Summary: Changmin is the barista of a cafe. Jaejoong is the weirdest customer.
Author's note: ^^ Merry Christmas, chocolet89 !
The first time it happened, Changmin wasn't prepared for it. But the little bell by the door did sound quite prophetically, at least in his opinion.
The first time the handsome blond entered the small cafe, he looked lost— searching through all the tables for something. But what for Changmin didn't know, nevertheless, his eyes never left him. The cold charisma was entrancing, but when the blond smiled… Oh, when he smiled, Changmin forgot to breathe properly for more than 20 seconds. As a result, he was practically drawing on nothing when the blond went to the counter to place his order.
"Yes. Hello. I would like a…", and thank Buddha that the blond needed time to read (apparently) the whole menu of coffees, because Changmin wasn't paying that much attention to his words but to his mouth. The blond's lips were red, a healthy shade of red. Changmin licked his own lips unconsciously. "I think a… Mocca with a shot of raspberry would be ok."
And then the blond looked directly at Changmin. Cold, unemotional (fake) gray eyes; oh God. Changmin's body went into the motion of writing the order, taking the money, giving change. His brain, on the other hand, was trying to rationalize all the emotions that his stomach was feeling and memorizing the stranger’s face at the same time.
Junsu finished making the blond's coffee, way too fast for Changmin’s liking, like he wasn't affected by the blond's aura, like he was any other customer and not someone born more appealing than the rest. The blond took his coffee, and went to sit at the table in the corner. He took out his laptop and a notebook. He put on glasses. Glasses. He looked even more appealing.
"Ehrm. Changmin? Why are you ignoring the customer queue?"
One day yes, one day no, the blond would come into the cafe and he would order something different each time. Sometimes strong coffee with weird mixes, sometimes milk with weird mixes, sometimes just weird mixes. Changmin was proud of the fact that he never misplaced the odd combinations. Whatever alien beverage the blond wanted, he got it exactly how he wanted.
"What's up with that guy? 'All the berries you have, a shot of espresso and soy milk'? I though he wasn't coming back after he almost puked the 'all caramel, hot water and don't hold on the whipped cream'. He's so weird."
He's creative, Changmin wanted to say in defence, but he didn't because that would be even weirder than the blond's orders and Junsu knew him to well to let a remark like that one pass without a full interrogation.
"You know… Some people just like to… Experiment and play with their food."
Junsu's eyes almost popped out of his face and his jaw almost, almost touched the floor.
Changmin felt a blush creeping to his checks. Wrong answer then.
"Or, whatever. He could be bored… Or just crazy. In the head."
Junsu's knees failed to support him for some reason or another.
Oh God. That was never good for Changmin.
"His name is Jaejoong", Junsu told him one month after the blond started to frequent their workplace.
"I asked him", Junsu smiled sweetly, which also wasn't good. Junsu tended to only smile like that when he was playing his ‘I'm the Hyung role’.
"What?! Why'd you do that?!"
Another smile. Changmin's rational started to collect itself from the blond's—Jaejoong's table and focused on Junsu.
Changmin denied later that he stuttered. "Why do I care?!"
"Small talk can do wonders, Changmin-ah. Maybe you should try it too, next time he asks for a Frankenstein coffee. You know: 'Hi, what is your name? Why are you so weird? Want to be weird together?' that kind of thing. I believe you can do it!"
"You are too nice, Junsu. That's why all the clients love you. Oh, look! I think that one is calling you to clean their table; they spilled their coffee to get you attention, I'm sure." Junsu's smile finally (after a whole month!) fell from his face. "Go, Hyung."
"What I am supposed to look at, Junsu? I've been sitting here for ages."
"Patience, Chunnie-ah, patience. You'll see how funny it is."
"Aish! I'm blaming you, Changmin. You finally broke Junsu! What did you do to him? I told you to call me in those moments so I can watch them on Skype."
"He's just being his annoying self. Like that time when he thought he could--"
"Mmh? Minnie-ah? You ok?"
"Hi. I want a white chocolate, with three big spoons of Tabasco, cinnamon on top. Extra ice."
