Chapter 1: Clocking in : Saturday Understaffed
Clock in: 5:30 am.
This is not how his morning was supposed to go. Akechi never walked into work expecting an easy day, but this was beyond any bad day he could’ve ever imagined.
There were three call outs. On a Saturday morning.
Goro Akechi was not one to back down from a fight, even one where he would surely lose but he wanted to sprint and leap through the drive through windows when Ann had told him the situation. Sleep in her eyes and strained false hope in her voice that said this Saturday wouldn’t be as busy as others.
Down six hands, and tickets being printed left and right, Akechi couldn’t hear himself think. But he could hear the top pop playlist cycle through the same 10 songs and he thought maybe he died in his sleep and now he was in hell.
He brought his cap lower on his face to avoid all the stares of annoyed morning customers wondering where their drink was exactly 3 seconds after ordering it, and tied his hair tighter in a bun.
He hated Saturday mornings.
Break: 9:30 am
Akechi ate his turkey panini in the back room, savoring the burn on his tongue. Impatiently waiting for his food to cool down was the only thing keeping him awake.
Break End: 9:40 am
After seventeen Iced caramel Macchiatos, eight mobile orders, and a ten minute break that felt like two.
He was slowly losing it.
He would give himself a pat on the back for his impressively slow descent into madness in the face of chaos if his hands weren’t busy.
Another ticket printed.
Akechi’s eye twitched and he cursed everyone who called out that morning because of lack of responsibility and respect and he could go on but he had three frappes to make and he was out of mocha syrup.
His hands moved quickly through the motions of making each drink, calling out the name and wishing the customer a wonderful day through a smile so fake it deserved an award.
Orders were coming in and going out in a steady flow. The steady white noise of the drive through headset letting him lose himself to the repeated rhythm of completing drinks. He was so focused the world could burn around him and he wouldn’t notice.
Literally. As at the other end of the bar a cookie parchment paper caught fire yet again for the fifth time that week.
“We really need to get different baking paper.” Ann’s voice came through the headset. Drive through had been fairly quiet. It was a miracle that Akechi was thanking every god he could think of for.
“I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t even get workers comp if we got burned.” She continued as she poured water over the rapidly burning cookie, sounding more exasperated than actually afraid.
Akechi turned his head to look at her, standing in front of the ovens, where an equally long stretch of tickets printed in front of her. She was waving the oven tongs in the air to rid the area of smoke and rolling her eyes in annoyance at him.
“I’m pretty sure Okumura could fully drop an oven on my head and we wouldn’t get workers comp.” He replied cynically, sending her a sympathetic smile before returning to his many waiting drinks.
“I almost wish he would,” Ann laughed. “Put me out of my misery.”
“Petition for Okumura to drop an oven on our heads to relinquish us from this hell, link in the description thank you, amen.” He answered back, earning a loud laugh from Ann.
“I’m going to be the one bashing your head in if you don’t let me hear this ladies order.” Makoto’s voice cut through the speaker and Akechi didn’t have to turn to know she was glaring daggers at them, he could feel them.
“Sorry Mako,” Ann whispered into the speaker, as she crouched down and reached into the fridge, searching for a sandwich. Akechi was pretty sure she was just trying to hide from Makoto’s stare.
Eventually the morning rush died down, allowing Akechi to wipe down the bar and wash his hands free of all the residue syrup that manages to miss the cup completely.
“God I’m going to strangle Ryuji.” Ann’s voice came from behind him, he turned to see her balancing stacks of cups and lids she brought to restock him. Only her pigtails visible behind the mountain of cups. He reached up and grabbed enough to expose her face, a grateful smile thrown his way.
“I’ll go for his legs, knock him down, you strangle him.” He added as they moved around each other, working in sync.
“Perfect plan,” She winked playfully at him before continuing. “I just can’t believe him! He didn’t answer his phone either. If I wasn’t so pissed I’d be worried. It’s not like him to not give warning when he calls out.” Ann gnawed her lip with her teeth, lost in thought, thinking of what could’ve happened to him.
“Hm you’re right. Maybe he overslept but I’m sure he’s fine.” He said, trying to ease her worries.
It was true, Ryuji always gave warning and always looked for coverage, not wanting to leave them understaffed knowing how hard that was on the rest of them. Ryuji’s usual thoughtfulness the only reason why Akechi was only going to strangle him and not fully kill him.
“Akira on the other hand,” Akechi started, “I’m going to murder him.”
“Take a number and get in line.” Makoto chuckled darkly behind him, she had come back from counting the inventory, she was the fastest and most accurate shift manager in the whole store, often getting her work done early and assisting in the front. It’s the reason why she was Akechi's favorite shift manager although he'd die before admitting it to her. “I know for a fact he overslept. How he manages to sleep through twelve set alarms and a cat with a better sleep schedule than him? I'll never know.” Makoto sighed and leaned against the register, adjusting the gift cards in an orderly fashion.
“It’s honestly a talent how deeply he sleeps.” Ann pitched in.
“The greatest talent, to go into a damn coma for several hours each night.” Akechi shook his head.
“Well at least Yusuke gave a reason. Even if that reason made me want to slaughter him.” Makoto said bitterly, remembering the text received in their work chat from Yusuke.
Group : Team Central Street Starbucks
I apologize I won’t be able to make it today, I simply have better things to do.
Akechi commended Makoto's control as she didn’t snap her own phone in two when she read that.
Ah yes, he was also on Akechi’s shit list.
He snuck a glance at his phone, checking the time and letting out a sigh of relief. He was clocking out in 15 minutes. Right below the time was a buzzing notification of one missed call and 12 unread text messages. Akechi thought that was a cause for alarm until he read the contact name.
Missed call from Akira.
OH FUCK YOURE WORKING I FORGOT
ok so don’t be mad
ok so i know ur mad but like DONT BE MAD MAD
before u put my head on a spike, he scheduled me for a closing and then an opening at 5 am
like oh i only need 5 hours of sleep? after an 8 hour shift? UHHHH MR. OKUMURA THAT'S NOT HOW THE HUMAN BODY WORKS
I hope it’s not too bad
it’s prolly bad, i’m sowwy
Akechi couldn’t help but laugh at the series of texts, before frowning. Okumura has been doing that lately, scheduling people with too little time in between shifts. Akechi himself falling victim to double scheduled shifts and not enough breaks.
choke and die Kurusu
As much as he felt bad for Akira, he wasn’t going to let him off that easy. Especially as his headset dinged loudly in his ear again.
The rest of his unread text messages were
From: Y Mishima (work):
HEYYY!! Would you mind covering my closing this tuesday? I’ll work your morning!!
From: Y Mishima (work):
I have my last final and he scheduled me right in the middle :/
From: Y Mishima (work):
it’s cool if not! I know u don’t like closing but i just need coverage! THANKS!
He was pulled from twiddling his fingers over the keyboard to respond by a very loud, very blonde and very late Ryuji Sakamoto.
Several confused greetings went up at once as Ryuji basically jumped the counter to reach them.
“I thought you had overslept?” Ann said as she bagged another breakfast sandwich.
“I did! But I wasn’t scheduled today! So imagine my surprise when I wake up to 24 voicemails from you talking about I was supposed to open today!” Ryuji's voice came muffled but no less pissed as he struggled to slip his tangled apron over his head.
“You didn’t know you were scheduled today?” Goro asked, side eyeing Ryuji’s struggle with his apron from where he leaned on the bar.
“How could you not know you were going to open today idiot?” Ann smacked Ryuji’s arm as she helped him untangle the strings that he somehow got caught around his neck and bicep.
“I’m literally never scheduled to open! When the fuck have you ever seen my name next to a shift that says A.M?!” Ryuji exclaimed.
Now that Goro’s head wasn’t clouded with sleep and annoyance, Ryuji did have a point.
Ryuji often worked mid day shifts. Seeing his name on the schedule for morning should’ve raised some alarms but in his defense he was almost completely asleep.
“Plus he changed the schedule! The one I have, I don’t come in!”
Ah, well that explained it.
“That bastard.” Goro all but groaned into his hands.
He was so tired.
“God that’s annoying. He changed the schedule and didn’t even tell you?” Ann now rubbed the arm she has slapped in sympathy, a contrast to the killing look in her eyes.
“Nope. Not a fucking word.” Ryuji sighed, “Im sorry guys I didn’t mean to leave you high and dry.”
Goro mentally crossed Ryuji’s name off his shit list, and bolded, underlined and italicized Okumura Kunikazu.
“Don’t stress it, it’s not your fault.” Goro pitched in, scowling at the slap of thanks Ryuji delivered on his shoulder.
“Well, I'm here now you can go clock out dude. you look,” Ryuji have him a worried once over, “fucked up.”
Ann smacked him again.
“You really have no tact do you?” She shook her head as Ryuji complained about the hit.
“I’m not wrong though!” Goro held up a hand to stop Ryuji from pointing out all the ways Goro looked like he caught the plague and was two steps from dying.
“It’s been such a long fucking day.” He announced, not having the energy to fully commit to screeching about all the horrors of customer service. But after he went home and napped for two hours, he’d be back, and with a vengeance.
Ryuji stood by him as he clocked out, he didn’t mention anything when Goro leaned his head against his arm as he punched his employee numbers in. He also didn’t remark on the two failed login attempts as Goro fucked up the numbers with his fatigued fingers.
Goro was grateful for that. His bond with Ryuji was something he truly cherished, going from a minimal amount of acquaintances in school to having the human equivalent of a firecracker latched to your side was jarring, but it wasn’t unwelcome.
His friendship with Ryuji had been anything but smooth at the beginning.
Goro was the last person who could be considered an excellent trainer. Yet that’s exactly what he’d been saddled with one day, an overexcited blonde that could barely follow directions.
It ended with Goro getting a drink spilled all over him and Ryuji tripping over Akechi's foot.
Akechi swore to this very day it was an accident.
It took them a few months to fully get over their animosity towards each other. They bonded slowly over ridiculous, blood boiling experience with customers.
They went from long winded text messages and visiting during each other’s shifts to eventually hanging out outside of work and he was surprised by how much he genuinely enjoyed it.
They’d gone to the arcade. Ryuji boasted about all his high scores and his expert aim. Goro’s competitive nature reared its head during air hockey, making the puck fly off the table and right at an unsuspecting teenager nearby. It was hard to apologize over Ryuji’s boisterous laughter and through his own barely concealed giggles.
At least he’d won that round.
When they were saying their goodbyes at the door a claw machine had caught a Akechi’s eye, more specifically, the stuffed mimikyu toy inside of it.
“You wanna try getting it?” Ryuji's question pulled him out of his gaze, he shook his head in embarrassment at being caught staring at the small toy.
“No it’s okay, let’s just go.” Despite the words Akechi’s feet remained planted on the floor.
“Okayyyy, sure dude.” Ryuji said but Akechi’s eyes widened in surprise as he saw Ryuji pulling his wallet from his pocket.
“Let’s go get that Mimikyu!”
Akechi stares in shock for a good second at Ryuji animatedly shoving quarters into the machine before smiling and joining him.
It took them another thirty minutes, all their combined tip money, and lots of yelling but Akechi walked away with a stuffed Mimikyu that day.
When he went home, he placed the plush toy on his windowsill over his desk, along with an arcade ticket stub, that always brought a smile to his face whenever he was studying.
Clock out 12:15 pm.
He waved his goodbyes, apron and hat in hand and rubbed away Ann’s glossy lipstick from his cheek after her kiss goodbye. Akechi’s hand was on the door when a customer approached him.
“Um do you know if this was made with sugar free vanilla?” Akechi didn’t know what to focus on first. The nasal tone of her voice, the over arched eyebrows, or the immense amount of stupidity radiating from the woman?
Couldn’t she see he was literally not working right now? That he hadn’t made a drink in the past ten minutes? Did she think he could X- ray vision the contents of her drink?
He took a steadying breath.
“I don’t know, but I'm sure if you ask anyone who is actually working right now they will be sure to let you know.” The words were bit out through gritted teeth and a smile that rivaled the sun before promptly turning and walking out the door.
He collapsed into the front seat of his too hot car, letting his head hit the steering wheel as he let his body melt into the comfort of finally sitting down.
God, he hated starbucks.
Contrary to what feelings Starbucks might stir, Goro loved coffee.
It started when he was young. He wasn’t allowed to have any but he loved the smell of it as it filled the kitchen up on early mornings. He would watch his mother savor the cup between her two soft hands while she closed eyes and drank. He remembered being jealous as he sipped his orange juice.
Then he grew older and one morning in his third year of high school, he sat down at their small breakfast table to find a second cup of coffee, steam softly billowing out of the ceramic mug that read “bearly awake” beneath a smiling bear.
Of all the different coffees he would try, none could ever be as good and sweet as his mother’s morning brew.
Then he had walked into Leblanc’s.
It had been a complete accident, one cloudy afternoon had turned into a complete downpour and Goro Akechi was still thirty minutes away from home.
The streets of Yogenjaya were typically nothing more than a blur he would speed past on his bike commute home, but after the third giant puddle crash, he pulled over and blindly entered the softly-lit door of a cafe.
He probably looked one hell of a sight. He was soaking wet, annoyed and clutching his equally soaked school bag. He took a moment to blink away stray raindrops coating his eyelashes and guided himself toward one of the welcoming stools by the bar. He ignored the squelching his clothes made as he plopped himself down, taking a breath and finding a moment to gather himself.
