Notes: Hi everyone! Here’s a one-shot from me to you. Instead of working on some of my longer stories, I keep writing one-shots or short multi-chapter works in my spare time lately, haha. This is an Infinite/Rookie story. Please read through the summary, ratings, and warning below before you start reading. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy this one-shot!
Summary: Every time, he was always in that same seat. He wanted the chance to talk with him, just once. What would he say? The pounding of his violently beating heart made it impossible to approach, but he couldn’t help but stare at the bright red fur that shined in the window of that coffee shop. This is a Sonic Forces AU.
Pairing: Infinite(Zero)/Gadget(Rookie, Red Wolf Avatar), Infidget/Rookinite
Warnings: male slash, cuteness, alternate universe(AU), coffee all the time
Title: Sweet Latte
It never fails. Every Tuesday and Thursday, he’s always there. Sometimes, with textbooks crowding the small table, and other times, having just a regular novel in one hand. He sits in the same spot each time; at the tiny table made for two by one of the windows. His ruby fur glows from the sun’s light in the afternoon hours as his golden eyes either read in deep focus or pure delight. The Mobian who surely was in his early twenties wore basic clothes; generally a plain colored tee shirt and comfortable cargo shorts.
It was spring when he’d first noticed the crimson canine in that little coffee shop. That day was like any other, and generally he could care less about newcomers, but something about him caught his eye. He didn’t know if it was the first time he caught sight of that little sparkle in his gaze as he hit a fascinating point in a book, if it was his gentle smile as he accomplished a problem in his textbooks, or if it was his soft, calm tone when making the same order everyday; a large mocha latte.
Whatever it was, today was no different as Zero sat on the other side of the coffee shop, as usual. He was with his best friends. This was their normal. They all started coming here to study, but now that summer was quickly approaching, he wasn’t sure if they’d keep coming. Most of them had taken all of their finals already.
The only one of his friends who had a final left was a jackal who wore a red handkerchief around his neck. His name was Kevin, and he was groaning constantly while the jackal the red cap by the name of Gervais, the group genius, was painfully trying to help him. The jackal who was laughing at them wore a green headband and his name was Ben. The surprisingly quiet one at the moment, because she normally wasn’t, was Ben’s older sister Kia.
The last of the jackals with one eye blue and the other yellow was named Zero. He was also silent. He hadn’t been speaking as much during their visits to the coffee shop called The Circular Ship these days. His thoughts had been more preoccupied as of late as his fascination grew for the lone wolf. He was always by himself and would spend hours here. Zero wasn’t really sure why, but he constantly found himself glancing over when he wasn’t in a discussion with his friends.
Kia caught his attention as the other three goofballs were still off in their own world of studying, or attempting to anyway. Her yellow orbs stared at him seriously for a moment, making Zero mentally gulp. Her gaze shifted to the wolf by the window who was so very obviously in his line of sight, before looking back at him with a knowing grin on her lips.
Zero muttered, “Don’t you say a word.”
“Oh, I would never.”
“Seriously,” she quietly sighed, trying to not catch the other three jackals’ attentions. “Why don’t you just go talk to him?”
“And what exactly would I say? ‘Hey, I’ve been watching you and waiting for the chance to talk, you know, in a non-stalkerish kind of way.’ Yeah that’s not going to work.”
“Well obviously. But you could say something like, ‘Hi, I come here a lot and noticed you a few times. I saw you read a lot of books and was curious about what you were reading.’ That would make more sense.”
“But I don’t give a shit about what he’s reading.”
“Then what do you care about?”
The two turned to see the three now looking at them; Ben and Kevin on the edge of snickering while Gervais, the one who spoke, held a serious expression.
“What is it you care about?” Gervais repeated.
Silent, thoughts swarmed as Zero considered his question. What did he care about? He wasn’t much of a reader himself, as he’d rather be outside and spending his free time either in nature or with his friends. Studying wasn’t his favorite thing either, but he always did, so he wouldn’t fail his classes. University courses were not cheap after all.
“What do I…?”
He had some thinking to do.
Today was the first day of June. Tuesday morning, Zero had nothing to do and no one to hang out with. All of his friends went home for the summer. Usually, he would have done the same and would have been able to see them, but he got a summer job at his university and will be taking a summer class starting next week.
Groaning, he was so bored. Deciding not to stick around the college dorm he was staying in, he jumped off his bed and threw on the closest tee shirt and jeans available, and off he went. Metropolis was a huge city and it took him awhile to get used to it. Him and his friends were all from the same small town. They told themselves they’d get out one day, so they chose to go to the university that was in a large location, and all five of them were lucky to get accepted into the same place.
He was honestly thankful they were all together, though now felt slight regret he took that research assistant job at the university. He was getting a free class though, so he’d take any freebies he could get. For now, as he walked, his feet led him to one of his favorite places; the coffee shop. It had actually been about a week since he’d last been. With getting the job finalized and helping his friends pack, there wasn’t any time to come here. With no particular plans, Zero shrugged as he trekked inside.
The welcoming jingle rang and a familiar greeting reached his ears. The place was practically deserted. Strange. There’s usually at least some people around, but a lot of them were students, and since school was out for now, it would most likely be dead until the tourists started showing up.
Walking up, he noticed he wasn’t the only one at the counter. The mysterious red wolf he felt so fascinated with was also standing up there. He was looking at the display case, as if deciding on what food to get. That seemed odd since he never orders food. The bright furred canine always just got a coffee.
It seemed he just noticed Zero as those golden eyes shifted to stare up at him; making the jackal’s heart pound.
Flushing, the wolf mumbled, “Y-You can go ahead of me. I’m still figuring out what I want…”
Tilting his head in question, Zero, though nervous, spoke clearly while hiding his nervousness, “Having a hard time deciding?”
Yellow orbs widened a bit from the question, and Zero almost kicked himself until he heard a tiny giggle leave those lips. That smile...he was really cute.
The wolf answered, “Yeah, I guess I am. I usually just get coffee, but I didn’t realize until I got here that I forgot to eat breakfast. Haha…”
He forgot to eat? The stranger was scratching behind one of his ears in embarrassment, but still tried to hold a smile despite it all. It was kind of hilarious, and it took every fiber of Zero’s being not to snort.
Pulling himself together, the jackal answered, “How about trying a croissant?”
“Mhm. It’s pretty good, especially the butter ones. And it won’t ruin the coffee whether you get straight black or a specialty drink.”
“Hmm…I could try it. It does sound good.” Looking up at Zero, he smiled widely, “Thank you!”
Blushing, the jackal averted his gaze as he scratched one cheek, “It’s no problem.”
The next few minutes consisted of the duo ordering and waiting before Zero’s drink was ready to go. Picking up his coffee, Zero had been about to go to his usual spot in the corner before hearing the gentle voice.
“Are your friends not here with you today?”
Surprised, Zero’s eyes widened considerably as he stopped in his tracks and turned back towards the wolf.
“You noticed us?”
Chuckling lightly, he replied, “Of course I did. You all were always here when I was.”
“I-I, um…” the ebony male hesitated, making the wolf tilt his head in question, “I always saw you too, by the window.”
“Oh! Really?! I was always so quiet. I figured no one noticed me.”
Shaking his head, Zero disagreed, “I did. You’d either have textbooks or a novel. No matter what you were doing, you always looked so focused, but enjoying whatever you read too. I’ve never been much into reading or studying, but it’s kind of cool how committed you are to it all.”
Yellow spheres gazed at him in shock. Zero suddenly feared he’d said too much and dropped an awkward bomb into the conversation, but…
“...Really?” he asked hesitantly.
Slowly, the jackal nodded, “Yeah.”
For the first time since seeing the wolf at the coffee shop, the warmest smile spread along his lips. It was breathtaking, and Zero felt his heart pound violently in his chest from the expression shot towards him. This wolf, was so beautiful. The more he observed him, and now spoke to him, the more he fell; fell in love.
Of course he knew he had a crush on this canine. It might be a bit early to say love, but...it sure was a strong attraction and admiration he was experiencing at this moment.
“Gadget! You’re mocha latte and croissant are ready!”
“Oh! That’s me,” the wolf responded as he requested, “Please wait a sec.”
Confused, Zero stood in place as asked. There was one thing he learned so far today. The wolf’s name…
“Okay,” he grinned has came back with a coffee in one hand and his food in the other, “Would you like to sit with me by the window?”