Nod. Take money. Make the drink. Give drink. Eyes on the counter. Arms tense.
"Oh, wow! Was that real?!"
Changmin worked at the cafe 5 days a week, always in the afternoon shift (except on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which it was the middle afternoon and night shift) and always with Junsu. The rest of his time it was spent on college, homework, books, video games, porn and food. But Sundays… Sundays were Mangdongie's day.
They'd go to the park after a long walk around the city. He'd let his cute dog run after birds and play with all her other canine friends. She has many, she was sociable. She didn't learn that from you, his sisters used to say but, frankly, Changmin thought that when you're a dog and the only way to say hi is smelling other dog's asses, you had nothing to hide. That was simple and straight to the point. Not that Changmin wanted to literally do that to judge people, but he was rather proud of Mangdongie's ability to choose friends, almost always bigger than her, but great play partners that never bite her or fight her over the ball. And with good looking owners.
It was like Mangdongie knew which dogs have owners that would please Changmin's eyes. That was why normally Changmin let her wander around the park looking for new doggie friends.
But dogs, or Junsu's cat collection, not any other kind of animals that might harm her. Like the enormous white monstrosity she was reaching out to today, for example.
"Mangdongie! Mandgondgie!! Get away from that cow right now! You know you shouldn't get close to mutants, girl! Mangdongie!"
Even though Mandgondgie did stop advancing to the other animal, the big maybe-a-cow spotted her and started to walk in her direction.
"Hey! Hey, cow! Stay away from her"
By the time Changmin got to his pet, almost panicking, another man joined him coming from the opposite direction.
"Hey! Vick is not a cow! He's just a really big dog, ok? Not a mutant, you freakily tall person, he just has a very big heart!"
"Right, that's the reason why he looks like he's eate--"
Oh God. Oh God. Oh God.
Jaejoong was deeply scowling at him, crossed arms and everything.
Jaejoong was talking to him outside his workplace. Jaejoong was the cow's owner. Jaejoong took his pet to the park he took Mangdongie to. Oh Buddha, thank you for Mangdongie. He wasn't going to doubt her ever again.
Oh wait. Jaejoong was angry with him. Changmin felt a different and odd panicked felling rising in his stomach.
"Oh, I'm… Well… He's just big, you know? And—And bigger than Mangdongie so, I just… Your dog is not fat, just doesn't look like a dog at first glance. Maybe a big, enchanted piece of fur but--"
He was rambling. He, Shim Changmin, linguistic and logic genius, was rambling. Vaguely he wondered if he should call Yoochun, because the older man was very fond of being a witness of this kind of moments. Oh God, mind, stop. And Jaejoong was still with a deep scowling. This time, his whole face looked troubled.
"… Do I know you from somewhere?"
And that cut out all other sentences that Changmin's idiotic mind was preparing to say, because an ache in his chest caught his attention. Because after two months of preparing Jaejoong's coffee Changmin was expecting to be recognized. Not that Jaejoong knew his name, hell, he barely spoke to the blond, but at least to know his face. The cafe has a lot of regulars, most of which, when crossing with Changmin in the street, would at least nod their heads in his direction as a polite greeting. Changmin did the same every time the bumped into his hairdresser, his landlord’s family and all the people that have lectures with him during the semester.
It was about being polite to the people that shared ruts. It was about knowing these people existenced. It was about…
It was about Jaejoong and how after two months of being served by Changmin, he couldn't recognize him. Changmin didn't know why it hurt, but it hurt anyway.
"I'm… Mh. I work at W Café. I--I make you coffee…"
Jaejoong's became a light and his frown lessened at last.
"You are the robot-guy!"
"… Excuse me?"
"Yeah! Yeah, you know, robot-guy!” Jaejoong told him like he was explaining the funniest thing ever. He even made a parody of what Changmin supposed were his movements every time he was fixing Jaejoong's order. Arms, face, and body rigid; hands doing whatever with barely coordination.
And now that did hurt. A lot of people have told him what a social failure he was sometimes, too shy to do more, too smart to laugh at everybody's jokes, but actually saw it from Jaejoong was terrible. The kind of terrible that you can only feel when your crush crushed your heart a little.
