2014-06-08 - Another One For The Study Group

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Title: Another One For The Study Group

It's a quiet night at Linden Baum. Coffee and late-night meals seem to be the order of the day.


Mai Tokiha, Mamoru Chiba, Ren Aizawa

Text Message Cameo: Usagi Tsukino


Linden Baum

OOC - IC Date:

25 January 2014 - 6/8/14

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

Saturday night at Linden Baum can vary. Some weeks, it's jam-packed with students free of school for the week, compounded by families deciding that it's a great night for an outing. While busy, those are good nights - profitable ones, and the time flies by for those working.

This is not one of those nights.

The restaurant is staying open tonight largely through inertia; one of the waitresses has gone into the kitchen to chat with the cook more directly, while the other leans on one of the smaller tables, chatting with the one customer who is actually here tonight.

"-at which point, she grabbed another table's hot fudge sundae, and things basically went downhill from there. At least the chocolate's easier to clean than pineapple, and the two of them have been banned for another week." Mai makes some meager effort to working while she talks, but the empty tables can only be polished so many times. "So, you know, better shifts have happened. And worse ones."

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

"I don't even know what happened," that one customer says wryly, slouching back in his seat and sort of listlessly turning the page of a textbook spread in front of him on the table. He's got a carafe of black coffee that's helping him through the chapter, and he's dressed as distressingly stylishly as usual, and his glasses don't hurt his image in the slightest.

He looks up at Mai and lifts a hand to rub at the back of his neck, which is already a little red. "I mean, I didn't even get to the part where I was going to tell her I wanted to help her with her schoolwork. Maybe it was the way I said it... but all of a sudden we were arguing, and she looks so cute when she's angry--"

He coughs. "So I guess I'm kind of glad your shitty night made mine less complicated? Sorry."

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

The door to the Linden Baum opens, and in steps Ren. She's obviously here to escape the cold.

And eat. Yes. That too.

Going over to a table near the waitress and the customer who are chatting she slides into the booth and lets out a sigh. She really didn't feel like cooking tonight. So a meal prepared by someone else it's going to be!

Now if only a server would come over and take her order. Hint hint.

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

Mai is, admittedly, a bit slower than usual responding to the ding of the door opening - largely due to needing a minor mental reboot at the part where Mamoru admitted to finding another human being cute - but there's a polite cough, and she double-takes at a new customer being at the nearby booth. "Ah - like I said, I've had worse. And technically, briefly, you were a customer so helping you is part of my job...anyway, I'll be back in a minute."

She then turns, scooping a menu from a nearby rack, and faces the nearby table. Technically close enough that she barely needs to take two steps to reach it - convenient! "Sorry about the delay - welcome to Linden Baum." She hands over the menu, remembering to smile, and continues. "Tonight's specials are a hamburger sandwich platter, and a 'coffee cake' dessert. Can I get you anything to drink?"

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

"The cakes here are AMAZING," the guy in the glasses says, leaning around Mai to inform Ren. "But I don't want crumbs on my calc book."

The book he looks down at again; he then scribbles something in his notebook while he has another sip of his bitter, bitter brew. "Oh hey, Mai, I was thinking let's have the next study group at my place. I'm going to try and trick Usagi-chan into coming by bribing her with food, so obviously I'll be cooking, but she also knows how good you cook, so if you feel like bringing something too, that might be further incentive."

He adjusts his glasses. He looks innocent.

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Yes! A waitress comes over! Ren is pleased. Yes she is. She smiles up at the uniformed worker. "Thank you! Umm... I think I'll take a water. And... that special sounds pretty good, actually. I think I'll take that too." And just like that her order is done. Probably the quickest request Mai has ever had.

Her gaze then eventually ends up drifting over to the boy the waitress was chatting with. And Ren can see exactly /why/ holding a conversation with him would be a distinct possibility.

In other words, HE'S HANDSOME.

As usual though she's content with not actually interacting with him. Cute boys and Ren don't seem to mix well. However, she hadn't expected him to address /her/, confirming the merits of the cake. Oh. OH.

"A-ah... That's great! I was hoping for a good dessert." And that's her response. Yep.

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

That is a remarkably quick order, yes - Mai doesn't even bother writing it down, and just calls over her shoulder into the kitchen. "Kazu, one of the specials!" She'll have to go check to make sure he hasn't been distracted in a little while - though if Mai's to be honest herself, she doesn't know for certain what kind of relationship her coworkers have.

Mamoru is helping, though - and Mai turns back to Ren with a smile. "He's right, they are good - kind of a heavy cake, goes well with coffee. Something you can decide on later, if you like - I'll get your water in just a moment."

Mai flips the order book closed for now, and starts to head for the drink station - but pauses partway there to give Mamoru a bit of a smirk. "Well, I look forward to seeing what kind of things you can cook - and sure, tell the cute wild bunny I'll be bringing something. Sweet or savoury? I read a recipe the other day for something called a 'samosa', it's kind of like a curry bread but smaller...."

