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TITLE: Adventures in Pauper Shopping

AUTHOR: Mnemosyne

Disclaimer: They are not mine in any way, shape or form.
SUMMARY: Akira chaperones Tsukasa when the latter goes on an errand for Tsukushi.
CHARACTER(S): Akira, Tsukasa, Tsukasa/Tsukushi (married, implied)
WARNINGS: Extreme silliness
FIC VERSE: Strictly Jdrama-verse

I had the image of Domyouji shopping at Wal-Mart stuck in my head the other day, and I couldn't resist. Please enjoy!

There were some things Mimasaka Akira admired about Domyouji Tsukasa, and some things he thought were damn stupid.  The current situation was up in the air, but he was pretty sure it would fall under the latter category. Certainly if it had been anyone else it would be considered idiotic, but there was something about Tsukasa that insulated him from everyday mortal concerns like, "Will my wife want to kill me after this?"   This might have been because Tsukasa's wife, Domyouji (nee Makino) Tsukushi, threatened to kill her husband at least once a day, so the warning had long ago lost its bite.

It had all begun when Tsukasa married Tsukushi.  A lot of things had begun with that relationship, actually, including the weekly Pauper Breakfast at Eitoku ("If eating pauper meals was good enough to make my Makino into the girl I chose, then it's good enough to turn those useless underclassmen into less useless upperclassmen!"); the establishment of the Lovers From Saturn Fan Club (total members: 5, consisting of Domyouji Tsukasa, President, the rest of F4 [by compulsion] and Tsukushi [under duress]); and the construction of the "Poor House," which was the dreadfully unfunny pun Tsukasa used to describe the lavish home he'd had built for Tsukushi's family.  "Hey, have you seen Susumu, Makino?  No? You know why?  Because he's IN THE POOR HOUSE!  BWAH!"

Domyouji was the kind of man who would think a carrot that had grown into a humorous and/or obscene shape was knee-slappingly hysterical.

Another new tradition (wasn't that an oxymoron?) that had sprung up as a result of their marriage was Tsukasa's concerted effort to understand the "hardships" of Makino's poor upbringing.  Of course, he never focused on the true hardships, such as hunger, a caste-like social structure, or near-poverty.  He was too well bred to know what terms like "social class discrimination" even meant, except to know it was something that happened to other people.  No, Tsukasa had chosen to focus on what he felt was the TRUE hardship of the average Japanese Everyman.


Specifically, discount shopping.

The thought of a solitary Tsukasa prowling the bargain bins, snarling at the staff and wielding his credit card like a katana was enough to give anyone nightmares.  Since Tsukushi couldn't be with him every waking minute of the day, what with law school and her internship with a local firm, and because he couldn't be left alone to wantonly terrorize the cashiers at the nearest JUSCO superstore, one of the remaining F4 invariably found themselves chaperoning Tsukasa's shopping safaris.  More often than not that person was Akira.  Sojiroh was too easily distracted by a nice set of legs, and Rui would probably fall asleep while Domyouji wandered the aisles.

Shopping with Tsukasa was never dull, especially when he started interrogating the stock boys about where they'd hidden the tarragon, which he stubbornly believed to be some kind of anti-balding hair conditioner despite every argument to the contrary.  Today, though, was special, because Tsukushi had given him an errand.  Since Domyouji was almost parasitically devoted to "his Makino," much to her frequent chagrin, doing an errand for her was not an issue to be taken lightly, and Tsukasa had taken the afternoon off work to devote himself completely to the task at hand.  When Akira had shown up at his office to drive him to the store, the richest man in Japan had been beside himself with excitement.  He was GIDDY.  Being in the presence of a giddy Domyouji Tsukasa was an experience that made most normal men glaze over with a waxy smile and start edging for the door.  It just made Akira tired.

"EH!?  How should I know, idiot!"

Akira leaned against a display of Pez dispensers at the end of the aisle and nodded amiably to the other shoppers.  Some of them looked like they wanted to come over and gape at the two members of F4 who had deemed this supermarket classy enough to earn their business, but Akira's polite shake of the head coupled with Tsukasa's enraged screaming was enough to scare them away.  The bloom was definitely off the rose on this particular errand, and Domyouji's initial eagerness had been replaced by his usual arrogant spitefulness.  Every shopping venture took the same turn for the worse at some point; you could almost set your watch by it.  Akira had found it was best to let his friend rage at will while he kept gawkers at bay and prevented Tsukasa from actually punching any unfortunate employees who happened to be in the vicinity.

"There are a dozen different brands here!  I don't know which one you want!"

Not for the first time, Akira was grateful for the invention of the cell phone.  Without it, it would have been his job to help Domyouji pick out –


- the pregnancy test.

"FINE!  I'll just get them ALL!  Then you'll have to pee on a DOZEN DIFFERENT STICKS!  FINE! FINE!"


"ARRRGH!  That woman is going to be the death of me!"  With an angry wave of his arm, Tsukasa swept the entire shelf of pregnancy tests into the basket on his arm.  "Our baby had better hope he's born with MY common sense!  PEASANTS!"  He threw his free hand in the air in exasperation, then stormed past Akira.  "Hurry up!  We're leaving!"

Mimasaka swiveled on his heel to follow his friend.  "Is that all you needed to buy?" he asked, pausing to help an elderly couple Tsukasa had pushed into a display of watermelons as he raged toward the checkout lanes.

"She wants marshmallows.  BUT SHE CAN GET THOSE HERSELF!"

Akira breathed a quiet sigh of relief.  Thank God.

"OI!  IDIOTS!  Fifteen items or less in the express checkout!  Move or I'll kill you!"

The only thing that could be said for this particular shopping trip: at least it wasn't tampons again.


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