Oh well, new fic! Written for savant as a request over at Tumblr. Wrote this awhile back...just now posting! So sorry! (Again.) Oh well.
the warmest day of the season
..........|criminal minds (au); rossi/prentiss; pg; emily is a barista at rossi's frequented coffee shop...what happens when they finally learn each other's names?
Rossi shivers against the "coldest day of the year," as newspapers are calling it, and pushes through the door to Fredrico's Coffee Shop, escaping the harsh D.C. winter. He takes off his gloves as he enters, slipping one into each pocket of his new coat.
He glances at the pretty barista he's seen in here more than once before. Besides the times he's come in this shop, ordered the same coffee and watched her delicate hands prepare it, he knows he's seen her before. Somewhere, he just can't place where.
Today, she's wearing a ponytail, a dark green company polo, and a ball cap to keep wispy bits of hair from falling in her face. She looks up and smiles as the bell tied to the shop door dings his arrival. He really likes that smile.
He looks up and the coffee shop is pretty busy today, busier than it has been the past three times he'd been this week. Maybe Sunday is a popular day for them, he thinks. It isn't like customers have anything better to do.
He gets in line behind the slew of other people and pulls out his wallet. When it's his turn to order, he tells the cashier he wants a large Jamaican blend with skim milk. When the cashier asks for a name, Rossi looks around the shop. They really had filled up today. He'd never had to provide a name before, he'd always just gotten it and taken it to go, no questions asked.
Moments later, he's sitting at the barista bar, ironically the only spot open in the little place to wait, because obviously the cashier can take orders faster than his little barista can make them. Five minutes and some pretty obvious staring from Rossi's end, the black-haired barista slides a coffee on the counter.
"Rossi!" She calls, reading the name from the side of the cup. He smiles. It sounds sweet coming from her mouth. Since today's weather nearly killed him just walking into the shop, he doesn't quite feel warm enough to face it again. He had to park a couple rows back, and the last time he tried carrying coffee in those thick leather gloves, he ended up spilling it all over his old coat. That's why he bought this new one.
Besides, he brought his briefcase in, so he could even finish up a little work while he waits for the storm to die down. So he sits at the little bar, papers strewn everywhere, half-paying attention to his work, half-watching the barista as she floats around the counters, filling orders and occasionally humming whatever it is playing on the radio. He directs his back to the papers whenever she turns around.
Half an hour later, he's still there, only half of the work he wanted to get done finished, and out of coffee. He leaves his papers on the counter—covers them first, lest he forget his job doesn't allow prying eyes—and gets back in the order line. There are significantly less people there now than there were earlier, and the barista seems to be making drinks almost as quickly as the customers order them.
He gets the same thing as last time, but they still take a name, and he returns to his seat as she begins making his coffee.
"Rossi!" She calls again, and he thanks her when she hands him the cup, cardboard protector around the outside. He takes off the lid and stirs the drink, making a little brown-and –white swirl in the center of the liquid. He looks up and she's facing him, pushes a whipped drink onto the counter and calls, "Jamie!"
She sees him staring and smiles (and good gracious, she looks familiar), takes off her work gloves and leans back against the counter, facing him. There's no one else in line to order.
"You know," she begins, and he doesn't know if he's started hearing things or if that sweet voice is actually talking to him, "I thought I recognized you. The first time you walked in here, I knew that I knew you from somewhere, but I just couldn't place it. Today, I figured it out."
He closes his papers, leans forward and listens. "You're David Rossi."
Her lips form a little smirk, like she's teasing him, almost. "I'm Emily Prentiss." (Prentiss…Prentiss…where does he know that name?)
"Two years ago, you attended my mother's Christmas banquet in France and we talked extensively about your books." Recognition pours over his face and he realizes she's that Prentiss, Ambassador Prentiss' daughter.
"You asked me if I was interested in joining the FBI, and do you remember what I said?" She nods at him for an answer, but he's too tongue-tied to get out anything coherent. "I told you I was a painter, and that I'd have a hell of a lot more inspiration after tonight." He smiles at her. Of course he remembers that.
Finally, he's able to speak again. "And did you?" He asks, and she laughs, a full, hearty laugh he knows he'll remember forever.
"I did, actually. A lot of impressionism, which is probably why I had to take on this job too, but yes, I was more inspired." About that time, a customer pops in the door and as if on cue, Emily takes her gloves out of the apron pocket and slips them on, winking at Rossi before turning away.
She fixes the new customer's order and when she goes to put it on the counter next to Rossi for the man to pick up, he catches her eye and makes a pact with himself not to let her go this time, not like he did two years ago.
"You know, I'd love to see those paintings sometime…what night this week are you off?" She giggles at him as he winks, and they call it a date.