Title: Attention Holiday Shoppers
Author: Lioness Black
Summary: Roger and Mark get jobs at a department store during the holiday season. Mark is catty. Roger is sarcastic. Maureen laughs.
Notes: I thought I'd try to write something funny, since all I ever really write is angst.
Disclaimer: Not mine, just good fun.
"I am not fooled by this. It's a Christmas tree."
Roger looked over at the tree Mark was inspecting. "Yes, it's a Christmas tree."
"This sign says 'Holiday Tree.' That's a Christmas tree and I know it."
"Mark, stop being so Jewish. Fill out your application."
"Roger, stop being so protestant," Mark mimicked under his breath.
"WHAT is wrong with you, today?"
"Do you realize where we are? What we're doing?"
"We're at a department store, filling out applications for jobs. It's just holiday work, Mark. It's not the end of the world. And if you haven't noticed, we're broke. It's a month and a half. If it can maybe get us some money, then maybe we can have some heat for Christmas, Hanukkah, what the fuck ever."
"Do you really think that they'll give us jobs? If this were McDonald's, maybe, but this is retail store. We look like slobs. Especially you."
"If they're desperate, they'll give us jobs. Did you see all those crazy shoppers?"
"Crazy forty-something female shoppers. We're not exactly the images they're trying to project, now are we?"
"Look," Roger said, "I hate this just as much as you do. Really, I do. But we're broke. Broke. That calls for a job. If you have any better ideas, please, tell me. I'd love to hear them. I mean, if you're willing to pose as an underage prostitute-"
"-then be my guest. I, however, am going to apply here and hopefully get us on our feet into the new year. Okay?"
Mark rolled his eyes and didn't reply. He did, however, start filling out his application.
"Don't blow the interview, will you?" Roger asked.
"I'll do my best."
Two days later, Roger got the call that both he and Mark got jobs.
"We're going to be so rich," Roger said as they walked toward the store.
"November twentieth, ten AM," Mark commentated, "Roger and I will go forth and make asses of ourselves."
"Cute. It'd be cooler if you actually had your camera on you."
"I'm not going to stuff my camera in some locker and leave it there all day. If I could film while I was working, it would be a completely different story."
They went inside and found their new boss.
"You two," she said, "we've got special jobs for you."
Twenty minutes later, Roger was staring at himself in a mirror, with total disbelief.
"I'm... Santa Claus."
"I would kill to be Santa Claus." Mark stepped out from behind the row of lockers, in an elf costume. "Didn't I say we were going to make asses of ourselves? That we certainly weren't going to be ringing up clothes or something?"
"Santa isn't horrible," Roger said, only half convincing himself.
"You don't have bells on your shoes."
"At least I won't lose you that way."
"You'll hear me running away."
"Store security will catch up with your before you can hit the streets... would you even go out into the streets wearing that?"
"Good point. I'll need a trench coat first." Mark sighed as he put on his hat, with a bell at the end. "On the bright side, we don't know anyone who can afford to shop here. So we can make it through the season without anyone knowing we're here."
Roger nodded. "That's the spirit." He put on his white fluffy beard. "Let's go."
Mark and Roger walked out into the store, and to Santa's Wonderland (an area with a huge Christmas tree, and the walls covered with fake, cotton-y, snow) to find a huge line of excited, screaming children and anxious, slightly annoyed parents.
"Oh shit," Mark muttered.
"Clean it up, mister elf," Roger muttered back.
"SANTA'S HERE!" screeched a little girl in the front of the line.
"Just ask the kids what they want, we'll snap a picture, and they go. Try to keep them under a three present limit, huh?" The manager shoved Roger forward, in the direction of Santa's throne.
"What do I do?" Mark asked.
"Stand around and look cute. Keep the line entertained. Dance, sing, I don't care."
"This is the most humiliating day of my life," he muttered. Only Roger heard him. He looked up at Mark and smiled.
"Ho, ho, ho."
Maureen was shopping. Well, she wasn't shopping, exactly. She was looking for things that she would like Joanne to buy for her later. Joanne wasn't much one for window shopping. If Maureen went in knowing what she wanted, there was more of a chance of getting them.
She found herself eying things for everyone else, but she couldn't afford them, and there wasn't any sense in having Joanne buying something for herself, in the big picture. She thought about the five dollar bill in her pocket, and thought that it was a good thing that Joanne wasn't all that into Christmas.
"Oops," she said to herself. Santaland. That meant kids. She went to turn around, when she noticed something familiar about that elf.
He spun around. "Oh shit."
"Potty mouth!" said one of the kids in line.
"Oh my god," Maureen said, still staring at him in shock. "Nice... hat. Nice tights. Ooh."
"What are you doing here?" Mark asked.
"Shopping, but... I did not expect to find a little elf." She grabbed onto a salesman walking back. She pointed to Mark. "I'll take two."
"Please leave, Maureen."
She was laughing to hard to hear him.
