THIS IS ALL PART OF A DASTARDLY PLOT TO GET ME TO WRITE A RESTAURANT AU ISN’T IT? I AM ON TO YOU, I AM SO ON, AND IT IS NOT GOING TO WORK
IT IS NOT
It’s the end of a long shift, Teddy’s back aches and his arches probably flattened out three hours ago, and he should be taking stock of the flour and the sugar and the fruit in the stockroom, the eggs in the fridge, so he close up for the night and actually get home - no, he should be having Cassie do that, but he sent her home hours ago because - but he’s not really ready to go home yet, no matter how tired he is, because. Because there’s a knock on the back door, the door out from the kitchen to the narrow alley that reeks of sour milk and moldy newspapers that no one uses unless they have to because the stench is enough to crack even Jonas’s stoic facade, the door that’s Teddy’s favorite because it’s the door that leads to his favorite part of the day, that soft, quiet hour when the ovens are ticking cool and the dough is resting in the fridges for tomorrow’s loaves and Billy slips through the door after knocking, bearing a plastic sack filled with comics from his shop next and the brightest grin Teddy’s ever seen. Teddy’s ready for him, always, every day, for this hour when he can feed Billy pastries (today he’s prepared a batch of hamentashen, Billy’s bubbe’s recipe, and he’s dying to know if they measure up) and talk about books and wonder to himself if today’s the day he’ll find the courage to kiss open that smile, chase the taste of his food in Billy’s mouth, and change this stolen hour for something bigger, something more.