Author's Note: the story (particuarly the first two chapters) are inspired in part by WildIrishRose29's amazing story Lonely Heart's Club--Chapter 19, you know who you are!

Puck is nine years old. He shivers a little bit. The September morning is crisp and he doesn't have a coat. He is scrunched down in the back of the parked car, his forehead pressed against the cool glass of the window, waiting for his mom to finish her Saturday morning shift.

"Where the hell is she? She better bring those fucking donuts." Puck's father says resentfully from the driver's seat. Puck glances sideways at his dad and says nothing. If Puck is quiet he'll probably just ignore him, but then again his dad is on his third beer, so maybe not.

He watches the people on the sidewalk. Old people, kids in strollers, boring. He wishes his mother would finish early for once, but Saturday is her busiest day.

"Son of a bitch! I can't believe who they let on the fucking street!" Pucks' dad mutters. Puck swings his head around to the other side of the street where his father is looking. Puck has learned to pay attention when his father uses that tone of voice. Just a girl, Puck thinks, a little girl. She is wearing a fluffy white coat with a pink leotard underneath and carrying a pair of pink slippers. Her dark hair is carefully brushed into a shiny ponytail and she is hardly walking, more bouncing--like her feet only touch the ground every other step. She looks happy and clean and loved. Then Puck sees what set his dad off. Right behind her, two men, one black, one white are holding hands. As Puck watches, they each take a step forward, grab one of her hands and swing her high into the air. She squeals with laughter.

"Faggots!" says Puck's dad as he crumples his beer can and throws it into the back seat with the rest of the empties. Whatever, thinks Puck. If his father said the sky was blue, Puck would probably think green, but he doesn't say anything. Just watches as she disappears down the street.