AN: Holy crap, I hope this doesn't suck. Heh.

Muffin Men


For the past year and a half, every morning of Orin Montabelle's life had began with a muffin.

Beginning with an impromptu trip to the small café at the corner one Saturday, Orin had delighted in the bakery treat for a convenient breakfast on his way to his college campus for quite a long while. It had become part of his daily itinerary to breeze into the shop just before eight, and his increasing appearances did not go unbeknownst to the staff. In fact, they now had his order made for him just as he walked through the door as they became accustomed to his routine.

Orin was fond of routines.

A routine entailed organization, and Orin was fond of that, too. Everything had a proper place where he was concerned, and if it didn't, he'd make one. Organization was the key to success, so his father was fond of telling him, and Orin wanted to be successful.

Sort of.

Right now, he was more concentrated on getting his muffin.

He strolled quickly into the café, past the cheery red and gold sign out front and into the cozy atmosphere he'd come to enjoy. The shop itself was quite small, with a few table and chairs outside in case of an overflow, which didn't often happen. It was overlooked in favor of Starbucks on more than several occasions, though Orin couldn't see why. It had a homey feel to it that the others just didn't have.

While Orin contemplated the pros and cons of the coffee house, one of the more friendly staff members threw him an apologetic look.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Montabelle, your order isn't quite ready yet, I'm afraid. They're remodeling the café down the block, so we've got quite a few more people than usual." They did indeed. He looked around, realizing for the first time that nearly every table in the whole shop was occupied, mostly by college students such as himself.

"There should be one or two blueberry muffins--your favorite, right?--left on the counter," she continued. "They're still pretty fresh, too."

Orin nodded at her, smiling politely as she bustled away with one last, "Sorry about the inconvenience, sir!" He glanced down at his watch and groaned internally. He had approximately eleven minutes left to be at his first class. Maneuvering his way through the zigzagging paths of students, he made his way to the counter.

A lone muffin sat in the center of the glass bowl, bathed in a radiant ray of light by the overhanging lamp, making it appear all the more glorious and majestic.

Or maybe he was just really, really hungry.

Either way, he wanted that muffin.

Approaching the waist-high glass window that revealed the other pastries, he leaned over the counter, his arm stretched forth to retrieve his ritualistic morning treat…

…And then it was gone.

Orin blinked rapidly, as if doing so would will the muffin to appear in his outstretched hand.

Needless to say, it didn't.

A shadow had fallen across his arm, which he quickly pulled back to his side as he turned his head upward, noticing for the first time the body that it belonged to.

A boy roughly his age stood beside him preparing to put the muffin in one of the paper bags which were piled on the counter in front of them. He had a few inches on Orin, which wasn't that hard to accomplish considering the latter's mere height of 5'5. Chocolate brown tresses grazed his forehead and stuck out in the back in messy tufts. The view presented to Orin was that of the boy's profile, and he observed the straight, aristocratic nose and long dark eyelashes with detachment.

That boy had stolen his muffin.

His mind suddenly came back to the present and, shaking his head, he cleared his throat loudly. The other male turned, and expectant green eyes met Orin's blue as their gazes locked.

"Yes?" The boy asked, his voice curious, and holding a lilt that Orin couldn't quite place. Orin looked at him solemnly.

"That's my muffin," he said. The boy blinked.

"Excuse me?"

"I said," Orin stated slowly, "That that is my muffin."

The stranger looked rather confused. "Um. No it isn't?"

"Yes. It is."

"Does it have your name on it?" asked the other, one eyebrow raised. "Because if it does, let me tell you, that's just a little bit creepy."

Orin stared. "No. But…I get a muffin every morning. It's part of my routine. I need that muffin. It's my muffin." Both of the boy's eyebrows raised now, retreating under his bangs in a slightly amused expression.

"Well…Now it's my muffin," the boy said, shoving it into the bag and thrusting it across the counter to the waiting cashier.

"Will that be all, sir?" she asked pleasantly.

"No, that WON'T be all," said Orin, his eyes narrowing. "You obviously don't understand. I NEED that muffin. I have to have it! It'll mess up my whole day if I don't!"

The boy stared at him, eyes widening a fraction. "You're really serious about this muffin, aren't you?"

