2017-05-14 - Girls, Interrupted

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Title: Girls, Interrupted

Studying for high school entrance exams is so much more fun when you have cake! And so much less fun when a cake-obsessed Orphan makes the scene...


Saki Hyuuga, Takeo Akamizu, Mai Mishou, Makoto Kino, Usagi Tsukino, Hibiki Houjou, Nori Ankou, Yumi Ohzora, Fuu Hououji, Hikaru Shidou, Michiru Kiryuu, Kaoru Kiryuu

GM: Hotaru Tomoe


Linden Baum Diner

OOC - IC Date:

05-14-2017 - 01-19-2015

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Linden Baum Diner +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
  Bright and airy, this establishment serves delicious Western food at
  reasonable prices, and for that entertains an enormous student contingent
  alongside families with young children and the occasional informal business
  lunch. This combination makes for a frenetic waitstaff under enormous
  pressure, but their plum, pink and white uniforms (vests, bow ties and black
  slacks for the boys, puffy white sleeves and vaguely french maid yet not
  unclassy ruffled aprons for the girls) are an unspoken draw to customers as
  well. They can be seen at all hours, frantically ferrying parfait, pancakes,
  salads and steaks across the squeaky clean (and slipper when wet) hardwood
  floors, from the invisible-but-for-occasional-plumes-of-steam kitchen to the
  bouncy magenta leather booths.

  A single-story building made of brick but mostly windows, Linden Baum
  proudly proclaims its name in English above the door, alongside its
  signature linden tree. Inside, tiny cream crowns are etched into the beige
  wallpaper, with more abstract but vaguely gothic etchings done in the glass
  that separates dining areas. Large portraits of various delectable items
  (with Japanese translation and price) adorn the walls, while each
  ivory-painted wooden table sports tableware rolled in bright white napkins
  and fold-out menus done in the restaurant's signature magenta.
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Linden Baum is a madhouse.

Now, this is often true, but it seems that the restaurant underestimated the scale of the response to their 'study for entrance exams, get a good deal on cake' promotion. Every table is full, most of them packed to overflowing capacity, and that's before one takes all the books, laptops and bags into account. The wait staff are not so much poetry in motion as a frenetic breakdance, but somehow all the customers have drinks and cake, pretty much all the time. At least no one is asking for their check.

The noise level is a continuous oscillation between 'happy humming beehive' and 'people realizing that they're just loud enough to be rude and frantically piping down'. It is definitely no library, though studying seems to be taking place nonetheless. Despite the relatively fun environment, this is deadly serious business for the 9th graders (and a few high school seniors studying between multiple college entrance exams, which are being held this week) -- they only have about a month left to prepare.

Newcomers are largely stuck trying to beg a place at a table that has space, which is almost none of them, though miraculously one table has just been cleaned and will be taking seating presently. Another notable table has tons of room for some reason; two girls in Infinity Institute middle-school uniforms are sitting there, and apparently their impenetrably cool expressions have kept anyone from braving their company. Some would recognize them as the new transfer students, Michiru and Kaoru Kiryuu. (They're not even 9th-graders, what are they doing hogging a whole table to themselves? In fact, they're not even doing the special... they aren't studying, and haven't ordered cake. Just infinitely refillable coffee, which they sip with damnable patience.)

<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Saki Hyuuga is in 8th grade, but she'll presumably have to take another test at some point in her life, so that's close enough, right!? And, well...you can't offer cheap cake and expect Saki Hyuuga won't darken your door. There are some constants, in this world.

Which is why Saki, still in her Infinity school uniform and with her book bag slung over her shoulder, and in the company of her usual entourage (read: Mai Mishou), steps boldly into the restaurant and--!

"Oh wow it's packed," Saki gasps, awestruck. "Panpakapan never gets like this!" (Panpakapan also isn't this kind of restaurant but, details) "Uh..." She cranes around, wondering if Yuuko or Hitomi are around (no), or Kenta (also no), or Kayo (still no), or what's her noodle, Mai's friend from art, Ayano? (again no) "Wow...Uh, can we get..."

...OH. "Hey! Mai! It's them!" she chirps, and points at the conspicuously under-occupied table; and despite the nearly physical repelling force of the Kiryuu sisters' stone-faced demeanors, she smiles to the MC and says, "Our friends are right over there!" and pops right on over to the lonely table. "Michiru! Kaoru!" she chimes, sweeping up to the table and setting her hip against it. "Wow, it's lucky you're here! This place is so busy it's crazy! Can we sit?"

They've met, apparently.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The diner that Takeo usually frequents because of the awesome bacon they prepare is currently a mad house, and as near as Takeo can tell, as close to a warzone a diner is likely to ever be. He has a different purpose other than bacon today. No, that most delicous of causes is put on hold, as he has a quest to accomplish today. He had made a promise. A promise to a girl whom he .... Is a very good freind of. One of these days he's going to have talk to her about that, but everytime he tries, a monster or Morgana shows up. He sighs. This is the life of a High School Student who is also the Chevalier Knight Lancelot.

He waits in line, and mvoes ever slowly forward. Eventually, he'll get to the front, and when he does he'll succede in his quest, and the world will be better. He makes a fist in determination. This time. This time when he gives Mai Tokiha a cake, she won't nearly die from the experience. Because this time, he won't have been the one to make it! He nods in determination, his path set. He steps forward to the front of the line and -

"Oh. No table for me miss. Er no, no bacon either. I need a slice of the double chocolatte fudge cake to go. Er. Make it two. I'll bring one to my sister." He says smiling. Mika would be studying for the High School entrance exams. She may be on the brink of death, but apparently home schooling didn't care about that! So, after he gives Mai a piece of cake, he'll bring Mika one. He nods agian and then blinks at the waitress. "Er. No, really I don't need bacon ... "

<Pose Tracker> Mai Mishou [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

As she often is, Mai Mishou is an island of calm in a sea of frantic. She is notoriously hard to faze -- the sort of girl who always has a smile on her face, who seems to take most things in stride. She compartmentalizes well, of course, and the real hint that she is bothered is how she taps her pencil against an open palm in a steady rhythm that matches the frenetic beat of the inside of Linden Baum.

She follows after Saki; she is here, in part, to support Saki. More studying certainly couldn't hurt.

"It is packed," she agrees, with a pleasant smile on her face. It hides some of her nervousness. This is a lot more people than she is used to. "I wonder--hm?"

Her eyes turn, until she finds the Kiryuus. She doesn't sweep in like Saki. Instead, she walks in the wake of the wave that is her best friend, and she waves her hand at them. The smile on her face is as warm as it ever is. "Hello, Michiru-san, Kaoru-san," she says. "We would be very grateful if we could sit there!"

<Pose Tracker> Makoto Kino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Makoto Kino is a third-year on her way towards high school... or she might be, if she can manage to pass. Her grades are not the best and never have been, and even with Ami's diligent help, it might not be enough. You've got to put your own effort in, after all! ...but it might be hopeless... No!! She can't give up just yet! She's finally made friends she loves more than everything! They've got to move on to high school together, they've got to!!

And so that's why she's already here at Linden Baum, awaiting her friends to come sit with her for the group of four for cheap desserts, because they need the most help by far (Minako probably does too, but when it comes to schoolwork she's probably even less diligent than Usagi). Makoto is in Super Serious Mode, too--she's got a headband tied around her head and is diligently poring over her textbook and notes and solving equations and everything! Ami will have to correct them later, but for now--and for a good ways into the night--she'll be focused totally on this. Aim for Juuban High! Fight-o!!

...she'll be like this for a while. Usagi, if you need someone to be a distraction for you, Makoto sadly won't be the direction to look in tonight. But hey, at least there's only three more people needed at her table?

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Kaoru Kiryuu is sometimes described as being as fickle as the wind. It's difficult understanding why right now, as she cooly takes in the chaos of the Linden Baum without batting an eye. She's taken her coffee black as night, there's a sugar caddie and creamer nearby- which she hasn't touched. Her review of it? "Bitter." She has no idea why people drink it. Yet she doesn't care enough to ask her companion at the table. She keeps drinking it anyhow.

All the students here look stressed out. She watches. Their anxiety and stress over the exams seems pointless. The books they're pouring over tell them exactly what to do. Don't they? That's how it was in class. It should be easy.

Suddenly there are actually familiar faces. And while you wouldn't know it, she sits up and takes notice- as Mai and Saki approach. Her eyes follow them as Saki walks up to the table. Declares them friends. Asks if they can sit.

She stares blankly at Saki in silence.

Can they sit?

"I don't really care."

And that's all she has to say about that.

Usagi Tsukino on the other hand is five plates deep into sugar stress relief, piled high, working on her fifth. Her schoolbooks and notebooks are technically - present, but they're obviously taking lesser priority than the food, and beverages. Sucking through a straw here and there are, chin propped up on an elbow, there are sparkles of water glistening in her eyes, "It hasn't even been that long since finals- and already my dreams are in jeopardy..."

All the Kanji she'd tried to learn? Upon review, they're just all popping out of her head like they were going through one ear and out the other.

Gripping a pencil in the other hand, she pats her forehead a few times in frustration.

When she faced Queen Beryl- she had more hope for herself than she does facing down High School Entrance exams.

"Get a grip." Comes a whisper from her bag, cat whiskers flecked with cream. "Just look at how hard Mako-chan is focusing-"

A tiny cat paw points at Makoto Kino, with her headband, pouring over the equations, focusing, and momentarily she gains inspiration! "Whoa- M-Mako-chan is super intense right now." Seeing her like this, it made Usagi acutely aware of how much of a slacker she really was. But it also gave her inspiration.

Inspiration- "Right, let's do this Yumi-chan- let's go over them again!"

Pushing her plates out of the way, she brings the list to the forefront, and her pencil starts to work.

Two minutes later- down to the second her head hits the table dead center in the notebook, "I can't doooo this!! There's no hope at all." Her chin shifts up, as her tears drop down on the notebook.

And she raises her hand to order, "Two chocolate cheesecake slices." She says when the server drops by, lip quivering, "The dying are entitled to a final meal right?"

Usagi entrance exams are still like... a month away.

<Pose Tracker> Hibiki Houjou [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.


A 'study session' at the Lucky Spoon has turned decidedly one-sided. Lying sprawled on Kanade's bed, a cat happily playing among her crimson-splattered old tests, Hibiki stares at the box on her friend's desk. She should be hitting the books - she desperately -needs- to be hitting the books, but... There's a box of cupcakes, right next to Kanade's study session.

Kanade slams her book shut with a grunt. "Ugh! I swear, Hibiki, you're as bad as a dog! Are you even planning to pass the end-of-year exams?"

In response, Hibiki yawns once. "I know, I know, it's just a blur of characters...it's fine, though! I can just copy off your test, right?"


Hibiki Houjou has been exiled from the Lucky Spoon until further notice.

She stands before the Linden Baum, left alone in the cold, a harsh January wind chilling her nearly as much as Kanade's impassioned rant did. Over one arm, a messenger bag of scattered incomplete notes and beaten-up textbooks. In her other hand, a flyer promising a dessert special -almost- as good as 'mooch off a friend's good will'. She takes a deep breath, and braces herself. "...yeah, maybe that was a dumb thing to say."

"Don't worry, nya!" Books and notes? Okay, there's also a cat in her bag, Hummy poking her white head out to look up at her brown-haired human. "As soon as you defeat those exam things, everything will be harmonious again nya! ...what's an exam, anyway?"

"It's...basically the Melody of Sorrow, Hummy. Ultimate despair. But you're right - I'm going to pass! I'll bet my pride as a woman on it!" Steeling herself, she strides through the doors-

-and freezes up, confronted by a noisy mass of pure, sugar-adorned academia. Books and studying and pop quizzes in every corner - the sheer Studying Power concentrated here is terrifying to behold.

But...determination! Hibiki struggles, and finally takes another step forward. "All right. A table. Just have to find a free table...see anything?" She looks down at her cat, but the sight of desserts everywhere seems to be overwhelming the happy-go-lucky feline...until her eyes suddenly shine, and she squirms in one particular direction.

The fact that Hibiki makes her studying decision based on a cat's instincts really does not speak well for her pledge outside.

And so it is that a potential distraction arrives at Usagi and Makoto's table - a girl with brown hair and a black/pink outfit, looking kind of sheepish. "Hey. So...I've got a lot of studying to do. All of the studying. I'm in a big pinch. Any chance I can join...hang on, is that chocolate Bavarian cream?!"

The menu has turned sheepishness into excitement, and the white cat ears twitching at the opening of her bag indicate that she's not the only one. (Hummy is bad at subtle.) Without further ado, Hibiki nods towards one of the opening chairs. "I'll take two, and put those cheesecake slices on my tab! Maybe this won't be so bad...."

Hibiki Houjou you are supposed to be studying.

<Pose Tracker> Nori Ankou [Ohtori Academy (9)] has posed.

Akamira enters.

Well, not Akamira. It's Nori Ankou but she is in a casual ensemble right now, with a comfortable black cardigan and a pair of dark red leggings along with a less remarkable skirt in charcoal grey, along with the peacoat she has often had on against all that weather out there. She has a bookbag, too, which is a creamy off-white with the red Akamira logo applied as if from a gigantic name seal.

She IS a 9th grader. Nori also looks slightly tired, not too unhappy, and - lacking a seat, though she seems to be bobbing on the tides of fate in the approximate direction of Usagi. If fate is not kind this day, she will no doubt agglomerate on the newly opened table.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Michiru, her dark, dark red hair marginally neater than Saki's bleached mullet but certainly of an overall similar style, gives Kaoru a slightly stern look, then nods at the two girls approaching them. "Yes," she agrees, "It is indeed fortunate that we had some space, is it not?"


Another classmate tries to sit down, and receives a death stare.


Some older students, in genuine need of space to study, try to join the girls, but somehow their bags have grown five sizes and are spread across the outside of the benches, like the Great Wall.


A waiter tries, again, to get them to purchase cake or at least a meal. It is not super effective.


"This appears to be a very popular place to eat," Michiru continues. "I don't understand why so many people seem so upset, however."


The waitress Takeo tried to flag down gives him a quick nod and disappears into the kitchen. A moment later, she emerges looking a little flustered. "I'm very sorry, sir, but the chocolate fudge cake is... unavailable at this time." Whatever could that mean? "If you wish to take a seat and order something while you wait, another cake should be ready soon..."

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Yumi Ohzora is already done with entrance exams; she did them last year! They were... Nightmarish. So of course she wants to help her new friend and her... less new friend study for theirs. The tall high schooler is seated in the corner of the table beside Usagi at the moment, with a lot of notebooks out of her own. The handwriting is kind of... intense.

She's not really looking around the room right now, though; she's looking at Makoto, studying so intensely without even saying anything. Anyone who thought she was staring would be right and also entirely embarrassing. Right up until...

'Right let's do this Yumi-chan-'

"Ah? Oh, yeah, right!" Yumi's notebooks are out and handy for reference, and her own plate just now is a green matcha cake slice, which used to be two, and melon soda to go with it. She... has a favorite color. As for her study habits...

Well, right now they're talking to Usagi. "You can do it!"

Two minutes later...

"Usagi-chan, you're not dying..." Yumi sighs, shoulders slumping. "Though I mean, entrance exams do suck. But you'll get through! A girl like you has so much to..." Hibiki's here. Hibiki is here talking about studying, and then talking about cake. "H-Hey--" She's laughing in short order, points at an open seat.

A cat seated beside her somehow gives the impression that she is frowning at everything involved.

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Takeo grins at the waitress and bows to her. "Oh. It's no trouble miss. There are plenty of students who need to study and can use whatever seats they cna find. I'll just be over here," He point sot the wall. "Playing my DS. Thank you!" He then side steps to the wall and takes out his game system form his pocket. It sure is a good thing he didn't TELL Mai about the surprise cake. She might have to wait a little while before he manages to get some.

As he turns on his portable game syste, he looks around at all the students studying. He frowns in thought. Did he have a test coming up? Should he be one of those students frantically studying for some exam?

The game system pings annoucing that it has loaded his last save and is ready for action. He removes the stylus and grins. He's sure there is a test, but right now, he had to save Lucca from the Reptites, and that was surely more importnat than any High School test!

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

Math should be easy enough; Fuu can review later, although she's certainly willing to check other people's work while they're studying. Science and language arts should be no big deal, although she won't turn away from a chance to go over those with classmates or friends. Music, on the other hand, is going to be a problem ... and that's the textbook which Fuu has open in front of her right now, going over some of her notes, comparing them against what the textbook says, and checking with her companions.

"I don't understand," Fuu says ruefully. "Music is supposed to be rooted in mathematics, and math is my best subject. Why do I have *this* much trouble ..." She trails off, shaking her head, and takes another bite of the blueberry muffin she's been munching at in between bursts of studying.

<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Fuu's not the only one who has trouble with music and math. Hikaru, also sitting next to her buddy, is having some difficulty with music studies as well. She's trying to kill two birds with one stone in that she's hoping to improve her studies of music while helping Fuu as well. Sadly, Hikaru's not having much luck either. She bites her lip for a moment before looking to Fuu, shaking her head.

After taking a sip of her tea, Hikaru says, "I honestly don't get it either, Fuu-chan. I'm pretty good with math, but even I don't get this either." She sighs. "I really wish I'd paid more attention in music class, especially with learning to read music. Maybe that would make this easier?"

<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Even this warmth of greeting is pretty chilly (Kaoru's endless stares are something she's still learning to decipher), but Saki doesn't particularly seem to notice. "Great!" she chirps to the duo's rather differently-toned confirmations, and she swings herself into the bench opposite the Kiryuus, scooting quickly over so Mai can sit as well. "Yeah, it's amazing you guys had room for long at all in all this!"

Little does she suspect.

"Ah, I guess this is a pretty popular place, yeah," Saki says, glancing briefly at Mai. Is it? Saki lives at a place with food, it does some things to your expectations. "But I think everyone's pretty stressed 'cuz there's some big exams coming up for the upperclassmen." And for the WAY upperclassmen they're happening right now, but if you're over 18 you're basically already dead, right? "It's why there's a bunch of people here today! They have this big special, and--"

Pause. Rethinks the situation. Looks at the duo with some surprise. "Oh, did you just come? You weren't here for the study special?"

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Kaoru notes the look from Michiru. She doesn't react so much to it- but her lack of reaction belies how closely in tune with Michiru she seems to be in that she knows completely what's being conveyed to her. She doesn't respond though, content to let Michiru be the personable one- while she doesn't get it.

Kaoru's own hair similar to Mai's except it's not bound up and longer, falling neatly over her shoulders in a traditional style. To Michiru's statement, she says, "I don't really understand it either." For a completely different reason than Michiru.

Her concession to Michiru was that she didn't say 'I don't really care.' again.

Saki says that everyone is stressed because exams are coming up. "How pointless." She says, but Saki continues talking about a special.

Is something special happening today? She knows what studying is now at least from her experiences in class even if she doesn't get why people need to but she can't work that out.

Placidly she turns her blue eyes towards Michiru as she asks, "Michiru - what's a study special?"

That answers that, without actually answering Saki.

At another table~

"But Yumi-chan it feels like I am! This is horrible! How can teachers sleep at night, knowing they're putting their students through this cruel torture?" Her expression falls, her eyes meet her notebook again.

But she pops up quickly- as Hibiki arrives, looking delighted as a new face shows up to the table, "Hibiki-chan! And it sure is! It's absolutely delicious here!" She waves excitedly for her to sit down, as if momentarily forgetting her despair. "Hibiki-chan this is Yumi Ohzora. Your senpai is helping me study! Isn't that so thoughtful of her to help out her poor juniors- sentenced to this cruel fate?"

Meanwhile Luna pops her head out of the bag again, she's used to these mood swings from Usagi. Too used to them, she knows sometimes the only way is to let them run their course. But there's a bag popped down nearby her. With white ears twitching. Luna freezes. "Oh no."

Luna crouches down in the bag, hoping that Hummy will get distracted by Tama and won't notice her at all.

DICE: Yumi Ohzora rolls 1d8+0 and gets 8!
DICE: Saki Hyuuga rolls 1d8+0 and gets 7!
DICE: Usagi Tsukino rolls 1d8+0 and gets 5!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Tension is rising in the restaurant, slowly but surely. There are a lot of apologizing waiters, or possibly just a couple making apologies at a tremendous speed. Either way, it seems that for this place to be happy right now, the cake must flow. And the pipeline has... all but stopped.

A lot of disgruntled kids, all having sugar crashes at once... grim.

Michiru doesn't seem to have noticed at all. Instead she patiently explains to her blue counterpart, "It allows people to purchase sustenance for less currency, in exchange for their pursuing their studies."

That was almost normal. She blows it by continuing: "It's stupid. Studying is the duty of young people. It doesn't deserve an extra reward. Also, I do not understand what the big deal is about this... cake."

She says the word like it's totally foreign to her, then sips at her coffee. This table really is totally empty of plates.

A waitress is coming around; she happens to stop at each relevant table. "I'm terribly sorry, but right now we only have the lemon chiffon cake available. Would anyone like a slice?"

DICE: Fuu Hououji rolls 1d8+0 and gets 5!
DICE: Hikaru Shidou rolls 1d8+0 and gets 3!
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Fuu raises her eyebrows at Hikaru, "Don't know how to read music ... well, I suppose it's far easier to read when you know how to play an instrument or sing without much assistance," she admits. "I know which lines mean which notes, at least on the normal clef, but my actual musical skill is ..." She makes a face. "There are reasons why I try to shrug off invitations to karaoke."

And then the waitress mentions being out of cake except for lemon chiffon. Fuu looks at what's left of her blueberry muffin, then smiles at the waitress, "I should be all right for a little while ... other cakes should be available in a little while, it sounds like?"

<Pose Tracker> Hibiki Houjou [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Here it stands - an oasis for a girl whose approach to studying is often the same as that of her not-really-science cat. Seeing Usagi again - having her desperate prayer for a place to study answered - Hibiki clasps her hands together, bowing in gratitude before taking that open seat. "Thanks, Usagi-chan! And thanks a bundle, Ohzora-senpai- hey, what's so funny?" She tilts her head in momentary confusion, a frown crossing her face...but in the end, she shakes the thought off.

She is distracted, however, by the appearance of Tama. "Oh, hey, is this a cat-friendly table? Hummy and I kind of got kicked out of our usual study spot together, so I brought her along..." Swinging her bag into her lap, she opens it fully so that the friendly white kitty can emerge - albeit onto the bench, so she's not completely in sight of the harried wait staff.

If it weren't so jam-packed, there's no way she could get away with this. But it is, and so she might.

Books are, regretfully, set in front of her - a stack comprising every subject she's having trouble with. Which is...almost every subject. Fuu's complaints about music class make her ears twitch, and a thoughtful expression crosses Hibiki's face - but her senpai is here to advise, and that takes priority. "A cruel fate indeed...senpai, how much history do we really need to know? Please don't say 'all of it', my brain only has- no chocolate?!" She rounds on the poor waitress, and hears a counter-offer - one that gives her just a moment's pause. "...I'll take some tea. I'm not sure I'm in the mood for lemon chiff-"

There's a white paw, peeking up over the edge of the table. "...one small slice, I guess."

The paw is withdrawn, and Hummy is positively beaming. She whispers to Tama under her breath. "(Hi! It's nice to meet another cat, nya - how are you doing? Do you have many...nya?!)" Hummy's attention snaps to the side at a whisper of sheer dismay, a ghost of black fur vanishing. She pads quietly around to Usagi's bag, poking it with one paw. "Nya?"

This last, at least, sounds like a meow - loud enough to be heard by those at the table, even. Such a curious kitty

<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"I'm not that good at singing as well, so I know how you feel, Fuu-chan." She shrugs a little and tries to get back to her studies. "At least I've got a chance to do what I can here." She sighs and gets back to hitting the books. It may not be easy, but sometimes you have to face your adversity head-on. At least that's how Hikaru looks at it right now, while taking another sip of tea.

The waitress comes by and informs them they only have lemon chiffon cake available. Hikaru shakes her head politely and says, "I'm all set, thank you very much." She smiles at the waitress.

DICE: Mai Mishou rolls 1d8+0 and gets 1!
<Pose Tracker> Mai Mishou [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Oh," Mai responds, but she is lucky to Saki there, running interference for her. Before she can sink into a frown at Kaoru's response, she hears Saki exclaim 'Great!' and the smile comes back to her face. "Thank you very much."

She sits down across from Kaoru, next to Saki. She nods to her friend. "Yes," she says. "It is popular--I heard that the Western style food they serve is very authentic."

