DISCLAIMER: Kingdom Hearts and everything affiliated with it belongs to SquareEnix and Disney. All I own is the plot…
Dedication: To FinalFallenFantasy, who won this commission a LONG time ago! Sorry it took me so long!
An ornery-looking blond-haired man came into Twilight Diner at exactly nine-oh-eight every morning. He sat in the booth next to the bathrooms but never used them, and ordered a small cup of coffee and a large stack of pancakes with plenty of butter. No one bothered offering him syrup anymore, because he didn't use it, and he no longer had to ask for extra sugar—it was already sitting on the table, waiting for him to put no less than six but as many as twelve packets into his coffee, depending on the day (it was usually less on weekdays and more on the weekends; no one knew quite why).
And he definitely, definitely, definitely didn't come to this particular diner because of a certain fair-haired waiter who worked there.
Hayner—the fair-haired waiter in question—was sure of that. There was no way that this…this stud would come to a diner every single day just because of him.
Then again, he couldn't really come up with any other reason for the man's borderline religious attendance…the pancakes were good but not wonderful (the ones at the diner down the street were better), and the coffee was passable but not exceptionally tasty (Hayner was halfway convinced that that was the reason the customer used so much sugar). And he was the only waiter who worked every morning—the others might change shifts depending on the week.
But…maybe it was just closer to wherever it was that the other man lived, or something.
He groaned to himself. He didn't even know the guy's name! There was no way he could be this hung up on someone who had never even introduced himself!
Of course, Hayner hadn't introduced himself, either…but…but he had a nametag! A nametag, Goddammit, which quite clearly stated that his name was Hayner…and which was evidently ignored, since all 'The Customer' ever called him was 'sir,' if he said more than "My regular," or "Thanks."
It was so frustrating Hayner could have pulled his hair out! And he was borderline obsessive about his hair!
Hayner sighed and scratched his head. It wasn't as if it mattered, recently. He had been sick for the past week, and as such hadn't even seen The Customer lately.
In fact, today was the first day since his sickness had struck that he had been able to do much more than get up to go to the bathroom. And, actually, he currently felt better than he had even before he was sick!
'God sure has a wicked sense of humor,' He snorted to himself as he bundled up (no sense in getting sick again when he had just recovered!) and made the short walk to the diner. As a matter of fact, the walk was so short that all Hayner actually had to do was walk downstairs—he was the owner's favorite nephew, and as such had been given the apartment above it for a fairly inexpensive amount.
He sat down at the only open table (the diner got surprisingly busy on Saturday mornings) and gave Olette an understanding wave when she mouthed at him to give her a minute. Then, he hunched himself over in his chair, arms crossed over his chest as much for warmth as anything else, and let his head fall to the table with a soft 'thud.'
He was about to drift off when someone sat down across from him suddenly. With a quiet sigh, he mumbled, "Can I just have—" He cut himself off as he raised his head to look at the person sitting across from him. "You…are not Olette."
The Customer arched a fine eyebrow at him, obviously under the impression that he was a complete and utter idiot ('And,' Hayner mused, 'he isn't far from wrong in that assumption').
Flushing, his eyes darted around the diner nervously. "I, uh…"
"You're in my booth." The Customer said with a distinct frown on his face that caused the scar on his nose to crinkle.
Blinking, he realized that he was sitting in the booth next to the bathrooms…and it was 9:08AM. "Oh."
The Customer stared at him, obviously expecting something more.
"What?" He blinked again.
"I was politely dropping a hint for you to fuck off." The Customer said as if he was talking to a two year old (although hopefully he wouldn't have actually told a two year old to 'fuck off').
Despite his embarrassment, he scowled. "Look, man, there aren't any other seats."
"Not my problem. I come here every morning and this is my booth. So fuck off."
"Yeah, and this is my uncle's diner, jackass, so between the two of us I'd say I have more of a right to be here." He gritted out. "So either share the damn booth or you fuck off."
"Listen here, lamer—" The Customer said.
For some reason, this struck a chord in Hayner—a very bad chord. "Hayner." He snapped.
"What?" The Customer asked.
"My name. It's Hayner." He said. "Which you should know by now, seeing as how you've come to this diner every damn day for the past year. I take your order almost every fucking day, so the least you could do is remember the name plastered on my tag."
The Customer's eyes dropped to his chest where his nametag would have been if he was working (actually, that silly, confused move was kind of cute…but Hayner was pissed right now, so he had to ignore it), then returned to his face. "You're…"
"Hayner. Yes. We've established that." He crossed his arms over his chest, huffing. "Asshole."
"Seifer." The Customer—Seifer, apparently—corrected. "And I didn't realize you were…you look like you got hit by a Mack truck."
"If you're trying to apologize—"
"I'm not." Seifer cut him off.
