Derek Hale was the type of person who liked the organized and predictable. He would much rather go on a vacation where every event was planned to a "T" than do anything - God forbid - spontaneous. So you can imagine how Derek felt when he entered his favorite little coffee shop only to find out that his regular barista wasn't there.
"Good morning!" came the cheerful voice of the boy behind the register.
"Where's Clara." Derek didn't even bother with a greeting. He didn't even bother making it a question. It was a command. It was 'tell me where Clara is now or else I'll tear your face off.'
However, this didn't seem to deter the young man. "Ah yes. Clara. She had to change her schedule since she has an early class this semester. But don't you fret! I'll be here to take her place. The name's Stiles," the boy grinned, holding an outstretched hand to Derek.
Derek just looked at the hand, choosing to ignore it. This was not how he wanted to start his morning. "Look, I'm sure you're an adequate barista and all," the boy dropped his hand back down at the word 'adequate', "it's just that I have a very specific way of how I like my coffee and Clara had it down packed."
The boy seemed to consider this before nodding in understanding. "I see… How's this then. Tell me your order, I'll make it free of charge this time and if you don't like it, I will track Clara down herself and demand that she teach me how to make it perfectly. Sound good?"
It didn't. But what other choice did he have? Derek had a very specific routine and this transaction had already set him back two minutes. He exhaled in frustration. "Fine, whatever. Large extra hot coffee with two pumps hazelnut, syrup, no cream, only one shot low-fat milk, no caramel and - God - no little drawing of a heart in the foam, please."
The kid - Stiles - took a second, his expression and the way his lips were moving showing Derek that he was trying to remember all parts of the order. Derek inwardly groaned. 'He's probably going to forget something. He should have written it down as I was saying it. Dammit. Clara should have said something before she left. Then I wouldn't have to be stuck with this kid. And Stiles? Who names their kid Stiles?'
Derek watched the kid move behind the counter. 'What is he doing? Clara doesn't pack the coffee in that tightly. Argh! I said two pumps of hazelnut! That was clearly two and a half! Is that low-fat milk? That better be low fat milk. Jesus… now what's he doing?'
Stiles spun around, coffee order in hand. "Here you go." He smiled.
Derek looked down and immediately frowned. "I thought I said no little drawings in the foam."
"Ah, ah," Stiles smirked, wagging his finger. "You said no drawing of a heart. This, good sir, is a flower."
Derek gave him a withering look. "Cute," he snipped sarcastically before grabbing a stir stick and making the flower disappear.
The boy didn't seem put off by the action though. He just chuckled before watching Derek expectantly. It was then Derek realized that he was probably waiting for his critique. But since Derek was already cranky, he just took his coffee and sat down in his regular spot in the far corner. It was his routine to come in promptly at six in the morning, order his coffee, and spend the next hour studying for whatever classes he had that day. It was convenient, really, considering that this particular coffee shop didn't really get customers until later when normal students actually woke up. It allowed Derek the peace he needed to study. He pulled out his laptop, ready to begin where he had left off the night before. He reached over to his drink with a sigh. 'Okay… get ready for disappointment…'
Derek took a sip. Then he took another sip. Then he looked at the cup in his hands before taking a large gulp of the mixture. Derek licked his lips. 'This is surprisingly good. I can actually taste the coffee despite the syrup and the milk.' He glanced over to the boy behind the register, obviously pretending to be busy while glancing over through the corner of his eye. Derek snorted, deciding to just ignore him and carry on with his work.
The dark-haired man was thoroughly engrossed in his reading half an hour later when a small plate invaded his space. Snapped out of his concentration, Derek looked up at the boy smiling down at him.
"Cause it seemed like you liked the coffee, I thought it would go great with this muffin. My treat."
Derek glanced at the baked good then back up at the boy. "I don't usually eat muffins in the morning."
"Then now's a good time to break tradition," he grinned. "Make an exception, just this once. I baked it myself," he said proudly. "Actually, I was pretty stoked when I found out the morning spot was available cause I always wanted to try baking. So," he looked at the muffin before looking back at Derek, "yaaay." He picked up the plate, tilting the edges as if to make the muffin dance.
Derek just stared incredulously at the boy. "Are you suggesting I be your guinea pig?"
"Well, technically no. I've baked for my dad and Scott, but never here. So I guess in a way, yes and no?" He shrugged, still smiling.
Derek rolled his eyes before turning back to his reading. From the corner of his eye, he could see the boy frown before setting down the plate in front of him once more. He walked away, disappearing into the backroom. Derek glanced at the muffin in front of him. It looked to be a cinnamon swirl of sorts with streusel sprinkled on top. The smell of it wafted through the air, displaying its freshness. Derek sighed. He dragged the plate in front of him and tore off a piece of the top, popping it into his mouth.
'Oh... my…' His eyes went wide with surprise. He tore off another piece, cause surely the second bite couldn't be as good as the first. But he was wrong. Pathetically so. He closed his eyes, savoring the treat. He reached for the last bit of his coffee, groaning that he had downed it so quickly, but satisfied with the last drizzle of it as it mixed in perfection with the muffin in his mouth. It was like a symphony of goodness all wrapped into one. He very nearly moaned, that's how good it was.
In hearing the boy's oncoming return to the front, Derek quickly pushed the plate aside, and feinted focus on his laptop. He tried to continue reading, but from the corner of his eye, he could see the boy glance his way. And he saw the way the boy lit up in seeing the half eaten muffin. And he saw the smug smile just before the boy carried on with his work.
Another half an hour later, Derek packed away his things, needing to make his way to his morning class. He brought his empty cup and empty plate up front to the eager boy behind the register.
"I see you liked the muffin," he smiled.
"I was hungry," Derek lied, but the boy seemed to know better. Derek pulled out his wallet, taking a ten out.
"Whoa, whoa," he said, hands out to stop him. "I told you, free of charge."
Well that didn't sit right to Derek, especially with the way he had to restrain himself from licking both the plate and cup clean. He frowned. "It's fine." He dropped the ten on the counter and began to walk away.
"Wait!" The boy called. "This is way too much!"
"Tip." Derek replied noncommittally, not bothering to stop. He heard shuffling behind him, and the rustle of a paper bag.
"Then at least take another treat with you!"
At this, Derek stopped, his mouth already watering in anticipation. "Damn…" he mumbled to himself. He bit his lip, fighting himself from turning around. It was a losing battle. Derek glanced over his shoulder. The boy was still standing behind the counter, a paper bag in his hand outstretched in Derek's direction. Grumbling to himself, and making particularly sure that he didn't make eye contact, Derek snatched the bag out of the boy's hands before practically running out the door. He didn't even bother looking back when he heard the boy call "Have a nice day!" after him.
It wasn't until later in his history class that Derek finally opened the bag, succumbing to the smell it was giving off. It wasn't a muffin, but a scone, an almond one with a light drizzle of frosting on top. It was good that he was seated in the back of the room because the moan he emitted after the first bite might've drawn much more unwanted attention than it did. After a few odd stares, Derek pushed the bag away, deciding it was probably best to eat it in private.