John sighed, steaming some milk. Ever since Aaron had quit a couple of days ago, John had been working twice as hard to satisfy the new influx of customers. He had taken the front of the house, while Lafayette worked in the back baking. John sighed, placing the mug on the end of the counter. A vampire nodded, thanking him as he grabbed the mug. He sighed, leaning against the counter. Finally, the line was finished.
The cafe was relatively busy, but not so much so that it was surprising.
“John, have you seen the news?” Lafayette asked, walking up behind him. He brought out a new tray of muffins, putting them in the display case. There was a TV in the backroom, normally Lafayette kept it on the local news while they worked. They both would catch glimpses of different reports while they walked in between the front and back of the house.
“No, why?” he asked, “I’ve been working out here. Is it something big?”
“There was a shooting in the Upper East Side,” Lafayette said. John frowned.
“Were there any casualties?” John asked.
“Not yet,” Lafayette, “One person was shot, it didn’t say who. There was only one gunshot though. After he shot, a pedestrian took him down. That’s all I caught before I came out here.”
“That’s awful,” John said, “Uh, is it okay if I head to the back for a second?”
“Sure,” Lafayette said, “I can handle the front for a little. Just, ah, take this tray back for me?” John nodded, grabbing the empty metal tray from Lafayette. He walked through the back door and placed the dirty tray with the rest of the dishes. He glanced at the TV, the news still playing quietly. An ambulance was on the screen, police and other emergency personnel decorating the scene. John hummed leaning on the table. The scene changed to a different angle of the scene, a tabaxi woman standing with a microphone in hand.
“We have spoken with several EMTs that there was only one person injured in the gunfight this afternoon. His condition is unknown, but the victim has been identified as Senator Washington’s new chief of staff, Alexander Hamilton.” A photo of Alexander’s smiling face appeared on the screen. It was fairly recent, Alexander standing at Senator’s Washington’s side in a recent public appearance. John’s heart dropped in his stomach. He scrambled for the remote, turning up the volume quickly.
The scene changed once more, a shaky video of the gunfight. The tabaxi women’s voice played as a voiceover, accompanying the horrifying scene.
“Here we have a pedestrian’s video of the gunfight,” she said, “The shooter has been identified as high elf John André. André is the son of wealthy wall street investor Antoine André. His wife and child were killed in a car accident early last month. It was a tragic collision after they were t-boned by Benedict Arnold, a half-orc truck driver.” On the screen, the elf, André, was pointing the gun wildly, stepping out of a taxi and onto the roof.
“André was reportedly in a taxi when he spotted Arnold in the car next to him,” said the reporter, “He stepped out of the car and climbed onto the roof, pulling out a pistol. It was when he began shouting that the victim stepped on the scene.”
John watched in horror as Alexander stepped into traffic, approaching the man carefully. His wings and halo were hidden, his hands held high in the air in a non-threatening fashion.
“Witnesses say that Hamilton attempted to calm down and convince André to put down his weapon,” the reporter continued, “Unfortunately, this was unsuccessful.” The scene changed back towards the tabaxi reporter. “We will return with more details soon. Back to you Oliver.” John grabbed the remote, muting the TV. In shocked silence, he stepped out of the back and walked to Lafayette.
The fairy was working at the cash, counting the money they’d earned so far today.
“Lafayette,” he muttered, poking his friend’s shoulder.
“Qu’est qui se passe?” Lafayette asked, keeping his gaze steady firmly on the cash, “I am a little preoccupied Laurens.”
“It’s Alexander,” he said, “Alexander was the victim at the shooting in the Upper East Side.” Lafayette froze, the change in his hand slipping to his fingers.
“Are you sure?” he asked. John nodded.
“They mentioned him by name in the updated report,” he said. “And a picture. It’s him, Lafayette.”
“Have you texted or called him?” Lafayette asked.
“Laf, the man’s been shot,” John said, “He’s probably in the hospital, there isn’t a chance he has his phone with him.”
“Eliza?” he tried.
“I don’t have her number.”
“I do,” Lafayette said, reaching for his phone, “Here-”
“Do you think that’s a good idea?” John asked, “If she knows, which she probably does, she’s definitely busy, too busy to be able to tend to us.” Lafayette sighed, slipping his phone back in the pocket of his apron.
“You are right,” he said.
“Of course I am,” Lafayette said, “Alexander is working for Washington, yes? That man is one of the most powerful in the state. If Alexander is his chief of staff he will be given the best healthcare possible. He will be helped.”
“You’re right,” John sighed, “I just can’t help but worry.”
“And that’s okay, it’s natural,” Lafayette said, “He is ton amour, oui? It’s obvious that you’d be worried.”
“He is not my love,” John said, rolling his eyes, “We’ve met like, twice.”
“And slept at his house one of those times.”
