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Daniel was driving? Wait, how was that a good idea? Last time he'd checked, Daniel was just as drunk as everyone else. But before he could work out an argument against it, Daniel had already climbed behind the wheel and strapped on his boot and everything. Bell stalled another few seconds, then shook his head and climbed in, too. Might as well. Why not? Daniel had driven drunk before, after all. Wasn't like anyone else had experience.
From the passenger's seat, it was a little scary to watch the world flash by, especially when it wavered some, too. He drank some more of his beer, and the fear he'd felt quieted down to nothing. Perfect. Daniel wasn't the greatest driver, but he did a better job than Bell would've.
It was only after they were on the road that Spot huffed, and Bell turned to look at him. Well, shit. They did have a sober driver. Why hadn't he thought of that until now? Too late, though. Daniel was already driving.
A motel? He glanced over at Daniel. There was some reason why they shouldn't, but it couldn't make it to the front of his brain right now. He nodded, then pointed. "Right there?" he asked, pointing out a motel. It looked seedy as hell, neon lighting half burned out and a little paper sign propped in the office's window reading...well, it probably said 'openings,' but it was better than nothing. Better than some nasty, drafty room, too.
He waited for Daniel to pull over and park, then jumped out. His feet went out from under him, and he landed flat on his ass. What was it? Oh. The stupid peg. Right. Frowning, he picked himself up and grabbed his shirt, yanking it on. "I'll go get us a room," he announced, taking his jacket over too. Jacket had the cash in it. Cash was good.
The lady at the desk gave him a funny look, but he smiled and handed over cash, and she obliged in handing over the key. Bell walked out and waved at the others, holding up the key. "Got a rooooom," he announced, grinning for no reason at all. He was hot, though. Should take his shirt back off.
Cat's way of agreeing was a little peculiar and a whole lot funny, but Daniel kept it to himself. He remembered the first time he got drunk pretty vividly for the most part too. Something about a garden, tall grass and way too much whisky.
Daniel put a hand out to steady out Bell-boy as he wobbled on his makeshift peg-leg, but the man seemed to correct himself alright in the end. He collected the cans that still held some beer and ambled after Bell-boy towards the truck. It was easier just following Bell-boy rather than try and recall where Cat had parked the damned car.
In the end, the faded red truck was hard to miss amongst the other vehicles, which weren't that many no more. Bell-boy raised a good question and Daniel shrugged.
"Guess I'll be driving then?" he offered. Out of the three, he was the best driver and had the most experience driving while drunk.
Then again, he had kept up with Bell-boy and was possibly ahead on the booze.
Daniel just reached into the truck and grabbed his boot.
Cat caught on pretty late to the game.
"Hey, I can drive, I'm not drunk," she said, but there was a list to her voice that made Daniel laugh.
"Sure you can, babe, now get into the car," Daniel commanded and carefully wedged the brace from his foot so he could fit it on a shoe. Once he tied the laces it wasn't that bad. The leather was still new and tough though and it was uncomfortable for sure, but the alcohol numbed out what pain he would've otherwise felt.
Having to drive didn't stop Daniel from drinking either.
"Just shout when you see something," Daniel started and coaxed the truck from the parking spot. He'd driven while drunk numerous times, not that he'd advise it anyone. The only time it'd gone awry was when he'd been hallucinating turns in roads that weren't actually there. And hey, the truck had survived that perfectly fine!
Daniel's gear-shifting was sloppy, but on point. His muscle memory did most of the work there, though his braking was consistently late.
"Do you want to go to a motel?" he offered Bell, tipping his beer back. As he did so, the truck swerved a little, but Daniel corrected the car from going off the road easily enough.
Daniel caved and got him food eventually, which was fine for Bell. He followed Cat towards Daniel, but Daniel turned and headed for the table before he got there. Giving up, he just followed Daniel to the table, then sat down and took his share of the hotdogs.
