I have to confess. This story is based off I've Got Nothing To Do Today But Smile (The Only Living Boy in New York) by gyzym, who is a brilliant brilliant author. I love her Inception and Avengers fics, especially we were emergencies that is the best fic I've ever read in my life. The original is Inception Arthur/Eames, but because no one in this fandom writes LaviYuu anymore, I had to try it out myself. I hope it's not too similar to be plagiarism but if it is, I will take it down. I still had to research about coffee because I hate coffee and everything D:
Also major apologies on any lawyering inaccuracies. Even if I live with two people who study law, the whole thing just eludes me.
go anywhere without leaving your chair
living within all the dreams you can spin
Kanda wonders what the fuck he was thinking when he went into law school. He can't even remember why he did it. He still isn't particularly excellent in English but he is fluent, having been brought up in London since he was nine. He doesn't like going through paperwork, especially huge thick stacks of it that requires him to sit still on end to go through the dreary clauses. He dislikes his stupid clients—bigshots with too much money and feet to trample on anyone smaller, and the worst part of that is that his job is the one that makes it happen.
And also, he fucking hates his boss.
There's a reason why he stays in the office past twelve everyday feeling like his soul is being sucked out of his eyes, there's a reason why he doesn't remember how a good comfy bed feels like for more than four hours anymore, there's a reason why he works so hard—because he wants to get promoted and have a better shit pay then he gets for the number of hours he works, but, his boss.
Every day he stumbles home into his empty apartment and empty life, numb, too tired to really care that he hasn't touched his kendo practice grab in months.
He wonders why he even wants to be promoted.
It is one of those days that Kanda finds himself blinking at the sunlight streaming in from his office window. He pauses because he really can't remember how many hours had passed, but there's got to be many involved if it's morning already. He glances back down at his laptop and realises he's been typing in romanji for a good four pages, and curses, because he has to retype everything later if he had even been typing coherent things.
He stretches with a yawn because his neck hurts from bending over for so long, and just by chance, he squints out of the window. There isn't anything particularly interesting outside, and he knows this. The street that his window faces is generally quiet, but it seems that today is slightly different.
There's a man with the reddest hair he had ever seen carting a chalkboard sign in his hands, ambling slowly with the weight to put it outside a new coffee place that just opened across the street about a day or so ago. Kanda is on the third floor, and it's close enough to see the other fairly clearly—lean figure decked in a green shirt and dark jeans, an eyepatch covering one eye, and bandanna that kept his hair up.
Kanda returns back to his work, and ten minutes later he blinks because he hasn't written anything down.
He chalks this up to brain stress and looks outside the window again.
The man isn't there anymore, but now that chalkboard says ALL UR COFFEE R BELONG TO US.
"Fuck," Kanda mutters, rubbing his eyes, and decides he needs a break.
He's definitely sleep deprived and cannot be held accountable for his actions, because nothing can really explain why he enters the coffee shop.
Because he hates coffee. Like how he hates his boss. And most things.
The fresh aroma that immediately hits him promises him of good caffeine, but that is still no reason. The shop is fairly comfortable with records lining the walls and a turntable set in the corner. The redhead is behind the counter when he walks in, and he self consciously straightens his creased shirt and squares his posture to look, well, less like he hadn't slept at all.
"Mornin' sunshine," redhead flashes him the brightest grin he's seen, and he decides that today is going to be even shitter than it already is. "I'm Lavi," and the guy holds out his hand for him to shake.
Kanda raises an incredulous eyebrow and stares at it like its alien. He just came for maybe a cup of tea, not thrown a name like in Starbucks. Or was that the other way round?
"Your name, beautiful," Lavi chuckles, and Kanda eyes the number of bracelets the other has around his wrist with distaste, because the colours are making his tired eyes cross and him dizzy.
Wait. What? "What the fuck did you just call me?"
"I'm just trying to introduce myself, seeing I'm new on the block and all," the redhead grins easily, ignoring the hostility. "It'd be nice to have a few regulars, if ya know what I mean."
Still, that shouldn't warrant that green eye from looking at him up and down, like he was being checked out. Kanda isn't oblivious to how he looks, from his unnaturally inky long hair and structured features, and really, he should be used to it by now, but for some reason he feels warmer than usual. Definitely not because of that cocky grin, glinting emerald eye or that smooth toned chest—no, those were just annoying.
