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I Like You (Exactly As You Are)

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Cuppa Joe was never the one to hold grudges. Even if he was screwed over big time, or actually laid out any revenge at all - it was always quickly, and not too harmful at all. Never harmful at all if the pesky Kids Next Door was involved - aside from himself or his workers the one time - but Cuppa Joe never saw any reason to it. Nor any reason to act at all petty, loathsome. It wasn't worth it to him, so he never went to such heights hating anybody.

Not to say he ever saw any reason to dislike the Toiletnator. Of course, his clumsy and childish manner always got the plans awry and got to the best of himself, Cuppa Joe never looked at him down for it. Though, he wasn't there for 90% of the mishaps Lou, accidentally, brought to Villains Club. Almost always back at one of the drilling rigs in the Atlantic. He and Lou shared almost nothing in common, except for their own relations with aquatic findings and water - on different levels, mind them. But Cuppa Joe knew no reason or rhyme to add on Lou's mistreatment around their crusades and evil doings. And so, he never acted on with anyone else more than the occasional, confused stares.

This day, took him by surprise, as he was sipping his fourth cup of black coffee from the gigantic mug he owned, ignoring the loud yelling from Mr. Boss across the cafe that was obviously pinned back at the Toiletnator. Another evil doing gone totally wrong, and the hunchbacked man was fuming. Apparently, a handful of villains, including Mr. Boss and Lou, had planned to infiltrate the Sector V tree-house before any of the kids came home, Lou had tripped on an alarm, and the hamsters - which guarded all tree houses in the country - were sent flying, and tore all five of the villains to near pieces. It wasn't much damage with the shrunk, hamster-sized weaponry they acquired for protection, it was the H.I.P.P.I.E-H.O.P that finished them right off.

Joe had to admit, the bickering was getting uncomfortable, seeing it was any mistake he was certain other bad guys made before, but he remains silent as he gulps the sip of espresso. Looking back at the two and frowning slightly. Still bouncing his leg in a frantic speed - that was all thanks to the caffeine.

"Fine!" Lou suddenly yells as Mr. Fulbright, tears streaming down from his eyes. "Well why don't you at least, forgive me for thinking of you and wanting to help!"

Mr. Boss tells him off again, and the T.P-headed man runs down the cafe interior, tear bursting from his eyes in a fountain manner. (These are toons, mind you.)

Nobody says a peep, other than giving back the awkward-concerned glances to one another, before going back to whatever they've originally done. Eating baked goodies, playing along checkers games, and drinking whatever from coffee to tea, to milk. But Cuppa Joe stays still. It had been his first time he's seen Mr. Boss scream at him - or anyone - in person, and he can't help but feel bad for Lou. Whatever it was that made him feel such sympathy, it was working like a charm. Much like the caffeine always present in his blood.

Looking around a bit nervously, his eye twitching softly. Joe carefully sets his mug to the side of the table. Not even being questioned as he fades to a yellow-blur, running after the Toiletnator. Fortunately, he didn't have to go far, he realizes as he approaches the bathroom stalls and hears sobs from inside the room. Which almost seemed painful to listen to. As carefully as he can without such speed, he knocks on the door and hoped for an answer.

Perhaps Lou hadn't heard the knocks, given how loud he must've been crying from out of the room, Joe frowns again at this and tries once more. Still no audible response. He inhales sharply, and as delicate as he's able to, pushes open the door to peep at the man. Lou still remains unaware of his presence, curled up in a ball against the corner over, next to the urinals, sobbing into his bundled up knees.

His frown still remaining under the stubble mustache, he slowly takes a step further, letting the door gently close behind himself. Praying that nobody else walk in. Lou absolutely didn't need another round of taunts or scolds right now. His shoes making a tiny squeak with each gentle step on tile, Cuppa Joe stands just close enough to Lou, where he couldn't be disturbed. Kneeling to his height carefully and clearing his throat - understandably, making Lou jump, yelping a bit as his blue, now pink tinged eyes glanced incredulously at Joe.

"I'm sorry," Cuppa Joe speaks quietly, his heavy, southern accent remaining visible as every other time. "D-did I scare you?"

"No..." Toiletnator whimpers, hiccuping every few seconds as he wipes his runny nose almost angrily. Tearing off squares of the toilet-paper rolls on his wrists - which he had both on, like a watch - to do so. Blinking back at the distressed villain, Cuppa Joe carefully sits himself down, staying in the same place across from Lou.

"Are you okay?" He inquires, his hand twitching nonchalantly on his own thigh, sitting Indian style on the floor. "Is there anything I can do?"