"Good." He snarled. "Because you'd have been doing a really shitty job of it. And for your information, sir, I've been sick with a cold for the past week. So why don't you go shove a Mack truck up your—"
"Good morning, gentlemen." Olette interrupted blithely, appearing practically out of nowhere.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, hoping that the tick mark in his forehead wasn't as visible as it felt. "Morning, Olette." He gritted out as cheerfully as he could manage.
"What can I get you two to eat?" She asked, as if they didn't look like one of them was about to kick the other in the balls.
"My usual." Seifer said petulantly.
"I'll have a glass of orange juice and…" Hayner chewed on his bottom lip, trying to remember who was cooking.
"Aerith." Olette supplied.
"Then I've gotta have pancakes, too." He decided immediately. "With enough syrup to drown a toddler."
Olette giggled, then left, while Seifer gave him a decidedly strange look.
"Enough syrup…to drown a toddler." The surly man repeated slowly.
"…I've never actually tried." He said defensively. "Although I've been tempted a few times when Olette's nephew—no, wait." He shook his head, scowling. "I'm pissed off at you. Go fuck yourself."
"I prefer fucking other people." Seifer said, absentmindedly fiddling with his sugar packets.
Hayner snorted. "That's hard to believe—do you have to drug them, first, or are there actually idiots out there who don't mind your shitty attitude?"
"I only have a shitty attitude when little kids with a penchant for drowning even littler kids with maple syrup sit in my booth." Seifer replied.
"I'm not a little kid, I've never drowned a toddler with syrup—or anything else, for that matter—and this isn't your fucking booth." Hayner said.
"Drinks!" Olette said before Seifer could retort. "An orange juice for Hayner…and your coffee, Mr. Almasy…"
"How do you know his last name?" Hayner asked, suspicious to the point of seeming jealous, for some reason.
"Because he always pays with a debit card, you silly." She waved him off. "Also, Boss says you can come back to work tomorrow if you feel up to it, so just let him know."
"Definitely. I'm gonna go crazy if I have to stay in my apartment any more." He said. "But it might be better if I just man the cash register—my legs are like jelly half the time and I don't wanna spill anything on a customer or something." He paused, then pointed at Seifer. "Unless it's him. I might intentionally spill coffee on him."
"Excuse me?" The man in question all but yelped, obviously surprised at having been brought into the conversation.
"I liked you a lot better when I didn't know you could speak more than four words." Hayner explained with a smirk.
"And I liked you a lot better before I realized you're just nice to customers so you can get good tips." Seifer retorted. "Or whatever your reason is for blatantly lying about your personality to customers."
"I'm a very nice person to everyone," Hayner said haughtily, "except for possessive, anal-retentive bastards who obviously sat on a telephone pole a while back and are too stupid to realize that it needs to be removed from their ass, not shoved up farther."
"You're awfully hung up on my ass, aren't you, chickenwuss?" Seifer jeered.
Hayner could feel a blush creeping up his neck, but tried to shove his embarrassment aside. "Or maybe you just want me to be hung up on your ass." He said.
A smirk. This time, for some reason, it seemed lascivious rather than arrogant, and when Seifer spoke again his voice had taken on a decidedly lower, more enticing tone. "Oh, trust me, lamer—if it came to that, I'd be the one 'hung up' on your ass." The glint in the other man's steely blue eyes left little doubt what he meant.
"Y-you…what…" Hayner sputtered.
"Here you go, guys!" Olette chirruped, although neither man was quite clear on when she had left their table. She set the orders in front of them, but didn't leave. Instead, she just smiled and watched them expectantly.
Hayner rolled his eyes, slathering nearly the entire bottle of syrup on his pancakes—while at the same time studiously ignoring the gagging noise Seifer emitted at the sight—and then taking a bite. He grinned and gave her two thumbs up, to which she replied with an even wider smile and a giggle before turning and trouncing away.
Hayner then returned his attention to his pancakes, glancing up at Seifer momentarily to find that the other man was regarding him thoughtfully.
"Just thinking you really could drown a toddler in all of that syrup." Seifer said in a tone that implied he hadn't actually been thinking that.
"Just because you're insane and like it dry…" He let the sentence trail off, shrugging.
Seifer made an strange noise in the back of his throat that Hayner couldn't quite categorize—something between a cough and a snort. "A little buttering up is all pancakes need."
There was something about his voice that made Hayner wonder if they were really talking about pancakes, anymore.
"W-well," he spluttered, cutting his pancakes so that he wouldn't have to look at Seifer, "d-don't you get sick of eating the same thing every day?"
"I'm a creature of habit." Seifer shrugged. "I like things that are comfortable."
