The two men were sitting anonymously at the back of a little coffee shop, or as anonymously as you could when one of you was the size Rikishi was. Still, it was more private than anywhere near to the hotel.
"I wish we could tell them." Rico hated keeping secrets from Billy and Chuck; they wouldn't understand that not telling them stemmed from bashfulness, and that Rikishi hadn't had anything to do with the whole tag belt mess. No they'd punch first and ask questions later, and neither Rico nor Rikishi wanted that.
"But we can't. Because then they'd kick your head in, followed by kicking mine."
"I bet we could take them." Rico smiled his little smile. It lit Rico's face up, and made Rikishi's day seem brighter. But much though he wanted to, Rikishi couldn't lean over and kiss him.
"You forget I'm no black belt in karate. But yeah, you probably could."
Another sip of coffee.
"How's your head?" Rico knew he shouldn't have hit Rikishi that hard.
"I'll be okay."
"I didn't mean to hit you that hard."
"I know, you said." His head did hurt, but Rikishi wasn't about to tell Rico that. He was still carrying around enough guilt from his kick to Billy at the PPV.
The coffee was drunk in silence, both of them casting an occasional glance at the other while they did, or sighing as they stirred it.
"So I'll have to be getting back." Rikishi only had enough time for a flying visit.
"Can't you stay a bit longer; you can say it was traffic holding you up."
"I can't, and you know it." As he was saying it, Rikishi's eyes said, 'And don't ask again, 'cause I might stay.' "What excuse are you using?"
"I'm looking at clothes." Like Rico needed any more.
Rikishi stood up. Rico passed him his coat and hat, and then straightened his collar for him. Rikishi smiled and walked away, turning before the door.
"I love you, man." He always made it sound like it was a friendly greeting, sort of thing you'd say throwing a basketball to someone. But Rico understood, the same way Rikishi understood the straightening of his collar had meant the same thing.
Rico sat back down and finished his coffee. He was thinking about how wrong this all was. It wasn't Rikishi's fault that Billy and Chuck were such bitches. All day, every day, it was bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch. Their hair wasn't right, their trunks were too tight, the light bulbs were too strong, and the pillows were too soft. And they'd kick up a storm if they knew that Rico was going out with the man who'd taken their tag-titles. It wouldn't have been that bad if Rico hadn't been co-holder of the belts. But no, Mr. McMahon had to pull a completely expected rabbit out of the hat.
Rico calmed himself by stirring the dregs of the coffee. Don't criticise your employer, and don't complain about your friends. However much you wanted to strangle all three.
Because one of these days, everything would turn out all right and then he and Rikishi wouldn't have to keep hiding out in coffee shops.