Having worked X years as a detective specializing in the occult, you'd think Francis McQueen would be adjusted to the weird becoming the norm. Unfortunately, he lived life holding onto a strangely strict rule set for a detective.
1. It's probably the occult.
This had driven him wrong a few times before. Like when the store ran out of honey nut drearie-o's and he had to be escorted out of the backrooms by his colleagues. Or when his niece Matilda had a birthday party and invited twins. Or when he wanted to buy a pet but all the animals in the shelter stared at him with knowing little eyes, which he was still convinced was a legitimate case, but Dooley had insisted that "Cats were just like that." Or the time that he lost his house keys and started doing a series of semi logical puzzles to try to go to the darkside and steal their house keys. Or the time- actually, there were a lot of times, but either way it was usually the occult.
2. Coats are a valid fashion regardless of setting.
Winter? It's coat time. Summer? Gotta grab my coat! Fall? The best time of the year, dramatic walks in powerful winds, ideal, absolute coat time. Spring didn't come often enough to count but it'd probably be great too. He only took his coat off when he wanted to flex as he filled out paperwork, and sometimes to shower. Also when he caught on fire, which was surprisingly often, but luckily not as often as he showered or filled out paperwork.
3. Patrick Dooley will never, ever love him.
Dooley was an enigma, and Francis could not understand him. He was breathtakingly smart and dumb at once, a paradox. It was like he lived on a plane of existence everyone else didn't. And well...McQueen wouldn't have made a life centered around the occult if he didn't think that was....Sorta hot.
But none of that mattered because Dooley would absolutely not ever want to date him. So what if maybe they'd kissed once or twice? McQueen was sure at least one of those times involved a spell, it was a bit hazy. And maybe once or twice meant a lot of times, it wasn't like Patrick was inviting him over for dinner with his family or anything! Not like... he went over monthly...to eat garlic flavored dishes...or anything...
Anyway! Dooley just wasn't like that. Francis sort of thought he was just not interested in any serious dating, he hit on pretty girls but with way less interest than he gave, say, any food type ever. Or a protein shake. He really did fill out his uniform so well, his muscles visible but not insanely so, thankfully not a v waist, just a natural firm, strong--
Dooley just didn't seem interested in dating. Anyone. Ever. Especially McQueen.
So when they were given a case set in a popular date restaurant, The Myristica, it Wasn't Awkward At All, For Anybody.
Oh, who was he kidding. He hadn't been this uncomfortable since all the toys in the neighborhood came to life. All the toys. Every definition of them. They grew eyes. Sometimes more than two.
'Any definition toys' were on his avoid list, above 'partially filled chocolate syrup containers', and far, far below 'zombies/mobsters/zombie mobsters'.
"Uh, detective? I'm all for standing ominously outside, but don't we need to do some investigating?" Dooley asked.
"Yes, I was just..." McQueens eyes scanned quickly, as if his sprite had some.
"...admiring these totems?"
They both looked at the totems.
They were on fire, as totems are.
Dooley smiled significantly brighter than the totems romantic glow, almost outshining the evening lighting that danced along his cheekbones.
"They are nice totems, do you think we could ...use them later? Wink."
You got the Romantic Spiral Totems!
Or, he did. What are you, a player character? You can't just rob someone's coat through space-time, homie.