Where It’s Been

“Toni, put it back, you don’t know where that thing’s been.”

The green rectangle was not disposed of, as her partner wished, but instead held with evident relish up to the light, keen aqua eyes taking in all the little details.

“But it’s cool.” She enthused, motioning him closer. “Seriously, think about it where it could have been! I know you think it’s gross, but humor me for a second, would you?”

Dax stopped staring at the various calculations the screen was feeding him and looked over to where Toni was standing, half leaning against a very rickety looking bannister. The redhead looked like Christmas had come early, her eyes wide and face alight with wonder. She turned the little slip of paper over, practically glowing as her eyes trailed over the symbols that rested on the front.

“It’s probably been exposed to too much radiation, sewage, and animals; that’s where it’s been.” He replied dryly.

She shot him a very disapproving look. “Dax. That’s not humoring me.” Her voice came out even more mechanical and unamused over the comm system in his helmet.

He trudged over to her and looked at the bill, surprised it had survived this long on the planet’s unprotected surface. Logic dictated something as fragile as paper and ink should have burned up long ago, but it had managed to survive.

“Look, look, there’s the year it was printed!” Toni pointed at a series of four little numbers inked onto the face of it. “2004. Wow.” She giggled, looking at Dax. “He’s older than you are by a long shot!”

Dax took the bill, curious despite himself. “I wonder where it has been…” He muttered, trailing off as he thought about it for a moment.

He never considered where the Credits on his card had been before they were deposited on his account. He never thought about the shops that paid him for parts, or people that paid him for repairs to their ships or hover-carts. It was different, in a way, from the Credits he was used to; they were purely digital- only useable with the proper card and scanner, but this… This was completely different. This was something he could touch, something that had physical representation, not just a name.

“Dax?” Toni interrupted his train of thought.

“Who’s that band you like?” He asked, looking at her. “The one with all the happy music you listen to in the shop when you think I’m not there.”

“…We the Kings?” She asked, her cheeks tinting pink.

“Yeah! They’re the ones.” He grinned. “That’s where it’s been. Probably came from a fan at one of their gigs, buying merchandise.”

Toni stared at the dollar bill, blinking slowly. “No way, that’s…” She trailed off, looking up at him.

“Go on.” He smiled handing the bill back. “It’s your little treasure. You can say where it came from. I won’t argue.”

Toni took it, chuckling. “Okay; We the Kings… What about before them?”

“Oh, probably one of those President guys.”

“…I doubt they used one dollar bills.”

“They could have! Maybe they bought ice cream for their kid with it.”

Toni laughed, tucking the bill into onto the pockets of her suit. “Okay, one of the Presidents bought ice cream with it, the ice cream guy gave it to his daughter, the daughter bought something from We the Kings, We the Kings used to get food, the cashier gave it as change to a boy with roughed up knees, he went skate-boarding with it, and it fell out of his pocket when he ran up these steps to see his sister.”

Dax laughed, nodding once. “Sounds like a sound history to me.”

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