LPfiction

Category Linkin Park

heaven help a fool who falls in love. by frostfall

i. monday

A/N: First multi-chaptered story. Was deciding on making a one-shot but ended up splitting them into chapters. Hope this turns out okay. Also, title comes from "Ophelia" by The Lumineers.




*****




It’s a new week. Which means it’s Brad’s turn to grab coffee.


So that leaves Mike to reorganize and restock, which is fine by him to be frank. Sure, he has to wake up way earlier than he should, haul out sealed boxes of books, and sort through all of their collection. It’s hard work but hey, at least it beats waiting in line at the shitty Starbucks around the corner that for some reason Brad likes. Their coffee is the crappiest around.


But at least they have good chai lattes, which is what Mike always gets every time Brad makes a coffee run.


He’s debating whether if the any of the Dragon Age novels should belong in the “Fantasy” or “Gaming” section when he hears the familiar call bell ring.


It should be Brad. No customer has come in this early, let alone on a Monday. Though it’s strange that Brad’s already here. Usually he’ll only be in later within the hour.


But there is none of Brad’s typical “Shinoda!” and Brad never rings the bell to call his attention so Mike figures it isn’t his best friend back with their drinks.


“I’m coming!” he calls, dropping the books back into the box at his feet before weaving through the ocean of cardboard to make it to the front.


The man at the door is most definitely not Brad. Instead of a head of bushy curls and thick facial hair, it’s a man with a cropped mane and smooth face, adorned with the most colorful tattoos on his bare arms. He clutches a paper bag in one hand, rubbing the back of his neck with the other. He glances around the store, looking oddly nervous.


The artist in Mike is tempted to get a closer look at the tattoos but he manages to bury his curiosity to clear his throat. The man jumps suddenly, as if startled.


Just what he needed, to scare the potential customer. Great way to start the day.


“Um, sorry about scaring you,” Mike offers. “Can I help you?”


“Oh um,” the man pulls out a crumpled note from his jeans’ pocket. “Are you Brad Delson?”


Mike shakes his head. “Brad isn’t here yet.”


“Oh okay.” The man holds out the paper bag in his direction. Mike catches the whiff of citrus and sugar. “Could you give this to him?”


Mike cocks an eyebrow but takes it nevertheless. “Um, yeah. Sure.” He almost peers inside but doesn’t out of respect to his best friend’s privacy. Hopefully it’s not something illegal like drugs or something. If it is, then….


As if reading his mind, the man points out, “It’s lemon meringue pie.” He gestures to the door. “My friends and I own the diner at the end of this block. We just opened recently and well, we figured it’ll be good to promote our stuff by giving out free samples.”


But that doesn’t explain this man knowing Brad by name but Mike supposes one of the many store owners around the area might have mentioned it to him.


“Thanks,” Mike says, leaving the bag on the counter. And for some weird reason, he doesn’t budge.


And neither does the other guy so both of them stand there looking at everywhere but at the other for the next couple of minutes.


Suddenly, Pie Guy clears his throat, breaking the awkwardness. “Um, I better go.”


Mike nods his head vigorously, eager to get out of the uncomfortable situation. Which is weird because he likes to think that he could weave himself out of a conversation without the awkwardness. “Uh yeah, sure,” he rambles and almost veers his head against the nearest wall. “And good luck with the...uh...diner!”


Thank god Brad isn’t here to see him floundering like a dying fish. He wouldn't hear the end of it.


The man is already at the door when Mike wishes him well and a small smile crosses his lips. “Thanks,” he says and then suddenly he’s gone, with the only trace of his presence being the sweet aroma of pie and strangely nicotine.


And all Mike could do is slowly turn on his heel, returning to the back to finish the job he was doing before he was so rudely interrupted.


Brad comes in a minute later with drinks in hands and a wide grin. Happiness is an odd expression on Brad on Mondays but Mike takes what he gets.


“What’s that?” Brad asks, gesturing to the sagging paper bag next to the cash register.


Mike thinks about mentioning the fact that Brad was addressed by name but holds his tongue. “Free sample from the new diner down the block.”


If Brad possesses any knowledge of knowing about Pie Guy or the latest establishment, he doesn’t show or mention it. Instead, he exclaims at the sheer luck of free food and Mike decides to not pursue or think about the subject further.


They end up splitting the pie during lunch break. Despite the fact that it’s no longer warm, it’s probably one of the best things Mike has ever tasted in his life.

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