2014-07-04 - It's Just Cereal

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Title: It's Just Cereal

The grocery store. One box of a certain brand of cereal remains. Who will triumph?


Mamoru Chiba, Hayato Nishi, Shun Minami


Yamanote High City - some grocery store

OOC - IC Date:

7 February 2014 - 7/4/2014

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

"Are you SURE you're okay? He plowed through a room of-- I mean, there was this whole thing at the VR gaming place and there were a whole bunch of people objecting," this super-tall and thin black-haired high-schooler's saying, cradling his iPhone between ear and shoulder as he reaches to get a quart of milk. It goes in his basket, and he takes his phone in his hand again, brows creased as he talks. His voice is concerned, his style is offensively fashionable, his bearing is regal and his motions are reserved.

And down at the end of the aisle? Is the last box of the best chocolate sugar cereal in the history of ever, and Mamoru's eyes alight on it, and he makes a beeline and he will win this thing no one will get it before him. "Hang on a second I have to rescue--" Oh no someone's getting closer to it first. "--chocolate--"

<Pose Tracker> Hayato Nishi [None] has posed.

"...kind of strange that it was served in that kind of container. Weird drink, but it didn't taste too bad." A blond-haired man in an orange vest is carrying two shopping baskets as he makes his way down the aisle. Both of them are getting close to full, but the weight isn't bothering him. His path is more erratic than his companion - occasionally, something on display will catch his eye, and he'll at least consider whatever it is.

As a result, his groceries are rather eclectic in nature - he's got supplies for a dinner, several prepackaged things, two cartons of eggs, and he's looking over cereal boxes. "How people ever decide what to get, I don't know - oh, this one has chocolate. Think it tastes like those brownies from the other day?" Hayato Nishi, broad and blocking the path to the last box of chocolate-flavored cereal, and considering...

<Pose Tracker> Shun Minami [None] has posed.

"It was surprisingly unsweet," agrees the young man walking with the blond. That he called a melted dessert 'unsweet' is only testament to how sweet he thinks Earth drinks are *supposed* to be. He himself has dark hair, long and tied loose in the back, and wears a white jacket. He carries no baskets, and instead holds open a book that he reads as he walks and talks. He has no trouble doing three things at once, and no trouble letting someone else do his heavy lifting for him.

That's why he asked Hayato to join him in the first place, after all.

He looks up at the cereals when his companion points them out, noting as he does so the other young man who's beelining towards them. "Go ahead and get it," he tells him, consequently. "We'll find out soon enough. It's the only one left, so it seems popular."

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

So: that guy is big and blocking the cereal. And the guy with the book is-- oh Mamoru heard that. And that 'life preserver' vest jacket is awfully familiar...

Mamoru needs the cereal badly. Badly enough that it would show up as a warning in an 8-bit RPG. But this guy is the guy who was making out with his car. He should be easy to distract, right? It's always worth a shot.

Right behind Hayato, because even if he's comparatively a stick he's just as tall, Mamoru says brightly, "Oh you found someone to show you around the city? Excellent, man!" He says to his phone, "Eri, gotta go," then unceremoniously hangs up and sticks it in his pocket. Meanwhile, the arm without the basket hanging from it is snaking around the side of Hayato that Mamoru's not talking on to make a grab for the box.

<Pose Tracker> Hayato Nishi [None] has posed.

A strange substance - creamy, sweet, with lumps of mochi that were almost like deflated balloons. Hayato considers his companion's judgement - he found it fairly sweet, himself, but maybe he's just been finding relatively sour Earth foods like cookies?

Does that mean there are things that taste even better?

Well, the popular cereal is the easy choice, and he begins to reach for it - and then a familiar voice calls out, and Hayato turns on instinct. It's - that guy! The one with the book, and the fancy car, and the advice on where to get coffee. "Oh, you again! No, this is my colleague - we just came out to get some groceries. That coffee shop was good, by the way."

Hayato has, however, been distracted - even as he's talking, even as Mamoru starts reaching subtly. "Do you know anything about this chocolate cereal?"

<Pose Tracker> Shun Minami [None] has posed.

Now there's a surprise. Not much of one, really, but all the same, Shun hadn't expected they'd run into someone one of them has met. Green eyes flick over to Hayato as he and Mamoru greet one another. "An acquaintance of yours?" he asks, noting the way Mamoru's trying to reach around Hayato to get that box of cereal. He'd again prompt Hayato to take it, but the taller young man opts instead to ask Mamoru about it, so Shun leaves it as is.

He also doesn't bother to introduce himself to Mamoru, though he does take a moment to visually size him up. Shun isn't quite as tall as Hayato, but he's still quite tall.

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

Even the question about it doesn't stay the bold hand of chocolate acquisition. Mamoru's fingers close around the cereal box, and he pulls it off the shelf quick like the strike of a cobra. Except in reverse. Because then he is holding it to his chest protectively. "This stuff? Oh, haha, uh-- well, you know, it's like a lot of other chocolate cereals. Like that one, or that one... and the one next to it is good too--"


Mamoru's attention rapidly shifts to Shun in an attempt to find something, anything to get Hayato off the topic of the cereal. "What are you reading??" No that's not desperation. Really. Honest.

<Pose Tracker> Hayato Nishi [None] has posed.

"Acquaintance? Something like that - he gave me directions to a coffee shop." Hayato gives Mamoru a nod, thinking of the other time they met - but that one, he won't bring up now. Belatedly, he realizes that the cereal box he was asking about has been taken.

"Hrm. Which of them is the best, then?" Hayato looks from one box, to another, to the one in Mamoru's hands...

