What a Miracle

24 Hour McDonalds 

There were two great things about where Parker lived. One, it was relatively cheap and they could afford the monthly payments on the studio apartment without having to deal with mice in the walls or poor plumbing. Second, there was a twenty four hour Mcdonalds just around the corner in perfect walking distance.

Now usually, when Parker came over to the good old Micky D's, they didn't expect for their ice cream machine to be working. Sure, they asked every time, but about 90% of the time it was always 'down'. They were quite sure that the damn thing didn't exist, but there still lay a bit of hope each time that the answer would be yes.

So, like everyday, as they placed their order, they added a strawberry sundae. Just imagine the surprise they felt as the woman did not great this addition with a [i]'sorry the ice cream machine is out' but instead with a "Will that be all?". Yes, that would be all, and as the exchange of food and cash was made, Parker beamed happily.

They weren't even upset by the screaming of small children running amok in the play area, as they made their way to a lone booth in the corner, a wide grin stretched across their face. This was a good day... Or at least it would have been. Seemingly out of nowhere a stranger bumped into them, giving just enough force that their strawberry sundae went crashing to the ground.


A ten dollar bill was, in this moment, the most valuable thing in Ben's entire life. Ben had found it on the ground, tucked partway under a bush, and rushed to grab it with enough speed that it startled people nearby.

There was one thing in the whole world to spend it on, and one place Ben had begun to learn to use, recalling memories from earlier days with parents who bought food with toys.
Coming up to the familiar golden arches, Ben gave a soft whine through clenched teeth. How much could this buy? Hopefully one hundred things?

The inside of the McDonald's was brightly lit and colored and sounded, and Ben walked in something of a daze, looking higher up than was a good idea. Ben did not see the lady until the crash, and it was forceful enough to splatter drink on Ben's shirt before the cup hit the ground.

Utterly startled, Ben did what made sense: frantically swiped a hand across pink liquid on his shirt and lapped it from each finger in a hurry afterwards.

There was a lot of things one could expect after spilling ice cream onto a stranger. Angry yelling, apologies from both sides and possible even in the most rarest of cases, tears. A grown man licking the ice cream frantically from his fingers however, was not one of those things, or even a variation of the three. It was so completely and utterly off the charts that all Parker could do for a moment was stare, and try to wrap their brain around what was happening in this moment.

"Er, uh." They stumbled over their words, eyes moving from the fingers to the ice cream on the floor, and then back to the finger. "Are you okay?" They were pretty sure an apology was needed, but currently words were really hard to speak.

Ben needed to rush, lest someone take away what had been unexpectedly granted. It tasted like sweet and cold and melted on Ben's frantic tongue. Each dribble would be swiped in a hurry, hurry, hurry.

But then she was asking a question, and Ben froze, eyes swelling up big. Was Ben okay? Okay for what? "Are you okay" was the beginning of many times of being thrown out of a building. "Is that man okay is he okay are you okay is that guy okay" was Ben okay?

"Please don't!" Ben yelped, arms rising up in innocence.

Parkers own hands would raise up in response, a bit startled by the reaction that they were given.

Please don't what?!

They were thoroughly out of their element, and they continued their struggle with words, biting at their bottom lip in discomfort. Was he mentally ill or something? Did he have a caretaker nearby that was searching for him? A quick glance around the Mcdonalds revealed nothing. Everything seemed to be going fairly smoothly around them, save for the few judging stares that the man was garnering.

"Uhm, I won't" They replied, completely unsure of what it was they were agreeing to. "Sorry about the ice cream..." They felt extremely awkward as they pulled some napkins out of their bag and offered it to the strange man, eyes moving to the stain on his shirt.

Ben watched her hands, pupils gobbling up over his irises. She apologized for ice cream and it was unclear why. But apologies sometimes meant you had to give something, like your wallet or a tooth or your dignity.

A few blinks, and then an idea became clear.

"Can you get mm- mmmore?"

There was ten dollars in Ben's pocket but it had to be saved and saved and saved carefully from anyone who would take it.

Again, this guy caught them completely off guard with his answers. Brows furrowing, Parker would place the unretrieved napkins back in the bag before glancing back towards the counter. Typically, they wouldn't buy some stranger an ice cream, but they had been the one to spill theirs on them, plus they still had a bit of the money they had received at the casino with Amber. There was also the case of this guy not really being fully... There, and so this all pushed for them to give a slow nod of their head in agreement.

"Alright I can do that for you." They spoke slowly, making their way towards the back of the line as they motioned for the man to follow. "Do you know what kind you want?'

It was happening. Ben was going to get food, she was going to buy Ben food, and Ben was not going to have to pay for the food. Ben followed diligently, blinking up at the menu, at her, at everywhere. There were people ahead, and while Ben understood lines, they did cause frustration.