He'd liked the cotton candy with the beer, but the hot dog went even better. The hot dog was loaded, too, almost too much, so that bits spilled all over the place when he ate it. Well, whatever. They were outside, and the food just landed on the ground, where Spot quickly scarfed it up.
"I'm kinda done here," he said, swapping out his empty can for a new one. It was crazy how quickly they came empty. Really, they should put more beer in those stupid cans. There wasn't hardly enough. "Yeah, let's go find a place to sleep."
Cat nodded, her eyes roving the room at random, taking everything and nothing in. Bell smirked a bit. She was pretty buzzed, wasn't she? Not used to drinking at all. Probably best if they got out of here before someone took exception to a kid her age getting drunk.
He stood and climbed out of the table, almost falling as the peg leg wobbled under him. Stupid thing. It wasn't any good at all. Or maybe it'd come lose. It'd seemed to get more wobbly as time went on. He chuckled to himself; or maybe he'd just started getting drunk. Yeah, that was probably it. His peg was solid work. Even he was impressed with himself.
"C'mon, let's go," he said, patting Daniel on the shoulder. He headed towards the truck, or at least the parking lot. Wherever that was. No, no, he knew where that was. He shook his head. He wasn't that drunk. He led the group back towards the parking lot, searching out their car. The red truck was easy enough to find, never mind that the parking lot had emptied out somewhat since they'd first arrived.
"Wait, who's gonna drive?" he asked, blinking at the other two. He wasn't that drunk, but he was pretty buzzed. And Daniel too, and Cat. Why'd they given Cat alcohol? She was supposed to drive them!
Yet was right, but if Bell-boy wasn't drunk yet, then why was the guy taking his shirt off? Daniel rolled his eyes. Couldn't be helped. Bell-boy could be childish in that way, unable to control his urges. Childish even more for taking off the shirt while he wasn't watching. Well, whatever.
"Please? You got money, why don't you treat me for a change?" Daniel chided with a chuckle. Probably because Bell-boy was more drunk than he cared to admit.
"Fine, fine," he muttered, getting out his wallet and counting off some money, then reconsidered. They'd have more canned beer there too. He felt a little like a walking fridge, but whatever.
Daniel ruffled Cat's hair in passing, earning him a dazed glare.
"Three," he told the man, "with everything, and a tray of beer," Daniel ordered. The man went about business with a smile, adding some flavour to the way he plucked out the hot-dogs and stuffed them in a nice and toasty bun.
Sauce got added, bits of onion and whatever else went on there.
Daniel stuffed the cans down his pockets and carried the rest over in his hands, though Cat approached to free him of at least one hot-dog. There were long tables set out in front of the stand, so Daniel put their things down and got comfortable.
"Dinner has been served," he said with a chuckle.
He didn't really wait for Bell-boy and Cat to have their food, but took a hearty bite off of his portion and swallowed the meat down with beer. Perfect combination. Almost like home.
"This is good," Daniel said, voice muffled by the food he was inhaling.
The rest of the hot-dog vanished in a haze.
Daniel wiped his fingers on some tissue and cracked open a new beer. He was losing count already. Shit. Cat reached over for another beer as well, more so because she was thirsty than anything else, probably.
"So you want to hang out some more here, or should we find a place to sleep?" Daniel offered. Could get shit-faced, but it probably wasn't a brilliant idea, what with the hunters out and about. And they could drink a little more in the privacy of whatever hell-hole they next frequented just as well.
He chuckled. Yeah, it had been everywhere. That damn sand, getting all over everything and into everything and... but at least this time there was no danger of getting lost and passing out on a beach, since there was no beach.
"I'm not that drunk," Bell insisted, starting on the new can. He glanced at Daniel, then smirked. "Yet."
The wheel circled back around. He waited while Daniel climbed off, stretching and yawning, then stood--and fell right back on his butt as the peg slipped out from under him. Bell growled at the stupid thing, frustrated at how useless it was. Couldn't it just quietly hold his weight without sliding over every somewhat-slippery substance? He grappled himself out the same way he'd gotten in, using the chair and the wall of the little pod.