"Hey!" Mark shouted. He pointed to Maureen. "SHOPLIFTER!"
She stopped laughing and gasped. "MARK!"
"Oh, you will paaaaay!" She paused. "Except, maybe, this is punishment enough. I'm off to tell everyone about Mark the elf!"
She pranced away.
Mark put his face in his hands.
"Exes," a boy in the line said knowingly. He couldn't have been more than seven.
Mark looked at him.
"Go sit in Santa's lap!"
The day after Thanksgiving, Mark was nearly run down by a woman with three bags full of heavy boxes. After that, he got slammed in the head with a flying toy dinosaur. He was tripped by a kid in a Ninja Turtles t-shirt.
"No one," he said, walking home that evening, "has respect for elves."
"Everyone loves Santa," Roger replied.
The next day, in the middle of their shift, Roger looked at Mark. "How you doin'?"
Mark threw his hands in the air. "bHey, I'm workin' inside and no one's throwin' anything at me. It's a good day/b"
Roger laughed. "That's the spirit!"
"How many kids wet themselves on your lap today?"
A toy car hit Mark in his head. He grabbed it and threw it back into the crowd, with a lot of force for such a tiny object.
"Temper, temper," Roger said.
"I can't say what I want to say because there are children present. But use your imagination. It starts with an F."
"Boy, Mark the elf, you're going to have to be more specific."
"This sucks and you suck."
Another kid was plopped onto Roger's lap, a little girl, maybe six. "I know you're not really Santa Claus."
"Of course I am!" Roger replied, in a deeper voice.
"Uh, hello. I'm not an idiot. But if you could give my list to the big guy, I'd appreciate it."
"You got me. Go for it."
"I'd like a bike in either pink or purple. And I'd like a puppy. A golden retriever. I'd also like a Barbie dream house. I've been very good, except when I got yelled at for talking in class yesterday, but I'm really sorry."
She hopped off his lap, and before she took her mother's hand, she turned and looked at Roger. "You should get a new job. You're not doing Santa any favors."
"She's right," Mark said. "We need new jobs."
"She said you were the best elf she's ever seen," Roger snapped.
"We should quit."
"I don't care what you do. I'm going to go quit."
"Mark, don't quit."
"Fine," Mark said, throwing his hands up. "If I can't quit, I'm going to get fired."
"They're not going to fire anyone during this time of year, and you have to know it."
"Oh, they'll fire me."
Where the hell was Mark? Roger looked around.
It was the last day of November, they had their jobs for ten days, and it had been a week since Mark decreed that he was going to get fired, but nothing had come of it. They had worked eight of the past ten days, and each day, Mark kept looking grimmer, but he had done nothing out of line, besides swear under his breath at passing children.
Until now. He was over twenty minutes late. At forty minutes late, Roger just assumed that Mark wasn't coming in.
That is, until he heard the announcement over the loudspeaker.
"Attention, holiday shoppers!" Mark's voice rang loud and clear to every floor of the building. "Santa will be giving free blow jobs from now until four with a thirty dollar or more purchase! That's right, blow jobs, thirty dollar or more purchase!"
Roger dropped his face into his hands. Mark had gone insane. Not only was he going to get fired, he was probably going to get sent to jail.
He didn't want to kill Mark until a three hundred pound man shoved a receipt for thirty-two dollars in his face.
"Uhhhh..." Roger said, before going to find a manager. And he would do everything in his power to get Mark fired himself. And then kicked out of the apartment, and murdered on the street. After being propositioned by someone expecting a blow job.
After work (a ten hour shift, and being cranky enough from that alone), Roger found Mark at the loft.
"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?"
Mark was looking at Roger through his camera. "I got fired."
"Well, good. Because now that you don't have a job, I'm going to kill you. Do you know how many-"
"You're kidding me!" Mark started laughing. "Really, Roger, I didn't mean for that to happen to you. I just wanted to get canned."
"Next time you have a huge plan, you leave me out of it! And I still expect the money you would have made in for the bills. Because I'm working my ass off, at a job, that, yes, I hate just as much as you hated it." Roger wondered if this what Benny felt like when they refused to pay.
"I already got another job. I don't have to dress up like an idiot, I don't have to be laughed at by my friends. In fact, no one has to even know about it."
"It's not something... illegal, is it?"
"No, it's... research. Medical research."
Roger paused. "What?"
"I qualify to medical research for living in a building that has no heat."
"We could afford heat if you hadn't quit your job."
"But it's some kind of... I don't even know."
"If you have to take pills anally, I won't help, but I met about twelve guys today who would be so happy if I gave them your number."
"Veryyyy funny. So, another month of playing Santa for you, Roger?"
"Yep. I might hate it, but I'd like to stay warm at night."
Mark smirked. "Didn't you meet about twelve-"
"Shut up." Roger gave Mark a long, stern expression before he started laughing. He flopped next to him on the couch. "You are so lucky I love you."
"I know. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, what the fuck ever."