Coffee to Go
Chapter information

1 (of 1)

Guests writer(s)


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Release date

July 18th, 2016

Word count


This story was written from a prompt by Korra2000: "Either Kai or Jinora works at a coffee shop, the other comes in, and they hit it off from there. I call it Coffee to Go." Even though I asked her what she had in mind (spoiler alert, this wasn't it) I still hope that everyone likes it. Enjoy.

Making the bet, day 1

-"I'm boooooooorrrrrreeeeeeed!" Korra loudly whined.

Jinora sighed and let her head hang. "You work in a coffee shop, how can you be bored? There's always something to do."

-"Like what? The machines are clean and so is the counter, the floor can't be mopped yet because afternoon rush starts in half an hour, and the inventory is perfect. You tell me what to do."

At this, the younger girl perked up. "Is that a challenge?"

Korra let her head fall into her hands. "Oh no, what have I done..."

"Tell you what, why don't you figure out a way to ask your regular on a date. It's quite obvious you want to but don't have the guts to actually see it through." Jinora smiled. She knew damn well Korra had something of a crush on one of their regulars, a surprisingly handsome girl with beautiful hair. Truth be told, part of Jinora thought it was because of the hair, but most of her knew it was because of the legs/ass.

Korra's loud groan signaled this wasn't exactly the response she was looking for. "Hey, you asked for something, there's always the option of cleaning the bogs," Jinora smirked. In reality, the bathrooms were reasonably clean, but it would stop her from whining.

-"Fine," Korra sighed. "Can't believe I'm taking dating advice from a six-time winner of the Virgin of the Year-award," she mumbled, though it was loud enough for Jinora to hear it.

"Hey, I'm not the one who let herself get pressured into having sex with my team captain. That was on you."

The older girl squinted. "Did I tell you about that? Doesn't sound anything like me."

"I may have pried you open by pouring three shots of vodka into you," Jinora bashfully admitted. "You become fairly talkative when you're drunk." Korra was glaring at her with the 'are you kidding me'-look, so Jinora knew she had to act quickly. "I was curious how you'd done it. You know, do up some experience."

Korra scoffed. "She had a crush on me, and I was curious, one thing lead to another, yadayadayada, you're old enough to fill in the blanks. Still, you're 21 and never had a boyfriend." A devious little smirk appeared on her face. "Tell you what, I'll make you a bet: I'll pay you 50 bucks if you get a date before I work up the courage to ask Asami out. Other way around, you pay me 50 bucks."

"That's hardly fair. You already have a target."

-"We have over a dozen cute guys walk through that door before 10 am every day. Surely one of them must be looking for a date."

Jinora sighed. "I'm not desperate enough to ask out every guy who buys a coffee from me." An evil thought suddenly took hold of her. "I'm not you," she added with a smirk.

-"Shots fired," the older girl squinted back. "What do you say, do we have a bet or not?"

Jinora smiled. "Fine, 50 bucks."

Game on.

Day 2

Yesterday hadn't given her any opportunities. Shame really, because Jinora knew that Korra's regular would be coming in again during the morning rush hour. There were a few cute guys, but if they couldn't even be bothered to make small talk over the counter, she was fairly confident that trying to go on a date with them would be a pointless enterprise.

Then there were the jocks, cute but rude. Not exactly dating material either. Most others were teenage girls who had the ridiculously complex orders, or middle-aged men who couldn't be bothered and simply asked for a black coffee.

This morning wasn't much better. There were the regulars, and Jinora was constantly on guard to see if Korra's regular would show up, and like clockwork, she did. It was about 8:30 when she showed up, and like a good customer, got in line.

Jinora now got to enjoy the spectacle of Korra turning beet-red as she took her order.

-"Are you okay back there?" Jinora heard her ask. "You look a little squeamish."

-"Yeah, I'm fine," Korra quickly lied. "Just a little hot working over the machine."

The younger girl looked over, her smile growing at the redness on Korra's face. She quickly winked and turned back to her own line.

Jinora didn't need to pay out that morning.

Later on, after the rush hour had ended, Jinora was mindlessly polishing the counter when she heard the bell ring, signaling the entry of another customer. "Good morning, how can I help you?" she asked on auto-pilot, not really looking at him.

-"Cup-of-chino to go, please," she heard him say. Jinora was about to make a snarky remark back, but then she looked up.


Oh, wow. Standing before her was probably one of the most devilishly handsome customers they had ever had, Jinora was certain of it. For starters, he was at least half a head taller than her, but that was always good. She wasn't excessively tall, and going out with a guy shorter than her felt wrong.

Second, his green shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows revealed that he wasn't exactly lanky either. Not the kind of guy who has to go through doors sideways, but holy crap did those biceps look squeezable. Also, how the hell could he make suspenders look attractive? They looked like they were made from brown leather, and damn, did they look good on him. Went perfectly with his dark skin, and his shirt went perfectly with... *melt*.

His eyes were gorgeous, even more so than he was himself. Deep green, with a few flakes of brown thrown in. If Jinora had to choose a one-word descriptor for them, it would probably be 'dreamy'.

-"Miss?" he asked, snapping Jinora out of her daze.

"Huh?" She quickly snapped out of it, realizing how stupid she must have made herself look. "Sorry... I, uhh, I have lot on my mind right now." Like trying to process how someone can be as handsome as you are. "Cappuccino to go, did you say?"

-"Yes, I did," he smiled. "Sorry about the pun. If I'd have known it was terrible enough to put you out of it, I wouldn't have made it."

Oh crap, his smile is just as handsome as he is. "Don't worry about it," Jinora squirmed, feeling herself turn red. "I mean, yeah... It was pretty bad." Trying to hide her color, she quickly turned around to start making his order. Machine on, milk foamer ready, cup with name... Goodie. "Can I get your name please?"

-"Kai," he simply answered.

Jinora smiled. "Kai, got it. Just give me a minute." She quickly turned around, debating whether or not to put a heart on the cup or deliberately screw up the spelling.

She decided against all of it, and instead quickly scribbled his name on the cup, before filling it with his order. "Will that be all?" she asked, trying to hide her blush by putting herself back in auto-pilot. Of course, her hormones weren't very cooperative, so the auto-pilot was fighting back.

He took a look at the showcase. "I'll take one of those coconut cookies too."

"Right." Jinora quickly grabbed it with a napkin, put it in a bag, and slid the order forward. "3.50, please."

Kai put four dollar bills on the counter and smiled. "Keep the change."

This only made her blush even harder. "Thanks," she quietly murmured, putting the bill in the register and handing Kai his receipt. "Come by again later."

He took a sip of his coffee, and a 'not-bad'-expression appeared on his face. "I just might..." He looked at her for a moment. "What's your name?"

"Jinora," she said, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear.

Kai smiled. "Pretty name. Alright, Jinora, I'll be back later. This is good coffee."

"Thanks," she said, again feeling herself become redder. He walked off, and Jinora couldn't help herself but stare after him. After a few moments, she got the feeling that she was being watched, and it didn't take her long to figure out why.

Off to her left, she saw Korra leaning on the counter, a massive shit-eating grin on her face, suggesting she saw the whole scene play out.

"Not a fucking word," Jinora said, raising a warning finger.

Korra defensively raised her hands, before heeding Jinora's warning and turning back to her work.

Day 3

-"Is today going to be the day?" Korra asked as she tied on her apron.

"The day you pay me 50 bucks?" Jinora smirked back. "Least I did yesterday was level the playing field. I made progress, which is more than I can say for you."

Korra smiled. "Yup, but given that we both turned into a hopeless pile of stutters, I'd say our odds are even again."

It was true, and now the big waiting game began to see who would show up first, and who would first dare to pop the question. Of course, Korra had an unfair advantage of not coming across as desperate if she'd finally have the courage to ask her regular out.

D'oh well. You can cross that bridge when you get to it. For now though, it was 7 in the morning, which meant lots of cranky people in a rush to get to work who haven't had a coffee yet. Goodie.

Jinora dutifully took the orders, made the coffees, and the money changed hands, all so that she could pay her way through college. Much to her surprise and enjoyment, Korra's regular didn't show up. Jinora knew this, because, well, she kind of wanted to win that bet and thus kept one eye on the door at all times.

To add to her luck, after rush hour was over again, Kai came back in. Once again, he was wearing his devilishly handsome smile, his brown leather suspenders, only now he was wearing a different green shirt. Nothing to worry about though, green was definitely his color.

-"Hi there, " he jovially greeted.

"Hey," Jinora bashfully greeted back, brushing her hair behind her ear. "What can I get you?" Of course she turned red as a tomato as she said it. Why the hell not?

-"Same as yesterday, only I'll try the chocolate muffin today. Seems pretty good."

"Right." She turned around to the machine in an attempt to steel herself while she turned on the espresso machine. With a deep breath, she faced him again. "Say, how come you can stop by so late? Rush hour is long over."

He smiled. "Oh, I'm working on an art project right now with a couple of guys from college. No need to get there at the crack of dawn, gives us the chance to wake up properly get a good cup of coffee before spending most of the day in the studio."

Hook, line, and sinker. "You study art?"

-"Hoping to get into advertising one day, seems like a good path."

The ping behind Jinora told her that the coffee was ready, so she quickly sealed the lid and got him his muffin. "3.75 please."

Once again, he pulled out four single-dollar bills. "All yours. For the service."

"Thanks," she once again muttered.

-"Listen, starting next week, my studio is over. How early do you really open?"

"7 am, every Monday through Friday. I'm only here Wednesday through Friday though." The moment she said it, Jinora realized how that sounded, and that she needed to back out. "Of course, you're welcome here any day of the week, always happy to see more customers, you know, good for business and everything," she quickly rambled off, though it was nakedly obvious she was just trying to bullshit her way out of a hopeless situation.

Kai just smiled, presumably because Jinora was turning redder and redder as she rambled on. "Relax, I got it. See you next week, Jin."

She watched him leave, unable to stop herself from admiring his perfectly shaped butt.

-"Smooth," Korra said off to the side.

"Shut up."

Skipping a few days in the interest of the bet, day 4

Jinora had been practically gushing with anticipation to get back to the coffee shop. It was Wednesday, so she was back behind the counter, ready to serve a bunch of grumpy people overpriced coffee.

Strangely though, and this was not something to quickly admit, she was even a few minutes early, if only to make sure that she'd get to serve Kai his coffee.

Of course, now he would be coming in during the rush hour, so she'd have to think of quicker ways to interact with him, lest she get a whole bunch of complaints from impatient customers who could swear her barista was flirting with the handsome guy.

Already having a huge line to take care of, it was quite a surprise when he was suddenly standing in front of her. "Hey, Jin," he said, though it was pretty apparent that waking up early was not his thing. Even though his wardrobe hadn't changed much in terms of quality, (he was now in a leather jacket. Yummy!) his face was obviously the result of a lack of sleep.

"Hey," she greeted back. "Cappuccino to go again?"

Kai gave her a tired smile. "Yeah, though nothing on the side for now. Need to wake up properly first."

Jinora chuckled. "I know the feeling." She noticed how the guy behind him started impatiently tapping his foot. "Sorry, but I have to help the next customer."

-"Right. Sorry." He quickly moved away, taking a seat at a table close to the counter.

Meanwhile, Jinora turned around, once again turning on the espresso machine, only now she dotted the 'i' of his name with a heart instead of a dot.

It went smooth, the next guy only wanted a simple black coffee, so she could quickly call Kai back to the counter. "2.15 please."

He put two one-dollar bills and a quarter in her hand, smiling as he did. "You know the drill."

As per usual, Jinora's heart skipped a beat, and she brushed a strand of hair behind her ear. "Thanks again, Kai." As soon as she handed over the cup, she saw the heart again, and her own stopped. Part of her wanted to jump over the counter and smack the cup out of his hand, though the part that controlled her common sense and fine motor skills told her otherwise.

Even though she turned beet-red again, he just took a content sip of his coffee and smiled. "See you tomorrow, Jin."

"Yeah," she murmured back, though she was pretty certain he hadn't heard that.

Fortunately, Korra was too busy to notice the exchange going on beside her. It's the little things that count in moments like these.

After taking the order of her next customer, she looked out the window, seeing Kai standing there, staring intently at his cup. He looked back inside and winked right at Jinora.

She was as red as a tomato for the rest of her shift.

Day 5

Today was probably going to be awkward as hell. Jinora had spent most of the previous evening practicing ways to bullshit her way out of it, but she couldn't even make a convincing effort to herself in the mirror.

Still, all things considered, it could be worse. Korra had come close to asking Asami out yesterday after Kai left but turned into a sputtering mess when push came to shove. Naturally, this was something Jinora mercilessly teased her about.

Right now though, she was worried. Making coffee for a gorgeous guy and casually making some small talk was one thing, but actually having to face him again after a horrifically awkward flirt was in a league of its own. But it had to be said, he seemed to have taken it okay, given how he reacted with a wink.

