I write a bad pick up line on your cup every time I’m your barista’ Or ‘Should I be concerned about how much caffeine you’re taking in’ For Percabeth
“Coffee guy has a crush on you,” Piper says without preamble, flicking a page in her reading.
“Uh huh,” Annabeth mutters, dragging a highlighter over a line in her book. It’s only after she’s finished an irritated scribble in the margin that the words really penetrate. She glances up at her friend, who is leaning across the table looking amused. “What? No. Don’t be ridiculous.”
“I’m always ridiculous. And always right. He keeps refilling your coffee.”
Annabeth, who has been lost in a haze of architecture for longer than the hour Piper has been sitting in the cafe with her, has not really been aware of her drink being refilled. She’s reached for her mug when she wanted a drink, and the mug has always had coffee in it. The logical inconsistency between the amount of times she’d reached for the cup and the cup never being empty had not really jumped out at her until now.
“If he’s refilling my coffee and not yours, that just makes him rude.”
“Oh, no. He’s been refilling mine. When you started swearing at your book before, it nearly overflowed, and it wasn’t because he was scandalised.”
Annabeth sighs, refusing to glance over her shoulder at the coffee guy in question. It’s not like she doesn’t already know what he looks like, the guy is six foot tall with a build like an Olympian swimmer and a jawline that could cut glass. She manages to drag her brain to a halt before it starts listing things to compare his eye colour to: Piper is smirking at her reading in a way that suggests she’s learnt how to read minds.
“He was probably impressed with my command of the english language.”
“He was impressed with something, all right.” Piper shuts her folder with a snap. “Right, i’m done here.”
“That reading was fifty-one pages, you’re so full of shit.”
“The fact that you know how long my readings are is terrifying, you know that?”
“Do your homework!”
“Can’t hear you, running away to get a restraining order!” She’s halfway to the door by the time she sing-songs that, leaving Annabeth with her nearly empty coffee mug and a cafe full of people giving her the stink eye.
“If you need an alibi, I can testify that you’ve been here pretty much all day.”
Coffee guy has a nice voice. Warm, smooth, just this side of deep without sounding like the trailer guy. It takes Annabeth an embarrassing amount of time to register that she’s thinking this because he’s standing right next to her, holding a coffee pot. It’s a good thing her self control is world renowned, because she uses all of it to keep from jumping out of her skin.
“What? I - no, she’s joking. We’re friends. Really.”
His grin is distractingly crooked. “I’m convinced.”
“I’m gonna kill her,” Annabeth mutters, hoping against hope that she’s not blushing, or something equally ridiculous.
“That’s probably not going to help in court.”
Her brain is - slowly - retreating out of coffee-and-study survival mode. A joke, she realises belatedly, and the rueful laugh escapes her before she can think to bite it back. And - something in coffee guy’s shoulders relaxes, just a little bit. Nervous, she thinks, and finds herself predisposed to like him. Smart boys know to think very carefully before approaching Annabeth Chase, and that’s the way she likes it.
She tucks an errant curl behind her ear. “I’ll plea insanity. Over-caffeination.” She glances down at her cup. “Actually, would you mind–?”
His face scrunches up with something like concern. “That’ll be your sixth cup.”
“Aren’t you the guy who’s been topping me up?”
“Grover seemed to think you might, I dunno, eat us or something if you ran out. I was protecting the good people of the cafe, but apparently cutting you off means stopping a murder.”
A groan escapes her, something like shame crawling up the back of her throat. Annabeth knows she’s got a serious case of resting bitch face (and she’ll fight anyone who suggests that’s a problem),but she doesn’t want the entire campus to be terrified of her.
“I’m not…actually some hyper-violent lady with a hair-trigger, honestly.”
“Oh hey no, I didn’t mean to–” And he’s groaning? He rubs the back of his neck, which is slowly turning red, and Annabeth starts to feel less off-kilter. “I’m bad at flirting.”
She’s definitely going to murder Piper. This is her fault somehow, Annabeth’s sure.
“Same,” she rushes out, before over-thinking can make this even messier. Her whole body feels energised, jittery, and she doesn’t think it’s the coffee. “Um. Just one more refill? To get me through the last bit of this chapter?”
“Wh - uh, right. Sure!” He squints at her. “You don’t mind?”
Annabeth rocks her mug from side to side, watching the dregs of her drink slosh from side to side. Black, no sugar. It seems like the safer option right now.
She takes a breath.
“Haven’t decided yet,” she says. “I’ll let you know when i’m done with this chapter.”
She’s not looking at him directly, but his grin is wide enough to be seen from space, let alone the corner of her eye.
“You got it,” he says happily, topping her mug off. He’s on the verge of pulling away when he pauses, like he’s remembered something. “It’s Percy, by the way. So you don’t have to keep calling me coffee guy.”
And then he’s gone, leaving Annabeth to seriously reconsider committing that murder.