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Ren almost doesn't hear what Mai says. But she snaps out of her little trance, averting her eyes away from the incredibly handsome stranger. Ok. Don't freak out. It's just some guy. Who happens to be very good looking. Ugh. So unfair. The high schooler picks at a slightly cracked part of the wooden table -- as if it's the most interesting thing in the world.

And then her stomach rumbles rather audibly. Wuh oh. Did he hear that? Her face goes red, and she's afraid to look up at Mamoru. If only she could sink into the nearest wall and disappear...

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

"Oh, I know from samosas! Definitely bring them, I'll make my best korma. Veggie batch for Eri and chicken for everyone else-- saffron rice, definitely-- I should probably make a biryani too, it's a collection of bottomless stomachs..." Mamoru says, trailing off as he gets out his phone and starts texting.

What shows up on Usagi's phone:

@};--`--,--~MAMOCHAN: hey the girls are coming to my place for study group this week, i'm cooking and Mai's bringing some food too, do you want to join us

Once Mai's moved to the point that he won't crash into her, the eleventh-grader gathers his book and cup and carafe and notebook and phone-- well, part of them, it takes two trips-- and deposits these things on Ren's table, across from her. The trips are two steps long so it's not like it doesn't happen very, very quickly.

On the plus side, he probably didn't hear her stomach rumble.

"What about you? You look kind of familiar, do you go to Ohtori? I think I've seen you on campus--"

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

Mai can't help but grin. A new recipe to try - and a chance to have spicy food! "Right, I just have to make a plan for Mikoto." Maybe she should find a babysitter?

After stopping by the kitchen to make sure cooking is actually happening instead of who knows what - and the answer until now seems to have been 'homework' from the looks of things - Mai returns to Ren's table, bearing a glass of water and a smile. "Right, here's your drink- ah, you're sharing a table? That makes things easier. The food will be a few minutes, but it shouldn't be too long."

Her actual job done for the moment, she rests one hand against the booth behind her, glancing to the door in case of other customers. "I'll probably make something quick for Mikoto before I come over, then - looking forward to having curry for a change. Oh, did you need any more coffee?"

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

The girls.

My place.

The girls.

My place.





Usagi Tsukino stares at her phone. Sweat beads on her brow. Her lip twitches. Carefully, very carefully, her thumb moves.

/(=' - '=)\~USAGI: Okay
<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

When he gets up and moves his things to her table, Ren is /sure/ she's going to fall apart right before his very eyes. But for the most part she keeps it together. She even manages to look him in the eye and smile -- while ignoring the internal storm of awkwardness that is raging within her being.

Thankfully he helps moves things along about inquiring about her identity. "Oh me?!" She says, a bit too loudly. "Hahah! No! I go to Infinity! My brother, though, he goes to Ohtori! Maybe you know him? Yuu Aizawa! He's top of his class in everything! Ehehehehe..." Yeah. That all just came tumbling out of her mouth. And Mai has come back just in time to witness it. Ren casts a glance up at her, nervous chuckling still ongoing. "Thank you!" The water is taken and sipped upon in an /extremely/ liberal fashion. Half of it is gone by the time she sets it back down on the table. Whoops.

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

The upperclassman's phone buzzes as he's sitting down and adjusting his glasses-- man why is he so tall, his legs take up half of 'under the table for four'-- and he takes it out, then beams. "Plot worked!" he calls over and tells Mai gleefully, then blinks at Ren. "Aizawa-san-- Ren, isn't it? I know your brother, sure. We trade off top spots a lot. Nice guy. He speaks highly of you," he says with an understated smile--


--and pours himself another cup from the carafe. "I'm Mamoru Chiba, pleased to meet you. Infinity's an excellent school, I've seriously been considering transferring for my senior year. Ohtori's got altogether too much drama, and I only have a few friends there-- like Mai-san, here. I'm more or less there out of inertia, I've gone there my whole academic career. But Infinity's library has surpassed Ohtori's by leaps and bounds over the past few years..."

He trails off again, then picks up the carafe to check its weight, and shakes his head at Mai. "I'm good! I haven't been chugging it," he tells her once she's come back over, and then he thumbs another message into his phone.

On Usagi's:

@};--`--,--~MAMOCHAN: excellent. bring your homework!
<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

The first surprise for Mai is honestly just how thirsty Ren is. Might get her a second glass, at this rate - well, wait until the first one is a bit lower. She managed to catch the tail end of that conversation, though, and wonders if maybe a bit of intervention is warranted here. She chips in with a bright, if polite, cheer. "Mai Tokiha here. Yet another Ohtori student. I don't think I've ever met your brother, though. Have you been there long?"

