2014-06-06 - Half-Price Sundae Day

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Title: Half-Priced Sundae Day

A nice get-together between friends at the Linden Baum, to chat about video games and cooking and have some nice discount ice cream. A shame about how busy the restaurant was. And how hungry the dinosaur was.



FEATURING: Eri Shimanouchi, Mai Tokiha, Lucy Iwai, Runealy Waldia, Makoto Kino

GUEST STARRING: Mamoru Chiba, Usagi Tsukino


Linden Baum

OOC - IC Date:

24 January 2014 - 6/6/14

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Welcome to the Linden Baum!

Just ahead of the after-school rush, Eri arranged for the following. One, that a mass text was sent out around lunch time asking who would like to meet her just after school at the Linden Baum. Two, that a large circular corner booth be reserved for her and her friends. Three, that this table be in Mai's section, thus, with the plan of offering the much beleaguered waitress a slight reprieve by taking up a goodly amount of her section with understanding, reasonable individuals, and offering decent tips!

Nothing could go wrong with this plan. Nothing at all. It was completely fool proof 

Right now, while waiting on the others Eri is seated in the booth and wearing her teal school uniform, her bookbag situated beside her with an overcoat on top of it. She has a notebook on the table and her history textbook beside it. She looks bored, though she has the hopeful look in her eyes that someone will soon come and save her from memorizing facts about the Edo period. Honestly who needed to know how Emperor Komei died? Noone, that's who!

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The Linden Baum has quiet days and busy days. More accurately, the waitresses will either be bored to tears or slammed with requests. Today, sadly, seems to be one of the latter, and Mai is dashing from table to table with trays of drinks and desserts.

Today's special: Ice cream sundaes.

Half price.

It took some doing on Mai's part to get that table reserved, but she'd managed to pull it off in exchange for a small favor - helping cover Akane's section for ten minutes so she could have a private chat with Kazu. That started seven minutes ago.

Mai stops by Eri's corner booth with three trays stacked together, a dozen empty sundae bowls clustered on top. She's still acting as peppy as she can, though those who know her well might see the strain smouldering in that smile. "Sorry we're so busy - did you want to order any drinks while waiting for the rest of your group?"

There's a shout from a nearby table for coffee, and Mai calls over her shoulder. "I'll be with you in a minute, sir!"

<Pose Tracker> Runealy Waldia [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

Rune responded to that text in a way that would simultaneously be typical and unusual for Eri. The tone of it was normal enough; most things Eri suggests are met with enthusiastic approval from the princess. The content is what makes this odd, since it's /literate./ Runealy is now sending coherent text messages on her own instead of transmitting a poorly-written mess or hiring someone to write it from her dictation. It read: 'Sure! I'm on my way right now!'

And so she arrived, still in modified Ohtori garb. A little looking around found the booth, and Rune hurried over with a quick walk before sitting down. "Hey." A light greeting to Eri. "What's the occasion?" Rune's tone is playful, clearly using it as a joking question rather than any real expectation of something special going on.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Oh don't worry about it Mai-chan~" Is Eri's sing-songy reply as she uses Mai's presence as an excuse to cast aside all thoughts of actually studying history. "I think I'll go for the Double deluxe Rocky Road Cheesecake Sundae with Fud.."

Looking up however, she double takes when she sees her carrying the precariously stacked trays with clustered sundae bowls, "M-Mai-chan, do you need some help with that? I wouldn't mind!" She even starts scooting to the side of the booth with thoughts of helping her carrying them.

While scooting, she looks up to Rune as she enters, waving, "Half-Price Ice Cream Sundays of course Rune-chan! Does there need to be another reason!?" She actually sounds a little serious, like she didn't pick up the playfulness, but is still smiling as if she doesn't mind. Like she's introducing the off-world Princess to yet another wonder of Earth culture.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai holds up a hand to ward off Eri's assistance. "I've got it under control. And my backup arrives in-" She glances to the clock. "Two and a half minutes. Unless that talk is going really well..."

The waitress only really has one hand free - somehow, though, she manages to finagle that hand into holding her notepad and a small pencil. The handwriting's going to be atrocious, but she can rewrite it later. "Double deluxe Rocky Road Cheesecake with Fudge? That'll take a couple of minutes, but I can get it started at least."

Another yell from that nearby table. "One minute, sir!" She gives Runealy a quick smile. "Hopefully you can just share a menu, I don't have one to spare at the moment - I'll come back to take your drink orders in a minute." With a quick nod - which rattles those empty dishes - she makes her way swiftly if worried toward the kitchen, to drop off dishes and the latest round of orders...

...and anyone watching her can see her freeze perfectly still, and glance towards another booth with apprehension.

