The notebook lies open and blank on the table; pen uncapped and resting in the crease; coffee mug half drained, steam no longer rising from the surface; pastry ignored, still looking pristine on the plate; chair empty.
Instead of being at his usual perch, Oshitari has claimed the leather sofa near the counter. He peers over the ledge and watches the staff deal with the influx of customers.
"Would you mind clearing your table?" Yukimura asks, looking down at him from in between stacks of ceramic mugs.
"Thou hast wish I could," Oshitari states. "But you see, when the next spark of inspiration strikes, I must be able to rush back to my cozy nook and write until my ink runs out."
Yukimura smiles, deadly, and waves his hand. "Unfortunately, we are almost at full capacity and I have to insist you sit there or bring it here."
Before Oshitari can respond, Shishido has brought over his items on a tray, coffee once again steaming. He looks back up to Yukimura only to find the manager has scurried off to deal with the influx of customers. The downside of not getting special treatment is that there also isn't time for flirting between regular customers and their boyfriends on staff. They don't even try and that is, frankly, depressing.
He frowns, readjusting his working area to account for his loss of table, currently being occupied by a rather beautiful girl and her less attractive friend. Oshitari's thoughts are quickly dragged away from the girls when Hiyoshi and Ohtori walk in, weaving through the line of customers. If he isn't mistaken, they both look flushed, like they had been caught doing something naughty. Shiraishi follows after them, his lips quirked in a bemused smirk, one that widens as he slips behind Yukimura and whispers something in his ear.
"About time," he hears Yukimura say. Oshitari writes as fast as he can, trying to remember the sounds, smells, and subtle looks. He had no doubt it would be a best-seller.
Before he realizes it, the store is quieter than it has been all day. He looks up and sees his table unoccupied, the store mostly empty except for the staff cleaning up from the frenzy. Finishing up the passage, he closes the notebook around his pen and tucks it under his arm so he can better carry his dishes back to his table.
"I rather thought you would stay on the couch given all the gossip," Yukimura says.
At the last word, Oshitari's ears perk and he turns to the navy-haired barista. "Oh please tell me what you know."
Yukimura smiles and shrugs, refilling the writer's coffee cup. "I'm sorry I made you give up your table. I don't remember us being that busy. Valentine's day wasn't even that bad."
"Don't worry about it. I only regret that you and Sanada didn't get to make bedroom eyes at each other over the pastry case."
"You must have missed it then. How unfortunate." Yukimura walks away.
Oshitari abandons his table once more and quickly walks to the front counter. "You mustn't tease," he says, but the barista ignores him. He sighs and turns to Ohtori. "My sweet, innocent barista. I haven't seen you in so long. How are you? Did you have a productive evening?"
Said barista pales and flushes simultaneously. He doesn't answer. Oshitari leans on the pastry case. "You know you can tell me anything."
"Except he won't." Hiyoshi stands next to him, his frown extending past its normal boundaries.
"Hiyoshi-kun," Ohtori breathes.
"Well now." Oshitari grins predatorily. "Were you caught in the little alleyway between this building and the next? It seems to be a popular location for hook ups. I've seen quite a few of your coworkers there on my way in."
"Do you have nowhere else to do your smut writing?" Hiyoshi deflects easily.
"I'm wounded," the author says, holding his hand over his heart.
"Tell someone who cares."
Oshitari watches Hiyoshi pulls Ohtori to the back. He can't help but think they are going back to have a short row and then make out heavily. He smirks, ideas for the novel thankfully saved on his voice recorder.
"What's the plot this time?" Shishido asks, rising up on tip-toes to rub out the variety of fingerprints marring the pastry case.
"Office romance and a frisky interloper. Sexual tension abound, ending in a steamy threesome."
"Two girls, one guy or three girls? Or maybe two guys, one chick?" he pauses, arching an eyebrow. "…three guys?"
"Bingo," Oshitari answers happily, bopping Shishido on the nose.
"Is said frisky interloper bi?"
"Of course! That's what makes it steamy. When I finish and my editor approves it, you'll receive the first copy. Autographed."
"Can't wait. Really."
"Oshitari," Yukimura interrupts, grabbing Shishido's shoulders and turning him towards the espresso machine. "I can't have you terrorizing my staff."
"Ryou doesn't mind."
Shishido straightens at use of his given name and looks over his shoulder at the writer. "I really don't kachou--"
"I didn't mean you. Ohtori. As amusing as it is, I can't afford to have an employee who ceases to function because you make him all jelly-legged."
"That's terribly flattering."
"I'm sure it is, but please try to stick to those on staff who can handle you."
Yukimura smiles and pats his hand. "Also, you can't set your threesome in the store." He pads to the back, leaving Oshitari up front with Shishido, Kenya, and Niou. He shuffles to where Kenya is, flashing a smile.
"Don't even start, Yuu," Kenya whispers harshly. "Go back to your table before kachou bans you from talking to staff for anything other than an order."
"Yes yes, dearest cousin," Oshitari says with a sigh, turning to walk back to his seat. "I'll leave you be for now, but don't forget we're visiting grandma this weekend. You won't be able to escape then."