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Fic: The Shopping Trip, Sleepy Hollow, Gen

Title: The Shopping Trip
Author: caitri
Rating: G
Word Count: 1291
Summary: Abbie knew that taking Ichabod shopping was going to be a long, painful process, which is why she put it off for as long as she could. And when Crane has been in the twenty-first century for two months, when he has been locked in cars and shot guns with more than one bullet, when they have fought demons and the undead together, surely a trip to Beekman’s Grocery can’t be that bad--can it?
Disclaimer: I am the farthest thing from a writer or employee of Fox as it is possible to be. So.

Abbie knew this day was coming, she just had hoped it wouldn’t be so soon. She’d gone out of her way to avoid it, in fact, which had involved braving the early afternoon traffic of soccer moms at the Costco to buy in bulk everything a time-displaced Revolutionary soldier could need (and only a bit of cribbing from what she remembered of Luke’s fridge and freezer). But apparently a host of Hungry Man frozen entrees just won’t do, and Crane’s life skills have to be revised if he’s going to be doing this for the next seven years--or longer--and so she reluctantly, so reluctantly, concedes to the necessity of a shopping trip.

“Okay, here’s the deal, Crane,” she says as they walk into the store. “Fifty dollars and half an hour. You got it?”

“Certainly, Lieutenant,” Crane says with that polite bow of the head he does. “And I can’t imagine it will take--that--long--” His sentence peters off when confronted with the vision of the store before him. Beekman’s isn’t even that big--no way in Hell was Abbie taking him to a Whole Foods or, God forbid, Walmart--but it still has five check-out lanes and sixteen aisles, not counting the produce section or the bakery. “My God.”

Abbie grits her teeth. “Forty minutes,” she allows, and puts a plastic shopping basket into his hands. Crane stares at it, then takes a deep breath and surveys the place like he’s planning on mounting a full attack (which, technically, he is, she supposes).

“Well then,” he says, “not a moment to waste. Onwards!”

She had meant to leave him be and go spend the time leafing through glossy magazines in the books section, maybe even indulge in one of the cheap romances that could usually be had two for one, but she ends up following him because, well--because. She grabs a basket herself, because she could do with a few staples herself, come to think.

They start in produce. Abbie knows they will work their way through the store, aisle by aisle, Crane probably filing away its layout in that eidetic memory of his like regular people remember TV trivia. And next time he comes, the trip will be ten minutes long, and Abbie can kill time in peace.

At first there’s no problem. Ichabod picks some apples, checking for bruises, and then puts them in one of the little plastic baggies for that purpose. He adds some onions and then some potatoes and carrots, while Abbie grabs a bag of pre-made salad for herself.

“That’s ten bucks right there, Crane,” she points out, just in case he’s not paying close attention to their budget.

Ichabod grimaces. “These prices are truly extortionate,” he says. “You know, when the British blockaded the ports it wasn’t this bad. I remain amazed that people aren’t protesting in the streets.”

“I promise I’ll take you to the next Occupy protest,” she quips, but they’ve moved on. They both pick up milk; she selects a slender carton of 2% and after a moment’s hesitation he copies her. He stares at the shelves of eggs: the regular kind, organic, cage-free…

“I don’t suppose it might be possible to obtain a few chickens and some seed?” he asks, though his tone indicates he doesn’t hold out much hope.

“Never pegged you for a farmer,” Abbie answers as he finally picks the smallest, cheapest box they have and adds it to his basket. “Do you want to take up knitting, too?”

She expects him to say something snarky and vaguely sexist back, but instead he brightens. “I have a bit of darning to do on my socks. Can one obtain needles and yarn here?”

Abbie wonders whether she should take him to a craft store--he could probably do with a hobby--or just explain it’s easier and cheaper just to buy socks. Before she can answer, though, Crane stops before an orange cardboard stand filled with bags of cheesy puffs. “Why does that tiger have darkened spectacles?” he wants to know. “I also don’t see any resemblance to anything one might call ‘cheese.’”

"It's a cheetah,” she explains, "and the cheese is the orange powder." Crane looks appalled. She adds a bag to her basket with a little smile, and he just shakes his head.

They’re in the meats section then, where there is bin after bin of refrigerated pieces of chicken, cow, and pig. Crane frowns, wavering between bacon and sausages, before selecting the latter. To this he adds a package of chicken tenderloins, and he frowns at his (now almost full) basket. “Thirty-two dollars,” he says, clearly torn between horror and relief.