<Pose Tracker> Runealy Waldia [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

Rune winces as she sees what Mai is up to. "Whoa, are you okay? I'll hold off on any drinks until you're... well, not swamped! Otherwise, um... Va--" She cuts off, seeing that something is afoot with how busy Mai is. Or hears it, rather. Shouting from another table. Rune has some idea where this is going, remembering a story Mai shared about problem customers.

She instead lets Mai head off, taking this chance to talk to Eri. "No, that sounds pretty good on its own! I just hope we didn't come at too bad a time for Mai's sake, you know?" And speaking of, Mai is freezing up. Rune notices. She looks over at Mai, then follows the waitress' gaze to try and see what's going on...

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

The text came as a pleasant and welcome surprise to Makoto; she replied with a cheerful affirmative, and after school she finds her way over to the Linden Baum. A quick look around once she's inside homes her in on Eri's table, and the tall girl heads over that way, flashing a smile and a little wave to the table's current occupants as she comes closer. "Shimanouchi-san, hi. I'm not late, am I?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai has just stopped for a moment to look at one small booth. Nothing special, a couple of teenagers. Obviously dating, from the whole lovey-dovey atmosphere there. They seem to be getting along, and there's a lot of giggling.

Whatever the story there, Mai takes a deep breath, and the smile blazes to life on her face once more. All seems to be well. For now, at least. She runs back and forth between a few other tables and the kitchen, taking dirty dishes and delivering coffee and writing out more order slips. On the fourth trip, she pokes her head past the counter for a moment to peer into the kitchen - and her face is burning pink for a moment when she retreats.

Coffee here, tea here, soda here, seven glasses of water for one small child along with an apology for the wait, another coffee to the complaining customer... Finally, though, she makes it back to Eri's table, momentarily startled to see a new face.

"Ah - welcome to Linden Baum!" She has a couple of menus in one hand taken from the previous table, and hands one over to the surprisingly tall girl. "Sorry to keep you waiting - today's special is half priced sundaes, we're running a bit behind in the kitchen, but I can fill any drink orders any of you have now." She flips to a new order slip, and gives the three girls a smile.

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

MMLucy: SUNDAES??? :D :D :D :D :D

Lucy has never been terribly punctual, but today she's at least only fashionably late. Still, that doesn't stop her from practically running into the restaurant. She does skid to a halt before she can crash into something-- and in this case, that something was poor overworked Mai. Gee, that was close! "Ah, hello, Mai-san! Sorry about that!"

Really, there's no rush, and she takes a seat with the other girls, waving to them with a smile as she does. Rune and Eri she knows quite well, and Makoto she'd run into a few times now, enough to know she's a friend of Usagi's, and quite nice, too. She then turns to Mai. "I would like a sundae!!" she announces, being careful not to make it obvious that she's drooling a little.

Meanwhile, from the sports bag set next to Lucy's seat, Didi the Dinosaur looks around and sees the coast is clear so he can go on his sneaking mission. Last time he came here, he had a REALLY GOOD hamburger. Maybe he can find some more in the kitchen...??

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Eri scoots back the moment Mai wards her off, giving her an 'Oh really' look in regards to her backup, "Is the Kami of Fire back from his coffee break soon?" She teases as subtly as she can about 'Kagutsuchi' being her backup. "And hey no pressure Mai-chan. Just whenever!" Eri glances idly Mai's way as she freezes, but doesn't seem to be understanding it well as she stops alongside the lovey-dovey couple.

Looking back Rune's way, she is the very picture of a sweatdrop with blue wavy lines on her expression, "Well yeah, but I was hoping to eat into her table ratio with some people who would be a little understanding, you know? And get her some decent tips for once. Maybe this plan needed some more thought."

Her smile however renews and brightens as Makoto shows up and she scoots back in to make room for her, "Oh hey not at all Kino-san! Thought you might enjoy some half-price Sundaes and meeting some people from your sister schools who aren't stuck up jerks. I used to go to Juuban so I know how Ohtori students can be." She points Rune's way, "Rune-chan, this is Makoto Kino. Kino-san this is Runealy Waldia!" As Mai walks up, "Oh and this is Mai Tokiha! She's a high schooler at Ohtori and a good friend, so be kind to her alright?" She turns to Mai, to explain, "I met with her the other day alongside the 'Sometimes Invincible Bunny' at the arcade. And I'll have some jasmine tea."

As Lucy shows up, Eri waves to her enthusiastically, making a sound of delight, "Oh hey Lucy-chan! I'm glad you could make it." Looking at Lucy, she's given pause before she picks up a napkin, then reaches over dabbing the side of her mouth without commenting to the others, before turning to Makoto. "Anyhow, this is Lucy Iwai, from Infinity. She's really sweet, almost like a sundae herself!"

<Pose Tracker> Runealy Waldia [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

Rune is distracted from seeing what's troubling Mai, when Makoto arrives. Towering over the princess, Runealy basically /has/ to look her way for a few seconds... and immediately eases up when Makoto is friendly with Eri. Lucy showing up only further improves Runealy's mood, even if it was done at a mad dash that nearly ended in a collision. "Lucy! There you are!"

When Eri makes introductions, Rune smiles to Makoto. "Pleased to meet you! Any friend of Eri's is good by me!" Eri's praise for Lucy draws a very sharp, deep nod in firm agreement.

As for ordering things, Rune looks slightly lost. "A drink? Well, whatever you suggest is fine?" Three months in and she still hasn't branched out much with Earth drinks. Sundaes however are a bit more familiar. "Other than that... vanilla with fudge...?" It's an experimental guess, as if worried she's getting some part of a ritual or courtesy wrong.

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"Ah, thanks!" Makoto accepts the menu from Mai, and then slides herself into a seat, getting herself out of Mai's path and clearing the way for Lucy's arrival in the process. Once she's seated, she turns a friendly smile toward each of the other girls and bobs her head in greeting. "It's nice to meet all of you," she says with genuine enthusiasm. "Thanks for inviting me, Shimanouchi-san. I really appreciate it!"

--oh right drink orders. Mako skims the menu, and then looks back hopefully toward Mai. "I'd like a hot cocoa, please?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai staggers back from the near-collision. "Watch it! No running in the- oh, hi." The girl she met at least once or twice, including in Hokkaido. Once Lucy's seated, Mai starts to take the order - pauses - then hands her a menu. "Any particular flavour? We were still good for chocolate and most of the fruits last time I checked - except cherry, we ran out of cherry syrup an hour ago, so the Black Forest Sundae's also a no-go."

Jasmine tea? That's an easy answer, and Mai jots it down before responding the introductions. "Nice to meet you again - and nice to meet you as well, Kino-san." Her cheerful smile flashes to something a little more...intrigued. "Sometimes Invincible...do you know a lot of 'bunnies', Eri-chan, or is there just one with many titles?"

Runealy's indecision is understandable, and Mai nods. "In that case - I'll bring you a hot coffee and a cold soda to try - the latter's popular with ice cream, for some reason. And...vanilla ice cream with fudge, that seems easy enough." Mai glances to the clock, then outright looks back at the kitchen. "Something's, ah, come up in the kitchen, so it'll probably still be a few minutes." Makoto's order is a hot cocoa - a little trickier than just a coffee or soda, but still within her capabilities without going into the kitchen. "No problem! Go ahead and take your time with the rest of your order, I'll just grab those drinks quickly."

There's a shout from another nearby table, and Mai's eyebrow twitches. "...in a minute. I need to have a word with another customer." Flipping the order book closed for the moment, she storms over to that table, all smiles.

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Ah, thanks Eri-san," Lucy says, not even blinking when her friend cleans away that bit of drool. Ice cream is easily in her top ten favorite Earth things. Introductions are made! "It's nice to meet you too," Lucy nods with a smile.

"Hmmmm. I'll have strawberry," Lucy says, not debating it for very long for the sake of Mai's sanity. This is also the reason she's not asking if her brother is doing all right, since she hadn't seen her since that awful, awful day a snow storm took Ohtori. Maybe once things quiet down, she can take a second to talk about more serious things.

Then Mai runs off to take care of another table, where customers don't seem to be nearly as wonderful and patient as those on this one. Lucy glances back over her seat to look at her go, then turns back. "I wonder if they're looking for part-timers," she says with the utmost seriousness.

Meanwhile, Didi runs between the tables, cleverly hidden by an upside-down cardboard box he'd found by one of the trash cans, labelled "THE ORANGE". No dinosaur here, folks. Just a box.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"One with many titles!" Eri winks at Mai with a knowing look, before the other table starts to shout, and Eri actually physically winces, before looking that way. She has no idea how people in service jobs survive! Cringing just a little, she turns to Makoto, flashing an affectionate smile, "Oh you're very welcome! So I didn't get much time to ask at the Crown, Kino-san, but what sort of interests do you have?"

A glance is given Rune's way, "Going with the classic? I guess you can't go wrong with that!"

"Don't mention it, Lucy-chan!" Looking out to the floor to make sure Mai is alright, she notices a cardboard box on the ground. Nothing there, just a box. One of the bussers would likely pick it up soon, so she glances back her way. "Oh you're looking for a job? They do seem like they could use the help, Mai-chan always seems so overworked."

