Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Title: The Gods vs. Winn-Dixie
Author: Tequila Worm
Pairing: well, there’s no smut, but the couples are obvious, when you
Sequel/Series: I doubt it
Disclaimer: I did not create the characters here, I don't own them. I
derive no profit from this effort. I mean nothing but respect for the
creators, owners, and the actors and actresses who portray them.
Websites: The Bottom of the Bottle
Summary: A grocery store and Strife do not mix.
Warnings: Fluff, fluff, and nothing but the fluff, so help me Fanfic
Goddess. Food play mentioned. A little swearing.
Rating: um…PG-13 for the language, I think.
Dedication: For Scribe, since she asked so nicely. For whomever put
out the original idea (I can’t remember, I’m sorry!!). For J and
Joanna and for Iain. For Lisa, since she’s such an awesome beta.
Notes: The bunny was what would Strife say about/do with food products
today? Well...I tried, but it didn't wanna work that way. So, instead,
it's...well, it's own thing... Scribe asked so nicely to have someone
write the bunny, though (and then wrote her own, but that’s ok, I love
her anyway) that, because she’s yielded to my poking, prodding, and
pleading so often, I thought I’d give her this bit of fluff. This
fluff’s for you, babe! *smooch* Also, the nicknames given to Iain by
my brother are accurate. He’s a 17 year old uncle, what do you expect?
Donald is my brother, and the grocery list is a real one from right
around his birthday (Sept. 4th), a few weeks ago, or so. Also, a pav
is short for pavlova, which I am told is a Russian thing (I only make
‘em, I don’t research ‘em), the recipe for which was given to me by
Jess, a friend of mine from New Zealand…it’s basically a meringue cake,
with an unsweetened whipped cream layer on top (like frosting) and
fruit on top. It’s REALLY good. J *wanders off to go make one*
TW sighed as she looked at her almost bare cupboard…and her almost bare
fridge…well, to be quite honest, her quite bare kitchen. She needed to
do some grocery shopping, and she needed to do it soon.
No soon than the words, “I need to take a trip to the grocery store,”
passed through her mind than there was a brilliant flash of blue.
“Did I hear ya say ya needed ta take a trip?” drawled the pale-faced
man who was sitting on her dining table.
TW faced Mischief Incarnate and placed her hands on her hips. “Yes,
you did, and no, you can’t go. Last time I took you somewhere, we
wound up in a strip club, wearing nothing but leather clothing, and I’d
somehow gotten purple hair.”
Strife grinned. “Yeah, but ya had fun, didn’t ya?”
TW snorted. “Yeah, you could say that. Where’d you think that one
came from?” she gestured to where her son was laying on the floor,
trying to coordinate his arms and legs into crawling motions.
Strife grinned. “Are ya blamin’ him on me? I don’ recall bein’ at his
conception. Cupe prolly woulda objected.”
TW shook her head, but she was smiling. “Ya big dork. You know what I
mean.” She turned and grabbed the magnetic notepad off of the fridge
and the pen that went with it. She walked over to the table and nudged
Strife. “Move it. I need to write out my grocery list.”
Strife obliged, instead joining the 4-month-old infant on the floor.
“Hi there, speed bump, how ya doin’?”
TW turned around. “Speed bump? You sound like my brother.”
Strife snickered as he played with the baby. “Who d’ya think whispered
the nickname inta his ear? Tha kid’s clevah, but really.”
“Oh, so you’re also responsible for the blob nickname, too? Speed bump
on the floor, and blob on the lap, that was all you, I’m assuming?”
“Ya know what they say about assumin’ things, TW…Ya wind up makin’ an
ass outa you an’ me. Ya brothah came up with that one all by himself.”
TW snickered. “I shoulda known. It fits his sense of humor.” She
turned back to her list, and the room was quiet for a while.