It was warm in the cafe, he noticed an elderly couple sitting in one of the worn-down, comfortable looking booths. The TV was at a low volume but he could faintly hear a soft beat and voice filling the air around him.
It was a really nice cafe, he concluded. Worlds away from the soulless furniture and atmosphere of his Starbucks. It was all window panes, machinery and stupid god awful playlists that drove him insane.
“Can I get you anything?” A voice took him out of his thoughts, looking up to see a sickeningly familiar shade of green and the blackest set of curls he had ever seen.
Oh, this was a really nice cafe.
His tongue seemed to catch in his throat as he remembered he looked like a stray wet cat in front of the prettiest boy he had ever seen in his damn life. Did god hate him? He must hate him. To have Goro looking disgusting in front of his not really local barista, this was the seventh circle of hell.
Said boy was looking at him with a sort of amused look in his eye, at least from what Goro could tell through the thick rimmed glasses that he wore and the stray ringlets of curls that fell in front of the lenses. He wore a white turtleneck under the apron, Goro marvelled at how bright and clean his sleeves were, thinking of the many ruined long sleeves in his closet that bared coffee and syrup stains. "It fits him well," Goro’s lizard brain whispered.
It took an embarrassing amount of time for his brain to finally catch up with his mouth and answer, Kurusu , as the boy's name tag helpfully supplied.
“Uh, no thank you though.” Goro mentally high fived himself for not stuttering over his words and tried to pretend he wasn’t close to combusting when Akira leaned down on his elbows on the counter, closer to him.
“Are you sure? You look cold, you want a towel?” Kurusu’s voice was friendly and before Goro even had a chance to deny him, Kurusu had turned around to get him said towel. Akira placed the towel in front of him, it was fluffy and white. "He has really nice hands," Goro’s lizard brain whispered yet again.
Goro thanked him quietly, not meeting his eyes as he ran the towel over his hair in an effort to stop the consistent drips onto his neck. His attention was grabbed by a gleaming white cup and the rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee.
He looked up in surprise, and his eyes were greeted by a soft smile that totally did not make his heart jump.
“But I didn’t order any-” He started but was stopped by a raised hand and shake of head.
“It’s on the house, you look like you need it.” Kurusu said with a wink.
Goro cursed the pretty bastard as he willed his growing blush to go away.
“Thank you, that’s very kind.”
“Don’t mention it.” Kurusu walked away to what seemed like a kitchen area and no Goro did not check him out as he walked away. "Long legs," his lizard brain helpfully pointed out.
Goro turned to the steaming cup in front of him and gently wrapped his frigid hands around it, sighing at the warmth that seeped through the smooth ceramic before bringing it closer to his face.
He knew he probably looked really strange, breathing in the soft steam that came from the coffee but he didn't really care. It smelled good, it seemed to warm him to his very core. It almost smelled like his mother’s coffee, he made a mental note to tell her about this place.
He blew on it a bit to cool it down, unaware of the steel eyes that watched him from the other end of the bar as he began to take a sip.
It was strong, rich and by no means bitter, Goro was sure this is the type of coffee people wrote full articles about but he couldn’t help but reach for the pile of sugar packets that laid nearby.
Maybe adding twenty sugar packets and drinking coffee that was practically milk made him a shitty coffee connoisseur but he never cared.
“Not sweet enough?” Kurusu’s voice called out to him from the other side of the cafe. Ashamed at being caught Goro was about to apologize, not wanting to seem ungrateful for the free cup he had gotten.
“It really is quite good! I'm just used to it being sweeter.” He explained himself, shy laughter escaping him.
Kurusu had walked over to stand in front of him again, he didn’t look accusatory at all but Goro couldn’t help his nerves.
“Ah that’s my bad, I assumed you would take it black. Lemme try again.” He took the cup from Goro’s hands and the slight brush of fingers shocked him into not being capable of answering.
“O-oh its really alright you don’t have too.” His words seemed to fall on deaf ears as Kurusu brewed another cup. Goro watched, entranced as Kurusu worked on his pour-over coffee, reaching underneath to get what he assumed was sweet cream and sprinkled brown sugar in it and cinnamon powder over top.
“Try it now.” Kurusu placed the cup in front of him again, standing with an excited pride Goro couldn’t help but chuckle at.
The coffee looked absolutely delicious.
He brought it to his face, savoring it all over again but the hints of cinnamon and sugar making his mouth water. He told himself it was the coffee that made him feel warm and not the intense stare Kurusu had him pinned under. He took a sip.
It was heavenly, his eyes widened and met Kurusu who was still looking at him expectantly.
“This is amazing! What did you put in it?” Kurusu seemed to glow at the praise but simply brought a slim finger to his lips.
“Now if I tell you, you won’t have any reason to come back.” The slow smirk on his lips had no reason to make Goro feel like he was on fire but here he was, surely ablaze.
"Attractive bastard" added his lizard brain.
“With a great barista like you I’m sure you have no problem getting customers,” Goro replied back, a smile on his lips as he took another sip.
“You flatter me, but it’s actually really dead. Easy to remember people though.”
Goro couldn’t help but frown at that.
“With drinks like these this place should be full all the time.” he said sincerely.
Kurusu seemed pleasantly taken aback by that.
“You know alot about coffee?” Kurusu asked, once again leaned on his elbows, Goro found himself leaning closer too.
“More than I would like to know actually.” he chuckled. “I work at Starbucks.”
Kurusu made a face and Goro laughed at the disgust that was plain on his face.
“I never said I liked it!” Goro defended himself as he laughed, Kurusu letting out an exaggerated sigh of relief that only made him giggle more. He blamed it on the sugar that was running through his veins at the giddy feeling he had. “This is real coffee, rich, not overpriced.” He finished.
“How would you know it’s overpriced? You got it for free.” Kurusu remarked teasingly. “I'm kidding.” He added as Goro flushed over the rim of the cup.
Their conversation continued, enjoyable and lively. They continued their talk even as what Goro assumed were regular patrons came in and Kurusu served them. They talked for so long Goro had managed to get relatively dry and the rain stopped its downpour.
They talked for too long Goro realized as a text from his mother lit up his phone, asking where he was. It was with a start that he realized he had twenty minutes to make it to work.
“Something important?” Kurusu asked, noticing the slight panic in Goro’s face.
“Ah yeah, I forgot I had to go to work soon.” His barista duties were cockblocking him and this cute barista.
Kurusu looked almost disappointed in that, but maybe Goro was just imagining things in his sugar rush.
“Well don’t let me keep you, wouldn’t want you to be late.”
“Hm yeah nothing more exciting than clocking into my lovely lovely job.”
Kurusu gave a loud laugh and Goro couldn’t help but join in too.
He had picked up his things and stood up to leave, sending his mom a text apologizing for his absence. Goro turned to say his goodbyes when a flash of black caught his eye.
“Is that a cat!?”
It was indeed a cat, the cutest damn cat he’d ever seen.
Cute boys and cute cats, why couldn’t he work here?
“Yeah, that’s Morgana, the main reason people come here. I keep him out of the coffee beans don’t worry.” Akira had picked up Morgana, who seemed almost annoyed at the manhandling but let it happen anyway.
“Oh, I wouldn’t say he’s the only reason.”
The words were out of his mouth before he could think and the blush on his cheeks had him wishing he would die right there on the spot.
The soft pink on Kurusu’s cheeks almost K.O.D him.
Their attention was diverted as the door opened once again and Morgana slipping from Kurusu’s hands and onto the counter.
“Haven’t I told you to keep him off the counter?”
It was an older man, wearing the same apron as Kurusu, he assumed it was his boss. Who despite the chastising was petting and spoiling said cat with his affection.
“He’s a free spirit Sojiro.” Kurusu said, the older man, Sojiro, didn’t look amused. Goro stifled a laugh as Kurusu quickly placed Morgana on the floor.
“I’ll be going now, thank you so much for the drink.” He was cutting it real close, thinking of his commute and apologies to his coworkers.
“You’re welcome back anytime,” Kurusu looked like he was searching for something.
“Akechi,” He supplied with a smile.
“Akechi.” The grin that formed around the syllables of his name made a thrill run up his spine.
In the end, he was fifteen minutes late. But by no means did he feel bad about it. And if he had spent his entire shift lost in thought and smiling to himself well, only God could judge him. And God had no power in the hellzone that was Central Street's Starbucks.
That afternoon seemed so long ago. Yet the feelings were no less real, stronger than ever in fact.
If Goro was being honest with himself, not much had changed.
“I swear to god Akira, if you don’t wash the fucking blenders again I’ll end you.” He called out to the back of Akira’s head as he walked to the back, dirty dishes in his arms.
Well, some things had changed.
Now Kurusu was Akira, and Akira was his coworker. Which was a turn of events that somehow still made his head spin.
Just like that day in Yongen so long ago, he had again walked into a cafe only to be taken aback by a barista.
Except now it was his Starbucks and the barista was Akira yet again.
Did his heart drop out of his body seeing him? Maybe.
Akira had also looked surprised but his eyes seemed to bulge out of his head when Ryuji screamed next to him.
“Goro!!!!!! Come meet Akira! He’s my best friend, just joined! Amaaaaazziiiiinnnggggg on drinks. You might have some competition!” Ryuji's teasing voice and tugging arm dragged him out of his dazed state as he walked closer to Akira.
“Your best friend is my barista?”
“Your coworker is my regular?!”
Both statements were said at once, startling Ryuji into almost knocking over a gallon of milk.
After Ryuji interrogated them, as he tried to work out how exactly his two friends paths had crossed if not through him, Akira explained how he had needed the extra cash so despite the disdain he held for Starbucks...A job dealing with coffee just made sense. Goro agreed and fought off both the giddiness and the nerves growing in his chest.
Sojiro had apparently taken the news less than well.
But still, Goro looked forward to his shifts a bit more these days.
“I love it when you talk dirty to me!” Akira’s voice came from the back snapping him out of his memories. He bit back a remark as a customer walked up to the register.
“How can I help you?” He pleasantly asked the older woman that had approached him.
“Yes, can I have the ultra caramel frappe?”
“We don’t have that anymore but I can offer you the Caramel Ribbon Crunch instead.”
Goro swore he could see the gears and rising annoyance in the woman’s face.
“What do you mean you don’t have it anymore?!” Her voice was shrill and Goro wanted to ram a straw into his eardrums.
“What I mean, is what I said, Ultra Caramel is no longer on the menu but I can offer you a different frappe.” The smile on his face blinding and very much pissing the woman off.
“I just got it yesterday!”
“Well that was its last day, would you like anything else?”
The woman looked exasperated, Goro almost wished she would call corporate to complain. After all, the termination of this woman’s favorite drink is obviously no one else’s fault but Goro Akechi's.
The woman opened her mouth to presumably complain again -as if that would make her drink magically appear in his hand.- However, whatever she was going to say died on her tongue as a Caramel Ribbon frappe was placed on the counter in front of her, accompanied with a dashing smile and dark head of curls.
“I’m sure this would still be to your liking,” Akira said, voice light. Goro doesn’t know where he came from, brandishing a frappe like a brave knight.
Goro expected the woman to decline it, have a fit, maybe if she was feeling spicy, throw it back at them.
But none of that happened.
Goro didn’t know if he was mad or in awe as the woman picked it up and paid for her drink.
“What witchcraft do you put on customers huh? I thought she was gonna spit on me.” Goro asked, half annoyed.
Akira was amazing with customers, remembering names, talking to them about their families, vacations, love lives. People often opened up to Akira randomly and uninhibited.
Which was great for tips, not great when the line was growing bigger and bigger behind the customer giving Akira a soliloquy on their daughter's recent birthday.
Akira was also the only thing that kept Goro from flinging a pitcher of hot milk at belligerent customers. Cutting attitude with a smile and a joke, calming rage with a wave of his hand.
Goro swore it was magic, Akira only laughed. Goro couldn’t help but laugh too.
“Hey I’m clocking out soon, do you need me to do anything else?” Goro asked Akira, the day had been pretty slow, the sun setting low behind the windows.
“Nah we’re pretty much set, thank you.” Goro nodded and went to fetch the iPad to clock out, his feet were aching and he just wanted to go to sleep.
Clock out: 8:30 pm.
“You excited for Thursday?” Akira’s voice called out to him, there was a tint of mischief in his voice that made Goro’s stomach turn.
“Why would I be excited for Thursday?” He questioned warily, not liking at all the taunting look in Akira’s eyes.
“Well for one since you switched with Mishima, you work with me, the best barista and partner in the store, don’t tell Makoto I said that,” Akira loudly whispered the last bit, making Goro laugh when Makoto smacked him.
“And for two, it’s happy hour.” Akira’s was grinning as Goro craved death and swiftly.
“Please tell me you’re lying.”
“Happy Frappe Hour baby.” Was the last thing Akira said with a wink, before turning to take an order.
Fuck Thursday’s, Fuck frappes, Fuck happy hours, especially fuck FRAPPE happy hour and most important of all, Fuck Starbucks.
Akechi living the coffee shop BF dream, sorta. Anyways seeing all these reviews makes me 1) so happy 2) very validating, god bless all of my peeps in customer service i luv yall. I hope your tips are FLOURISHING. Also frappe happy hour makes me wanna die, writing that is going to be really fun. THX!
Chapter 3: Frappe Hour
Chapter by Chummy
Frappe time bitches.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Buy one get one free! Any Frappe! Size Grande and Up! Starting at 3pm until Close!”
Goro stared at the obnoxious green and white advertisement Okumura had sent to the group chat, alerting them off the sweet deal of the day!
He continued to stare, and sigh and stare some more.
As if it would make the words change to “Happy Hour cancelled forever! Fuck you!”
A man can dream.
He took one more lungful of air, gave a quick prayer to the Siren Goddess of Starbucks to be merciful today, before walking into what would no doubt be, hell
Clock in 6:00 PM.
It had been exactly thirty minutes. He was more than convinced the exclusive ninth circle of hell was Starbucks during a Frappe happy hour.
He hadn’t moved from the blenders, he didn’t know if it was the drive through ding or the screeching blender making his ears ring.
On top of it all, Akira stood way to close making drinks and if Goro spills one more drink tonight because of a brush of hands, he’s gonna go home.
It was slightly pathetic, how his chest felt lighter seeing Akira walk in fifteen minutes after him. Apron in hand and hair tousled from the wind. The sight was enough to distract him long enough for four tickets to print.
One hell of a barista he was.
It was muscle memory, reading tickets and finishing orders,as his heart stopped and restarted when Akira’s chest would press to his back in order to grab whip cream.
“How’s it been so far?” Akira’s slightly static tinted voice came through the headsets.
“I died like two hours ago and my spirit is forever trapped here making drinks.” Ann’s usually sweet voice came bitter and tired. She had been there since the start of happy hour, she shook Akechi vigorously when he came in, happily rushing to her break as Akechi covered her.
“You belong to the Siren now, condemned to make caramel frappes for eternity.” Akechi replied, scowling as a syrup shot back onto his hands and not the cup.
Akechi couldn’t relish in the laugh that came from Akira, the infernal ding signalling a car cutting any and all joy from them.
“Hi what can I get started for you?” Ann’s sugar free vanilla syrup sweet voice came through the speakers.
“The happy hour is still happening right?” a woman's too high voice answered.
“Sadly.” Akira whispered next to him, Akechi chuckled, moving to the blenders yet again.
“Well let me get two caramel frappes,” She continued not letting Ann answer. Ann simply shrugged inputting in the order.
“Is that al-”
“A regular mocha frappe, no coffee and no whip.”
“Actually make that three caramel frappes but one with extra caramel drizzle.”
“And let me get a muffin. Don’t warm it up, and make sure they put extra drizzle.”
“She want extra drizzle on the muffin?” Akira said, smiling as Akechi tried not to laugh.
“Okay if you could drive up, annnnnnd she already drove away cool thank you so much!” Ann’s exasperation was met with Goro’s own annoyance at the order.
Who orders this many drinks? Why? For dinner? Here kids enjoy! A fucking frappucinno!
He was only barely through one damned caramel frappe when a hand came to rest on his lower back, startling him enough to drop ice on the floor.
“Sorry,” Akira said as he passed him by again to hand out a drink to a customer.
He didn't sound very sorry at all, but Akechi couldn’t focus on anything else beside the warmth that he still felt radiating from where his hand was.
“No worries,” he said under his breath, willing the beginnings of a blush away. He really needed to get these drinks done.
His break came and went, with visits of Akira to the backroom to complain about a long order or awful customer interaction.
“How are you going to look at me, a barista, in the eye, and tell me that I made a fucking latte wrong? Its shots and fucking milk! How do you fuck that up? You don’t Goro!”
Akechi only laughed at the outburst, Akira really wasn’t one to yell like that, Ryuji more prone to complaining loudly of a customer within earshot. But the stresses of a happy hour get to them all.
“ I know my coffee! Don’t disrespect Sojiro like that.”
“You’re the one disrespecting Sojiro you cant even make a latte apparently.” Akechi said, laughing some more as Akira sputtered in exaggerated shock.
“Take that back right now.”
“Hand over your apron you don’t deserve it.” Akechi held out one hand, stifling his laughter with another.
Akira crosses his arms over the front of his stain free apron, how it’s stays clean forever perplexed Goro.
“I’m the best damn barista this stupid starbucks has ever seen.” Akira declared, fixing the hat on his head over his curls.
“Best barista my ass! Can you get out here and make drinks Akira?” One of Ann’s pigtails popped out from the door, along with a manicured hand that clutched onto Akira’s shirt and dragged him away not giving him a chance to reply.
He chuckled at his friends antics before looking back at the clock and sighing. He only had a minute left on his break.
His bagel and cream cheese stood on the desk untouched, he had spent his entire break talking to Akira. He couldn’t find it in him to regret that.
Goro walked back out to a surprising sight of no tickets or drinks. Peace? In his starbucks? Less likely than you think.
“No ones showed up?” He asked once he put the headset back on.
“It’s been scarily quiet.” Ann replied in a whisper, as if to not jinx the odd lack of customers.
“God bless.” He whispered back, taking to cleaning the counters and restocking lids and cups.
Without the thrum of customers standing around the bar, the soft beat of a generic song could be heard playing, complemented with their own conversation.
“If Okumura fucks up my schedule one more time i’m going to key his car.” Akira said from his perch on the counter. Ann had absentmindedly told him to get off, Akira paid her no mind.
“His pretty little souped up four wheel drive?” Ann singsonged, slightly out of breath as she lugged four milk jugs from the fridge.
“Carve my name into his leather seats!” Akira continued the lyrics, his eyes moving to meet Akechi’s in expectation.
Akechi totally, did not, blush at that.
“Take a louisville slugger to both headlights.” He murmured slightly under Akiras amused gaze.
The other two laughed and continued to sing, off key threats toward their incompetent manager.
“Did not know we had a karaoke bar in here!” A familiar booming voice pulled them out of their impromptu musical number.
Akechi turned around to see Ryuji, in all his after gym sweaty glory , walking toward them.
“What are you doing here!” Akira exclaimed, moving to properly greet his friend. He ended up elbow to elbow with Akechi, leaning over to talk to Ryuji better.
“My bestest friends are suffering a happy hour I wanted to make sure you weren’t dead yet,” he paused, “And I’m bored.”
“Wanna get behind here and make drinks? Fix your boredom.” Akechi said, his brightest smile on his face. Akira next to him laughed, again his face heated up, Ann loudly agreed from her spot, urging
Ryuji to come help them.
“I would rather die thank you though.” Ryuji replied.
Ryuji mulled around, occasionally leaning over the bar to talk, not moving even when customers stood around him.
“It’s been so slow today, I’m terrified for
my life.” Akechi said after hitting the fifteen minute mark of no drinks printing.
“The suspense of a rush is going to kill me.” Ann said, she looked around aimlessly trying to find something to kill the time with. They had restocked everything, cleaned , even taken out trashes. He couldn’t even pretend to look busy.
So instead he opened a packet of chocolate Madeleine cookies for them to share.
“Can I have one?” Ryuji asked, putting on his best impression of puppy eyes. He looked vaguely constipated.
“There’s only three and four of us, so do the math.”
“So i’m getting a cookie.”
“Your math skills are amazing, Ryuji.”
“I know, hand it over.”
He didn’t. Ryuji didn’t have time to complain however, he was cut off by the ticket machines beginning to print, without pause.
The three workers stared at the tickets, in solidarity, he saw Ann cross herself as they read the order.
1 out of 26 items.
“Why is there shit still printing?” Ryuji asked.
“God has abandoned us. That’s why.” Akira replied.
“Tell me that isn’t a mobile order.”
“I’d call it more a catering order at this point but yes, mobile.” Akechi said, as he started putting stickers on cups. So many god damn frappuccino’s.
“We don’t have enough blenders for this. There’s not enough ice in antarctica for this fucking order.” He remarked bitterly, pouring the contents into said blender.
“Still bored Ryuji?” He heard Akira say as he worked on drinks as well. “Because boy do I have a proposition for you!”
“I love you man, but you couldn’t pay me enough to deal with all that .”
That being the influx of highschool students and families that has just walked into the starbucks.
“It’s been wonderful knowing you all.” Ann said as she began to take people’s orders.
“Rip in fucking pieces.” Akira said.
“I fucking hate happy hour.” Akechi replied.
Twenty minutes later the rush continued. One minutes after that Ryuji sported his own apron and hat and started making drinks. Two minutes after he complained, but who could blame him.
“Why, why, are we so fucking understaffed?” Ryuji’s voice carried over the screeching blenders.
He needed an aspirin.
And more ice.
“The siren cares for no one, we suffer for her glory.” Akira said, somewhere in those twenty minutes, hysteria slowly started settling in over them.
“All hail the Siren, mother of coffee, may our happy hour sacrifices please her.” Goro chanted as he closed a lid over a drink.
“I’m begging you both to shut the fuck up.” Ann’s voice wavered with giggles. She was squatting, back against the fridges, head in her hands.
“How much time until we close?” Ryuji asked, ignoring his friends antics.
“Too much time.”
Fuck , indeed.
By the time they closed the store, standing outside in the green glow of their sign, They were all barely standing, barely awake, and completely over happy hours.
“I feel like I'm going to collapse two steps away from the car.” Ann said, her pigtails were disheveled underneath her hat, Goro believed her.
“We can make it, we can’t die here.” Akira supplied, looking two steps away from collapsing himself, Ryuji groaned, the sound muffled as he was leaned completely against Ann’s shoulder.
“I refuse to die on starbucks soil.” Akechi said.
“You’re so right.”
Apparently that was the push that everyone needed to start heading home, except Akira, who was looking at him.
“Did you fall asleep standing up Kurusu?” He was too tired to notice how nervous Akira looked.
“Honestly I really almost did.”
“Jesus, go home.”
“I am I am!” Akira paused, wringing the hat in his hands, Akechi wasn’t too tired to take notice again of how pretty Akira’s hands are. Even caked with whip cream and syrup. “It was nice working together though, it’s been a while since I had seen you.”
Goro couldn’t help the surprise and blush that came from that. He wouldn’t admit he had been missing Akira. Their schedules never lined up anymore and they were both busy with school. They texted and called and their shared group chat never quieted but it had been a while since they’d been together in person.
“Yeah, it’d be nicer if we could see each other anywhere else than here.” The words were our before he could stop it and yeah he was definitely pink.
“You know, i-if you wanted of course, I want too but if you d-“ Akira didn’t let him get through his stumbling words and he was honestly thankful to have a reason to shut up.
“Why wouldn’t I want too idiot, you’re my best friend, I love hanging out with you.” Akira said it so sincerely he couldn’t even feel the sting of only ever being a best friend.
“Hang out with me then idiot.” Oh isn’t he just the smoothest person in the world.
“Right now?” Akira smirked and it made Goro’s insides stir.
“Fuck off not now I’m going home and dying for eight hours.” Goro laughed and Akira joined in.
“Saturday then, you work the morning though so if you’re tired I unders-“
“No! I’ll be good! That works!” The words came out rushed but Akira only smiled warmly at him and nodded.
“Cool it’s a date.” He said with a wink before leaving so fast Akechi couldn’t even blink.
Goro commended himself for making it to his car before promptly,
If you scream in a starbucks parking lot and no one is around to hear you, did you really make a sound?
Hey it’s been a bit, lemme say, to all my fellow baristas, god bless good luck I hope this fucking holiday season treats you well. I’ve made so many damn hot chocolates already. Imagine being in south florida and ordering hot chocolates, extra hot, like sir it’s 80 degrees outside i hate you.
Anyways, hope you enjoyed, I love my starbucks bar boy akechi. I have a few more chapters lined up that i’m excited for.
Chapter 4: Team Central Street Starbucks
Chapter by Chummy
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Group : Future Employees of Leblanc
me in the back trying not to swing on Okumura:
fuck his ass UP
that man looked at my vacation days and said “no.”
like oh! OK! THANKS!
tell me how i’m, one fucking minute late, and he tries to write me up, Like HUH? ITS A MINUTE WALK FROM THE PARKING LOT
He wrote me up for my nail polish like what is the crime against blue nail polish?
he’s just jealous your nails look so cute
also the polish could chip into the drinks
he hasn’t given me any write ups.
YEAH YEAH FUCKER DONT REMIND ME.
Nobody at fucking all:
Yusuke coming in 30 minutes late with a frappe from a different starbucks:
That's literally him
what a beautiful interpretation.
interpret my ASS
you could SPIT at Okumura and he'd probably promote you.
Group : Team Central Street Starbucks
Please review the revised schedule that has been posted.
Group : Future Employees of Leblanc
there he go on some bullshit again
Will okumura ever leave the schedule alone for more than two days? the world may never know
Tune in tomorrow for a re- revised schedule where I have to come in 8 hours instead of 7.5 hours :)
I can't wait for my name to just not appear on the schedule one day
this message is for Okumura you big fat smelling rich bitch
WHYD YOU TAKE MY NAME OFF THE MF SCHEDULE WITH UR DIRTY TRIFLING ASS
he makes the damn font so small too like
honestly like 1) I can't read 2) i cannot read.
colorized picture of Okumura making the schedules and just in general as he walks in the store.
more like “live pic of akechi seeing me minding my business at the ovens and coming to bother me.”
IWNDODKD CALL HIM OUT.
he put a cheese danish under double toasted egg bites
IT CAUGHT ON FIRE.
i’ve honest to god had to use a microscope on an already zoomed in picture of the schedule to figure out when i needed to come in
we get it you’re a nerd.
i’ll kill you.
Oh GOD OHFUCK
rip in pieces bro
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
As you may know I shall be taking vacation days for the next week. If there are any issues you may contact our neighboring Harajuku manager.
A shift from Harajuku will also be here for the time being.
Group: Future Employees of Leblanc
COULD IT BE
h e r ?
shut UP NO WAY.
who her? her who? does she SUCK?
does she makoto ;)
ILL KILL YOU.
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
Her name is Haru Okumura. I suggest you treat her with the highest respect and kindness that’s expected of you as baristas.
Group: Future Employees of Leblanc
oh that’s the girl you have a crush on right makoto?
please be quiet.
yeah hold,,, the fucking phone,,,
YOU HAVE A CRUSH ON OKUMURAS DAUGHTER????????
SAY SIKE RN
I can hear ryuji laughing from here and im still in the back
ur still back there?
ya i’m on my 30 which i’m extending to a 45 cause fuck it
say less i’m On my way!
Karma works so fast it’s amazing
shut up ms. okumura fucker
bring me a soda
OKUMURA FUCKER HAJDOW
do you think if u romanced haru we’d get a raise or fired???
I wish I didn’t know you guys.
take one for the team
yeah! for the sake of ur fellow baristas!!!!
i HATE you all.
tell me why I walk into the back to see Goro with a whole ass empty coke bottle already
u bought the soda for ur thirty and now ur gonna drink the one akira got???
i’ll do what i WANT
drink some WATER????
no, i don’t think i will.
totally unrelated but when’s everyone free so we can stage an intervention
you’ll never get me ALIVE
ya cause ur kidneys are about to fail you
YOU ARE THE LAST PERSON WHO CAN TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS IVE BROUGHT YOU SODAS BEFORE
u kno what, fair.
again unrelated, but when’s everyone free for a DOUBLE intervention
goro typed that and immediately cracked open the other coke and started guzzling
kinda scared and
PLEASE SHUT U P
i wish i couldnt READ.
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
Hey guys! I’m looking for coverage for this friday at 9 am because i HAVE CLASS!!!! at NINE (9) AM!!! and WILL NOT!!! be able to come.
lemme know :)!!!!
Group: Future Employees of Leblanc
MISHIMA IS ABOUT TO S N A P
GO OFF THO KING
Can anyone blame him? if i was him i would’ve torn apart a blender by now
not that i’ve ever done that before.
Akechi: IT WAS YOU WHO BROKE THE FUCKING BLENDER???
I must go now
i’m ALMOST impressed at how you managed to do that
almost cause i spent a day making frappes with ONE BLENDER and wanted to DIE
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
I’ll take it mishima!!
You’re a lifesaver n i love u
:)! i love u too!!!!
Group: Future Employees of Leblanc
honestly how fuckin hard did u hit that thing for it to break?
i can’t read suddenly i do not know.
you could’ve at least broken both of them
i’ll try my best next time
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
Please keep this chat strictly professional. Thank you.
Group: Future Employees of Leblanc
WHAT THE FUCK????
i’m going to kill him ??? i’m gonna kill him.
Akira: IM FUCKING
WHAT PART OF THAT WASN'T PROFESSIONAL??
WHAT WERE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO?? BOW?????
i was supposed to send him a formal letter delivered only by pidgeon.
ah but of course, the most professional way of communication.
this bastard wants us to start sending smoke signals to each other???
he wants us to mobile order to the store with the specific instructions being our shift coverage.
he wants us to walk to each other’s houses and ask for the shift on hands and knees
strictly business huh
my ASS. BRB
i smell a stunt
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
I, as well as Akechi, need coverage this saturday we will be unable to come to our shift. Me especially because I have been scheduled outside of my availability. For what I hope will be the LAST time.
Group: Future Employees of Leblanc
what are you DOING
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
Is there any particular reason the both of you will not be able to come to your scheduled shifts?
Group: Future Employees of Leblanc
i can’t believe me and akira are getting fired today
i wanted to at least like
idk steal the drive through sign first
The?? DRIVE THROUGH SIGN???
yes is there a problem sir blender destroyer?
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
Group: Future Employees of Leblanc
scared for my life rn lowkey highkey
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
There is a particular reason. But one, as just stated, was that I am scheduled outside of my availability. The other, although this is not strictly business but as my superior did ask me about my PERSONAL business and what I am to do outside store hours, I’m planning on taking Goro Akechi on an AMAZING date, lasting all hours of the night, where we WILL be busy doing VARIOUS things.
So if anyone can take those shifts! that’d just be, GREAT :)
I will make changes to the schedule.
Group: Future Employees of Leblanc
THIS CUSTOMER GAVE ME THE SHITTIEST LOOK CAuse I JUST SCREAMED SO HARD
IM BOUTTA BREAK A FUCKING BLENDER IM SO
FUCK YEAH AKIRAAAAAAA
WHEN WERE U GONNA TELL US U FINALLY ASKED AKECHI OUT?????
You’re truly so dense sometimes
okumura fuckers DON'T INTERACT.
i’ll kill you.
Okumura might beat you to that
so. What if we kissed beneath the stolen starbucks drive-through sign????
I AM LOOKING SO VERY FAR AWAY.
sO. to everyone expected the date well. LOL. I needed to have this first. Inspired by WAY TO MANY REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES. This fic should be over soon along with my employment at starbucks because i am AT MY WITS END. Writing this used to be real fun but but it ended up EXHAUSTING ME a bit so i wrote this to like, get me back in the groove. It’s so strange for me to write like purely happy fics all fluff no angst, if ur familiar with my other stuff then u already kno. Group chats are so funny especially group chats talking shit about your job. My manager told us to make a seperate one so we can TALK like regular human beings on and we did and i’m sure she hates us even more now. I’ve also taken to not given a shit and saying whatever i want in there cause what she gon do? beat my ass? no. So yes there’s a bit more planned that i’m actually now really excited for! Thank u for reading and i hope you enjoyed! also akechi wanting to steal the drive through sign is,, my biggest,, fantasy. twitter @mechXhina
Chapter 5: Drive Through Times
Chapter by Chummy
HEY,,,, How yall doing?? this one is for all my barista's in charge of drive through bar, i see you, and i love you.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The sun was barely rising. Nothing more but a dim faraway glow fading into view along the horizon. Akechi was sleepily watching it slowly light up the surrounding clouds in the sky from the comfort of his car. Breathing in softly as he prepared himself for the rest of the day.
He heard the car before he saw it, the loud rumbling off an engine that really needed to be checked out, pulling up next to him. He didn’t need to look to know it was Ryuji and the death trap he generously called his car.
Akechi looked over to meet Ryuji’s eyes through their windows, giving each other a very tired nod of acknowledgement. It was an unspoken rule almost, not to speak to each other before at least 6 AM or they had eaten breakfast. The clock on his dashboard read 4:53 AM. And his stomach was empty, save for the single cookie he shoved in his mouth before leaving. He’d give Ryuji a real greeting later.
He laid down as much as he could in his seat, waiting for the familiar car of Makoto’s to pull into the lot. She was their shift that morning and Akechi was so glad he was dealing with someone competent.
Lately Okumura had been hiring random supervisors that were all assholes in their own special way. Akechi wondered if that was a question in the interview process. Are you a condescending asshole? Welcome to the crew!
Makoto pulled up and the sun was still very low in the sky. Akechi longed for his bed, to cherish the sunrise behind closed eyes and dreams. He was so tired. The clock read 4:58 AM. He heaved one big sigh and twisted his body in his seat, stretching for the apron that he threw in his backseat his last shift.
He made his way out of his car and toward Ryuji’s where Ryuji was passed out against his window. He tapped at it a few times, laughing when Ryuji woke up with a jolt. Ryuji presses his middle fingers on his glass before reaching for his own apron.
“Good morning boys,” Makoto greeted them, sleep still in her voice and posture. Akechi only hummed and Ryuji waved.
“It’s way too early for this,” Ryuji grumbled as they entered the store. Making sure to lock the doors behind them. Akechi hated when they wouldn’t lock it and customers would come in before opening. Although Akechi hated when customers would come in anyways.
“You say that everytime you open,” Makoto replied as she passed around the ipad for them to clock in.
“Yeah cause I’m not used to opening. I’m a mid type of man, and he’s fucking up my schedule having me open,” Ryuji complained, that wasn’t news to anyone how their dear manager was disregarding their availability. Makoto only hummed and left to the back to do the rest of her shift duties.
“Do you want to do the pastry case or the bar?” Ryuji asked him, looking between the two tasks. Ryuji knew the answer, Akechi hated setting the pastry case. Touching all the pastries and getting cinnamon crumbs and icing under his nails made him want to kill someone. They never had any gloves for him to use either.
“Bar,” he yawned out.
Clock in: 5:00 AM.
He went through the process, filling the machines with coffee beans, putting the tea to brew as he restocked what hadn't been done the night before.
“Why are the fucking cups never restocked?” He grumbled under his breath as he passed Ryuji, holding stacks of cups and lids.
Ryuji chuckled slightly as he moved to reach his entire body in the case to place the bagels in their right place. “You openers complain about everything.”
“I don't complain because I'm an opener, I just complain,” he replied, watching the sun rise fully outside. He checked the time on his phone, they still had fifteen minutes until they had to open.
“You're right, how could I forget how naturally annoying you are?” Ryuji said as he bounced slightly on his feet, eyes on the ipad as he looked at the picture display of the pastry case.
“It’s too early for you Sakamoto,”
Ryuji looked over at him, hands outstretched with a birthday cake pop in between his fingers. “Offer you a small ball of diabetes in these trying times?”
Akechi scowled and fake gagged, making Ryuji laugh. “Those things are so fucking gross I dont know how people eat them.” Ryuji only shook his head before popping the small ball in his mouth and chewing.
Akechi returned to making sure everything was ready for opening, checking the condiment bar and overfilling the containers so no one would bother him for sugar mid rush. He pulled the blinds on the window, there were more people on the street, the city slowly waking up.
Makoto returned to the front, registers counted and inputted money in the safe. She did a once over of the store, nodding in agreement with everything before moving toward the drive through window.
“How much longer until we have to unlock the doors?” she asked and Akechi checked.
“Another five minutes,”
“Hm,” she said, looking at the order screen in annoyance.
“Please don't tell me there's already a car,” he sighed and looked at Ryuji who was holding his hands together in prayer.
“Yep there's already a car,” she replied evenly.
“I fucking hate it here.”
The three of them stood for a second, sharing pointed looks that all said the same thing.
“We’re not open, they're going to wait.” Makoto said, knowing when they finally ordered they would be complete assholes about it. Oh well. They aren't open yet.
“Bless,” Ryuji said, closing the glass pane for the completed pastry case. He moved to stand next to him, grabbing a croissant from the cart and placing it to double toast in the oven. His lack of eating breakfast that morning caught up to him fast. Ryuji did the same thing only with a bagel.
“Excited for today?” Ryuji asked, spreading butter on his warm bagel.
Ryuji laughed before turning toward the binder with all their positions for that day inside. Akechi checked the clock.
He went and grabbed two headsets from above the order screens. All of them haphazardly thrown on top of each other instead of on the hook where they belonged. He put his head, glancing at Ryuji who was too busy frowning down at the binder to notice. That can't be good.
“Hello? Can I get some service here holy shit?!” a shrill voice rang through the headset and Akechi counted to ten before answering.
“Good morning, thank you for choosing Starbuck’s! What can I get started for you?”
“Finally I’ve been waiting over twenty minutes!” Akechi could see it was a middle aged woman, waving her personal cup at the camera. Akechi decided not to correct her. He took the order as fast as possible, before walking and practically throwing a headset at Ryuji who put it on with a groan.
“You take the orders, I'm not in the mood to talk to anyone today,” he said, getting to work on the woman’s drink and Ryuji rolled his eyes.
“You’re literally never in the mood to talk to people,” he said, he was right so there was no point in correcting him. Akechi watched as Ryuji smiled wide and took the woman's card, handing her the completed drink and sending her on her way.
“Have a good day!” Ryuji yelled as the car left, slamming the window close. “God she was horrible,” he said as he turned to Akechi and he nodded in agreement.
“So guess what position you're in todayyy?” Ryuji sang, tone dripping with sarcasm. As if Akechi didn't already know.
“Oh shall I guess? Could it possibly be? Drive through bar!” he said, fake shock in his voice and Ryuji clapped.
“Wow how did you know!”
Akechi laughed, turning around toward the bar and machines he had gotten so accustomed to. Ever since his hire a few months ago that's the only place he would be put in. Making drinks.
He can't exactly remember what happened. Just one day he went from taking orders to being thrown into one of the most stressful positions, in his opinion. His first month he spent it like a newbie, learning the ropes. His trainers often tell him how fast he got the hang of things. He tried not to be too cocky about it.
But one Okumara filled day, he decided to put the still very new Goro Akechi on drive through bar. Making it a point to remind Akechi how important the times and how low they had to be were. The times being the numbers above them at the drive through window, counting how fast they got customers in and out of the line.
Akechi had spent that morning sweating. Listening intently to the orders in his ears and fucking running for his life. Okumura breathing down his neck the entire time. While of course Akechi had belief in his skills and pride in them, he had never had to make drinks while timed. But Akechi never backed down from a challenge, no matter how petty or overwhelming. The morning rush came and went with Akechi’s heart going a mile a minute in his throat. Not asking about the times once, too focused on the orders and their instructions.
That morning rush came and went. In a moment to breathe he spared a glance at the screen. Expecting bright red numbers telling him how horrible a job he had done. Ready to try again now that he had gotten a taste for how things worked.
He was instead met with a bright green :47 seconds looking back at him.
“Oh what the fuck ?” he had breathed out and barely registered Ann giving him a high five.
“No cursing on the floor,” is all the congrats Okumura offered him. Even though he obviously hadn't expected the outcome at all. Ann had rolled her eyes and taken a picture of the screen, congratulating the times in their work chat.
Ever since then, Akechi had been the one handling drinks every morning. Keeping their times down and rewarded in his availability being ignored, and nothing else. He wondered if he could put “really good times” on his resume.
In any case, he enjoyed it. He made drinks, no one bothered him, making time fly no matter how long his shift was. He mostly enjoyed knowing that no one else was as good at handling bar like he was. He had made it a game almost, anything to make it through the gruelling hours.
Then Akira Kurusu walked through those doors, apron and hat on deck and brought his record score of :47 seconds to :45. Akechi was both impressed and pissed. Impressed because Akira had a grace to him as he made drinks, moving swiftly and without pause even when customers bothered him. He would give them his dazzling smile and hand out drink after drink. It was one hell of a sight. Pissed him off because what the fuck? :45 seconds? Akechi was going to kill him.
So began the great game of “Lowest Time’s Win’s.” Akechi was in the lead currently with :42 seconds. Akira liked to point out the fact that Akechi only opened so obviously he was winning. Akechi would only wink at him and boast louder.
“Good morning!” Makoto’s voice brought him from his daydreams and back to the present. He hadn't noticed a customer walking in. He looked up, catching the familiar burly frame of one of their regulars.
“Iwai! The usual?” he said, cheerily and smiling. Iwai was honestly one of his favorite customers. He didn't have all that many.
“Hey kid,” Iwai’s gruff voice answered, rubbing away the sleep in his eyes as he nodded. “Yeah, Kaoru wants extra drizzle on his frappe-thing today . It's his finals.” Akechi couldn't help the smile, hearing how fondly Iwai always spoke about his son. Akechi had met him a few times, most times with Akira’s company. Akira tutored Kaoru, Akechi half suspects Iwai started coming to Starbucks because of Akira. He nodded before turning and making the familiar order, a vanilla bean with caramel drizzle and Iwai’s iced coffee.
“Here you go!” he said just a few minutes later, handing Iwai his drinks.
“Thanks,” he replied and Akechi waited for Iwai to taste his coffee. Smiling again when Iwai nodded and hummed in appreciation.
“Glad Akira’s not the only one who knows how to make good coffee in here,” he said and Akechi laughed.
“Tell Kaoru I say good luck. I'm sure Akira has also given him his blessings,” he says and Iwai nods, waving them all goodbye as he leaves. Holding open the door for Mishima to run in a slight panic. No one really bats an eye, Mishima is just always panicking.
The cafe lobby is empty after that and Akechi takes the chance of the unusually empty store to send a text.
Iwai says he likes me better than you. You can hang up your apron now.
He sends it to Akira, knowing Akira was completely knocked out and was probably not gonna answer for another few hours.
“Hey guys!” Mishima calls as he comes behind the counter, tying his apron behind his back. Akechi gives him a wave and laughs when Ryuji manhandles Mishima into taking orders on drive through.
“Hey! No! Ryu- Hi welcome! What can I get you?” Mishima’s complaints are cut off as a car pulls up. Akechi listens and tries not to laugh as Ryuji jumps in relief at the ovens, his favorite position, moving quickly to finish the drink. He presses the mic button, allowing them to talk to each other through it.
“Were you supposed to be on drive through all shift?” he asks, remembering the way Ryuji was scowling at their schedule earlier.
Ryuji’s laugh comes through the speaker, “Ha! Yeah, until my lord and savior Mishima came! Thank you for your sacrifices Mishima!” he says as he slams an oven close.
“I hate you Sakamoto,” was all Mishima said, arms crossed at the computer.
“Alright, so once Ann and Yusuke come, our rush starts and you all know the drill by now,” Makoto’s voice comes next, Akechi hadn't noticed her putting a headset on.
“Cool,” Ryuji said, “Hey hasn't it been a slow mor-”
“You shut the fuck up right now.”
“Don't jinx it!”
Ryuji was interrupted and met with three pairs of scandalized glares. He smiled sheepishly at them. “Nevermind.”
Ann and Yusuke clock in. Ann looked pristine and the perfect picture of beauty despite how early it is. She takes her place in the bar next to him, handling the few mobile orders that come in as Akechi is busy handling the drive through. The times blinking an ugly yellow above him. Yusuke comes in thirty minutes later, actually on time for once. Akechi can see paint stains on his apron and makes a note to ask him how he manages to get paint on everything. Makoto puts him to take orders in front and their day truly begins.
The sun is shining bright outside, hot and forcing people awake. The rush begins.
Ryuji jinxed them.
The rare quiet they had that early morning absolutely disappeared, Akechi can't believe it had even happened. In between glances from the time screen and the tickets, he sees the amount of people in the cafe increasing. Even if the drive through line empties, Akechi helped Ann make drinks. Not stopping along with the incessant tickets printing.
“I hate you Ryuji, just letting you know,” he says, managing to turn his mic on as he pours milk with his other hand.
“I hate myself right now too,” Ryuji answers, and Akechi doesn’t have to look to know he's getting equally swamped. “Why does anyone need six bacon goudas? That's so much money wasted!” He hears two oven doors slam shut.
Akechi can only spare a laugh before getting back to work. His headset dings, awful high piercing ding, he hears Makoto’s welcome script. Handing Ann a finished drink as he prepared to listen to the order.
“Yeah hi, let me get six shots over ice,” Akechi wanted to scream. “With three pumps of white mocha and three pumps of caramel, put it in a trenta cup with a splash, Splash! Of sweet cream!” Akechi pumped the syrups as the shots poured, rolling his eyes the whole way.
“That drink is a literal heart attack,” Makoto said once the woman had driven up, Akechi tapped his foot impatiently watching the fourth shot drip.
“It's an abomination, we should ban her,” he replied, making sure to put only a splash, whatever that meant, and topping it off before handing it to Makoto.
The rest of the day continued with more of the same, obscene orders with Akechi scrambling to get it out fast enough. It was mornings like this he was happy to have Ryuji on food, he was the fastest at handling the ovens, his times wouldn't be what they are without him.
Not that he will ever tell him that. Ryuji's head is big enough as it is.
A small lull in customers blessedly happened, leaving them to scramble to restock everything. He carries six gallons of milk to fully restock his fridge, slamming one jug into Yusuke's back when he refused to move.
“That has to count as workplace violence,” Yusuke said, rubbing his back.
“You wanna see workplace violence?”
“Enough about workplace violence please, Yusuke you have a customer,” Makoto interrupts them, and Akechi turns to the cashier to see a pair of familiar faces.
“Hifumi!” He called out, the long haired girl giving him a shy smile and wave. Next to him Ann gasped, running up to the register to talk with Hifumi. She happened to be another person on Akechi’s short list of favorite regulars. Their friendship started in brief nods of appreciation as Hifumi set up her Shogi board a table away from where Akechi set up his chess board.
“I am also here, you know, fellow coworker, waking wet dream, pizza of your eye,” Akira says from his place next to Hifumi, brows scrunched beneath his glasses.
Akechi rolled his eyes, ignored the beating in his chest and waved in acknowledgment. Akira held his chest and gasped with hurt.
“Is this guy bothering you queen?” Ann said to Hifumi and Akechi couldn't hold back his laugh at the look on Akira’s face. Hifumi flushed a bit before laughing softly too.
“You guys are the worst. I'm literally going to call the manager and get you all fired.” Akira said, wagging his finger in the air.
“Please do,” Yusuke said as he finally took Hifumi’s order.
Akira laughed before giving Hifumi a brief wave and moving to place his elbows on top of the counter in front of Akechi’s machine. Head in his hands, throwing him a look that made Akechi’s body burn.
“Can I help you sir?” Akechi asked and his breath caught in his throat when Akira threw him a brilliant smile.
“Depends,” Akira replied, smiling the whole time. “You see I have this problem.”
Akechi put on his best disinterested face, humming to show he was listening, taking the speaker of his headset off his ear to hear whatever Akira was going to say better. Distantly he realized he had not checked the times that day. With Akira standing in front of him he hoped he had broken his record again.
“Basically, I’m starving right?” Akira started and Akechi held back a laugh. “Haven’t eaten at all, not used to being up this early you know? But anyways, I came here, realized I hate all Starbucks food.”
“Is that your dilemma?” Akechi interrupts and Akira shakes his head.
“No let me finish,”
“Sir I’m busy working, unlike some people.” He says, because he likes pushing Akira’s buttons.
“Anyways, I bet you're thinking Oh, why don't you go eat somewhere else. Good point, but my main problem is I just hate eating alone on such a wonderful morning.” Akira said, batting his pretty eyes at Akechi the entire time. Akechi was stuck between sighing dreamily at the display because god was Akira pretty and rolling his eyes because god was Akira an idiot.
“Is this your way of asking me to breakfast?”
“Well brunch, but yes.” Akira beamed at him and Akechi wonders why Akira would even ask when he would do anything Akira wanted if it meant him smiling at him like that again.
“Sure, I think I'll get out soon,” he realized he actually had no idea what time it was, “Wait hold on, what time even is it?”
Akira laughed softly before pulling out his phone. “It’s 11:15, how long are you here till?”
Akechi stood there confused for a few seconds. How busy had they been that he didn't notice time passing by so quickly. Also how did he forget he was supposed to clock out almost an hour ago? He turned before he could answer Akira, tapping Makoto.
“So, I was supposed to clock out like an hour ago and no one reminded me?”
Makoto just looked at him like he had grown a second head and Akechi got the inkling whatever was going on, it was Okumura’s fault. Makoto’s next words validated his deductions.
“No? You're here until 11:30, that's what it says on our daily.”
Akechi sighed, rubbed his eyes and pictured giving in his two weeks tomorrow and never returning. “My schedule says I leave at 10:30. He added another hour without letting me know.”
Makoto eyes grew twice their size and filled with annoyance and anger. “I am so sorry, clock out. He can't keep doing this to people.” She said, practically throwing the ipad at him and shooing him away from the bar. “Can everyone check your schedules, I'm making sure people leave on time.” He heard her say as he shuffled to the back.
“What did Okumura do now?” Akira asked when Akechi joined him on the other side of the counter. Akira smelled like coffee, better coffee and spices and fresh air.
“Nothing new, still super annoying,” he grumbled out, his feet hurt and he smelled like syrup and milk and sweat probably. He realizes he should have declined Akira’s brunch offer.
“Well, it’s over now. Let’s go eat,” Akira said, smiling completely unaware of Akechi’s internal struggle. He has half a mind to decline and go home, knowing full well if he does he's gonna regret it. It doesn't matter however because Akira doesnt give him a chance to respond, grabbing him by the straps of the apron he still had on and pulling him towards the door.
“Sir, our barista’s are not for sale!” Ann called out, startling a few people in the lobby but she paid them no mind as she giggled. Akechi rolled his eyes and Akira threw a grin at her. “He came free with the drink!” Akira yelled back as they finally exited the store.
“You didn't even get a drink idiot,” he grumbled under his breath, Akira chuckled as he pulled Akechi the few feet to his car. Akechi breathed a sigh of relief, not wanting to have to drive so soon after clocking out. More than once he sat in his car for half an hour after work just to breathe. “So where are we going?”
“Breakfast, I’m hungry,” Akira supplied no information as they entered his car. Akechi made quick work of his apron, taking it off and throwing it in Akira’s backseat. “Don't leave that in here and forget it.”
Akechi laughed, clicking his seatbelt into place as the engine purred to life. “If I did you'd bring it to me so whatever,” he said and laughed a bit more with how Akira scowled but did not refuse.
“My car is just a glorified lost and found bin with wheels, you know how many jackets Ryuji has left in here? I'm pretty sure there's still one back there. And all the girls leave all their hair ties in here too!” Akira complained, without any real annoyance in his voice, as he pulled out of the parking lot. Akechi waved at Mishima who was at the drive through window. He made a heartbreak motion with his hands before a car pulled up, obscuring him from view.
“Oh some of those ties are probably mine, I let Ann borrow them and then never see them again,” he sighed. Now he bought ties in bulk, enough for himself and all his long haired coworkers.
“Feel free to take them if you find them, I'll throw in a jacket too for the low price of nothing.”
“You know I love a bargain,” he chuckled, settling down more comfortably in his seat. His eyelids and body felt heavy, the early morning and rush settling in his bones. He snuck a glance at Akira, who was humming along to a song Akechi didn't recognize. He looked pretty, that wasn't anything new he always looked pretty. But the bright morning sun caught on the high points of his cheeks and the dips of his curls, highlighting his fingers drumming along to the beat in the arm rest between them.
Akechi wanted to hold his hand. He wondered if the limbs current position was an invitation or if he was just reading into things. How much is there to read Akira fucking asked him on a date not even a couple days ago. The thought slammed into his skull and jackhammered into his ribs.
That had happened. And they haven't really talked about it after.
Sure Akira’s flirting got a bit more obvious and forward but other than that it was business as usual. Akechi still had a million questions. Such as, how long Akira had liked him? Where was their date ? Would he have to dress up? Oh god was this brunch their date? Akechi was going to kill him if it was, he smelled like starbucks and his feet ached and he looked overworked.
Akechi, not one to be anything but forward, opened his mouth to speak but was cut off by Akira parking. Akechi hadn't even noticed their destination.
“K wait here I’ll be back,” Akira said, getting out of the car and leaving Akechi more confused than ever. Well at least he kept the air on.
Akira returned promptly, grinning at Akechi and holding a take out bag in his hand.
“Breakfast acquired!” He said as he sat down again, pulling boxes out of the bag. Akira looked over at Akechi and what was no doubt a dumbfounded look on his face and breathed a soft laugh. “I ordered ahead! Didn't wanna wait, told you I’m starving. Plus I know you don't really like to be out after work but I wanted to eat with you so, welcome to Brunch but in a car!” Akira said, beaming at him the whole way through. Akechi could smell the sweet earthiness of honey waft through the car as Akira opened his boxes.
Akechi didn't know what to say, hard feat rendering him speechless and yet Akira seemed to be able to do it so often. He looked at the bright blue lettering of the Ihop bag was overcome with emotion. He took back ever wanting to kill Akira if this was their date. He didn't realize he had just been sitting there in silence as Akira waved his hand in front of his eyes, looking worried. Oh no no, Akechi was having none of that.
“I hope you remembered my order,” he teased and immediately Akira was smiling and all was right with the world.
“How could I forget you and your fucking banana split of a pancake,” he snorted, before digging into his own waffle. Complete with chocolate chips and whipped cream. More whipped cream than waffle.
Akechi opened his own box to reveal that Akira had in fact remembered his order. Three pancakes with every available fruit Ihop carried as sides. His favorite balance of just sweet enough. “You have some nerve calling mine a banana split when you're practically inhaling whipped cream,” he said, cutting into his own food, spearing a strawberry and grape with his fork.
Akira responded by shoveling a mountain of the fluffy whipped sugar into his mouth.
“You disgust me,” Akechi said through his own mouthful of breakfast.
They ate with bits of conversation, Akira listening to Akechi mostly for the first half, too busy shoveling food in his mouth like a starving man. They had reclined their seats, sitting cross legged against the doors, facing each other. It was nice, Akechi thought. The car smelled like syrup and Akira’s cologne, the sun was a soothing heat as the AC blasted, the lulling tunes of the radio a backdrop to their conversation. Akechi felt at home almost, strange as it sounded considering he was in Akira’s hand me down Honda.
“So,” Akira starts and Akechi’s heart rate skyrockets at the sudden change in tone. They had finished eating, their empty boxes beneath their seats and sated bellies making Akechi even sleepier. He looks at Akira and like always, can't look away. Akira smiles, as if he's aware of that fact. “Don't wear anything too fancy on saturday, I’m not telling you where we're going but i know you're going to go crazy trying to dress so,”
Akechi barely hears him through his blood rushing in his ears and no doubt in his face. Oh. So. They were going on a date. Akira was interested in him. Like, truly.
The overly rational part of his brain was screaming at him that he was an idiot for doubting it for even a second. The lizard part of his brain was focusing on Akira’s lips as he talked. The perfect arch of them and rosy coloring. They looked so soft, he was sure they would taste sweet with all the sugar Akira had just consumed.
Is there a rule about kissing before the first date? Akechi can’t remember and even if he did he did not care in that moment.
Akechi glances back up at Akira’s eyes and from the look in them, Akira doesn’t care either.
“So what exactly do you recommend?” he says, barely more than a whisper and still feels so loud in the space they made. They were still a way apart, a whole armrest in between them. Akechi smiled as he saw how Akira’s eyes trailed the way the words left Akechi’s mouth.
“I don't know, not a suit or anything just, whatever,” Akira said, clearly distracted and Akechi felt his ego boost ten times in size.
“You can't just whatever this Akira, it's a date, I want to set a good impression.”
“You could show up in a trash bag and I’d still want to jump your bones.”
Akechi laughed at Akira’s boldness, his head felt airy and blazing hot at the same time. “We haven't even gone on the date yet and you're already talking about feeling me up.” He said and his own words were heavy on his tongue.
“Oh does the Goro Akechi put out on the first date?” Akira chuckled, a bit breathless and Akechi wanted to crack up at the hope laced in it.
“Wait and find out,” he said, throwing Akira an exaggerated wink and laughing when Akira glows ten different shades of pink.
‘I’m feeling rather impatient,” Akira moves, leaning his body closer, over the armrest and into Akechi’s space. Akechi couldn’t breathe, Akira was close enough to feel his body heat, his slightly panting breath on his lips. He couldn't breathe and Akechi wouldn’t mind dying like this.
Their phones buzzing loudly tears the moment apart. Akechi could almost weep. Akira jumping and bumping his head into the car’s roof. He unlocked his phone angrily, checking to see what was the cause of their disturbance.
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
M.Nijima: Akechi left before we could take a picture as a group but this morning crew broke 38 second window times!
R.Sakamoto: Im photoshopping him in as we speak
Y.Mishima: God bless goro akechi and his wonderful grande white mocha making hands.
Akechi had to take a moment to reread that at least four times. His phone buzzed again with an incoming message. Makoto had sent a picture.
His fellow coworkers were standing beneath the time screen, Ryuji and Ann throwing kissy faces to the camera. Above them, clear as day and greener than spring leaves
“No fucking way,” Akira gasped, looking from his own phone screen to Akechi.
Akechi smiled, pride bleeding through his shining white teeth as he shook the phone in front of Akira’s face. “Yes fucking way. 38 seconds. I’d say have fun beating that but we don't have to sit here and kid ourselves.” He says, mouth in a smirk and veins pumping with victory.
Akira is only looking at him, mouth hanging open in a slight O. Akechi wants to rub in his win in their competition a bit more, because he's an awful winner but he never gets the chance, because Akira surges forward and all at once is kissing him. Hands brushing past Akechi’s ears and into his hair, holding him in place as if Akechi would ever move away.
Akechi takes no coaxing into kissing him back. There was nothing chaste about the kiss. Fierce and as intoxicating and so good . Akira tastes sweeter than Akechi imagined and he can't get enough.
They pull away when the air in the car feels stifling and their lungs burn in tandem with the blush spread on their faces.
“I can’t believe you kissed me because I broke your record,” Akechi is the first to talk, voice kiss rough and deep. Akira laughed, fingers running softly through his hair.
“I kissed you first,” Akira says and Akechi wants to kiss him again, “So that makes me an overall winner.”
“Oh did you also break :38 seconds? No?”
Akira laughed and Akechi got to feel it on his lips as Akira pressed a soft peck on him. Akechi all but melted into it. He presses back, living in the sigh that pulls from Akira, he reaches his hands to bury in Akira’s curls when once again their phones buzz between them.
Akira groans and Akechi feels it down to the soles of his feet. Giving his own groan when he notices it was the work chat again. He should really mute this.
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
Okumura: I expect our times to be more of the same.
Akechi sighed, saw the typing bubble of many people pop up before turning to Akira again and pulling him in for another searing kiss.
“I’m fucking quitting,” he breathed into Akira’s mouth, and Akira could only nod and laugh and kiss him back.
Akechi doesn't know how long they spent wrapped up in each other's kisses, his head swims and spins in a wonderful way. What he does know is that Akira Kurusu tastes like dreams and all things good and Akechi was going to burn his aprons when he quits.
Update! I quit! it was. wonderful. Akechi's overachieving in drive through bar is completely based on my own experience. I took those times to heart, also my manager kinda sucked dick and berated me if the times were anything less than 40 seconds so. ahaha. Anyways, writing this after quitting is so FUN, i've gone back and edited a few chapters to kinda make this flow better. Its nothing major but it helps my brain work. full disclosure i was gonna have them kiss on the last chapter but im IMPATIENT. so im sorry if that feels a bit rushed but in my mind, they've both been pining for so long they skip all the courting. Also! I know some, if not most of yall are/ were baristas or anything similar, but i tried to explain how positions and shifts and shit works at the average starbucks for people who have never worked in one. But if i failed to make anything clear please let me know!!! Thank u all for reading and sticking through my updating, i hope you enjoyed! Twitter: mechXhina
Chapter 6: Workplace Serenade
Chapter by Chummy
hows everyone? i missed yall. Twit: MechXhina
Thats the link to the playlist for the songs in this, you dont have to listen to it as you read because theres alot (an hour) more songs in there I felt Shuake in this Au would enjoy, i just made it to go along with it. But the songs USED explicitly in this chap are
1. No More What If's (are we shocked lmao) P5R soundtrack
2.Strawberry Blone (ARE WE SHOCKED) Mitski
3. Fly Me To The Moon - Sinatra
4. Lay All Your Love On Me - ABBA
5. Like Real People Do - Hozier (my king)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Group: Future Employees of Leblanc
someone proofread this for me
Dear Mr. Okumura
i think you meant bitch*
Ah yes. Dear Mr. Bitch, I am writing to notify you that I am providing a two weeks notice, thank you for all the opportunities and I wish you and the company success in the future.
still feels too nice, needs work
you're not wrong.
Akechi sighed as he leaned on the counter of the bar, body low enough that no one would be able to see him unless they leaned over the machines. He was called in for a pre closer shift, not out of the ordinary but not his favorite shift either. Not that he had a favorite shift in the first place, they all sucked.
The day had been mercifully slow, but he was in for a long time and was almost hoping for a rush to hit so he would have something to do. Though he would never curse the rest of his coworkers by speaking that out loud.
“Akechi would you lend me a hand?” He was brought out of his boredom by a sweet girly voice, Haru, their visiting shift supervisor and daughter of the World's Most Hated Boss. Akechi was more than relieved to learn that Haru was the complete opposite to her asshole of a father. He walked over to where she was tip toeing in the back, reaching for a box of Jade Citrus tea.
“Ah thank you!” she replied happily once he’d handed her the box, Akechi smiled in return, her bubbly nature was intoxicating almost. He could see why Makoto would have a crush on her. He smirked to himself, sure that Makoto would be paying them a visit sometime during their shift.
“Do you want me to get started on cleaning right now? Or wait a bit since it's been pretty slow?” He asked her as he went back to his usual leaning against the espresso machines. Haru blinked and looked up at the ceiling thoughtfully, Akechi guessed she was trying to recall that day's schedule and smiled at the adorable display.
“I can’t remember who it is that’s supposed to close tonight but lets wait till they arrive so you can start! Does that work for you?” She asked, eyes wide and words kind. Akechi couldn't wait to text Makoto about this. “That works!” he answers, nearly going blind at the beaming smile she gives him in return.
He returns to his position hiding behind the machines, phone in hand and ready to do more of the same until it was time for him to clock out. He scrolled his socials aimlessly for a few minutes, replying to the texts in the chat and gritting his teeth at the awful playlist that played through the store's speakers. Who in Starbucks corporate decides what goes in their playlist, Akechi wanted to know and wanted their home address. Just to talk.
“Working hard huh?” Makoto’s voice cut through the Hamilton cover song playing, he looked up to her looking equal parts amused and accusatory.
“Don’t gotta do much with such a wonderful shift around.” he smirked, drawing the compliment out and laughing when Makoto turned a slight shade of pink. “She’s in the back, I'll go get her.” He moved quickly, ignoring the stuttered protest Makoto gave him.
He walked to their backroom where Haru was humming to the music in her earphones as she counted food. Akechi waited for her to notice him so as to not startle her. She turned with a smile once noticing him, pulling one earbud out.
“Oh I hope you weren't standing there long! I like to listen to my own music, it helps me stay focused while counting!” She explained, her face a bit flushed.
“No worries, I hate the music they play here too,” he laughed and Haru nodded along in agreement. “I just came back here to tell you one of our shifts is here, just if you wanted to say hi or anything,” Haru turned as pink as her hair and Akechi really tried not to smirk at the reaction because of course their crush was mutual.
“Thank you! I’ll go right now!” she said, and for her sake Akechi pretended not to notice how she fussed over her apron and checked her appearance in the fuzzy reflection of the refrigerator.
He turned swiftly, satisfaction written all over his face as he looked over at Makoto who was applying lip gloss while Akira held her phone up for her.
Akechi’s steps stuttered for a second as he took in Akira’s form, heart began to flutter and body temperature rose, spiking at his cheeks. For a split second Makoto’s eyes met his, if a glare could speak hers would be saying, “Get fucked.” Well deserved.
He regained what he could of his composure, though that was becoming increasingly difficult around Akira as just being in the same vicinity of him made Akechi want to kiss him breathless on the nearest flat surface. The mobile order counter was starting to look particularly comfortable the more he stared at the hair that curled around Akira’s neck and the deep red of his lips. Akechi shook his head clear before grabbing an ice cube out of the cooler and crunching it between his teeth.
“She’ll be out in a second,” he said to Makoto once he approached them, he smiled sweetly at Makoto who looked like she wanted to kill him before turning to Akira and smiling just a bit wider when their eyes met.
“Haru’s shift today? Oh fuck yeah this is gonna be a fun close then,” Akira said, as he leaned his elbows over the machines to get closer to Akechi. Akira smelled like the heady spices and lavender shampoo he always smelled like, that Akechi adored, so if Akechi inched closer to Akira’s perch on the machines, could anyone truly blame him? “Enjoying yourself?” Akira said slowly, only for Akechi’s ear, he felt his blood rush in his veins, fighting the urge to drag him over the machines and kiss him senseless.
“Wouldn't say I was enjoying myself, but I can think of a few ways I could be,” he replied, not one to be outdone in this flirtatious game of thiers. Akira blushed and Akechi counted that as a win.
“This has to count as some form of public indecency,” Makoto rolled her eyes next to them, Akechi was going to remark on her new lip gloss when Haru made her appearance. Akechi also counted that as a win.
“Mako! It’s so nice to see you again!” Haru said, as she walked around the bar and towards Makoto, enveloping her in a hug. Above the heads of the two girls Akechi and Akira shared a knowing look. Makoto was beet red when Haru released her, Akechi stifled a laugh. “Oh! Akira! It's nice to see you as well!” Haru said as she acknowledged his presence next to Makoto.
“Nice to see you too Haru, happy to close with you again!” Akira smiled cheerfully at Haru who clapped her hands in glee. So he was a closer tonight. Akechi smiled as his heart did somersaults in his chest.
This was becoming his favorite shift.
“No we don't have any of the Halloween travel cups mam, I’m sorry,” Akira’s voice came through his headset and Akechi cracked up at his tired tone. He’d been going back and forth with this woman in the drive through for a good five minutes now, the occasional honk of a horn going off behind her.
“I just don't understand why you wouldn't have that in stock,” her condescending tone answered and Akechi rolled his eyes, smiling when Akira did the same. Akira turned to Akechi and mimicked blowing a gun to his head at the interaction.
“It’s not in stock because it's the middle of the summer, try again in October now will that be all? Please drive up.” Akechi said into the speaker, taking over for Akira, who was blowing him dramatic kisses in thanks. They only got the sound of a car driving away in response.
Akira sighed and tugged slightly at his hair, Akechi followed the movement of his arms with his eyes. “I just, how can people be so stupid Goro, I dont understand it,” Akira whined. Akechi flushed but walked over to Akira, running a comforting hand up and down his back, fingers playing with the knot of his apron.
“People astound me with their stupidity,” he supplied and Akira laughed in response, leaning into Akechi’s touch. They stayed like that for a bit, the day continued its trend of few customers, allowing Akechi to get pretty far in his cleaning.
“Leblanc doesn’t get stupid customers,” Akira mumbled. Akechi held back on commenting that Leblanc doesn't get many customers in general. “The most we get is that one fucking pretentious asshole but at least he minds his own business most times,” Akira continued, Akechi listened on, imagining the comforting atmosphere of Leblanc and wishing he was there with Akira instead.
They broke away from each other as another order came through, but they continued talking, working and flirting with each other effortlessly. Haru barely has to remind them of anything and just leaves them to their own dynamic duo devices.
Their shared touches stayed heated and meaningful as the minutes turned to hours, with Akira passing by close enough for their legs to brush and fingers to interlock for a few seconds as they moved. Each time Akechi’s skin tingles and his cheeks pinched from trying not to smile too hard. Each time whispering a “Keep it professional Kurusu” that he absolutely did not mean. Akira smirked each time like he knew that.
The sun was setting low, drowning the cafe in oranges and pinks, visible warmth permeating every inch. Akechi wasn’t sure if it was his company making the sunset that much prettier but he would bet money on that being the cause. Especially when the dying sun rays caught on Akira’s cheekbones and deep black curls, making him look more ethereal than he normally did.
“Are you paying attention?” Akira asked, looking knowingly amused, Akechi didn't bother hiding his staring. Instead holding his chin high and nodding.
“Of course I am, this is easy,” Akechi said, confidence dripping from his voice despite his complete lack of memory of whatever it was Akira had just shown him. Akira decided to make use of the downtime and teach Akechi latte art. He had gotten quite good at it with Sojiro’s strict guidance.
“Oh? Then try it,” Akira smiled, full of teeth and challenging. Akechi returned it full force.
Grabbing the small pitcher from his hands, making sure to touch as much of Akira’s skin as possible, living in the shiver he gets in return.
Akechi tried to concentrate on the task presented in front of him, emphasis on try, but Akira’s warmth next to him was a massive distraction along with Akira’s refusal to look away from him. For the second time that shift Akechi wished for a customer to show up. He had no such luck, instead choosing to focus on something else, refusing to give Akira the satisfaction of catching Akechi not paying attention.
His movements were a bit shaky, but a massive improvement from his first try months ago. He tipped the pitcher slowly, letting foam rise and fall,
filling the cup to the brim and grabbing a stirrer to make the details. He swirled and dotted, head bobbing along with the soft guitar that wafted from the speakers. In the back of his head he realized it was one of his favorite songs playing, he smiled as he finished the design.
“Look,” Akechi said, shoving the cup at Akira without ceremony as Akira looked on in wonder. Akira tore his eyes from Akechi’s face to the cup, judging for a few seconds before looking back up with a beaming smile. Akechi felt it must be the middle of the day with how bright it suddenly felt.
“Amazing! You learned so fast!” Akira praised and Akechi would learn anything else Akira wanted to teach him if it meant he’d react like that. Akechi laughed in return, pride dripping from his mouth.
“I had a good teacher,” he winked, walking away as Akira blushed in awe behind him.
Akechi returned to cleaning, from the corner of his eye he saw Akira walk over to Makoto to show off Akechi’s work. Akechi couldn't deny the blush on his face so he returned to his cleaning, head fuzzy and heart beating to the beat of another one of his favorite songs.
Maybe Starbucks corporate did something right sometimes. Only sometimes though.
“ What fills up my soul is passionate, music that makes me want to sing,” Akechi sang along softly under his breath as he wiped the ovens clean. He looked up to see Akira looking at him, pride written on his features. Akechi raised an eyebrow at him but Akira only shook his head, smiling before taking an order. Akechi didn't pay him any mind, continuing with his cleaning and singing along to the playlist.
It was as he took apart one machine for the night and his fifth favorite song in a row played, that he started getting suspicious of Akira’s proud looks and cheeriness.
“All I need darling is a life in your shape,” he hummed along and it was with the smile he caught on Akira’s face that he knew, Starbucks corporate had absolutely nothing to do with this playlist.
He confirmed his suspicions on his break, looking for the usual cord where their store phone connected to their speaker system and instead finding Akira’s phone in its place. Akechi walked back to the front to ask about it when he was stopped short as he turned the corner and all but slammed into Akira.
“Ouch,” he huffed, not really hurt at all, “What’s the rush?” he asked but only received a smirk as familiar piano notes reached his ears. Akira reached for his hands, pulling Akechi close. The questions on Akechi’s tongue dying as Akira opened his mouth and began to sing.
“Fly me to the moon,” his voice was smooth and Akechi could not breathe as Akira began to sway them softly as he sang, in the damn backroom of their job. Akechi couldn't help the laugh, more sigh than a laugh, that fell out of him as his body thrummed with happiness. “In other words, baby kiss me,” Akira sang, and who was Akechi to refuse?
Their lips met and Akechi was sure he tasted like the turkey panini he ate but Akira smiled against his lips and the world melted away. They kissed slowly, Akechi holding onto Akira’s shoulders as he moved to pull away, but Akira only began to press kisses all over Akechi’s face as he continued to sing in between. If he wasn't holding onto Akira, he was sure he would've melted straight through the floor.
“ Fill my heart with song,” A kiss on his cheek. “And let me sing forever more” A kiss on his forehead. “You are all I long for” A kiss on his nose. “All I worship and adore” A kiss on his lips.
“I'm guessing this is your playlist?” Akechi asked, words muffled by Akira’s lips. Akira chuckled and it was music to his ears.
“Took you long enough to notice, I worked hard on this,” Akira replied, sighing as Akechi kissed him more. Akechi laughed and tried to remember his questions before losing himself to Akira’s ministrations again.
“How did you even connect your phone? Isn’t that against store policy?” His voice was rough and Akira looked mighty proud at that.
“I can't tell you how much I don't care about store policy, plus I was going crazy with their shit songs so adapt, overcome,” Akira shrugged, smile full of teeth and kissing Akechi again. Akechi kissed back, until he was breathless and the song had changed.
The rest of his shift passed with his favorite songs playing overhead, adding a tap to his feet and a lightness to his body as he thought about Akira making this for him . Them. Almost every song was a love song, lyrics dripping with adoration and affection that left Akechi’s head spinning. Almost because Akira snuck “Lay All Your Love On Me” in there and proceeded to act it out while Akechi was busy hosing dishes down.
“Dont gooo sharing your devotionnnn lay all your looovee on meee!” Akira kneeled and all but screeched the lyrics as Akechi struggled to tell him off without laughing. In the end he splashed water on Akira to make him go away, singing the entire way through. Akechi sent Haru an apologetic smile, who only laughed in return, apparently completely used to Akira’s antics.
“Abba’s a fucking classic babe, classic!” Akechi only laughed, high and free.
The end of his shift snuck up on him, and for the first time ever, Akechi didn't want to leave. Well more specifically he didn't want to leave Akira, he still hoped the store burnt to a crisp in a shock accident.
He had finished everything and was clocking out when Akira found him, much like their earlier impromptu slow dance.
“Leaving me already?” Akira pouted and Akechi threw his arms around his neck, feeling Akira’s hands come up to rest on his waist. He breathed in Akira’s scent, still his despite the overtone of starbucks syrup and coffee sticking to his skin.
“You're making me rethink putting in my two weeks,” Akechi joked against Akira’s neck.
“Oh fuck, no quit please, you deserve so much better than this. I’ll help you, I know tons of people. The flower shop! That’d be nice! Pay better too, by commission but I’m sure you won't have any trouble selling, charmer.” Akira rambled and Akechi kissed him. It took a second before he kissed back.
“You’d do that for me?” he asked, their faces still close enough that their breaths mingled on each other's lips.
Akira raised and eyebrow, “Of course I would, now print out those two weeks and get the fuck outta here,”
Akechi laughed and kissed Akira again, smiling into the kiss as he realized the song that played. He decided to return Akira’s earlier gesture.
“I will not ask you where you came from” A kiss to his cheek. “I will not ask you, neither should you” A kiss on his forehead. “Honey just put your sweet lips on my lips” A kiss on his nose. “We should just kiss like real people do” A kiss on his lips. Akira smiled, and returned the affection ten fold, distantly Akechi worried about the camera’s in the backroom, but then he realized with Akira in his arms. He didn't fucking care.
Group: Future Employees Of Leblanc
Proofread this for me
Okumura, AKA, Mr. bitch. Here are my two weeks. I hate you. Sincerely, I really hate you. Goro Akechi.
Powerful. Print it in a tiny font.
hnnn, this chapter tortured me bcs, song picking, is killer.
Yes Akechi's music taste is based on mine. Also, the starbucks playlists fucking SUCK most of the time. Me and my best friend adored the summertime hip hop and pride playlist but beside those??? they all suck. And those two were only holiday specials. I had the image of them kissing to cheesy songs for ages now. Anyways, to every1 who has stuck by my horrible update schedule, (Lia404 if u see this, gurl, my heart, you HAVE it) I LOVE YOU, thank you i adore you)
we're almost done!! omg! I hope this chapter was sweet enough bcs if u read any of my other stuff you'll realize, this is literally the only fic with all fluff no angst, so i kinda struggle to write that, kinda sad lmao. BUT i hope it comes across :) also if theres mistakes, ill fix it in the morning, im sleepy but i wanna p o s t. SO! Thank you ! hope you enjoy! Akechi's time in starbucks shall soon come to an end but happy things are in store. To all my retail, customer service and baristas, i love you. I hope your tips are FAT.
Chapter 7: Clocking Out : Clean Play.
Chapter by Chummy
hi :,) welcome to the end folks.
just a few things, clean playing is just deep cleaning after hours usually from 11pm to like 2 am in the morning, again this was what happened at my starbucks. I hope i explained it well enough but if its still unclear pls dont hesitate to ask.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Akechi said out loud, disturbing the dust and peace of the attic around him. Next to him Akira’s sleeping body shifted slightly, apparently Akechi’s outburst was not enough to disturb his after work nap. He tore his eyes away from the vision of bliss Akira was and went back to the picture of the new work schedule on his phone.
Going down the row to his name, across the row to his scheduled time. Once. Twice. Three times. The numbers didn't change. He had a clean play tomorrow. Along with an early closing shift.
He thinks back to the printed and laminated Two Weeks Notice that lay in its own personal folder inside his bag, and wishes he would’ve put them in two weeks ago. He sighs as he settles back down, Akira still snoozing away, completely unaware of Akechi’s annoyance and plight. Akechi huffs, breath moving the little curls around Akira’s forehead softly. It helps lower his annoyance somewhat. Akira shuffles slightly until he is as close to Akechi as possible, clingy even unconscious.
