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you take shots (I make shots)

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I

The first time he sees that black head of hair poke through the front door, from his obstructed view at the til, Mitch realistically knows he’s already fucked. It happens after peak as well, which at least gives his emotionally exhausted mind something to snack on.

It begins with the tall, lean body contained within a deep black suit tailored within an inch of his body; and within a half inch of Mitch’s sanity. Then, when he actually reaches the counter, Mitch really can’t be held responsible for the way his eyes linger over his body and up to his face. Because evidentially, it’s a nice face. Weird forehead aside, he’s got nice eyes. Especially with the whole intense serial killer gaze he’s directing at Mitch.

In summation? He’s stupidly hot. He could cash Mitch’s cheque any day, to be frank.

“Hey, how’s it going? What can I get for you?” Mitch questions cheerily, mentally predicting a sweet tooth under all of that distinctly male intensity.

And then, of course; because Mitch’s life is one clusterfuck of a shitshow, the mental image he has of this ridiculously hot guy is shot to shit the minute he opens his mouth.

“Medium Americano—black,” the guy orders in a clipped tone, before his eyes drop back to his fancy new iPhone in front of him.

Mitch doesn’t physically recoil from the animosity in his tone, but it’s definitely a near thing. “What’s your name?” He questions instead, attempting to bury the bewilderment influencing his tone.

Because who talks to people like that, anyways? It’s just the fucking cherry on top of the steaming pile of shit that was his morning. Figures he’d serve the biggest douche he’s ever met after a hectic morning at the quiet, dainty little café he works at.

“Auston,” the guy mutters shortly, still fixated by his phone, before his eyes flicker back up.“With an ‘o.’”

“Auston with an ‘o,’” Mitch murmurs to himself, transcribing Auston’s order on the cup. And then without a moment of hesitation, he scribbles Oustin in the space up by the lip of the cup with more vigor than necessarily required.

Objectively, it’s close enough.

As the stupidly hot jackass pays with his credit card, Mitch quickly makes his drink, trying not to sneer too proudly.  It’s not often that he allows himself to become this petty, but it’s also not often he serves assholes this full of themselves.

So, when he hands off the drink, he makes a grandeur spectacle of being as polite he can manage, flourishing the drink with an impish smile. And when Mitch catches Auston’s eyes narrow at the name on the cup, he fails in containing his brief snicker of laughter.

“Alright, bye, have a nice day!” Mitch waves quickly, before Auston’s glare resumes its hostile mental transmission. Because what it’s telling him to do with his farewell? Shouldn’t ever be repeated, honestly.

When he practically scurries back to the safety of the cash register, he notices a five dollar bill that definitely wasn’t there before their transaction.

So he’s rich then, too. Nice.

Still a douche, though.

 

 

II

Mitch is in the back of house, relaxing before his shift starts, when Willy rushes into the back frantically, slamming the double doors open with a bang. Mitch is so startled that he nearly falls out of his chair, with the precarious way his feet are perched up on the desk.

“Dude,” Willy begins pleadingly, “I need your help, there’s some asshat outside that keeps telling me I’m making his coffee wrong.”

Mitch peers up at Willy for a moment, and then sighs with exasperation once he detects the very authentic desperation in Willy’s eyes. He raises himself out of the chair with an overly dramatic exhale. “The shit I do for you, I swear.”

And, he’s not exactly surprised when he sees Auston’s miserable face pinched with disdain at the end of the bar. Mitch is already smirking before he even reaches him, exponentially boosting Auston’s contempt to nearly immeasurable levels.

“Hey, what seems to be the problem?” Which is Mitch’s normal go-to for suburban moms who complain about him not using the sugar-free alternative for their skim milk caramel lattes. Except, Auston is distinctly male, and clearly pissed off, not mildly annoyed like Cheryl or Tina.

“It doesn’t taste right,” Auston spits out as he thrusts the cup towards Mitch.

“Dude, it’s literally espresso and water, I don’t know how I could mess it up,” Willy interjects, joking a little forcefully, his customer service smile a little strained at the edges.

“It doesn’t taste like when he makes it,” Auston explains impatiently, jerking his head toward Mitch.

Which, rude; speaking as if Mitch isn’t right in front of him.

