Kit's only a few blocks from his flat when it starts to pour, but he can tell if he carries on to his flat he'll get ill. The only nearby place he can duck into is Hunting for Coffee, a café Kit used to go to regularly.
It had been a brilliant café. The coffee was amazing, the croissants were amazing, and back when Jaime had taken the afternoon shift, it had had amazing service, too. But then Jaime's brother had been injured, and Jaime had taken on morning shifts instead so he could visit him. Kit couldn't blame him, but he wasn't enough of an early riser to ever see Jaime anymore, and because the girl who'd taken on the afternoon shift, Paige, was truly awful, he had stopped coming to the shop.
But he could surely put up with her if it meant not getting ill. He took a deep breath and went in.
Inside was wonderfully warm, and Kit was glad he had gone inside. He was even more glad when he saw Paige wasn't behind the counter. Instead, a tall, thin man with black hair was serving a middle-aged woman, with headphones around his neck. He looked to be around Kit's age, and Kit decided he might start coming back here more often.
When the woman had finished, Kit moved forward.
Everyone had a soulmate mark, usually a flower, or occasionally an animal. Your soulmate would have the same one as you, and the first time you looked at them face on, your soulmate mark would turn from black and white to full colour. The server certainly had very pretty grey eyes, and Kit distractedly noticed his name tag said Ty, which was now the best name ever, but the main reason Kit had stopped was that his mark was tingling.
"Um... Excuse me? Can I help you?"
Kit realised he had been staring, and started. "Er, I'd like a cappuccino please, cream instead of milk," he rattled off.
"Of course," Ty glanced at him briefly as he made his way to the coffee machine.
They stared at each other for a second.
"What's your soulmate mark?" Kit blurted, then went bright red. It wasn't considered a particularly polite question. But Ty didn't seem to mind.
"A sand cat. You?"
Kit nodded slowly. "A sand cat." He pulled down his his shirt collar, just to check, and lo and behold.
The sand cat was in full colour. He squeaked. Ty laughed, and he glanced up, his cheeks red again.
"A cappuccino, right? Cream instead of milk." Kit nodded. "I'll take that to your table right away."
Ty didn't just take Kit his coffee, he sat down opposite him. "Don't you have to work?" Kit asked. Ty simply jerked his head at the counter, where someone else was putting on an apron and getting ready to serve the customers.
"Ah," Kit nodded. An awkward silence.
Then, slowly, they both started laughing.
"So, how long have you been working here?" Kit asked once they'd stopped. "Maybe a year?" Ty replied.
"But I've never seen you! Which shift do you normally take?"
"Evening. I think I might stick to afternoon, though." He smiled crookedly at Kit, and Kit felt his heart melt a little.
"Where did Paige go? Was she fired?" Kit asked eagerly, and Ty laughed.
"No, she took the evening shift because she preferred it, apparently."
"So, because she doesn't have any friends to go out with in the evening," Kit translated, and Ty laughed again, a proper, head slightly tipped back laugh, and Kit couldn't help but laugh with him.
Once Kit had finished talking to Ty, which ended up taking about an hour, he regretfully decided he had homework to do, and left. He didn't manage to get any homework done in the end, though, after something hit him.
He'd never got Ty's phone number.
So the next day he rushed back to the coffee shop, despite having agreed to meet Tessa, praying Ty had taken the afternoon shift again. He was not disappointed.
"Hey," he said, slightly breathlessly from his sprint. "Same as yesterday?"
Ty looked at him and gave the same seraphic smile he'd given the day before. "Coming right up."
He came to sit down with Kit again, which made Kit silently pump his fist under the table. "So, I never actually got your name or your phone number yesterday," Ty said.
"Oh, I'm Kit," he held out his hand, and Ty shook it solemnly, but with a tiny smile on his face. Phone numbers were exchanged, and a discussion on the TV series Sherlock was started, which became longer than yesterday's conversation in the end. Kit thought it was brilliant, but Ty claimed it was vastly inaccurate. Luckily, Kit knew how to remedy that.
"Come over sometime and watch it with me?" He suggested with a grin, but he couldn't help feel a little bit nervous. Ty grinned back, however.
"I suppose it's a date."