I was confident that I could get it to work. I met Daphne at Lazy Kitty 3 days later. I had work to attend to with my rackets. Burst pipes and creeps had to be dealt with. If I did not, the status of the rackets would suffer. It took me time to deal with them. When I saw Daphne, I went up to talk to her. She looked really happy to see me. That was a good sign. Spending time together was pretty easy, but she had to go soon after. I asked if she would be able to meet me for a picnic at the park. She told me that she would be free in 2 days. I told her that I would meet her at the entrance. That would be my first date with her. I did not know what she did for work. She did not know what it was that I did either. Until we got closer, I was going to keep it that way. When I went to tell the guys about it, they looked pleasantly surprised. "Thank God. I thought for sure that you were going to get hitched with Ronan or Cameron!" All of the guys laughed. I looked at Nicolò. "No. We're not doing that. It's not funny." I said firmly. Nicolò, Araldo and Bernardo looked surprised. "C'mon! What's the matter!? It's all a joke."
Looking at them seriously, I crossed my arms. "No it isn't 'all a joke', Nicolò. We can't joke about homophobia or biphobia if we're actually homophobic. It makes me really uncomfortable because I can't tell where the joke starts and stops." Nicolò looked at me in concern. "I... I didn't mean anything by it, Mar. You know we go way back." I nodded and said "I know you weren't being hateful. If I thought you were being an ass, we'd be fighting." He nodded and said "See? I'm just joking-" I held out my arm to stop him. "No. You weren't. You are homophobic. I am bisexual. If I had told you that I was dating a guy, you would actually be upset or think it was gross. Or am I wrong about that?" I challenged. Nicolò just sat there. He knew I was right. "That's why no more gay jokes from you guys." Tommy asked "What about us?" I shrugged. "Yeah. I guess you can. Being gay isn't an insult to you." I told them. I added "But I better not catch you making ethnic jokes. I haven't vetted you guys yet." That was a joke and I chuckled. None of them laughed. That surprised me. "Touched a nerve?" I asked. Apparently so.
Pausing for a bit, I looked at them. "Are we actually not sure if the others are racist or not?" I asked out loud. Ronan, Cameron and Tommy had some complaints to share out loud with me. Apparently they had overheard some idle talk between Nicolò, Araldo and Bernardo. They were speaking bad about them when they thought they were alone. It was a disparaging comment about them never being to join the family. Not only were they gay, they were not of the proper ethnicity. The 3 looked uncomfortable about it for a moment. Nicolò jumped up and said that he heard Ronan drop a slur against our ethnicity back when they were in the city. "That john was a limped dick bastard and he was way too rough on me that day. Fat tub of lard!" Cameron said in his own defense. "No fucking way was the first time you said it. You had lots of heat on it." Ronan blushed in embarrassment. Bernardo said he heard Cameron disparage Arminio and Asella with a different slur. "C'mon! They're twins and they fuck each other. What am I supposed to do when I see that shit?" he snapped. I just sighed. "I get it." I said.
Jokes were off the menu. "Alright. I guess that it's good. We are a team. We need to be on the same page here. No sexuality jokes. No ethnic jokes. Clearly we are not a good group of friends like I thought. When we become able to look past our differences and see each other as people, and then as friends, we can all joke about these things." All 6 of them agreed. That was good. Hopefully we would get closer with time. If not, things could get a bit messy. That would not be good. Time went on and it was soon time for my date with Daphne. I made my way to the park. Cameron, Nicolò, Araldo and Bernardo all wished me a good time. Ronan and Tommy just waved me off as I left the hotel. I got to the entrance a few minutes before she did. This was supposed to be a picnic in the park. I had the hotel's kitchen staff whip me up a nice 3 course meal. Daphne had the dessert covered. She had a very lovely carrot cake. We walked around for a bit as we caught up. Once we found the perfect spot we sat down on the blanket. We then ate and talked some more. After, I walked her home. Date 1 done.