“What else?” she asks.

Ichabod thinks. “You said once that tea was--cheap--here?”

Abbie smiles, and leads him to the relevant aisle. She’s glad she followed him, because when he sees row after row of Twinings he all but glows. While he examines the labels she searches for her own favorite and adds it to her basket.

“Sleepy Time?” She looks up and Crane has his eyebrows quirked at her in bemusement.

“Don’t judge me,” she darts a glance at his selections, “Earl and Lady Grey.”

He flushes a little. “It is awfully indulgent,” he says, and picks the box of Lady Grey back up to return to the shelf.

“Pfft. No judgement here,” Abbie says, and he smiles and returns it to his basket. “Well, maybe about the Cheetos.”

“No,” Crane says with more dignity than the occasion of junk food warrants. “Thirty-eight dollars. Enough left for a loaf of bread, and maybe some yarn and needles, hey?”

“About that,” Abbie says, as they head to the bakery, “most people just buy their clothes now. It’s all--machine-made.”

Crane’s not listening though, as he heads straight to a display of fresh rustic loaves. They are pristine in their brown paper bags, and probably look more like real food to him than the bags of Wonder Bread she’s been known to bring by. “Amazing!” He looks delighted. “Look at this, Abbie! Real bread!”

Abbie forces a smile even as something in her gut clenches. It’s not that his joy is childlike--far from it, really--it’s just that, well, it hadn’t occurred to her that something like bread might ease his homesickness. She feels strangely guilty, and decides that they’ll make the trip to a craft store later.

“How about that,” she says instead.

They end up finding socks at the end of the aisle of baby stuff and hygiene products. Ichabod frowns as he bends down to read the price on a bag of black men’s socks. “Nine dollars,” he  announces as he straightens. “We don’t have enough.” He frowns, then looks appalled as he is nose to bag with a package of boxers. He stiffens, then moves to block them from Abbie’s view. “Miss Mills,” he says in a slow, careful undertone, “there are--undergarments here. I don’t think you should perhaps see--”

“Chill, Crane, and get the socks,” Abbie interrupts before he can go any further. “The boxers, too,” she adds, because good Lord, what has that man been doing about clothes? “I’ll float you.”

Ichabod nods without a word, and adds them to his basket.

“You know,” Abbie says with a lightness she doesn’t exactly feel as they head to check-out, “if there’s anything that, you know, can help you adjust a bit better to now? You can tell me.”

Crane turns to look at her, and the corners of his lips lift as he understands what she is and isn’t saying. “Understood, Miss Mills.” He waits until they are loading their purchases into her car before he suggests, “Driving lessons?”

“Let me rephrase that,” Abbie says, and shuts the trunk to Crane’s low chuckle.


( 8 comments — Add your .02 )
Nov. 13th, 2013 10:51 am (UTC)
perfect in every way.
Nov. 15th, 2013 04:58 am (UTC)
Nov. 13th, 2013 11:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm gonna need this to actually happen on the show, lol. This was adorable. Of all the modern things I'd thought about Ichabod encountering, I hadn't even considered the grocery store. He wouldn't even recognize half the shit we call food. I cracked up at his reaction to the Cheetos.

I vote for a sequel where he discovers the joys of Little Debbie snack cakes. :)
Nov. 15th, 2013 05:00 am (UTC)
Y'know, I wanted to do something about introducing Ichabod to Swiss Rolls, but I couldn't see him bypassing recognizable food to go to the sweets aisle. (I'm actually not sure he'd even have gone for the tea, but--Twinings has been around since 1709, I thought that bit of continuity was too neat to pass up!)
Nov. 13th, 2013 02:03 pm (UTC)
He's probably have a heart attack if she'd taken him to Costco.

Lovely! I hope they do film a scene with him in a store. 'Cause it'll be epic.
Nov. 15th, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
Dude, *I* have almost had heart attacks going to Costco!!

And I just want a shopping scene, I really do. Or a token bit of him in different clothes. It's just distracting and I can only imagine how worn everything is getting!!!!

*caitri, motherhen to fictional characters*
Nov. 13th, 2013 04:21 pm (UTC)
Nov. 15th, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
( 8 comments — Add your .02 )

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