cold coffee - jily coffee shop au
A/N: so I wrote a jily au oneshot/drabble thing. sorry for the title, but I thought it went well with the cliche of a coffee shop au. hope you enjoy!
“Hey, can I sit here?” He barely glances up, barely sees her except for her striped scarf and red hair. Barely looks up from his novel except to nod. His week has been too full of angsty friends and catty exes to be nice to strangers.
She hesitates, but pulls out the chair. It scrapes harshly on the wood floor, and he rolls his eyes. “Sorry,” she whispers. “I’ll go.” Her hand hovers above the chair for a moment, but she doesn’t push it back in. Wouldn’t want to bother you, she thinks. “Bye.”
He doesn’t reply.
The next day she enters the coffee shop with dismay. It’s teeming with tourists, red and white with sunburn and sunscreen despite the drizzle outside. She scans the crowd for an empty table, or at least someone she knows, but no luck.
She sighs and turns to leave, but a tug on her scarf stops her. “Hi,” an unfamiliar voice says. She looks around and sees the boy from yesterday, the rude one. He blinks up at her from behind rectangular glasses. “You can sit with me, if you like.”
The novel is facedown on the table. It’s The Hobbit, and that’s really the only thing that makes her sit down. Her daddy used to read it to her and her sister when they were young.
“Thanks,” she says quietly. A pretty waiter asks for her order. “Macchiato, please, with cinnamon.”
He’s still holding her scarf.
She arrives first this time. That was the end of that, she had thought. He was rude, and then he was nice to make up for it. End of interaction.
Except the coffee shop is still annoyingly busy, and the tourists are still sunburned, and he still pulls up a chair. Her nose is buried in The Fellowship of the Ring when he sits.
“Black coffee and a macchiato with cinnamon, thanks,” he tells the same waiter. She darts a look at him and he smiles sheepishly. She ignores it.
He doesn’t look at her again until the bill comes and her hand snatches it away before he can even touch it. Her eyes never leave her book.
One day instead of bringing Tolkien she brings two copies of Watership Down. When he sits, she pushes one copy over to him without saying anything. They read silently for an hour, coffee growing cold and the waiter growing weary.
The next day he brings a short story anthology she’s already read. She wants to tell him, but he’s already absorbed in some classic novel about boys at boarding school. It was never her favorite anthology, but it will do.
She opens it to find it bookmarked on her favorite story. A smile sneaks onto her lips and she banishes it with the remains of her coffee.
It continues like this for two weeks or so, until the end of tourist season. The sky is almost constantly gray now and the beach-goers are slowly being replaced by seabirds.
One day the coffee shop isn’t quite as busy. It’s bustling, sure, but tables are free. He sits in their regular table (they have a regular table now) and orders a black coffee and a macchiato with cinnamon.
Too late he realizes that she doesn't have to sit with him today. She probably doesn’t even want to. They’ve barely spoken, he was rude to her when they met, and he’s seen the way the waiter looks at her.
She’s late. For the first time, she’s late. He knows she probably just had something going on, or slept in, but it gnaws away at him.
He doesn’t even know her name.
He’s given up all hope when he sees a flash of red hair and striped scarf across the street.
She’s late. Last night was her best friend’s bachelorette party, and she may have had one or four too many margaritas. The memories are hazy, but she’s pretty sure she made out with the best man’s married sister.
It’s already half past time to leave if she had wanted to be on time. Oh, well, she despairs as she yanks on a pair of black tights. He probably doesn’t even remember her. If he does, he’s probably glad to be rid of her. God knows she hasn’t said a word to him since the first day. That one waiter who always flirts with him would be better company than her. Plus, she hadn’t let him pay for drinks. Don’t guys like that? she muses. Or is that just a stereotype?
The sun is creeping toward noon as she hurries down Second Street. Please, please still be there. Logically, she realizes that he goes there every day and would even if she never did, but it still worries at her.
She never even asked his name.
The bell above the door jingles cheerily. A half-empty black coffee and a now-cold macchiato with cinnamon rest on the table (their table).
He stands, nearly knocking over his chair. “Do you want to have coffee sometime?” he blurts out. Mentally he kicks himself. “I mean, not now. And I’d actually talk to you. And pay.”
Stupid, he berates as he sits back down. We’ve had coffee every day for two weeks. Why the hell would she even want to? He can’t meet her eyes and takes her silence as a rejection.
She runs her fingers over her scarf nervously. This really shouldn’t be so difficult. She’s said yes to dates before, obviously. She’s even had coffee with him before. But it’s different.
“Love to,” she says quickly and yanks out the chair. They both cringe at the loud screech of protest it makes. “But maybe not coffee? I’m kind of sick of it, honestly.” He meets her eyes and they share a grin.
“It’s a date, then,” he laughs. “What’s your name?” He reaches across the table and they shake hands.
“Nice to meet you. Or talk to you, I suppose. I’m James.”