"Hope n' Coffee"

3- Remembering Her, And Coffee

Leo began reading the letter.

Been a while, hero
Meet me on the 7th, you know where

Well, it wasn't much of a letter. It was more like a fast written note with a formal envelope. Leo wasn't going to complain though... wait... there was no time given.

Leo decided after lunch was a fair time. It wouldn't even be his fault anyway. Who sends an invitation without a time? He thought about asking for advice, but all he'd get is a rather annoying piece of work named Zapp for help.

As Leo walked down the path to the graveyard, he thought about when Black left the airport. It was a couple days after White's death. He didn't blame Black for wanting to leave, especially after everything. To be able to travel the world and put the past behind him.

It sounded about as nice as an impossibility was. After all, his home was at Libra.

Leo entered the doorway to the Church, and looking towards her grave he found Black. He was sitting, his eyes closed as if he was undisturbed for years. His hair was still as straight and honey blonde as always, and he still had the same black sweatshirt. Only now it looked faded, showing how much he'd worn it.

Black still hadn't noticed him, so he decided to just wait. He didn't want to disturb him.

Looking at her grave there were still red roses lining the bottom, placed by who-knows. Black's navy outer-coat also lay in the same spot, untouched.

"Yo," he looked over to see Black with a smile. His eyes were still the same illuminating light blue color.

"Hey," Leo replied quick.

"I was afraid you didn't get my letter."

"If you can even call it that," Leo retorted, his words contradicting his tone.

"Oh yeah, sorry about that. I felt it would be inconsiderate to tell you everything over a letter. Er- note," his voice was calm and relaxed, and Leo didn't need words to see how much better he looked.

-Growl. His stomach interrupted his mouth. That was when he realized it was a bad idea to skip lunch today.

"Wanna get some coffee?"

Leo had no idea that when White's brother invited him to her grave after a year and a half, they would get coffee. Actually, he had no idea there was even a coffee shop nearby. If he didn't even know, how did Black?

They walked through the crowded streets of a rebuilt Hellsalem's Lot. Once or twice he was sure they would get lost, but Black seemed to know where he was going. After a while Leo found himself landed in front of a place called "The White Peacock." It had a wood style mixed with modern brick, and the windows displayed the interior.

As Black opened the door he saw a sign that read "Open and Welcoming." There were a couple people inside, either reading or on their phones. Tables lined on the walls that had extravagant woodwork. There were two to four per table, and some had high chairs while others low. The counter seemed polished and polite, with unknown machines for drinks. A barista or two stood behind talking, and waiting for customers. There were dozens of bookshelves in the back made of a dark wood, and stacked taller than anyone he knew.

It was a cozy sight, and he wondered how he'd never found it before.

Black walked over to a table for two before sitting down.

"I found it on my phone. It had great reviews and I realized I knew someone here," Black's tone held both joy and melancholy. Leo wondered who the person was.

"I'm surprised I never found it before."

"At least I could make it a surprise,"
Black's voice held back a small chuckle. "What coffee do you like?"

"Oh... well... I don't normally drink coffee."

"How come?"

"It's more like a luxury that I found at the Libra office once or twice... since I never had the money."

Before Leo could say anything more, Black got up and trotted over to the counter, "Two of your number 4 Specials, please." The barista lady gave a short and pleasant response before getting to work.

Black then came and sat back down, "It's the least I can do for a hero like you."

This time all Leo said was, "Thanks."

Leo realized what he had been missing in life, it was coffee. He could say with all the knowledge he had, that if anyone could make coffee it was this place. He still couldn't figure out the flavor, but he knew his face must have lit up.

All he could do was thank Black again.

They started filling each other in about the year. Turns out Black went back and visited his hometown, and went to almost every continent in the world. He didn't bring any souvenirs back, and told a story about how he embarrassed himself in front of a pilot. Leo also wondered how he found the money, he wasn't going to ask though.

"-and that's why I'll never go on Southwest Airlines again."

"Sounds like you had an interesting time, all I really did was help rebuild Libra."

"I'm sure you had some good times," Leo scratched his cheek uncertainly in response.

"Er- I have an important question... What was in that coffee?"

Black gave a light laugh, before placing an arm on Leo's shoulder. "Hope," Black responded casually.

Leo was awestruck, unable to say anything for the second time he had talked to Black.

When he looked up at Black, he saw sparkling eyes of the world. Powder blue that made his stomach twist.

All he could do was give a smile.

After that letters to Michella got easier to write, and the first word he used was "Coffee."

It was later he realized two things.

1. He never asked Black about the roses. He didn't have to.

2. There was a reason Black took him to "The White Peacock."

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