"I'm not a fucking woman, so quit it," he snaps. "I want tea. Green if you have it. Make it quick, I got shit to do."
Lavi laughs and Kanda is secretly weirded out, because all of his colleagues when faced with his cold attitude shrink in the corner and avoid him.
"Yep, knew that," Lavi answers cheerily, turning back to tinker with some things, things that Kanda assumes will make his tea. "A lawyer, huh?" he hums to himself, though he gives Kanda an easy smile. "From Walker & Leverrier?"
"What is it to you?" Kanda returns coldly, already regretting the moment he stepped in ten times over.
He's so tired he really feels that he could pass out, but he really doesn't want to yawn in public, as ridiculous as it sounds.
"Didn't think you were the type to go for corporate," the other answers casually, now tipping milk into the cup he is holding.
Kanda frowns because he hates milk in tea. Besides, that had better not be green tea or it'd be an abomination. He swallows, because yeah, he never thought he'd be a corporate lawyer either, but look where he is now.
"You don't know me."
"Like I don't know your name," Lavi is offering the cup now, but just holding it out of reach when Kanda moves to take it. "Come on, you."
He blames it on the lack of sleep, because the retort just rolls off his tongue. "Don't call me by my first name, asshole!"
A wide green eye blinks at him stunned, and Kanda tries to take his drink but fails because the other holds it protectively against his chest now. "But I didn't—I…what, you?" he furrows his eyebrows. "How's that your name?"
"Forget it," Kanda growls, cursing himself. "The name's Kanda and can you just pass me the fucking cup so I can pay you? I need to get back to work."
"Alright…Kanda…" Lavi pronounces it slowly, rolling it over his tongue sensually and Kanda wants to hit him just for that. "Here, and it's on me."
Kanda almost spits that he can pay for his own drink, but when he glances at it he know it's not what he ordered.
"I said tea, you idiot."
"As you see, dearie," Lavi rolls his eye, but he's still smiling. "This is a coffee shop, I make fabulous coffee," he stresses. "The best damn coffees ever."
"I fucking hate coffee," Kanda scoffs, and sets it back on the table. "Whatever, this is a waste of my time."
"Oh come on, Yuu. If you hate it I'll make you another."
Kanda just freezes—because. What. The. Fuck.
The redhead must've sensed the confusion, because he chuckles. "Yeah, I got a couple of Asian pals and I know what your first name can be," he explains. "It really isn't that hard to figure out, ya know."
"Whatever," Kanda says again for the lack of anything to say, and he turns to leave and never come back.
"You forgot your drink!" Lavi calls helpfully, scrambling from behind the counter to block his way, thrusting the cup into his general space. "Come on, just one sip. You look like you could use a bit of perking up."
So what if he really feels like death is a better option than to sit through a few more hours at work?
"If you realllyyyy hate it then I'll brew you some tea," the redhead promises, sliding way too close into his personal space. "Free for the entire week."
Well. If there is something free in return then Kanda isn't an idiot to pass it up. He grudgingly swipes the cup and takes a sniff, and frowns. The smell is a far cry from those cheap cans of coffee he first started out with in the first year of law school—and then later decided was too shitty and got addicted to caffeine pills instead (bad idea). It actually smells delicious in a weird weird way.
Eyeing the froth that pictures a heart shape, he takes a cautious sip.
It's hot but not scalding, just the nice side of warm that instantly makes his eyes slide close. It doesn't taste like anything he's tasted before—bitter, but not horrifyingly so, with a dark sweetness to it. Kanda swallows. There is also a subtle nutty flavor that makes the after taste strangely satisfying. He takes another whiff.
He doesn't want to admit it, but it's actually good.
Even if he hates coffee.
"What the hell's inside this crap?"
"Secret ingredient," Lavi says, putting a finger to his lips. "But other than that, almonds and a little bit of dark chocolate. And maybe four espressos."
Kanda suddenly realises that everything around him looks clearer, and he actually can even feel his toes. "Huh."
If anything, the amount of caffeine in the coffee would be helpful.