<Pose Tracker> Shun Minami [None] has posed.

The corner of Shun's mouth starts to turn up as he watches this unspoken struggle over, of all things, chocolate breakfast cereal. The way that black-haired young man is getting so flustered over it is simultaneously bizarre and amusing to him, and when Mamoru tries to change the subject to what Shun is reading, he snaps the book shut... and slips it into his pocket.

"Oh, nothing in particular," he replies, smiling. "I apologize for distracting you from your conversation." Because Shun is just /so/ helpful like that. His smile does at least fade as he looks over at his companion. "Hayato, shouldn't you pick one already? It's just cereal."

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

"Popular opinion in online breakfast cereal forums lists that one," Mamoru says to Hayato, giving Shun a disapproving look. He almost--

--almost does something else, like maybe insult Shun, when the book goes in the man's pocket. And that last little flare of indignation...

Something does snap, but it's not the teenager's temper. He holds the box out to Hayato, not looking interested anymore. "This one's just my personal favorite. You can have it if you want." Something's shifted in his face, but there's a mild smile over whatever it is.

<Pose Tracker> Hayato Nishi [None] has posed.

Just cereal, yes - but it's a first time trying it. It makes sense to try to make sure the first time trying a new food or drink is a good one, right? Otherwise, you'd wind up thinking that coffee was supposed to have seventeen sugars all the time or something. So Hayato is taking this as seriously as finding an item to use in a plan.

In short, he reaches out to the shelf, and grabs the nearest box there - the one Mamoru indicated, coincidentally.

Shun's comment has made Mamoru snap, and Hayato is just confused. "It does seem to be popular..." He needs a moment to rearrange the baskets he's carrying - there's meat and vegetables and juice and milk, and fitting in a box or two of cereal takes some work.

<Pose Tracker> Shun Minami [None] has posed.

"'Online breakfast forums'? Really?" Shun repeats with a bit of a laugh to his voice. He's still smirking when he adds, "My apologies--it's just difficult for me to imagine anyone ever caring that much about food."

...he says, in spite of evidence to the contrary standing RIGHT NEXT TO HIM.

But something in Mamoru's demeanor changes. Somehow, he seems to... give him. Being a man who very jealously conceals his inner self, Shun feels reasonably certain that Mamoru's smile and offer of the box he'd just managed to snatch up is meant to cover up something he doesn't want to show.

"Is something the matter?" he consequently wonders, expression now fading into a show of contrite concern. "I apologize if I offended you; that wasn't my intent."

This is a blatant lie, but whatever will get him talking. Also, it's good that Hayato didn't remark aloud on his thoughts, or Shun would be giving him *such* a flat glare right now. As it is, the green-eyed youth lets him start to juggle where he's going to put these cereal boxes.

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

There's this sort of nonplussed look that glides onto the mild smile and sticks there as Hayato stops apparently caring about the cereal in his hand, but prepares to take it anyway-- Mamoru stands there holding the box until Hayato takes it, because he's committed now.


He forgets he's holding it out when Shun starts acting all contrite, and by now the teenager's forgotten the comment that derailed him, that sent him into questioning his life choices: 'it's just cereal'. He's in the middle of questioning his life choices! The fact that there is conversation directed his way is something he's having a little difficulty parsing.

He looks at Shun for a length of time that is almost, but not quite, uncomfortable, and then the words catch up with him and his mind re-engages in the here and now.

"You didn't offend me..." Mamoru says, puzzled. "Something the matter? No, no. I just remembered how much homework I have, and I've got to get going." In other words, Usagi likes someone else and I can't even try to save Zoisite and Luna hates me and I've been being unfair to Mai and it's terrible and I am a horrible human being and I fail the Princess every day by not finding the Illusory Silver Crystal and not knowing whether to believe her and

He smiles at Shun apologetically, and with a little more conviction.

He's still holding the box out.

<Pose Tracker> Hayato Nishi [None] has posed.

Even Hayato Nishi cannot miss a cue like this. It is just cereal, after all - so it's simple enough to take the box that is offered.

Sometimes, decisions aren't difficult.

Now Hayato's load of groceries, along with everything else, includes two different brands of cereal - and some milk, but not enough for all of it. Not yet his concern now, though. He gives Mamoru a nod. "Well, that helps. Good luck dealing with the homework, then."

Whatever homework is. It's either some task or some food that needs to be dealt with, right? Either way, this might be enough groceries...hang on. "Shun, did you need to get more tea?" He does drink a lot, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Shun Minami [None] has posed.

And Shun meets Mamoru's eyes and holds them, expectantly, waiting patiently for him to reply. His expression remains in 'politely contrite' mode, and if he feels like laughing at Mamoru taking a moment to re-engage with the present moment, he shows no outward sign of it.

"Oh. Is that so?" Shun replies. He is no mind-reader and of course can't tell whatever problems Mamoru has going on in his life, but he smiles nonetheless, expression now keyed to friendly, eyes squinted shut. "Then thank you for your generosity! I do wish you the best on your homework."

He opens his eyes then and looks back over at Hayato, or more specifically Hayato's baskets. They're pretty full right now. Good thing he won't have to carry any of it. "Hm. I suppose I had better, while we're here," he muses. "Let's pick some up and then head out. It looks like we have everything we need."

'Need' is of course being used in the loosest sense possible.

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

Hand now freed of cereal and conviction on the smile wavering, Mamoru offers Shun and Hayato the slightest of bows. "It's no trouble. And thank you, you're very kind."

Life choices.

Mamoru stands there for a moment, watching them begin to move off, then silently takes a box of some other cereal off the shelf, pauses, and puts it back.

It's just cereal.