Alec stirred three packs of sugar into his caramel latte. Behind him, he heard Eliot take a sip of hot coffee and he couldn't stop his lip from curling up in distaste. Without bothering to turn around, he said, "I don't get how you can even drink that stuff. Coffee is meant to have additives, man. Who drinks it black? Who?" He reached for the shaker of cinnamon, needing a little something extra in his latte to make up for Eliot's lack.
"Hurry up, Hardison." Eliot punctuated his words with a loud and deliberate slurp.
Just for that, Alec added a couple more slow shakes of cinnamon. "Can't hurry a masterpiece, my friend." He grinned as he said it, picturing Eliot rolling his eyes.
Snapping the lid into place on his large latte, Alec was just punching his straw through the hole when a man shouted, "Hands in the air. Don't move and nobody gets hurt."
Alec turned toward the front door where two men stood, wearing black trousers and jackets, black ski masks, black gloves, and wielding a sawed-off shotgun and some kind of handgun, respectively. The clerk behind the orange and pink counter stood wide-eyed, all but frozen in place, close to panic. A woman dropped her donut – one of those cream-filled ones, based on the splatter as it hit the linoleum – and her coffee as she raised her arms as high as she could; the man with her backed up until he nearly tripped over a table and let out a little scream. Beside Alec, Eliot calmly took another sip of his coffee.
"Oh, you are not serious," Alec said with a frown. "Who robs a Dunkin' Donuts? What the frak would be the point?" Eliot didn't respond, but the man with the shotgun did.
"I said get your hands in the air!" He gestured with the sawed-off. "And get your asses up here."
Shaking his head, Alec lifted his arms, one hand clearly empty, the other filled with his near-perfect caramel latte. "Seriously, what are you gonna get out of it?" he asked as he walked up to the counter. "A couple hundred bucks?" Eliot sauntered along behind him with another slurp.
"Shut up!" the man with the handgun ordered and then turned to the terrified clerk. "Open up that register and put everything in a bag." He swung the gun wildly, a nickel-plated 9mm, but Alec couldn't tell what make; guns just weren't his thing. The clerk, even more frightened, fumbled with the keys to the register until the drawer popped open. Alec mimed zipping his lips shut with his free hand.
Eliot stepped up to the counter and leaned in toward the robber. "You should leave now," he whispered conspiratorially.
Alec, recognizing the gleam in his eyes, slapped his left hand to his face and groaned into his palm, "Oh, Lord…"
Too dumbfounded to react right away, it took 9mm a full two seconds before he said, outraged, "Get the fuck back!"
Instead, Eliot relaxed against the counter and took another sip of his coffee. Steam curled up from the cup and a slow grin spread across Eliot's face. The clerk took the opportunity to back away from the counter. Peeking between his fingers, Alec slipped into a chair and sucked latte through the straw. Damn, this is a good mix, he thought, keeping his eyes on Eliot. He didn't want to miss the action.
The other robber started toward the counter, shotgun pointed at Eliot's head. "Aw, dude, you do not want to do that," Alec advised. Unsurprisingly, the man ignored him, so Alec stretched out his legs and leaned back into the chair with a shrug. "It's your funeral."
Moving so fast it was almost a blur, Eliot simultaneously reached out with both hands the second Shotgun came within range. His left hand closed on 9mm's wrist and, with a vicious twist, the man dropped the gun. The momentum was such that it skittered across the counter and clattered to the floor. Lucky for the startled clerk, it didn't go off.
With his right hand, Eliot flung his large coffee into Shotgun's face, pushing off from the counter and pulling 9mm along like a ragdoll as he did so. The styrofoam cup, designed to keep hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold, smashed into the man's face, sending no-longer-scalding-but-still-very-hot coffee everywhere. Or it would have, if Shotgun's face and upper body hadn't caught most of it. He screamed and dropped the shotgun.
Shit! Eyes wide, Alec jumped up from his chair, arms outstretched to catch the gun before it hit the floor. His latte toppled with the movement and rolled across the table. Mournfully, Alec watched its descent into oblivion even as Eliot safely caught the shotgun, aiming it at its former owner.
A creamy, dark beige pool spread across the floor toward Eliot's feet. He blew at a lock of hair that had escaped from its half-ponytail during the two-second fight.
Alec looked at him, then back down at his escaping latte, and sighed. "Damn. What a waste."