Prompts, you say? Cherik bookshop meeting fluff? either both customers, or someone works there, or whatever you'd like? <3
(Huge family stuff going on right now and I just suddenly no writing or internet time for a few days, but here’s ONE of the promised prompts fulfilled! More will come!)
So where my brain went this immediately is You’ve Got Mail AU. Charles owns the cute little independent bookstore that he inherited from his beloved… sheesh, Charles doesn’t have many beloved relatives, but we’ll say his father. Raven works there with him part-time but it’s not her life the way it’s Charles’s. And Erik, of course, is the owner of the big soulless corporate bookstore opening up down the block. They’ve been email penpals for ages but never met.
I’m so glad I have you to talk to about all this, Charles typed, prepared to minimize his latest email to EML152 at the first sign of a customer. My sister’s never loved the store in her bones the way I do. She can’t appreciate the way it feels to wonder if each storytime will be the last, to imagine strangers clearing out the shelves and repainting the walls of what is essentially my childhood home. Since you’re in a family business as well, I feel I can depend on you to understand. And — I add with a mean, shallow chuckle — to join me in insulting the character of a man who tried to befriend me with his right hand while putting me out of business with his left. THE NERVE!
"He’s back," Raven muttered, turning away from the new banner she was hanging to catch Charles’s eye.
Charles minimized the e-mail window and looked up; yes, there he was. Erik Lehnsherr of Helmet Books, walking into his homey little independent bookshop, with its bright colors and rich history, a place he in no way belonged, he with his cold gray eyes and the cold gray soul behind them.
He had his little twins with him again, just like when they’d first met. When he pretended to be just another customer, someone with weekend custody of his kids and possibly — he’d made Charles hope that he possibly — had an eye for blue-eyed bookshop owners. Charles took a deep breath and mustered a warm and cheerful welcome for the children, only turning frosty when they had scampered off to see the pop-up books.
"My friends call me Charles. You may call me Mr. Xavier."
Erik looked irritated, but underneath — underneath, if Charles didn’t know any better, he would have thought there was something else, some kind of true human emotion. “Mr. Xavier, then. I just… I want you to know that none of this is personal. I have nothing against you or your store. It’s business, that’s all.”