shopping fic for @wellyfullofale because when my wife asks for something, i deliver
Aaron’s got three bags slung over his shoulder, the fancy kind with string handles and branded tape. He’s got a elbow propped on a clothes rails and his phone in hand. This is painful.
“What about this one?”
Robert’s holding up a shirt that look like at least four other shirts be already owns.
Aaron shrugs, he stopped offering opinions about an hour ago, just to make it perfectly clear that he does not care.
Aaron nods, eyes on the football scores. He could be in the pub right now, ice cold pint in his hand, bag of nuts on the table, top forty playing inoffensively in the background rather than loudly enough to be heard in space.
His head is pounding. This shop smells weird and his back aches. He hates shopping.
“You’re not even looking,” Robert points out, perfectly reasonably.
Aaron nods, doesn’t look. “Looks good.”
That gets him a huff. “Do you want to wait outside?”
Aaron does look up at that. He would love to wait outside. “Can I?”
Robert looks equal parts frustrated and fond, emotions Aaron knows only too well. “Just go. I’ll find you when I’m done, yeah?”
It’s nice out, so Aaron gets himself an overpriced smoothie from the wanky juice bar on the corner, nurses it on one of the stone benches facing the fountain. There’s a couple smoking over to his left; something about the smell almost turns his stomach these days, even though he’d still have one of they offered.
He watches a pigeon do battle with a pizza crust for a while, lets the sun warm his back, listens to the fountain splash.
By the time Robert’s shadow falls across him, he feels almost human again.
Robert’s empty handed.
“You didn’t get anything?” Aaron asks.
“I took the bags back to the car, I couldn’t find you.”
Aaron checks his phone. It’s on silent and he’s got six missed calls. Whoops. “Sorry, I was just,” he waves an arm around.
Robert sits beside him, leaning over for a sip of Aaron’s drink, straw turning pink until he pulls away.
“You get everything you wanted?” Aaron asks, an olive branch because he’s been kind of an arse today.
“Think so. I got you some stuff too.”
“You didn’t have to do that.”
Robert shrugs. “Thought you deserved it after surviving the torture of shopping with me,” he’s pulling a face but Aaron can tell he’s only half joking.
And really, he does hate shopping, hates shopping with Robert specifically, but he doesn’t hate Robert at all.
“Sorry. You knew what you getting into when you married me.”
That makes Robert laugh, gets Aaron a casual arm around his shoulders. “It’s what husbands are for, isn’t it? Complaining and holding all the bags?”
Aaron knocks their knees together, slurps the end of his drink loudly just to watch Robert wince.
They’ll get tea now, have a beer and grin at each other across the table. Then they’ll go home, Robert will put on all of his new clothes, look at himself in the mirror while Aaron watches, catalogues the quickest way to get him back out of them.
As days go, it’s not all bad.