<Pose Tracker> Runealy Waldia [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

"Great!" Rune is all in favor of trying both at Mai's suggestion. Then things go awry; Mai has to deal with another customer and the princess is left to silently wonder if this is related to 'that one time' she heard about a while back. With the order-book shut for now, Rune just whispers "good luck," and lets Mai head off to handle this.

Then something else comes to mind, with a sudden intrigued look to Eri. "'Sometimes Invincible Bunny'... I've heard of an 'Invincible Phoenix' too. Those sound like names you would give the best of the best, amazing heroes that history will never forget. Do those come up a lot at game centers?"

Mostly heedless of what Didi is up to, perhaps failing to even realize the box is out of place, Rune instead looks back at Lucy. "You're thinking about working here? That'd be neat if you did. I already come by occasionally to cheer Mai on, and it wouldn't hurt to do it again if you're around too!"

And finally back to Eri, "'Classic'? ...Huh. Sounds like a good sign? I was mostly guessing. Come to think of it, the last time I had an actual /meal/ like this was with..." With someone she has been thinking about a lot lately. A smiling nod is made over to Lucy. "With you."

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Mako's eyebrows lift a little as Mai heads off to deal with the shouty table, and for a moment there she shoots the problem customers a stink-eye across the room. "Geez... they're pretty busy." Turning back to her own table, she looks toward Lucy. "I don't think I could do it, but it definitely seems like they could do with some extra hands, doesn't it?"

And then Eri's question draws Mako's attention, and she smiles again. "Oh, well, video games obviously, but I also really like to cook. That and bargain-hunting are probably my main hobbies."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The discussion from the other table isn't quite loud enough to be overheard. Mai's all smiles, even as her customer gets increasingly red-faced. At one point, she picks up his coffee mug, argues back and forth a minute, starts to tip it - and then sets it down. The customer's still disgruntled, but has quieted down. Mercifully.

Mai stops by several other tables, gathering up dishes as she goes, occasionally taking a few more notes. A stop by the table with that lovey-dovey couple, checking that they're still happy, and then she starts heading toward the kitchen...

...before nearly tripping over an out-of-place box. Dirty dishes rattle, and a couple of bowls fall from the tray - caught at the last second by a spare hand and one foot. The smile breaks, finally, and Mai's fury explodes in the kitchen's direction for a minute. "What have we said about leaving ingredient boxes out?!"

She huffs, puts the dishes back on the tray, and scoops up the discarded, apparently at least half-full box with her other hand. Probably oranges inside, that's what's listed on the box, right? Thus burdened, it's off to the kitchen with more orders, more dishes, and a box to be left on a counter for the rest of the staff to deal with.

It is not long before Mai emerges again - this time with two trays full of drinks. Her route back to Eri's table is circuitous, so that they're the last to get their drinks - and thus Mai is free to stay for a few seconds, at least. "Right. Jasmine tea for Eri-chan, coffee and soda for Rune-chan, cocoa for Kino-san - you didn't specify if you wanted whipped cream or not, so you get it for free - and I don't think you asked for a drink, Iwai-san."

Mai breathes out a sigh. "Okay. Pained me to do it, but I interrupted things in the kitchen, food orders are underway and I should be getting some backup shortly." She glances to the kitchen, and winces. "Though I told Akane she could stay in the kitchen for a few minutes to help on the backlog, so I'm stuck dealing with the whole room a little longer...yet another day at Linden Baum. When it's not mind-numbing boredom, it's this."

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"I want to earn my own money," Lucy explains in a serious tone, "to buy video games with." Well, she's certainly honest! "My scholarship covers a lot of things, but not those." A scholarship that covers video games would certainly be a great thing, wouldn't it?

At the mention of that semi-invincible bunny, it doesn't take her long to puzzle her identity together. An amazing hero likely to go down in history...? "That sounds about right," Lucy says, with an odd, out-of-place amount of gravity to her words.

"Ah, it's true, we've had ice cream together, haven't we?" Lucy recalls, nodding to Runealy. It's a wonderful dessert that always seems to lead to a net increase in friendship. That's one of the many reasons Lucy likes it.

Mai returns with drinks, but she's right in that Lucy didn't ask for one. "Ah, that's right. I'll have a melon soda then." A pause, as Mai's grim assessment of her job makes Lucy torn between wanting to help her and wanting to forget she ever wanted a part-time job while she still has a chance, then... she asks: "Say, do you know if they're looking for part-timers?"

Meanwhile, with Didi now in the base, kitchen staff will have to deal with a mystery: the case of the disappearing beef patties.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

"Oh really? I could actually use some cash myself, I kind of want to try out some new fashions but.. I don't really have time for even a part time job." Eri looks at Lucy, then back out into the full diner, and then back at her, giving her a sympathetic look, before whispering, "Best of luck if you do decide to work here."

