A/N: This story is inspired by story I read last year. This story is completely A/U and rated M for a reason. This is my first Doctor Who fic, and I would love feedback. Enjoy.
My name is Rose Tyler.
I work at a coffee shop in Cardiff named Harkness. I love my job. Some people think it's a below average and thankless job, but I don't. I've met some wonderful people, some of the most important people in my life because of this place. How many people can say that their boss is one of the nicest, funniest, most understanding people they know? Anyways, this isn't a story about my boss. Although he does play an important part. Well, there are a lot of people that have helped me get to where I am now.
It starts something like this:
So there's this guy. A guy with the most amazing hair I have ever seen in my life, and gorgeous smile to boot. This guy never really makes eye contact with me, but comes in and orders the same thing every single day with the biggest smile on his face. I feel really, really stupid every time he comes in. There's nothing I can do properly. I get all clumsy, my hands start to shake, and I trip over everything even my own feet. Now, I've dropped two spoons in the last ten seconds and spilled almost a full bag of sugar all over the counter. I almost knock Amy to the ground as she balances a fresh batch of scones from the backroom.
"Sorry, I'm sorry!" I apologise, Amy rolls her eyes at me shooing me away before disappearing into the back again.
Monday, 10:00 a.m.
I turn to face the counter as he comes in. He looks so smart, like that geeky sort of smart. But no matter how much I want to say something clever, I'm lucky if I can manage a coherent response.
Yet again, instead of speaking like a normal human being, I just stand there looking stupid. My hands shake, and I feel like my stomach is full of bees like thousands upon thousands of them buzzing inside my stomach. No, no not bees, butterflies, because butterflies are a lot less gross, also a lot less threatening then thought of bees, but that's what it really feels like. Oh god, he coming over. My heart is racing. I'm so nervous I feel like I'm going to be sick, I know if I speak I'll say something humiliating.
He moves towards me like a child hyped up on too much candy, bouncing his way from the door to the counter. He smiles his amazing million kilowatt smile and I'm done for. I don't know how to explain it, I'm hooked. I don't know his name or anything about him, but I just want to throw myself at him right here and now. He's lanky, very sexy, and unnervingly focused. He never looks directly at me, almost like he's just as nervous as I am. But that's just crazy. A man like that would never be nervous around someone like me.
"Tea, milk, four sugars." He says.
"Kay," Brilliant approach, Rose. Really bloody brilliant.
He's always so well dressed, everyday suit and tie. Normally he wears a brown pin striped one, but today it's blue. It looks so good over his lean chest, and strong shoulders. His tie is a dark red instead of the black and silver swirl one he wears with the brown suit. On anyone else it would clash, not on him though. On him it's…I am staring. Oh god, I'm staring!
"£1.60." My voice cracks and I try to steady my hand so I don't spill his tea all over him. He holds out the money for me to take. I just stare at it as if it's some sort of alien currency I've never seen before.
Oh no, I've hesitated way too long. His dark brown eyes narrow at me from behind the thick black frames of his glasses. I am now convinced that I have never seen such gorgeous soulful eyes in all my life.
"I'm so sorry. Here you go," I take his money, hand him the cup with trembling hand, praying under my breath that I wouldn't spill it on him. His fingers almost brush against mine. It feels like the greatest tragedy of my life all over again. Again. Every day.
He grins, mumbling his thanks, nods, then he's gone. His thick unearthly brown hair blows in the crisp morning air as he walks out of the big glass doors, and out of my world until tomorrow morning at 10:00 am.
"You know, he's single."
"Huh, w-what?" I ask startled.
A blonde guy with a very large nose sits at the table next to the cash, he glances over the top of his book, his eyebrow arched.
"Who is?" I ask.
"Don't be coy, you know who, Rosie." Amy must have been hiding in the stockroom after our near disaster. She passes by me and sits next to the big nose guy setting a sandwich on his table. She eats a corner of his crust, picking at it smirking slyly. "Mr.10:00 am sharp, tall dark and dreamy."
"Oh. Oh! You mean him... that guy?" Pointing at the general direction of the doors. "Um, okay, well... that's. Uh," I suddenly find myself intensely interested in lining up the sugar decanters trying very hard to seem calm yet failing miserably, "So, you... you know him, huh?" Smooth move Tyler, so very not smooth in the least.
"Rory used to work with him at the college." Amy pats his leg. He nods, a mouthful of ham and cheese sticking from the corner of his mouth.
"Oh, that's, interesting. Really. I didn't, uh." I can't help the slight tremor in my voice.
"Amy, stop eating my crust." Rory bats her hand away from his sandwich. "Yeah, I worked with him. He's, different."
