I Dare You


"Where is Nancy?" Joe asked after the boys had helped to clean up by washing the dishes. Hannah explained the goings on of last night. She said that Bess and George had stayed over for the night and that they had all stayed up into the wee hours of the dawn.

"Oh, I see how it is," Joe pretended to be hurt, "They wanted to have fun without us. Fine, I'll just leave." He turned for the door and walked out.

"Oh, dear," Hannah chuckled, "Where is he going?"

Frank rolled his eyes, "Who knows. Well, I think that since the girls are snoozing in, Joe and I will go to get a room at the inn."

"I won't allow such a thing," Hannah waved her arms in the air, truly surprised, "Don't be preposterous! You'll both stay here, of course."

"Really, it's nothing for us to get a room, Hannah. We have plenty of money," Frank didn't want to burden the woman.

"I wouldn't hear of it, young man. One of you can stay in the upstairs guest room. My room is downstairs, and one of you can sleep there. I'll stay on the couch. You are our guests, and I'll have no such folly as staying at an inn!"

"Yes ma'am," Frank couldn't help but smile, "However, there's no need of you to sleep on the couch. I refuse to see you out of your own room. Joe or I will sleep on the couch, or perhaps make a nest on the floor in the guest bedroom."

"Oh, alright," she reluctantly gave in.

"Besides, it wouldn't be right to have us in your room. All of your things are there! I'll go get Joe. We'll bring in our luggage."

Frank silently brought his and Joe's suitcases into the room aside Nancy's. He winced as the door creaked open. He had made Joe stay downstairs. It's not that he thought that Joe would have woken the girls- he knew that his brother wouldn't be so inconsiderate- but he wanted to keep the noise to a minimum.

Frank set his dark brown suitcase on the bed. He set Joe's red one in the closet. The boy's had decided to take turns on the bed. They had flipped a coin to see who went first, and Frank had won. He started to unpack his clothes into the spare dresser. Next, he unpacked Joe's things. He took the bathroom bag that they both shared and went to the bathroom. He decided that the best place to put it would be under the sink. There, he mused, it will be out of the way.

"Joe!" Hannah called, her nose in the refrigerator.

"Ma'am?" Joe jogged into the kitchen. Frank was still upstairs unpacking. He'd made Joe stay downstairs. To keep me from pulling anything funny, he thought, probably.

"Joe, would you be a dear and run to the grocery for a few things? I want to make a pie for dinner, but don't have everything that I need."

"Sure," Joe's eyes lit up at the mention of pie, "Anything for you." He smiled.

Hannah chuckled, "I'll let you have the first piece. Now, I need you to get a stalk of rhubarb, a box of fresh strawberries, and a pound of sugar." She handed him a sheet of paper with the list and some money, "Oh, and I think we could use a gallon of milk, too." She handed him another bill.

"Sure thing, Hannah," he took the list and money from her, fished the keys to their rented car out of his pocket, and headed out the door.

"Hannah," Frank padded down the stairs.

"In here," Hannah was dusting in the living room.

"Hannah, do you think that I could take a shower?"

"Certainly, dear, do as you please while you are here. Make yourself at home."

"Thanks, Hannah," he turned to go, "Oh, Hannah, where's Joe?"

"I sent him to the store for pie ingredients."

"You don't waist any time, do you?" he chuckled.

"Of course not, I'll have you both put to endless work while you're here!" she joked in return. She went back to her dusting as the older of the two Hardy's trudged back upstairs.

Uhhh, Nancy rolled over onto her side. "Whoooaa!" she cried as she fell to the floor. "Ow," she muttered, rubbing the back of her head. She had rolled right off her bed. "Okay, I'm awake, uggh…maybe." She covered her eyes with one hand to block the light that was streaming in through her open curtains. Slowly, Nancy rose to her knees. She rested her head in her hands on the side of her bed. She stayed there for a few minutes. Finally, she opened her eyes and looked across the room. So that's why I fell off, she thought groggily. Both Bess and George were still lying on her bed. Nancy smiled, and immediately she had to stifle a yawn.

She stretched her arms toward the sky and stood to her feet. "Uuhm…" she mumbled. I wonder if Hannah already ate breakfast, she made her way to her door. She stumbled over a sleeping bag and stubbed a toe on the way. Rubbing her eyes she walked toward the bathroom, still more asleep than awake.

Nancy opened the door and stood in front of the mirror. Turning the water on cold, she splashed some onto her face to help wake herself up. When she reached for her toothbrush she noticed that it wasn't there. Oh yeah, she remembered, I broke it in half last night…It was completely an accident, wasn't it? I'll get a new one out of my closet. Just as Nancy disappeared into her room again, Frank walked out of the guest room. He made his way to the bathroom, shutting the door behind him.

George woke to a smart smack in the face. "Hey! What was that for?" she peeled her eyes open and looked to her right. There lay Bess, still sound asleep. "Beauty queen," George grumbled as she sat up. She swung her feet around the left side of Nancy's bed. "Oh, yeah," she mumbled, "…sleepover…Nancy's…oooh, too much ice cream." She turned to Bess, "It's your fault…ug, never again." She rose a little too quickly. "Whoa!" she tottered dizzily. She looked up just as Nancy walked in, "Hey ya." George smiled and stretched on her tiptoes.

Nancy closed the door behind her. She smiled weakly, "Good morning, George."

"How're you holding up?" she whispered in a more serious tone.

Nancy shrugged her shoulders and walked over to her closet. She pulled out a new toothbrush. Holding it up, she said, "I broke my brush last night…in half."

George winced, "Oooh…" she giggled. Nancy joined in. It felt good to release so much stress. George walked over to her friend and they embraced.

"Don't wake her," Nancy shook her finger at the athletic-built girl that stood before her.

George looked astonished, "Moi?" She looked over to Bess, "I won't disturb her highness." She smiled down at her.

"She could sleep all day," Nancy laughed to herself, "Alright, I'm going to go brush my teeth and then take a shower. You can take one downstairs, if you want. If Bess isn't up by then, you and I will go get something to eat. What'd you say?"

"Sounds great, I'll clean up in here a bit and then take a shower."

"Okay, George." Nancy quietly closed the door behind her. She walked past the stairs and to the bathroom. Huh, she thought, I don't remember shutting that door. She shrugged her shoulders, Well, I wasn't quite awake then either. She curled her fingers around the door handle. She pushed it open, but it seemed to pull itself more than she pushed it.

Frank set his bottle of shampoo inside the shower. He put his and Joe's toothbrushes in the cup that held Nancy's. Carson had his own bathroom that sided off his room, and that's where he kept his things. Hannah kept hers in the downstairs bathroom. Frank dug through his bag, putting a few things in the shower and leaving most in the bag. He took his shirt and shoes off, laying them in a corner to be moved when he was done showering. "Man," he muttered after looking one last time in his bag, "Joe, you do this on purpose, I swear." He sighed and turned to the door. I'll bet he hid my comb in his suitcase. I'll have to go and get it, he grumbled in his head. As he tried to open the door, he was surprised to find it push toward him more of itself than of his pulling. Next thing he knew, Nancy's nose was inches from his bare chest.

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