Title: A Cup of Freshly Brewed Romance
Word Counts: 3600
Side Pairing(s): baekhyun x coffee
Disclaimer:The celebrities' names/images are merely borrowed and do not represent who the celebrities are in real life. No offense is intended towards them, their families or friends. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this fictional work. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Baekhyun can't function without coffee in the morning, especially around cute boys. college AU
Author's Note: ah, i tried to make this cute so hopefully it is ^^ thank you for a lovely prompt it was fun to write
Byun Baekhyun is a college student who never gets more than four hours of sleep on a school night. People usually tend to label him as an ‘artsy fartsy’ type of student, but instead he finds himself a college senior majoring in bioinformatics. It’s hard work; he stays up past 2am every night just to complete mundane assignments. But what Baekhyun needs, more than his degree, is a break.
He stumbles into the coffee shop on campus at 7:45am and stands in the long (but moving) line behind the counter. Thursdays are the worst; he has an 8:00am class and his day only finishes at around 6pm—5:30 if his math professor lets the class out early. There’s only so many hours Baekhyun can spend working before his brain starts to melt and he transforms into a vaguely baekhyun-shaped blob.
Needless to say, Baekhyun’s Grande Café Americano from Starbucks is part of Thursday’s very few highlights (possible the only one). Honestly, Baekhyun can’t function without caffeine in his system, even when he doesn’t have early-morning classes. Before college, he had only found coffee to be bitter and overhyped, but nowadays, Baekhyun would kill the man that so much as stole a sip.
Coffee is love, coffee is life , Baekhyun chants sleepily under his breath as he approaches second-in-line. The lady in front of him can’t seem to decide what flavour of muffin she wants and all Baekhyun wants to do is tell her ‘who cares about your muffin, you don’t look like you need the carbs anyways’, but luckily he manages to keep his mouth shut.
Finally it’s his turn to order and he spits out the name of his preferred drink without a second’s hesitation. He makes eyes with the barista, who’s smiling widely at him, and he sneaks a peak at the name tag: Chanyeol. It’s a cute name; a little eye candy in the morning always goes a long way.
“Alright, I just need your name!” chirps the cute barista, and he holds a marker to Baekhyun’s cup.
“Baekhyun,” he replies shyly. He dislikes giving his name at Starbucks, and having to chase his coffee down when they call it, but this time it’s the charming grin and deep, tumbling voice that makes his cheeks tinge pink.
The barista sticks his tongue out as he focusses on writing Baekhyun’s name correctly (god knows how many times it’s been misspelled), and Baekhyun can barely look. Screw eye candy, this is torture, he just wants to get his coffee and go!
Baekhyun politely waits for his drink to be prepared with the rest of the people—mostly fellow students—standing around him. He begins to doze off, leaning against the window of the café when he hears his name called and promptly rushes to grab his drink.
Now he can happily begin his day even if he knows it’s going to be hell regardless. He’s already half-way to his class when he takes his first sip and freezes. It’s not what he ordered, instead his taste buds recognize the drink as a vanilla latte. A vanilla latte is not enough to get Baekhyun through the longest day of the week, but he’s too far from the café to go return it. It’s the wrong drink, but it’ll have to do.
When Baekhyun crawls back to his dorm that evening, textbooks weighing him down like a ball and chain, he can only determine one thing—he’s fucking exhausted. He groans out loud thinking about all the problems he should start working on immediately, and the humanities essay he’s being forced to write, but there’s no energy left in him. Who knew how pertinent one cup of coffee would be in ensuring Baekhyun’s survival? Just one goddamn cup! He couldn’t even finish the cavity-causing drink, otherwise known as a latte, and had to force his friend Jongdae to drink it instead.
The next morning Baekhyun thankfully gets to sleep in, and he’s awakened, way past noon, to the sound of his alarm going off. He stretches, lamenting that he’s been curled up in bed for over half a day, and gets ready for his short—thank god—day of classes. Fridays are beautiful, after all, he only has two classes that afternoon then he’s free, or at least until Monday.
