The morning shifts were always the worst. Nearly all customers were in a kind of rush, whether it was because they had to be somewhere else like 5 minutes ago, or they had to finish papers due today. Sometimes there was even that one poor kid who had already given up on bullshitting themselves through their essay, and only came in because of the relaxing atmosphere and good coffee.
Hajime would really hate morning shifts, if it weren't for the fact that he kind of saved lives by supplying his customers with the black liquid. Many of those dreadful faces would stop by in the afternoon, all refreshed and happy, and then they would chat a bit with him. Hajime really liked these kinds of people.
He was swiping the counter when a young man plopped down across from him. His brown hair was a serious case of major bedhead which somehow managed to rival Kuroo's, his manager, legendary bedhair, and his matching chocolate brown eyes looked somewhat dead. He pulled out a laptop and stared at the screen with sorrow. Hajime felt pity for him.
"What can I do for you?", the barista asked softly. The other one looked up slowly, his eyes now resembled those of a kicked puppy.
"Coffee. Black. Name is Tooru. Please." His voice was rough and mostly a whisper. Hajime nodded at that and went to prepare the drink. When he got back, the young man had already placed some money on the counter and had pulled out a can of red bull. He thanked him with a weak smile and took the cup.
What came next Hajime had only seen once or twice: the brown haired man took off the lid, opened the red bull can and poured it into the coffee. He then whispered "I'm going to die", and emptied his drink in one go. Shocked, the barista took the money from the counter, and upon noticing it was the right amount, he left the man alone.
The rest of his shift went by rather quickly, and when he spared a glance now and then at the brown bedhair, he saw that he was totally focused and determination sat in his eyes. Hajime had great respect for him.
The next day Hajime had the afternoon shift. Those were the most relaxed. Most of the customers were already done with classes and work, a content smile in their faces because they couldn't bring themselves to care about homework or assingments until much later that day.
Hajime was tending his customers and chatted with them whenever he was free. He was talking with Matsukawa, a college student whom he's gotten to know quite well over the past few months. He told him about a funny incident in class when someone sat down next to him, face angling towards Hajime. The latter noticed and turned his attention towards him, but was struck in awe.
Before him sat the most stunningly beautiful male specimen of human race he's ever seen. And he sees a lot of different people everyday.
His hair was styled up but looked silky and soft, his facial features seemed to be straight out of a model catalog. And his eyes were of a warm, chocolaty brown. Oh, how Hajime could melt in those eyes forever.
He was brought back to earth when Matsukawa cleared his throat, obviously uncomfortable with Hajime's staring, and excused himself. The georgous man, however, smiled knowingly. The barista had to force himself to stop staring and drowning in those eyes. Clearly embarrassed he coughed to hide the warmth creeping into his face.
"May I take your order?", he asked after an awkward moment. Georgous Guy seemed to be genuinely amused.
"One cream latte with sugar, please." His voice sounded like a purr in Hajime's ears.
He nodded at that. "Your name?"
"Tooru." Again, that sweet voice did things to hi- Wait. Tooru? And then Hajime realised it.
"You're the red bull guy from yesterday", he stated, looking him up and down and yes, he definitely was. But more important: How could one look so absurdely different styled up, and so georgous to boot?
Now it was Tooru's turn to be embarrassed. He looked to the side in hope to hide the blush on his face but failed. "Well, yeah", he answered slowly. "Though that's not quite the thing I want people to remember me for." His lips formed into a wry smile.
Hajime thought of him as somewhat cute, but he didn't really know what to say after that, so he just nodded and went to prepare his drink. The atmosphere was awkward between them when the barista handed him his latte and took the change. However, his attention was brought to the other side of the counter when someone waved for him to order. He was rather thankful for that, and shuffled towards them.
The next time Hajime could take a glance, Tooru was gone. The barista felt somewhat bad for him.
The following weeks Tooru came in a few more times, and after a first awkward moment they warmed up to each other. So they would almost always chat, given they have the time to.
Hajime managed to remember all the different kinds of orders Tooru would place, all depending on day and time. So for Monday and Thursday mornings he always ordered regular coffee with a lot of creamer; Tuesday afternoons called for an espresso; Wednesday mornings pure black coffee; and o Thursday afternoons he went with cream latte with sugar. He would occasionally drop by on Saturday evening and order all different kinds of teas.
