the only reason jungkook took a job at the local coffee shop was the proximity to both his apartment and university campus. it means that he can roll out of bed five minutes before his shift, barely awake, barely functioning, throw on his work clothes and make the short trip there. it's quaint and quiet, allowing him to finish projects and doodle until his heart's content, without interruption. it's the kind of flexibility in a job he needs to work around his classes and his studies. it's the perfect opportunity to perfect his craft, to spend hours drawing from life, to master anatomy and expressions. in the few months jungkook has been working here, he's ploughed through numerous sketch books, all containing the faces and documenting the daily lives of his customers.
thankfully, his boss doesn't mind the art student furiously sketching away between customers. nor do the customers mind him setting up camp behind the register, working on pieces between refilling cups and cleaning tables. everyone loves jungkook, bright, warm and welcoming. nobody minds when he spontaneously bursts into song between cleaning duties and making orders. belting out his favourite ballads over the whirl of hot water boiling, and idly muttering the verses to popular girl group songs as he wipes down tables and collects cups. nobody minds at all when he softly hums under his breath, pencil scribbling away at the paper beneath him. suffice to say, everyone finds the new barista absolutely charming.
it's just gone half past ten in the morning, the place is relatively quiet, just as it usually is. grandpa choi sits by the window, in his regular seat, sipping a black coffee and munching on his third piece of toast. for as long as jungkook's been working here, he has the same morning routine. drinks numerous cups of coffee, eats breakfast, reads the local newspaper from cover to cover. but jungkook figures he's lonely, craves company, imagines that it kills a few hours to sit at the window and watch life go by. on the other side of the room, there sits a middle-aged woman and her child, happily nibbling away on something sweet as the mother sips on a caramel latte. a few college students tucked away in the corner, fussing over text books and furiously whispering amongst themselves. a few working professionals catching a much-needed caffeine break towards the entrance. jungkook enjoys this, enjoys people watching. and between sketching their
jungkook's so lost in his own thoughts, he doesn't hear the chime of the bell at the front door, signalling the arrival of a new customer. his face pressed into his hand, elbow perched on top of the counter. large, doe-like eyes staring off into the distance, dazed. and it's only when a low, gravelly voice meets his ears that he shoots upright, both surprised and embarrassed. looking a whole lot like a deer caught in headlights.
"black coffee. hot. no sugar." a low, throaty voice requests.
yoongi's up to his ears in deadlines, weighed down with the weight of expectations and frustrations of adult life. sometimes he wishes he had studied something a little more practical, wishes he could have made his parents happy. but he's never been all that studious, he's never been good at anything else besides music. he's never loved anything half as much as he loves music. there's never been anything else that yoongi could truly imagine himself doing until his dying day, and he doubts there ever will be. though, he honestly wasn't sure what he was thinking when he applied for grad school, but here he is, months later, knees deep in a master’s degree in music. and it's one of those days where absolutely nothing is going right and everything, and everyone, is frustrating him beyond imagine. he's had barely any sleep in days, he has an essay due just before midnight tonight, the heating in his apartment is broken and he's running low on funds to fix it. no matter how hard he tries, he just can't seem to create, and most importantly, he's in dire need of some caffeine.
which is why he finds himself wandering into the quaint little building, not too far from campus. completely disgruntled and eager to drown his sorrows for a while in something black, bitter and hot. maybe even knuckle down and make some progress on his essay while he's in a hot room and has the ability to think coherently. the last thing he expects is to come face to face with an incredibly cute boy, all large brown eyes and pink pouty lips, staring up at him like he's grown a second head. his own gaze dropping down towards the counter, to take in the pencil in his hand and the intricate sketches on the page before him. an artist, yoongi muses, eyes sliding back up to seek out the boy's face once more, boyish and pretty. so pretty, even with the little smudges along his cheeks and his upper lip from resting against his hand. and yoongi finds himself considering reaching across the space to wipe them away, which is ridiculous. absolutely ludicrous.
"i've never seen you before." the boy splutters, voice melodious and soft, despite the way it cracks on the very last syllable. the faintest hint of an accent that yoongi can't place. "i-- i mean, i've never seen you here before." he tries to save himself, but the apples of his cheeks colour a soft pink anyway. those large, brown eyes staring across the space at yoongi in bewilderment. and the elder man swears he can see galaxies, entire constellations staring back at him in those big, coffee coloured orbs. and yoongi can't help but laugh, deep and gruff. looking on fondly as the boy's eyes drop to the counter, watching as she shuffles altogether awkwardly where he stands. too large front teeth chewing down on his fleshy lower lip, making him look much too innocent, much too endearing.
