The wind howled against the side of the car causing the snow to form large drifts. The windshield had been smothered blocking all view to the outside world. Rachel shivered into her coat and laughed at Dick as he struggled to get to the back seat over the stick and hand brake.
"Drat! Double drat Last time I opt for a manual!"
In his frustration he forgot to balance his weight and keened forward.
Raising a brow she placed her hands on her hips. "Hey, careful of the upholstery. I jus... What do you mean YOU? It's my car you fool."
Another laugh echoed through the car, but it was cut short as he lost his balance.
His head was caught in a dizzy whirlwind where images of planes and pidgeons assaulted his mind. He thought how lucky he had been to have his fall suppressed by the vehicle's air bags but then....remembered that was at the front of the car.
Rachel let out a surprised shriek, pushed his shoulders back and leaped backwards in her seat. She wasn't sure how to feel and flushed red hot. "Aiiyaah, c-careful where you stick that nose of y-yours!"
It suddenly felt very warm in the car and it wasn't anything to do with the heaters.
He reflexively touched his nose in response to the comment. The assertion blocking out any guilt of having accidently violtated his fellow racing competitor.
"Look Felicity Funbags! I happen to have a nose of character! What occured was an accident - pure and simple!"
She had adopted a somewhat fetal position in the corner of the car, her knees up to her chest.
"What did you just call me!?"
Her brow furrowed, but it was difficult to tell due to the lack of light in the car.
"And, yes. I suppose I should expect it from you. Mr Accidents-R-Us!" She scoffed and flailed a finger in the dim light towards what she hoped was his face. "You're so accident prone it's a wonder people don't follow you in an ambulance!"
"Accidents those were fully intentional schemes gone awry to secure the lead posi---" He stopped and brushed a finger over the tip of his nose. "Uh, yes. You're right accidents." He chided, settling into the back seat opposite her.
"Hmph." She pulled her coat on tighter even though she was now radiating heat. "Anyway, you're here now. I told you that the front seat was no good for sleep."
The wind howled louder, subsided and then got up again as she paused for a moment to figure out just how close he was sitting.
"I told you there was room for two."
"Then how did you fit back here?"
He smirked to himself twisting his moustache around his index finger then realised Muttley was not there to be present to his jest. It felt a little depressing not hearing that familiar snicker.
Well, she certainly was not going to stand for that comment. "I beg your p..."
She swung a punch satisfied that it would at least land somewhere that hurt.
Removing his plump hat and toying with it in his hands as he thought on the absence of his cohort, he was suddenly surprised to see a fist punch through it's crown.
"Eegads! My hat!"
Rachel struggled to see in the dim light and could just make out the outline of Dick flailing with his hat.
"What about your hat? Nuts to your hat! You insulted me!"
In his panic, he yanked his hat towards himself trying to get the fist through it out but through lack of planning yanked the entire arm and body of Rachel onto him.
"Oof!" She landed with a thud, face first onto his chest, her fist still stuck through his precious head gear.
A moment passed as she attempted to get up, her free hand slipping off the side of the leather seat every time she tried to push herself up and landing on Dick each time she aimed wrong.
"Agh! Eep! Let go!"
Dick froze with his arms paralyzed above his head holding the hat aloft as the aggressive woman continued to rise and fall onto him. Thoughts were a luxury his male biology couldn't afford right now.
Rachel felt him tense under her and this made her realize just what sort of a predicament she was in. She took the opportunity to slowly attempt to get up. Each movement was slow and exaggerated to be sure she didn't make the situation any worse.
He lay stiff like a board, watching her arm slip easilly out of the hat despite having created the awkward situation earlier.
After managing to sit up once more, she fanned herself with a hand and squinted towards her racing companion.
"A-Are you OK?" He seemed to still be rigid and she began to get a little concerned. "Hey! I s-said are y-you OK?" She prodded him lightly and as best as she could in low visibility in the hopes of stirring some sort of reaction.
"Fine as wine!" He squeaked out.
He still didn't move. Her body atop his prevented any thoughts of movement.
She slowly slid herself off and returned to her corner. He certainly didn't sound fine, despite what he said.
"Are you sure?"