*Brown sugar, powdered sugar, white vinegar…oooh, maybe I should make a
pav…frozen pizzas, pot pies, tv dinners, strawberry jelly or jam…I wish
J liked something BESIDES strawberry. That gets so old. Let’s see…we
also need soups…consume, bean with bacon, split pea, vegetable, some
kind of potato, and some cream of mushroom, since i’m almost out and I
want to make some Salisbury steaks for dinner. We need hamburger buns,
ground beef, pork chops, frozen, canned, and fresh veggies, fresh
fruit, some baby food for Iain…goof grief, this is a long list…milk,
cereal, mac and cheese, pasta- and rice-a-roni, spaghetti-o’s, ravioli,
and the like, a few homestyle bakes if they’re on sale, some white
bread for J, some wheat bread for me, yogurt, some baby juice, since
we’re almost out, apple juice…gotta be Musselman’s…mmm, not from
concentrate. Cake mix and frosting for Donald’s birthday cake, pasta,
parmesean cheese, lunch meats for J, some pasta sauces, and maybe some
seafood for dinner…um…salmon?*
TW finished making her list, wincing at the number of expensive items
on it. It was a good thing that they had just gotten food stamps
refilled yesterday; otherwise, it would have been quite difficult to
buy much of anything.
“Whatcha doin’?” TW jumped, a little startled, since she’d forgotten
Strife was playing on the floor with Iain.
“I’m writing out my grocery list, just like I said that I was going to,
what do you think I’m doing?” TW responded, relieved to see that Iain
had worn himself out, and was now sucking his thumb, blinking sleepily
up at Strife from his place on the god’s lap.
“Well, ya had sucha look o’ concentration on ya face, I wasn’ sure.
So, can I go wit’ ya? I’ll behave.”
TW gave a short laugh as she got up and started preparing the diaper
bag. “You don’t know the meaning of the word, goober.” She gave a
small sigh as she zipped the bag. “All right, I suppose that you can
go, but let’s make some rules, ok? Rule number 1: You may NOT try
anything in the grocery store unless I give it to you and specifically
say the words, ‘Here, try this.’ I heard about your trip with Scribe.
I’m on an even more limited budget than she is, ok?” TW waited for
Strife’s nod. “Rule number 2: Just you. No calling Cupid, Joxer,
Ares, ‘Dite, Heph, or anyone else, you got me? Rule number 3: You
have to do what I tell you. No, I don’t mean it like that, Strife,”
she said quickly, in response to the leer on his face. “I mean that
you have to listen to me when I say certain things, ‘cause they could
be important. OK?”
Strife nodded. “OK, I’ve got it. I can understand that. We *are* in
the Deep South, after all.”
TW stared at Strife for a moment. *I’m going to regret this. I just
TW pulled into the parking lot of the Winn-Dixie in her town, and
parked. She turned to the god sitting in the passanger’s seat next to
her. “You aren’t going to make me regret this, are you? I mean, I
worked here for a bit, and I know some of these people. They’ve
already got it figured out that I’m just not normal in any sense of the
word, but I don’t need to be run out of town.”
Strife smiled, a sight which made TW shudder inwardly. “No, ya won’t
regret this. However, I wanna tell ya tha’ I did NOT break rule numbah
2…Cupe, Ares, and Jox came on their own.” He gestured out the window
to where the three other gods were standing near the entrance, looking
TW groaned and banged her head on the steering wheel a couple of times.
*Why me? Is it because I was bad in a previous life? Is it because I
write about these guys? WHY?!* Giving up, for now, on trying to
figure out why these things happened to her, she opened her door and
got out, heading for a grocery cart. Getting her son’s carrier into
position on the front, and diaper bag into the cart itself took enough
time for the three men who’d been standing near the door to come over
to the car.
“Hello, TW. It’s so nice to see you again,” said Joxer, leaning over
to give her a hug.
TW smiled as she returned the hug, then turned to Cupid and Ares to
give them the same treatment. “It’s nice to see you all again, too,
though I could wish that it wasn’t at a grocery store.”
Ares laughed, causing a teenager who was headed into the store with her
mother to turn at the deep, booming sound. Her eyes widened slightly,
and she wobbled a bit, as if her knees had suddenly gone weak. TW
sighed, and nudged Ares. “Please don’t do that, Ares. I don’t need
every woman in the store to come after us because they want a man that
can give them orgasms simply by smiling.”
Joxer laughed this time. “Yeah, he can, can’t he?” he said, smiling
fondly at his mate. “We followed Strife’s signature when he popped out
so suddenly. I hope that you don’t mind, but when we figured out that
it was you, well, we just had to see what the difference in a grocery
store here in Florida was like, versus one in Texas.”
