“Britta,” Annie says, folding her arms over her chest and using her Disney eyes, “We need curtains.”
Britta looks up from the refrigerator where she’s eating cold pizza straight out of the box. “Curtains? What for?”
Annie huffs. “Britta! We have no window coverings! I’m like 90 percent sure that creepy Mr. VanElweiser watches us shower.”
Britta shrugs. “There’s a shower curtain,” she says, “Get undressed in the bathtub.”
Annie stares her down viciously. Britta, rummaging in the fridge for something to drink, doesn’t notice. Annie pouts and stomps her foot. “We’re going to IKEA,” she insists, and that grabs Britta’s attention.
“Oh, no we are not,” Britta says, horrified. “IKEA is a terrible corporate wasteland. They would be curtains of the capitalist patriarchy.”
“Fine,” Annie sniffs, “Put your coat on; we’re going to Bed, Bath, & Beyond.”
“Put your coat on, or no sex for a week.”
Britta opens her mouth like she’s going to protest, something about feminism and blackmail, but Annie just gives her a long, steady look and Britta goes to the tiny closet to retrieve her coat.
“I’m driving,” Annie says immediately, and Britta makes a half-hearted noise of protest before sliding into the passenger seat.
“I pick music,” Britta counters, and Annie sighs.
“No Neutral Milk Hotel,” she instructs, pulling out carefully onto the street and adjusting her mirrors.
Britta’s face falls slightly, and then brightens again.
“No Grizzly Bear, either,” Annie adds hastily. Britta glares, but when she hooks her ancient iPod up to the stereo, it’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs that start playing. Annie likes Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
They ride in silence, for the most part, Britta tapping her fingers on the frosty glass of the window along to the beat of the song, Annie concentrating as fervently on the road as she always does. They pull into the parking lot, and Annie turns the car off before turning to Britta.
“I don’t want to do this,” Britta whines. “I hate shopping.”
“No, you do not,” Annie counters, “You own every single thing in Urban Outfitters.”
“That’s different-“ Britta protests, and Annie leans forward to press a gentle kiss against Britta’s lips.
“Fine,” Britta sighs, “But we go in, grab the curtains, and leave, okay? I don’t do domestic.”
“Well, I do,” Annie smiles, and then steps out of the car. She’s halfway across the parking lot before Britta catches up, high heeled boots trudging through the slush.
“I don’t care if you do domestic,” Britta hisses, “I am not spending hours looking at – at – towels and decorative pillows and soap dispensers!”
“Okay,” Annie says mildly, “If you say so.”
Britta’s heels clack on the tile of the Bed, Bath & Beyond as they stride through the automatic door. “See, Annie, I don’t believe you for some reason.”
“That’s weird,” Annie says, eyeing a display of reading lamps with interest as they walk past.
“I really don’t trust you to just leave,” Britta continues, and Annie stops them, placing her hands on Britta’s waist and looking up at her with huge blue eyes.
“Britta,” she says seriously, “I can’t believe you don’t trust me. Would I lie to you, honestly?”
“This is a trap,” Britta says triumphantly. “This is a trap, and I am a therapist. There’s no way you can emotionally manipulate me.”
Annie goes up on tiptoes, and whispers in Britta’s ear, “No, but I can try.” Britta can feel Annie’s warm breath against her cheek, and Annie’s teeth are practically scraping against Britta’s earlobe, and Britta swallows, hard.
“Come on,” Annie says perkily, pulling away, grabbing Britta’s hand, and twirling around so that her skirt whirled around her. “I see the curtains.”
“I want those ones,” Britta says immediately, pointing at a tangerine and navy striped number.
“No,” Annie says, horrified. “They look like Jeff’s favorite underwear. Surely, as a therapist, you can understand what’s wrong about that.”
Britta makes a squicked out face. “Okay, yeah, I may not have noticed that at first,” she concedes, “But I definitely can’t unsee it now. Thanks for that.”
“I think we should get those blue ones,” Annie continues.
“The flowery ones?” Britta snorts. “No way. We’re not actually 80 years old. Let’s get blackout curtains, there’s no way Mr. VanWhatever is going to see anything through those.”
“We’re not getting blackout curtains,” Annie says flatly. “How about just plain white?”
“Those’ll get dirty way too easily,” Britta complains.
Annie looks at her. “They’re going in the bathroom,” she says incredulously, “What do you think is going to happen to them?”
Britta shrugs. Annie grimaces.
“Let’s just get the cheapest curtains,” Britta says decidedly. “Look, these are 19.99. Perfect.”
“They’ve got ruffles,” Annie says, horrified. “They’re brown with ruffles and they’re printed with little chickens all over them.”
Britta inspects the package closer, and then sets it down gingerly. “Okay, yeah, no. How about the green ones?’
“They’re puke colored,” Annie complains.
“No, not those,” Britta scoffs, “The other ones. Over there.”
Annie follows where Britta’s finger is pointing. “Those are sea foam,” she corrects. “And … also really nice.”
“Did I win?” Britta asks delighted.
“We both won!” Annie chirps. “We get cute curtains!”
“Whatever,” Britta mutters, and tackles Annie onto the display bed next to where they’re standing.
“What are you doing?!” Annie squeals, looking up at Britta, who’s hovering over her, a sly smile on her face.
“Nothing much,” Britta says, and leans down for a kiss. Annie responds after a few seconds, and then breaks away.
“Not here!” Annie says. “This is in public!”
“So?” Britta purrs.
“Anyone could see us!” Annie protests.
“That’s the point,” Britta breathes, and ducks down for another kiss. Annie’s left hand comes up and wraps itself into Britta’s wavy blond hair, and Britta sinks down onto one elbow so she can use her other hand to brush a thumb gently over Annie’s cheekbones. Annie scrapes her teeth gently over Britta’s bottom lip, and Britta moans softly and deepens the kiss. Annie arches up into Britta’s touch, making a tiny squeaking noise at the sensation of Britta’s lips moving from her lips to her neck.
“Britta,” Annie pants, wriggling slightly, “We’re going to get kicked out of Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I can’t let that happen. Do you know how humiliating that would be?”
“How hot that would be, I think you mean,” Britta counters, and licks a hot wet stripe across Annie’s collarbone.
Annie makes a high keening noise, and then pushes Britta off. “We need to buy the curtains,” she affirms, straightening her skirt as she stands up, and smoothing her hair down.
Britta stands up too, pouting. “Come on,” she whines, “Live a little! It’s just curtains!”
“If we get curtains, we can have shower sex,” Annie points out, and Britta freezes.
“That’s an option?” Britta asks, flabbergasted.
“Not with Mr. VanElweiser watching, it’s not,” Annie says primly, and grabs the curtains off the shelf before flouncing off to the checkout counter.
Britta is still standing next to the display bed, gaping. Annie turns around and looks at her, a mischievous glint in her eyes. “Coming?” she asks suggestively. Britta makes a tiny choking noise.
“Yeah, okay,” she mutters, and follows eagerly. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond is good for something after all.