roesslyng: (Coffee)
[personal profile] roesslyng
Title: Coffee for two, sweets for three
Fandom: ??? Tistow... Odie... crossover... AU?
Characters/Pairing: Veeti/Jáhko, & also Odie (I suppose)
Rating: 0+
Length: ~1.7k
Summary: Sunlight, pastries, coffee, and one another's company. What could make it better? A cute dog, maybe.
Other: Inspired by the cameo in the comic Odie (Not yet released). So, modern mundane AU. I decided to just take that one panel as the basic idea and run with it. :D (So, this has very little to do with the actual comic itself...)
This was originally going to be longer, but I decided to break it up due to a tonal shift. Part two is over here: A moment of your time. Fandom tags are placeholders until I can figure out a suitable way to label this thing.
(I have, in fact, encountered bakeries that also carry handmade dog cookies. True!)

Coffee for two, sweets for three

Cigarette smoke curled lazily upward. The afternoon sun poured gold from a clear sky, casting everything in a warm glow. For once, the weather was perfect, and it transformed what would have been an ordinary day together – which was more than good enough as it was – into something wonderful.

A long walk in the air, taking in the brightness, just enjoying being together. Veeti relished every second of it. It wasn't often that he and Jáhko could take the time from their busy lives to enjoy each other's company quite like this. But for today, there was nothing but the joy of being there, the quiet peace and contentment of being able to just be together as they sat outside of a little bakery, sharing pastries and coffee and each other's presence.

Veeti drank his coffee and listened as across from him, Jáhko relayed another of the strange dreams he'd been having as of late.

"'S the weirdest thing. You 'n me, runnin' around in the woods with a bunch of trolls..."

"Well, at least it wasn't like the one where I was in a magical coma."

"Nah, that one came after. Again. Think I like this new one better."

"Again? Recurring nightmares? It sounds like you need to start sleeping better."

Jáhko snorted and took a drag on his cigarette. "Sure."

"No, I mean it." And there was the eye-rolling, just as Veeti had expected. "If you're having weird dreams, you should go to bed earlier," he pressed. "Get some proper rest and all that."

"...I'll think about it."

"Okay," Veeti said, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips. "As long as you'll think about it."

It wasn't that he meant to fuss over him. But – well. Maybe, Veeti admitted to himself, that was what it sounded like. By the way Jáhko's expression had softened a bit, he could guess that he didn't mind. Not really.

Veeti would have liked to reach across the table to take his hand, just as he might if they were at Jáhko's flat. He wanted to slide his thumb along the lines of his palm. Brush it against his bony knuckles. Knit their fingers together. But a gesture like that would be too close, too intimate for such a public place, he decided. Instead, he just watched him, silently taking in – for a moment – the scent of coffee and the way the sunlight played on Jáhko's coppery hair.

Such quiet, cosy moments usually didn't last. This one didn't, either.

Something had caught Jáhko's attention.

"Hey, boy. Where's your human?"

Veeti followed Jáhko's gaze. A short distance away from them, a dog sat watching them. Or watching their table, at any rate, and the pastry on it. Especially the pastry.

No leash. No collar, either. Yet – "He must belong to someone around here," Veeti said. But as he looked up and down the street, he saw nobody nearby. Certainly nobody who looked as if they were looking for a dog.

"Hmm." Jáhko gave a low whistle. The dog hesitated, then approached them, his stubby tail wagging cautiously. "Might have got away from somebody. Made a break for it when they were openin' the door, like." He reached down to let the dog sniff, then started petting him. "Aw, you're a nice one, ain't you. Who's a good boy?"

Veeti couldn't help but smile as he watched the two of them. The way Jáhko's face lit up, a smile spreading over his lips as the dog licked at his fingers, sticky from pastry glaze.

He slipped his phone out of his pocket to take a quick picture of them, then dipped his hand to join Jáhko at scratching the corgi behind the ears.

"Look, the hair on his face is all white. You're an old boy, aren't you? And he's too clean to be a stray. He must belong to somebody...."

"Yeah, really does look like he got out from someplace... What, felt like goin' on an adventure, did you?"

More tail-wagging. And finger-licking. If nothing else, the corgi was friendly. As Veeti let the dog lick the last of the glaze from his fingers, he suddenly remembered something he had seen in the bakery's cookie selection.

"Wait for a minute," he said, glancing at Jáhko. "I'll be right back."

When he emerged from the bakery a moment later, Jáhko lifted his head long enough to note the package in his hand before returning his attention to the dog. "What'd you get?"

