"If you don't ask her out I'm gonna throw you onto a freaking aerial faith plate."
Rick sighed, pointedly ignoring the comment as he sketched on his latest blueprint.
"Fact: The chances of you two going on a date without you asking her are negative one percent. Margin of error: one percent."
"Shut up." Rick muttered, sketching harder.
"What, let me guess: are you just intimidated by powerful women?"
Rick swiveled his chair and glared up at Craig, his co-worker and currently, a pain in the ass.
"What's got ya so god damn int'rested in my love life anyway, Pinkie?" He retorted, slouching in his uncomfortable office chair.
In response, Craig rolled his eyes. "She was here literally thirty seconds ago, and your continuous failures at 'wooing her' are actually affecting my work quality."
"I have no idea wha-"
"You once almost destroyed my entire cubicle with jet fuel when your machine- which you made specifically to impress her- decided to self-destruct."
Rick chuckled at the memory. That was a good day.
(Y'know, outside of the humiliation from his creation crashing and burning in front of Caroline. Literally. But anything that could rile up Craig was a silver lining in his book).
He glanced up at him from his office chair, scratching his scruff. "So?"
"So I would highly appreciate it if you got over whatever is holding you up and just ask her out instead of sticking to your ridiculous 'macho' routine." Craig made air quotes around the word "macho" and then crossed his arms, clearly not impressed.
"I can't just do that Pinkie, ya gotta play the game before you can just take a lady out to dinner. Well, she actually prefers breakfast, said it's her favorite meal of the day though she rarely gets to have it-"
Craig half-groaned half-gagged, sitting down on top of Rick's cluttered desk. "Yeah I get it, you stalk her, we all know, Richard. You've been 'playing the game' for months now, just get to the damn asking already! It's not like the world's gonna end if you do. The chances of that are probably a meager six percent, and it would be correlation, not causation."
Rick stayed silent for a moment, scratching his scruff again nervously. Craig narrowed his eyes at him, then widened them.
"Wait... Are you afraid she's gonna say no?"
Rick scoffed, running a hand through his hair. "What? No one can resist the one and only adventure-lovin' Rick, quit talking bull."
"You are so afraid she's gonna say no."
"Then just ask!"
"I can't!" Rich scream-whispered, giving his co-worker a nasty glance and then avoiding eye contact.
"Fact: your fear of rejection is ruining my life. Just go and ask her, for the love of-"
"I'm not gonna ask her! It ain't time yet! Now shut yer yap and mind yer own damn business, okay? Jeez!"
Without another word, he turned back towards his blueprints, pretending Craig wasn't there. After a few moments he heard him go back to his cubicle across the small hallway and Rick sighed in relief. It was less than a minute before he heard the shorter man mutter worriedly. Turning around as discreetly as he could, Rick found Craig hunched over his desk punching some numbers into a calculator and simultaneously writing down something on his clipboard, mumbling under his breath the whole time.
"What'cha got there, Pinkie? I don't remember you doin' somethin' with calculators for Mr. Johnson recently." He raised a curious eyebrow.
Craig hummed. "It's just- I'm getting some interesting results."
"Can I help?" Rick offered, slightly eager to change the subject.
"Well," Craig sighed and repositioned himself to face Rick a bit more directly, still looking at his notes. "According to my calculations- hold on, let me just run the numbers real quick-" He punched some numbers into the calculator and finally turned to make eye contact with Rick, his face expressionless. "You're a pussy."
God damn it.
"Oh, name calling? We're doin' name calling now?" Rick shot back, giving him a face that he hoped conveyed Seriously?
"I'm not name calling, I'm just stating facts and the fact is: you're a quivering pussy." Craig turned his clipboard to show Rick what was on it, revealing the word "PUSSY" written in all caps and underlined with a marker. The little bastard was smirking now, challenging him.
Rick admitted that while he had a handful of witty quips and insults, comebacks just weren't his thing. He considered making a short joke, but he knew Craig had heard so many in his lifetime that he was practically immune to them. Quickly, Rick scanned his desk, searching for inspiration. When he found it, he grinned evily.
"I'm a pussy? Well at least I don't play with toys still."
Craig's face went red immediately. Jackpot.
"Rumix Cubes are NOT toys! They help keep my spacial reasoning skills sharp, an-"
"PINKIE PLAYS WITH TOOOYS!" Rick teased, standing up from his chair and leaning over to Kevin's cubicle, still smiling widely. He knew he was being childish, but my god revenge was cold and sweet. Revenge was ice cream, and he was loving it.
Kevin, however, wasn't paying attention to Rick's statement. "Did someone say spacial reasoning?" He grinned. "I love space!"
Marking that as a failed attempt, Rick plopped down on his chair, delighting himself on Craig's expression. He raised an eyebrow ay Rick. "You done yet?"
Rick ignored him. "Look at you, Pinkie Mister... toy player."
He winced. Yeah, comebacks were simply not his department. Instead, he put out a hand. "Truce?"
Craig glared, considering his co-worker's offer. "I'll drop it as long as you stop almost-destroying my office space."
They shook hands before they saw Kevin peeking his head out from his own cubicle, eyes twinkling.
"Are you guys done? Because I wanted to see if any of you would proof-read my latest report."
Rick gave Craig a pleading look and the other sighed, scooting his chair in Kevin's direction. "This the Haley's Comet one?"
Kevin gave a resounding "Yep!"
As the two men chattered, Rick turned back to his blueprint and fiddled with his pen for a few moments. He hated to admit it to himself- and he most certainly would never admit it to Craig- but the man wasn't wrong. Rick pondered on that for a while before snapping out of it and getting back to work.
He'd ask her.