Summary: *REQUESTED* You don’t want to go to the company holiday party but you decide to go after alittle convincing from Jaehyun.
Jaehyun was the guy that everyone in the office wanted. Your coworkers would gush every single time he walked into the room. And he’d smile and wink. There was only one other man in your department. The only difference was that Matthew was already dating someone and he didn’t pay any of the single women in the room any mind.
But you weren’t interested in Jaehyun. Sure, he was attractive as hell, but you didn’t want someone that everyone else was all over. It was a turn off and you didn’t want anything to do with it.
After lunch, your friend Val said, “Are you coming to the company holiday party tonight?”
The overhead lights buzz with the old 80s music playing in
the overhead speakers as I stand at the counter, bored out of my mind. It’s
only been a few minutes since the last costumer, but it feels like it has been
ages since I’ve seen anyone. My coworker, Agatha, is in the back “stocking.” I
know she’s actually cramming for her upcoming geography exam after the break,
so I don’t bother her for attention.
About 10 minutes pass before I’m ready to groan up at the
ceiling in boredom for the third time today when a costumer walks in. The
little bell on the door has my head snapping up and pulling me into character
of the happy-go-lucky barista I am meant to portray.
The guy who walks in is unfamiliar, which is surprising this
far into the semester. By now, most of the other Uni kids have come through the
on-campus Starbucks in serious need of a caffeine boost or a calming tea. He
has long black hair that looks extremely soft (seriously, what conditioner does
this guy use?) and a sneer that could ward off anyone that dare try to talk to
“Hello,” I say cheerily,
my voice cracking when he looks at me, sharp grey eyes boring into mine. “What
can I get for you?” Mr. Death-glare glances up at the menu bored, then back to
me. He looks tired, or maybe he always has bags under his eyes. Some people
just look like that. “Coffee, black. Shot of espresso,” he mumbles. His voice
is gravelly and low, and a weird feeling blooms in my chest. As scary as he
looks, this guy is kind of…hot? I don’t know. Beauty concepts created by our
society is weird, so who can really judge what is “hot,” right? Steaming milk
is hot, for sure. He’s giving me a funny look and I realize I’m blushing.
“Sorry,” I mumble.
I don’t remember telling him the price or him handing me
money, I only remember his fingers slightly brushing against mine as we
exchanged currency for goods. He nods and begins to shuffle over to wear the
coffee is usually delivered. “Wait,” I say, outreaching a hand in more of a
gesture than an actual attempt to grab him, but he seems to flinch anyway. “I
need your name – for the coffee, I mean.”
“Oh,” he says, and his sneer softens to more of a tired
scowl. “Basilton,” he says and turns
away to go sit and wait for his coffee. Basilton – what a name. I have no idea
how to spell it, and I doubt he would be okay with being bothered again, so I
just shorten it. No one else comes in while I make his coffee or when I put it
out on the counter, but I say his name anyway, wanting to know how it would
sound coming out of my mouth. “Basilton,” I say. His head snaps up and he tucks
his phone into his jacket pocket.
As he reaches for his coffee, I pull it away, a lame attempt
to – well I’m not sure what I’m attempting to do, but I’m doing something. His
sneer is back and his eyes seem to go from daggers to swords as he looks up at
me. “What,” he spits. “Erm. I- I didn’t know how to spell your name, so I had
to shorten it,” I stumble over my words. What was I doing? More importantly, why
was I doing it?
His face doesn’t soften like it did before. His brows knit
together in angry confusion at me, and I swallow in attempt to get rid of the
lump forming in my throat. His eyes flick to the movement of my Adam’s Apple,
or is that my mind playing tricks on me? I don’t know and I don’t care. I feel
like a nervous wreck and my palms are sweating from the heat of the coffee – at
least, that’s what I tell myself.
I scoot the coffee toward him and he glances at it, almost
seeming surprised by its presence – like he had forgotten about it.
“E-Enjoy,” I say.
He grunts and swoops the coffee aggressively off the
counter, turns, and heads out the door. My heart is racing and I catch myself
lingering my gaze on him until he turns a corner and disappears. Agatha comes
out from the back, stretching her arms toward the ceiling and looking like
death but beautiful as always. Her eyes widen when meeting mine, “Whoa, Simon,
are you feeling okay? You’re completely red and look like you’re about to pass
out.” She reaches out to touch my forehead but I swat her away. “’M fine,” I
say. “Just hot up here, is all.” I make my way to the back and sit down. For
some reason, this guy was in my head and wasn’t leaving. I can’t figure out if
I like it or hate it.
I feel kind of bad for treating Simon so horrid, but today
is not the day to fuck around with Tyrannous Basilton Grimm-Pitch.
Firstly, I had to pull an all-nighter with Niall, the git
not being able to understand the simple basics of Psychology.
Secondly, my father thought it would be a grand idea for me
to stay at school over the break rather than come home so that I could “focus
on my studies,” and he had no problem paying for me to stay. I know the real
reason is because he cannot handle having an openly queer son at his event, but
it’s not like I mind all too much. I just wish I had the option to stay with my
aunt in London instead, but he thought that worse than me attending his event,
thinking she may be a bad influence on me. Right, because the only thing worse
than a gay son is a gay son with a rebellious attitude toward the government.
And now I think I’ve just offended my crush of over a year
by being moody in the worse possible way. Seeing him close and personal with
his blue eyes staring at me so kindly made me feel like shit. How dare he be
even cuter up close, bronze curls elegantly disheveled and eyes darkened from
the shadows. What’s worse is that I’m sure he is straight. I have no chance
with him, but it’s nice to fantasize about the boy who sits 4 rows in front of
me in Literature Lecture. Well, more like torturous. Not nice. Crowley, I am a
As I round another corner, I remember Snow telling me he had
put a nickname on my cup. I force myself to not trip over my own two feet as I
look at the horrible hand writing that reads “BAZ” in black sharpie. My heart
quickens and I can feel myself blushing. Hearing him say my name aloud felt
impersonal, surprisingly, but the nickname scrawled in horrible chicken-scratch
feels much, much more personal – almost friendly. Did he want to be friends, or
am I reading into it? Then there was the teasing with my coffee earlier. Was
that flirting or him being spastic? Honestly, I have seen him around campus
enough to notice the random spurts of energy he gets, dragging a very reluctant
purple-haired girl with him.
I shake the thought from my head, reminding myself that it
was his job to be friendly – hell, he didn’t even know who I was, although I
can’t say I blame him. I have always kept to myself in the back of the room,
never wanting to alert any sort of attention.
Suddenly, I am no longer walking. Instead, I’m on the
ground, boiling-hot coffee spilled all over me and seeping into the cracks of
the concrete, edging toward dry leaves scattered about the ground. My arse
hurts like hell and I don’t know what happened. I try to stand and realize the
ground is more slippery than usual. “Fuck,” I huff. I maneuver myself onto a safer
part of the pavement, avoiding the ice and my coffee as best as possible. ‘This
makes 4,’ I say to myself, adding onto my list of why my day is absolute shit
and why I have every right to be mean. I look back down from where I came,
defeated, and start to head back toward the Starbucks.
Maybe Simon will pity me enough to give me a free coffee. Or
at least a discount.
The bell rings and I come up front, ready to put on the
smiling face everyone expects me to have. It’s harder this time, now that I
know who Baz is. Agatha explained to me that he was in our Lit class and came
from an extremely high-up government family, but wasn’t going home during the
break because his father was embarrassed of him. I can’t imagine why, since he
has the highest scoring in our school and literally speaks 5 different
I start to remember seeing him in class, seeing him before everyone
else was seated in the room with his nose crammed into a notebook, or in the front
arguing with the professor in a hushed tone over the reading material. I don’t
know why I had never noticed him before? Maybe he didn’t want to be noticed.
Whatever the reason is, I can’t help but to think about how he and I will be
one of the few people stuck on campus during break. But I need to stop thinking
about him because there’s a costumer and-
This was a bad idea. A horrible, terrible idea. I thought
that coming back to the coffee shop would give me the chance to clean up and
regain some form of dignity. I had kept my head held high the entire way here
and practiced my lines for when I came in. Simon was to say, “Hello.” I was to
ask for the toilet, calm and cool, and he was to point in its general
direction. Then I would clean up, say my thanks, and leave. I hadn’t even
thought to buy another coffee to replace the old one, adrenaline having woken
But that didn’t happen. Instead, Simon is looking at me like
I had just walked out of the apocalypse with a massive wound I’m casually
ignoring and called me Baz. I felt my
breath hitch at the sound of him using the nickname. “What happened? Are you
okay?” If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought he was genuinely
concerned that I had gotten mugged or something – my coat is covered in a giant
coffee stain and my hair is windblown everywhere, so it’s understandable. I
tried to say something witty, but his eyes were so full of concern it makes me feel sick.
