Sequel to Amicable Exes and Platonic Domesticity. Can be read on its own, as long as you know that Cracker is a duck and lives in Kurt's backyard.
This weekend = craptastic. The situation was dire. I may have taken it out on Brittany just a little. But on the bright side, at least there were no airplanes involved [:
I wore my Glee shirt out in public for the first time. Just in case someone accidently dropped Glee on the sidewalk or left it on the counter at the coffee shop, I could pretend it was mine. No dice :/
Brittany was having a really bad day.
It had started in Spanish class. Mr. Schue had returned the pop quizzes he had given the class two days ago, and Brittany had gotten a "See Me" on hers. She hadn't been sure if that was good or bad—didn't you usually only get one letter for a grade?—so she had gone up to ask him about it after class. He'd asked her where she'd learned all the words she had written on the paper, and she'd been forced to admit that she hadn't realized that soda or musicians were going to be on the quiz (or even that there was one), and that she had panicked and written down all the Spanish she could ever remember Santana muttering under her breath.
Mr. Schue's super awkward explanation that death threats and curse words—even ones as creative as Santana's—were not quite appropriate for a quiz on the conjugation of verbs in past tense made her late for lunch. It probably didn't help that she took the time to point out that 'conjugation' was totally on the cop show she'd watched on tv the night before, and it obviously had something to do with visiting people in prison, not verbs.
By the time she made it through the lunch line, there were no cookies left. Which was way lame, because it was like, the one day a week she didn't have to worry about Coach Sylvester lurking around the cafeteria with a pair of binoculars and a dart gun—on Fridays, she went to the shooting range "to work out the aggravation of yet another week spent breathing the same air as my substandard colleagues. It's a tough existence, but a little ambient nitroglycerin in the lungs should nip any developing infection in the bud."
Tina gave her half of her cookie, which was nice of her, but Brittany was still kinda sad about it.
Then, she had some trouble after school when she went to the grocery store. Brittany loved the grocery store, and not only because it was two blocks from her house and therefore really easy to find. She liked it because it was super colorful, and when she and her mom and sister went grocery shopping, she got to push the cart. Megan would sit in it, and they'd pretend it was a race car, and sometimes if they'd been really good, their mom would let them get mix for chocolate cake.
Plus, the grocery store was where they kept the fruit snacks.
But when Brittany went to the pet food aisle to get something for Cracker to eat, there was a problem: for some reason, the store didn't sell any duck food! They had food for dogs, cats, fish, rabbits, and even for lizards, but nothing for ducks. In fact, the only duck-related thing in the whole aisle was birdseed. And Brittany didn't want to plant any birds, she just wanted to feed one.
It wasn't until she was in the cookie aisle, looking to see if they had the same kind of chocolate chip cookies that they sold in the cafeteria (they didn't) that she found a solution—animal crackers! Brittany thought it was kinda weird that they weren't with the rest of the pet foods. Unless, maybe Finn and Puck were working here too. Apparently they were really bad at stocking shelves. Brittany shrugged her shoulders and bought them anyway. Cracker was going to love them—they even had his name on the box.
She had made it all the way to Kurt's backyard before she made the most unlucky discovery of the day: she couldn't feed the animal crackers to Cracker! All the crackers were tigers and elephants and lions, and Santana had told her that ducks didn't eat meat! There were a couple of broken pieces at the bottom of the box that didn't look like animals, but they might have been before getting crushed. She couldn't take that chance.
It was a really, really bad day. Not even watching Cracker swim around, cracking, could make her feel better.
"Britt? Oh, sweetheart, what's wrong?"
Without her noticing, Kurt had come out the backdoor, and was halfway down to the pond. "Hold it right there," he demanded gently, as Brittany reached up to wipe her teary eyes. She was confused. "But I'm not holding anything," she pointed out. And it was true. She had tossed the animal crackers aside in frustration as soon as she had discovered that they weren't vegetarian. "No, I mean leave your face alone," Kurt explained. "I'll be right back."
He turned and strode back into the house, and came back out a minute later with a facial wipe. "It's extra moisturizing," he told her, carefully dabbing at the smeary mascara under her eyes. "Of course, if you'd listened to me at Sephora and bought waterproof eye makeup, you'd be fine right now," he chastised gently. Brittany sniffed, unhappy.
And made a mental note to look up the moisturizing. She didn't think they had any in the garden at home, but maybe there were some at the florist. It smelled really pretty.
Kurt studied her face. "Much better," he decided. "Now, what's wrong? Did someone say something mean to you? Were people wearing polyester stretch pants with plaid shirts again? Give me some idea of the scale of emergency we're dealing with here."