Makoto then grabs her attention as she gives voice to the same thoughts she had for Lucy working here to answer her, "Yeah, this place gets crazy here just after school gets out." Eri shakes her head, "Yeah, pretty sure I couldn't be a server either. Not if I had to deal with /that/ all the time!"

"Cooking?" Eri mentions to Makoto, and then she gets a cat-faced grin, "Apparently you're in luck! Poor Mai-chan over there is a great home cook. The two of you should try trading recipes sometime!" Her grin turns sheepish, "I'm a pretty terrible cook though. Though I know a lot about growing fresh vegetables."

Rune gets a grin as Eri finally fully puts away her books, "I don't know! I don't frequent arcades, but I've heard the name Invincible Phoenix spoken reverently. The Sometimes-Invincible bunny is her student."

As Mai almost trips over the box, Eri winces from a distance, though she breathes a sigh relief when nothing comes of it other than Mai getting to take out her fury on a /mostly/ inanimate object. When she returns, Eri's smile brightens considerably as she sets down the tea, "Thanks Mai-chan! We're rooting for you over here!" ...Rooting for you, as if Mai were playing a sport or managing some sort of love confession! That might be not too far off from the mark given life in a service industry, especially with Akane in the back..

<Pose Tracker> Runealy Waldia [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

Rune silently takes sides in the argument, smiling when Mai seems to win by playing hardball with tipping his mug a little. This celebration is short-lived, as she winces when Mai almost falls over the box not long after. She doesn't get to hear much of Mai's temper, and is torn between a little concern and smiling when drinks are brought in. "Thanks!" The princess alternates between the two, pondering her drinks. "Huh... they both kind of remind me of what we had at the espresso bar during final exams."

Small wonder. Caffeine might not be unheard of on her world, but it's at least new to Rune and her eyes are just a bit more open now. Yet Mai's lament draws sympathy despite this reaction to the drinks. "It really is, huh? I've been here a few times, and... wow. It's amazing you're able to keep up with all this!"

Then to Lucy, "Yeah. That was about when things started getting better. A lot better! So maybe it's a good habit to pick up, getting ice cream like this! And getting your own games... could you show me them, sometime?" Rune is eagerly curious on that point.

Then to Makoto, "Video games for you too, huh? Sounds like everyone is into them, and I've just gotten started. Which ones do you think are good?"

Eri says something that intrigues the princess, eyes raised. "Oh is that right? I wonderrr..." She drags that last syllable out, suddenly having a pretty good idea who 'sometimes invincible is' and that's plain to see on Rune's face, but her conclusion goes unsaid. This is apparently the good kind of conspiracy though, since the realization gives way to a warm expression very quickly.

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Mako has settled back in her seat, the better to track the various threads of conversation going on and also keep half an eye on the drama that does not quite end up unfolding across the way. When Mai returns with their drinks, though, she sits up straight again and accepts her cocoa with visible delight. "Thank you!" she says, beaming up at Mai. Yay whipped cream! "That's very generous of you."

Seeing the catlike look on Eri's face, Mako's own expression turns a bit rueful. "--maybe sometime when Tokiha-san isn't busy..." She flicks a brief, curious and faintly hopeful look back toward Mai. It *would* be fun to try out some new recipes... but that can wait until sometime when Mai isn't being run off her feet.

For now, Mako lets herself be turned back to the topic of video games, and grins across the table at Runealy. "I play the Sailor V game a lot," she admits. "And rhythm and reflex games. Those are mostly the ones that I'm good at. Like dance games and that kind of thing. Have you tried any of those yet?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

A moment to catch her breath would be great - but Mai has managed to deal with shifts like this before. It's not like there have been monster battles for her all that recently, she can keep up. Lucy's addressed first, because she does have a legitimate request - Mai jots it down. "Melon soda, right. And just to make sure I have everyone's ice cream orders - " She points to Eri, Runealy, Lucy, and Makoto in order. "Rocky Road Cheesecake with Fudge, Vanilla with Fudge, Strawberry, and...did you have a food order, Kino-san? I can probably sneak it into the queue with the other three and have everything ready at once."

And that, mercifully, is it for her actual obligations here - so now she's free to chat for a moment. "Part-timers...maybe. I'd have to ask the manager, but there's a chance, at least. Shifts like today could really use an extra set of hands - well, an extra two - and having someone else to tap for shifts would mean the rest of us wouldn't be spread so thin." Not a reduction in hours for Mai, probably - just longer shifts, fewer days per week. Maybe. Hope springs eternal, after all. "Tuesday evenings are usually the quietest, if you wanted to pursue anything."