“So did you,” John shot back, “And it wasn’t even Alexander’s house, it was Eliza’s.”
“Even better,” Lafayette said, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively, “One for two.”
“You’re impossible,” John said, rolling his eyes.
“I prefer insistence,” Lafayette said. The café’s front door jingled signalling a new customer. It was a woman, with big curly hair and light skin. She frowned, looking down at her phone.
“I got this one,” John said, nudging Lafayette. His friend nodded, disappearing into the back of the cafe. He walked up to the register, smiling.
“Hi, how can I help you today?”
“Hi, yeah,” she squinted at the small screen in her hand. He guessed that she was an intern, maybe a secretary and had been chosen for the daily coffee run. Unlucky. “Can I get a medium caramel latte with extra caramel, whip cream and shavings?”
“Sure,” John said, grabbing a cup, “Can I get a temperature for that one?”
“Uh, are you gonna want different names for these cups?” John asked.
“Yes, actually that would help a lot, thank you,” she said, nodding thankfully, “Thomas for that one.” John hummed, scribbling the ridiculous order.
“Okay, so the next one is an herbal tea, whichever one is your most popular, a medium for that one as well.”
“Warm, uh, this one is for a human, so not too hot. That one’s for James.”
“And then a medium coffee with one cream, one sugar, hot, for George. That’s it.”
“Nice,” John hummed, “That will be twelve for the three of them.” The woman said nothing, pulling out a card. John passed the machine. “This isn’t normally your job, is it?”
“No,” she admitted, “There was… a situation at the office this afternoon. Our normal coffee interns are in over their heads right now with work, so the boss sent me out instead.”
“Well, I hope your work situation goes back to normal soon,” John said, starting on the coffees.
“Me too,” the woman agreed, “The General needs his chief of staff, I mean everyone needs the chief of staff, right?” She blushed and stopped talking. “I don’t mean to burden you with my problems.”
“No, no it’s fine,” John said, “But, ah, did you say chief of staff?”
“Yeah,” the woman sighed, “The guy’s only been with Washington for a little bit but he’s already changed the way the office works. Washington’s just trying to get everything under control.”
“You work for Washington?” John said, forgetting about the coffee.
“Oh, you saw the news?” the woman guessed, “Yeah, it’s a bit of a mess right now.”
“No! That’s not what I meant,” John said, “Well, I did see the news, but I know him, the chief of staff. Alexander Hamilton, right?”
“Yes, Mister Hamilton,” the woman said, nodding.
“Do you know if he’s okay?” John asked. The woman shrugged.
“I don’t, I’m sorry,” she said, “I’m just the secretary, but I do know that the General is attending to him. It’s why the interns have been so busy.”
“Ah, well, I hope he’s okay is all,” John said, looking back down at the coffee.
“I do too,” the woman agreed, “He’s a good guy. I’m Maria, by the way.”
“I know,” she said, shrugging. He looked at her in confusion. “Your name tag.”
“Right,” he said, passing the coffees over the counter, placing them into a tray and grabbing a teabag. “Makes sense.” He passed the tea over the counter. “There you go. Have a nice day Maria. Hopefully, everything sorts itself out.”
“Right,” she said, grabbing the tray, “Thanks, John.” He shrugged. She smiled before walking out of the cafe quickly. He sighed, leaning on the counter. Lafayette walked out of the back of the cafe, a new piping hot tray of croissants in hand.
“Out of my way!” he announced, “Hot croissants!” John sighed moving slightly to the left, giving Lafayette access to the display case.
“Smells good Laf,” he said.
“Thank you mon ami,” he said, smiling, “I have been slaving away on these little things all morning.”
“I know, believe me,” John said, rolling his eyes, “You’ve mentioned it.”
“Have I?” Lafayette asked, “I don’t think I have.” John laughed, looking out the café window. “Is something wrong mon ami?” Lafayette frowned at him, placing the last of the croissants in an organized line.
“Nothings wrong,” he said, shrugging, “A woman, the customer, she worked for Washington. I asked her about Alexander?”
“And?” Lafayette asked expectantly, “Anything?” John shook his head.
“She didn’t know anything, just that Washington like you said, has been getting everything under control.”
“As I thought,” Lafayette said, “I trust Washington, he is a good man.”
“And how would you know that?” John asked, furrowing his eyebrows.
“I have a mysterious past,” Lafayette said elusively, “You know this John.”
“I mean, have you met Washington?” John asked, “How would you know if he’s a good man? He’s a politician.”
“Despite what you think not all politicians are bad,” Lafayette said, rolling his eyes, “And, yes, I have met him.”
“You’ve been holding back on me,” John said, “You owe me that story Lafayette.”
“Another time,” his friend said, waving him off, “For now, we have more coffees to make.” He pointed at the forming line of teenagers, who must’ve just gotten off of school. John sighed.