2015-07-12 - Are You Going To Comiket

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Title: Are You Going To Comiket?

Fuu stops by Linden Baum for food and information. Time to get caught up!


Mai Tokiha, Fuu Hououji


Linden Baum Diner

OOC - IC Date:

5 August 2014 - 07/12/2015

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Thank you, please come again!" Disregarding the server's parting words, the last couple of guests from the lunch rush departs Linden Baum restaurant - a boy-and-girl pair, with the latter clinging to the former's arm with nearly-literal stars in her eyes. The cheerful smile on Mai's face fades as they leave the restaurant, walking off into the distance; her gaze follows them for a little while, something between longing and envy in that look...but she lets out a sigh, and turns to the restaurant as a whole.

It's a mess. Half the tables - and it's only down to half by virtue of diligence on the staff's part - are still a mess of dirty dishes and discarded detritus. The lunch special was a particularly appealing bargain today, it seems, for all that it ended an hour ago...but finally, the last of that crowd is gone.

There's a sigh of relief, echoed by others around, and a couple of waitresses wave as they head toward the back. "I was supposed to be off half an hour ago - I'm done. Have fun with the cleanup." "Me too - the floor's yours, Tokiha!"

She gives them a good-natured glare - offset by her grin - and waves back. "Yeah, yeah. I'll be free in a few hours, don't brag too much there." She starts cleaning up as they depart, wiping down tables and gathering dishes with practised efficiency. Even all that practice can only go so far, though - when the bell next dings, she's got both arms covered with dishes on her way to the back. "Ah - good afternoon! I'm just tidying up, welcome to Linden Baum - how many in your party?" Just a little desperation in that last question...

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Just one, Tokiha-san," Fuu answers Mai, giving the harried waitress a friendly smile. She's in fairly casual clothes today, a sleeveless black top and a knee-length dark green skirt, with sneakers on her feet; she's carrying a couple of shopping bags from a couple of different stores - one electronics (fairly small so probably a new game), one from a bookstore, and one from a nearby department store which might have clothes, if Mai pays enough attention to the stores around her workplace (or around Tokyo generally).

"I was hoping you might have time to chat," Fuu adds, "but it seems like you're still very busy ... ?" Her smile takes a more sympathetic aspect as she adds that half-question.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

There's a visible sigh of relief - paired with a double-take as Mai recognizes her latest visitor. "Ah - Hououji-san! Sorry, it was a busy lunch hour - I'll take these to the kitchen quickly, just a second." If her gaze flickers to the shopping bags, she doesn't verbally comment on anything - and with plates rattling precariously, she dashes off to the kitchen to relieve herself of that burden.

When she returns, she has a basket of cleaning supplies, a packet of utensils, and a menu. "Sorry again, we're still cleaning after the rush - between the busy times, though. As long as you're willing to put up with me cleaning while we chat, it shouldn't be a problem." It's a smile, in the end, past all the stress. "Come on, table six just needs a quick wipedown."

One of the tables they pass is still 'decorated' with a ring of pineapple pieces in syrup, and Mai cringes at the sight. It's two booths down that she's picked, though - a four-person table that she gives a quick spray and wipe with a cloth before setting it. "There you go - I'll just work at the pineapple duo's latest disaster while you look over the menu." That one's going to need some scrubbing, but she's still close enough to be heard without raising her voice too much. "So what did you want to talk about?"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Unlike SOME customers, Fuu's good manners extend to being waited on in a restaurant without making extra hassle for the staff; she looks somewhat askance at the pineapple disaster, but doesn't make any comments on it ... at least, not until Mai mentions it. "Are they regulars who do that?" she wonders as she takes a seat, setting her bags down in front of her chair and using her legs and feet to keep them from falling over. Fortunately, the combined bulk is sufficiently slim that she can do so without looking un-ladylike.

"Mostly to see how you've been," she replies sotto voce to Mai's quiet question. "And to try to find out some things I may have missed in the course of things ..."

She continues closer to a normal speaking volume to add, "Also, I was wondering if you were planning to visit Comiket. It might not be part of your interests, so I understand if you weren't going."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"You could say that." There's just the hint of bubbling anger, the faintest vestiges of a growl. "It's this pair who I think are dating this week - they've been on-again, off-again for months, and their breakups tend to be in here. Over pineapple sundaes." Mai scrubs furiously at the spill, which is at least contained to the table for once.

