A/N: A sort of Christmas-y fic I'll try to have complete by Christmas day. This chapter was extremely fun to write.
Chapter 1: Winter Spice
Sora looked around him, standing behind the only register within the Destiny Cafe. It was the same white walls, the same soothing jazz music humming away, the tables empty, and Sora couldn't help but feel the same way he felt the other day. Bored.
Sora had been working at Destiny Cafe for quite a while now, about six months. His parents recently got him a car, and suddenly, he had gas to pay for, and insurance. He knew insurance was expensive, but nearly one hundred dollars a month? Insane. And gas? Sora couldn't do anything for fun anymore. Not with such a massive debt he needed to pay off to his parents.
He owed them a good sum of money, and with such a limited skill set, he was lucky to get a job at Destiny Cafe. For minimum wage, he had it relatively easy. He was a cashier, and as well, he was a Brewster when it got busy. Which happened in three hour intervals. He's earned a raise, and at sixteen, almost seventeen, the amount of income was great. His hours, not so much. He was really good at what he did here, and worked every hour he could. Sure, it bent the child labor laws a bit, but, they kept paying, and he desperately needed the money.
However, days like this Friday, when it was empty, he couldn't help but wish he worked less.
"Ugh... why isn't anyone coming in today? It's like, twenty degrees with a wind chill of death. We should be swamped!" Sora slammed his head on the register, popping open the cash dispenser which gently tapped his chest before he slid it back into place.
"It's Friday, and it's only six, Sora." Riku replied, cleaning the machinery behind the counter. "Everyone's out eating dinner."
Sora looked over at Riku, his best friend, and the only reason he's got a job here. Riku is the son of the owner of Destiny Cafe. Nope, not his dad, his mother. This small establishment is family run, and it's a well off business, for two reasons. One, everything made here is a recipe Riku's mother herself created (and if you've never had her cooking, you've been missing out on one of the greatest joys in the world.) And two, Riku. Sora wasn't attracted towards his best friend in any sense other than friends, but Riku was the definition of model. His hair was a tidy mess, shoulders broad, muscular arms, and washboard abs. Yeah, he was also a real ladies man, too. Riku brought in quite a few girls from their high school.
Sora gave Riku a look of utter boredom. "Well... why aren't we out having a meal then?" Sora asked, "You and me both are the only ones working right now, and there's not even a point!" Following Sora's statement, his stomach decided to comment on the topic, "And I'm starving!"
Riku rolled his eyes at Sora and reached into the glass shelf, pulling out a cinnamon bun and tossed it to Sora. "Quit complaining. If you do, that's on the house." Sora had no complaints, and quickly choked down the bun. Sora muffled a thanks before swallowing the cinnamon bun, and he carefully watched Riku's expression change from straight, to a wide grin. "Sora, look outside. Here's the moment you've been waiting for."
Sora looked outside and he too, grinned. "Bout time!" He said as their first customer of the night walked in. He waited to the best of his ability for them to get close to register, before quickly blurting: "Welcome to Destiny Cafe! What can I get started for you today?" He asked with a wide grin.
The customer, an older woman, observed the menu for a second. "Let's see..." She began, "I'm in the mood for something different today. What do you suggest?" She asked Sora.
"Well, might I suggest the Winter Spice?" Sora said, pointed up to it on the posted menu above him. "It's got cinnamon, and a bit of ginger. Not too bold, but, it's a new taste. Plus, it's a hot drink. Perfect for the cold weather outside!"
The woman pondered it for a few seconds, "That sounds absolutely delicious." She said, reaching into her purse, she pulled out a credit card and handed it to him, "I'll take a medium Winter Spice, if you please."
Sora punched in her order expertly (if there was an art to pressing buttons, that is,) and looked at Riku, who was already brewing up the woman's drink. "Alrighty, I have one wonderfully delicious Winter Spice drink of medium size. Would you like anything else? Perhaps one of Chef Riku's delectable cinnamon buns? They're fresh, I just had one myself."
The woman nodded, "That sounds like a perfect way to finish my evening. I'll take one."
"Awesome, your total is six thirty four. We'll have your drink ready in matter of moments." Just as Sora finished his sentence, Riku put on the lid to the medium drink the woman had ordered, and already had her cinnamon bun placed next to it in a small paper bag that had the Destiny Cafe logo on it. The woman picked her stuff up from the counter and as she was heading for the door Sora shouted, "Thank you for your business today!"
Riku chuckled and looked over at Sora, taking his hair out of it's tied up state and let it fall to his shoulders, shaking it a bit. "Wow Sora, you really know how to get a customer to buy something."
Sora laced his hands behind his head and shrugged, "Eh, it's all part of the charm. I don't have the looks, so I gotta make up for it in personality." He laughed for a bit, and rested against the counter.
"Yeah... wait," Riku looked over at Sora, a playful glint in his eye. "Did you just say I have no personality?"
Sora looked left and smirked, "I might have..." He glanced over at Riku returning the playful twinkle in his own eyes. "And if I did?"
