Author's note: Takes place after the first episode of season 3 when Annie returns from Purgatory. Enjoy!
"Oh no, oh no..." The TV guide fell to the floor, Mitchell in suit. Landing on the ground with a thud, a traumatized look on his face.
"Mitchell... what's happened..." George shifted his position on the couch, peering over his glasses. "Mitchell!" The man slowly looked up through his curly mop and shook his head.
"The Real Hustle."
"What about it?"
"It's... It's been. Canceled." His breathing quickened. "Canceled, George!" His voice shook.
"You're having a laugh. The biggest funniest laugh—ohmygod." George whimpered out, his head falling to the couch. "How can they do this to us?! First, they move it, then this!" Mitchell kicked the guide out of sight.
"Canceled. Till further notice. What's that even mean? It could come back?!"
"And are tempting us with false hope!" George squeaked as he punched a pillow. Annie suddenly appeared before Mitchell, a concerned look on her face.
"What's gone on? Someone died? I heard you two from upstairs." She looked between the two.
"It's gone." Mitchell said quietly.
"The Real Hustle." He mumbled.
"The what?" She asked, kneeling beside him. George sat up with a groan, pushing his glasses up his nose.
"The Real Hustle." He said, her brow rose as she looked from him to Mitchell. He looked up to her confused expression.
"Canceled till further notice. Some money thing. I dunno." Her face quickly jumped into an amused look as she looked from George to Mitchell.
"Here I thought something had actually happened." Mitchell groaned and put his head in his hands.
"What else are we meant to watch." His voice was muffled.
"Sorry I didn't catch that sobby pants. Come on, up with you." Annie shook him before grabbing his arm and yanking him up. With a groan he rose, his dramatized wounded look shifting to a smile he couldn't fight when meeting her eyes.
"There we go! Cheer up, the carnival is in town!" Annie patted his cheek, the twinkle in his eye making her belly flutter. She nervously glanced away before heading past George with a kick at his leg, disappearing into the kitchen. "I've always wanted to go!" She said as she poured a mug of tea. "I haven't been since I was 16, and that was awkward because the guy I was with ate all my food and then rode tea cups with someone else." George and Mitchell exchanged a confused look. Annie walked over, handing Mitchell the mug. "Coffee makes everything better. Just like a carnival doeeees." She rocked back and forth on her toes.
"Thank you." He sipped it.
"And do I get not sympathy coffee?" Annie rolled her eyes at George.
"Sharing is caring."
"He's got diseases! And blood and stuff!" Mitchell shot him an exasperated look.
"Really? T'anks George." George rolled off the sofa to his feet.
"You know I'm joking." He smiled at the vampire who stuck his tongue out at him.
"5 minute warning. The night isn't getting any younger. Let's get chopping!" She clapped her hands. "Chopping, now that sounds like we're eating people."
"You're serious?" Mitchell handed the mug to George. "'bout the carnival?" Annie furrowed her brow and nodded.
"I thought 'the carnival is in town' was some sort of happy Annie phrase." She smirked.
"No." With a gentle flick of her wrist the newspaper flew off the table against his chest. Mitchell stared down at the headlines, George leaning over to look it over, adjusting his glasses. "That's got to be the scariest Ferris Wheel I've ever seen. Not going." Annie fixed him with a stare. "And don't give me a 'you're-a-werewolf-how-are-you-afraid-of-heights-speech'."
"Yeah, that guy looks kinda scary too." He pointed to a vegetable faced man on a roller coaster, George leaning over to look with a nod.
"For goodness sake Mitchell!" She threw out her arms. "Fine then. I will go by myself." Annie put on an aloof face and began to step away from the two when Mitchell grabbed her arm.
"Hey no. I'm only teasing." She looked back, her expression morphing into a smile upon looking at his. "I'd love to go." She stepped back, linking her arm with his.
"George?" She asked over her shoulder.
"Let's leave the wolf. It looks like it might bite." George narrowed his eyes over his glasses before hurling himself off the sofa with dramatic sigh.