While the griping is loud enough for even those in the kitchen to hear - and there's a faint 'yyyyeah' from someone in back - she doesn't answer Fuu's real question right away. Not until the worst of the spill's been dealt with, and she can let out a relieved sigh. "I should be asking you that - how you'd recovered after everything in that strange Garden place. ...that woman didn't make it out, by the way. Unless you mean in general, in which case...things have been better."

She straightens up, finishing the wipedown, and starts collecting dishes from the next table over. They clatter more loudly than her voice until properly arranged, and she's a hint more chipper with her next answer. "Not exactly my field - and frankly I don't have the time. A couple of my coworkers are thinking of going, apparently, but someone has to cover for them..."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"It sounds like you're earning some extra vacation time with having to cover for your less diligent colleagues," Fuu says sympathetically, looking over the menu while Mai's focusing on cleanup. "I've actually got a game to show off at Comiket - it's not really *done* yet, but I think the early stages are good enough to distribute as a demo ... or maybe to sell as a 'down payment' on the completed game. I don't really feel right about charging for it, but the Infinity computer club does have to cover their costs, and my family isn't THAT wealthy."

She didn't miss the bit about the Garden, but she's less confident in making herself heard to one person without being overheard by others ... and then there's figuring out how to word her reply. When she gets the chance, though, she appends quietly, "I was sore and tired when I woke up, but I could pass it off as getting hit by a bike messenger and slammed into a wall when I didn't look where I was going on my way out of a store. My parents are going to lose some faith in my ability to get around on my own at this rate," she says with wry chagrin and a dose of self-deprecation. "No lasting harm done, though, as far as I've been able to tell. And it seems that we managed to prevent another apocalypse, so."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Vacation time? Mai laughs, just a little bitterly, as she works on tidying up a handful of dishes. "Well, it's overtime - we're hourly, not salaried. So I think of it as their loss, my gain - don't get me wrong, it sounds fantastic. I just haven't had the time to check it out myself in years..." She pauses, halfway through stacking up classes. Dark thoughts for a moment...but when she turns to Fuu, it's with a bright smile. "That's great to hear - good luck with it! What kind of game is it?"

The rest of it, she doesn't address until she's done that table, and another set of seats closer to Fuu. Quiet words, to match Fuu's own quiet. "That's good to hear. And...somewhat. I think I managed to help a bit, but that whole situation..." She shakes her head sadly - and looks up, meeting Fuu's spectacled eyes directly.

"...it's good to hear your parents will at least worry about you. That was the worst part, I think - just, realizing that people like that Fate girl's mother could exist..."

What cleaning she'd been getting done has come to a halt - she's actually supporting herself on the table now, and her gaze drifts down to the floor.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Fuu nods slowly, "It's ... I don't understand how any mother could be like that, either. Even if Fate was a clone or something, rather than a naturally-born child ..."

There's too much Fuu doesn't know about that topic, though; she lets the thought trail off. "As to my game, it's an old-school-style computer role-playing game, I've been working on it in RPG Maker. It's sort of based on the old Showa Kamen Rider shows, but with a couple of more modern twists ..." She pauses, looking around as if to make sure nobody else is eavesdropping.

"Basically, the villains in the game are trying to harness the ill will and dark thoughts of civilians in the game's real world, and to breed monsters with those emotions that will let them overturn the current society so they can take over. One of their monster-makers latches onto the wrong type of person, though, and instead of becoming a monster, she turns into a heroine who can fight the monsters and free those who were transformed against their will."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"That...was part of it." Mai shakes her head, thinking back to Precia's ranting - particularly, what happened after Fuu passed out. "Her re- her first daughter, Alicia, was killed or near enough, and she was desperate. Fate was created to help her get to where she got, but the whole time she was desperately trying to help Alicia..."

The waitress trails off, staring out the window for a moment. Slowly, steadily, she straightens her back and takes a deep breath. "...and now they're gone. Precia fell into some hole in the universe, and Alicia fell in with her." She scrunches her eyes shut. "...and now it's just Fate to carry on her family legacy. Just a little girl..." She turns away, back to the table, and works on wiping it clean until it shines.

It's a little while before she answers again - not until that table's done. "...well, the game certainly sounds interesting. I might tell a friend of mine about it, at least - though that kind of monster certainly sounds familiar. Based on anything you've run into, perchance?..." Even turned away, Fuu can probably -hear- the grin in that tone.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Fuu smiles, "There are a few things I could be accused of ripping off, if anyone wanted to charge me with plagiarism. I suppose the title is the big giveaway - I've been calling it 'Mahou Senshi Gundame' until a better title comes along. And since the heroine DOES turn into an MS Girl ... well, you understand part of why I'm reluctant to charge money for it, even though Sunrise tends to be lenient towards doujin creators."