"Yeah. That's me", Changmin answered. He tried to do it lightly, disinterested, cool (he knew he could do it, because he did it all the time), but somehow his voice was small and tight. Looking for an easy escape route, Changmin picked up Mangdongie from the floor while saying something or another about her size and how she sometimes got afraid of bigger dogs (a totally obvious lie) and how she looked thirsty, time to go home then.
Some of his emotions were reflected in his face, surely, because Jaejoong own semblance suddenly got pretty tense.
"Hey--Hey! Wait! You--"
"Bad time now. See you on Tuesday, Jaejoong-sshi."
"Oh, hi. I'd like an irish coffee with a hint of that banana syrup from the other week and vanilla powder on top."
Feeling still a little sad (over a freaking crush, his life was so chick-flick worthy), Changmin's face wasn't tense anymore, his features schooled naturally and paying particular attention to making his arm's movements look natural, human-like. Not robot-like. Not that it really mattered.
"Sure. A weird ass coffee, coming right up."
Ah, that definitely shocked the blond. At work, with the costumers, Changmin would hold his tongue. But Jaejoong suddenly pissed him off in many ways. Changmin stopped caring. He could blame his circuits latter.
It was just at the same time that he reached for the horrible, horrible banana syrup when Jaejoong spoke again.
"I'm sorry for the robot thing, eh…” Jaejoong made an effort to read his name tag from his position, "Changmin. Oh, that's a nice name. I didn't want to offend you. It's something that I do because I'm terrible with names and faces. There's nothing wrong with the way you move. I like your arms. They look strong, good shape. And the other guy that always works with you is duck-butt-guy in my head and the customer that looks more like your friend than a customer is forehead-guy. It's my way to put everything in order inside my mind. Too many things there, sometimes. Especially right now. I'm really sorry. I can change your name to long-legs-guy or—or simply Changmin is ok, of course, because I'll keep coming because I really like that table at the corner. And…"
Ok. Wow. Jaejoong seriously talked a lot. Like he wanted to compensate for the past months of only speaking to place orders. But he looked sincere. And Changmin liked Jaejoong's appreciation for his legs. Changmin was going to answer him, he was a going to say ok, fine and brush aside the whole Jaejoong-deal, stupid feelings included, when the blond said the phrase that destroyed all his resolutions.
"I'm not good with people. Never have being. I'm very sorry", Jaejoong looked still cold, his face rather unemotional, but his eyes… His natural black eyes were very sincere.
So Changmin went for it. Small talk, Junsu said.
"Why do you keep asking for such weird coffees?"
Jaejoong looked taken a back, like he couldn't understood why anyone would ask that.
"I'm looking for a combination that I like. I'm not really fond of coffee but without it I'd fall asleep at the worst times. That's why I looking for a flavour, the perfect mix, that I like it enough to keep drinking it."
After a few seconds, Changmin smiled. He threw the syrup far away from his working table.
"Then let me handle your problem. You're going to end up crazy if you keep drinking your poisons. I think I'm more than capable of helping you."
Jaejoong looked surprised at the offer. Changmin smiled a little bit more, mismatched eyes and all, hurt all forgotten and something akin to hope growing in his chest. And there, finally, finally emotion in Jaejoong’s face. His whole face reacted to the smile little by little; until a full row of teeth were showing, just to be covered quickly by his hand. Jaejoong's eyes were shining under the light of the counter.
A few giggles after, Jaejoong answered.
"Fine! It's your mission now. Find the perfect recipe for me, Changmin-ah. But be aware, once you start you can't give up. After all, I know where to find you almost every afternoon."
"That's a promise, Jaejoong. Count on me for it."
And Changmin extended his arm and shock hands with Jaejoong, smiles still on their faces, eyes looking happy.
A promise, Changmin realized. It was a promise.
N/A: [Bad username: chocolet89], I hope you'd liked this so far! :D I'm already working in the second part, with many other details that I hope you'd like. I love your prompt! I know this is only the introduction, even when it can be read it on its own, please, wait for the continuation, please?
^^ Merry christmas and happy new year!