Then she looks back across the table from the two sisters. She blinks, as she sits a notebook with "SCIENCE" written in English letters (each, of course, decorated ornately with multiple markers) across it. Then, she tilts her head. It is not unlike a bird.

"For studying for school?"

<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

If there's anything unusual about Michiru and Kaoru's unfamiliarity with something as basic as 'studying' or 'cake' or 'special sales', Saki brushes it all off as different circumstances, and giggles even at Kaoru's cool disdain. Albeit, as usual Michiru makes it easier to respond to... "It's easier to do something you want to do, though!" Saki chirps to Michiru's rather cold analysis. "And this place has really good cake and good spaces for studying, so it's, like..." ...she looks to Mai, briefly confused by her own certainty in this making sense. "...really good!" she settles on, and nods. Well, it got her out here, after all.

And then she twigs on something else, and brightens up. "Oh wow, you haven't had cake!? How did you even get this far!" She giggles excitedly. "They have all sorts of good ones! We can get--"

And then, a waitress. Saki looks up. Just the lemon chiffon... "Oh," she says, her standard gigawatts dampening down into a lower SI prefix for a second. But chocolate, though... But, it lasts only a moment. "Well....that's fine! Sure, we'll take that, yeah!"

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Yumi watches Usagi as her expression falls, as she mentions the cruel torture that is entrane exams, and it's frankly weird to her to be encouraging in this situation. ...But she is supposed to be the older girl here, so...


Hibiki! Hibiki, and compliments. Yumi straightens a little bit as she's called thoughtful and smiles entirely inappropriate at this cruel fate her juniors are under. Only for a moment, though. "Really though, it's hard but you'll make it through." A grin to Hibiki, and a wave of her hand, "It's fine, I don't mind. They were hard for me too." Beat. "Oh uh... Nothing major's funny."

Tama meanwhile peers up at Hibiki, tilting her head to look at her. Then she tilts down to look at Hummy, considering.

"Yep, cat-friendly!"

Yumi is fine with any of these subjects except for one, which she hopes to avoid until it's time to go. Thankfully, that's not the one Hibiki starts with; she starts with history. "Oh man, I wrote myself a whole page when I was done with the exam about all the things I didn't need to have studied. Here, I'll get you the list of the right eras, one sec!" Picking up her notebooks, Yumi flips through until she finds the right one, and goes through pages. "Here you go! Easier if you have a reference to make your own notes with, right?"

This table, making notes. Right.

"Oh... Um, lemon chffon is okay. Thank you! But could I get some more soda? Melon. The green one!"

Tama, meanwhile, a black cat is peering oer across the table a moment before back to Hummy. "You're very friendly, aren't you? ...Do I have many what? I only have one human girl to look after." She peers over, and considers. She could rescue Luna...

She curls up against Yumi instead, looking at Hummy. "How interesting. I wonder what it is?"

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Fuu's totally reasonable question gets a surprisingly frazzled response. "Um, uh, I hope so!" The waitress bows again and scurries off. She re-emerges a little later with a huge tray of lemon chiffon cakes and delivers them to everyone who asked, and a few people who didn't, too. She's more accurate with the drink orders, getting them out there with due dilligence.

Something is a little weird about the cake, though, at each table; both Mai and Hikaru receive plates that are, shall we say, incomplete. A corner of Hikaru's cake has been bitten off, while Mai's has a bite-sized (and shaped) chunk taken out of the edge of the plate.

The waitress hasn't noticed this.

"...something you want to do?" repeats Michiru, baffled.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Michiru patiently explains. Kaoru doesn't so much as nod, the only acknowledgement being in her eyes. But she doesn't interject immediately, Kaoru lets Michiru continue in full. She doesn't even comment on cake, not understanding the point of it. "It's foolish that it needs to be their duty at all. The knowledge they've learned in class is easy to put into practice."

Facing across from Mai, Mai might get the impression as she tilts her head to the side that she's also facing an unblinking bird.

Though she actually is blinking, it's just you wouldn't notice it.

She says with this sense of mute wonder as Saki declares that cake is really good. "Is that so?"

And Mai declares it's popular and- for studying. It's only then that her eyes move sidelong to Kaoru, as if looking for guidance here.

And then back to the plate in front of Mai, at the corner being taken out of it, and after a moment's examination- "You were very eager." She observes when it comes to the cake. As if Mai had taken the bite out of the plate herself.

Back at third year middle school misery~

Usagi nods in agreement with Hibiki, "Right, right? why would anyone need to know all this stuff? And cat friendly? Welllll- you could say that..." Usagi snickers.

In the bag Luna sweatdrops, for a variety of reasons. One Usagi disregarding the importance of history, and two- because she really doesn't want Hummy to know. "(Oh brother...)"

Yumi offers her notes, and- "Oh great! That'd be a huge help Yumi-chan! M-Maybe it'd be a good idea for us to move on from Japanese to history for a while."

But then the server offers her apologies, and Usagi comes unglued off the table, rising to her feet, palms forward on her notebook, "What!? No chocolate?" She echoes Hibiki, before study weariness takes her back down to her seat. "I'm not really in the mood for it either." She sighs overdramatically takes the room and- then she holds up three fingers, "Three slices of Lemon Chiffon cake."

Wait how is she not in the mood then!?

Whereas Luna cringes down in a bag, as a paw pokes the side. Luna ahems, as she puts a paw to her muzzle and says quietly. "(There's absolutely nothing of interest in this bag. Move along.)" Hummy would buy that there's nothing suspicious in here, right?

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

It was not going well. The Reptites might be too strong for Takeo's ragtag band of time travelers. He sighs. He'll jsut have to grind a little more. Lucca is patient. She'll wait. He clicks a few buttons, and goes about grinding away the levels. He spies the amount of Jr. High students who are sans cake due to some tragic cake shortage and winces. That's rough....

He continues to click away, watching Lemon cake being passed around to the tables of dutiful students. He raises an eyebrow as he spies Mai ahd Hikaru's cake's having a piece bitten out of it. Then eyes the waitress. Strange things might be afoot at the Linden Baum ...

He's pretty sure he can hear Mai (the other Mai), laughing maniacly. He quickly puts it out of his mind.

<Pose Tracker> Mai Mishou [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Mai blinks, again, at Kaoru -- and then looks at Michiru. She smiles, though, at the way she looks at Michiru. It reminds her of how she can look to Saki the same way. She looks to Saki, in fact, before she sees the cake placed down in front of her. "Oh, yes," she says. "I am looking forward to--oh."

She sees the bite taken out of her cake. She doesn't frown, but she leans in for a closer look, and then she pulls back.

"I think there may have been a mistake," she says; she looks at Saki. But then, in typical Mai fashion:

"It's okay," she says, with the patient smile that speaks volumes. "The wait staff is very busy. I shouldn't bother them. It's only one bite out of it."

<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Yeah!" Saki chimes back brightly to Michiru's question. "If you have fun while you're doing something, like being with your friends and having great cake, then you want to do it even more! Even if it's something boring like studying!" She nods, as if this were some great wisdom. (It is apparently greater wisdom than she thought...?)

She gives Kaoru a blank little look for a second, then laughs again. "I definitely don't really remember stuff from class that fast," she admits. "I need to go over it a bunch!"

With pleasing speed, cake arrives! Hooray, cake! Saki has whipped a fork into hand with impressive speed, but to her credit has not actually destroyed half of it before--

Blink. Her eyes rivet to the damage to Mai's cake and her BAKER'S FIRE IGNITES WITHIN HER. "Mai!" she says, for once actually noticing her friend's passivity and actually not being instantly charmed by it. "They can't just give you, just...used cake! What if it was a rat or something! You can get sick that way!" ... And then, as a footnote: "Also the plate's all messed up! That's not OK!" there's STANDARDS DANGIT She looks up, trying to find the waitress to flag her down.

<Pose Tracker> Hibiki Houjou [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Behold, Yumi. Your status as a senpai of Great Academic Renown has been cemented for all time - Hibiki's eyes are veritably shining as she beholds Yumi's reference sheet. There might be a tiny squeal. "You're a life-saver, senpai! The next soda is on me!"

