Hi :) I couldn't get this idea out of my head no matter how hard I tried so I thought I'd write it down and see what happened... I hope you enjoy it!
If there was one thing that Beca hated about her job, it was that she had to be at the studio at eight o'clock sharp every morning because, to put it simply, Beca Mitchell was not a morning person. At all. Rubbing at her eyes in an attempt to wake herself up a little, she stumbled into her favourite coffee shop, nearly crashing headfirst into a leaving customer. She mumbled a quick apology before roughly beginning to push past the queue of people inside, making her way to the counter; something that was easier said than done, thanks to her size. Ignoring people's complaints behind her as she reached the front of the counter, she scanned the room for Chloe, one of her best [okay, only] friends from college who also happened to be the owner of the shop, hoping that she was free so that she could get her coffee quickly and make her way to work. To this day, she still had no idea why Chloe had been so persistent on being 'friends' with her but she guessed it had some perks; thanks to Chloe, she never had to queue for coffee in the mornings. Or pay.
"Where's Chloe?" Beca asked, eyeing the man [or…boy?] behind the counter warily as she failed to spot the redhead. She really didn't need this today; Aubrey, her boss, had already yelled at her last week for being late and having 'an attitude' and ugh, she really needed to get her hands on that cup of coffee and get out of here before she gave Aubrey another reason to shout at her.
"Sorry, Chloe's out at the moment," the boy replied, smiling at her widely, "Is there anything I can help you with?"
Beca sighed, squinting up at him, a slightly annoyed expression crossing her face at his been a regular visitor to Chloe's coffee shop for the past few years, she recognised him to be one of Chloe's many baristas but she had no idea what his name was or, more importantly, whether he could be trusted with her long and complicated coffee order. She continued staring at him, unsure of what to do [and okay, maybe he wasn't so hard on the eyes, in a sort of dorky, boy-next-door kind of way…not that she would ever admit that out loud] until he cleared his throat, a wide grin still gracing his face and she sighed once more. This really wasn't her day.
"What time will Chloe be back?" Beca asked, her eyes quickly flicking up to the clock, wondering if she had enough time to wait for Chloe to return, get her coffee and make it to the studio before eight…or eight thirty…or nine… Screw Aubrey, Beca knew that she wasn't always punctual every morning [okay, that was a lie: she was never punctual. Ever.] but she also knew that she was good at her job and so far, she had never missed a deadline so…really, what was the problem? Besides, it was in everyone's best interests that Beca got her coffee made correctly [in other words, by Chloe and not by this weirdly cheerful guy] because when she didn't, well, let's just say that she wouldn't get any work done at all—
"—Aw, come on," the guy said, a smile still plastered on his face as he raised his hands up in mock surrender, "I swear I won't poison your coffee. I'm like the most amazing coffee maker in this city!"
Beca raised her eyebrows as she shot him an incredulous look, accompanied by a roll of her eyes. Who even said things like that? "Look, no offence, but I really don't have time for this," she started, a slight hint of exasperation in her voice as she realised that he wasn't going to let her go without serving her. "Just, I don't know, make me a latte or something."
He nodded at her, still grinning widely and okay, seriously, what was wrong with him? Why the hell was he so cheerful? It was seven in the morning! "Okay, one latte or something, coming right up!"
"Oh, wow, you are such a dork," Beca replied, shaking her head before squinting at his name badge in an attempt to make out his name as she added dryly, "And Jesse, you should really let other people tell you that your coffee is amazing; it doesn't quite work if you say it yourself." He simply shrugged his shoulders, completely unfazed by her comments, before moving away to start her order.
Five minutes later and Jesse was handing her a coffee cup over the counter and she breathed a sigh of relief as she felt the warmth from the polystyrene cup flood through her hands. She really didn't know how she would survive without coffee; it was, together with music, her everything.
As she took a sip, relishing the taste of the drink, her eyes widened as she realised that this was definitely not the latte she had ordered but instead, her regular coffee order. How the hell had he managed to pull that off?
Beca turned, only to see Jesse, still grinning at her [was his face incapable of any other expression or something...?] from the counter and she simply rolled her eyes again. "I've had better," she called out at him before turning to leave, biting her lip to stop herself from smiling as she heard him chuckle behind her. That was...interesting.
It was only until she got outside and took another sip that she registered the messily scrawled note on her cup:
Have a nice day :)
PS – Next time you see me, I expect you to shower me with compliments about how amazing this cup of coffee was.
She blinked hard, raising a hand to rub at her eyes a little as she wondered whether she was imagining the whole thing...because, god, who left messages for complete strangers on coffee cups? That was just plain weird. After ten whole seconds of staring at her cup and realising that, no, she wasn't dreaming and the message was real, she reread it, rolling her eyes at his words. This only proved that what she had told him back in the coffee shop was completely true: he was such a dork...but hey, she guessed he hadn't done so badly with her order; of course, it wasn't as good as what Chloe would have prepared for her but it was close. Very close.
