2014-07-21 - Special Delivery!

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Title: Special Delivery

Enjoy your birthday cake, Miss Palissandre.


Zoisite, Mai Tokiha, Mamoru Chiba


The Ohtori dorms

OOC - IC Date:

14 February 2014 - 7/21/2014

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

It's Zoisite's birthday. Mamoru wasn't sure if it was REALLY Zoisite's birthday or just a date he made up for Zoë Palissandre's student records, but-- it's the only date he's got for it. And like he told Mai, it sucks when nobody celebrates your birthday! Even if you're part of the Dark Kingdom.

So he set up this whole sketchy prospect with Mai in order to get Zoi a cake. A triple chocolate fudge cake, absurdly fancy, made fresh that day at the Linden Baum. There was a message left on Zoi's smartphone from the diner telling him-- well, telling Zoë-- that there'd be a delivery at the exchange student's dorm room, including the time and date, two days before; there's another one the day before; there's another reminder day of.

And now it is the appointed time and place.

"You thought you could sneak! No way. I'll be down the hall a ways, in henshin, just in case you need a hand. I want you to wear a bluetooth headset and I'll be listening over that--"

"Okay, headset's a bit much. Cellphone on in my pocket acceptable as a compromise?"


"Look, I just don't want you wasting money on gadgets when you're /still/ recovering from Hurricane Kyouko."

"I liquidated some assets!"

"That's not acceptable budgeting!"

"Look, I'm rich as Midas. I have a lot of things I don't need!"

"Fine! Earpiece or whatever it is, if you promise me you'll actually use it again after this."

"I would but you're right it's kind of obvious. Cellphone in pocket is more subtle."

So it's Delivery Girl Mai with cakebox, and Tuxedo Kamen lurking far enough away that he shouldn't be setting off any alarms, but totally listening.

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

Normally, the non-student staff at Linden Baum would handle deliveries. Student waitresses and cooks can only really work after-hours for the most part - but in special circumstances, like when the diner is swamped with orders, they might call upon their younger workers to spend part of the lunch break helping out.

In spite of Valentine's Day, the diner wasn't quite so swamped that they had to resort to such measures. All the same, Mai volunteered to handle the delivery; the dormitories were a bit out of the way, she reasoned, and it wouldn't be any extra trouble for her to drop it off.

Plus, knowing what she did about the recipient, Mai wasn't sure she wanted to expose her coworkers to extra risk in case anything went wrong. On top of that...it's a chance to see this infamous individual who has something going on with Tuxedo Mask. So, a quiet word with the manager, and Mai's name was put on the roster for handling this special delivery.

Somehow, Mamoru Chiba found out. And there was an argument. And Mai pinching the bridge of her nose more than once. Eventually, they hit a compromise, and the part-time waitress set out for her delivery. Wearing the official Linden Baum uniform, carefully carrying a box, with her cellphone tucked into her pocket, Mai makes her way down the hall. The phone's on, call open, running up the minutes, but if it will make her friend stop worrying...

She's at Zoisi- Zoë Palisandre's dorm room door. Carefully, she shifts the box to one hand - holding it like she would a tray of drinks - and knocks on the door with a bright smile. Just like any other customer.

<Pose Tracker> Zoisite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

It's not often that Zoisite spends time in Zoë's dorm room. He has a palace of his own, shared only with Kunzite; what need has he for a- a human cubbyhole?

Hot water gushes from brass, sluicing down Zoisite's willowy body and washing away errant suds. He reaches down to give the knob a deft twist, cutting the flow down to a drip, and slides the glass door open; steam floods the bathroom. Another deft movement, this one palm to glass, clears a swath of condensation from the mirror.

Baths are lovely, but sometimes you just want a shower.

The Shitennou smirks at his reflection for a moment before toweling off, then reaching up and lifting the luxurious bathrobe from its hook on the door. Its thick fabric will absorb any leftover damp, but mostly it's wonderfully comfortable. He turns, opens the bathroom door-

And hears a knock. Odd.

He takes another moment to, belatedly, wring a summer storm's worth of rain from his copper curls. Sure, he could ignore whomever's at the door, but if he does they might just decide to return at an even more inconvenient time. Or whatever.

A few steps bring Zoisite across the room (which is as luxurious as the robe and, most importantly, /all his/), and he pulls the door open without preamble to reveal -- a Linden Baum delivery girl.


is all he says.

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

It's a very luxurious room, and an equally luxurious robe, that greet Mai as the door opens. And, of course, the individual in that robe - Zoë Paliasandre. The delivery girl's smile doesn't falter - there isn't exactly a script, but a thousand customer greetings come to mind easily. This is her job, after all.

"Sorry to interrupt - Pallisandre-san, right? I'm from Linden Baum, and someone placed an order for you today." Mai doesn't waste time - she presents the box to the room's denizen on one hand, held out to be easy to grasp. "Prepaid, special order from what I heard..."

<Pose Tracker> Zoisite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

Zoi's immaculate eyebrows, tinted terracotta by damp, chevron downward slightly at Mai's cheery face. She seems familiar, and to hear 'prepaid special order'...is this a trap? It's laughably simple, the unexpected delivery ploy -- simple, and decidedly effective. He's employed it himself before...

Cautiously, he reaches out to accept the pastry box. If there's a youma or something inside -- or if the box itself is a youma -- he trusts he'll be able to vanish before it has a chance to strike. (The possibility that it could disable his magicks, or knock him out, lurks behind his certainty like a shark beneath a fishing boat.)

