coffeeshop au but its still set in the 18th century
i love you
Adam looked up from reading Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World.
“Belle? Do you fancy visiting a coffee shop?”
Belle emerged from her novel. “A coffee shop? You mean…hazelnut macchiatos, and cute baristas, and lowkey sexual tension? That kind of coffee shop?”
He seemed a little confused. “Is that how they are in those stories you read?”
“What do you mean, those stories I read? You’re reading a romance.”
“And you’re being taken to a coffee shop. C’mon; we’ll bring the staff with us. We’ll use the book to get there.”
Five minutes later, they’re in London.
The coffee house is thick, and dark with smoking pipes, and rich with the scent of ground coffee. Filthy, too, and crowded; men’s old wigs are seen in every corner, and handshakes flow freely between arguers and drinkers. The staff, arrayed in the bright blues and golds and pinks of French fashion, look out of place surrounded by brown and black coats.
Belle is fearless, though, and steps up to the counter.
“One hibiscus vente frappuccino, with skim milk and extra shots of caramel,” she yells over the ruckus.
“WHAT ARE YOUR OPINIONS ON JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU’S ‘DISCOURSE ON EQUALITY’?” screams the barista.
The barista thrusts out one sweating hand. “ARE YOU A TRAVELING MAN??”
“Don’t…don’t take his hand,” whispers Adam. “He’s asking if you’re a free-mason.”
“How DARE you,” screams Lumiere, from somewhere behind them. Belle and Adam whip around to see Lumiere towering over a table of bristling English scholars. The floor is littered with political pamphlets, and to their horror they see the maître d’ start tearing up a newspaper.
“Frog-eater!” roars one of the Englishmen.
“Sacre bleau, you can take your opinions into the square, you—you stiff-lipped, gut-sagged pigeon!” From somewhere on his person, Lumiere draws out a croissant. No, wait, that wasn’t what he meant to grab—fumbling under his coat, Lumiere draws out a sword. “En garde!”
“See, this is what we mean,” yells another patron of the coffee shop. “The dominance of emotions in current discourse; we must return to enlightened logic—”
“Ah, you’ll always take Kant’s side—”
“Well, you just spout off whatever Locke’s saying!”
The coffee shop is bristling with tension, yes, but not the kind Belle imagined. The barista slams down two dirty cups filled with bitter grounds.
“BUT IS IT THE SOUL THAT MAKES THE MAN, OR THE MAN THAT MAKES THE SOUL,” yells the barista.
“Can we go home?” whispers Belle. Behind her, Cogsworth is pinning Lumiere against a wall, as he flails and threatens; Plumette is in one of the philosopher’s faces, gesturing and pointing and slamming A Vindication of the Rights of Women down on top of his drink. The smoke grows darker, and the coffee shop grumbles like a thunder cloud.
“Home. Yes. Quick,” says Adam, and takes out the book.
They return to the castle like lightning. Cogsworth is still holding back Lumiere as they arrive; Lumiere grumbles and rips up the last of his newspaper.
“I think we all need a nice cup of tea,” says Mrs. Potts, calmly, and wanders off.
“Skim milk, with shots of caramel,” yells Adam after her. “With hibiscus, too!”
“Oh, shut up,” says Belle, but a smile flicks over her face.