He’s dozing off in biology when Jongdae nudges him, Baekhyun still unable to shake off the sleepy and lethargic feeling that’s been nagging at him since he woke up. You would thinking sleeping so long would make him feel refreshed, but in fact he still feels like shit.
“Hey, man, you wanna go ahead and start working on our term project in the library?” Jongdae asks. Jongdae willingly offering up his late Friday afternoons and evenings to spend time with Baekhyun instead of carefully examining which parties he’s going to hit up that night, is a very unusual thing for Jongdae, but Baekhyun supposes it must be that Jongdae has binge drinking and awkward, unsatisfying hookups planned for Saturday instead.
“Hmm?” Baekhyun mumbles, rubbing his swollen eyes. He feels as if he were to slump any deeper into his seat he’d promptly fade away altogether.
“Why are so you lazy today? Did you forget to take your, like, 20-espresso-shit mega super coffee or something?” Jongdae flicks Baekhyun’s forehead as he teases him, and Baekhyun whines into his arms, no energy to fight back.
“I woke up late so I didn’t have any coffee,” Baekhyun grumbles and Jongdae continues to distractingly flick his fingers on the top of Baekhyun’s drooped head.
“Wow, withdrawal hitting you hard, huh?”
Baekhyun narrows his eyes, “Jongdae it has not been long enough to experience withdrawal. Besides, I’m not a coffee addict.” He protests, although that last part is a definite lie. Baekhyun would probably consider joining a satanic cult if they gave out free coffee at meetings.
“I think you’re blood is 50% caffeine at this point, no shame in that though, that’s still under average for the regular college student. And look at it this way, Wednesday you spilt like half your coffee on yourself during English, and yesterday you gave me yours, and now you haven’t had anything! How long has that been?”
“Since Tuesday… oh,” Baekhyun realizes it has been awhile. For somebody who usually can’t open his eyes before a cup of coffee is securely placed in his hands, his caffeine-longing might actually explain why his body feels like it’d been hit with a truck and then flattened with a rolling pin. It felt… wrong. Arguably, this was one of the first times in months that anything that had come out of Jongdae’s mouth could be considered probable.
"Exactly; let's hit up the Starbucks and then once we're done procrastinating, we can head over to the library and work on that assignment. I’ll give you 2$ if you say yes, that can pay for like, half a muffin," Jongdae offers, leaning over Baekhyun desk.
"Okay, fine. But I already know that 2$ is in pennies and I don’t want it."
"But what am I supposed to do with 200 pennies!" Jongdae wails, slumping over the desk similar to how Baekhyun had been lazily positioned a few minutes ago.
"I don't know, buy a muffin."
Its 4pm and the Starbucks is pretty empty; no one really needs a caffeine fix so late in the afternoon anyways. Baekhyun knows he shouldn't be drinking coffee so close to supper-time (although he usually eats dinner closer to 11pm on Fridays there’s still the echo of his mother nagging as his conscience) but his head is pounding. Despite the pleas from his wallet, Baekhyun sets his heart on ordering the most damn coffee Starbucks can find a cup for. He briefly entertains the idea of whether or not buying a whole barrel-worth of coffee would be worth it, when Jongdae pushes him towards the counter to make his order.
"Hello, what can I get ya'," bellows a deep voice, and Baekhyun recognizes the same barista from the day before, with beautiful locks of brown hair tumbling into his gorgeous face, his smile bright and—*ahem* the very average-looking barista...with a cute smile and deep, brown eyes *AHEM*
"Hi, can I get a Venti Café Americano, please?" Baekhyun mutters.
"Sure thing? Name?" the cute barista chirps, still smiling with expectant eyes as he waits for Baekhyun's answer.
"Baekhyun," said boy replies. A tiny piece of his heart is sad that Chanyeol doesn't remember his name from yesterday, but another part of him knows, as a barista, one probably takes a hundred names down a day (especially on a college campus where students depend on coffee to graduate).
