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Sixty Seven Cents and a Taffy Wrapper

Title: Sixty-Seven Cents and a Taffy Wrapper
Series: The Best Moves
Disclaimer: Wholly original work.
Characters/Pairings: Tyler, Matthew
Rating: AA
Summary: Zee moment things began to shift...
Notes: In the Timeline, this is February 2004.

"I have sixty-five cents and a taffy wrapper," Tyler said, holding out his hands to display his findings.

"Sixty-seven cents," Matthew corrected, pointing at the two pennies nestled between a quarter and the taffy wrapper. "And where did you get a taffy from?"

"Cashier Sup," Tyler replied with a wink. "The cute blonde one. And the vending machine doesn't take pennies."

"The cashiers do downstairs," Matthew stated.

"We need another seven cents if we go downstairs," Tyler pointed out. "What do you have?"

"Twenty-eight cents," Matthew admitted as he opened his other fist. "Twenty-five, really, since the vending machine doesn't take pennies."

"Maybe someone dropped a quarter by the lockers." Tyler glanced out the breakroom door, to where the employee lockers lined the wall.

"Doubt it. I think I'll do better looking under the vending machine." Matthew sighed and glanced downward.

He hated the day before pay day. Especially when all he and Tyler really wanted was one little bottle of pop.

"I'll get the lockers, you get the machines," Tyler said as he sprinted for the hallway and dropped to his knees mid-stride.

Matthew shook his head, hoping that the handful of day-side ladies on the far side of the lounge weren't paying too much attention to their antics. They were amongst the truly pathetic, he knew, but the end was always worth the means.

For a moment, he was tempted to ask if one of them could help him out - but day-side didn't really seem to like the overnight team, with the exception of Lainey and whichever cashier supervisor Tyler had gotten friendly with.

And then he knelt down, hoping that somewhere in a sea of lint was at least a dime. Underneath the first machine, there was nothing. He shuffled along on his knees towards the second one, fairly sure that...

"Nickel!" he exclaimed as he grabbed at the coin. They were closer, at least, to their goal. With a little luck, they'd be able to get the pop and drink a bit of it before their break was over and they had to report back to Dynamo.

"Nothing," Tyler's voice said from overhead. "You?"

"Nickel," Matthew repeated, handing it upwards. "Still looking."

"Do I want to know?" Lainey's voice was crystal clear and dead obvious. Tyler turned and Matthew sat up on his feet, staring at where she stood in the doorway.

"Day before payday," Tyler said. "I'm sure you remember how that was."

"Is," Lainey commented. "I just dug through my purse a minute ago to get enough money for a pop. Ended up with a dollar-five, though, if a nickel will help you out."

"Let the lady through," Matthew said as he stood and gestured to the end pop machine."

"What does Dynamo have you doing, anyway?" Lainey asked as she started dropping dimes into the machine, followed by a quarter.

"Updating Aisle 18," Tyler said. "Apparently Caz found a bunch of Christmas stuff leftover and someone higher up pitched a fit, so we're getting an extra two hours to..."

"Look at every single box in that aisle," Matthew concluded. "Little smudged type... Scan the box out, scan it back in, look behind it, dust it, dust ourselves..."

Lainey smiled and handed Tyler the nickel that had clattered out the change slot of the pop machine.

"If any of the Christmas stuff is mine, I..."

"It's not," Tyler said. "No one's screw up at all. Just the system being a pain."

"Yeah..." Lainey waved as she headed off towards the tiny cubicle she shared with another department manager.

"We're going to have to budget better next time," Tyler said as he pressed the button to get a Mt. Dew from the machine. Matthew nodded and reached down to swipe the pop from the drop-slot. "Hey..."

"I found the last nickel," Matthew said as he opened the bottle.

"No way, I got the last nickel. You got the second to last nickel."

"This is officially the lamest arguement we've ever had," Matthew pointed out.

"No," Tyler replied as he frowned and watched Matthew down the first quarter of the bottle. "The lamest arguement we ever had was whether or not there was a combo to see up Testament's skirt, because there's absolutely no way..."

"I'd forgotten about that," Matthew admitted as he handed the bottle over to Tyler. He smiled. He'd have to e-mail Billy about that query. "There was much controller throwing."

Tyler handed the bottle back. It was half-full.

"Ew," one of the ladies across the room commented. "You're sharing a bottle? That's just like kissing."

Matthew shrugged, trying not to blush or laugh or do anything other than keep a perfectly straight face. "I know where he's been."

"Besides, this would be way more like kissing him," Tyler stated, before leaning over and kissing Matthew quite quickly and completely chastely dead on the lips.

Matthew was fairly sure he was frozen in place. He was hoping not to drop the pop bottle. He was hoping to keep breathing. He... From the headshake and the glances back to the television, no one had actually seen the moment of contact.

"We're just sharing a pop. It's the day before payday."

Right. He was just sharing a bottle of pop. That was all.

Matthew didn't think he'd ever be okay again.


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Disclaimer: I don't own it, I'm just playing with it. All titles and characters belong to their respective creators and companies.