"i'm gonna take a table at the back, okay? no rush, kid." he grins, stepping away from the pretty barista and heading to the back, to seat himself down. to tuck himself away in the corner and empty the contents of his bag onto the table, laptop, notes and all. the store really isn't very spacious, it's rather small and homely. it's comforting, it smells much too strongly of coffee beans from far away countries and fresh bakery produce. it's entirely possible to see the boy from his table, to watch his every move, much too intently. more intently than he's comfortable with admitting. all he knows is that it's incredibly distracting, that his day just got a whole lot more interesting.
his essay is the last thing on his mind. watching with rapt attention as the boy moves around his little work space, boiling water, gathering the necessary ingredients, every movement so incredibly effortless. cheerfully bidding customers farewell, all pretty smile and easy personality. and god, it makes yoongi want to get to know him, makes yoongi want to learn everything about him. learn the right things to say to make him smile that big, that pretty. chewing on his fleshy bottom lip in concentration, tucking his hair behind his ear, humming along to the faint sound of the radio. he's absolutely endearing. yoongi doesn't make a habit of coming to coffee shops to stalk baristas, no, just the cute ones.
and the moment that beautiful voice resounds throughout the room, sweet, soft and absolutely effortless, he knows he's absolutely fucked.
jungkook is embarrassed, completely and utterly embarrassed, but he does his best not to make it apparent. does his best to block out the dark haired man in the corner, watching him like he's spellbound. dark eyes, the darkest eyes he's ever seen, gaze burning a hole into the back of his head. and jungkook's fingers busy themselves with preparing his coffee, anything to take his mind off the rabbiting of his heart and the weakness of his knees. anything to divert his attention away from handsome man in the corner, because he's at the risk of turning to openly stare at him, to watch his every movement. and it's not because he's attractive, no, definitely not. he's just never seen him around before, he'd definitely remember a face that handsome and a voice that deep. that's not someone he'd forget in a hurry.
he half thinks the man is trying to fluster him, that he's trying to get under his skin. that he's trying to make him restless, nervous, anxious. but that's ridiculous, why would anyone be interested in him enough to do that, that's not at all possible. jungkook's seen way too many romance movies, because guys don't just waltz into coffee shops and becoming enamoured with someone there and then. right? right. jungkook is painfully ordinary, he's all gangly long limbs, much too thick thighs, much too large teeth and has a painfully average personality. this sort of thing doesn't happen to people like him.
and the thought is forgotten, it's put to the back of his mind as he gets back to work. "thank you, please come back soon." faltering from his lips as he bows his head to a customer. as he forgets the man in the corner of the room in favour of wiping down the countertop, concentrating on the sound of the radio. humming along to it, softly, barely audible, enough not to distract the customers. but nobody minds, nobody ever seems to mind.
("your voice is beautiful, why do you waste that kind of talent in here?" a sweet little old lady asked him sternly one morning, in the middle of clearing her table. and he flushed a deep, beetroot red in response and muttered his thanks, shy and uncertain of what to say. "it's a shame nobody else gets to hear it.")
music is jungkook's second love. singing is something he's never had to try to be good at. though, good is probably pushing it, decent, average? average, yes. it's something he's been doing for as long as he can remember, something that comes to him as easy as breathing. something he took to like a duck to water, his mother often citing that he could sing before he could do other things. remembers the hours he spent in front of the tv, back in busan, singing along to his favourite songs. singing in the shower, singing in the car, singing at noraebang after school, singing in end of year shows. but there came a point in jungkook's life where he knew it wasn't something worth pursuing, knew it'd never be more than a hobby.
sometimes he truly doesn't realise he's doing it. it starts with mouthing along to whatever's playing on the radio, whatever song he's thinking about. and often ends with him treating the customers to an impromptu performance as he goes about his business. his soft, dulcet voice resonating throughout the room, sweet and delicate, hitting all of the right notes effortlessly as he pours the dark, bitter substance into a cup. the cup placed on the saucer, his eyes sliding towards the handsome man once more. and he's met with soft eyes, radiating warmth.
"a black coffee. no sugar, piping hot." he smiles, in his best customer friendly voice, fingers trembling as he shuffles over towards the table the man sits at. carefully placing it down on the surface, besides what looks to be sheet music, beside what looks like music theory books. a musician, jungkook swallows, taking a step back and rubbing his sweaty palms together. entirely uncertain of what to say, after subjecting the man to the sound of his voice just moments before. jungkook isn't always this skittish, isn't always this anxious, just in the presence of ridiculously handsome musicians.
"thanks." the man grins, incredibly long fingers reaching out to curl around the cup instantly. his fingers brushing the young baristas in the process, and it's absolutely electrifying. without waiting for it to cool down, he's reaching out for it and bringing it towards his lips, an action that makes jungkook wince. and just when he's about to turn away, just when he's about to busy himself with something else. the man's speaking to him again, "hey? you've got a real pretty voice, y'know." he grumbles in that bone trembling, heart palpitating, baritone voice of his. and jungkook turns to look at him once more, lips parted as he wracks his brain for the right thing to say. "i-- thank you. but i--" jungkook breathes, attempting a thankful little smile. and before he gets to finish, before he gets to wave the man's compliment off, he's being interrupted.
"i'm a music student." he continues, and jungkook stands there, shuffling awkwardly, like the idiot he is, as the man initiates conversation. his heart thundering in his ears, his palms sweaty. "grad student." he corrects himself, and that only makes jungkook even more nervous.
