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Gulf is hitting the point in the shift where the soreness in his feet is starting to register in his head. He’s not particularly tired yet, he’s been working here for years so he’s used to the physical strain of the job. And he can’t complain too much. Working at a small local coffee shop definitely has its perks. There’s rarely any crazy rushes, most of the customers are regulars so he knows what to expect from them, and the crew is small enough for everyone to know each other well. Gulf thinks the growing desire to go home and be in bed developing in him is due to the fact that he’s still adjusting to juggling work and school simultaneously now that the new semester started.

The shop is almost empty except for a single girl, probably around Gulf’s age, doing some sort of work on her laptop in a far corner. Gulf is currently in the process of cleaning some coffee cups while thinking about finally being in his warm, cozy bed later that night when he hears the familiar ring of the bell attached to the front door of the shop indicating the arrival of a new customer. Gulf expects the usual group of girls getting out of class from the nearby school that come in to flirt with him or the usual college kids that live in the area that come in to do their work or even the occasional business person that comes in to have meetings.

What he doesn’t expect is the man he’s been sexting and getting money from for the past few weeks to stroll in calmly. This is also his physics instructor, Mew.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Why is he here?

Gulf almost drops the coffee cup in his hands from shock, but he manages to catch himself before he does and with some fumbling sets it down on the counter. Mew hasn’t made eye contact yet so Gulf has some time to prepare himself mentally for the encounter that’s about to happen.

Despite the way his heart rate has just doubled at the sight of him, Gulf can’t help but stare at Mew. Seeing him in class has been weird but also kind of amazing. At first, it was impossible to look at the older man without thinking about all the absolutely filthy exchanges they’ve had online. The way they’ve come on the phone together. But once Gulf managed to get past that and started paying attention to Mew, his instructor, he realized how endearing the man really is. From the excited way he speaks to his (at times corny) jokes to how helpful he is when explaining things. It’s only been three lessons but Gulf already finds himself looking forward to Mew’s class.

And of course, he can’t ignore how absolutely stunning the older is. Mew is definitely one of the most gorgeous people Gulf has ever met, so much so he thinks Mew could be an actor or model. Now that Gulf can put a full body and voice to the conversations they have on Gulf’s NSFW account, he’s found himself mostly thinking of Mew when doing anything sexual. Even when recording himself for other customers, he thinks about how Mew’s veiny hands would feel touching him, how Mew’s voice would feel whispering into his ear, how Mew’s body would feel against his-

Gulf’s been telling himself it’s a regular old crush. Haha.

Mew’s wearing his usual clothes, a button-up with jeans. He’s carrying his work bag, Gulf recognizes it from class. But with closer inspection, the younger notices something is new. There’s a pair of black-rimmed glasses sitting on Mew’s face. It makes him look different, still attractive, but softer. Cuter, Gulf thinks.

Mew finally makes eye-contact after he finishes examining the inside of the shop. His eyes widen slightly in surprise before they soften, a small polite grin appearing on his face. Gulf’s heart does a funny thing and he can feel the start of a blush creeping up. He’s honestly is a little annoyed at how flustered such a small gesture from the older man can make him, but for whatever reason, looking into Mew’s eyes always has an effect on him. They seem to hide something and Gulf is extremely tempted to dive into them to try and figure out what that is.

The younger makes sure to give a smile back, his hand doing some waving motion. As Mew approaches the counter, Gulf makes sure to quickly bring his hands together to wai at the older and bow slightly. This makes Mew’s smile grow, his (stupidly perfect) teeth on display and his eyes growing smaller, reciprocating the polite greeting. “Hello krub, Nong.”

Gulf’s heart does a summersault at the familiar words. It’s the first time he’s heard them out loud outside their usual setting. His (ridiculous) mind flashes the memory of the same word “Nong” coming from Mew’s lips while coming all over himself after watching Gulf do the same, and he has to scrunch his eyes closed harder than normal to clear it. Why would he think of that right now?

With his head now blank after forcing out the prior imagery, Gulf scrambles to find the usual words he says to customers. “Hello, P’Mew. Welcome!” He adds a small grin, afraid of looking too awkward.

“It’s so funny to see you here of all places.” The elder replies, sincere smile still present on his face.

Gulf nods in acknowledgment, and gestures to his surroundings. “Yeah, I work here,” with the words comes out an awkward laugh. Get it together Kanawut, you’re not normally this shy.

Gulf raises an eyebrow, putting up his teasing front, “I’m guessing it’s your first time here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you come in before.” The younger knows he definitely hasn’t. Gulf would remember someone as gorgeous as him.

Mew chuckles as he nods at Gulf’s words and points with his thumb behind towards the outside, “Someone I know lives in the area and they told me to wait for them here.”

Gulf nods giving a small ‘Ohh.’ There’s a small pause as Gulf blanks on what to say next. You’re working remember? “Do you want to order something while you wait?”

Mew looks up at the menu displaying on a screen above Gulf’s head in surprise as if he just realized it was even there. He stares at it for a few seconds, his face turning slowly to that of indecisiveness, eyebrows furrowed and lips jutting out. He places both of his hands on the counter leaning forward on them, coming closer to Gulf.

It’s ridiculous how much the gesture is affecting him. Gulf feels the blood rush to his ears as he stands in place, now getting a closer look at Mew’s features, starting with his dark eyes all the way down to his pink lips. He can’t help but settle there for a bit, thoughts of those lips ruining him flooding in.

But it doesn’t last long as a clinking sound from somewhere in the shop brings him out of his thoughts. He (unwillingly) removes his eyes from Mew’s lips to look back up at his eyes, only to notice that Mew is looking back at him. There’s no longer confusion written on his face but instead silent curiosity like he’s wondering about Gulf too.

