“you’re the cutest waiter at my favorite restaurant” au
ugh… this isn’t my best work, so I may revisit it because it’s cute af, but here goes:
Buck was self-aware enough to know that he didn’t exactly fit-in at a place like The Banana Leaf. The restaurant - a vegan, gluten-aware cafe that specialized in making healthy, Earth-and-allergen conscious food - seemed to cater primarily to hipsters and aging yogis… Bucky never would have stepped foot inside of it had it not been so damned hard to find a place his sister Becca would eat at when she’d finally made the trek from Williamsburg to East Flatbush to visit him over a month since he’d moved back to New York. Inside was every bit as over-priced and pretentious as Bucky had expected it to be, but he’d bared it all with a smile for the sake of his baby sister.
Then the food arrived, and turned out to be considerably tastier than Buck had ever imagined smoked tempeh and kale chips could be. And since it was just around the corner from the shitty basement efficiency he was renting while he worked with the VA to get back on his feet didn’t have a kitchen in it, and the fact that the rehab for his arm took enough out of him that adding a gym commitment on top of it was out of the question, Bucky figured that keeping his diet in check was the only hope he had of continuing to fit into his wardrobe.
“Hey Buck,” a pleasant, deep, familiar voice interrupted his thoughts, “good to see ya again; any idea what you wanna order tonight?” Bucky glanced up as the waiter was speaking, his face immediately breaking into (a very likely ridiculous) smile over the question. He might have felt embarrassed about it, but Bucky didn’t smile all that often anymore, so he couldn’t bring himself to regret when he did.
And that was the other reason most of his spending money for the past month had gone to The Banana Leaf: the waiter, Steve. It could have been because he was looking to continue getting generous tips off of him, but Steve had never once looked oddly at the one-armed, scruffy-faced, haunted-eyed vet who regularly dined with all of the pole-thin artsy crew that were regulars of the cafe. Then again, at first glance, Steve didn’t exactly seem to fit in, either: sure, his shaggy blond undercut and plastic-rimmed glasses were standard enough, but the guy was more jacked than Bucky had been at his fittest as a Ranger. And he made a habit of wearing his restaurant-issue polos at least a size and a half too small, much to Bucky’s appreciation.
“The special is a tofishy sandwich with yucca fries,” Steve continued, seemingly unbothered by Bucky’s lack of response - he shook himself, trying not to think about how long he’d been staring aimlessly at the guy. “In case you were interested.”
“Uh, thanks,” Bucky murmured, picking up the menu in front of him and looking over the options at a breakneck pace. He’d already decided on his order, before, but as usual he was so flustered by the practical Adonis in front of him that he couldn’t remember what it had been. “I think I’m gonna try the jerk tofu, tonight,” he finally answered, picking an item at random.
He was pretty sure he’d had the entire menu at that point, all by the same random, panicked method.
“Awesome, that’s one of my favorites,” Steve beamed, the same as he usually did, waiting for Bucky to set the menu down on the table to close it before handing it over.
He’d never once reached across the table or offered to close it for Bucky, no matter how frustrating it must have been to watch him fumble the thing one-handedly. Bucky might have fallen in love with him, just for that fact.
They both smiled at one another for a few seconds, each holding opposite ends of the menu, before Bucky finally relinquished his hold on the laminated paper and Steve retreated towards the kitchen with an awkward nod. In the minutes that followed, Bucky did his best to regain his cool, scrolling through his facebook feed and trying to ignore the feeling that the other diners were looking at him - his therapist had told him time and time again that the paranoia was a combination of unresolved hypervigilance from being at war and unfounded self-consciousness about his physical appearance and injuries. Logically, Bucky knew that he was nothing to look at, and had nothing to worry about, sitting in a perfectly safe hipster cafe in the middle of his home town. His brain, on the other hand…
Once again, he was interrupted before his thoughts could spiral too far down the dark path they were headed towards. “Here we go,” Steve murmured, setting down a heaping plate of cubes in brown sauce: while the tofu looked anything but appetizing, the smell of the jerk seasoning made Bucky’s mouth water immediately. “Jerk tofu with rice and veg.”
Bucky glanced up at him with a crooked smile, pausing as he reached for his silverware when he realized that Steve was holding a second plate of something on a bun.
“Uh,” Steve continued, blushing furiously as he followed Bucky’s eyes towards the plate. “I’m actually starting my break - I was thinking I might join you. If that’s okay…”
“Yeah,” Bucky responded immediately, totally dumbfounded by the look of relief that immediately spread across Steve’s face. “Yeah, of course, that’d be awesome.”
He’d hardly finished his response before Steve had dropped the second plate across the table and stripped out of the green apron he wore for serving, dropping into the seat with a wide grin. “Ya know,” he admitted after a couple of seconds, “I hope it’s not too weird, but I’ve been waiting on this for a while.”
Bucky nodded stupidly, trying his best to ignore the squirming feeling of hope in his stomach, along with the feeling that this impromptu dinner was somehow a date of all things. Steve’s words finally started to resonate as he stabbed his first brick of tofu, though, and Bucky couldn’t help but reason that Steve was admitting to the same thing: that he’d been waiting to share a dinner all this time, too.
“It ain’t weird at all,” he finally said with a grin, pausing to take his first bite (and thoroughly enjoy it, despite the texture). “Or… it’s mutual, at least.” He added after swallowing, unable to miss the way that Steve’s eyes watched his throat all the while.
It sent a thrill down Bucky’s spine - a sense of hope and excitement that he hadn’t imagined himself capable of feeling again after his injury. But he reveled in it as Steve returned his smile and took a bite of his own meal.
For some reason when you Google “Pokito” with your internet machine, ‘SWEET POTAOTO PANCAKES AT WILLIAMSBURGS POKITO’ pops up. Like the official Google description says that. They don’t even have sweet potato pancakes tbh, but man that’s a pretty dope association. I’d love it if when people googled me it was just like, V V V handsome, charming, and destined for incredible success @ New York city’s Remington. I bet some workers on that late night shift at Google were blazed as F floating around their cubicle like Ron Weasley, adding dope snacks to the descriptions to a ton of venues. “YO BRIAN, man I really love the beef wellington @ the AMC theatre 18th street ny, ny. you feel me?” “AH MAN Greg, no way its all about the seared scallops at North Carolinas waffle house.” They work at Google yo, their munchies are high level, they don’t do funion rings like you low level programmers.
Tip: Gotta start with the yucca fries. That mayo is ⚡️⚡️ Tip: The drinks are insane here. Low key this is a legit cocktail bar. Tip: Music is amazing and the food comes up from the basement in a dumbwaiter.
When to come here: Dope chill dinner and or drinks.
Where: 155 S 4th St, Brooklyn, NY
Thursday 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM Friday 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM Saturday 6:00 PM – 1:00 AM Sunday 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM Monday 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM Tuesday 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM Wednesday 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM