Mixing Drinks, Mixing Lives
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Mixing Drinks, Mixing Lives
It was a fairly good night at “The Fusion”, a dance spot that was something of a insider’s tip among the clubbing scene of Phoenix, Arizona, but Mary Malone, the club’s head barmaid and chief “mixologist” was bored out of her mind. Pretty much all the patrons tonight were regulars. Of course, it was impressive that they had enough regulars to make this much revenue off them and fill this much dance floor, a testimony to the club’s excellent selection of DJs and live bands as much as to their wide selection of beverages. However, while it was good that the club had gathered enough of a following to survive on, a houseful of regulars gave Mary very little opportunity to serve the Fusion’s trademark specialty; a unique beverage that the club’s founder, a woman named Salome Makis, claimed to be based on an old family recipe, handed down through the generations. Coming with special instructions it was always to be served in two glasses, and could only be ordered by two customers together, only so it could work its special properties in the correct manner. It was something of a niche product, not to everybody’s taste, and even those that were brave enough to give it a shot generally only did so once, or, if they drank it again afterwards only did so with the same person they had shared it with the first time, which very quickly became repetitive. Mary had never drunk it herself, even though Ms. Makis had offered her a taste when she hired her. To be honest, she could not see herself ever drinking, she wasn’t like Todd Knight, her fellow barkeep, who would share the drink with lonely customers on slow nights. She did however love to watch it affect other people, she got never bored of it.
Sadly the drinks special properties also meant that the club couldn’t really advertise it much, apparently Ms. Makis had run into trouble with her old club in London that way. So getting someone new to try it was always a bit of a game of chance. It had now been a month since someone new had tried the drink and Mary had almost given up hope for it to happen anymore. That was when her sight fell on a certain duo of patrons in the crowd. A sly smile appeared on her lips, maybe she’d get to mix the drink tonight after all...
Andy Sullivan, student of engineering at Arizona State University, entered the club with an obvious swagger in his walk and a confident, if somewhat arrogant, smile on his face. He stopped in front of a mirrored wall to check himself out. He was a good-looking guy, if he may say that so himself, 21 years old, 6 foot 2 inches, baby blue eyes and shaggy, dirty blond hair. He was dressed in a dark red, pinstriped dress shirt combined with light grey suit pants and a waistcoat left hanging open. He flipped his sunglasses up to wink at his reflection. He was maybe not top of any of his classes, but here in Phoenix’s nightlife, it was looks, not brains that mattered and he was completely in his element. A few drinks and a bit of dancing would hopefully help him forget that if he failed one more class his parents would cut him off. Then he would have to go back to the small town in Texas he had sprung from and had hoped to never see again. He shoved those thoughts into the back of his mind, come morning he hoped he would wake up next to a hot chick he didn’t know and with no recollection of the past night whatsoever.
He looked around the club, nodding his head to the music; he couldn’t believe he had never been to this place and that he had to hear from Rick Baker, of all people, of its existence. Well, now he knew about it and soon this club too would be his home turf!
“Ey c’mon, Diego, let’s hit the dance floor!” Andy tried hard to mask his accent since he had left Texas, afraid to sound like a hick, and he hated how limited his success in this endeavor was. After more than a year now he still sounded like Hannah Montana’s retarded twin brother.
“Sí, sí, I’m coming, Andy!” The voice that answered had an equally thick accent, except it was a Hispanic one instead of Texan and sounded far less enthusiastic than Andy.
