“I got this.” Elsa smiled at Olaf, her part-timer, and took his place in front of the cash as the redhead approached the counter, the dazzling smile on Anna’s face nearly blinding. The peppy girl, a student from the nearby university, had found Elsa’s small coffee shop a month or so ago and was now a daily customer.
“Mornin’, Elsa!” Anna was always supernova bright and Elsa had to blink away sunspots in her vision.
“Same as always?” Elsa offered the redhead a smile.
“Yup! Small coffee, three sugars and three creams!” Anna’s brightness level dialed down a smidge. Money exchanged, Elsa went over to the espresso machine to get Anna’s Americano ready. She always put extra care into making the coffee for the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed student who always spent the morning keeping her company and left in the afternoon when she had classes. She was always the high point in Elsa’s day, seemingly able to exude happiness from her pores that Elsa sometimes imagined she was able to absorb. How else could Elsa explain the tingling feelings in her chest and the need to burst out into song when Anna was there?
“Here you go.” Elsa smiled warmly at Anna, bringing a cute blush to the redhead’s cheeks. “One coffee, made special for you.”
Anna nodded and reached for the paper cup when the door to the shop was flung open and the bell above it jangled violently.
“YOU PUT THAT DOWN RIGHT NOW, ANNA BANANA!!!” A blonde with impossibly long hair–Elsa swore it almost touched the ground–was pointing at Anna angrily.
“Go away! I can do whatever I want! You’re not the boss of me!” Anna shouted back. The customers in the store all paused to stare at the scene that was unfolding.
The blonde stormed over, her angry expression turning to a pleading one as she looked at Elsa imploringly.
“Pleeeeeeaaaaaase don’t EVER give her any more coffee.” The woman begged. “She hates drinking that stuff–”
“She gets like, the WORST stomach-aches–”
Anna looked horrified. “–don’t listen to her–”
“–but she keeps ordering coffee and it gives her really bad diarr–”
“NOOOOO!!!” The coffee went flying to the floor as Anna clamped a hand over Rapunzel’s mouth, silencing the blonde.
“IhavetogonowI’msorryforthemessgoodbye!” Anna had dragged her friend out the door before Elsa could blink. Elsa was left to apologize to her customers and one of her staff went to quickly clean up the mess, leaving Elsa back behind the counter, the wheels in her head, turning.
The next day in the evening when Elsa and Olaf were closing up, the bell above the door jangled to notify them that someone had just walked in.
“I’m sorry, we’re closed–oh. Anna.” Elsa smiled at the girl hesitantly, a little bit taken aback by how… reserved and subdued the redhead was. It reminded Elsa too much of a sunflower that was wilting.
“Hi.” Anna’s smile was small and timid and nervous. “Um. I just… I wanted to apologize for yesterday.”
“We missed you this morning.” Elsa ignored the apology.
“Yeah.” Anna looked down and shuffled her feet awkwardly, her face bright red.
“I can make you your drink now, if you would like.” Elsa reached out and gently touched Anna’s elbow, unsure.
“Um.” A little bit of Anna’s brightness came back. “Sure. Triple cream, triple sugar, please.”
Elsa chuckled and went behind the counter, having already prepared the ingredients. “Just sit down, I’ll bring you your drink.”
Anna nodded, taking a seat far away from the counter, a far cry from when she would sit as close to where Elsa worked as possible. Just when Anna was thinking her coffee was taking a bit longer than usual, an AMAZING smell hit her nose and she breathed in the heavenly scent.
“Chocolateeeee…” Anna exhaled, her mouth watering at the rich and creamy smell.
Elsa had two mugs of hot chocolate, one topped up with marshmallows and a drizzle of chocolate sauce and another topped with hand-whipped cream and a dash of cocoa powder.
“Whipped cream or marshmallows?”
“Marshmallows.” Anna swore she was drooling as she accepted the drink eagerly in her hands like it was some priceless artefact. Anna blanched when Elsa took a seat across from her, hands cradling the hot chocolate with the whipped cream.
“Mind if I join you?”
Anna’s face turned that fetching shade of red Elsa enjoyed so much and she was nearly blinded by the brilliant grin on the redhead’s face.
“Please! Oh, I need to pay–” Anna set her cup down and started reaching for her wallet but Elsa reached out and still her movements with a touch on Anna’s arm.
“It’s my treat. Please.” Elsa laughed again. “It’s the least I could do. I didn’t know you didn’t like coffee.”
“No, no, I love you!” Anna blurted out, then covered her mouth, mortified at what she had just said. “I mean, I mean I love coffee! I love it!”
“Hm.” Elsa hummed non-committally, her own face now dusted a light pink but a pleased little smile on her face. “If it’s all the same to you, I’m going to start giving you hot chocolate from now on. You seem to enjoy it a lot more and there’s less chance of you having stomach or bowel problems when we finally get to go out on that date that you need to ask me on.”
The look on Anna’s face was worth the courage it took for Elsa to proposition Anna so boldly. The redhead’s grin was like a million supernovas all combusting at once.