andreil coffee shop au?? maybe neil is a barista at starbucks and andrew is a huge fan of the birthday cake frappacino??
first; im so sorry this took so long. exams.
second; i started writing it from the middle to end in full-fledged fic format (quite long too acc) but i have the beginning to write and its in hc format because fic format will take too long?? sorry, i hope you like it babe! (it’s v long yikes)
in this au, aaron doesnt play exy. he is a doctor and lives in nyc with katelyn.
- so we all know andrew minyard packs the weight of the northern hemisphere inside of him in sugar
- he likes going to coffeeshops in south carolina and all but recently a starbucks just opened on campus
- so andrew’s like ‘yeah why not let’s try it’
- so he’s just entered the shop and hes looking at the menus and stuff and a certain neil josten (cute new barista boy with dusty hair and delicate hands and artistic cheekbones) smiles
- and andrew’s like lmao i might as well play pro exy just to earn enough money to buy this branch so i can be manager and stare at this smol (yet physically tol) boy all day
- but yeah its about coffee okay
- so he pushes his thirstiness down and continues ravaging the menus when w h o do you know, neil walks over and him being an excellent reader of people and gr88 at customer service, goes
- “hello, were you looking at anything special today?”
- and andrew’s mind’s like yeah you
- if it was anyone else, he’d glare but this boy’s smile is too pretty to scare off so andrew goes “actually, it’s my first time here.”
- neil: “oh wow, well if you dont find anything, i highly recommend the birthday cake frappuccino. you’d like it, it’s super sweet”
- and andrew’s face goes a little ?? because how would this stranger know he’d like the sweet
- and nei understands and goes “oH I watched your interview.”
- andrew: ?
- neil: youre andrew minyard right
- andrew: “uh”
- neil: exy
- and for a second, andrew forgot he’s famous in the media bc lbr he doesnt care about exy or fame
- and andrew doesnt understand why they put such weird stuff on his interviews like drink preferences but okAy aNYWAYS
- he’s like, “uh yeah sure”
- so this happens and andrew comes the next day and neil says hi again and goes “the birthday cake?” and his smile is so wide, andrew has to gulp and he can barely manage a “yes” because this boy is like a fairy wtf
- eventually, neil and andrew somehow get to have a convo (neil is a nerd™ but andrew’s okay with it. talking to neil about exy is the only time andrew likes exy. but thats okay too because slowly, he realizes he likes neil too.)
- until one day, they’re sitting on the curb behind the shop during neil’s break when andrew goes: [initiate fic]
“Coach’s forcing everyone to go to some Winter Banquet in Georgia,” Andrew says and he’s playing with the straw in this drink.
Andrew wants to run away because this was a bad idea but if he doesn’t say it now, he never will, so he tries to speak against the rocks in his throat.
“Have you ever been to Atlanta, Josten?”
Neil looks up in surprise, a little struck that Andrew was asking to take him, no matter how deluded the question was. It was still there, hanging in the space between them, biting at Andrew’s nerves every second that Neil didn’t respond. There were about one hundred and forty-two bored comebacks on the tip of Andrew’s tongue if Neil said no, but the reply was just, “No, but I’d like to.”
- sorry little interruption here:
- neil the nerd’s initial thought process was like “woAh am i going to meet all the exy warriors??? is this it?? is this real? is this happening to me??”
- but he decided that wasnt why he said yes, because exy was cool but andrew was better and lowkey neil’s andrew minyard greatest stan bc best goalie in the league™ but he wont admit to that yet
- bac k to the story
Andrew considered that a victory and gave Neil his barely-drank drink to Neil before leaving.
Winter banquet, according to Palmetto’s athletes, is on December 3 and its only November 26 when Neil throws yet another cup labelled ‘Andrew’ in the trash, to join the remaining 9. His manager might actually fire him for plastic wastage like that. Andrew had asked him to Winter Banquet and when Neil looked back, Andrew had seemed pretty content with Neil’s answer, but that didn’t line up with the fact that Andrew had not returned for the past week. It’s terrible, Neil thinks, waiting for someone to validate you, and decides perhaps Andrew wasn’t such a great decision after all. The burning in his chest says otherwise.
On the eleventh day, the glass revolving door beckons the entrance of one Andrew Minyard and Neil smiles despite himself. He walks over to the frappuccino-mixer to get the Birthday Cake rolling when he sees Andrew’s companion. Andrew strolls towards a table with a tall girl in a Vixen uniform with soft eyes and Neil knows it’s probably a teammate until she grabs his hand and he lets her. His stomach feels weak with his the hopelessness of his hope. The smile Andrew gives her is wide enough to burn his own away. Andrew doesn’t as much as look at Neil. He also doesn’t order the Birthday Cake Frappuccino because the girl takes care of it. Another cup lands in the trash and Neil thinks getting fired right now would at least give him some time to sleep all of this out.
