie Wheeler. Well, alone but for the chocolate lab pup that's following her around like a chubby brown shadow.
They never really discussed what they would be doing, though there's been plenty of time between setting the date where Archie and Claire worked the same shifts. So far, they've been able to keep the date on the downlow — or at least Claire thinks they have. It's very possible that Wheeler has told the world, but if so, she hasn't heard about it. April and Kiki haven't come to question her on her sanity, at any rate, so Claire thinks it's a well-kept secret.
Glancing at the clock, Claire checks herself in the bathroom mirror one more time. She's dressed casually but with care — black skinny jeans, strappy black sandals, and a white spaghett-strapped top in a filmy material that shows off her tan. Her hair's down, and the only adornment she wears are small diamond studs.
"Yo! This Wheels! I'm on a date right now, so I can't talk! But I'll call you back! The Power is Yours!"
That would be Wheeler setting his voicemail for the night, as he pulls around the corner in The Wilson. Whether it has something to do with the GPS or Google Maps or whatever, he's managed to make it here… just in time. Well, maybe he's a couple minutes early, but whatever. As he pulls in front of the humble abode, he shoves his phone back into the pocket of his casual button up shirt. The Wilson is parked and he's hopping out, sliding around the Tennis Ball on wheels, showing off his classic denim jeans and his signature red chucks, to match the shirt, of course.
He stops as he gets near the door to make sure that he looks okay. He tosses a hand through his hair, checks his watch and then proceeds to hit the doorbell button. Nervously, there's some gum that's popped into his mouth, which causes him to hurriedly chew so it's not too awkward when someone answer's the door. Nom-nom-nom.
The knock is answered first by the barking of Wizard the puppy, but a few moments later, one foot pushing the dog out of the way, Claire answers. Her cheeks are a touch flushed as she looks up at the tall young man on her doorstop. "Hi!" she says, eyebrows rising as she looks at him in street clothes instead of the tennis whites they have to wear for work — after all, she's only seen him at work.
"You wanna come in or … no one's here, so you don't have to worry about the parental unit or anything," she adds, lest he think he's being invited in for the Spanish Inquisition — which no one expects. She peers behind him at the car and her brows rise more. "The Wilson, I presume?"
Wheeler's reaching back to press the alarm button on the Wilson, which *BOOP BOOP*s pretty quickly. His eyes are stuck on Claire this entire time, though he does spare a glance at what he's assuming is some kind of little barking creature. Claire's foot is not that big, you know!
"Yeah. That's the WIlson. It might be the second best thing about working at the Food Court." Grinning, Wheeler just kind of offers a shrug, before his eyebrow is raised to levels of raisedness that he probably shouldn't be raising it to. "Inviting me in before our first date? Man, you work fast." Wheeler keeps a smile on his face, whilst his head is tilted at her. "… I like it."
Claire flashes a smile. "Well, I figured this way you can see that I am not a crazy cat woman with forty-three cats and ten litter boxes and the taxidermied bodies of my five late husbands in life-like poses around the house, right?" she says. Once he steps in, she pushes the door shut, and Wizard is no longer nudged out of the way.
The four-month old puppy puts its little paws up on Wheeler's legs, tail wagging furiously which causes the entire dog to wag furiously. "That's Wizard. Can I get you anything? Soda? I'd offer you something harder since you're legal and all but I don't think we have anything."
"OH EM GEE! PUPPY!"
Wheeler is already down on the floor, reaching to grab at Wizard and tumble into some kind of crazy Wrestling War with the little puppy! "This is SO AWESOME!" He's hype, that much is obvious. But maybe he's just a dog person. Or maybe he's trying to lay it on thick so that Claire will love him because he loves her puppy. It worked on Saved By The Bell, anyway!
"Uh! I'll take a soda, sure! I shouldn't drink, since I'm drivin' the Wilson." Pause. "Unless, of course, you plan on seducing me to the point that we're making out, instead of going out?"
