I'm so sorry that I suck at fluff as much as I do. I chose the coffee shop AU as the idea because I'm actually a sucker for these types of fics, I think they're darn cute. And so are Elle and Bucky <3
Bucky was not having the best day, to say the least. It wasn’t that he hated his job at the coffee shop, it was just that most days, it was unspeakably boring. The shifts were long, the customers were usually jerks, and the tips were terrible. The only thing that made it even remotely bearable was that he got to work with his best friend, Steve. Bucky found his friend’s ambition to do even the smallest of tasks perfectly admirable, and it gave him the motivation to try to be less of a moody brat, too.
“Two more hours,” Steve murmured, drumming the countertop with his fingers, scanning over the almost-empty coffee shop. It was uncharacteristically empty for a Monday night. The coffee shop was right next to a university campus, so most days and nights it was crowded with desperate students trying to finish their assignments with a little help from a caffeine boost.
“Uh-huh,” Bucky murmured, placing his head on the coffee table, groaning silently. He’d had a splitting headache for the past hour or so, and he was dying to get home and get some sleep. But like Steve said, two more hours, and then the usual clean-up after.
The bell rang, and Bucky lifted his head instinctively. He knew that the best way to get good tips was to be good at customer service. He saw the customer, and for a moment, paused. She was beautiful. A young woman, probably a student, with brown hair and the most captivating eyes. She was holding a bunch of books in her hands, clearly trying to balance them and not doing a very good job. Without thinking about it, Bucky rushed from behind the counter and walked over to the girl, grabbing a few of the books that had just fallen out of her hands. He had no idea why he’d done that, and based on the look on the girl’s face, neither did she. Bucky found himself blushing.
“Sorry,” he blurted out, not sure what to say. “You looked like you needed help.”
“Thank you,” she sounded grateful, and not weirded out. Good. She smiled, and Bucky blushed again. He cleared his throat, gesturing around the café.
“Where do you want to sit?”
“Oh! Right,” the girl chuckled nervously, pointing at an empty two-person table, on which Bucky placed the books he’d grabbed. The girl did the same with hers and turned back to Bucky.
“Thanks for your help,” she said again, smiling so sweetly that Bucky found himself smiling, too. He’d never met anyone with a smile as captivating as hers.
“No problem,” Bucky said, stepping back to give her her space as she settled down at the table, digging her pockets for her wallet. “I’ll just… leave you to it.”
He walked back towards the counter, where Steve was smirking at him. Damn him.
“Since when did you become Prince Charming?” his friend whispered.
“Shut up,” Bucky murmured, just in time, as the girl was walking towards them, having located her wallet.
“Hello again,” she said, smiling that sweet smile of hers yet again.
“Hi,” Bucky knew he was smiling, too, and he knew he probably looked like an idiot. But he didn’t really care at that moment. As subtly as he possibly could, he shoved Steve aside so that he was in charge of the register. “What can I get you?”
“Could I get a latte, please?” the girl asked. “And, uh, one of those chocolate chip cookies,” she pointed at the jar of cookies to Steve’s right. She was digging through her wallet for the money, when Bucky found himself blurting out:
“It’s on the house,” he said.
“Huh?” the girl looked up, clearly taken aback. Steve, too, was looking at Bucky, slightly surprised.
“Uh, first timers always get their order for free,” Bucky said, talking out of his ass. He had no idea what had come over him, but he was not going to let this sweet girl pay for her order. He would even tolerate Steve’s taunting if he had to.
“That’s… very kind of you,” the girl smiled, putting away her wallet, clearly accepting this as the custom of the café. It was better that way. Bucky didn’t want her to think of him as a creep. “Thank you.”
“No… no problem;” Bucky murmured, grabbing one of the to-go cups, even though the girl was probably going to have a sit down and a read instead of taking her order to go. But this was the best way he could think of to find out her name. “Can I have your name?” he asked, grabbing a marker. “For the coffee…”
“Elle,” Bucky scribbled down the name, his eyes meeting Elle’s. He smiled. “I’m Bucky.”
“Bucky?” Elle giggled a bit.
“Well, James. But everyone calls me Bucky,” he blushed a bit, knowing that Steve was still watching them, clearly not bothered that he was invading a somewhat private moment.
“I like it. Nice to meet you, Bucky,” Elle said softly, nodding her head and stepping back. “Thank you again.”
“No worries,” Bucky watched her head back to her table, and turned to Steve. “You, say nothing. Okay?”
“Okay,” Steve said, grabbing the cup and beginning the process of making the latte. “Just wondering what demon’s possessed you.”
“I’m just being nice,” Bucky objected, but he knew that it was a thinly veiled argument. Especially since his eyes kept drifting back to Elle.
“Then be nice and go talk to her. I’ll bring her coffee and cookie over when they’re done,” Steve said, rolling his eyes fondly. “Come on, your break’s almost up anyway.”
“You’re the best,” Bucky said, and without further ado walked over to Elle’s table. Before he could come up with a good excuse as to why he was there, Elle spoke:
“If you’re not too busy, would you like to sit down for a bit? To… chat?” Elle asked, looking a little uncertain of herself. Luckily for her, Bucky was more than happy to oblige.
“I’d love to,” with that, Bucky sat down, and the two chatted for the duration of Bucky’s break, and a bit longer, still. Elle ended up waiting for Bucky to get off work, after which he walked her home. The two made plans to meet again the next day. Bucky couldn’t believe his luck. Maybe working at the coffee shop wasn’t the worst thing after all.