The Fellowship's Café
The rain drearily poured down, dripping down the large front windows of the coffee shop Aragorn was currently trapped in. He did not mind his job in the slightest, but when it rained, business took a sharp turn to the worse, because it gave all of the students of Middle-Earth University an excuse or reason to actually do their course work.
There were a few people who risked their laptops in the rain, and were currently sipping coffee and typing rapidly. Occasionally, they would wave over a waiter and ask for another coffee, adding to the pile of cups that Pippin kept on forgetting to clear. Aragorn thought that this one girl, who was constantly sipping coffee, was going to die of caffeine overdose. He then wondered if they would be legally responsible if she did die. He would ask Merry about that later.
He casually, noncommittally wiped the counter, as he had been doing for the past couple of hours, exempting the times when he actually had to accept his fellow student's money in order for them to have another fresh dose of caffeine. When the girl waved her hand at Pippin for a refill, Aragorn was severely considering cutting her off, less a nationwide lawsuit will occur and the whole university would have to go into mourning.
"And one of those gluten free butter tarts, please," Aragorn overheard her order, and Pippin nodded, putting the money in his pouch and going to retrieve the order.
"She wants another coffee?" Aragorn whispered as Pippin got behind the counter and began to fix up the order.
"No, double shot espresso with whipped cream, sprinkled with some cinnamon," Pip recited, "And a gluten free butter tart, which is quite understandable because those things are really good. I should ask Legolas for the recipe..."
"Do you think she'd be able to survive that amount of caffeine?" Aragorn asked as Pippin handed him the money she used to pay for it. Aragorn opened the register, and put in the cash as Pippin started to carefully sprinkle a smiley face onto the whipped cream with cinnamon.
"Probably," Pippin admitted, though when they both looked up she was shaking so hard that she was having a hard time typing normally. "Do you think if she dies, we'll be held responsible?"
"I don't know."
"Gotta ask Merry about that," Pippin concluded as he swept the tray with the espresso and butter tart off of the counter and walked over to the girl. "Here's your order, mam."
"Thank you," she said to him, as she grasped the espresso and took a long drink of it. Aragorn watched as Pippin tried, and failed, to shuffle away from the girl without looking like he was horrified at her addiction. That was pretty rich, Aragorn thought, seeing as Pippin was severely addicted to nicotine and relied on nicotine patches to get him through the day.
"Slow day, huh?" Pippin said, leaning against the counter, that Aragorn had spent the previous hour polishing. "I considered calling Boromir to tell him that he shouldn't come in today, but I figured he'd need the money, and I wanted him to be as bored as we were."
"I am sure he'd appreciate that," Aragorn snorted as Pippin straightened up when a hand came flying into the air. For a second, Aragorn was very scared that it was going to be the girl, but it happened to be the couple in the corner; Aragorn's customers. "Well, duty calls."
"When you come back, we're making a betting pool on how many coffees this girl can have before she loses consciousness," Pippin called to Aragorn, only loud enough for the tall, dark haired politics student to hear him. Aragorn received the couple's, who, in his opinion were a bit to lovey-dovey and cuddly for students who were supposed to be working, order and went to the counter to fill it out.
Aragorn had just finished with the chai tea mocha and French vanilla cappuccino with a side of two doughnuts, when the bell rang out signalling another customer. When Aragorn looked up, he saw that it wasn't a customer, in fact, but instead their fellow co-worker, Boromir. The man, who was just a couple of centimetres shorter than Aragorn, was completely drenched with rain, holding a rather broken looking umbrella in his hand.
Aragorn set down the tray of food for the couple-y couple, and then went back to the counter, where Pippin was waiting for him.
"She asked for another coffee," Pippin muttered to himself, "I'm betting five more and she's dead."
"I think it will take four," Aragorn hissed back as Boromir walked behind the counter and made for the 'STAFF ONLY' door.
"Sorry for being late," Boromir said as he got into hearing range, "I nearly got hit by a transport. It broke my umbrella, damned thing." Boromir proceeded to grumble under his breath like he was an elderly man as he entered the changing room.
Just as Boromir disappeared, the coffee-girl raised her hand again, and Pippin groaned to himself. Aragorn thought that perhaps he should talk to the manager and owner of the store about having a cut-off point to the amount of caffeine they were allowed to serve one customer in a time frame.
When Pippin came back, he was grumbling very much like Boromir had been. Aragorn caught the words "better tip me well," and "considering not calling an ambulance when she " as Pippin fixed a coffee and returned to the girl.
