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Sweet Life

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Jack hates Connor fucking McDavid.

He’s only been working at the bakery for a week, but he’s sure Connor McDavid is a horrible person and just covering it up with a cute face and a nice ass.

Sure, Connor’s always smiling with Mitch and Dylan but they’re back of house – they have to get along. It’s not Jack’s fault Connor refuses to say more than two words to him.

Well – he’s said more than two words.  All of them combined were “We’re out of croissants,” “Don’t cut on a plate,” and “Put all the extra pastries on one tray please.”

There was a “please” in there but so fucking what.  He doesn't care if Connor makes the best ciabatta and earl grey shortbread, one day Jack’s gonna snap and knock him over the head with the house roast carafe, he swears to God.

“Dude,” Noah says, leaning against the counter.  “You need to chill out about him.”

He needs to chill out,” Jack replies, taking out another piece of tape and sticking it under the other two on the cold brew container. “He thinks I don’t know how to label shit?!  I’ll show him.”

“He just likes things his way, c’mon.”

But Noah doesn’t stop Jack – so Jack sticks on another piece of tape and writes, in big block letters, exactly the way Connor had told him not to in his note: COLD BREW 5/12 10 AM

“What’re you trying to prove?” Noah asks, when Jack slaps the top onto the cold brew and hefts it up.

“Absolutely nothing,” Jack replies, and heads through the kitchen to the walk-in.  He glances over at Connor, weighing out ciabatta dough at the bread station, and sees Connor watching him.  Connor stares at him, before his eyes flick down to the cold brew container in Jack’s arms.

He catches sight of the block of blue tape and his eyes narrow.  Jack smirks, and pulls open the walk-in door.

.oOo.

The next morning, when Jack gets in at six, Connor’s already putting the summer berry galettes in the oven, and he’s got the beginnings of ciabatta and baguettes working on the bread station.  Connor looks up when Jack knocks on the door, but Mitch is the one who opens the door for him.

“Hey,” Jack says, pulling his earbuds out of his ears.

“Hey,” Mitch replies, grinning at Jack.  Jack eyes him suspiciously.  “There’s a note for you at the POS.”

Jack rolls his eyes and goes upstairs first, dropping his backpack in his locker and taking off his sweatshirt.  Then he goes back to the counter, clocking in before he even looks at the note Connor left for him.

“Incorrect,” it says, with the label Jack had put on the cold brew attached to the paper.  “Correct,” it says, with a single piece of blue tape saying, in Connor’s cramped handwriting, “Cold Brew 10a 5/12”

“Fuck you,” Jack mutters, balling up the paper and tossing it in the trash.  He goes through the kitchen to start pulling cakes and pies from the walk-in to fill the case, and catches Connor’s eye as he walks past him. Connor’s face is blank – but there’s a glimmer of amusement in his eyes.  Jack scowls and heads into the walk-in.

.oOo.


When Jack brews the cold brew later that morning, he takes an inch-long piece of blue tape and cuts it in half length-wise, so it’s only half an inch thick.  He presses it to the cold brew container, and holds the sharpie carefully as he writes “Cold brew 5/13 8 AM”

He can see Connor watching him as he carries the cold brew into the fridge.  Connor looks away as soon as he sees Jack watching him, studying the cold brew.  Jack smirks as he puts it in the fridge.

.oOo.

The next morning, Dylan’s the one opening the door for him.

“Note for you on the counter,” Dylan says, wiping his floury hands on his apron.  “Remember that we do need to read the labels, okay?”

Jack shrugs a shoulder and goes through his usual routine – backpack and jacket upstairs, then back down to the POS to clock in.

“Incorrect,” the note says, with the tiny label Jack had made the day before.  “Correct,” it says, with the same label Connor had made the day before.  It’s wrinkled, a little, and peeling up at the edges.  It looks like Connor had taken the note out of the trash, while Jack was getting the cakes and pies out, just because he knew Jack was going to pull a similar stunt today.

.oOo.

Jack puts three separate pieces of tape on the cold brew, right at the top, in the middle, and just above the nozzle.  He writes “cold brew” on the first one, “10 AM” on the second, and “5/14” on the last.

He puts that morning’s note next to Connor’s basket of brownie scraps.

.oOo.

Connor doesn’t work on Sundays, and the bakery’s closed on Mondays.  Jack goes grocery shopping, does his laundry, and jerks off to a truly ridiculous amount of porn.

He doesn’t miss Connor.

.oOo.

Tuesday mornings, Jack opens by himself.  He’s in the fridge, checking how much iced tea they have, when he hears the door open.

“You need to stop,” Connor says, pulling the walk-in door shut behind himself.

Jack looks over his shoulder, raising an eyebrow.  “Stop what?”