The next time Andrew walks in the door, he has a bandage across his cheek. Neil shouldn’t care, but he does, but at least he doesn’t say anything about it. No cups are thrown because Neil doesn’t care enough to make an unasked drink for an unasked-for boy anymore. He continues to serve other customers and forces himself to not look in Andrew’s direction. When Andrew gets up to order, Neil’s supposed to be on break but for unholy reasons, Dan has pulled Matt out to the back of the building with her and Neil doesn’t want to imagine why. There aren’t a lot of people around but Neil just wants to breathe in the air for moment. The remaining thick air in his lungs evaporates when Andrew makes his way towards him and Neil wishes he had the choice to not serve customers he didn’t like.
“Neil,” Andrew says, and Neil gives him the most cool, levelled gaze he can muster.
“What would you like, today?”
Andrew frowns at that, but presses on, anyway.
“The Birthday Cake. I thought you knew it was my usual.”
“No, didn’t really know anything, actually,” Neil retorts calmly and gets to work. Andrew presses his fingers against Neil’s when he’s handed the drink because he can feel there’s something wrong but words aren’t his forte and he hopes Neil will talk to him. The flinch of Neil’s hand stings a little, but he decides he’ll ask him on break.
Matt comes back from the back with mused hair and Neil grimaces but goes out back and pulls a cigarette out of his pocket. He’s sitting on the same curb where Andrew had asked him, lied to him, a week ago when there’s footsteps behind him but he ignores them. His cigarette is pulled out of his fingers and he turns around, annoyed to see Andrew settling beside him on the curb.
“I’d like to know why you’re suddenly avoiding me.”
Neil gives him a brief, bored look.
“I’m not. And that was mine.”
“I would care, but I don’t.” He carelessly flicked the cigarette away, causing another scowl to form on Neil’s face.
“Did you change your mind.” Neil raises his eyebrows in confusion and Andrew looks a little annoyed so he continues, “About going.” He doesn’t say “with me” because articulating the fact that Andrew wants Neil to “go with him” makes it real and senseless and Andrew does not work with flustering statements.
“Why, did the Vixen reject your messed up face?,” he said, motioning towards his face to indicate Andrew’s bandages.
Now it’s Andrew’s turn to look confused and he goes, “What? The bandages? I was smashed by a Raven. And what Vixen? I don’t like their excessive and quite frankly, unnecessary enthusiasm. The only person looking at my face for a week has been Abby.”
Neil is annoyed and frustrated that Andrew’s making him go around in circles and he came here for a break not to be bothered by a hallucination of a relationship. White lies from Andrew also don’t help so he gets to the point with poison lacing his tone.
“Cut the crap, Andrew. The Vixen; the girl you brought yesterday. Spoiler alert: not ordering by yourself doesn’t make me not see you. Lying to me also doesn’t make you any more admirable.”
The Vixen thing was weird for Andrew but the addition of “girl” puts everything into perspective and despite himself and the knot between Neil’s brows, Andrew laughs, a weird, sour thing, because its open and unguarded and infuriating. Neil grunts in annoyance and finally gets up when Andrew gets ahold of himself and grabs his wrist.
“You saw Aaron, Josten.”
Neil raises his eyebrows in silent question but doesn’t pull.
“Who’s Aaron? I saw you.”
“Aaron’s my twin brother.”
Neil’s eyebrows somehow shoot higher in his dusty hair and he asks, “You have a twin?”
“And you never told me.”
Andrew gets up but let’s go of Neil’s wrist.
“Well I would, but I got hospitalized for a week so I didn’t have time to clarify concerns while you thought I was making out with my doppelgänger’s girlfriend.“
“I thought you were being the ‘arrogant, blonde prince of Exy’ and lying to me.”
“That’s repulsive. Never call me that again.”
“That’s what the media calls you, Minyard.”
Andrew smirked, “‘Andrew’ should suffice. You might get confused with the ‘Minyard’ thing again at Winter Banquet and make out with the wrong twin.”
Neil’s stomach churned with satisfying adrenaline and he entwined his fingers with Andrew’s before replying with, “Nah, if you had a twin, I’d still choose you.”
“You’re disgusting,” Andrew replied with the mockery of spite. A beat. Then, “And so is this god awful drink, drink it for me.” Neil frowned but took the drink for him regardless.
“But you’ve been ordering it for over a month now.”
“Yeah, because you’d recommend it so viciously every day. I like artistically sweet things, not truck loads of liquid sugar. I also hate birthdays.” Andrew didn’t look bothered at this inconvenience though, so Neil was astounded, and amused and touched all the same.
“You’re disgusting,” he replied in mockery.
“And yet, you’d still choose me,” was Andrew’s response.