Despite her ready smile, though, Fuu does feel a bit of a sting at hearing Fate's ... well, fate. To be alone like that ... never mind carrying on a family legacy, just surviving would be - "Does Fate-san have someone to take care of her?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

This time, Mai laughs. "Not what I was talking about. Though I doubt there's going to be any dark generals at Comiket..." She half-turns, enough that the grin can be seen. "Sounds interesting, though - I imagine Comiket's seen more egregious sales, honestly. I wouldn't worry so much."

Another table down, only a dozen to go - but Mai takes a short break from cleaning, leaning against one of the booth-style seats with one arm. Her gaze is fixed out the window, not turned directly towards Fuu - helping to conceal any hints of wetness, if not hiding it completely. "...she's being taken in, yeah. Watched is more like it - circumstances aside, she did work for a dark mage. But things seemed stable, last I'd heard...anyway. I should probably ask you if you want a drink...?"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

It *is* about the point to ask for her order, isn't it? Fuu switches gears smoothly; she'd had an idea of what she wanted already, and the menu helped confirm. "Iced oolong tea, please. And I think I've decided on what I'd like to eat - a BLT, and a chocolate parfait for dessert."

As for egregious sales at Comiket ... if Mai's never been there, she probably has little to no idea. There certainly ARE fan products which would make some of the original creators bristle or blush - which is why Fuu is content with the idea of manning a booth this year, and not going looking for other people's works. And on the other subject, if Fuu notices wetness on Mai's face, she's certainly not going to draw attention to it.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Right - just a minute, while I go put that in." She's actually gone two - but she's walking more confidently on her way back, a tray with a tall glass of iced oolong already gaining condensation. Something cool, against the summer heat outside...

"The sandwich will be a few minutes - they were cleaning the grill when I checked. Anyway - so like I said, hopefully Comiket will go well but I probably won't be able to make it. If you want something a bit less expensive than convention fare, though..." Stepping back, Mai starts to indicate Linden Baum...but winks instead. "I could probably get you the names of a few five-star restaurants!"

She returns to cleaning the next table over - more dishes to gather, more spills to mop up. Her voice is quiet again, as she works. "So that covers the biggest points I can think of from the Garden - the world's still turning. Other than that...I'm hoping to swing a trip to the beach, next time I have a few days off. Have you made it to the ocean yet this year?"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

That last question actually provokes a wince from Fuu, and she shakes her head. "We had a trip planned, but my father was called away on a business trip that he couldn't take the family on and we haven't been able to sort out alternate plans yet. And I have a new swimsuit and everything ..."

In spite of Labyrinth spawning monsters practically every time she tried to go shpping for one, she did finally manage to get something that wasn't TOO embarassing to be seen in. "Is it just me, or does it seem like the clothing industry - including swimwear in particular - always seems to discriminate against your own body type, whatever type that might be?"

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Mm. Sorry to hear about that. Well, maybe you can hitch a ride with some friends - and there's always the big Sister Schools plan, whatever that winds up being. I imagine there'll be a chance, don't worry!" Mai looks down at the table, where her grin is reflected in a fine sheen - another one down. Next up...she groans. Chocolate syrup everywhere...

More to divert herself from the chocolatey mess she needs to clean up next, she turns back to Fuu. There's a tight wince at her comment - "I've run into that a bit, time and again..." She clears her throat. "Stylish, comfortable, well-fitting, reasonably priced. Pick...one, I guess. Two if you're really lucky. I should make sure my suit from last year still fits, come to think of it..."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Fuu takes a sip of her iced tea, nodding appreciatively as she sips; the heat is not gentle today, and just stepping into the air-conditioned restaurant was a much-needed relief from it. The iced oolong tea is much needed, even if Fuu's usual composure hides how sweltering it's been at points in her shopping trip today. "I'm not sure 'stylish' is how I'd describe that part of the equation," the bespectacle'd blonde says with a wry smile, "but 'fit to be seen wearing in public' is rather more wordy, so 'stylish' will certainly do. I think I have a couple of coupons that might help if you need to look at stores around this part of the city, if you'd like them? 'Reasonably priced' *is* a big challenge ..."