“Toilet,” is all I manage. He nods hurriedly and jumps –
actually jumps – over the counter and starts to show me toward the restroom. As
soon as we were in, I thought he would leave. But he proves me wrong and stays
with me as I take off my jacket and wrinkle my nose at it. I always knew white
wasn’t my color, and this is a sign confirming my thoughts.
I sigh and look up at Simon. His eyes are wide and his
cheeks go from pinkish to almost red as I meet his gaze. “Do you mind,” I
mutter. He blinks at me and sputters, “Oh. Right, of course. Yeah. Sorry, mate.
I’ll just. Yeah. I’llbeouthereifyouneedanything.” His hip hits the sink on his
clumsy way out and I hear him mutter a curse under his breathe. “Watch your
mouth, we’re at work,” I hear a girl call from outside. The door closes and it’s
quiet once more.
I splash water on my face and hold on to the sink, staring
into the drain as if my problems could be washed down the drain with the water.
But they can’t, obviously. I check my pants to make sure they’re not ruined –
they’re not, thank Merlin. I plan to check for bruising back in my room – not here,
knowing that Simon is outside my door and could come in any time he wished. I
leave the restroom, surprised to find him not there, but instead at the
register, humming to the overhead music and doing tricks with the cup as he
moves about. As if nothing had happened a few minutes ago.
I attempt to sneak past him, hoping he was preoccupied
enough to have forgotten about me. “Hey, Baz!”
I try to put on my sneer, not wanting to talk about how embarrassing
I am to the universe. But the effort to do so diminishes immediately when his
eyes meet mine. I feel my face fall as I approach the counter, feeling suddenly
drained and tired and in great need of a nap. I look up at him and say nothing,
knowing whatever may come out of my mouth may come off as offensive.
“You okay, mate? You really had me worried. I’m assuming
your coffee spilled all over you somehow. I’ll make you a new one, don’t worry
about it. Black coffee with a shot of espresso, right?” I feel my head spin as
he takes off from the counter and goes for the cups to his left. “No,” I try to
say, but it come out cracked and weak.
“Did I get it wrong?” he asks, stopping in his tracks and
bringing his full attention to me.
“No,” I say again, firmer. “You are correct, I just do not
want a coffee anymore.” He blinks at me. Once. Twice. He puts the coffee cup
back onto its pile. “Oh. Well, could I at least treat you to a pastry?”
I shake my head.
“Not even a sour cherry scone?”
I look at him suspiciously from where I stand. “Sounds like
that’s made up, Snow.” He cracks a smile and laughs a little. His laugh is so amazing;
I don’t think I could ever get tired of it. I want to hear it again, but I can’t
just tell him that. I realize I called him Snow, his last name. Crisse, I think
I fucked up. I never gave away that I know him, right? Crowley, he’s going to
think I’m some stalker.
But he’s still laughing and that’s good, right? My mouth
tugs a little upwards, but I fight the smile. I don’t want to come off creepy –
unless I already have and Simon is only laughing because he’s weirded out by me
and fears what I may do to him. He stops and looks at me, eyes flicking down to
my mouth and then back up at me.
What does that mean?
He smiles, just a little. It’s so small and brief that I barely
catch it. I feel myself uncontrollably smiling wide at him. “Well then, it
seems like I owe you a coffee. Perhaps we can get one tomorrow? Or whenever you’re
available.” Smooth, Simon. Real smooth.
Baz looks at me, tilting his head in thought, his once
windblown hair back to its perfect, soft style. “Will you be here during break?”
he asks. I shrug, “Living on campus, but not working since we’re closed. What
about you?” I don’t want him to know that I know he’ll be on campus – that would
come off as weird.
“Yeah, I’ll be around. Erm… see you then?” he asks,
awkwardly waving at me.
“Wait!” I say quickly before picking up a paper cup. I flip
it and the marker out of habit and write my number on it. “So we can contact
one another,” I say. My heart feels like it’s going to leap out of my chest as he
takes the cup out of my hand and examines it. Without a word, he reaches over
the counter and grabs a cup and plucks the Sharpie from my hand.
From here, I can tell his handwriting is as beautiful as
him. He hands me the cup with elegant numbers scrawled across it and I wrap it
in my hands, holding it tightly to my chest.
“I’ll text you,” he says as he reaches for the bar of the
door handle blindly, missing the bar twice before finally finding it and stumbling
with it as it opened. A giddy laugh escapes me as I look back down at the cup.