the vortex bar & grill

A/N: Sorry that I’ve not updated this one in a while. Here is Part 8 and it is an early birthday present for my good mate and fellow Richonne fic writer, @codename-me.

“It’s so great to finally meet you,” said Michonne as she stood in front of Rick and smiled. He was actually left speechless for an instant; stunned by the beauty of her face and the utter warmth in her eyes.

“It is,” he finally said, while extending his hand to her; she took it and shook gently as their fingers lingered a moment.

Rick gestured towards the entrance of the Vortex Bar and Grill and asked, “Should we head on in?”

“Sure,” replied Michonne as she stepped inside while Rick held the door open; he followed behind her soon after.

“Have you been here before?” asked Michonne as they approached the hostess.

“No ma’am,” said Rick. “I don’t get to go out that often.”

Michonne nodded as they were shown to a table; Rick held the chair out for her and she flashed him another bright smile before offering her thanks.

“You like a good burger?” she asked.

“I sure do,” Rick replied.

“I’m glad you do because the burgers here are amazing,” said Michonne before she looked at the menu.

Rick took a moment to take in their surroundings; the décor of the bar was a mixture of retro motorcycle paraphernalia, vintage Americana, skulls, and items one might find in someone’s garage or yard sale.

“Have you ever seen that show Man versus Food?” she asked as she looked up from the list of decadence meals.

“Yeah,” Rick replied. “The kids love it.”

“I do too,” she offered. “I could plan a trip around the country based on the places they visit. It’s great.”

Rick smiled at how her face lit up while she continued.

“So, anyway,” said Michonne. “This place was featured on an episode. How cool is that?”

“That’s very cool,” Rick replied. “What was the challenge?”

“The Triple By-Pass Burger,” said Michonne while nodding her head and wearing a grin; Rick laughed.

“I’m steering clear of that one,” he said in earnest.

“Me too,” Michonne agreed.

After their orders were placed, Rick and Michonne sipped their drinks and made light conversation.

“Excuse me a sec,” said Michonne, after a moment. “I’m just going to use the bathroom.”

“Of course,” said Rick; he stood when she did and watched her walk across the bar.

Michonne used the time spent waiting in line to send a message to Andrea to let her know that her date had started off well. She also updated her Facebook status, leaving it vague and open to interpretation:

As Michonne made her way back to where she and Rick were seated, she noticed how he beamed brightly when their eyes met.

“Sorry about that,” said Michonne as she took up a seat. “There was a line-up.”

“That’s okay,” said Rick. “It’s pretty busy in here.”

“I hope that’s alright,” said Michonne. “I wasn’t sure if you’d want to come to a bar and keep it casual or do the restaurant thing…it’s okay, isn’t it?”

Rick reached over and patted her hand reassuringly; her skin was warm where his touch landed and she missed the feeling as soon as he drew his hand away.

“Michonne, it’s fine,” he stated. “Anywhere is fine so long as it’s with you.”

She felt her face flush and gifted Rick with a coy smile.

“Gosh, you really are sweet,” she said in earnest; Rick tilted his head and his lips turned up at the corners.

“I think that’s you bringin’ out the best in me,” he offered. “I feel like I’ve known you all of my life.”

“Yeah,” Michonne replied. “That’s how I feel too. Maybe we both have old souls.”

“You could be on to somethin’ there,” said Rick “Or maybe it’s something else. All I know is, I feel comfortable around you. This here, what we’re doin’, I never imagined I’d meet someone like this.”

“Me too,” Michonne interjected.

“But with you, it’s been easy,” Rick explained. “I don’t know how to put it all into words…”

“You don’t have to,” said Michonne. “I know exactly what you’re trying to say because I was thinkin’ the same thing.”

Rick offered her a smile before saying, “I’m really glad we did this.”

“Yeah,” said Michonne as she beamed sweetly at Rick. “So am I.”

They searched each other’s eyes until their food arrived; after thanking their waiter, they glanced at the meals before them.

“So that’s a Reverse Cowgirl?” Rick asked as he gestured to the burger on Michonne’s plate.

“It is,” she said.

“I don’t know what I was expecting with a name like that,” Rick said nonchalantly.

“Oh, it’s really good,” Michonne offered with a smirk.

“I believe you,” said Rick. “Now mine looks a mess.”

Michonne chortled.

“It does,” she said. “What’s it called again?”

“A Zombie Apocalypse,” Rick replied. “I guess this is what a zombie’s face is meant to look like.”

They both laughed before Rick continued. “Carl would get a kick outta this.”

“You should take a picture and share it on Facebook so he can see it,” Michonne advised.

“Yeah, I will,” said Rick as he positioned the plate and then got out his phone. “I hope it tastes better than it looks.”

There was a bustling crowd after the comedy performance was over as Rick and Michonne made their way out of the small theater. Bodies were close together as faint whiffs of alcohol wafted in the air. Rick, in the lead, looked back to make sure Michonne was still behind him as the bar was now teeming with more patrons. He stopped, reached back and took hold of her hand and then proceeded to lead her through the crowd. Once they ended up outside of the venue on the street, they did not let go; Michonne looked at Rick and he noticed that her beautiful face was awash with happiness. He felt the same.

“So,” said Michonne as she stepped closer to Rick, placing her free hand to his chest. “I guess we should agree we like one another get this out of the way.”

She then brought her hand up to his face and leaned in; their lips met in a gentle, languid kiss that Rick soon deepened. When they finally drew apart, they held each other’s gaze; Rick smiled warmly and Michonne let out a little giggle. Hand-in-hand, they made their way to where Rick had parked his car.

Later that evening, after their date was finished and each had returned home, Rick was still on a high as he anticipated their second date. Michonne was still on his mind when he posted yet another Facebook status: