You never cared much for it. It wasn’t your least favorite beverage, that spot belonged to the disgusting diet shakes your mother kept drinking and always begged you to try. Those were the worst by far!
That being said, tea still wasn’t that high on your list. You’d tried it before, and tried it again, but it just didn’t do anything for you.
No problem, you told yourself, Nobody says I have to drink it, right? And for a good portion of your life, that was true. No one would force you to drink if you didn’t want it, and most people didn’t really offer it to you anyway.
And then you made the error of falling for Arthur Kirkland.
Acquaintances for a long time before becoming friends, you started to pursue things once you realized you found yourself attracted to Brit. You didn’t think he suspected anything yet, which was fine. It gave you more time to – for lack of a better word – analyze him. See what he’s about. See if there would be any snags in a possible relationship.
You also didn’t feel like he totally trusted you yet. He always seemed the same to you; a polite, sophisticated gentleman. And while that was nice and all, you seriously doubted that was all there was to him. Or to anyone really. No one is polite and kind all the time.
But I digress. Another thing you noticed about him was his love of tea. You’d swear it was water to him. It was all you saw the man drink! While this wasn’t exactly something you’d agree about, you didn’t see it as causing a problem between the two of you.
And then he had to go and invite you for tea.
Now, you could’ve very easily said no. Avoided the whole situation and not had to have drank tea. But again, it wasn’t that big of a deal to you. You didn’t hate the stuff, and you liked Arthur. You figured there was nothing wrong with sucking it up just this once… and possibly future times if this happened again. Maybe in a more romantic setting.
He welcomed you with a bright smile, inviting you in, taking your coat, even pulling your seat out for you. Like a true gentleman… you swooned in your head before putting a grain of salt into the mix.
You gave him a strained but convincing smile as he poured you a cup, then poured himself a cup and sat down.
“I’m glad you could come today, ___________.”
Your smile became a little less phony. “Me too.”
He took a sip of his tea and a big ol’ smile formed on his face. Clearly he was very proud of his work. “I may not be the best cook, but at least I can do this right.” He said, letting out a nervous chuckle.
“Heh, really?” You said. He looked at you, obviously waiting for you to take a sip. You picked up your cup, trying to look as classy as possible, and took a sip.
This tea… actually wasn’t too bad. You were pleasantly surprised. Still it was tea…
“It’s good!” You told him. And you meant it. It was good as far as tea goes. You put your cup down.
“I’m glad to hear it!” he chirped, much happier than you expected him to be. It kind of gave you butterflies. You took another quick sip.
“Hey, Arthur…” You started
Cue mental squeal. Cue coming back to reality. “Well, I’ve noticed you’re always drinking tea. Do you ever fancy something like… I don’t know, coffee?”
Arthur stopped dead in his tracks.
“Coffee? Coffee? What do you think I am, fucking French?! You'll probably ask me if I want a croissant in a minute, yeah?! Tea's all I want here, just tea.”
You stared at Arthur wide-eyed as could be, totally unprepared for such a response.
“I… I’m terribly sorry, ________.” He started, before he heard you giggling at him.
“Boy, I didn’t think you were always a gentleman, but I didn’t expect you to flip out over coffee!”
He blushed a bright red and looked down. “I’m sorry…” he repeated.
“Don’t be!” you assured him, “You don’t always have to be on your best behavior around me, you know. In fact, I kind of like you better now.”
Still just as red, he looked up and made eye contact with you.
He smiled, and with that you took another, longer sip of the tea.
For some reason, it tasted a lot better now.