Andy sighed and crossed his arms as Diego, his best buddy from university reluctantly slouched into the room. Diego was an international student from Colombia, in the USA on a fancy shmancy scholarship. The quiet, serious and studious type he felt less at home in the club environment than Andy. Diego was a quite a bit shorter than Andy, measuring only 5 foot 6 inches and with his current shrunk-together posture he seemed even smaller. He had classic Hispanic looks; dark olive skin, pitch black hair and dark, kind eyes. Andy thought Diego could have just as easy a time with girls as him, if he just could loosen up and wipe that frown off his face. And perhaps change his look a bit; his hair looked good enough, though it was a bit short the spiked style suited Diego. The clothes however were a total disaster, at once too formal and too plain; a black blazer and tie over a simple, white shirt and black jeans. Diego looked more like he was going to a funeral and not a party. Then again, maybe he was, remembered Andy as, for a moment, the smile faded from his lips. Diego had run into troubles concerning his stay in America. Something about his visa was, or had become, invalid without Diego having been aware of it. Andy didn’t even have a passport, so he had a bit of trouble understanding the whole thing. Bottom line was; this was Diego’s last weekend in America, as on Monday he would be forcefully sent back to Colombia, a place Diego wanted to stay out of just as much as Andy wanted to stay out of his hometown. It was unfair, it was cruel, it was unjust. Unfortunately it could not be helped, the only thing he could do for Diego was to make sure his buddy would enjoy his last weekend stateside and get some American ass he could brag about to his friends at home.
Diego looked around the room, fiddling nervously with the cuff of his shirt. “I don’t think this is a good idea, mi Amigo.”
“Sure it is,” Andy tried hard to sounds cheerful in hopes of infecting Diego with his enthusiasm, “we’re gonna get us some action!” He flipped his sunglasses again and winked at a girl with stunning, long red hair. The girl giggled and turned away to her friend.
“I am not feeling it,” confessed Diego, “I would rather go back to the dormitory.”
“And stay in your room all day again, like you did for the last two weeks? No, chance sir!” He jovially slapped Diego into the back and pushed him on further into the club, “I would have utterly, irrevocably and unacceptably failed as your best American buddy if I saw you getting shoved off back to Colombia without having made sure that you get your fill of American babes.”
“But Andy, I am leaving on Monday, all this could lead two would be a one night stand. Padre Mateo always said....”
Andy gestured for him to shut up, “Listen, buddy, you know how doomed men in prison are always granted a last supper? Well, from where I stand you are as much doomed as any of those guys on death row, and I have brought you to the best buffet in town. So look around, is there really no treat that strikes your fancy?”
For a while Diego’s face remained listless, even annoyed, as he let his eyes wander through the crowd. Then however his dark eyebrows suddenly rose and a smile appeared on his face.
Andy followed Diego’s line of sight to a small table across the room. There sat a young woman that was only to be described as breathtaking. Her skin had a slight, golden tan and her hair was a mass of honey brown curls, floating over her shoulders. She sat by herself, leaning slightly over the table in a way that made her ass stand out, her hands playing with the straw from her drink, ever so often leading it to her full, pouty lips. Andy put and arm on Diego’s shoulder. “You’ve got an eye for it Diego!” He gave Diego a shove, “Go and get ‘er, man!”
With a smile Diego nodded and was off into the crowd. Satisfied with having helps his friend Andy crossed his arms and got into the groove of the music, he re-adjusted his waistcoat and screened to club in hopes of finding the hot redhead from earlier again. With Diego busy with the goddess from across the room, it was time to give the other girls a chance to get some “Andy-Candy”
That was when he heard the laughter from behind him. It sounded high, clear, cruel. One moment later Diego was at Andy’s side again, complete with frown and shrunken posture.
Andy cursed. “What happened, man?”
Diego shook his head, “She laughed at me, she called me a boy. Then she pointed at you and said that even you and I combined would not make a man good enough for her.”
“Bitch...” said Andy under his breath and put his arm in Diego’s back again, “come on, let’s go to the bar for a bit and then we find a girl who isn’t a total jizz magician.”
Mary cleared some empty glasses off the counter as she watched the two college guys, the blonde with shades and the Hispanic in the black blazer approach her bar in the aftermath of the latter’s unsuccessful encounter with Irene. Those two were perfect, especially since both of them were kind of cute, and after what just had happened to the Hispanic guy, they might both proof all the more willing.
They took stools next to each other, the Hispanic guy hunched over the bar, burying his head in shame, “I feel so embarrassed, Andy!”