Brittany shook her head. "No, no scales today," she reminded him, "weigh in was on Wednesday." Kurt looked confused, which confused Brittany, because Kurt was totally there at practice two days ago. But then she remembered that Kurt liked to mentally block out things that upset him, "like my weight, and my science grade, and parachute pants." She figured she'd better change the subject quickly before she accidently made him remember, so she quickly began explaining all the bad things that had happened that day. It was a long list.
"…and then I stubbed my toe on the sidewalk, and it hurt, and I almost dropped the animal crackers, but it wouldn't have mattered because he can't eat them anyway. And," she added dramatically, "we can't eat them either, because look!" She pointed at the colorful illustration depicting circus animals on the front of the box. "They're not cage-free!"
Eating cage-free was really important. Rachel said so. When she'd gotten eggs thrown at her by Vocal Adrenaline, Brittany had offered to help her cook them, since eggs were the one thing she could make really well. Rachel had just sniffed and informed her that eating food off of another person's body was gross—"unless done in a sexually consenting manner, in which case it would only be permissible if both or multiple partners have showered recently and have compared food allergies"—and that she didn't eat eggs anyway, being a practicing vegan.
Brittany was stumped, because she thought Rachel was Jewish. She was going to ask when her next performance or recital was, because the practicing part was the only part of the sentence that really made any sense to her, but Rachel had cut her off before she had the chance. "I realize that not everyone is as committed to their dietary health and prevention of animal cruelty as I am," she had said, "but if you are going to continue the cycle of farmhouse indignity and slaughter, I do hope that you're only consuming grass-fed beef and cage-free eggs, at the very least."
Brittany didn't know if she was or not, so she checked the egg carton when she got home that day. It had said Cage-Free in big letters on the top, so she figured that meant they were okay. But not only did it not say cage-free on the animal cracker box, they were so indignity that the cage was actually drawn on the label.
While Brittany was thinking, Kurt had dropped his face into his hands, and was sighing deeply. "Okay," he said, and Brittany sat up straight—her Super Gay Not-Boyfriend always knew what to do. "Here's what's going to happen. I have some bread in the kitchen. Or, rather, Dad, Carole and Finn have some bread in the kitchen; I'm off carbs this week," he confided, and Brittany nodded. "I'm sure they won't mind if we feed a couple of pieces to Cracker. Then, we're going to cheer you up using my favorite method of consolation: retail therapy."
Brittany shook her head so hard it made her brain feel wobbly. "No," she stressed, "I don't want to." She bit her lip, trying not to get too upset. She was only a little sad, she didn't need therapy. After Mr. Kinney the Janitor brought her bird to the front office (traitor), Ms. Pillsbury had come to her house while she was eating dinner. Her mom had sent the girls upstairs so that they could talk privately. When Brittany came back down after putting Megan to bed, Ms. Pillsbury was gone and her mom was crying, and she didn't even stop when Brittany patted her hair and brought her a glass of milk and a plate of Oreos. Instead, she just hugged Brittany extra tight and told her that she didn't need therapy, that she was wonderful and sweet and absolutely perfect just the way she was.
Brittany didn't know what therapy was, or what was so awful about it, but there was no way she was getting any if it made her mom cry.
Kurt looked shocked. "You don't want to go shopping?" he asked in a funny voice. "Not even for shoes? We can make fun of everyone's awful taste in clothing, and I'll get you a cookie from the food court," he offered. Brittany thought about it for a minute. Shoes never made anyone upset, so they were probably okay. Maybe. "Okay," she agreed warily. "But Ms. Pillsbury can't come."
Kurt's confused stare was seriously super cute. Brittany wondered if there were like, models whose job it was to make confused faces. If there were, Kurt should definitely quit fashion design and the post office and be one of those instead.
"Okay…" he said slowly, "we won't invite her. No problem." Brittany smiled brightly. "Okay then. Can we get the bread for Cracker now?" Kurt stood and held out his baby-soft hand to help her up. "Of course."
After feeding Cracker (and learning that Wonder was the only feeling that got it's own bread) Brittany and Kurt made their way over to Kurt's car. "So first we'll try on shoes," Kurt decided. "Then we can get a cookie for you and a latte for me before we start in on the public shaming. Bon-Ton's having a sale; that should draw in the lemmings." Brittany nodded along contentedly. "Can we get the same kind of cookie the cafeteria has?" Kurt shuddered. "Oh, honey, you don't want one of those," he promised, and Brittany frowned. She didn't? "Mr. Schue let it slip that the cafeteria's been serving prison food for the past year and a half," he explained. "Something about cut-rate suppliers. We'll get you something better."
Brittany bit her lip. She really wanted a cafeteria cookie, even if it came from prison. But—there was something she was forgetting. Prison food…Mr. Schue…that was it!
"Hey, Kurt? Do you think if we go on a conjugate visit, the prisoners will share their cookies with us?"
She really had to figure out how Kurt made his skin so pale in less than two seconds—it was a really awesome trick.