Not expecting the question, Zero’s brows raised for only a moment, before answering in a grin, “Sure. I’d like that.”
They walked together before claiming the small table by the window; the one made just for two, maybe made just for them.
“Is your name Gadget?” Zero inquired as Gadget took a sip of his latte, “I heard the barista say that with your order.”
Done with his sip, he nodded, “Yep, Gadget is my name. It’s nice to meet you, um…”
“Zero. Name’s Zero,” he smiled happily before taking a small drink of his own coffee.
Silence settled in after as Gadget nibbled on his croissant and Zero continued to sip his coffee. The way Gadget held the bread as he ate it delicately was adorable and he felt it should be illegal for someone to be that cute. Still, he planned to enjoy every moment he had with the lanky male as joy was clearly read on that tan muzzle. To be honest, he’s not sure if he’s ever seen Gadget be so happy before, not even when reading. Zero couldn’t help but wonder if something good happened.
When the tiny meal was done, Gadget took a drink and sighed out in relief as a lazy smile was sketched on his lips. Seeing it, Zero couldn’t help the humor glint in his eye, but luckily, the other hadn’t seen it.
“So um,” Gadget spoke, catching Zero’s attention, “If you don’t mind me asking, where are your friends? You never come here alone, so I was curious.”
Ah right. He asked about them earlier.
“They all went home for the summer since our university classes ended for the semester.”
“You’re in college too? Where do you go? I’m going to Metropolis Central University.”
Unbelievable. “I’m going there as well.”
“What?! That’s crazy!” Gadget laughed, “But I guess that’s what happens at such a large university. There’s so many people there that I don’t know.”
“Me too. I mostly just keep to my friends though.”
“That kind of sounds like me,” Gadget confessed, “I’m usually either with my friends from high school or my family.”
Smiling warmly at the wolf, Zero replied, “I’m glad we talked though.”
Nodding, Gadget agreed, “Same.”
“I’ve actually wanted to talk with you for awhile.”
“Huh? Really?? How come?”
“Well…” the jackal hesitated, which didn’t go unnoticed. “I admire your hard work. And, whenever you’re reading a novel and I’d notice the expressions you made to certain sections, it almost made me want to read because you looked like you were having so much fun. I, um…”
“I felt the same way when I saw you with your friends.”
“Whenever you guys came in, you have such a close friendship. I’d always wanted to come up and talk with you, but I was too nervous. I’m honestly very shy.”
“You can come up to us at any time,” Zero encouraged, seeing the other’s muzzle light up in glee. “Though I’m the only one here unfortunately until the Fall Semester starts.”
“You’re here all summer?”
“Yeah, I got a job at the university as an assistant.”
“Seriously?!” Gadget awed, “I’m working at the university this summer too! I’m doing an internship at a nearby chemical plant, but it’s through the university.”
“Wow, that’s really cool Gadget,” the jackal spoke seriously, making the other’s muzzle darken.
“Do you want to hang out this summer?”
Again, this day was full of unexpectancies for the two of them, but it was in all of the best ways. Zero never thought he’d get to talk to Gadget, sit with him like this, or have the courage to ask to see him again, but here he was, doing all of those things. It ended in the best possible way as Gadget gave the answer ‘yes’.
The end of summer was quickly approaching. Some say summer ends too soon, and he couldn’t agree more. For Zero, this had been the best summer he’d ever had. While there was a lot of hard work involved with his university job and his class, he also spent a lot of time with Gadget. Constant teasing from his friends was of course to be expected, but he gave no cares as his heart felt like it could soar.
Gadget was getting a degree in engineering; concentrating more on the chemical side of it. Zero was going into Botany/Plant Science. Nature was always one of his greatest joys and the class he took in high school only helped confirm what he wanted to do for a career. His summer job consisted of helping in the botany department and he loved every minute of it.
Now was a break as he finished up his course and was almost done with his summer job. Currently, he sat on a sofa in the coffee shop half dead while Gadget was at the counter getting himself a coffee. Zero would go up in a minute, but just wanted to sit as he tried to pull himself together. The past couple of nights were rough as he hardly got any sleep; staying up to study and taking his final along with doing some finishing projects with his summer job.
Feeling a dip in the sofa seat next to him, a small smile graced his lips to know Gadget was here. In all honesty, this summer would have sucked without the wolf’s company.