Was it creepy he remembered all those, when he actually wasn't really good with remembering regulars' orders? Mabye. Did he care? Not as much as he probably should. Even Hanamaki, who worked part-times, gave him weird looks, and pointed out that Hajime often made strange faces when he was thinking about the brown-haired beauty.
Over time, they got to know each other quite well. Tooru was an architect major, he had a thing for catchy pop-songs and shrilly coloured sweaters, he loved his little cousin way too much, and he believed in aliens.
Hajime, on the other hand, told him about the bugs he used to catch as a kid, that he's the oldest of three, and when he was not working at the café he was in training at a car workshop.
Apart from Tooru's looks, Hajime found himself really liking the brunette, to what degree though he couldn't tell.
It was one chilly afternoon that Tooru decided that today was the day he would ask for Hajime's phone number. He knew he had to work the afternoon shift that day, and given that the shop was relatively calm on Tuesdays, he thought of it as the best time. Bein interrupted by demanding customers wasn't really something he was looking forward to.
Tooru entered the shop and when he looked around he noticed that yes, it was indeed calm with only few customers seated in the booths. He spotted Hajime behind the counter, chatting away with another barista, Tooru got to know him as Hanamaki, and a customer, that was Matsukawa.
When realising that he might not be able to talk with Hajime alone, Tooru got a little nervous. He may look like a playboy, and people often characterzied him as such, he was actually not as suave as many people thought. He wasn't even as suave as he himself thought he was. And given that Mattsun and Makki tended to make sarcastic comments and calling him all kinds of pretty-boy-names, he had every reason to be jittery. And he realldy did not want to fuck this up.
After a few moments, Hajime noticed him still standing at the entrance and waved him over with a smile, to which Tooru gladly obliged. He greeted the trio and sat down next to Matsukawa.
"Espresso like usual?", Hajime asked him while pulling up a cup and writing 'Tooru' on it.
"Just black tea, please." At that, he felt three surprised and confused gazes upon him. That definitely made him more nervous. Crap.
His barista, however, snapped out of it with a nod and went to prepare the tea. Matsukawa and Hanamaki were eyeing him suspiciously. They then shared a knowing look and nodded at each other. Matsukawa stood up while Hanamaki called in for a brake and came out from behind the counter, the former patting him hard on the back. "Good luck", he said and with that they both disappeared into a faraway corner of the café, and out of sight.
Tooru looked around, genuinely confused, as Hajime came back with his tea. He didn't deem their friends disappeareance as important enough to comment on it.
"Is something up?", he asked as he handed Tooru his drink and took the change. "I mean, you usually have a steady routine of drinks you order, so I was just wondering." He was slightly blushing now. And it was kind of cute that he had to explain himself, and even cuter was that he really knew Tooru's drink routine. It made him smile and warmth crept up in his chest.
"Hajime." Smile now gone, Tooru's voice was firm and serious, and the barista returned his gaze in the same serious manner. But as nothing more came from the brunette after a few moments, Hajime worried.
Tooru, on the other hand, still made this dead serious face, as he freaked out mentally. With each passing minute his resolution faltered.
"Really, are you okay, Tooru?" The concern in Hajime's voice brought him back to reality, and seeing the worried look on his face, Tooru couldn't help but smile. He took a deep breath and recollected himself.
"S-say, Hajime...", the brunette stammered. "Wouldyoupleasegivemeyournumber?" It was rather a loud breathing sound than an actual question, and Tooru's face visibly heated up as Hajime stared dumbfounded at him. Now, it was the latter's turn to become flustered as he realised what and, more importantly, how Tooru had asked him. His face turned red and he had to look away.
"Uhm... Yeah, sure", he said after a moment of awkward silence. At that, Tooru's entire body lighted up and he flashed him a toothy smile, which looked really adorable with his still flushed face. Hajime couldn't help but stare, until the brunette took out his phone and motioned for him to do the same. He did, after making sure his manager wasn't around to see this hilarious scene.
After exchanging their numbers, they shared a long meaningful look, both drowning in each others eyes. It was then when they smiled at the same time, faces still red, that they knew this was a good thing and great opportunity.