“So, just remind me to get the coffee beans before we leave, alright?”
Chagall Cafe, Shinjiro’s favorite spot to grab ground coffee for his cooking. Normally. But since getting a coffee grinder, Shinjiro was anxious to grind his own. However, Minako was more focused on the menu for a bit of temporary pep, be it from black tea or some carefully prepared coffee. Though, she did think about it, and didn’t this Cafe have some sort of signature drink…?
“So, what’d ya want?”
Shinji’s voice snapped Minako out of her daze, reminding her that instead of the menu, she was looking right at Shinji. Well, shit. Either way, she still had her mind on that signature drink, grinning a bit as she finally decided.
“Have you had the pheromone coffee here, Shinji?”
Well, that was enough to get the guy to blush. Rumor had it that this coffee attracted the opposite sex to you like flies to honey, and here she was-- With him-- And getting it. Did she have some sort of game plan? Was she trying to flirt with him, albeit in an underhanded way? No, Shinjiro, focus. She asked you a question. Clearing his throat, he finally answered.
“I… N-No, never thought about it. Just some fancy flavored coffee, nothing more.” He really did his best, but it seemed Minako wasn’t having it. She got the waiter’s attention as he felt a strong urge to pull his beanie over his entire face. Well, he didn’t say ‘no’ outright, that was his own fault.
“Two pheromone coffees, please.”
Never had suicidal ideation and intense flusteredness been such close bedfellows for Shinjiro.
Once their coffees had arrived, Minako was the first to take a sip. Always liking her drinks piping hot, despite the taste being one acquired over a long period of desensitizing the tongue. She enjoyed it because Shinjiro enjoyed it, though his reasoning was dramatically different. That said, he wanted to get right into his drink and take an oblivion-seeking slurp. He did. But all he could do was eye it suspiciously as the enticing aroma wafted towards his nose. Easily recognizable to senses as trained as his own: Strawberry and chocolate. Both foods associated with matters of romance, of varying innocence. Strawberries, producing a delightful juice that ran down the chin just so. Chocolates, a long-believed aphrodisiac…
“Aren’t you gonna drink yours, Shinji? It’ll get cold.” Now it was Shinjiro’s turn to be snapped to reality, instantly feeling a little bit of heat on his cheekbones. It would be welcome if not for the circumstances, that much was certain. He actually felt compelled to tug at the collar of his turtleneck, resisting the urge by sublimating it into a cough, despite it starting a chain of coughing.
“Hey, are you okay?!”
Great, now she was worried.
“I’m fine,” he said at last in a murmur, picking up the petite coffee mug the stuff was served in. White with pink accents… How girly could you get? It was like his masculinity was being measured in points that were dropping by the second. “I’ll give it a try.” Famous last words, weren’t they? Despite his hands shaking just enough to be a little noticeable, he bit back his pride and fears and took a sip at long last.
Oh dear fucking god.
The taste of chocolate overwhelmed his palette, an aftertaste of strawberry assaulting his senses, and the faint aroma of whipped creme in his nose, refusing to leave his sinuses. This was all like a ballista to the brain, but he wasn’t stopping. No, he was going to have to pull one hell of a long con here to keep his composure. What’s more, he didn’t want to disappoint Minako at all-- And she ordered this for him. He let her. So there was no backing out now.
He was going to chug this stuff.
Minako was left staring, wide-eyed and slack-jawed as she was watching Shinjiro’s adam’s apple slide up and down his throat with each slug of coffee down his throat. Even the baristas, the waiters and waitresses were captivated by the sight. Minako reached a hand out to him in a futile gesture, but it was far too late. He slammed down the mug with a huff, panting for breath before giving a satisfied smile.
“It’s good for what it’s advertised as.” Minako felt her hand falter for a second as her face fell. Shinjiro caught not only that, but the staff for the cafe bustling and whispering at the counter. Oh no. What had he done?
“Shinji… Did you not recognize what kind of beans were used?”
“The… Flavoring was overwhelming. I didn’t catch it.”
“That has three times the caffeine as a normal cup of coffee, Shinji. You’re not supposed to chug it…”
So that’s why everyone was looking at him like he had three heads. That’s why the staff was behind the counter saying little prayers. That’s why Minako looked like she was evaluating the price of his coffin. That’s why the housewife at the table next to them had her phone ready and 119 dialed.
“Let’s get those beans and get out of here.”