Riku laughed and shook his head, "Just remember who always beats you in sparring rounds, and who makes sure you never leave with a bruise." Riku laughed a bit, but then he silenced himself, his eyes glued to the night outside. "Hey, look outside."
Sora walked over to the window, looking out one of the many large glass panes in front of the counter. "Okay, I'm looking, but I don't see anything." Sora scanned harder and across the street, he could see a group of girls talking amongst each other, more than likely giggling and enjoying their Friday. "Ohhh, them? What about them?"
Riku tied his hair back up, and got ready behind the machine. "They're coming in, obviously. Get ready to take their orders and help me make the drinks."
Sora took his battle station behind the register as well, doing a quick status check so it wouldn't freeze up on him for the big order they were about to take. As Riku predicted, they walked in, a group of about six girls or so, more than likely having a 'girls nite' or something along those lines. He recognized most of them from his school, but, they didn't really notice him. Instead, all their eyes went to Riku, who adverted his gaze to the machine, pretending to be troubleshooting. That guy really knew how to get attention without trying... "Welcome to Destiny Cafe, what can I get started for you all today?" Sora asked, albeit nervous. He didn't want to look like a fool.
The first one to speak was a bubbly girl with green eyes, brown hair, and a yellow coat. "I'll take a vanilla-"
"Latte with some whip cream, probably of medium size?" Sora finished. Putting in the order and ringing it up.
"How did you know, Sora?" She pouted, handing him five munny.
"You get the same thing every time, Selphie. And you're a regular. Even I should know it by heart now." He looked over at Riku, noticing Selphies drink already complete. He looked over and the rest of the girls ordered, which accounted for five of the six. "Anything else I can get for you all?"
Selphie looked back and huffed, "Kairi, don't you want something? They make, like, the best coffee. Ever!"
"Kairi?" Sora asked, the name was unfamiliar to him. Did she go to school with him? She must have, seeing as Selphie was talking to her... maybe a new student?
Sora saw Selphie nudging a girl with a red, almost crimson colored hair. It looked natural on her, and she had some really pretty eyes, blue eyes, to be exact. But, they bordered a violet color, unlike his sky blue ones. Sora didn't know what hit him, but this girl was absolutely gorgeous. She had on a cute pink jacket and a slightly lopsided beanie. Sora was awestruck by her, and barely caught himself before he started to drool. He quickly cleared his throat looking around, "W-what can I get you, Kairi?"
Kairi twiddled her thumbs and looked at the menu, a little to the left, a little to the right. Sora looked directly at her, and noticed her eyes linger a bit on a certain item on the menu. "Can I get a... Winter Spice?" She asked.
Sora typed it in accordingly, and asked, "You sure can. Small, medium, or large? Maybe a small in a medium cup?" He joked, getting a small giggle out of her, which could be compared to the sound of heavens bells to Sora.
"I'll take a medium."
"Sure thing." Sora put it in the register and asked, "Say, are you new around here? I haven't seen you before."
Kairi nodded, "I just got here last week... my family moved here from Destiny Islands."
Sora nodded, and slipped in his own money from his wallet into the register. "Well then, don't worry about your drink. It's on me. Consider it a welcome gift to Radiant Garden."
"You don't have to you know..." She mumbled.
"Nonsense!" Sora exclaimed, slightly startling Kairi. "You've moved into one of the homiest places around!... well, since it's restoration from the Heartless Wars, it's a bit sub par, but it's still nice!" He added. Sora looked over at Riku who was leaning against the counter, and smirked at Sora. A smirk that said 'you like the new girl~!' Sora blushed slightly, and said to Riku, "Dude, aren't you going to make Kairi's drink?"
Riku shook his head. "I made five other drinks for these lovely girls. Surely you can make Kairi's." When Riku said 'lovely girls' Sora could've sworn four of said girls melted on the spot.
Sora, for the first time since he started working here, was terrified of messing up the Winter Spice drink. He looked up at Selphie who silently said "Good luck!" Sora smiled slightly, and went to work making the drink.
In perfect succession, he mixed the drink in a flawless manor. "And there you go, Kairi. One perfectly topped off Winter Spice drink, with a bit of whip cream for the sake of extra flavor."
Kairi took the drink and a small sip. She smiled at him, and it made Sora melt, and heart skip four beats. What a gorgeous smile she had. Wow, everything was perfect about her. "Thank you..." she began, with a look of distraught that she didn't have his name.
"Sora." He said. "My names Sora."
She nodded and smiled again, there went another four beats in his heart, "Thank you, Sora." She said his name with a slight tinge of pink on her cheeks, and Sora's heart soared.
"Come on, Kairi! You got a lot to tell us tonight!" Selphie exclaimed, dragging Kairi away. "We'll see you all later!"
Sora nodded at them, "Take care! Come again!"
"We will!" Selphie shouted back, and the left the store, disappearing into the dark night.
Sora let out a sigh of relief and pure happiness. Kairi... what a beautiful name for such a beautiful girl. The name rang in his ears, and the way she thanked him, too. The tinge of pink on her cheeks when she said his name...
Riku hit Sora on the back of the head, "You totally dig the new chick, don't you?"
Sora's entire face burned crimson red. "I-I do not!"