For a moment, there's relief. And then Usagi speaks up, and Hibiki turns to the long-haired girl. There's a grin. There's a trouble-causing grin. "Weeeeell, it's supposed to work out, right? History repeating itself, and all that - so if we learn the facts from one time things happen, then that should count for every other time in history!" She's grinning. Is she serious? IS she joking? Who can even tell?

But the reminder of the cake has her slump forward, resting her chin on her hands. "Yeah, yeah. All the dessert in the world can't make studying -fun-...not that I've gotten any yet. Ugh. Guess we should start..."

Any minute now.

Meanwhile, on the bench below, Hummy is very cheerful - up until there's a reply from the bag. "(Oh, nothing of interest? Okay, nya! Have a nice day, nothing of interest!)" Cheerfully, she headbutts Usagi in the hand until she gets at least one scritch, mewing softly to Tama at the same time. "({Many cat-friends, nya! There's this nice smart cat named Luna, and a bunch of normal cats in the neighbourhood...oh, but I have two human girls to look after! They just got into another fight today, nya...})"

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Yumi's status is uplifted gloriously, and she sees it. She hears it. Yumi beams. She wanted to help, but she's not going to object to praise. In fact she basks in it for a moment, until Tama's tail lashes harder against her leg. "C-come on," she whispers to her cat, "It's fine!"

Louder, "I mean, I'm just trying to help..." It's a goofy smile.

"I dunno," Yumi answers about why they'd need to know all of it. "But some of it's really interesting! Mother always told me history's really important, so I went to museums and stuff when I was a kid," she comments. Then Hibiki chimes in and Yumi blinks. "W-wait," she says, and turns to stare. Hibiki is... Maybe she's joking, there's no way she's serious about that. Not with history.

Cake is there, and Yumi doesn't mind that it's not what she asked for. "Oh yeah, we can change subjects, whatever you're having trouble with." Unless it's science. But she can't say that.

Beanwhile on the bench below, Tama is very relaxed, except for her lashing tail. There's a little cat-laugh regarding nothing of interest though. She keeps her voice down regardless. "Oh, I keep an eye on the neighborhood, certainly. I've met Luna." A beat, "Yours fight? It's so troublesome to keep them on task, isn't it?"

"T-tama," Yumi mutters from the side of her mouth, and starts eating cake immediately.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

At Saki's statement on how long it takes she gives her the longest look- everything makes her think the girl must be a fool but- her blue eyes shift to Michiru. She doesn't say it because Michiru has asked her to not be like that around these two, but she's certainly thinking it.

Kaoru is quiet as she observes Mai, quickly coming to the realization that no humans don't in fact eat plates. And no it probably wasn't Mai taking a giant chomp out of the plate in her eagerness to get to the cake either. Instead, someone serving them made an error.

But as Mai says she shouldn't bother the wait staff, Kaoru continues to observe her for in particular for a while, before she comments in her own kind of agreement, "It seems pointless." Not correcting the error so much as worrying about something like cake.

And yet Saki is giving so many reasons why Mai can't just let that slide. And yet for all the reasons she gives. The girl still doesn't get it- mostly because it feels like the correct option is just not to have any cake. She sounds mildly exasperated, "Why does it matter? Just don't have any."


Yumi explains, and Usagi nods repeatedly, "I see- I see... if you've been to a lot of museums you must really know your history." Already a plan is forming which is entirely reliant on Ami Mizuno and Yumi Ohzora's history notes to get through this, but then Hibiki sends that plan out of her mind with her joke, "Wait really? That's how it works?" Usagi says instantly to Hibiki, the idea of only learning things one time, and events repeating themselves. "(No! It's absolutely not!)" Comes a harsh whisper.

Usagi sinks back down into despair as Yumi says whatever she's having trouble- "But I'm having trouble with all of them!" A beat, a long sigh, "I think I'm crashing without any sugar..." She comments to Yumi, with her almost empty soda right there.

Meanwhile Luna says to herself, "(I can't believe that worked...)" Though she sneezes twice, when Hummy and Tama start talking about her.

Usagi stands up quickly- "Could I get a refill please?" She says almost incorrigibly- not realizing her foot just tapped her bag, causing it to shift just right that it falls on it's side with a flailing of cat paws- only to be facing both Tama and Hummy, "Ah... you found me... ha... ha..."

The cat mentor cringes, before she sighs with a droop of her head and decides to non-chalantly insert herself into the feline social- "I could tell you stories."

All names will be changed of course to protect the not-so-innocent slackers.

<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Oharahetta! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-vTdtFHzEY

The waitress' face is like a broken plate itself. Her smile is shattered. Her eyes are wounded holes in her head. Still, she's plastered on the most professionally pleasant expression she can muster as she wheels on a low-heeled pink shoe to address Saki's complaint. "Of course, miss, we would be happy to replace it right..."

She's reaching for the plate.


She looks down at it. The cake is gone entirely now. There's a gooey, fleshy pink thing on it instead, about the size of a goat's head, and it belches a lemony belch despite not having a mouth. Its single facial feature is an eye, huge and round -- from behind which a tongue suddenly pokes out and SLURPS around the lower half.


The little demon leaps off the plate and onto the table, where it melds seamlessly with the linoleum, like a shadow. Then it leaps onto the next table -- where the 9th-graders are sitting -- and rematerializes to devour Yumi's slice next!


  • slurp*
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe transforms into The Cake Eater!
<Pose Tracker> Mai Mishou [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"W-Well... I could ask for another one, maybe," Mai says, looking down at the plate. She shakes her head, before she looks back up at Kaoru, and blinks at the comment. Her expression is neutral and confused for a moment. "But, Kaoru-san. Cake is very important. Cake makes people happy, and happiness makes them work much harder."

Then, she looks up at the waitress. She starts to smile, then she blinks, and she looks down at the eye sitting on her plate.

Mai, very politely, scoots her chair back. "Michiru-san! Kaoru-san!" she calls out, as the demon leaps from the plate, and towards Yumi's. "Please take cover! We can--we can make sure that you're safe...!"

<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Saki is in a bit of a mood right now, Kiryuu friends, she will deal with your space alien business in a minute.

Saki feels bad that the waitress is in clearly sort of dire straights, but, like, c'mon here.

And then she gets distracted, and Saki looks at her, and then looks down at the plate, and then makes a very similar noise. "WHAAAAAA!" she yelps, hopping back and managing a solid Takahashi shock pose. "What! Is that!? That's not a...but what's a!?"

Give her a sec she's got to process cake-eating gel eyes for a minute.

<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Kaoru's eyes are instantly upon the creature, though the tiny cake-eating goat demon doesn't seem so strange to her, she doesn't so much as react as it leaps onto the table, and camouflages itself like some sort of gecko. She doesn't move, but her eyes fixates on the spot where she swears she saw it last.

And her patience is rewarded when the creature leaps to the next table- where she watches it eat a slice of cake.

Her eyes slowly move over to Michiru, and quite calmly she asks, "Michiru. Is this part of the study special?" But they tell them to take cover. She doesn't understand why they need to. But she does get the impression at least that this is not business as usual. "I suppose not."

She doesn't take cover.

At the other table~

The tiny demon eats the cake at the table. Usagi Tsukino screams instantly, "AYIEEEE!" But upon noting that it was after the cake- Yumi's in particular, her hands grip the table and that fear turns into indignation- "Why you-"

Suddenly her arms tense, and- she absolutely flips the table assuming it's not fastened down- which would send plates- notes- glasses, and school supplies flying- and if the tiny demon hasn't leapt yet in reaction, then that too!

Luna on the other hand, takes cover instantly, putting her paws over her head as everything shatters all around her- before finally grasping the hem of Usagi's uniform skirt on her teeth, and tugging- "Usmpee - gmmph - hmmphin!"

<Pose Tracker> Hibiki Houjou [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

After much deliberation, the academic community has concluded (with probability ~0.85) that Hibiki is, in fact, not kidding about her plan to study history once and call it a millennium. She seems almost proud of this plan. Historians might weep. Upon Usagi looking for hope, she grins all the more brightly. "If it does, we're set, right?"

There's more than a little desperation in her grin, to be fair. Usagi's cry of depair is one she matches with percussion, letting her head fall against a still-closed book. Thump. Thump. Thump. "There's...one or two I'm -not- doomed in? Maybe? With my grades maybe my best bet is to run off and become a fourth violin or something..."

Meanwhile, cats. "You too?! She's pretty cool, nya! And yeah, Hibiki and Kanade are really good at getting along, and really good at not getting along." Sitting up, Hummy folds her front paws, nodding sagely. "It's really frustrating! They'll be the best of friends, then disagree on one thing and it's like they're each other's worst enemy for a day! And because of that I didn't - Luna-chan!"

Upon seeing Luna, Hummy rushes to nuzzle the black cat happily before turning back to Tama. "You two know each other, so that makes us a trio, nya! We should all get cupcakes together and trade stories, I bet they're all really fun!"

(Hummy you are supposed to be pretending to be a normal cat.)

And then.

Usagi's scream makes Hibiki raise her head from academic despair. "Oh, you found the math - WHAT?!" She kicks out in surprise, shaking the table's support - and then Usagi's panic flips it entirely, sending Hibiki's hard-worked-upon notes into the air to be lost forever. Perhaps someone will find her science notes, with such crucial insights as 'biology is about living stuff, physics is about balls for some reason'.

But for now, she's wide-eyed as she tracks the path of that...weird...thing. "...is it eating cake?! UNFORGIVABLE!"

Hummy is left, standing on her back paws, one front paw in the air from where she was gesticulating, and looking distinctly un-cat-like. A moment, before she drops to all fours and clears her throat. "...um, meow?"

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

Why are people screaming? This is a study session, not a hor--

Fuu catches just a glimpse of Usagi flipping a table over, and immediately ducks underneath the table so as to avoid getting beaned by a book or a glass or a stray plate of cake residue. "Hikaru-san, did you notice something that I didn't?" she asks, even as she pulls her glove-jewel out from her pocket. Something doesn't feel right ... And the last time she checked, Linden Baum didn't serve desserts on edible plates. (She *did* notice a rather large notch missing from a plate as it passed, but there was no opportunity to ask about it before the screams started.)

All things considered, she should probably go ahead and transform while she's down there, shouldn't she? There's too much screaming for this to be mundane, and the air in the diner feels subtly but distinctly not-right ...

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji transforms into Wind Knight!
<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

"It... really doesn't," Yumi says to Hibiki, though she does look very happy about it and really isn't that what counts?

No, not for exams. "Oh, uh... Well, come on, don't give up! I mean, you can't be that doomed."

Yumi may be being optimistic again. Tama, on the other hand, looks with the occasional slow blink at Hummy as she keeps herself comfortable. "Mm, yes. I--" Tama pauses. "There are three of us. That's..." Tama is going to begin to be annoyed about interruptions, but Usagi's scream interrupts her all right.

Yumi screams, too, shrinking back against the seat as a weird creature is in front of her. And Usagi flips the table out of nowhere, and Yumi's heart feels like it stops. "My notes!" she wails, and dives down for the table, scooping up her notebooks as fast as she can to save them from spilled drinks.

Tama helpfully hops over with Usagi to hide.

<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

Unfortunately, Hikaru didn't notice too much since she was too busy hitting the books, but now she's noticing that things have gone completely insane! She instinctively ducks down under the table too and draws out her glove-jewel as well. "Fuu-chan, all I can say is that there's something extra that wasn't listed on the menu and I'm not in the mood for any surprises today!" She slips on her glove-jewel quickly, waiting until Fuu transforms to call out her incantation.

After the Wind Knight appears, the Fire Knight appears as well. She looks to the Wind Knight and says, "Looks like something else is cooking and it's up to us to put out the fire before it gets out of hand!"

<Pose Tracker> Takeo Akamizu [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Takeo tilts his head as the one eye'd tongue face cleaning little demon thing belches lemony sceneted breath onto the wind. A youma! A youma here in the most sacred place of confectionary goodness, and the place of the bacon. This can not stand. He steps forward, holding forth the amulet of the Round Table. His eyes following the little pink creature. "You! I can not allow the desecration of the deliciousness of cake and possibly the destruction of this diner's precious bacon!"

Takeo Alamizu holds his amulet aloft and cries out; "I SWEAR TO DEFEND THE INNOCENT CAKE!" There is a pause, as if the amulet and the power that lies within it is considering if this slight change in the words of power may or may not be allowed. Ultimately the powers that be, let out crackling burts of lightning that wrap around Takeo.

The energy coalesces around the boy, turning him a bright blue that eventually peels away. The peeling light flakes off, bursting into tiny explosions of lightning. Oncce it finishes, there stands Lancelot, the Chevalier Knight of the Round Table. He launches forward, twin blades ready to strike. "Leave the cake alone fiend! LIGHTNING IMPACT!!" he cries as his weapons bear down on the tiny pink demon.

COMBAT: Takeo Akamizu transforms into Chevalier Knight Lancelot!
COMBAT: Lancelot has used Lightning Impact on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly braces Lancelot's Lightning Impact, taking 12 Fatigue damage!  Critical Hit!  Lancelot is Psyched!
Hotaru Tomoe's Block ability activates!  Hotaru Tomoe's Parry ability activates!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

Michiru also stares at the little demon like it's an unusually pristine flower arrangement, but then her eyes slide to Kaoru's, and she mutters, "Kaoru. We should listen to Mai Mishou, and go."

Taking each others' hands, they hustle out of the restaurant at high speeds that imply that they really should consider joining the track and field clubs.

The Cake Eater gulps down Yumi's cake in about two seconds flat. Then it wriggles, its whole body waggling back and forth. It wriggles with glee. But also with dissatisfaction, for lemon is not chocolate, and like Saki, it has its priorities straight.

Lancelot attacks -- ZOT -- CRASH! He shears straight through the table, and though he caught a bit of goo on the lightning-infused blades, the jellied creature doesn't seem too inconvenienced.

The restaurant had already had a few shrieks of dismay, but now there's a whole trail of them, complicated further by those who were startled by the broken table and clap of thunder. BOING! goes the creature, off of Yumi's table and onto another one, this one stacked high with empty plates from a group of boys who've been here for five hours. Disappointed, the demon SPROINGS! again, this time landing near a half-eaten slice of strawberry shortcake that someone has been slowly nibbling, one defeated algebra problem at a time.


<Pose Tracker> Mai Mishou [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Mai watches Michiru and Kaoru run, turning her head to look after them. She calls out after them: "Please be careful! We'll find you as soon as we can!"

"You have to transform-chopi!" comes the cry from Mai Mishou's belt.


Silver light floods the surroundings. With the cake gremlin leaping from table to table, Cure Egret foregoes clutching her partner's hand and the speech. Instead, she appears in resplendent white, purple hair bobbing out after her, and throws a hand upward, before she swings it down to point at...

...er, where the cake-eating monster was a moment ago. She hears a gobbling noise, then she spins, and turns to see the half-eaten slice of shortcake. She goes running forward. "You... shouldn't eat the food others leave behind!" she calls out. "It is terribly unhygienic!"

She launches a spinning kick. It is quite impressive -- but it causes her to slide across the table after she tries, and then slam face-first into a chair.


"Egret fell over-chopiiiii!"

COMBAT: Mai Mishou transforms into Cure Egret!
COMBAT: Cure Egret has used White Wing Flurry on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The Magic Knight of Wind straightens up just in time to see the cake-nomming demon descend upon a partial slice of strawberry shortcake.

So that's what all the screaming was about.

"Winds of Admonishment!!" the Wind Knight calls out, trying to catch the cake-eater before it can go anywhere *else*. The turbulence around her spell is probably going to throw study notes around no matter how tightly she controls it, but she does her best nonetheless - and even as she casts her binding whirlwind, the green-clad Magic Knight tries to guess where a creature like this might have come from. It doesn't seem like a Familiar, much less a Witch (they're definitely not in a Labyrinth); a Nakewameke or Terribad would be making more noise and would probably be a lot bigger and more ... well, more *themed* somehow. This just looks like a collapsed pudding or something. With an eye and, apparently, a mouth.

"Does anyone have any guess what this creature is?" she wonders aloud. "Besides getting rid of leftovers, I mean; I doubt it's worried about hygienic eating practices ..."

COMBAT: Fuu Hououji has used Winds of Admonishment on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Usagi Tsukino [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Alright, Michiru."

Her bag is up on her shoulder in a flash, the other girl's hand is taken. And then like the wind they are gone- out the door. It's rather incredible actually how fast they are while holding hands like that.

