beanie bastards

I like you a latte

A SnowBaz fic for the Carry On Countdown

Simon hadn’t seen Penelope all summer and he missed her like crazy.  She was like his other half – in the most platonic way possible, of course.  Meeting at their favourite coffee shop had been her idea, and as far as Simon was concerned, the idea was a good one.  He pushed through the door and a wave of cinnamon warmth washed over him, almost like the world was breathing a sigh of relief.

           Penny hadn’t arrived yet, so Simon joined the queue and stared up at the menu.  He wasn’t big on the hot drinks this time of year, and besides they always burned his mouth to the point where he couldn’t taste for days.  He scanned the cold drinks and settled on the most chocolatey one he could find.  He stepped forward to order, fumbling with his wallet.

           “How are you today,” said a soft voice.  Simon looked up.  And up.

           The barista was tall, or at least that was the first thing Simon noticed.  Tall and sharp.  He had warm brown skin and black hair long enough that it reached his shoulders, even pushed back like it was now.  Simon was so busy noticing how silky that hair looked that he almost forgot to respond.

           “Um – good.  I’m good.”

           The barista wore an expression that wasn’t quite a frown, and his eyebrows were arched in expectation.  A sort of curious indifference.

           “Oh, right,” Simon stammered, “an iced double chocolate mocha, please.”

           The corner of the barista’s mouth twitched upward as he tapped Simon’s order into the till.  “Was that everything?”

           Don’t panic. He’s just weirdly hot, no reason to panic.  Not even when he smiles like that and it makes you want to melt.

           “Yep, that’s everything.”

           “What was the name?”

           “S-Simon.”  Stop stuttering you idiot!

           The barista scribbled on a cup and passed it to a shorter girl (well of course, everyone was shorter than him) beside him. Simon dragged his eyes away from that mouth and that hair and down to his nametag.  Baz.  What kind of a name was that?  A hot one, Simon reasoned.

           Once his drink was ready Simon sat down at a table not far from the counter, taking a sip from the straw.  Perfect.  He tried to calm down and not stare at the gorgeous boy at the till.  The line was thinning, the other tables filled up. Simon kept an eye on the street, watching for a trace of Penny’s purple hair in the crowd.  He took another sip, glancing down at his cup, and nearly choked.

           There was his name written in beautiful looping handwriting.  Beside it was a heart.

           The blood rushed to Simon’s cheeks.  Could it be a mistake?  A slip of the hand?  He snuck a peek at the counter.

           Baz’s gaze dropped immediately, and his blush matched Simon’s.

           Nope, not a mistake then.  Definitely a heart.

           “Sorry I’m late.”  Penny slid into the seat across from Simon, who shook his head to clear it.  

           “S’okay,” he assured her, “I’ve only been here a few minutes.”

           “I’m gonna get a drink, be right back.”  She bounced over to the counter.  A new barista had taken Baz’s place at the till. Baz was now over by the lids and straws, wiping down the countertop.  As Simon watched, Baz’s eyes rose tentatively to meet his own.  Simon smiled shyly.  Baz did the same, then went back to his wiping.  Simon looked down again, barely able to contain his grin.

           Another careful glance and he found Baz was grinning, too.

           

Baz didn’t normally make moves like that, drawing hearts on the cups of cute boys.  He usually just blushed his way through their orders and forgot about them later.  But then again, they weren’t Simon.  Baz hadn’t been able to stop thinking about yesterday’s shared glances since the beautiful Simon had left with a tiny wave.

           So when those same bronze curls bobbed into the coffee shop just before noon, Baz could practically taste his heart jump into his mouth.

           He was almost relieved when the new girl, Trixie, got to the till first.  Baz did his best to hide behind the coffee machines, as if that were possible considering his height.  Why was Simon back?  Was that girl Penny coming again?  Was she Simon’s girlfriend?  

           “Everything alright?”  Agatha appeared beside him, mixing a latte.  “You look like you’re… failing to hide.”

           “Look who’s here.”

           She peered over the machines, standing on tiptoe to see.  “Is that the bloke you wrote a heart on yesterday?”

           “Not on him, on his cup.”

           “Damn.  You really know how to pick ‘em, don’t you?”

           “What is he doing here?”

           “What’s he doing in a coffee shop?  I dunno, Baz, if I had to guess I’d say he was getting coffee.”

           “Two days in a row?  And dressed like that?”  Baz snuck a peek at Simon, who was wearing a white collared shirt and ironed black pants, a very different look from yesterday’s jumper and beanie.  It wasn’t even cold enough for a beanie.  The adorable bastard.

           “Maybe he’s on a break or something,” Agatha shrugged daintily.  Everything she did turned out dainty.  That was just Agatha.

           “Where do you think he works?”

           “You should ask him.”

           Baz glared at her.  “I can’t ask him where he works, that’s like a date question, not an I’m-serving-you-coffee question.”

           “Well, then I guess you’ll have to get him to go on a date with you.”

           “Have you lost your mind?”

           Agatha tossed her platinum hair over her shoulder. “No, but I’m worried you might.” With that she stalked away.

           “Hey Baz,” came Trixie’s high-pitched voice from behind him, “can you hand out the order please?”

           Baz groaned when he saw the name on the cup. “White mocha for Simon,” he called, hoping his voice hadn’t cracked or wavered, or sound too bored.  Or too excited.  Or too anything.

           Simon appeared from around the tower of to-go cups. He grinned at Baz, and Baz did his best not to pass out on the spot.

           “Hi again,” Simon murmured.

           “Hi,” was Baz’s lame reply.

           Silence.

           “No one with you today?” Baz ventured.

           “No, actually I came to speak with a manager. I was hoping to see about a job.”

           Baz froze.  “H-here?”

           “Yeah.”

           Baz felt as though his blood had frozen and melted at once.  “Oh,” he managed, “that would be… cool.”  Cool?  Really? That’s all you’ve got?

           “Yeah,” Simon repeated, not dropping his gaze from Baz’s.  After a moment he took his drink and sat down, his gaze out the window.  Baz tried not to stare.  His stomach was doing flip-flops, and he tried to make sense of his brain.  He should be happy, shouldn’t he?  The boy of his dreams might end up working with him, that would be… good?  Or maybe Simon would decide that Baz wasn’t so great in person, and then Baz would be stuck falling more and more in love while Simon fell more and more out of it.

           He thought about what Agatha had said, about asking Simon out.  Would it be too soon?  Maybe not, it happens in the movies all the time. But this wasn’t the movies.  This was real, and the real world had a tendency to go very, very wrong.

           But maybe it would be better to bite the proverbial bullet and skip the hypothetical “work relationship”.  Then again, Simon wasn’t guaranteed to get the job.

           Baz stood there wiping the counter in repetitive circles as his mind went in the same shapes as his cloth.  To ask him out, or not to ask him out.  That is the question…

           A napkin slid into his line of vision.  Baz stopped wiping.  It took him a moment to register that there were words on the napkin. No, not words, numbers.  Numbers in that perfect, heart-fluttering sequence that could only mean…

           As Baz looked up, he caught one last glimpse of Simon, grinning and blushing as he pushed out the door.