The Coffee Shop

SUMMARY: Modern AU. On his weekly coffee runs to the Café Musain, the young law student starts to take notice of a girl who always sits alone and reads at the same table, always at the same time. He begins to make his stops more frequent in hopes of catching a glimpse of her while slowly working up the nerve to talk to her, unaware that she's already noticed and has been doing the same. [2012 film Enjonine. Credit goes to electrum-whip on Tumblr.]

Chapter 1

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Credit for the initial idea, summary, and the cover image go to electrum-whip on Tumblr, from whom I have permission to write this story, but the writing and story itself belongs to me.

The Coffee Shop is based on the 2012 film, set in modern day, with Aaron Tviet as Enjolras and Samantha Barks as Éponine. If you are wondering, Enjonine is a proposed ship name for Enjolras/Éponine. If you like it, please use it and spread the word. Maybe this will be the next Fiyeraba!

Late summer

A twenty-two-year-old young man sat at a small table in a café, a black coffee in hand. A messenger bag packed with heavy law books hung from the back of his chair, the leather on the bag imprinted with the prestigious title of an elite law school. The young man in question was tall, with curly blond hair, attractive but serious features, and dark eyes.

As per custom, he had come to the Café Musian, a tasteful and relatively quiet coffee shop, late in the week to drink a coffee and reflect. As he began his last year at one of the most competitive law schools in the country, he rarely found time to simply contemplate the path his life had led thus far and the road he was currently traveling on.

Enjolras lifted his gaze to the door of the café as it opened, the small bell above the entrance tinkling lightly. A young woman about his age or perhaps a year younger walked through the door, a book in hand as she approached the counter.

Enjolras watched her as she crossed the room. She was pretty – not beautiful in a classical sense, but attractive with a tough exterior that allowed a softer undertone to shine through. Tall but not extremely so, she had long dark hair that fell in layered waves down her back, suntanned features, bright eyes, and a wide, pleasantly appealing face. She ordered an iced mocha and went to a table in the corner of the Café Musain. Opening the book and pulling out the page marker, she began to read.

Enjolras himself tore his gaze from the girl and focused on his drink. Why was he watching the girl? He was never one for relationships; that he left to his friends who seemed to focus more on dating rather than graduating. But why had she captured his attention? She was different from most of the girls he knew – quiet rather than talkative, bookish rather than gossip-obsessed. The women who attended any law school were more serious and focused than the average college student, it was true, but some seemingly brainless, chattering ones had slipped into their ranks.

But what was it about this girl that made her so different?

On Saturday morning at nearly exactly the same time Enjolras once again sat at a table in the Café Musain. This time, however, law books were not by his side; his friend Grantaire sat across from him. Enjolras watched as his dark-haired companion consumed yet another cup of straight black coffee. When a car's screeching tires were heard outside the café, Grantaire groaned, bringing a hand to his head.

"And this is why I don't drink," Enjolras said.

Grantaire lifted his head, fixing a suffering look on his friend. "Do you know what happened last night?" he asked.

Enjolras said nothing.

"Did I at lease enjoy myself?" Grantaire pleaded.

"You went to a friend's apartment," Enjolras began.

"I remember that."

"You got drunk, obviously."

"I remember that."

"You stood on the table."

"Don't remember that."

"You sang Oom Pah Pah, then Call Me Maybe, talked about Don Juan, and made a speech about the government should make beer fountains instead of water fountains. Eventually you passed out and Joly brought you home and left on your couch."

"I don't remember any of that," Grantaire said almost apologetically. At Enjolras' pointed look, however, he added quickly, "But I'm sure I didn't enjoy myself."

Enjolras sighed. "Do you want more coffee?" Grantaire nodded, mumbling a thank you. As Enjolras stood, the door of the café opened.

It was the girl.

He stood, watching her as she went to the counter and ordered an iced mocha, book in hand. The same as last time, he noted.

Enjolras shook himself. Why on earth was he paying so much attention to her? He approached the counter, and his gaze moved involuntarily to her form as she paid for her drink. Her dark hair hung in wavy layers down her back, and –

Snap out of it, he ordered himself. The girl took her drink and went to the same table she had sat at the last time. He tore his gaze away and ordered Grantaire's coffee while trying to think of anything but the girl.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: There is a difference between being attracted to someone and falling head over heels in love with them. Enjolras and Éponine aren't in love.