Meanwhile Usagi gets down on the ground, crawling as the crowd flies, taking her time to slide a few notebooks out of the way- but only if they're immediately in range. "I knew it. I knew too much studying was dangerous to my health!"

Otherwise she crawls on all fours, trying to avoid the stampede of feet. Upturning another table that's near the corner for cover, she crouches behind it and places a hand to her brooch-

"Moon Cosmic Power - Make Up!"

A ring of hearts, a flash of ribbons and suddenly a Pretty Soldier in a Sailor Suit pops up then hops up onto the edge of the table that's propped up on it's side - "Hold it right there! How can anything possibly think of taking away delicious comfort from beleagured students who are already facing the prospect of an untimely demise! Even if you're hungry - then only if you were starving to death would I - who has definitely never stolen cake from anyone-"

Two days ago/o~

Usagi Tsukino slowly opens a refrigerator door to reveal a cake tray with a single piece of cheesecake left, she's not even looking though because her eyes are on the living room, where the sounds of the TV are. Slowly her hand gropes to raise the glass lid as she looks back.

Only to see a note with a doodle of Chibiusa, sticking her tongue out at her taped to the side of the glass, RESERVED FOR CHIBIUSA TSUKINO! KEEP OUT - THIS MEANS YOU USAGI!

Looking suddenly mad on principle, she makes this low sound of frustration- "Chibiusa!" She then opens the lid and takes that slice of cake.

Only as the refrigerator door closes to reveal a really unamused looking Ikuko Tsukino, arms crossed as she watches her eldest acting this badly, "USAGI!"

Back to now/o~

"-accept it as an excuse! Pretty Sailor Suited Soldier of Love and Justice- Sailor Moon! In the Name of the Moon-" She points hand over hand, "-I WILL PUNISH Y-Wha-" The motion unbalances her on the edge of the table- rocking, her arms spinning- "Whoa-whoa-nonono!" -until she finally falls down, flat on her back. There's a whimper as her eyes tear up.

"Save the cake everyone... I'll be there in just a second!"

Meanwhile elsewhere- Luna looks sidelong at Hummy acting normal, and Tama who is elsewhere, then brushes a palm over her face- "So about your girls. Is there-" She thinks about it for a moment with a long sigh before, "-an exchange program?"

She's too dutiful to actually be serious about this. But days like this do test her to the limits.

COMBAT: Usagi Tsukino transforms into Sailor Moon!
<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

There's a demon which likes eating cake? Not surprising, sadly to the Fire Knight.

If only it was just a hoax and all the screaming was fake, but it's not.

"Don't eat that raw! Let me heat it up for you!" The Fire Knight calls out as she readies a spell to put the burn on that demon. "Fire Arrow!" The Fire Kngiht calls out, shooting forth some flame that will burn the demon hopefully. As for notes and things like that, well, she's sure the persons responsible could think of reasons why they're gone?

COMBAT: Sailor Moon has used In The Name Of The Moon on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou transforms into Fire Knight!
COMBAT: Hikaru Shidou has used Fire Arrow on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly dodges Hikaru Shidou's Fire Arrow, taking 25 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade ability activates!
Hotaru Tomoe's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly braces Cure Egret's White Wing Flurry, taking 7 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe's Block ability
activates!  Hotaru Tomoe's Parry ability activates!  Exhausted applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
COMBAT: Fuu has not concluded their actions. Reactions are not yet available.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Fuu Hououji's Winds of Admonishment, taking 18 Fatigue damage!  Cripple applied to Hotaru
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly braces Sailor Moon's In The Name Of The Moon, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Sailor Moon is Psyched!
Hotaru Tomoe's Block ability activates!  Hotaru Tomoe's Parry ability activates!  Exhausted applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Lancelot [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The table is shattered under Lancelot's twin blade assault. When the little pink thing bounds away, his eyes follow it and he growls slightly under his breath. "You little cake thief! Get back here!" He leaps after it, blades held at the ready as he closes the gap to the little pink demon. He prepares to slash again, but slides to a stop, and points with one of the blades in his hands. "HEY! If you eat all the cake there's no way I'll be able to bring a piece to Mai! LIGHTNING STREAM!"

At the cried out words, a whipping and crackling stream of electrical energy lances out at the little pink thing. There is an acompanying boom of thunder, and the lightning sparks and whips as it travels toward the creature.

He grits his teeth a look of frustration in his eyes. "I should have just tried ot make a cake myself ... "

COMBAT: Lancelot has used Lightning Stream on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe fails to dodge Lancelot's Lightning Stream, taking 33 Fatigue damage!
<Pose Tracker> Saki Hyuuga [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Saki-lapi! Wake up-lapi!"

"But it's...like, not THAT dangerous!?" Saki stammers out, thoroughly bemused even as the creature

"It ate your cake-lapi!" Flappy has not actually verified this but it doesn't really matter. Saki's eyes flash with RENEWED FIRE. "Not on my watch!" she declares. Michiru and Kaoru BOOK IT (them being good athletes isn't really news for Saki although wow they really can haul, huh), and that gives Saki a chance as well. "Flappy!" "Ready-lapi!"

A blast of golden light erupts around her, resolving into tiny, bobbing, babbling golden spirits, and then, after that, into the Precure of Earth, Cure Bloom! She jabs a finger at the demon, in a rare moment of stillness. "Stop that business!" she declares.

Egret, a few moments later, slides across a table and slams into a chair. "Egret!" Bloom yelps. "You hurt my partner!" "I think she did that to herself-lapi..."

Cure Bloom, with her usual elephantine grace, throws herself across the restaurant at the cake goblin and just comes down on it with a HARSH CHOP! The impact explodes with magic light!

This ensures Bloom probably doesn't break whatever she just hit, but if it's not the goblin she might suddenly be feeling like she just tried and failed to break a cinderblock.

COMBAT: Saki Hyuuga transforms into Cure Bloom!
COMBAT: Cure Bloom has used Petal Clash on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Yumi is ignoring the monster for the moment as she gathers up her notes; this ends up being a little bit dangerous as lightning crashes straight down at the ninth-graders' table where she is. "Aie--!" Yumi jumps a little, though she has her notebooks that were on the table gathered up, and falls backward. "Aaah!" Only then does she start to notice all the magic all around her, and she gets up. "Tama, watch these!"

"Finally. Be careful, Yumi!"

Going through her stuff, Yumi grabs for her phone, and takes hold of it, ducking down among the chairs and holding it to her before a great white staff pops up from the ground. "Staff of Lost Ivy, hear me! In my hand, remembered be!"

A column of green light, and there is a girl in black and green standing, her pointed hat marking her a witch. She lifts up her staff, "I am the Witch of Lost Ivy, and your..." She trails off. "I mean you don't seem really evil, but you're making a mess." She sounds a little offput, a little confused. "Sorry, I'll try to be gentle!"

Holding out her staff to hover before her, green power radiates from her feet. Tracing a sigil of misfortune in the air before her that glows green as it hangs, Yumi says, "Now just slow DOWN!" She shoves forward with both hands, and where she hopes the creature will be an aura of black rises--and bursts uprward as ethereal vines.

Tama, meanwhile, pops up beside Luna out of nowhere again.

COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora transforms into Witch Ivy!
COMBAT: Yumi Ohzora has used Ivy Binding on Hotaru Tomoe.
<Pose Tracker> Hibiki Houjou [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Suddenly, there's a crack of thunder, and a table splits in twain. The power of the flash and the volume of the resounding boom combine to send Hibiki reeling, and Hummy meowing in panic as she attempts to hide behind a fallen plate. That's not even close to the end of the little creature, though - and with Yumi's cake devoured, away it flies.

Away it flies, and Hibiki's trembling fist slams into the bench. "Don't think you can get away that easily, you - you - you weird glutton!" She's all set to grab her bag and go after it that way - but the howling emerald winds and flashes of flame make her think twice about that plan. Instead, she looks around for a moment before taking cover behind the flipped-over table and a breath to steel herself. She whispers under her breath, at least trying to be subtle - from this angle, only those cats can really see her "...this is turning into a mess. All right - Let's Play! Pretty Cure Modulation!"

There's a brief strain of holy music - and then a figure in pink, flipping over the table to sprint after the flying cake-eating monstrosity. "Whatever you are! Interrupting a desperately needed study session, and eating everyone's cake - this duet of crimes is absolutely unforgivable! I'm Cure Melody, and I'm going to help stop you before this place gets wre-"

There's a boom of thunder and a flash of lightning.

