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[personal profile] tyrror
Title: Coffee
Author: Tyrror
Universe: Cafe!Verse
Pairing: Damian Wayne/Colin Wilkes
Rating: PG
Previous: Hello
Next: Purple

His head lolled back, the sensation of his shoulders slowly rising and falling around his ears gradually working away the tension that was already beginning to build at the base of his skull.

For most, the scent of breakfast was a comfort on a cold morning. However, most people did not have the unadulterated pleasure of breakfast being their entire day. The cloyingly sweet smell of honey-ham and maple syrup. The heavy, grease laden cloud that was sizzling bacon. The ever-present hint of...

Burnt coffee...

Colin sighed and forced himself to open his eyes. It was beyond his ability to fathom how a man trained to cook dozens of things that he couldn’t even pronounce managed to consistently burn what was essentially oddly-coloured water. He could have sworn that there was a law somewhere that said water beat fire, or at least that’s what several years addicted to Pokemon had taught him, but maybe Chef wasn’t the videogame type.

With an ease that spoke of far too much of practice, the redhead swept the smoldering pot from its warming plate and replaced it with an empty carafe; hitting the button to start the brew cycle in the process. Placing the hissing container in the empty sink, he covered it with a damp cloth to dampen the smoke and hopefully the smell just in time for the crash.

Coffee was going to be the death of him.

He and coffee were obviously at war. It was the most logical explanation. That was why he didn’t drink the vile liquid. Well...that and because it was vile to drink, but mostly because they were at war.

One more deep breath and a quick flick of his wrists had him rolling the sleeves of his meticulously pressed, button-down white top to his elbows in a motion that was just as practiced as his emergency ‘Coffee pot retrieval senses’. A moment longer to collect himself and to straighten his somewhat dirty, pine-green apron was all the time he could spare before grabbing a cleaning rag and stepping out from behind the bar.

“Oh dear,” he offered with his ever present business smile bright and fake and not quite making it to his eyes. “Let me get that.”

The elderly gentleman who was attempting to squeeze his girth out of the booth to pick up the broken coffee cup smiled an awkward apology at him and slumped back down in his seat to continue his conversation with his equally large wife. Kneeling where he was, Colin shuffled the pieces about awkwardly, attempting to soak up the thin brown liquid coloured light with too much cream when he glanced up at the rest of the room.

Across from him was a man...no, a boy. A teenager around his age, broad in the shoulder and somber in expression. His black hair spiked at random and his wide chest in its’ tailor-made suit perfectly still and perfectly postured; but his eyes told another story. The corner of the boy’s mouth twitched as if he were trying to hold back a laugh and his bright blue eyes twinkled with an unseen mirth. The man who had dropped the cup made a series of very awkward noises as he fought to retrieve his wallet from beneath his rather rotund backside and the thin lips of the stranger pursed in an attempt to keep from turning up farther.

Colin snorted.

The man looked down at Colin with confusion on his face before going about paying his bill and the redhead let a real smile slip to the silent boy he’d shared a little bit of actual humour with. The boy’s lips slipped up for just a moment, crinkling the corners of his eyes before he flattened his expression and turned to face the window.

Damp cloth and still dripping ceramic in hand, he stood as gracefully as a lanky teenager can and made his way back behind the counter to dispose of his mess. It took only minutes, but in the short time he had his back turned, the other boy as well as the older couple had vanished; tiny bells on cold glass doors jingling a goodbye. The little bit of proper smile he’d found that day falling from his face.

He went to retrieve the bills.

Another table...
Another tip...
Another...

The sun was bright outside in the late-morning air and the chatter of people in the tiny cafe meant the ambiance was slightly off, but the deep black scrawl was familiar regardless. Elegant loops and lines pulled together on  the back of a neatly folded receipt beneath a small stack of bills and held in place with a salt shaker.

“You should smile more, it suits you”

Colin smiled.
 

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tyrror

December 2012

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