The little blonde watches the boy on the floor with her puppy with one of those faces that young women get when seeing something impossibly cute. If he is trying to lay it on thick, clearly it's working. The way to a man's heart might be through his stomach, but the way to a girl's heart is through playing with puppies and kittens and babies.
"Soda," she says to the question of soda or seduction, and her cheeks color as she turns about face to head into the kitchen to pour some Coke for the both of them. She hasn't been on a real date in a long time. She's not sure if Randall counts, and she doesn't want to count him because if so, she failed pretty terribly. She brings two glasses of soda back with her, handing one to Wheeler. "I don't know what time my mom's due back, and I don't want to put you through the mom-degree on a first date or anything," she points out, then blushes a little more for saying the D-word.
"Thanks." Yeah, Wheeler's got some manners. He takes the soda and brings it up to his lips for a quick sip. He doesn't really seem too worried about the Mom factor, though, because he's always been good with Moms. "Well, we could just make out now, then dip out before your Mom gets back, catch a flick and then I'll have you back before curfew." Yeah, he's just going to keep throwing that out there because she keeps blushing or whatever at it. But he makes sure to smile with it, since it may come off too creepy at some point. "Just a suggestion, though."
"You and this making out thing. I thought older guys were supposed to be more mature and past thinking about that 24/7, maybe having limited to — what is it, once every seven minutes or something? Or was it seven seconds? I forget," Claire says with a smirk, before swallowing a bit of her coke, wishing perhaps there was something harder to throw into it. Maybe Sandra has a secret stash somewhere.
"And I only kiss on a first date after popcorn, for the record." Wait. Did she just say that? Who is this and what did they do with Claire? Her cheeks grow rosier. "I'll even let you pick the movie," she offers.
Wheeler raises an eyebrow as he takes another drink of his Coke, without worrying too much about whether or not it should have something stronger in it. It should, but he's not about to go and ruin anything. "Then we better catch the next show." Wheeler's already reaching into his pocket to whip out his phone, turning it sideways and pulling up the movie sight. "In the mood for anything specific? Because if you leave it up to me, we'll be seeing something involving Zombies, Aliens and Scantily Clad Heroines of Epic Justice."
Laughing at the haste to pull out the phone, Claire tilts her head, sipping her Coke before setting it on a nearby table. "Really, anything that's about as far from reality as possible is fine by me," she says. The list of things she doesn't want to watch because they're too close to reality might cause suspicion: secret government agencies trying to round up mutants to sell as weapons to other governments? Luckily that movie isn't in the theatre at the moment. "I leave it to your judgement except I veto anything with Vin Diesel."
"Agreed. If I see him drive one more car at breakneck CGI speeds… I'm gonna' lose it." Scrolling through the movie list, Wheeler's eye brighten up the moment he spots one of his favorite titles. "Awesome! Zombies Ate My Girlfriend is playing in like 20 minutes!" He shoves the phone back into his pocket and extends a hand to Claire in his most heroic of manners. "To the Wilson?"
Zombies are something she can handle. Claire grins and takes the proffered hand, her own small and dainty in comparison, nails polished a shiny pale blue just a few hours ago. "To the Wilson. What kind of car is that, under all that, anyway?" she asks, reaching for a purse on the table and pulling her keys out before leading them to the door, letting him out before locking the door behind. "Be good, Wiz," she tells the puppy who whines on the other side.
"I think it's a Beetle." Wheeler says with a huge shrug, as he makes his way off towards where the passenger side door is. Popping it open, after turning the alarm off, he bows humbly as if he was an extra on the Princess Diaries. "But I like to pretend its an Aston Martin DB5." Granted, he's not even sure that Claire will recognize the epic car, but he sure as hell has to make sure to showoff his Bond knowledge, whilst holding the door open for the blonde.
"That's a British sports car, right? What James Bond drives? I never saw any of those movies, but I think my Dad watched them," the former cheerleader says as she slides into the car, noting the chivalry of Archie for opening it for her. She lowers her head in a mock little bow as she pulls the seatbelt across her chest and clicks it into place. "You may have to deal with me hiding my face in your shoulder from the scary parts. You think you're man enough for that?" she teases.
