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Ground Up

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"Luke!" Ryan yelled and when the gorgeously handsome man collected his drink with a smile, he could have swooned. He was tall and clearly worked out, had such a magnificent beard that definitely put Ryan's facial hair to shame. His drink was to-go and Ryan didn't even get a second to say anything else before he vanished.

"Two large hot chocolates." The next order got shouted to him and he was back to work. Luke, huh? Ryan definitely hadn't seen him in Ground Up before, he was new, he only ordered a simple americano too. Ryan handed over the two hot chocolates to Alex, this time he knew the person, he smiled and said thank you before taking a seat at the table with his girlfriend. Something like that was nice and easy for Ryan to remember, he'd definitely have to keep his eyes peeled for Luke again though. Hopefully a new regular.


Ryan felt like he was about to drop, he was far-passed tired now, life shocked back into him when he saw the name Luke written on the cup. He glanced over his shoulder, smiling when he saw Luke stood there, on his phone. Yes! Still ridiculously gorgeous. He turned back and finished the drink, stepping up to the counter with it, "Luke." He looked up from his phone, smiling brightly--Jesus, Ryan was sure he was crafted personally by some kind of God. He was perfect.

"Thanks," He paused, grabbing his drink, "Matt."

His head was tilted and Ryan realised he was looking at his name-tag...The name tag that wasn't his. Oh fuck. He opened his mouth to say something before another order came, "Medium caramel latte please." He turned and grabbed the cup from Jay, getting back to work and when he turned around to hand over the latte, Luke was gone. Hannah took her drink with a smile and too, vanished from the shop. Ryan felt distressed, Luke didn't even know his real name! How was he ever supposed to talk to him when it was always so busy in the shop.


"I think this guy at the coffee shop is adorable. We haven't really spoken though, his name is Matt, I saw his name-tag. How am I supposed to talk to him?"

Jon rolled his eyes, shaking his head a Luke, "You're a lost cause. Just go in when it's late, most coffee shops aren't that busy near closing time. Get his number," Jon wiggled his eyebrows and Luke chuckled, "You know you want to. I'll come with you next time, I'll let you know if he's interested."

"You're far too obsessed with my love-life. I'm probably just another guy who goes and gets coffee. I bet he sees a hundred other guys like me--"

"Shut up! Do you remember Tom? He was crushing over you for like a year and you never knew! I know it didn't work out for you guys, but this one could be different and I'm going to prove it."

Luke rolled his eyes this time, sighing, "Dude, seriously, fuck you. Can we just play this fucking game?" Jon laughed at Luke, they got into their game anyway. Luke ignoring whenever Jon deemed it necessary to tease him.


Oh God. Matt was in the shop by himself, Jon was right about it not being busy later in the day. He watched as Jon grabbed a napkin and wrote something down, "Hey, what the fuck?" He kept his voice low, pushing Jon, "That's my number."

"I know," Jon grinned and ran off to the counter, having Luke chase after him, quite annoyed and knowing exactly what Jon was about to do, "Could I get a small vanilla latte please?"

"How the fuck do you drink that shit?" Luke muttered, Ryan looked up at the voice, trying not to look flustered, "Medium americano, thanks."

"Yeah, I know your order now," He smiled and Luke was sure his stomach tumbled. Shit, who allowed him to be so adorable, "Just a minute." Ryan punched in the orders, taking the money from Jon, who'd insisted on paying. He made the drinks, trying to ignore the way his heart raced knowing that Luke was stood there, watching him. He handed them over, blinking in surprise when Jon slid over a napkin with a phone number on.

"It's Luke's number," He shot, shaking his head, "He's too chicken to do it himself," Luke punched Jon in the arm, making him stumble, "It's true."

Luke flared, a blush creeping up his cheeks. But when the barista smiled softly, Luke relaxed, "Okay, thank you." He tucked the napkin away. Luke and Jon said their goodbyes and left. Ryan practically collapsed against the counter, pulling out his phone to text Mark, 'I just got a guys number! His name is Luke and he's like an angel. I'll be finished soon.'

'Okay, you freak,' Ryan laughed. He finished up in the shop, the last one around today and locked up after doing the last of the cleaning. He waited patiently for Mark to pick him up, unaware of someone watching him. When Mark's car rolled up, he stepped out, grabbing the coffee from Ryan, "Thanks dude, I'm wrecked."

"Don't worry about it. Can we just go home so I can talk to you about Luke?" Mark shook his head, but sunk back into the driver's seat, watching as Ryan clambered in. He took a sip of his drink before putting it into the cup holder and heading off to their apartment.

"See! That's probably his boyfriend."

Jon hit Luke, "Dude, he was looking at you like he was practically falling for you. They probably live in the same area or something. Stop being so dense. How come I know when a guy is seriously digging you?"

"He probably just thinks I'm cute or something. I doubt he'll even text me."

"I'm so going to tell you that I was right when he does." Luke just shrugged it off and they headed back together.


Luke was out picking up some groceries when he saw Matt again, he'd told Jon how right he'd been about not getting a text from him. Of course, they didn't even know each other. This time, Matt was with someone different than the person who'd picked him up from work. Luke discreetly headed over and happened to lean over and brush past him, "Sorry."

Ryan looked up at the familiar voice and smiled, "Oh! Hello again."

"Hey. You look busy."

"We're getting some stuff for the shop. Sorry I haven't had a chance to text you yet. I've been busy coming up with ideas for this new menu we're designing."

"Don't worry about it. I didn't really expect you to text anyway, Jon's a weirdo, but he's like a brother to me so I put up with him, it doesn't mean you have to."

"Hey, are you done?"

Luke looked up at the guy that came over, someone else who worked at the coffee shop with Matt, "I was just talking to Luke. Did you get everything?" He nodded, looking over at this Luke guy that was with Ryan.

"Yo. I'm Tyler."

"Hello. I usually come by the coffee shop where Matt works."

Tyler's brows shot up, he looked at Ryan, questions clear on his face, "He got my name from my name tag," Tyler nodded, of course, Ryan still didn't have one with his own name and he'd been using the one from their previous barista, "We should get going then. I'll see you later Luke, I promise I'll text you." They bade their goodbyes and were off. Luke shook his head before focusing on his own shopping.

"Matt? How deep are you in that shit?" Ryan shrugged, trying to ignore whatever it was that Tyler was getting at, "If you like him, Ryan, it's probably a good idea to tell him your name."

"He just assumed, he's too cute! He's already told his friend about me. I'd feel so bad to let him down like that."

Tyler shook his head, he was sure that Ryan was an absolute idiot. As if one little thing like a name would change how Luke clearly fawned over him, "You're a moron." Ryan shrugged. He didn't mind, he knew that Tyler was just messing with him and he knew why, but he didn't want to have Luke in a situation where he didn't trust Ryan...Maybe he should've been honest up-front, it was far too hard to do that in a busy coffee shop though.


Luke had to blink twice at the text message, he was sure that Matt wasn't actually going to text him, Hey, it's Matt, from the coffee shop. Sorry this took so long. It had been almost two weeks since Jon had given away Luke's number and he was beginning to believe that this would never happen.

Hey. You really don't need to worry about that, I did say that when I saw you yesterday. Are you off work? Luke played with his phone until it buzzed with a new message.

Yeah, today and tomorrow. It's nice to have a little break, to be honest. I never asked, what do you do?

Luke took a breath, loads of people thought it was weird when he said he played video games for a living...He didn't want to scare Matt off either, he was beginning to genuinely like him, I was going to pop by for a coffee today, He sounded lame, he could imagine Jon peering over his shoulder and teasing him about it, so he deleted what he'd typed and ended up sending, It sounds weird, but I make videos on YouTube. If Matt asked what type, then Luke would tell him. For now, though, he put his phone down and turned the t.v on, distracting himself while he waited for a reply. He picked up his phone the moment that it buzzed to life.

That's cool! What type of videos do you make?

He was definitely a curious little soul, but Luke didn't mind it one bit, I record video games. If you look up cartoonz, you'll find me. He settled his phone on the arm of his sofa and sat back, waiting for a reply. He hoped that Matt would actually look through the stuff that he'd posted, Luke was proud of the work he did. When his phone buzzed again, he picked it up and read the message.

