Cantankerous - bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative.
Her latest customer to enter the building, to put it politely, was a little on the scary side.
He was incredibly tall and silver plated with strange fin-like growths on his face. They looked oddly like handles, she couldn't help but think. Adding onto his bizarre appearance were his eyes which were bright glowing cybernetics. He was clad in incredibly expensive heavy armour of a grey tint with a clear undersuit that was attached to the cowl strapped around his fringe. Jane couldn't help but look warily at the two assault rifles mag-locked to his back and the two pistols at his hip.
Was he preparing for war in a coffee shop?
All Jane could think to herself was no sudden movements. That thought reinforced itself when he refused to step out of the way for a human customer who was trying to walk past him.
Disregarding his clear lack of manners, at least he's not a thresher maw, she mused to herself.
Jane always did her best to look on the bright side of life.
She smiled brightly, giving herself an internal pat on the back at managing a genuine one, as he finally came to a stop in front of her workstation.
"How can I help you, sir?" Jane asked.
His mandibles flared with what she could only assume to be contempt. Was it with regards to her suspected competence or perhaps her humanity? Well, if it was her competence, he should prepare to be surprised. Nilia's Lounge wasn't renowned throughout the Citadel as having the best kava in Citadel space for no reason, and her magical hands could attest to that. One of her more frequent customers, a C-Sec turian called Garrus, had been teasing her a few weeks ago by flirting with her. That was weird in itself, but the worst part was that he'd made sure every single line had a reference to heat sinks or the omnipresent rifle on his back. It was a mix between hilarious, flattering and unbearably embarrassing, which was probably why he had done it. Nilia, her turian boss, had never let her live it down and had later told her that his sub-vocals had been full of suppressed laughter.
"I love my rifle, but I'm willing to make an exception. What do you say?"
"Flirting with humans wasn't covered in my training manuals, but with a rifle and a couple of heat sinks... I think I can make do."
The worst one had to be the popping the heat sink one though.
"I always like to savour the last shot before I pop the heat sink."
That one had been rewarded with a blank stare.
Trela, her beautiful asari co-worker who mixed great cocktails, had been goading him on all the time, revelling in her pitiful attempts to ignore him. The embarrassment had rolled on and on until his lunch break had ended and he'd left with a smirk, said rifle almost taunting her from its place on his back.
But really, her kava had to be amazing to induce awkward turian flirting. Even if the flirting was done in jest.
"Large kava. One sugar," he said, crossing his arms as he stared her down.
Ignoring his coldness, she couldn't help but find the idea of a scary ass turian like him taking his kava with sugar adorable. Doubly so, considering that kava wasn't a particularly bitter beverage compared to coffee.
Jane would have at least smirked if she didn't have the feeling that the turian was looking for the slightest sign of ineptitude on her part so he could complain to her boss. Thankfully, and perhaps unfortunately for her, Nilia wasn't here. He was stuck with her as the barista to serve him, and she was stuck having to serve him.
No real winners here, unfortunately.
She should really stop calling him the turian. Maybe 'Handlebars' would be better? Even thinking of him as that made her uneasy, or maybe it was the fact he was staring at her like his glare would be able to make her disintegrate on the spot. Maybe 'Mr Turian Sir' would be better.
"Anything else tuh-... sir?"
That was a mistake.
"Human," and the word sounded like the vilest insult she'd ever heard, "maybe I can assist you here," he said with in an incredibly snide tone. "This is the point where you begin to make my kava."
He sneered at her.
"Your kind seems to enjoy finding new ways every time I meet one of you to bring my opinion of you lower and lower," he said.
She couldn't help but blush in embarrassment, but as she turned around to make his kava she couldn't stop the small stab of vindictive pleasure that came with turning her back on him without responding. Cultural nuances were always useful.
Judging by the light grunting and what sounded like "Nihlus" being mumbled under his breath, he'd noticed the slight and was not pleased.