A/N: had to. just had to. also, this is really old ;v;
You work at Starbucks but hate coffee.
Like absolutely despise it as much as it could be - it’s bitterness just extremely wards you off. So does whatever other flavor is surfing around in it.
With that being said, it was a horrible combination, yes, you would think, but you needed a decent paying job and this was the best you could get currently with being in college. So you made do if it meant survival - i.e, being able to buy supplies and food, and primarily whatever else one needed for a living. It helped that the campus wasn’t too far either. That and there was wifi and employee discounts to take advantage of so it wasn’t half bad, nor was the smell of java beans and confection sweetness. You also volunteer at animal shelters when you’re free from the pressures of getting an education to blow off some steam and working part time to do something you enjoy more than making six am zombies a cup of joe while having to deal with overly crotchety or peppy people was just what you needed. Including some of your co-workers you put below minimum effort in socializing with. It was an okay level of existing for what it was worth, and you just tried to remind yourself that the pot at the end of the rainbow that is a college degree would be so very much worth all the hard work.
It was the average afternoon for a mid fall day and a ginger walked in some time past one thirty. He had a young face, probably European, that had more than a healthy amount of freckles. He walked up to the cash register, seeming all but meekly polite as he ordered a small latte and told you his name so you could sharpie it on his cup.
“Alright, I’ll call you in a bit pal.” you smiled.
He nodded and you got to work. Crafting him his oddly simple drink given all the options to pick from as you thought of his name.
Newton. Certainly not one you hear everyday - in your case anyway - but very unique. It gave you can idea and as you were an in the moment confidence person, you went through with that idea.
You called him up and he listened like a retriever, red head popping up in attention. You reached over the shelf frame on the side of the register, glad you had long enough arms to compensate for your short body. He grabbed the cup from you carefully and it didn’t take long for him to snort then chuckle, but it was more school boyish than you expected and that was insanely adorable. He was amused by the nickname you had wrote - Newt. You even doodled a little one next to your curly handwriting. His smile jerked up higher on one side it turned out.
You smiled again, this time more earnestly and shrugged as he looked your way. Then you noticed something more odd than his name and of course you had to call him out on it.
“Cool critter man.“ it was a witty compliment meant for the stick bug crawling on his shoulder. It was a bright green and getting close enough to graze his collar as it crawled upward.
He startled, and without delay, frantically snatched it up. He then angrily whispered a reprimand to it, letting it crawl into his breast pocket. You watched him all the while, bemused before he seemed to remember that you were there. He started up in a stammer and you cut him off.
"Does it have a name?”
You swore you could see the headlights of his brain blinker as he tilted his head at you. He swallowed roughly and looked at his latte as he thumbed open a piece of plastic on the lid over the lip of the cup.
“P-Pickett,” he answered quietly.
You cocked your head to the side too.
A smile shyly tilts his lips and he thanks you.
It’s only a matter of time before you decide to tell him your name, but that’s about when he’s forced to go sit at one of the tables as a grouchy customer moves in behind him on the otherwise non existent line and loudly complains about him holding it up. It was moment where you really wished you could tell some people to suck it and frack off. She was just lucky more people came in after her complaint. So, you get back to work and help her with a strained attitude, a little less enthusiastic than before and painting mental mustaches on her and the rest of who followed that were not of the savory kind of personality.
When you’ve hit another lapse of inactivity in coffee serving, you spy Newt in the back, alone and ears plugged with buds. Probably listening to some chill tunes. He was writing furiously in a worn journal and taking periodic sips of his latte. Sighing, you check the time on your Android. It’s nearly three now. Good as time as ever for a break, and what better than to see how the politest guy you’ve served in a long time is doing. You made yourself something quick and poured a mug before popping out from behind the desk and telling Jordie - the quiet, sweet guy of the staff that never threw anyone under the bus and kept to himself - that’d you be back in thirty. You took a drink from your mug as you ambled over to Newt.
“Hey." You absently wonder if no one has every really went out of their to talk to him before because of how he reacts to you. He seems quirky - in the good way. So it’d be a shock that no has tried to befriend him.
You’ve managed to give him another start and he’s turned to a stuttering mess as you sit down across from him, a piping hot chocolate in hand. Unknown to you, it surprised him that you had arrived at his table.
"W-why are you- won’t you get in trouble for not being on the job?” he asked in that raspy accent, taking out his ear buds.
“Hey, it’s no problem Newt, I’m on break and well…sitting at an empty table or back of the break room by myself can be lonely." you explained, leaning back in your seat.
"A-are you sure?”
“Absolutely.” you soothe and the tension strung in his shoulders dropped visibly.
He’s nervous as you then try to start up chatter, asking if he had any hobbies.
"Well, I volunteer at the nearby animal shelter. And several others.” he confessed sheepishly.
“Really? Huh, so do I.”
Something sparked in his lovely eyes and soon you two couldn’t shut up. You relate on a few things, like options and philosophies, and he mentions that he also rescues pit bulls - he insists on telling you tokens of several, which you don’t at all mind -, and smiles brightly when you pipe up that you have one too. You feel comforted by his presence and he seems to like you to some extent if he hasn’t stopped yammering with you yet.
He got even more animated when you started to rambled about endangered species the moment he brings them up. And misunderstood or stereotyped ones.
“They deserve a lot more concern, you know? Like, these are animals - the creatures who have had the earth a lot longer than we have, so aren’t they entitled to something more than just advertisements on TV that don’t help as much as they say they do?”
He drank the last of his latte in a short gulp, he placed the empty cup down, “I wholehearted agree, I suppose we can only hope for more efforts to be exulted but I hope to help that some day."
Yes, he had told you he was aiming to become a zoologist in his near future, a career you once considered taking on in flitting thought, but your indecisiveness had left you wondering more on you choices of occupations.
Turns out you both like art too and share taste in music.
Sadly, that topic is cut short and because your break time’s up in a flash and you have to get back to work and Newt has an essay to finish.
You down the rest of your hot chocolate, "Um, sorry. Gotta go back to the grind an’ stuff.” you tuck back some hair.
He says he looks forward to seeing you again and gives a less bashful smile as he rises to leave too.
You hobble on back behind the register, catching sight of him through a window and holding onto his image as he disappears in the street. You sigh, feeling warm inside, and you know it’s not because of the hot chocolate.
You wonder if he notices the heart shaped cookie you slipped into his bag before he left.