"I want a grilled cheese," the child says loudly.
"Sweetie, they don’t have that on the menu. Don’t you want some nice chicken fingers?" her mom asks nicely, a smile on her lips.
"No!" she shrieks. "Grilled cheese!"
The mother’s smile fades. “Lisa, I told you—”
"I can get someone to make it," John Blake interrupts, feeling like he’s watching a train wreck. "Seriously, it’s fine."
The mother smiles in relief and hands him the menus. “Thanks, really.”
John shrugs in return, because he likes kids and he hates screaming, so it had really been his only option. “Your food will be out soon.” He turns to take the orders to the kitchen, and as he does so, a large, hulking figure outside catches his attention. He keeps walking and looks back, but the figure, a large, massive young man, is gone.
It’s a few days later when he spots the man again. “Hey, hey Bruce.” He nudges the man next to him, who is only a few years older, as they make their way across the campus to get to class. “Who’s that guy?”
The man is, as John had observed before, huge. He’s all muscles and has a shiny, shaved head, and big lips that are twisted in a grimace. He’s talking to a very pretty girl—Miranda, John remembers, because Bruce had a huge crush on her when they had Economics together.
Bruce looks over. “With Miranda?” he says without malice, because he and Miranda had a little fling and are now kind of friends. John nods, and Bruce says, “Oh, that’s Bane.”
"Bane?" John repeats, because what kind of name is that?
Bruce nods. “Yep. I don’t know if it’s a nickname or what, but I don’t really want to ask. He’s… intimidating.”
Yeah, yeah he is. He could probably knock John out with a flick of his finger. He could pick him up and throw him… against a wall… and crowd against him…
John shivers. Looks like I have a size kink, he thinks.
"He was ready to beat my ass after Miranda and I broke up," Bruce continues, and John resists the urge to comment that Bruce and Miranda hadn’t dated as much as they had just met up and had sex. "But she told him we’re friends, thank God." He adds as an afterthought, "He goes to the gym all the time. It’s crazy."
Maybe I should look into the gym here, John thinks as they walk into the cool building.