"All right fine, yes I will come." Annie smiled, holding out her other arm for him. "But you pair are going to be all-" he made a funny sound as he shouldered Annie, as if snuggling up to her, "On the ferris wheel." Annie let out an overly dramatic gasp, trying to draw attention away from what George had said which only drew more to it.
"That's ridiculous, George!" She squawked, Mitchell's uneasy smile vanished as he looked at her.
"Yes it," she turned to him, "well, it doesn't have to be."
"And then where am I, the lone wolf watching from below weeing in corners? Nina working the night shift." He growled and zipped up his coat.
"Come on Georgey, we can all cuddle. After all, no one can see Annie there anyway, so what's your point?"
"That's my point, then everyone will see your arm around me and see us as puffy cream puff."
"Cream puffs?" Mitchell asked, "they've never sold those at carnivals. Not ever." He said as if offended. He adjusted his grip on Annie's arm as they headed for the door, pausing, jolting them all to a halt. "Oh wait a minute, you're meant"
"Yes Mitchell, gay, I got that 5 hours ago."
"You're gross. Even if I was, you, psh never. Colin Firth is more my type." He teased, looked at Annie who rolled her eyes.
"No stealing my life goals of marriage, Mitchell. Now can this bromance shut up so we move along?"
Mitchell glanced over at George as they shuffled out the door, "you're the cream puff, a stale one with mold."
"What is he, 12?"
"You started it."
"My point exactly." Annie stopped in her tracks, the two beside her stumbling.
"Jeeze Annie, you're going to crash us." George whined as he adjusted his glasses.
"One more argument and I'm turning this car around." The vampire straightened.
"Okay misses." Mitchell said with a smile, Annie turned to meet his eyes. Her chest fluttering again from butterfly wind.
"Thank you Mr." Though the two didn't see, George rolled his eyes at the pair. They headed to the car and piled in, Mitchell at the wheel. Annie settling in behind them, her arms on the back of their seats.
"Now what's first? Cotton candy or fries? Because I-" Her smile was wiped away as realization hit her. "I can't eat any of it. Oh!" She groaned, putting her face in her hand. Mitchell glanced back while driving, sparing a hand to pat her shoulder.
"Oh, Annie. You can just grab me and have a taste." He spun about to face the road again, unaware of the perplexed look on Annie's face and disgusted on George's.
"Mitchell!" He scoffed, "I don't know what you just said but it sounded so wrong!" The curly haired man's face went red as he gestured without words, the car breaking.
"You-you know what I mean! What she did with you and that ghost guy." Annie chuckled.
"Yes, Mitchell. I will grab your-" she shook her head, her curls bouncing, "can we just get there already!" She shouted quickly, her face read.
"I'm trying!" He turned onto the main road. "It's all George's fault." George threw his arms into the air, his windbreak making a swooshing sound.
"Just for that I will put you on the spiniest tea cup."
"Hear that Annie? He's a dangerous one he is." George shoved at him.
"Oh stuff it!"
"Boys!" Annie scolded, giving the two a hit on the head. Mitchell smirked before mumbling.
"Miss you, wish I was there, win me a bunny," George said in a whiny tone as he read aloud Nina's texts. Mitchell rolled his eyes and shoved George's phone out of sight.
"Quit it, it hasn't been more than 3 hours since you saw her."
"Boys! Hurry!" Annie called from before a ticket booth. The carnival extending the length of a couple football fields, littered with booths, games, rides and food. Glowing rainbow hues against the night sky. The sweet vibrant smells and constant holler of music and mechanical sounds spiraling trough the air. "I'm holding a place in line!" She grinned waving them over as a group of rowdy teenage boys headed her way. George waved to Annie in acknowledgment and the pair headed over.
"I think you should buy the 20 ticket bundle because-" She cut herself off when she felt a cold wind inside as the 3 boys walked through her, taking her spot in line. She threw out her hands, sticking her tongue out at them. "Of course. You can't see me. Cheater." She glared.
"She's a right scrummy minger that one," one of the boys said as he puffed his cigarette. Though it wasn't intended at Annie as she was invisible, she took it as an excuse to shove at them and flip them off. Though it went unseen and felt, it made her feel better. She spun about as George and Mitchell walked up.