"Are you kidding? That's gonna' be the best part." Wheeler winks and closes the door, heading around the back of the Wilson, to make sure he has a chance to stop and pump his fist, before he gets to his own door and slides in. Seatbelt is clicked and the car is started just as quickly as humanly possible. He does, after all, want to get them to the theater ASAP. "For the record, because you haven't seen ANY James Bond film, that's totally our second date. James Bond marathon. My place. I'm not going to be taking no for an answer either."
"Really? I mean… they look okay and all but aren't they all kind of the same? Guy in tuxedo sleeps with hot woman and somehow stops international druglord slash jewel thief slash assassin slash terrorist from blowing up the world, right? Isn't this one where 'you seen one, you seen 'em all' applies?" Claire says, pulling her cell phone from her pocket to check the display, turn it to silent, and lock it so she doesn't butt dial anyone during the movie, before slipping it back into her pocket. "But… okay. I won't say no."
"… You… what." Wheeler can hardly concentrate on the driving that's happening right about now, because he cannot believe the greatest spy of all time is being reduced to 'Same Thing' by the cutie in the seat next to him. "Okay, I'm seriously gonna' have to school you on Bond, it looks like. If we're gonna' be datin' you're gonna' have to respect the Bond." Wheeler says this with a smile on his face. "I mean, granted, Sean Connery is and will forever be the best, but there's a distinct difference between each of the Bonds and that's not even counting the movies themselves! We'll get you up to speed. Don't worry. It just may take an entire weekend." Did he just sneakily ask her to spend the weekend with him?
Claire's eyes narrow as he teasingly reprimands her for her ignorance on James Bond. "Well, all right, but only if I get to educate you on the awesomeness that is the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants…" she begins, watching out of the corner of her sparkling green eyes to see if he falls for it. She's never read any of the books nor seen the movie, but it's about the girliest girly series she can think of off the top of her head. Well, that or Anne of Green Gables, but she's not sure he'd know what that is.
Wheeler almost loses control of the Wilson upon hearing that. But he manages to keep it steady. "Okay. That's a deal. But only if you pack your old cheerleading uniform. I'm going to need something hot to look at after you burn my eyes out of their sockets with that horrible movie." Wheeler glances over as he turns the corner and starts heading down the block towards the movie theater in the distance. He might as well check her out while he's driving it. Since the theater's going to be all dark.
If it was a test, he half-passed. She laughs and shakes her head. "No. I've never seen it, and I certainly wouldn't want to subject you to that sort of thing, even if I did like it. I think it's kind of a cool girl code. 'I will not make my … date…'" oops, she almost said the B-word, "'watch chick flicks except on Valentine's Day and my birthday or unless he's gotten in the doghouse for missing the aforementioned.'" She holds up three fingers as if taking an oath. "And you're in luck — Valentine's Day and my birthday are already over this year."
"Well. That kinda' sucks. I was lookin' forward to gettin' you something special." Wheeler actually kind of frowns, before turning the corner and pulling into the parking lot. He might as well make this as easy as possible, since he's driving a giant tennis ball. He slides into a parking space and glances at his watch. "And we made it. Am I awesome or what? Don't move." He's popping open his door and racing around to the other side to open Claire's for her with a smile.
"I'd say or what, but I think I might be biased toward awesome," Claire says, a small smirk as she actually flirts back. Once her door is opened, she hops out, and hikes her purse over her shoulder. "Come on, I hate missing the previews." Those people who come in when the movie's starting and step all over you? Epic fail in her mind. She reaches for his hand to hurry toward the ticket booth.
"That. Was. AWESOME!"
Those words are belonging to the Archibald of the Wheelers, as he escorts his hottie mchotterson date out of the movie theater. After all, that was an epic movie of epic gore! "Please tell me you're as hype about the sequel as I am, right now!" Wheeler's even holding his hand up for a high five at this moment.
