"Everything is trash and I long for death!" Peter sighed, plopping down next to James at the food court table.
"Pete! What the fuck man?!" James demanded while grabbing a plate of chilli fries off of the tray of food Peter had brought.
"Don't be judgey, Prongs." Sirius cut in as he pulled his chair out to join them at the table. "We don't know what its like to wake up with that face everyday." He added with mock concern, giving Peter a brotherly slap on the shoulder to show he was only kidding.
"Har. Har." Pete said as he flipped Sirius off with one hand and grabbed for a burger with the other.
Peter worked as a floater part time in the food court of the mall, which meant he filled in wherever there was a need. When asked why he worked such a shit job, Peter would always reply with 'the food is free' and a shrug, but James and Sirius both knew he hated it. In all reality he just didn't know what he wanted to do with his life yet, and so he kept working at the same dead end job he'd had since he was 16, and attended university part time with no identified major.
"I reek of fries..." Peter said as he sniffed the collar of his shirt. "Ugh. I have to go straight to class from here."
"I've got an extra t shirt in the breakroom you can borrow, Wormy" Sirius placated as Peter nodded in thanks, grabbing a fist full of fries.
"Hey, I thought you were working that pizza joint today" James said. "Why do you smell like fries?"
"More importantly, why is this not a slice of pineapple pizza?" Sirius added with a small wave of his already half eaten burger.
"Ugh." "Gross." James and Peter protested together. Sirius just rolled his eyes and took another bite of his burger.
Well, Hestia came in and took over the pizza slot and one of the fry cooks left early from 'sickness'" he explained with an eye roll and air quotes "but it was obvious he was just hung over and couldn't handle the smell of the grease."
"Lightweight..." "Lame..." James and Sirius muttered around mouthfulls of fries.
"Yea." Peter agreed with a small smirk. "Top Model at yours tonight right?"
"Yup!" James said "lets see who gets the boot this week!"
"Can we not right now?" Sirius sighed dejectedly "I'm still not over that bullshit elimination from last week."
Peter and James each gave Sirius a consoling pat on the back before returning to their food.
"I'm headed back, Pads." James said to Sirius as he gathered his trash on the tray. "I told dad I'd finish that display in the front before I left, and I have to hunt down a missing left shoe from the back."
Sirius just nodded in response and opened up a second burger wrapper as he put his feet up in the chair James had just vacated.
After several minutes of eating in friendly silence Sirius leaned back in his chair and gave Peter a fatherly look. "Sooooooooo...."
Peter stared back. "So?"
"So I saw you talking to that.... girl?" Sirius prodded questioningly.
"Person." Peter clarified. "And that's Al. And THEY are just a friend." He emphasized.
"Word." Sirius nodded. "I've never seen them before so, I thought maybe there was something...?" Sirius tried again, clearly snooping for some type of reaction.
"Nope. Just a friend from class that I happened to run into" Peter shrugged. "That's the sort of thing that happens when you work at a mall..." he finished with a gesture to their general surroundings as if explaining 2 + 2 = 4.
Sirius just stared at his friend. He knew there was more to the story. They had been best friends for 10 years-sharing a dorm room for most of that time-and he had always been able to tell when his two best friends were hiding things.
Peter just aimlessly arranged and rearranged the trash on the tray, grabbing the occasional rouge fry, as he attempted to dodge the stare down. It took nearly 2 full minutes of this before Pete finally cracked (a new record Sirius would later congratulate him for).
"Fine" Pete sighed, throwing his napkin down onto the table. "There is a girl in my biology class that Al is partnered with right now that I sort of, might possibly, potentially want to ask out. In the future. Maybe."
"She'd be lucky to have you, mate." Sirius said with a genuine smile that clearly breathed some confidence into Peter.
Sirius pulled his vibrating phone from his pocket.
Bros Before... Everyone Else:
(2:27pm) Prongsie: I could use your help
(2:27pm) Padywack: Useless without me as always..
(2:28pm) Prongsie: 🖕
Sirius put his phone back in his pocket as Peter started to stand.
"Welp. I'm headed back I suppose." Peter mumbled as if he were talking about his own impending funeral.
"Same." Sirius replied as he grabbed the tray to empty into the trash. "Thanks for the food, even if it wasn't my pizza" Sirius added with a light laugh as Peter flipped him the bird without looking back.
Sirius took his time walking back to work. He waved at the people he knew in the various stores on his way, thinking about how it would feel to leave this all behind for the police academy with James in 3 months. He didn't hate his job. He worked with James at Quality Sporting Supply, which was owned by the Potters, and he liked it. It had always been a temporary thing, but it still felt odd to consider not being there.
In fact, he quite liked the routine of it all. Knowing everyone who worked in each shop, getting to muck around with James, free lunch everyday with Pete, chilling at the arcade next door on his break to chill with Marlene.....
Sirius lost his train of thought as he walked past the bookstore window.
New guy, his brain registered as he tilted his head absentmindedly, staring at the tall boy with loose curls as he moved books from a cart to the shelves.
As if the boy had felt the gaze, he turned to glance at Sirius. Sirius quickly looked away, taking a few lazy steps toward a display case near the entrance as nonchalantly as he could manage, as if interested in the items.
Once the boy had turned back around, Sirius made his way back to work, throwing one last curious glance over his shoulder before he turned the corner.
Bros Before... Everyone Else:
(2:40pm) Prongsie: Hurry the fuck up Pads, I want to go home.
(2:42pm) Padywack: Calm your tits, I'm coming!
Who was that guy?