It was early morning, and as a chef in the Kuro & Shiro restaurant, Daniel had to get up when it was still dark out to go make preparations. He never really found himself dissatisfied with his job; it was what he loved to do, after all. When he arrived at the café, he was naturally the first person there, only the quiet of his own thoughts surrounding him. He had spent the walk to work thinking about how it would be again today; lively as always, with those oddballs of twins, the stoic but gentle Derek, the cute and fluttery Taiga, the cheerful and childish Mikan and Cecily, and last... Elizabeth. Elizabeth had been the center of his attention recently, but he had yet to act on any of these feelings.
Today would probably be another one of those days, if he wasn't mistaken. But sometimes it was quite nice to just keep those feelings to himself. They felt precious; like it wasn't a bad thing to just hide them without a word. Smiling, Daniel worked for the next few hours on the preparations, and when he was finally done, wiping sweat off his brow, the door opened and a familiar blonde head, adorned with glasses and a happy expression, opened the door. He smiled as he looked at one of their employees, the "female" half of their "prince" franchise. It was all her idea to use her boyish looks as a means of putting up an act, but she usually wore clothes that didn't quite hide her gender. Though he had yet to see her in a dress or skirt.
"Yo, Adrian." He waved at her as she let the door close behind her.
"Hiya! Am I first? Again?" Adrian grinned as Daniel nodded. Adrian had a twin brother, Victor. They looked almost entirely the same despite being of different genders. Adrian had come up with the idea of using "twin princes" as a customer magnet and everyone loved their act. Adrian was the social butterfly out of the two of them, always skipping about happily and keeping up others' spirits. She never involved anyone in her own personal problems, not wanting to be the person to put frowns on people's faces.
When she had talked to Daniel for a few moments, she hopped into the girls' changing room to change into her uniform. It was a swift process; she did it almost every single day, after all. When she was done, she walked to the front desk, starting to set up things with the different machines and going over the tables, cleaning them all in case something had been missed during closing last night. It didn't seem to be that way so she was relieved at how little time it took. When she was done with this, the other employees started pouring in one after one. Adrian was too busy making sure all machinery worked (double-checking, triple-checking, she wasn't even sure by this point) so she didn't really notice who came in in what order. That is, until...
"I told you not to bang on my door! I-I was waking up already, okay?!" She'd recognize that voice anywhere, all the time, and steered towards it, jumping on her brother, laughing happily. Victor almost fell to the ground at the sudden assault, glaring at his sister; they were almost the same height, same build and had the same, slightly feminine blue eyes and soft, blonde hair. Actually her hair was shorter than his was, surprisingly. They were always mistaken for two boys, but the happy-go-lucky Adrian didn't seem to mind people making that misconception about her; well, not that it wasn't her own fault to begin with, trying to mimic her twin brother. And she would always dote on him like this, way too motherly for his comfort.
"Did Derek wake you again, geez, you two should hurry up and get married ~!" Before he could manage to smack her in the face, she jumped back, dodging his attack. His face was beet red. "W-we're not close!! H-he just thought I overslept b-but I was awake!!" Before Derek could get to see the expression on his face he hurried to the changing room, keeping his face against the wall to avoid anyone and everyone who came in there to change. God, his sister couldn't get more embarrassing than that. She would always try to get the two of them on that track ever since she learned about Victor's growing interest for the slightly rude, rough-edged guy. Ever since then he'd been hypersensitive to anything that Derek would do or say, and honestly, his friend/rival/neighbor was getting preeeettyyy suspicious of him at this point, always staring in his direction as if he wanted to say something. Victor was about to crumble each time.
He finally managed to get changed, finishing up and checking in the mirror if his shirt, pants etc. were all straight and that he didn't mess up the buttons or something stupid like that because of his nervousness. When he concluded that he looked fine, he exited the changing room to go back to the restaurant, only to bump into Derek on the way. Derek stopped to stare at him for a moment.
[fieldbox="Rory Mikan, maroon, dotted"]Rory yawned loudly as he made his way towards the entrance of his job. He could barely keep his eyes opened as he reached Kuro & Shiro, stepping inside of the brightly lit building. It would seem like everyone else had already arrived. Well, except for the two who were behind him and had yet to come in: Taiga and Derek. As he thought about how different they were, yet, at the same time, similar, he wished that he could have a friendship like their own. They were so close that he mistook them as a couple when he first joined the "family", but soon came to realize that their actions were more on a sibling level. Shaming his head, he decided that it was time for him to get ready. He went to the boys' changing room so that he could put on his work uniform. Upon arriving there, he passed by Derek and Victor, who were in a heated staring match with one another. He was able to glide past them, but glanced at them curiously along the way. They had been acting strange around one another recently and Rory could only observe. According to Adrian (and Taiga, too, sometimes), it seemed like they had romantic feelings for each other. Or, at least Victor did for Derek. It was hard to tell if Derek felt the same with how stoic he was majority of the time.
As he made his way into the changing room, his mind began to wander on the topic of romantic relationships. Suddenly, he found himself thinking about their Manager, Cecily. Recently, he's been getting a bit nervous around her and close to blowing a fuse. Even now, the thought of her made him flush a dark color. He quickly shook his head and continued to change. Once he was done, he headed out to see what he could do to help the restaurant get ready. Remembering how the tables were already cleaned, the ginger began to set the tables with utensils and cups.[/fieldbox]
[fieldbox="Taiga Tanaka, orange, solid"]Taiga had been walking to work with Derek by her side. They always walked together, just like they did during their school days. Not much ha changed for them and she was grateful for that. Derek has been the bestest friend she could ask for, despite how he can be slightly rude and inconsiderate at times. She brought out the best in him and he did the same for her. Sometimes, it was the worst, but we won't talk about those right at this moment. Along their walk, they were joined by Victor, who began to talk to Derek about...something. Taiga went on ahead in front of them, leaving them to their own devices. She always thought that Derek and Victor had quite the interesting relationship with one another. Her and Adrian (mostly Adrian) would always tease the two about it. Well, the ginger liked to ask questions about Derek feels since he's as in tuned with his feelings as her, which is from little to none. Finally reaching the entrance to Kuro & Shiro, she entered and greeted everyone cheerfully.
"G'morning everyone~!" She called, getting quite a few responses in return, alongside friendly, warm smiles. She grinned in return as she made her way to the changing room. Humming a random melody, she began to strip and change into her uniform. Before she knew it, she was finished, moving on autopilot. When she exited the changing room, she heard familiar voices. It would seem that Derek and Victor were at it again and Adrian had joined in on the fun. She only shook her head good naturedly as she made her way to the front of the restaurant where a podium was located. She checked the bottom to see if they had enough menus before straightening up. Briefly, she wondered if today was going to be busy as usual. They were quite a popular restaurant and everyone always liked to come everyday of the week, including Mondays. It always amazed her, despite her being there for a year now. She rested against the podium, waiting for the day to begin.[/fieldbox]
[fieldbox="Derek Castle, blue, dashed"]Derek froze as he felt a smaller body bump into him. It was bigger than Taiga, so it couldn't be her. He had seen Rory setting up tables, so it wasn't him, and their Manager was nowhere in sight. That left only one choice left. He turned on his heel to face no other than Victor, tilting his head downward to see him. Silence fell amongst them as Derek seemed to have an internal battle. Recently, things had been pretty awkward between Victor and him. Well, that's how it felt to him, anyway. And Adrian wasn't helping the situation much with her teasing and not-so-subtle pushing in a certain direction. He came to when he realized that he had been silently staring at the blonde like a creep. Blushing faintly, he averted his eyes, turning his head to face the other way. "Nothing, I was on my way to change," he stated in a gruff, low voice still lazed with sleep. He decided to leave before things became anymore awkward than they already were. Ducking his head, he maneuvered around his co-worker to disappear into the changing room, where he changed quickly, not wanting to be alone for a long time. Being alone meant thinking, which meant dwelling on all of his confusing thoughts and feelings that revolved around Victor. When it came to actual feelings and not attraction or desire, Derek felt like he was in another universe where nothing made sense. He was never good with crushes when he was younger and the same went for now.
Finishing up, the dark blunet made his way out of the changing room and into the kitchen, checking to make sure everything was in its place and ready to go. It would seem that Daniel had did all of the preparations earlier. It always made Derek feel a bit guilty, but he never showed it. With everything in tip-top shape in the kitchen, the chef was left with nothing to do. I could go bother Taiga. I'm pretty sure that she's not that busy, after all. Or maybe Daniel? His mind continued to come up with ideas to pass the time, serving as a distraction.[/fieldbox]
Elizabeth knew she was running late for work. It wasn’t her fault that her alarm clock decided to break while she was asleep. It was set for a specific time in order for her to have enough time in the morning to do everything she needed. But, that plan was destroyed when the thing decided to die in the middle of the night while she was asleep. It caused the young British woman to rush her whole morning and run all the way to Kuro & Shiro, the restaurant that she worked at.
Finally, she had got there, entering inside to see that everyone else was already there, besides their manager, and Taiga was already ready to bring anyone to their seats. She said a quick hello to everyone she was able to see and made her way to get changed into the usual waitress uniform she wore for the job. When she was changed, she came back out, getting herself ready for when she would have to do over to a table. She slipped her notebook and pen into her pockets and waited for customers to come.
She could see the kitchen from wear she was standing, and there was Daniel working on making the food. There was no smile on her face but the girl gave him a wave. No smile didn’t mean that she didn’t like a person; it was just the way she was. In fact, the wave was something that she didn’t always do to people either.
Cecily, the manager of Kuro & Shiro seemed to be nowhere in sight. All the other employee’s seemed to have arrived but one of the most important ones to be there seemed to be missing in action. That was until the sound of rustling could be heard from in the back where the backdoor was located. The door was suddenly flung open to see a potted tree in the doorway. It wasn’t extremely big, but considering the manager’s size it covered her whole entire body. “Rory, can you come help me with this?” She shouted from behind the plant which made it sound like the plant was talking.
For some reason, the manager always seemed to ask Rory for help with things even if someone else might be better for the job. Perhaps she liked how he was kind of short like the way she was, or perhaps it was more to it but either way, it was obvious that Rory was her main choice to do more personal things for her.
“I was thinking we could add this in the restaurant, more décor. So, can you put it in one of the corners?” Cecily was always coming up with ideas to the restaurant, some that have been a bit strange in the past but at least it made the day interesting.
Daniel's face reddened just slightly when he noticed Elizabeth smiling and waving at him. He decided to swallow down his nervousness and simply do the same in return. Derek had entered the kitchen in the meantime after his so-called little "dispute" with Victor. The two of them were obviously beating around the bush (quite a bit at this point) and it was almost painful to watch. Though, Daniel didn't have any right to blame them with how he was acting with Elizabeth at the time.
Somehow, he knew that Derek felt a little guilty that Daniel always arrived to do all of the work by himself, but Derek didn't mind doing it. He arrived on purpose to have time to just relax with it, and he appreciated that Derek didn't call him out on it. While he did feel bad for making Derek feel guilty, there was really no reason for him to feel like that. He looked down at the pan in front of him thoughtfully. They were heating up the stove and testing to make sure that everything was okay by making a few things. As usual, everything was in order. He cleaned up the pan that he had been using to test with, waiting for the first customers to enter. His gaze drifted around the shop, to the podium.
Taiga was standing there alone, but from the looks of it, not for long. A certain blonde-headed person had jumped to their feet and was making a swift move of getting there. And as usual, Taiga was practically tackled by this very same person. It was something that happened more or less every single day, and everyone was used to it at this point.
"Taiga-chaaaaaaaaaan~!" Adrian shouted as she jumped up from the table she'd been absently sitting at, throwing her arms around the smaller girl's neck. The two of them had gotten to know each other when Taiga smacked her in the face thinking she was a guy. Well, Taiga was like that when it came to males. But when Adrian told her about the act and all, Taiga seemed more comfortable around her, and now they were like this. Adrian treated Taiga like her precious little favorite, and was always extremely physical with her. Taiga seemed nervous about it at first but now she just dealt with it.
Unless Adrian did something like, for instance, grab her butt. Which was what Adrian was doing right now. "Hey Taiga-chaan~, do you wanna go shopping today?" While it was a casual question, Adrian was way too close for it to sound like a comfortable shopping trip. Many would misunderstand her actions as trying to hit on Taiga, but Taiga herself didn't seem to catch onto it, and if Adrian was expecting more out of their relationship, she didn't voice it. Adrian wanted to be considerate of others, and that's why she wouldn't tell a soul about her feelings if Taiga was like this. Taiga was the most precious person on the earth to her, next to her brother, and she wanted to make sure that Taiga was always happy, always smiling, and she wanted them to always always be together.
When she felt like she had grabbed enough at Taiga's butt, she hugged her friend instead, rubbing their cheeks together with a smile on her face. "Ahh Taiga-chaan, why are you so cuuuute all the timeee." She muttered dramatically, ruffling the ginger's hair gently.
"Ah-" Victor seemed like he wanted to say something, but Derek avoided him. Yeah, the guy definitely had an inkling about what was happening here. Victor swallowed back his words, unsure if saying them would even be safe at this point. Something like 'Are you avoiding me?' would be way too strange of him to say. He walked into the restaurant where Taiga was, as usual, being assaulted by Adrian's affection. Honestly, Victor had a feeling that Adrian had ulterior motives, but she never once seemed to cross that line between friendship and more. She didn't say anything, either, but Victor was good at reading his sister's emotions. They had been together literally forever, after all.
Sighing, he brought himself to his assigned spot, by the tables, waiting for the first customers to come in. His eyes flickered towards Derek, who was in the kitchen, seemingly lost in thought. Daniel was working right beside him, but at the moment, they didn't seem like they were talking. Derek seemed distracted, so Victor just stared at him absently, taking in his features. He never got other chances than these to really look at Derek, so he'd have to use his chances. He blushed, realizing that he wasn't paying attention to time and had no idea for how long exactly he had been staring. He immediately averted his gaze, straightening out his clothes as he focused on his sister again instead.
She was finally standing still, hugging Taiga, talking into her ear. Honestly, Victor felt bad that he wasn't the only person to be victim to his sister's intense need to be in physical contact. When they were children she would always sit on him and hug him and refuse to let go. And she claimed to be the more mature one of the two of them, huh?
He managed to distract himself from Derek with nostalgic thoughts.
[fieldbox="Rory Mikan, maroon, dotted"]Rory was setting up the last table when their last employee had finally made an appearance. He smiled warmly at Elizabeth as she got ready for the day. Now, the only person left was—
"Rory, can you come help me with this?"
What a coincidence. The ginger stopped all that he was doing to whip his head in the direction of Cecily's voice, only to be greeted with the sight of a large plant hiding her from sight. Setting down the last cup, he rushed over to the back door in order to help their Manager out. Grunting softly, he took the potted plant out of the brunette's dainty hands. It always amazed him, what she brought in every morning. He constantly wondered where she was getting such items. Hearing her orders, he nodded and turned on his heel, handling the plant with care. As he walked back into the restaurant, his eyes scanned around for an empty corner. Spotting one, he made his way over towards it and set the plant down in its new rightful place. It sure did beautify the restaurant a bit more than it already was and it made Rory smile. Cecily always came up with wonderful ideas.[/fieldbox]
[fieldbox="Taiga Tanaka, orange, solid"]Despite the fact that Taiga had seen Adrian in her peripheral vision and that this occured everyday—like a routine—, she still gets caught off guard. Screaming softly in surprise, her cheeks became a light pink as Adrian squeezed her tightly. Ever since the two had gotten to know one another, Adrian was a lot more affectionate when it came to Taiga, physical-wise. But the ginger wasn't complaining or anything. Sure, it embarrassed her sometimes and caused her to become flustered, but she truly did enjoy all of the blonde's hugs and cuddles. That is, until her hands begin to start wandering and groping certain places, which was exactly the case now.
"A-Adrian! We t-talked about t-this! You c-can't gr-grope me!" She stuttered out, trying to squirm away from the blonde's grabby hands, but found it impossible. Remembering her question, she nodded. "We can go shopping today. I need some new clothes, anyway," she stated. Finally, Adrian stopped groping her in favor of hugging her, rubbing their cheeks together. Still red as a firetruck from the action, Taiga sputtered at her rhetoric question and compliment. All she could do was stutter out a "thank you" that sounded more like a question than a statement. "Maybe we can go to a movies, too? Just hang out for the day...?" She said, looking at Adrian with a curiuos gaze.[/fieldbox]
[fieldbox="Derek Castle, blue, dashed"]Derek needed a distraction. He needed to be busy with customers, or a conversation. Anything to keep his mind preoccupied. As he began to think of distractions, his eyes scanned the restaurant, watching everyone do their own thing. Rory was, once again, helping Cecily with a new piece of décor. The dark blunet always wondered where and how she got her hands on such items. Some of them were pretty average while others were extravagant and festive, lighting the building even more. His gaze tore from them to the front of the restaurant, where Taiga was being sexually harassed by Adrian. That's what it seemed like, but they, and their customers (weirdly), all knew of the truth. Adrian just happened to be a very affectionate person, especially when Taiga was involved. Derek suspected undertones of other things, but kept his mouth shut because he was as good with feelings as Taiga was. And that wasn't very good at all.
Thinking about feelings made Derek's mind return to the exact place that he was trying to avoid. Involuntarily, his gaze drifted until it landed on the being that was plaguing his mind. Victor seemed to be immersed in his own thoughts as he stared at Taiga and Adrian. Seeing the opportunity, the chef let himself take in Victor's appearance—checking him out, in other words. It was rare that such an opportunity presented itself and Derek wasn't going to let it just slide by. His eyes slowly roamed down, checking him out from head to toe. Thoughts of how good he looked today filled his mind before he could stop them. Some more specific and sensual than others. Realizing where his mind was heading, he immediately stopped himself. A voice that sounded suspiciously like Taiga berated him in his head. Derek! You're such a pervert! Letting his face fall into his hands, he begged for them to open soon.
