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I Like How You Espresso Yourself

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Jungkook has worked at Dal.Komm, for the past 2 years and sure it wasn’t the best job but he likes being a barista, even after that damn military drama released two years ago made business boom and now he deals with hordes of people coming in at once just to order one thing and take up space and time to take a selfie in the cafe, instead of his regular morning and lunch rush of business people and college students.


But Jungkook never backs down from a challenge and takes the big crowd in stride, he even taught himself some latte art to help ease tensions when customers seemed one second close to exploding from impatience. Milky white hearts, rosettas, tulips and sometimes when there’s a lull between rushes small foam cats for the occasional hot chocolate. There are regulars that only come in when Jungkook works, and he has every order memorized from every little picky detail. Mrs.Choi comes in 2 minutes after opening for an iced sugar free vanilla latte with soy milk and likes to dump her own sugar packs in, Namjoon comes in right as Seokjin clocks in to man the register while Jungkook focuses on just making his off menu order of a shakerato that he’s pretty sure his hyung never makes him pay for, and then there’s Taehyung who comes in to order a hot chocolate and pouts every time when Jungkook refuses to make him a foam kitten until his resolve cracks and he takes the cup back and grumbles as he makes the damn creature.


But today as he flips the sign open and walks back to the counter to start the process of brewing a shot of espresso, Mrs.Choi has yet to be seen even after five minutes. She’s never missed a day since Jungkook started working, and after another 5 minutes passed Jungkook shrugs and figures she’s probably sick and sips from the latte himself. His face scrunches up at the bitter taste and he opens the cap to pump simple syrup in as the morning line starts.


Seokjin stumbles through the doors 15 minutes late as always, but Jungkook just rolls his eyes and starts rinsing out a shaker for Namjoon anticipating a small ‘shakerato’ to be yelled out to be made. But the order never comes and when Jungkook turns to peek behind him at the crowd he can’t spot the silver head anywhere in the line, and the disappointed look from Seokjin only confuses him as well.


Jungkook shakes off his arms around to get rid of the feeling of discomfort from his usual routine being disrupted before pushing up his sleeves and going back to work. The world fades away, as the orders start pouring in, muscle memory already leveling and tamping one espresso after the other. He hums quietly to himself as he works, shouts out completed orders at the pickup area and listens for new ones.


“Large hot mocha with coconut milk!”


“Jungkook I need a regular iced americano leave room for sugar and cream!”


“Vanilla latte with soy milk and an extra shot!”


“Yah JK! Make me two honey grapefruits, one hot one cold!”


Like that the morning rush fades away with the hiss of milk steaming and ice clattering into cups. Jungkook wipes down the counter and the machine, as Seokjin restocks for the next rush when there’s finally a lull in the store.


Peeking at the clock it’s around 3 PM, and Taehyung usually walks by and waves through the windows before stepping into the quiet cafe. And the young barista spots the redhead as he leans against the counter sipping his now watered down drink. Jungkook straightens up to get ready to make a hot chocolate, only to watch Taehyung look both ways and cross the street into the store across from them.


What the hell?


Now that Jungkook’s looking there’s a banner that hangs from the awning says grand opening, and he can recognize that deep green anywhere.


“Hyung, when the hell did that shitbucks open?” Jungkook sneers at the chopped of mermaid logo as Seokjin laughs at his attitude.


“One Starbucks isn’t that bad, and two probably today? I didn’t even know someone owned that building.”


“Starbucks isn’t bad to people who want shitty coffee.”


“Hey don’t be a snob, you only drink coffee if it tastes like sugar.”


Jungkook scowls as Seokjin thumps the side of his head with a knuckle.


“You think that’s where everyone went today?”


“Nah Joonie wouldn’t betray me like that.” Seokjin waves the conversation off, just as Taehyung exits Starbucks pulling along a blonde in a black polo towards the store.


“Taehyung! I thought you forgot all about hyung!”


Taehyung laughs as Seokjin fakes cry into his hands, and the newcomer giggles into his hand.


“Of course not hyung! I went to grab Jiminnie to try Jungkookie’s hot chocolate with the little kitty on top!”


“I’m not putting the foam cat on there for you hyung.” Jungkook teases as he starts prepping two hot chocolates. Taehyung turns to whine at the stranger that came in with him and Jungkook peeks up from pouring the sugary drink. The blonde is good looking in a gentle way, and Jungkook feels like his eyes are tricking him as he sees hearts float above Taehyung’s friend like a Snapchat filter.


There’s a cute gap in between his front teeth, and Jungkook never thought there would come a day where he thought teeth would be adorable and the slight lisp as he talks that makes Jungkook want to wrap his arms around the blonde’s waist and squeeze him the shit out of him. And Jungkook doesn’t believe in love at first sight, but he could definitely see himself cuddling on a couch with the gorgeous stranger bundle up in blankets on a cold night.


Jungkook places two white mugs on the counter with white foam cats peeking over the lip on the cup. He can’t help but feel his chest puff up as the blonde coos over the drink and snaps pictures on his phone from different angles. Jungkook is totally suave and not a nervous dork right now, he’s just waiting for an opportunity to flirt.


“Hi, I’m Jimin.” He finally says as he lifts the cup to his lips. Jimin signs into the drink and the small smile of his makes Jungkook’s heart stutter. And when a tongue slips out to lick away some cream that stuck to the corner of his mouth, Jungkook is rapidly turning around to wipe down the counter he just cleaned. Never mind he’s a total dork.


“Hey, I’m Seokjin and the moody brat over there is Jungkook.” Jimin laughs at the unusual introduction and Jungkook can’t help but pout.


“He might be a moody brat, but he’s a good barista. I could never make something like this.” Jimin says and Jungkook can’t help but smile at the compliment as he nudges Seokjin in the shin with his foot.


