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3 AM Cravings

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Working the night shift at a 24 hour supermarket was not as glamorous as one might imagine. Eric Miller for one, could certainly testify to the veracity of that statement. Which was not to say he didn’t like his job— well, as much as someone working the graveyard beat at a supermarket could. It wasn’t particularly thrilling but it was one more step towards college and he could deal with it.

Besides, it was always fun at first. The college kids rolled in after a few drinks at the pub. Eric was firmly convinced that the potato crisp industry was almost entirely dependent on the drunk-off-their-arses demographic. And he would know, considering he was the one who crunched those numbers night after night.

The point was it was always entertaining. The stragglers were hilarious and he rather liked most of them. This-Is-A-Ramen-Emergency Guy was always good for a laugh. And the Instant-Pizza-Twins were nice. But come 2 AM and they were all gone and Eric was left alone, debating whether to restock the produce section just for something to do.

That was, until Bloke-With-A-Baby-On-The-Way showed up.

Oh, Eric liked Harry. Harry was always fun. And unless he was very much mistaken, that was Harry shuffling over to his counter now with what looked like a most entertaining purchase selection. Eric brightened up immediately.

“Good morning,” he greeted as the poor bloke trudged over.

“Ha ha,” Harry deadpanned. “It’s 3 AM and you’re still hilarious, Eric. Bag these up for me, will you?”

Eric grinned and busied himself with sorting through the myriad items. “You’re early today,” he commented, putting the peanut butter and mint sauce on the side to make room for the eggs and...the bananas. Sure, why not? “I wasn’t expecting you until 6 AM, Thursday.”

Harry yawned and rubbed his eyes sleepily. “We ran out of peanut butter,” he mumbled, sagging against the counter. “Sorry to mess up your carefully mapped schedule.”

“That’s not all you ran out of,” Eric commented, bagging up the honey mustard. His grin widened as he spotted a can of tuna. Oh, this would be good. “So hit me. What are we making today?”

Harry favoured him with an exasperated look. “I’m glad you’re having fun with this,” he retorted dryly. “But if you must know, today we’re in the mood for banana slices dipped in peanut butter.”

Eric obligingly bagged the requisite items.

“Followed up by an egg and ham sandwich slathered in mint sauce,” Harry went on.

“Too right,” Eric conceded, bagging those up too. “You can’t have an egg and ham sandwich without mint sauce.”

“And pickles for dessert.”

“Par for the course.”

Harry chuckled and passed over about a hundred little dip-and-squeeze packets. “And of course, ketchup.”

Eric eyed the small mountain of packets with some consternation. “Ketchup on what?”

“Nothing. Just straight out of the packet ketchup.”

“Mate, that’s vile.”

“You’re telling me.”

Eric rolled his eyes and started to sort through the packets. “Can’t you at least pick up a bottle? These are in the hundreds!”

Harry scoffed. “Oh no. These taste ‘better’, you see. Ketchup from a bottle tastes wrong.”

“That’s one special lady you’ve got there.” Eric suppressed a snort of laughter. “But you have got to get her to eat healthier. This is disgusting.” Just to make a point, he picked up a carton of apple juice and bagged it as well. “It’s on me,” he said before Harry could protest. “Just make sure she’s getting some vitamins with...everything else.”

Harry smiled and shook his head. “A little advice for the future, Eric? Don’t ever make helpful suggestions to a pregnant person unless you’re prepared to take a lamp to the head.”

Fair enough. Eric bagged up the last of the purchases and rang them up. Harry forked over the cash and picked up his bags.

“See you next week,” he said, turning to leave.

“Say hi to your girl for me,” Eric called after him.

Harry grinned, waved a goodbye and then he was gone. Back to wherever home was— to his pregnant wife or girlfriend who had an inexplicable craving for ketchup at three in the morning. And sure as the sun, the poor sod would be back next week, for whipped cream and potatoes or something just as awful.

Eric shook his head and tutted in sympathy. Poor straight people. They really had it rough.

“Damn, if I wasn’t gay before...” 

****

Draco rubbed a hand against his belly as he padded to the kitchen. He perked up when he caught sight of Harry putting the finishing touches on his sandwich.

“Hey,” Harry murmured, approaching him and pressing a kiss to his forehead. Draco hummed and leaned into Harry’s chest, smiling as his husband ghosted a protective hand over his rounded stomach.

“I was making a tray,” Harry said, wrapping an arm around him and leading him to the table. “You didn’t have to get up.”

“Missed you,” Draco mumbled, nuzzling sleepily into his neck. “Did you get my ketchup?”

Harry chuckled and dropped a kiss in his hair again. “All three hundred litres of it. By the way, Eric says hello.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “The muggle at the supermarket who thinks I’m a girl?”

“You can hardly blame him for that assumption,” Harry pointed out with an amused grin. “Besides, he’s a nice kid. Look, he even put in some apple juice for you.”

“Ugh.” Draco’s mouth twisted in disgust and he shuddered in Harry’s arms. “You take it. I want my pickles and ketchup.”