The blonde, Andy presumably, sat down with his back to the bar, resting his elbows on the counter “Don’t worry about it Diego, as I said, we’ll find some girls that aren’t bitches later on.” His voice had a heavy Texan accent. He continued to screen the crowd, suddenly knitting his eyebrows and snorting. “What an odd thing to say. That even combined you and I wouldn’t make a man good enough for her.”
Perfect! That was just the kind of starting point Mary had waited for. “Care to proof her wrong, boys?”
The two guys look at her. “Pardon, lady?” asked Andy.
“Irene, the girl who blew off your friend here, “she nodded towards the other guy, Diego, “she said that even combined you to would not be able to tempt her. But I’m saying that, looking at the two of you now, mixed together you would make a man that floozy’d throw herself at, along with half the other women in the club.” She put her finger up and smirked, “And I’d be keen to bet fifty books on it, if you and your friend are willing to put it to the test.”
Andy turned around to her completely, “How are we supposed to put something like that to the test?”
“It simple really,” Mary put her arms behind her back, “you and your friend would just have to merge with each other.”
Diego looked confused, “Merge?” he asked, mispronouncing it with a hard g, “I don’t know the word.”
“Fusing,” explained Andy who seemed used to explain words to his friend, “combining, becoming one.”
“Exactly,” said Mary, “becoming one. One man. Body, mind, and soul. What do you say?”
Diego laughed, “You are a crazy woman. We are not cartoon characters!”
“Yeah, “ agreed Andy, “listen lady, whatever you been smoking, I hope you ‘re willing to share.”
Mary shook her head and got two pouring bottles out from under the bar. One bottle was filled with translucent red liquid, like cherry cordial, while the liquid in the other bottle was of an unnatural, bright blue color. “These are the ingredients, for ‘The Fusion’s signature drink, the ‘Cold Fusion’,” she explained as he filled half of one empty tumbler with the red liquid and half of another with the blue.
Andy scratched his head, “What are you rambling on about now?”
Mary smiled as she placed the two glasses next to each other, nursing one in each hand. “Watch this!” With a small, swift movement she clinked the two glasses together, but instead of colliding with each other in a bright clunk, the tumblers bulged a bit and then fused like two soap bubbles, producing a gulping sound in the process. The result was a tumbler like the two that had formed it, but now filled to the brim with a translucent purple liquid.
The mouths of the two college kids hung wide agape.
“Madre de Dios!” breathed Diego reaching over and feeling the glass that once had been two glasses.
“Holy shit!” chimed Andy in, flipping up his shades to take a closer look as well.
Mary cocked her head to the side, “So what do you say boys, willing to try it? First time’s on the house!”
The two boys looked like they had seen a ghost. Andy was the first to come to his senses again. “You...you mean...us,” he pointed at himself and his friend, “Diego and me,” he pointed at the glass and then crashed his palms together, “Gulp?”
Mary nodded, “Pretty much. As I said; I bet 50 bucks that the two of you could fuse into a man that can bring Irene to her knees. So you’re up for the try?”
Andy jumped up from his bar stool. “No,” he said, raising his hands in defense and backing away, “thanks for the offer, but, like, no way in hell!”
Mary bit her lip. Darn it! She hadn’t expected the guy to be so reluctant!
Luckily, Diego seemed more inclined to accept the offer. The Hispanic man still watched the fused tumbler intently. “This is unbelievable! How does it work?”
“Basically it’s magic,” explained Mary, “the founder of this club, Ms. Salome Makis is the only one who knows how to make the red and blue potions. Her ancestors brought the recipe from Greece. The two potions need to be kept in special bottles and once removed from them they develop an incredible strong pull towards one another. This pull is so strong that they will bond no matter what. So if they are contained in something, like glasses, or people, and placed in close enough proximity to each other they combine, along with the glasses, or people they once were contained in.” She smiled “Of course, fusing people is much more exciting than merging identical tumblers together. The potions reaction combines the two individuals, all they are, into one new being. Somehow the potion always seems to pick and chose the best aspects of each participant which then manifest in the new, merged person.”
