Work Header

Shopping Cart Warriors

Chapter Text

The car pulled up to the store one hot summer morning. Its owner got out, phone in one hand to his ear, and slammed the door shut behind him. There he proceeded up the parking lot, distracted by the caller.

"Yeah, I'll remember to get toilet paper," Josh said distractedly. He moved around a woman sorting her bags in front of the entrance, annoyed. People couldn't do that in their cars or elsewhere? They had to block the damn doorway?

"Make sure you get me some shampoo, too," the voice on the other end was saying. The person was clearly sick; their voice was hoarse and dry.

"I will, I will," Josh said. "The coconut kind, yeah?"

"You know me too well, Josh. Thanks again for going out."

"Anytime, Debs," Josh said. The cool air hit him as he walked through a pair of automatic doors and into the grocery store. 

"Oh, and can you not get the lemon cough drops this time? They taste like Kid's Tylenol and misery," Debby said. 

"You'll get what you get," Josh said playfully, but as he entered the pharmaceutical aisle, he made sure to avoid lemon cough drops. "Any other requests while I'm out?"

"I don't think so," Debby said. 

Josh shifted the phone to his shoulder and clamped it to his ear as he grabbed a pack of tissues and a loaf of bread from an adjoining rack outside the aisle. "Okay. Make sure you're drinking plenty of water."

"Yep," Debby said. She broke into a fit of coughing. "Damn, being sick sucks. I'm gonna go take a nap, Josh. Have tea ready when I wake up!"

Josh laughed. "Don't worry, I got you. Love you, Debs. Bye." 

As they parted, he stopped outside a rack of toiletries. "Coconut shampoo," he muttered, leaning down and scanning the rack. "The girl has some strange requests." He wish he'd remembered his grocery list, but it was sitting where he left it on the counter. Then he mentally slapped himself. He could've asked Debby for the damn list!

"Whatever," Josh grumbled to himself. Items under one arm, he began to make his way towards the back of the store. "Toilet paper," he said aloud. 

The grocery store that had underwent no changes in the past twenty years of its existence suddenly decided to make an impromptu decision to renovate. They had replaced the wall paneling in the back, fixed the ceiling, replaced the freezers with brand new ones, and even added a damn cafeteria. Most annoying of all, however, was the rearranging of everything in the store. The rotisserie was where the vegetables were, the vegetables were where the fruit was, and the fruit was in the middle of fucking nowhere. Nothing was where it should have been, and it pissed Josh off.

"Can I help you, Mister?" 

Josh turned to see an employee with a box under his arm. His nametag read "HI, MY NAME IS FRED! WORKER SINCE 2008" in a cheerful red font that unfortunately clashed horribly with his red uniform.

"Yeah, actually. I'm looking for toilet paper?" Josh asked it like a question.

"Towards the back, aisle 4. We added new signs, it's right up there." The employee pointed to said sign.

"Ah," Josh said, feeling slightly stupid. "Thanks. You guys changed things, I have no idea where stuff is anymore."

The employee laughed. "Yeah, things got pretty confusing around here. We even moved all the dairy products. Anything else I can help you with?"

What was that damn thing on his grocery list...? He knew he'd forgotten something.

"No," Josh said. "But thanks." He began to turn.

Two things happened in the space of five seconds. 

The employee shouted "Hey!" and grabbed Josh by the shoulder, trying to pull him sideways. The box he'd been holding crashed to the floor. Its contents became instantly known to the rest of the store as several dozens of egg cartons burst open, yolks splattering the squeaky clean tiles.

He only had a second to wonder what the fuck he'd done when something large and metal slammed into his chest, sending him to the ground.