Okay, screw it, she really couldn't taste the difference and that annoyed her more than it should.
"Hey, Chloe," Jesse called out, glancing up from where he was wiping down the counter as he saw the familiar redhead enter the shop, "Your friend stopped by earlier this morning. I think she was a little upset not to see you here."
"My…friend?" Chloe asked, a perplexed expression crossing her face as she frowned, trying to remember whether she had organised a meeting with someone this morning. "Which friend?"
Jesse shrugged his shoulders, quickly conjuring up an image of the girl and describing her as well as he could, "Yeah, you know, the girl that always comes in at seven? The one with the ridiculously long and complicated coffee order and the, uh, amazingly scary ear spike?"
"Oh, Beca? Shit, she is going to kill me," Chloe replied, her eyes widening slightly. "She didn't yell at you, did she? She's really not a morning person."
Jesse laughed, shaking his head in response as he continued wiping down the counter. Although he didn't normally take the morning shift, he had seen the girl – Beca – a couple of times before and he found her absolutely fascinating. She was one of those mysterious girls who seemed completely unapproachable [although this could be just because he was seriously scared of her ear spike…that thing looked dangerous] but he had witnessed her joking around with Chloe in the past and god, she was really, really pretty when she smiled. "Don't worry, Chlo, I handled it."
"Wait, she let you make her coffee?" she asked, her surprise evident in her tone of voice. "Beca Mitchell accepted coffee from a total stranger? How did that happen?"
Jesse shrugged his shoulders again before leaning against the counter, shooting Chloe a wink, "I guess no-one can refuse this face," he quipped before raising his arms to cover his body, letting out a yelp of surprise as Chloe threw an empty cup at him.
"Get back to work, Jess," she said, pointing a finger at him threateningly and he raised his hand in a mock salute before turning back towards the counter to finish wiping it down. "Oh and do me a favour and text Benji, will you? Stacie's ill and I need someone to cover the afternoon shift."
"Will do," he replied, nodding once as he pulled his phone out of his pocket and started composing a text to the boy in question. Once he had pressed send, he sat himself down besides Lilly, quickly checking to see whether the shop was empty before standing up again, grabbing his laptop from the staffroom and loading up a movie. The shop was practically always devoid of customers in the short period between the morning and lunchtime rushes and Chloe didn't really mind what they did during that time, as long as they kept their eyes on the door and were ready if a customer did walk in.
As the opening credits started, he found himself reflecting his day so far. Today had been an…interesting morning. He had already been intrigued by Chloe's friend before today but now, well, now he couldn't stop thinking about her, as creepy as that made him sound. She was just so sarcastic and blunt and, frankly, it was refreshing. Plus, her expression when she had realised that he had managed to remember and make her usual intricate order was so…endearing that it was totally worth the extra effort. He just hoped that she had found his message on the cup that he had scrawled on in a moment of inspiration [okay, he knew that it was a total cliché but hey, he watched a lot of movies and it always seemed to be a move that worked with girls] and that he would see her again soon.
"Hey, Beca?" Jesse dragged his eyes away from his computer screen as he overheard Chloe talking on the phone. "Sorry I wasn't here when you stopped by this morning, I had some other business to attend to—Yes, it was more important than your coffee order! Besides, I heard Jesse took care of you. Although, not going to lie Beca, I can't believe you let him make you your coffee! I thought you said that your coffee order was sacred and that only I was allowed to make it—No, Beca, of course I'm not jealous, it's just that, you know, it's you!"
Chloe paused, her eyes meeting Jesse's and she shook her head in amusement. "Yeah, I know, he's a massive pain, he won't stop eavesdropping on my conversations and everything—Yes, he's listening to me now. Okay, I'll let him know. See you tomorrow, Beca."
She hung up the phone before turning towards Jesse who just looked at her expectantly, a smile on his face. "Beca says to tell you that the coffee was the absolute opposite of amazing and that she will definitely never trust you with her coffee order ever again." She threw another cup at him as he gasped in mock indignation at her words before adding, "But between you and me, I'm still in disbelief that she let you make her order."
He chuckled to himself, "I told you, Chlo, no-one can refuse this face. You should like stick a picture of my face on the outside window or something - it might help us attract more customers."
"Get back to work," she said once more, shaking her head as she retreated into the stock room. "Or, even better, tell Benji to hurry up and get here so that you can leave and I won't have to put up with your eavesdropping ways any longer!"
Jesse simply laughed in response - he knew from working shifts here for the past year that Chloe was way too nice to hold a grudge – before returning to his movie. Sometimes he wondered how he had ended up having to pull shifts at the local coffee shop to make ends meet whilst he worked towards his dream of scoring movie soundtracks but there were days like today where he guessed it wasn't so bad.