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“Man, I don’t know why you needed me here…” Mickey grumbled as the y walked down another isle. The store was crowded and he was barely audible over the people shouting in the next aisle over shampoo. Mickey was fed up with it “Nobody give’s fuck if you smell like strawberries or peaches!” and the next aisle was quiet. A content smirk spread across his lips as Ian threw the toilet paper in the cart and turned towards him.


“Can you pretend to not be an ass for twenty minutes?” The taller boy laughed as he pushed the half full cart down the aisle. “Only one thing left.”


Mickey held his breath as they walked into the aisle filled with feminine products. He stayed close behind the unflinching re head as he strode down the walkway. Nobody else was there and he almost ran into the younger boy when he came to a sudden stop, examining the shelves in front of him. The seconds went by like hours as Ian’s eyes red every label. He finally grabbed a box and tossed it in the cart, leaving the horrid place. Mickey could have sworn he saw Ian smirk as they turned the corner.


On the way to the register something caught Mickey out the corner of his eye, and without hesitation he was gone. It was his turn to take his time looking at every damn thing. When he found the prize he had been seeking, he filled both his hands and ran back to the cart like a little kid with a new toy. He promptly dropped the contents of his hands into the cart with a sense of pride. Ian almost hadn’t noticed. Almost.


“Mick, d’ya even need all of them?” When unwavering blue eyes met his he sighed “You’re going to get sick. I swear it’s like you’re four.” And they walked to the register in silence, with the occasional glance at the cart full of miscellaneous items for Mandy and the baby. And Mickey.


One by one everything was placed on the belt behind the black piece of plastic that separated their stuff from the geezer in front of them’s stuff. Reckless piles of Oreo’s, Snickers and the sort filled the front, Mickey had made sure his stuff was I the front. Ian snuck a coke onto the belt because hell if he wasn’t going to get anything, he’s the one who went to the store after all anyways. Once the contents of their cart had been emptied onto the belt Ian had stepped up to stand beside Mickey, his hand sliding into Mickey’s. The shorter boy looked at his feet, but didn’t move. And he would never admit the feeling of loss that hit him whenever Ian stepped away to pay for their stuff and load it into the cart.


And maybe it’s okay shopping with Ian, because when he pushed the cart to the truck with one hand, he held Mickey’s in the other. When they threw the last of the stuff into the bed of the truck, Mickey just half shoved the cart in the general direction of the return. When he himself climbed into the truck and slammed the heavy door shut, he couldn’t help but admire the redheaded boy sitting next to him, the sun bouncing off his skin as he took a long gulp of the coke. It all got better. Things always do.