"God, I need a distraction," he mumbled into his tanned hands.[/fieldbox]
Elizabeth saw that wave that she got from Daniel back and the usually cynical girl couldn’t help but feel a slight…happiness? Was it happiness? The girl wasn’t used to feel an emotion of that type so she was usually clueless to anything remotely in that area. Though she knew he had to continue working on cooking the food, so she let him do just that and left him alone. She didn’t want to disturb his work, his food needed to be done right in order for customers to like it. It would be bad if he was distracted. Thus, Elizabeth went back to surveying the restaurant. Adrian was sexually harassing Taiga, though not to Elizabeth’s surprise. Those two were pretty close.
Actually, there were a lot of really close relationship in the restaurant, some different than others. Like that one over there, Elizabeth had noticed the stare that Derek was giving to Victor. A few relationships were obviously more than friends. Even the manager and Rory seemed pretty close in that department sometimes. Elizabeth, on the other hand, didn’t see that at all for herself which would probably be very disappointing to a certain someone who was in the kitchen. But while she could see the relationship between everyone else, the girl was very observant, when it came to anything directed towards her she was blind. It wasn’t her fault; she was just not used to those types of emotions and wouldn’t even know if she felt them for anyone either unless it was blatantly told to her by someone else that she did.
“Hey, shouldn’t we be prepared for when a customer comes in?” The dark-haired girl then shouted out to everyone considering a lot of them were playing around and spacing out about something. “We’ll look like amateurs if we go running around like we are now. No one will come in at all.” There was the usual cynical and serious Elizabeth. Although, even though she was like that and said those things, they all knew that she cared for everyone there and they were all what she considered friends
Cecily let out a childish giggle at the praise she was getting for the tree. She walked up next to Rory after he had placed it down in one of the corners. “I knew it would be perfect in here!” She stated while she had a large smile on her face that really showed her youthfulness. “Wonderful job Rory, thanks for putting it in here.”She also liked to give a lot of praise to the other employee’s; But, for Rory, it also involving taking his hands as she spoke and smiled at him.
“I have a feeling that today going to be a great day!” Though, then she heard what Elizabeth said and even though the waitress was right, it still got a cute little pout from the manager who was still unknowingly holding onto Rory’s hands. “But it’s so fun to be like this.” Cecily mumbled under her breath through the pout but quickly got over it and smile again. She finally let go of Rory’s hands and placed them on her hips.
“I suppose Elizabeth’s right. It’s time to get the day started! Let’s open this restaurant up and gets some customers in here.” She said to everyone. It wasn’t long after the very young looking adult’s cellphone started to go off and it was ringtone that made her know exactly who it was. It was her mother and no doubt that mother of hers was just calling to brag about something else that had to do with Cecily’s sister, Destiny who was a famous model. That was all Cecily ever got, besides her mother complaining that Cecily needed to get a boyfriend and eventually get married—like her sister—which always bugged Cecily because the kind of man her mother wanted was not the kind that Cecily wanted. Her mother wanted him to be very sophisticated and adult-like but Cecily wanted someone that would complement the way she was. Someone like Rory...why did Rory come into mind? She looked back at him, knowing that he was just one year younger than her yet he looked so young too, just like her. She stared for a moment, letting the phone stop ringing on its own. Suddenly, she poked Rory’s cheek and then smiled again with a slight giggle. Whatever that meant, she wasn’t going to tell.
“I should get to work too. I was thinking about adding something new to the menu so I want to see if Daniel or Derek can make it and have everyone taste it at some point later today.” Cecily added, letting everyone know her plans, making sure that every one of them could hear her clearly.
Daniel noticed Elizabeth look at him strangely for a while, but they both had jobs to do and the moment seemed to pass without anything else happening. Their situation would probably be the same for a while. Daniel couldn't imagine a character like Elizabeth actually getting romantically interested in someone like him. Daniel felt like he wouldn't be good at any of those things at all. And it looked like Elizabeth probably wasn't used to it either, so he had an inkling that it'd probably take a while for them to get together, if they even did get together at some point. At this point in time, Daniel was satisfied with how he was, simply leaving his feelings somewhere in the back where they wouldn't bother anyone. That's at least what he felt about this whole thing.
He heard Elizabeth's words, but regardless of that, he was already where he was supposed to be, so he didn't need to move around or anything. They just needed to wait for customers so they could start cooking. He also heard Cecily's words, smiling a little as he thought about it. He would definitely like to try out some new dishes, that was always fun. When they opened shop, Cecily came over to him and Derek, starting to discuss the new dish with the two of them. They listened carefully, and started testing out some things to see what would be good to do with this new dish of theirs. He hoped that it would be good, after all, Cecily seemed so excited about it.
It was hard to really refuse the manager, and it was even harder to think about disappointing her. She was always in high spirits, and everyone wanted to keep her that way. Therefore, they would do anything to bring a smile to her face, just like now, when Daniel didn't want to mess up the new dish so that they could add it to the menu without problems. He wanted to see Cecily smile at them like she usually did. It gave everyone courage.
"Mm. Yeah, let's do that ~ I'm gonna pick some cuuuute dresses for you, Taiga-chan, so wear them for me please~~?" Adrian said excitedly as she rubbed her cheek on Taiga's, extremely happy that their relationship could go on like this. She hadn't thought about it at first, but spending time with someone as precious to her as Taiga had made her realize that maybe falling in love and dating wasn't all there was to it. This kind of thing wasn't bad either, regardless of whether or not her feelings were returned. She simply wanted to spend her time next to Taiga, no matter what kind of relationship they would have. That couldn't possibly be a bad thing.
"Alrighty then. We'll find a movie later and then we'll have a real girl's night out ~ Do you wanna stay over at my place tonight? I bet we'll be out till late, I'll take care of you ~" Adrian awaited Taiga's answer, though she knew that the girl would agree to her proposal. After all, Adrian knew about Taiga. Everything about her. Knew that she wasn't exactly like other girls, and that she would always be different. But Adrian was just slightly used to stuff like that, and she didn't mind. Taiga was Taiga, regardless of what she wanted to do with her life, and for that, Adrian accepted her. She was adorable no matter what she looked like. Adrian smiled as she unwrapped herself from Taiga, pouting a little at Elizabeth's words. She knew that the waitress was right, but she hadn't had enough squeezing for one day. She'd just have to wait till later.
"I'll take you up on that snuggling offer later okay?" Adrian grinned, knowing full well that Taiga had offered no such thing and would be embarrassed about it. They were always like this, and before Taiga could try to hit her out of embarrassment, she had jumped off to the bar, soon getting joined by her brother. Part of their act was that they had to work in the same spaces at the same times so that they could function as a set. And right now, that was being the bartenders. Well, it wasn't as much of a "bar" as it was a counter. They didn't actually sell any alcohol at Kuro & Shiro, it was a restaurant, yes, but in the day between lunch and dinner they would serve cake, tea and coffee. It wasn't a place where people got drunk.
Victor was so lost in thought for a while that he didn't at all notice Derek looking at him at first. When he did notice, he looked up towards the kitchen and saw Derek burying his head in his hands. He was surprised, but also realized that he had been right. Derek, if anyone, had probably been the one looking at him. He felt his heart pound as he suddenly got nervous, thinking that he might look strange or something, consciously patting at his hair and straightening out his vest. What if Derek thought he looked stupid or something? Did he miss something in the mirror this morning?
Whatever it was, it was making him extremely nervous, and he redirected his gaze to see Adrian at the bar, suddenly remembering that he had to go there. He hurried over there, standing beside his sister as she poked him in the side, grin on her face. "Whaat, getting conscious when your loverboy's here?" She whispered, so only Victor could hear it. Victor's face got even redder, and he averted his gaze. He hated that she was always right. Just like that he could see through her, it also worked in reverse. She saw through him way too easily, and it made him feel like a huge idiot.
"I-I told you not to call him that!" He whispered back angrily, his face even redder at this point. He knew it was stupid to get worked up by something Adrian said when she so obviously just wanted to stir him up. When he looked at her, she was smiling all over, and he knew he was playing right into her hands. But there wasn't any malice in his sister, he knew that, so he couldn't help but feel a little calmer just knowing that. "You idiot brother. You've gotta hurry up or he'll get snatched away from you. Besides, I see him looking at your butt constantly. I'm sure he wants you." At this, Victor lunged out for her shoulder, but she dodged, still grinning at him. At this point, his face was even redder than before.
