"You would? Thanks very much, good man!" he beamed, fishing out three dollars for the payment.
"Oh, Christopher isn’t my boyfriend, we are betrothed since birth," he smiles casually. "And lately after many consultations with various friends, I have begun to court my beloved. He finally accepts my courtship, and these days we are friendly with each other than ever! Love changes wonders in a man, does it not?" He begins to babble with a look in his eyes, obviously entranced by Christopher.
Ned’s breath hitched as he picked up the pie from its display stand and carefully set it on the counter. Running back into the kitchen, he pulled out a small, decorative box and ribbons. Picking up the scissors, he moved back towards the main counter and set his supplies down. Grabbing a knife and pie server, he cut a larger than usual slice and carefully scooped it up with the pie server. Setting it down in the box, Ned expertly wrapped it with ribbons, cutting each one delicately so the ends wouldn’t fray. While making the box presentable, he listened absent-mindedly to the man’s ramblings about his betrothed.
"Uh, yeah. It does change a lot in a man. Soooo, if you don’t mind me asking, you said you’ve been betrothed since you were little. Does that… does that make you royalty?" he questioned shyly as he glanced up from his work.
"Because I thought royalty did that. But… that’s okay if you do! I’m not judging you!"
The Doctor scrunched up his face at the dog that was licking his face. “Hmm… I’m…” He tried to sit up, but his arms wobbled and he fell back to the pavement in the snow.
"Not… Don’t thin’ I’m ‘urt," he slurred. He blinked a couple of times and tried to make out the face of the man in front of him. Not one he recognized, so hew was something new. Interesting…
"Woah. Easy there." Ned quickly grasped the man by the shoulders and eased him back up. "Come on. Even if you say you’re not hurt, you could have hit your head. Or maybe it’s the cold. I don’t know how long you’ve been out here, but you’re lucky Digby wanted to go for a walk. Not a lot of people out this late or in the cold."
He offered the man a warm smile. “If you want, you can lean on me,” he suggested.
"Something happened. Every time I try to snap up candy it turns into fruit. My sugar levels are dangerously low my friend!"
"Oh. Oh shit. Ummm, you’re hypoglycemic, aren’t you? Okay. Just… hold on. I’m sure I’ve got a candy bar or something!" he exclaimed as he dug through the pockets of his jacket.
His hands came back empty. “Okay. Will pie help? I run a pie shop. It’s not far. Will you be able to make it?”
"Don’t worry about it. You’re not the one who jumped on me, yeah?" Lu Han reluctantly reached his hand out, patting the dog on the head. People who had dogs were people that he didn’t understand.
His hands had quickly found their way back into his pockets after touching the dog, and he lifted his eyes once again to the stranger. “I’m not much one for pie, but I’ll take a coffee, if that’s alright?” It wasn’t completely true, he was fine with pie, but he made a habit of only taking coffee from strangers.
"Lu Han, by the way." He offered, not trying to look friendly, but trying not to look quite as indifferent as he always did. There was potentially free coffee involved, after all. He wouldn’t try to burn that bridge before he even got to it.
Rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly, the Pie Maker observed the other man give Digby a pat on the head. The dog in question gave Lu Han a big doggie grin and barked happily.
Ned seemed to deflate just a bit as his offer of pie was turned down. Still, at least he could make up for Digby’s behaviour by providng Lu Han with something. Nodding, he nudged his head in the direction of his shop. “Of course. I can make you a cup of coffee. It’ll be on the house. And just call me Ned, Lu Han. And this here is Digby,” he stated as he gestured towards the retriever.
"… Where am I?"
"Digby! Don’t lick him!" Ned shouted as the large Golden Retriever licked the man’s face before sitting down in front of him.
The Pie Maker reached for his dog, but he paused as the man spoke up. At least he’s not dead, he thought, relieved he wouldn’t have to call the police.
"Uh… you’re outside my pie shop. And erm… it’s cold outside. You should… you should get inside," he spluttered out as he knelt down in front of the man. "You’re not… hurt, are you?"
Melros barely noticed the piemaker’s assessment of him, mind set on getting a sweet slice of pie for his betrothed back in Homeland. “That sounds lovely! I trust it is sweet enough to quench a man’s sweet tooth? My beloved often gets his cravings during nightly hours, I simply must have this chance to please his heart,” he smiles, albeit apologetically knowing the store close to locking up.
With that, he stepped up close to the counter, pulling out a wallet ready for payment. “Oh, the chill is nothing to me,” he says cooly, forgetting how the humans here are different than in Homeland’s. “Tis merely a breeze in the park.”
"Uh, well, I suppose it’s sweet."
Oh. So he was getting the pie for his partner. Well, that was rather cute. He couldn’t quite remember the saying, but he was sure there was something about the way to a man’s heart having to do with food.