"Um, okay." I wonder is that different good, or different as in sneaks into people's houses to watch them sleep?
Amy chuckles snatching another bit of Rory's sandwich, he huffs but she ignores him.
"You know, he comes in everyday at 10:00am sharp without fail, and he won't come in unless you're working," She curls in next to Rory, resting her head on his shoulder.
"You know, I've seen him wait outside, just waiting there to see if you're working or not. He has no interest in getting his tea from me, or Clara , or anyone that isn't you."
I feel as if I've been kicked in the stomach. He comes to see me? He only comes in when I'm working? This is all too much. I can't think straight. I need to go. I need to think..
I shrug, sighing heavily, and turn away leaving them behind me to go into the back and freak out without anyone seeing me.
I realize that at 10:00 am tomorrow morning, the man of my dreams will be here. He'll order his tea, from only me, and I will try my very best to keep my cool. Yes, that sounds perfect. What possibly could go wrong with that?
Sleeping is impossible. I love my sleep. I cherish my sleep. Sleeping in is the best thing in the world to me. But tonight sleep just isn't going to happen. Groaning, I roll over to look at the clock again. 4:34 am. Only twenty minutes from the last time I checked. I grab my pillow and cover my face. All I can think of is that smile, and those big brown eyes. By the time I had come home, I was so tired I thought for sure I would be asleep before my head hit the pillow. But every time I closed my eyes, thoughts of him swirled through my mind.
Does he really come in to see me? I feel a spark of hope, or maybe it's that gross burrito I had for dinner. Maybe he does likes me, or maybe he just likes how I make his tea every morning.
"I'm hopeless." I mutter to myself, flipping the pillow under my head and rolling over onto my side. A cold wet nose nudges at my hand and I smile. "At least I'll always have you, eh, Mickey?" I hear his tail thump against the mattress at the sound of his name.
I've always had a love for animals. When my ex-boyfriend Jimmy showed up at my place after another blow up fight, and me nursing a black eye and bruised ribs, Jimmy tried to buy back my affections with the most beautiful squirmy little chocolate lab puppy I've ever seen. Of course his plan backfired. I wasn't about to forgive what he did to me no matter how much I loved him. But I wasn't about to turn away such a sweet little puppy face. In the end Jimmy was in handcuffs, a restraining order served, and I was the proud owner of Mickey. That was almost five years ago. There is now a small bit of grey peppered along his muzzle showing his age, however, no matter how bad my days are, Mickey is always there to help me through them.
I run my fingers through his thick fur. He yawns tiredly before slowly drifting back to sleep. I can't help but envy him. The most he has to worry about is when his next trip to the vet will be or if I'll be bringing home his favorite treats from work. I try hard not to think about tomorrow as sleep finally, slowly overcomes me.
I'm late, I'm never late but this morning, I'm very, very late. My alarm didn't go off. Normally I'm up at 7:00 am. It gives me enough time to eat, shower, dress, do my hair then feed and give Mickey a quick walk. Did I mention my alarm didn't go off? It was 8:45 before Mickey started to play 'feed me now' hockey with his empty food dish. When I realize what time it is I panic, I feed Mickey outback while I jump into the shower. Today is the day, I am going to be brave. I am not going to mess this up, I'm going to speak to him, and not sound like a complete fool.
Mickey is mad at me when I let him in. He knows there's no walk this morning. He passes right by me, walking back into my room, and jumps onto my bed with a huff. Oh well, I can only hope my house will be in one piece when I get home tonight. Grabbing my keys I run out the door without eating anything, knowing I'll regret it later, still it can't be helped. When I get to work, Clara smiles at me as I come in. She's always so sweet, but I can tell she's a bit frazzled. I missed the morning rush, and as good at her job Clara is, morning rush is a two person job.
"Hey Rose, you feeling okay? I don't think you've ever been late before."
"Hi, yeah, I didn't sleep well last night. Guess I forgot to set my alarm. Sorry."
She shrugs as she happily goes about wiping down the countertop. I head to the back to get my apron and my keys for the till. I'm doing my best not to look at the time. "Keep your cool Rose, he'll be here when he gets here." I tell myself while taking a deep cleansing breath.
Okay now, I like Clara. I like her alot. I really do. She's so sweet and kind. Last year when I got really sick she came to my place and made me a soufflé. Well, okay I think it was a soufflé. It was really crispy, and tasted like burnt rubber. Still she came all the way to my house and made it for me and that was really, sweet of her.
Like I said, I like Clara. She's a really good friend. But right now, at this very moment, I really want to strangle her.
"Ooh, gosh, I'm so, so sorry!" She is driving me insane. She is mashing buttons on the cash register and I don't understand why she hates me and wants to ruin my life like this.