[fieldbox="Rory Mikan, maroon, dotted"]Rory was brought back to Earth by their Manger's cheerful voice. His gaze drifted from the plant to the small woman beside him, who was just oozing a child-like excitement that you got used to when you were around her. Or around the both of them, really. They both happened to be quite child-like. Because of her grin, the ginger couldn't help but grin himself, feeling more giddy than usual. Cecily always seemed to have that effect on him. Her emotions were contagious to him. Whatever she felt, he also felt. Sometimes he felt it tenfold. He blamed it on his sensitivity and how in tune he was with his emotions. Most of his actions were based on his emotions, after all. His grin soon faltered as the brunet praised him, eyes widening to the size of dinner plates. It's not like it was weird or unusual for Cecily to praise her employees. It was apart of her nature, making sure that everyone knows how good of a job they're doing. But, when it came to Rory, she always did something more with him. Accompanying her words of encouragement, she'd take his hands into her own, making Rory way too aware of how delicate and soft and warm they were. Face turning a bright pink, Rory tried his best to not showcase his nervousness. He didn't need Cecily questioning him or anything of the sort.
"N-No problem, Ce-Cecily. Honestly, it wa-wasn't that big of a d-deal," he stated, trying to play it cool, and failing miserably. "Be-Besides, I'd do any-anything for you," he added, feeling like his face was on the brink of melting. Could I make this any more embarrassing?! God, Rory, you're the absolute worst, he berated himself mentally as he silently prayed for Cecily to let go of his hands while, at the same time, wishing she never moved. Involuntarily, he gently squeezed her hands. His heart beat raced at the action, but, fortunately, Elizabeth said something that captured their Manager's attention. Unfortunately, their Manager decided to pout at the waitress's words, causing Rory to take a sharp intake of breath. I'm not going to make it.I'm going to die. Killed by Cecily's cuteness. What a way to go. With his hands finally free, he began to wring them together, still feeling the warmth and softness of Cecily's hands. Seeing that they were about to open, the busboy was on his way to his location, but was stopped when Cecily's phone began to ring.
"Eh? Cecily, are you going to get that?" He questioned, tilting his head in curiosity. A small squeak of sorts left his lips as his gaze was met. Suddenly, they were trapped in a staring contest of sorts as the ringing stopped on its own. It must not have been an important phone call, after all. He was brought back to reality when he felt a finger poking him in his cheek. The gesture confused him, yet sent butterflies fluttering wildly in his stomach. He caressed the spot with his hand, mouth opened to say something, but nothing came out. Luckily, Cecily's mind was already somewhere else, giving Rory the opportunity to escape before he embarrassed himself some more. At this rate, he was going to become a permanent tomato around Cecily.[/fieldbox]
[fieldbox="Taiga Tanaka, orange, solid"]"O-Okay, Adrian. I'll do my be-best," Taiga responded, face scrunching slightly as her cheek was nuzzled by Adrian's own cheek. It was something that she was quite used to, with Adrian being super affectionate and all. Besides, the ginger quite liked the hugs and cuddles. When they didn't involve groping, of course. And she tries to return them as best as she could. At Adrian's suggestion, the younger of the two bit her bottom lip. She didn't think that a movie and some shopping would take that long, but, in the end, you never know. "U-Uh, yeah, I'll stay over. But that means that I'll have to get some clothes from my own house first," she stated with a thoughtful look. Her thoughts were interrupted by Elizabeth's words. As Adrian released her with a pout, Taiga couldn't help but giggle softly at the facial expression. She was like a child being deprived of her favorite stuffed animal to snuggle. Her amusement was soon replaced with embarrassment because of Adrian's next words. Feeling her cheeks heat up, she had pulled her arm back in the form of a punch, but the tomboyish waitress had left before she could deliver it. Huffing in slight annoyance, the hostess focused back on her job. A smile replaced her slight frown as the first customers decided to roll in.
"Hi, and welcome to Kuro & Shiro!" She greeted in a cheerful tone, practically glowing. "How many shall be joining us today, hmm~?" Taiga questioned as she listened to the number, gathering that many menus before leading the small group to an empty table.[/fieldbox]
[fieldbox="Derek Castle, blue, dashed"]Fortunately, the chef's prayers happened to be answered. For once in his lifetime. He mentally thanked Elizabeth and Cecily as he straightened up, getting ready to do one of his favorite things in the world: cooking. In his mind, no one was better at cooking than him. Okay, so, this really didn't apply to Daniel, but it sure as hell applied to anyone and everyone else. He was practically bouncing on the inside when Cecily came over to discuss the new dish with them. He loved it when they got new things. New things meant a new challenge that the blunet would most definitely master. It's just who he was. They talked about it for a bit before Daniel and him were left to their own devices, trying out different things and talking about it. Once the customers started to order, Derek decided that he'd make the orders while Daniel worked on the new dish. They'd get more done that way, after all. With a small smile, Derek was quite excited for the day to pick up.[/fieldbox]
Elizabeth was glad that everyone had actually listened to her, though she didn’t expect them not to do their work, at work. Once everything was ready, it seemed that it was time to open. With that, Elizabeth began her usual job, coming to a table and asking if they would like to order. Then, she would write down in short hand what they wanted. She would take the slip of paper back with her to the kitchen and place the note so that whoever was cooking could see it easily. It seemed Daniel was busy with the Manager so Elizabeth figured Derek was going to do most of the cooking for now. She would then leave and take another’s orders, or come back and get food or anything else when it was ready.
It wasn’t much but Elizabeth didn’t mind the job, mostly because the people she was working with. She actually liked them all, she considered them friend and it was entertaining to watch Adrian’s and Victor’s prince act from a distance while she worked. Though, it wasn’t like they had a lot of employee’s so usually Elizabeth kept pretty busy throughout the whole day. Usually, she ended up having to work instead of taking a break to eat but she would occasionally grab something quick somehow by the help of Daniel. He was usually able to make something for her to eat on the go without the customers knowing. There were some times were she would ask, but recently he have been getting really good at just giving her something. It was like he was able to tell if she was getting hungry. She would always thank him and give him just a faint look that may seem like a smile from her.
Finally, the work day was over after a busy breakfast, lunch and dinner. Elizabeth stretched, then looked over at their manager when the little Cecily came out from her office. "Sure." Elizabeth said as she took a seat so she could finally get a break and it would be easier to try whatever Cecily wanted her to try.
Cecily had already gone to work with Daniel to notice how much she had affected him. She continued to work with Daniel for a little while until it seemed that the new food idea was able to be made. She did want everyone to try it later, but she knew that Derek was going to need some assistance to cook for customers, so she let Daniel go back to his usual work until later in the evening after they were finished with customers.
“I’ll be in my office.” Cecily told everyone, and then went off to be exactly where she said she was going to be. She closed the door behind her, but it would be quite easy to just walk in or knock on the door if they wanted, though she was fine with anyone simply walking in. She continued on with her manager work, checking prices, fees and profit of things as well as making sure they ordered the ingredients they needed to actually make their food; her usual manager work of course.
They day continued on, it sounded like everything was going well with no problems, rarely did they ever run into a problem. Cecily looked over at her clock in her office, noticing that it was beginning to get later. They would be closing up soon and that meant that Cecily could have everyone try out the new dishes Daniel was working on earlier that day. She got up from her seat and walked out of her office to see the last of the customers leaving.
“Alright everyone, I want you to try to new dish that Daniel was working on earlier today then we can all go home and come back tomorrow. If you all like the dish, then we can work on adding it onto our new menu.” Cecily stated with a smile on her face.
The day passed in a rather calm mood, and they managed to easily master the new dish, to Cecily's joy. When worktime was over (for most of them) they sat down to try it out. Everyone seemed to like it, and the vote was to make sure to add it to the menu. He had sent one last glance in Elizabeth's direction, but she was never one to give much recognition; it wasn't in a bad way, of course, she just didn't seem like a fan of talking too much. Daniel was completely understanding of this fact, not wanting to upset Elizabeth. She seemed like a genuine person, and that was enough reason for him to like her. That's at least what he thought. It was his, Derek's and Victor's job to clean and close up shop, the reason being that Derek and him knew the kitchen very well, and that Victor was a very effective person in this regard (plus his constant stalking of Derek made him aware of the kitchen layout and where things were usually put after cleaning). Sometimes they switched duties, but the three boys really had nothing against it. So as people left one by one, Rory and Cecily talking on their way out, Adrian practically dragging Taiga out of the front door, and Elizabeth quietly exiting through the back door, they slowly got to work. As he was arranging the plates in stacks for tomorrow, he suddenly heard a crash. Derek, who was standing a little closer to the tables area, cleaning the counter, immediately stormed out there.
Concerned, Daniel half-jogged to the front of the shop. Nothing had been broken; a table had fallen over but it seemed like Victor had been in the process of cleaning the surface, and the candle and little plant that was usually placed there had been put on another table. Victor, on the other hand, was worse for the wear. He was sprawled on the ground on his stomach, arms stretched out limply in front of him as if to protect his face from the fall. His eyes were almost closed and he was breathing heavily, face beet red. Before he could make any other decisions, though, Derek had already pulled Victor up by the shoulders, Victor's head resting in his chest. Well, they were neighbors after all, so maybe Derek knew something about the cause. Or perhaps he was just kind like that. Regardless, he put the table back in place, placing the tablecloth, plant and candle back on the table. He grabbed the cleaning items from where they had fallen and looked at Derek.
"So... what should we do? Wouldn't it be best to take him to the doctor?"Daniel was not used to something like this, that was for sure.
