Up to 8094, currently. Have a(n incredibly gay) cookie:
It wasn't until the cashier was wrapping up his lamps to be packed in a bag the Steve reappeared suddenly, with a small brown bag.
"Here," he said, holding out the bag to Adam, who took it with a raised eyebrow. "Happy Ex-Girlfriend Lamp Buying Day."
"Light bulbs?" Adam laughed as he peered in the bag.
"Every milestone of manhood requires something from the hardware section," Steve reported solemnly. "Besides, the lamps aren't much good without 'em, I hear."
Tucking the light bulbs safely into the large department store bag next to the desk lamps, Adam demanded that the next stop be for something he in no way needed.
"This is too practical!" he claimed, shaking the lamp bag for emphasis. "My life needs balance."
The rat was demanding egress from his sleeve prison by the time they exited the department store back into the real mall, and Adam brought his hand up to the let the animal crawl back onto his shoulder. After pattering back and forth a bit, making Adam's neck itch, the rat settled down against the collar of Adam's coat, long pink tail draped around Adam' collarbone like a broken necklace.
"CDs?" Steve asked, stopping in front of the music store and jabbing a thumb towards the entrance. "Doesn't get much more frivolous than that. Plus, those big padded headphones."
Adam agreed with this assessment, and they trooped in. Settling themselves firmly on either side of the pop/rock racks, Adam and Steve commandeered two listening stations right across from each other, and amused themselves by passing CDs back and forth over the rack to scan on the listening stations. The choices inflicted on each other began to grow steadily more ridiculous, and the cds desired meant stretching the Headphone cords further and further, until Steve dashed off to find a scathing retort to Adam's cruel use of Mandy Moore and nearly had his ears ripped off as the headphones reached the end of their tether and snapped his neck back. Adam laughed so hard he couldn't even hear the shite pop in his own headphones.
"Excuse me!" a salesgirl said sharply. Sobering quickly, Adam straightened up and pulled his headphones off so he could hear. "Can I help you?"
"Er," Adam quickly took in the bored expression, the purple nails tapping against the girl's arm impatiently, the run of piercings up the ear cartilage that clearly said she was not impressed by their antics, "no, just browsing."
"Well then…" the girl's face changed suddenly to a look of actual interest, "what've you got on your neck?"
"Uh…" Adam looked down to see the rat had poked his nose out to see what all the noise was about. "Oh, him. That's my rat."
"Can I hold him?" the girl wanted to know. The rat gave a huge yawn to indicate his apathy about the situation, and Adam shrugged and reached up to tug the rat off his neck and sit him in the girl's hands. Cuddling and shameless rat nirvana promptly ensued.
"Aww, he's so sweet!" the girl cooed, the air of icy disinterest utterly melted in the face of furry snugglies. "What's his name?"
"Mmm?" Adam looked across the rack to see Steve watching them. Adam made a helpless gesture and mouthed 'name'.
Steve held up a Fiona Apple CD.
Adam flipped him a surreptitious bird, and a snickering Steve looked around for a second before holding up a much more appropriate choice.
"Nine Inch Nails," Adam laughed, the girl seeming to have missed their entire exchange. Adam traded a smirk with Steve and added, "Nines for short."
The rat cracked open an eye at this indignity, but didn't move away from the purple-tipped fingers that were twiddling his ears.
I spose the Yuki icon will serve as a writing icon for now.