"Awesome, that'll be 4.50$. Have a great day!" says the overenthusiastic barista. Baekhyun blushes even though he doesn’t know why, handing over his crisp five-dollar-bill, and goes to find Jongdae as he waits for his drink to be ready.
"They wouldn't take my pennies," Jongdae whines before biting into his blueberry muffin, "I had to break a twenty-dollar-bill for this muffin, a whole twenty!" Jongdae has his best I’m-miserable face on and Baekhyun pats his best friend gently on the back in an attempting-to-be-soothing manner.
"But was it worth it?" Baekhyun teases, watching as Jongdae devours half the muffin in his second bite.
"Unfortunately," Jongdae mumbles with a mouth full of blueberry goodness, "it is worth it."
Baekhyun hears someone butcher his name and he scurries over and snatches his drink before anything can go wrong, like an earthquake that can knock it over or a tornado that can slurp it up and laugh in Baekhyun’s face.
Mother Nature hates him anyways because suddenly there’s a large crackle which Baekhyun mournfully notes is the telltale sound of a thunderstorm. Of course, what could make him more tired than sleep-inducing weather to ruin his day?
“We should probably make a run for it, the library closes at 6:30 on Fridays,” Jongdae mutters, eyes trained on the calamity outside. The skies are doing that buggering thing where water falls as hard as possible in the greatest quantity and the grass and roads flood in mere minutes.
His flannel shirt is not waterproof. Neither are his jeans, or his Nike sneakers. He whimpers, the same whimper Jongdae pokes fun of because he thinks Baekhyun sounds exactly like a trembling Chihuahua. He regrets ever listening to his stupid, insufferable best friend.
“Come on, it’s only like, two minutes if we sprint,” Jongdae urges, already pushing open the glass door.
“I guess you’re right,” Baekhyun admits, clutching onto his coffee for dear life and he quickly scurries behind Jongdae.
The rain is coming down like bullets and Baekhyun yelps the second he steps out, hesitantly, under the heavy spray. Jongdae’s already barrelling across the open field, half-screaming/half-cackling as he runs (of course that bastard would enjoy this) and Baekhyun follows suit, trying to not lose track of Jongdae in the downpour as his feet threaten to sink into the mud.
He only almost trips once before they find shelter under the front steps of the library building. Baekhyun pants, out of breath, and pulls Jongdae inside so his stupid friend doesn’t start rolling around in the puddles.
They scurry upstairs and find an empty study room all for themselves. Baekhyun peels off his flannel shirt, thankful he has a regular black tee underneath (it’s also pretty wet as well) and laments that the study room is still too technically a public space to stop him from peeling of his wet and muddy jeans. He shivers, the air is cold on his damp skin, but then remembers the cup of coffee in his hands.
Bless Starbucks and bless whoever first discovered that bitter ass beans tasted good in hot water, because Baekhyun’s entire mood skyrockets as he brings the cup to his lips. Three days without a proper caffeine fix was not a fun experience, and here Baekhyun is about to get back at his body for putting him through it.
Baekhyun wants to throw his cup out a window as the coffee meets his taste buds. It’s an Americano alright, but its decaf. The last thing he needs is a caffeinated beverage minus the caffeine. GIVe Me cAffeiNE!!!
Baekhyun sighs, trying to stop tears from welling up between his lashes because although he might cry often about his grades or about shitty tv dramas, coffee is the one thing that’s never supposed to make him cry.
“Are you okay, did they mix your order up again?” Jongdae chuckles, pulling out his books from his bag and trying to shake the water off them.
“Yeah…” Baekhyun sighs, slumping into the seat. At least he can drink it and pretend. He can always pretend.
“Damn, you’re an unlucky ducky aren’t you? Do you wanna go back to get the right order?” Jongdae asks.
The building shakes with a sudden boom of thunder; a reminder that the world is possibly experiencing a very wet apocalypse.