At least the dirt didn't slide out from under the peg. Bell plucked at his shirt again. He just kept getting hotter. Why couldn't he take his shirt off? He'd be so much more comfortable if he did. He glanced at Daniel, checking to see if the man was watching. The second Daniel looked away, he stripped his shirt off and slung it over his shoulder. Ahh, yep, that felt nice. Much better.
Hmm, what next? No more rides. He didn't want to spin anymore. The world was kind of spinning as it was. Dinner? Dinner sounded good. He didn't need much with all the beer, but a little something would be nice. A little food or something.
"Yeah, dinner," he voted. The food stalls were still open for the most part, though some of the more kid-oriented ones had shut down for the day; or they could grab cans of food out of the car, that'd be cheaper overall. And not so greasy. He still felt fine now, but he wasn't too sure about greasy food. It might tip him over the edge from tipsy to puking drunk.
Oh, a hot-dog stand. Cheap and not super greasy. "Daniel, I want a hot dog," he said, pointing at the stand. "Get me a hot dog? Please?"
"Yeah, I want a hot dog too," Cat added, her voice carefully measured. Bell smirked. She was feeling it too, huh? Tiny as she was, she'd probably get buzzed from just one can. It was kind of cute.
Cat joined their toast, raising her can of beer, though she obviously drank at a slower pace than they did -which was just as well. At Cat's weight, she'd be dead drunk within just a couple of beers. Daniel suspected she'd have no tolerance whatsoever.
Bell-boy's arm wrapped around him and Bell's head came to rest against his shoulder. Daniel looked at the man and chuckled.
"Yeah, I remember -that night though, I remember waking up in the sand. It was everywhere and we lost our shoes I think," he rambled. If Cat made retching noises every single time they'd kiss, Daniel was going to end up associating the noise with kissing sooner rather than later. That didn't stop Daniel from giving in to Bell-boy though.
Kissing felt good.
He had just enough beer to relax and for the pain to be just a small nagging in the background.
Daniel was already on his fourth beer when Bell-boy nudged him for another and Daniel obliged. Sweet. Just a few more and Bell-boy wouldn't give a shit whether they got shit-faced or whatever else they decided to do that night.
"I'm not holding your hair back when you puke it back up," Daniel chuckled.
Maybe they ought to get some more of the stronger stuff, if they really wanted a party. Maybe he could convince Bell-boy into having mix-drinks, though the fair wouldn't have that kind of drinks going for it.
He was definitely feeling the buzz when their ride reached the end. A nice, warm glow that spread throughout his body. Daniel pulled back his leg before the ride stopped, making sure his leg hadn't fallen asleep. Still, his gait wasn't entirely steady when they got off, though Daniel evened out easily enough.
"So what's up next?" he put out there, strolling along the fair.
There wasn't much else, except for the spinning and twirling rides he'd love to put Cat in, but didn't feel like going into himself much now.
Why didn't this fair have a nice beach going for it? Summer was going to end soon and they hadn't had a decent beach-party in months.
"Hey, are we going to have dinner somewhere?" Cat asked. Her voice sounded a bit different from her usual demeanour; a little more withdrawn, but less rigid at the same time.
The little carriage rocked slightly as they boarded. Just as it did, his peg slid over the fiberglass interior, wood unable to find a grip on the smooth surface; Bell grabbed the back of the chair as he fell and used his hands more than his legs to grapple himself into a seat. Once there, though, everything was rosy. Daniel settled in beside him, which was a little too warm, but he didn't mind. It was Daniel, after all.
Cat and Spot sat opposite, Spot sitting up on the bench almost like a human. The Ferris Wheel slowly turned, and Bell watched as the city spread out below them, lights twinkling to the horizon. Fireflies; it reminded him of fireflies, tiny lights dancing in a forest of darkness. Cat flashed Daniel a look when he nearly put his foot in her lap, but scooted over to make room rather than make a problem.