There's a lot of conversations going on at once, it seems - Mai doesn't have much to chip in with regarding video games, but there's a few things she can talk about. "Work here isn't always this bad - and honestly, I kind of prefer this to the times things are completely quiet. You can only clean tables so many times before getting bored to tears, and the hours just drag on and on..."

She'd arrived in time to hear Eri's comments about cooking, and can't hide a small prideful grin. "As for cooking, I try. Not sure I could keep up with the rush here, but I like cooking for people I know. I keep meaning to arrange another hot pot party, I just lost all my free time when the new term started...but now's not the best time to talk recipes, sadly. We'll have to meet up sometime-"

There's a clatter - several orders just showed up on the counter. "-look over the menu, let me know if you want to add anything, I've got to handle this." As the topic turns to favourite games, Mai dashes to start delivering peoples' orders - predominantly sundaes, from the looks of things. It's a few circuits of the room before she's free to return, and the last stop before she rejoins Eri's party is the lovey-dovey couple a few booths over.

They have, between them, an extra-large sundae with plenty of sticky yellow syrup and several pineapple rings. It looms.

(And in the kitchen, there's a grumbling as another couple of burgers go missing...)

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"I can understand that," Lucy says softly at Eri's lack of time comment. Of course, it doesn't pay to hunt Witches. Poor her. Then they speak of cooking. "I can only really cook in a literal sense," she says, only half-joking. I don't like to make complicated food when I could just eat meat. To her, this seems like a perfectly logical thing to say, at least.

"Yes, I associate ice cream with some of my best memories on this-- in this country," Lucy says, catching herself as she realizes Makoto is there. Then Rune asks about video games. "Certainly! They're usually more fun with someone else playing or at least watching, I find."

Then she asks for recommendations, and Lucy is still happy to oblige. She nods to Makoto. "I love the Sailor V game! It's really hard, but I get the feeling if I keep at it, I can get to the end one day." Then, back to Runealy: "Crown has a machine for a game called DDR. I think you'd be great at it!... though I'm not very good, myself," she admits with a small sigh. "Otherwise there really are all kinds. There are action games, shooting games, fighting games, sports games... There are also strategy games and RPGs, though it's hard to play those without without a console." There's always her phone, though luckily the horrors of the free-to-play market have yet to claim her.

"I don't have softball practice on Tuesdays," Lucy taptaps her chin thoughtfully, realizing that this could, perhaps, actually work. She doesn't have a resume on her right now, but it's something to consider. Of course, Lucy might no be able to last a week if she can't keep her destructively klutzy tendencies in check...!

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Didi grows bloated from all that meat. A passing health inspector would faint from shock.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Eri winks at Rune as she teases, "Her other nickname is hockey puck. Don't let her tell you otherwise. She just makes these adorable bunny ears trying to explain how she's not a hockey puck." ...Maybe Eri is beginning to understand why Mamoru takes so much enjoyment in teasing her, it's pretty easy, and she doesn't seem to hold a lasting grudge if it's good-natured!

She takes a sip of her jasmine tea, before nodding at Makoto. Mai tries to 'humble up' the conversation on modesty with her cooking skills and Eri leans in to whisper conspiratorially with a hand cupped on the opposite side of her lips, "She's too modest, I'm pretty sure she could cook circles around a lot of short order cooks!" She then waves Mai's way as the plates clatter on the counter, "Yeah! We'll plan that soon Mai-chan! Maybe we'll have it on the dorm roof!" ...So Mamoru will look especially dashing by moonlight and make Mai blush obviously!

Eri looks between Lucy and Makoto, putting her hands on the table, before saying sheepishly, "I still don't understand why Sailor V uses a gun in that game.. uh.." She then raises her hands to air quotes, "'a V Blaster'. Sometimes Invincible Hockey Puck tried to explain that to me. I still don't get it." Mostly because she knows the real Sailor V doesn't use a gun, but she can't really say that aloud! Makoto Kino is a totally normal civilian! "I'm only good at a few shooting arcade games though myself. I mostly play RPGs and uh.." The hand scratches behind her neck, another chagrined look, "..dating sims." As they discuss DDR though she hastily changes the subject away from dating sims, "Huh! You should both find Kyouko-san at the arcade and challenge her! She loves DDR!"

<Pose Tracker> Runealy Waldia [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

Rune looks overwhelmed as Makoto starts listing game genres, as confused as if Makoto were speaking a foreign language. "I have no idea what half of those are! Except for the Sailor V one... Usagi brought that up the last time I was there." Merely mentioning Usagi diminishes the confusion in favor of being cheerful, though. "And when it comes to dancing, I've never even thought of it as a game. That's just something I do anyway!"