“I’m not going back out in that weather, thank you very much,” Baekhyun retorts, shivering.
At least the beverage is warm.
Baekhyun hopes the rain dies down before he has to run back to his dorm.
It’s a Saturday and its ten in the morning. Usually, Baekhyun would be asleep at this point, or nursing a severe hang-over, instead, he’s on the bus trying to track down the nearest dunkin donuts. He’s given up on the Starbucks on campus, even if the Barista is cute, and trying to find something nearby that he can rely on.
Luckily, he sees one and jams his fingers into the red button, signalling he needs to get off immediately (or at least the next stop). The bus pulls to a halt, and Baekhyun flies off the vehicle in search for his one true love.
In all honestly he must look like a mess, hair unbrushed and wearing clothes that may or may not double as pajamas. Also, he’s running really unattractively down a street, salivating at the prospect of a nice, warm cup of coffee.
There’s a small line at the dunkin donuts, but that’s okay, because the smell of coffee beans and bacon keeps him sane. Maybe he’ll order a bagel with his coffee, too.
The line in front of him clears, and he makes his order. He’s thankful that they don’t ask for his name here, and his coffee cup is placed into his hands right away. His heart is pumping; it’s time!
He turns around but collides full-force into a firm torso, and falls backwards onto his ass, coffee cup flying out of the air and landing dramatically to form a brown puddle on the restaurant floor.
“NOOO!” Baekhyun screeches, grabbing the cup to see if there’s anything left in it that hasn’t spilt. No, of course not, it’s all gone, it’s all gone! Will he ever drink caffeine again? The world appears to be ending.
“Are you…okay?” asks a deep voice and Baekhyun looks up from his coffee-stained death bed to see a gorgeous angel—no, it’s the Starbucks barista, peering at him strangely. Probably because Baekhyun had just screeched like a dying bat in a public establishment, in fact the whole restaurant kind of had their eyes on him and their eyebrows raised. He could feel the blush creeping up his cheeks.
The stranger, well, not really a stranger because Baekhyun had read his nametag and already gotten lost in his eyes, extended his hand and Baekhyun accepted it, being pulled up off his pathetic ass.
“Why are you so against me drinking caffeine?” Baekhyun accuses. It wasn’t meant to be out loud, but oops there goes his mouth!
“Excuse me?” the barista asks, still appearing confused. He was taller than Baekhyun by several inches, and instead of a Starbucks apron he was donning a cute, grey hoodie and black jeans that let Baekhyun know exactly how nice his legs were. Nice legs were kind of his thing.
“You’re the barista at Starbucks that keeps giving me the wrong order, and now look! You’ve spilt my coffee too! What do you have to say for yourself?” Baekhyun scolds, crossing his arms and puffing out his chest. It didn’t matter how pink the barista’s lips were, or how long his lashes, people who messed with his coffee weren’t treated too kindly around these parts. Especially when he was cranky.
To his horror, the barista starts laughing. He laughing is deep, like his voice, but Baekhyun couldn’t help but find them adorable. Baekhyun blushed more and tried to pretend it was because of his anger.
“You know, usually when someone gets the wrong order, they come back,” the barista remarks, still chuckling as he peers down at poor Baekhyun.
“Yeah? Well, I didn’t have time!” Baekhyun protests.
“Also,” the barista isn’t laughing anymore, but his expression still looks amused, and his voice is softer, “they usually look at what’s written on their cups.”
“What?” Baekhyun replies, “What did you write on my cup, didn’t you just write ‘Baekhyun’?” he never looks at his name, it’s always spelt wrong anyways, looking at it is always disheartening.
“I’m Chanyeol,” the barista decides to say after Baekhyun’s unintentional introduction, “and you really should have looked at what I said.”
The barista is pouting and Baekhyun is sweating because too cute to function .
“What did you say then?” Baekhyun asks, brows furrowed. Had he missed some sort of cryptic message?