Aragorn got back to polishing his spot on the counter when Legolas made his half-hourly round to refill the baked goods sales items. Legolas was balancing two trays of various cookies as he entered, and Aragorn caught a glimpse of Gimli, the only other staff member that worked in making anything other than coffee apart from Legolas.
Legolas gave Aragorn a small smile as he assorted the cookies and other pastry goods into their proper places. Once they were all finished, Legolas adjusted his hair net, and then smirked largely at his dark-haired friend, "Looks like the Regular is coming."
There were many regulars to the Fellowship Café, but there was only one that all of the staff members called the Regular. Aragorn subconsciously began to fidget with his hair and his uniform's apron. Boromir had taken to wiping a different section of the counter as Aragorn had been, but when he saw Aragorn, he sighed.
"Have you finally grown enough balls to serve her, or am I going to have to do it?" Boromir demanded as the bell tinkled. Aragorn looked at his friend for a second, before he grabbed a cloth, and furiously began to clean the glass display of the cookies, looking out of the corner of his eye at the woman who had just entered.
She was smiling as she entered the usually busy café, as she walked over to the counter, "Hello. Seems like a slow day," she said, though Aragorn was not entirely sure who she was speaking to. It couldn't have been him, or maybe it had been. Aragorn was incredibly confused when it came to Arwen and girls in general.
"It really is," Pippin replied, "The usual, Arwen?"
"Of course, Pip," she said with a large smile. Aragorn could hear his heart pounding in his ears. Damn, she was extra pretty when she smiled. He was beginning to wonder if anybody else could hear his heart beating, because Boromir was looking at Aragorn like Aragorn was going to have a heart attack or something. Arwen then examined the baked goods, staring through the glass directly across from Aragorn.
Aragorn wasn't sure when he stopped breathing, but he knew that it had happened because he suddenly felt the urge to inhale sharply. Arwen didn't seem to notice, when she said, "How are the pumpkin muffins?"
"They're a creation of Legolas's, so they're vegan, but they're actually really good," Pippin told her, "fresh batch just came out a couple of minutes ago."
"I'll take one," Arwen decided, straightening up. It gave Aragorn an excuse to move away from the counter and go into the back on a 'bathroom' break AKA a 'Holy crap I have no idea how I'm supposed to make this crush less obvious than it already is please send up' break. He tried to ignore the smug smirk on Boromir's face as Aragorn passed him.
When Aragorn emerged from the bathroom, Pippin and Boromir were on Pippin's phone, googling the symptoms of caffeine overdose. Aragorn looked around to see that Arwen was indeed gone, and breathed a sigh of relief. He then walked over to his friends in time to hear a rather disappointed sigh from Pippin.
"Well, if she has sixty three more cups of coffee, it'll kill her," Boromir told him, sounding slightly hopeful. Pippin gave a low groan.
"She'll never drink that much!" Pippin whined, and then his face turned into one of absolute horror. "What if she comes back? What if she's addicted to our coffee and comes back every day?"
"It couldn't be as awkward as when Arwen walks into the café," Boromir grumbled as he put his phone into his pocket. Aragorn felt his cheeks go red, "Just tell her you like her already. The sexual tension is making me uncomfortable."
"She's the daughter of the most successful doctor in Middle-Earth, there's no way that she'll ever fall for me," Aragorn said miserably, putting his heads in his hands and slumping down on the counter. Pippin reached out and patted him on the shoulder.
"That sucks, man," Pippin said sincerely, "Ah dangit! She wants something else. I swear the only profit we'll make today is from this girl," Pippin groaned as he left behind the counter and put on a fake smile for the caffeine addicted woman sitting behind her laptop. Aragorn gave a small snort as Boromir picked up a cloth and began to wipe the counter clean despite the fact that there was nothing on the counter to clean.
Aragorn watched as the couple-y couple from the corner of the store giggled about something, and then packed up the laptop they were sharing (for work? For watching Youtube by sapping up the café's free wifi?) and left the café. Aragorn got up from his slumping and went to go clean up the mugs.
He hoped there would be a tip. He needed something like that to get through the next couple of hours of his shift. Either that or at least have the girl overdose on caffeine. Maybe if she did, he'd be able to get out of work early.
This came to me when I was reading a café centred Hobbit fanfic, and I decided that since I haven't found a LOTR one, I'd make one myself.
Thank you for reading, and please review!