Mike was an idiot. Robin loved the man, but by the triple goddess he could be an idiot.
It had all started on a normal Saturday morning, as most of his and Mike's anecdotes do. Robin had opened up shop, Mike had made the disgusting instant coffee that worked better than anything that actually tasted nice, and Alison had practically thrown some cupcakes through the front door before dashing back into the neighbouring shop. Business had been slow over the last week - maybe people had finally bought all the doors they could possibly need, Robin thought. Perhaps they needed to branch out a bit. They could always start selling handles too...
He was digressing. It was a Saturday morning, he'd flipped the sign on the door to 'come in, if you must' and settled down behind the counter for a quick nap, feet up on the table.
No suck luck awaited him. Not long later, a tall, greying man with a stern look on his face and a frightful moustache - honestly, he'd thought Pat's was bad: what's wrong with a beard? - approached him. He coughed harshly, snapping Robin out of his doze. He hurried to sit up and give at least a vague sense of professionalism; however, this in turn led to his feet sliding awkwardly off the table and the rest of his body following not long after. He ended up in a pile on the floor, with the customer leaning over the counter and frowning - whether he was concerned or annoyed was anyone's guess.
"Are you quite alright, man?" He asked. Right, so he was at least a smidgen worried about his welfare. That was nice.
Robin got up quickly from the floor, dusting himself off.
"Yeah, I'm fine. The floorboards are softer than they look." He grinned at the other man. Unfortunately, it must have looked slightly more manic than he had meant for it to be, as the customer blanched slightly and took a large step away from the counter.
"Right," Robin clapped his hands loudly and started rubbing them together, "what can I help you with?"
The man narrowed his eyes wearily for a moment, before he seemed to come to the conclusion that the nutty shop owner wasn't a threat. He cleared his throat.
"Well, as you can probably gather, I need..."
A loud shrieking from outside cut the man off. He frowned again - Robin could easily see where the deep lines on his forehead had come from - and turned around to look out the shop window.
Now, Robin was used to the short, shrill shriek from next door every morning that would follow the initial firing up of the oven. It sparked when the switch was turned on, which should really be more of a major concern, but every time he had offered to come over and take a look at it Alison had waved him off, saying,
"Well it's lasted this long, it's not like it's suddenly gonna blow up."
However, this screaming was going on for considerably longer than normal, and it was accompanied with a quiet chanting of 'oh shit oh shit oh shit' that grew steadily louder.
The door to the shop banged open as a harrowed Alison entered, continuing the steady stream of profanities.
"Oh fuck oh shit what the bloody hell am am I gonna do..."
Mike appeared from the back room as the screaming from outside slowly died down. He took one look at Alison's panicked face before rushing over and engulfing her in a large hug.
"Breathe, love. It's gonna be okay."
Alison shook her head minutely but did as she was asked, her breathing rate slowly returning to something akin to normal.
"You should really watch your language, young lady."
Alison pulled a face, looking up at the customer that had not moved a muscle since the whole debacle had started.
"God, you sound like my grandmother."
A loud bang made them all turn around. Standing by the doorway, seething with rage, was Fanny.
"Speak of the devil and she will appear." Mike muttered under his breath, just quiet enough that Robin could hear but the woman in question could not.
"You!" She pointed straight at Robin, beckoning him with a finger. "You come and look at my oven at once, young man!"
And she left the shop, aggressively slamming the door behind her.
"That thing's gonna come off the hinges if everyone continues like that." Robin tutted, making his way over to the aforementioned door.
"Good job this is a door shop then, eh?" Mike joked. "Could sell you a new one."
"It doesn't count as a sale if it's to the owner." Robin deadpanned, before shutting the door behind him and making his way over to Button's Bakes.
He tentatively pushed the door open, worried that he would come face to face with a seething Fanny. He really didn't wanted to be on the end of her wrath. He'd heard one too many stories from Alison.
The cafe had a wonderful Art Nouveau feel to it - the wallpaper filled with oranges and yellows, the ornate lampshades: even the display case was a genuine antique. Robin didn't know much about art, but he could tell that a lot of time and thought had gone into designing the interior of this shop. He'd been in many times before, but there was always something new to catch his eye.
"Well, come on then!" An impatient voice sounded from the back of the shop. Robin sighed heavily, resigned to the fact that he would be spending the rest of the morning listening to Fanny ranting about the incompetency of something or someone or who knows what. Sometimes he really did pity Alison.
Robin's mouth dropped open involuntarily. The scene in front of him would have been almost comical if it wasn't for the fact that he was being expected to sort it out.
The oven had exploded, that much was clear. Shards of glass lay all across the green floor tiles, and every surface visible had batter splattered all over it. A cake tin lay at Fanny's feet, dented so much that Robin couldn't tell what shape it had been originally. The bang must have shocked whoever was baking - who could blame them - as there was a thin layer of flour coating a considerable amount of the work bench. The bag itself lay on the floor along with the broken oven door. Someone must have thrown it in fright at the noise. Robin was shocked he hadn't heard it himself from his own shop next door.
"I..." He searched his brain, looking for the right words, any words that could help this situation.
He found none.
Giving up on speech, Robin gingerly made his way over to the shell where the oven had once resided, being careful to not step on any glass on the way. He immediately spotted the switch - well, what was left of the switch, anyway - on the wall which powered the oven.
After checking that all power was off in the shop, to which Fanny simply huffed, giving him a glare which most definitely meant 'of course it is, I'm not an idiot', he pulled the rest of the plastic casing off and shone a torch into the tangle of cables in the wall.
"As I thought," he concluded out loud, "it wasn't wired properly."
The sound of a tinkling bell, signifying that somebody had come through the shop door, faintly registered in the back of Robin's mind, but he paid it no attention.
"You're gonna need a new oven, obviously," he continued, gesturing around himself at the remnants of the current one on the floor, "but the wiring should be an easy fix."
He poked around once again at the cables, which meant he also found numerous points where the plastic casing had eroded away. He held it so Fanny could see.
"This isn't gonna be helping either..."
A sudden shock ran through his body, and Robin yelped, letting go of the wire and uncontrollably flinching backwards, which in turn caused him to fall over and hit his head against a cupboard handle.
"Ow," he muttered, rubbing the back of his head through his mass of hair. "I thought you said the power was off?!"
"Hey guys, the lights weren't working so I fiddled with the fuse b..." Mike trailed off as he walked into the kitchen, surveying the damage around him. "What happened here?"
"You buffoon, you electrocuted this young man here..."
"Yes, young Robin here! You could have killed him! What were you thinking?"
Mike looked sheepishly from one person to another and back again.
So yep, Mike was an idiot at times. But he was a great guy too. That's why Robin kept him around, after all.