The Bard sat back comfortably in the folding chair, as Harry took his turn.
"Hi, I'm Harry, and I'm a chosen one."
As one, they all said, "Hi, Harry!"
"It's been...over a year and a half now since I saved the world!" He smiled. The Bard, and the others, clapped. "I uh...I haven't had the urge to save anyone in..." he counted silently, "384 days. My life at home is--"
The door opened. A muscle-bound African American man with mohawks on his head and gold chains around his neck like a pharoah at a Mardi Gras parade leaned in, squinting suspiciously.
"Oh! uh..." Harry pointed. "TV-Land heroes is first floor, room 33."
The man smiled. "Thanks, man!" He waved a two-finger salute on his way out.
John sighed. "You really oughtta let me put a sign on that door."
"John, we've been over this. A sign makes us look exclusive and discourages people from stopping in who really may need our help."
Paul scoffed. "So far the only help they've needed is directions."
The Bard sighed. "Look, as much as I hate to be the voice of common sense, we really need to do somethin' about this. I mean, they are disruptin' the meetings."
Anakin shrugged his black-armored shoulders. "I don't know. I think it's an interesting way to meet interesting people. Remember when Ted McGinley stopped in?"
John squinted. "Who?"
"Okay." Paul sat forward in his chair, turning his blue-glowing eyes to Anakin. "Remember when Pikachu stopped by?"
Aang grinned. "I liked him."
Paul pointed to Aang with a smug, twisted half-smile. "It took us two hours to find Aang the Last Wind-breaker here and bring him back."
"Air-bender," Harry corrected.
"I know what I said."
"Hey," Aang squinted at Paul. "He was trying to teach me to bend lightening."
"Oh really." Paul turned to Aang. "Does lightening-bending look like cuddling a cute furry mouse?"
Anakin gestured with open hand. "He was pretty cute."
Paul, John, and Harry all turned to look at him.
Anakin shrugged. "What?"
The door opened. A sullen-looking, Asian teenage boy with a black top-knot, a nasty burn-scar on his left eye, and a diadem in the shape of a flame leaned in.
Harry sighed. "Brooding anti-heroes is first floor, room 56."
Aang brightened up. "Hey, Zuko!"
Zuko smiled. "Hey! How's life, Aang?" He stepped in, and exchanged a quick ritualistic fist-shake with Aang that ended in them both pointing at each other and puffing a small burst of fire out of their fingertips.
Aang said, "Flame-yo, Hotman!"
Zuko laughed, and turned to go. "Take care, man." the door shut as Zuko left.
Paul gestured incredulously to Aang. "What the hell was that?!"
John laughed. "Brooding anti-heroes, huh? He didn't look that brooding to me."
Paul went on. "'flame-yo hotman?!'"
The Bard sighed, and shook his head.
Aang shrugged. "What? It's what they say in the Fire Nation."
"You're an enabler!" Paul pointed at Aang. "You facilitated him interrupting our meeting, and with stupid juvenile hip-speak no less! 'Flame-yo hotman?' Do you even know what it means, or do you just say it when you think it makes you look slightly cooler?"
John gestured to Paul. "Hey. We don't get onto you about that 'Fear is the mind-killer' thing."
Anakin nodded. "It's part of Aang's culture. We have to be sensitive to each other's cultures."
Paul scoffed. "Like you were with the Alsorians of Mukor-Prime during that so-called 'uprising?'"
Anakin jerked back in surprise. He pointed at Paul. "That is out of bounds!"
The Bard caught the motion of Harry popping the top of a tylenol bottle and dry-swallowing three.
"Guys!" John made a motion of quietening down. "We need to be a little more constructive here."
Amazingly, Paul and Anakin backed off of each other.
Harry sighed. "Now. Where were we?"
Aang said, "Your home life?"
"Right! Yes. My home life is...well...You know ever since Ginny got hired, even the money is looking better. You know, we put a down-payment on a flat in Cheltenham--"
The door opened. Everyone, including the bard, groaned.
Paul pointed. "Constant annoyances is 11th floor, about three-hundred feet that way."
"Paul!" Anakin swatted his arm.
a disheveled, goateed beatnik in a green shirt and flanked by an oversized great dane leaned in.
Harry said, "Bumbling Everyman Adventure Magnets is third floor, room 305."
"Haha! Like, thanks, pal!" He shut the door.
Paul stood up. "That's it! That is IT! I'm not taking it anymore!"
Harry sighed. "Paul--"
"No! This will not continue! Either you let John put a sign up, or I am leaving in protest!"
The Bard leaned over to Aang. "I thought this building only had ten floors."
John leaned over almost across Aang. "He meant the roof. and 300 feet that way is a walk off it."
Aang scowled. "That's not nice."
Meanwhile, the argument continued. Harry stood up. "Oh you want to leave do you?!" He pointed squarely at Paul. "Well the door is right there, not that you haven't got that memorized as much as it bothers you!"
Paul rose, and puffed up. "Are you about to pretend you aren't bothered by it?"
"I may be bothered by it, but that's the price we pay for being open and accepting!"
"Okay, okay." Anakin stood up, putting a hand on each of their shoulders. The Bard silently wished he'd just let them have at it so there could be peace. Anakin said, "Take a deep breath. We don't want to end up like Link."
John winced. "Ohhhh yeah."
Paul and Harry nodded. Harry said, "Right. Yeah." He stepped back.
The Bard leaned over. "Who's Link and what happened to him?"
Aang shrugged. John leaned over and said, "It involved a bomb, an anchovy pizza, and three days without sleep." he shuddered.
The Bard nodded, suddenly glad he didn't have anymore details than that.
Harry sighed. "Alright. We'll do something about the traffic. But meanwhile--"
The door opened again. A blonde cheerleader with a wooden stake in one hand leaned in, with a lanky dark-haired teenage boy behind her.
Anakin gestured with a wiping motion. "This is not the meeting you're looking for."
"Sorry, Darth Lame, that only works on the weak-minded. Hi. My name is Buffy...?"
Harry squinted, then his eyes brightened up. "Oh! Yes! You're in the right place, actually!"
She smiled. "I am?"
Paul squinted. "She is?"
harry beamed. "Welcome to the Chosen one's meeting! Come in and sit down!"
"Oh no, I'm not here for the chosen one's meeting." She pulled her friend in. "This is Xander. I'm helping him find the comic relief's meeting?"
The Bard groaned, and he and the others practiced a round of synchronized face-palming.