A/N: So you should know that I have this problem where I write things that are basically fanfiction of my own work. That's pretty much all this is. I wrote this a while ago, then I took it down, but recently someone on my Tumblr page asked what a modern version of Pierce, Stitch, Scar (the rewrite of Just Out of Reach) would look like, and I had already written this, so yeah. There's this line in Just Out of Reach and/or Pierce, Stitch, Scar where Kieran says that he wishes he and Terence could have met in a different time and place. But you wouldn't know that, because I never published that part of the story. Someday, though. But yeah, that's what this is. An alternate universe meeting between Kieran and Terence. Please review. No sense in trying to hide or deny the fact that I love reviews and that's pretty much the only reason I post here. Thank you for taking the time to visit. Enjoy!
Chapter One: Table Four
Kieran blinked away the bright white sting of the backlit clouds as he stepped onto the street from the backseat of the sleek black sedan. He averted his watering eyes from the sky to survey the awaiting shopfront. Caffe Curioso. If the curling letters above the glass façade were any indication, he was in the right place.
"This is it. Thank you, Fidele," he said with a small nod. But he didn't proceed forward.
"Do you want me to go in with you?" Fidele offered.
A delicate whisper of appreciation tugged at the corner of Kieran's lips. "If you aren't too busy."
Fidele placed his hand on Kieran's shoulder and gave him a gentle push in the right direction. "What could I be busy with?"
It was a fair enough question. Keeping track of Kieran was Fidele's job, after all. He was paid to be busy with nothing but Kieran and his needs. The teen did well to remind himself of this from time to time. He remained silent as Fidele spoke with the hostess and procured a table for the two of them in the corner. Fidele always got a table in the corner, and always sat with his back to the wall so that he had a view of the entire area. Kieran knew by now that he was to take the seat that would put his back to the front door of the establishment.
Once he was situated, Kieran rifled through his book bag for his notes. He was here for a conference with his linguistics professor to discuss the progress of his term paper. There was no sign of his professor yet, but there was no harm in being ready for him when he arrived.
Fidele felt his heart grow tender as he watched Kieran pluck sheets of loose leaf paper, tattooed with his fluid handwriting, from between the pages of his text. The boy was content when he had his books, and seeing Kieran in harmony brought Fidele his own peace. Kieran could read for hours, and Fidele could watch Kieran read for hours.
Unbeknownst to Fidele, there was someone watching him while he was watching Kieran. Having been alerted that table four had just been seated, Terence looked up from the dull work of counting his tips to see just who his latest customer was. Holy hell, was that a monster of a man. He didn't think he'd ever seen anyone so massive, and that was saying something, considering Terence himself wasn't exactly a small fry. Now just what was a guy like that, who obviously needed more than a cup of coffee and a scone to keep him full, doing in this cozy little establishment? Taking a couple of menus along with him, Terence set out at a stroll to get a closer look at and gather some more information about the pair at table four.
"Nothin' like a nice hot cup a coffee at 4 o'clock, eh?"
Kieran had a slight awareness that someone was approaching their table. A waiter, no doubt. He had no intention of paying the individual any mind, instead remaining immersed in his studies. However, having a plastic menu slapped down over the top of his reading left him feeling inclined to demonstrate his displeasure at the interruption with a chilly glare.
And just like that, Terence had very little interest in the giant of a man sitting in the corner anymore, because the brunet sitting across from the giant of a man set his pulse racing. His dark eyes were so fierce, supported by high cheekbones. His expression and bone structure gave off a regal aura. But he had the cutest little nose; the round tip tempted Terence to give it a little tap. And his lips were perfectly pouty. Everything about that face, especially the confusion it caused within Terence, was somehow familiar. But Terence wouldn't have been able to forget that face if he'd ever seen it before. His mind must have been playing tricks on him.
"Alright, iced coffee for Prince Frosty over here," Terence quipped. "Cut me a little slack here, will ya? I been here since 5 a.m. Guess I'm a little clumsy after a twelve hour day." He picked up his rudely placed menu to reveal that Kieran's papers were still there, safe and sound.
The face that Kieran had glared at caught him off guard. Everything about the waiter caught him off guard. The bleached hair, shaved above one ear and then swept over. The metal in his ears and lips and, if Kieran wasn't mistaken, his tongue too. The ink on his skin peeking up from underneath the white t-shirt he wore at the v-neck and hem of the short sleeves. The cockeyed half-smile that seemed to know something that Kieran didn't. The fact that he was actually feeling apologetic for being so harsh on a man who seemed to have just suffered from a slip of the hand after a long day. Really the only thing that Kieran could wrap his head around was the mossy green color of his eyes. So he focused on them and softened his expression.
