Lorne hung up his apron and rolled his shoulders trying to work the crick out of his neck. He'd worked a double shift and was glad it was almost closing time. He was about to lock up when he heard someone come into the Diner.
With a sigh, he slipped his apron back on and went out to serve his last customer of the night. "Rodney. What are…?" He bit back his next words at the distressed look on the Potential's face. It was a rare sight to see Rodney come here without John. Even rarer to see him look this distraught.
"I don't suppose you have coffee still on?" Rodney asked.
"Sit. I'll put a fresh pot on."
"Thank god. I know it's late. John's running an errand for Elizabeth and won't be back tonight. " Rodney mustered up a wan smile. "I miss him. I didn't know what to do with myself and this…." He shrugged. "This seemed like the right place to come."
Lorne patted him on the shoulder. "It must be or the Diner wouldn't have let you in. Let me get that coffee started and I'll be right back." He walked into the kitchen and was met by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Parrish had beaten him to it. He couldn't help smiling at the sight of his Tinsdale setting coffee cups out on a serving tray.
"What are you doing here?" Lorne asked.
"I grew weary of waiting for you. You work too hard. Besides," Parrish's wings fluttered in a gesture that seemed to take in the entire kitchen, "I missed this."
"I missed you working here, too. But Spring Break is almost over. Most of the mundanes stopping by for burgers and fries will be back in school soon and you won't have to keep your wings out of sight any longer." Lorne rubbed the back of his neck. "Frankly, I'll be glad for help again."
"I've never understood why they keep showing up." Parrish took over rubbing Lorne's neck and shoulders. "Dearheart, your shoulders are tight enough to scare off a roveling."
"Mm, your hands are magic." Lorne sighed happily and relaxed under Parrish's knowing hands. "Rumors about the Diner being haunted seem to have evolved into some kind of dare among the university crowd. Can't imagine why."
"There are so many students stopping by because they're daring each other to eat here?"
"That's about the size of it. It could be worse. At least the Diner has been on good behavior and not added to the rumors. We've got that to be thankful for at least. C'mon, I've got a distressed Rodney McKay out there. Let's bring the man his coffee."
"Wait." Parrish went over to the fridge and pulled out an apple pie. "This should help." He cut a generous slice and placed it on the tray.
Pointing at the three coffee mugs already sitting on the tray Lorne asked, "I take it we're joining him?"
"Of course. How else can we keep him company?"
"Then you'd better bring the whole pie."