"Oh." Now it was Hayner's turn to feel disappointed—that was Seifer's reason for always coming to this diner…
Seifer smirked, as if he knew what Hayner was thinking. "There's a cute waiter here, too."
Hayner pricked. "Olette's happily dating a good friend of mine, so don't—"
"I said waiter." Seifer interrupted with a roll of his eyes. "Pussies belong in litter boxes—which, since you're apparently too stupid to pick up on the nuances of the English language, means that I prefer men."
"Pence is dating Olette." Hayner said immediately, intent on curtailing whatever strange machinations Seifer might have on his friends.
Seifer made a frustrated noise, bowing his head forward and running a hand through his hair. Then he shook his head and looked up again. "I'm trying to say I like you, you stupid little shit."
"Don't call me—" And then Hayner's brain caught up with the conversation, and flat-lined, causing him to make a strangled, inarticulate noise that sounded something like, "Guh."
"I've come to this café—which is nearly three blocks out of my way, just so you know—and put up with these half-assed pancakes and that annoying Omelet girl for the past year just so I could see you every day, and…and…" he seemed to have lost steam at this point, and—instead of trying to continue—settled on setting his jaw in a peculiarly handsome way. "So there."
Hayner's mouth opened and shut a few times, forming words that his vocal chords weren't working well enough to give voice to, before finally managing to say, "Oh." Then he coughed, regaining his composure (or at least trying very hard to do so). "You…um, shouldn't call her 'omelet.' Her name's Olette—you aren't very good with names, are you?—and she'll castrate you if she hears." Then he grinned a little hesitantly. "And then where would I be?"
The smile that came to Seifer's face upon hearing the last part of his comment was absolutely dazzling, but also fleeting; it disappeared before Hayner could commit it to memory like he immediately decided he had to do under any circumstances. "Well, you'd be without one hell of a bed partner, that's for sure."
Hayner snorted. "If your ego was any bigger I'd say you were compensating for something."
"Don't worry, lamer, it's not compensating for anything. Just…reflecting." He replied, and Oh, God, that smirk.
Hayner's eyes immediately glanced down, only to be met with the table, and quickly looked up again as a deep flush colored his cheeks.
"And, no, I'm not very good with names." Seifer added, leaning back in his chair with a rather satisfied glint in his eyes.
Hayner took the glint—not to mention the smirk—as a challenge, and gathered his balls for his next comment. "Well you'll have to learn mine so you can scream it later, won't you?"
"…I should have waited a little longer before coming back over, huh?"
Two heads whipped around to look at Olette, whose face was so red she'd have made a tomato jealous.
"Oh, shit, I'm so sorry, Olette." Hayner squeaked out, his complexion quickly matching and even surpassing hers.
"Um, no." She said, her voice a few octaves higher than he'd ever heard it. "Just…just, um…" She took a deep breath. "Just…you," she gave Seifer as stern a look as someone with a face that red could give, "make sure your…your ego's reflection is wearing a condom!" And with that, she slapped their bills down on the table and skittered off before either man could reply.
They stared at the checks for a long, awkward moment.
"I feel like I just got caught masturbating by my mother." Hayner finally whispered, burying his face in his hands.
"You think of her as your mother?" Seifer asked, then blinked. "No, wait…more importantly, you think of me as masturbation?"
Hayner's eyebrow arched. "Um…no, I can honestly say I don't."
Another blink, which was quickly followed by another smirk. "Have you thought of me…while you were masturbating?"
Hayner let his grin answer for him.
Seifer coughed loudly, reaching across the table to feel Hayner's forehead. "You're, uh, feeling kind of feverish there, chickenwuss. Why don't I walk you home?"
Hayner had to stifle a laugh. "Alright; I just live upstairs."
"Thank Jesus." Seifer muttered under his breath, standing and grabbing both bills before Hayner could even try to get his. "I've got it."
Hayner giggled and piled the dishes up, leaving a twenty dollar tip for Olette as an apology (though knowing how innocent the poor girl was, he'd have left more if he could afford it). Then he stood, just in time for Seifer to get back over to him and put a steadying hand on his back (as if Hayner actually did have a fever). "And here I thought you were just an asshole—turns out you can be quite the gentleman, too."
"When the mood strikes." Seifer replied, allowing him to lead the way through the dispersing crowd of customers and to the stairs that led to his apartment.
"Just to warn you…it's kind of a disaster zone, right now. I've been sick for the past week, like I said, so…" Hayner trailed off with a grimace and a shrug, but brightened soon after. "But I changed my sheets this morn—oomph!"
His eyes were wide as he looked up at Seifer, who had turned and pinned him to the wall as soon as the door was closed.
Seifer leaned in and put his mouth close to the other boy's ear.
"With any luck, it'll be so hot in here that we'll kill off any germs still hanging around, new sheets or no."