Eggsy parked the truck, got out and stretched his muscles. The drive from the Oliver’s Farm was at least an hour and his back tended to cramp up. Roxy pulled up next to him and gave him a wave. Eggsy walked round the back of the truck and opened it up. He’d come with more produce than he normally would. The weather had been perfect so he had baskets full of endive, butter lettuce, asparagus, radicchio, collard greens, peas, green beans, Swiss chard, rhubarb and red leaf lettuce. Normally he’d have come with the Oliver’s daughter, June, but she was taking care of the animals for the week.
“You’ve got quite the haul today!” Roxy exclaimed happily.
Eggsy grinned, “Yeah, I think I’ll have enough for a few days here. It’s not so busy this time of year, yeah?” He massaged the back of his neck.
Roxy nodded, leaned over and snuck a pea pod into her mouth. She closed her eyes and smiled. “These are PERFECT!” She watched Eggsy start to move the other baskets to the back of the truck. “Once I get the lemonade ready, I’ll make sure to give you a tall glass!”
Eggsy smiled. “With lots of ice?”, he grunted while lifting the rhubarb.
Roxy nodded as she walked back to her vehicle, “Of course!”
Harry shut off his glasses and massaged his temples. His latest mission had been a total success but he had barely slept on the plane; the memories of all of the bombs detonating at once in that small space had just aggravated his tinnitus. He’d had the damnedest time trying to sleep and had just given up. Harry had been taken straight to Savile Row for debriefing by Arthur. He just wanted to sleep. In his own quiet house. In his own plush bed.
“Are you alright, Galahad?”
Harry looked up at Arthur, “Yes sir, just terribly tired. I'm afraid I won’t be of any use for the rest of the day."
Arthur nodded and gestured for him to leave the room. Harry tried to maintain his stiff posture as he walked down the stairs but it was taxing. Merlin had just come out of Fitting Room One and smiled as he met Harry’s eyes.
“Sorry about the bombs.” Merlin grinned. “I thought they’d have at least gone off after you’d left!”
Harry frowned and gestured to his ears. “Well, they most certainly did NOT. I couldn't even sleep on the damn plane, Merlin!”
Merlin put his arm around his friend’s broad shoulders. “I know, Harry. I know.” He spun around in front of Harry, “But let me make it up to you! The farmer’s market has started again and I’ll buy you some of the best lemonade you've ever had!”
Harry looked unconvinced. “You hate lemonade. You hate lemons! Why the devil would that soothe my exhaustion?!”
Merlin gave Harry a look and gestured for him to follow him to the store front. Merlin looked around guiltily, “Right, I’ll be honest. There’s this lass…”
Harry sighed loudly and tipped his head back as if taking in the deepest breath. He leaned close to Merlin. In a harsh whisper he said, “Are. You. Bloody. Serious?!”
Merlin shrugged his shoulders and started to guide Harry out of the shop. Harry stopped abruptly and watched Merlin stumble ahead of him down the sidewalk. He shot Merlin a truly unimpressed glare. “A fucking girl?! You feel bad about me being exhausted so you’re offering to buy me a drink that, A: you hate and B: has zero alcohol in it, which could've at least helped me fall asleep and C: all because of some woman?!” Harry’s lips thinned into a line. “I'm going home, Merlin.” He started to walk towards the cab that was waiting near the shop.
Merlin, got wide-eyed and jogged in front of Harry. “Please, Harry.” He put his hands on Harry’s chest to stop him from getting into the cab. “I need someone else to go with. I can’t keep looking like a bloody, pervy old man!”
Harry raised an eyebrow, “Go with Gawain, he’s been moping around all day!” Then a thought hit him, “How old is this “lass”?”
Merlin blushed. He actually fucking blushed. “She can’t be more than 25…”
Harry stared at his best friend of 20 years, mouth agape. “25? Jesus, Merlin.”
Merlin got defensive, “Oi! Who is your best friend? Who made sure that Arthur gave you that honeypot mission last autumn? Because, you were, and I QUOTE, “So hard up for it that a trip down to Smith Street might be in order.” “ Merlin looked smug. “I got you a gorgeous piece of ass from South America instead of a fucking rent boy.” He crossed his arms, “We look out for one another, Harry.”
Harry grimaced and rolled his eyes. He often replayed clips of his time Buenos Aires, the honey-coloured skin, those breath taking blue eyes...He shook his head out of his reverie. “Fine.” he said, curtly. “Buy me a fucking lemonade.”