There was a lot of - ungentle, but surely loving reminding/prodding/poking from one Blindassasin, because I said something about writing a New Girl fic, hypothetically. And this was not even the fic I was thinking of writing, but I decided to whip this one together for her in an hour, which is totally how someone should enter a new fandom. No thought, just jump. Anyway—this is for Blindassasin, inspired by Blindassasin. Because you don't displease assassins. Also because she's lovely and she pestered me a lot. :)
Nick Miller hated malls.
To be fair, Nick Miller hated a lot of things. Like make-up for men. People who won't drink tap water. Book clubs. The word "lovemaking." When people use French words to describe anything. French fries? Fried potatoes. French dressing? Red dressing. French toast? Soggy fried toast. French bulldog? Just. A. Dog.
But he really, really hated shopping malls.
So the fact that Nick Miller could be located in one at this very moment—and could be found window shopping, no less—was simply horrifying.
Which is why Nick Miller wasn't shopping at the mall today. But Julius Pepperwood, Zombie Detective? He could be at the mall. Detecting things, of course.
Just… not zombies. Unless there were zombies at the mall. Maybe that was a thing. You could never be sure when Julius Pepperwood's unique set of skills would need to be called upon. The alive could die, then undie, anywhere.
And window shop he did. The Gap. Banana Republic. Victoria's Secret. Charlotte Russe. Victoria's Secret. The Limited. Victoria's Secret.
He was a detective, after all. And Victoria had a secret.
Alas, she did not have coats. And Nic—Julius Pepperwood needed a coat. A trenchcoat.
He had finally walked into an Express when he saw a trenchcoat calling to him.
"Oh yeah. This is the stuff," he thought as he pulled on a size that worked for him over his shoulders and around the front. He shifted his stance in a mirror a few times before he looked at the pricetag.
"Are you kidding me?! No. Noooo… No!" he shouted repeatedly, like the 98 dollar pricetag had bit him, called him a name and made a joke about his mother, garnering everyone in the store's attention.
But then he saw another trenchcoat. It had options. Not just the tan and black of the first coat. No. This one had blue. And green. And… and… yellow.
A yellow trenchcoat. Oh, yes.
It was a gum-popping teenager who interrupted his adoration of the form fitting yellow trenchcoat.
"Umm, sir. The men's coats are on the other side of the store," she said with a point and a pop.
He didn't bother to glance at her as he judged the fit of the yellow trenchcoat. The flair at the hips. The belt at the waist. The confidence of the sturdy, yet soft collar. It was like the New Nick Miller's coat. But… yellow. It was the new New Nick Miller coat.
And he had really liked the New Nick Miller's coat. For... a number of reasons.
Seconds or minutes went by as he continued to be fascinated by his reflection, when another pop of gum broke his trance.
"Hello, sir?" the teen called out, obviously annoyed that someone had garnered this much of her attention.
"'Ello. Cheerio, young pint. I am Julius Pepperwood, detective… nay, inspector," he said, laying on a thick, broken not-quite-British accent, and grabbing her hand to shake it profusely. Julius Pepperwood should be a British Zombie Inspector, he just decided, just then. Because while he hated all things fake-French, you could never really go wrong with fake Brits.
"Are you… buying that jacket?" she asked disinterestedly.
"Why yes, I am buying this jacket… coat… trenchcoat… overcoat… garment. I'm buying this garment. For a client of mine. A client of mine who… who needs a yellow trenchcoat garment... piece of outerwear... thing," he uttered, back and forth between his broken British and American accent.
The teen stared at him, before shrugging. "Checkout's that way," she said, pointing toward the back of the store, and walking away with another pop of her gum.
Nic—Inspector Pepperwood took one more look in the mirror at the perfect trenchcoat for the new New Nick Miller and started to walk toward the back of the store.
It was in the middle of the aisle when he saw it.
"What? WHAT?! HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?" he said, at the top of his lungs.
He walked up to a random shopper and asked "WHAT DOES THIS SAY?" pushing the tag on the coat into her face.
"Uh, it says it's a large…"
"Not that. The other thing!"
"Oh. It's 188 dollars," she responded uncomfortably.
"IS THAT IN AMERICAN? WHO PAYS THAT MUCH FOR A COAT?!" he shouted, spinning in a circle.
"No. Nononono!" he said, lifting his arms up and pulling the coat off of him, over the top of his head, all while yelling "No!" some more.
Tangled in the web of the coat now trying to strangle him, he pulled and pushed and danced and growled and anything but using the buttons to make his way out, throwing the coat as far away from him as he could manage. Which only managed to be about three feet.
"Arrrghh!" he yelled, running up to kick the coat further away, soccer-style. And it moved another foot and a half. Because it was a coat and not a soccer ball.
Frustrated, he took a deep breath and then noticed everyone in the store was watching him.
"Stop looking at me! I HATE THE MALL!" he yelled, before exiting the store.
"The search for a new confidence-building coat would continue on to another day," he thought, as security guards followed behind him at a distance, until he walked out of the doors of the mall. For Inspector Julius Pepperwood would not give up that easily.
But he also wouldn't pay 188 dollars for a coat. New Nick Miller wanted to be confident in his new New Nick Miller coat, not crazy.
First-timers need encouragement. Or to be told "don't do that again." Choice is yours...