Orin rolled his eyes, exasperatedly. "Whatever gave you that idea? Yes, I am! Now hand over the muffin!"

The brunette cocked his head, looking contemplative. "Well, I suppose since you asked so nicely…"

Orin held out his hand expectantly.

"…No. Have a nice day!" He said cheerfully, dropping the money in the hand of girl behind the counter and striding out the door.

Orin's jaw nearly hit the floor. Of all the rude things…The boy didn't even look back as he pushed the door open and headed down the street. He'd blown him off! He'd left without getting his change!

He'd stolen Orin's muffin, for God's sake!

'Well,' he thought, 'Desperate times call for desperate measures.' With deep breath, he stalked determinedly out the door.

He shielded his eyes from the morning sun and looked about, scanning the area for the boy from the café. Turning this way and that, he stomped his foot childishly when he saw nothing.

Tossing his head to the side, he started suddenly as his eyes fell upon the back of the familiar figure he'd been searching for. He then realized that he would need to capture the boy's attention.

He took off for him, sprinting toward the ever-moving figure as he slipped between other inhabitants of the dirty sidewalk. The boy rounded the corner, seemingly unaware that he was being tailed. As Orin turned the same corner, he rammed into something decidedly solid and promptly fell on his behind. He looked up through a fringe of blonde hair to see who he'd unintentionally knocked into. Brilliant green eyes bore into his own in a mix of amusement and irritation.

'Well then. That was a pretty convenient turn of events, eh?'

He was torn from his inner musings as a throat cleared mockingly above him.

"Yes?" he replied, insolently.

"May I ask what on earth you're doing, following me like that?" He asked, annoyance making his voice thicker and the obscure trace of a foreign accent became more prominent.

"Well, since you asked so nicely…" Orin replied, the sarcasm in his tone belying the friendly smile on his lips. He mentally shook his head as his own antics. He never acted so…audacious, especially to a stranger! But something about this boy got under his skin and, since he knew most of it was intentional, he decided to give the other a taste of his own medicine.

"Nope!" he replied, dusting off his behind and hauling himself up.

The boy's eyebrows raised for the second time that morning. "Oh really? Well, too bad. Why the hell are you following me?"

Orin looked at him studiously. "Because," he said, drawing out the word as though speaking to an infant. "You took my muffin."

The boy's agitated expression morphed into incredulity as he stared at the smaller male. "What?"

Orin held out his hands, one of which was empty and waiting while the other had exact change.

The brunette observed him for a moment, his facial expression melting back into something inscrutable. Then a slow, lazy smirk worked its way across his face.

"Alright then. You want the muffin so bad? Come and get it."

Orin blinked owlishly, his mind processing the information. The boy before him dangled the bag high in the air, far above the fair haired boy's reach.

"Come on, kid. What're you waiting for?" He called, giving the bag a shake. Orin glared at him, before rolling his eyes and turning around, stalking dejectedly away. He heard a snort from behind him, then the heavy thump of boots hitting concrete.

Then, he attacked.

With a little yell of resolve, he turned and broke into a run, launching himself at the other male and they tumbled to the ground.

"BLOODY HELL!" the boy beneath him cried out, flipping himself over as Orin pushed down on his chest, shoving him into the concrete.

"What in the name of God are you doing?!" he cried, ignoring the onlookers. He stared at the blonde perched on his stomach. The boy in question looked at him, his cerulean eyes derisive.

"I believe I'm getting my muffin back," he stated calmly.

The boy pinned underneath him gave a muffled snigger. "Oh yeah?"

"Oh yes."

"Well, I don't think either of us will be getting that muffin now," he said, his voice distinctly amused.

"And why is that?" Orin ground out, his teeth clenching. He saw that lazy smirk again and his glare intensified.

"Because it's about to get run over."

Orin's gaze followed the arm that was pointing toward the busy street. There, free of its paper wrapping, lay the muffin. Orin stared at it, taking in the golden baked perfection dotted with little mounds of purple blueberries, begging to be consumed, despite its now unsanitary state. It still looked absolutely delicious, and Orin shifted to get up and retrieve it…

…And it was promptly smashed to pieces by an oncoming truck.

Orin's mouth dropped open in shock as he witnessed the crumbs make their gooey way across the pavement. He slumped back down, defeated, and then he looked accusingly at the brown haired boy that was still positioned beneath him.