It’s definitely a contributing factor to Mitch choosing to interject before things get too wild. “Me Mitch, you Auston,” he emphasizes sarcastically, with the melodramatic finger pointing to accompany his statement.

He catches Auston’s eyes subtly drop to the nametag attached to the top of his apron, pinching as if he’s never noticed it before. Which, considering how self-centered he is, wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

Before Mitch can smirk again, his own eyes lower to the filled cup on the bar, and he reaches out for it quickly. “Alright, first error,” he scolds, turning back to Willy, gesturing to the perfectly spelled ‘Auston’ on the side of the cup. “You misspelled his name.” Glancing back at Auston, he cranks out the most cheerfully insincere smile he can manage. “My deepest apologies, I understand how offending it is to have your name misspelled.”

And there’s a moment of confusion on Willy’s face at Mitch’s reprimand, before he spots the inscription on the new cup Mitch hastily grabs. Then it’s a matter of Willy concealing his smirk, even after the sly wink Mitch directs at him.

Fivehead Gaston’ is written across the top of the cup in neat cursive that his second grade teacher would be proud of, with a small smiley face and a heart accompanying his writing.

Mitch queues his shots on the machine, pulling the extra shot like he always does. Truthfully, because he’s too lazy to actually measure out the ground espresso for a single shot, instead loading the portafilter basket to capacity for two double shots.

Meaning, somehow, the psychopath recognized the difference between Mitch’s half-assed quad Americano and Willy’s ‘to-standard’ triple Americano.

Fuck. That attention to detail is surprisingly hot. Mitch bets that he’s a fucking expert at taking people apart between the sheets. And fuck if he doesn’t want in on that.

“Y’know you should try a new drink,” Mitch begins distractedly, filling the cup with hot water. “You must be bored of ordering the same thing all the time.”

It takes Auston a second to realize Mitch is actually speaking to him; and then another second, as if he’s internally debating whether to ignore Mitch’s attempt at small talk altogether. “I’m not,” he replies stonily.

“Still,” Mitch continues, “my friend Dylan really likes the white chocolate mocha, but like, he always gets extra pumps in his, and I don’t think you’d really like that, but-“ he rambles, nearly thankful when Auston abruptly cuts him off.

“Does your friend weigh four hundred pounds?” He questions, lips curled downwards in displeasure.

“Only when he’s on skates,” Mitch grumbles to Auston’s confused expression. “Anyways,” he leads, moving on. “You should try something new, I can make you something off menu.”

It’s as if Auston looks too far into the statement, reaching for an innuendo that Mitch didn’t mean to make, per se, but will fucking claim as his own and take to the grave. “I’m more than good,” he huffs as he raises an eyebrow, reaching for his cup that Mitch is outstretching to him.

“Suit yourself,” Mitch shrugs, and mentally high fives himself, because hey, Auston does suit himself up every day before work.

(It’s okay, Mitch hates himself sometimes, too.)

But, it’s difficult to be too hard on himself when he sees Auston’s expression at his ‘name’ on the cup. It’s truly a thing of beauty. It’s as if his face can’t focus on more than one emotion at once, cycling through rage, embarrassment, and hostility at a frankly preposterous rate. Until Auston settles on pure loathing; leveling Mitch with a glare that reminds him of the detentions served as a result of his prank-filled high school years.

“You really think you’re funny, don’t you?” The words are spat at him with enough vitriol to raise the hair on his arms, but he’s still not deterred.

“Come on dude,” Mitch tries, raising his hands up to indicate peace with this alien of a human. Still, a ridiculously hot alien. Strangely, he feels like that needs to be re-stated. “It’s like two jokes in one, you of all people should respect me for that.”

Auston’s glower indicates just how little he respects Mitch. “You shouldn’t need validation from others to fuel your life,” he snarks in a bratty tone.

“I mean, I know it could have used a bit more colour, but I’m working with limited resources here!”

Auston rolls his eyes, more than done with Mitch’s shit, as he stomps out of the café, his long legs carrying him in strong, efficient strides. With the added fuel of his anger, Auston moves are smooth and deadly, leading him away from Mitch like the diva he is.

