“I see.” He said in a very professional voice.
“Yes, and,” she added, “your restaurant was too cold, which then cooled my meal down too quickly and I couldn’t enjoy it.”
“Well, my apologies.” Gus said with strained politeness, doing his best to maintain his composure in the face of such pettiness. “As the manager, I would like to personally see to it that you are adequately compensated for tonight.”
“I should hope so!” She said haughtily, “if you ever want us to dine here again then I suggest you change a number of things in this restaurant.”
Gus clamped down on his jaw to stop himself from saying anything and you just stared at her in disbelief.
“Is she being fucking serious right now?” You asked yourself.
“And I see that my dear man here and you are friends. So it would be expected that we be given life time discounts.” She added.
Your eyebrows shot up so fast they nearly flew to Mars and pa cleared his throat.
“Now.” He said, “to be honest; I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but the floor has been wiggly for the past half hour and I’m worried someone is going to fall over.”
His comment broke the tension momentarily and Kuroo cracked a smile, as did Gus.
“Will you be requiring a taxi?” Gus asked Kuroo, gesturing to pa.
“No, it’s fine, we’ll be fine.” Kuroo replied with a light chuckle.
“But.” Pa added, “I can tell that my sweetheart isn’t happy—.”
“—Thank you, sugar.” Ms Marple interjected, with a tone that screamed ‘took you fucking long enough’.
“But, honey bunch, you’re being a right prune.” Pa said bluntly, his mouth struggling to form proper words, “and if you don’t pull your head in, I’ll pull it in for you.”
“Oh!” She gasped, acting utterly offended by his pointed comment, “wine makes you very rude.” She snapped as she pretended to be close to tears, “I’m going to freshen up and when I get back I expect an apology.”
And with that she stood abruptly and pushed her chair back before sauntering drunkenly towards the ladies rest room.
“What’s your policy on running?” Pa asked Gus and the manager looked at him for a moment.
“Go.” He said quickly, “I’ll make her foot the bill.”
“Seriously?!” You gasped excitedly, “because I’m not gonna lie, that would be amazing. I can’t stand her!”
“It would teach her a lesson.” Pa said as he stood up very carefully.
“Easy pa.” Kuroo said with a chuckle as he reached out and held your pa by the arm.
“But seriously, Gus, this floor is a hazard.” Pa slurred and Gus chuckled.
“I’ll see to it that it’s fixed by the time you come back.” He said with a smirk, “now get going before she gets back.” He added as he ushered you all towards the front door. “I’ll stop her leaving until she’s paid.”
“You’re a godsend, Gus,” you said gratefully, “I’m not religious but you’re honestly an angel.”
“Well this isn’t exactly the most kind thing to do but—.”
“It’s better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.” Your pa slurred wisely and you cackled before quickly dragging the two boys off.
“Thank you again, Gus.” You said gratefully.
He waved you off with a broad smile.
“it’s fine.” He called out, “my pleasure.”
“I want ice cream.” Your pa said in a happily drunk voice as Kuroo helped drag him down the street while you closed the restaurant doors behind you.
“Ok, hang on, let’s get away from here first.” You said as you looked back over your shoulder hoping Ms Marple hadn’t seen you leave.
“What type do you want?” Kuroo asked as he raised a hand to call for a taxi.
“Boysenberry swirl,” pa said happily, “you have to try it, Tit.”
“Sounds good.” Kuroo commented as a taxi stopped and he helped pa in before sliding in beside him and indicating for you to jump in the front seat.
“We’re doing the old man version of run away bride.” You said to the driver who was sporting a thick mustache. “Please get us away from here! Before the she-devil comes out of that restaurant.”
“Maria Madre di Gesù salvaci.” He whispered urgently in his mother tongue as he quickly pulled away for the curb and took off down the road. “Where is the devil?”
“You saved us.” You said to him as you looked back in the side mirror, “she didn’t see us leave.”
“Grazie Dio.” He whispered to himself, crossing himself from head to chest then right shoulder to left shoulder then touched the rosary beads that were hanging from his rearview mirror.
“Saved by another Italian angel.” Kuroo mused from the back seat, “first Gus now…”
“Antonio.” The taxi driver said with a wide grin, “a pleasure to save you.” He added in a beautiful rich accent.
“Antonio, could you please take us to a good ice cream store?” Kuroo asked, “pa here, has had too much to drink and would like some ice cream.”
“Certo!” Antonio exclaimed, “you hang on and I will take you to the BEST ice cream parlour in town.”
“You’re a god man, Tony!” Pa slurred from the back seat.
“It is my pleasure, sir, no one has called me Tony since I arrived here 10 years ago.” He regaled with a sigh, “hopped on a plane with my shoes and coat and a dollar to my name.” He added, reliving his memories aloud.
The rest of the taxi ride was basically pa and Antonio swapping stories of growing up and how life had changed and by the end of the trip they were basically best friends.
“Have a good night!” Antonio said lovingly as he let you all out at the ice cream shop. “No fare, this ride is on me.”
“No, no,” pa slurred as he let go of Kuroo and stumbled over to the driver side door, fumbling in his pocket for his wallet. “You’re a good man. Please, take this home and clock off for the night.” Pa added as he pulled out 2 crisp $100 dollar bills, “take care of your family.”
Antonio burst into tears.
“Che Dio ti benedica dieci volte.” He cried, shaking your pa’s hand like it was the last hand he would ever shake, “grazie, grazie.”
“Don’t mention it, son.” Pa said kindly, “just doing my good deed for the day.”
You stepped up beside Kuroo and tenderly held his hand.
“You have a good pa.” The Nekoma captain said softly down to you, “I’m glad I’ve been a part of tonight.”
“Same.” You said, “it’s been wild. Oh hey, speaking of wild, we need to block Ms Marple’s number in pa’s phone otherwise it won’t stop ringing.” You said with a devious chuckle.
“You can do that while I get him his boysenberry swirl.” Kuroo said, smiling as pa turned back to the two of you and Antonio pulled away from the curb, his taxi light now switched off for the night.