Hearing that word, Zero straightened his neck as his head had been leaning back on the couch cushion, to see Gadget holding two cups and offering one to Zero.
“For all your hard work. Here, take it.”
Gently, he took the cup from the other’s hand. That was...really nice of him.
“Thank you Gadget.”
“No. Thank you.”
Amber eyes looked over at the wall that was across the way them that was decorated in various paintings of musicians such as jazz players and some piano. “I was actually going to be all by myself this summer because my family doesn’t live here and my friends went home too. I...really appreciate you spending time with me.”
Grinning widely, Zero let out a deep laugh, causing the wolf to flinch in surprise, “I was thinking the same thing about you. I’m by myself here this summer too.”
“Yep,” Zero smiled warmly, “Thank you Gadget.”
The wolf’s muzzle turned completely red. It was cute. The genius tended to get shy easily, and it was fun to mess with him sometimes. Though as they got to know each other better, the more Zero teased Gadget, and the less he got embarrassed by stuff. They had a great friendship. Zero wouldn’t trade it for the world, but...he wanted more than that.
They sat together silently as they sipped at their respective drinks. Zero had a crush on Gadget in the spring, and when they became friends, his feelings only grew. So badly, he wanted to tell the precious wolf how he felt, but he was afraid that he’d ruin their friendship because of his emotions. He didn’t even know if Gadget was interested in men, and even if so, who’s to say Zero falls into the possibility of interests? This was driving him crazy. And though he’d been really distracted the last two weeks with everything at the university, he knew this topic was going to come and smack him in the face until he did something.
Just then, Zero saw a beautiful pink female fox come in. She wore a nice shirt with floral designs along with a short dark green skirt, and heels. Any straight man would at least find her looking nice to look at if not outright attractive. Of course he wasn’t interested in the least as his eyes were solely on Gadget, but this might be a chance to find out the wolf’s interests. Speaking of the shy male, he hadn’t even noticed her yet.
He set his coffee on the nearby table.
“What do you think of that fox at the counter?”
“Huh?” raising an eyebrow in question as he placed his drink down next to Zero’s, he looked at the counter for a moment to see her. His gaze didn’t stay long before looking back at Zero, “She’s pretty.”
“I’m not really interested,” he confessed, “But if you are Zero, you should go after who you like.”
“W-What?! NO!” he practically shouted, catching the fox’s and barista’s attention. Giving an apologetic expression, he focused on Gadget once more and spoke much more quietly. “No, I’m not interested. I was trying to see if you were.”
Did he just dig his own grave?
“Um…” Zero hesitated, missing the humored glint in Gadget’s expression. “I just wondered. You’ve never talked about what your interests are romantically.”
“Well, you haven’t either,” Gadget smirked, this time Zero not missing the teasing tone in his voice.
Huffing out, Zero remarked, “I like someone already.”
“Who is it?”
“I’m not telling!”
“Heh, then I’m not telling you who I like either.”
That made the jackal pause as he looked over at Gadget. The wolf was relaxed and held a stupid smirk on his face, as if knowing. If Zero didn’t know better, he’d say Gadget even scooted closer to him...a lot closer. Their shoulders were now brushing up against one another as they stared deeply into each other’s eyes.
It felt like his brain short circuited, and Zero lifted one of his hands to lightly hold one of Gadget’s own. The other canine didn’t budge as he continued to gaze up at the jackal, for Zero was a bit taller than Gadget. Both of their eyes became half lidded.
“Who do you…?”
“I like you.” Zero breathed huskily, cutting off the other’s question.
Smiling, Gadget answered, “I like you too. I’m so glad.”
Bending down, Zero met Gadget’s lips with his own; giving a gentle and sweet first kiss. They shifted closer and wrapped their arms around one another in an embrace as Zero press his mouth more against Gadget’s; deepening the liplock.
The kiss was short. It didn’t feel like long enough, yet it felt like a lifetime, as they finally pulled apart.
“Would you date me Gadget?”
Nodding enthusiastically, he answered, “Yes! I would love to!”
They hugged more tightly as they shared matching smiles. Zero was ecstatic to not only have his first romantic partner, but that it was Gadget; the beautiful, precious, kind, sweet, smart, and lovely red canine in his arms.
The new couple couldn’t wait to see what the future held in store for them.