I met my boyfriend in Heroic Underbog.
It’s incredibly geeky — almost too geeky for him to admit publicly, in fact, and he sings the Iron Man theme song while we’re out shopping and once memorized pi to 31 decimal points. (It’s hard to outgeek the girl who knows the entire Summers family tree and has an honest-to-Earthmother crush on a Transformer, but … somehow …. he manages.)
True story: he took me to a wonderfully romantic fondue restaurant for Valentine’s Day, and actually blushed when the waitress asked us where we met. Because I have no shame, I told her the whole story. To her credit, she didn’t laugh! To our bemused surprise, she asked if we collected Oracle eggs. She doesn’t play, but another server does so the entire wait staff knows that Saturday is Hatching Day.
If she ever decides to roll on Black Dragonflight, I owe her a proto-drake whelp.
Anyway. I met Keaton in a Heroic Underbog PuG. He was tanking (of course), and a mutual friend was healing. I’d say I was DPSing, but the sad truth is that I barely knew how to play my warlock then, so I was just really there to banish water elementals (and because my pocket healer found that PuGing was surprisingly easy if he could advertise in /2: “LF3M. We have a holy paladin and a girl!”)
(I miss you, Ilkka. Even if I still can’t pronounce your name and you once twice habitually tried to whore me out in Trade.)
I absolutely loathed Keaton after that first heroic. If I could have punched him in his stupid slack-jawed bearface, I would have. Totally.
It’s not that he was a bad tank. On the contrary, all Ilkka could talk about for days was how wonderfully easy the run had been; how much health Keaton had and what a joy he had been to heal.
Blah, blah, blah.
No … I was the bad one.
Keaton just kind of pointed it out to me, not by anything he said or did (he isn’t mean), but by setting the bar higher than I ever imagined I could reach.
On my tiptoes.
With my imp balanced precariously on my shoulders.
He chain pulled the entire instance, which I so wasn’t ready for. I didn’t know my way around (I still can’t remember which portal leads to UB and which to Slave Pens or Steam Vaults) and I just couldn’t keep up with the much more experienced reroll group. Plus, he wouldn’t let me drink! I was Affliction, of course, with Dark Pact and Life Tap in my arsenal. But I was also unusually considerate for a warlock (my best friend was a healer, after all) and never tapped out of combat.
So I spent the entire run irritated — at myself, for being so spectacularly out of my league, and at the spastic bear tank who insisted on spelling cool with a k and wouldn’t stop jumping (he still thinks it improves his dodge).
So, imagine my horror when my pocket paladin lured me onto Vent a few days later.
“Hey, remember Keaton? That (absolutely amazing, never-had-to-be-healed, let’s-clear-this-place-in-30-seconds-flat) tank from Heroic Underbog…”
Uh huh. But wherever you’re going with this, Ilkka, I don’t like it.
“He has this guild, the Combat Wombats. It’s small, like ours. I think they’re all real life friends. College students. They seem really cool.” There’s that word again! At least he spells it with C. “Anyway, Keaton and I were talking about getting together to run Karazhan in a couple of weeks, once we’re all keyed. What do you think?”
“Awesome. Keaton’s online now. I’m going to invite him to join Vent with us so we can work this out.”
The boys handled the details. The game was just a game to me at that point, and not the obsession it is now — so as intimidated as I was by the idea of actually raiding with Keaton and his Wombats (my sister took me to a raid once, and I was out-DPS’d by a Searing Totem ;.;), I figured I’d let them do whatever they wanted to do and continue quietly questing my way through Netherstorm and working half-heartedly on my Karazhan key.
Eventually, the afternoon for our first joint-Kara run rolled around. I was keyed, flasked (for the first time in my virtual life) and rocking the Frozen Shadoweave.
Keaton and his Combat Wombats stood us up.
“They’re in college, right?” Our 16 year-old Aussie boomkin asked, staring up at the gates to Karazhan. “Betcha they got drunk last nght and are sleeping it off now.”
My little sister and a couple of her friends — hardcore raiders already well into SSC — came down to Kara to fill in for our missing Wombats and talk us through our first foray into T4. We took so long to clear trash that by the time our shadow priest made his way back down from Orgrimmar (he hearthed out to repair without telling anyone), the spectral horses had actually started to respawn. We called the raid without ever seeing Midnight, let alone Attumen.
Keaton logged on a few hours later to apologize for sabotaging missing our first raid. And to reaffirm our boomkin’s psychic prowess. The Combat Wombats were indeed drunk.
He made it up to me a few days later by taking me to Blackrock Spire for my Worg Pup.
And sending me flowers. Lots and lots of flowers …
I hate flowers. But I like puppies, so (for future reference) if you’re going to try to buy my forgiveness or affection, small furry things are the way to go. Unlike some warlocks I could mention (/cough Imanqary), I don’t even set them on fire!
I eventually decided Keaton wasn’t so bad, after all, and even forgave him for embarassing me in Heroic Underbog, for drinking himself senseless on the eve of our very first Karazhan raid, and even for believing he’s a Night Elf druid who has mastered the lost art of Tauren form.
Spelling cool with a k, though?
Yeah, that has to change.
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