Gulf wonders for a second about the possibility of Mew being attracted to him too. Gulf is technically the same body, same voice, the same person Mew’s been jerking it to for the past few weeks. Even if the last time they spoke Gulf was playing up G’s character, seductive and enticing to make it worth the money, making sure Mew came back for more, G is still a part of Gulf. He forgets for a moment the fact that he has to see this man in class for the rest of the semester as a student and instructor and is tempted to test his hypothesis, the flirty and forward part of him yelling in his head to jump at the opportunity of hooking up with the fine specimen of man in front of him. It’s probably not a good idea to do so (AT ALL, Gulf’s logic screams in his head). But it can’t hurt to try and see, he thinks.

Gulf moves from the rigid position he was previously in and leans on his right palm against the counter, making himself smaller so he can look up at Mew while also further shortening the distance between them. “If you’re not sure what you want, I can recommend something.”

The elder doesn’t move, the distance between them now a bit too close to be seen as normal by an outsider but neither one of them seems to care enough to move. Before Mew can reply, Gulf adds, eyebrow raised as he looks up at Mew, “If you like something strong,” he pauses to furrow his eyebrows in thought, looking off to the side, mischievous glint in his eyes, “I recommend an Americano or expresso.”

There’s a tiny hint of shock displayed in Mew’s eyes that Gulf can see but it quickly switches to playful amusement, his eyebrows going up and lips pursing as if to wordlessly ask “Is that so?” It only spurs Gulf on further. Like an instinct, the pair enter the usual challenging match of who can outdo the other, but this time in person.

“If you like something sweet,” Gulf makes sure to soften his eyes and look up at the older through his lashes then, his tongue peeking out to swipe at his bottom lip. It has Gulf’s desired effect as Mew’s gaze shifts down to his mouth before going back up to his eyes, “I recommend a flavored latte.”

Mew, amusement still on his face, nods slowly as if he’s taking in Gulf’s recommendations, before smiling widely, and although to most the smile might look innocent, there’s a hint of cockiness behind it that Gulf picks up on and it makes his insides warm. This side of Mew he knows well. As the older says the next words Gulf’s eyes wander down to his lips for a moment. He also immediately notices the way Mew’s tone is deeper, “And what if I want something strong and sweet?”

Gulf can’t help but think about the alternative meaning of the words. During their call, he remembers well how lenient the older had been in letting Gulf be defiant. Let him talk back and touch himself without asking. But when it came down to it, he was able to get Gulf so needy and pliant. Took control of him completely. It was as if Mew enjoyed the work of getting someone feisty to beg. And like we all know Gulf definitely enjoyed being broken down slowly to that urgent state. It made him feel a special kind of powerless.

Once again, it’s the sound of a cup clinking that brings Gulf back and he finally looks away from Mew’s lips up to his eyes. There’s something dark there, hungry and demanding and Gulf has to look away before he lets himself get carried away by it. Something about this man really made Gulf get completely immersed. Mew also seems to come back from their moment as he glances around momentarily, leaning back slowly so there’s more distance between them.

Now a bit panicked, Gulf decides to settle his sight on the screen of the register next to him, letting out a breath in order to get himself back to a mindset free of Mew and sex. He quickly says, “Then I think you might like a macchiato.”

Despite the way Mew draws out the feisty and defiant parts of Gulf, there’s something comforting about the older’s aura that always puts Gulf at ease, makes him feel safe to be genuine. The younger can’t help the sincere and slightly embarrassed grin that surfaces as he finally makes eye-contact with Mew again.

The older man’s eyes soften once again, and there’s a matching embarrassed smile on his face. It’s kind of adorable. “I think I’ll do a mocha one.”

The rest of the transaction goes smoothly, with a few shy glances between the pair that go unnoticed by both.

Gulf’s heart keeps a steady beat that’s definitely too fast to be healthy as Mew stays by the counter, seemingly intent on waiting for his drink there instead of moving to find a seat. Maybe he wants to continue some sort of conversation, Gulf thinks. But before either one of them can say anything, Mew’s phone goes off, drawing the older’s attention.

He moves to the side as he answers the phone and Gulf decides to just make the drink in the meantime. There’s a hint of disappointment settling in his chest and Gulf wants to tell it to fuck right off.

From what Gulf could hear, it seemed like whoever Mew had been waiting for was on his way, probably to pick him up. He reached for the to-go cup as he continued preparing the drink.

Mew stayed on the phone for a bit longer, Gulf trying his best not to listen in too much. It seemed like he was close to whoever he was talking to, the informal speech and occasional teasing remarks telling of this. It makes Gulf curious about the type of people in Mew’s life, what he’s like day-to-day. Whether he was the type of person to have many friends or only a few.

Maybe this crush is deeper than he thought.

By the times Mew gets off the phone, Gulf is done with the drink. The older turns around looking apologetic, maybe worried about having to tell Gulf he’s now taking it to go, but before he can, Gulf holds out the drink in front of him, a small smile accompanying the cup. “Figured you’d need it to go.”

“Thank you krub.” As he grabs the cup, Mew gives him another sweet smile, his eye smile once again making an appearance. “I’ll see you in class, Nong Gulf.” And all Gulf can do is give a small 'bye-bye krub' with a bow as Mew moves to leave the store.

Gulf doesn’t want to overthink how Mew’s way of grabbing the cup ensured their fingers touched quite a bit, but he still does. He hopes the scribbled message and smiley he left on the cup wasn’t too much.