Akechi smiles into a mass of curls, Akira still slightly smells like the mass produced coffee beans they use at work, but the spiced cologned air around them overpowers it. Akechi hazily remembers his first night in the Leblanc attic. It was as far from romantic as possible.
Yusuke was there.
They watched an art documentary and Yusuke read passages at them until Ryuji showed up and made them watch horror movies despite being deathly afraid of them.
It was a guy’s night. Akechi still treasures the memory.
But he can't lie and say he isn't biased to his recent Attic centric escapades. Instead of horror movies the old TV isn't on at all and Akira is kissing him until he can't breathe and his head is spinning.
His afternoons and nights and mornings had slowly become monopolized by Akira since the start of their relationship, and Akechi doesn't mind it one bit. He scowls as he remembers the new schedule and how little time hes gonna have to spend with Akira because of it. He rolls his eyes as he turns on his phone again, checking it once more hoping Okumura had made last minute changes again.
Group:Future Employees of Leblanc
Have you guys seen the schedule?
Please. Shut up.
Ok ill go fuck myself then
T h a n k Y o u.
He really went off the rails with this one huh?
Considering i have a clean play, i think thats an understatement.
YOu have a WHAT????
I hate this week but omg im so glad im not you
I cant even be mad at you.
Have you ever? Had a clean play?
Ive managed to avoid them so far. Seems my luck has run out.
See when you say that? I feel less bad for you.
I hate it here
Sorry to correct but
It seems, WE have a clean play.
Very much on him.
Dont you usually not do shit in your clean plays Yusuke?
Do you find me stupid enough to incriminate myself?
You are right though, clean plays are always scheduled during the times i feel the most creative, i wont waste them deep cleaning a fridge.
How okumura hasnt fired you still fucking astounds me omfg
Well seems like youre gonna have a chill night ‘Kechi
I can feel the perfectionist in him screaming rn
You all suck.
“Wha’s goin’ on?” Akira slurred as he stretched awake. Akechi didn't pretend to look away at the adorable display.
“Did I wake you? Im sorry,” He replied, giving him a soft kiss on his forehead. Akira gave him a sleepy smile and a shake of his head.
“It’s okay, was it work?” Akira asked and laughed at the immediate scowl that returned to Akechi’s face at the mention of work.
“Yeah, the schedule came out, now I have even less free time,” Akechi tried to keep the pout from his words but the more he thought about it the more he hated the idea of going back to work.
“I don't even wanna see mine then,” Akira yawned, stretching more before turning and burying himself against Akechi again. “When were you planning on putting your two weeks in?
“This monday, I know Okumura’s gonna be at the store,” he answered and the wish he had done this earlier came back ten fold. “I have a closing and a clean play, I dont know where in my availability it says that but I sure as fuck didnt put that.”
Akira chuckled, his breath tickling against his collarbone. “I really think you should just quit. He's just gonna make your life worse once he finds out his best worker is leaving.”
Akechi hummed, knowing Akira was probably correct. “Still though, I’d feel bad leaving you guys understaffed like that,”
Akira opened his eyes, as wide as he could in his sleepy state, and moved to refute Akechi’s point but was cut off with a kiss.
“That’s cheating,” Akira spoke, muffled, against Akechi’s lips. Akechi smiled and kissed him again.
“I’m done talking about work,” He huffed into Akira’s open mouth, Akira catching the words with his tongue.
“Another topic caught your interest?” Akira smirked cockily and Akechi wanted nothing more than to kiss it away. So he did. Until they were both breathless, panting and red faced, warm hands on warm skin against the backdrop of the sunset. Work the last thing from their mind.
The afternoon sun blazes through the cheap blinds of the Starbuck’s windows, Akechi sees more than one customer squint against the glare it casts on their laptop and wonders how long it’ll be until someone asks him if he can do something about the sun.
The day had been slow, with its small influxes of people here and there. Akechi was happy for it, it left him with more time to prepare for the clean play of that night. Making sure everything was glistening with sanitizing spray the entire time in between making drinks. When he isn’t obsessively cleaning, he is opening pictures from Akira.
The first one was when he clocked in, a picture of Morgana lazing in a patch of sunlight on the dark wood of Leblanc’s counter, he could hear Sojiro complaining about it in the background. The second one he got as he was taking an order, a picture of Akira smiling at the camera, half his face squished against Morgana’s fur. The distraction made him get the order wrong and earned him an annoyed glare. He couldn't be forced to care as he got another photo, this time of Futaba, sitting in a booth animatedly watching her favorite show on the tv, on the bottom of the screen was Akira’s curls with the caption “She wont pay attention to me.”
Akechi laughed, but pocketed his phone as mobile orders came in and demanded his attention. Rude.
Yusuke came in an hour later, looking more excited than should be legal about coming to work. Akechi rolled his eyes when he realized it was because of their clean play that night. Yusuke was notorious for not truly deep cleaning, instead he just sat at a table, easel and canvas in hand and painted the night away. How did they let him get away with it? He didn't know.
“Been slow?” Yusuke asked as he tied his apron around his waist, Akechi snorted at the paint smears visible on it.
“Thankfully,” he answered, Yusuke nodded as he turned to stock all the things Akechi had been ignoring. He’d been more lax this shift, his mind constantly going back to the laminated notice in his bag and how this would all be over soon. Mostly he just didn't care anymore, it felt kinda good.
“I don't feel like doing anything this cleanplay,” he said to Yusuke as he came back with towers of cups and lids. Yusuke only smirked at him in return.
“That’s the spirit of a good cleanplay,” Yusuke said as he restocked, voice deep as if giving Akechi some ancient wisdom. Akechi only rolled his eyes, making peace with his new found apathy for his job.
The closing of the store went without any problems, fast and efficient, making the sharp turn in proficiency from Yusuke almost neck snapping. The second the last machine was cleaned Yusuke was across the room and unscrewing pain tubes and using a venti cup of water as his washing cup.
“We already pretty much cleaned everything, so no need to worry,” was all he said as he set up his station, movements practiced and easy. Akechi snorted as he watched, deciding finally that he really didn't care and Yusuke’s right. He had cleaned a lot already.
He settled at the table next to Yusuke, enjoying his company as he plugged his earphones into his phone, biting down a blush as he played Akira’s playlist from the other night, noticing it had been updated in the past few days with more of his favorite songs. He smiled as he listened, Yusuke;s painting a soothing sound in the back of his mind.
“I think this is the most peaceful moment I've had in this store,” he said, not expecting Yusuke to respond, knowing how entranced he gets into his painting when he starts. He only gets a humin return and he's sure Yusuke hadn't heard him at all.
He doesn't really mind. He lets his mind wander as he listens to the playlist, until his phone buzzes in his hand.
Hows it going?
Im literally not doing anything.
And here i was worried you were slaving away
Hell no im over that
Good to hear it
When do you get out?
At 2, in an hour.
so unrelated but, what's your favorite late night fast food?
He chose to say less completely and didn't answer, smiling at whatever Akira was scheming up.
Akechi doses off for the remainder of the hour, the chair not letting him fall asleep complete;y because of how horribly uncomfortable the wood is. He kept shifting to keep his legs from falling asleep completely. He was in between dream and reality when he felt Yusuke tap him on his shoulder.
“Clocking out, also I think our uber eats is here,” he said as he walked away.
Before he could question what he meant by that he was shocked into alertness by a knocking on their door. He turned to see Akira, flanked by the rest of their friends, holding McDonalds bags against the door.
Akechi didn't know what he was happier to see, Akira or food.
Once he got his first bite of his cheeseburger he decided, food. They were sitting on the patio chairs and tables, the night was warm in a comforting way, lacking the sticky heat that's usual of the summer, he was grateful for it.
“So any reasons why you all decided to come visit us tonight?” Yusuke asked through a bite of his own meal.
“Nah, Akira asked if we wanted food and to hang out, so here we are,” Ryuji answered, dipping his mcchicken into sauce.
“How sweet truly, me and Yusuke feel so loved,” Akechi said and dodged the fry Ann threw his way.
“Ah shut up, you know we dont sneak out for just anyone,” She said, Makoto nodded next to her, taking a sip from the soda they were sharing.
“Also Akira cant go more than like five hours away from Akechi,” Ryuji snorts, yelling when Akira elbows him. “Dude! Watch my burger!”
“Shut up and maybe I'll care about your burger,” Akira responded and Akechi rolled his eyes reaching a hand up to drag Akira down to his level and plant a salty kiss on his cheek.
“I think it’s cute,” he says, smiling proudly at the blush that spreads across Akira’s cheeks.
A chorus of ‘gross’ follows but Akechi pays it no mind.
“Surprising your in such a good mood,” Makoto says and Akechi arches his brow in question.
“Why? It's been a super easy shift, even if it's late, plus I'm with you guys,” He answered and stuck his tongue out at the proceeding ‘awes’ he got in return.
“You haven’t checked the schedule change huh?” Ryuji said from his perch on top of the tables.
“Oh buddy,” was all Ryuji said as he showed him the schedule on his own phone.
It takes Akechi a second, before he sees it. The change. He has an opening, in exactly three hours. A closing, a clean play and then opening?
“Oh fuck no.” Was all he said, through a mouthful of french fries. He wiped off his greasy fingers on his balled up apron and pulled out his phone.
“What’re you doin’?” Ryuji asked and Akechi only felt himself smile. “Anyone else think he looks terrifying right now?” Akechi smiled wider and pulled up the work group chat.
“I think he looks amazing,” Akira says and Akechi shakes his head as he focuses on the words he types and not the sugary sweet way Akira compliments him.
“I hate you both, you’re so gross” Ann sighs and continues eating, feeding Ryuji a few of her own nuggets as she steals his fries.
“I think he looks rather powerful, hold that position Akechi,” he hears Yusuke say and the tell tale sound of a pencil scratching against paper. It's the only sound along with chewing that permeates the night as Akechi types.
He rereads his message a couple times, making sure it's right and cohesive. He smiles in satisfaction and presses send.
All their phones but Akechi’s buzzes.
Ryuji reacts first.
“Oh hell yeah!”
Group: Team Central Street Starbucks
Hello my dear starbucks family, first let me start out by saying I was going to do this the formal way and put in my two weeks tomorrow but, seeing the recent decisions from our boss and his continued ignorance toward my (and i'm sure all of yours) availability I have decided. No. I quit, I'd say I hope you find someone to hold your times up but I’m in no mood to lick wounds so know that your times will never EVER be like that again. Also, I hope you open your eyes to the wonder of employees you have, or if that's too hard simply start seeing them as people. I know, insane concept.
I know it’s late, so Good morning when you guys read this. And Also bye, it's been, one HELL of a time.
Goro Akechi has left the chat.
Akira reacted second. “I adore you, you know that?” Akira smiled and Akechi had never felt more right in his life.
“Yeah but I can bare to hear you say it again,” He said, smiling as they kissed and smiling even harder as their friends made gagging noises behind them. They pulled away, hands entwined and faces warm.
“I can't believe you just did that!” Ann yelled and threw her body on him for a hug, he laughed into her blonde hair as she knocked the wind out of him.
“The balls on ya dude!” Ryuji says, patting his back. Makoto only shakes her head, the proud smile on her face the only giveaway that she isn't truly disappointed.
“One hell of an exit,” Yusuke chuckled. Akechi was surprised to find he had his stamp of approval.
“You guys aren't mad?”
“Mad?? We’re happy! You’re finally getting out of here, that's amazing!” Akira responded, pulling him from Ann’s arms and into his own. Akechi smiled into his neck, feeling at home with all his friends.
“We’re gonna miss you though,” Ryuji said, and Akechi opened his mouth to apologize but was stopped by a glare from all of them. “At work, we’re still hanging out all the time dude.”
Akechi laughed and nodded, agreeing and feeling so completely free.
“Any last words, former barista?” Akira said softly, Akechi turned in his grasp, planting another sweet kiss against his lips this time.
“Yeah, Fuck starbucks.”
Akira laughed against his lips and so did the rest of his friends, letting out whoops of celebration for his new found freedom in unemployment.
“You heard that guys?”
The others agreed and nodded laughing along before joining together with one big yell of
THATS ALL!!!!!! omg wow. what a ride. also this is kinda, word for word, how i quit lmaoooo so. needless to say my ex manager hates me but its MORE than mutual.
hello guys thank you all for coming and staying during the many months this took lmao. This started as just a way to vent, i never expected it to kinda take off or to even write as much P5 as i have since i started Connections. Its been wonderful and has brought so much happiness to my life. Post starbucks that is lmao.
Ive said before how fluff is kinda hard to write for me n thats still true, i hope that DOES NOT show as much but if it does,,, can i interest you in some angst cause that i KNOW how to do lmao. I hope you all enjoyed, i wanted to make the last chapter more an emphasis on the friendship akechi made cause thats how i felt when i left my job, sad i was leaving them but excited to move on. I hope that came through. again to everyone whos stuck by this fic, thank you, i love you all so much. Again im uploading so late at night if theres mistakes ill fix in the morning.
I hope youve enjoyed, i hope you continue to enjoy other things i write even if this fun lil read is over. Thank you! to my retail, food service, customer services readers, i hope you guys find ur dream job, and make fat tips. Bye!!!!!!! <333333