"Then maybe waiting tables isn't the best career path for you," Fidele intervened with no sympathy, eager to send this hoodlum on his way. "Black coffee for me. And a sparkling water for him."
"You got it, big fella." Terence confirmed the order with a nod, and then added, solely for Kieran's sake, "Be back before you can even think about anyone else."
Fidele didn't like the way Kieran's eyes lingered on the waiter as he sauntered away. "When is your professor supposed to be here?"
That successfully averted Kieran's gaze. He couldn't find a clock anywhere, so resorted to pulling his cell phone from his pocket to check the time on the display. "Another ten minutes. We got here early."
"Why a teacher would choose to meet with students in a place like this is beyond me."
"Everyone in class says it's the best coffee in town."
"So students put themselves at risk for a cup of coffee?"
Kieran's left eyebrow arched at the suggestion that entering this café had somehow put him in danger. Fidele was on edge, and he had to wonder if it had anything to do with the waiter's friendliness toward him. As cruel as it was, the idea of Fidele being jealous threatened to make Kieran smile.
"I'm not at risk. I have you," he said simply before returning his attention to his reading.
Kieran's unfaltering faith in him eased Fidele's anxiety. He allowed himself to smile, and busied himself with memorizing the faces in the room for another few minutes until he was disturbed by the waiter returning with their drinks. There was no incident, other than a feeling that somehow there were secret messages being passed via glances between Kieran and the undesirable server. It soured Fidele's mood, but when Kieran's teacher arrived to discuss his schoolwork, the boy suddenly came to life and Fidele's spirits were lifted by Kieran's passion. For about an hour, Fidele sat silently waiting, and only vaguely did he wish that he could provide Kieran with the kind of intellectual stimulation that excited him like his schoolwork.
It was as the professor was beginning to pack up his things, Kieran still clinging hopefully to the last threads of their conversation, that Fidele received a call on his mobile phone. It was Kieran's father, and so he quietly excused himself from the table to take the call just outside the front door of the shop. He positioned himself so that he had a clear view of Kieran through the glass storefront, and also of the door to monitor anyone who entered or exited the establishment.
Scarcely more than a minute passed before Kieran's teacher also vacated the corner table, leaving Kieran all by his lonesome. What a perfect time for Terence to drop off the check. He slid the receipt across the table, leaning on the edge of it. "Take your time. I ain't in a hurry to get rid of you."
Kieran fished his wallet from his bag and handed Terence a bill. "Keep the change," he said.
The smirk that seemed to permanently tug at the waiter's lips broadened, showing a slice of pearly whites. "A tip that's twice as much as the actual bill? I musta done something right."
"You did quite well at earning my pity, I suppose," Kieran said.
Terence chortled quietly. "I was gonna ask if you go to the Ivy League down the block, but I guess I don't need to anymore. How about I get your name instead?"
"In case you ever see me again, and my life is in grave danger, it's Kieran."
"Got a last name that goes with that?"
Kieran was never to give out his last name to anyone that was not approved by Fidele to know it. "I'll answer to Kieran. A last name isn't necessary to get my attention."
Terence saw the giant man giving him a dirty look through the window as he headed back inside to disrupt this fraternizing. "Well, Kieran, I got your attention for now, but I wanna keep it. What do ya say you give me your phone number so we can continue this conversation another time?"
With Fidele on his way in, Kieran only had a split second to make up his mind. There was no time for considering the consequences of his actions, so he followed his instinct. He quickly spilled the sequence of digits as he packed up the last of his things and stood to meet Fidele. He didn't know if the waiter caught them all, and he didn't look back as he left the café. On the drive home, he pretended to be reading, but really he was perusing his thoughts, trying to understand why he had chosen to open the way for further communication with the nameless waiter. He couldn't deny he found the man quite attractive, even despite his shocking appearance. In fact, that was what Kieran liked the most about him, aside from the amusing sarcastic drawl. And the muscles. Okay, maybe it wasn't such a mystery as to why Kieran shared his phone number. But still. He'd met other attractive men before, some of them had flirted with him, and he had never given his contact information away. Without Fidele's permission, Kieran was hardly allowed to give even his classmates his phone number. Today, he had not only defied Fidele's rules, but also hidden that defiance.
A/N: It's short by my standards. Really just a snippet. Reposted because someone on Tumblr asked what a modern day Pierce, Stitch, Scar would look like. I don't have plans to continue this. But I'm wishy-washy and I will do anything for your love, so who knows. Let me know what you think.