Roommates - Mini #3 (Personal Purchase)
- Roommates has moved! You can now read it at Archive of Our Own: http://archiveofourown.org/works/11250126/navigate
- Roommates - Mini #3 (Personal Purchase)
- Inspired by Weaver's Five Nights at Freddy's Apartment AU: http://i.imgur.com/LnDJVNL.png
- Part of an ongoing series written for the /5N@F/ General Discussion Thread at /vg/.
- Sincerest thanks to Weaver (http://tgweaver.tumblr.com/) for all of the invaluable assistance in writing, proofreading, and editing this story as well as for illustrating the chapter title cards.
- Questions or comments? Drop me an ask at http://roommatesau.tumblr.com/
- Mike and I are at the shopping mall in the newer part of downtown, and circumstances have afforded me a full thirty minutes to take care of some business before the shops start closing. During weeknights, I'm not usually awake and out the door early enough to have time to do any shopping, but going to bed an hour early as well as the bus being quicker than usual caused things to work out in my favor tonight.
- I'm here for a purchase of, well, personal goods. It's kind of an intimate thing, and I'd prefer to keep it that way lest I catch no end of hell from my friends and neighbors. I can only imagine the look on Fred's face if he saw what I was coming in here for. Pressing my ears flat against the back of my head, I flip my hood up until it obscures my face before stepping inside the store.
- The cashier's preoccupied with browsing a magazine which bodes well for me; I really don't want any extra scrutiny as I browse. While I'm not here to window shop, I do want to take my time and make sure I'm happy with what I'm buying before I leave (the last thing I want is to have to come all the way back for a return if I get home and change my mind).
- My favorite pair (sheer, see-through red -- if you really must know) finally met their bitter end after one of the finicky dryers at the complex's on-site laundromat overheated. Since laundry is usually Chica's domain, she felt responsible even though it was my own fault for not washing them properly myself after my last session.
- After I assured my distraught friend that everything was alright between us, she offered to run out to the store and procure replacements for me (on her own dime no less), but I politely declined for two reasons. First, I don't get to frequently indulge in out-of-house activities (that don't involve work) due to my bass-ackwards sleep schedule. Second, it's not that I don't think Chica has good taste, but this is personal and I'd rather do it myself. After all, it's not enough that they merely perform their function; they have to feel right, too.
- Stealing a look outside the shop's front window, I catch sight of Mike obliviously sitting out at one of the food court tables, gnawing on a corn dog. He seems like a nice guy, but like I said, this is a "me thing" and I don't need an extra set of opinions clouding my judgment. Thumbing through the racks and shelves stocked full of colorful product, I begin systematically scanning packages and separating them into categories in my mind. Outlandish eyesore patterns are immediately discarded as are garish solid colors, but at the same time I don't want something that's so plain it's bland or old-fashioned, especially if I'm caught in public sporting them.
- My cheeks run red as unpleasant visions of youthful embarrassment from my junior year of high school seep into the forefront of my mind. With a shiver I reach up to push my glasses back, only to remember I haven't worn them in three years.
- The cashier turns another page in her magazine. My pace (and heartrate) quickens as I resume my search -- the faster I'm out of here, the more comfortable I'll feel. Let's see what's on this shelf...
- White with black trim? Too generic for my taste.
- Seafoam green? Ick, pass.
- Orange is out -- I'm already purple. Last thing I want is to look like I'm gearing up for Halloween.
- Tan... with GLITTER? God in heaven, no. I inwardly stifle the urge to hurl these across the room.
- My mental process of building piles eventually grows too large for my brain, and I'm forced to switch to a physical sorting method. I've nearly emptied two full display cases in front of me with no luck yet. Dejectedly checking my watch, I realize the store closes in fifteen minutes and I've still got two more stops to make before work. Frustrated, I have no choice but to clean my mess up before leaving -- working in foodservice myself, I know what a pain in the ass it is to be saddled with cleanup from a customer when you're on the late shift.
- Of course, the late shift cleanup process at my own job is a touch more complicated than it is in a small retail store, but still, out of professional courtesy I couldn't -- wait, whoa. Where'd these come from?
- "Hello, beautiful," I whisper, my paws tenderly seizing a tiny bundle that was knocked under the shelf. No, actually, these were hidden here by someone else, I'm sure of it. Maybe someone hoping to catch them on a sale, but they weren't nearly sneaky enough for me.
- I'm enamored with my new find. Turning the package over and over under the harsh fluorescent lighting, I'm taken aback at how beautiful they are -- clear as gossamer but rich, their color vibrant like red velvet cake. They even sparkle when you hold 'em up to the light. These things are so decadent, so bold that it almost feels wrong -- are they too mature for me? The price tag sure seems to suggest so, but... no. No! Screw that thinking. I'm twenty-two and I never indulge myself and these are MINE, now.
- With giddy, childlike enthusiasm I haven't felt since I was a kit, I finish loading the shelf full of the rejects before bouncing toward the cash register with the unmentionables tucked under my arm. I try to keep my feet from thumping against the counter with excitement as the cashier tiredly rings me up.
- "You need a bag?" she asks, tearing my receipt from the printer. Licking my dry lips, I nod.
- "A paper bag or something solid, if you've got it." She raises an eyebrow but fulfills my request just the same.
- Dashing out into the food court, I wave to get Mike's attention. He stands up, brushing the crumbs from his tee shirt. "Hah, no mustard this time," he enthuses. "Get what you needed?"
- "Yeah," I reply. "Thanks for letting me do my thing."
- "It's cool, I understand," he says. With a saucy grin, he leans in close to me. "So you gonna show them to me now or you gonna make me wait until later tonight when we're alone?"
- Blushing, I look around furtively as if expecting some of my old classmates to suddenly appear and begin pointing and laughing. "I... guess so," I begrudgingly admit, opening the brown paper. Mike reaches a hand in and yanks them out in full view of everyone, and I feel like I could just die.
- "Oh, wow, these ARE nice," he affirms. "Beautiful color, too. I bet you can't wait to break them in."
- I take them from his hands and place them back in the brown paper bag with a sigh. "Yeah, assuming Foxy can keep his grubby mitt off of them. I caught him going through my drawers looking for my old ones the other night, and boy did I give him an earful."
- "Ew, really? That's... I didn't figure him to still be the type," Mike says, scrunching up his features as we walk towards the exit to the parking lot. "No judging, though. Hopefully they'll roll well for you."
- With a wistful grin, I shrug. "Eh, I hope so, but my old dice will be a tough act to follow. Many a natural twenty saved my tail from certain doom." As we pass the lingerie shop, a light goes off in my head. "Hey, that reminds me -- I need some new underwear while I'm in here. Sorry, but do you mind waiting for just a sec while I run grab whatever's on sale?"
- "Sure," Mike replies amiably. "Do what you gotta."
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