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In the Coffee Shop

In the Coffee Shop

Author's note: Thanks go out to Kat for betaing this me! <3

By kira

Amber looked up from her book every time someone entered the coffee shop. She was waiting for Bernd to finish his therapy session and it was only when she checked the time on her watch that she realized he would not be there for another fifteen minutes. Picking up her tea, she sipped it, and opening her book, she started reading again. The time seemed to fly by, and when she went to check her watch again, the door opened again. Amber looked up and saw a familiar figure enter the Starbucks. She waved and called out to him.

“Hey, Bernd!”

He looked over at the sound of his name. Bernd slowly made his way through the maze of tables over to where Amber was sitting. “Hey…” He plopped himself down in the chair opposite hers.

She could see that he had been crying when he took off his sunglasses, as his face was puffy and his eyes were red. “You okay?” Amber reached out and put her hand on his, giving it a gentle squeeze. It tore at her heart as he looked like he was about to burst into tears.

Bernd nodded. He looked away and back, trying to get a hold of himself. “I hate it,” he said softly, his voice catching on the last word.

“I know, but it’s good for you. Do you want me to get you a hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and you can tell me about it, or do you want something stronger?”

“Can I get a mocha latte grande with extra whipped cream?”

“You want a croissant?”


Amber nodded. She gave his hand an extra squeeze before getting up from the table. Grabbing her purse, she said, “I’ll be right back.”

Bernd watched her go. He folded his arms across his chest and sat back in his seat. He hated going to therapy, he felt it made things worse, instead of better. Sighing softly, he slumped forward and rested his head on the table. Events from his therapy session came flooding back and as much as he hated himself for it, he started crying.

When Amber returned to their table with his order, she found him crying softly. Setting his coffee and croissant on the table, she moved her chair over to sit next to him. “Bernd…?”

Looking up at the sound of his name, he wiped the tears away with his fingertips. Unable to get a coherent word out, Bernd leaned in and wrapped his arms around her. Burying his face in the space where her neck met her shoulder, he cried.

Amber held him close. She made soft little words of comfort as she rubbed little circles on his back. Whatever they had talked about today must have struck a raw nerve. She had seen him upset before, but never like this. “Sweetie? You want to go home?”

Bernd nodded, before abruptly shaking his head. As much as he wanted to go home and just hide in his room, he didn’t want to talk to his father or anyone else about his therapy session. He knew they meant well when they asked about how it went, but it was too painful to share and he could tell his father hated his vague answers. Bernd could also hear his therapist gently admonishing him in his head about his avoidance, but he had spent most of his life walling off painful emotions and acting out, and it was a difficult habit to break.

“Which is it, Sweetie?”

Pushing back from her, Bernd took a deep breath. He let it out slowly. “Please…?”

“Okay.” She stood up. “Come.” Amber held her hand out to him.

Bernd grabbed a few napkins and wiped his face and blew his nose. He picked up his coffee and drank some. Feeling a bit better, he grabbed his croissant and stood up to go. Shoving it in his pocket, he picked up the wad of napkins and followed her to the door, pausing just long enough to dump the napkins in the trash. Taking Amber’s hand, he drew a bit of strength from her as they left Starbucks and headed home.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2015 07:49 pm (UTC)
Oh how heart-rending... to sit, watching, and not be able to offer comfort! This was quite raw on Bernd's end of the scene and so well done!

To offer a tiny bit of constructive crit: Amber comes off a bit flat and almost too matter-of-fact. It feels like she's rushing Bernd out of public, and almost helping to hide. Perhaps she shouldn't have suggested they go home just as soon as she did? Perhaps it would have been better to wait for Bernd to demonstrate what he wanted to do after such raw encounter? Just a couple of suggestions.

This was still a wonderful, painful scene and I just so wanted to offer comfort to the poor guy!

Very good job, guys - keep it up! These tales are wonderful! :D
Feb. 4th, 2015 08:24 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thanks! Sorry, it was so painful to read, n0t-chan. ^^; I know it hard to write. ^^;

You think so? When I gave it to Kat to read over, she normally writes Amber, she didn't say anything, so I guess her response felt right to her. XD

Awe... Bernd said to tell you he appreciates that. :D

Thanks! I'm sooo glad you're enjoying them! :D
Feb. 9th, 2015 03:32 pm (UTC)
It was a good painful, no worries! :D

Just a friendly question of character and motive - just so you know I was paying attention... lol

He'd probably be a little terrified to tell me that in person - I'm a little frightening to the fragile guys... lol I like him though, and would be happy to call them both my friends - you guys have really made some wonderful, multifaceted characters in this world!

Absolutely! Keep writing them and I'll always read them :D
Feb. 9th, 2015 04:16 pm (UTC)
Oh good. XD

XD Okay. :D

Yeah? XD I'm really glad you like both of them! :D

*Blushes* Thanks!They're a lot of fun to play with & I'm glad they're multifaceted!

Since I have a snow day, I'm going to putz around a bit online & then sit & write them. :D Then I have one more fic to go & I finished my Bingo!card. :D Then I can start Valentine's one. :D
Feb. 4th, 2015 09:41 pm (UTC)
In response to the crit: You make very valid points. It is a bit rushed. Amber probably is rushing him out of public though. She herself is not comfortable in public under the best of circumstances and at times is very unsure of herself in dealing with Bern when he is that emotional. She most likely wants to hide just as much as he does, but she has also taken on the role of having to be the strong one for him even when she can't handle it. So, though she may not be conscious of it, she is helping him flee because it either that or snapping at onlookers and creating a bigger scene if they stayed.
Feb. 9th, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC)
Ah, I didn't have that background on her, so I didn't see it right off - but with your clarification, it's a great characterization. They have a difficult time together - but it is nice to feel the sliver of light between them, that things won't always be so hard, or damaged and that things can and will get better. :D I do love their story - you both have done fantastic jobs on the depth of feeling and human suffering (good and bad) in this world and its inhabitants - I really enjoy these! :D
Feb. 11th, 2015 11:22 pm (UTC)
Sorry about that. Sometimes it's hard to decide how much background to include in something.

Feb. 15th, 2015 02:49 pm (UTC)
No worries :) If I am stymied by something, I usually ask. Doesn't dim my enjoyment one bit. :D

Welcomes :D
Feb. 4th, 2015 09:30 pm (UTC)
*hug* You did a great job, Kira. *pets Bern*
Feb. 4th, 2015 11:34 pm (UTC)
*huggles* thanks, Kat!

Bernd: *is petted*
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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