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The Grand Furniture Run

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The time is 8 am, the place Fest’s largest furniture store and Cassian Andor is very much a man in love.

The war has been won, they are building a home and oh yes, Kay looks very charming with the Starbird in place of the ugly Imperial symbol on his shoulder.

Nothing is going to ruin this day for them, he decides as he walks into the store with Kay at his side, the droid keeping up a steady stream of sarcastic quips for which he is only barely using his inside voice. But it does pass muster, barely, and Cassian is in too good a mood to argue.

Cassian also knows that this is a day on which he will need to pick his battles.

“Living rooms come first,” he announces unnecessarily as they pass into a giant hall full of couches, armchairs, and cupboards designed for people with more material possessions than they ever had.

He walks ahead; Kay is keeping an eye on their shopping cart droid, which is basically the modular circuit matrix of a mouse droid grafted to an electronic shopping cart. Festans are nothing if not practical.

“We don’t need a sofa plus two armchairs. You keep shooting our guests,” Kay declares in what is most certainly not his inside voice.

Cassian doesn’t turn around from staring in fascinated horror at the lime green-and-orange synthleather monstrosity that is more spreading than standing in front of him. It looks like some horrifying chemical experiment that had been poured onto the ground, bubbled up and solidified into diwan shape.

“It was only once!” he snaps – also not using his inside voice, but that’s all Kay’s fault for setting the bar abysmally low.

A horrified gasp makes him turn around, to see an old woman yank a toddler away, hissing at him, “People like you should be locked away! Come, Jeron, we’re leaving!”

Cassian contemplates that the boy might have been named for him, there had been a lot of Cassians and Jerons born on Fest after the Death Star blew up. But nobody expects to meet a war hero amidst the radioactive sofa exhibits.

“Kaytoo!” Cassian snaps, shooting him an accusing look bordering on deeply betrayed.

Kay looks up from his harassing of the angrily beeping cart droid. The black lenses shift in his innocently-bright optics. “But it’s true. You did shoot him. And then you made me throw away the shaggy rug.” He pauses for a moment. “I want a new shaggy rug.”

Cassian Sighs. Yes. It’s 8:07 and he is already at the sighing in capital letters stage. “We’re not spending money on another rug people keep mistaking for a Wookiee pelt.”

“But that is what I liked best about it.”

He huffs, and turns his back on Kay to move on to slightly less alarming upholstery. With some luck Kay will have grown bored of their shopping adventure by the time they make it to the carpet department.

 

Maybe he would have. If they ever made it to the carpet department.

It is 9:48 and they are still shopping for living room furniture.

“Are you sure we didn’t pass by that loveseat three times now?”

“It is four times and if you’d listened to me and just taken the scented candles we wouldn’t have had to go back.”

Cassian gives him an unimpressed look.

They had gone back once for the candles.

Then because Kay decided he liked the Wookiee-sized armchair right by the entrance best out of all the 27 he had tested.

Then because Cassian realized they needed a table for the holo projector.

Then he had realized how weak he was, been disgusted with himself, and returned the pine-scented candles. (He had grabbed a pack of cinnamon-scented candles instead, but these are on sale so they don’t count.)

Cassian surveys the upholstery landscape around him. There is a child rolling around on the floor, and crying in rage. He briefly considers joining in, but only for about 0.5 seconds, so that doesn’t count either.

They are still in the living room department. He still can’t see the exit. He is no longer certain the exit is more than an urban myth.

“We don’t really need a bed, do we?” he asks dubiously.

“We do. You said I’m not allowed to let you leave till we have a sofa, a bed, and curtains.”

“I changed my mind on the curtains,” he ventures.

Kay gives him that blank look droids are uniquely qualified for.

“Fine. We’re getting curtains.”

“And a bed.”

“And a bed.”

 

They do get a bed.

Cassian picks the first wardrobe on sale he comes across, and Kay doesn’t argue for once since Cassian’s the only one who will be using it.

The bed takes considerably longer, but that’s since they need one that can take his weight, and all the oversized species beds are at the far end of the section, and take one of the elusive salespeople to find.

This department didn’t make Cassian want to cry. It’s a good department.

“Rugs,” Kay declares gleefully as soon as they pass into the next area.

“Rugs,” Cassian echoes with a growing sense of dread.

Kay isn’t bored of shopping yet. In fact, the hunt for the perfect bed has driven his enthusiasm to new heights.

Kay turns to him, optics solemn and intense. “Cassian.”

He looks up, rugs forgotten. It always sends tingles down his spine when Kay’s attention is so completely and utterly focused on him. Cassian steps a little closer. “Yes?”

“If you were a Wookiee rug, where would you hide?”

 

At home Cassian unpacks three 6-packs of scented candles (they were on sale!), five throw pillows and a Naboo-style dinner set for 12 people. They already have a dinner set. He still doesn’t know how that happened.

Kay, meanwhile, is inspecting the furniture, all of it in pieces, with a guaranteed minimum of two screws missing from each set.

For some reason, he has emptied every single box and spread out their guts all over the living room. It looks like the site of a plywood massacre, only more horrifying. Cassian wants nothing to do with it.

“You’re the analyst,” he declares, arms crossed over his chest, “you analyze that. Call me when you need help with the heavy lifting.”

Kay looks up at him with gleaming optics. He still looks cheerful. Sometimes Cassian can fathom why other people fear the droid revolution.

“We forgot the curtains.” He shifts his head forward with the bright-opticed eagerness of a droid who has discovered a wellspring of organic suffering, and is determined to milk it for all it’s worth. “Can we go back tomorrow?”