For redxluna who requested this in fanmail: Rodney bitching about how, “No, /allergies/ remember?!” while trying to order everything on the menu at the same time.
“Is there any lemon in the fruit tarts?” Rodney asked nervously. He was a regular at the bakery, triple red-eye and something but he never could decide until he’d gone through the entire menu first.
John rolled his eyes. “No lemon. Just strawberries, kiwis, blueberries, and orange slices.”
Rodney flinched like he’d been punched. “Okay, no, see, I can’t have citrus. I can’t have anything that’s been on the same plate as citrus. I can’t have anything that’s breathed the same air as—”
“I know, buddy, no citrus.” He suppressed a sigh. “This isn’t my first day. And just so you know, stay away from the orange-almond croissants and the lemon-poppy bars.”
“What, uh. What is safe to eat?”
John uttered a high-pitched hum. “Sticky buns are safe.”
“Are you kidding me? Do you know how much cholesterol is in those things?”
“Yes,” John said sarcastically, “I make it a point to memorize the nutritional content of all of our products.”
Rodney ignored him. “What about the pie?”
Rodney scoffed. “Now you’re just messing with me.”
“Okay, why don’t you pick?” he bit out. John thought he was just bitching, but then he said nothing else, even after a long pause.
John regarded him slowly. “This is a trick.” It had to be.
“Come on, I need to be at the lab ten minutes ago, just pick something.”
John bit his lip and considered the pastry case. “I got it,” he said with confidence. He reached in and bagged the pastry before Rodney could glimpse it. He slid it across the counter.
“What is it?” Rodney asked.
John ignored him. “Don’t you dare think of skimping on the tip,” he said in a low voice.
Rodney looked offended. “I know I can be…difficult. But I’m not an asshole.” He scowled.
“Okay then.” John paused. “Honey bun.”
Rodney froze, dropping his change on the counter instead of in the tip jar. “E-excuse me?”
John smirked. “You asked what I got you. A honey bun.”
Rodney turned red. “Right. Of course.”
“But you know, have a good day at the lab, dear.”
Q:gavin as an unintentionally rude customer and ryan as his server in coffee shop au
Gavin mumbled his name. Ryan couldn’t stand it when people did that—that was how Christine got a cup that said “Kristin” and Grover, much to Ryan’s embarrassment, got one that said “Rover.”
Ryan stared through Gavin’s English accent and the muttered syllable and a half of his name, forcing back venom. Gavin repeated himself, slower, louder, and with greater enunciation, “GAV-in.”
Ryan smiled his gratitude, all customer service, and lightly remarked, “Coming right up,” like an NPC in an Elder Scrolls game.
Coffee. Black. It couldn’t have been a simpler order, but when Gavin took the first sip, his face twitched into a barely tolerant cringe.
"What?" Ryan asked, his service industry smile fading before he could stop it. "Is it cold? Too weak?" The brewer was notorious for dumping a splash of water into the pots every twenty minutes or so. Ryan suspected it was a feature to ensure he was changing the pots out.
Gavin shook his head and took another sour sip. “It’s fine,” he said, clearly lying through his grimaced teeth.
"What’s with the look, then?"
"Well it’s coffee, innit?"
"Yeah," Ryan drew out, curious where this was going.
"It’s not supposed to taste good. Like beer."
"You lost me," Ryan admitted. The line was gone, but he had duties. He needed to stock the cooler, brew the coffee, rotate the cookies in the case. But he was a lot more interested in the crinkle of Gavin’s nose.
"Well, you drink beer to get drunk, right? Not because it tastes good. And you drink coffee for the caffeine. Same thing."
Ryan was aware he was staring. “Oh my god, give me that,” he said, holding his hand out for the cup in Gavin’s hand. Gavin blinked in confusion, and with only a slight hesitation, handed it over.
Ryan automatically reached for the cream before pausing to really look at Gavin.
His hair was wild, but not unintentionally so; there was product in there, so attentive, but not high-maintenance. He had shadows under his eyes, but no bags, and his eyes weren’t bloodshot; he wasn’t looking for an extra shot.
Ryan reached for the steamer pots and splashed some milk into the tin. “Sweet or fruity?” he called over the steamer.
Gavin looked nervously perplexed, like there was a wrong answer. “Erm, fruity?”
Ryan pulled the blueberry flavoring from the shelf above the espresso machine and poured in a bit more than he strictly needed to. He topped it off with a heavy dollop of foam and just enough milk to turn the black coffee into a warm brown. It was too sweet for Ryan, but he had his suspicions about Gavin. “Here,” he said like a challenge.
Gavin hesitated, but eventually drew the coffee to his mouth. His eyes popped wide, a warm green in the early morning sun. “What—” Ryan felt a thrill of pride rush through him at Gavin’s pleased tone.
"Blueberry café au lait with foam," he explained. "A little light on the milk, heavy on the foam—and the blueberry, for that matter." He smiled. "Good?"
Gavin nodded vigorously. “How much—?”
Ryan waved him off. “On the house. The least I could do for someone with a utilitarian attitude toward coffee.”
Gavin may have blushed a little at that. Ryan tried not to notice. The younger man cleared his throat, then swallowed a massive amount of foam, eliciting a repetition. “Maybe, er, if you’e free tonight, you could erm, do this,” he said, gesturing to the cup, “but with beer?”
He was asking him out. Gavin was asking Ryan out. For a beer. Ryan had to stop himself from hastily blurting an enthusiastic yes, he hadn’t been asked out in so long. He cleared his own throat. “Yeah, sounds good,” he said, his voice cracking like a teenager’s. “I get out of here at 3.” He reached again for Gavin’s cup, noting with some pride that Gavin hesitated longer, before letting him have it. Ryan scribbled 7 digits on the cup beneath Gavin’s name. “Call me.”
As he walked out of the shop, Gavin held the coffee against his chest.
I’m working on an original story called Heartsong, which has been in the works and reworks for a few years now. Think soulmate AUs.
Just for kicks, here’s a preview (~1,000 words):
Lt. Stanley Travers wants a clear-cut case. This has been anything but, and he soon finds himself embroiled in matters he will never fully understand.
“Is there someone after you?” he asked. “We can provide you protection. Just tell me what happened.”
The girl shook her head violently. “No. No no no no no. You can’t protect me. No one can protect me, not from him.” Her voice trembled. She raised her hand to her mouth and began to chew on a dirty fingernail. “He sees me. He always sees me. Even now.”
I got an absolutely stellar constructive comment on The Billionaire’s Price, but it looks like the commenter removed it!
I desperately wanted to address it, so I guess I’m just gonna put the call out and say that if it was one of you, drop me a message, I’d love to discuss it.
Additionally, I’m going to make some changes to Chapter 1 to reflect the areas of ambiguity pointed out by this comment. This is definitely one of those circumstances where I would have benefited from a more intensive beta process.
I just remembered I posted a Dead Poets Society fic on AO3 and if you’ve seen the movie you should read it. If you haven’t, go watch it first because spoilers for sure. Also what is wrong with you.