N/a: Thank you all for all the sweet review, following and favourites. Means a lot! Here's the fifth and last part, hope you enjoy it.
Honolulu Heights closes for two weeks in September, after the summer rush, and they take that opportunity to finally go to Paris. He thinks it will all be romantic walks by the Seine and couple pictures on top of the Eiffel Tower. He's so wrong.
Annie, more excited than he's ever seen her before (which is, a lot), takes his hand and, last thing he knows, he's trapped in the Louvres for the rest of the day. Then the Musée d'Orsay, the Pompidou Centre. And, yes, he remembers painfully, she used to be an Art student. She drags him to almost all the museums in Paris.
So he puts his best smile on and lets her tell him about this painting, that artist.
When she's done with everything she wanted to see, four days later, he finally gets the chance to bring her wherever he wants.
It's the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Notre Dame. It's cheesy couple pictures and shared ice creams. And, of course, it's a compulsory stop in the best tea shop of Paris and watching her eat as many macaroons as her belly can bear, and wondering when he got so lucky.
They're too broken to eat in fancy restaurants every night so they buy take-outs and eat while watching French telly, laughing at the fact they don't understand a single thing.
He takes her to the Tuileries Garden by night and they dance to the sound of a band. She laughs, carefree, and he kisses her sweetly. They make it back to the hotel, his arm wrapper around her shoulders, with this feeling nothing could be more perfect than this moment.
They make love for the first time that night.
Herrick comes back, eventually. Herrick always comes back anyway.
Mitchell tells him to piss off, it's over, he never wants to be involved in that crook business ever again. He's a clean man now.
Herrick has the laugh of a man who knows it's not quite true, no one can change so drastically in so little time, but at least he leaves.
When Annie asks, he simply shrugs and tells her not to worry.
That's the most surprising part, nothing changes between them when they're at work. The same habits, the same choreography between the coffee machines, the same sharing of tasks. It's as nothing ever happened between them, as if they're still those two friends flirting senselessly.
She's so professional it kills him a bit.
But sometimes, when nobody's watching, she tiptoes to kiss him so there's that.
He waits until the end of the day to switch from colleague to boyfriend.
George is so happy for double dates even Annie rolls her eyes.
But Mitchell sees, how she whispers with Nina and glances at him every so often, and he barely hides his smile behind his beer. He nods at whatever George is saying, and winks at Annie the next time she looks at him.
Life is good.
Things get out of hand during one of the Friday parties.
They're a whole gang of Australian backpackers staying at the Heights for the week (god knows how Aussies managed to willingly get lost in Wales) and the ambiance is electrifying. It simply started with tea at five in the afternoon.
It's now almost two in the morning and Mitchell is having a drinking contest with one of the surfer boys. They're not supposed to be drinking when working but, well, they're also supposed to close the bar at midnight so there's that.
Annie tries pretending she's only tipsy but everyone knows she's been drunk for hours.
"I'll go grab some more bottles in the cellar" she says, jumping from her place on the bar counter.
Mitchell knocks back another shooter. "Comin' with ya, me love."
He's never sound more Irish than tonight.
And, of course, it doesn't take them more than thirty seconds alone in the cellar to start kissing. It doesn't take more than a few other seconds for his hands to slip under her shirt, for her fingers to start playing with the buttons of his jeans.
And, of course, George finds them a couple of minutes later.
His scream is so high-pitched it would drive dogs crazy.
He learns to make latte art at some point, when there's no patron around and he's bored.
It's even harder than it looks, but Mitchell is nothing if stubborn.
He sits on a stool between Annie's tights as she's once more on the counter, his back to her.
It's the kind of day when no one, absolutely no one comes by and they're bored to death at that point. So bored they've been playing ten fingers for hours now, which basically boils down to saying random things about their life. She plays with his hair and he tries to ignore what he might look like, as he's perfectly aware she's braiding his hair now.
"I've never been to Disney Land."
"Really? That sucks! I've never stolen anything in a shop."
"Likewise. I've never read the last Harry Potter."
"That's a good enough reason to break up with you. I've never watch Laurel and Hardy."
"That's a good enough reason to break up!"
She keeps braiding his hair, he drinks a cup of tea in silence until she pushes his shoulder to tell him it's his turn to speak.
"I've never been in love before you."
Her fingers stop moving. Actually, her whole body freezes and, when he looks above his shoulders, all he can see are the tears in her eyes before she throws herself at him.
One day he realises it's been a year since he's walked into the coffee shop for the first time.
His life has changed so much since then, he's almost forgotten what it was like before.
Who he was before meeting the three of them. Before meeting her.
He makes a mental note to thank Daisy.
Saturdays are hard sometimes, and it's one of those times.
Annie sits by the counter, on a stool this time, with a perfect hangover from the party the preceding night, head in her hands and a mug of chamomile in front of her. He does the work for two, because he's perfectly aware she wouldn't be able to even pour a glass of water in this state.
By the end of the afternoon, it gets better but she settles for doing some paperwork anyway, as an excuse not to stand up.
They're about to close when a mug of coffee appears in front of her. She frowns at first but smiles when she sees he's drawn a heart in the foam, then frowns again when he takes the mug back.
A second mug appears, hot chocolate this time, and she smiles again. It's always been her favourite drink for the end of the day.
He's drawn an interrogation point on it with powder chocolate.
When she raises her hand, ready to question him, her eyes widen at the key he's holding in front of her, a smirk on his lips.
The flat is empty and it looks so big, but soon there are boxes everywhere and Ikea furniture to build and walls to decorate. It's not so big anymore but it's cosy and home.
She buys two white mugs, with 'his' and 'hers' written in dark letters.
She puts them in the kitchen cupboard before everything else.
He grabs her by the waist and kisses her neck, whispering about love and life and future.