“Have a nice day, sunshine!” Mitch calls loudly after Auston’s quickly retreating form, watching as he practically rips the door from its hinges on his way out.

It’s quiet for a moment, Mitch and Willy’s breathing the only sound enlivening the quiet space.

“So, uh, are you two fucking, or something?” Willy questions awkwardly, peering between Mitch and the space that Auston once occupied with rapt interest.

“I’m working on it,” Mitch mumbles with a calculating grin as he continues to observe Auston, still rage power-walking down the sidewalk.

 

 

III

When Auston hands him his own mug the next time he walks in; a cute forest green tumbler, Mitch smirks deviously. Even more so when he sees the bold letters written on the side of the mug in permanent marker. ‘AUSTON.

“It’s spelled like that? Well, why didn’t you say so?” Mitch questions earnestly with his most shit-eating grin.

“I did, multiple times,” Auston huffs in an annoyed tone, screwing off the lid with more force than necessary.

Mitch laughs, in both disbelief and genuine amusement. “I’m sorry, just the fact that you actually went out and bought a new mug just to ensure the correct spelling of your name is all sorts of petty. And obviously, I’m completely here for it.”

“I didn’t buy it, my assistant did,” Auston mutters, but there’s a small, nearly unnoticeable flush to his cheeks that makes Mitch cackle with glee. “She clearly doesn’t have the best taste if you like it.”

“You have an assistant?” He questions in mock-awe, appealing to Auston’s undeniable alpha-male streak. When he sees Auston fall for the bait and puff up in pride, Mitch snickers. “Poor girl, that sounds horrible.”

 Auston’s jaw clenches visibly, and he shoves his cup towards Mitch. “Medium Americano-“

“Yeah, yeah, ‘no room,’ I’ve got it, you robot,” Mitch huffs as he moves over to begin his drink.

As the shots pull for the Americano, he pulls out his sharpie, ready to add an extra little bit of love to the unfortunate name on his cup. Mitch sticks his tongue out as he works, until the perfect grumpy meme inspired face is sat underneath Auston’s name.

But it still needs…something.

“Vandalism is a crime, you know,” Auston’s monotone carries over the bar.

Mitch just rolls his eyes in response, looking up to Auston and giving him the most innocent smile in his repertoire. “I’m not quite sure of what you’re talking about.”

Staring at Auston’s face gives him the inspiration he needs, drawing an oblong cylinder above the meme face on the cup, with a bolded ‘5’ in the centre to commemorate Auston’s ridiculously sized forehead. Mitch hums, pleased with his effort. And also the fact that he knows Auston’s going to blow a fucking gasket when he sees it.

He slides over the finished drinks, both Auston’s boring Americano and a secret salted caramel hot chocolate for his assistant.  Mitch watches with a grin as Auston’s brows furrow at the hot chocolate. “I didn’t order this,” he states confusedly.

Mitch is helpless to the loud snort he lets out. Real Einstein, this one. “Duh, genius. It’s on the house for your assistant,” he states humorously.

Auston looks taken aback, nearly bashful. Unsurprisingly, it’s a really fucking good look for him. “Oh, um, that’s nice of you.”

Somehow, Mitch understands the words that Auston’s skirting around, words that he likely never uses. “Most people would say thanks,” it’s supposed to be a bitingly sarcastic comment, but it comes out nearly fond.

Weird.

Auston’s eye roll at his statement is unsurprising. “I just want it to be known that I bought my assistant a $1,000 espresso machine, so,” Auston retorts back.

“Which is cute,” Mitch agrees, nodding along. “But sometimes small, thoughtful gifts are nice too,” he explains patiently, not understanding how this guy has the emotional capacity of a two year old.

Auston ponders his statement for a moment, and then nods. “There’s truth in that statement, I accept your point.”

And there they are, back to regularly scheduled programming. The robot’s back.

 

 

IV

The next time he sees Auston, it’s not even at work, which is more than surprising in and of itself. He’s at a Jays game with one of his university friends, with tickets that were obviously given to him for free, because his poor ass most definitely can’t afford them.

Well, he can’t afford the combined price tag of the tickets and the beers he’s been slugging back since the beginning of the second inning. He’s wandering back down to the concession level for a solo potty break when he spots that same head of dark hair in line at one of the beer tents.

