Ike didn't seem like himself today. His eyes were curiously bright and a pale blue instead of red, and currently crinkled in amusement. The man formerly of the Sugar Squad was possibly in his own personal heaven. This was a chocolate factory! Upon arrival, he'd crashed in like a missile on an errant course, throwing the door open too wide so that it bounced back and hit him in the butt. As per usual, the tracksuited man's body crashed into the floor. He was a jello man, though, so he eventually bounced back up with a sheepish look, though embarrassment was absent on his face. To be honest, he was so clumsy that he wondered if he was capable of being embarrassed at all anymore.
"Here's your cart...Uh...Please don't touch the chocolates. They can't be sold if disturbed. Also, don't eat them for obvious reasons," the chocolatier lady informed him, though if he actually heard her was up for debate. She smelled delicious. There was chocolate smeared all over her white coat and even on her poofy chef's hat. Beyond her he could see the vat of molten diabetes, and he wanted nothing more than to cannonball in and try to drink it all. A bad idea, but very tempting. He had issues with impulse control anyway. "Sure, sure," he waved her off, not giving her the most confidence, but they were short staffed and in high demand. Beggars couldn't be choosers at this point, and she'd already relied on some pretty interesting characters so far, namely the one supposed to be paired with this guy who was mysteriously absent.
Ike, or currently Theo rather, lingered in the warehouse waiting for his temporary husband for as long as he could. He wasn't good at keeping still, and several of the workers had had to swat his hands away from boxed goods and the fresh candies on the conveyor belts alike. Before he knew it, he was being rushed all on his lonesome out the door with the cart. The doors were shut firmly behind him. "Geez...didn't have to be so rude.." he pouted, reluctantly wheeling his wheeled responsibility down the street toward the shop that would sell them on the other side of town. Fresh air did not dampen the confections' aromas, proving to be the first and strongest challenge of this job. Theo vs. Temptation, BEGIN!
Before he could get too far into the journey, it seemed the scent of sweets weren't only tormenting him. They wafted willy nilly through the streets and alleys, picking up the attention of stray cats and dogs...and also stray children. One of the little vermin threw themselves dramatically in front of the cart, forcing Theo to skid to a stop. "HEY! I coulda hit you!" he squawked, only to feel pressure on his forearms as two more kids appeared and forced his hands from the cart handle. Being a little slow on the uptake, he just dumbly stood there eyeing the two grappling his arms, not noticing the fourth that ran in from the right to take the cart handle along with the kid he'd almost run over, and then all four ran off with it! Apparently they'd tired of begging the other cart pushers before him.
"GAH!" Theo exclaimed, sprinting after them in a panic. Losing the chocolates would be a disaster! But they were just kids, so with his magic and speed buffs he easily caught up. Four sticky blobs for the two pushing it, catching their feet and holding them in place as they screamed and fell forward. The other two tried to take over, but Theo was already there and pushing them away long enough to hightail it so far ahead that they'd never be able to catch him. "Whew..." he sighed, managing a nervous grin at the close call. That probably wouldn't have happened if his good-for-nothing husband would help out for once...
Already feeling the storm tainting marital bliss, Theo was once more too distracted to see the next oncoming threat. A man leapt from an awning as he passed by, wielding an impressively large hammer with heart shapes on each end. As he descended upon Theo, he swung the weapon down on him like a difficult nail in a piece of wood, squishing poor Theo flat. So apparently, people would murder for both this commercialized holiday for love and just to get sweets for their loved one for free. Good to know. If Theo hadn't been perfectly squishy, he might have died for a fourth time! But instead he groaned in light pain and bobbled for a moment as the cheapo thief made off with the goods, then popped back into shape and again gave chase.
Long story short, he found the man and tackled him into an alley to beat him senseless. Ok, so he'd lost the cart twice now, so he was growing paranoid. And here he'd thought he was the only threat! Imagine, an S rank mage who used to hold the title of Rising Star, nearly losing a cart of Valentine's chocolates to little kids and a desperate but cheap boyfriend! He was ashamed of himself. What had he become? Granted, he had to admit he didn't feel completely like himself, and his mind was plenty fuzzy. There was this horrible itch that he was forgetting something, or missing big pieces of his puzzle, but he couldn't put a finger on it. It was annoying, but he pushed it out of his mind and literally ran as fast as he could to the shop.
The brightly colored building belonging to the sweet peddlers came into view over a small hill in the road. Theo smiled in relief that this was almost over, and he'd done it all by himself! Who needed spouses! His speed slowed to a normal walk so he'd appear as if nothing had gone wrong, yet there was still more fin to come. The shop was understandably closed since he had yet to get into the doors with the wares, but there was still a thick mass of people blocking his way in. "Excuse me!" he called, attempting to move people out of the way. They ignored him, being dumb and thinking he was trying to cut line, though if they'd just get their heads out of their rears they'd notice the glorious smell of chocolate and the rather large cart from the chocolatiers in his possession. Alas, most retail customers were a ridiculous lot, so her he was stuck.
In one last attempt to get people out of the way before it turned a little less friendly, Theo summoned his Jello Dancer, a green figure made of jiggly, translucent jello that towered nearly twelve feet tall. The tracksuited mage started a horrible dance, wiggling his butt and shaking his legs and flopping his arms, only for Jello Dancer to mirror it exactly. Time to break some spirits and thin the herd!