"Punch them please. They took your spot in line." She crossed her arms. "Actually don't, you'll get us kicked out."
"Not necessarily." Mitchell said as he chewed on a toothpick ,eying the boys.
"What are you," Annie fixed him a funny look. "Where did you find that?"
"Seriously?! That's from Bongo's Chinese like, last year!" Mitchell made a disgusted face but continued chewing.
"I've eaten worse. It helps with, you know. The urges. To chew on something."
"Well if a rotten toothpick helps you from eating carnies than let it be." George smoothed the air with his hands before stepping up to the booth.
"2 packs of 20 please." He slid the woman money across the table. Annie stepped up to Mitchell.
"At least you get on all the rides free, eh?" He smiled.
"That's true. As long I'm not, you know. Whisked away into the wind while going down a hill." She giggled. Mitchell couldn't help but smirk and looped his arm around her's.
"You'll have me to hold onto." Annie met his playful brown eyes and smiled, patting his cheek.
"Thank you, Mitchell." She grinned.
"You know, Mitchell, to the rest of the undead world, you like you've been smiling at that old woman over there." George said in a low voice as he turned about.
"What where?!" He said in a panic, his hair falling about his stubbled cheeks. Indeed, an elderly woman with neon make up and a corn dog had mistaken his smiles at Annie as her own.
"And she's coming this way now." George whispered, stuffing Mitchell's tickets against his chest.
"Oh god." He said quickly, directing he and Annie off into the masses of people. George jogged to catch up.
"You should go back, she really looked your type."
"Nah, that'd be your's. Weird short-"
"Mitchell!" Annie elbowed him. George furrowed his brow above his glasses.
"Did you just call Nina weird and short?" He squeaked, putting a hand on his hip.
"What? No way. Come on, you hungry?" He looked to Annie whom nodded.
"Yes I think I would be." The three headed into the food area, smells of deep fried goods wafting about the crowds.
"In case anyone cares, I am staaarved!" He exclaimed, narrowing his eyes at the two. But they had already drifted off towards the booth, leaving George alone with several staring as he made his announcement to himself. "Right..." He reddened, looking about for them before scurrying off upon spotting their curly heads.
The three got fries to share, Mitchell insisting that he had to eat for two since he was eating for Annie, leaving George even grumpier when he exclaimed he only had 2 and a ¼ fries total. Though when he spotted deep fried Twinkies, he jumped with with a squeal and returned eating one proudly, his mates fixing him with a funny look.
"Ha! Finally something, Mitchell will. Not. Eat. I win!" Though that was part of the reason he bought the thing, part of it also was that George did simply have a thing for strange foods. Mitchell stuffed a fry in his mouth before speaking.
"Keep your nasty nob cake." As George was about to take the last bite he froze, keeping his eyes on the ground.
"Thank you for ruining the last bit of my, FIVE DOLLAR NOB CAKE!" He screamed, his voice squeaking as he chucked the thing at the trash can. The white insides exploding on the metal. Several people shook their heads at him as they passed. Mitchell and Annie were suppressing a laugh, though Mitchell wasn't doing so well at the suppressing part.
"Feelin' a bit moony are you?" He asked, But George didn't hear as he had gotten transfixed on a text from Nina.
"A week until. He tends to get a bit ancy." Annie said.
"All right it is settled." The bespectacled werewolf announced. "Nina wants a stuffed bear, and a stuffed bear I will get her." George said as he rolled up his sleeves, staring ahead, heading for a game booth. Mitchell smirked.
"This I gotta see."
George was already aiming a fake rifle at a target when they got there. The moldy pumpkin faced carnie instructing him in a graveled voice. "When the lights start flashing, shoot the wolf." George looked up from the sight in the gun and sighed.
"Wolf? Of course it would be a wolf." He said under his breath, the carnie deaf to him as he dug into a burger behind the table. George aimed anyway, squinting, taking a deep breath, when just as the cartoon wolf darted across the screen Mitchell leaned in and whispered against his ear.