But, if Kanda wanted to be truthful, there's really no reason why he shoves the redhead aside and walks out with the coffee, feeling light on his feet. Also, he doesn't realize he hasn't paid for the coffee until three hours later, when he finds himself staring out of the window for the fifteenth time.
It doesn't really explain why Kanda starts going in to that coffee shop every morning.
He hates coffee. He really does.
He's hated it ever since the first term of college when he stayed up ruthlessly butchering through three essays at once, because his professors are bitches and evil and loved to see their students drown in helpless misery. He had thought the drink might be a mighty companion, but au contraire, the first horrible can he drank didn't stop him from accidentally sleeping on his laptop—and genius him, he had forgotten to save the documents. Needless to say it was a horrible aftermath.
Then he resorted to getting a cup from the café outside the library because even if canned coffee was cheap, it was shit, and then he accidentally drank too much and suffered from insomnia for the resulting three days afterward.
Then he discovered caffeine pills and since his relationship with coffee hadn't been the most promising, he had severed all ties with it.
But, he finds himself standing in front of the one eyed smiley redhead who winks—or blinks, he can't tell—too much.
Every time he orders tea, but he never gets it—on Wednesday he gets some kind of coconut-caramel concoction (he kind of likes coconut, that's the only reason, really); on Thursday Lavi makes him some kind of chai-spiced latte, and on Friday as he sips a café macchiato topped with cinnamon, it dawns upon him that he hasn't drank this much coffee since…well, that traumatic time.
But because his upcoming tobacco case is pretty shit, he figures all this caffeine is what he needs. Or at least that's what he tells himself as he replies the email to his shitty client.
"Kanda, sorry to disturb you, but I need—…are you smiling?"
Kanda pauses in his sip, narrowing his eyes at the intruder at his door. "Can't you fucking knock the door, Moyashi?" he demands, setting the cup down almost hastily.
"I did knock, and it's Allen!" The man at the door huffs irritatedly, but then curiosity wins. "It smells like coffee in here but you hate coffee…are…are you drinking—"
"If you have no good reason to be here, then get the fuck out."
Allen rolls his eyes like he's used to the treatment (he is), and flicks at the bangs of his white hair. "I need a stapler. My bullets ran out."
"Then get one from the secretary, loser."
"But she needs it. She's filing the List of Documents and—y-you're smiling! Again!" Allen accuses, this time, looking vaguely horrified instead of confused.
Kanda nearly chokes, because he's brought the cup to his lips again. "I'm not fucking smiling," he denies, and flings the stapler into the other's face. "Here. Now get out."
But of course, Allen—Allen Walker—doesn't listen to him. Kanda hates the kid. He calls him the kid or brat or beansprout or anything really, because he hates the guy. Allen is the son of Mana Walker, now deceased, but his dad was the co-founder of Walker & Leverrier. That automatically means that the boy—he doesn't even look fifteen for Christ sake, Kanda's suspicious that he even graduated from high school—with oddly bleached white hair (a punk is a punk, it's not natural, the lies) and really weird scar/tattoo/thing on his face, gets a training contract at the firm fresh out of college without an interview or any of the shit that Kanda had to do to get his.
Everyone at the office, of course, loves Allen. Except Leverrier, his dick boss, because his boss, as he has mentioned, is a dick.
It's the only reason why he and Allen are grudging frenemies, because both of them have friendly competitions to outbitch their boss. And maybe the kid is actually more competent than most of the other attorneys and has somewhat of a personality and doesn't cower whenever he snaps at him.
"You're in a better mood today," Allen observes, rubbing his chin with the caught stapler in hand. "Did we win a case that I don't know about? Or did you make partner? Or wait, better yet, did you—" he widens his eyes and lowers his whisper. "—get laid?"
"Fuck you," Kanda says with a sniff, and drinks more of the dammed coffee.
Allen laughs, but he stops when he squints at the cup. "Hammer Time?" he reads, blinking. "Is that from that coffee shop across the street?"
When there is no answer, Allen sniffs the air, and his stomach rumbles. "But, you hate—"
"I said shut up," Kanda grounds out.
"I want to try some," the white haired boy declares, and he steps closer to Kanda, to which the Japanese did not react well. "Especially if it has magical, life changing properties. After all, it made you smile."