She drew her knees back in towards her chest and gave him some room.
"I didn't hurt you or anything, did I?"
He pulled the hat back over his crown to hide the heat in h cheeks as he rose to sit much like she did opposite him.
"Not at all! Perish the thought!"
"Oh phew!" She let out a sigh of relief. Though she wanted to punch him for that comment, it was only going to be a light punch. She didn't want to cause too much harm to him. After all, she was fond of the idiot.
"Uh, so, er..." She twiddled her thumbs. "Nice weather. Shame about all the frostbite."
He chortled nervously.
"Eheh, why yes. It's very..." He looked out the window with a sigh. "Bitey."
"Bitey?" Rachel shuffled around a little. "Yes. Bitey frostbite. Mmm." It seemed as if she was just blurting out any old thing that entered her head. She felt awkward and was not sure what on earth she should do about it. There was no escaping the car, not unless she wanted to walk miles back to the hotel and probably freeze to death on the way.
"Uh...I uh..." He noticed her shiver and removed his purple coat, holding it out to her. "It's pretty cold so..."
She watched as he took off his coat and hold it out to her. Almost taken aback, she stared at it for a few moments before finally managing to form words. "Oh! N-No, it's fine. Don't worry. I don't want you getting cold either."
He puts it on her and crosses his arms, huffing out a cloud of frosty air.
"H-Hey! Now you'll get cold." She started to take it off again to return to him.
He shook his head and laughed.
"You kidding? When I didn't sleep on the floor the living room was colder than this! Ahah!"
Rachel tilted her head and pulled the sleeve back on. "Living room? Wait, sleep on the floor? You didn't, did you? When was this?" Her voice took on a shocked breathlessness as her mind tried to process what he had just said.
"Mother. I think. I just remember a woman who told me what to do. It wasn't very fun." He strokes his moustache nostalgically.
"Oh. That sounds rather horrendous. So, it was cold?"
"I suppose. It was the forgetting to feed me that mostly took it's toll. Oh. The floor. Yeah. It was."
Rachel lowered her gaze to the floor. "I had no idea. Wow." A small smile spread across her face. "Well, things are better now, right?" She patted his shoulder. "I mean, you're a Wacky Racer, after all."
"It's alright. I don't remember much. I can only recall finding a runt in a cardboard box and nursing him back to health." He touched a finger to his chin, thinking back. "After that it was just schemes and dreams."
"Dreams? You had something to hope for? I take it that was the goal of winning, right?" She reclined back in her seat and rested her knees against the back of the drivers seat.
"Hope for? No. No nonsense like that. I just kept coming up with reasons to laugh with that stupid mangy hound." He chuckled despite the remark.
"Heyyy." She nudged him with her elbow. "He's not so mangy." Muttley was indeed a favourite of hers and she found herself feeling terribly sorry for him whenever one of Dick's plans would backfire. "Is that all you do it for?"
He scratched his chin idly in thought. "I used to believe I was achieving something back in my hayday, but the more I failed. The more I realised I didn't want to succeed. It was more fun that way."
"You didn't want to succeed? But, what about winning the races? Being crowned the world's wackiest racer? The sponsorships, money, fame?" Rachel's brow furrowed. "I don't get it. You always seemed so driven to win."
He turned to her rather somlemnly and spoke slowly. "But what happens when you do win?"
"I guess," she looked at her hands, her fingers were nervously linked together, "I guess that you win the money, the title, go on with sponsorships and..." She paused for a moment. "Wait for the next race?"
He nodded not turning away. "And then what?"
"I don't know. I never really thought about it. I guess people just go on with their lives." She shrugged her shoulders. It was true, she hadn't really thought about it. Like everyone, she had just been focussed on winning.
"I don't want to win or I have nothing left to...what's that word you used? 'Hope' for."
She reeled back in shock. "What? I find that somewhat hard to believe." She began chewing on her lip anxiously. What he had said had jolted her internally. "Everyone knows who you are and what you do. You could probably do anything you wanted."
He chuckled and fell back in his chair forgetting the cold for a second. "Haha, my dear, that is precisely what I am doing!"
"But, as you say, then what? What happens when this race is over? What will you do?"
