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The Dangers of Grocery Shopping

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Julius was not allowed cooking. There were quite a few people not allowed cooking, but as far as Ludger was concerned, Julius could absolutely under no circumstances be left unsupervised in the kitchen. Ludger loved his brother, but that didn't mean he was about to eat any of Julius's somehow failed sandwiches. (Seriously, it was a wonder in like…the worst way possible that Julius could fail at making a sandwich.)

But despite all of his lack of talent in the kitchen (Julius often joked he had to be bad at something ), Ludger found absolutely no harm in taking Julius grocery shopping with him. Julius could be trusted with grocery shopping (usually, sometimes he bought waaaaay too many tomatoes), the only problems seemed to arise when Julius attempted to combine ingredients into even the most basic meals. So that is why the two of them were now perusing the grocery store to find both ingredients for dinner and to stock up on baking supplies. It was cookie season, and Ludger was going to be busy very soon in attempts to bake cookies for everyone they knew and liked.

They were in the baking supplies aisle, and Julius was currently giving a box of cookie mix a very thoughtful look. Ludger was crouched on the floor, comparing flour prices on the bottom shelf. They were going to need a lot of flour...and he was debating if five pounds of flour was worth it. ...Probably.

“Hey Ludger…?” asked Julius.

“Hm?”

Julius turned to Ludger with a glimmer in his eyes, holding the box of cookie mix. Ludger looked up at him in slight confusion. The box was... shockingly pink, with a popular cat mascot marketed toward children on it. He raised an eyebrow questioningly. According to the box, it also contained edible images of said character’s face to put on the cookies. Also the cookies themselves were pink.

“I want them,” said Julius excitedly. Ludger's eyebrow rose higher.

It was unlike Julius to ask Ludger first, after all most of the money going towards their expenses came from Julius's Spirius paycheck. Oh. Julius wanted to bake the cookies with him, except... Julius was atrocious in the kitchen, so he wouldn't be able to make them without Ludger's help. The cookies couldn’t even be that hard to make, probably just some water and oil at most before mixing and putting the dough on a sheet to bake. Julius would still fuck it up without Ludger’s help, wouldn’t he?

...Well, what harm would there be in making these cookies together?

“Sure, I don’t see why not.”

Julius's face lit up as he placed the (still shockingly pink) box of cookie mix in the basket. Ludger had made his choice in flour and stood, picking up the handbasket holding their groceries.

“What else do we need to get?” Julius asked, looking at Ludger as he pulled out the list from his pocket and unfolded it.

“Um... let's see...butter...we have flour and sugar… We'll also need some eggs, I’m pretty sure we’re out...”

The dairy section was on the other side of the store, but Julius nodded. If they didn’t really need anything else, they could head over there to find the other ingredients. Their basket was shaping up to mostly be a combination of baking supplies...and tomatoes. Perhaps Julius should get more tomatoes from the produce department…

He contemplated getting more tomatoes the entirety of the short stroll over to check eggs. Ludger sorted through a dozen, satisfied none of them were cracked, before placing them carefully in the basket. Looking at the list, he ticked off another item.

“All that’s left is--”

“Mutton! Fresh mutton!”

Ludger was cut off by the shouting of the vendor. Him again. Ludger exchanged a terrified look with Julius.

“Go. Just go,” Julius said urgently, pushing Ludger towards the checkout.

“But what about the rest of–” Ludger started.

“We can finish shopping later,” said Julius grimly.

“But we need to buy Rollo's cat f–”

“Ludger all of that can wait until later.” When it was safe.

“Rollo doesn't have any food left,” Ludger pointed out.

“Dammit.” Julius stopped pushing Ludger towards the checkout momentarily.

He frowned, trying to come up with a solution. A sacrifice would have to be made. And Julius would be damned if he let his brother die for him.

“Ludger.” Julius's tone was serious. “I'll go back for Rollo's food. You go and check out. I'll meet you outside. If I'm not there in 15 minutes... you'll have to go on without me.”

“Brother,” said Ludger softly.

“Go,” said Julius, bravely turning back to the cat food aisle, and Ludger watched him go, trying not to shed any tears.

Then he turned to the extremely bored looking cashier, who seemed completely oblivious to the brave sacrifice his only brother had just made for the sake of Ludger...and their cat’s dinner. Ludger felt he couldn’t blame them. They were probably desensitized to the Mutton Man. But Ludger and Julius still had fear in their hearts. They still had things to lose.

 

~ Approximately 15 minutes later ~

 

Ludger checked his watch. The checkout lines hadn’t been that long. Unless...Julius had truly fallen prey to the Mutton Man… 

Oh, no, there he was, hurrying out of the store, cat food in hand. Thank Origin.

“So, what do you want for dinner tonight?” Ludger asked as Julius reached him, handing half of the grocery bags to Julius to take as they started on their way home.

“Hm...pasta margherita?” Julius suggested, looking at the tomatoes in the bag he was holding.

“But we had that last night…” said Ludger.

Julius gave him a hurt and offended look.

“Ludger...what does that matter? You can never have enough tomatoes!”

Ludger sighed. This wasn’t a fight he was going to win. Looks like it’d be another pasta margherita night. Not that Ludger really minded. There was nothing he enjoyed more than sharing a pasta margherita with his brother.