But she distracted with a question, and there was a nod, and then a head shake.

"No," Ben said, looking to her for guidance.

Ben wanted... all kinds?

Of course not.

Restraining themselves from sighing aloud, they would raise their eyes to the menu, and finding no clear answer there, eventually return back to the him. "Well did you like the ice cream on your fingers?" It felt like a very strange question to ask, but honestly it was the only way they were going to get anywhere with this.

Ice cream on fingers?!

Ben looked again, double checking that none has been missed before looking to her.

"Yes," Ben answered, then found a question wandering up. It felt important to ask.

"Why did you throw and- and not eat it?!"

Two strawberry sundaes then. One for him and another for Parker, because theirs was currently on the floor over there. Sorry to whoever was going to have to mop that one up.

"It was an accident." They answered, lips tightening a bit at the suggestion that they had thrown the ice cream rather than just dropped it. Still, they were the reason that this guy was currently walking around with a stained shirt, and so they would bite their tongue from actually correcting him.

An accident, it was an accident. But Ben never accidentally threw food at anyone. It was so precious and important and needed to be alive.

Ben wanted to understand, and also wanted to be further in the line. There was a glance ahead and Ben bounced on tiptoes.


Maybe she was never hungry like Ben was, but it was hard to imagine anyone like that.

Parker once again found themselves at a loss for word. They were beginning to realize that this man was very good at both catching them off guard and confusing them to a very high degree. Brows furrowing, Parker would shake their head with a shrug of their shoulders. "There was no reason. It just happened when we knocked into each other." They answered, relieved when they saw themselves next in line. "I just lost my grip on it."

She lost her grip. Ben understood that on a mechanical level, but it did not seem like a good way to survive. Pursing lips, Ben watched the line crawl forward, feeling an increasingly frenzied urge to push ahead.

But that was not nice, Ben. That was how yelling happened, Ben. It didn't matter if you were the unluckiest and saddest and hungriest.

Looking back to the lady, Ben tried to help. Ben had strong, nimble hands.

"You have to hold tight, like B-B- like I do, like I do."

Then Ben sought to grab her nearest wrist extremely firmly to explain.

miss if she attempts to avoid or escape it


Parker wasn't usually bothered with physical contact, but usually there wasn't a problem of one being a complete stranger, and two a man having sticky saliva fingers. Eyes wide, Parkers body would flinch in surprise as their eyes wandered to the mans rather sincere face. They would remind themselves that there was something clearly wrong with him, pushing down any irritation that was beginning to bubble up, placing a hand atop the clutching fingers.

"Alright, I'll do that with this next one okay?" They assured, forcing a small smile, as they impatiently urged either the line to move forward or this mans caretaker to finally arrive. "No worried, kay?'

Ben held tight, looking at her very carefully before deciding Ben had taught her something new and relinquishing her wrist.

The line moved forward, and Ben could count that they were one, two away. One, two.

One. Two.

"Can I have t- can I have TWO?"

Now, while Parker did feel it was their responsibility to make up for spilling ice cream on his shirt, they did not feel responsible enough to spend any more than they already were on him either. Heck, ice cream was a rare enough thing for for them to buy for themselves, and here this guy was asking for two of them. Sorry, but no.

"One for me and one for you." They answered, much like were talking to a child. "Too much and you'll get sick."

Ben's teeth clenched for the rejection, the threat of hot tears burning at corners of the eyes. She did not know what it was like to be very hungry all the time. If Ben was sick, it could be fought away. Ben was very good at keeping food where it belonged.

"Are you hungry all the- time?" Ben asked, looking at her very directly as the line moved forward and they would soon be next.

Parker wouldn't notice the mans distress, eyes locking onto the customer before them as they ordered their food, impatient for them to be at the cash register and receive their ice cream. At the question, they would shrug, quickly glancing at the man before returning their gaze to the customer before them. "No not really." It seemed to hit them then that, that question didn't sound entirely right. "Why are you?" Did Parker happen to find themselves caught up with the homeless?

No not really not really not REALLY. As if you could be not really starving hungry all the single every time.

"Always!" Ben yelped, pupils swallowing up irises, looking at her with a deep black gaze and concerned brows.

"I w- when- hungry when I wake up, hungry all day, hungry at sleep, hungry in the night."

Even if Ben ate all that a Ben could eat, it would only last a few hours at most.

Well that was not good...

"Do you have someone that take cares of you?" Parker was starting to realize that their caretaker idea was getting further and further from reality, and the homeless one was coming awfully close. They were up next in line, and Parker found themselves ordering a double pounder and fries along with their ice cream, feeling pity for the man.