TW sighed, but there was a smile on her face. “No, I don’t really
mind. I am going to give you the same rules that I gave Strife,
though,” and she listed them again, modifying rule 2 slightly, since
they were obviously standing in front of her.
“Got it?” She waited for their nods. “Good, then let’s go.”
TW led the way, cart and sleeping baby being pushed in front of her,
entering the store with a slight feeling of apprehension. It couldn’t
be that bad, right?
“Strife, did I give you the shopping list?” TW asked as she headed over
to the produce section. She did not know why, but she always started
there. She figured she might as well treat this as a normal trip to
the grocery store, no matter how odd it might wind up.
“No, ya put it in ya pocket,” Strife replied, looking curiously at the
stack of avacados. He reached out one finger, but Cupid slapped his
“Awwww, Cupe, I jus’ wanted ta touch! The skin looks all pebbly.”
“No, Strife. You heard what TW said. No touching,” Cupid reprimanded,
putting Strife’s hand on his ass instead, where he knew it would stay.
Ares and Joxer were arguing over the different varieties of oranges
that were available.
“A navel orange is NOT meant to be eaten off the stomach, Ares!” Joxer
protested, seeing the gleam in his mate’s eyes.
TW quickly intervened. “No, it isn’t, actually. It’s called a navel
orange because of this little thing on the end here. It happens to
look like a bellybutton, or navel, hence the name,” she explained
picking up the orange, and pointing to the slightly obscene looking
dimple on one end.
Ares deflated slightly, then appeared to have a happy thought, and
perked up again. “Well, I can still put them on Joxer’s abdomen to eat
the sections, can’t I?”
TW sighed, rolled her eyes, and put the orange back on the stack. “I
suppose, if you really feel you must, you can. You’d just better make
sure that there’s no broken skin, ‘cause orange juice stings like a
sonofabitch when it gets into open cuts.”
The group of gods continued to meander their way through the produce
section, picking up various fruits (“This fruit is FUZZY! I thought
only peaches were fuzzy.” “That’s a kiwi, Cupid. Very good, sweet if
properly ripened, sour if not. It is NOT meant to be used-CUPID! TAKE
THAT KIWI OUT OF STRIFE’S PANTS THIS INSTANT!!”) and vegetables
(“Ares, surely you’ve seen a cucumber before. That’s just a different
variety, called an English cucumber. I don’t know why it’s wrapped in
plastic.” “Well, that’s obvious, pet. Joxer, c’mere…” “ARES!!! NOT
IN THE GROCERY STORE!!”)
By the time TW had managed to get the foursome out of the produce
section and towards the deli, she had a new set of food squicks, and
hoped that J never got together with them to compare notes.
Ares stopped short as the approached the deli counter, eyes going wide
at the sight of the big meat saws. “I don’t remember seeing those when
we went with Scribe,” he mumbled, eyes fixed lustfully on the big
TW rolled her eyes. “That would be because she was smart enough to
keep you away from the deli. I, on the other hand, am a glutton for
punishment. Besides, I’m in desperate need of some turkey and white
TW gave her order to the deli clerk, and watched, bemused, as the men
burned their hands on the glass window over the hot deli foods, tried
to figure out why some of the cheeses were wrapped in plastic and
others were not, and poked in confusion at a fruit ‘n’ jell-o mold.
She thanked the wide-eyed clerk as her purchase was handed to her, and
turned before the woman could ask her why Ares was licking Joxer’s neck
in between whispering what he’d like to do with the container of
tapioca pudding in his hand.
“Time to move on!” TW thought that there was a slightly hysterical tone
to her voice, but chose to ignore it. J did not call her Cleopatra for
As they wandered through aisles of prepackaged foods, TW wondered how
much of the things they were asking was to make her feel better about
them being there, and how much of it was because they were genuinely
curious. Trying to explain things like low-carb bread and why there
was no goat’s milk in the dairy section was enough to give anyone a
headache. She wasn’t prepared, however, for the reaction to the soda
“TW, please tell me that you didn’t bring Strife and Joxer down an
aisle of pure sugar.”
TW grimaced at the tone in Cupid’s voice. “Sorry, but I need some
stuff down here, or I’m going to be spanked, and not in the fun way.
J’s got a carbonation addiction like you wouldn’t believe.”