When the day had ended, they were provided with the most delicious meal from Derek and Daniel, a new dish that Cecily had wanted to try out. Adrian loved it, hoping that it would get added to the menu soon. When they were done, everyone but Derek, Daniel and her brother were off work. She hugged him goodbye before dragging Taiga along with her. She laughed as they got out onto the street, running off towards the shopping district. Or, well, they were already in the shopping district, but she wanted to go to some of her and Taiga's favorite stores. After all, if she could get to pick a dress for Taiga her day would probably be made. She had too many good ideas for it to be healthy. Honestly, Taiga could probably feel the incoming danger whenever Adrian got a "good idea". So basically... Taiga was probably screwed at this point.
She arrived at the clothes store with Taiga only about ten minutes later, walking inside with the happiest expression on her face. Even in the casual, she resembled a boy and would probably be mistaken for being one countless times. They looked suspiciously like a couple out shopping, but commenting on it would probably just make Adrian happy, so it seemed that Taiga did not want to do it. She grinned as she walked between the dresses racks, trying to find something. It had to be cute, and frilly, and just up Taiga's alley ~
"Taiga-chaaan! Look at this one! It'd look sooo cute on you!" She squeaked as she picked out a pastel teal colored dress, adorned with white ribbons and frills. It was the true description of the word cute. She had found it just in Taiga's size, too! She smiled as she ran over to her friend, holding the dress to Taiga's front as she smiled in satisfaction. "I knew it, this is just you~ Won't you try it on for me?" She made this sort of face that Taiga could never and would never resist. For some reason Adrian knew just how to push Taiga's buttons. She was way too cute to mess with, how could Adrian resist the temptation to make that cute face of Taiga's go even redder?
Victor had started feeling sort of dazed during the day. It wasn't anything serious, so he refrained from even commenting on it. But as the day passed, it got even worse. They were testing out some of Cecily's newe ideas for the menu and while it tasted really good, he felt like he was sort of floating. When his sister worriedly pulled at him, though, all he did was smile and reassure her that he was okay. He stayed back with Derek and Daniel to clean up shop, and he was in charge of all of the cleaning in the table area. He was almost done when he felt a sudden heaviness in his legs, like lead. He could feel his knees buckling as if under pressure, and suddenly grabbed the edge of the table. He completely lost balance, pushing the table accidentally as he crashed to the ground, making a lot of noise. He heard footsteps coming in his direction, and soon he was pulled into a warm embrace.
He managed to force his eyes open, seeing Derek holding him with a deeply worried expression. He smiled sadly, mumbling in his feverish state. "So, I'm hallucinating too..." After all, Derek had been so cold to him recently. Surely Derek wouldn't be worrying about him like this. Surely it was wishful thinking, and he was just being stupid. When he was just about to say something else, the edge of his vision started to go black, and he suddenly collapsed completely, losing all consciousness.
He didn't know when, why or how, but when he came to, he was at home; still clad in his uniform, aside from his vest that had been taken off of him, probably to ease some of the heat. He had a wet towel on his forehead, and as he managed to force himself into a sitting position, Derek came in, expression sort of frustrated, really worried and also a little bit embarrassed. Victor looked at him; then he looked away. Derek had somehow managed to get the two of them home, and that was good and all, but Derek was in his apartment! It filled him with nervousness, but Derek didn't say much as he came over, changing the towel as he pushed Victor back down to where he was lying before.
"What... what happened?" He wasn't sure what to say to Derek in this situation. Derek had been very cold towards him since a few weeks back, and he had thought that the guy hated him. But just now, Derek had helped him out. Maybe even saved him. He had collapsed with fatigue and Derek had been kind enough to carry him all the way home. Somehow, it made him a little happy, but he wasn't sure if he was to express this feeling. He wasn't sure what feeling he should be expressing right now aside from awkwardness.
[fieldbox="Rory Mikan, maroon, dotted"]The day had passed by peacefully and in a fairly quickly manner. Rory was cleaning off the last table as the last customers made their exit, hearing Taiga bid them farewell and suggest that they come back soon. As he set the dirty dishes with all of the rest, Cecily had returned from her office, reminding them all about what she was speaking about earlier regarding the new dish she had in mind. Apparently, Daniel and Derek had been working on it throughout the day and now the time to taste it has finally come. The moment of truth. The ginger didn't have any doubts of the new dish's placement in their menu. Both Daniel and Derek were very talented chefs and whatever they made was absolutely delicious. Like, foodgasming delicious. It was the top reason why they were so popular. Plus, their amazing service and just how nice the restaurant was overall. Making his way towards the kitchen, where the tasting would occur, he waited for a few moments before tasting the dish himself. As soon as it hit his taste buds, he was in food Heaven. "God, this definitely deserves to be on the menu. Everyone should be able to experience this little piece of Heaven," he stated after he finished his small portion. Focusing on the makers of such a wonderful dish, he beamed at them. "Amazing job, gentlemen. As always," he praised them.
Once everyone had their fill and spoke their opinion on the dish, people were packing up to go with the respective person that they usually left with. Everyone except Daniel, Victor, and Derek since they always stayed behind to clean up the restaurant. As he gathered all of his belongings, Rory went to the front door, where he had opened it, waiting for their Manager. He and Cecily always made their way home together. It was a bonding of sorts that Rory enjoyed more than he liked to admit. It was also because of a subconscious protective instinct that he had over the brunet. One that he could never explain, but knew was there. He wouldn't know what to do if something happened to Cecily on her way home, so he made it his duty to walk home with her as much as he could. Fortunately, she never questioned him before and doesn't seem like she'd do it now. As he waited, he bid a farewell to Taiga, who was being dragged out the restaurant, and Adrian, laughing at their usual antics. He didn't have to wait for that much longer since Cecily was coming right after them. He let her leave first before waving and saying goodbye to the three employees staying back, following after their Manager.[/fieldbox]
[fieldbox="Taiga Tanaka, orange, solid"]"Thank you for coming and make sure to come again some time! Get home safely!"
Taiga let a breath out as the last customers finally left. It had been a busy day, as per usual. She yawned softly as she stretched her arms high above her head. Her attention was then directed towards their Manager, hearing her words, which made her eyes light up. Another new dish, huh? I wonder what this one is going to be like. Ooooh, what are we going to name it? Such thoughts ran through the hostess's head as she went to go taste the dish like everyone else. She hummed from the pleasure and joy that it brought her, smiling softly. From her reaction, it was obvious what her thoughts were: the dish should be in the menu! After gathering her belongings and telling everyone goodbye (giving Derek a squeeze), she was being dragged out of the restaurant; her mind tried to desperately catch up with what was happening around her, registering the laughter of one Rory Mikan as they passed him. Well, it would seem that she was being dragged by none other than Adrian. "A-Adrian...Please, slow down! There's no need to rush," she tried to say as she panted softly, running after the blonde. Honestly, they had a lot of time on their hands after all. Plus, it's not like Taiga had anywhere to be.
Finally, they had reached their destination. As soon as they entered the store, Taiga stopped at the entrance to catch her breath, hands resting upon her knees as she inhaled and exhaled deeply. Despite the short time, and distance, of them running, it felt longer. Maybe it was because of the speed they were running at. Whatever the reason, it had the ginger breathless as she straightened up, finally returning her breathing to its normal pattern. By the time that she did, Adrian had disappeared in one of the many racks, no doubt to find out a dress like she had stated earlier that day. This left Taiga to her own devices as she went to a random shelf that had different colored shirts for a cheap price. These are quite nice...
Her browsing was interrupted as she heard her name being called. Well, more like squeaked. Hearing such a tone, her heart dropped just a bit. Oh God, what did Adrian find? I'm slightly terrified...Swallowing subtly, she could only watch as Adrian bounded over to her like an excited overgrown puppy. Cute. Her thoughts were erased as she saw Adrian thrust the dress forward, holding it out in front of her. Taking this moment to look at it, Taiga was silent as she analyzed it. It definitely was a cute dress...And the color wasn't that bad either. Returning her gaze to rest upon Adrian, she immediately regretted it. Damn it! It's that face! The one she only uses when she really wants something! Lips silently forming a pout, the ginger stared at Adrian for a few moments before being defeated, averting her gaze as her cheeks turned scarlet. "O-Of course, I'll tr-try it on. I had said I'd do my best to do so earlier, didn't I?" With that, she took the dress out of Adrian's hands and went to go try it on. It took a few minutes to find the changing room and even some more actually get into the dress, but, when she did, she exited out of her room, hands wringing together in slight nervousness.