"What the fuck—get your own, Moyashi!" Kanda clutches the cup almost protectively on reflex, because he really needs the caffeine to stay awake okay, and somewhere he knew it was another mistake.
"Oh wow, this is a surprise," Lavi winks when Kanda and Allen come through the door in the evening. "And you brought a customer for me? I'm so touched, Yuu."
"Quit it with my first name, usagi," Kanda growls, a tick in his eyebrow. "I'm here because bitching brat here wouldn't shut up. Here it is, across the fucking road," he sniffs at Allen. "I can leave."
"He calls you by your first name? You made a friend!" Allen cries, pressing his palms on his face. "And here I thought BaKanda was incapable of any social interaction. You surprise me, darling, you really do," and he ducks the swipe Kanda aims for the back of his head. "Don't mind him, err—" he looks at the redhead at the counter with a smile.
"Lavi," the redhead answers, sounding amused. "At your service. Are you Yuu's colleague?"
"Uh huh," Allen nods. "Allen Walker, nice to meet you. I saw Mr Grumpy here smiling to himself this morning and it was all thanks to your coffee," he explains, and jumps out of the way when Kanda tries to kick him. "I had to try the miracle myself."
"I wasn't," Kanda scowls, but everyone ignores him.
"Smiling, huh," Lavi murmurs with a smile, and grins at Kanda lazily. "Haven't seen one on you yet," he comments, turning to the espresso machine. "Up for round two? I promise to blow your mind again, baby."
"I don't want—"
"If you can keep up," Lavi grins wider.
"I can take you on any day, idiot," Kanda scowls further, cracking his knuckles. "I'll give you a facial you'll never forget."
Allen chokes on his saliva and gurgles, because huh, his colleague wasn't as frigid as he assumed. More maybe he was just dense. Allen tended to bet on the latter.
Lavi takes it all in stride. "One day," he smiles. "Ah, Allen, you wanted a cuppa, didn't you?" he asks as his hand move around the counter. "Any allergies? Lactose-intolerant?"
"No, but I do prefer soy," Allen admits, then he realises he hasn't ordered anything.
The redhead smirks knowingly and sets forth a perfect blend minutes later. "I took a shot in the dark with pistachios and caramel. Do tell."
Allen blinks when he takes the first sip, and the exhale he gives after is long and dazed. "Oh. Oh."
"Shut that mouth—no one wants to see it, brat," Kanda grumbles, and he isn't really sure why he's still there.
"But, this—this, it's fantastic," the younger male says, sounding miles away. "I do apologize, Lavi, because I doubted your ability to perform miracles, but this certainly warrants Kanda's smile."
"I'll fucking kill you—"
"This coffee would revive me," Allen argues. "I'll definitely come by again. How much for the cup?"
Lavi laughs. "If you're gonna be a regular, this one's on me."
"How the fuck do you even turn a profit?" Kanda demands, eyebrows furrowed.
He suddenly remembers that he hasn't paid for a single drink the past week, and that's maybe why he's there now, to pay. Kanda's studied Economics in high school and he knows that giving free shit isn't going to help the business—not that he cares, the shop can burn—and it really doesn't take a genius to know that earnings need to cover cost to churn a profit.
"I don't give everyone free drinks," Lavi rolls his eye. "Only for you, Yuu."
Kanda doesn't really know if it's a joke, and he's definitely not affected by the disgustingly cheesy line.
"Don't be stupid, he'll never go out of business," Allen sighs as he drinks yet another mouthful. "I feel enlightened."
"We're leaving," Kanda decides finally, dragging the shorter man by the scruff of his neck. "You look like you're on the verge of orgasm, and fuck, I don't want to see that."
"You mean like yours when you first came?" Lavi leans forward, palm on his cheek.
Kanda freezes, and grips the boy's neck harder. The redhead is looking at him with a teasing grin, one that is starting to give him a weird feeling in his throat, and he really hates it. There's really no explanation why he feels uncomfortably warm, but maybe that's because he's getting overwhelmed by the amount of idiocy he had stood in for the past fifteen minutes.
He storms out without another word, with Allen chuckling around his cup.
"See ya next week, Yuu!" Lavi calls happily from the door.
and let your thoughts run free
there is so much to see