“Another one,” demanded Logan. The barkeep, whose name was Ken or maybe Keith, nodded, refilling his drink.
As Logan took a large gulp, he was vaguely aware of someone sliding onto the barstool next to him.
“You look familiar, didn’t we take a class together? I could’ve sworn we had chemistry.” The voice was lower than Logan’s own, the tone carrying a casual nature that seemed somehow false.
Logan didn’t look at the man as he downed a shot glass. “Listen, sweetheart, pickup lines only work when I’m drunk, and I’m not quite there yet. Give me another five minutes and I’ll get back to you on that.”
The stranger let out a low laugh in a pitch that made shivers run down Logan’s back. “But did I get the teacher thing right?”
“Like most people, you assumed.” Logan stared down into the empty bottom of his glass. “But yes, you were correct.”
“If you don’t mind me asking, what do you teach?” This guy was showing far too much interest in Logan, but he didn’t really care. As far as he was concerned, it had been too long since anyone had been into him.
“I’m a college professor, I teach Astronomy, and, more often than not, I fill in for the Physics professor. He doesn’t come in to work a third of the time because he’s ‘sick.’” Logan emphasized the finger quotes.
“Sounds like a pain. So you don’t think he’s really sick?” The Stranger shifted in his seat, and Logan snuck a glance at him. Looked about his age, purple-dyed bangs that fell over his forehead and slightly into his dark eyes. He had the kind of eyes that bored straight through your facade right into your soul, mused Logan drunkenly. Damn pretty eyes.
“Of course not. Who’s sick that often? If his immune system truly was that poor at fighting off infections, he’d be dead by now.” Logan shoved his glass back towards Ken-or-Keith. “Another.” The bartender gave him an ‘if you’re sure’ look that was clearly supposed to imply that whatever happened next would be Logan’s fault. “Another.” Logan watched his glass fill up.
The Stranger watched Logan intently. “Did you… come here with a friend?”
“Like whom?” Logan gestured around wildly, drink sloshing in his hand.
“A date?” Logan shook his head. “Sibling? Cousin? Hey, look, I’m just trying to make sure you can get home safely.”
“I’m not going home tonight.” Logan swirled around his drink before downing another shot. “Planning on going home with someone else.”
“Like who?” inquired The Stranger. “Got anyone in mind?”
“I don’t know. Someone.” Logan had barely finished his sentence when his eyes closed and he swayed dangerously. The Stranger had just enough time to catch him before he fell.
The Stranger, whose name happened to be Virgil, looked around helplessly for a moment, aware of The Teacher’s weight in his arms. He turned to Ken-or-Keith.
“I’m gonna take him home.” Ken-or-Keith nodded understandingly, and Virgil proceeded to haul The Teacher roughly to his car. He was grateful, especially now, that he’d never been one for drinking.
Once The Teacher was secured in the passenger seat, Virgil went through his pockets, feeling mildly guilty as he did so.
Aha. A driver’s license--Logan D’angelo, 26 years old, which meant he was two years older than Virgil. He had a name now, but nothing in Logan’s pockets clued Virgil in on where he lived.
“Logan?” Virgil called, shaking him by the shoulders. “Logan?” he tried again, but got no response. He sighed. “Guess you are coming home with someone else tonight.”
Logan woke up the next morning fully clothed in someone else’s bed, head throbbing. He fumbled around for his glasses, finding them on a nightstand next to the bed. Stiffly, he stood up. Where… was he? He didn’t recognize this apartment at all, and he couldn’t recall the events of the previous night. Had he slept with a stranger?
Uneasily, he walked down the hallway towards what he assumed was the kitchen. Someone was... whistling?
A purple-haired man was standing next to the stovetop, wearing an apron, holding a pan with a pancake, and whistling what sounded to Logan, with his infinitesimally small knowledge of emo music, to be Bring Me to Life by Evanescence.
Logan cleared his throat, and the man looked up.
“You’re finally up, Sleeping Beauty?” His grin did nothing to improve Logan’s mood; if anything, his teasing tone and demeanor only served to piss Logan off. He’d had his fair share of students with that cocky attitude, and every one had caused him nothing but trouble.
“Where am I, who are you, and what happened last night?” Logan questioned, firmly sticking to his current objective: Gather Information.
The man snorted. “You’re certainly different sober.” Logan’s mood soured further, and it must’ve been evident in his face, because the man hastened to answer. “Sorry, sorry. This is my apartment, my name’s Virgil. Last night I tried to flirt with you in a bar, you were drunk and collapsed a few minutes in. I didn’t know where you lived, so I had to take you home with me. I hope you’re grateful, by the way, elevator’s still broken so I had to carry you up three flights of stairs myself. Don’t worry, pretty boy, we didn’t do anything; I slept on the couch last night.”
Logan felt the tension leave his shoulders. “If you drove me here, then where is my car?”
‘Virgil’ artfully flipped the pancake, not looking at Logan. “I left it at the bar.”
“Wonderful.” Logan slumped where he stood.
“It’s fine, I can drive you back later,” suggested Virgil. “But I’m not going anywhere until I’ve had breakfast, so I don’t suppose you want to eat with me, since you’re going to have to wait here anyway?” Logan wasn’t convinced. “I have coffee.” Okay, now he was convinced.
Breakfast was uneventful for the most part, if Logan ignored the casual flirting perpetrated by Virgil. He had no need for any such thing–at least not sober –so there was no reason to accept the compliments or, shudder , flirt back .
Before long, Virgil and Logan had gotten into Virgil’s car to begin the drive back to the bar run by Ken-or-Keith.
At one of the longer stoplights, Logan became aware of the thoughtful way Virgil was gazing at him.
“What?” he snapped. If this near-stranger was still attempting to flirt with him…
Virgil blinked. “Sorry, hadn’t realized I was staring. I just…” His thumb nervously tapped the wheel as he idly watched the traffic light sit on the red color it had been for the past few minutes. “Before I was just flirting for the sake of flirting, ‘cause, if you hadn’t noticed somehow, I’m a flirty person. But, uh, I just noticed that you’re kinda pretty.”
Logan was torn between ‘ just noticed?’ and ‘only kinda pretty?’ so instead he settled on, “Thank you, I suppose.”
But Virgil wasn’t quite done. “And if you’re an Astronomy/Physics professor, you must be smart too.” Logan was sure Virgil was purposefully avoiding looking his way. “Not a lot of people out there like you, especially not in random bars, and God, I must’ve seemed like a real prick this morning. Sorry about that.” Was that a faint blush across Virgil’s lightly freckled cheeks?
“That’s alright,” answered Logan, taken aback by the honesty of Virgil’s statement when he’d been right, Virgil had come across as a prick. His entire demeanor seemed different now.
The rest of the drive was silent, and when they pulled up in the parking lot outside of the bar, Logan found he was slightly disappointed. He unbuckled his seatbelt and reached for the doorhandle, but hesitated.
“This is your stop,” informed Virgil uncertainly. Logan didn’t move to open the door.
Logan gave in to that somewhat irrational instinct. “Give me your phone.” He held out a hand, and when Virgil didn’t respond, wiggled his fingers. “Phone.”
“Okay…?” mumbled Virgil, pulling his phone out of his pocket and unlocking it before placing it in Logan’s hand. Logan did several things Virgil couldn’t see, typing something in before handing it back to Virgil.
Virgil didn’t look at the screen until he’d seen that Logan had made it safely back to his own car. Tentatively, he peeked at the screen, and laughed.
His phone displayed a new contact under the name ‘Logan,’ complete with a phone number. Guess last night hadn’t been a total waste after all.