George let out a scream, accidental firing the laser at the carnie who barked within a mouthful of burger, "do I look like a wolf to you?!" George clenched his jaw.
"No, sorry." Realizing his chance to shoot the wolf was lost the last one disappeared behind a half lit dusty bush. His money was wasted. George spun about, eyes narrowed, the flashing lights of the carnival reflecting in his blue eyes as he met Mitchell's.
"You are a monster." He growled and stepped away from the booth.
"Yes, yes I am." He answered smugly following after him. "But this," he paused, making sure the carnie was busy before stuffing something squishy against George's chest. "Is not. It's a cute little, puppy wolf, thing." George looked down and indeed it was the stuffy he was trying to win.
"I thought it was a bear?" Mitchell shrugged.
"Maybe t'is. Dunno, it's your's anyway."
"Did you steal this?" George said, brows raised. "Actually please say yes, because if you're new bad boy thing is stealing stuffy muffys and not killing people than bravo!" He snatched the thing from him, dusting it off. Mitchell's eyes hadn't left George, a wore confused look below is brow. "What?" He squeaked.
"Stuffy muffy?" George reddened without looking at him.
"Yes that's what they're called." Annie caught up to them, slipping her arms between George and Mitchell.
"You would call a stuffed bear a stuffy muffy."
"I had a bear who was holding a mushroom once. It was my favorite toy. His name was stuffy muffy, as all like him, are called."
"And you would have bear holding a mushroom. Since when do bears eat mushrooms?" George let out an exasperated squeaky sound, trying to head off but Annie stopped him.
"Stop it. We came here to have fun and have fun is what we're going to do. Yes, we are." Annie said, looking between the two with a raised brow. The boys were quiet as they wandered through the crowds.
"Okay maybe it was a muffin he was holding." Mitchell shot him a look.
"And that's supposed to make more sense?"
"Yes Mitchell. It does." Annie piped up. "Stuffy Muffy the muffin holding bear." Annie said with her head held high as if she was announcing the name of her own child. "I had a Lumpy Lousie, she was missing a leg, was partially bald but that was because of an accident with a tea hot hot hot teapot. It made her skin all weird, that's when she got her new name."
The two slowly looked to her. Mitchell breaking into a smirk as he said with a playful tone, "Aw, isn't that sweet?" Annie's face turned aloof.
George continued checking his phone for a text from Nina as they made their way through the place. When they came upon the roller coaster. Annie insisting they go on it, Mitchell agreed, but George would have none of it.
"No. I will not. I hate those things. Why would you ever in your right mind-" His voice grew more panicked with each word the closer he was dragged to the line. Annie pulling in him insisting he needs to get over his fear. The man behind the three stared uneasily, for what he saw was George bellowing at the air as if fighting it from sucking him up.
"You right mate?" The man asked, tapping George on the shoulder. He hastily nodded stuttering, Mitchell silently pulling Annie up the line with him.
"Yes, I-I- am all right. Thank you. Old memories." The two nodded before George scurried off, crossing his arms as he waited on a bench, looking like a pouting child.
The gate opened and Annie and Mitchell settled into the roller coaster.
"I haven't been on one of these in years." Annie squealed, grabbing his arm as the lap bar locked against their legs.
"You sure you'll be all right?" He asked. She nodded, her curls bouncing, the multicolored lights from the ride dancing across her face like water shadows.
"I took a ride with the ice cream man once, and he hasn't got any doors and I did not just fall out." Mitchell smirked.
"When was this?"
"Last week. I was going to buy you boys a-" But her sentence was whisked into the wind as the ride took off. And as if he was on it, they two could swear they heard George scream as it shot down the hill and up the hill. Annie and Mitchell joined him, Annie surprised that though she was dead the thrill of the ride still made her stomach jump. She held onto Mitchell tight, the two's hair exploding against the force. When the hill with the camera came the pair made goofy faces, not realizing that neither would show up in the picture till they overheard a complaining child after the ride.
