Description: Another coffee shop au (I know, but they’re just so cute)
Fluff? I think. Yes. Fluff.
It was another slow spring break day in the little coffee shop just outside of Manchester. Most of the university students went to London for the holiday, but not Phil. He was scheduled to work all week, and he was hating every second of it. It was simply the worst way to spend holiday when you could be in Jamaica with your family, Phil had decided, as he finished scrubbing the already spotless bar for the hundredth time. He sighed and leaned on the countertop, mindlessly doodling on the notepad, Muse blaring in the background. The door dinged and Phil abandoned his hopeless drawing of music notes. He automatically began with the routine, his voice almost robotic. “Hello and welcome to Coffee Beans, how may I-”
Thats when Phil noticed how absolutely attractive the customer was. His throat clenched and he seemed incapable of making intelligible human speech. “How may I-I. I mean how may I, uh, help you?”
The customer seemed extremely nervous, even more nervous than Phil, if possible at that moment. He just stared straight at Phil as if he didn’t realize he was being spoken to.
“Um, excuse me?” Phil asked, getting over the initial attractiveness of the customer. “How may I help you?” he tried again.
The customer, who had beautifully brown hair swept to the left, almost covering his eye looked up at Phil. “I’d um. I’d like to study in here if that’s okay, my roommates are having a party and I can’t focus. Is that alright?”
“Definitely,” Phil said, smiling, “Though we only have a few seats available,” he swept his arms around, displaying the small coffee house. There was no one in the building, so the boy looked quizzically at Phil.
Phil’s smile dropped. “That was, uh..supposed to be a joke.” No response. “So, yeah. I’ll be right here if you need me.”
The awkwardness of this situation was killing him. Phil knew he was terrible at jokes, but his friends used to cover for him, pretending his joke was actually hilarious, but in a situation like this, he was completely unsure what to do. The boy sat down in a booth farthest away from Phil, pulling his books out and beginning to study.
‘Alright then,’ Phil thought to himself, ‘He doesn’t want to be bothered. I get that, that is why he came here after all.’ He went back to his terrible drawing of music notes and began doodling again, mindlessly now to ‘Sing’ by My Chemical Romance.
The coffee shop once again fell into a comfortable silence, the only noise being the scratching of the boys’s pens on their papers. For Phil, the minutes ticked by painstakingly slowly. He only had two hours left of his shift, but they seemed to take an eternity.
To busy himself, Phil decided that he would make a drink for the both of them, seeing as there was nothing else to do. As he prepped the drinks he sung along under his breath, “Sing it for the boys, sing it for the girls, every time that you lose it sing it for the world.” He stopped there, but the faint voice from across the room kept on singing, “Sing it from the heart, sing it ‘till you’re nuts sing it out for the ones that’ll hate your guts. Sing it for the deaf, sing it for the blind, sing about everyone that left you behind. Sing it for the world, sing it for the world…”
Phil laughed at him. At least the strange boy had a good taste in music. ‘It adds about 10 points to his cuteness scale.’ Phil decided for himself.
As the coffees were doing their thing, Phil strategically placed himself at a place in the bar where he could look at the boy without seeming to purposely do so. But, it was oh so totally and completely on purpose. The boy was definitely something to look at, he was utterly beautiful. If Phil didn’t know he was already gay, the sight of the brown-haired, brown-eyed boy would have convinced him. His face looked so beautiful in the partial light of the afternoon, occasionally contorting if he didn’t understand what he was reading. As Phil stared, he tried to memorize the boy’s complexion, from the soft angles of his face to the slight downwards curve of his nose. To Phil, this boy was the definition of beauty.
A beeping from the machine signifying the coffee was done awoke Phil from his trance. He quickly turned around, putting both drinks on a tray and walked with shaking legs towards the boy. Now, Phil began to second guess his idea. At the time, it had seemed like a good plan, to make drinks and just chat with him, but now he was feeling anxious. ‘What if he thinks I’m a freak? What if he doesn’t like coffee? Oh god, what if he’s allergic and I’m forcing this down his throat?’ Phil was freaking out. In the short distance he had left, he forced himself to take deep breaths, calming himself down a bit.
