*Slams down water glass* I finished it! Wow, no one told me writing fic's is so hard, this has taken way too long >.<. Hehe, thank you so much to all my lovely reviewer's, I've left all of you a little note at the bottom =^^=. This is very exiting.
Chapter 2 - The Tyr Café Incident
Tyr: The one-handed god of the brave, son of Frigg.
Squall knew exactly what he was going to write in his diary that night - falling over in the bath is a OMEN.
He ran down the street like a bat out of hell, knocking old lady's and small children over in his wake. The Tyr Cafe loomed in front of him as he pushed forward, its old street sign creaking in the wind. Nearly knocking over the sandwich board out front, Squall made a sharp left turn and headed inside the dark interior.
The Tyr Cafe had once been a pub called the Headless Goose, but the tourist industry had felt that the name was a tad inappropriate (though, at the time it had been known as the Headless Goose, it had been a thieves and murder's pub, infamous for some of the best ghosts stories around) Unfortunately for Squall, this meant that the doorway leading to the kitchen was rather low - and he managed to bang his head on it at least once a week.
With a audible thump and a muttered curse, everyone on the staff knew that Squall had arrived.
Squall had had his job at the Tyr Cafe for over two years now, and he wasn't about to give it up soon.
He did all manner of work. Sometimes he cooked, well, more like he helped to arrange the food - Gary, the head chief, wouldn't let anyone near his stoves until they showed him their diploma, and then cooked him a slap up meal.
Sometimes, Squall worked behind the counter, selling things. He didn't do this so often, since the manager felt he'd scared too many costumers away already with his stony looks.
Mostly, he was a waiter. He didn't talk much anyway, so all he ever said all day was 'can I take your order please', in a complete monotone.
Squall's real dream, however, had nothing to do with the food industry. One day, he was absolutely certain, he would join the police. And since he was only eighteen, that gave him plenty of time to think about it.
But, as always, several things had stopped him from achieving his dream as soon as he'd left school. One of them was money. He couldn't afford to live without his job at the Tyr Cafe, let alone have enough money to pay University fee's. He had no family to support him - his mother had died giving birth to him, and his father several years later of Leukaemia. His father's death had crushed Squall, and he'd always believed the doctor's had lied to him - his father had died of a broken heart. He'd been left with next to nothing, since his parents had never been very well off anyway, so the authorities had simply dumped him in a home. He'd had a terrible time at the orphanage, and avoided talking about it.
Another thing stopping him was Irvine. Not that he resented the American, but they had managed to get themselves into quite a tight predicament. Irvine had come to England to attend University for two years, and he was supposed to be staying with a old aunt just outside of York. But, something had obviously gone wrong with family communication, because Irvine had arrived in York penniless, with absolutely no clue to where his aunt lived, and in fact, no clue as to what her name was. Squall had met him as he was leaving work, wondering the streets like all the other homeless people. Normally Squall ignored homeless people (they creeped him out), but something about Irvine made him pause. Maybe it was sixth sense - or maybe it was the fact that Irvine was carrying about five suitcases, wearing a cowboy hat and sitting in a gutter. Anyway, Squall stopped, and in one of his more vocal moments, asked if Irvine was ok. Irvine wasted no time in telling him the whole retched story, and Squall, feeling rather sorry for the American, had offered to get him some dinner.
Something about Irvine made Squall feel comfortable, which was rather odd, since Squall hated most people in general. And of course, once Irvine had let slip how much money his parents would be sending him a month, Squall couldn't help asking if he'd like to be his flat mate. He would have had to give up the flat, which was actually rather nice if you looked over the bathroom, if Irvine hadn't started paying rent as well. So Squall was stuck. If he wanted to join the police he'd have to leave the flat, but there was no way Irvine could afford it by himself - and he was only in England for another eighteen months. So Squall had to wait, and as long as he was receiving a steady income, that was ok by him.
Cid Karmer loved his Tyr Cafe. As the manager, he worked very hard to make his cafe an outstanding success in Garden inc. branch. This meant not only good food and conditions, but outstanding services as well.
Incidentally, he must have been having a very bad day to have hired Squall. Yes, a very bad day.
Not that Squall was rude to the customers, Cid could never say that, but he left a lot to be desired. He never made chitchat with the customers, preferring to avoid there gazes all together, or ignore them if they tried to strike up a conversation. He tended to get a lot of unwanted attention from the younger people who came to eat at the cafe (he was rather strikingly pretty), and even some from the elder customers.
Cid had point blank begged Squall to at least say something nice to the regulars, mostly old ladies, so as not to scare them away. He would usually greet them with a gruff 'how are you', but most of the elderly customers put his lack of gusto down to shyness, thinking Squall was positively adorable.
It made Squall want to tip hot tea in there laps.
His co-workers found his antic's an endless source of amusement.
Rinoa and Selphie had worked at the Tyr Cafe almost as long as Squall, and they thought the world of him. This confused Squall somewhat, considering they had completely different personalities. Both girls were overly cheerful and bursting with energy, whereas Squall was moody and reclusive. He often gave them stony looks, instead of acting sociable, but this only seemed to encourage their friendliness towards him.
Both girls were fully aware that Squall felt no attraction towards them (not for lack of trying on Rinao's part of course), but Selphie couldn't help giggling at the thought of heartless Squall getting all flustered around other men. Rinao had been disappointed at first, but she was an easy going, forgiving type of girl, and she couldn't help teasing Squall about having a male room mate. And, of course, Squall despised being teased about his sexuality.
Which is why Rinoa would jump and the chance to set him up.
Most days at the Try Cafe we're very predictable. Squall would start at about 8:00 when things we're just opening up, and by lunch time, the place was heaving. The work was hard, and Squall was run of his feet nearly the whole day - this was not so good for his temperament either, since he didn't loose morning grumpiness until at least six o'clock at night.
By 1 o'clock, even Rinoa's smile was starting to look a bit strained.
Sighing, Squall walked over to his next costumer. The man on table nine had his back to Squall, so he couldn't see him moving towards him. However, a mirror, covered in Art Nouveau type designs, had been placed along the wall, (to open the room out a bit, Cid has said), which gave Squall a perfect view of the gentleman's face.
High cheekbones running smoothly across a light coloured face, a strong, almost roman nose, and blond hair lighter then the sun. Squall would never forget that face.
With a chocked gasp, he headed strait back to the kitchens.
Seifer was tired, and his voice was starting to crack from all the shouting he'd been doing. All he wanted was a nice cup of coffee, full of sugar, and a cream cake, also full of sugar. Sugar made him a more acceptable member of the human race.
His lunch brake lasted for a hour and a half, so he's decide to try somewhere new. All the cafe's and pub's in York seemed to boast some kind of fame or other - there were about three that claimed Guy Fawks had been born within. One old white pub next to a snickleway had looked rather nice, until he noticed the street name. Grape street (and if you know your York history, it used to be called Grapcunt street, and the grap was for grope, not grape) - the thought of eating in a former brothel made Seifer's stomach turn, so he carried on looking.
The Tyr Cafe had looked very pleasant, away from busy roads and tourist streams, so Seifer had delved inside.
The menu had exactly what he wanted, plus a very nice border covered in pretty clouds. Not that Seifer noticed that kind of thing, certainly not.
It was rather busy when Seifer had sat down, and he was beginning to wonder if he was ever going to get served - when he felt the hair on his neck rise. Seifer's senses were unusually honed for someone for didn't believe in the supernatural, but he looked around anyway.
Not fast enough - because Squall had already ducked behind the counter.
Selphie and Rinoa stared. Obviously, some kind of virus must have gotten into the water system - there could be no other explanation as to why Squall was hiding behind the counter.
Legs tucked tightly against his body, arm's covering his head, Squall looked like he was expecting an air raid. He peaked out from behind his knees, observing the two girls staring at him, as if his head had turned purple with big yellow splodges.
"Erm, Squall..." She said, scratching her head, "not that we don't appreciate the company; but, what are you doing?"
Squall gave them a level stare.
"Someone needs to sort out table nine" He mumbled into his leg. Both girls glanced over to the table in complete synchronisation - and burst into giggles.
"Oooh! He's really cute" said Selphie, trying to cover her mouth as she tittered. Rinoa lent on her shoulder to have a better look, then glanced back as Squall, watching with amusement as his ears turned red.
Rinoa winked. "I think Squalllll has a cruuuush" She said, in a very sing song way.
Sqaull grumbled something into his uniform.
Both girl’s descended into peels of laughter.
Suddenly, Rinoa gripped Selphie's arm and gasped. She jumped up and down in excitement as her friends regarded her with surprise.
"I know who that is!" She squealed, hand fanning the air in front of her. "Oh Squall! He's one of the Doctor's working down at that dig your always talking about! I used to go out with him a while back; that is," she paused to wink again at Squall, "until I found out that he was flaming!" she snorted with laughter as Squalls face took on a pained look.
Selphie shoved Rinoa out from behind the counter. "Well, if you know him, for gods sake Rinoa! Go and serve the poor man before you embarrass Squall any more!" Selphie laughed again as Rinoa waved them goodbye.
Felling rather put out, Squall let his head flop into his chest.
Rinoa swayed her hips in her little mini skirt uniform, heading over to Seifer's table. Seifer had obviously sensed her coming over, because he turned slightly - then nearly fell out of his chair. Whatever he'd been expecting, it hadn't been an ex-girlfriend.
Rinao faked surprise and squealed with glee. "Seifer-sweety! I haven't seen you in ages!"
Seifer cringed. He felt his stomach sink unpleasantly as Rinao's smiling face looked down at him.
"Hello Rinoa," he deadpanned, looking at his menu to avoid her gaze. "I believe the last time we talked was nearly a year ago.. when you broke up with me."
No, thought Seifer, that didn't sound bitter at all...
Rinoa ignored his tone. "Well, It's so nice to see you again," she giggled absurdly, and Seifer tried to sink deep into his chair. Leaning closer, Rinao continued, "especially since I've got some good news for you"
She jumped into the seat opposite Seifer, wanting to get closer to talk to him - Seifer just wanted the ground to swallow him whole. Or better yet, swallow her whole.
She propped her elbows on the table, leaning on her hands so only Seifer could hear her. “Well, tell me how you've been! I don't often get that chance to reminisce”
No wonder, Seifer smiled mentally, no one stick’s around after your through with them.
Keeping his thoughts to himself, Seifer answered, “I'm as well as can be expected. But I won't bore you with the details of my current life..” he looked glanced meaningfully at his menu, hoping Rinoa would get the hint.
"I know for a fact that you've been single for quite a while, boy-o" Seifer was about to protest, but she shushed him "Don't try and deny it! Quistis told me."
Qustis is very dead, Seifer though, not even disguising his glare at Rinoa. She didn't seem disturbed by it, in fact, her face was starting to look rather concerned.
"She worries about you Seifer," Rinoa's big baby doll eyes looked at Seifer pityingly, "she only wants you to be happy."
Seifer experienced a flash of foresight, suddenly seeing were this conversation was headed. He almost growled in annoyance. "Look Rinoa-" He started.
She cut him up quickly. "But, as always, I have the perfect solution!" she raised her finger as if she'd just had the best idea in the world.
Looking at Seifer with a wide smile (one that made Seifer want to back away) she concluded;
"I have a friend - a male friend!" She added quickly, seeing the look of distaste on Seifer's face. "He's a bit anti-social, and his conversation skills aren't quite up to scratch, but he's a really gorgeous guy, and," she wagged a finger in his face, "he really fancies you."
Sitting back, she lanced her fingers together and grinned at Seifer. "So, what do you think?"
Seifer sighed. His head was starting to hurt, and all he really wanted was a nice cup of coffee.
"Look Rinoa, as much as I appreciate your concern, I'm not interested. I'm a busy man at the moment, what with the dig and all, and I don't really have time for this kind of thing. I don't like being set up, and frankly, I don't care if your friend is male, female, or a duck - I won't be pushed into a blind date." He looked her strait in the eye as he handed her his menu. "As nice as this little chat was, all I really want is a nice, milky coffee, two sugars; and a piece of carrot cake. Is that too much to ask?"
Rinoa pursued her lips together as she regarded Seifer.
"I'd forgotten what you can be like sometimes, Seifer," she said slowly, sobering out of her cheerful facade. "If your going to be dick, and not except an exiting opportunity, then that's fine by me. But whatever you do, don't let Quistis know how lonely you really are." Standing, she left Seifer looking bemused.
As she walked away, determined to have the last word, Seifer stated, "I don't need your help to find me love, Rinoa.." because my heart's already been stolen, he added to himself.
Rinoa laughed. "Whatever you say, Seifer-sweety". Normal cheerfulness returned, Rinoa walked back to the kitchens, leaving Seifer to mull over his words.
Sticking Seifer's order on a large metal stake, Rinoa looked down at Squall. Selphie had just retuned from waiting on table three, and she jumped around the counter expectantly. Grabbing Rinao's arm, she demanded to know what had been said.
Rinoa looked at her nail's as if they were the most fascinating things in the world, answering slowly to wind Selphie up.
"Well.." She said, as if she couldn't quite remember, "we said hi, and we talked about stuff.."
"What stuff!?" said Selphie, getting overexcited again.
"humm, well, I asked Seifer, if he would be at all interested, you know, in having a speacial date with someone" she looked meaningfully at Squall.
Squall felt his stomach drop as all feeling left his body.
"You didn't!?" He ask, snapping his head up and looking at Rinoa with wide, horrified eyes.
She shrugged. "Sorry Squall, he isn't interested. Not that I didn't try my best, but take my advice, Seifer isn't a very nice person, especially for someone like you, and you deserve a lot more than that" she jabbed a thumb in Seifer's direction.
Selphie wined in disappointment. "Oo~oh, and he was so cute too.."
Squalls head was spinning. His name's Seifer.. was all he could think as Rinoa's words sank in.
The girl had carried on talking as she put a slice of cake on a tray. "Trust me Squall, there are so many nice gay men out there for you, all we have to do-"
"Rinoa" Squall cut her short, staring up at her with his cold eyes, "please don't ever try and set me up again."
Rinoa huffed as Squall dropped his head down again. "Well, if that's all the thanks I get.." She stormed off, taking her cake with her.
Selphie just shook her head. "Don't worry Squall," She smiled at him, "I'm sure it'll all work out in the end."
Squall nodded listlessly.
I'm sorry this chapter is so short, but I've been ill with the flu, and I'm supposed to be revising for my mock exam's... @ _ @ . The next chapter will be called 'Dear dear diary', and Squall will help himself to a packet of McVitie's ^^. Hope your all looking forward...
Return to Archive | next | previous