The citizens of New York were used to the weird, wonderful and exciting consequences of sharing the city with a largely supernatural population. At most things, they turned a blind eye, uninterested in whatever paranormal nonsense had happened in the past week. Since the reintegration of supernatural species into normal society, the city had adjusted. Naiads and water elementals had taken over the fire departments. Hunters now occupied the ranks of the police force and secret service. Essentially, New York’s citizens had made the supernormal their normal.
That wasn’t to say, however, that the supernatural never made headlines, Alexander would know. As the country’s only angel, Alexander’s halo and wings attracted stares wherever he went. During his childhood Alexander had been followed by news networks religiously, everyone wanted to get a glimpse of God's newest angel. At first Alexander it had annoyed him to no end, he’d had virtually no privacy. He’d also felt bad for his surrogate mother, she hadn’t asked for an angel as a child. She’d just found him in a park and couldn’t find it within herself to leave him there.
Thankfully, at twenty-two years old, news networks had calmed down a little bit. Now, the only ones who tended to follow or harass him were the die-hard Christians asking for a message from their God. Not that Alexander would know, the Big Guy barely talked to him. In fact, the last time they’d talked was when Alexander’s surrogate mother had died. God really had the worst kind of timing.
It didn’t help that he wasn’t exactly the most… in touch with the gravity of mortal death. Really, Alexander shouldn’t have expected much from the Big Guy, when you ruled the land of the dead it was hard to understand why people thought death was so bad. Even though Alexander knew that Rachel was happy, it didn’t stop her death from hurting.
For the most part, Alexander’s day to day life was relatively uneventful. He worked from home on his political blog and ghostwriting. He spent most of his downtime reading. Even his time outside the house went relatively smoothly. To most of the citizens of New York, he was just another citizen.
Though, this was because most of the time, Alexander tucked his halo and wings away to avoid attention. For the most part, this was a great strategy. He could go through his day to day life without staring and questions. He could go on dates with his girlfriend without being stopped in the street by a random passerby.
Sometimes, however, it led to some… misunderstandings during his interactions with other people.
“I really can’t make your coffee any hotter sir.” The barista sighed. He was a humanoid but had the telltale grey markings of a warlock twisting their way up his dark forearms. “It’s illegal to serve humanoids any beverage above one-hundred-ninety degrees Fahrenheit. Any hotter can cause severe burns and damages to human tongues.” Alexander groaned in exasperation. He just wanted some caffeine, was this too hard to accomplish?
“I’m not a human-” he glanced down at the barista’s nametag, “-Aaron. C’mon, can’t you just trust me?” Alexander had come to the café in search of his daily caffeine fix, Eliza was supposed to meet him there in twenty minutes.
They’d recently been trying out local cafes for their weekly Tuesday coffee dates. They’d slowly made their way through Manhattan and Elixa had sent him the address for Cafe Revolution, a local french cafe on fifth avenue. His first impression of the cafe was good. It had dark wooden tables and classy black finishings.
He really had been loving this cafe until this barista had given him lukewarm coffee at a measly one hundred and sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit. He tapped his foot impatiently, making the barista sigh.
“I could make it hotter,” the barista amended, “But I need some government-issued ID or physical proof of your inhuman nature. Otherwise, this is the hottest I can serve the coffee. This isn’t personal, it’s the law.”
“I don’t see why this is such a problem,” Alexander complained, “Every other place gives it to me hotter. I mean, isn't my problem if I burn my tongue off, not yours?”
“It’s our problem if you decide to sue us,” Aaron said. As a recent graduate of Columbia Law, Alexander knew this but sighed anyways. “Now, if you can give me ID or proof then I’ll heat up your coffee for you. Otherwise, that’s the hottest I can make it sir.”
Alexander sighed, reaching into his pocket for his wallet. He grabbed his driver’s license passing it over the counter. Aaron accepted it silently, furrowing his eyebrows as he read the ID. He raised a skeptical eyebrow.
“Angel?” he asked, “Am I reading that right?” Even though he was coming, Alexander couldn’t help but roll his eyes in annoyance.
“Yessir,” Alexander said, sighing impatiently, “Now. Can I get my coffee, please?”
“If you’re going to give me a fake ID at least choose a more believable species next time,” the barista said. His tone screamed condescending even though his expression oozed professionalism. “Though, the fact that you have a fake ID to get your coffee hotter than legal is admirable.”
Alexander rolled his eyes. It had come to this. The things he did for his daily caffeine fix. He cracked his neck, willed his halo to appear and released his wings from his back. The wind whooshed around him, knocking over a couple of sugar packets in the process. Around him, he could hear the whispers of other cafe patrons. He raised an eyebrow.
“So, about that coffee-”
“Coming right up sir,” a new barista entered the conversation. He smiled crookedly. The barista was a dragon, made obvious by his scaly scarlet wings and small horns protruding from his head of brown curls. His skin was tanned, freckles sprinkled across his face. As he smiled, his hazel eyes sparkled with amusement, dimples displaying themselves proudly on each cheek. “Sorry about Aaron here. He’s a bit of a stickler for the rules. I’ll fix your coffee for you.”
“You should also be a stickler,” Aaron muttered, “If you want to keep your job.”