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Mai is quick to shake her head at that suggestion. "Like I said, last year's should still fit - I doubt I've grown that much - so I should be fine. Mikoto might have a bit more of a challenge, mind...but we'll figure something out. So what-"

"Order's up!"

Mai pauses, glancing back at the chocolate syrup. Right, she's technically working, not gossiping. "Right, one moment..." She darts off, returning with her tray occupied by a nicely organized BLT. Whoever prepared it has experience with layer cakes and parfaits - even cut through, the tower of toast and bacon and lettuce and tomato shows its stratification. There's a side of fries, because of course there is.

"And there you go! I just need to work at this stain, apparently someone else was clumsy with their fudge..." Time to go scrubbing with some force.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"At least the stain is all on the table," Fuu remarks with a sympathetic smile. She spreads a napkin over her lap, then carefully picks up a section of her BLT, compressing it so that it'll fit properly between her teeth without pieces sliding out of place ..

  • munch*

"Mmmm ..." She smiles around the first bite of her sandwich, chewing contentedly. Further conversation is going to be slightly delayed by delicious food on her part, and probably by additional clean-up on Mai's side of things.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

A glance to the seats. "...I wish." Mai spends a good while scrubbing, while Fuu enjoys that sandwich; by the time she's done snarling at the chocolate stain, a few minutes have passed. She straightens up, stretching out her back as much as professional poise will permit.

Right. "So from the looks of things in the kitchen, it'll be a few minutes before the parfait's ready - how's the main dish? And - any other recent crises we should catch up on? Tomoe certainly seemed to be doing well after her antics at the fireworks show..."

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Fuu swallows a fry, and smiles. "The sandwich is perfect, thank you. I'm glad I missed the rush, truthfully. I'm not aware of any other looming crises ..."

She pauses, frowning a little. "That seems like it should worry me, as much as I'd love to enjoy the rest of the summer without any further incidents. Tomoe-san is ... ?" There are a lot of magical girls whose names Fuu still hasn't pinned down; Mai is one of the few whom she knows in both civilian and combat lives. She *thinks* she has a sense of who Mai's talking about, but ...

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

...there's Searrs. Mai almost starts to bring that up as one thing on the horizon - but partway into saying the first word, she closes her mouth. Maybe it's thanks to Natsuki, but...part of her really doesn't want to bring that up to someone not involved. Ominous conspiracies and all...

She clears her throat. "Sorry - the one with the rifles. Who apparently saw fighting that Homura girl as more important than dealing with those robots..." Mai frowns at this, remembering the vault at Infinity, and the battle there. "...still haven't gotten a full answer on that that whole deal was, but...Tomoe didn't approve of her holding those jewels Precia was after. For what good that did..."

Back in the kitchen, the last handful of cherries are being sliced.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Fuu nods, "She's seemed to be on the proper side of most fights, yes ... I think I'm glad those jewels are no longer an issue for us, or for this world. Hopefully not for any world." She finishes her sandwich on that note.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Tokiha [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"The proper side seems to be hers, huh..." Mai looks out the window for a moment. What she's contemplating might well be a mystery for some time, but she drums her fingers on the nearby table as she muses...

Her silence is broken from without. "Order's ready, I'm getting back to the cleanup!" She turns at this, sees the parfait ready, notes Fuu's nearly-empty plate.

"Right - I've got to get to the mopping. I'll just bring your parfait over, and get to that - hope you're enjoying the summer!" True to her word, she pauses in her newfound motion just long enough to deliver the parfait - and then it's back to clearing tables and mopping floors. Quite the cleanup to do...

Quite the parfait, too. Cookies and melon slices serve as architectural support to hold in the ice cream and whipped topping and chocolate sauce - layer upon layer organized elegantly, with a dozen varieties of sweet among the contents.

And to think, this is the 'basic' parfait...

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"I'm sorry, that wasn't quite what I meant," Fuu says with an apologetic smile. (Smiles can be so versatile, can't they?) "Just that she's been fighting for the same reason as we have been, most of the time that I've seen her. If her priorities diverge from ours, then I see no reason to dispute it as long as she's still trying to protect people."

The time it takes for her parfait to arrive is enough - barely - to finish off her fries ... although the size of the parfait makes her wonder if she should have left some fries uneaten. She's seen the parfaits here before, but she always underestimates them.

Either way, it IS going to take some time to work through the lavish dessert, and she lets Mai focus on her mopping in the meantime. Maybe they can talk some more later ... or maybe they'll just have to catch up further at a later date.