"Look mummy the didn't fill that cart, I could have been there!" Annie and Mitchell both sighed as it hit them, the frame of their cart was nothing but a seat with the vaguest outline of a lone girl. Hardly noticeable.
"Well that's shite." Mitchell gave the cashier a dirty look through his messy curls, as if it was their fault, and headed backed towards George.
"We kind of should have expected that..." Annie said, linking her arm with his. Her face morphing to a grin, "But that was so fun!"
"Yeah, it was! You missed out George." The werewolf stood, shaking his head.
"I think I got the idea from here, thank you! And besides." He began to dance. "Guess who got off work early and is coming HERE!" He squeaked, leaping in the air, the lights from the Ferris wheel bouncing off his glasses.
"Oprah." Mitchell said, Annie chuckled and smiled at George.
"That's wonderful. Let's wait to do that Ferris wheel then." Annie rocked on her toes as she spoke, George's smile vanishing.
"No. I can't."
"Come on Georgey, man up. Ferris wheel is romantic. Two people, alone, touching the stars. You gotta do it." Mitchell squeezed his shoulder, the face of the werewolf sheet white as he imagined the prospect. Annie meanwhile had been watching Mitchell's face curiously, uncontrollably smiling as he spoke.
"I think Mitchell's right. It is romantic. It is fun. And I say go for it champ!" She swatted his back.
"Sorry, I don't say champ I don't know why I did." She chuckled, Mitchell smirking, tightly wrapping an arm around her waist.
"Because, you're Annie." Annie met his eyes and blurted out an, 'I know!' before she knew why, the sight of his smile on his lips and eyes too much for her to stay quiet.
After 10 minutes Nina arrived, a sweatshirt over her scrubs, George hugging her like it had been years since he'd seen her. The blonde asked what they'd done so far and when she asked about the Ferris wheel George simply shook his head, stuttering.
"No-no-no we haven't ridden it yet," he said with a fake excited tone.
"Great, let's get in line." George held his tongue. It wasn't the he and Nina weren't close enough to share his fear with her, but a part of him did want to try and get over the fear. He was a big tough werewolf after all. Though it didn't go as well as he had hoped. He and Nina were seated first, George's face terrified but jumping to a smile each time Nina looked to him. And as soon as the ride began moving, their seat beginning to sway as it went higher and higher, they heard it. The George scream. Short and quick, it must have been when they hit the top of the ride, for it faded then got loud again as they came back around. Mitchell and Annie laughing as they were escorted to their seat. As the ride was paused while they got on and others were let off, they could hear George running his mouth a bit above them.
"Terrified, I-I-I'm not terrified these are fun screams!" He squeaked as the ride started up again. Mitchell and Annie settled into their seat, feeling amused and embarrassed for George at the same time.
"Think we should tell them to let him off?" Annie asked, peering over at George and Nina.
"Nah. Let him get it out. Next time he'll love it." Annie shrugged in a agreement. The two going quiet before she felt Mitchell scoot closer to her. His heat warm against her cold skin. Annie looked up to him as their hips touched.
"Hello," he said with a smile.
"Hi." She answered.
"You cold?" Annie smirked.
"I don't think it's possible for me not to be." She watched the wind play with his curls as the ride gently rose them higher to the sky.
"I know. But that was my really cheesy way of asking if I can do this." He put his arm around her, and with a grin she grabbed his other hand.
"In that case John Mitchell," She leaned into his chest, looking up at him. "I think I am freezing." The two shared a quiet smile as the carnival sounds faded into the night. The lights dimming as the ride halted with them at the top. A cool breeze tickling their ears.
"Well I think, that's grand." His breath was welcoming against her cheek, feeling like a warm fire to her constant cold. He pressed his lips to her forehead, her belly feeling as if she was on that ride again. Fluttering up to her chest, squeezing his hand tight. Her face against his chest.
"You were right. This is romantic." He pressed his face against her forehead, arm tight around her. His scratchy cheek tickling. Unaware and absorbed in each other, it wasn't till the operator hollered at them for the third time before they realized it was their turn to exit the ride. Holding hands the pair left the ride, looking for George. When they were tapped on the shoulder.