And, it can’t be.

But then the guy turns, and somehow, it’s fucking ‘suit himself’ Auston; except, he’s not wearing one of his many suits. Instead, he’s wearing jean shorts, a tank top and a fucking bandana. It’s…not at all possible. Mitch can practically feel his brain shorting due to the overwhelming information.

Especially because for all intents and purposes, Auston can’t really dress himself outside of the office. His bandanna doesn’t at all match his outfit, but it works wonders for the whole fivehead situation. The unfortunate jorts still emphasize Auston’s long, muscular legs, and Mitch has to forcefully tear his eyes away before his head tilts of its own accord to get a better look.

If Auston in a suit is hot, then Auston in normal clothes is unexpectedly endearing. And god, Mitch just wants to rail him already. 

He still looks as intmidatingly powerful as he normally does, except there’s an interestingly relaxed set to his shoulders, enforced by the small smiles he’s sending towards the girl he’s standing in line with. And due to this surprising ease, Mitch’s mouth is moving before he can even consider the negative ramifications of his choice.

“Auston!” He yells out, exaggerating the ‘o’ to mimic the name of the Disney character previously written on the side of Auston’s cup only days ago.

And there’s a moment of peace on Auston’s face, before it shutters, and his eyes glance up towards Mitch, displaying a strange sort of panic. Mitch’s smile brightens in reply, and he waves his hand wildly, already walking towards Auston.

Auston lifts his hand in a reluctant wave, glancing down at the girl with him before stepping out of line and towards Mitch.

“Dude!” Mitch cheers once they’re within speaking distance, which may actually be still a bit too far but Mitch’s drunken brain isn’t complaining.

Neither is Auston’s, with the way he’s smirking slightly at Mitch’s evident alcohol-laxness. “What are you doing here?”

“Seeing the Jays lose epically to the Diamondbacks, what else?” Mitch laughs. “What about you? I didn’t think you were capable of being seen amongst us ‘normal people.’”

“He graces the general public with his presence every now and then,” the girl chirps with a wide grin, nudging Auston’s side.

Auston giggles at the unexpected jab to his ribs, a subconscious burst of laughter that has Mitch immediately smiling affectionately. And then Mitch recognizes Auston’s slower reaction time, curling into himself belatedly with another chuckle that seems as if it were ripped out of him.

He’s fucking tipsy. Auston ‘Mitch-doesn’t-know-his-last-name-but-is-sure-it-contains-another-o-’ is fucking tipsy.

“Enjoying your beers, then?” Mitch teases cheekily.

“It’s my sister,” he groans dramatically, slugging an arm around his sister, who is looking at Mitch with a mischievous expression.

Mitch likes her already.

“It’s tradition, Aus isn’t allowed to be sober the first night whenever he flies me out to Toronto,” she explains for Mitch, swatting blindly at the arm Auston is attempting to lean on her head.

“Wait, you guys aren’t from Toronto?” Mitch questions, suddenly more than invested in the conversation, which he didn’t think was possible.

“No,” Auston’s sister states slowly, looking at Mitch kind of funny. Which, realistically isn’t anything new. It’s a look shared by both siblings, it seems. “We’re from Arizona.”

 “Wow, that actually explains a lot,” Mitch thinks aloud, “but not you, you’re lovely,” he quickly reassures Auston’s sister, and then glances at Auston pointedly.

It’s clear who the recipient of his statement is.

“Are you here with anyone?” Auston questions abruptly, not at all bashful in the wake of essentially being called an asshole in front of his sister.

“Um, yeah,” Mitch responds, pretending to ignore the vicious jab Auston’s sister sends into Auston’s rib cage. “I’m here with one of my girlfriends,” and at their expressions, he continues. “I mean, a girl…that is a friend. Ha, I don’t - y’know- bat that way,” he tacks on awkwardly, a half-hearted swing joining the plummeting of his dignity.

Auston’s expression somehow looks even more unimpressed, and his sister’s lips are pinched, like she’s valiantly trying to contain laughter. “You actually cause me physical pain,” Auston deadpans, shifting on his feet like it pains him to remain there talking to Mitch.

Which, fair enough.