"I would have won and would no long be the dark horse underdog of the Wacky Races. Why would I give up that thrill so easilly? People never think I'm going to win, so it makes it all the more fun when I finally do."
"So you want to win eventaully? Have you thought about when that might be? I mean, you've been winning the last couple of races no problems." She leaned back and rested her head against the seat. After removing her cap, she tossed it into the front and awaited his reply.
He smirked scratching his chin idly with a finger. "Heh, like you...I don't put much thought into it. I just make sure I'm having fun with it."
"Like me?" She raised a brow and chuckled under her breath. "What makes you so sure I don't think about what I do, Mister?" She jabbed him on his shoulder. "I may be smarter than you think."
"Because if I'm not mistaken when I asked the purpose to winning, you answered and I quote: 'I don't know. I never really thought about it.'"
Rachel shook her head. "Agh! Damn it. Heyyyy, fine. Come on. It's late and cold. My head is in a mess." She chuckled again. "I can't help it if I'm spouting bollocks. It must be, what... 3AM?" She craned her neck to see her dashboard.
Dick's Head was lain back under his hat. "Snooooort!" The sounds of his nostrils flaring from exhaustion resounded through the vehicle.
"Hey! HEY!" Rachel jabbed him in his ribs. "Wake up! That's not fair, you're not supposed to fall asleep while I'm talking to you!"
He snorted and sat up at attention "Huh whu whassat?"
Unfortunately, when he sat up his head collided with hers. "OUCH! Ooyah!" She grasped her head and keeled over. "Nrrrgh!"
He grasped at his head in pain. "Yeow yeowzer yeow!" He then blinked momentarilly afterward and rather then insult the girl; "Are you alright?"
Rachel just let out a low 'hnnnnn' sound as she rolled back and fourth on the seat. She now wished she hadn't removed her hat as it may have stopped or cushioned the blow.
He glanced at her forehead and chuckled "Now, now it isn't all that bad. Just think we can call it a beauty mark tomorrow!"
She peered up at him with a furious expression, still doubled over on the seat. "I'll give you beauty mark. Just be glad it wasn't my eye! How would we explain a black eye?"
He stopped to think a moment then grinned. "Mascara?" He smirked. "Oh yes yes, quite. My bad."
She hit him again, this time harder. "HMPH!"
"Owch! I see your mother passsed some wonderful traits onto you," He said nursing his poor arm.
"OH, we're talking about mothers, are we?" Her eyes narrowed as a strange smirk spread across her face.
"Yes, well if you ever meet mine I'm sure she'll be sporting a wicked attitude and moustache herself," He retorted
That did it. Just the mental image alone. Rachel sucked in air, choked a little and fell about in hysterics. Her mind instantly imagined Dick in a dress.
Dick could only imagine what she was laughing about but he had a pretty good idea.
She attempted to catch her breath and leaned forwards resting her chin on the back of her hands. "Oh man. That's funny. That's good stuff." A tear rolled from the corner of her eye from all the laughter and landed on the seat.
He smirked and tipped his hat at an angle over his eyes as he sat back and cross his arms. "Laugh it up, I know I would."
After wiping at her eyes with her sleeve she shook her head and pulled on Dick's coat over her, bundling up like a sausage roll. "You didn't know nothing."
"Uh huh" was all he could manage. The fatigue dragging his eyes down like weights."Ah ah ah!" A hand shot out from under the coat and prodded his ribs. "Are you saying I'm boring?" After sitting up straight she unfurled the coat from around her shoulders and handed it over towards him. "Here. Have it back. You don't want to end up with a crick in your neck or something."
He glared unfavorably at her. His eyes stemming red from the lack of sleep he was getting. "Are you capable of shutting up and going to sleep?"
Her brow instantly furrowed and her lips thinned to a small line. "Fine! Take your smelly coat!" She threw it at him. "Telling ME to shut up. Especially after that little stunt at the hotel earlier. What was all that about, huh?" Her voice trailed off into a low mumble as she continued cursing under her breath, turning away in a huff and folding her arms.
He flinched as the coat slapped against his side but just sighed and tried to drift off, ignoring her frustrations.
