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Fanfic: Strange Couple in a Strange World

Chapter 1: Appreciation

Ryan looked up from his comic book and let out a low appreciative whistle as he watched Micki come down the stairs.

She smiled and did a quick spin at the base of the steps, her full, black skirt twirling around her creamy white calves, I take it this outfit's a keeper?"

Ryan's smile widened as he set down his comic book, "You're gonna knock his socks off in that dress. You are absolutely beautiful, Micki."

He felt a pang of jealousy even as he said it, suddenly irritated at the thought of Micki having dinner with her latest boyfriend.

Micki, meanwhile, looked pleased, yet slightly surprised at Ryan's comment. But, as usual, she chalked up the words to Ryan's near constant and harmless flirtations.

After all, they were both the first to admit that they were far too different from each other's usual "types" to ever consider dating. Let alone starting a relationship. They were polar opposites.

There was a honk from outside and the two of them went to the front door of Curious Goods in time to see an attractive, well-dressed man in his early 30s bounding up to the door.

Micki opened the door and kissed her date.

Ryan looked away from the scene.

"Oh," Micki exclaimed, smiling, "I'm sorry...Ryan, this is Chad. Chad, this is Ryan."

The two men shook hands, "Nice to meet you, Ryan."

"Yeah, you too, Chad," Ryan lied.

His glance then shifted to Chad's shiny, new car that was parked out front of the shop, "Nice set of wheels you got there."

Chad looked back at his vintage Corvette, "Thanks. Cost me a pretty penny, but I'm worth it. Besides, no ride is too good for my Michelle."

Ryan fought the urge to roll his eyes, since Micki was watching him.

"So," Chad started, taking Micki's arm, "We should go. I have reservations at La Scala at 7. We don't want to be late. Nice to meet you, Ryan."

"Yeah...yeah, you too." Ryan watched as Micki's delicate, curvy frame disappeared into the car.

He sighed, turning and heading back to his desk where Jack now sat looking over the manifest.

"Something wrong?" Jack asked, looking up. Ryan looked serious now, something Jack didn't often see.

Ryan shook his head, picking up some papers that lay on the desk, ", everything's fine."

Jack smiled in his usual, reassuring way, "Money isn't everything, Ryan."

Jack stood at the sound of the tea kettle whistling and headed for the stairs, "And you'll never know unless you ask her," he added in an all-knowing, father-like tone as he disappeared up the steps.

A small grin spread across Ryan's face. Jack always knew what Ryan had on his mind.

"Must be all those years of magic," Ryan thought to himself as he started going through the stack of papers in his hand. All the while, thinking about Micki.


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