"I can get that wrapped up for you if you’d like. If it’s for your… erm… boyfriend, I’m sure I can wrap it up as a special treat for him," Ned suggested as he finally set the rolling pin down as he no longer felt threatened.
Cheeks flushed. Right. Not everyone was bothered too much by the cold.
"Since you only want a slice, that’ll be two dollars and seventy-five cents," he stated, a small smile forming on his lips.
It was nice seeing happy couples. He only wished he could do those kind of things for Chuck.
”..’s alright,” Lu Han replied, as he picked himself up off the ground. He didn’t like dogs from a distance, let alone on top of him. He wouldn’t try and claim that he wasn’t a little annoyed by the dog that was currently trying to give him a bath, but it wasn’t worth being rude to a stranger.
"Should probably invest in a better leash," he commented, doing his best to keep his voice neutral. It wasn’t his intention to be offensive, but he heard people claim that their dog didn’t so something all the time. It was hard to believe anymore, no matter how sincere the man in front of him might seem.
"Yeah… I probably should," Ned stated as he knelt down to pick up the fallen leash.
Digby sat down on his haunches as stared up at Ned and then moved golden honey eyes to the stranger. His tongue lolled out just slightly as he gave a friendly bark up to the stranger. Ned made to pat Digby on the head, but he paused. “Uh, no. No barking at people, Digby. And no jumping people either. I don’t care if you want to play with them. Maybe they don’t want to play,” he scolded the retriever as he slowly stood back up.
"I really am sorry about that. He’s usually well-behaved. Look, to make up for it, would you like a slice of pie from my shop?" he inquired, cheeks flushed from embarrassment.
He normally never gave out free pie just like that, but he was still mortified by the fact Digby would jump on anyone.
Ella was frightened when she felt a large furry body tackle her. Upon feeling the fur when she tried to push it off she realized it was a dog. It took her a moment to recollect herself before standing. “You should keep your dog on a leash.” Ella couldn’t see so se assumed the dog was able to get to her because it wasn’t leashed. “I hope he has all his shots.” She mumbled brushing off her clothing and re positioning her bag on her shoulder. Ella felt her bag, “Wait- I know why he did it.” She pulled a small paper package of cookies from the local bakery from her bag. “Can he have a cookie?” She felt by her waist to pet the top of the dogs head.
"He… he’s on a leash," Ned muttered as he carefully picked the leash up off the ground.
Glaring at his dog, the Pie Maker chastised the furry beast. “Digby, you know it’s not polite knocking people over like that! Not everyone likes dogs, you big goofball. And you know I can’t go chasing after you!”
Digby’s tail stopped wagging as he looked up at his faithful owner, a soft whimper escaping to show he was apologetic.
"Oh Digby…" Trailing off, he glanced at the young woman and smiled faintly. "That’s probably why. Digby likes the smell of freshly baked sweets. I work at a pie shop, so it’s all he’s used to." Studying the cookies with curious eyes, the Pie Maker shuffled nervously. "Uh, as long as there’s no chocolate in it, I don’t see why he can’t have one. Ummm, thank you."
"No! Digby! Stop that!" Ned shouted as his dog gave one final jerk of the leash before it tore free from his owner’s hand.
Blowing on his hand from the stinging pain of rope burn, he could only watch in horror as the large Golden Retriever barreled right into some poor unsuspecting person and knock them to the ground. Wincing in sympathy, the Pie Maker slowly approached.
"Oh gosh. Ummm… I’m so sorry. He doesn’t normally do that," he rambled on rapidly as he gestured wildly at his dog.
He could not resist, really, but the scent of sweet bakes had drawn his attention to this little shop, and he simply pushed the door open despite its closed sign put on.
The diner was empty, of course. Who would be wandering around at this hour and in this chill? Unlike Melros, he could withstand such cold temperatures, he merely walked around with a light jumper on and casual slacks.
A rather meek voice called out from behind the counter accompanied with a concerned face, but it did not waver Melros’ own smiling face. “Oh! Goodness me, I must apologize. I just.. thought of buying a slice to go. Surely you have some and is willing to sell one last order?”
Ned almost dropped the rolling pin on his foot as the man started talking. With a furrowed brow, the Pie Maker eyed the man from head to toe, as if assessing he was a threat or not. The mention of buying pie made his cheeks flush as he glanced at the clock on the wall.
"W–well, the shop closed an hour ago and I really sh–shouldn’t be selling because it’s past shop hours, but… I have one pie left. It’s erm… Raspberry with Bavarian Cream. Is that…. is that okay?" he questioned, voice nothing but nervous as he carefully stepped around the counter and into the open, rolling pin still held in hand.
He eyed the door behind the stranger and shivered, but then his eyes flickered towards the man again. Wait. He couldn’t have gone outside in that. No way. It’s… it’s freezing out there! he thought wildly.
"You’re not… cold?" he inquired.