He stayed close to the green phone on the bar the rest of the evening. Just in case. Smoking hot Trudy Trickster was studying the back of his head, wondering how the holes got in. Toby Tangerine was mixing up another drink, perhaps a martini, but if so, doing it wrongly. Trudy was definitely not having any of that. Although a brilliant neurosurgeon, currently out on bail from Prison Hospital, Tobias, as his friends call him, was a botch of a bartender and had trouble making cornbread milk for his oldest and least complaining customer, nonagenarian Margret Thatch, due to turn 100 in June. “I’ll get a proper bartender to make your birthday drink that day,” he promised, thinking back to mentor Ted Bruiser and his prediction that he’d save as many lives as a doctor as he took away with the drink. “Balance, my pupil,” he spoke into his eyes, deep as pools, taking it all in. “The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. *You* are The Lord.” He took his alternately skillful and skill-less hands from his side and held them up to his receptive face. “With these.”

Tobias Tangerine knew he wasn’t the Lord, but gosh darnit, if Margret didn’t enjoy that drink. At the same time, patient Gail Gordon died in Prison Hospital, operated on by the proper bartender who couldn’t make it.

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