"You killed my muffin!" He yelled, drawing even more attention to them.

"Correction: It was MY muffin, and if you hadn't tackled me, it wouldn't have gotten squashed in the middle of the bleedin' street!" The other boy shouted back. The colour had climbed in his cheeks in anger, and Orin idly noted that it wasn't as unattractive as it should have been.

"Well…" Orin stuttered, belligerently. "If YOU had just given it to me in the first place, I wouldn't have had to tackle you!"

"And if you had gotten a grip and realized it wasn't your fucking muffin, then we wouldn't be sitting here in the middle of the sidewalk!" The boy roared, his eyes flaring with disbelief.

Orin looked at the ground beside the boy's head. "Well, when you put it that way…"

"What's so important about this muffin, anyway?" He asked, his voice at it's normal volume. Orin sighed, exasperated.

"If I don't have that muffin, my entire day will be thrown off! I have a schedule to keep, you know! I have things to do, classes to attend, I-" He gasped suddenly, and pulled the other boy's arm to look at his watch in trepidation. "Crap! I'm late!" He glared at the other once more. "You made me late!"

"No, you made yourself late by starting this whole mess in the first place. If you'd just given up on the muffin from the get go, you might have even showed up for class early, like the studious little boy you seem to be," He said, nothing short of sardonic.

Orin tugged at his hair in frustration. "Damn you!" he shouted, planting a hand on the other boy's chest to heave himself up. "I've got to get to class, I've got to-"

His arm was jerked away and he tumbled back onto the body beneath his, his breath letting out in a whoosh as he stared, wide eyed, and the other boy. "What'd you do that for?"

"Because you were getting up."

"Yes, that was the general idea," said Orin, confused. "Will you let go? I've got to get to class!"

"So I hear," the other replied, his lips tilted up slightly.

"Then let go of me!" He cried, trying in vain to be let up. The other boy's free hand moved to his hip, keeping him in place.

"I don't think so."

Orin stared, unbelieving. "Excuse me?! You can't just keep me here!"

"Yes, actually, I think I can," he smirked. "You're the one that jumped on me, if I do recall correctly. That kind of contact at least warrants an introduction."

The blonde blinked. "Well then…"


"--Ramsey, I'm Orin. There. Introduction over. Now let me-"

"How old are you?" Ramsey continued, undeterred. Orin huffed.

"Nineteen. Why do you care?"

"Just curious is all," replied Ramsey, smoothly.

"Are you always this interrogative or is it just for my benefit?"

"Are you always this uptight, or is it just a recent development?"

Orin bristled, and then glared yet again. "Do you always intentionally keep people from their destinations?"

"Do you always tackle random boys in the middle of the sidewalk?" He countered, his eyes glinting mischievously.

"No, I don't!" Orin shouted, his cheeks aflame. "That was completely out of character!"

"I have that effect on people," Ramsey said, cheekily. Orin snorted.

"Oh, and your modesty is so astounding."

"I know," he replied, and there was a momentary silence.

"So…Do you always steal people's muffins?" Orin asked, triumphantly.

"For that last time, it was my bloody-"

"Was not."

Ramsey rolled his eyes and then grinned. "Well, then how about we rectify the situation for good?"

"Come again?" Orin asked, tilting his head, a stray lock of hair obscuring his vision.

"Why don't we just both get another muffin? Then, it'll all be settled."

Orin pondered this for a moment. It was tempting…

The muffin. The muffin was tempting.


He shook his head. "But I have to get to-"

"You're already late. Will it kill you to miss a day? Something tells me you haven't yet," Ramsey interjected, squeezing his hip with one hand. Orin blushed slightly.

"Well, no…"

"Alright then! It's settled. Let's be off!" He shifted, and Orin slipped off of him and plopped onto the sidewalk. Ramsey chuckled as Orin's nose wrinkled in distaste at the contaminated sidewalk. He held out his hand, and Orin took it, warily.

"If you insist…"

"Oh, but I do," said Ramsey. Orin dusted himself off and Ramsey looked over his shoulder at him, and gave him a devilish grin.

"But you're paying."


AN: … Holy crap, I hope it didn't suck! Um…Reviewers will be given invisible candy. Flamers will be given syphilis. Not sure how I'll pull that off, but, well, yeah!