A small crowd had formed outside the door, so when Jinora had taken her place behind the counter, Korra opened the door to let in a flood of people desperate for their first coffee. She served them dutifully, taking order after order, most to go. It was a good morning, seeing how Asami showed up in something of a rush, so she only had time to place her order and be on her way again. This went on until the rush started to die down again, but no Kai just yet.

And then the moment she had both been dreading and looking forward to the most happened: Kai entered the shop. He was in his leather jacket again with a simple white T-shirt underneath, and a backpack casually slung over one shoulder. Damn, that looks good on him.

-"Hi there," he jovially greeted, those oh so kissable lips curled up into an another smirk.

Should be noted that this was probably a good thing, not being put off after yesterday. "Hey. Cappuccino to go again?"

-"No, actually, I'll take it here for now. Mind if I take a seat?"

Jinora was surprised. "Uhh, no, of course not. I'll bring it out to you in a minute." She set to work making it and, by the time she turned around again, saw that Kai was busy unpacking his stuff on one of the tables in the corner, the one that had a very comfortable couch attached to it.

It wasn't until the espresso machine behind pinged that her attention was drawn away from Kai having ditched his jacket and therefore exposing his totally cuddlable arms again, so this could serve as an excuse to get a closer look.

By the time she had actually fully prepared the cappuccino and walked over to him, he had taken out his tablet and opened a few books, so Jinora cautiously found an open spot on the table to put the cup down. "Here you go," she said, unconsciously brushing another strand of hair behind her ear.

-"Thanks," he said, and Jinora was about to walk back to the counter when he stopped. "Wait. The rush is over, so my instinct tells me that you can nearly take your break, right?"

"Uhh, yeah?"

A smile appeared on Kai's face. "When you take it, would you care to join me?"

Jinora turned fire-engine red again and couldn't let out anything but a handful of awkward stammers. Say YES, you idiot!

-"Ah, that's okay," Kai said with a hint of disappointment. "I knew I was reading into it too much."

"Yes," Jinora finally blurted out, in a bad case of delayed response. "I mean no! No, you weren't, and yes, I'd like to join you!"

His smile returned again. "Oh, well, look at that."

She suddenly found a bout of confidence. "Let me just take care of my line, and I'll be out in a few minutes, okay?"

-"Sounds like a plan."

Jinora rushed back to the counter, quickly announcing that her line was about to close. Korra was surprised, but when Jinora flat-out told her that she'd be taking her break shortly. Normally, it was something they discussed a few minutes in advance and didn't do it like this, but hey, necessity is the mother of invention.

She dumped her apron, poured herself a cup of tea, and made her way across the shop to sit down at the same table as Kai. "Hey again," she said, once again brushing her hair behind her ear.

-"That didn't take very long," he said, his smile reappearing.

"Well, as you said, the rush is over, and Korra is a good friend," who's about to lose our bet, "so it wasn't a problem at all."

Kai took a look at the steaming cup in front of her and chuckled. "Really? You work in a coffee shop and you drink tea in you break?"

Jinora chuckled too. "Yeah, it's my one chance to get away from the smell of coffee for a while, even if it's not very far."

An inquisitive look appeared on his face. "Say Jin, are you in college?"

"Yeah, I study history. Just do this on the mornings I don't have class to pay my way through it."

-"Ah. Kind of figured you more for someone in law."

"What, do I look that boring?" Test. If he doesn't kick down this open door, you're out of here.

-"On the contrary, you look like the best way to make history sexy."

This was probably as red as Jinora could ever turn, because her face felt like it was on fire, and her ears felt like they were being blowtorched. She looked down at her shoes, but when she looked up again, she saw Kai with a perfectly smug smirk playing over his lips, clearly pleased with his flirting skills.

The rest of the break was, in comparison, not very embarrassing like that. They talked about everything and nothing, and the fifteen minutes flew by.

When she got up again to go back to the counter, Kai stopped her again. "Say Jin, what time do you get off?"

Please let this be it. "Uhh, at one, why?"

-"Well..." he cautiously started, rubbing his neck. "Would you like to get lunch with me? I know a great little place, not two blocks from here."

"You mean like a date?"

Kai smiled. "Yeah, like a date."

Jinora couldn't help but smile back. "You're on," she said and made her way back to the counter and an unsuspecting Korra. "You owe me 50 bucks."

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