"...before it gets more wrecked. Get away from those cakes!" It's crowded, and so Cure Melody takes to the air as best she can - leaping from one table to the next, probably stepping on a few notes in the process, but at least trying to avoid the food and drinks - priorities. From one table to the next, grabbing a couple of discarded plates, then to a clear chair - and then, hopefully, a change to intercept the little creature by pinning it between the twin plates.

Meanwhile, back at Hibiki's former table, Hummy turns to Luna. "That sounds like a lot of fun, nya! You can eat delicious cupcakes, and I can do computer things!"

COMBAT: Hibiki Houjou transforms into Cure Melody!
COMBAT: Cure Melody has used Cymbal Clash on Hotaru Tomoe.
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly braces Cure Bloom's Petal Clash, taking 5 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe is unable to keep fighting!
Cure Bloom is Psyched!  Hotaru Tomoe's Block ability activates!  Hotaru Tomoe's Parry ability activates!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe perfectly dodges Cure Melody's Cymbal Clash, taking 0 Fatigue damage!  Critical Dodge!  Hotaru Tomoe is
unable to keep fighting!  Hotaru Tomoe's Fade ability activates!  Hotaru Tomoe's Flash ability activates!
COMBAT: Hotaru Tomoe narrowly braces Yumi Ohzora's Ivy Binding, taking 3 Fatigue damage!  Hotaru Tomoe is unable to keep fighting!
Hotaru Tomoe's Block ability activates!  Hotaru Tomoe's Parry ability activates!  Stun applied to Hotaru Tomoe!
<Pose Tracker> Hotaru Tomoe [Infinity Institute (6)] has posed.

And then things get really chaotic.

Pretty Cure bound across the room, slamming into the little monster with fists and feet, then past it into furniture! It feels like kickpunching pudding.

But it's wicked quick -- leaping out of the brunt of Egret's kick, it gets caught for a moment in a conjured whirlwind, then squirms harder and explodes upwards to scuttle across the ceiling! Flame scorches the paint in its wake, and lightning, too, and anyone who wasn't already screaming at this point has begun.

The power flickers and goes out; dim wintry light still filters through the windows, enough to see the little demon hustle back towards the ground, where an ivy binding awaits it. But it rips out of those magical leaves in short order, dives straight through Cure Melody's legs, and--

--is out through the front window. CRASH!

Silence falls gradually over Linden Baum. Tables are destroyed, windstrewn and burnt books and notes scattered everywhere.

And there's pretty much no cake left.

No cake at all.

The waitress bows about ten times. "I'm terribly sorry! I'm terribly sorry!" Finally she's interrupted by an older manager, who smoothes her apron down her front, then bows as well.

"Linden Baum will be closing for the afternoon. Please accept a coupon for a free meal on your way out, and come back soon. Thank you! Goodbye!"

There are groans and grumbles -- and some tears, too, depending on the level of damage to one's schoolwork. It seems that the study special is over for the time being.

And somewhere, in an alley, the Cake Eater hungers for more...

<Pose Tracker> Sailor Moon [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

"Honestly- as if I'd give you access! And good luck getting past my foolproof authentica-"

Luna gets a good long look at Hummy, the adorable force of chaos she is.

She remembers the time Usagi accidentally opened the hatch to her arcade base just by shaking a Sailor V arcade cabinet that ate her token.


Hummy gets the longest stare. She had to get Hummy's mind off this idea quick or her fortress of cattitude might be compromised, "Oh Hummy - maybe we should forget all about that and go out for cupcakes after this-"

It takes a force of supreme will for Luna to say the next word, her eyes falling upon Tama. If she's going to get dragged into this, she's taking another dignified feline down with her. "-together."

By the time Sailor Moon is up from being flat on her back, the Linden Baum is utterly annihilated, the creature has escaped out the window and-

She cringes as she takes in the level of devastation, "Eugh..."

She watches a light fixture crashes to the ground as the cafe is all but empty save serving staff and magical girls. For a few moments she's quiet, but then she whips up a finger, "And this is why too much studying is hazardous to your health - Sailor Moon Says!"

Luna's head slowly drops as she face paws for the second time tonight.

Usagi's notes are utterly devastated.

Believe it or not, given the quality of notes- she's probably better off.

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

That was surprisingly quick. The Wind Knight is almost suspicious - certainly they didn't destroy the cake-eating creature. But ....

Well, it's over for now, anyway. The Wind Knight glances around, then bends down to pick up some scattered note pages, sorting through to try and confirm how many people they belong to.

It's Fuu Hououji who straightens up, checking the name on a page. "Does this belong to somebody ... ? It looks like trigonometry notes, I think. And these are ..." She pauses, frowning through her glasses. "English. I think. Not Japanese, at any rate."

Once Fuu has got her own school stuff squared away, and hopefully reunited some loose pages with their owners, she'll happily take a coupon on her way out the door, even though it may be a few months before she manages to redeem it. She's just grateful this didn't turn into an even more injurious fight - she doesn't have time to be laid up from magic-related injuries.

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

Lancelot looks around the slightly destroyed diner. Did ... He do any of that? Eh. Maybe a small part? A light ficture falls behind him, singed near black from his lightning stream. He clears his throat. "That was - That was like that ... Looks like ... Shody electrical work." He clears his throat again and starts to head toward the front door. Whistling innocently.

Maybe there is a cake shop someplace nearby where he can find find that promised cake. He casually slips out the front door, and turns back into Takeo. He cringes slightly to himself. "I really hope Mai doens't hear about this and blames me .... "

<Pose Tracker> Hikaru Shidou [Juuban Public School (9)] has posed.

After all is said and done, which is surprisingly quick, the Fire Knight is a thing of the past for now. Instead, Hikaru Shidou joins in cleaning up a little and looking at what's been knocked over. Fortunately, it doesn't look like anything's been badly burned. With a sigh she gets things back together then gets her coupon before heading out along with Fuu.

"That was a visit I'll never forget," She comments to Fuu. "Still, something tells me there's more to this than we think..."

<Pose Tracker> Cure Melody [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

In the end-

The cake eater is gone. Fled into the great beyond, shattering glass a fine accompaniment to broken plates. Cure Melody whirls around - but already it's well out of sight. She lets out a sigh, then starts in surprise as a long-suffering coffee machine finally gives up the ghost and sparks its last defeated sigh.

(Really, for some former employees, this kind of event might be seen as more of a triumph than a disaster.)

As for Cure Melody - she's left standing atop a chair, just taking in the chaos. She clenches one fist, growling under her breath - but there's nothing to be done. Sailor Moon Says wise words, and frustration is...alleviated. Cure Melody gives the sailor scout a thumbs up, and then darts out the now-broken window to find a quiet place to de-transform.

It's several minutes before Hibiki Houjou slinks back in to retrieve her books, wrangle her cat, and leave a decent tip behind to cover those drinks and her 'contribution to all the broken dishes'. Two plates' worth, at least. Fair is fair.

And, of course, in the meantime...

Hummy's eyes go wide, and she does a little dance - doing her best to rope both Tama and Luna into it. "That sounds like a wonderful idea, nya! And I know just the place - Kanade isn't mad at me, just at Hibiki, I'm sure she'll help out a few hard-working cats!"

At least someone got something done today.

<Pose Tracker> Yumi Ohzora [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Tama is there, as Hummy and Luna make their plans. She is there, when Luna enacts vengeance for earlier, when she sold her out to Hummy for her own amusement. ...Not that Luna knows that part, necessarily.

Tama's tail lashes once and she looks between the others. "That sounds..." Well, Hummy seems nice. "...Friendly. Tama looks right back to Luna, as if to say, she knows what's happening here. A look to Hummy, as she absolutely refuses to dance, "I'm sure we'll both look forward to it, Hummy. I'm fine with meeting one of yours."

The Witch, on the other hand, looks and cringes too, hiding behind her staff as best she can. "I feel bad for the waitress," she says to Sailor Moon. Yumi of course must have taken shelter somewhere. Or something. But the Witch...

She jumps a little as the fixture crashes. "Sailor Moon that's not..." She facepalms, leaned against her weapon, and sighs.

At least she saved her own notes. And at least she didn't get zapped. Obviously she'll leave a really big tip.