"And budge over." She ignored his sighing and pushed her butt into his to shove him further to the side. "Taking all the god damn room. How am I supposed to sleep like that Mister I-Love-You-Shut-Up-And-Go-To-Sleep." She fidgeted some more and folded her legs under her to take up more room.
He chuckled and made a fake groan. "Oh lord, is that the moon falling? What could this crushing weight be?" He reached out and grabbed a hand full of it to emphasize his point.
Rachel instantly yelped and jumped over to her side. "Aiiie! Watch where you're grabbing!" She slapped a hand around in his general direction in case he was still trying it.
He had already moved his hand and watched her swat out of corner of his eye, only replying with a chuckle.
"Grabbing ladies butts. You should be ashamed of yourself." She turned her head and stuck out her tongue. "First you're all moody then that! HMPH!" She shuffled noisily, trying to make as much noise as she could on purpose.
"When I see a lady..." He yawned. "I'll be sure to do so." A wicked smirk arose on his face.
Rachel shot upright and glared at him. "I beg your pardon?!"
He once again lapsed into a bout of snoring under his hat.
"How dare you!?" Her voice was high pitched as she grabbed hold of his hat and began to pelt him with it over and over. "Insult me, will you? Tell me to shut up, will you? Say my ass is as big as the moon, will you!?"
He flailed and twitched under her assault but found himself laughing regardless.
"Stop laughing, you nit!" She continued to swipe. "It's... not... funny!"
He finally gave in, sat straight and grabbed her wrist in mid attack. "I think you'll find, my dear, it is." He then kissed her cheek and smiled at her.
"Ouch!" She scowled at him and wiggled her nose in disgust. "Careful how you g..." Her sentence was cut short by the peck on the cheek. "Don't... Don't you try and butter me up, Mister!"
His smirk only widened. "That, my dear, I can accomodate you with at a later time."
"Wait... What?" She blinked in confusion, her brain trying to figure out what he had just said. When it finally registered her grimace transformed into a wide, goofy grin. "Now, that's just dirty."
He released his grip, twiddling his moustache as he sunk back into his chair. "Dastardly one might say."
She picked up his coat and flopped it on his lap. "Seriously, though. I'm OK. Take it back and keep warm. I don't want you getting hypothermia or something."
"You know" He said, still twiddling his moutache. "They say the best way to keep warm in circumstances like this is to share body heat."
She blinked again, leaning forward on the seat with her hands. "Wh-What?" She slipped off the seat and quickly caught herself. "They do? Who is this 'they'?"
He only continued in stroking his moustache. "Oh, you know, survivalists."
"Oh? You know some survivalists?" She gave him a sarcastic grin and yanked at the other side of his mustache.
"Yeah, I contacted them shortly after falling for you." He mired back at her.
She tilted her head. "What?" An eyebrow raised again. "What are you talking about?"
"Oh nothing you have to concerned about, my dear."
"Now you said that I can't HELP but be concerned." She folded her arms in a huff and sat back roughly.
He replied by only smiling in a dastardly way and snugged down into his seat.
Silence fell again as Rachel pouted. She hated not being in the know and she was sure he was doing it on purpose. After a while she couldn't resist piping up again. "So, what else did these survivalists say?"
"About what in particular?" He said gesturing in a quizzative way.
"Well, you said they told you about this whole body heat thing." She narrowed her eyes.
"What else did they say?"
He smirked. "Oh lots of helpful survivalist..things."
"Liiike?" She leaned forward on her hands and urged him to continue. She did not intend on letting it go.
"Hey look a sudden distraction!" He pointed wildly in a panicked state at the window.
"Hm?" Her head whipped to the side. "Oh yeah. Snow. Great." She narrowed her eyes again and slumped back into her seat again. "Fine. I get it."
He stretched, flexing his fingers infront of him while casting an innocent smile.
Silence fell again. Rachel hated uncomfortable silences. She kept giving Dick sideways glances hoping he'd start conversation again. When certain it was a lost cause she sighed.
"So, yeah. About Max..."
Dick raised a brow awaiting the end to her statement.
"I didn't encourage him, you know. That's not the type of person I am. He just got," she paused for a second and rubbed the back of her neck. "Clingy."