Mai's line of questioning is halted when Mamoru has that bit of news, and Mai's polite smile turns into a grin. For Chiba, her voice is a bit less polite, and has more of a comfortable warmth. "Right, mail me the location and time, I'll pick up what I need next grocery trip." She needs more flour anyway, and the vegetables can used for a lot of things. Still stocked up on spices, though.

...and then there's that smile, and Mai's train of thought gets derailed for a moment. She glances to the kitchen - still working - and pushes off of the booth. "Well, I'll get you each another glass of water anyway."

She's not fleeing. She'll be back in a moment.

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"He does?" Ren blurts out. Woah. Yuu spoke good about her to someone? It's not like their relationship is /bad/ or anything but... she didn't expect him to do /that/. "Wait. Are... are you /that/ Chiba-san?" Yes. He has to be. The mention of trading top-spots seals it. "Ahh! It's so good to finally meet you!" And a lot of that nervousness just utterly /melts/ away in the blink of an eye. "I feel like I pratically know you! My brother truly sees you as a friend." Aww. She's absolutely beaming now.

...Which means she no longer considers Mamoru someone to get all tripped up over. That was quick.

"Infinity /is/ great." She nods excitedly. "I mean. I didn't think I was much of a fit for it myself but I'm glad I took the opportunity."

She pauses, turning to Mai again to answer her. "Nice to meet you! I'm Ren Aizawa." Yes, Mai likely picked up her name already, but it's customary to introduce oneself properly. Manners! "Really? He's kind of a big deal on campus. It's off-putting at times. People treat him like a celebrity." She herself is happy to not have that kind of attention, obviously. Honestly. She is. Really.

Mai takes a brief leave to go fetch another glass of water, leaving Ren to face Mamoru again. "I heard you mention something about getting together with some friends to study? That's a really great idea. Sometimes I think I'd be more motivated if I had something like that to rely on..."

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

Pocketing his phone again, Mamoru actually outright grins at Ren's relaxing and enthusiasm. He finishes off his coffee and pours his last cup; he's good in that if he has any more than that, chugging or not, he'll be up all night and jittery if a battle's necessary later.

Things have been worryingly quiet, after all. He scribbles the answers to the last couple of problems while Ren's telling Mai about her brother, and gets a wry look: he can sympathize with that outlook.

When Ren addresses him again while Mai's off to get more water, he blinks, then spreads his pencil hand wide. "You're welcome to join us, let me give you the address and my number, text me and I'll text you back the time we settle on, okay?" More scribbling, but on the back page of the notebook, which he tears out and gives to Ren.

More coffee and the ginger sipping thereof, and then Mamoru closes his textbook.

Abruptly he grimaces, ducking his head a little and obscuring his expression via reflection off glasses and shadow from his hair. "I'm sorry to bail, but I have to go--," he says, tone a little strained, trying to keep the worry out of it. "Mai-chan," he calls a little too loudly, getting up and jamming his book and notebook in his school bag. He adds all in a rush, "I have to run can you bring my books home with you I'll stop by tomorrow morning to pick them up I'm sorry I owe you--"

And then the bell's ringing because the door's open; people come and go so quickly here.

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

How very quickly are those departures and arrivals; Mai, recovered and holding a tray with two glasses of water, barely has time to raise one hand to wave. "See you the-"

There's not many reasons he could need to leave that quickly...but Mai has a good guess what. Duty - and a massive crush on Mamoru's part - call, and he must answer, right? "Well. That was sudden." She flips open the order book. "Only ordered coffee anyway, easy enough to catch up with him again..."

Mai suddenly remembers what she was in the middle of doing, and sets a second water glass before Ren. "Yeah, Chiba-san does that sometimes, I'm just used to it by now. Anyway - glad to hear Infinity's working out for you, Aizawa-san. Think you'll join the study group?" Another glance to the kitchen - and there's a plate sitting there. "-answer in just a moment."

It's only a few seconds before Mai returns with Ren's plate - a third of it holding a pile of 'French fries', another third containing an assortment of steamed vegetables, and the remainder taken up by the 'hamburger sandwich' - a crusty bun, holding a well-cooked circle of meat, topped with a little gravy, some slices of tomato, and assorted greens.

It is piping hot.

"Fresh from the kitchen - hope it's what you were looking to try tonight!"

<Pose Tracker> Ren Aizawa [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"Really? I can?" Talk about luck! The piece of paper with Mamoru's address and number is taken and tucked away safely in her pocket. There will be /no/ losing of it, thank you very much. "Alright! Take care~" She gives the tall high schooler a wave as he departs, happy the interaction ended placidly. It was a bit rough at the beginning given her spazzines but that's all in the past now!

"He does? Well, I guess he's busy, huh?" Ren muses, indeed waiting for Mai to return with her order before continuing. "I think I'll join, yeah. I could really use an environment like that. I'll be pleased if you guys would have me."

The food set down before her looks delicious, too. "Ahh! This is everything I wanted! Thanks for recommending it, Tokiha-san!"

And then there is much eating and enjoyment of said eating. Yay!