"To surviving!" Bell cheered, a little more excited about it than Daniel sounded. He was just hyper, really, just hyper from being able to enjoy a day with Daniel without anything horrible happening or having to worry about things. He drank from his beer, then leaned back and put his free arm around Daniel and rested his head against the man's shoulder. "Remember last time we rode in one of these? On that beach, right after we first came back here?" He grinned at Daniel. It'd been coming back for him, but he supposed it'd been coming here for Daniel, right? He nuzzled Daniel's cheek, trying for a kiss. In the background, Cat made retching noises, but he ignored her. She was just jealous.
The wheel turned slowly. They passed the apex and started slowly circling back down. Bell's beer came empty somewhere in the interim, so he nudged Daniel for another. They were having a good time. It was a rare day off. Why not get a little buzzed? Just a little, though. Cat would throw a fit if he got drunk. Honestly, that girl. Though... he glanced at the beer she was holding and smirked. She'd softened up a bit towards them, hadn't she? Started to think of them as family. He smiled at her, feeling charitable towards her suddenly.
Hah, if Bell-boy kept drinking at the speed he was going, the man was going to be drunk sooner rather than later. The tell-tale wobble in Bell's gait couldn't entirely be explained away by the man having a peg-leg either. Daniel chuckled and shook his head, cracking open his own beer.
Cat pulled a face at the bitter taste and near enough spit her beer back out, until she reconsidered and swallowed.
Daniel laughed at the sight and patted the young woman's back.
"It'll get better," he encouraged her.
"How can this get better?" she moaned with a grimace.
"Hey, hey, hey," Daniel started, grabbing Bell-boy's elbow. "Stop that..." The man would start getting naked if he took his eyes off for just one second, huh? What was it with the guy and alcohol anyway?
Fortunately Bell-boy seemed to reconsider before they had to have an argument about it.
"Idiot," he said lovingly, giving Bell-boy's hair a ruffle.
The Ferris wheel was large, high up with bright lights glowing from colour to colour. Daniel stared up, lost in the sight before him to the extent that he didn't catch on Bell-boy was trying to get Spot on the ride before the man was already on the verge of giving in. He tried his best smile and the attendant rolled his eyes.
"If that dog does something stupid, we're not liable," he muttered, but allowed them to get on regardless.
Daniel sat next to Bell-boy, arm stretched out across the back, beer in hand. They moved slowly, letting other people get in the ride as well. It was quiet and relaxed. Soothing. There was even a breeze once they got a little further up.
They had a nice view from up high. All the lights started becoming more visible as the day carried into dusk. Daniel drained his third beer slowly, savouring the taste. Soon enough Bell-boy was going to complain again, so he might as well just use this opportunity. Daniel put his leg out on the other seat and sighed out. Much better.
This was the life. Nice and easy living.
"To surviving thus far," Daniel raised his beer.
While Daniel got beer, he set upon finishing off the cotton candy. The cloud had diminished, and now it was at the stage where it was starting to clump together and get sticky from too many wet fingers. Between he and Cat, there wasn't much left by the time Daniel returned; just a sticky stick with clumps of fluff here and there. But Daniel had something better already. Bell took the beer he was offered and popped it open, taking a generous swig before Daniel warned him not to drink it all in one go. Still holding the can up, he raised his eyebrows at Daniel and pretended to drink more, but then lowered it. Yeah, Daniel was right. Might as well enjoy their overpriced beer.
"Hmm," Bell considered. Mirror palace or the Ferris Wheel? Mirror palace might be fun buzzed, but he wasn't sure he was at that level yet. And Daniel didn't seem too enthusiastic about it either. Well, that decided it, didn't it? "Ferris Wheel!"
He led the way there, a little wobbly on his feet. He frowned. He shouldn't be that drunk yet, right? A glance down informed him of the problem: he only had one foot. The other one was a peg. Bell raised his eyebrows, surprised, then remembered. Oh yeah, right! He'd forgotten in the excitement of it all.
