"Heeeenry I'm booooored." Ashley droned again. She was thisclose to banging her head on the side of the claw-grab machine Henry was currently obsessed with.

"I have two more quarters, I'll be done soon I swear!" The eleven-year-old boy murmured, before dropping the ball into the chute. It fell out and beaned Ashley in the head. She yelped, before taking the ball out and tossing it away. It hit someone. She smirked. Henry immediately shoved a quarter into the slot and began again, starting the stop-watch he had made from a broken toaster.

"Five point five seconds!" He cheered, as the teddy bear slid down the chute. No one in the arcade noticed, too obsessed with their own geeky games. Henry jammed another quarter in. Ashley huffed and looked longingly to the snack bar, where the biggest bag of popcorn she had ever seen in her six years of life lay. Henry had spent all his money by the time he was done with the claw-grabbing machine, so none was left over for her to cajole/force him into buying her the popcorn.

"Can we leave?"

"Yeah, we're going." The bunny fell down the chute, landing next to the discarded teddy bear. Ashley picked both up with an appraising eye, and then took them, deciding they'd be good for dangling off someplace high. Henry stretched, working out the kinks of an hour of claw-grab machine playing. He took Ashley's hand (a rule of the Doc's Ash hated with a vengeance) and they headed out.

"Why do you play that sooo much?" She whined as they headed into the bright sunlight.

"A tournament is coming up, I need to beat my best time! Danny Hadrian's time is four seconds, and he's definitely going to be there." Henry rambled on. Ashley looked at her big brother suspiciously, she had long suspected his mental health was deteriorating...

"Why have a life when you can play a game that was popular forty years ago?" She remarked, with more sarcasm then most six years olds had.

"Shut up." he muttered. "I let you keep the prizes!"

Ashley glanced at the bunny and bear. They were almost all plastic, and stared at her with a glazed look that made her shiver. They might just give her nightmares. Forget dangling them from the roof, she would just burn them.

"Yeah. Such a great gift." She grumbled. Henry just rolled his eyes.

"Well, your mom wanted you out of the way for the afternoon." Henry defended.

"So let's go to the arcade! Hang out for all losers with no lives! I don't get why I had to leave, I can behave!"Ashley complained.

"Not in front of important people. And you were there, does that mean you have no life?"

"True. Of all the days for the embassy to be in town. " she conceded. "Hey wait! I was forced there. And I'm six, I don't have a life beyond what Danny Somers did in class today."

"The embassy is always in town. It's the British prime minister that's coming." Henry said.

"Uh huh." Ashley said, not really caring. "But guess what Danny Somers did!" She exclaimed, exciting to share the gossip.

"Isn't he the one you like?"

"EW!" She screamed. "No, that's Michael." She then mumbled with red cheeks, but then continued. "He told Angelica he liked her, so Angy socked him in the face. 'Sept she did it when the teacher saw, so she got in biiiig trouble. And THEN Danny started crying like a baby, cuz his nose started bleeding. Angy got sent to the principal's office, but Danny is such a bully (He pushed Sarah's little sister down, can you believe it? She's only four!) And so we were all cheering and clapping, but the teacher told us to shut up, saying it 'defeated the purple of punishment.'"

"You mean defeats the purpose." Henry corrected, after he had finished laughing.

But Ashley's eyes were wide. "It's not funny! Angy said her mom gave her a spanking for it and everything!"

"Sounds awful!" Henry humored. She nodded.

"Have you ever punched Danny?" He asked.

"Loads of times. I just do it when nobody's looking." She said, jumping over a line in the sidewalk. Then Ashley got worried. "You won't tell mum, will you?"

"Did he deserve it?"


"Then I won't." it sounded like she was sticking up for her friends, and who was he to hinder it?

"Thanks." She said, very relieved. She then stomped on a crack in the sidewalk.

"What was that for?"

" 'Step on a crack, break your dad's back.' I always step on them cuz he hurt mummy so much."

"What do you mean?" Henry asked, very surprised with the dark tone in the blonde's voice.

"I can hear her crying, I'm not stupid." She mumbled. They had reached the back door of the Sanctuary they used for quietly coming and going, not wanting to disturb important guests Magnus might have. Henry began to search his pockets, looking for the key. Ashley raised one eyebrow and scratched a mosquito bite on her leg while he looked. She then rolled her eyes and produced his key from her pocket.

"Where'd you get that?" He asked alarmed as he unlocked the door and they stepped into the kitchen, where the back-door opened to.

"You always lose it, and I'm tired of waiting for Biggie to come and answer the door! So I took it so you wouldn't lose it again." She answered, grabbed a cookie from the jar as they headed back to their rooms. Henry was about to reprimand her, when he realized that was a very good idea. So he settled for stuffing his hands in his pockets.

Using a secret staircase Ashley swore she had only discovered last week (though Henry knew better, this explained the stash of cookies in her room.) they made it to their rooms while staying out of the way of the 'Important guy with the accent like Uncle James, and smelled like fish', as Ashley called him. Ashley waved good-bye to Henry, before scampering off. Tired from the games and the walk, he headed for a nap, ignoring the suspicious smell of burning plastic.

"I'm very proud that you managed to behave the entire day Ashley." Magnus said happily, as she stepped into her office. "It must have been very boring to stay at the arcade all day."

"Oh yeah, it was awful. Henry let me keep the toys though." Ashley said absentmindedly, before noticing the two, large lumps of molten plastics and burning fabric sitting in her mum's fireplace. They hadn't burned to a crisp like she thought. Huh. She wondered briefly if she could remove the lumps before her mum noticed, but the look on her face told her it wasn't going to happen.

"Yeah I had a great day, bye mum!" She yelped, before speeding off. Three... two...


A/N Well that was a fun 45 min. :D Inspired by the line in Revelations "You know those claw-grab machines at the arcade. Yeah. Four time state champ."