"got an ear for talent. know a pretty voice when i hear one." his lips curl up into a smile, eyes dark and dangerous, as he raises the cup to his lips once more and takes another sip. and jungkook isn't sure if he's flirting with him or not.
yoongi is most definitely flirting with him. eyes roaming the length of his body, taking in his long limbs and trying not to dwell too long on how amazing his thighs look in those pants. trying not to think too much about how tiny is his waist is, accentuated by the way he's tucked his shirt into his pants. before his dark gaze slides upwards once more, seeking out those large, brown eyes, full of so much warmth and confusion. yoongi isn't entirely sure if the kid is oblivious, stupid or if he's just playing hard to get.
"are you local?" the boy mutters, hands behind his back as he rocks back and forth on the balls of his feet. awkward, but so incredibly precious. "i'm an undergrad student at the local university." and god, even his speaking voice is pretty, if not prettier than his singing voice, yoongi decides, absolutely entranced, hung up on his every word.
"art, right?" and the boy looks mildly alarmed at first, like yoongi knows a little bit more about him than he should. "noticed you sketching up front. don't know a lot about art, but know enough to know that you're good." he confirms that he's not a stalker, just very observant. and jungkook's wide eyes soften in understanding, a little nod of his head confirming that the music student is correct.
"ah, thank you.. i’m trying so hard to get better. this place allows me to practice often." tumbles from his lips softly. and he practically preens at the praise he receives, wringing his hands together, standing a little taller and smiling at yoongi warmly, boyishly. pretty, pretty, pretty.
both of his hands reach out to curl around the cup in front of him, a soft sigh pushing past his lips. warm, stark in contrast to the bitter cold of the outdoors. he wants to draw out being here for as long as he possibly can. both because of the knowledge of the biting cold and obligations that await him at home, and because he'd like to enjoy this boy's presence just a little longer. because human interaction is nice sometimes, because yoongi doesn't get a lot of it, because he isn't good at it. he's much too good at hauling himself up in his bedroom and pretending the world doesn't exist.
but unfortunately it does, and the bell at the front door signals the arrival of a new customer. at which point, jungkook is smiling at him in apology and scampering off to greet them. to get behind the register and man the ship once more. but his eyes stray towards yoongi every so often, fleeting little glances, curious and hesitant. warm smiles exchanged as the boy wanders around the store, clearing up the contents of tables and wiping them down. yoongi makes sure to take his sweet ass time draining his cup, and before he knows it, it's gone. there's no excuse left to be here.
closing down his laptop, he begrudgingly packs the contents of his bag. his gaze sliding towards the boy at the front of the store, animated chatting to a mother and her child. and he doesn't even know his name, he thinks, completely and utterly frustrated with himself, with the situation. he doesn't even know if he's interested, he doesn't even know if he's into guys -- though the blush permanently settled in those pretty, round cheeks would confirm that he is. and it's one of those now or never moments, it's something he's probably never going to have the courage to do again.
he's cute, he's ridiculously cute, he should not be that cute. jungkook's brain is working into overdrive as he maneuvers around the room, cleaning up tables, keeping things in order. but he never strays too far from the man in the corner, always finding some excuse to be close. eyes sliding up from the table he's cleaning, from whatever he's doing, to meet the eyes of the dark haired, deep voiced, mysterious customer, heart fluttering, stomach somersaulting every time their eyes meet.
this isn't a regular thing, this is by no means a regular occurance. hot guys don't just show up at the store every other day and make it clear they're interested. hot guys with similar interests, who live locally, who attend the same school, they're even rarer. and there's a part of his brain that tells him to speak up, to say something to him, not to let him walk out that door. classes, work and general awkwardness means that it isn't often he gets to meet guys. it isn't often he spends time in the company of anyone besides taehyung and jimin, only because they live with him.
and when he’s done cleaning up a table and bidding farewell to a regular, he turns back in the direction of the dark haired stranger, only to note that he’s packing up to leave. and with the sight, comes jungkook’s hesitance to do anything, to say anything. instead, he lets his gaze drop to the table once more and focuses on doing his job.
but that focus is disrupted once more, by a warm hand pushing against his own. and in confusion, his gaze flutters down to take in the sight of a pale hand in his. pushing what looks to be a napkin into the palm of his hand. his eyes sliding upwards, settling on the man’s face. and up close like this, jungkook notes that he’s a little taller, a few inches or so, but enough for it to be noticable. up close he notices the red of the man’s mouth, the softness of his skin, the brown of his eyes, can count the little moles and beauty marks on his face. the man’s eyes are entirely unreadable, but warm, and he shoots him a smile before making for the door.
they’ve barely exchanged any words throughout the duration of the man’s stay, but so much has gone unsaid. unspoken attraction, unspoken what if’s and could be’s. and jungkook doesn’t have to think twice about unravelling the napkin in his hands.
“pretty singing barista,
xxx-xxx-xxx - yoongi”
jungkook 11:30pm : um, hi?
jungkook 11:32pm : it's the guy from the cafe
jungkook 11:33pm : the singing barista...
yoongi 11:40pm : wasn’t sure whether you’d message me or not ㅋ
yoongi 11:43pm : hope you don’t mind me saying this but
yoongi 11:43pm : i think you’re really brewtiful.