Bell frowned at himself, taking a mental step back. Maybe he [i was] a little buzzed. Oh well, could anyone blame him? It was a rare moment away from the hunters and responsibilities. He plucked at his shirt, then pressed the can against his forehead. And it was hot as hell. Why didn't anyone else seem to be this warm? He started to take his shirt off, but reconsidered at the last second. Everyone else was still fully dressed, it'd be weird if he was naked. Half-naked. But it'd feel so nice.
Spot passed him by, leading the last few steps to the Ferris wheel. "No pets!" the ticket-seller insisted.
"He'll be good. No one will see," Bell argued, petting Spot's head. He gave the guy a winning smile, and Spot gave his cutest look as well. Surely the guy couldn't hold up against that onslaught, right?
"It's not common, no," Daniel muttered. He raised his eyes when Bell-boy giggled, surprised at the man's reaction, and then proceeded to wipe his hands on Bell's shirt.
"There, that'll work."
Daniel gave Bell-boy a stern look for about a long second and then reconsidered. If Bell-boy wanted more beer, getting it meant he was going to have more beer too. And maybe Cat would relax enough after a can or two to get the stick from her ass about them drinking.
"We can get some more," Daniel promised. "Stop making that face," he prodded Cat's cheek.
She glared at Daniel and wiped her cheek before stealing some more cotton candy from Bell's hold.
Daniel stole some cotton candy too, then drained his second beer and looked around for the first stand that'd have some nice cooled cans to buy. He didn't have to look particularly long. As the day progressed into early evening, more and more people were scampering about with alcoholic beverages and the population of children dwindled steadily to match.
No kids in this party.
This time he got a six-pack, fairly certain that between the three of them they'd make short work of them.
"I have returned," Daniel announced when he met back up with the party. Walking got easier as the alcohol numbed out the aches. The brace had been a good idea though.
He offered Bell-boy a beer, took one for himself and then offered Cat.
She gave Daniel a look that read 'are you insane?' but rather than dismiss the offer, took the can. One less can the boys would drink and maybe she'd be able to get to their level and not be annoyed with their childish behaviour.
"Don't drink it all in one go," he warned the two of them. "So what's next? Want to go on the Ferris wheel?" Nothing like enjoying a bit of late afternoon sunshine in a slow-going ride while they enjoyed a beer or two. That, or they could just go to one of the tents and listen to some crap music while they danced.
Cat would have a few more issues parading around with a beer in hand though, considering she was so painfully obvious underaged. "Or do you want to go into the mirror palace instead?" Daniel offered with a chuckle.
Not that he was really interested in watching his own mug after so long.
"I dunno, ask the cotton candy makers," Bell said, frowning back. "What, do they not have blue cotton candy in England?" Cotton candy was always blue and pink, as long as he'd known cotton candy. Be weird to not have blue cotton candy around.
Not that he cared. He pulled bits off and stuffed it in his mouth. It all tasted so sweet, ridiculously over-sweet really, but he didn't care. It tasted good right now, with the beer forming a bitter counterpoint. Daniel licked his fingers, which made Bell giggle. "That's a battle you can't win," he told Daniel, amused. The wetter his fingers, the more the cotton candy would stick, and he'd end up like one of those five year olds with sticky bits all over him. But maybe that was alright. Bell could lick all the sticky bits off Daniel, and it'd turn out okay.
He grinned to himself and sipped at the beer again. This can was getting light pretty quickly; he glanced at Daniel's pockets. Were there any more where this came from?
Or maybe that wasn't a good idea. He was starting to get really warm. He wasn't stupid; he knew what that meant. A little further down this road and he'd start trying to undress. He was still self-aware enough to stop himself now, but that wouldn't last forever. Probably it'd last another beer, though. Just one more. What could it hurt? It'd be fine.
"Any more beer?" he found himself saying, before he could stop himself.
