A Large Black Coffee And A Medium Latte
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer - Paramount own the two names.

It's another no names story. Well, almost.

Short and sappy.


A delicious blend of aromas from a hundred different worlds permeated the air, holding most who stepped in captive for a few moments before they remembered to keep moving.

The owner of the coffee shop smiled genuinely at her latest customer before her eyes slid towards the entrance to see who was stepping through. The smile quickly transformed into a smirk. They were here again.

Her first instinct was to call her husband out of the back - he had become as intrigued with them as she had - but it would have been far too obvious. Instead she watched as the 'couple' located a table in the bustling cafe and sat down.

She had no idea what their real relationship was and even though she had never been an overly-romantic person herself, she had began constructing various versions of their past together. At times they seemed like best friends; easily laughing and confiding in each other. At time they seemed like mortal enemies; studiously avoiding any contact at all and when they did study each other it was with barely disguised distaste.

And some days - like today - they were friendly but cautious. They would vaguely smile at each other through the tension that was thick enough to phaser through.

Yet there were never alone. Every Tuesday afternoon they would turn up, together. She had never seen one without the other.

She had no idea what their lives consisted of outside the coffee shop. They could have been in Starfleet; most of the people in this area were, but...she doubted it. They only ever wore civilian clothes and his hands would be wasted on Starfleet. They had absolutely nothing on her husband's hands (which she believed were behind the whole concept of 'artistic hands') but they were extremely nice. He probably did something with clay or paints.

As for her...she was difficult to gauge. A writer, perhaps? A gardener? She had no idea.

Resigned that her husband wasn't about to appear she grabbed a PADD and quickly headed towards their table. One of them could have come up to the counter or she could have sent someone else to serve them, but she didn't want to separate them and - being entirely self-indulgent - she decided that she was going to serve them herself.

By the time she reached their table they were sitting in what felt like one hell of an uncomfortable silence. He looked rather expectant and she looked confused as hell.

"Can I get you your usual?" The owner asked cheerily and quickly, determined to get this over with as quickly as possible.

Two short head nods later it was.

Whirling away as fast as she could she quickly made it to the counter and spun round to see if she had missed anything.

Nope. They were still sitting, not looking at each other.

Sighing, she started making their drinks. The man said something. She couldn't head what it was of course, but the woman looked positively dumb struck. She opened her mouth to reply-

"Have you seen that filter?" Her husband asked noisily, thumping into the room from the back.

"Shh!" She whispered. "A Large Black Coffee and A Medium Latte are here. I think this is..."

Recognising the code names her husband quickly stepped behind her, quite easily seeing over her shoulder thanks to their difference in height.

The woman raised her hand to her throat and her eyes seemed to be brimming with tears. Although they couldn't hear it, they could clearly see the word she mouthed.

In response the man shouted and leapt up from his seat to pull her into his arms. She went willingly, laughing and sobbing at the same time.

As the entire population of the shop took in the view, the owner smiled as her husband wrapped those delectable hands around her from behind.

"Remind you of another proposal?" He whispered into her ear.

"Don't be silly, Chakotay." Tugging at his hands so she could turn around and sneak her arms around his neck, she smiled. "Mine was much more romantic than his."

And she kissed him.


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