Word Count: 1,078
Summary: At least Andy’s imbibed a lot of alcohol by the time he goes, “Hey----------” (The everlasting pause involves lots of pensive brow-wriggling.) “---------maybe we should practice.”
Author's Note: Sad fact: this has been in the works for weeks. It was born on the eve that the Spoiler of Joy was released. Writer's block is an unpleasant phenomenon, you guys!
At least Andy’s imbibed a lot of alcohol by the time he goes, “Hey----------” (The everlasting pause involves lots of pensive brow-wriggling.) “---------maybe we should practice.”
“Practice what?” Oscar asks. He has an odd feeling, make that a bad feeling about this, based upon the twin forces of a) what they were just talking about (Erin, and how she’s a girl, and she’s pretty, a pretty, pretty girl, a pretty nice girl with really shiny hair and cute shoes, and man, how do you not just totally dig her? It’s like impossible, right?? For the record, Oscar hasn’t been the dominant speaker in this conversation) and b) the fact that within the last few seconds, Andy’s gotten about a foot closer to him.
Andy looks to either side of them. (Michael is blabbering about nothing to nobody in his Sean Connery voice, which he stole from SNL Jeopardy. Ryan and Kelly are kissing. Or maybe wrestling. Oscar has given up on keeping track there.) Then Andy lowers his voice, sort of wavers on his barstool, rests one elbow on the bar, and is newly, unsettlingly near as he replies, “Makin’ outtttt.”
“What?” Oscar says. He’s quick to follow it up with, “No.”
“No, listen, listen,” Andy insists; in the process of waving his hands emphatically, he smacks Oscar in the shoulder, “dude. Hear me out.”
“Should I ever be lucky enough to lock besos—”
“Labios,” Oscar mutters.
“—with the fair lady Hannon, I want to have these puppies—” He points at his mouth. “—house trained.”
“That is a terrible metaphor,” Oscar says. “Terrible.”
Andy ignores him. Maybe it’s better that way. “I think I might have gotten a little rusty while I was with Angela, since she would never really let me – near her –” His expression darkens and turns sad for a minute. It always surprises Oscar, how easy it is to feel truly bad for Andy. “—so, y’know. Gotta brush up on mah skiiiiiiiiiiills. And who better to help me than my number one—”
“Don’t say wingman,” Oscar advises. “This goes above and beyond the call of wingmen.”
“—and that way, since I know I can trust you, you can give me some feedback—”
“In what possible world could this be considered anything like a good idea?” Oscar mumbles. By this point, it’s mostly a matter of personal pride.
“—Ya know, you’re an accountant, you’re all thorough. And besides,” he finishes triumphantly, “it wouldn’t be weird for you, ‘cause you’re gay.”
“It would be weird for me, Andy,” Oscar says as gravely as he can. “It would be very … very … weird for me.”
“Oh, come on,” Andy says, totally undiscouraged. “I can do that thing where you unwrap a Starburst with your tongue. Yeah.” He wriggles his eyebrows. And grins.
Oscar doesn’t really know what to do.
“Here, wait, I’ll prove it.” Then he bellows, to their every coworker and the bar at large, “Anybody got any Starbursts??”
Kelly disentangles herself from Ryan and chirps, “I have Lifesavers!”
“Andy,” Oscar says with quiet urgency as Kelly bounces her way over, rifling through her purse, “listen to me. You are very drunk.”
“Wait a minute.” Andy frowns down at the lifesaver Kelly just dropped in his hand. “These aren’t … wrapped …”
Then a new song comes on, and Kelly squeals, “Cherry cherry boom boom, Ga-aga-a!”, which Oscar thinks for a second must be some sort of secret language, the vapid twentysomething girl equivalent of Elvish. Then she goes, “Oh my God, Lady Gaga, Lady Gaga” and Andy, apparently caught up in the excitement (or maybe just a devout Lady Gaga fan, which … wouldn’t be terribly surprising), parrots, “Lady Gaga!” She grabs Andy’s hand and pulls him out to dance with her. Erin hops up to join them. So does Ryan without much persuasion, which means he’s drunk. He dances like a Muppet. Being Poor Richard’s and not a night club, this sort of behavior is … inadvisable. It’s late enough that no one really seems to care.
Oscar watches Andy, who’s both beaming at Erin and attempting some dance move he’s sure even Lady Gaga can’t look good doing. He looks back down at the counter, and the abandoned lifesaver. It’s orange.
“I don’t know why I like her so much,” Andy says, out of nowhere and sort of forlorn, on the drive home later. He’s got the window rolled down and he’s drumming his fingers on the dashboard in time to the radio, even though it’s just the weather report.
“Because she’s pretty with shiny hair and cute shoes,” Oscar reminds him. They’ve been over this. A lot.
“Yeah, but—” He lets out a long sigh. Oscar looks over at him, even though it’s dark out and he should probably keep his eyes on the road. It’s also Scranton. “I think I just miss having someone to like, you know?”
“Yeah,” Oscar says, more gently than he means to. “I get that.”
He expects the conversation to go on, to become something sprawling and complicated and laden with nineties frat boy lingo that leaves him baffled as to just why he likes (not likes, obviously, in the context Andy used it – just … likes) this person, but Andy stays quiet. The weather report ends and a Melissa Etheridge song comes on. Andy sings along under his breath, lacking his usual gusto. He does have a nice voice.
There is, Oscar thinks, something perfectly sad about this moment. It’s almost poignant.
Andy stops mid-angsty-profession of ‘home is a feeling I buried in you’ to blearily observe, “Phyllis could’ve given me a ride home. She lives closer to me.”
“I don’t mind,” Oscar says. “Besides,” he adds, “I’m sure she wanted to get home to Bob.”
“Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration,” Andy mumbles. (Oscar, for the record, tries not to buy into the Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration mythos. It’s ridiculous. Surely it’s possible to refer to the man by just his first name.)
“I don’t have anyone waiting for me, so—” He wants to cringe as soon as he says it. Self-pitying. Pathetic. Also true. Gil even took the cat.
“People,” Andy observes, sounding sage and disillusioned, “with their people.”
“People with their people,” Oscar agrees.
Happily, it doesn’t turn into a Barbra Streisand singalong. Andy goes back to Melissa Etheridge. Oscar keeps his eyes on the road.