Cat shot him a dirty look for some reason, which mostly just left Bell confused. What, did she hate alcohol now? He got that yeah, maybe this wasn't the best idea and maybe he shouldn't be so lax on Daniel but... well, they were just having a couple beers. It was cool. They weren't even halfway to drunk yet. And Daniel had been so good lately. Honestly, Daniel was a grown man. He couldn't keep him away from alcohol forever, not unless Daniel wanted to forsake alcohol. Even he knew that much. So if Daniel was going to drink anyways, might as well make sure he did it in front of Bell, where Bell could keep an eye on his drinking.
Daniel nodded at the cotton candy stand, though Bell-boy found it well enough without further guidance.
"Share," he agreed; they'd had a big lunch and the beers were filling him up nicely.
Cat bit her lip once Bell went to fetch them the cotton candy and looked at Daniel.
"Are you two going to get drunk?"
Daniel raised an eyebrow, pulling the cool tin can from his lips.
He chuckled, "what? Two beers isn't going to get me drunk," Daniel confessed.
Cat rolled her eyes and folded her arms.
"Sure, as if you'll leave it at two," she said, sass in her voice.
He nodded and shrugged. Probably not, but who cared? They hadn't seen a single hunter after their little murderous spree in the 'abandoned' but not so abandoned gas-station. Besides, he'd need a hell of a lot more to even stave off the hurt his foot was emitting, let alone feel drunk.
"I know you're practically an alcoholic, but Bell's not," Cat murmured, softer now. She didn't want Bellwether to overhear.
"I'll deal with him, no worries," Daniel laughed. "Or are you envious you can't have a little beer, huh?"
Cat was about to snap before she stopped herself and thought things over. Daniel would be the type to let her drink. Her parents wouldn't ever and she was too young to get beer. But beer tasted bitter and she hadn't liked it much before.
Before she could decide on an answer, Bell returned with the cotton candy.
Daniel reached over and pulled a strand of sugar from the ball Bell was holding out, letting the sugar melt on his tongue. It was weird in combination with the beer, but whatever.
"Why is it blue?" Daniel said with a frown on his face.
Blue cotton candy was a thing?
Cat stole whole tufts and pulled the sweetness apart as she stuffed her face. She was still mulling over Daniel's proposal. If she couldn't beat them, she might as well join them, right? It'd be cool too. Much better than trying to get a drink in during some dumb school-party or whatever. Sometimes she missed normal life.
Doing things normal kids did.
Daniel licked his fingers, trying to get them not to stick as much. He wasn't very successful at it.
"Don't give up, you can't get it on the first try," Bell encouraged Daniel, but it looked like the man was done anyways. He joined Daniel in watching Cat play, still fanning himself gently with the money. At Daniel's comment, he realized what he was doing and put it away in an inner pocket, then grinned. "Yeah, gimme," he said, holding out his hand for another beer. A cold can came to rest in his palm, and he took it and cracked it open. The cool liquid hit the spot and cooled him right down, and he sighed out. It'd warm him up again soon enough, but for now, the relief was enormous.
"You think they'd mind if I took my shirt off?" he muttered at Daniel.
Before the man had a chance to respond, Cat cheered and held up a little box. The watch! Bell applauded her, then patted Daniel on the back as she handed it over. "It is ugly, though," he added, shaking his head. Not the most attractive watch ever. But whatever. Nothing they could do about that.
Cotton candy? "Hell yes, where?" Bell asked, spinning around in search of it. He spotted a little stand and started for it, looking at the others over his shoulder. "You guys want some, too? Wanna share?"
"Yeah, sure," Cat said with a nod. "We can share." Cotton candy was huge, and she'd never been a big fan. The boys could eat the most of it while she took a little taste; it was the perfect scenario.
Bell grinned at her, then turned to the vendor and nodded, pulling out a few bills of his newly-obtained cash. "Some cotton candy, please."
"Pink or blue?" the lady asked.
Bell considered, then raised his eyebrows. "Both?" he suggested.