Tuesday 9:53 am.
This is very serious. Why is she doing this to me? Does she secretly hate me? Is she trying to ruin what little life I have?
"I don't understand, I did this yesterday." Clara complains, her face scrunching up in frustration. Normally it would be adorable. Right now it is anything but.
The elderly woman smiles waving her hand nonchalantly."It's okay dear, there's no rush. Take your time."
Time is something I definitely don't have enough of. I watch in horror as Clara mashes the buttons again, running the old lady's senior discount card through the scanner for the fifth time. Thankfully, the shop is nearly empty other than a few of our regular customers and Rory. He sat in his regular place beside the counter with a very annoying look of amusement on his face. I swear they are all conspiring against me.
Beep, Beep, Buzz. ERROR. The words flash across the screen of the register.
Clara is flustered. This will never end well. I watch as the time changes on the register, 9:55 am.
Alright, I've had enough of this.
Very gently I move Clara out of the way plastering the biggest most nerve wracking smile I can muster. I take the card, punching in the code as if my life depended on it. And at this rate it may very well depend on it. The register beeps once and the drawer pops open, taking the money from the woman, dropping it into the till, then handing her the change.
"There you go Mrs. Miller, have a good day, and see you tomorrow."
"Thank you, you are so sweet Rose. I'll be sure to tell Jack. How nice that he has two such lovely girls working for him."
"It's no trouble at all Mrs. Miller," I can't help but feel guilty for rushing the poor woman out. She's one of our oldest and best customers and one of my boss's favorites.
"Rose! Thank you so much!" Clara quips as Mrs. Miller slowly leaves out the big glass doors. "You're my hero!"
"It's fine Clara, really don't worry about it."
Now she is just stands in front of the register and shows no sign of moving. I want to strangle her, I grit my teeth trying to not let me emotions get the better of me.
"Clara, why don't you-" There is only the slightest hint of panic in my voice.
"How did you do that anyway? I swear it worked yesterday." She mumbles hitting random keys and entering conflicting codes.
Now I know she hates me. Clara Oswald wants me to die alone, a crazy dog lady with twenty dogs.
The register blinks and starts beeping letters scroll across the screen reads ERROR, ERROR, ERROR. That about sums up my entire life at this point. I can't help but feel the irony in it.
"Oh. I think I understand now!" Clara chirps cheerfully.
"Clara?" Rory is leaning against the counter on his arms folded resting nonchalantly on the top. I swear he just materialized out of thin air. She looks up at him. He grins at her, and it's really very flirty even I can't help but blush a little.
"Oh, hello Rory."
"Clara sweetie, I was wondering if you could help me pick something nice for Amy?."
Oh god, my eyes dart to the glass doors, it's time. Move Clara, move, move before I... My heart sinks.
I see him, but he doesn't come in. I watch as he passes by, his sexy hair blowing in the wind, his hands shoved deep into his pockets. All I can do is watch helplessly as he passes by, and he's not really walking though, it's more like bounces on the balls of his feet.
I am going to strangle you Clara, when you least expect it.
Clara stares at him looking very confused. "Rory, I can't really help you with that, I think Rose would be better at that sort of thing."
"I really want to get something special for Amy, it's our one year, and you have such good taste in… things." He almost purrs the word and it even makes me shiver, he smiles. Again with that smile. He's really good at this. I need to make a mental note, I can use all the help I can get.
"Oh… well. Yes. All right, Rory," she releases the register. I descend on it a little too quickly, "Rose, are you okay working the counter?"
"Mmhmm!" I grin trying not to look too obvious.
Rory smirks then winks at me. He winks! That cheeky little bastard. I'm still thankful, I need to buy him something. I don't know what but it will be something big and amazing.
Rory turns away from the counter, leading Clara back to his table, opening up his laptop as Clara leans over his shoulder to watch as Rory starts typing with fervour, and the door opens.
It's him, oh god, oh god. I forgot to check my hair, my makeup, I hope I look alright. He's perfect though, his expensively well-tailored suit, back to the brown pinstripe again. The thought of what he must look like out of that suit makes me blush, even as windblown his hair it's perfect, and he smells so good, I just want to bury my face into his neck, and breathe him in. Okay, now I'm just being creepy.
"G-good morning." He spoke, I mean he always speaks but he, he… Okay, Rose, keep it together! This is going really well. Two whole new words.
He looks at me, I mean, really looks right at me. My heart is racing, and I'm feeling really light headed. I hope I don't die from embarrassment. Okay, I understand. I get it. I have thrown off the rhythm. Our pattern is completely has changed. Everything we have ever known together has changed with a simple. Good Morning.