"H-How does it l-look?"[/fieldbox]
[fieldbox="Derek Castle, blue, dashed"]Before Derek had realized, the end of the day had rolled around and everyone was making their departure after tasting the new dish. After returning Taiga's hug and telling her to have fun with Adrian, remembering their earlier conversation, the blunet had set to cleaning the restaurant. Or, well, the kitchen since Victor focused on majority of the restaurant. He had been humming softly and wiping down the counter when it happened. Everything had seemed to occur in a blur, yet, at the same time, in slow motion. It was a strange feeling as he raced to where the loud crash! came from, heart beating wildly inside of his chest, pounding against it. Like it was trying to break out. As soon as he made it to where the commotion occurred, his attention was focused on the fallen Victor and nothing else, dismissing the overturned table. He faintly registered footsteps behind him as he dropped to his knees. Without truly thinking, he reached out for the blonde, pulling him closer until he was practically cradling him against his body. He eyes scanned the state that Victor was in, pressing the back of his hand to his forehead and frowning slightly at the unusual warmth that greeted him. He let his hand slip from its position, resting somewhere against Victor's body.
"So... what should we do? Wouldn't it be best to take him to the doctor?"
Derek snorted at the suggestion. It wasn't that serious, after all. The chef could nurse him back to health all by himself. That's how mild Victor's situation was. But he could understand Daniel's concern. The waiter did just collapse without warning. "No, he's alright, Daniel. I'll just take him back to his apartment and watch over him until he wakes up," he stated as he continued to stare. I really need to stop. This is the worst time to be staring. He was getting ready to gather his things and Victor's so they could head out, but was stopped by seeing Victor open up his eyes. At his sad smile, Derek furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. His words didn't help to alleviate said emotion either. Before he could question him, he had lost consciousness once more, leaving Derek left to mull over what just happened. Hallucinating? Too? Did he know that he wasn't feeling well? Idiot, why didn't he say anything?! And why would he hallucinate me of all things? Tch, whatever. I've got to get him home. Huffing in annoyance, he had to set Victor back down in order to get their things. Scooping him back up so that he was being carried bridal style, Derek called out a farewell to Daniel, reassuring him that Victor was in safe hands, before heading out.
It didn't take that long to reach Victor's apartment. With them being neighbors, it was less than a piece of cake. He had to rummage around for Victor's key, cursing softly throughout it all. Finally finding it, he opened up the door and closed it shut behind him. He stood at the entrance as he let his eyes adjust to the darkness. Once they did, he located the couch and laid Victor upon it. Placing their things down near the couch as well, Derek located the light switches and flicked a few on, wincing at the sudden brightness. There was a moment of stillness as the chef figured out what to do first. Remembering how hot the blonde had been earlier, he set on taking off his vest. It was the least he could do without things becoming...weird. Cheeks dusting a light pink, he set off to get a towel and soak it in cold water. Yet another non-weird act of kindness to get Victor to cool down. It was only a few minutes before he returned and placed it on Victor's forehead, pushing his hair out of the way.Now...to find something to preoccupy myself with. Maybe I can make some soup for him? That depends on what he has in his kitchen...Well, let's just go see. With that in mind, Derek set off towards the kitchen.
It did take a while, but Derek had finally set on some ingredients to make a delicious soup that would, hopefully, help with Victor's sickness. It was bit frustrating, but he had pulled through in the end. As he was letting the soup marinate, he had decided that it was time to change the towel on Victor's forehead, wanting to keep him cool. While he was doing such a thing, he should probably figure out what his temperature actually was. He had the other towel and was returning back to the living room when he noticed that Victor was wide awake and sitting up, causing the chef to frown slightly. He shouldn't be sitting up. Silently, he changed the old towel with the new one and gently pushed Victor back down on his back, sitting near him.
"What... what happened?"
"Huh? Well, you passed out when Daniel, you, and me, were cleaning up the restaurant. All we heard was a crash; next thing we knew, we found you sprawled out on the floor," Derek stated in a monotonous voice. His gaze focused on the vacant air before him. "Daniel thought we should call a doctor, but I told him it was fine and that your condition wasn't that bad. In fact," he let his gaze travel to rest upon Victor, "if a certain idiot had said something earlier, I'm certain this could've been avoided," he finished with a huff. It was obvious that he was a bit irritated by said fact. Not because he was stuck with taking care of Victor now, but because he had been worried sick when he heard the crash! and could have been spared of said fear if something was mentioned earlier. Shaking his head, he returned his gaze to the vacant air in front of him. "Anyway, I said I would watch over you until you woke up, but I ended up starting to cook some soup, so I'll stay until it's done. Then I'll be out of your hair," he stated as he got back up on his feet to check on the soup.[/fieldbox]
Elizabeth took a bite of the new food that the manager wanted to place on the menu. “It’s good.” She commented, surprisingly that was a lot of praise from someone who was as cynical and emotionless as Elizabeth was. She wasn’t one to show much else, but if you got to know her you could tell when she enjoyed something because she had this faint look on her face that showed that she did. When the tasting was finished and it was decided that it was going to go onto the menu, the day was over. It meant to get changed and head out. The Britain left to the back room where she got herself changed out of her uniform and back into her street cloths. When she was finished, she began to leave out the front door, saying good bye to everyone along with a wave.
She headed out and down the street. She had an apartment that wasn’t far away from the restaurant so it wouldn’t take long for her to get there. Though, upon reaching into her bag she realized something, she was missing her cell phone. She looked inside; trying to see if it had slipped down farther somewhere but it was not there. She must have forgotten it at the restaurant. She still wasn’t far away, so she figured it would be fine to go back and get it. She entered through the front as to not scare the men that stayed behind to clean though when she entered she discovered that Derek and Victor were missing, and Daniel was by himself.
“I forgot my cell phone in the back.” She commented to him, and then headed back there to grab her phone on the table and place it into her bag. She came back out again, looking around. “So, they left you huh.” She muttered, and then suddenly sat her bag down on the table. Elizabeth figured there was a good reason he was left alone but she wasn't going to just leave him there by himself. She went to the closest and pulled out a broom. She took the broom and began to sweep the floor. “I’ll help.” It appeared she wasn’t taking no for an answer concerning the girl was already working on sweeping the floor.
Cecily grinned happily when everyone seemed to enjoy the food that they were trying. “It’s decided then, I shall be making a new menu that will add this onto it and a few other things. It’s going to be great.” The childish woman said with enthusiasm. After that everyone was getting ready to leave and it was the men’s turn to stay after to clean. “Do forget to lock up, we don’t want any thieves trying to take away my new plant.”
The girl grabbed her things and rushed out the door while it was being opened by Rory, just like she always did. “Let’s go Rory.” She said as he began to follow after her. She waited a bit so that they could walk side by side. It was what they always did, and Cecily liked it. It was much better than walking by herself and it was fun to hang out with Rory. It was quiet between the for only a few seconds until her phone decided to go off again, the same ring as in the morning. Cecily let out a sigh. She had to pick it up this time, it had been going off multiple times during the day. She took her phone out and answered.
“Hello mother…I was working, I can’t pick up the phone for a personal call while I’m working…yes I know.” She spoke to her mother, then suddenly pouted. “Mom, I know. Why would I need anyone to go with anyway? It’s my sister’s wedding, not mine…No mother I don’t want you to set me up with anyone. I-It’s not because I’m small!! I just don’t want to be set up!! I’ll find a date for myself! Mother…we’ll talk about this later I’m walking with someone right now. I’m being rude to him.” Suddenly Cecily blushed, “M-Mom! H-he works at the restaurant. I said we’ll talk about this later. Bye.” Cecily hung up and looked over at Rory.
“I’m sorry. That was obviously my mother. My sister’s weddings coming up and she’s been pestering me about finding a date to go with…well, she always pesters me about a relationship in general. So…sorry.” She commented to Rory, a light blush evident on her cheeks.
Daniel had watched as the two of them left, knowing that there was no point in arguing with a guy like Derek. Besides, he trusted Derek, as Derek seemed to treasure Victor in a way that he couldn't quite place. He went back to the tables, putting the fallen one back into place as he started to clean it with the rug that Victor had left behind. As he was doing this, he heard the door opening, turning his head towards the sound. He knew it couldn't be either Victor or Derek, so he turned his head towards the sound, and the sight surprised him. He blinked a few times, making sure that he wasn't seeing things (honestly, he wouldn't be surprised with how much Elizabeth filled his mind) but it really was her and she was right here right now with just the two of them. He resumed cleaning almost immediately, listening to her comment on her sudden return.
"Yeah, I did see your phone, it's on the kitchen counter. I thought I'd just go deliver it to you later or something, but it's good that you remembered. I mean, I couldn't call you to say it." Honestly, Daniel was doing his best to keep calm. He could on'y really talk to Elizabeth if he wasn't looking her in the eye, but it seemed that she had a better idea, and he heard the sound of her bag being placed on the ground, and, giving into his curiosity, he had to look up, and saw that she was picking up a broom. He realized that she hadn't gotten the explanation as to why he was alone yet, and he decided it would be wise to inform her about Victor's condition, after all, he probably wouldn't come to work just tomorrow.
"Well, we were cleaning the kitchen, me and Derek... then we heard this mighty crash from the table area, and Derek went storming out into the store. Turns out that Victor collapsed and took a table with him in the fall. Turns out the table was unharmed, and so was Victor, but he has a high fever, so Derek decided to take him home, as he couldn't even walk on his own, poor thing. Regardless, that left me alone. I can't blame Derek, he's such a worrywart, and it seems that Victor has yet to realize that Derek cares much more for him than he lets on." Somehow, Daniel's words made him sound much like a mother looking at her child and this child's crush, knowing that they loved each other but didn't admit anything to each other. He liked everyone in the store, he thought of them as his own siblings, his family. He somehow felt like he was the caretaker sometimes, but in one instance he felt a bit different.