Phil stood at the top of the table, waiting for the boy to notice him. It took awhile, Phil finally cleared his throat.
The boy jumped, alarmed by the sudden appearance of a body. “Oh, uh hi,” he said awkwardly, almost with a question, looking at the drinks with apprehension, “I didn’t, you know, order anything.” He trailed off.
“Oh yeah, I know. I was just really bored in the back and wanted a drink, and you looked like you needed one, so I made you one too.”
“Um, yeah, thanks,” the boy looked up at Phil sheepishly smiling, reaching for the coffee. “What do I owe you?”
“Nothing, it’s a gift from me. Studying during spring break, now that takes determination,” the smiley face could almost be heard in Phil’s response.
“Thanks,” and that was it.
There once that one word was spoken, the boy bent his head down once more and looked extremely involved in his work. Phil took this as his dismissal. ‘Of course he wouldn’t want me to sit by him, he’s studying.’ Phil mentally slapped himself in the face, scolding himself of his stupid tendencies.
He sat back down behind the counter, busying himself once more with his doodle. It had evolved from music notes to a cat with an awkwardly arched back. He laughed at the ugliness of it, thinking of it as a deranged metaphor of his life.
The time slowly crawled away. Seconds slowly turned into minutes. Minutes into a painstakingly long hour, until finally it was five minutes to closing. Phil didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to have to kick the boy out, but he really wanted to go home. It was a mental war, tell the boy to leave, or stay here with the boy until he decided to call it a night. In the middle of this mental battle, however, the boy stood up, packed his books away, and opened the door to leave before turning around. “Thank you, for you know. Letting me study here. It was a nice change from my noisy dorm.”
Phil hadn’t noticed that the boy was making his move, and he smiled partly out of relief at him and partly at the words he had spoken, “Yeah, sure! Come back here anytime. You made it seem more busy in here.”
The boy nodded, “Thanks for the drink, too. It was delicious,” he tipped his cup towards Phil, before finally leaving the shop.
The door shut with a click behind him, leaving Phil alone. The next five minutes were agonizingly slow and lonely. Phil was glad when it was closing time. He clocked out and started walking to his own flat.
It was a brisk walk, considering it was freezing outside and Phil didn’t wish to be out longer than he had to be. He wanted to get home as soon as possible so he could go to sleep. Even though he didn’t do anything, Phil was exhausted from the very non-busy day he had.
As soon as he walked inside his flat, his roommate, Chris waved at him. “Hey Phil! How was the the shop? Lonely, I presume?”
Phil sighed in response and cast a glance at Chris. He was sitting on their couch watching some anime Phil had never seen before with his friend Peej.
“You can come sit with us if you want, you know, Phil,” Chris said to him, smiling.
Phil paused. He was tempted to join in, pretend like he had more friends than just Chris, and Louise from the coffee shoppe, but his tiredness won out. “No thanks, Chris, I’m going to go to sleep. I’ve had a long day. Nice to see you, Peej.”
He nodded to the two boys, and continued slowly down the hall. Before he reached his room, he overheard Peej whispering to Chris, “You really need to get him out more, mate, I don’t think he’s ever said more than “nice to see you, Peej,” to me ever, and I’m over here constantly.”
“I know, Peej, I just think he likes his alone time, and I don’t want to force him to do something more than he doesn’t want to do, ‘ya know?
Phil didn’t want to hear anymore, a long shift at the coffee shop always made him a bit cranky, and this was just adding fuel to the fire. He marched into his room and shut the door loudly behind him. He knew he was being unreasonable, but it’s true, he’d never had that many friends. It was by accident, really, that he was friends with Chris. They just happened to be in all the same classes in high school.
It wasn’t a good night to think about all his failures in a social life, in fact, it never is, Phil decided, so he quickly changed into his pyjamas and slid into bed. He liked to imagine by shutting his eyes, he shut everything off in the world, except for maybe the boy in the coffee shop.