Title: Stay on Target
Characters: Merlin, Arthur
Summary: Merlin takes Arthur shopping.
Word Count: 420
Prompt: 417, target
Author's note: I am so sorry, but this ended up being a Christmas themed story.
“Merlin, why do they look so miserable? I thought this was supposed to be the most joyous time of the year. At least, that’s what all of those songs you insist on playing keep saying.”
Merlin gave Arthur the look he had mastered so many centuries ago but had little use for with Leon. “Arthur, do you notice how hectic this place is?”
“Well, yes, but it’s just like the large fairies we had back home.” Arthur ran his finger over the tee shirt he had just unfolded. He did appreciate the fact that normal people now had access to the finer fabrics that he’d had so long ago. He also got a kick out of the creature with big eyes and bat-like ears that Merlin had nearly swooned over when it was first shown. Not that he’d ever tell Merlin that, of course. Arthur and Leon had an unspoken agreement that teasing the warlock over his obsession was just fun.
Merlin was holding a bright blue shirt in his hand as he shook his head. “Arthur, it’s Christmas in Target. Retail at Christmas is insane. The workers are being driven nuts by customers wanting this or that in colors things don’t actually come in. Or they need a certain toy for their child even if it’s been sold out everywhere for months.” Merlin shuddered. “Leon and I worked retail over Christmas once. Just once. We were checking out a company that was doing some underhanded shit and I have no idea how these workers do it every year. It was the closest thing to a living hell I can conceive of.
“Huh. I guess they like it?”
Merlin snorted. “Oh, you should have heard some of the horror stories Leon and I were told. I’ll tell you some while we’re on the plane home. I want to get this for Leon.” His eyes went a bit dreamy. “It’ll look so good on him.”
Arthur groaned. “Come on, Merlin. You said we needed some toiletries and a few necessities.”
Merlin smiled. “This is a necessity. It will show off how handsome my husband is and make all the other people jealous that I get to keep him and they can’t have him.”
“I give up. I’m going to find the toothpaste.”
Arthur walked away from his friend. He also walked away from him a bit later to sneak a quick purchase of the tee shirt he had been examining earlier. It would make a perfect present for his lovesick friend.
And the reason this was soul-crushing is because I do, indeed, work at Target. I have learned to dread the Christmas season.