AN: I've written the college AU, the genderbent AU, the soulmate AU, AU's that have no actual name and I'm currently in the middle of writing the medieval AU. But I have not written the ever-so-popular coffee shop AU, so here it is. Basically, it boils down to the fact that I had fun writing it, and that's all that matters in the end. I hope you enjoy dear readers. :) (And Sonic's a human in this as well.)
~An Iced Latte With Two Shots of Vanilla~
The first time Mario saw him it was during a nighttime shift, a half hour before closing and the first customer to walk into the coffee shop in an hour and a half. And Mario recognized him as the rambunctious captain of the track team at their college, though his name escaped him at the moment considering they'd never spoken before this very moment. Even still, Mario wasn't sure if the boy would even recognize him since he never once looked up from his phone as he ordered his drink - an iced latte with two shots of vanilla.
And just like that he was gone, leaving Mario alone in the coffee shop until closing.
The boy's name was Sonic. Mario learned this after he'd come into the coffee shop with one of his friends and he'd overheard it as he'd made their drinks, an iced latte with two shots of vanilla for Sonic and an espresso for his friend. As Mario turned from the counter to serve off the drinks on the screen, he heard Sonic call out, "Hey, thanks Mario."
Mario froze, wondering how on Earth Sonic had learned his name when he'd just learned his. He then realized he was wearing his nametag, and wasn't sure how he felt about a customer addressing him by name when it wasn't something that happened often.
Sonic would show up nearly every night. And Mario would always have his order punched into the computer before Sonic had approached the till - after all, he never ordered anything else. Sometimes Sonic would sit at one of the tables and make small talk with Mario as they were usually the only ones in the coffee shop that late at night. Sonic finally learned that Mario went to the same college as him and talked to Mario regarding the track team he'd known literally nothing about. Slowly but surely a friendship of sorts formed between the two of them.
Mario tapped his pen against his cheek as he stared down at the inventory list he'd started. As he opened the cupboards beneath the coffee machines he heard the bell above the door jingle and he called out a, "I'll be with you in just a second" as he finished his inventory list. Closing up the cupboards he turned and smiled when he saw Sonic at the counter, but his smile immediately turned into a frown as he took in the state he was in. His blue hair, normally styled in a quiff, hung loosely around his face and his normally cheerful expression wasn't present, instead he looked almost... scared? Sad? Both?
"Uh..." Mario began, a bit shaken by Sonic's appearance before he shook his head and regained his bearings. "The usual?"
Sonic wordlessly nodded and fished around in his pockets for the money he owed. After pushing the exact change over to Mario he went to stand by the second counter while Mario made his drink. Mario threw a concerned look at Sonic as he poured the drink into a cup and lidded it, sliding it over to Sonic. Sonic mumbled a "thanks" before he went to sit down at one of the tables, stirring his latte with the straw.
This was... odd, to say the least. Mario kept his gaze focused on Sonic for a minute before he turned his attention back to the inventory list he'd made. Picking it up he turned back to Sonic. "So, I'll just be in the back for a minute." he began, awkwardly bouncing on his heels. "Just call if you need anything."
Sonic once again wordlessly nodded and Mario ducked into the storeroom, gathering up the supplies he needed to stock up on before he wandered back out to find Sonic still stirring his latte. It didn't even look like he'd taken a sip yet despite the fact it had been at least five minutes since he'd ordered. Mario frowned as he stacked the cups and lids on the counter and refilled the stir sticks and straws. Now he was worried, and without thinking about it he opened the glass case where the baked goods were kept, placed one of the brownies on a plate and wandered over to Sonic, sliding the chocolaty treat towards him. Sonic blinked, staring down at the brownie with a confused expression before he lifted his eyes to meet Mario's. "Um..."
"Well, the brownies are going to be tossed at the end of the night anyway, and you're the only customer who's been in here in two hours, and you look like you could use some chocolate right now." Mario babbled. "Don't worry about paying, it's on the house."
Sonic just stared at Mario, shocked, before the corners of his mouth turned up in a small smile. "Thanks." he quietly said, sliding the plate closer to himself and tearing a corner off the brownie. "I came out to my father as bi last night," Sonic confessed. "He... didn't take it well. Basically told me that he'd stop payin' for college an' I'll hafta find someplace else to live once summer comes around. So I dunno what to do." Sonic popped the corner of brownie into his mouth and slowly chewed. "Sorry to drop all this on ya, but it's been on my mind all day an' you're the first person to ask what was wrong."
Mario's expression softened. "I'm so sorry to hear that," he replied. "I wish I had some advice, but when I came out as bi my parents they were supportive and accepting. I can't believe your father did that to you."
Sonic shrugged. "It's been that way my whole life ever since Mom died. I honestly don't think he ever cared about me or my adopted little brother."
Mario's heart broke. "I'll be right back." he whispered as he disappeared behind the counter again, scrawling something down on a napkin before heading back over to Sonic and holding it out to him. "Here. My phone number. If you ever feel like you need to talk, don't be a stranger."
Sonic stared at the napkin for a moment before accepting it, for the first time that night looking like his usual self. "Thanks Mar. Is it alright if I call you Mar?"
"If that's what you want to call me then go right ahead."
Sonic carefully folded the napkin and pocketed it before grabbing his brownie and latte. "I should go," he mumbled. "My roommate's probably worried about me. Thank you again."
"Don't mention it." Mario said. "Have a safe night."
Sonic smiled at Mario before he exited the coffee shop; Mario watched him from the window until he was out of sight. Not more than a minute later his phone vibrated in his pants pocket and even though he wasn't supposed to answer his phone during work hours he had a feeling he knew who it was.
It's Sonic. So... if you're not busy tomorrow... wanna go catch a movie or somethin'?
Mario couldn't help the smile that spread across his face as he typed out his reply.
I think I'd like that.