Diego looked up at him and repeated the smile, “Increible!”
Andy meanwhile seemed to get really uncomfortable with the conversation, “Who cares how it works, it’s fucked up!” He gripped Diego’s shoulder, “Come on buddy, let’s get away from this crazy bitch!”
Diego, without losing his smile looked at his friend and cocked one eyebrow “I don’t know, Andy, I think I would like to try it.”
This took Andy completely aback, “Are you nuts?”
Diego shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know. It sounds like it could be good fun for a while. Didn’t you say you would do anything to make sure I have fun on my last weekend in America?”
“Yeah, but I didn’t mean it to involve drinking witches’ brew and getting smooshed up into one person with you.”
Diego was definitely hooked. Now all Mary had to do was convincing Andy. She glanced at the Texan. “What’s up though guy, are ya scared?” She winked and smirked at Andy, hoping that he was the type who would always jump to proof his bravado in front of a woman.
Diego laughed, “Scared? What could go wrong, Andy?”
Andy scoffed “Of course I’m not scared. I just... I just think we should consider all the factors first! Yeah! Like... what if we won’t be able split into Diego and Andy again?”
Diego snorted, “Of course we will be able to split again,” he suddenly looked a bit unsure and turned back to Mary, “right?”
“Naturally,” answered Mary and got out another bottle of liquid, this one poison green, “tomorrow, after you succeeded or failed to get it on with Irene you come in here before we open and I give you the antidote.” She looked at Andy, “It’s really safe, the guy you’ll merge into will be made from you, so he won’t be able to do anything you wouldn’t have done either.”
“So what do you say, Amigo?” asked Diego standing up and holding his hand out, “I really wanna see if my American friend and me together can get that goddess that has dismissed me so rudely earlier swoon over us.”
For a while Andy just looked at Diego’s hand, his mouth twisting, then his shoulders relaxed. “Aw fuck it, why not?” he said and shook Diego’s hand, returning to the bar with him. “Barkeep, one Cold Fusion for me and my buddy here!”
“Coming up,” said Mary cheerfully and filled two new tumblers with the potions, placing the blue one in front of Andy, the red one in front of Diego. Diego instantly lifted his glass and drank the liquid, commenting on its spicy taste.
Andy eyed his glass for a moment, then he raised it to Diego, “Well, buddy, see ya tomorrow!” He guzzled the bright blue potion in one big shot. He lowered the glass and looked at it, “Uh, tastes like ginger ale...” He put his glass on the counter next to Diego’s. He started to look queasy and put his hands on his stomach, next to him Diego did the same.
“Say, Amigo do you also feel a bit nauseo...”
Another gulping sound interrupted Diego’s sentence as his and Andy’s body connected, turning them into a two headed man, just like a Siamese twin. Their heads were now side-to-side on their shared shoulders and their clothes were spliced together like patchwork in a neat line down the center of their chest. Because of their difference in height, their body was naturally heavily lopsided, almost causing them to fall over before each of them managed to grip the top of the bar counter with the single hand each of them had left.
They both looked at the neat line were the burgundy and pinstripes of Andy’s shirt met the plain whiteness of Diego’s.
“Madre the Dios!” exclaimed Diego once more as he unbuttoned the shirt and revealing a similar neat line between their skin tones.
“Holy shit!” said Andy feeling their shared chest, his eyes wide, his face paling. He looked at Mary, “Stop this! I changed my mind! I want out!”
Mary smirked again and shrugged her shoulders “Sorry buddy, it’s a bit too late for that. Once the process has started nothing can stop it.”
Andy did not like that “But....!” There was another gulping sound as, for a moment, the two men melded together into a vaguely humanoid shaped mass of swirling, pulsating, purple goo.