Connor huffs, crossing his arms over his chest.  It makes his arms pull at the sleeves of his chef’s coat.  “You know what.”

Jack grins and leans back against the shelves.  “I don’t think I do.”

“The labels,” Connor bursts out.  “The labeling and – those looks because youknow you’re irritating but you’re so hot that I can’t even be mad about it!”

Jack pauses for a moment, staring at Connor, who’s flushed red even in the cold of the walk-in.  “You think I’m hot?”

“Just label things right,” Connor mutters, and turns on his heel.

Jack turns back to the teas, checking that they’ve got enough black and berry steeped to last at least the morning.  Then he checks the truffle pops, the milk, the non-dairy milk, and the samples for lunch.

“Fuck,” Jack says to himself.  When there’s nothing left to do, Jack leaves the walk in.  Connor’s at the bread station, resolutely staring down at his worktop as he kneads the honey wheat dough.  He doesn’t look up as Jack passes by.

.oOo.

Jack takes a 2-inch piece of tape and puts it on the cold brew container.  He writes “cold brew 5/17 9a” on it, and carries it through the kitchen to the walk-in.  He glances at Connor as he passes.  Connor’s looking at the cold brew, and frowning.

.oOo.

Connor’s shift is done at 1. He always checks that his muffins and scones are set up for the morning, updates the white board with what needs to be done, and goes upstairs to change into shorts and a t-shirt.

Jack takes his 15 and waits outside the bathroom for Connor.  Connor comes out in a Leafs shirt and khaki shorts, backpack slung over his shoulder, and stops short when he sees Jack.

“Jack—” Connor starts, jamming his hands in his pockets.

“I keep labelling things like that,” Jack starts, scrubbing his hand through his hair, “Because I want to piss you off.”

“You weren’t trying to…” Connor trails off.

Jack rolls his eyes.  “Do you know why I was trying to piss you off?”

“Because you hated me?” Connor asks, shoulders hunching a little.  “I mean, why else would you?”

Jack rolls his eyes again, even harder.  “You really can’t think of any other reason?”

“He thinks you’re hot,” Aaron shouts from the catering desk.

Connor’s eyes widen and he blushes furiously.

Jack nods shortly.  “Yeah, that’s it.”

“Really?” Connor asks.

Jack crosses his arms. “Are you gonna say anything back?”

“I already said it,” Connor says, suddenly confident, taking a step closer to Jack.  “You haven’t really, yet.”

“You’re hot,” Jack says, poking the maple leaf on Connor’s shirt.  “Even though you’re a Leafs fan.”

Connor smiles, ducking his head a little.

“I get off at 3:30,” Jack says, taking a step closer.  “Just in time for happy hour.”

“Meet you at Pinstripes at 4?” Connor asks.

“Yeah,” Jack replies, smirking a bit.  “See you then.”

Connor stares at him for a moment, then visibly shakes himself and steps around Connor.  “Isn’t your break almost up?”

“I’ll walk down with you,” Jack says, purposefully brushing his hand against Connor’s, and leading the way down the stairs, back to the bakery.  Connor follows him closely.

They pause for a moment by the door, and Jack gently takes hold of Connor’s elbow.  He’s wearing short sleeves, now, and Jack can see the muscle in his arms.  It’s hot.

“See you in a few hours,” Jack says, squeezing his arm lightly.

“Yeah,” Connor replies, leaning into Jack for barely a second before turning and leaving.

Jack smirks and heads back to the counter.

“What are you doing, Jack,” Noah sighs, straightening the tea canisters.

“We’re getting drinks at four,” Jack answers, tying his apron around his waist.  Noah sighs again.

By the time Jack’s clocking out at 3:30, he’s still smiling.

.oOo.

The next morning, Jack wakes up when Connor’s alarm goes off at 3:30.

“Go back to sleep,” Connor murmurs, pressing a kiss to Jack’s cheek.

Jack drifts for a bit, as Connor shoves a pair of shorts and a t-shirt in his bag, and pulls his jeans and chef’s coat on.  He’s quiet, and Jack smiles into the pillow.

“There’s coffee in your travel mug,” Connor whispers, some time later, ruffling Jack’s curls.  “And protein bars in a basket on top of the fridge.”

“Mmph.”  Jack pulls Connor’s quilt up around his shoulders.

“See you in a couple hours.”

Jack falls back asleep, until his phone alarm goes off at 5.  He rolls out of Connor’s bed and grabs his work clothes out of his bag and changes quickly, and heads into the kitchen.

His travel mug’s sitting on the counter, and the protein bars are easy to find.  Over the label with Jack’s name on the mug, Connor put a piece of blue tape.

“Hot coffee with half and half,” it reads, “5/18 3a.”

Jack grins and grabs the roll of tape.  He’s got 10 minutes before he’s got to catch the bus, after all.