A/N: Short idea I got after watching American Splendor. Enjoy.
The place? A harshly lit, yet overall dim corner grocery store where every can, bag and box were in nice neat stacks.
The item? A box of chocolate Pocky; the only one left, and it was the one that Kaoru Kamiya intended on taking. She, however, was not alone, as there was another hand on the box. She hardly looked to the man as she fought for the box. He didn't put up much of a fight and let her take it and drop it in her basket.
This man, a red head with feminine face and figure, walked away without a word to Kaoru, and he didn't allow her to say 'thank you' either.
Kaoru shrugged and turned on her heel, going in the opposite direction of the red head. Several items late, one of which was a bottle of cheap wine to push her through her latest break up, Kaoru went to the line. It just so happened that she was stuck behind the peculiar red headed man who was looking over the items in his basket in a paranoid fashion. This was not so much the problem, because before the feminine man was an old lady searching through her purse for any crumpled up coupons.
Kaoru sighed, taking a guess that it was an anal Jewish lady, one that would argue with the cashier, and no doubt the manager just to save a few pennies.
"How many items do you have?" Were the words that brought Kaoru from her dreamland. She inquired with her eyes for the man to repeat himself. He did kindly.
"Um…I don't know."
He was counting however. He turned to recount his basket.
"Go ahead of me Miss."
"You only have six, I have seven."
Kaoru, slightly disturbed, moved ahead feeling it would get her out faster. Besides, who would give up the free courtesy?
"So you always this nice?" Kaoru asked. She was doing this to drown out the old lady's New York accent.
"Me? Well, I try to be," he said, "but you look like you have somewhere to go as well."
"Oh yes, big party tonight," she said sarcastically. "I'm going to be lounging with my cat, some old reruns and whatever brand of wine this is," she stated, inspecting the bottle for a label.
"Sounds like a full night."
"Oh, let me tell ya. Wouldn't want to miss the episodes of M*A*S*H I've seen a thousand times before."
The red head laughed. Kaoru was a little red at first for opening herself up to such a complete stranger, but then she too let out a chuckle.
"How's your night going then?" Kaoru asked back. "I told you mine."
"It's…going." He rocked on his heels. "Something tells me that M*A*S*H will be a shared party mate that it will."
"Really?" Kaoru lowered her head, trying to look towards him incredulously. She found herself laughing at her poor attempt at being accusatory.
"That or a few shots of tequila with a friend."
"Can't decide between the two?"
"Nope; it's just too close to call."
Kaoru glanced back at the old lady. She'd gotten through half her items without complaint, but it seemed that a dispute was arising. Kaoru turned back to the man.
"I forgot to thank you," Kaoru said, sifting around for the Pocky. The man shook his head.
"You don't need too. You touched it first, it's yours."
"You're too much," Kaoru waved her hand around. "People complain about others being tight, but you seem to be as loose as they come."
"Yeah, so I've been told."
"I guess it's a good thing," said Kaoru. "I don't know many people who would let me cut in front of them just because I had one less item than they did."
The man just smiled. It seemed to be genuine, unlike all the fake ones plastered over the news and on the tabloids that were stacked neatly beside her. Kaoru picked up a Reader's Digest and put it in the basket. She inquired to the man what he would do now.
He shrugged. "Ladies first."
"I thought chivalry was dead."
He had such a nice laugh to compliment his features. This man was a breath of fresh air. Everything about him was genuine and kind. He was overall feminine, with a round face and large amethyst eyes. He was like a knight in shining armor except he was in a Notre Dame hoodie and worn out jeans.
"Probably is," he responded.
For a few moments they were drawn from each other to look at the old was woman who appeared to be yelling in Yiddish, accidentally slipping into the tongue as she yelled toward the manager about the outrageous prices, and how her coupons were not out of date. When she subsided back into English, Kaoru and the red head turned back to each other.
"So, you're not too busy?" Kaoru confirmed. She felt her cheeks beginning to get hot.
"No. Not until Monday at least. I just got a job working at this office in the next city. I can't wait to start."
Kaoru's lips curved up. He was already two qualities better than her last her last boyfriend.
"That's good. With all the businesses going out, I'm glad you can find something," she sighed. "Me on the other hand--they couldn't lay me off fast enough."
"That's too bad. You know, the office is hiring I think; and if they won't take you I have a few of my friends work free lance and are looking for assistants in their work."
"You would do that?" Kaoru was stunned. Full fledged, hand at her chest, jaw half open, stunned.
Before the man answered, Kaoru was pulled away by the cashier. He was happy to be done with the old lady, and welcomed the young unwrinkled face.
She checked out quickly, paid and got her bags. As she went to leave, she stopped and waited for the red headed man who was fishing in his wallet while the cashier rang his items up.
"Would you really get me a job?" Kaoru asked as the man got his grocery bags together. The red head simply nodded.
"Of course. But first I need your name, phone number…" he drawled off.
"I'll do you one better. Since you'll be watching M*A*S*H and I'll be watching M*A*S*H, how 'bout we watch it together at my place?" she reached into her bag. "We can share the Pocky."
The man lowered his head and smiled. To break the silence, Kaoru shook the Pocky bow attempting to goad this man to take her proposition.
"Yeah, sure. Sounds nice."
Kaoru Kamiya," she announced, sticking out her hand. The red head grasped it, shook it, and never let it go.
A/n: Tell me what you think. KenSan out!