She didn't make him feel the same way as with the rest. She was different than a friend, different than a sibling, and Daniel had come to terms with the fact that he had a huge crush on her, not that the idea pleased him a lot. He was scared that she could not accept his feelings, and he didn't want to compromise their relationship by bothering her with such feelings. All in all, he was being truly awkward right now, sporting a huge blush as he thought about everything. He really needed to fix his reactions if this was how he was going to react every time he thought about Elizabeth. After all, he needed to show confidence.
Adrian was not quick to admit it, but she should be the one blushing right now. She was waiting in anticipation as she heard rustling from Taiga's changing room. She had yet to come to terms with anything close to a crush, simply denying herself even thinking about such feelings. Taiga was cute, innocent, gentle. Not the type of person that Adrian should be allowed to corrupt with her feelings. She knew that it was fucked up, wrong. She had dated people like Taiga before; peopled whose biological body didn't match their gender. That wasn't her troubles. She had just never thought of herself as person worthy of someone kind and lovely like Taiga. She snapped out of her misery when Taiga stood before her once again.
Okay, a little bit of a blush might've slipped through, but it was hidden beneath her glomping Taiga, throwing her arms around the ginger happily. She ruffled Taiga's hair, grinning cutely.
"Taiga-chaaaaan! I can't believe how cute you are, oh my god, you adorable little precious fluffy cinnamon pie, I just wanna eat you right up ~!" This was how they always interacted. Most around them would mistake them for a couple, probably, but Adrian knew reality was a different one, and she just had to accept it with a happy smile. If she ever hurt Taiga, she wouldn't know what to do with herself, and this was something that would most definitely hurt her. Adrian hid her face in Taiga's shoulder to avoid the girl seeing her anxiousness on her face. She didn't say much, but didn't give in to her emotions either. When she had managed to wipe the negativity off her face, she looked at Taiga once again, smiling like she always was, though the smile didn't quite reach her eyes as it used to. She hoped Taiga wouldn't comment on it.
"Then that's settled! We're getting this for you, sweetie ~ Is there anything else you want? After we're done here we'll go see if there's any good movies today ~ If there's not we'll just go straight to my place, alright?" Yeah, this is what she had to do. Taiga was to be treasured and treated preciously. No more of her strange, unfair feelings. It was fine like this. She was happy like this. Taiga was happy like this. This was the only thing she was supposed to desire. She took Taiga's hands in her own, swinging them from side to side.
Victor's blush deepened significantly when he realized that this meant he hadn't been hallucinating. He had really been in Derek's arms. When the realization downed on him, his face just reddened so badly and he couldn't think about anything else. Derek would probably blame it on the fever, but Victor knew better than that. He knew of his feelings already, couldn't they just go away?! He was surprised that Derek was even taking care of him, he could've sworn that Derek was trying his utmost to avoid him, but here he was, caring for him, thinking about his feelings. Even if he was completely off the mark about it, he was being way too nice right now, and something inside Victor just... snapped. He couldn't hold this back much longer without saying something he'd regret.
He looked at the vest that was swung over the chair by his desk, and then he finally managed to look at Derek, knowing that the blunet would be mad at him if he sat up again. So he was just lying there, his eyes unable to escape anywhere, and he was trapped looking into Derek's eyes. He listened as Derek said that he had made soup for Victor; he really had gone out of his way, huh? He knew that Derek wouldn't have had to go so far. But somehow... he couldn't leave it at just that, and he regretted his decision instantly. The soup was about done, and it would've been close to the time when Derek was going to leave, and right now he was probably not thinking straight. As he looked at the bowl in his lap, and Derek getting up to leave, his heart pounded in fear. Fear that this would just end like this again. So he set the bowl aside.
Before he realized what the heck he was doing, his hand was tightly gripping onto Derek's sleeve, eyes half-lidded and filled with emotion. He knew that Derek must think him crazy right now, that he was suddenly half out of bed only to grab onto Derek's sleeve. "P-please... don't go. Don't leave. S-stay here. P-please, don't leave me alone... Derek..." Somehow the words felt like they were only directed at him, like he wouldn't want anyone but Derek to stay, but he hoped that the blunet would not notice that this was how he felt. He felt like an absolute idiot when he thought about what he had just done. Derek would think him crazy, he was sure of it. He was getting tears in his eyes now as his eyes stubbornly held onto Derek's sleeve. Yeah, he was doomed. Derek would definitely notice how he felt now.
[fieldbox="Rory Mikan, maroon, dotted"]Rory hummed internally as he walked side by side with Cecily. It was silent as they continued forward, just enjoying each other's presence. That only lasted for a few seconds before a familiar ring filled the air around them, breaking their silence spell. Blinking owlishly, the ginger directed his attention to his left, watching the brunette answer the phone call this time. He was silent and observant as he listened to the conversation that transpired between Cecily and her mother. Well, he was only able to hear Cecily's responses, but that was enough to figure out what the conversation was about. Before he knew it, the conversation was over, surprising him. It was quite short, after all. Hearing Cecily's voice, he had to stop himself from averting his eyes when they locked with hers. He couldn't get nervous over every little thing with her! Sooner or later, she'd start to notice it. At her apology, he waved it off, locking his hands behind his head. Although, her words did intrigue him quite a bit—okay, a lot. She needs a date? I...I could be her date. B-But that would be weird, right?! Unless we just go as friends, or co-workers... Shaking his head, Rory realized that he had been silent for quite a while
"It's alright! I don't mind you talking to your mother when you need to," he stated with a smile, reassuring her. It was true, though. He didn't think that she was being rude or anything of the sort. Remembering his earlier thoughts, he scratched the back of his head in nervousness, gnawing on his bottom lip. "U-Uh, Cecily...," he began, averting his gaze to the ground that they were treading upon, cheeks dusting a light pink. "I could—I mean, if you wa-want, I wouldn't mind...being yo-your da-date," he finished, face firetruck red by the end of it. He couldn't believe that he actually just suggested such a thing. Please deny me. But, at the same time, please don't deny me. All that he could do now was wait anxiously for how the short woman would respond to his words. Would it be negatively? Positively? The anticipation was killing him! "A-As a...fri-friend, of course. Or co-worker."[/fieldbox]
[fieldbox="Taiga Tanaka, orange, solid"]With her face scrunched up as her hair was ruffled, Taiga let one of her eyes peel open, directing it towards Adrian, who was gushing about how cute she was, like usual. No matter how many times she hears the words, she'll never get used to it. With every kind word, her face became a shade darker. She never understood how Adrian was able to say such embarrassing things so easily. Like she was talking about the weather and the ginger',s heart wasn't lodged into her throat, making it hard to speak up. "A-Adrian, p-please...stop being so em-embarrassing," she pleaded in a soft voice, wanting the ground to swallow her up and save her from her beet red face and erratic heartbeat. She spluttered as she felt the blonde bury her face into her shoulder, eyes widening as she flailed her arms from the surprise. It ended as soon as it happened, though, but it still had a lasting effect on the shorter of the two. She could only watch as Adrian pulled back and smiled at her, furrowing her eyebrows because something seemed off.
As Adrian swung their hands side to side, Taiga thought about getting those nice shirts that she saw earlier. After a moment, she decided against it. "What about you, Adrian? Don't you want something? I feel weird being the only one buying something...," she stated, trailing off towards the end. She wrung her hands together as a nervous gesture, but unsure why she was nervous. "I should go change. Maybe you can find something that you like as I do so? Then we can head out to look at the movies," she suggested as she began to slowly backtrack inside of her changing room, waiting for a response from the other girl before she disappeared completely.[/fieldbox]
[fieldbox="Derek Castle, blue, dotted"]The soup stewed for a bit longer before Derek deemed it done, after tasting it. He turned off the stove, but didn't move the pot from its spot. Silently walking around, he opened and closed cabinets until he came across where the bowls were kept. Gently grabbing one, he closed the cabinet shut softly before searching for ladle. Upon finding it, he began to pour the soup into the bowl that he had chosen, sighing in bliss as the smell overwhelmed him. It smelt so good, but that was to be expected from an amazing chef as himself. Adding one last scoop, the blunet set the ladle aside before grabbing a spoon and putting it into the bowl, heading out of the kitchen. He was pleased to see that Victor was still lying down, but urged him to sit up in order to eat his soup, which he placed into his lap. After giving him a onceover, he decided that he had done all that he could and was getting ready to leave. The thought of getting a good night's rest filled his mind as he stretched. Those thoughts were dashed when he felt a hand grip his sleeve tightly.