“Lafayette won’t fire me,” John said, smiling, “He likes me too much.” Aaron rolled his eyes, walking back to the cashier to attend to the growing line of customers. “He’s rolling his eyes because he knows I’m right.” Alexander stole a quick look at the new barista’s nametag. JOHN was written messily in yellow chalk.
“Who’s Lafayette?” Alexander asked, curiously.
“He’s the owner of the cafe,” John said, “He’s like, practically a step down from French royalty, which basically means he never has to work a day in his life. He likes to start businesses. This is his newest pet project.”
“I see,” Alexander said, “Interesting.”
“Indeed,” John said, smiling, “Now, uh, can you hand me your mug?”
“Oh, right, yeah,” Alexander said, handing the cup of coffee across the counter, “Thank you, I appreciate it.”
“No problem man,” the dragon shrugged. He took the coffee and breathed a steady stream of fire across the mug’s surface. He smiled, offering the cup back across the counter. “I’m sorry about the trouble. Here you go, a steamy three hundred degrees.” Alexander accepted the cup gratefully, taking a tentative sip. He smiled.
“It’s perfect, thank you.”
“Anytime my man.” the dragon said easily, “Have a nice day.” Alexander waved, turning to take a seat in the cafe. He spied an empty table in the back corner of the cafe and set his laptop bag on the tabletop. He could get a little bit of work done before Eliza arrived.
He set his bubbling coffee aside as he opened his laptop to get to work. He had an interview for Senator Washington in a couple of days so he was fixing up his resume. The senator’s staff had an open position for the head speechwriter. Everything on this paper had to be perfect, he needed this job, this was his way into politics. He frowned, scrutinizing his computer screen. His fingers flew across the keyboard, typing without a glance. Mostly, this was because sometime in this ownership the letters on the keys had rubbed off. This was due partially to overuse, partially to his supernatural strength. As he began falling into his workflow a pastry was placed on his table. He frowned at the golden baked good.
“Hello, mon ami.”
Alexander blinked, realizing that the plate hadn’t magically appeared on the table. The stranger was wearing a matching apron to John and Aaron, telling Alexander that he was another barista. His nametag read a simple LAF in loopy pink writing. This must’ve been the Lafayette that Aaron and John were talking about. The stranger was dark skin the same colour as Alexander’s bubbling coffee. He was smiling charmingly, his face framed by perfectly sculpted facial hair. His hair was tied up in a poofy bun on the top of his head. His defining feature, however, was the insect-like wings fluttering on his back. A fairy.
“Uh, hello?” He said awkwardly, “Is there something wrong with my order?”
“No, no, I, ah, what is the word?” he trailed off, searching for the word. English clearly wasn’t his first language, his words were coated with a thick French accent, “I wanted to come to see you for myself, yes?”
“I’m not a zoo animal,” Alexandre said, affronted, “I’m not something to gawk at.”
“Of course not,” he said, nodding, “I am Lafayette, the baker pour la boulangerie. I simply heard from my dear John that we had a holy visitor.” Privately, Alexander wondered why Lafayette was downplaying his role at the cafe.
“I guess that would be me,” Alexander admitted, shrugging. Lafayette beamed at him.
“I just wanted to say-”
“Is this about religion?” he asked pointing at his halo, “Cause I have some answers, but definitely not all of them.”
“Ah, non,” Lafayette said, “I just wanted to say that I thought that I thought you looked hungry.” He pushed the pastry on the table close to him.
“That’s for me?”
“But of course!” Laf said, smiling, “I would not bring it if it were not, no?” He pushed the plate a little close to Alexander. “Mange. It’s a family recipe.”
“Angels actually don’t eat,” Alexander said, shrugging. “But I appreciate it.”
“You cannot eat?” Lafayette asked, “That sounds like a sad existence. I could not imagine a life where I could not eat my wonderful pastries.”
“It’s not that I can’t eat,” Alexander clarified, “I just don’t need to. Angels survive off of their own heavenly power.”
“Ah! I see,” Lafayette said, nodding, “Well, I do believe you should eat this strudel anyways. You can taste food, yes?”
“I mean, yeah, but-”
“Then eat!” Lafayette said, smiling, “I insist.” Alexander glanced around and seeing no other option he grabbed the strudel of the plate. He examined the golden pastry, scrutinizing it, before nibbling off a corner hesitantly. He smiled slightly, swallowing the pastry.
“It’s delicious,” he said, “Thank you.” Lafayette waved him off.
“Anytime my friend,” he said, “I did not want to interrupt your work without a gift, yes? Your work looks very important.”
“Well, it is important work,” Alexander said truthfully, “But thank you for the pastry. It’s wonderful.” The fairy smiled brightly, his wings fluttering slightly.
“Of course, anytime,” he said, “I do hope you become a frequent customer of our little café, you seem very interesting, ah, I never caught your name-”
“Alexander!” he said, triumphantly. “You should come around one time when John and I are not working, we could talk, hang out.”
“Well,” Alexander grabbed the napkin from under his coffee cup. He scribbled his name and number down. “Here. You can text me and we can meet up sometime, yeah?” Lafayette beamed at him, slipping the napkin into his apron.
“Wonderful!” he said joyfully, “Well, enjoy your pastry and coffee, Alexander Hamilton.” Alexander smiled softly, biting his pastry. The warm apple flavour settled in his stomach, delicious.