Cocoa Ain't The Only Thing That's Hot

Merry Xmas '07 #1 (Dec. 2)

SUMMARY: ONESHOT. I stared at him slyly from across the room as I sat poised in my seat, taking a sip of my hot cocoa sophisticatedly. I smiled seductively at him as the cocoa poured down my throat… before screaming my lungs off. "HOT! HOT! HOT!!!"

DISCLAIMER: I only own the story and the characters and Chez Liz, even if I do want to own hot cocoa because it's awesome.

I heard a jingling of bells as I entered the small, cozy coffee shop, as I always did. I frequented Chez Liz almost every day because firstly, I love their beverages and pastries and secondly, said Liz happens to be my best friend whose parents own the place, and she bugs me a lot if I'm not in there for at least three out of the seven days of the week. But I love her anyways.

I said hello to Liz's parents and chatted with them a bit at the counter, after I had ordered my hot chocolate (their peppermint hot chocolate is to die for). Liz's mom was interrogating me about guys again, as she always does (the answer is always no, I don't have a boyfriend, and I'm probably not going to get one soon), and I let her keep on talking as my eyes wandered and immediately landed on a (hot, hot, HOT) guy sitting at a small table who was staring at me very intently. I quickly focused back to Liz's mom, who was still talking. I told her politely that my legs felt a bit tired, so I had to sit down and she could just call me when my drink was ready. She looked a bit peeved that I had cut off her continuous questioning about my love life, but let me go anyways.

I didn't sit at his table because I'm not as gutsy as Liz, who probably would've just flounced off from her mom and plopped down at his table and start talking. Actually, if I had Liz's guts, I probably would've snagged myself a boyfriend already, like she had.

Instead I sat down at a table away from him, where I could see him and therefore, he could see me.

I now stared at him unabashedly. He was still staring at me, unblinking as he held his mug that he did not drink from. His lips curled up in a small smile when he saw me looking back at him. I smiled too.

"Caitlin, dear! Your cocoa!"

Jolted out of my (very enjoyable) staring contest with unknown hottie by Liz's mom, I got up from my table to get my cup of delicious peppermint hot chocolate.

"Thanks, Mrs. Harper," I said to her absentmindedly, still thinking of the unknown hottie.

"Oh, it's no problem, Caitlin. Just wait a few minutes before drinking it, honey, it's a bit hot."

Her words flew unnoticed over my head as I walked back to my table and resumed staring at him, warming my hands (it was a rather cold Sunday morning, after all) on the mug.

I decided to try to be a bit more Liz-y by being flirty without upfront. I stared at him slyly from across the room as I sat poised in my seat, taking a sip of my hot cocoa sophisticatedly. I smiled seductively at him as the cocoa poured down my throat… and burned not only my throat, but my tongue as well. I started screaming my lungs off. "HOT! HOT! HOT!!!"

I was still jumping around hysterically, my tongue waving out of my mouth quite unattractively, oblivious to the commotion I had caused. Screw you, mister why-do-teenagers-have-to-be-so-overdramatic; have you tried this hot cocoa?

I suddenly found the hottie in front of me, with a glass of ice water in his hand. "Drink," he commanded simply.

My tongue still burning, I grabbed the glass from him and started chugging the ice water. As I chugged, I couldn't help but think his voice was sexy. After I finished about three-quarters of the glass, I felt much better and now noticed Mrs. Harper hovering behind Unknown Hottie anxiously.

"I'm fine now, Mrs. Harper," I told her, grinning to reassure her. "Thanks to…"

"Al," he finished for me.

"Oh thank you, dear, for reacting so quickly," she said to Al. "Caitlin, I know you love that hot cocoa, but I told you it was hot!"

"Um… you did?" I asked, blinking bewilderedly.

"She did," Al replied, smirking. "I think you might've been a bit… preoccupied."

I blushed, realizing that she had probably told me while I was staring at Al.

"Um," I coughed. "Maybe. Um. Yeah, Mrs. Harper, I'm totally fine," I said to her. "You can go back to the counter."

She gave me one last worried look but returned to her post. I was left standing awkwardly with Al, who was still smirking.

"You know, my tongue kinda still burns," I told him, fidgeting. "I'm going to sit and put an ice cube on it… okay?"

"That's fine," he told me. "Do you mind if I sit with you?"

"Um. No," I replied, placing the cube on my tongue.

He smiled at my hesitance and what probably looked really funny (a girl putting an ice cube on her mouth…) and slid into the chair across from me.

"So, you're Caitlin."

"Yeth. And you're Al," I mumbled.

He smiled. "Yes, as in Albert."

He stared at me, still smiling. Was I the only one who was noticing this awkward silence?

"So um. 'Ank you for um… helping me out," I replied, still mumbling.

"Oh, no problem," he replied, smirking again.

"Oh screw this," I muttered, spitting the ice cube out. He laughed again.

"You're so funny, Caitlin," he told me, smiling.

"Why thank you," I responded, grinning. "So… do you come to Chez Liz often?"

"No," he replied. "Just now and then. You?"

"Oh yes," I answered. "I come here at least three times a week."

"You must really like this place."

"Yes," I replied, smiling. "And my best friend's Liz, as in Chez Liz, who'll poke me to death if I don't come at least three times a week."

He laughed. I liked his laugh – it was pleasant and deep, unlike many people's laughs. (Liz tends to have a crazy hyena laugh.) "Harsh."

"Oh yes, it is," I replied to him mock-seriously. "Her pokes are like this." I poked his arm, hard.

"Did you just poke me?" he asked, mock-offended.

"Yes, I di—did you just poke me?"

"Yes, Caitlin, I did."

"Oh no, you didn't!" I retorted, poking him. "This is war!"

For the next couple of minutes, we poked each other like crazy, laughing the whole time and causing quite a few stares. We finally stopped after we both raised our hands in surrender.

We kept on laughing for the next few minutes. After we stopped, I commented, "I'm going to have some pretty nasty bruises on that arm tomorrow."

He laughed. "What are you talking about? My arm's going to be much more bruised. You poke HARD, woman!"

I laughed again, before pausing silently, thinking.

I asked him curiously, "Al, Why did you come and help me? Rather, why did you start looking at me in the first place?"

He laughed. "Oh, Caitlin."

"What?" I asked, frowning at his tone.

He leaned in to whisper in my ear to reply.

"Baby, your cocoa ain't the only thing that's hot."

A/N: This is the first of what I hope to be a series of 10 one-shots taking place between December first and thirty-first of the year 2007 (thus, the title: Merry Xmas '07). The date will be put up underneath the title of the one-shot. Every single one of the ten one-shots will be posted before 2008. If you're in a different country, you might see it on January first, but that's it.

These ten one-shots are all independent stories, but the characters of each might be related in some way. If the reason isn't revealed in the story, it'll be revealed in the author's note. (:

As the summary says, some will be depressing and/or angsty, but I decided to kick off December with something cute and fluffy, though this didn't turn out as fluffy as I planned. Hopefully you liked it!