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The Punchline's Just a Joke

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"Wha?" Bob asks, drawn out, his mouth falling open and eyes wide in innocence. One Two doesn't buy it for a second. Mostly because the proof of Bob's utter and extreme guilt is nosing lazily at Bob's wrist.

"Bob," One Two says, and looks around for backup. Mumbles covers his mouth, because he's a tactful fucker. None of the other bastards fucking bother to hide the way they're laughing. One Two has a sneaking suspicion it's at him. "What," he asks, turning back to Bob all on his lonesome, "the fuck is in your lap, Bobby?"

Bob grins, sudden and wide, and doesn't bother looking away from his shitty cards. "I don't know what you're talking about, One Two." He doesn't look up again until he folds.

"I'm talking about the mutt, Bobby. The little socialite plaything you're prancing about with."

Mumbles clears his throat meaningfully, taps the deck of cards in front of One Two like maybe One Two is too distracted to remember it's his fucking turn to shuffle. The fact that it might be a little bit true makes it no less annoying.

"I wouldn't say I was prancing," Bob answers, head tilted thoughtfully. He scritches the fucking dog behind the ears without disturbing the little blue bow it's wearing. "Not really the sort of thing you can do in a middle of a game is it? I could though, I mean, if you aren't going to deal the fucking hand. I'd have had plenty of time already."

"The dog, Bob," One Two says, snatching the deck from Mumbles' hands.

"Oh, One Two, were you not introduced to Ferdinand?" Bob asks, with a distressingly straight face. "How tragically rude of me. Ferdinand, of course, is his proper name. He prefers it when I call him Darling, though he doesn't seem to care for it from others."

"Ferdinand," Mumbles says, possibly to get the game fucking going again, "was a gift from Bertie." He sits back in his chair and crosses his arms over his chest. "Apparently, our Handsome Bob has landed himself a sugar daddy." From what One Two can tell, he says this with the express purpose of being the biggest twat in the building.

One Two turns back to Bob expecting--something. An objection, at the very least, only to be greeted with a smile so serene One Two immediately begins to doubt his sanity. "What? Bertie?" One Two says, even though he obviously means, sugar daddy?

"You remember, One Two," Cookie helpfully adds, "you had a stiffy for his dearly beloved. Nearly got you killed, as I recall. More than once."

"Can we all please focus on the issue at hand, here?" One Two snaps, tossing the cards a little harder than necessary as he deals the hand. "Bob's brought a rat into our game."

Bob gasps, fighting a smile, and covers both ears of the dog with one wide hand. "What the things you say about Darling, One Two, he's very sensitive."

"Well that's more than I needed to know about your new playmate, Bob," he groans, throwing himself as far back in his chair as he can. "It's little," he says, more viciously than anything at all warrants.

"Ah, One Two, he's just a puppy. No worries, Darling will grow when the time is right."

"You can't bring him here," One Two says, and even he can acknowledge it's stupidly fierce for the topic. He crosses his arms, but mostly everyone has stopped laughing.

Bob laughs, though it sounds low and rough and far dirtier than it does amused. "The dog? Or Bertie?"

"The--What the fuck, Bob. What the fuck?" One Two asks, because he's suddenly not really sure how the conversation got so very far away from him. "Ferdinand? Really?"

Bob smile slides to something entirely too knowing for One Two's liking. He keeps petting the beast behind its stupid ears, and says, "Seems like the kind who could start a war, don't you think?"