“How do you guys know each other anyways?” His sister questions through her muffled giggles, laughing at the two-man spectacle in front of her.

And before Mitch can even open his mouth to chirp Auston again on his coffee choice, Auston’s already answering for the both of them. “We played ball against each other in college.”

Which means that Auston was an athlete before he became fucking 50 shades of ‘can I speak to your manager.’ That’s it, Mitch is going to fucking faint.

“Aw, that’s so nice!” His sister gushes. “Hey, you should grab a drink or something with us, for old time’s sake!”

He nearly says yes right away, but then he thinks about it. Auston literally flew his sister out to be with him, and Mitch understands more than anyone the importance of family. “I don’t want to crash your guys’ first night back together,” he trails off, unsure in his statement.

“Nah it’s cool, you should come,” Auston states smoothly, feigning the slight slur in his voice with a forced yawn.

“And bring your friend, we’ll make it a party!” His sister cheers.

“If you’re sure,” Mitch checks again, but can’t deny the smile that is spreading like wildfire.

One drink can’t hurt, right?                     

-----

It ends up being several drinks, and it hurts him plenty the next morning.

 

 

V

There’s a gold, metallic sharpie being pushed towards him across the counter, Auston’s insufferably smug smirk the sight he meets when Mitch raises his eyes in shock.

“What’s this?” Mitch questions dumbly, nodding towards the marker in Auston’s big hands. Now’s not the time to get distracted; but fuck, Auston could crunch Mitch’s soul between those fingers like he crunches those numbers.

“You said like, small gifts or whatever, right?” Auston says simply with a shrug, as if he hasn’t completely demolished Mitch with one sentence.

Mitch is genuinely worried he’s going to start ugly crying.

“Auston, this is, really nice,” Mitch stutters obtusely, cradling the marker between his fingers as if it were made of glass, not plastic. “Thanks,” he breathes in gratitude.

“Staples was having a sale,” Auston murmurs in an embarrassed tone. It takes everything in Mitch to not reach across the counter and hug the fuck out of Auston; the hug partially signifying his appreciation, but more importantly to discover if he’s as solid under that suit as he looks.

“Still it’s really nice that you thought of me, I appreciate it,” Mitch presses, not allowing Auston to take the easy way out and brush off his thoughtful act.

Auston shrugs again, belying the way the tips of his ears have flushed under Mitch’s appreciation. “Figured I’d give you a bit more variety for when you continue to vandalize my mug.”

It draws a short burst of victorious laughter from Mitch as he rolls the marker between his fingers, watching as it attracts Auston’s attention. “I know you love my doodles, don’t even front.”

“Love is a word, but definitely not the right one,” Auston mutters dryly as Mitch walks behind the bar to queue the shots for his Americano.

“Cherish, then, I get it, it’s fine,” Mitch responds with faux-cockiness as he pops the cap off the marker, looking over the available space on the mug for his doodles.

He hears Auston’s soft exhale of laughter as he adds a body to his well sketched meme inspired fivehead portrait. Outstretched in the stick arms is a cup, and it’s reflected in the small conversation bubble extending from Auston’s mouth exactly what it contains.

‘GIVE ME AN AMERICANO WITH NO ROOM MADE BY MITCH OR GIVE ME DEATH!’

Mitch snorts while reading it over, and he can hear Auston’s groan, already anticipating the worst. “Don’t worry, it’s not that bad,” Mitch attempts to reassure him, but one glance back to the cup has him snickering all over again.

“It’ll probably still be joke fodder for Alice for the rest of the week anyways,” Auston mumbles exasperatedly, referencing his assistant, who’s captured Mitch’s heart a little more each time she’s mentioned.

“How is she?” He questions genuinely, because anyone who puts up with Auston as a boss more than deserves the free drinks he slides her way every now and then.

 “She’s doing good, still wants your number,” Auston exhales amusedly, smirking at the steady crush that has been blossoming since Mitch slipped her that first drink.  “Somehow believes you’re hot based on that chocolate caramel latte you made her yesterday.”

“And not at all based on what you tell her, right?” Mitch questions back playfully as he pours the shots, glancing up to send a quick smile at Auston, who’s already looking at him. It marks the third time in a row that Auston hasn’t been fixated on his phone while he waits for his drink. It’s nearly a miracle.