Blinking owlishly, he slowly turned to face no one other than Victor. Honestly, who else could it be? Seeing the emotion in his eyes, Derek furrowed his eyebrows as he tried to figure out what was going on. It was silent as he waited for something else to occur, and he didn't have to wait long. Hearing the blonde's pleas, his cheeks suddenly began to heat up. Averting his gaze, and hiding his pink cheeks, he couldn't help but find himself sitting back down next to his co-worker, obeying his demands. He',s too cute to resist, honestly. "U-Uh, fine. I'll...stay here with you. Just don't cry, okay? Nothing to cry over, idiot," he said, scratching the back of his head as he continued to try to hide his blush. "So, go back to eating your soup. I didn',t slave over it for nothing! I might as well get some myself, too...," he mumbled the last part to himself, completely forgetting that his sleeve was still in Victor's iron, desperate grip.[/fieldbox]
The black-haired Englishwoman continued to sweep the floor with the broom carefully, then trying to get all the dust and trash that had fallen on the floor at the end of the day away into the dust pan to be thrown out shortly after. She listened to what Daniel had to say about the two other males that were supposed to stay and help lock up for the night. “I see,” Elizabeth commented, “I’m sure he’ll be alright. If Derek is taking care of him then Victor will feel better in no time.” She knew that Derek would take good care of Victor because those two seemed to have a connect like that. Elizabeth understood the situation and she figured the guys had a reason such as that to leave Daniel by himself. They wouldn’t just ditch. But, still, Elizabeth didn’t want to go leaving him all by himself. He deserved to have someone help him out because there was a lot to do when locking up the restaurant. “I’ll stay here and help you finish. We can leave together afterwards; I don’t live very far away anyway.”
Elizabeth finished off the sweeping after a few more minutes and went on to any other cleaning that needed to be done before they locked up. She was quiet most of the time because she wasn’t very talkative to begin with but there were a few times she mentioned something to Daniel that just commented on some of the things that she was cleaning or the day in general.
“That new dish that you made earlier was good. I know I didn’t say much like Rory did, but you cook really well.” Surprisingly the girl who was usually critical to everything and anyone was actually praising someone more than usual. But it seemed that perhaps it was only because it was only those two and not anyone else was there to here.
When everything was cleaned and put away as it should, ready for the next day, Elizabeth grabbed her bag again to make sure she didn’t forget anything again. “We should get going now, don’t forget to lock everything up.” Hopefully it was obvious that she was saying for those two to leave together and not separately and that she was waiting for Daniel to walk with her.
Cecily smiled embarrassing but it seemed that Rory didn’t mind that she had to talk to her mother. But, the conversation was still a bit embarrassing anyway, so she was slightly still embarrassing considering that context. But, shock came over Cecily for a second when she heard what Rory said. Did he just say that he would be her date and go with her to the wedding? Cecily suddenly smiled, larger that she had ever done in front of him before. It was like her eyes were practically sparkling as she looked at him. She took hold of his hands again like she had done before when he had helped her with the plant.
“Rory!” She said, “You…you’re the greatest.” It was obvious the girl was quite happy to hear his offer even if he stuttered the whole time like he wasn’t completely sure if he wanted to or not. “You would really do that for me? You’ll go to a wedding of someone you don’t know just to help me out. Rory, I would love for you to come with me. It would make everything ten times easier and I’d much rather have it be you than some random guy that my mother tries to find!”
Suddenly the small adult pulled Rory into a hug and wrapping her arms around him tightly. She giggled happily, “You’re the best,” She mumbled again. She wasn’t sure what she was going to end up doing for a date but if Rory offered then she would accept. It was much better that way. She continued to hug him, surprisingly a bit long but the woman wasn’t realizing it because she was way too happy to even notice if it was weird or not. “I don’t care whether we go as friends or co-workers, as long as you come this wedding might actually be a lot better than I thought. It may be my sister’s wedding but I wasn’t looking forward to it, yet if you’re there it’ll be a lot more fun for me.”
Leaving... together...? Oh no, my heart's pounding. "S... sure. We can do that, I think we live in the same direction anyways." Daniel managed to save the sentence, hiding his slight blush by turning around to clean the stove. He was unsure how to react to this, even if he knew that Elizabeth was just trying to be nice to him. It was nothing more than that, and he shouldn't get so worked up. Yet, his heart pounded as if it would never ever stop again, and he couldn't manage any good conversation topics. In the end, they ended up finishing cleaning the restaurant before he could even find something good to talk about. It wasn't unexpected, with how nervous he was about this whole thing. He could easily look at all of the couples in the restaurant, brewing in their early states; he could easily deal with those way too obvious, love-struck youngsters. Andn ow he was here, in the same kind of situation, and he had no idea how to react. He decided that now it was probably his turn for something like this. He didn't quite mind it, even if it did make his heart pound way too fast for its own good. He forced a smile, though a slightly awkward one, taking off his uniform and apron, which he had just worn over regular clothes.
He took his coat and bag from the rack, walking over to Elizabeth. He wore black under his clothes, giving him a more mature look without his uniform on. Not to mention that the very dark shirt matched with his dark blue hair. Elizabeth looked so different when they weren't working. Everything was different right now. Daniel needed to calm down already.
He slid on his jacket, a dark grey one with black buttons, and pulled the strap of his bag over his shoulder. He waited for Elizabeth to get ready and check to make sure she didn't forget something again, and then they locked up the shop and left together. Daniel jammed his hands in his pockets, deciding that he had to strike up some conversation after all.
"You didn't have to do that, really; I was fine on my own. It's not their fault that that happened." Daniel said, feeling quite awkward. "You know, we never really see each other outside of work... I guess it feels pretty different when the others aren't being all noisy in the background." Daniel chuckled a little, as if remembering how it usually was in the shop.
"Oh but it's the truth, Taiga-chan! You can't just go around with that cuteness and not let me fawn all over you, it's unfair to the rest of the world!" Adrian commented dramatically as she kissed Taiga's forehead gently, grinning at her blushing face. This was how they were supposed to be. Ever smiling, ever laughing. She didn't want anything else for her precious little Taiga. She reached down, taking Taiga's hand in her own, kissing her knuckles with another grin, bending down in a butler-like fashion. Honestly, her acting was so good sometimes it was almost "Now, little princess, cuteness is nothing to be embarrassed of. You should flaunt it, sweetie." Adrian pulled Taiga towards her into a bone-crushing hug, though not so bone-crushing at all when she was actually trying to be careful. She wouldn't hold back on the squeezing though. "Alrighty cutiepie, you'll need to get changed already. We gotta go see more stuff, and then we will have the greatestest sleepover ever!" Adrian wanted to be in high spirits like this forever.
Such a precious and innocent person... someone like that... does not deserve what it means to be my lover. She does not deserve the hurt. Adrian seemed to space out for a moment, eyes directed at the glass window where she could see her own reflection. She frowned at Taiga's comment, an expression rarely seen on her face in full seriousness. But she looked like she was truly frowning now. Somehow, at the prospect of trying on clothes, what she saw in that reflection was herself, stripped down to her underwear. Of course, she was still fully clothed, and the vision was part of a hallucination of hers. She put a hand to her chest. Looking at it in her reflection. Then removing her hand. Had they grown...? Why am I worrying about that?
She was snapped back when Taiga asked her if she had something she wanted too. She realized she had been looking out into nothing this whole time, and wiped the frown off her face. "I don't really have anything I want right now, Taiga-chan~ We should just get that dress for you, today." Her smile felt cracked. She didn't like that at all. Her eyes weren't smiling along with the rest of her face. She had to look away for a little as she cleared her throat, pretending that she would give Taiga some privacy as a means of getting away.
"M-mhm... I-I... I-I'm sorry." Victor had just realized in dread what he had just done, and while he had been anticipating this whole time, paralyzed with fear that this was where he got his rejection, Derek had just agreed and -- wait is that a blush on his face - Victor couldn't help but stare. Surely, he could see a slight pink dusting Derek's cheeks, and he realized he was still grasping onto his sleeve in a death grip. "S-sorry!" He exclaimed, blushing even deeper as he removed his hand. It felt sort of warm. It was the first time he had touched Derek, at least in that fashion. He had felt his fingers brush against Derek's arm, his hand, and suddenly, it felt like his hand was on fire. He put his hand on his chest. No. Calm down, heart. It's just... you shouldn't give in. Don't give in to these feelings. Derek had left the room to get soup, like he said he would, and now Victor was left with his own thoughts, something that was not very good for him at all. Derek was going to stay at his house. Tonight. He was practically speaking a little dead inside when he realized it.
He had done something crazy, hadn't he? Before Derek got back, he decided to completely shut out everything, forget that it had ever happened, and instead focus on the soup. His face was completely red, though he had calmed down just a little after Derek had left. He managed to stay in this slightly calmer state, not freaking out when Derek entered his room again and they started eating, this time staying in silence. Derek was right here beside him, so close to him, and he was starting to overthink things. He had been convinced that Derek was avoiding him, but right now... it couldn't be true if that was the case. Derek was right there, not avoiding him. He couldn't help but look up at Derek's face, obviously having to stupidly comment on it. "W-why... why did you agree to stay...? I-I thought... that you were... a-avoiding me..." He mumbled, face going red.