"Commande spéciale? Qui aurait...?" Zoë (who's remembered who she's supposed to be) murmurs -- and lifts the lid. From Mai's perspective, the faux French girl might well appear as though she's expecting the cake to be a bomb.

---<--@ @-->---

When Zoisite opens that box? It's the most deliciously unhealthy confection: a small cake, to be sure, but respectable nonetheless. If one should estimate servings by size, it looks to have five generous ones, or six slightly undersized ones. Chocolate ganache icing, and chocolate pound cake, and dark fudge decor, and chocolate pudding between the layers, and fresh ripe strawberries imported from god knows where at this time of year. Written on top in lovely white script is 'Happy Birthday Z'.

Not a Valentine's cake. Not at all.

There's a little notecard taped loosely to the inside top of the lid, and in it is written 'You beat me to 18! Many happy returns of the day. --M.C.'

---<--@ @-->---

"I..." The redhead swallows. In her vivid green eyes, light blooms and dims in conflicted chiaroscuro; crimson begins to powder her alabaster cheeks. Abruptly, she shuts the lid. (It closes poorly, as she's disregarded the proper channels for the interior flaps.) "That...that /idiot/!"

He wheels around as he sputters out that exclamation -- Mai may have to duck to avoid being whipped by wet waist-length hair -- and makes to slam the door. Before Zoisite gets it quite closed, though, he ducks his head back through the remaining opening. The crimson's conquered the bridge of his nose, now.



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

The caution isn't altogether unexpected from Mai's perspective. For one, it is Valentine's Day, and a girl receiving something could be seen as some cruel prank. For another...Mamoru said that Zoisite was some kind of spymaster. Paranoia is justified in that profession.

But Mai is a (semi) professional food server, and so she just keeps that cheerful smile as the customer unveils the gloriously chocolate-laden confection. She'd caught a glimpse of it when it was packed, and Linden Baum is a place that does this sort of thing. Even so, it's something to be almost jealous over.

The customer is blushing, and calling Chiba-san an idiot, and Mai does in fact have to duck the swinging hair. She's rising as the red face peers out, and gives a parting word - to which Mai can only respond as is tradition. "Have a nice day!"

And then she heads down the hall, as if nothing at all is out of the ordinary. Only after rounding a corner does she reach into her pocket to close the cellphone.

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

Way down the hall, that idiot's grinning like one as he lets his henshin go and hangs up his own phone, pocketing it. And then as soon as Mai's in range, he silently throws his arms around her and squeezes. "Thank you thank you thank you thank you," he whispers, and just like that, the hug's over and he tugs at her sleeve, trying to get them out even faster.

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

Mai starts, and nearly elbows the fast-approaching gentleman - until she realizes who it is, and relaxes. The hug, on the other hand, catches her off guard completely; by the time she can think of a response, it's already over and she's being led further down the hall.

...for a moment, she considers elbowing him anyway. Instead, she settles on a warm grin, and murmurs back. "It was fine. Wasn't expecting anything, was blown away and blushing when the cover came off." She walks a bit more quickly, keeping pace with Mamoru, but is more or less relaxed. Just another day of being a waitress.

"-oh, before I forget." She digs in another pocket, producing a ribbon-tied bag, and tosses it to her friend. "Happy Valentine's Day, enjoy, and so on. Kind of pales next to that cake, though..."

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

"Probably expecting a bomb or something," Mamoru whispers, trying not to laugh because it's not really funny, except it kind of is. "I heard the idiot comment. I really am. But I don't care. I'm not breaking the rules. Which is the biggest thank-you of all, you enabler," he continues to whisper, but it's affectionate. And he's grinning again. "He was blushing? That's-- I'm glad. He doesn't know you, and it was a surprise, so I'm sure it's a real reaction--"

And then suddenly he has chocolate, and he elbows Mai. "This is because you want a cake like that for White Day, isn't it," he says, eyebrows arched, managing to regain his composure because of the express intent to tease. "I'll have to get it from Midori-ya..."

And in the back of his head, as they leave the building for the one Mai's in, he's still hoping. Sometimes optimism is foolish. But sometimes--


<Pose Tracker> Zoisite [Infinity Institute (S)] has posed.

Inside Zoë Palissandre's dorm room, the angry clatter of china punctuates a litany of curses and assaults on Mamoru's intelligence and character. "That ridiculous, overdressed buffoon, who does he think he is, sending me a /birthday cake/ like I'm some sort of pathetic human, I don't know, thing, like we're /friends/--"

It wouldn't be as shocking if February 14th had been a made-up birthday, a date Zoisite had pulled out of a hat because 'DOB' was a required field in his Ohtori directory entry. No, it's Zoisite's real birthday, alright...if such a thing isn't automatically rendered meaningless by the circumstances of his reincarnation, anyway.

The furious recital of Mamoru's sins doesn't stop until Zoisite's mouth closes around the first forkful of lush chocolate cake. The pudding separating the layers feels more like thick mousse to his palate -- sturdy enough to hold up all that cake, because it wouldn't do for a cake such as this to be structurally unsound -- and the slice of strawberry he's included in this bite provides a much-needed tart counterpoint to cut through the richness.

By his fourth bite, Zoi's found himself feeling an undeniable prick of compunction, almost contrition, for the earnest idiot boy and his likely fate in the plans of which he's such a critical part.

He lets himself feel bad for two more whole bites. It's his birthday, he's allowed to indulge.