A/N: This little bit of stupidity/silliness was brought to you by my desire to not do homework and my need for some fluff. (It also may or may not have to do with the insane amount of times I've recently been to my local Starbucks to work on various projects because it's suddenly become the ideal meeting place even though there's never any place to sit inside.)
Uh, this is clearly AU, set in modern times. I have so many different universes in my mind that sometimes I'm not even sure if they're the same, but here's one such universe. This is sort of pre-slash, I would suppose, because I'm in love with HamletxHoratio (or HoratioxHamlet, if you want to be specific). Writing them together is so fun, but my limited intelligence and wit does not do the pair justice. Whatever their relationship is, it makes me so very happy. Enjoy, and don't hurt me, please.
-caelumdeity


Fate Does NOT Exist

Hamlet's not sure what it is, but he thinks he's just fallen in love with a man he only just met.

It was awkward, at first. Hamlet had arrived early at the coffee shop because he had to meet for a project and he enjoyed being able to gripe about everyone else's tardiness. The young man was just about to enter, had noticed Hamlet, and had held the door open for him. Nothing too weird, the guy was courteous. Hamlet could respect that. Hamlet even thanked him – anyone who knew him might have fainted in shock. But, whatever.

Hamlet had taken a second to wonder if he was actually going to purchase something or loiter there until the rest of his group showed up, so the young man had gotten in line before him. That let Hamlet openly observe him without feeling too creepy about it.

Hamlet judged that the man was probably a few years older than him, attending the university nearby. (Hamlet himself was still trying to survive his junior year of high school and hated every second of it.) His hair was a nice, golden blond – always attractive in Hamlet's view – and neatly cut with a part over his right eye. The man wore glasses (fashionable ones, if he remembered correctly), but he hadn't quite caught the color of his eyes. He didn't pay much attention to the rest of his clothes; he just remembers there was blue (possibly plaid), and overall it was very dark. He wore his clothes neatly, but with a relaxed air. He does remember that he had been wearing a pair of Converse, because after his hair that's what Hamlet had stared at the most since he distinctly remembers that one of his shoelaces was loose and he never did anything about it – something that irked Hamlet to no end. When the man ordered, Hamlet noticed he had a nice, calm voice and a polite manner of speaking. It wasn't overly formal, but he had a feeling that the man unintentionally led on many of the female species.

Then, Hamlet had to repeat his order about five times before the cashier got it right. He's been told countless times that his order is just too specific and too strange that it's difficult to remember, but he thinks that they're all crazy.

"I've been told I have a certain charismatic appeal, but am I really that amazing?"

Hamlet blinked a couple of times before he noticed that he had gone back to staring at the man. He had pretty gray-green eyes. And a nice smile. Hamlet smiled in return. "I think it's just that everyone else I interact with is extraordinarily bland."

His smile widened. "How harsh."

Their conversation was interrupted by their reception of their orders, but it just as soon continued once they found somewhere to sit.

Hamlet tried to look as innocent as he could. "I tell nothing but the truth, my good sir."

"I'll try not to be offended by that."

"That's good. Offense wasn't my intention – at least this time around. But for future references, I'd like to have a name for that which I am offending."

"Horatio," the man said simply.

"Mysterious," Hamlet teased.

Horatio smirked. "Well I'm hardly going to let you slander my entire name, now will I?" He nodded towards him. "Is there a name to which all that audacity belongs?"

"Now I rather feel like a stereotypical low-budget actor."

"What? Overly arrogant?"

"No. Well, perhaps, although no one ever admits to that. I do feel unjustly offended that you don't know who I am."

Horatio laughed, and Hamlet felt accomplished for amusing him so, but he wasn't quite sure why. "You're quite an opinionated person, aren't you?"

Hamlet shrugged. "Oh, you know high schoolers. We know everything and if you're not popular the world hates you and you hate the world. And even if you are, the world still sucks."

"Cute."

Hamlet hadn't been (and still isn't) sure what Horatio had meant by that, so he ignored it. "So you still haven't figured out who I am?"

"I wasn't thinking about it, to be honest."

"You're no fun."

Horatio shrugged. "I figured you'd tell me eventually, or we'd just both forget about it and that I'd be haunted by your intelligent, blue eyes for the next week before camping out at the high school like a stalker just to meet you again."