A few of the patrons who stood close by came to watch the spectacle of the two men fusing into one. The goo humanoid took on a solid shape, adding Diego’s better toned muscles to Andy’s longer limbs and torso. The outer layer of the goo oxidated into human skin, settling into a tone only marginally lighter than the shade Diego’s skin had been. Yet its head remained a formless, constantly shifting mass as Diego’s and Andy’s half-melted features warred against one another. Below the neck clothing wrapped itself around the being’s body, and it too was a mixture of the two outfits Diego and Andy had worn. Diego’s suit served as the base of the outfit with the addition of Andy’s waistcoat, forming a classic three-piece suit that had a much better, modern cut than Diego’s blazer. While Mary liked a sharp dressed man, of bigger interest to her was how the colors of the individual garments manifested in the merger, mainly because all the swirling colors tended to look pretty. The white from Diego’s shirt had seeped outwards into the waistcoat, blazer and pants, darkening into a sort of creme like color and the pinstripes from Andy’s shirt followed the white, spreading over the blazer and pants. The shirt and tie below the, now pinstriped, suit meanwhile filled with the color and shiny texture from Andy’s shirt, becoming glossy burgundy. Now the head finally seamed to settle into its shape, halfway between Andy’s longish face and Diego’s round one, but with the individual features still fluid and shifting. The beings hair was of a middle brown and had retained Diego’s spiky style, only growing a little longer. Next, the sunglasses Andy had worn pushed through the shifting skin of the being’s face. Around them the other features settled; Andy’s slender eyebrows, Diego’s broad nose and full lips. The chin was also Diego’s square one, but now parted by the cleft that had once adorned Andy’s longer one. The fusion was completed. Andy and Diego had merged into one new man, the sum of all their best aspects. The composite man opened his mouth in a gasp for air, while the surrounding people applauded his birth.
The composite man removed his sunglasses, revealing that he had inherited Andy’s bright blue eyes which now contrasted spectacularly with his olive skin and brown hair. He started to survey himself. He looked down at his chest, seemed amused by the fact that he wore a tie and felt one of his arms with the hand of the other, all with a look of utter disbelief on his face.
“If you wanna look at yourself in the mirror the nearest one’s over there,” suggested Mary as she linked arms with the composite man and led him to a mirrored wall. The merged man moved with Andy’s confidence, but somewhat tempered by Diego’s humbleness.
The composite man smiled as he saw himself for the first time in the mirror, feeling his facial features and making a few faces to try out how it would look; Andy’s arrogant smile, Diego’s frown, a few clown faces, he even tried Andy’s sunglasses flip and wink on the redheaded girl from earlier. The girl blushed and was struck speechless, but the amalgam quickly returned to marveling over his existence. “Mierda Santa...” the amalgam murmured with a voice deep like Diego’s but still marked by Andy’s Texan accent (albeit less thick now), which made the Spanish words sound strange.
“Well how does it feel to be a merger of two people?” Mary asked.
The composite snorted, “It’s unbelievable,” he shook his head, “I am Diego. But I am also Andy. Yet I’m not. I have all their knowledge, all their memories, but I have a sense of self and an identity separate from those two. I’m both of them and neither at the same time.”
Mary smiled, “It’s trippy, eh?”
“Ya can say that again, Amiga!”
“Excuse me?” the voice of a woman sounded beside them. It was Irene who stepped up to them and gave the composite man a melting smile, “It seems I was a bit rash earlier. Our good Malone here and her Cold Fusion have once again proven me wrong; you are more than enough man for me.” She started stroking the composite man’s arm, “Do you think you can find it in you to forgive me and give me a second chance to get to know you?”
The composite man smiled and cocked an eyebrow, “Actually Chica, you’re not really my type. Sure, you were Diego’s, but I’m not Diego, I’m just made of him.”
Irene pursed her pouty lips and stomped off. Mary could not help but laugh at that.
The composite man turned to Mary and gave her a smile, “Say, you have a nice laugh... What’s your name?
Mary blushed, “Mary. Mary Malone...”
He winked at her with his gorgeous blue eyes, “Well, Mary Malone, mind if I join you at the bar for the rest of the evening?”
Mary brushed a strand of hair out of her face, “Not at all.”