"Morning." That was good wasn't? Who am I kidding? It's awful.
He arches a perfect eyebrow at me and my face gets even flusher.
"Tea, milk, four sugar." I'm feeling very bold, I'm a rockstar, and I can do this.
"Yep." And he emphasizes the p with a little popping sound, it's adorable. I want him to do it again.
Okay. Come on, Tyler, you can do this, one foot in front of the other. I plop the tea bag in and start to pour the water. It's steaming hot, but only warm through the insulated wall of the cup. Bold curved letters read "Harkness Coffee, Inc." with a swirling J.H as a logo. I dip the spoon in the steaming cup and fish out the tea bag before carefully adding the milk and generous amount of sugar. Okay. Cup. Lid. Perfect. Not one spill and my hands are only slightly shaking.
Turning towards the counter I look up, and he has his hand out, with the money.
"£1.60." He says it, not me this time.
I grin, I can feel my teeth scrape the tip of my tongue, a bad habit I picked up as a child, but he smiles back at me, his gaze on my mouth. We both must look mad, smiling like a pair of idiots over £1.60.
He drops the money into my hand, and the backs of his fingers brush my palm. It feels like an a electric shock. I look at him, bold as I have ever been in my whole damned life, and his eyes slide away from mine, beneath dark thick eyelashes. He's still smiling and I swear he's blushing. I must be seeing things, there's no way.
"See you tomorrow." He says.
"Yes, for sure. I'll be here." It was going so well, don't mess this up for yourself you fool. "I mean, see you tomorrow.
He goes, stuffing one hand in his pocket as he careful sips his tea. The door closes behind him.
Rory darts across my field of vision back to the table where his things are messily strewn. When did he move? I watch him feeling slightly dazed and giddy, letting out a breath I had apparently been holding for a little too long. I really should sit down.
I notice then that his laptop is still open, but now it's angled towards counter. He shifts it back towards himself and ducks into the view of the camera.
"Did you see that?" he asks brightly.
I hear Amy's voice through the speakers, "I did, beautiful work, babe!"
"No, you, no…" I toss a rag on the counter, strictly for emphasis, and go to the table.
Oh yes. She watched the whole thing from home.
"You did great, Rosie! He smiled and everything. And that top you picked? Very good choice."
"What's going on?" Clara wedges herself between Rory and myself, "Oh, hey there Amy." She waves enthusiastically at the camera.
"Ugh,I hate you people." I stand up turning away from them adjusting the sleeves of my top.
Amy's laugh follows me back to the counter, "No you don't! We're your wingmen!"
"What's a wingman?" Clara asks looking up at Rory then at the screen to Amy.
"A wingman, Clara dear, is a generous and benevolent being… who helps someone else get laid." Rory says winking suggestively at Clara, she blushes bright red but grins back at him.
"Oh… I could use a wingman! Rose, will you be my wingman? You know since Amy and Rory are yours."
"Clara. I. Err. Ugh. I really hate you all. I don't need a wingman." I grumble grabbing a rag and wiping the counters down for what feels like the tenth time this morning. "Alright." Dropping the rag in defeat, I pinch the bridge of my nose. "Great. So. You two… right. And now you're including me in your, whatever this is."
"It'll be fun and a challenge, sure, given just how painfully awful you are when it comes to good looking men. But yes," Rory exhales, "We have made it our mission to see that you don't screw this up."
"Can I be a wingman then?" Clara asks him, "I want to help Rose, too. Is this about that man? The fluffy haired one?" She sounds conspiratorial.
I groan, dropping my head to the counter and the smell of cleaning fluids assault my nose.
"The more the merrier, I say," Rory grins at her, "Hey Rose, What are you doing tonight?"
"What? Why?" I ask lifting my head to glare at him.
"Well, if you're not doing anything… I was going to invite you to a party tonight that I believe our Clark Kent will be at."
"Clark Kent?" I look up, "That's not his name is it?"
Rory looks at me blankly, "No. No, Clark Kent? Dark thick rimmed glasses, funky hair walks like he's off to save the world? Nothing? No?"
"Babe, you are lovely and wonderful and an absolute beast in bed, but you are such a Nerd."
"Amy, we talked about this, keep the bedroom talk in the bedroom." He sips his coffee, "His name isn't Clark Kent. His name is David Smith."
"Okay…" I clear my throat. David. Dave. Davie. Ugh. I'm feeling bold again. "What's this party?"
He smiles, "Well-"
"Amy, do you not have any clothes on?" Clara is peering into the screen. Rory smirks, and ducks down to have a look as well.
Oh good lord, what have I gotten myself into.