Ares looked a little stunned. “The skinny one? The one who manages to
make Strife look fat has a soda addiction?”
TW nodded, a rueful look on her face. “Yeah, I know, it isn’t very
fair. I’m just glad that Iain seems to have gotten his father’s
metabolism,” she said, gesturing to the still sleeping baby in front of
Joxer and Strife, however, had been staring in awe at all the variety
that was before them. TW quickly grabbed a couple of 12 packs of the
cheap stuff, once again blessing the fact that J wasn’t too picky about
his carbonation, as long as he got it, and turned to leave the aisle,
Ares and Cupid following.
Joxer and Strife, coming out of their trance, noticed that they’d been
left behind. An evil smirk started on Strife’s face as he looked at
the 2 liter bottles of soda. An equally disturbing smirk appeared on
Joxer’s as he picked up on what Strife was planning.
Moving in unison, they darted forward and, each grabbing a bottle,
started to shake. And shake. And shake some more.
Having created more pressure in the bottles than had been behind Mountn
St. Helens when she blew, they faced off…and opened the bottles.
The shrieks of laughter and the sound of spraying soda brought TW,
Ares, and Cupid running back around the corner. TW immediately began
to whimper, imagining all the horrible things that were going to be
said to her before she got thrown out of the store, and told to never,
ever, EVER come back. Cupid began to laugh, since the two younger gods
were giggling madly, and sliding all over the place, still spraying
each other with soda from the other bottles they’d picked up. Ares did
the only thing he could have.
“FREEZE!” he boomed, raising his hand. Joxer and Strife immediately
stopped moving-as did the soda they were spraying, the people who were
trying to see what was going on, and everyone else in the store, with
the exception of Ares, Cupid, and TW.
TW stopped whimpering and stared in shock. “Ares…wha…why…oh, fuck it.
Please just get this mess and them cleaned up!! Please, before I’m
never allowed back in!
Ares looked at her for a moment, amused at her orders, but did as she
asked. In the blink of an eye, the aisle was clean, the bottles that
had been expended were gone, and Joxer and Strife were cleaned up and
unfrozen…and looking very sheepish.
“Sorry, TW. I don’t know what came over me. I just…” Joxer trailed
off, looking at his feet.
“Yeah, me too, TW. I won’ do anything else ta get ya in trouble,”
agreed Strife, though you could tell he was still riding the power buzz
the little stunt had given him.
TW tapped her foot for a moment. “OK, I’ll accept your apology, on two
conditions. One, you make sure no one, and I do mean no one, in this
store, with the exception of the five of us, remembers what happened.
Two, you come up with the money to pay for all of my groceries.”
Joxer nodded immediately, and waved his hand, sending a glow of warm
yellow light to settle over everyone. Apparently, there had been
something in that light besides a memory modification, because they all
started moving again, looking a little confused as to why they were all
staring down the soda aisle, but no one appeared to remember what had
Strife got a wicked look on his face, and TW opened her mouth to say
that she wanted the money to come from either the ether or somewhere
legal, not the other patrons in the store, but Cupid reached over and
slapped the back of Strife’s head, and the God of Mischief subsided.
The rest of their shopping expedition passed with very few incidences,
though TW did have to explain why she was buying bacteria in a
container (“Because yogurt is good for you, and I like to eat it with
my corn flakes. It’s healthy bacteria, anyway.” *I can’t believe I
just called bacteria healthy*).
At the checkout counter, TW looked pointedly at Strife, who reluctantly
pulled a wad of American cash out of his pocket and paid for the
groceries. Satisfied that he hadn’t done anything to the cash, she
lead them all out of the store to her car, where Ares loaded her
groceries into the trunk for her.
TW turned to the four gods ranged behind her, smiling in spite of
“Thanks for the company, guys. It was…interesting, to say the least.
And thank you, Strife, for paying.” She quickly gave each of them a
hug, and stepped back.
“You’re welcome. I’m glad that we could amuse you,” said Joxer, a
sheepish grin on his face. “Just call if you ever want us to go with
TW turned very pale, and practically ran for her car door. The four
men moved out of the way as she pulled out of her parking spot, and
practically squealed her tires, trying to get away.
“D’ya think I should tell her tha’ I didn’ really pay th’ cashier?”
Strife mused, watching the car disappear into the distance.