Awesome? Luckily Claire is not as squeamish about blood and guts since she herself has died and revived a few times, but there were moments she had to hide her face in Wheeler's shirt due to the unrealistic graphic brain chewing. Brain chewing should probably have been on the list of things too realistic from personal experience, but yet another of those things she can't mention. Um, hi, did I tell you about the time I got my skull opened like a can of tuna and some guy nommed on it but somehow I didn't die because I'm immortal?
Not first date stuff.
She doesn't say all of this, of course, but instead laughs and gives him a high five that takes standing on her tip does to deliver. "Epic," is all she says.
Totally leading the way towards the WIlson, Wheeler even takes this opportunity to take that high-fiving hand and throw it around the blonde. He's having way too much fun with this girl. It shouldn't be allowed. "Thanks for sittin' through that with me, by the way. Not the typical first date flick, but since you were a trooper, I promise I'll sit through whatever chick flick you choose with minimal complaining." He glances at his watch as they get closer to the Wilson. "So. Where's our next stop? Or should I be getting you back home?"
"I'll keep that in mind. Sex in the City 2 is out," she says slowly, deviously. She has no desire to see the movie, but knows it is the bane of all things masculine. She steps closer when that arm gets flung around her shoulders, letting her own hand come up and around his side. Tiny as she is, tall as he is, she barely comes to his shoulder. "Don't we both work breakfast shift? If you don't mind me sleeping on the job once in a while, we can go … I don't know. What do you want to do?" Dangerous question, probably.
Wheeler just kind of smiles, knowing that he probably shouldn't be thinking what he's thinking right now. But he's thinking it. "You're dating your boss. Do you really think you can get fired?" Wheeler reaches for the handle of the Wilson and yanks open the door, allowing Claire to once again climb inside. "I've got just the 'spot' that we can go. It's gonna' be magical." Oh dear. He's got that 'making out' look in his eyes again.
Her eyes narrow in mock suspicion as she climbs in the car. "If, Archibald Wheeler, you bring me to a Lego store, I am walking out on you and finding the nearest able-bodied man to bring me home," she tosses over her shoulder as he closes the door. She does a quick check in the mirror to make sure there's no popcorn in her teeth or that her hair hasn't gotten frizzy in the two hours since she's seen her reflection. Once he's in the car again, she looks over, a little more solemn than their teasing interaction. "In case I forget to say it later, this has been fun. Thank you."
"Fun? Baby, you ain't seen nothin' yet." Wheeler starts the Wilson, while looking over at Claire with a smile. There's a reason that he's smiling and the drive doesn't take too long. Mostly, because he's got multiple routes to the spot of awesome memorized and well traveled. The moment the car is parked, it's obvious that they are probably at what must be heaven for someone like Wheeler. He puts the car in park and looks up and out the window.
"Welcome… to Noah's Arcade."
The building is glowing. It is that awesome.
Claire laughs, but there is nothing malicious or meanspirited in it— it is a happy laugh. If she wanted someone uncomplicated, Archie is the man. "I'm not that good at video games, but I can probably whoop your ass at air hockey," she says with a cheerful grin. "Loser has to buy ice cream. Deal?" She turns to offer her hand to the man-child in the driver's seat.
Wheeler's hand is already slapping into a handshake of deal sealing with Claire. "Oh, you have no idea what you just did. I own air hockey. It is so on!" That's right. The Wheeler has accepted the challenge. Oh yeah. This is going to be so awesome.
The petite blonde regenerator just grins to herself. She knows she can't beat him unless he's horribly bad, but she did just extend the date to at least one more event — ice cream, which she'll have to buy. After all, he's like a condor with his wingspan. He'd be able to hit the puck at the blue line, whereas she is barely able to move reach past the goal area with her much-shorter arms. But the payoff is like a Mastercard commercial in her head:
Three rounds of air hockey: $1.50.
Two cones of soft-serve ice cream: $5.00.
Seeing the dorky grin of the dorky boy you have a crush on: Priceless.