“Of course not, there’s nothing to tell,” his voice is still slightly monotonous, but Mitch thinks it’s him joking back. Or at least he hopes so. If not; someone pull out the sunscreen, because he’s getting roasted.

“And my number?” Mitch adds jokingly, admiring the doodle in his new gold sharpie.

“Well, that would imply I had it in the first place,” Auston responds just as quick, causing Mitch’s head to snap up at him in surprise. When he sees Auston’s expression, it’s as mischievous as he’s ever seen it, with a small little quirk to his lips.

And.

Mitch must be reading this wrong. He has to be.

Because there’s something there, something in Auston’s eyes that’s telling him maybe, just maybe, he’s not alone in this.

 

 

+1

“There has to be something that looks appealing here,” Mitch nearly begs as he pushes the new drink menu across to Auston.

Auston’s streak of stubbornness is nearly admirable, until Mitch factors in that his own patience is reinforced by several years of babysitting his younger cousins. He’s not quite sure why his mind automatically categorizes Auston as a toddler, but he’s not objecting. Too loudly, at least. Because Auston may have the mind of a toddler, but his body is all man, and Mitch is more than here for it.

“Don’t you have, like, other stuff to worry about other than harassing me to try something new?” Auston reasons, but his lips still lift slightly, in the same way they always do when Mitch attempts this same arugment.

In response, Mitch gestures to the empty cafe with a pleased grin. “You’re a customer, that automatically makes you priority number one, dude,” he’s also at the top of Mitch’s ‘most likely to rail’ list, but, that’s for another day.

“I don’t do dairy,” Auston sighs, closer to caving than Mitch has ever seen. 

“We have almond milk,” Mitch replies innocently, smiling up at Auston angelically. 

Auston glances down at his fancy watch, and sighs. Mitch knows he’s won even before Auston verbally confirms it, and can’t contain his blinding smile in response. Fucking finally.

“I’ve got a meeting in thirty minutes,” Auston grumbles as he reaches for his credit card.

“I’m not sure how much longer you think it’ll take me a latte versus an Americano, but I assure you, you’re not going to be late,” Mitch scoffs good-naturedly, waving away Auston’s attempt to pay. “It’s on me; I’d never hear the end of it if I made you pay for something you didn’t like.”

“But I’m, like, good for it,” Auston says, misunderstanding Mitch, his eyebrows furrowing.

 Mitch can barely contain his eye roll. “Yes Auston, I know you are,” he explains slowly, “but small gifts, remember? This is mine.” Well, it’s all he can afford, anyway.

That seems to get through to Auston, who ducks his head down with a gentle blush. When he raises his eyes, there’s bashfulness present in his cheeks, but also a soft happiness etched into the subtle smile lines.

“Thanks,” the words are short, spoken from a place of disuse.

The simple word fills Mitch with a warmth that is nearly indescribable, an impossibility he never saw coming. Auston, saying thank you. A miracle, in and of itself.

Which is why he reaches for the post-it note hidden under the cash register, stashed away in preparation of the impossible, which has clearly just happened. He got Auston to try a new drink. And to smile.

“You’re welcome, Aus,” the new nickname slips out, and Mitch’s stomach sinks, bracing himself to get chirped. Except Auston, Aus, just keeps his small smile in place, and slips a $10 bill into the tip jar before strolling down to the hand-off.

Which gives Mitch time to solve his next problem. That being the fact he has no fucking clue what to put in the latte. He steams the almond milk in the meantime, scanning the syrup bottles for inspiration. All he’s going off of is that Auston doesn’t drink milk and apparently survives off of black americanos.

So, Mitch is going to go out on a limb and guess that Aus doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. Which unfortunately eliminates a solid 99.9% of the syrups. Unless..he reduces the pump amounts. He reaches across to lightly pump a half shot of hazelnut and cinnamon sugar into the cup, which attracts Auston’s attention.

“What are you putting in there?” Auston questions nosily, being every barista’s worst nightmare, leaning over to closely inspect Mitch’s handiwork. 

At this point he would, and has, told a customer to back the fuck up. Except Auston’s wearing this really fucking nice, expensive smelling cologne that makes Mitch want to tell him to come closer, instead of moving away. 