Then Mai confirms the orders, and Rune gives a "Mm!" to it. "You got mine right." As work comes up, Runealy offers a few thoughts: "Sounds like you prefer to be doing something, anything instead of just sitting around? I know what that's like." The mention of checking the menu gets Rune to do just that, and she's gazing through it with unusually strong interest. She's only jarred out of it by what Lucy and Eri have to say. Lucy gets her attention first. "Watching someone play, huh? Guess I'll have to try it. Sailor V just kind of... crushes me, so far."

And then Eri. "Hockey puck? Sounds like I'll have to look that up." Despite Eri's embarrassment over certain game types, Rune is visibly pleased as dating sims are brought up. The princess doesn't /say/ anything about them outright, but this is a smile rather than some kind of teasing smirk.

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"A hot pot party sounds like it would be a lot of fun." Makoto looks almost wistful for a moment as she imagines it - all of her friends gathered around the hot pot to eat and have a good time is almost the image of Mako's perfect world.

As the conversation moves along, though, Makoto grins a bit sheepishly. "I play dating games sometimes, too," she admits. "But I'm not so good at them." She tennis-matches back and forth from one girl to the other as lines of conversation wander to and fro in that way that happens whenever a group of girls gather around to chat about nothing in particular, and presently she tilts her head in thought. "Kyouko-san, huh...? But really, for me it's more fun to cheer someone on while they play than to challenge them or something like that."

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The diner door opens to let a couple of people out, and tere's yelling outside--spirited yelling! A girl's voice and a guy's, visible through the windows and the door. It's ... Usagi and Mamoru, and they're arguing as they approach the door. The words are indistinct, but the mutual aggravation is blindingly obvious. At least they're not yelling OVER each other. Closer, closer-- Mamoru flings an arm out, gesticulating, and then yanks the door open. "Usa--" he starts again in exasperation, then looks inside and freezes.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.



Are they going to...


Usagi, redfaced, an inch away from Mamoru, turns to look inside when he finally breaks eye contact with her.

She pales. Like, Sailor Moon levels of pale. Wordlessly, she flees, which involves slamming right into Mamoru as she briefly tries to run through him.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Mai glances back towards the lovey-dovey couple a few times - but finally turns a warm smile back to her preferred party. "The rooftop? As good a place as any for a hotpot, especially given the guest list. I doubt my little start of a garden will have enough by then - not that I think I could feed more than a couple of people off of it anyway - so I'll need to figure out the best place to get ingredients." When there's time, anyway. When might that be? Makoto's enthusiastic as well, and Mai smiles brightly. "The guest list is going to be nuts anyway, so what's one or five more?"

Mai gives Lucy a grin in response to her inquiry. "Better make sure you're allowed - most schools have some regulations around part-time work, so you'll need to check that first. The manager's pretty good at accommodating student schedules, too - I just volunteered to be one of the wildcard, pick-up-whatever-shift ones." Rare is the week she doesn't max out her hours.

Mai does spy Rune poring through the menu, and glances over the top. "If you've got time, the roasted quarter chicken is pretty good, and I think you'd enjoy it - it just takes a while to cook. And of course this is where I helpfully remind everyone that Linden Baum does offer takeout - there, that's out of the way."

There's an abrupt outbreak of noise, coming from several sources at once. A couple of tables outside what is supposed to be Mai's section start making noises demanding coffee, the nearby booth with the couple has their private conversation starting to become public, and Mai's attention is honestly dragged away from the table she would prefer to be serving. First to the tables, then the booth, then Mai glances back to the kitchen in worry. Akane shouldn't be taking that long, should she?

At which point the other waitress bursts out of the doors with a broom, chasing a lizard out of the kitchen. At least, she and most of the patrons see it as a lizard.

Those in the know recognize a Didi who has found quite a bit to eat.

Mai's face goes ashen as recognition sets in, and she glances back to Lucy. For a precious few seconds, she just stares - in desperation, with a hint of betrayal. "Didn't you tell me you had him trained, or...something?" She turns to go help Akane deal with the runaway mascot - and then the lovey-dovey couple with the pineapple sundae goes from 'public conversation' to 'screaming fight', and Mai outright -bolts- to take that food away before it starts coating the walls.

And somewhere in all that chaos, another couple of guests arrived. While desperately struggling to keep sticky ice cream out of the hands of a feuding couple while her fellow waitress chases a lizard or tiny dinosaur around a jam-packed restaurant with tables clamoring for food or drinks or explanations, Mai turns to greet them. Her face is pale. "Chiba-san. Tsukino-san. ...welcome to Linden Baum. We're, erm, a little busy at the moment-"

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

See the problem is that poor Mai is greeting a pile of limbs in the doorway. One that's flailing desperately. Part of the pile detaches first and streaks red and white into the night, and the remaining tangle is no less redfaced, but good at unfolding himself. "Noproblem,comebacklater,bye--"

Some scrambling and a desperate attempt to stay upright while tripping in the process of dashing off, and Mamoru's gone too.