“I would tell you, but now I’m getting hungry; take me out to lunch and it’ll tell you what I wrote,” Chanyeol replies smugly, waving his finger at Baekhyun.
Baekhyun sputters, “But you’re the one who keeps wasting my money!”
Chanyeol almost looks embarrassed, “okay, okay, I’ll pay, but will you come?” the smugness is gone, and he looks hopeful, like he really, really wants to take Baekhyun out. Damn, the things Baekhyun does for cute boys.
“Okay, but only if I can get a coffee with my meal, and it better not be decaf.”
Chanyeol beams, showcasing his wide teeth and adorably uneven smile, “done deal.”
Chanyeol takes him to a cute deli down the road, and said he’s been to it a few times since he lives nearby. Baekhyun also learns that Chanyeol’s in college too, but currently on break in order to save up some money, hence working at Starbucks.
“What are you gonna order?” Chanyeol asks as they both peruse the menu, partly to break the silence. Chanyeol is a cute, tall boy and cute, tall boys made Baekhyun’s knees weak and his tongue glue itself to the roof of his mouth, so it was hard to be his usually talkative self when faced with a cute, tall, adorable boy named Chanyeol.
“Well, if you’re paying, then the most expensive thing on the menu.” wow, Baekhyun, way to make a great impression! He totally won’t think you’re a dick now!
Thankfully, Chanyeol just laughs, face scrunching up adorably (and hotly). “Good luck trying to clean out my wallet, this place is so cheap. If you really want the most expensive thing on the menu, I won’t mind.”
Baekhyun thinks Chanyeol’s face right now is the true origin of the :^) smiley.
The menu is cheap, and Baekhyun orders eggs and toast (what?—it was still morning) and is pleased to see it’s only 6$ worth of food…even though he’s not paying Baekhyun likes to keep track of where he can eat for cheap.
The food arrives shortly—there’s place isn’t exactly crowded with its dingy lighting and small space, but homely décor—and Baekhyun inhales the scent of warm food. He doesn’t forget to ask for a cup of coffee either.
“So,” Baekhyun asks, “as I’m obviously dying to know, what did you write on my Starbucks cup?”
Chanyeol takes a large sip of his orange juice, “well, the first time I drew a heart because I thought you were cute. The second time I wrote down my number, but you never called me,” Chanyeol pouts again and Baekhyun’s heart doesn’t know how to cope.
Baekhyun feels a little underwhelmed. “That’s it? No fancy love poem? You got me all excited for nothing,” Baekhyun remarks, shoving some toast in his mouth.
“Hey! Hearts are awesome! Chicks totally dig hearts!” Chanyeol argues, adorably flustered.
“Do I look like a chick to you?” Baekhyun deadpans.
“Okay point taken,” Chanyeol agrees, “so, if you had seen it, you wouldn’t have liked it?” Chanyeol looks up sadly, and Baekhyun can hear the sound of his heart shattering because no cute boys aren’t allowed to look sad.
“Um,” Baekhyun mumbles, “I think I would have liked if you talked to me in person instead.” Notes were cute but Baekhyun was dense and obviously blind.
“Oh,” Chanyeol comments, “so is talking to you right now okay?” he seems nervous. And hot.
“Yup, more than okay.”
“Does that mean if I asked you to meet me again, you would say yes?” Chanyeol asks.
“Hmm,” Baekhyun pretends to think, “if there’s going to be free coffee involved, how can I say no?”
Chanyeol smiles, and happily tries to get Baekhyun to give him his phone number. He pretends to not want to give it, until Chanyeol looks as if he’s actually giving up, and then Baekhyun blurts out the digits and swoons at the way it makes Chanyeol grin.
Baekhyun takes a sip of his coffee. It’s black, no sugar and no milk, but there’s still a certain sweetness to it, something that makes Baekhyun addicted to its aroma and its taste. There’s something about a warm cup of coffee that Baekhyun can never say no to.
In the future, Baekhyun learns that one of the best things in life is dating a boy from a coffee shop, and not just because of all the free coffee.