"Both it is," she said, and started swirling him up a ball of cotton candy. Bell watched, mesmerized, as the cloud of cotton candy materialized around the stick, appearing almost out of nowhere. He could taste the sugar in the air, a burnt sweetness that paired well with the bitter beer. The heat was starting to rise from his gut again, so Bell took another swig to cool himself off. Perfect, this was perfect.
"Here you go!" she said, holding out his cotton candy. Bell beamed and took it from her, then headed back to the others, pulling off a strand of the spun sugar even as he did.
Bell-boy seemed to take to the crane game pretty well. Daniel watched the man's game, rooting for him to get the cash out -it'd make Bell-boy feel less guilty about him spending so much on rides and games if he did.
Daniel was already sorting out some shrapnel in search of a coin that would fit the machine while Bell-boy played a second and third game, though he was trying for a cheap watch. It'd be nice to actually know the time for once. They'd lived off of the grid for so long, it'd started to feel weird.
Nowhere to be on time, nowhere to be in particular, just roaming free. It sounded like a dream come true, but Daniel knew that wasn't true. Too much freedom could break a man.
The crane squished the watch to the bedding it was set in, causing it to slip through the crane's meek grasp.
"...ugh, these things," Daniel muttered.
Cat nudged Daniel out of the way and held up her hand for a coin and gave it a shot.
Daniel stepped back and watched Bell-boy count out his money.
"Nice," he commented, finishing his can of beer. There was more where that came from, so he wasn't too sad to empty out the can.
Bell-boy's low tolerance for beer never stopped to amaze him; the man would get warm, soon start talking nonsense and then they'd be up for some drunk groping. Daniel smirked, "want some more?"
Hopefully he could stop Bell-boy from trying to get naked on the spot though.
The thought brought a smile to his face.
Good stuff. He tossed his beer into a nearby bin and cracked open a second.
"Yes! Got it!" Cat shouted when finally the crane managed to drag the watch into the slot. She pulled it out and checked the watch over. "It's ugly though," she shrugged and relinquished the item.
Daniel sighed. "Because we care how we look," he chuckled and unwrapped the small device. It didn't say the proper time yet, but at least the seconds were steadily ticking away. He guessed it was somewhere mid-afternoon and fiddled with the watch until it had a semblance of the right time set in it.
"Want some cotton candy?" Daniel teased Bell-boy when he saw the stand selling big balls of fluff on a stick.
He shook his head. The game was a rigged pile of garbage, that was all there was to it. Daniel gave up as well, and Bell gave him a pat on the back. They'd done their best. How Cat had won anything was beyond him.
Slot machines? They were going to gamble? Wait, no. He probably meant something else. Probably one of those British vs American English this again. Now curious on top of everything, he followed Daniel to a crane game, sipping the beer.
This one was a little more high stakes than usual, with some actual cash piled in there with the usual plushies. And some watches, too, though they were probably fake. Bell put his beer down, inserted his coins and licked his lips, gripping the controls as the machine powered up, lights flashing and music blaring. He tapped the controls, nudging the arm into place. Closer, closer...too far! Back, back--the timer ran off, and the arm dropped. It closed around the prize and lifted it, carrying it closer--but with every inch, it slid a little further down the crane's grip, then fell out...just short of the exit slot.
Not at all phased he put more coins in and started the machine back up again. These used to be his shit, back when he was younger. The one arcade game he was good at. The arm lowered again, closed around the wad of cash, lifted it. This time it got even closer, and it dropped the cash just short. One more repeat, and the cash fell down the slot and right to him.
Bell grabbed it out with a grin and looked back at the other two. "Wanna give it a try?" he asked, flipping through his new cash. Three tries, not bad! He wasn't at his best, but at least he'd come away with something.
Spot trotted up beside him and laid down, chewing happily on his new toy. Bell snorted at that. Look at that, they'd both come out ahead! He patted Spot's head and took another sip of his beer. He was starting to feel all nice and cozy warm. A little too warm, really, the heat in his gut making the heat outside unbearable. He pulled at his shirt, waving himself off.
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