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Creative license," is all Lucy can offer on why Sailor V would be using a gun. "If you're not very good, it's also fun watching someone who's better than you and cheer them on."

Lucy doesn't say anything on dating games either, but she does briefly go beet-red at their mention. Earth really has all sorts of things.

Then chaos erupts around the restaurant as several events come to a head. No, it's not a youma's influence, but what appears to be business as usual in Linden Baum. And /then/ Didi appears.

"I'm sorryyyyyy..." Lucy looks crestfallen as Mai looks at her like that, but soon gets up so she can join Akane in chasing Didi down, while the dinosaur clutches a last few burgers in his tiny, tiny claws. She thought he was asleep!

Then a barely-identifiable tangle of limbs appears, and-- wait, she knows them! Lucy stops in her tracks. "Usagi, hii--"

Oh wait, nevermind. Then Mamoru bolts out too. What was that even all about? She blinks, and blinks. And resumes chasing Didi.

In all likelihood she will, later, be feeling guilty enough about that whole incident to bring in a resume, against her better judgement. SURELY MAI WILL APPRECIATE THE HELP???

<Pose Tracker> Runealy Waldia [Ohtori Academy (7)] has posed.

Mai's advice is interesting, yet Rune turns playfully conspiratorial. "That sounds good, but maybe later? I'm figuring something else out, and weren't you the one who asked me to look through this real closely a while back?"

Then things turn odd. Runealy can see Usagi and Mamoru in the distance, and /starts/ to smile; she very much adores one and thinks the other is kind of nice most of the time. Yet they don't seem to be in the best of moods, and she's just not sure what to say to them in light of that. It's awkward! Things just get more hectic from there, as she watches an all new 'pineapple incident' almost unfold before Mai wisely defuses it; that's only a bit more bizarre than what just happened with Didi, which Rune ends up having a tiny laugh about.

Yet at some point it will be time to go. Runealy addresses Eri first, bright and pleased. "Thanks for calling me out here! Let's do this again sometime?" And Makoto, "Glad to meet a friend of my friends! Maybe I'll see you at Game Center Crown later on!" If opportunity permits, Lucy too: "If you really do end up working here, tell us! I'll drop in!"

Then there's the matter of paying for the meal. That's no problem; Rune has the cash on hand for that. As for the tip, anyone with a good eye for detail might notice what she leaves for Mai is basically double what the princess' share of the meal was. That's not a fortune by any means, but perhaps it will work as a warm, symbolic nod to a friend.

<Pose Tracker> Eri Shimanouchi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Watch all the ways that this gathering can be made incredibly awkward in the space a seconds.

First, Didi the Tsunderasaur, burger thief. As Lucy springs up to go after him, Eri tries to run interference so Makoto Kino, completely normal middle schooler wouldn't be so suspicious. She cringes, laughing in an overly obnoxious way to try to capture her attention away from the sight of the tiny dinosaur, "Oh! It looks like Lucy-chan brought her pet lizard!" The laughter dies away instantly, her expression, becoming inquisitive, hoping the next question would do it for her, "So you play those sort of games too? Do you enjoy them?"

Mamoru and Usagi's entrance steals the show away from the torrid love affair of pineapple sundaes going on at the nearby table. Like some sort of trainwreck, Eri, just, can't, tear her eyes away, all thoughts of conversing with Makoto dying right then and there as she watches the two argue without hearing what it's actually about and Usagi's departure.

She'd almost swear the two were in some sort of romantic quarrel, except that's impossible. Mamoru was in love with Sailor Moon, not Usagi Tsukino. Mamoru even said that Usagi didn't feel for him in 'that way' right?

Noting Mai's reaction to the pair before Mamoru departs; Eri slowly sinks down against the back of the booth making her seem almost diminutive next to Makoto because of the slouch, mumbling to Rune something along the lines of 'thank you for coming.'

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Honestly, Eri might as well not have worried - Makoto's attention seems far too caught by Usagi and Mamoru's entrance, and their incredibly undignified exit, to actually register the fact that a small *dinosaur* just fled from the kitchen and ran out of the place. She half stands, looking for a moment like she thinks she should go after them, but then seems to change her mind and settles back down, smiling wryly to Rune instead. "It was nice to meet you," Mako offers. "Hopefully I'll see you again sometime soon."

And then Makoto reaches over to pat Eri consolingly on the shoulder, for no other reason than she obviously seems to need it. There, there.