Dude! That's so awesome, I'd love to do something like that. I bet that's so much fun, I like the games that you play too. Could we call? It'll be easier.

Sure. It wasn't long before his phone rang and he quickly answered it, "Hey. Tell me about the games you play then."

"I play Dead By Daylight and Rainbow Six Siege. I have a couple of other games I enjoy too, or end up playing with friends. It just depends on what I have the time for. We could play Siege together sometime, that would be cool. I'll text you my Steam details...You play PC right?"

Luke smiled, he was so glad that Matt was a PC gamer too and that they could get into a game together, "Of course. That sounds great. I'd love to see you play, I bet you're great."

"Probably not as good as you are. But it'll definitely fun to get into a game together."

"If you stream a little, I'd like to watch you play DBD, I've played a little before with Jon and Bryce but I'm not very good at it," Luke laughed, rubbing his neck even though Matt couldn't see him, "I could help you set-up something so I could watch you play a couple of games."

"Yeah, next time I'm free. Maybe tomorrow actually, if you wanted?"

"That would be perfect, I've been recording some Red Dead recently and I've got a bunch done and it just needs uploading, it'll be nice to take a little break from it actually, get into something different. A nice change from playing Siege with Jon."

"Okay, I have a couple of errands to run in the morning but I'll text you my steam details and let you know when I'm ready."

Luke nodded, forgetting for a moment that he was on the phone, he heard a knock on his door and sighed, "Someone's at my door. I'll talk to you later. I'm excited for tomorrow. Bye for now."

"See you."

The call ended and Luke went to answer the door, smiling when he saw Jon stood there, "Hey, why do you look pissed?"

"Do I? I was on the phone to Matt. You coming in?" Luke rolled his eyes when he heard Jon chuckle, they headed into Luke's house and he plopped onto the sofa, "Go on, say it."

"What? Would I really rub it in your face?" Luke nodded, he could already hear the words, "You're right. But I'm happy for you! Are you guys going on a date?"

"No and don't give me that look! We're actually going to play Siege tomorrow, he's going to let me know when he's home from running errands."

"Then a date. You have to ask him!"

Luke's brows raised, "I do?" Jon nodded and Luke knew he wasn't going to get out of it. Of course, he wouldn't mind going on a date with Matt if they got along outside of the coffee shop. It would be nice, "Yeah. Maybe, it would be nice." Jon grinned, too mischievous for Luke's liking but he shrugged it off, he could cross that bridge when he got to it.


Ryan had never had so much fun playing a game before, he found out that Luke was quite flirty and they constantly made jokes with each other. It was nice, Ryan felt like they were already so close and he figured that Tyler was probably right. Luke deserved to know his real name, he just kept putting it off, especially when Luke started calling him Matty. It was too adorable. Ryan was just cleaning the last of the tables when the bell on the door sounded, "Hey, we're just closing up," He looked up, smiling when he saw it was Luke, "I suppose I'll have time for one more customer though."

"Thanks Matty."

They headed over to the counter together and Ryan began making up the drink, while he waited he turned to Luke, "I uh..." Luke looked at him, rather curious, "Well, um. My name is actually Ryan. This is an old name-tag, I'll be getting mine tomorrow. I've been meaning to tell you but you were so cute that I couldn't seem to find the words."

"You know, I wondered why a few conversations on your Steam profile had Ry. I thought it was an online persona, to keep your private life separate," Luke laughed and Ryan smiled, at least he didn't seem mad about it, "I like it and you're cute too."

Ryan couldn't stop the blush from rising to his face, he rubbed the back of his neck, "Thanks," He finished the drink and handed it over, "I was a little worried about it. I didn't want you to think I was lying on purpose."

"It's fine, honestly. Thank you," Luke held the drink up, smiling at Ryan, "Would you like to come for a little walk with me?"

"Sure, that sounds nice," Ryan smiled, he cleaned down the machine and turned everything off before they headed out of the shop. Ryan locked up behind them and let Luke lead him through the streets, "Luke, would you like to go on a proper date?"

"I'd really like that Ry." Luke grinned and Ryan smiled brightly. Luke decided, maybe Jon could be right after all, and it wasn't such a bad thing...