He would get a water, since Parker really didn't want to give him anymore sugar than he was already getting with the ice cream.

Ben meant to answer, but as she moved ahead to order, it was important to listen very, very closely. Mimicking was the way to order food in the future, to use words that other people used and seen convincing and sure and get what was needed.

By the time the order was done, and now they had to wait again, Ben was almost twitching with energy, trying to count down the seconds until food would arrive but not knowing where to start.

A different question did arrive, though, and Ben looked at her with wide-eyed focus.

"Do you have parents?!"

There was no answer to their question, the man choosing to ask his own question instead. "I have a mother, yes, but I live alone now." They answered warily, running a hand through their shaggy curls. "Do you?" They supposed if they were to have any sort of caretaker, it might as well be their parents. Wasn't that how it went in most cases?

She lived alone. Maybe she was unlucky, too. Ben gave a slight whine in the direction of the food counter.

"I was be- b-born from them but I don't know where they went," Ben answered, frowning smally.

There had been many days and hours that Ben could not remember when there was first the rat. That was probably when Ben lost them.

Parker couldn't help the pity they felt for this little man, frowning hard as they thought of his abandonment. It was clearer than anything that he needed a bit of extra help, and for him to be without it made Parker quite visibly upset. Sure, they might just be assuming wrongly that he had been abandoned, but given that no person had come to claim him yet, that was all they could think.

Luckily, the ice cream would come before Parker could get any more upset, grabbing at the cups, and immediately handing one over to the man, "Here you go. Want to sit somewhere?" They could focus on where he belonged after he had gotten a few bites. Grabbing the tray of food they had bought him as well, they would nod for him to lead the way.

Food food food food the presence of food was so driving and the draw so intense that Ben felt like the skull was squeezing in.

She handed over a cup which Ben looked inside to find some disappointment before reaching a hand over to take the pink ice cream, remove the lid, and began gulping it down where they stood.

It did not occur to Ben that the other things had been ordered for him, so focused on what Ben knew belonged specifically and only to Ben.

The man did not move, and instead began to gulp down his ice cream in the very place they stood. Honestly, Parker should have expected this outcome, but they had just held onto some small hope that he wouldn't be that strange. Waving a hand in front of the mans face, Parker would attempt to gain his attention, wary about touching such a skittish man.

"Hey, if you want this food, you gotta sit down over there." They would point to a table just across the joint, before raising up their tray slightly that held the mcdonalds bag of goodies.

To the hand, Ben briefly chomped the cup, eyes wide and dark as she seemed to threaten.

Slowly Ben's hand lowered it, pink tongue lapping at pink milkshake on an upper lip.

There was more food. For Ben. This was news, and a nervous whine led Ben to the table indicated, sitting down very hard and staring directly at her.

It was difficult not to snatch.

There was a brief moment of silence that seemed to drag on forever as Parker kept full on eye contact with the contemplating man. They couldn't force him to sit down, no, but they would certainly try their best to persuade him to go their way. Finally, the man made some sort of whine, before heading towards the table, fixing them with a rather intense stare.

Uncomfortable, Parker would hand over the tray, leaning back in their booth as they eyed the man. "I'm Parker by the way." Maybe he would be more inclined to give them some information if they knew their name.

Ben was not focused on words.

Ben consumed ice cream in a frenzy, making teeth ache, but also reaching a hand out to pull the food nearer so she couldn't take any away.

Because Ben was starving. The most starving. More hungry than anyone had ever been.

It would be ugliest, eventually, during consumption of the burger, where Ben began to attempt to fit nearly the entire thing in his mouth.

Oh god.

Parked watched with tight lips, glancing about the joint in embarrassment at the mans actions. It wasn't that they were the particularly judgy type, but this man was far from your normal human. It seemed that every time Parker got used to him, he would begin doing some other off the wall thing, leaving them dumbfounded.

"Hey, you can slow down. No one is gonna take it." They joked, a shakey laugh leaving their body as their face showed nothing but confusion.

Ben was not listening immediately.

But Ben did listen when it counted. "Take it." Take it. Someone was going to take it. Or Ben should take it.

Chewing slower for thought, Ben set the hand mushed half of the burger that remained onto the open mouth of the ice cream cup nearest.

Then, in a flurry of activity, Ben reached across the table to grab for whatever food or drink she had on her side, seized it along with his own, and began a walk dash toward the exit of the restaurant.

hit for grabbing whatever what a JERK


There were many things that Parker could have done in that moment. They could have yelled for him to stop, try to thwart their grabby hands or even just go after him. They did none of this however, so taken aback by the little mans action. They simply just watched as he gathered all of the food and booked it of the joint.

What the actual fuck?

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