“Keys,” Tsukishima demands when the cafe’s doorknob doesn’t turn. He’d come across Kuroo trying to unload a truck full of supplies on his way home. He was initially going to just skirt around the troublesome barista, but then a pack of napkins fell off the top of the box Kuroo seemed to be struggling with and even Tsukishima wasn’t that cold. He picked up the napkins that’d jumped ship and offered to help. Relieved, Kuroo just asked him to get the door.
The door that they’ve just found out is locked.
“Crap,” Kuroo says, voice a bit strained from the weight of the box, making Tsukishima’s eyes narrow.
“Do you not have them?”
“No…I have them.”
“Okay, then what’s the problem?” His voice gets sharper with irritation at Kuroo’s evasiveness. Tsukishima’s aware that he’s not the most outwardly patient and giving person, but he’s not sure what it is about the man that makes him more disagreeable than usual.
“They’re in my front pants pocket, I swear to god I didn’t plan this,” Kuroo says speeding through that last bit.
Tsukishima considers leaving then and there, but instead gives a heavy sigh. “Ugh, fine. Where are they?”
He manages to get the keys with minimal touching thanks to Kuroo twisting the box out of the way just long enough for Tsukishima to reach in. He unlocks the door and holds it so that Kuroo can finally put everything down.
“Phew! Thanks Tsukki,” he says, shaking out his arms. “Not sure what I’d have done if you hadn’t come around.”
“I was surprised to see you,” Tsukishima admits. “The cafe is closed Tuesdays.” It’s the one day of the week he has to make due with coffee from the convenience store in the morning.
Kuroo shrugs. “It was my turn to buy supplies we were running low on. Here. Why don’t I make you something as a thank you.”
That has him backing up. “You don’t have to do that. I really didn’t do anything.”
“No, no, I insist,” Kuroo says, already heading behind the counter and turning one of the machines on. “It’ll just take a second.”
He really shouldn’t let him do it, but Tsukishima finds himself just standing there, letting the barista make him some coffee. He watches Kuroo, precision and practiced ease with every movement. It’s a little impressive. Just a little.
Kuroo looks over at him. “I have to admit that I’m a little surprised you stayed.”
“You insisted,” he points out, trying to decide if he’s dumbfounded or affronted by Kuroo’s remark.
Kuroo smiles. “Yeah, but still. Anyway, even though I interrupted your afternoon and you probably still just want to get on with whatever you were on your way to do, I’m glad I ran into you today.”
Suddenly, everything feels too hot. He’s not sure what he’s supposed to say to something like that.
“And here we are,” Kuroo continues on like Tsukishima hadn’t just gone mute. “This is something I’m thinking of putting on the menu as a fall special. Do you want to drink it here or should I put it in a to-go cup?”
“I better get going.” He is pretty sure his face is tinted red. He pretends to not see the flash of uncertainty across Kuroo’s features and waits for him to pour the drink into a to-go cup.
“Thanks again for your help. You’ll let me know what you think of the drink?” he adds a bit hopefully.
Tsukishima looks down at the cup in his hand, then back up at Kuroo. “Yeah, I think I can do that.”
He sees the relief in Kuroo’s eyes and something tugs at his heart. “I gotta go,” he says, awkwardly shuffling towards the door.
“Right. See you later.”
Once he’s a block away, he pauses and tries to press the warmth from his face. What was that just now? Kuroo’s a flirt, has been hitting on him since the first time Tsukishima visited that cafe, but that’s all it is…flirting. Kuroo isn’t actually interested in him. Half the time, Tsukishima doesn’t respond because he figures Kuroo doesn’t actually care about the answer.
Except that doesn’t really explain the nervous and unsure expressions the barista showed just now when Tsukishima chose to go home. It was like he’d wanted him to stay longer… but that can’t be right.
He continues on his way, taking his first sip of the drink Kuroo made. “Bleh.” He eyes the drink, sniffs at it a bit before taking another sip. He sees where Kuroo had tried to incorporate satsumaimo flavor into the latte, but it’s just way too sweet. He makes mental notes to share tomorrow.
Tomorrow… Tsukishima ponders that the rest of the way home. Yeah, okay. He doesn’t know what’s going on with him or Kuroo, but he supposes he’s willing to deal with it for his morning cup of coffee. The rest of it can be dealt with later.
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