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A Taste For the Sweeter Things

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“Iced vanilla latte with cream for the handsome detective?”

Juno raises his head from the pile of paperwork to meet the eyes of the barista setting the drink down on the table. He reaches out hand to stop her. “Sorry, m’am. You must have the wrong table.”

She chuckles. “I know who my drinks are made for. Have a good afternoon.” She returns behind the counter.

Juno sighs and takes a sip from the cup. An iced vanilla latte exactly as he liked it. Except, he hadn’t ordered it. Spinning the cup around, he examines. Written on the cardboard sleeve is a crappy pick-up line that draws a slight chuckles out of him. Hello, I’m a thief and I’m here to steal your heart.

He shakes his head and scans the room. No one stands out to him. Not that they would. There were a lot of people in Hyperion City and he’d be lucky to spot his closest friend in the crowd. Actually- Where was she? It wasn’t unlike her to be late, but almost an hour was a lot.

“Sorry I’m late, Mistah Steel.” Speak of the devil. Rita slides into the table across from him. “I got caught up watching the latest TV show, and lost track of time. It was the one about the super smart detective and-”

“That’s great, Rita,” he cuts her off. Listening to Rita ramble about her shows was almost enough to make him go crazy, and he had a new mystery on his hands. The paperwork seemingly unimportant anymore, he pushes it carelessly into the folder and shoves it into his bag.

This was the second cup that he’d in a matter of weeks. Earlier that month, he’d gotten on with a similar pick-up line and no clue as to who it was for. At first it seemed like someone was just being silly, but a second one- why would someone go out of their way to get him a coffee? And how did they know what kind he liked? Not even Rita knew about his soft spot for lattes. She though he just took his black with the occasional shot of vodka.

Rita didn’t know about the first cup either. Juno had thought that the thought of him having a secret admirer would distract her too much from their work. She was already distracted by her shows too much, she didn’t need anything else.

There was no hiding this one from her though. She saw it almost as soon as she slid into her seat. Another moment after that and she was questioning him like there was no tomorrow. “Who is this from? Do you know? Do you, do you? Do you think that they’re actually a thief? How many of these have you gotten? Oo, this is just like that one fanfic I read-”

“Rita…”
“Oh right. Sorry, Mistah Steel.” She looks down at her hands.

He sighs. “It- it’s okay, Rita. No, I don’t know who it’s from. This is only the second one I’ve gotten and the first one was from a while ago.”

“Hmm…” Much to Juno’s chagrin, she takes a sip from the cup. “Is- is that what I think it is? Do they even really know you?”

“Maybe. I do have some guilty pleasures, you know.”

Rita laughs. “Oh my gosh, Mistah Steel. I always knew you had a taste for the sweeter things.”

---

Are you from Starbucks cause I like you a latte.

This was the tenth cup and Juno was still no closer to figuring out who this secret admirer was. He’d started coming to this cafe more and more often, and every time, without fail, he’d get an iced vanilla latte with cream from someone he’d never met. He’d taken down detailed descriptions of everyone in the cafe, workers, patrons, even a few pedestrians outside. Only a few matched up more than once, but none of them showed up every single time.

There was, however, one person that seemed to be familiar every time he was there, but whenever he took down their description it never matched any of the ones from the past. He was starting to get frustrated. Some PI he was.

----

If looks could kill, you’d be a weapon of mass destruction.

----

You must be tired from running through my mind all night

----

Wouldn’t it be the perfect crime if we stole each other’s hearts?

----

After the nineteenth cup of coffee, Juno had had enough. He’d come prepared this time. Armed with a list of suspects and a bit of quick thinking, he was going to get to the bottom of this it killed him. He’d arrived an hour earlier than normal and observed everyone ordering after he’d gotten his usual. Fifteen minutes before he usually arrives, a man in pointed glasses and a long white coat sweeps into the cafe, drawing attention from everyone. He doesn’t seem like he cares either.

The fancy man meets Juno’s eyes and for a split second he seems surprised. That’s quickly replaced with a wink as he turns towards the counter. Luckily, Juno’s seated close enough to him that he can hear exactly what he’s ordering. An iced vanilla latte with cream. His breath catches in his throat, but he forces himself to stay calm. It could just be a coincidence.

Juno waits with bated breath. He had no idea if this was his guy, but if it was… damn. He took the opportunity to look at him. He was tall and lanky, but still filled out the trailing coat with lithe muscle. His jawline was sharp and his jet black was slicked back. Just- He was, well, perfect. He definitely couldn’t be the guy sending him these drinks. Not to someone as disastrous as Juno Steel.

“Do you want it to go to the normal person?” The barista asks.

“Yes, please.”

“What do you want this one to say?”

He thinks for a second. “Did Juno that I love you?”

“Bold, Mr. Rose. Bold.” She chuckles, but writes it down anyway.

“Thank you, darling.” The man smiles, showing sharp canines, and pays for the coffee in cash. He turns away, winks at him and takes a seat just out of sight behind the counter. No wonder he’d never seen him before.

Juno’s heart skips several beats. He definitely said his name, right? Or was he just so wrapped in this conspiracy that he’d think anyone he saw was the person he was looking for?

It’s not long before the barista delivers the coffee to his table and sure enough: Did Juno that I love you? So they were meant for him. Without thinking, he stands up and crosses the cafe to where the man was sitting. He’s enwrapped in a book called The Murderous Mask, a story that Juno had been reading himself.

Not sure how to get his attention, he clears his throat. Mr. Rose looks up and smiles at the sight of him, and, oh God, that smile. “You’ve figured it out then, I suppose?” His voice reminds Juno of butter, smooth and slippery.

“I, uh, yeah. You’re-”

“Peter Nureyev.”

“Juno Steel, but I feel like you already knew that. How did you know that anyway?” He sits down across from Peter.

“I’m observant. Plus having your friends scream your name everytime they see you is a bit of a dead give away.” He laughs. “I apologize if my messages were out of line or-”

“No, no. I rather liked them actually,” Juno blushes.

Peter rests his hand on top of his, “Would you do me the honor of taking you on an actual date then?”