The First Time He... | Optional Bias Scenario [Series]
The First Time He…Showed Up
Summary: You’re working the late shift at the convenience store when he walks in - and you can’t help but make a fool of yourself.
Word Count: 1,161
The fluorescent lights are anything but flattering. They cast an unhealthy pallor on your skin as you press your elbows onto the counter beside the register, eyes fixed on the window at the other end of the store. You all but beg in your mind for someone to come in off of the street and reprieve you momentarily from your boredom.
At this time of night, there isn’t a lot of foot traffic. You would almost prefer the early morning shift instead, when commuters stop in to buy coffee or ready-made meals and the line for the register reaches the door, but since you started your winter classes, this is the only shift that works with your schedule and you’re in desperate need of the extra money.
You sigh, drawing your eyes away from the window and instead turning them back to the notebook you’re supposed to be focusing on. The one upside of working at such odd, quiet hours is that you can study in relative peace, with few interruptions. Except, as the hours drag on from late night to early morning, your motivation to actually study decreases.
You contemplate getting another cup of crappy instant coffee for yourself when the digital chime indicating a new customer sends a shock of adrenaline through your body, all sleepiness forgotten.
The man’s hood is pulled fully over his head, casting a shadow across his face. He wears a mask that covers all but his eyes and keeps his head bowed as he skulks through the aisles toward the refrigerated drinks.
You can’t help but become a little uneasy at the sight. Your hand drifts toward the button located beneath the counter - just in case he decides to try something. You’ve never had something happen for as long as you’ve been working in the store, but you’ve heard about convenience store robberies on the news.
You watch in what you hope is a nonchalant manner, switching your gaze from the notebook to the man every few seconds, as he stares at the drinks for an exorbitantly long period. Your heart beats faster with every passing moment he spends just standing there, doing nothing. Then suddenly - he swivels and stalks up to the counter.
Your fingers are gripping the edge of the counter tightly by this point and your throat is dry, as if there are a million cotton balls shoved inside it. You swallow tightly as he comes to a stop. He says something, but the mask muffles his words. Shakily, you ask him to repeat himself - what if he’s asking you to empty the register? Would you do it? You don’t love your job enough to get assaulted protecting the register, but you also suspect you’ll get fired if you just hand the money over.
The man sighs, glances over his shoulder toward the door - is he making sure there’ll be no witnesses? - but instead of pulling out some weapon and threatening you, he pulls his mask down so you’ll hear him properly. Now you’re not staring wide-eyed at him because you’re scared he’s here to rob the store, but because you actually know who he is.
It would be hard not to know. His group’s faces are plastered on the calendar in the workroom courtesy of the girl who works the afternoon shift and you know for a fact that he’s her favourite member. You’re a fan yourself, so you almost miss his words for a second time because you’re a little starstruck.
“Did you stop carrying Cantata’s Premium Latte?”
You blink up at him for a moment and his brows furrow. He must be wondering if you still don’t understand him, or if you’re just a little slow. You feel your cheeks heat up as you force your gaze over his shoulder instead.
“We’ve got them in the heated section,” you say, gesturing toward the corner beside the register where the hot water heater also sits. “Since it’s colder out, most people want their coffee warm.”
He scrutinizes you for a moment longer before nodding once and shuffling over toward the coffee. It only takes him a second to find what he’s looking for - not long enough for you to get ahold of yourself by the time he returns to the counter. He slides the can toward you and you robotically go through the motions of cashing him out.
You’re handing him his change, trying to figure out if it would be creepy to ask for an autograph for your coworker, when he speaks again.
“You want me to sign something?”
Your fingers grow clumsy because of your surprise and you almost drop the coins all over the counter.
“No, I’m good,” you say, abandoning the idea. You just won’t tell your coworker that he stopped in the store in the first place. You know that he won’t believe you if you say you’re getting the autograph for a friend, so instead, “I’m not really a fan,” slips from your mouth.
You don’t know what possessed you to lie and you half-expect him to call you out on your bullshit, but he doesn’t.
“Oh.” He sounds a little surprised. “Any…any particular reason why?”
He must take your dismissal personally. A part of you wants to backtrack, but you don’t think you could withstand the embarrassment.
“What I’ve heard isn’t really my style, I guess.”
You shrug, avoiding his gaze, but from the corner of your eye you see him nod slowly, twisting his head a little as if he’s trying to wrap his mind around what you’ve said.
“Alright, well, see you around.”
He raises the can in farewell before leaving the store. As soon as the door shuts behind him and he disappears from your sight through the window, you collapse against the counter, replaying the interaction in your mind, lamenting the fact that you probably wasted your only chance meeting a member of your favourite group in person.
Even though he isn’t your bias, you could have still gotten his signature for your coworker. That would have earned you some brownie points - maybe she’d have even covered a shift or two of yours if you ever needed it.
You rest your forehead against the cool countertop and grumble to yourself about your stubborn nature which had gotten in your way. Next time - if there is a next time - you decide, you’ll tell him the truth, even if the thought makes you want the ground beneath you to swallow you whole.
You pull yourself off the counter and slam your notebook down in front of you, intent on erasing your embarrassment by focusing on your work instead, but one errant thought shoves its way into the forefront of your mind that you can’t ignore.
Even though you’d never given him much thought before, too focused on the other visual members of the group, you definitely can’t deny that up-close, in person, he’s ridiculously cute.
A/N: So this was originally just going to be one scenario, but the first part got kind of long so I’m making it into a short series! It’ll be all about “firsts” (if you couldn’t tell from the title) and there’s no set length or number of parts - so we’ll see how far I take this! As always - requests are open, who I write about is in my FAQ and I hope you liked the first part of this series even though nothing much happens :) - Fee x