"You'll never guess," Veeti said as he sank back down into his seat, slipped the cookie out of its paper sleeve, and began breaking it into pieces. The dog, anticipating treats, sat himself down by Veeti's feet and waited.

"Hmm...." Jáhko reached for a piece of cookie. Sniffed it, his eyebrows raising. "Peanuts?"

"Sort of. ...Don't eat it," Veeti said, looking at him just in time to see that Jáhko had the piece halfway to his mouth. "It's a dog cookie."

"You're jokin'."

"I am not." Jáhko was staring at him as if it was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard of, but the dog had a different opinion – by the way his tail was wiggling, it looked as if it might fall off if he wiggled it any harder. Veeti laughed and slipped him a piece of biscuit. "See? He knows he's getting something special."

"Huh. Gourmet dog cookies. Never heard the like."

"Yes, well. He deserves them. Don't you, boy? He's so well-behaved."

"Too bad he's runnin' around loose like this."

"Yeah... Somebody will be missing him."

It wasn't long before all the pieces of cookie were gone, and the dog was left snuffling at their hands, then giving up and instead vying to be petted when he realized there wouldn't be any more.

Jáhko was unusually quiet for a long moment. A thoughtful expression crossed his face as he scratched behind the dog's ears.

"What's on your mind?" Veeti asked, watching him over the edge of his coffee mug.

"I was thinkin', y'know, maybe we should bring him back to my place."

"What? I thought your flat doesn't allow pets."

"Naw, I don't mean for keepin' him or nothin'." Jáhko waved a hand to dismiss the idea, though there was, Veeti thought, a hint in his voice that told that he had, in fact, considered it. "Just for a couple've days. See if we can get him back to his owner, like."

The dog whined, as if he understood exactly what they were saying. They both looked down at him and considered it.

"It's not a bad idea," Veeti said after a moment. "Better than just leaving him, at any rate. You could put up a notice that you found him. And check if anybody in the area is looking for a missing corgi."

"Yeah. Maybe somebody on Facebook would recognize him. What d'you say?" Jáhko grinned, addressing the last bit to the dog. "Want to come home with me?"

The dog tilted his head one way, then the other. He whined again, and looked up the road in one direction, and then the other, as if he was taking stock of the situation, considering it very carefully. Then, avoiding Jáhko's hand, he turned and scampered off down the sidewalk, running as fast as a corgi could go.

It took a second for Veeti to process what had just happened. By the time he was out of his seat, Jáhko was already running off down the sidewalk, calling after the dog to come back.

It was no good. When Veeti caught up, he found Jáhko at an intersection, looking from one direction to another, his brows knit in confusion. The dog had slipped away from him as easily as anything.

They returned to their cafe table in disappointment.

"Well," Veeti said as he sank down again, taking one last look over his shoulder down the street in the direction that the dog had taken. "That was..."

"...Guess he didn't like the idea of staying at my place," Jáhko said.

"I guess not." Veeti slowly turned back around, frowning as he picked up his coffee mug. "I hope nothing happens to him."

Jáhko had lit another cigarette. He took a long drag, a thoughtful look crossing his face as he considered the situation. It was a good look for him, Veeti thought. Just as before, the light brushed at his hair and face, tinting it with gold.

"Wouldn't worry about it," Jáhko said after a moment. "That's a dog what knows what's what. He's got places to be, like. He'll find his way home when he's ready to go."

"Hmm..." It was a nice thought. Veeti wanted it to be true, but he couldn't help feeling uneasy about it. "Maybe. But that might take a while. His owner is probably worried sick."

"Sure. But I bet he'll make it back just fine."

Jáhko's foot brushed against Veeti's under the table. There was something oddly comforting about that light, intimate gesture, and the broad, confident smile that Jáhko offered him. He was as warm as the sunlight that threaded through his hair.

"I don't know if I should take these feelings of yours at face value," Veeti said, even as he moved his foot to return the gesture, brushing up against him. "But maybe... just this once."

It wasn't as if they could do anything else about it, anyway.

In the end, he posted the picture of Jáhko and the dog on Twitter. Jáhko might have been sure the corgi would get home, but it wouldn't hurt to try to help things along a little. When they finally rose to leave, Veeti glanced down the road in the direction the dog had taken, hoping – though not expecting – to see him trotting up to meet them.


Jáhko's hand slipped into his. Veeti turned toward him, expecting some comment, once again, about how he shouldn't worry, about how everything would be just fine.

But all Jáhko did was offer him a smile. Then, turning him in the right direction, he led him off down the road and into the light.
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