“If you want good drinks, just skip out on the shitty place across from us and I’ll make you something next time on the house.”


Jungkook watches Jimin raise an eyebrow as Taehyung snickers into his hand.




“...yeah? Starbucks is always water down, their espresso sucks, and there are too many flavored syrups instead of real taste.” Jungkook rants as an amused smile appear on Jimin’s face. He nods his head and hums as he gently places the half-empty mug back onto the counter.


“That’s nice to know Jungkook... well I gotta go back to my shitty store and help my baristas make watered down coffee. See you guys later! I’ll see you after work Tae.” Jimin smirks as Jungkook flushes and waves bye as he leaves.


When the door shuts close with a gentle jingle of a bell, Jungkook buries his face in his hands and falls into a crouch behind the counter, groaning in embarrassment.


“Wooooow, you flirted with and insulted him in the same sentence. I didn’t think you could be a bigger dork than you already are.” Jungkook stands up to glare at the smiling redhead between his fingers before he mourns his lost chance of wooing the blonde.


“He hates me and he’s never going to step back into this cafe at all.” Jungkook whines as Seokjin snickers at his dismay.


“Nah Jimin isn’t that harsh, I mean you’ll til have to grovel a little for forgiveness, but just do something cheesy and your set,” Taehyung explains as he sips from his mug.


Jungkook turns his head hopefully to Taehyung.


“How cheesy are we talking about?” Taehyung widens his eyes in shock before throwing his head back and laughing.


“This is gonna be good.”


Jimin wipes the down table beside the window and kept help but frown when he can see the outline of Jungkook working about. Such a hot face on such a judgemental asshole. Sure Starbucks isn’t an artisan elite coffee shop, but Jimin’s always loved the idea of owning his own cafe, and this was the closest he was going to get. After working as a barista for 2 years and a manager for 3 he finally got approved to open his own shop, and after taking out a loan was able to afford the cost. It’s not exactly Jimin’s dream, but when he hears the coffee beans being ground or the sound of the blender crushing ice into a smooth frappuccino, he knows wouldn’t let go of this shop without a fight.


He walks to the back to toss the towel into a bin and walks behind the counter to help out as a line starts to form.


“You know as the owner you don’t really have to work here.” The mint hair barista drawls as he scribbles down a name on the venti plastic cup.


“You know as an owner I can do whatever I want Yoongi hyung.” Jimin retorts, he gets an eye roll in response before turning to the next customer. It’s a pretty brunette with a phone pressed to her ear, and she lifts a finger to Jimin’s face, and he can feel his eye twitch in irritation. It only takes two seconds to tell the person to hold and place an order so Jimin can help the next guest.


Jimin opens his mouth the ask the lady to step aside so he can help the next guest but there’s no one else in line and he sighs to himself and waits for her to get off the phone. A bell jingles as the front door opens, Jimin’s mouth drops as Jungkook walks in out of uniform and with a small bouquet of yellow, pink and white peonies.


There’s a blush dusting his cheeks as he approaches the counter and budges in front of the annoying girl still on her phone.


“Excuse me miss, things are about to get steamy in here.”


The girl turns to yell at Jungkook before rolling her eyes and walking out the store. Jimin has half a mind to lecture Jungkook on manners but instead, he just sighs.


“Jungkook what are you doing?”


Jimin watches Jungkook bite his bottom lip and fiddle with the hairs at his nape before he finally responds.


“Nothing just ordering coffee.” Jimin waits for the ‘just kidding!’  after all the insults earlier but Jungkook stubbornly stands in line.


“Okay… what would you like?”


“Can I get uh a venti vanilla latte extra pump of syrup?” Jimin nods his head as he lifts the plastic cup and uncaps a sharpie marker with his mouth. Before Jimin can press the marker down Jungkook interrupts him.


“Actually hold the extra syrup, you’re sweet enough for me.”


Jimin pauses and blinks in Jungkook’s direction. It takes a second for the comment to load into Jimin’s brain before he feels his cheeks heat up.


“What did you just—“


“I change my mind, can I get a medium roast?”


Jimin stares at Jungkook for a moment, before deleting the previous order on the register and tapping in the new drink.


“And how would you like that?”


“I like my coffee like I like my baristas, hot, sweet and creamy.”


That comment actually gets a snort from Yoongi as he continues to eavesdrop on the horribly awkward flirting attempt while Jimin tries to sputter out a response. Seeing how flustered the blonde only gives Jungkook a confidence boost as he smirks and leans a little closer.


“You know what? I should watch my caffeine intake, you already make my heart race.”


This time Jimin is the one laughing as he finally gets the hint.


“Okay, you dweeb, what do you really want?” Jimin says with a fond eye roll.


Jungkook reaches forward to gently grab Jimin’s hand and wraps it around the bouquet he carried in.


“I want to apologize. I’ve bean an asshole to you. But can I please get your number? Because I like you a latte and I feel there’s something brewing between us.”


Jimin can’t wipe off the dopey smile on his face, as Yoongi finally approaches them and pushes Jimin out from behind the counter.


“Hurry up and leave with lover boy, because if I hear one more pun I’m not afraid to start spraying the whipped cream.”


Jimin stumbles from the sudden push and Jungkook walks to meet him on the other side, hope in his eyes as he waits for a response.


“I’ll give you my number,” Jimin’s heart almost stops at the eye smile that spreads on Jungkook’s face. “After we go on a date.”


Jungkook only laughs in response before he nods his head and threads his fingers between Jimin’s and leads him out the cafe.


“Great, I know this great place for coffee across the street.”


“I can’t believe that work.”


“Told you hyung Jiminnie is a total cheeseball.”


“I heard that!”


“But you are a cheeseball.”


“... you’re lucky you’re cute Jungkook.”