"I'm sure somewhere in that incredibly disturbing sentence there was a compliment."

"I'm sure there was too, but sometimes my mouth wanders where it ought not and I have this terrible affliction where I can't remember what it said."

"I'm not complaining."

Horatio grinned, and tried to hide it by taking a drink of his hot tea. "Just where are you trying to lead this conversation?"

"You're attractive, I'm attractive, let's get together and make attractive babies."

And Hamlet could just tell Horatio was trying his hardest not to burst out laughing. "That was absolutely horrid. Did you read that somewhere?"

"I'm hurt. I've spent hours and hours perfecting that line. I thought it was foolproof!"

"Seriously. I'm sure you could've come up with something better than that given a few minutes."

Hamlet grinned. "Your faith in my intelligence and good taste in spite of our short acquaintance is amazing. I'm glad to admit that the unintelligent garble I just assaulted you with was not of my own creation. I do believe that I probably heard some variation of it in a show one of my friends forced me to watch. It was certainly not in anything I've read."

"So of course you're familiar with Shakespeare."

"Quite. I've wondered about how it might relate to my life, but the possibilities are terrifying so I try not to think of it."

"So our meeting shouldn't be taken into context at all."

"You've figured it out, then?"

Horatio grinned and leaned back in his chair. "Oh, I knew your name the moment I saw you. I was just trying to see if you would bring it up first."

"Maybe we should just forget this ever happened. Then we don't have to worry that maybe quite possibly in the future a whole lot of people might die soon." His heart lurched. As soon as the suggestion was out of his mouth, even if it was just a joke, Hamlet regretted it.

Horatio blinked. "Did that just hurt a lot more than it should have?"

"Strange." Hamlet cleared his throat. "Anyways, I think that lost-looking blonde over there is looking for me. It was nice meeting you."

Horatio smiled as Hamlet stood. "Is there any chance that her name is Ophelia?"

"How much are you willing to bet?"

Horatio took a pen out of his pocket, took Hamlet's hand and wrote something on it. "If I'm right, let's meet up again."

"Sure." Hamlet said, a little late in taking his hand back. As Horatio stood, he added, "She's not my girlfriend."

"Did I say she was?"

"No, but I'm certain you assumed so."

"True. I'm a firm believer that there was a rather heartbreakingly unrequited, unconditional love in that play. It makes the ending just that much more tragic."

"Let's make sure that doesn't happen, then." Hamlet was surprised at just how serious he had been.

"We'll see." And Horatio had looked genuinely concerned, but before Hamlet could say anything, Horatio continued. "Well, I see that our fair Ophelia has finally spotted you. I'll take my leave of you, my lord."

Hamlet scoffed and rolled his eyes, but the heat still rose to his face. "That's just downright embarrassing."

Horatio just smiled and winked before leaving.

"Who was that?" Ophelia asked him.

"Oh, just someone I met."

"You two were talking a lot. What about?"

"This and that." Hamlet shrugged. "The merits of early seventeenth century English literature."

Ophelia looked shocked and pouted at the same time. It was interesting to see. "I can't believe it! You meet a cute guy and you talk about literature? I'm disappointed in you."

Hamlet held up his hand. "I still got his number, didn't I?"

"What? I don't believe it."

Hamlet grinned. "And I didn't even have to ask for it."

"That's not fair."

Now at home two hours later, hiding from his uncle and what probably would be another hour long speech as to why he succeeding as CEO of the company would please his mother greatly, Hamlet considers taking a shower and sleeping entirely too early. As he undresses, his eye is caught on the series of numbers on his palm.

And suddenly, he has much better things to do than be a total loser this particular Saturday. He tugs his shirt back on (inside out and backwards but he doesn't care), finds his cell phone and quickly dials the number.

He picks up before the first ring finishes. 'Hello?'

Hamlet grins. "Waiting for someone?"

'Not anymore.'

Hamlet feels his face heat up again and he smiles involuntarily, much to his chagrin. And he's aware that he's probably acting like Ophelia would, but he can't bring himself to give a damn because Horatio probably doesn't and that's enough reason for him. "So, do you have any plans for dinner?"