"Hello! If I was in an elephant suit you still wouldn't have noticed me." The pair faced him. "I so called it about the Ferris wheel."
"What? That you'd be squealing like a boiled hog?"
"No!" He barked, his pitch breaking. "Your little huggy wuggy kiss smissy time." Annie blushed shoving George.
"Oh stop it, George!"
"So did you bail off the ride or did Nina stuff a sock in your mouth?" Nina raised her brow.
"No, he just put on his big boy pants."
"Yes. I screamed. Then I screamed how much I hate Ferris wheels. Then, I felt better. Magic." He grinned. "Over my fear, COMPLETELY." He wandered off to recycle Nina's soda can, and when his back was turned Nina whispered.
"Hiding his face in my shoulder certainly helped."
"Right." Mitchell said amused, staring at George as he swaggered back to them.
"Hiding in your girl's shirt, brave Georgey, brave." Nina sighed, resting a hand on her hip as she narrowed her eyes. George merely nodded, pushing his glasses back up his nose. "I'm not judging."
"Yes. I did. Because my lady, is brave and-and beautiful... balloon!"
"Balloon?" Nina asked, crossing her arms. George itched behind his er, nodding.
"Y-y-es, you always keep me a float my darling!" And to silence the awkward moment he kissed her. Mitchell looking to Annie.
"I don't want to hurl, let's get out of here."
Nina and George caught up with them and the two couples paraded about the carnival for a while longer till their saturation with the smells and sounds were at their peek. Nina followed them home in her car, and Annie and Mitchell snuggled up in the back seat as George drove, singing along to a 70's rock song.
"So," Mitchell began, caressing her the back of her hand.
"Was this more fun then last time? When the bastard ate all your food, rode tea cups with someone else?" Annie smirked, squeezing his hand.
"Only 1,565 million percent more better."
"1,565 exactly?" He chuckled. She nodded.
"Hey wait a minute. I ate all your food! Guess I'm no better than that bastard." Annie rose her brow.
"It's not that same. This time was a demand so I could try it."
"Well you never did, did you?" Annie nodded.
"Here. Let's play guess the flavor." Mitchell pulled out a small gummy from bag of them George had bought earlier, popping it in his mouth. Annie raised her hands to his head then let them fall to her lap.
"It won't work. I haven't been practicing. I tried it on George earlier when he was eating that nasty, thing."
"Oh, you mean his nob cake?" George's singing halted as he glanced back.
"Wha-what you did?!" She shrugged.
"Yes. But it didn't work."
"Well good. Me and Twinkies have a private relationship." He said proudly before heading on the road to home. She reunited her attention back to Mitchell, the streetlights flashing across his face.
"Well," he said, turning her cheek to face him, their faces close. His breath tickling her skin. "There are other ways of tasting." The two were oblivious to George's sigh and 'oh my god' as he turned the radio up. Annie arched a brow.
"Is that so?"
"Mhmm." He leaned in close, and just as he opened his mouth, Annie pressed her lips against his. As he kissed her back she nervously pulled back with an embarrassed smile.
"Sorry!" Mitchell grinned, cupping her cheeks, their foreheads touching.
"No no, I was going to say you could smell my breathe but that was, what was it, 1,565 million percent more romantic?" She smirked cupping his face.
"Yes. But I'd put that at a 5,000, million billion-" but she was cut off as Mitchell kissed her again. George meanwhile listening intently to the radio when the broadcast that discussed television came on,
"The Real Hustle, is back on Monday nights at 9" He let out a squeal above the broadcaster's voice, it turned out that article Mitchell read was a week old, at the least. But but the snogging couple in the back were blind and deaf to George's celebration in the front seat. Which was just as well, for at this point, the last thing Mitchell wanted was to watch the television as he held his Annie tight within his arms. But when George spread the news to him later that night, Mitchell couldn't be happier. And his smile only grew as Annie plopped next to him on the couch, and pressed her cold lips to his cheek as the Real Hustle started up again. It was a good night indeed.
Thank you for reading! Please Review!