"Why do you care?" Lou speaks up, sniffling as his tears halt for a moment. "Everyone hates me! You don't even know me!"

"That's not true... I would like to know you."

Cooking up the slight smile, Joe scoots himself a bit closer to Lou, now next to him - still keeping by as best he could. "We may not be so common, but I don't think I'd ever hate you."

"How do you know?" Lou sniffles, the tears coming back for another round, his voice breaking even more than the usual dialect he acquired. "All I do is mess up everything! I-I'm a clumsy, clumsy 'nd lousy bad guy! I'm surprised you didn't know already!"

Cuppa Joe is taken aback a bit, not expecting the man to become so defensive. But he stayed close, still wishing to help, as he feels more sympathy with each new sentence. Suddenly, after remaining quiet for a moment, the Toiletnator shakes his fists, then sinks and wail out - collapsing into Cuppa Joe's arms, failing to notice his surprised self as he begun crying uncontrollably over his shoulder. Soaking the yellow fabric of his suit, which didn't even bother Joe any. He had about fifty other identical pairs back at home, they were of no priority keeping clean as of now. As softly as he can, he wraps his arms gently over Lou, hugging him closer and allowing him to sob into his shoulder.

Rubbing his back in tender, delicate circles, his serene expression grew to his face, as he carefully lets Lou wrap his own arms around his neck for more comfort. "Sh, sh," He whispers, the raspy voice of his appearing somewhat comforting in the volume he spoke to Lou's covered ear. "Everything's going to be alright, you let it all out now. I'm here, I'll be here, Lou, let it all out."

Almost obediently, Lou screams out another muffled sob into his shoulder. Nuzzling his face over a bit to Joe's neck as he's cuddles closer in the hug. Cuppa Joe now beginning to carefully rock the two of them - himself and the villain in his arms - slowly, back and forth, bouncing his leg every now and then as he could never keep himself quite as still as he'd hoped. It was neutral, but getting annoying in the scenario now. He frowns more at the Toiletnator still releasing worrying, hiccuping cries into his hug. After a minute of this passes, with no stop it seems, this suddenly gives Joe an idea.

"Can I tell you something?" He asks, his smile growing wider as he remembers the song from the TV he'd watch as a child, something that always made him feel better, he could help with his new friend. Lou nods carefully, and Cuppa Joe hugs him a little closer, his smile growing wider.

"I like you exactly as you are," Slowly, yet in a surprise, he begins to quietly sing, rocking back and forth with the melody.

I like you as you are, exactly and precisely

I think you turned out nicely, and I like you as you are

 

I like you as you are, without a doubt or question

Or even a suggestion cause I like you as you are

I like your disposition, your facial composition

And with your kind permission I'll shout it to a star

I like you as you are, I wouldn't want to change you

Or even rearrange you, not by far "- mm-mm!"

I like you, I-L-I-K-E-Y-O-U

I like you, yes I do

I like you, Y-O-U

I like you, like you as you are

It was a simple, short song, at best. He remembers watching the song play on old reruns during his childhood, looking back up at the old rabbit ears television his Uncle owned. Looking back down at Lou to check on him, continuing the rocking motion, was seeming to do the trick. Silencing his cries from noisy hiccups to mere exhausted sniffles into his padded shoulder.

"Heh... " He speaks out, looking back up to Cuppa Joe, the tiniest bit bewildered, yet flattered at the touching act. "Really, you do?"

"I just finally met you, I do now!" Cuppa Joe chuckles out a bit, helping Lou up off his shoulders - when he signalled it was alright - and propping him back up carefully, standing back up with him as Lou rubbed an eye.

"Thanks, a lot, man..." He smiles softly at him, coughing a tiny bit into his fist.

"Aw shucks, don't mention it, Lou. I'd be more than happy to know you, even if others say otherwise about you, I'd love a new friend 'round here..."

This gives Joe a bit of an idea.

"Say, when you feel like it, I can give you a lift to see the coffee drilling rig, since it's out at sea!"

"Really?" This excited the Toiletnator, who had already managed to stop the tears. "Can I help any?"

"Mmm, maybe you can just look around. But I promise when you're ready, I'll be there." Cuppa Joe giggles out, gently offering Lou a shoulder to walk with as the two softly exit the room. Catching no eyes to anyone, thankfully, as Lou greets Joe with another, surprising hug. 

"Thanks, Cuppa Joe." Toiketnator gives him a quick squeezing hug, and let's him go safely before running off. Both of them at last, had a good ending to the afternoon, as Joe smiles back at Lou, happy to help someone out.