“Hey, do you think sink bleach is poisonous?” Mitch questions earnestly as he pours the steamed almond milk into the cup. “I was thinking it could be a nice topping.” 

Auston smirks in response, a small little thing that makes Mitch feel all sorts of overwhelmed. Realistically, it’s only a little quirk to his lips, but his eyes are alight with humour, so Mitch will count it as a win, or a start at the very least. 

And then Mitch snickers back at him, cherishing the little moment between them. Figures that threatening his life would get Auston to smile again. 

Sick fucker. 

Mitch even tries latte art on the cup, which he never does, for very obvious reasons; he’s lazy as fuck. His attempt for a heart is a little ambitious, but he tries to salvage it when his hand inevitably jerks uncontrollably and ruins the effect. Feeling confident in his slightly misshapen heart, he sticks the small post-it note to the back of the cup.

‘Let me know if you latte this drink as much as I latte you. If you do, we should percolate some time. <3’

His number is scrawled underneath his admittedly Mitch message, and god, he hopes that he isn’t reading things wrong. Mostly because he spent two shifts coming up with those puns, and it would really fucking suck to be rejected by a fucking hot guy in a suit that can be occasionally sweet when he wants to be.

“Ta-da!” Mitch cheers enthusiastically as he pushes the latte towards Auston, with the post-it note still glaring at him from its concealed position.

“It looks like a lopsided dick,” Auston comments flatly once he gets a look at Mitch’s latte art.

Okay, so the heart is a lot misshapen, but still. He tried at least. “Drink up Auston, you seem a little thirsty,” he chirps at Auston’s (relatively accurate, yet still sexual) interpretation of his latte art.

Auston, predictably, rolls his eyes at the comment, reaching out for the cup, his fingertips reaching ever so closer towards the concealed post-it stuck to the back of the cup. 

And Mitch, well, he panics. The combined presence of Auston as well as his own uncharacteristic gesture weigh down on him, boosting his insecurities to levels he cannot ignore. His mind is racing through all of the possibilities of Auston finding his post-it in front of him, and nearly all of them end with him crying and Auston laughing.

“Um, okay, gotta go, bye!” Mitch calls as he unexpectedly turns and runs for the back room, slamming the double doors open with the force of his strides. 

He’s gone so quickly that he doesn’t even see the way Auston’s little half-smile drops in confusion. He does hear the completely confused, cut off call of his name as he slams into the back room. Once there’s a plaster barrier between him and Auston, Mitch sighs, roughly running a hand through his hair.

He just fucking did that.

Holy shit.

He really wishes Willy were here, so he could receive, like a high five or something for his efforts. Because that was fucking ballsy, and no one was even here to witness it.

“Mitch, you okay?” Is the concerned call he hears from the café, and his stomach tightens. Another reason why he wishes Willy was here: so Mitch could hide in the back room forever while Willy did both of their jobs.

Mitch peers out at the surveillance footage on the computer, watching the exact moment Auston feels the telltale edge of the post it on the back of his cup, turning it around in curiosity. Mitch looks on as Auston’s smile forms, its whiteness distinct even in the grainy footage of the camera.

“Mitch? Mitchy?” There’s the call again, except this time the concern is replaced with amusement and fondness.

Which his shattered nerves can definitely not deal with right now. A confident Auston, smirking at him as if there was no place he’d rather be? Jesus.

Except, Mitch remembers, there is somewhere he has to be.

“You’re going to be late for your meeting!” Mitch shouts desperately through the wall.

He sees the exact moment when Auston comes back down to earth, checking his watch with a curse and haphazardly slapping a lid on his latte. His fingers are gentle with the post-it however, slipping it into his suit pocket with ease.

“If you’re not going to say goodbye, then have a nice day, sunshine!” Auston throws his own words back at him; just as sarcastically. Mitch can see how proud he is of his little joke, the smirk still shining through on the camera. 

He walks out of the camera frame quickly, and Mitch takes a deep breath, slouching down in his favourite chair in the back office. It’s where he remains, trying to regain his breath, until his phone buzzes several minutes later.

 

Unknown number

Hey it’s Oustin

Unknown number

It tasted like shit btw x